Job Seeker Tips & Hiring Advice from the Pros

Whether you’re an employer looking to hire or a job seeker searching for the perfect fit, Whitman Associates, Inc. can help meet your needs. We’re experts at connecting quality candidates to employers in a variety of industries, and we have tons of advice and guidance to help you during the job search or staffing process. Explore by category to find job seeker tips, management direction, hiring advice, staffing recommendations and more.

For Employers

  • Recruitment Tips
  • Hiring Advice
  • Staffing Guidance
  • Management Tips

For Candidates

  • Job Seeker Tips
  • Resume Writing Guidance
  • Interview Guides
  • Office Etiquette Overviews
  • Advice for New Hires
  • Advice for Recent College Grads
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Latest on the Blog

How To Answer The Inevitable Interview Question: ‘Tell Me About Yourself’

two men sitting at a table for a job interview

It seems that just about every job candidate waits on pins and needles for a single and inevitable moment in the interview … that moment when the interviewer says, “So, tell me about yourself.”

It strikes fear in the hearts of fine job seekers everywhere. In reality, though, the question is an excellent opportunity for job candidates to shine. It’s just a matter of choosing, adopting and owning a strategy that highlights the candidate’s finest qualities, experiences and goals with confidence — without coming across as arrogant. If you want to learn how to answer the “tell me about yourself” question, explore the strategies from the experts at Whitman Associates, Inc. today!

The Winning Answer Strategy

Are you facing a series of interviews with hiring managers who probably can’t wait to learn more about you via the disarmingly pointed “tell me about yourself” question?

If you are, there is no reason to worry — you can handle this.

With the right strategy, you can ace this question, relieving you from stress and self-doubt while giving you handy tools to help you communicate important background information and desired professional traits. Use your job interview ‘tell me about yourself’ answer to share with the interviewer how you are essential to the position.

The Present-Past-Future Formula

Some time ago, recruiting professionals recognized the struggle that job seekers consistently face when they need to answer the “tell me about yourself” question. Over the years, the present-past-future formula has become a leading strategy recommended to earnest job candidates by hiring professionals.

The formula is perfect because it provides you with a simple, three-part “script.” It is concise, comprehensive, easy to remember and sure to fill you with confidence — which is often more than half the battle.

Most importantly, this strategy gives recruiting managers a panoramic image of who you are, how you work, and what your goals are — especially related to their organization — in a three-point snapshot.

Take a look at a few good present-past-future sample answers to the “tell me about yourself” question to get an idea of what might work for you:

  • I currently work for a small business — with a staff of 30 — as the office manager. The whole team is fantastic, but I feel like I’m ready — and incredibly eager — to take on a busier office environment. Since you house 150 employees at this location alone, I think this is the perfect place for me to up my game.
  • After receiving my communications degree, I knew I wanted to work in public relations. While searching for the perfect job, I worked as a server for a catering company where I made many great connections, including my last employer that owned an advertising agency. Although I have learned the finer points of marketing and advertising at my current position, I crave the experience of managing talent’s public images. I believe I could become a solid and reliable resource for your local media and sports clients.

While the second example was not in the official order, it still hit all the same points of present, past and future. Mix it up, but make sure that your answer is something you can easily tap into.

A bad example answer to the “tell me about yourself” question might look like the following:

  • I have worked at my current job as a receptionist for three years and have built some good relationships. I learned a lot, too. In my spare time, I paint in watercolors and am a long distance runner. I think I can easily learn the ropes here and help as an executive assistant.

This answer does not work for a number of reasons — including the issue that the answer seems disjointed, unprepared and disinterested. The interviewer might wonder whether this person had not prepared well or simply did not want the job.

Do You Need More Help Preparing for Important Job Interviews?

Do you feel like your job interview ‘tell me about yourself’ answer sounds a little robotic, uncertain or insincere? If you’re having problems with any phase of the interviewing process, our recruiting team at Whitman Associates is here to help hone your skills. We’re happy to sit down with you to work out strategies tailored to your strengths and comforts while helping you avoid any pitfalls.

Contact us today to talk about interviewing issues, any of our listed jobs that interest you, or whatever else we can do to help you land your dream job.

4 Disadvantages of Remote Working

The pandemic has changed many things about the structure of work within our society. Many offices adapted well to work-from-home culture, but others are experiencing difficulties. Whether it’s issues with collaboration or concerns about security, working from home comes with some serious hurdles for certain industries. Learn more about a few of the disadvantages of remote working and discover solutions to those disadvantages here.

