Tips for Improving Employee Retention

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of workers to rethink their present employment situation. Not surprisingly, those who are choosing to find a new opportunity are ultimately searching for a more meaningful and fulfilling job. They are also looking for employers that care about their personal well-being. PS&R has come up with some strategies to help you with employee retention.

Recognize milestones to promote teamwork. All employees deserve to be recognized, not just your very top performers. Celebrating team milestones is a great way to make everyone feel included and valued.

Start employees on the right foot. This means thorough onboarding and an orientation process that introduces the new hire to company culture. Also inform them on feedback loops, timing and process of reviews and other communication touchpoints – this will show them you truly care about their future success with the organization.

Make wellness a priority. The pandemic has prompted many employers to increase their wellness offerings to employees, and for good reason. Employees are putting a greater focus on their work-life balance and their overall physical and emotional health. This means employers also must make it a priority if they plan to retain workers. Consider additional live and virtual wellness offerings, flex work schedules, and increased training and mentoring programs.

It’s easy to avoid the cascading fallout after the loss of an MVP if you use the tips above. If your employees know you’re there for them, they will be there for your company.  When your organization is looking to make the next great hire, PS&R can help. Call us at 617.723.1919 to learn more.

Perfecting Your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is a great tool for job seekers and employers alike. While your LinkedIn profile will repeat much of the information provided on your resume, it is a unique place to showcase your story and share additional details. Preferred Staffing & Recruiting gathered some tips to help you manage and get the most out of your LinkedIn profile.

  1. Make sure it’s complete

LinkedIn does you the favor of rating your profile strength. And it’s true that a more completed profile – or “All Star” profile – will get more views. In fact, LinkedIn purports that users who have a completed profile are forty times more likely to find a new opportunity through their site. Start by uploading a recent professional photo as your profile picture. Continue and complete all other sections of your profile. To gain All Star status, filling out each section is not always enough. You will need at least five skills listed and at least fifty connections. Be thorough and provide as much content as you can.

  1. Give a recommendation to get one

A LinkedIn recommendation is just like a reference from a former boss or employer and can carry a lot of weight. If you take the time to give a recommendation to someone, they are likely to return the favor.  Make a goal to have at least one recommendation from every job listed on your profile.

  1. Find ways to stand out

There are a lot of impactful areas on your LinkedIn profile where a little attention can really make you stand out.  For example, everyone uses key words throughout their profile. But focusing your key words in your Summary and Experience sections will really help make your profile shine.  When you’re using key words, it’s important not to sue the same words and phrases that everyone else is using. LinkedIn published the most used “buzzwords” in 2018, you can see that list of words to avoid here.

Customizing your URL is another great way to differentiate your profile.  Linked in automatically generates a random URL web address for your profile, but you have the option to customize this to something more relevant and more concise.  This will also make you easier to find, especially if you have a common name.

Finally, adding a background image is a great way to make your profile stand out. Most people stop at a just a headshot, but adding the narrow background image will help potential employers trigger a memory of your profile. Make sure the photo is attractive, eye catching, and professional. It could be a stock image of something you enjoy, a nature picture, or a photo of you working or doing something you love.

PS&R is a woman-owned business that has been helping job seekers and employers since 1984. Our collaborative and consultive approach makes us stand out from other executive recruiters. For more information and to find out how we can help you, contact Kathy Orcutt at 617.723.1919.

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Tips For Your 2021 Job Search

We are all excited to welcome a new year and to put the “unprecedented” year of 2020 behind us. The pandemic has wreaked havoc on all aspects of our lives, in particular our work and hiring processes. As we look ahead to what a fresh year may bring, it is important to recognize that the job search process has been forever changed. Here are some things you need to know about your 2021 job search:

Remote work and hiring processes are here to stay. Some companies will want their workers back on-site when it’s feasible to do so, but many will be looking permanently at hybrid or flexible schedules. It is also likely that remote interviewing will be more common than it was prior to the pandemic. This means that keeping your WFH skills honed and your video interviewing skills sharp will be key. One downside of the virtual interview is that a candidate is unable to enter a workplace and get a feel for the culture of the company. For this reason, job seekers will need to work harder to do due diligence on a potential employer.

