Exact Staff News
Tags: Applications to Increase Overall Work Productivity, How to Increase Work Productivity, Increasing Workplace Productivity, Increasing Your Office Productivity, Mobile Apps to Increase Productivity, Mobile Apps to Increase Your Productivity
Words with Friends? Pinterest? Candy Crush?
They sure are fun, but they’ll do little to improve your – or your team’s – productivity.
Thankfully, there are a ton of apps that can! Check out these top Android and iOS apps, specifically designed to boost personal and workplace productivity. And then get ready to make some room on your device:
This multi-purpose, stylus-compatible app allows you to take notes, create to-do lists, scan business cards, and more. Everything you do is immediately backed up to the cloud, ensuring you never lose your ideas.
Our devices are amazing productivity tools – but they can also be a constant source of distraction. This Android app allows you to select apps to be locked out of for a period of time, while still allowing you to receive phone calls and check emails.
You probably already use Dropbox on your computer, but this app allows you to move content seamlessly between your computer and your mobile device. Amazingly, this app even loads your files in places with no internet connectivity.
Create and edit Microsoft Office documents, spreadsheets and presentations on the go, directly from your mobile device. To make storing and accessing files easier, this app offers up to 15 GB free.
Finding it tough to keep in touch with prospects, clients and colleagues? Contractually’s mobile app allows you to put your contacts into “buckets,” and then decide how often you should follow up with the people in each group. The app:
- reminds you when it’s time to get in touch,
- displays the last time you spoke to each contact; and
- offers dynamic templates to make digital communication convenient (without losing the human touch).
If you give visual presentations as part of your job, you need this app. Using Dropbox’s cloud storage technology, this app automatically organizes photos and videos into user-friendly galleries that are perfect for presentations.
Worried that you or your team is spending too much time on unproductive activities? Rein things in with RescueTime. This productivity app runs in your device’s background, tracking time spent on specific websites, calls, apps and more – and issuing warnings when you’ve exceeded established limits.
Another great way to keep workplace productivity high?
Provide temporary support when your employees need it most. When heavy workloads and tight deadlines threaten to undermine your staff’s productivity, Exact Staff quickly delivers talented temporary employees to increase your capacity or perform non-core activities. We’ll keep your team productive and focused on their top priorities.
Looking for your next job? Want to move ahead in your career?
Then you better be careful what you Tweet.
- 93% of recruiters check candidates’ social media accounts pre-interview.1
- 43% of employers said they found something on social media that made them “deep-six” a candidate.2
- Search the internet. You’ll find hundreds of nationally publicized cases where employees lost their jobs because of inappropriate social media usage.
Twitter is a powerful (and underutilized) tool for career success – but only when used responsibly. Whether you’re on the job hunt or trying to move up the ladder within your existing organization, use these tips from Exact Staff for smart tweeting.
On the Job Hunt
Create a professional account that accurately reflects your personal brand. If you want to find a job with Twitter, get serious about how you use it:
- Choose a professional picture and username that stays consistent with your other social media profiles.
- Include a personal-branding statement that clearly explains your value to potential employers.
- Skip the impetuous tweets. Consider how every message may impact your employability.
Build your audience. Twitter allows you to import contacts from most webmail programs, or you can use the built-in search engine to find contacts. Move beyond your existing network by searching industry leaders, influencers and prospective employers. Follow them and interact by tweeting them directly or retweeting what they share.
Let people know you’re looking. Without appearing desperate, that is. Your goal is to build your brand and demonstrate your expertise, while simultaneously communicating the types of employment opportunities you’re looking for.
While Currently Employed
Think like your employer. Like it or not, your managers may exercise their right to monitor how employees use social media – scrutinizing your tweets, posts, pins and more. Remember that your tweets are easily searchable.
Exercise restraint. Had a rough day at work? Frustrated with your boss? Resist the temptation to blast that information on social media. Although Twitter is a laid-back, spur-of-the-moment platform, airing your grievances on it can damage your personal brand and jeopardize your employment. If you’re having difficulties at work, talk to human resources or deal directly with your source of frustration.
Never respond to job tweets directly. If you come across a promising job through Twitter, use an alternate route for contacting the employer. For example, consider setting up a Gmail account specifically for this purpose.
The bottom line? When it comes to managing your career, use common sense. If you don’t want your boss or prospective employer to read it, don’t tweet it!
Need help with your job search strategy?
Contact an Exact Staff Career Agent. We can help you identify your strengths, evaluate your career options, and find assignments and full-time positions that align with your goals.
Dreading that job fair?
