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.

Smart Talent
Follow SmartTalent on Twitter and Facebook today! Be one of the first to receive new job openings that will interest you or someone you know, job hunting tips, announcements and news.

Follow SmartTalent on our LinkedIn Business page, Glassdoor as well as Pinterest.

The Best Way to Answer “Why Should We Hire You?”

December 4th, 2018

Why should we hire you? This is a common question that you can expect to be asked at job interviews.  Of course, you want to make sure that the answer you provide is compelling – but how can you do that? Just follow these tips and you’re sure to impress the hiring manager and maximize your chances of getting an offer:

  • Tailor the answer to the job description: The company is looking for a candidate to accomplish specific tasks and bring certain desired skills to the table. When you’re asked why they should hire you, you want to focus on the particular traits they are looking for. Before you go to the interview, you should review the job ad to remind yourself who the company has described as their ideal candidate.  When you’re asked about why they should hire you, you can provide an answer that mirrors the language from the job ad and shows the employer you have the exact skills they’re seeking.
  • Show how you’ll provide value to the company: The company is looking for someone who will perform well for them. You don’t want to focus on what the job could do for you or why it’s the perfect position to advance your career. You want to demonstrate clearly that the work you perform will make the company more productive and more successful.
  • Provide specific anecdotes, not vague platitudes: It’s easy to talk about how you’re the ideal candidate, but it can be harder to show it. That’s why you want to be prepared in advance with stories of your past successes to show that you’re the person the company is seeking. If the company is looking to hire an administrative professional who can multi-task, come prepared with specific details about how you’ve done well before in juggling your time and getting everything done.

SmartTalent can help you to land an interview in Kirkland, Fife, Renton, Lacey, Lynwood, Everett, and surrounding areas so you’ll get a chance to excel at the interview and land the job of your dreams. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help you in your job search.

Smart Talent
Follow SmartTalent on Twitter and Facebook today! Be one of the first to receive new job openings that will interest you or someone you know, job hunting tips, announcements and news.

Follow SmartTalent on our LinkedIn Business page, Glassdoor as well as Pinterest.

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.

Smart Talent
Follow SmartTalent on Twitter and Facebook today! Be one of the first to receive new job openings that will interest you or someone you know, job hunting tips, announcements and news.

Follow SmartTalent on our LinkedIn Business page, Glassdoor as well as Pinterest.

Four Reasons Why New Hires Fail

August 7th, 2018

When your company brings on new talent, you want your new hires to be successful. Unfortunately, sometimes the people who join your team won’t perform up to expectations or will not stay on the job very long. With either of these outcomes, your organization loses.

The good news is, by understanding why new hires fail, your organization can reduce the chances of something going wrong and maximize the likelihood your new employee will exceed your expectations. Four key reasons new hires may be more likely to fail include:

  • Failing to make your expectations clear. Most people want to succeed at any new job they take on, but they need to know how the company defines success. Be clear about what you expect new employees to accomplish and how you want tasks completed so the person you’ve added to your team can rise to the challenge and give you the finished product you are looking for.
  • Not providing an effective onboarding process. Employees will be much more successful if you can integrate them into an organization. This means you should have a proper onboarding process that includes showing them the ropes, introducing them to team members they’ll need to work with, and providing the insight they need to hit the ground running.
  • Failing to provide new hires with the tools necessary for success. Make certain new hires have the training and tools they need to complete their job tasks. This can mean providing appropriate training on software programs your company uses, project management systems that are in place, or other internal systems that employees will need to take advantage of.
  • Having a poor hiring process. While equipping employees with tools and training can be very helpful to ensure they succeed, it’s also important you bring on staff members who have the capacity to thrive. To do this, you need to ensure your hiring process is designed to carefully vet candidates and find the right person to hire. If your process doesn’t properly identify a candidate with the soft and hard skills you’re looking for who is a good fit with your company culture, you’re just setting up new hires for failure.

SmartTalent can ensure you are only extending offers to people who have the best possible chance of succeeding at your organization. Give us a call to find out about the ways our staffing professionals can help your company hire the best possible who are most likely to excel.