Diversity and inclusion will be a priority. Some good news for the 2021 job market is that employers will be more focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. They will be looking to build diverse teams and to find candidates who are aligned with their company goals. You can find a great article about evaluating a company’s dedication to DEI written by The Muse here. Job seekers should also plan ahead for how you will answer interview questions regarding diversity and inclusion.

Expect more AI in the recruitment process. A lot of hiring managers already use software to help organize job applications. The use of this software and other forms of AI will continue to become more commonplace. What does this mean for your job search? To avoid being passed over by a tracking system, make sure you are applying for jobs that are the right fit for your skillset, and avoid applying for multiple jobs within the same organization. Use key words from the job description in your resume and your cover letter.

This past year has been a rollercoaster, and 2021 will likely have its fair share of obstacles. However, we at PS&R are optimistic that this coming year will be filled with plenty of bright spots and new opportunities. We look forward to working with you!

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Remote Job Interview Questions You Should Master

Not ready to return to a traditional office setting? You are not alone. As many companies are operating with all remote employees, work from home opportunities are more readily available than before. But employers are still looking for a candidate that is the “right fit”, and that now means someone who has the habits and qualities of a self-motivator. PS&R has put together some questions for you to review and consider before you interview for that remote position. Think about how you will communicate the way you work and what you do to stay productive.

  1. How do you balance your work and personal life when working from home?

It can be hard to prioritize your own physical health and mental health, along with family time, when there is no separation between work and home. Think about how you will structure your day and how you will make time for yourself.

  1. What does your “at home” workspace look like to make you successful?

If you have a home office, think about what equipment you will need to be comfortable and effective. This could mean a standing desk, a larger monitor, or special headphones.

  1. How do you prioritize tasks throughout the day?

Working remotely can put you in a more fast-paced environment than you are accustomed to. Think about how you will prioritize calls/meetings and tasks throughout the day. It’s important for your potential employer to know you have a handle on this.

  1. What concerns you about working remotely?

If you are asked about your concerns with working remotely, your potential employer is looking to see if you are aware of your weaknesses and how you might work to improve in these areas.

When interviewing for a remote position, it’s important that you have thought through your strategy for working effectively, avoiding burnout, and operating as part of a team. Clearly communicate your approach and you are one step closer to your next opportunity!

If you are looking for a work from home job or if you are an employer looking to fill remote positions, PS&R is here to help! Our experienced executive recruiting team can be reached at 617.723.1919.

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Information Technology Jobs on the Rise

These days we are using technology more than ever before. It’s not surprising that, as a global trend, computer and tech-related jobs are becoming more important. According to data provided by CompTIA, the information technology industry will grow at a rate of 3.7% in 2020. This information leaves companies scrambling to attract top tech talent to fill some of this year’s most in-demand positions.  These roles range from data-focused to AI-related jobs, and everything in between.

Here is where Preferred Staffing & Recruiting can help! The industry is broad, so IT recruitment covers a diverse spectrum of technology related disciplines.  PS&R works with a wide range of talented staff with varying degrees of experience. We know the Information Technology industry and we know how to recognize good people. When new projects begin, hiring managers return to us because of our excellent record of matching their requirements and budget.

Here are just some of the IT staff we can help provide:

  • IT Managers
  • IT Project Managers
  • Business/Systems Analysts
  • Help Desk/Desktop Support
  • Network Engineers/Administrators
  • Systems Administrators
  • Cloud/DevOps Engineers
  • Data Center Technicians/Engineers

Do you need IT Staff for ongoing technical work or for a short-term project? Tell us your requirements and let PS&R’s executive recruitment team find the right candidate for you!

Making the Most of your Temporary Assignment

In our last blog post, we talked about one of our temporary employees who turned her assignment into the perfect permanent position. If you are currently in a temporary role that you’d like to make long term, here are some tips for putting your best foot forward:

Stay positive. A lot of people in your shoes will feed into the negative stigma of being a “temp”. But think about it this way; your current situation is basically paid training. You’re learning new skills, networking with potential employers, and building your resume. Keep that in mind and stay positive about your work. This will definitely help you stand out from the crowd.

