Hiring GREAT Managers is Key to Running Your Business

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Are the Talent Wars Heating Up in Nevada?

According to the American Staffing Association temporary and contract employment has grown 18.3% since the beginning of 2012. As reported in an earlier blog, 2012 was declared the Year of the Temporary. Research confirms that the staffing industry is an economic and leading indicator of employment. Can we see the beginnings of a battle for talent?

We’ve heard descriptions of “Talent Wars” returning in most industries -primarily in social media, medicine and technology. The Silicon Valley conveys accounts of extremely competitive and aggressive recruiting tactics used to steal skilled and quality workers. Here in northern Nevada we are seeing skilled and talented job seekers looking at more job openings and accepting jobs faster.

With hiring on the rise, employers are utilizing staffing services to aid them in sifting through hundreds of resumes, interviewing, and testing candidates to narrow the field down to the best of the best talent. More candidates are applying for positions in their chosen field versus over-qualified candidates applying for any position they can get to keep the wolf at bay. The luxury days of employers seeing a wide variety of high-end superior candidates knocking at their door is going by the wayside.

Yes, the talent wars are heating up and here are a few tips for employers to prepare for the campaign:

Schedule interviews as quickly as possible and avoid a too lengthy decision-making process. Right now, two to three weeks is too long. The quality candidates you see today might be receiving an offer from your competitor tomorrow.

Prepare your talent management strategy to include sophisticated recruiting techniques, well-developed and in-depth employee orientations and superb retention plans.

Be a splendid example of employee and business best practices. Attract talent rather than repel by being known for taking care of your employees and publicly recognizing them, competitive compensation, excellent leadership and offering development/training opportunities.

Written by Susan Fix, The Applied Companies Community Liaison Partner. Fix has worked 15 years in staffing services performing outside sales, recruiting, permanent and temporary placement coordination, career counseling, customer service and social media/business.

National Volunteer Week

2012 National Volunteer Week is April 15 – 21. What a great time to acknowledge and honor the individuals who give so much of their time, energy and hearts to our community.

According to most sources, Richard Nixon, was the first president of the United States to sign a proclamation (on April 20, 1974) establishing National Volunteer Week. Calling “the spirit of voluntarism one of the hallmarks of American life,” Nixon designated the week of April 21 be observed by “seeking out an area in their community in which they can give to a needy individual or a worthy cause by devoting a few hours, or more, each week to volunteer service.”  He also called on communities to recognize volunteers with “special ceremonies.”  [Proclamation 4288 – The American Presidency Project]

One of the benefits offered at The Applied Companies is the ability to give back to the community through our paid volunteerism policy. An option offered to our employees during National Volunteer Week is helping our partner in education, Risley Elementary School. Our staff will be manning computers to help with spring registration.

Would you like to showcase your company or organization’s volunteer efforts during National Volunteer Week?Nevada Volunteers will post your stories, comments (a short sentence or two) and photos to their blog and Facebook/Twitter audiences. Contact Lindsay Bridges at Lindsay@NevadaVolunteers.org for more information.

Written by Susan Fix, The Applied Companies Community Liaison Partner. Fix has worked 15 years in staffing services performing outside sales, recruiting, permanent and temporary placement coordination, career counseling, customer service and social media/business.

Jim Annis: Working with and Managing Gen Yers

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Jim Annis: Create a Great Place to Work by Reducing Conflict

Click here to view Jim Annis’ RGJ article

Twas the Week of St. Paddy’s

Twas the week of St. Paddy’s, when all through the state
Nevadan’s were stirring, with the need to feel great.
Gloomy thoughts are finished; it is time to think green
Recession is foiled, as hope springs to the scene.

Tread by tread moving forward, with courage we’re built,
we pick up our pieces and create a new quilt.
Our character fabric smart, savvy and true
is willing and able to find new revenue.

Let’s pool our resources, fresh ideas can be seeded,
streamline procedures, take action as needed.
Efficiency initiatives, all the new buzz,
keep jobs in America, back the way it was.

Green is for growing and reorganization,
prioritize services, use innovation.
Green is money, a local merchant it supports,
buy from the community and give good reports.

Now Reno, now Sparks, now Las Vegas and Carson!
On Fernley, on Fallon, Elko and Henderson!
Recharge Nevada, renewed energy install,
let us lead by example; it’s up to us all! 

A positive message must be heard through the land
solutions are called for, as united we stand.
Seeing Nevada up on her feet, what a sight,
happy healing to all, and to all a good night!

Written by Susan Fix, The Applied Companies Community Liaison Partner. Fix has worked 15 years in staffing services performing outside sales, recruiting, permanent and temporary placement coordination, career counseling, customer service and social media/business.

Silence is Golden

How many meetings have you already attended in the first quarter of this New Year? Did you leave feeling they were fast and productive? Or were the meetings filled with sidebars, sounding off, and cell phone interruptions? Gulp . . . I’m guilty on all counts.

Perhaps this is a good time to refresh ourselves on effective meeting etiquette. I remember the days when all meetings were run under strict parliamentary procedures guided by Robert’s Rules of Order. Knowledge of the rules was once held in such high esteem people put it on their resume as a skill.

Now in our fast-paced, high tech society we see articles like the one in The Wall Street Journal describing “stand-up meetings” and people holding ten pound medicine balls to eliminate wasted time, long-winded discussions and folks playing games or texting on their cell phones.

