Turn a Temporary Assignment into a Permanent Position

September 28th, 2012

You signed up with a temporary staffing agency because you needed some short term work to help you bridge the gap between one job and the next. You figured you’d apply yourself to one temp job after another as needed, and meanwhile you’d keep submitting resumes for full time positions. Any day now, you’re expecting your next big opportunity to present itself.

But what if your temp job IS your next big opportunity? What if you could find a way to launch this temporary gig into full time career?

Your Next Full Time Job May Be Right Here

Chances are, if your employer is using a staffing agency to get necessary work completed, the company is undergoing a period of transition or growth. But when growth happens during a rough economy, employers like to hedge their bets and play it safe. If they don’t know what the future holds, they try to keep commitments to a minimum so they can make changes easily if things go south.

This caution extends to staffing. Employers tend to navigate uncertainty by getting to know a potential employee and watching him adjust to the workplace before officially bringing him on board. There are some things employers can’t learn from an interview, but they can definitely learn from a period of actual employment.

What Can Temps Do To Become Full Time Staff?

If you’re gunning for a full time job with your temporary employer, keep a few simple tips in mind. Most important, remember that every minute you spend in this office is a kind of job interview, whether your managers realize it or not. Every task you complete, conversation you engage in, and contact you make can help you, but only if you play your cards correctly.

1. Dress for the job you want, not the temporary job you have. If you want to stay here full time, dress like the people who work here. If they don’t show up in jeans, you shouldn’t either.

2. Engage. Don’t just drift in an out like a ghost. You may never see these people again after this gig ends…but that’s not what you want. Smile, make eye contact, remember names, and make friends everywhere you go. (These are habits that will serve you well for the rest of your life, no matter where your career path takes you.)

3. Point out your accomplishments at the end of each day, no matter how small. Let your employer know exactly what you’ve done with your time here.

4. Don’t cut corners. That goes without saying. Work hard at your tasks and do them well.

5. Make your employer’s life easier. Don’t let your presence become a drain or a drag. Ask smart questions, don’t be needy, and take a personal interest in the outcome of your labors and the success of this company.

For more ways to leave strong impression during a temporary assignment, contact the NC short term staffing experts at PSU. We can help you make sure your employers remember your name.

When is it Time to Start Looking for Candidates?

September 21st, 2012

When managers calculate the best time to hire new employees, their decisions will depend on range of factors including available budget resources and the nature of the company’s business model. Here are three popular approaches to timed hiring and the kinds of companies that tend to embrace each one.

Just-In-Time Hiring

The leanest, meanest and most efficient way to time hiring decisions is typically known as just-in-time or last minute hiring. This model is based on the idea that companies rarely make money when there are too many people walking around in the office. To avoid even the slightest chance of a budget-busting overstaffing scenario, companies often wait until their current staff are overworked, over-burdened and teetering on the brink of total burnout before bringing on new employees. Only when current personnel resources are pushed to the limit and literally bursting at the seams will last-minute hiring managers publish a posting for a new position and begin screening applicants.

The economic advantages of this model are clear, but the risks may outweigh the benefits and can undercut the amount of money saved. If your business can’t afford a single extra dollar lost on staffing and your managers are great at navigating and calculating risk, this strategy offers a promising option.  

Long Range Planning Based on Sales and Other Data

Cyclical businesses and companies that can draw a clear line between sales data and staff size may benefit from long range planning based on careful predictions of company growth and future needs. To make this model work for your firm, you’ll have to find a way to gather data that’s accurate, clear, and directly tied to personnel requirements. Growing sales that are likely to keep rising at a steady rate may warrant the acquisition of two, six, or ten new employees during the coming year. But only adopt this model if past performance can be expected to align with future results.

High Potential Hiring

“High potential” hiring is a strategy often embraced by companies with flexible hiring budgets and those that need to compete aggressively for top talent. With this model in place, extremely skilled applicants who respond to a posting are contacted whether their skills match the posting or not. These candidates are then brought on board and positions are designed to match their talents, rather than vice versa.

The risk of overstaffing can be significant for companies that use this approach. But these tend to be organizations that embrace innovation and flexibility and they also tend to be firms that can afford higher risk as long as that risk comes with the potential for high reward. 

Are you interested in hiring new staff but uncertain about the timing of your decision? Temporary staffing can provide qualified help with minimal hiring risk. Contact the NC temporary staffing experts at PSU and find out what we can do to move your company forward.