Get noticed. Having a good attitude will help you stand out, but there are more ways to make an impression. In order to get offered that full-time, permanent position you will need to be recommended by your manager or supervisor. Take the time to build a good rapport with him or her. If that person is expecting your tenure to be temporary, they might not take the initiative to get to know you, so it’s really up to you to make that connection. You should also get acquainted with your co-workers and gain an understanding of what they do. They might even have pointers and suggestions that could help you succeed.

Really show up. The best way to make your temporary position a permanent one?  Treat it as if it already is. Arrive early, be the one willing to lend a hand when needed, and be open to learning new things. Going the extra mile will show your manager that you are serious about the job.

Contact PS&R to learn about our temporary and permanent job openings. Or visit our job listings at www.psandr.com/job-listings.

Managing Millennials Successfully

According to the Pew Research Center, 35% of the American work force consists of Millennials, making them the largest working generation. Given the sheer size of this group, why are so many companies having difficulty retaining talented employees under the age of forty?

Millennials bring unique qualities and skills to the workplace. They also have different expectations of how they are managed. PS&R offers some insight on how managers can approach this generation in the workplace:

Challenge them, but also have fun. Not only are Millennials incredibly well educated, but they also grew up during a time of rapid technological change. As a result, these younger workers want to be lifelong learners. They expect a challenge, so they are happiest when managers provide consistent opportunities for their development. You can show top talent in this generation that you care about their future career by putting learning and growth opportunities at the forefront of your workplace culture. Millennials also believe in work-life balance. You probably know of companies that have created common gathering spaces and weekly social events. This is likely an effort to accommodate the need of Millennials to integrate work with play.

Let them make a difference by working for you. Millennials grew up believing they were capable of changing the world. They were encouraged to be highly educated and to get involved with global events and social issues. This generation will relate better to an organization that has a broader connection to the outside world. As an employer, you can connect to Millennials by putting the mission and values of the company first. Make sure the culture involves giving back to the community in some way.

Show them their value. The recession in 2009 was difficult for all, but Millennials were especially hard hit. Many lost their jobs or their starter savings. Because of this, this generation is looking for reliable benefits that include a solid retirement plan and a wage that matches their cost of living. Showing loyalty to Millennials through compensation packages will make them work harder for you.

Turn to an experienced recruiting firm for help finding, hiring, and retaining top talent in the Millennial generation. Contact PS&R today at 617.723.1919.

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4 Tips for Increasing Happiness and Motivation in the New Year

The New Year is often a time for self-reflection and goal setting. But reaching goals is difficult if you are not feeling the motivation to make strides. Here are a few tips for staying motivated, balanced, and happy with both work and your personal life in 2019:

1. Become a list maker.

There is nothing more satisfying than crossing off “to-do’s”. Whether you keep yours electronically or the old-fashioned way; start each day off with a fresh list. The easier and quickest to accomplish tasks should be at the top. Work your way down to the harder and more labor-intensive assignments. Keep in mind that you should not be trying to solve the worlds’ problems on a daily basis – your list should be manageable and 100% doable. After all, the idea is to get every item crossed off by the end of the day, so you feel a sense of accomplishment and motivation for tomorrow!

2. Review and revamp your online presence.

It’s time to update! Get rid of that profile picture from 2015 with a fresh and recent photo. Add new skills and interests to your LinkedIn page. While you’re at it, why not update your resume to reflect your most recent accomplishments in your current job? You never know when an opportunity might arise, so even those who are not on the job hunt should be prepared.

3. Declutter.

Your desk, your email inbox, a junk drawer in your kitchen… these are all places where things tend to pile up. Facing this mess every day can bring you down and be demotivating without you even realizing it. Dedicate twenty minutes to organize each space in your life where things have become unruly. Take the time to shred old documents, erase and unsubscribe from unwanted emails, and throw away those broken pencils and expired CVS coupons. You’d be surprised how much better you feel seeing these places clean and organized.

4. Take some time for yourself.

Looking forward to a planned trip can be very motivating. Francine Lederer, a clinical psychologist in Los Angeles told ABC News, “Most people have better life perspective and are more motivated to achieve their goals after a vacation, even if it is a 24-hour time-out.” Don’t put off planning the vacation time you have earned. Get something on the books now for 2019. If finances and vacation timing are making it difficult to plan your dream trip; consider taking a long weekend doing something you love. It could be camping, painting, cooking, or spending the day reading a book at your favorite local beach. Dedicating time away from work doing something that makes you happy will greatly improve your mood and motivation.