Smart Talent
Follow SmartTalent on Twitter and Facebook today! Be one of the first to receive new job openings that will interest you or someone you know, job hunting tips, announcements and news.

Follow SmartTalent on our LinkedIn Business page, Glassdoor as well as Pinterest.

Keep Workers Safe in the Heat

July 12th, 2018

Summer can be a challenging time for workplace safety because many employees must work in extreme weather conditions. Working outdoors in the heat could leave workers vulnerable to life-threatening heat-related injuries, so it is imperative you take safety seriously and have a plan for keeping your staff from harm.

Some of the key ways you can help to keep employees safe from heat-related risks on the job include:

  • Providing training on heat-related illness and signs of heat-stroke. Many people underestimate the dangers of working in hot environments, so you need to make sure your staff is aware of the risks. Training can include not just details on staying hydrated, taking breaks and watching for signs of heat stroke but can also address issues such as what clothes to wear to try to stay cool. You should also provide training on signs of heat stroke so if workers experience them or notice symptoms in others, swift action can be taken.
  • Offering workers the opportunity to take plenty of breaks. When workers are doing their jobs in hot environments, either indoors or out, make sure they have a chance to escape to cool down. Encourage regular breaks in cooler areas and provide a place for workers to get out of the heat. Also, make sure there is ample water available for staff members to stay hydrated and take a drink during break time.
  • Limiting the time employees spend in extreme heat. If you have a mix of projects for staff members to do, try to limit the amount of time that workers spend in the heat. By having team members trade off so each is outside or in hot environments indoors for only limited portions of the day, you reduce the risk of serious heat-related health issues developing.

You need to hire workers who understand the risks that heat presents and who can work proactively to protect themselves and their co-workers. SmartTalent can help you hire skilled staff in Kirkland, Fife, Renton, Lacey, Lynwood, Everett and surrounding areas. To find out more about how we can help you build a team that takes safety concerns seriously, give us a call today.

Smart Talent
Follow SmartTalent on Twitter and Facebook today! Be one of the first to receive new job openings that will interest you or someone you know, job hunting tips, announcements and news.

Follow SmartTalent on our LinkedIn Business page, Glassdoor as well as Pinterest.

Jumping Back Into the Job Market

July 10th, 2018

Are you re-entering the workforce after being out of it for a while? Returning to work can be stressful and challenging because you need to find an employer who is willing to take a chance on you.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to make sure you’re seen as a top candidate ready to excel so you can maximize your chances of getting hired. When jumping back into the job market, you should:

  • Reach out to old contacts. If you have past employers or other industry connections, tap into them when you begin looking to return to the workforce. People who already know your skills may be more open to the idea of hiring you even if you’ve been away from the working world for a while.
  • Update your resume and credentials. It’s imperative your resume shows your most recent work experience and effectively highlights your skills, especially if there are gaps. If you’ve been out of the workforce for a while, it may also be a smart idea to take some steps to show you’ve been keeping up with new developments. For example, you could renew certifications or take a course that you could include on your resume.
  • Be prepared to show off your skills. If you happen to land an interview, you’ll need to be ready to answer questions, so you can show you haven’t gotten rusty. Brush up on industry terms and new developments to make sure you can impress the hiring manager.
  • Use a staffing service for help. Staffing services have industry connections with companies that trust them. If you come in with a recommendation from a recruiter who knows your skills, a business is much more likely to hire you even with an employment gap.
  • Consider temp jobs. If you’re having trouble finding full-time work, consider whether a temp job could open doors for you. Companies will be more willing to take a chance when they’re making a temporary commitment, and you can show off your skills and enhance your resume with recent experience.

SmartTalent can help you return to the workforce and find a great job in Kirkland, Fife, Renton, Lacey, Lynwood, Everett and surrounding areas. To find out more about how our staffing service can help you get back to work, give us a call today.

Smart Talent
Follow SmartTalent on Twitter and Facebook today! Be one of the first to receive new job openings that will interest you or someone you know, job hunting tips, announcements and news.