1. Difficulty with Collaboration

With your employees spread all around the city or even the country, it’s a lot harder to get together for collaborative work. Sometimes, different time zones, technical difficulties, and distractions at home make finding meeting times that work for everyone a challenge. Working together over the phone or a video call is a communication barrier that can disrupt even the shortest conversation. Worse, it’s no longer possible to just walk to a coworker’s desk for quick answers! Instead, employees must opt for communication via phone, email, or office chat.

Resolving Remote Collaboration Concerns

This disadvantage of remote working is primarily due to a lack of a flexible, fast, and responsive communication platform. Since emails and phone calls aren’t as efficient or effective as talking to someone in person, teams need new tools to battle this disadvantage of telecommuting for work. Many companies are turning to file-sharing applications that already come with chat features for better communication with the team, including Google Docs and Slack.

2. Cybersecurity & Confidentiality

a woman working from a coffee shop

Even if your business doesn’t deal with proprietary or patented information, cybersecurity and confidentiality are still important. When most of your team is working from home, it can be difficult to ensure security when each individual computer needs additional antivirus software, VPN configurations, and extra firewalls. Even more challenging is providing security for employees who choose to work over public wifi, like those in coffee shops or shared workspaces.

Any confidentiality or security breach could be a potential disaster for your business. Whether it’s a non-employee overhearing a confidential discussion or seeing sensitive documents, or a team member accidentally downloading a virus, your business needs to plan for better security to mitigate the potential damage of this disadvantage of remote working.

Resolving Security Risks

One way to reduce your vulnerabilities is by storing all business data and files on a cloud management platform. Don’t let employees save important information on their laptop or home computer hard drive. You can also require that employees use VPNs when working and set up remote access to their computers in the office (if you still have a physical office space).

Regular security trainings are also an essential part of any company policy, even when working in an office. Cover typical phishing and virus scams they may encounter and educate your team on the importance of password hygiene, two-factor authentication, and the dangers of connecting to public wifi networks.

3. Inconsistent Access to Internet & Tools

Because employees are in their homes, they’re using whichever internet provider is available and affordable in their area. Unfortunately, there are significant disparities in high-quality internet access throughout the country, and a lack of reliable service is common in rural communities. This is a major disadvantage of remote working, as many people have subpar connection speeds and reliability. Even homes with decent internet connections may experience slow upload and download speeds when too many people are utilizing the network, leading to poor audio and video connections during video calls, issues with buffering, and slow loading programs.

Resolving Connectivity Issues

Your team needs access to the right technology in order to overcome this disadvantage of remote working. Bolster their internet connection with appropriate hardware, like ethernet cables, to support spotty wifi connections, and set up a remote helpdesk to deal with any IT issues that may crop up. A remote IT team trained in connectivity concerns has the power to support your teams if anything goes wrong. Make sure your IT team has a robust ticketing system and self-help SSO.

Counteracting this particular disadvantage of telecommuting may require an even bigger investment for some companies. Any team that needs to run heavy-duty rendering or editing software may need specialty computers that can process all that data. You may want to invest in additional computer hardware to outfit your team’s home office with better technology than they may already have.

4. Isolation

woman working from home

 Isolation is a much bigger disadvantage of remote working than people think – especially for those who live alone. Without frequent face-to-face contact, your employees could be dealing with chronic isolation and loneliness that lowers morale and productivity. When people work in an office, human interaction is necessary and built into the day-to-day routines. Employees interact in the hallways and breakrooms, the elevators and parking structures, and in various meetings throughout the day. They may also commune with others while on their daily commute at coffee shops, the metro, and restaurants. Working from home eliminates the potential contact with all these people!

Resolving Isolation Concerns

Regular check-ins with your team could go a long way to dealing with this disadvantage of remote working. In addition to conversations about current work tasks and projects, it’s important to also check in with your employees regarding their personal lives. There’s certainly no need to pry, but creating a space where your team members feel safe to express themselves if they wish to can help prevent frustrations and challenges from building up. This may be a new management style that requires a more personal touch, but it will help your team build higher quality connections, better communication, and more trust.

Will Your Office Continue Working From Home?

There are many other disadvantages of remote working, but some teams are rising to the challenge. This evolution in workflow, company structure, and technology has pushed many businesses to find innovative solutions that ensure they’re stronger and more sustainable. What about you? What will your company do to combat the disadvantages of telecommuting to ensure your success?

The 7 Biggest Hiring Trends in 2022

Current Recruitment Trends of Note

While hiring and recruitment have always been an evolving landscape, since 2020, the changes have been far more extreme and frequent. As companies and employees adjust to pandemic life, HR teams will continue to see a shift in the way they recruit, interview, and hire. With 2022 here, the team at Whitman Associates, Inc. has explored what your company should know about new hiring trends in the coming year. Check out this overview of the top seven trends your HR team should be ready to accommodate.

