How to Find and Hire the Best Seasonal Employees

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As the holidays approach, the need to hire additional help becomes a key concern with many business owners. Yet, despite the importance, it’s just as vital to take your time to find qualified, reliable employees. Many businesses rush hiring and end up regretting their haste. How can you find the best seasonal employees when you need help in a hurry? Here are tips from experts in seasonal hiring.

Ask Current Employees or Customers for Recommendations

Ask your current employees if they know anyone looking for part-time seasonal work. Employees often have friends or family members who they’ll happily refer. Another good way to find employees is by asking your repeat customers if they’re interested in working part-time. They already know your business and merchandise or service requirements. Many will be thrilled at the chance of gaining an employee discount, if your business offers one.

Once you have names, you can interview them to see if you feel they’re a good fit. While asking around, you may also find some of your part-time employees who are happy to take on additional hours to earn more for their own holiday spending.

Start the Process Early

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It is essential for stores, restaurants and companies in need of additional workers to start early. Experts recommend starting your search for seasonal employees in September. Still, you should always be on the lookout for new hires —especially in businesses where employee turnover is high.

As you find quality staff members, keep a list of them when you have to release them due to seasonal employment fluctuations. By keeping a list of temporary workers you can call on to fill in spots during your busy season, you’ll always have qualified workers in mind. Having workers who are already trained saves you time as well.

Hold Prescreenings Before Scheduling Interviews

The number of applications you receive may seem overwhelming, but you can narrow the selection down with prescreening questionnaires. Some internet hiring sites allow you to set up quick questionnaires to help weed out undesirable or unskilled applicants. If you specifically need staff with experience or a specific level of education, ask prescreening questions about their experience, past work history and educational background.

As you narrow down potential employees, start the interview process. Remember that interviewees are nervous. If you take time and build a rapport before diving into interview questions, you’ll get a better feel for the applicant’s personality.

Eye Retirees and College Students

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College students tend to get their winter break from Thanksgiving through mid-January. They’re looking for work when they return home for the holidays. Look to college students who are moving back to town for the two-month period. They’re often exceptional seasonal employees, as they simply want the short-term job and don’t have expectations beyond that. If they work out, you can always add them to a list for summer employment or fill-in opportunities.

The same is true of retirees. Many want to get out of the house and earn a little extra income, but they don’t want to be tied down to a permanent work schedule. Look for retirees who spend winters in one state and summers in another for great opportunities at finding workers who do not expect the job to extend past the holiday season.

Don’t Think in Terms of Seasonal

Find the best seasonal workers by applying the same hiring criteria you use for full-time employees. Your company needs great representatives, and not those who are simply there for a paycheck. If you look for the same qualities your full-time staff have, you’ll get workers who draw sales, attract repeat customers and make regulars feel appreciated.

As long as you start early and take time to get to know applicants, you’ll find great workers for your seasonal employment opportunities. When you find great employees, keep a list for the months to come. That handy list becomes a goldmine for avoiding employment searches in the future.

5 Things That Make Exceptional Employees Stand out

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The lifeblood of any organization for better or worse runs through the group’s workforce, so identifying exceptional employees allows you the opportunity to nurture those seeds of their enthusiasm, energy, and drive to take maximum advantage of their potential. Building a stellar team does not materialize out of whole cloth, but rather is stitched together over time with the individual threads that your employees represent. Unfortunately, employee dissatisfaction often results when talents go under-utilized or unappreciated, so spotting the exceptional team member is the first job of the manager.

Standard interview questions and performance reviews do very little to single out the exceptional employee from the rest of the herd. For the managerial team looking to identify those candidates, it is always better to monitor daily attitudes and motivations of your employee over the quarterly review scores emerging from the human resources office. Keep an eye out for these five distinctive behavioral and performance indicators that indicate an exceptional employee.

1. View their Job Description as a starting point

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The exceptional employee views their job description as a mere starting point when it comes to taking on the daily challenges that any growing or established company might face on a day-to-day basis. Their primary goal is to get the job done when they see that their assistance will help get the project to completion. Once this behavioral pattern begins to assert itself, you know that you have a dedicated team member placing the organization’s goals above the petty complaints of employees who jealously guard their time behind the safety of their job description.

2. Quirky and Independent Personalities

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A quirky and independent personality is not only refreshing in the confines of the typical business environment, but its presence also signals the confidence of the owner because quirky personalities naturally tend to push the status quo in innovative directions while shaking up the “group think” that can fester around the boardroom table. Such a personality type looks at the world from a different angle than the employee sitting in the next cubical, and that altered perception helps fuel constructive attitudes throughout every office in the building. Conversely, the excellent employee also knows when to place those quirky traits in a drawer when the job at hand calls for pure reasoning and professionalism. In short, they know when it is time to play and when it is time to work.

