Keeping Your Workers Safe in the Summer Heat

June 13th, 2019


A summer day. It doesn’t have the same threatening demeanor as, say, a buzz saw or a barrel of toxic chemicals. But exposure to heat can cause major health issues: vomiting, cramps, fainting, even death.

Working outside on a summer day seems like an innocuous enough endeavor…even pleasant in many cases. As such, the risk might not be readily apparent. Your workers might not realize the dangers that working in the heat can pose. Or even if they know them in the abstract, they might not understand the full ramifications.

Here are some steps you can take to keep your workers safe when working in the summer heat:

Remind Workers of the Dangers

The first step is to make sure everyone knows the potential health problems associated with heat. Regularly remind employees of the possible symptoms and provide information about how to prevent them.

Provide Plenty of Water

Make sure everyone stays hydrated. Provide water for all employees working in the heat. Also, consider requiring regular mandatory water breaks, where each work is forced to stop and take a drink.

Encourage Proper Clothing

Have dress-code regulations that take the heat into account. Don’t force workers to wear restrictive or multi-layered uniforms when the temperature gets above a certain point.

Ease into Heavier Work

Employees shouldn’t jump right into strenuous work in high temperatures. Instead, they should ease into high-impact labor. Meanwhile, set up a rotation system that allows workers to alternate difficult jobs with less rigorous activity.

Plan for Frequent Breaks

Beyond cycling through the most sweat-inducing chores, workers should be given frequent chances to rest. Build additional breaks into the work plan on hot days. Ideally, you would have an air-conditioned area, or at least someplace shaded, where workers could retire for a quick cool down.

Coworkers Should Monitor Each Other

No one wants to admit they are struggling. Meanwhile, a worker starting to suffer from the early stages of heat exhaustion may not realize the danger they are in.

For those reasons, workers should look out for each other. Encourage employees to watch each other for symptoms, and empower them to intervene as needed to improve the situation.

Have an Emergency Protocol

Be prepared if things take a bad turn. Have the proper medical equipment on hand if an employee suffers from heat stroke. Contact authorities immediately if the situation escalates to the point where medical attention is necessary.

Safety should be a key focus for any business. Competent, conscientious employees make it easier to maintain a safe business environment.

How do you get those kinds of workers? Working with a top-flight recruiting partner, like SmartTalent, brings you the kind of team members you need to maximize your safety profile.

Contact SmartTalent today to learn more.

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How to Find a Job in Another State

June 11th, 2019


You probably hear the phrase “moving your career forward” a lot. Usually, the “move” part of that is just a metaphor. But, sometimes reaching your full potential sometimes requires something more literal … like an actual move.

But relocating can be an intimidating process. Not only are you taking on a new job (already a major stressor), but you have all the anxieties related to the physical move.

Here are some tips to make finding (and thriving in) a job in another state:

Find Someone You Know There

Networking plays a role in most job searches. This becomes critical as you look outside your immediate surroundings. Even in the world of easy global communication, your contacts will tend to cluster in a few (or even just one) geographical area.

Being able to have a contact in your intended new home town helps smooth the process. Not only can they help you find a job, along the normal networking ways, but they can help you transition to your new city.

Visit First

Moving to Hawaii may sound ideal. Until you discover you are allergic to the plant life there and break out in hives every time the flowers blossom.

Don’t assume you’ll like a place or you’ll “work out the details later.” Visit a location before you commit to a position. That way, you know if it is worth the commitment of relocating.

Keeping Cost of Living in Mind

You might have a gorgeous house in a swanky suburb of Des Moines. However, the salary that lets you afford that mansion in Iowa won’t buy you much in Manhattan or Silicon Valley. Keep that in mind as you’re weighing your options.

Don’t compare salaries on a dollar-to-dollar basis. Look at what you can buy with the money (there are plenty of online cost-of-living calculators available). A move might come with a nominal raise, but misjudge the costs and you could end up losing spending power in the long run.

Be Honest About Having to Relocate

Eventually, you need to have an honest conversation with your prospective employer about the fact you’ll have to relocate. This can sometimes be a tricky discussion.

Some companies are reluctant to look at candidates who would have to move to take the position. Often, you can use your cover letter to address the issue. However, you may want to wait until you’ve gotten further into the process before bringing it up (no need to throw up red flags too early).

Whenever you decide to bring up the conversation, stay upbeat and don’t show uncertainty. Even if you have some anxieties about making the move, as far as your potential future employer is concerned, you are excited to relocate and would welcome the challenge.

Looking to find the perfect job in a new city? A recruiter is a great way to get started. When you’re stepping outside the area you’re familiar with, a top staffing firm, like SmartTalent, can build a bridge to your dream location.

Contact SmartTalent today to learn more.

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Helping Your Employees Set SMART Goals

June 6th, 2019


Business writers never get tired of cute phrases, abbreviations, and pneumonic devices.

From the “KISS” rule to B2B paradigm shifts to The Peter Principle to “pivoting to video,” generations of careers have been made coining and popularizing buzzword-y ways to describe management and recruiting trends. While these often exist as eye roll-inducing advertising for corporate workshops, a few also contain some useful advice.

