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A career change can be exhilarating, exciting and at the same time, more than a little scary. This is especially true if your job switch comes with a significant cut in pay. Should salary be your main focus as you consider the next step along your professional path?

There are several factors to consider including the position itself, your future plans and growth potential, and the balance you seek between your work and personal life.

A pay cut is worth it when:

You switch to a more rewarding field.

  • You can’t expect an industry-leading salary when you move into a role where you have little to no experience. In this situation, you may be able to initially take a pay cut with the expectation that you’ll regain ground within the first few years. The tradeoff is worth it in terms of heightened job satisfaction.
  • Different industries have different pay standards. For instance, a move from a large global corporation to a local or regional non-profit organization is an apples-to-oranges comparison. But what you lose in annual income, you may gain in gratification and commitment to your personal social goals.

You crave better work/life balance.

  • A recent survey by management consultant firm Accenture showed that more than half of working adults consider their work/life balance key to whether or not they have successful careers. An equal percentage said they would, in fact, turn down a job that threatened that balance.
  • In another study, 45 percent of employees responded similarly, noting that on average, they would give up more than 8.5 percent of their income to achieve work/life equilibrium.

There’s something you want more.

  • Do you want to go back to school? The solution may be a job that requires fewer hours so you have time to study or a position at a company with generous tuition assistance benefits.
  • Have your priorities changed? Perhaps you’ve paid off your mortgage, educated your children and are ready to take more time to travel, but are still shy of retirement. The wolf has left the door and while work remains a tremendous source of satisfaction, money has jettisoned down on your list of priorities.

In essence, if taking a pay cut means things will even out in your life and boost your well-being, a career change probably is worth a few less dollars in your paycheck.

One final caveat: Be sure you’re ready for the change. As summarized by Holly Paul, chief HR officer at cloud marketing software company Vocus, “you need to know yourself well enough to understand if a pay cut will lower your motivation or passion for work. You also need to take a close look at your personal finances to make sure that the pay reduction won’t create a situation that’s not feasible at home.”

The professional recruiting and career coaching team at Alternative Staffing can partner with you as you plot your next career move and find the position that best meets your work/life needs. Read our related posts or contact us today.

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As a teenager, I recall my grandmother waking up and ready by 6:30am just in case the phone would ring. It was not until I started working in the staffing industry that I realized how hard that must have been for her. Each time she left the house she was walking into a different school and a different classroom full of strange kids who didn’t know her, trying to do her best to ensure they did not miss a beat.

I recognize the value and the risk of having someone in your place of business in a temporary capacity. When you bring on a temporary employee you already recognize that putting extra work on your staff can affect morale, could result in overtime, or affect your clients. When reflecting on my temporary employees, I realize how hard it must be to go into a place where no one knows you and more importantly no one has to know you. However, I find when a temporary employee is welcomed by the team the experience for both parties is far superior. It sounds like a simple idea but most people want to be included and belong – we just work better that way.

Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your temporary employee.

  1. Just as a principal introduces a teacher to the classroom, ensure that the new employee is granted the same level of respect.
  2. When introducing them, use other words besides “temp”. For example: “Pat is here to help us while we tackle this project” or “Joe is here to assist the office while Sue is out of town”.
  3. Check in with them at the end of the day and address any questions they might have. They want to leave a good impression on you, so why not try and do the same?

A strange work environment can be just as intimidating as the first day of school. Over the past year, I have worked with some amazing companies and those who have had the best experiences are the ones who give temporary employees the same level of respect as anyone on their team.

What ideas can you share on making sure you get the most out of your temporary staff?

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There will be times when you hire someone and that person turns around and quits six months later. Staffing agencies try their best to minimize that scenario as much as possible. But this can be tough when you’re hiring for demanding positions. To help you hire the best fit candidates here are a few questions to consider:

  1. What does the job description entail?

Before jumping into the recruiting portion of the hiring process, it’s vital to study the role and really understand what knowledge, skills, and abilities are important. Also, evaluate the candidates on how they will interact with of the employees already in place. This will help you better identify those who are the best fit for the job.

  1. What makes other people in demanding roles successful at your company?

Specifically, what personality traits and leadership styles make them good at their jobs? Are they excellent communicators? Do they have a certain leadership style that works well? Your goal is to find traits, abilities, and common backgrounds when you’re hiring for a new role.

  1. How to screen for particular skills?

You know what you’re looking for in a candidate. But how do you screen for those specifics during the hiring process? Asking good interview questions and then following up so you can get behind the candidate mask and understand how the candidate thinks and will perform once on the job.