We get it. A job fair is uncomfortable, stressful and a lot of hard work. But if you leverage it correctly, a career fair can help you broaden your network and may even lead to job interviews.
So don’t dread that job fair; embrace it – and prepare to succeed. Before you attend your next job fair, use Exact Staff’s tips to make the most out of it:
Create a strategy.
- Research potential employers. Employers are most impressed with candidates who have clearly done their homework. Before the event, spend some time researching target companies, so you can speak intelligently about them at the job fair.
- Set clear goals. What do you hope to achieve by attending the career fair? Set goals for yourself – whether it’s talking to an HR manager at a target company, learning more about a job function or landing an interview – and use them to guide your activity.
- Work your way up. Determine which employers you will visit and prioritize them. Plan to approach your top prospects after you’ve had a chance to “warm up” – but before you’re completely drained.
Assemble your arsenal.
- Develop multiple versions of your resume. What kind of employers will be at the job fair? What types of positions are you interested in? Consider the scope of target companies and jobs, and develop a few versions of your resume to accommodate the range.
- Gather supporting documents. Be ready for any situation – including an impromptu job interview – by bringing along: business cards (with links to your professional website and social media profiles); transcripts (for recent graduates); copies of your resume, cover letter, letters of recommendation, and references (provide these only upon request); and work samples, if applicable.
- Pack a light snack and drink. Job fairs sap you mentally and physically. Bring a small, portable snack (skip the sugar and caffeine) to keep your energy and enthusiasm going.
Force yourself outside of your comfort zone. Even if you’re a self-proclaimed “social butterfly,” a career fair can be an intimidating experience. To make the most of the event:
- Expect discomfort. Realize that you’ll be approaching strangers and “in the hot seat.” Prepare yourself for the added stress.
- Dive in. Once there, don’t just stand in the corner. Remember your goals, and force yourself to start conversations with target employers. To help, plan a few conversation starters so you make a great first impression:
- “I saw on your company website that your organization recently (insert current company event/accomplishment)…”
- “What types of positions are you finding the most challenging to fill these days?”
- “What is your most essential requirement when hiring (insert type of position you want)?”
Follow up. While at the career fair, gather business cards from hiring managers and ask for the best way to follow up with them. Make a list of promising job contacts and jot down next steps while they’re fresh in your mind. After the fair, send “thank you” notes to key contacts and apply online to relevant jobs.
Find a job you love through Exact Staff.
Trust Exact Staff to make your search simpler and more effective. Throughout California – and across the country – our staffing agency has opportunities at every employment level and in a wide variety of fields:
- Search administrative jobs
- Search accounting / financial jobs
- Search legal jobs
- Search medical/dental jobs
- Search technical jobs
- Search sales jobs
- Search engineering jobs
That’s nearly five years of work!
Few of us have that much time to devote to mastering a new skill. Still, continuing to educate yourself is essential to advancing your career and staying relevant.
No matter what industry you’re in, technology is rapidly evolving. The rate of change is increasing. The value of old knowledge is decaying. So if you’re not continually building skills and re-educating yourself, you’re becoming obsolete.
On the flip side? Learning new job skills is one of the best ways to increase your pay, enhance your job security or even earn a promotion.
So take charge of your career and renew your commitment to educating yourself while on the job. Use these practical tips from Exact Staff to build your existing skills, learn new ones and continually educate yourself – without taking a five-year hiatus:
- Choose the right skills to learn. Do some research within your industry to determine which skills are most valuable to employers – and which command the greatest pay increases. Focus your learning efforts in one of these areas.
- Get over your learning anxiety. When you try something new, your incompetence and lack of knowledge may make you uncomfortable. Realize that this feeling is perfectly natural and push through it. After all, everybody has to start somewhere! With a little persistence, you’ll start seeing improvement and get past the initial anxiety.
- Forget mastery. “Mastery” of a skill may take 10,000 hours, but proficiency is often enough to get you where you need to be. Instead of trying to become an expert, focus on becoming good enough at something to get the outcome you want – whether it’s a raise, a promotion or a job interview.
- Find learning opportunities on the job. Share your desire for learning and growth with your employer. Ask for “stretch” projects, cross-training or a mentor to help you acquire new skills in your focus area.
- Leverage the value of informal education. Participating in professional association events and attending industry conferences may be less structured than traditional classroom learning, but they can be just as effective in helping you learn. Create educational goals for yourself before attending an event and participate fully while you’re there to learn everything you can.
Another great way to learn new job skills?
Consider the value of temporary jobs with Exact Staff. If you’re interested in changing fields, temporary assignments enable you to learn new skills quickly (often faster than you would if you worked in a direct position).