 

Are Phone Interviews the Best Option For Narrowing Down Candidates?

September 14th, 2012

A meticulous candidate search can reduce hiring risk and yield great rewards, especially over the long term. But no staffing strategy is 100 percent perfect, and while screening with a fine tooth comb can produce excellent employees, it can also require considerable time and financial investment. You can cull a stack of resumes down to the top twenty candidates, and then call each of the twenty in for a full interview, which may require transportation costs and necessitate pulling interviewers off the floor for hours at a time. Or, you can make use of an inexpensive tool that’s already in place: the phone.

Phone Interviews: Making the Most of a Simple and Powerful Communication Tool

Phone screenings require little more than about fifteen minutes per candidate, and can be conducted with no transportation or overhead costs. Dozens or hundreds of candidates can be screened in an hour (depending on how many screeners are involved), and the process can be standardized and streamlined for efficiency and fairness. Just make sure each call follows the same format, and that phone interview questions are tightly focused on the needs of the position.

Have your screeners listen for clear red flags and yes or no answers to simple questions, such as the following:

1. Do you have a BS degree in computer science or a related field?
2. Are you interested in a job that will require you to travel at least 50 percent of the time?
3. Are you willing to be on call at night and during the weekends?
4. Have you ever managed a staff of at least five people?

Potential Pitfalls of the Phone Interview

Be aware that a phone screening and a true interview are separate endeavors with separate goals. While a real interview allows a hiring manger to assess a candidate’s personality, character, deep background, and cultural aptitude, a phone call offers a very limited window into these areas. The phone screening should not be used for final round hiring or real skill assessment. Among its limits, the phone can reveal false signs of promise and can also allow great candidates to slip away.

Instead, use the phone simply to refine a huge population of candidates into a narrow and manageable pool. Filter out those who are not interested in the challenges of the job, hold less than the minimum qualifications, or have no plans to accept the position if it’s offered. Keep things simple and don’t allow your phone screeners to make assumptions or overreach.

If you need specific guidance while developing your phone screening questions and protocols, contact the NC staffing experts at PSU. Put our experience to the test and make sure you get the most out of your screening and interview strategies.

 

Hiring To Fill a Position, or Looking For High-Potential Candidates?

September 7th, 2012

When candidates apply for an open position, there are some things about the outcome that they can easily understand and predict. If they have experience in the industry, they’ve read the posting carefully, and they’ve done some research on the company, then they have some idea of what they’re stepping into. But no matter how qualified they may be, applicants aren’t mind readers. And some truly excellent candidates apply for positions that aren’t likely to make the best use of their talents and skills.

What should you do when you encounter a highly qualified candidate for a mismatched, unavailable, or already staffed position?

Taking On High-Potential Candidates

A growing number of recruiters and hiring managers are adopting a strategy known as high-potential hiring. With a high-potential staffing plan in place, excellent candidates are recognized in the pool and contacted, whether they meet the needs of a specific position or not. After further screening and a broader review of open positions within the company, these candidates are 1.) placed in a unit, division or department other than the one for which they applied, 2.) hired for positions that are then adapted to make use of the candidates unique skills, 3.) hired for positions which are created on the spot and tailored to the candidate’s talents.  There are advantages and disadvantages to this kind of staffing model.

High-Potential Hiring: Advantages

Right at this moment, a slow economy has flooded the job market with a glut of available candidates, and hiring balances are tipped in favor of employers. But many experts predict a rapid reversal in the near future as the economy recovers and a wave of baby boomers reach retirement age. When this happens, hiring managers may regret their recent cavalier dismissal of highly educated, highly motived performers simply because their skills didn’t match the needs of the moment.

In addition, in this fast-moving, technology-driven age, demand for specific skills can rise and fall quickly. A candidate who spends a year honing his knowledge of certain software program may find that program hopelessly out of date within a few months. But while specific competencies may fluctuate in value, a strong work ethic, polished social skills, and gritty resilience are always in style.

High Potential Hiring: Warnings

While high potential hiring can keep top candidates on your team and out of the hands of your competition, don’t ignore the expensive realities that come with an overstaffed office. If you adopt this model, do so strategically and maintain a calculated focus on the long term. Don’t take on candidates recklessly, and don’t put yourself in the position of having to dismiss or downsize new recruits simply because of your own poor planning.

Are you searching for ways to tighten, refine, and redesign your staffing and hiring strategies? The NC employment experts at Personnel Services Unlimited can help. Contact our office and arrange a consultation today.

 

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