Being Punctual

man checking watch

Being punctual is a critical quality for any professional to have. While this may seem obvious, a lot of professionals struggle with being on time in this busy modern world. Even unemployed job seekers need to be aware of timeframes and deadlines when interviewing for and applying to jobs. For now, we will focus on the importance of being punctual for a job interview and provide some rules to help make sure you are always on time in the future.

Rule #1: Don’t be late.

  • If you realize ahead of time that you are running late for an interview, call your interviewer immediately and let them know your situation. Be sure to apologize for the inconvenience.
  • In a tough job market, hiring managers have their pick when it comes to capable candidates. Even showing up five minutes late for a job interview could disqualify you for a position.
  • If a hiring manager can’t trust you to show up on time for an interview, they have no reason to trust that you will be on time for work or meet project deadlines.

Rule #2: Being too early is the same as being late.

  • Do not show up more than fifteen minutes early for a job interview unless you were otherwise instructed. Being punctual is better than being too early.
  • Showing up too early for an interview can make you appear desperate to hiring managers. Think of a job interview as a first date—you wouldn’t want your date to think you were overeager or desperate either.
  • The same as if you were late for an interview, a hiring manager will attribute you showing up a half hour early to your bad time management skills.

Rule #3: Know where you’re going ahead of time.

  • If you have time and are unfamiliar with the area, visit the company’s office prior to your interview so that you know exactly where you’re going and how long it will take you to get there.
  • If you don’t have time to physically scope out your route, use the Internet to plan it in advance.
  • If you’re driving to your interview, make sure you know where you’re going to park. You don’t want to be late because it took twenty minutes to find a parking space.

Rule #4: Show up early, but don’t go in.

  • The best advice we can give you is to intentionally allow yourself extra time to get to your interview. Cautious planning will support you in being punctual even if you run into unforeseen trouble such as traffic or delays on public transportation. If you don’t hit any delays and end up outside of the office twenty minutes early, don’t go in! Find somewhere nearby you can kill time prior to your interview, such as a coffee shop or deli. Use the extra time to review your notes one last time.

Additional Guidance & Advice

At Whitman Associates, Inc., we’re rooting for you! Our goal is to help you find the perfect fit in your next job position. Being punctual is just one of many attributes that potential employers are looking for. For more insightful career advice, explore our blog for additional tips and guidance. Want some more personalized job hunting strategies? Reach out to us today!

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!

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. When using a staffing agency during your job hunt, 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. Considering questions to ask a staffing agency beforehand can be the difference between an impressive interview and a misfire.

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. Yet staffing agency interview questions can make up the bulk of interviewing experiences.

A recruiter 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, strive to impress the recruiter. When coming up with questions to ask a staffing agency, feel free to ask for clarity on any parts of the process you may be uncertain about. Make sure you speak professionally, honestly and politely with any representative you encounter from 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. If you are choosing questions to ask a staffing agency, make sure not to ask for information that they have already provided in their 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. Some staffing agency interview questions are tailored to gauge the enthusiasm of potential applicants for positions.

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. Consider what questions to ask a staffing agency to help you know if an offer or organization would be a fit for your circumstances. 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 assignment 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. Take that opportunity to formulate questions to ask as you deepen your relationship with the staffing agency with which you are currently employed.

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.

Qualities That Make A Good Employee: 10 Things to Look For

Every employer is looking for hardworking employees that they can count on to be long-term members of their team. If you’re trying to prove yourself as a valued employee, remember that there are some basic characteristics you can display to impress your supervisor and increase your job security. Consider these 10 qualities of a good employee and develop them for yourself to ensure employers see you as a valuable asset to their team!

Best Qualities for Any Job

There are many qualities that make a good employee, but these ten are the ones that employers always call out as the best qualities for any job. Take a look below. Do you have what it takes to be a model employee?

1. Attendance

Have good attendance. Be punctual and show up for every scheduled shift. If you have to call out, make sure you do it far enough in advance so that your employer can find someone to cover for you.

2. Dress Code

Dress appropriately for your work environment. Whether it’s dressing up for an important presentation or ensuring you look professional, your attire matters. Showing up in the right outfit every time shows that you are a professional who is ready for success.

3. Attitude

Having a positive attitude about your job is one of the best qualities of a good employee. Always be polite to coworkers and supervisors.

4. Preparation

Being prepared for work every day is one of the most important qualities to look for in an employee. Pay attention, take notes and follow instructions carefully. Your preparation makes the difference between being proactive and being reactive!

5. Ask

Ask questions if you don’t understand an assignment. It takes less time to confirm the details of a task than to fix something that you messed up. Covering up your lack of understanding will likely lead to more negative consequences, ultimately, than if you had been brave enough to ask for help at the outset. This type of courage is an admirable quality of a good employee.

6. Expand Your Knowledge

Being willing to continually expand your knowledge is a good quality to have. When an employee values learning, employers will take note. Be open to learning new things, such as computer programs or the daily duties of a coworker. Take responsibility when you make mistakes throughout the learning process.

7. Teamwork

A critical quality to look for in an employee is the ability to work with others in a constructive way. Be a team player. Collaborate with coworkers on projects, offer suggestions and be open to the advice of others.