1. Economy Growth with a Constrained Labor Force

Economies are growing, but they’re facing the biggest labor shortage seen in decades. Despite inflation and rising costs of living, wages and working conditions aren’t always following suit. Some companies are working to correct this with higher salaries for all positions, but others are choosing a different path. One hiring trend includes companies relaxing their hiring criteria in an effort to attract more potential employees. Still, other companies are focusing on improving benefits with better perks, like student loan debt assistance, higher-quality health insurance, and additional paid time off.

2. Hybrid Work Environments

work-from-home setup

Most offices transitioned to a work-from-home model in 2020, but even with decreasing COVID cases, many have opted to continue operating remotely or adopt a hybrid approach. Some businesses are even using work-from-home as an additional incentive for potential employees! Many employees prefer working from home or a hybrid environment because it cuts their commute, reduces stress, helps them focus, and provides more flexibility to meet the demands of their job.

 Most interviewees are now expecting their preferences for the ideal office environment to become a regular part of the interview and hiring process. Hiring trends indicate the need to accommodate these preferences and provide better remote learning and working tools to ensure your workforce is happy, productive, and collaborative.

3. On-the-Job Training

This used to be a regular hiring trend in the pre-80s era, but at some point, employers started requiring new hires to already possess all the business-critical knowledge for their position. Because of the labor shortage and the need to hire less experienced employees, many businesses are reviving on-the-job training to ensure they can reskill and deploy workers across multiple teams and roles. Some companies prefer outsourcing the education of their employees, encouraging workers to find programs to enhance their education. Once employees find and apply for a specific program, employers may pay for all or some of it.

Those employers working internally to reskill their employees may have to face a few challenges, including deciding which skills are critical for team members to know, developing learning platforms and training modules for each skillset, and integrating new technologies to streamline the learning experience.

4. Internal Talent Marketplace

two people shaking hands

There is a current recruitment trend to promote from within the organization. So knowing which of your current employees are looking for a career change or wanting to transition to a different department is critical! Create a talent marketplace on an internal platform to ensure that everyone is notified when new opportunities open up within the company. You won’t have to worry about vetting external candidates when you’re choosing from a pool of employees that have already proven their reliability and performance.

 In the past, these career development hiring trends used to be standard, but many organizations have let these types of programs lapse due to a number of reasons, including lack of technology to update the database efficiently, an influx of top-quality external candidates, or minimal upward mobility within the work hierarchy.

5. Focus on the Employee Experience

The employee experience is a common term in corporate America that refers to keeping employees engaged and motivated, especially during challenging times. You don’t want essential people leaving because they feel they aren’t being treated fairly! Listening to your employees, identifying problems, and analyzing solutions is the first step towards ensuring you have a quality team that wants to stay put.

Don’t let frequent employee turnover become your next hiring trend! Instead, focus on ensuring your current employees are satisfied with their experience.

6. Refreshing Pay & Bonuses

growing money over time

Employers often try to cut costs by providing employees minimal pay raises and bonuses, but studies show that replacing disgruntled employees is actually more expensive than negotiating with your current team to reach a pay raise solution! Equitable and fair pay are among the most important hiring trends of 2022, and job seekers are more willing than ever to walk away from a position they don’t believe pays fairly. Even current employees are leaving long-held positions when they don’t get the recognition and reward they think they deserve!

 If your company wants to win the war for talent, you must focus on fair wages as a recruitment and reward strategy. This hiring trend isn’t affecting the corporate world alone — people in retail, hospitality, manufacturing, and more are all realizing that better wages are far more attractive than an endless list of benefits like gym memberships, ping pong tables, and weekly catered lunches.

7. Revamping HR Technology

Companies that have an internal HR team are finding that their old platforms just can’t keep up with modern recruiting and hiring processes. Your team has to stay up to date with what’s new in hiring trends — from technology to appropriate offers — to ensure they can outperform competitors who are hiring from the same pool. Some HR teams find it easy to rise to the challenge, but more and more companies are relying on staffing agencies to fill in the gaps.

What Changes Will You Be Making?

Are these current recruitment and hiring trends inspiring you to make changes in the way your HR team operates? Whitman Associates, Inc. can help you even more with hands-on support. Get in touch with us if you need assistance with temporary placement, permanent employees, and more!

Which Career Is Right for Me? 4 Tips for Choosing the Right Career

Imagine this: you’re fresh out of university with a bachelor or master’s degree, and you’re ready to enter the working world. You jump into the first opportunity you see, only to realize five years down the road that it isn’t what you want to be doing in your career. You start exploring other options and find a field that you really love. But you’ll need to start from square one, gaining experience and working your way up the ladder because you may not have the necessary experience to transfer laterally into that position. You feel defeated — as if you wasted years of your time working towards the wrong goal! 

