Maintaining Work-Life Balance

September 25th, 2015

Sometimes the pressure to maintain your performance at work can interfere with other aspects of life, including health, relationships, and the general quality of your days and years. If you understand what this feels like, there’s a strong chance you also understand the temptation to pull resources away from these other aspects and invest those resources in fully into your job. After all, our families aren’t going anywhere, but if we give less than our best at work, there’s a chance our jobs will disappear. Before you start burning your candle down the nub and letting your job consume a disproportionate and unhealthy share of your attention, keep these tips in mind.

Stay in the Present

Tackle one problem at a time, one issue at time, and one task at a time. As you listen to your friend, help your spouse solve a problem, or treat your child’s banged up knee, don’t simultaneously worry about the report that’s coming due at work. There’s nothing you can do about that report right now. When you carry a five minute problem away with you, it becomes ten minute problem, and then a three hour problem. The same applies to a five minute task. When you aren’t working on it, put it down.

Take your Vacation Time

You own your allotted vacation and break time for a reason: because many workers who came before you fought hard to earn this right. They did so because these employees understood the steep toll that relentless work can take on the body and the mind. Learn from their experiences, and make the most of what they struggled to secure for you. Don’t give it up.

Say No when You Mean No

If you know that you don’t have the bandwidth or resources to handle a certain task or assignment, say so upfront. Don’t cheerfully accept the task if you won’t be able to deliver without paying a price you can’t afford. Be honest. Describe the forms of support, time, and training you’ll need to complete the task adequately, and if you don’t realistically expect to finish the job within standard work hours, don’t make promises you can’t keep. It’s your boss’s job to provide the staff, money, and time you need in order to succeed without compromising your non-work time or your mental health. It’s your job to make these needs known.

Plan Ahead

Before you step into your car each day, make sure you have everything you’ll need to make it through your various appointments and obligations. Make the most of the list and calendar features on your mobile device, and if you rely on a network of other people (include your spouse, your colleagues, or your family members), stay in touch and don’t hesitate to ask for help and updates.

For more on how to survive the most productive years of your life– and even enjoy them—without losing your mind, reach out to the staffing and career management team at PSU.

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Save Time and Money with a Staffing Agency

September 18th, 2015

You’re proud of the hard work you’ve invested in your staffing program. Your company is a well-oiled machine, and when you have an open position to fill, you typically attract a strong talent pool and choose a great candidate within a reasonable time frame. But as your company grows and expands, your staffing program is starting to cost more than you can afford in terms of time and personal focus. At this point, it’s time to turn your attention away from the hiring process and back to the more important task of running your business and taking care of your clients. But you still need a staffing program that meets your needs and won’t break your budget. Have you considered partnering with an experienced staffing agency? Keep these benefits in mind.

Reduced Risk

Your most important assets are your human assets, and your company will only be as productive and successful as the people who work for you. Right now, you’re investing time and care in your selection process, but a staffing agency can take this time and care one step further. Why not bring your candidates on board and work beside them for a few months before making a long term commitment? This probationary period can give both parties a little time to test the strength of the match before making it permanent.

Workforce Flexibility

If your business model involves seasonal or cyclical fluctuations, you need more help during some months of the year than others. You may rush to hire a fleet of hands during the summer or the holiday season and reduce your team to a skeleton crew during the rest of the year, or vice versa. But you— and your employees—may struggle with this dramatic rise and fall in demand. A staffing agency can help you smooth this process by providing expert temporary help during periods of peak need and simply reassigning these employees when your busy season is over.

Reduced Hassle and Paperwork

Since your team members will technically be employed by the staffing agency, not by you, you don’t need to worry about insurance, payroll, tax reporting, or any of the other bureaucratic elements of staffing that distract you from more important tasks. While you focus on your products and customers, the agency can handle these details. If your employee isn’t a match for your culture or isn’t a fit for the job description, the agency can supply a replacement without single pause in productivity.

Put your trust in a staffing agency that cares about your business as much as you do. Contact the experienced staffing team at Personnel Services Unlimited today.