8. Initiate Action

Take initiative. Go above and beyond your supervisor’s expectations and find work to do before you are asked. If you want to embody the qualities of a good employee, you have to act for yourself without having to always be told what to do.

9. Honesty

Employers are looking to build trust and loyalty. Whether you’re talking about availability, putting in a request for time off or confirming your expertise on a specific subject, your employer deserves your honesty. Having integrity is a standout quality of a good employee.

10. Show That You Care

Learn about the history and mission of your company. Being knowledgeable shows that you care about your company and that you pay attention to what the owner is trying to accomplish.

Become an Asset to Your Company

Displaying these qualities of a good employee can change a temporary assignment into a permanent job, qualify you for a promotion or simply earn you the respect you deserve! It may also increase your own feeling of job satisfaction.

Are you ready to make these changes and improve your work environment? Take on these qualities of a good employee to transform your attitude!

How to Manage Remote Employees

work from home tiles

Tips for Managing Remote Teams

The pandemic has created a necessity for remote teams, but it can be tough to transition as an employer. Some offices are allowing employees to choose if they want to stay remote, which means bosses need to shift their management style permanently to accommodate the new work situations. Everything from your code of conduct to your office dress code could be changing!

As a team leader, how you manage remote employees requires a little more creativity and flexibility on your part. Learn everything you need to know about leading a remote team with advice from the experts at Whitman Associates, Inc.

1. Setting Expectations

If you haven’t already done so, setting expectations early and often is critical for how you manage remote employees. You need to set clearer boundaries and performance goals to ensure that you have measurable milestones of success. Outlining availability, updating your team on policy updates and setting guidelines for responding to after-hours communications can help your remote employees maintain their work/life balance wherever they are.

2. Organization & Flexibility

Another tip for managing remote teams is to reconsider your organizational structure and flexibility. Hiring remote means your team members could be in different states or time zones. How do you manage remote employees who don’t always work the same hours? Some ideas to ensure workflow and consistency include:

  • Managers on shifts to ensure availability at all times.
  • A core of employees who work in the same zone with a few out-of-hours team members.
  • Asking employees to work in a single time zone – even if they’re a few hours ahead.

3. Adapting Meeting Lengths

You might not have considered this when asking yourself how to manage remote employees, but things that work in the office don’t always work when you’re remote. Meetings are especially tricky when working remotely because employees are more easily distracted when they’re not there in person. Your team could be multitasking or not paying attention, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Avoid situations where employees can zone out by minimizing meetings, shortening necessary calls and using email communication more often.

4. Tracking Worker Progress

Many managers worry that just because they can’t see their employees, that work is stagnating. When you create schedules, deadlines and measurable goals, you’re giving employees structure and guidelines for their everyday tasks and providing managers with more subtle oversight tools that won’t make employees feel smothered. How you manage remote employees requires balance, trust and communication.

5. Better Communication

man and woman on a video call together

Emphasizing communication is one of our top tips for managing remote teams. Because you can’t just walk over to an employee’s desk to talk, virtual communication is more important than ever. Experiment with communication channels to find out what works best for your team. You have tons of options, including:

  • Email
  • Texts
  • Phone Calls
  • Intranet Channels
  • Video Chats
  • Internal Chat Tools

How you manage remote employee communication is up to you, but it’s best to choose a method your team will actually utilize.

6. Build Connections

Because working remotely essentially isolates your employees, networking within your work environment is more important than ever. Whether you open a fun chat for employees to share pet photos or reach out frequently to communicate positive feedback, building those interpersonal relationships will help employees bond and trust each other and you.

You can also schedule several team-building days throughout the year to provide employees with more opportunities to work together on fun, creative tasks.

7. Listen to Your Team

The most successful managers know when to listen to their team. One of our top tips for managing a remote team is learning to take feedback when it’s coming up the ladder. This is a new situation for them as well as you, and they could provide new perspectives and ideas that could help you do your own job better.

When you become a good listener, you’re also building more respect, trust, and communication with your team. Ask for feedback during meetings and create surveys to see where your leadership, organizational structure and workflow could use a boost.

8. Create Collaboration Opportunities

Because isolation is such a serious problem with remote employees, you should go out of your way to create collaboration opportunities on projects. How you manage collaboration with remote employees could include shared documents, collaboration in virtual environments, team-building exercises and in-person bonding.

9. Resist Micromanagement

You should be confident in your employees and trust their work ethic even if they’re not in a physical office. While regular check-ins are a great tool in how you manage remote employees, don’t breathe down their neck during every single task. Guidelines and work tracking can help you avoid micromanagement if you need updates on small tasks, but you should trust your employees to deliver. At the end of the day, the work will speak for itself, and you’ll be able to spot a slacker pretty quickly.

10. Reward Success

Because it’s harder to recognize great work for remote teams, you’ll need to make an effort to find more opportunities to reward and celebrate success. Consider staff highlights on the company website, shout-outs in the office chat and other public forms of recognition to ensure your employees feel seen and appreciated.

Need more tips to keep employees motivated? Check out our blog to find advice for employers and employees today!