With the 2018 college grads about to hit the market, now is a good time to relook at this segment of the marketplace with fresh eyes. … Read More »
by Marketing Team | July 5, 2018
With the 2018 college grads about to hit the market, now is a good time to relook at this segment of the marketplace with fresh eyes. … Read More »
by Guest Author | April 4, 2018
In a tight labor market, writing job postings that actually attract the talent you need requires some finesse and digital savvy. Here's some basics that are important to success! … Read More »
by Jeanne Knutzen | March 12, 2018
Here are 5 things you can do now to find and retain the employees you need in a very tight labor market. … Read More »
by Jeanne Knutzen | March 1, 2018
Finding great employees is not easy in any market, but in today's job market, particularly in the Northwest, the challenge is doubly difficult. Here's how to compete.... … Read More »
by Jeanne Knutzen | November 14, 2017
The homework needed to create a recruiting profile involves many layers of exploration. And the stakes are high. Creating the right profile is key to a successful hiring outcome. … Read More »
by Jeanne Knutzen | November 1, 2017
Hiring based on the right "culture fit" benefits both companies and their employees and can dramatically impact team performance, morale and retention. Here's how and why... … Read More »
by Jeanne Knutzen | May 5, 2016
Question: I have always been willing to spend whatever time it takes to hire right. How can I avoid the downside of that approach in this candidate short marketplace? … Read More »
by Jeanne Knutzen | March 16, 2016
Question - PACE often suggests a “temp-to-hire” staffing model. When does that model NOT work? Answer – That is a great question. … Read More »
by Jeanne Knutzen | July 7, 2015
As a leading provider of temporary, contract and direct hire candidates in the greater Seattle area, we regularly work with our customers to shorten the time between point of need and hiring date – an element in the hiring process that often impacts our client’s ability to capitalize on opportunities or drive unnecessary costs out of their staffing process. … Read More »
by Jeanne Knutzen | May 27, 2015
With national unemployment at its lowest level in six years and employee confidence at a new high, now is the time for employers to get serious about how they're appealing to job seekers … Read More »
by Jeanne Knutzen | February 24, 2015
The traditional role of the recruiter has expanded and evolved so drastically it can feel nearly impossible to keep up. With the latest tools, best practices, and an ever-growing list of new job requirements for talent acquisition specialists it requires a constant need to evaluate, assess, and optimize the recruiting process. Let's do a quick audit of the common signs of a broken recruiting function. … Read More »
by Jeanne Knutzen | February 12, 2015
0 Blog, INFO AND RESOURCES FOR EMPLOYERS, Recruiting. Best Practices Temp Agencies in Tacoma WA, Temp Agencies in Tacoma Washington, Temp Agencies Tacoma, Temp Agencies Tacoma WA, Temp Agencies Washington
Attitude matters more than aptitude. In other words, cultural fit can be a strong determinant of candidate success, sometimes even stronger than skill sets or experience. So it’s a good idea to hire candidates who fit in, not just candidates who can do the job. … Read More »
by Jeanne Knutzen | September 2, 2014
The following article was written by our good friend and professional colleague, Halley Bock, CEO of Fierce Inc. Fierce is a world class leadership training and development company headquartered in Pioneer Square, Seattle, Washington, but with clients working with Fierce leadership concepts all over the globe. This particular piece appeared in a recent Fierce newsletter, but was originally posted on TrainingMagazine.com. We thought our readers and other friends of PSN would benefit from reading about simple, hands on ways to engage employees in meaningful ways. Thanks to Gallup’s annual State of the American Workplace survey, we know that employee engagement statistics continue to fall short of expectations and what we know is possible for our companies and ourselves. The short and sweet of it is that only 30 percent of the U.S. workforce is engaged, with the actively disengaged costing our economy somewhere in the range of $450 billion to $500 billion per year. That’s a lot of dough to leave on the table and certainly nothing to pride ourselves on. And while so many managers are aware of this issue—we know we need our employees engaged and we can discuss this topic at great length—we don’t necessarily know how to do employee engagement. It remains a statistic we strive for: intangible, elusive, and ever increasing in importance. When it comes to employee engagement, three key trends have surfaced as the most critical for increasing and maintaining high levels of engagement: Candor, Collaboration, and Development. Big topics, yes. But when broken down, we begin to see how we can get our hands on the levers and actually do engagement. Candor According to a study conducted by Harvard Business Review, companies rated by their employees as being in the top quartile in openness of communication delivered an average total shareholder return of 7.9 percent over a recent 10-year period, compared with 2.1 percent at companies in other quartiles. According to another study by Corporate Executive Board, the key indicator most strongly correlated with 10-year returns is employees’ comfort in speaking up, even when they have negative things to say. Clearly, candor is important and explains why companies with higher engagement create more profit. Here’s how to do candor: Tell the truth, always. Corporate America continues to squander employee trust, be it through the housing crisis and subsequent collapse of the economy, or the recently revealed GM safety issues and subsequent recall. Little by little, lie after lie and deceit after deceit gets revealed to scores of innocent employees who unknowingly participated in massive schemes rooted in corruption, greed, and mendacity. The devastation to our livelihoods and trust is immense. The only viable way for organizations to regain trust is simple: Tell the truth and keep telling the truth. No. Matter. What. Avoid