Many people have found themselves in exactly this position. That’s why choosing the right career path from the beginning can make a big difference in your life. Whether you’re choosing a career for the first time or you’re ready to make a swap, Whitman Associates, Inc. can help you with career planning tips that lead to a fulfilling job that allows you to live the lifestyle you want. Ready to find out which career is right for you? Check out these four tips to get started!

1. Start Thinking About Your Career Path Early

You don’t have to have your whole life planned out, but thinking about choosing the right career as early as possible can help you find your niche professionally. Which career is right for you? It’s the one where you’re doing something that interests, excites, and challenges you but also provides the financial means and benefits you desire. Make a list of things that you find interesting. Your list could include everything from numbers and statistics to design and event planning. Anything that might potentially spark your interest belongs on this list!

If you know people in careers that align with your interests, ask them about their work, what they love about their job, and what they dislike about their job. The answers you get can help you make a more informed decision when choosing the right career. Once you’ve talked to a few people and done some research into careers that align with your interests, you should be able to narrow them down into three or four options. If you’re interested in writing, music, and psychology, for example, potential careers could include:

  • Advertising
  • Publishing 
  • Music Engineer
  • Concert/Event Organizer
  • School Counselor
  • Profiler for Law Enforcement
  • Therapist

With a career in mind, you can look into what it takes to start along each of these job paths. What type of education and experience do you need? How competitive is each industry? What’s the salary range? The answers can help you narrow down your career path even further.

2. Be Honest With Yourself

motivational and planning journal

 Choosing the right career is all about being honest with yourself. While sometimes it can be difficult to figure out what you really want, we have a shortcut that can help you find the answer: a Venn diagram. Create a Venn diagram that includes three circles that list the following:

  • What you’re good at doing
  • What sparks your interest
  • What pays enough to finance your life

The overlap of doing what you love and what you’re good at will result in you being happy but potentially unable to make ends meet. The overlap between what you’re good at and what pays well ends up with you financially stable but maybe bored or unhappy. Choosing the right career starts where all three categories overlap. Place each of your career options in the appropriate spot on the Venn diagram, and you’ll quickly realize which careers will lead to the most balanced life for you.

3. Research, Research, Research

 You’ll never find answers to which career is right for you without doing a lot of research. Informational interviews are one tool you can use to learn more about careers that sound like a good fit. You’ll need to find people in those careers and reach out to them to ask for an informational interview. While some people may turn you down, others will be happy to share their personal experiences in a particular field or industry.

 Ask questions to help you gain insight into the highs and lows of each career, whether the day-to-day work fits in with your preferred lifestyle, and how long it takes to progress up the ladder to the highest possible position and salary. These informational interviews can give you clarity on choosing the right career without actually having to experience it for yourself!

 Some questions to consider incorporating into your informational interview include:

  • How did you get into this career?
  • What are the most common entry-level positions for this career path?
  • Which skills are most valuable to your job?
  • What do your daily responsibilities include?
  • What do you like least/most about your job?
  • What advice would you give to someone interested in this career?

You might also consider working a temporary position to get some hands-on experience in the industry without committing to a long-term position.

4. Choose Your Career & Make a Plan 

woman talking on the phone

If you’ve made it through all these steps, it should be pretty clear which jobs you should pursue. Now, it’s time to look back at the informational interviews with people in these positions and follow their journey. Enroll in the courses they suggest and look for opportunities to gain experience in the skills that are most needed for this job. Knowing the path those before you took when choosing the right career for them can help guide you and provide direction on the way to success.

Find More Guidance

At Whitman Associates, Inc., we’re proud to celebrate 50 years of providing expert staffing services for both employers and employees. When choosing the right career path, we can help you at any point along the way. Reach out to us today to learn more about the industries we serve and the qualifications you might need to reach your career goals!

How to Build a 5-Star Job Resume

Because everyone follows the same resume “rules,” many resumes start to look and sound the same. Do you make sure to include keywords in your CV so that scanning software will approve it? Are you listing your task responsibilities, achievements, and results with your work experience? Do you put in phrases that specifically relate to the required job skills from the original posting? All of these tactics are now well-known and don’t guarantee you’ll stand out from the crowd. If you want to craft a memorable, five-star resume, you’ll need a little help.

At Whitman Associates, Inc., our team has spent years sifting and sorting through applications, so we know what building a job resume is all about. If you need tips for writing a good resume, turn to our experts for additional assistance.

1. Treat Yourself as a Brand

What is it about certain brands that give them value? How do you shop for the brands you want? HR, recruiters, and employment managers shop around for people to hire in a similar way. They want to find the person that’s the best fit for their needs. Instead of focusing on your career goals for the future, showcase what you can do for this company right now. When building your job resume, tailor it to the needs of the position you are applying for.