Which brings us to SMART goals.

The initials stand for “specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based.” Of course, the letters could have just as easily spelled “MARTS” or “T-RAMS.” But then the business writers wouldn’t have been doing their buzzword-y jobs.

Honestly, though, there’s something fittingly intelligent about the components of the SMART model. Taken together, they describe the kind of goals worth achieving. At the same time, they provide an outline of how to craft a target well-positioned to garner meaningful results.

Helping your employees choose meaningful goals can drive overall growth, both for the company and for them individually. Here’s how the components work:

Specific

Vague goals are more wishes than objectives. You want to be happy. You want to have money for retirement. You want to live a good life. All fine as mission statements, but difficult to craft an action plan around, because they represent such fuzzy concepts.

The more specific a goal, the easier to figure out how to achieve it. Success involves contemplating a detailed action plan and putting it into effect. Making the goal specific forms the first step.

Measurable

It’s easier to work toward a goal when you can quantify that your progress. It also makes it easier to know if, in fact, you have achieved the goal at all.

An objective like “improve sales” represents an essentially meaningless goal. It includes an infinite number of outcomes … pretty much everything that isn’t a sales decline. But something like “improve sales 15%” makes tracking and evaluation more precise.

Achievable

Looking out over the horizon is a great way to appreciate the ocean or take advantage of a mountain hike. It’s not very effective when it comes to goal achievement.

Make sure your employees are setting targets they can reach. You want them to challenge themselves, but unachievable objectives just lead to disappointment and discouragement.

Relevant

Success isn’t just about achieving the goals you set. It’s also about setting the right goals in the first place. The wrong goal is like following your mapping app into a cul-de-sac. You’re still driving around, but you aren’t getting anywhere.

Relevant goals play into a larger mission. The personal goals your employees set should dovetail together to mean a greater success for everyone.

Time-based

Open-ended goals beg for procrastination. They come in the form, “I’ll get that done … someday.” That “someday” keeps hovering just over the horizon, like a desert mirage, getting further away even as you try to walk towards it.

Best to eliminate the “someday” altogether. Replace it with a specific time limit. Not just, “improve sales by 15%,” but “improve sales by 15% before the end of Q2.”

These time constraints allow your employees to measure their progress and build a meaningful work schedule. It also allows you to review how they are doing in moving towards the goal.

Good employees set smart goals (and SMART goals). Then, they go out and achieve them. Finding these top performers becomes easier when you have a strong recruiting partner, like SmartTalent. Our friendly and professional staffing specialists can bring you the workers you need to reach even your loftiest goals.

Contact SmartTalent today to learn more.

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Should You Bother With Job Postings That Are Over 30 Days Old?

June 4th, 2019


When you’re out of work and checking the job sites every day, you exhaust the new postings pretty quickly. Eventually, you to start those desperate clicks to the second page and beyond … ads that potentially haven’t been seen by human eyes in weeks. Land of the stale posting.

Are those jobs even open anymore? Are the companies even around? Things move pretty fast in the modern world, so who knows? It leads to the bigger question: Is it worth applying for (supposed) opportunities when the post is more than 30 days old?

Obviously, the newer the posting, the better the chances the position is still open and the recruiting process for that job is ongoing. After all, most ads get their first interest within minutes. And within a few days, most recruiting efforts have already been inundated with applications.

Those old ads might be the result of an oversight by the job website, or the consequence of the company forgetting to pull their ad. Applying in those cases would be a waste of time.

But some positions are hard to fill. Meanwhile, some companies are constantly seeking talent, and leave their postings live in a passive hope that someone great will fall into their laps. You don’t want to pass up a meaningful opportunity just because of the date on the ad.

Check If There’s an Updated Version

Look around for a newer version of the same posting. Copy and paste a key part of the text into Google and see what you get. What you found in the deep archive on one site might just be a remnant of a previous recruiting attempt. There might be a fresh version on another job site.

Go Directly to the Company’s Website

Most companies, even ones that use job sites to propagate their recruitment postings, will also include information about open positions on their own websites. As the company has more direct control here, their site is likely to be more accurate. If the position is still listed, it’s good evidence the firm is still accepting applications.

Contact HR

If you’re still unsure, or just excited about the position, contact the company directly. Most websites will have some way to connect with the company, maybe even a direct line to HR.

You might not receive a reply. If that happens, no harm done. However, you might strike up a correspondence that leads to something worthwhile. Even if the position you found in the ancient ad has been filled, the company might have other jobs that have since become open.

Weigh Risk/Reward

At a certain point: why not?

Lots of job sites have one-click or nearly one-click application processes. With such a low investment of time, there’s not a lot of reason to skip an older posting. The only exception would be if the application process gets complicated or requires you to put in additional effort. At that point, you have to weigh the opportunity versus the likelihood that you’re wasting your time.

Clicking around job sites can be a frustrating and time-consuming endeavor. Ready for a better solution? Time to try a recruiter.

A strong recruiting firm, like SmartTalent, can fast-track your job search. Contact SmartTalent today to learn more.

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