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Three Salary Negotiation Tips

September 11th, 2015

You’ve just received an offer and even though you aren’t ready to say so just yet, you know the truth: you want this job. You ready—more than ready—to set a start date, grab your employee badge, leave the job search behind, and start the next chapter of your career. There’s only one problem. The salary on the table just doesn’t meet your terms. Ten minutes of internet research make it clear that you can do better. Someone with your skills and experience in this specific geographic area can expect to earn more, and you’re not ready to sign on the dotted line until you know your hard work and sacrifices will be compensated fairly. So how can you let these employers know that you’re willing to deal? Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Don’t say too much too soon.

Ask for plenty of time to think over the initial offer, and let the employers do most of the talking. When you receive an opening bid, pause before you respond. Think carefully and speak slowly. And ask for at least 24 or 48 hours to consider your answer. Even if the initial number is insulting, or just a few dollars away from perfect, don’t get excited and keep your emotions and thoughts to yourself. If your employers change or raise the offer within the allotted time frame, don’t rush to respond. Insist on taking your full 24 hours.

Consider what you’re willing to give back.

Before you being the negotiation process, have a clear idea in mind regarding the items on which you’re willing to compromise. For example, what if your employers can’t budge on salary, but they’re willing to add to your benefits package or offer a generous list of perks? Will you be caught off guard by this suggestion? Ideally, you’ll be ready for a twist like this and you’ll already know what you are and aren’t willing to take off the table.

Know the difference between standard and additional.

If you’ve researched the topic, you may know perfectly well that a 50,000 dollar salary, ten PTO days per year, and dental benefits are all very common expectations for an employee in this role. But there’s a strong chance that your employers will claim to sweeten the deal by adding these elements as gesture of interest or an act of generosity. Be careful, and expect what’s reasonable. Don’t assume that this offer comes at great sacrifice to these employers, even if they claim that it does. If they have to break the bank to offer the bare minimum of what you deserve for your labor, that’s their problem, not yours.

For more on how to land the job you need at the salary you want, contact the staffing team at PSU.

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Avoid Becoming a Stepping Stone Employer

September 4th, 2015

You’re about to wrap up your selection process, and within the next day or so, you’ll make a final decision and settle on your chosen candidate for a critical open position. You have only one small problem: your preferred candidate is just a little TOO perfect. They’re ambitious, highly energetic, and a bit overqualified for the role. They have every credential you require, plus a few more that you haven’t even asked for. There’s no question that they’ll excel at this job. But how long will they stay here? How can you make sure your talented applicant will still be with you on this day a year from now? Keep these tips in mind.

Be direct.

If your candidate seems overqualified for the position and naturally ambitious or restless, address the issue head on. And consider doing this before you make your final decision. Simply express your concerns and allow the candidate to answer as they choose. For example: “You seem like a great fit for this role, but I’m concerned you may not stay with us very long if you find something else. Is this really the kind of work you’re looking for over the long term?” As they answer, read between the lines.

Ask for a verbal commitment.

With an at-will agreement, there’s no way to enforce a simple verbal confirmation made during an interview. But this confirmation may have more power than you realize. A simple exchange involving a spoken agreement or a handshake may influence her decision not to accept or search for another role immediately after stepping into this one.

Work hard on retention.

Find out exactly what this employee will need in order to stay happy and thrive in the role at hand. Discuss this in detail before you make a formal offer. If you can’t afford the salary she requires, for example, work with your payroll department to raise your offer. As an alternative, you can improve her benefits package, or provide other perks that may compensate for the deficiency. Of course, you’ll also need to make sure their working conditions are acceptable and their advancement plans align with the long term needs of the company.

Tackle problems before they arise.

If there are any aspects of this role that your candidate may not like or may find boring or unpleasant, get this out of the way upfront. Explain these specific challenges and ask your candidate how she intends to handle them. This can help both of you identify potential problems long before they appear on the horizon.

For more information on selecting and retaining the most talented candidates on the market, reach out to the experienced staffing team at PSU.

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