PS&R wishes you all the best for happiness and success in 2019! If your New Year’s goals include finding a new job, contact us at 617.723.1919.

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Is Your Recruiter Experienced Enough to Trust?

Our clients believe that three major themes set Preferred Staffing & Recruiting apart from other recruitment agencies: Trust, Experience and Action.

Trust

Kathy Orcutt, founder and president of PS&R, is hands on with each and every client and candidate.  Her professionalism coupled with her phenomenal listening skills put people at ease, confident in the knowledge that she is truly working for them.  As the operator of a small business herself, she works hard to find small businesses and non-profits to work with. Kathy quickly connected with another local woman business owner in need of a temporary office manager. This business owner said; “This was the first time my company has used a temp agency, and we hit the jackpot when we found PS&R. They are so professional and Kathy Orcutt, the owner, treated us like we were her only clients!”  There’s no need to deal with a large recruitment firm when you can have a reliable and personalized experience with PS&R!

Experience

PS&R was originally established in 1984. Now, with over thirty years of experience, we continue to provide top quality staffing services to companies and institutions in the Greater Boston area and beyond.  Kathy’s team has placed temporary and direct hire candidates across all industries. We work with one particular client to seasonally staff dozens of temporary positions, and here is their enthusiastic response: “Preferred Staffing and Recruiting provides me with both quality and quantity candidates. They know the level of candidate talent that I require and personally meet with each and every one before submitting for my approval.”  Our ability to produce multiple qualified candidates for every client comes from years of industry knowledge.

Action

It’s one thing to say you can place the right candidate but executing it is a whole different story! Our PS&R team succeeds because we treat every job opening as a new challenge, and we work tirelessly until the perfect match is found.  We get back to our clients and candidates promptly with communication, so you know we are always at work helping you in your employment search. The COO of one of our clients says,“Kathy’s ability to find great people and deftly bring them through the entire hiring process has made our company much better and I look forward to working with PS&R again in the future!”

Come and learn why Preferred Staffing & Recruiting’s collaborative and consultative approach makes us the best staffing agency in the greater Boston area and the perfect fit for you.  Visit us at www.psandr.com or call Kathy today at 617.723.1919.

 

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How to Hire the Right Candidate, Right Away

You need to make a new hire – and fast.  It’s easy to rush through the decision-making process when you’re under pressure.  But sometimes the candidate that appeared to fit the culture of your company at first glance, doesn’t actually have the work ethic you expected.  Or it could turn out that the candidate who was polished and well-spoken in an initial interview presents completely differently on their first day of work. Avoiding a rash decision and hiring the right candidate the first time around will save you time, energy, and money.  PS&R offers some insight into ways you can find the perfect fit for your job opening.

Ask for several references.  Connecting with potential employee references can be difficult and time consuming.  But don’t settle on just one positive reference.  It’s important to get feedback from both a supervisor and a colleague.  One can tell you how the candidate performed, while the other can give insight into how the candidate interacted with peers. Also consider speaking to references from several different companies. This will help you get a more well-rounded picture of the applicant.

Know the requirements of the role.  It’s easy to hire someone who is generally good at a lot of things. But if the work at hand requires a specific skill, make that clear to applicants.  Keep a check list of skills and experiences someone would need to be successful in this job and use it during your interviews.  You might really like one candidate, but if they fail to check off on a majority of your list, it’s probably time to move on. 

Set a process and stick with it.  Will the position be posted internally first?  How many candidates will you see before narrowing down for second interviews? If you don’t find any qualified candidates the first time around, how long are you willing to extend the search?  Without a clear idea of the process, it’s easy to make a “gut decision” and hire quickly without following through with other candidates.  Make an outline of the steps you need to take to fill the position and confirm that everyone involved in the hiring process is onboard.  This will lead to a more deliberate and thoughtful hire.

Partnering with a seasoned recruitment specialist like Preferred Staffing & Recruiting takes the burden of this process off of your plate.  We’ll make sure you find the best fit the first time around!