  1. How will I promote the role?

When hiring for a demanding positions, it is best to promote the job and all its perks. However, it’s only fair to make the candidates aware of the realities they will face once on the job. So talk about both the ups and downs that come with job. That way, the person you ultimately do hire will walk into the position with a more accurate sense of the road ahead.

To learn more about how we can help your organization, please contact us today.

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Facebook is, has been, and continue to be the go to place for social information.

But how can you incorporate this into your staffing company? Here are a few helpful tips on using Facebook to help make your company more visible in the public light.

 

Create a brand specific page and post

You don’t want to post too frequently about nonsense, but if you don’t post enough then you wont be engaging your followers. Right in the middle, like the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, is  just right.

Soctt Morefield of Staff Talk  says, “There’s no magic formula, of course, but I would recommend at least one and at most three posts per day, at least three hours apart. I would also make them different types of posts. Maybe feature one job post, one fun post, and one informative post that links to an article you’ve written or from another credible source.

The next question would be, “What should we post?” Here is a list of potential subjects:

Job fairs and special events

Client focused job postings

Employee recognition

Inhouse celebrations

Community Outreach

Holidays

last but not least, don’t forget about Job Postings

Follow these guidelines, and you’ll have a public Facebook presence in a few months.

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Well, it’s now that time again. Time to break out your white pants/shorts and enjoy the Charleston weather. There’s an old unofficial rule when it comes to the colors of your outfit that must be abide by or suffer the consequences of sideways glares and soft whispers. That rule is of course:

“No WHITE before Memorial Day or after Labor Day!”

Where this rule comes from and how strictly should it be abide by it up to much debate. However, there is no denying the charm of warm weather, sunny skies, and classic white pants.

So get out, and enjoy all that Charleston has to offer!

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Checklist

Checklist

Here’s a scenario that might be all too familiar: You’ve pulled out all the stops to identify, interview and potentially place one or two skilled candidates, but suddenly your hard efforts come to a standstill with a delay in the background check. A lengthy background check can be one of the most frustrating aspects of the hiring process – and it can cost you a lot.

For every day you’re waiting for a background check to be complete, you’re losing money – it could be hundreds of thousands of dollars – and those open positions you’re recruiting for may be filled by somebody else. But on the flip side, if you don’t get a thorough report, you put your reputation at risk of losing business and potential lawsuits.

Staffing agencies deal with a large number of candidates, and the efficacy of these applicants can positively or negatively impact the reputation of an agency. Effective placement can encourage a business to use the agency again, while a negative placement may destroy the relationship.

CareerBuilder last year acquired Aurico, a background screening and drug testing provider serving US and international clients. Background checks help agencies safeguard their reputations by helping employers create safer, more secure work environments staffed by qualified employees. Based on research from a new CareerBuilder survey, here are four questions you should ask to make sure you’re getting the most out of your background checks.

Is my provider fast enough? One of the biggest mistakes companies make when selecting a background screening provider is basing their decision exclusively on cost without considering turnaround time. Typically, background checks should return in less than five business days, but on average checks take from 24 to 72 business hours to complete. If the cheapest provider also happens to be the slowest provider, this delay in the hiring process could cost you in the long run. This dollar amount quickly escalates when you factor in the increased time-to-hire and loss of productivity. Companies should also select a provider that is highly integrated with courthouses to get faster criminal record check results.

How much of the process is automated? Is it fully, partially or not at all? In recent years, background screening has gone from a costly and time consuming task reserved for selected job applicants to an increasingly automated and technology driven business necessity in a global economy where employers expect fast and accurate results. When choosing a vendor, assess how much you may still have to handle manually and how that could slow you down or put you at risk for mistakes.

Is the candidate experience a positive one? Sixty-five percent of respondents to the CareerBuilder survey said they have never tested their system themselves to see what the candidate experience is like. Not only is it crucial for those hiring to experience the process firsthand, it’s important to seek direct feedback from candidates. The repercussions of a poor candidate experience can be extensive and powerful – you could not only be losing your best candidates, but also damaging your organization’s brand and even negatively affecting your bottom line. Employers that consider how their background screening process impacts the candidate, including informing and educating applicants about the process, could substantially improve their candidate experience.

Am I getting all the information I need or just part of the story? Twenty-nine percent of employers made a bad hire because they received bad information about the candidate. Fifteen percent of employers have run into litigation for not hiring someone because of what was found in a background check. Make sure your provider keeps up with compliance standards, is National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) accredited, and ensures the candidate is informed and supported.