When you meet with your recruiter, explain your learning goals and the specific skills you want to develop. Your recruiter can help you select assignments based on the learning opportunities they offer, allowing you to tackle fresh challenges, experience new work environments and acquire new skills with each assignment.
Search jobs in your area or contact an Exact Staff recruiter to get started.
Summer is just around the corner.
And you know what that means…
- Vacations. Kids are out of school and July is typically the peak month for family travel.
- Unplanned absences. Mysterious, spontaneous employee “illnesses” increase during the summer months. (In other words, employees are likely to take impromptu “mental health” days.)
- Surges in business. For some industries, it’s also the busiest time of year.
Time off is essential for keeping your employees motivated, focused and productive. At the same time, it’s critical for your business to operate seamlessly, despite employee absences and changes in workload
What’s the best way to prepare your business for the summer months? Create a sound seasonal staffing plan. Here’s why:
- Unemployment has been on a steady decline, meaning that fewer qualified candidates are available for seasonal positions. To compound the situation, technical, skilled labor and creative skills gaps are making recruiting for these jobs even more difficult.
- Recruiting, onboarding and training require substantial time and resources. Even if you find the people you need, you still have to process their paperwork, orient them properly and provide adequate training.
- Seasonal hiring often leads to increased layoffs. If you hire direct staff, you may need to let them go once your peak season is over. Ultimately, this can negatively impact your unemployment insurance rates.
- Overtime isn’t a panacea. If you try to meet seasonal needs by requiring more of your direct workers, it could backfire. Long hours can eventually lead to burnout, diminished productivity, increased absenteeism and, you guessed it, higher turnover.
Prepare your business now for a successful summer season, using these tips from Exact Staff:
- Start planning now! Meet with your Exact Staff representative to analyze your upcoming business needs, vacation coverage requirements and other potential challenges the summer may bring. We can get to work immediately recruiting the best people for your needs – before other seasonal employers get the jump.
- Notify your direct staff. Pave the way for success by making sure your own employees know exactly why and how you’ll be using supplemental employees (so core employees won’t feel threatened). Provide guidance on how your direct staff can welcome and support seasonal employees.
- Provide the resources seasonal workers will need. Before they arrive, make sure workspaces, equipment, supplies and instructions are ready to go. Once seasonal employees have been properly oriented, clearly explain: to whom they report; how to get questions answered; what to do if they finish their work. Providing the resources and information they need up-front eliminates confusion and maximizes productivity.
Creating a seasonal staffing plan is smart business. It:
- ensures adequate temporary support for your busiest time;
- reduces or eliminates your need for layoffs;
- alleviates turnover, burnout and productivity problems; and
- frees you to focus on your top business priorities.
Prepare for a great summer – contact our California employment agency to create your seasonal staffing plan today.
What are the top HR trends you should pay attention to in 2015?
Where do we start?! Evolving technology. Increasing globalization. Shifting demographics. Increasing skills gaps. New legislation.
Quite honestly, our world of work is changing so rapidly that it’s impossible to cover every priority for successful HR professionals in a single blog post. So today, Exact Staff takes a look at three of the most significant trends:
Changes in workforce demographics.
Baby boomers are exiting the workforce in droves, and Gen Y is filling the void. In fact, according to Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends 2014 report, millennial workers are predicted to make up 75% of the global workforce by 2020.
As this generation moves into leadership positions, HR must adapt its recruiting and retention strategies to address millennial employees’:
- Need for flexibility
- High tolerance for change
- Desire for honest, timely performance feedback
- “Gig”-oriented work mentality
Increasing reliance on mobile technology.
From working remotely to accessing benefits information to applying for positions, mobile tech has transformed the way people find and perform their jobs. But there’s a huge disconnect. According to a recent Forbes.com article on workplace trends, 83% of job seekers currently use smart phones to search for jobs, yet just 20% of Fortune 500 employers have a mobile-friendly career site.
To stay competitive and increase efficiency as technology continues to evolve, HR professionals should:
- Improve ease of access and usability for employees’ mobile experiences.
- Optimize career portals to appeal to today’s on-the-go job seeker.
- Develop and implement comprehensive BYOD policies to increase compliance and minimize inherent mobile technology risks.
Widening skills gaps.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 4.7 million job openings last June. More than 50% of employers say they can’t find enough qualified candidates to fill those openings. And with unemployment continuing to creep downward, this skills gap will only increase throughout 2015.
What should HR leaders do to address the problem? Here are a few suggestions for closing the gap:
- Train your existing employees. If you can’t hire people with the skills you need, create them. Invest in training your team to develop essential competencies.