3. Diplomacy and Tact

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It’s been noted that most people learn the basics of their social skills by the age of five, and it is as good a starting place as any when it comes to analyzing your employee’s ability to get along with supervisors, subordinates, and peer groups. The exceptional employee understands that social interaction goes a long way toward greasing the wheels of camaraderie that helps propel the organization’s goals. Free with praise, they offer congratulations to co-workers who have earned it, and are supportive to those in need of bolstering to complete their tasks. Identifying exceptional employees that practice these socially interactive skills is important because these actions serve to elevate the entire work staff and act as a marker of managerial talent.

4. Understand How to Read “the Room”

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The savvy employee is capable of “reading the room” and acting and thinking quickly on their feet regardless of the situation at hand. Team members that exhibit the ability to roll with the punches means that that employee can respond to a wide array of circumstances and that will prove an advantage for the entire organization. Utilizing their education, experience, intelligence, and talents, the exceptional employee stands out from the crowd on a daily basis.

5. Asks Questions and Willing to Explore

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The exceptional employee is not afraid to ask questions and explore options. Unfortunately, many team members are afraid to express themselves to the group as a whole and oftentimes even in private. Similarly, exceptional employees look at company policies and procedures with an eye toward improving the mousetrap that they inherited in an effort to make all aspects of the company’s systems more efficient.

Identifying and cultivating superior talent should be your first job in the managerial role, so look beyond the pencil and paper evaluations of the human resource department, and keep your eye on the day-to-day behavior that shows the true potential of your employees.

10 Tips to Stay More Organized at the Office

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Sometimes, despite your best efforts, your workday seems to get away from you. With so much to do and so little time to get it all accomplished, it’s easy to find yourself feeling frustrated, lost, and unsure of where to start. Staying on top of your many responsibilities at work can be a challenge, but with these tips, you’ll be better able to prioritize your tasks and make sure every day is efficient and organized.

  1. Start the day with a clear mind

When you come to work worried and anxious, it’s going to reflect on the rest of the day. Even if you’re stressed from the moment you walk through the door, take a few moments just for you before you get moving. Check your email, brew some coffee in the break room, or swing by your pal in accounting’s desk to chat for a moment; find a way to relax, and make it a part of your routine.

  1. Tackle the hardest jobs first

It’s only natural to dread the hardest tasks on your agenda, but there’s no reason to let them ruin your day. No matter how much you’d prefer to put off the biggest, most challenging projects, taking them on first thing in the morning when you’re still fresh can give you the motivation to get things done while eliminating stressors before they have time to wear on you.

  1. Make a to-do list – and stick to it

There’s a lot on your plate, but that doesn’t mean it has to overwhelm you. Instead of letting the pile of work in front of you get you down, make a to-do list. Write down everything you have to do today, tomorrow, and for the rest of the week, and stick to it. Add new tasks as they come up, and cross out the ones completed successfully.

  1. Cut down on meetings

You may feel as though all of those meetings on your calendar are of the utmost importance, but take a good, hard look and ask yourself how many you could miss with minimal consequences. Instead of spreading yourself thin attending non-mandatory gatherings, appoint a coworker to take notes on calls and conferences that aren’t essential.

  1. Take time to clear your mind

It can be hard to rationalize a break when you’re busy, but it’s a big part of staying calm and focused. When the pressure is on, take a few minutes and take a walk, get some water, or use the bathroom. Simply stretching your legs and briefly directing your attention elsewhere can give you the mental reprieve you need to stay focused on the tasks at hand.

  1. Keep your desk clean

A messy desk may not seem like a problem, but when you’re losing important papers, struggling to find agendas, and having trouble remembering what you stored where, it can only add to your stress. Do your best to keep your desk area clutter-free, even if that means requesting a filing cabinet or a set of drawers to put your paperwork in.

  1. Stop multitasking

Multitasking may seem like an inevitability in the business world, but it doesn’t have to be. Even though it may not feel like it, multitasking splits your attention in a consequential way, leaving you unable to give 100% to any one task. Handle a single task at a time, and keep working on it until you are completely finished.

  1. Don’t be afraid to delegate

When you’re used to handling everything yourself, giving over the reins can be very overwhelming. However, it’s also a big part of being an effective manager or team member. If you have tasks you know someone else could take on, don’t be afraid to delegate some of your responsibilities. Give clear directions and a deadline, and move on to something else.

  1. Cut down on email

When you have a quick question for another member of your team, email is often the go-to form of communication. As convenient as it is, however, it can leave you with more work later while you sit around waiting for answers. Instead, make it a point to call or instant message whenever possible, keeping your inbox clear for more important communications.

  1. Ask for help

When you’re stumped and aren’t sure where to turn, it can feel frustrating, especially when it’s starting to impact your productivity. Instead of spinning your wheels, get in touch with a supervisor or another member of your team. Sometimes, talking things out for a minute or two is all it takes to get you back on the right path.

