Three Reasons to Use a Staffing Firm to find an Executive Administrator

The Executive Administrative Assistant is one of the most important – and difficult – positions to fill in any company. You need to find someone with the business acumen, emotional intelligence, and administrative competency to take on the challenging role of being the right-hand person to the leaders within your organization. In addition, you need someone who can guide these leaders, keep them on task, and handle each unique personality. Here are three reasons to use an experienced and knowledgeable staffing firm to help find your executive administrator:

1. Expertise. Preferred Staffing & Recruiting has been placing administrators for over thirty years. We know the experience and skills required in a candidate who will succeed at any given corporation.

2. Only See the Best. Posting a job online can result in an influx of applicants. Instead of sorting through hundreds of resumes followed by dozens of interviews to narrow down the talent pool, your recruiter can present you with top candidates right from the start.

3. Save time and money. Recruiting cannot be done passively; it is a strategic and time-consuming effort. Because we can find the right person right away, you avoid the extra expense of hiring for the same position more than once.

Preferred Staffing & Recruiting is a woman-owned staffing business providing permanent and temp to perm workforce solutions for Boston and beyond. Let us help you find your next great Executive Administrative Assistant by contacting us today!

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Is Now The Right Time To Consider Temporary Employment?

You’ve been searching and searching, but after months you still haven’t landed that perfect job. You might not have considered it yet, but temporary employment has many benefits, especially in our current job market. PS&R knows that temporary employment is often a great bridge to a permanent position. Read on for help determining if a temp gig might be the right move for you.

You need to find work quickly. If you’ve been unemployed for a while and need to find a job fast, a temporary role may be your best option. Typically, employers look to contract workers when there is an immediate need; so the hiring process moves more quickly. If your top priority is a paycheck, applying for a temp position could be a great idea.

You aren’t certain where your career is going. If your career goals are unclear, or you are thinking of switching industries, temporary roles are a great way to test the water. Most temp jobs have a set assignment end date, so you’ll know how long you’ll be committed and when you can start the next position. It’s also a great opportunity to try out a new role or even a brand-new industry.

You need more time. It is unlikely that you will be taking temporary work home with you at night, and some temp assignments are part-time. This should give you ample free time to continue your search for a direct placement, ensuring you don’t lose important momentum.

PS&R has been assisting Boston area employers and candidates find the right fit for over thirty years. Whether you are looking for a temporary role or direct placement; we’re here to help. Contact us at 617.723.1919 or visit our website at


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Resolutions for Boosting Your Career

As 2019 comes to a close and we usher in a new decade, it’s that time of year when everyone begins planning their New Year’s resolutions. This year, how about focusing on choices that will boost your career? PS&R has ideas for reasonable resolutions that you can make now to kick start your professional life in 2020. The best part is, they won’t be impossible to keep!


Have you lost touch with your core career network? This is a great time to strengthen relationships you haven’t been paying attention to, and to foster new ones. Be proactive! Invite an old colleague out to lunch, take the time to endorse someone you respect on LinkedIn, or share an article that you think a recent acquaintance might really enjoy reading. Connecting with key players in your network now will make it easier when you need to reach out to them throughout the coming year.

Commit to learn

Expanding your knowledge or learning a new skill are great ways to better yourself for your career. This could mean taking a course that is useful in your current position or that could help you get your next one. Another idea is to pinpoint an industry meeting or convention that you can attend to potentially make new contacts or learn tips. Subscribe to a new publication and dedicate time every day to reading it. Or, look into a career counselor or executive coach. There is always a way to improve yourself, and now is a great time to plan how you’ll do it.

Confront habits that derail productivity

Social media is probably one of the biggest causes of workplace distraction. There are simple steps you can take to eliminate constant pauses in your daily activity. First, turn off notifiers to get ride of the constant alerts regarding new posts, videos, and messages. You can also use site blockers to blacklist the biggest time-stealing websites. Designate a time in your day, perhaps on your commute home if possible, to catch up on whatever you have missed on social media during work hours. You’ll be thankful for the time you get back for more productive tasks.

If your New Year’s resolutions include finding the best executive search firm, then Preferred Staffing & Recruiting is here to help. Our experienced recruiters use a collaborative and consultative approach that makes us the best staffing agency in the greater Boston area and the perfect fit for you.