- Recruit well in advance of your hiring needs. Give yourself extra time to find candidates in today’s tightening market.
- Rely on a staffing partner like Exact Staff to shorten your time-to-hire, control recruiting costs and find exceptional people with hard-to-find skill sets.
Exact Staff stays on top of the trends impacting your organization.
As changes workforce demographics, technology and business continue to transform HR’s role, Exact Staff is here to help. Together, we can develop a staffing strategy to address your top priorities – and ensure flexible, cost-effective access to the talented people you need. Did you know our CEO is on the Board of Directors of the American Staffing Association? This is IMPORTANT because you can rest-assured that she is aware of the most recent legislative issues effecting staffing and human resources and Exact Staff will keep you “up to the minute” on these issues. Reach out to us today!
A picture of you drinking a beer.
A potentially inappropriate comment you posted on your friend’s wall.
A phony profile of you that your friend set up years ago as a practical joke.
Can things like these really damage your candidacy when you’re searching for employment?
Absolutely. In fact:
- Nearly half (47 percent) of recruiters use social media to screen applicants before they even talk to them.
- A 2014 CareerBuilder study shows that 45 percent of employers use search engines like Google – not just social media profiles – to research potential job candidates.
- The same study indicates that 51 percent of employers who research job candidates on social media passed on a candidate because of content they found online, up from 34 percent in 2012.
What are recruiters finding that’s causing them to eliminate candidates from consideration? Here are a few of the most common culprits:
- Provocative or inappropriate photographs
- Information about drinking or drug use
- Bad-mouthing co-workers or employers
- Discriminatory comments related to a protected class
- Lying about job qualifications
Here’s the simple truth: Your online reputation greatly impacts your viability as a job candidate. Use these tips from Exact Staff to clean up your “digital footprint” – and keep yourself in the running:
- Search yourself. Use a variety of search engines to find out what pops up when you type in your name. Search multiple variations of your name, including common misspellings.
- Clean up after yourself. Delete old profiles. Take down inappropriate photos of yourself. Remove questionable comments and posts you’ve left. Update incorrect information. And if you can’t delete a questionable piece of information, contact the person who posted it or the site administrator and ask that it be taken down.
- Manage your privacy settings. Social media sites like Facebook make it easy to control what a potential employer can see – but only if you set your privacy controls.
- Choose an appropriate screen identity and picture. If you’re looking for work, make sure your profile photos convey the right image.
- Think before you post. Moving forward, use the “grandma rule of thumb.” If the content isn’t something you’d share with your grandmother, don’t post it.
- Conduct regular maintenance. Managing your online reputation isn’t a one-time event; it’s a process. Every few months, revisit your profiles and search your name to catch unintentional “data spills” and keep your digital reputation in tip-top shape.
On the Job Hunt?
Exact Staff can connect you with career opportunities at every employment level and in a wide variety of fields including administrative, accounting/financial, legal, medical/dental, technical, sales, and engineering. Connect with an Exact Staff recruiter today.
You’ve just made a great new hire. (From Exact Staff we hope!!) Congratulations!
Your job is done, right?
Actually, it’s just beginning. Keeping that exceptional new team member content, engaged and motivated to perform for you takes careful planning.
But they just started with the company – and they barely knows how to do the job you hired them for. Shouldn’t you just focus on getting them up to speed?
While it’s certainly important to address short-term training and performance goals for a star employee, it’s equally important to address his long-term growth within your organization. The reason is simple: If a high performer doesn’t see a bright future within your company, they are likely to start looking for a more promising one elsewhere.
And in today’s employment market, they’re likely to find one.
So keep your exceptional new employee’s focus where it belongs – on growing and contributing within your organization. Here are a few tips for creating a clear career path for your new hire:
Determine growth potential.
Before meeting with your employee, outline his greatest strengths and weaknesses. In addition to job skills, consider soft skills such as leadership, creative problem-solving and communication abilities. Use this list as a starting point for planning his future within your company.
Consider your organization’s objectives.
What are your goals for the next three to five years? What hiring needs do you foresee? How could this new hire be groomed for greater responsibility? Considering all of these factors, develop a few potential career paths for this individual. Ultimately, you should look for an intersection between his career goals and your organization’s objectives.
Co-create a professional development plan.
Hold a formal planning meeting with your employee to learn more about his long-term goals. Express your interest in his professional growth and present your ideas for potential career paths. Then, work together to:
- Choose the best career option;
- Establish timeframes, milestones and performance standards;
- Outline 6-month, 12-month, 3-year and 5-year growth goals;
- Determine the training, mentoring, education and “stretch assignments” needed to achieve the goals you set.