Whatever type of meeting you attend, here are a few rules of courtesy that will help us spend our time wisely.

Be On Time

Arrive at least five minutes early. Late arrivals cause distractions and delay the agenda. Respect everyone’s treasured timeframes, including your own. When we arrive early, the meeting can start on time and possibly end early – yay! Party bonus!

End Conversations Before Start Time

Appreciate the challenge of a moderator getting a meeting started and ended on time. Be in your seat and discontinue discussions before the call to order. Loud on-going conversations delay attempts to get the group on task.

Put Away the Cell Phone

If you must carry your cell phone into a meeting, please put it on vibrate. Keep it in your pocket or purse or place it on a notepad. The sound of it vibrating against a hard surface is as diverting as the sound of it ringing. Are you really giving your full attention to the meeting’s purpose and putting on your “thinking cap” when you’re texting or playing games?

Allow Speakers to Finish Their Thoughts

Interrupting the person who has the floor (their turn to speak) stops the train of thought and valuable insight might be left unsaid. Write your questions or concepts on a notepad. Ask for clarification or state your opinion when it’s your turn to have the floor. Refrain from “sounding off” because you have strong feelings about a subject – make your point quickly and efficiently.

Sidebars

Although it has a different dictionary definition, sidebars has become a term used to describe two or more people carrying on a separate conversation during a meeting. The chatting may be relevant to the topic; however it interrupts the flow of the meeting and diverts attention away from the person who has the floor. This is a case where silence really is golden.  

Written by Susan Fix, The Applied Companies Community Liaison Partner. Fix has worked 15 years in staffing services performing outside sales, recruiting, permanent and temporary placement coordination, career counseling, customer service and social media/business.

Jim Annis: Reducing Stress Improves the Workplace

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Jim Annis: Collectively Rejecting Negativity to Achieve Prosperity

Click here to view Jim Annis’ RGJ article

Vital Tips for Employee Recognition

The Applied Companies was invited to write an article in 2011 for a Northern Nevada Business Weekly marketing publication. NNBW graciously allowed us to reprint the article on our blog.

The month of March is designated Employee Spirit Month with the first Friday selected for National Employee Appreciation Day. Start planning now for March 2, 2012 to celebrate a company’s most vital asset. Better yet, develop a reward and recognition system for use throughout the year.   

Productivity, engagement, and retention result when employees receive constructive and meaningful appreciation. How can you be effective with limited resources? Here are some tips from our human resource professionals:

            Do set a standard and example from the top to create a company culture that reflects encouragement, courtesy, and gratitude. Get involved in recognition programs and festivities.

            Don’t expect employee morale to improve when owners, managers, and supervisors elect not to participate. Leaders must show support to the team. The company can take a break. It isn’t stopping production; it’s increasing productivity.

            Do establish criteria for recognition based on company goals. All employees must be eligible. Provide details on what behavior or actions are rewarded.

            Don’t ignore an employee’s desire to feel like a part of the company. Awareness of expectations combined with belief and acceptance of the values and goals of an organization is a powerful motivator. 

            Do set up a company gift box or treasure chest. Fill it with wrapped $5 gift cards. Food, gasoline, dollar stores and Walmart/Target cards are popular choices.

            Don’t assume you know the staff. Ask what motivates them – what makes them proud. Take time to listen for their likes. Create a simple poll where they can describe how they would like to be recognized.

            Do offer sincere, honest praise. Describe why the employee is receiving recognition. A verbal “well done” concerning a specific task, project, or customer service is great. A handwritten note or thank you card is better. Let them draw from the gift box. Copy the thank you and put it in a drawing for more substantial rewards during Appreciation Day 2012.

            Don’t flatter. It’s insincere and shallow. Dale Carnegie likens flattery to counterfeit money – it will eventually get you into trouble if you pass it on.

            Do set budget and time commitments. Clear boundaries avoid the frustration of wasted time and hard work or false promises and grand ideas that never come to fruition.

            Don’t go it alone. Create a “Happy Company” team to help generate ideas, schedule activities and purchase supplies.

            Do present ribbons, certificates, balloons, plants and small toys. A daisy always puts a smile on someone’s face. Put together a “Treat Cart” that rolls out to employees. Let them pick from a variety of fun items – cupcakes, bagels, vegetables/dips, toys, books and DVD’s.

            Don’t underestimate the power of the potluck. Appreciation Day can be as simple as the company purchasing sandwich makings with a sign-up sheet for employees to bring salads, chips and desserts. Top management can briefly thank everyone; present awards, then introduce a game(s). For instance, post a list of employees’ names and baby pictures (brought in earlier) – guess the correct match.

            Do offer events at random times during the year. Combine monthly birthday/anniversary celebrations with each employee receiving their own card signed by management and co-workers. Casual Day, Brunch Day (bagels/orange juice), 15 minute stress busting massages during work hours, trivia games and contests like “Pumpkin Decorating” break up routines.

            Don’t hold dancing, Karaoke, or arm-wrestling type contests that could put employees in embarrassing or inappropriate situations.

Strategize, embrace the uncomplicated and generate surprises. Employees will appreciate your efforts and so will you!

Written by Susan Fix, The Applied Companies Community Liaison Partner with input from the 2011 Applied Business Solutions Human Resource Team. Fix has worked 15 years in staffing services performing outside sales, recruiting, permanent and temporary placement coordination, career counseling, customer service and social media/business.