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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!



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Ask Kathy – Tips for Your First Interview

Kathy Orcutt is the founder and president of Preferred Staffing & Recruiting. She has twenty years of experience in the recruiting industry in the great Boston area. As a woman-owned and DBE business, Kathy and her PS&R team provide permanent and temporary workforce solutions for a broad range of businesses.

We asked Kathy what advice she would give a candidate who is trying to make the best possible impression at a job interview. Here are her thoughts:

Dress professionally and be punctual. 

Even if the company comes across as casual, you will make a better impression if you are overdressed rather than underdressed.  Also, make sure you are on-time for your scheduled interview.  It sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised by how often candidates arrive late without any communication.

Be a good listener and ask thoughtful questions.

Your interview is an opportunity for the hiring manager to learn about you, but you don’t want to drone on endlessly about your background and skills.  Make sure not to talk over the interviewer and give them a chance to ask follow-up questions. When it’s your turn to ask questions, go beyond the basics.  Inquire about the culture of the company and how the position fits and interacts with the broader organization.  These types of questions show that you are interested in learning more about their business and the opportunity at hand.

Watch your body language.

Again, it might seem like a no brainer, but often when we’re nervous we lose sight of our body language.  Make sure to smile and make eye contact.  Try not to slouch or fidget while answering questions.  As they say, you never get a second chance to make a first impression!



Understanding the New Massachusetts Equal Pay Law

Our home state of Massachusetts is on the forefront of the movement for equal pay and rights for employees.  Last month the equal pay law was updated to provide clarity on what constitutes unlawful wage discrimination. A key piece of the July 1st update made it unlawful for employers to ask candidates for salary history information.  Massachusetts is one of only a handful of states that have adopted this kind of law.

To help you understand this new law, PS&R has gathered some questions that employers are able to ask, and some you need to avoid.

Employers CANNOT ask:

  • What is your current salary?
  • How much did you make in your last job?
  • How much of your compensation is base salary versus commission?
  • Why do you think this salary is appropriate for you?

Employers CAN ask:

  • What is your salary requirement or expectation?
  • What value would you bring to this job?
  • Did you meet your sales goals in your last position? (but don’t ask about earnings through sales)
  • Is there a type of pay structure you would be most comfortable with?

Remember that job candidates can volunteer pay history information on their own, it just can’t be actively solicited by a recruiter or human resources manager. Don’t forget to eliminate pay history questions from paper or online documents, such as employment applications.

Working with a Massachusetts recruiter like PS&R is an easy way to navigate this new law effectively.

Making the Most of Online Recruiting

Online recruiting is how recruiters and candidates connect using the web.   Job recruiting websites offer an efficient way to share job posts and resumes.  With the use of Skype, Facetime and other video call apps, interviews and meetings can take place anywhere and anytime.  Online recruiting has saved job seekers and hiring agencies both time and money.

One thing to keep in mind is that internet recruiting makes job opportunities more accessible to everyone.  The ease of applying means that any single job post can be flooded with applicants.   A human resource manager or recruitment specialist may see hundreds of resumes per post. This is great news for that recruiter, as they can quickly scan and pluck only the top applicants.  But if you are looking for employment, you want to do what you can to stand out.

Here are some things for job seekers to keep in mind as you navigate the online world of recruiting:

  • Pay attention to detail– Make sure your resume is updated, proof-read, and that it is appropriate for the job you are seeking. If you are sending your resume via email, be sure to use correct grammar and spelling.  Your resume is less likely to be opened if an employer sees errors right away.
  • Network – Check in with your professional network or use LinkedIn to see if you already know someone who works for the company. An internal referral can go a long way.
  • Clean up your social media presence – Don’t be surprised if your Facebook and Twitter accounts are being viewed by hiring managers. Delete incriminating photos and inappropriate posts – these could turn off potential employers.

Find the best recruiting website for you and consider the tips above, and you are one step closer to your next great opportunity!

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3 Ways to Improve your Company’s Image

You are a busy HR executive with the goal of attracting, hiring, and retaining the best staff for your business.  Whether you have partnered with a recruiting agency or you are doing the hiring on your own, here are some steps you can take that can leave a lasting impact on the brand of your company.  These actions will help get like-minded candidates to your door faster and make you more successful.