Comprehensive background checks cannot be done instantly, but they can be done quickly and thoroughly. Asking and answering the four questions above will ensure you get the most of your background check process.

by Ben Goldberg

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If you own or work for a staffing company, you know Indeed. Indeed is the best place to post your jobs online. If you’re in the staffing & recruiting industry and you’re not posting your jobs on Indeed you’re doing something wrong. All of our marketing clients advertise on Indeed because it works. We often have clients ask us why they can’t find their ads on Indeed. There are several reasons why this can happen and even more reasons why this isn’t something to worry that much about.

How bidding works

Advertisers on Indeed bid for the maximum they’re willing to pay per click. Because Indeed is a marketplace you don’t always pay the max bid. For instance if you bid $5.00 but the nearest bid to yours is $1.00 you will end up spending approximately $1.01 per click. However many industries are very competitive and bids can get very high. Indeed’s maximum bid allowed is $9.99 per click. Many advertisers utilize tools within Indeed that adjust bids periodically which can make it even more difficult to know exactly where your ad will display at any given moment. Your bid affects your position but it’s not the only factor.

“Your bid affects your position but it’s not the only factor”

How page position works

Your bid greatly contributes to the position of your ad but other factors such as keywords in the title & description affect position as well. For example if a user searches for a “Registered Nurse Job” in “Dallas, TX” but your job title is “Travel RN job in Texas” you might get beat out by competitors with “Registered Nurse” or “Dallas” in the title even if your bid is higher. The reason for this is that ultimately Indeed is a job board that serves job seekers. Their goal is to provide the best possible user experience for the candidate. Therefore they tailor the search results based on the keywords used in each search. By including more keywords in your job descriptions and titles you can appear in more search results but this can come at a cost. Longer, more confusing job titles can have lower click through rates than concise, straight to the point titles.

Many other factors such as the age of the job can also affect page position as well. Furthermore, if you spend most but not all of your daily budget Indeed will attempt to spend the remainder of your budget even if the amount left is much less than your maximum bid. This means that Indeed will serve your ad anywhere it can yielding you more impressions and clicks (which is awesome). But this often means that your ad will display several pages deeper than usual during this period. This is why Indeeds average page position reporting can often paint an incomplete picture. Ensuring that your ad is always in the same position is nearly impossible with a limited budget.

“Ensuring that your ad is always in the same position is nearly impossible with a fixed budget”

How budgets work

There are two main types of budgets on Indeed advertising platform (monthly and daily budgets). The monthly budget is the maximum you’re willing to spend in your account for a single calendar month. The daily budget is the maximum you’re willing to spend in a campaign for a single day. Balancing these so that your budget lasts the whole day/month is important. If you bid your ads to the first position, you will get a lot of clicks very quickly which will burn through your daily budget very quickly and your ads will go offline until the following day. If you have an unlimited budget this may not be a concern of yours, but for most advertisers on Indeed this is an issue to be thoughtful of.

Based on data we’ve collected over the years the best pages for getting the most conversions and placing the most candidates are 3-5. Sometimes even the 5-7 page range is effective. We believe the reason for this is due to the fact that an applicant that is more serious about finding a new position is going to look at more than just the first few jobs. Meanwhile a less serious “window shopper” type of candidate is more likely to only visit the first few pages of search results. The possibility of click fraud is also higher on the first page of search results.

“The possibility of click fraud is also higher on the first page of search results”

There is a common misconception that the first position is the place to be for the best performance. With an unlimited budget this can be the case. However even with an unlimited budget you’re not guaranteed to be placed in the top position based on other factors inherent in Indeeds ad marketplace. Keep in mind that you’re not the only company promoting jobs on Indeed. Every advertiser wants to be in the best position to get the most applications from qualified candidates. That’s why it’s important to maximize your budget to get the highest ROI possible. To achieve this you do NOT want to be on the first page in the first position every time.

Was any of this PPC stuff too complex? Don’t worry, we’re here to help. In addition to being a helpful resource for marketing in the staffing industry we also provide Indeed advertising services designed to help staffing and recruiting companies get the best ROI for their advertising dollars. Whether you just need a little help or a complete marketing solution we’ve got your back. Get in touch with us soonish.

 

by Sam Miller

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Do you have passion for the industry? Yep.

Follow through on commitments? Check.

Are you a great communicator? Absolutely.

All of these elements are essential to being a successful leader in the staffing industry. But when you’ve been a staffing executive for as long as I have, you become aware of other, subtler characteristics that separate the good from the great – especially when the road gets a little bumpy.

So, aside from passion, commitment and effective communication, what makes a truly great staffing leader? Here are five traits that I consistently see from the industry’s top leaders:

Be a “Pied Piper” leader

Anyone can use fear tactics or manipulation to bend employees to their will. Over the long term, however, that type of leadership (if you can even call it that) exacts a high price in terms of turnover, diminished engagement and lost productivity.