Follow SmartTalent on our LinkedIn Business page, Glassdoor as well as Pinterest.

Excel on the Job With This Tip

June 12th, 2018

Everyone wants to succeed at work but figuring out how to do well at your job can be challenging. While every company prioritizes different soft and hard skills when evaluating employee performance, there is one universal tip all workers can follow to excel at work: be present.

Being fully present on the job means not just phoning it in but really focusing on your work and giving your all. Being present can benefit you because:

  • You can focus more on job tasks. When you are fully focused on doing your job, you will be able to give 100 percent of your attention to each task assigned to you. This means you will be less likely to make mistakes and more likely to excel at the tasks that you are completing. The quality of your work should improve, and you can become more productive since you’ll be able to do these job tasks faster.
  • You can show your commitment to helping the company succeed. When you are present and engaged, your passion shows in the way that you interact with co-workers and the way you tackle work tasks. Your manager can discern how enthusiastic and excited you are about your job, so making sure your focus is always 100 percent on your work will ensure you appear as the committed employee you want to be.
  • You will become a more valuable member of the team. Focusing your full attention on your job will allow you to identify additional ways to contribute and new methods to streamline your job tasks. By enhancing productivity and branching out beyond the basics to collaborate and help others, you will become a much more valuable member of the team.

It’s easier to be fully present at work if you love your job. SmartTalent can help you find work you’ll love in Kirkland, Fife, Renton, Lacey, Lynwood, Everett and surrounding areas. To find out more about how our staffing service can help you, give us a call today.

Smart Talent
Follow SmartTalent on Twitter and Facebook today! Be one of the first to receive new job openings that will interest you or someone you know, job hunting tips, announcements and news.

Follow SmartTalent on our LinkedIn Business page, Glassdoor as well as Pinterest.

Top Candidates do not equal Top Employees!

November 25th, 2013

SmartTalent - Top Candidates do not equal Top EmployeesYour new hire sailed through the interview process. He “wowed” HR, hit it off with the department manager and–based on his stellar resume–is more than qualified for the position.

So why is he failing on the job?

It could be because he’s a great interviewee–but not a high performer. In fact, there is very little correlation between a candidate’s interviewing skills and his ability to become an outstanding employee.

Some hiring processes fail at distinguishing between those who interview well and those who will actually perform well on the job. This leads to two problems:

  • Candidates who interview well are hired and then underperform on the job (like in the example above).
  • Candidates who are high performers get passed over, simply because they don’t interview all that well.

Simply put, top candidates don’t necessarily equal top employees. So how can you tell if your potential new hire actually has the “right stuff” to become a great employee? You need to do these three things:

  1. Understand the qualities of someone who interviews well

Good interviewees are:

    • Adept at creating a positive first impression
    • Polished and professional in appearance
    • Articulate
    • Enthusiastic
    • Affable
    • Prepared
    • On time
    • Assertive
    • Inquisitive
    • Poised
    • Confident
  1. Understand the qualities of a top performing employee

The traits of a top employee are (in many cases) completely different from the traits of someone who simply interviews well. Top employees are:

    • Extremely competent and highly motivated to do their best work.
    • Effective working with, motivating and managing other people.
    • Courageous enough to take initiative and implement change.
    • Strong in the face of adversity and tough challenges.
    • Great at problem solving and decision making.
    • Committed to goals and deadlines.
    • Full of growth potential.
    • Able to keep their egos in check.
  1. Know how to tell the difference

Well-versed interviewees make great presentations, but presentations do not always correlate with top performance.

The reverse is true, too–great employees don’t always interview well. They are usually more discriminating, less eager to please and unwilling to waste time–characteristics that don’t necessarily make the best first impressions.