making excuses for employees, believing they are unable to handle the truth because the truth is, they can handle it. What they can’t handle are the lies and the “massaged” truths. By speaking the truth in a skillful way, employees can rise to the challenge and actively engage themselves in the solution. Ask for the truth, frequently. Candor is a two-way street—an unending feedback loop—that should be traveled often. As much as we deliver candid feedback (both positive and critical), ask for the same in return. No matter what a person’s title, we all have blind spots and could use a refreshing, outside perspective on what we’re doing well and what we could improve. Collaboration In our own survey, The Six Key Trends That Increase Employee Productivity and Engagement, 98 percent of respondents believe exploring other points of view improves decisions. Gallup found that engagement increases at all levels of tenure as employees continue to participate in focused initiatives to improve their engagement. Imagine that: engaging employees in their own engagement through collaborative means. Here are some ideas on how to do collaboration in a way that directly feeds into increasing engagement: Work the lattice, drop the ladder. The ongoing resilience and health of any organism, animate or inanimate, depends largely on its ability to withstand change. Structures that are able to weather these storms are typically well footed, with reinforcements that tie in both vertically and horizontally. Why we believe higher safety, stability, and success exist through creating siloed organizations remains a great mystery to me. Decisions made within a vacuum are dangerous as they are less informed and, therefore, run a higher risk of failure. When making decisions that affect a strategy, customers, and/or employees, take the time to seek multiple, diverse perspectives. Reach across the lattice of the entire organization, pull in insights that will create a better outcome, and strengthen engagement across the board. Create an engagement committee. As per Gallup’s own statistic, employees appreciate having a hand in creating and sustaining their own engagement. This explains why many firms with coveted top engagement levels have teams or committees focused solely on this initiative, or on being a “best place to work.” A company’s engagement culture is not something that can be managed from the top down. Culture is an outcome that results from the quality of relationships employees have with one another, with their company, and with their leaders. Because it is such a vast ocean and because engagement is created through different means for different people, it makes a heck of a lot of sense to create a cross-boundary committee to help guide this ship. By inviting employees in at the ground level we can increase engagement levels immediately. The upside only gets better from there. Development Individual development and the ability to make an impact on an organization is an increasingly hot topic for high potentials and Millennials. To pull another statistic from Gallup’s survey, Gen X and Baby Boomers are the least engaged, but Millennials are the most likely of all generations to leave their companies in the next 12 months if the job market improves. Why? Because they often feel road-blocked from reaching their full potential due to outdated development and promotion programs. These are typically programs that are blindly followed and have very little to do with the individual on the other end. Rather than do development on behalf of others, let’s involve employees so they can do development for themselves. Ask the questions, lose the assumptions. Another danger of living within the confines of a ladder, silo, or closed system is that we lose sight of all the possibilities and begin to view the world in a fairly one-dimensional way. We begin to assume that the only way to progress in a company is to go “up.” Or that it involves managing more people. Or that it means adding an “S” to the “VP” within a title. Or that it certainly must involve a merit increase. In short, we begin to make assumptions that may have a lot to do with our own values and experience but may have little or nothing to do with the individual sitting in front of us. Before envisioning a development path for employees and starting them down that journey, ask them how it is they see themselves growing within the organization. Put the onus on them to create a vision of their future and then develop a path that speaks to them. In essence, engage them in their own development right from the beginning. Challenge status quo. Gone are the days of applying one rule across multiple cases with the expectation that it will “hold water” for an extended time. The world, and thereby business, has become too dynamic and so have the generations of people we employ. To engage today’s workforce and meet their development needs, focus on individuals and their capabilities when assessing new opportunities. For example, revisit how quickly a high-performing employee potentially could make the jump from a junior to senior position. Does it really have to be after a two-year term or after having managed x number of projects or people? If employing a remote workforce is currently off-limits yet a top player requires this shift, lean into the possibility and seriously consider why this would not/could not work. Chances are, those fears are not based on reality and are tied to something else that needs to be challenged. Bottom line, when a top performer challenges your beliefs, rather than defend the policy or your stance, get curious with yourself and the employee. Genuine exploration into a juicy topic alongside any employee automatically will create engagement, and will do so no matter what the outcome. In summary, engagement requires engagement. There’s a lot of doing required—transforming this huge, amorphous topic into something tangible that we can act on. It won’t happen as a result of offering extravagant perks but comes through reinforcing each and every connection within an organization. Creating an intentional culture by focusing on candor, collaboration, and individualized development will put a company well on the path to achieving the statistics we all aspire to.