2. Keep Your Search Precise

In order to be efficient in your job search, read job postings carefully regarding skills and experience required. If you are missing some of the skills that are required, be sure to highlight the experience or skills that most closely line up with the job specifications instead of not sending your resume at all. Your career prospects lie in those job postings where you can show the areas that make you a good fit for the role. Extend this rule to building your resume; if you’re missing skills that are listed as requirements, highlight the next best related skill that you do feel proficient in.

3. Read Directions Carefully

Employers may weed out applicants by including specific directions in the application process. If you demonstrate an inability to follow these instructions properly, it could hurt your chances of being considered for the position. Is there a particular format they want for your cover letter? Are your introductory emails supposed to have a specific subject line? Be aware that the employer may be giving you specific directions on how to apply for the job in order to determine if you follow instructions and pay attention to detail. This could be used as yet another way of screening candidates for the position. The outcome of this hidden test may determine if you are moved on to the next step.

4. Follow a Standardized Format

When building a resume, adhere to an intuitive format that makes it easy for the reader to follow. There are many templates you can choose to use if you wish, but most will be variations on a few basic points:

  • Include your name and contact information in the header section
  • List your work experience in chronological order
  • Use bulleted lists to keep your information organized and easy to digest

Proper formatting is one of the most important tips for writing a good resume because it makes it easy for employers to quickly gather relevant information about you and your qualifications.

5. There’s No One-Size-Fits-All Approach

You must personalize every cover letter and resume for the company and position. There’s no point in sending out the same information to every single place and hoping one of them will get you a callback. A resume that matches the company’s job description and qualifications will help you get an interview. Even if the position and requirements are the same, you will want to tailor the resume for that specific job and company culture.

Now that you know all about building a resume, take a look at yours and explore the changes you can make to enhance it.

The Benefits of Temporary Employment

There are many changes on the horizon for the working world. With COVID forcing offices to transition to work-from-home and the discussion of a great resignation as burnt-out employees seek a better work-life balance, employers are scrambling to figure out how to keep their employees on board. One solution to your struggles could be temp work. Whether you’re an employer who’s struggling to find good help or an employee who wants to explore unique work opportunities, there are many benefits to temporary employment that could be the key to finding what you need.

Are you considering temporary employment as a business or as an individual? Learn more about the benefits of temporary work for you when you read this overview from the experts at Whitman Associates, Inc.

Temporary Employment Benefits for Job Seekers

Temping offers employees unique benefits that long-term positions often don’t. Temporary employment through a reputable staffing agency can help job seekers secure flexible, well-paying positions that provide predictable work opportunities without a long-term commitment. Depending on the candidate’s situation and circumstances, temping can provide a variety of perks, including the following.

Explore Different Careers

Whether you’re new to the workforce or considering a career change, one of the benefits of temporary employment is the chance to learn about a variety of careers and industries before you make a commitment to a long-term placement. For example, you can spend a few months in corporate accounting before exploring what it’s like to be a legal assistant in civil rights law. You might be surprised to discover which careers and positions you enjoy the most!

Gain Experience

Another benefit of temporary work is that it allows you to gain experience in a variety of industries — or even one industry — without being stuck in any particular position. As you move from job to job, you’ll learn many diverse skills that will make you more attractive to employers in the future.

Find New Opportunities

Even if you prefer temporary work, you never know when an opportunity will turn out to be the perfect fit. Whether it’s a permanent role or getting your foot in the door of an industry that you weren’t initially qualified for, temp work can broaden your horizons.

Build a Network

Many people live by the mantra, “It’s not what you know, but rather who you know.” Temporary work can provide you access to a continuous flow of professionals which you can use to build up your personal and professional network.

Earn Money on the Side

The last benefit of temporary employment for job seekers is that it allows you to continue earning money as you search for the perfect placement. There are no strings attached with temporary work, so you can job hunt guilt-free. Even better, temporary employment can act as a stepping stone, helping you build your resume, gain experience, and meet new people.

Benefits of Temporary Employment for Employers

There are just as many benefits of temporary work for employers as there are for employees. Sometimes, you just need someone to fill in the gap while a current employee is on family leave. Other times, you’re testing the waters to see how a newly created position may interact with your current workflow. There are plenty of reasons to choose temporary employment for your business!

Preview Employee Potential

You’re not sure which type of person would be the best fit for a particular role, so you want to have a few trial runs before extending an offer. One benefit of temporary employment for business owners is a preview of the employee’s work quality, productivity, and teamwork. You don’t have to worry about hiring someone full-time, only to let them go when you realize they’re not suitable for your company.