Plan periodic progress reviews.
Meet at least once a year to keep your employee’s professional growth plan on track and delivering the results you both want.
Money alone is not enough to keep your exceptional new hire performing for you. But by taking the actions above, you can:
- Create ample advancement opportunities for your high performer;
- Align your employee’s goals with your organization’s;
- Cultivate greater loyalty, job satisfaction and engagement;
- Ultimately keep them growing and performing within your company.
Need to hire exceptional employees?
Undeniably, your online reputation greatly impacts your job search success.
But if managing privacy settings to block your profiles is your chief concerns, you could be missing out on important opportunities to:
- Differentiate yourself;
- Get noticed by recruiters;
- Occupy a unique, competitive position in a potential employer’s mind;
- And ultimately land the job you want!
How can you accomplish all of this and more?
A GREAT way to start is to develop a compelling personal brand.
So, what’s a personal brand?
A personal branding statement accurately sums up your “unique selling proposition” or USP – the distinct benefit or value you offer a potential employer – in 30 words or less. This statement provides a compelling reason to hire you, by communicating who you are, what you do (and for whom), how you do it better or differently, and your essential attributes.
“I am an experienced customer service professional who specializes in strengthening client bonds to increase sales, satisfaction levels and customer retention.”
How can you use your personal brand during the job search?
Here are four tips to help you leverage the power of your personal brand when you’re searching for a new job:
Align your social profiles.
Both Facebook and LinkedIn provide prominent places to display your personal branding statement. Take advantage of this “free advertising”! Update your profiles and include essential branding keywords in your summaries.
To get noticed by recruiters, you need to get involved:
- Publish articles. If you can write well, publish articles relevant to your area of expertise. The more you “show what you know,” the more credibility you lend to your brand.
- Post content, links and news. Reinforce your credibility by demonstrating that you keep current with developments in your industry.
- Answer questions. Search relevant forums and communities for questions related to your area of expertise. When appropriate, post well thought-out responses that demonstrate your knowledge and problem-solving abilities.
Interconnect your social media.
Build a stronger “web” by creating links. Whenever you post content, include links to your email address, Facebook and LinkedIn profiles, as well as any other social media you regularly use.
When it comes to leveraging your personal brand, more is not always better. So while it may be tempting to create profiles on every platform, start small. Select a handful of sites, forums and communities that promise the most benefit for promoting your brand, and then limit your activity to these networks.
Need help defining your USP?
Contact an Exact Staff Career Agent at 1.877.364.2999. We can help you identify your strengths, evaluate your career options, and find assignments and full-time positions that align with your goals.
January may be nearing an end…
… but we’re far from finished with our review of 21 new laws that may affect your business. Missed the first two installments? Read Preparing for January 2105 (Part 1) and Preparing for January 2015 (Part 2).
We know that compliance may not be the most riveting topic, but it’s an essential part of running a successful organization. So today, we’re providing a quick overview of two more laws that should be on your radar.
This summary is not intended as legal advice, but it will help you better understand the impact the new legislation could have on your organization – as well as the ways our staffing firm can help!
1. AB 1034 (Modifications to Health Care Coverage Eligibility Provisions)
What you need to know:
Under the new law, employers previously subject to the more restrictive 60-day waiting period may now follow the federal rule (no more than a 90-day waiting period) as described in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Insurance carriers may not impose their own waiting periods.
How Exact Staff can help:
Allow us to conduct a free workforce consultation to develop the best staffing strategy for your business. Our solutions can help you: control insurance costs; ensure proper compliance with federal and state regulations; and ensure your organization has the optimal staff to meet your business demands.
2. AB 1634 (Stiffer Employer Penalties for Failure to Abate Workplace Safety Hazards)
What you need to know:
This law creates stiffer penalties for employers who fail to abate workplace safety hazards. Among other things, it prevents the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) from modifying civil penalties unless the employer does one or more of the following:
- Abates the violation at the time of inspection;
- Abates the violation during a subsequent inspection (prior to citation issuance);
- Submits a signed statement (under penalty of perjury) and supporting evidence to show that the violation has been abated.
How Exact Staff can help:
Exact Staff believes that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We work with you to ensure our employees are properly trained to work safely at your location. Our staffing experts, proudly offering support to clients across the country, will review your site to assess work conditions, identify potential hazards, and ensure adequate training and protection for the temporary workers we provide. Our goal is to help reduce your risks, while delivering the reliable people your business needs.