by Jeanne Knutzen | April 29, 2014
While conducting a structured interview for a specific job is a straight forward process, when you just want to get to know a candidate in general, your interview can still be structured! Here's how.... … Read More »
by Jeanne Knutzen | April 23, 2014
“The single biggest problem in communication is the mistaken notion that it has taken place.” – George Bernard Shaw How we communicate, the conversations we have with others, is a key factor in our successes (or failures) as leaders—particularly when it's time to promote, lead, or influence change. Conversations that create misunderstandings or hurt feelings will inevitably create mistakes, lower productivity, and damage team morale. In fact, miscommunications are one of the leading causes of “stress” amongst both employees and their leaders. It's often not the change itself that is the challenge—it's all the failed conversations that go on around and about the change that are most impactful to a leader's effectiveness. Here are FIVE THINGS leaders can do to make the conversations we have with others, particularly during times of change, will produce the results we intend. 1. Be Concise. Think about what you want to say and say it clearly and directly—with ordinary language, not big words or long sentences. If something is hard to communicate, it's probably equally hard to hear. Take the time to make your message simple. And don’t beat around the bush! Focus on a handful of key points and state them clearly. If you use examples, make sure they are relevant to your message. Communicate to learn something about people and situations; to clarify and inform—not to impress. 2. Be Redundant. Start and end your message with the most important thing you want others to hear: “I am concerned about __________________ and want to make sure we think of all angles." “While I'm still concerned about __________________, I think we have done a good job of exploring all angles for addressing this issue." In this particular case, your message is about your concerns and your need to invite and reinforce the team getting involved in finding a solution. At the end of the conversation, you still have concerns, but you also want to reinforce the team's engagement. Make sure they know what they accomplished! Frame your communications with conversational book ends. Open your message with an announcement of what you will be talking about. Close your conversation with what you did talk about. "What I want to talk about today is your role on the team and how it's changing." "What we talked about today is your role on the team and all the ways it has changed." 3. Listen More. Tell Less. To engage people in the work it takes to change, it is never enough just to tell people what you want them to do or know and then give feedback when they don't do as you say, or know what you taught. (Sound familiar?) To be an influential agent for change, the first step is to see the situation through the eyes of others, not just your own. Telling others what they should do (or worse yet "should have done") is a tactic that while quick and easy to execute, doesn't reliably get you the results you need. A frequent outcome is misunderstandings, hurt feelings and confusion. Telling assumes your listeners see the same things you do, which is never the case! Entering into genuine conversations about what others are thinking or feeling about the change, allows for learning—all parties. “I’d really like to hear your thoughts on this situation. I have been going over what happened and think I have some ideas, but don’t want to get stuck behind some information that you might have that I don’t.” And when it's time for feedback, make it quick and to the point. Long lectures about the what's and whys of "doing it right" are more likely to annoy than inform. 4. Clarify. Clarify. Clarify. Expecting others to “get the message, or make quick and lasting changes" after one message, is a huge mistake and leads to many dysfunctions not only in our communications with others, but ultimately your relationships as well. Replace “I thought we had already discussed that," with "my bad, I wasn't as clear as I could have been." When it comes to communications, lower your expectations of what's possible. Keep communicating. Observe behavior to see just how much of your message has been turned into action, and what of your message needs more work. Confront those who are openly ignoring what you have to say. Gently guide those who you know are trying, but aren't quite where you are—yet. When time is short, and you need to change behavior quickly, follow up your conversations with the request that they summarize what they just heard and the 3-4 things they want to do differently on the go forward. Discuss their plan until you reach agreement, and then follow up to ensure it is executed. While it is possible for ONE GREAT conversation to produce significant change, in most cases, one conversation lays the groundwork for better, easier conversations to follow! The best communicators are often people with simple messages, repeated often. 5. Check Your Filters... those nasty assumptions about the motives and beliefs of others that keep you from hearing what they have to say or discounting what you are hearing because it doesn't align with your beliefs and assumptions. If you have a filter about others that just won’t go, away address it openly and always with a willingness to learn and/or “be wrong.” “It feels like we are seeing this situation from two very different perspectives. Let's spend a little time talking about what we are each experiencing." The best relationships often grow out of situations where there is conflict between very different points of view; where two people genuinely see and/or believe something very different about a particular situation or event. Digging deep to find those places of agreement—either on facts or goals—can become a powerful base for shared respect and understandings. As leaders, taking the time to improve the quality of conversations we have with our key stakeholders—our boss, our team, our peers and coworkers, will have direct impact on our results—particularly during periods where our real job is to help others change, either their behavior or their perspective.