1. Networking

Be proactive in cultivating relationships outside of the office.  Hiring managers should be engaging in network-related social gatherings, communicating through career-related blogs, and joining job seeker networks.  Put yourself out there to create a positive and viral message about your company and the culture it provides.  If your company is part of the broader community, you are bound to attract more talent.

2. Perpetuating Culture

The key piece here is awareness.  Use social media and job review web sites such as Great Place to Work and Indeed to learn what employees are saying about your company.  If you are informed, you can respond to questions or inquires in a way that will build on your business reputation.  For example, if you know an area in which your company is lacking you can discuss your focus on improving that area.  You can also use positive feedback to reaffirm and reinforce where your company is currently exceeding.

3. Transparency

Consider the fact that job seekers touch dozens of companies a week, either by sending resumes or going on interviews.  A future employee is bound to remember the hiring manager who responds to their emails, sets timelines on when they will hear back, and follows through on those timelines.  Whether that person lands at your company or another, they will have a positive feeling of their experience with you.  Communication and transparency are key to creating a good reputation and brand for your business.

If you’ve hired Preferred Staffing & Recruiting to help with your hiring, you can be sure that we are taking all of these steps to find you the best candidate for the job.

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Top 3 Recruiter Myths and Truths

Recruiting agencies are hired for their knowledge and the networks they use to find the best candidate for your open jobs. Using a headhunter can be very beneficial for a busy HR executive. There are some misconceptions about the recruiting industry that may have been true at one time but are not now.

Here are a few myths (and truths) about executive recruiters…

1) Why do I need a recruiter?

You may have noticed that even some very large corporations with substantial human resource departments always work with recruiters.  Corporate HR staff often partner with professional staffing agencies because recruiting requires a lot of time.  Additionally, it requires some specialized skills that your team might not have.  Recruiters have a broader network to pull from and we focus solely on your job vacancy until we find the perfect candidate for your company.

2) It’s a myth that Recruiting agencies are costly

Yes, you do have to pay recruiters for their work.  Because, it’s that exact work that frees you up to get your daily responsibilities completed.  You won’t need to scan resumes, actively recruit, post to online job boards, or field phone calls from unqualified applicants, all because we will do the preliminary work for you.  The value of a professional recruiter can be seen in your personal productivity.

3) Another myth is that working with a Recruiter takes extra time

A recruiting agency can actually streamline the process for you.  We have the experience to handle the initial steps of the search quickly and thoroughly so that you see only the most qualified candidates.  Your valuable time will be utilized when it counts – to choose which of the final top-notch applicants would be the best fit for your company.

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What to Expect When You Work with a Recruiting Agency

A recruiting agency can offer a wealth of knowledge about recruiting, hiring, and retaining staff, so make sure you are getting the most from the agency you pick. Here are some things you should consider when interviewing an agency.  Your professional recruiter should be happy to answer all of your questions and act as your perfect partner.

Communication is probably the most important piece of your partnership. Your recruiter is the liaison between your company and your next new employee. If you and your recruiting agent have a good rapport and communicate effectively, then you will have confidence that they will find you an employee who is a good fit for your company.  So, when choosing a professional recruiter, make sure to partner with a good communicator who will provide relevant updates and ask the right questions during the search process.

Typically, you will sign a contract with an executive recruiter outlining certain aspects of your partnership.  Some smaller details may not appear in the contract but are still very important.  For example; what is the screening process that your recruiter uses?  How many applicants will they present for each job opening, and how soon will you see these resumes?  If you know that everyone has the same expectations, the process is bound to go smoothly.

It’s also important to give your recruitment manager the tools they need to find you the best possible candidates.  Teaching them about the culture of your company and providing detailed job descriptions will help them find the right match.

Now that you’ve chosen the best candidate for the job and are ready to extend an offer, it’s time for your recruiter to really shine.  It’s possible that this person is entertaining other job opportunities or is concerned about the details of your offer.  Your recruiter is there to help you communicate and negotiate to get that perfect candidate signed.

Above all, remember that top recruiting firms are the ones that make the client their main priority!