A leader who truly inspires others, however, creates an environment in which staffing team members exert higher levels of discretionary effort and are much more invested in the company’s outcomes – even when times are tough. How can you be the type of leader your employees want to follow?

  • Be honest. Whether the situation is good or bad, give employees the whole truth. And when you don’t have all the answers, say so. Your staff will respect you more.
  • Empower employees. Micromanagement kills morale and fosters resentment. Give employees the training, tools and authority to do their jobs well – and then hand over the reins.
  • Develop your team. Great staffing leaders do more than just delegate effectively; they help their employees grow their careers. Look for team members who want to learn, take on additional responsibilities and level up. By investing in their professional development, you’ll build a more dynamic, loyal and high-performing organization.

 

Be a strategic thinker

Few things threaten a staffing firm’s success more than tactical, reactionary thinking. Our industry is in a constant state of flux, and a leader who isn’t vigilant about their organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats – and planning accordingly – won’t survive for long.

A strategic staffing leader, however:

  • Can predict market drivers (i.e., current and forecasted economic, employment and local market conditions that impact employers’ workforce needs as well as talent supply);
  • Knows how to shift resources (i.e., people, capital, technology, talent networks) to capitalize on market, economic and other changes;
  • Moves beyond incremental improvements – and strives to 10x their business.

Be resilient

Knowing what’s around the next corner is one thing; being flexible enough to adapt and bounce back is quite another. Resilient staffing leaders respond more effectively to business disruptors, conflict or other threats because they are better equipped to:

  • Control their emotions and impulses to make smart decisions;
  • Make realistic plans and take practical steps to execute them;
  • Effectively communicate and problem-solve in the face of adversity.

Sell value – not services

In all the years I’ve worked in this industry, I’ve never once heard a customer say: “I want to purchase some staffing services, please.” The truth is, clients don’t want vendors that sell services; they want partners that deliver solutions.

The most successful staffing leaders understand the strategic role staffing plays in their clients’ businesses – and how to create solutions that deliver real value in any market conditions. To move out of the role of “vendor” and into the role of “partner”:

  • Get in front of higher level decision-makers. This is no small challenge, but one that’s critical to elevating your role and moving from transaction-based interactions to building real relationships.
  • Learn what your customers’ real pain points are. Ask: What keeps you up at night?
  • Refocus conversations about price or margins to the strategic value your services offer.
  • Provide solutions that improve a client’s profitability by increasing revenues, decreasing expenses – or both!
  • Explain how your recruiting, screening or selection processes enable you to deliver higher quality talent (which is exceptionally important in today’s candidate market).

Then, even if your price is a bit higher, you’ll be delivering a greater return on the client’s staffing investment – and a better total staffing value.

Be a life-long learner

Let’s face it, it’s nearly impossible to be the perfect leader all the time. There are going to be times in which you may second guess a decision—and that’s okay as long as you learn from it. The best staffing industry leaders are constantly listening to feedback, looking for ways to improve, honing their leadership skills and learning new things.

To be truly effective, you need to talk with others in the industry, you need to look at what’s working outside of our industry and you need to be a great listener. By doing all of these things, you’ll see that the amount of times in which you second guess a decision will decrease dramatically and your team will be energized and working towards the same goals.

 

by Tammi Heaton

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What is in a font?

We see a lot of resumes in the staffing industry (it’s kind of our job). But flipping through resume, after resume, after resume – we’ve noticed a few minor details that can make or break your resume.

For some employers it all comes down to one little word – font.

You spend tireless hours writing, perfecting, and re-creating every detail of your resume (and sometimes for every job application). We don’t want that time and energy to go to waste on making a mistake as simple as choosing the wrong font. So we did a little research on what industries think about certain fonts, what fonts say about you as a person, and simply what fonts are the most likely to get your resume read (and hopefully snag the job).

According to an article in Business News Daily, the top resume fonts that are used are:

  • Arial – The standard, safe choice with clean lines; but some might consider it too standard and boring.
  • Calibri – The default for Microsoft Word making it familiar and universal; the font is smaller so at 12 pt. you could fit everything you need on a one-two page resume.
  • Garamond – An old style, yet elegant look that is bound to stand out.
  • Georgia – A good alternative to Times New Roman, and designed specifically to be read on the computer screen, but doesn’t appear as clean on print.
  • Times New Roman – An oldie but goodie, it is highly readable; but most consider it unimaginative, boring, and too reminiscent of your high school and college essays.
  • Trebuchet MS – A good san-serif font choice if you want to stand out, but still legible.

