Supplementing Your Staff with Temporary Employees

March 28th, 2014

There are several reasons why companies choose to take on temporary and contingent employees instead of hiring permanent, full time staff. And for each common situation, there are a few tips that hiring managers are wise to keep in mind. Whether you’re engaging in a complex transition, reshaping your workforce, or looking for support during a quick burst of activity that you expect to subside, temporary employees can offer a perfect, low-risk solution to your labor needs.

Staffing Transitions

You just lost a key member of your team, and the world won’t stop and wait while you launch a lengthy, meticulous search for a highly skilled replacement. But don’t worry; a recruiting firm can help you cover the gap with a capable, experienced employee on a temporary contract. And in the meantime, the same firm can help you publicize your open position and screen potential applicants.

Hiring Jitters

Maybe you’ve made some expensive hiring mistakes in the past. Or maybe during the recent economic downturn, you had to shrink the size of your workforce by letting loyal employees go. In either case, the experience can be traumatic and unpleasant. And now that you’re in a position of growth, you’re hesitant to take on permanent new team members who you may not be able to keep. The future is uncertain, and you’re looking for ways to manage your risk and grow your company at the same time. Temporary staffing contracts can easily become permanent if all goes well. If not, they keep risk and commitments to a minimum.

Temporary Labor Demand

Your busy season happens predictably during a few months out of the year (summer, the holidays, etc), and during this time, your business triples and you need extra hands to share the work and process a flood of orders. But when the season ends, your needs subside and your extra hands become idle hands. A temporary recruiting agency can help you deal with the overflow while keeping your expenses down and your business lean.

Project Assistance

You need to expand and consolidate your IT network after a recent merger. Or you need to implement a new back office management software system in a one-time, six-month operation. Or you need to clean out your warehouse and relocate inventory after a flood. Whatever you need, an experienced staffing agency can provide you with a ready team that can offer the specific, complex skill sets you’re looking for. Again, if you decide to take on some of your temporary employees on a permanent basis, you can. But if your needs drop when your project ends, the agency can accommodate you and also find new positions for your extra staff.

If any of the situations above describe your hiring needs, don’t wait. Contact the NC staffing and workforce specialists at PSU and arrange a consultation today.

Write an Irresistible Job Description

March 21st, 2014

When you sit down to draft a post for your open position, you’ll have several goals in mind: 1.) You want to encourage candidates to apply, so you have a large pool of talent to select from. 2.) You want the right candidates to take action and the wrong candidates to self-select and move on. And 3.) you want everyone—not just potential candidates, but also their friends, random readers, and potential customers—to walk away with a positive impression of your company. So your job post plays three roles: it acts as an attractant, a deterrent, and a branding message. If you hit all three notes, you can call your post a smashing success. Here are a few tips that can help you make this happen.

1. Be clear.

And impressive and professional message is a well written message. If you need outside writing or editorial help, get it. Think in terms of brevity, clarity, and relevance. And remember, if you don’t understand a sentence or phrase, your readers certainly won’t either. (Hint: Watch out for empty statements like “We’re looking for team players who take ownership and leaders who know how to get the job done.” What exactly does this mean? Delete this and replace it with something meaningful and specific about the job.)

2. Be warm and welcoming.

Nobody like a post that’s just a forbidding list of must-haves and need-not-applies. You’ll deter the great candidates—not just weak ones—if you suggest that all applicants will need to grovel for your attention. Even if this is true and you expect an avalanche of qualified responses, you’ll still need to pitch your company. Talk about the benefits of working here, and brag a little bit about the company’s history and mission.

3. If you have specific cut-offs, share them now.

Real cut-offs include concrete credentials. If you only plan to consider those with very specific credentials, share this now. It will save you and an unqualified candidate a significant amount of time. If you’ll only consider GPAs above 3.5, or applicants with current CPR certifications, state that here.

4. Describe your culture.

Just a few words will work, especially if the words are meaningful and well chosen. If your workplace is competitive rather than collaborative (or vice versa), let applicants know this. If the hours are eight to midnight instead of nine to five, you can save yourself and your candidates some headaches by saying this now.

For more on how to attract great applicants, contact the sourcing, staffing and recruiting experts at Personnel Services Unlimited.

Is Your Job Hunt Losing Momentum? Five Ways to Stay Motivated

March 14th, 2014

No matter how positive and optimistic you may feel at the beginning of your job search, a long string of fruitless resume submissions and awkward interviews can take a toll on even the most resilient applicant. These days, the average job search lasts for about eight months, but it’s not uncommon for perfectly qualified candidates to stay on the market for a year and often far longer. So when you round the next bend and realize you still have miles and miles left to go, what steps can you take to stay motivated and keep your head in the game?

1. Take breaks.

There’s a difference between persistence and relentlessness. It’s okay to treat your search like a full time job, but full time jobs come with weekends, lunch breaks, and mental health days. Don’t assume that coming up for air will ruin your future or cause you to lose focus. It will actually do the opposite.

2. Stay in touch with your social circle.

You have a social circle, your have a support network, and you have a professional contacts list. You need the first just as much as you need the second two. Your entire social world should not revolve around your job search. Go out for coffee or drink with your friends now and then and immerse yourself in someone else’s life. It will help you gain a little distance from your own.

3. Remember why you’re doing this.

If you’re committed to “searching for a job” and you’re ready to exclude all other alternatives, like freelancing, consulting, starting a business, partnering with a friend, returning to school, choosing a new career, etc, etc, than make you sure you understand why you’re doing this. Don’t develop tunnel vision and continue down this road simply because you’ve come too far to turn back. If this is the path for you, stay on it. But if a better option appears, think carefully before you say no. It’s never too late to change course.

4. Take care of yourself.

Sometimes long-term job seekers slide into a state of self-neglect, losing sleep, foregoing exercise, and eating in an unhealthy way. Don’t give in to frustration or a damaged sense of self-worth. Your needs come first, job or no job.

For more information on how to stay positive, balanced and socially connected during your search, reach out to the employment experts at PSU.

Avoid Mixed Messages: Consistent Branding Can Attract Talented Candidates

March 7th, 2014

If you’re proud of your culture and you know that your company is a thriving, positive, and respectful place to work, then a strong workplace branding strategy can help you send that message out into the world. And when that happens, you’ll create an upward spiral: The best candidates will be motivated to apply, your applicant pool will widen, you’ll choose the most talented workers available, and they’ll come on board and make your culture even better than it already is. In order to get this ball rolling, try sending a brand message that’s not only positive, but consistent. Here’s how.

1. Keep it simple. You know how to create a value proposition—a core message that lets your customers know exactly why your product is right for them. So apply that same principle to your workplace. What do you have to offer your employees that no other company can? Specifically, what do you have to offer to your target demographic, the small, select group of employees that you want to attract the most?

2. Once you’ve simplified your message, find out where your target employees are most likely to see it. Do your ideal candidates spend much time on social media? Do they belong to a list of professional societies? Are they active in specific community service, tech geek, or political circles? Are they still in school, and if so, where?

3. Draft your post carefully and make sure everything about it—from language to tone to length—adheres closely to your core value proposition. For example, if you’re pitching your company as “fun”, don’t just state this in your post. Say it in a way that’s fun. Demonstrate the lighthearted, laid back style you claim to embrace.

4. Open every channel and turn over every stone. Make sure your company name appears in every relevant social media outlet and national job board. And enlist the help of recruiters who have extensive experience and wide social networks among your target audience. The specialized staffing teams at PSUcan help. Arrange a consultation today and benefit from our extensive connections and industry-specific expertise.

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