Fill in the Gaps

Many people cite work-life balance as their reason to stay or leave a particular company. To ensure your employees feel like they can live their lives fully, you need to be able to cover for them when they take time off for family leave, vacations, or other extended sabbaticals. For employees whose work simply cannot wait, a temporary replacement allows your company to keep up its operations with minimal interruptions.

Wait for the Right Fit

Some positions require a very specific type of personality or skill set. If you’re struggling to find the perfect person for a particular position, a temp provides your HR team with the breathing room they need to ensure they’re hiring the right person. Instead of rushing and compromising to fill a position with a substandard candidate, this benefit of temporary employment allows your company the opportunity to take a little extra time exploring your options for a permanent hire. And who knows, maybe your temporary employee will turn out to be the perfect fit!

Find Seasonal Workers

Whether you need to hire additional people during peak season each year or you need an extra set of hands for special projects, temporary hires ensure you have a contract in place for just as long as it’s needed. Specific contract lengths for the short or long term are a major benefit of temporary work for employers.

Finding What You Need With Whitman

These are just a few of the benefits of temporary employment for both employers and job seekers. As the professional work landscape continues to evolve, we’re here to ensure you find what you need to fit your life, career, and business growth. From non-profit staffing to career advice for professionals, we do it all! 

Reach out to our expert team today to discuss open positions, contracts, and more!

5 Innovative Employee Retention Strategies

When you have good employees, you want to keep them motivated to continue working hard and going above and beyond your expectations. Still, you also want to make sure that they stay with your company instead of seeking a different position. If you’re looking for ways to ensure your employees view you as an attractive employer, Whitman Associates, Inc. recommends focusing on innovative employee retention strategies. Explore our top methodologies to improve retention and employee satisfaction.

1. Support Your Employees in All Areas of Their Lives

Work-life balance is becoming much more than just a meaningless buzzword that’s meant to make employees think that you care. In today’s work environment, it’s an innovative employee retention strategy to deliver on the promise of respecting an employee’s home life, mental health and responsibilities outside of work. Part of providing the balance your employees desire is supporting them in all areas of their lives.

Because many employers have transitioned to a remote office environment, the boundaries between work and home are muddier than ever. Make sure your employees feel like you understand their needs outside of the job, including childcare, mental health days, boundaries outside of work hours and financial support to improve wifi connections and home office requirements. Employees that feel that employers take their work-life balance into consideration are more loyal, perform better and stay longer than employees that feel unsupported.

2. Provide Attractive Career Paths

You want to improve retention, and employees want to grow their careers. Instead of letting them stagnate in a particular role, make sure you have measurable and variegated career paths that help all your employees grow. This is one of a few innovative employee retention strategies that may require a shift in the structure of your promotion process. Develop a realistic framework that helps employees in every situation thrive. Whether they’re working from home, transitioning to part-time work because of other life responsibilities or looking to fast-track their career, you need to create opportunities for everyone to grow at their own pace.

3. Adopting Flexibility

woman working on a computer

Workplace flexibility is quickly being adopted into the mainstream due to Covid. More people are working from home than ever! But, it might also be time to adopt schedule flexibility. Variable shifts and optional weekend work to cover days off during the week can help employees be more focused when they’re on the job because they’re not worried about conflicting schedules and responsibilities in their personal lives. Even more important are remote employees in different states and countries than your home office.

Split shifts and flexible scheduling are innovative employee retention strategies that could be the difference between being able to work part-time, full time or not at all! Some parents may appreciate being able to work around their kids’ schedules, and employees in a different time zone will probably be happier not having to work through the night just so their schedules align with local employees. Giving your employees more options is what really improves retention and ensures employee happiness.

4. Offer Meaningful Growth Opportunities

When asked why they left a particular position, the most common answer from employees is that they weren’t offered a clear path for career progression. From on-the-job training for higher positions and mentorships to leadership development seminars, your employees should be able to find everything they need to succeed within the company. 

And, once an employee has grown beyond their position, reward them with a promotion and a raise. Going outside the company to fill leadership positions reduces morale and makes employees feel like they’ll never get anywhere within your company. Instead, promote from within and watch as this innovative employee retention strategy increases morale and confidence in your current employees.

5. Respect Your Employees’ Viewpoints

Creating an inclusive workplace culture where your employees feel heard is an important and innovative employee retention strategy. Regardless of your own personal beliefs, create space for employees to feel safe expressing themselves in ways that are healthy, respectful and mindful of coworkers. You should also keep this in mind if you’re in charge of monitoring your company’s social media presence. Stay neutral around targeted or controversial issues, and keep your personal opinions separate from the workplace dialogue so you don’t inadvertently ostracize or offend any of your employees. 

What’s Your Strategy?

