Shy? How to Let your Passion Show During a Job Interview

September 27th, 2013

If you’re shy, it can be difficult to let your real feelings show, especially during a high stakes conversation with strangers. But as you’re probably aware, emotions play a powerful role in hiring decisions, and the passion you demonstrate for the position can give you the edge over candidates who seem to be looking for a paycheck and not much else. Here are a few ways you can share that passion, even if you’re not naturally expressive.

1. Start with a strong resume and cover letter. Reveal a few personal details in your summary, skill section, and the body of your cover letter that will provide the manager with a starting point and a few things to ask you about during the interview.

2. Discuss what attracted you to this field in the first place. If there’s a story behind your interest, go back to the beginning. Let your interviewer know that you first picked up the tools of the trade at a very young age, or that your grandparents inspired you, or that you were led into this field by a personal experience.

3. Use your non-verbal cues. Lean your body forward while you speak, instead of back. Sit up straight instead of slumping in your chair. And take up the entire chair, don’t just perch at the edge.

4. Your facial expression can also help you make your case. Of course, if you work too hard to control your expression and you’ve had no professional training as an actor, the results can be confusing to your interviewer. But at the very least, you know how to smile politely and maintain consistent eye contact (glance at your hands or the reviewer’s hands now and then to alter the focus).

5. Before the interview begins, review some of your proudest accomplishments and get ready to talk about them. You may be asked to explain the challenges you were faced with and how you overcame them, but be ready to bring up the subject even if you aren’t asked.

For more guidelines that can help you shine during your interview, even if you don’t naturally look for the spotlight, reach out to the NC staffing and job search experts at PSU.

Liberate Your Hiring Process

September 20th, 2013

In management, as in life, a little flexibility can go a long way. Having the freedom, knowledge, and experience to break some of your own rules now and then can help steer you away from rigid paths that simply aren’t producing results and aren’t attracting the talented candidates you need. Try a few moves like the ones below to help you target your sources, screen for the skills you need (not the ones you think you need), and choose candidates who will stay on board for the long term.

1. Use a little science. Start by keeping accurate records of the hiring process for each new employee. Then you can compare these records one, two, and three years down the road. What kinds of questions did you ask in each of these interviews and what were the long term results? Where did you publish the job posts that attracted your best employees? And how were these posts worded?

2. Test your own rules. Try working non-traditional, quirky, and behavior based questions into your interview process. Stay respectful and don’t ask questions that bait or demean your candidates, but do your best to open the door to unstructured conversation.

3. If you really like a candidate who possesses a rare skill set that can drive your company forward, try looking past small deal breakers. For example, if the candidate has a minor criminal past, but has now paid his debt to society and is on a better path, consider keeping an open mind.

4. Encourage candidates to self-select. This can make your hiring process much easier, and it requires only a few minor tweaks to your sourcing and screening process. Be honest and upfront, for example, if you suspect this job will involve challenges or obstacles the candidate may not like.

5. Add more cooks to the soup. Try to bring more than one manager into the room during interviews, and before each resume is dismissed after a first round review, have at least two pairs of eyes look it over. More opinions and perspectives can often reduce errors in judgment.

For more guidance with your selection and screening process, and for tips that can help you elevate the level of your applicant pool, contact the NC staffing experts at PSU.

Best Ways to Pay Highly Qualified Part Time Temps

September 13th, 2013

Temps, freelancers, outside contractors, and other contingency workers can step in and save your bacon when you’re steering your business through a rough patch. And when you’re about to enter a period of unpredictable growth or embark on a new project with an uncertain outcome, contingency workers and temps can handle the work you give them without requiring long term commitments on your part. In general, temporary employees provide the flexibility you need to stay lean and manage risk, and temps with high levels of talent or specialized training can be the answer to your company’s prayers.

But since they’re not full time employees and they won’t be staying on board when your needs shift, how can you make sure you’re paying your talented temps what they deserve? Keep these guidelines in mind.

1. First, start by calculating the full time equivalent salary for this type of work at this specific level. Research the standard rate for this position, in this industry, in this geographic area. Find out what your competitors are paying for full time employees in this position. Then divide that annual salary rate by 2,080, the number of full time working hours in a year.

2. This hourly rate will form the foundation of your calculations, but the actual number at which you arrive will probably be somewhat higher. This is because talented temporary employees can provide specialized skills and services that you’re unlikely to find among your in-house teams. It’s also because by hiring a temp, you’re being permitted to sidestep the hassle of tax and reporting issues and the cost of benefits like health insurance.

3. After you’ve determined your base hourly salary, research the rarity of the skill sets your contingency worker has to offer. If your employee comes with low replaceability, it’s in your best interests to err on the side of a higher offer instead of a lower one—if you lose your employee before the contract ends, or she opts not to return when you contact her in the future, you’ll have to restart an expensive and difficult search process over from the beginning.

4. A higher offer can also protect your company’s reputation, which can increase your access to talented applicants in the future. Underpaying or disrespecting contingency workers can have a damaging and expensive impact on your long term hiring prospects. But paying your employees well can boost your workplace image, which can help you keep your hiring costs down and your options open.

For more information on how to find great temporary employees, bring them on board, and keep them engaged and productive, reach out to the NC contingency staffing experts at PSU.

Scaling your Business with a Contingent Workforce

September 6th, 2013

If you think consultants, contractors and outside service vendors are only an option for large companies with flexible budgets, it may be time to re-examine how a contingency workforce can strengthen and streamline your smaller business. Temporary staff and freelancers can not only help you save on the costs and benefits that come with full time hiring, but they can also allow you to send specialized workers after targeted tasks and short term projects. Here are some of the ways a contingency staff can help you face your daily challenges while keeping expenses under control.

1. Contingency staffing means low commitment. When you hire an employee through a staffing agency, you don’t have to worry about the fate of this relationship when you no longer this employee’s skills and services. They agency will simply place the person with another client, and you don’t have to go through the trauma and guilt of the lay-off process.

2. Not all staffing contracts are out of your reach. Sure, you’re paying the firm a little more for access to the candidate than you would be paying if you found and hired her yourself. But not when you factor in the cost of a nationwide search, selection, screening, and interview process. Let the firm connect you with a talented applicant pool so you can keep your time and energy focused on running your business.

3. Using a staffing firm means sidestepping tax and benefit issues. You don’t need to pay expensive benefits to a candidate you’ll only have on board for a few weeks, and you won’t have to deal with tax and reporting issues, since the agency will handle these things for you. If you hire independent contractors and freelancers, they’ll take care of these issues on their own.

4. Among contingent workers, skill levels tend to be higher and more sharply focused. Freelancers, specialists, and independent vendors usually do only one thing all day long, and they tend to do it very well. You might not find this level of talent among your full-time, in-house team members.

5. Contingent workers move onto other clients when your business cycle slows and your needs decline. But if the relationship works for both parties, they’ll be available when your needs begin to shift and increase.

For more on how the contingency staffing process can keep your workforce lean, productive and efficient, regardless of the size of your business, reach out the NC staffing experts at PSU.

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