Sure these fonts are the top used resume fonts. But are they the best?

In a June 2015 article, the Huffington Post  sat down with Samantha Howie, senior human resources recruiter at the New York-based Maximum Management Corp., and narrowed it down to the Top 5 Fonts to Use on Your Resume and Why.

fonts
  1. Calibri: “Perfection” – Howie’s favorite, this font has all of the best characteristics. It is highly legible, straightforward, but it still has design substance. It is the new classic default and highly used in most industries.
  2. Helvetica: “Timeless” – This font is on an even playing field. In fact, Howie mentioned that this font is preferred in the recruiting firm where she works.
  3. Georgia: “Modern” – This font feels less dated than other serif fonts, and has a modern yet elegant appeal. Watch out for using it for print, though.
  4. Arial: “The Safe Choice”– This font is neutral and clean, but doesn’t have much of a personality.
  5. Garamond: “Classic” – This font is readable and elegant. A great old fashioned choice, but not the one for you if you want a modern approach.

The Huffington Post article even gave some negative font reviews, stating that “Times New Roman might cost you your next job” and that Comic Sans should never be used either and “in the professional word, it is totally inappropriate”. We completely agree.

If you are wondering what the font style you choose may say about you – Weems debunked the “Psychology of Fonts”.

 

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Before you sign off we have a few key takeaway points when choosing that award-winning font that will line up interviews:

Make it legible

Regardless of the font you choose, make sure it is legible. If the font is too distracting, if you have to squint or zoom in to read it, then find another font. Not too bold, or too light. Not too big, or too small. Don’t get too elegant, but don’t be too bland. Find that happy median that showcases who you are, but will also be easy to read.

Across the Universe

It is important to choose a universal font that will open on any Mac or PC, regardless of the software.

Indecision

If you have indecision on choosing a font, we highly suggest to go with the Huffington Post’s Top 5: Calibri, Helvetic, Georgia, Arial, Garamond.

Don’t Use Times New Roman

This font is simply dated. It may be OK for high school and college, but not for the working professional. If Microsoft Office dropped it as its default in 2007, so should you. Don’t be behind the times. Pun intended.

For more staffing and business news, or if you want to see what the A-Team is up to, visit us on Facebook!

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It’s the middle of the year, it’s the end of the second quarter, and if you are a business owner it might be time for some staff reviews.

Instead of printing out your redundant questionnaire, it’s time to spice up your review! Forbes came out with an article today with 5 simple questions that can take your review to the next level to ensure success for your employees and your business.

As Chuck Cohn stated in the article, “Your team is the lifeblood of your business, and to truly keep the pulse of your company, it is imperative to move beyond the contact of infrequent reviews. How you might choose to do so is dependent on your unique leadership style, and here are five questions to consider asking your team members.”

  1. How would you define the company’s vision and goals? It is important that you have an employee that understands the core values of your company. It is important as a business owner to share your mission, vision and goals with your employees. Whether that be your company’s monthly goals, your charitable mission, or your company’s core values – sharing these things with employees will bring your employees together as a team and increase company morale.
  2. How would you like to improve yourself professionally? What new opportunities can we offer you? Your employees will not have the same goals for themselves and their careers as they did on the day they started their job with you. As your business grows, so will your team. It is important to ask them what they want and where they see themselves with the company in the future. The more experience your staff has inside the company can make new opportunities arise.
  3. What aspects of your job motivate you? Maybe it is positive affirmation. Maybe it is being creative. Maybe it’s incentives. Maybe it’s bonuses. As an employer, you need to know what it is that your employees want and what keeps them coming to work every day. One of the best overall business practices is providing employees with the incentives they deserve. Because a happy employee is a hard working employee – and that means a successful business.
  4. What would you change about our business processes? Sometimes it takes another pair of eyes and set of hands to learn some new practices. Remember, you pay people to do the job that you cannot. Hire people you can trust, and listen to their advice.
  5. What feedback do you have for me? One of the best things you can do as a boss, leader and manager is listen. Listen to the good, bad and the ugly. Then you need to act. Not acting sets a bad example and creates a stagnant environment. Take that feedback and make appropriate tweaks to better your business. Then explain to your staff why you decided to make those changes, or not. They need to know you listened, and need an answer.

So in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 you can learn so much more about your employees, your business and yourself. A meaningful review will impact your business and make your employees feel valued and appreciated. It will unveil a lot of truths and ultimately a successful business!

Undercover the keys to success with all of the Alternative Staffing “A-Team Tips” on our Facebook page and blog!