Staying organized can take some commitment, but changing up your routines and focusing on the end goal can keep you attentive and hard at work, even on the longest, busiest days.

What do you do to stay organized? Leave a comment and let us know!

10 Hiring Tips to Find the Best Employees

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No matter what type of business you have, it’s very important to hire the right employees that can help you run your business. Every business manager and owner wants to hire successful employees who are going to help their business grow. By finding the right employees, not only can you tap into their knowledge base, but you can hire people who are going to have the skills and traits that you need to help your company thrive.

Consider these key tips to help you find employees based on their resumes and cover letters, and even their past performance. That way you can focus on finding employees that will be the right fit for your company and hiring needs:

1) Streamline Your Hiring Ads

Start with deciding on the types of advertising you want to use to find your new employee. If you go to sites like LinkedIn, and you are not specific with the skill sets you’re seeking, you may find that if you send out one job offer you may be hit with more than 3,000 resumes. This can be very overwhelming for an office manager who has to sort through resumes one by one. To help you narrow your candidate selection, you may want to focus on particular skills and include factors such as college graduate, past experience, and even relevant experience. Forbes confirms that streamlining applicant qualifications can minimize what can sometimes prove to be an arduous task.

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2) Consider Social Relationships

When you get ready to interview a potential employee if you find that they are not making eye contact with you or they’re only giving you brief answers to questions, they may be social introverts. This can work well if you are hiring for projects that require minimal supervision, but if you need them to be a team player, they may not be the best fit for your particular environment.

The adverse can also be said if you hire someone who is too chatty because they may prove too distracting to your team. You want to try to find the right balance of social intelligence to help compliment your groups on team projects —as well as solo projects.

3) Do a Social Media Search

We can’t stress this enough because while a resume and cover letter are geared to give you the highlights and the best attributes the person has to offer, if you actually want to be able to see them in a natural setting, check their Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram accounts. If you find that you see lots of negative comments or pictures of them drunk every night, or if there are a lot of negative comments about past employers, then you definitely may want to take your hiring needs elsewhere.

Mind Tools suggests that former and current athletes make great team players because they’re used to social dynamics. As each office setting is different, you may have to factor in what the specific needs are for your company or firm.

4) Find a Personality Fit

While not every company is going to set up a potential employee with a Myers-Briggs test, you may want to ask specific questions about how the person will react in different settings or set up your own type of testing questions to better understand whether or not they are an introvert, extrovert, judgmental, sensitive, or other personality type that could be a factor in your office setting on a day-to-day basis.

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5) Get Details

While you have your potential candidate in an interview, you do want to strategize your questions based on the responses they give. If they were fired from their last company, you may want to turn your attention to this with further exploratory questions. If they give brief answers and won’t elaborate, they might be trying to hide something. Another indication is if they try to quickly change the subject.

6) Ask Strategic Questions

You may want to ask your potential employee about where they want to work, where they see themselves in five to ten years and also what their typical routine is for getting up in the morning and what they do on weekends. The more you let them talk on their own, the more insight they will give into their personality type. You may find that they spend weekends volunteering at a shelter which says a lot, but if they have a part-time business or that they are in school, you may want to have them elaborate on how much time they spend on outside interests to confirm they won’t interfere with work obligations.

7) Anticipate Their Questions

Your potential employee should ask specific questions about the job site, the type of work they will be doing and maybe their coworkers. If they don’t ask questions, they may not be interested in the position itself and may just be looking for a salary.

Also look for the potential employee to tell you what they know about your company based on their research prior to the interview. Undercover Recruiter states that this is the biggest mistake potential employees make. If they don’t bring it up ask them what they know about your business to see if they did their homework.

8) Be Transparent about Their Responsibilities

If there’s a lot of heavy lifting involved, long hours or difficult personalities and an extremely stressful environment, make sure you indicate this in the interview. You want to establish that the employee will be required to handle this type of work environment. You may also want to have them look at a breakdown of all of their tasks and responsibilities and sign off on it to ensure that they understand the job requirements.

9) Factor in Your Other Employee’s Personality Types

If you know that your other employees are great with team dynamics, and they’re looking for someone to join their team, you may not want to hire that social introvert because they’re not going to fit in. If on the other hand you’re looking for someone who can stagnate schedules and will serve as backup support when your team leaves the office, then this person may fit in perfectly.

10) Let Your Employees Interview the Candidate

If you’re unsure about how you want to proceed, let your employees meet with the person and interview them. If you find that your employees are expressing a disinterest in the person or find reasons why they don’t think they would be a good fit, you may want to turn your attentions elsewhere.

As you use these key tips to help you to find the right employee, remember it’s going to be a combination of finding a good fit, checking into the person’s background, and also seeing how they relate in social and team settings. Don’t be afraid to bring your employees in to interview with the candidates you’ve selected so they can help you narrow down your search and hire the person who will work best with your firm or company.