So how do you identify top performers–and weed out “wannabes?” Use these tips:

Attract better prospects

  • Never assume that top employees will find you. They already have great jobs! It is highly unlikely that they will be actively looking at the same time you have an opening. You must have the capabilities to locate and engage them.
  • Build your employer brand. It is human nature to want to work at well-known, respected firms. Therefore, if top-performing employees don’t know that you are a well-managed company that’s a great place to work, you will never be considered.
  • Proactively build a pipeline. Top employees usually do not accept job offers out of the blue from strangers. Take the time to develop candidate relationships built on trust and mutual respect; then when the opportunity arises, approach them with job possibilities.
  • Make your job descriptions more compelling and do not simply focus on skills. When writing a job description, knowing the requirements–the goals–of the job is important. What are the challenges and hurdles? What does success look like? Top employees become interested in positions because of the work they will do, not because of the absolute and finite skills they possess.
  • Make the application process less tedious. Top employees are busy and have little time (or patience) to undergo an arduous application process. If you make them jump through hoops, they may delay starting the application process or never apply at all.

Improve your evaluation process

  • Hone your interviewing process–and your interviewers’ skills. Asking open-ended questions about experiences and accomplishments does not help gauge a candidate’s track record, depth of experience, job-related competencies, cultural fit, etc. For the most part, these types of questions only assess the candidate’s storytelling abilities.

Teach interviewers how to develop behavioral questions that break through a candidate’s interviewing facade and evaluate actual job performance. To lessen the bias caused by first impressions, require interviewers to cite specific candidate statements that back up their evaluations and/or conclusions. Train them to support their ratings with examples–rather than opinions, impressions, or hunches.

  • Be ready to act. Top employees do not stay job candidates for long. If your hiring process is too slow or lengthy, competition can creep in. Interest levels can wane. Impatience can increase. And you may wind up losing candidates.

Critically examine your entire process–from the moment a candidate contacts your company through onboarding–identifying and eliminating process bottlenecks that cause delays.

  • Make the initial offer viable. A high performer wants a better job–plain and simple. And while it’s not the only consideration, the salary you offer is the primary way he evaluates how “great” your job is–and how much you value him as a potential employee. If what you offer is not superior to his current pay, expect him to reject the offer will.

The best interviewees don’t always make the best employees. To consistently attract and hire great people, you must learn how to tell the difference between the two. So train your interviewers to evaluate performance–not likeability. Refine your branding and recruiting to attract higher caliber candidates. Streamline your hiring process to keep the best prospects interested in your company. And offer them what they’re worth. Do these things and you’ll hire top employees, every time.

Smart Talent
Follow SmartTalent on Twitter and Facebook today! Be one of the first to receive new job openings that will interest you or someone you know, job hunting tips, announcements and news.

Follow SmartTalent on our LinkedIn Business page, Glassdoor as well as Pinterest.

The Holidays: Your Wellness Program’s Worst Nightmare

November 13th, 2013

SmartTalent - Your Wellness Programs Worst NightmareTips for promoting wellness during a tough time of year

The eating. The shopping. The never-ending string of parties, entertaining and impromptu get-togethers.

The eating.

That’s right; the holidays are just around the corner! And along with all of the good times and cheer comes a ton of stress, overeating and skipped workouts.

Simply put, the holidays are your wellness program’s worst nightmare. But ’tis not the season to give up hope. If you want to:

  • promote a new wellness initiative in 2013;
  • increase participation in your existing wellness program; or
  • help workers jump-start New Year’s weight-loss resolutions…

…here are some great ideas for renewing enthusiasm about–and participation in–your company’s wellness program.

Appoint a Wellness Coordinator
If you don’t already have one, assign an employee to be your company’s official wellness champion. This individual should have primary responsibility for developing and promoting your initiatives, answering employee questions, increasing engagement and measuring results.

Break Out of the Newsletter Box
Yes, you should set aside a section in your newsletter to inform staff members about offerings–but frankly, that’s just thinking inside the box. Brainstorm new ways to communicate your wellness messages via your intranet, social media, weekly meetings, message boards, etc.

And make your message fun! Wellness is a serious issue, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use a lively, conversational tone (kind of like this article) when writing about it. The more your message resonates with employees, the more likely your employees are to take notice and take action this time of year.