Do any of these innovative employee retention strategies sound like they would help you with your retention goals? If you’re not sure what would work best for your employees, you can also conduct a survey to ask what they want. Learn more about how to keep your employees happy, focused and working hard when you talk to them about their needs and deliver on their requests.

Strategies for Hiring Remote Employees

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the work environment has changed. Many employers are finding that allowing employees to work from home has many benefits. Whether it increases employee productivity or saves them money on overhead and other in-office resources, employers may want to continue hiring remote employees. 

If you’re an employer that’s just starting to explore the remote hiring process, you may need to change the way you normally look for candidates. At Whitman Associates, Inc., we can help you explore new hiring strategies that work best for remote job seekers. Check out what our staffing agency has to say about hiring remote employees.

1. Budget & Resources

From job boards and advertising to candidate assessment and external recruiting agencies, there are a number of costs associated with the remote hiring process. Make sure you’re setting an appropriate budget that takes your online needs into account. You may no longer have an office space where you can host interviews, so you should consider shared rental workspaces, offsetting phone interview-related costs and better internet connections for staff hosting video interviews.

2. Who Is Your Ideal Candidate?

While identifying your ideal candidate is an important strategy for all employers, operating in a digital space means you need to be even more specific about your candidate qualification requirements. Hiring remote employees means you may never meet a job seeker in person. How do you make up for the lack of in-person interaction to assess a candidate’s energy, personality and personability?

Make sure your job listing and application include formal qualifications, hard and soft skills, job-specific training requirements and information requests for prior work experience.

3. Niche Job Promotion

You want to attract quality candidates to apply for your job. While you can post on your social media platforms and on your website, you should also be using niche job promotion platforms to find job seekers who actually qualify for the position. Whether you use LinkedIn, Indeed or a staffing agency, make sure you’re filtering your job postings with as many specifics as possible.

4. Make Technology Work for You

Hiring remote employees means you’re already recruiting, assessing and interviewing online. Make every part of the hiring process more effective and efficient when you utilize all the available technology. Conduct virtual interviews, use learning management platforms for candidate screenings and streamline your entire process so that you can focus on better-quality candidates.

We Can Help

If hiring remote employees seems like a tough job, that’s because it is! At Whitman Associates, Inc., we can help you with any part of the recruiting process to ease the burden on your HR department and help you transition to a fully remote hiring operation.

Reach out to us today to learn more about what we can do for your company!

Temp Agency Tips: How to Impress a Staffing Agency

With so many job seekers flooding the job market today, employers are seeking assistance from staffing agencies to help them sort through the market and fill open positions. When you apply for a job online, chances are you are responding to a posting from a staffing agency or a recruiter. You need to know what to say when calling a temp agency and how to treat the person on the other end of the line.

Because the market is so flooded with job seekers, employers are choosing to use staffing agencies to hire more temporary or temp-to-hire employees than to hire permanent employees directly. While staffing agencies can operate similarly to a typical human resources department, they specialize in finding the right person for the right job – and weeding through all the wrong resumes. Make sure you have what it takes to impress a staffing agency with these temp agency tips from the experts!

1. Speak with Respect

If you’re wondering what to say when calling a temp agency, you should let respect be your guide. Job seekers tend to believe that since they are not speaking directly with a hiring manager from the company they want to work for, they don’t need to turn their A-game on for their contact at a staffing agency.

A recruiter or personnel consultant at a staffing agency serves as the initial screener for an open position. If you want to be considered for a job with their client, our first temp agency tip is to strive to impress the recruiter. Make sure you speak professionally, honestly and politely with a staffing agency. Treat them as you would any other hiring manager in a job interview. If you can’t impress the recruiter, you’ll never even get the chance to turn your charm on for the hiring manager.

2. Follow Instructions

Hundreds of people can apply to the same job posting on a daily basis, so staffing agencies typically try to screen candidates before even viewing their resumes. For example, a job posting might say that all interested candidates need to include a cover letter or a salary requirement with their resume. If you don’t include the requested paperwork or information, you could be immediately disqualified without your resume even being viewed.

Whether you receive a response to your resume requesting more information or a recruiter asks you to call them at a certain time, the best temp agency tips dictate that you do your best to follow all the instructions you receive. Staffing agencies usually won’t waste their time talking to someone about a position if they have already proved they cannot follow basic instructions.

3. Be Enthusiastic

woman having a phone interview

Our next temp agency tip is to be enthusiastic. If you receive a call from a staffing agency and you are interested in the position they have, show them! Staffing agencies won’t want to send a candidate on a job interview with their client if they don’t sound enthused about the position.

While you don’t want to be overly eager, what you say when calling a temp agency lets them know whether you want a position. Enthusiasm shows you are willing to commit to the interview process and would accept an offer if you received one.