Hold a “Biggest Loser – Holiday Edition” Contest
A little friendly competition may be just what employees need to achieve weight loss goals during the holidays. Hold a six- or eight-week weight loss contest that culminates after the New Year. Each participant pays a small fee to enter. One employee should be the designated record keeper, who runs the weekly weigh-in. The person (or team) who loses the highest percentage of their starting weight wins first prize.

Create a Wellness Initiative with a Holiday Theme
Design simple, short-term programs to keep employees on the wellness bandwagon during the holidays. For example, you could create a “Give Thanks for Your Health” program. This could be customized to accomplish anything from increasing employees’ awareness about healthy eating during the holidays, to recruiting workers for an exercise program that lasts through the end of the year.

The key is to put a fresh spin on your idea to spark employee interest (at a time when wellness is typically low on their priority lists).

Dangle a Carrot
Staying healthy during the holidays takes extra will power. Consider offering extra rewards (cash, vacation days or holiday-themed prizes) to provide the additional incentive employees need to stay on track.

Offer Healthier Options at Work Celebrations
Set the example you want your employees to follow. At your holiday work celebrations, make healthy options available that are appropriate for the season. Meet with the person responsible for organizing food and drinks to come up with healthy holiday-inspired appetizers or festive, lower-calorie drinks. Tons of ideas and recipes are available online. If your affair is catered, meet with the chef to review options for including healthy menu choices.

Provide Wellness Gifts
Package and wrap wellness-related items like pedometers, water bottles, gym memberships or sporting goods gift cards. Hold a holiday wellness “white elephant” gift exchange in conjunction with kicking-off or concluding one of your initiatives.

Whatever options you choose, always strive to make your wellness offerings exciting, fun and positive. Inject a little creativity and holiday cheer into your company’s wellness program, and you’ll be sure to keep employees engaged.

Smart Talent
Follow SmartTalent on Twitter and Facebook today! Be one of the first to receive new job openings that will interest you or someone you know, job hunting tips, announcements and news.

Follow SmartTalent on our LinkedIn Business page, Glassdoor as well as Pinterest.

Results at Work: A New Approach to an Old Problem Improves Productivity and Saves Money

October 8th, 2013

SmartTalent - Results at WorkHere’s an example of how a fresh approach to staffing and scheduling optimized production:

The Problem:
A manufacturer of custom cabinetry employs a wide variety of specifically trained workers. Due to employee absences and last-minute call-offs, supervisors were spending hours every day shifting associates around to cover the spots left by absent temporary and direct employees. Not surprisingly, this hampered the facility’s ability to meet their daily production quotas.

The Solution:
Develop a simple, yet highly effective solution to their problem:

  1. Modify their call-off system to ensure that all absences were reported directly to active coordinators and were reported via email to all plant supervisors before the next shift started.
  2. Help management roll out the new system by creating an employee newsletter. In the newsletter, inform all associates of the updates and provide them with stickers (to be placed on the backs of their ID badges) that list the new call-off number.
  3. Each day, staffing coordinators field phone calls, and then compile and email all absences directly to the client–prior to the shift’s start.

The Results:
The simple solution yielded a much more efficient start to production shifts. By providing the management team with vital staffing information prior to their daily huddle meetings, associates are now flexed among departments almost instantaneously–helping them get started on their tasks much more quickly.

Productivity and efficiency has improved for this manufacturer, saving them time, money and a ton of aggravation in the process!

Smart Talent
Follow SmartTalent on Twitter and Facebook today! Be one of the first to receive new job openings that will interest you or someone you know, job hunting tips, announcements and news.

Follow SmartTalent on our LinkedIn Business page, Glassdoor as well as Pinterest.

Twitter Updates

Latest Tweets

Are you looking for a candidate who you can count on to meet your expectations? It can be hard to determine if a ca… https://t.co/fEOZF2w2bp
17hretweet
Start 2019 off the right way in a job you love! Search our opportunities: https://t.co/5cLyZRu2nY https://t.co/997GfIaKMm
©Year Smart Talent. All Rights Reserved.