It’s also important to be honest with a recruiter if you aren’t interested in a position. They won’t want you to feign enthusiasm only to turn down an offer at the last minute. Be straightforward with the staffing agency about exactly what you want and need in a position. The more honest you are with them, the more they will be able to help you.

Be on Your Best Behavior

If you do end up temping with a staffing agency while you wait for a full-time position, treat each temp assignment as you would a permanent position. A positive attitude and taking initiative go a long way towards impressing the employer you’re working for. You could potentially be considered for a full-time position should one become available.

Even if this temp agency tip doesn’t help you gain a full-time position, you might do well enough on the job to impress the agency that placed you. As a result, they’ll want to continue working with you and place you in more assignments. The staffing agency will be more inclined to consider you for any permanent opportunities they have, as well.

On the other hand, if you treat a temp assignment as just a way to make money and have no respect for the client or the agency you’re working for, they will be less inclined to work with you in the future.

Making the Most of Staffing Agencies

Staffing agencies aren’t just a great tool for employers; they also help job seekers with successful employment. You can explore temp agency tips, guides and tons of advice to help you find and keep a job. Make sure you are taking full advantage of an agency’s services because they could be the key to helping you find your dream job.

How to Take Initiative at Work

Taking initiative at work is a crucial skill for any employee who wants to succeed in the workplace. As a temporary employee, learning how to take initiative could help land you a permanent job offer, while as a permanent employee, it could lead to a raise or a promotion. If you want to gain insight on what it means to take initiative on the job, check out this overview to learn how to find opportunities to be proactive.

1. Offer Assistance

Part of taking initiative at work is making sure you always have something to do. The easiest way to stay busy is to help out other people and departments with their workload. When you have downtime in between projects, you should seek extra opportunities to help out around the office. Offer to assist your supervisor or coworkers if you see them struggling to meet a deadline or finish a project.

When it comes time to hand out bonuses or offer promotions, your boss will remember the times where you stepped up to the plate to offer assistance.

2. Seek Improvement

proactive employee constantly seeks ways to improve processes around the office.

Taking initiative at work means always keeping your eyes peeled for ways to make office procedures more efficient and effective and then sharing your suggestions with your supervisor. For example, if you think you have a great way to boost your company’s online presence, come up with a pitch for your boss and present it to them.

3. Solve Problems

Take the initiative to solve problems when they arise whenever possible. A quick problem solver is a great asset for any manager because you’re taking stress off your boss and freeing up their time for better office management and employee support.

Although, if there is ever a problem that you believe you are unauthorized to take care of, you should definitely seek assistance before trying to solve things yourself and stepping on any toes. Taking initiative at work doesn’t mean overstepping boundaries or offering advice when it’s not needed.

4. Ask for More Responsibilities

If you feel you have mastered your current responsibilities and have extra time to take on more work each day, you should let your boss know. Rather than sitting around waiting for your boss to give you more work, you should go to them and let them know you can handle more. 

Ask your boss if there are any tasks that you could take off their hands and manage yourself. Seeking additional responsibilities will show that you are ready for a promotion and also possibly deserve a raise.

5. Work Hard

Taking initiative at work doesn’t always require you to seek extra work outside of your set responsibilities. It also applies to exceeding expectations for those responsibilities within your role. Plan ahead to turn in your work before a deadline or prepare in advance for projects that haven’t started yet to ensure proactive engagement with your role. You should also focus on performing to the best of your ability. Turning in your work early means nothing if your supervisor needs to make changes and edits because you were rushing through a task!

Working on Another Level

There are many qualities that employers seek when looking for employees, but taking initiative at work is one of the most important. You should aim to exceed all of your supervisor’s expectations for your work and go above and beyond the call of duty whenever possible. Frequently taking initiative is the surest way to succeed and grow as a professional.

Your Trusted Source

The expert staff at WAI is dedicated to serving the professional community in metro D.C. and the greater DMV area. We’re proud to offer support in the form of education, guidance and full-service staffing solutions for both employers and job seekers. Explore job seeker tips, staffing guidance and the other categories above, or simply browse the recent links. You’ll find curated information written by our in-house staff, as well as article roundups from trusted external sources. For more information about our services, review our FAQs or contact our team.

Team up with Whitman Associates

If you’re an employer or job seeker ready to take the next step, partner with WAI. We work closely with our clients and candidates to understand each company or individual’s unique needs and circumstances. Thanks to this attention to detail and our extensive vetting process, we are able to connect highly qualified candidates with positions that match their expertise and experience. If you need to fill a permanent or temporary position, fill out our staffing request form, and a member of our team will contact you shortly. If you are a job seeker, browse our job listings and email us your resume, and we’ll do our best to match you with the perfect position.