by Jeanne Knutzen | March 11, 2014
When recruiters think about improving their effectiveness as recruiters or as a recruiting team, they often think in terms of what changes in technology or recruiting content might do for them. We could be so much more effective if we had a new ATS? More access to (expensive) job boards? A better social media strategy? A more attractive compensation or benefit package? Because of the many things in the recruiting process recruiters can’t control, they often overlook the things they can. Here are five things that come to mind for recruiters who want to make a difference: 1. Know Your Recruiting Story – Tell It Often and Well A good recruiter knows that at some point in the recruiting process, the mechanics of a particular ATS system or their skills to find the hard-to-find no longer matter. Their ability to tell the story of “why this job, this company, should be the job or company for you" is what makes the difference. “Why do I want to work here?” is the fundamental question candidates are asking as they start an application process or accept a job offer. Effective recruiters have a range of stories to answer that question. And for different candidates, a different job, the story needs to be told differently, depending on the candidate’s individual needs and preferences.
by Jeanne Knutzen | January 15, 2014
0 Blog, Recruiting. Best Practices Job Recruiters for Veterans in Seattle, Job Recruiters for Veterans in Seattle WA, Job Recruiters for Veterans Seattle, Jobs for Veterans in Seattle, Jobs for Veterans in Seattle WA
Resumes come in all shapes, sizes and formats, and they can be extremely difficult for many people to write, especially our returning military veterans. This is a key issue for many, because of the nature of the job search today. Today, veterans are returning to a grateful nation, but also to an economy that has been challenged by stagnant job growth. Competition for any available job is fierce. This is a hard set of circumstances for any job seeker, but it is made a thousand times worse for returning veterans. Many, after their discharge, simply do not know how to begin looking for a job in a planned, productive way. They have received little job search training, and most do not know how to write a resume, one that adequately translates military jargon to “civilian speak,or how to handle themselves in an interview. For most veterans the key stumbling block is the resume. Many were recruited right out of high school and have simply never had the need to write a clear and compelling resume. Because it is not up to par, they do not even make it through to an interview. Therefore, in order to benefit from these high-caliber job seekers, employers should look for certain components within the veterans’ resume. 1. Key “soft skills”. Veterans are different kinds of candidates—invaluable candidates—with battle-tested leadership skills, a strong work ethic, and the ability to learn new skills quickly. These skills will serve you well, but are hard to quantify and define on a resume. Look for proof of their existence throughout the document. 2. Achievements. Everyone has achievements, regardless of their background. Everyone is proud of what they have done. Achievements should be listed on the resume, and will help you understand the vet’s character, work ethic and values. 3. Proof of training. If the veteran has trained others, that indicates an ability to communicate effectively, learn difficult/complicated material and engage others in the process. 4. Applicable skills. A veteran’s resume is never going to a mirror your job requisition. The working environment within the military is simply too different. However, approximately 80% of the jobs in the military are non-combat oriented. This means that veterans are learning applicable skills in addition to their strong work ethic, dedication and leadership skills. Read through the job duties listed in the resume and look for evidence of any applicable skills—management of resources, supervisory experience or network / programming knowledge. Veterans will not enter your hiring process empty-handed. They bring stupendous leadership and management skills to the table—skills that are the hardest to grow. If you are interested in leveraging this powerful arm of the American workforce, the hiring experts at PACE Staffing Network can help. If you are looking for job recruiters for veterans in Seattle, contact our Hiring Heroes placement consultants today.
by Jeanne Knutzen | December 12, 2013
0 Blog, Flexible Staffing Strategies, INFO AND RESOURCES FOR EMPLOYERS, Recruiting. Best Practices, Temp-to-Hire. Best Practices agency staffing, contingent staffing, contract staffing, direct hire, PACE Staffing Network, Seattle Staffing, staffing, temp staffing, temp to hire staffing
We get asked these questions all the time and each time our answer is a resounding, YES! Temp to Hire staffing strategies reduce costs of hire, lower the costs of early hire turnover, and provide employers with quick and easy access to hard to find talent pools—in a “just in time” format. HR departments, while sometimes quick to criticize a temporary or contract workforce as being less committed or talented than their core workforce, generally like a certain percentage of their workforce as contingent as they represent employees who can be converted to direct hire status quickly when business heats up. But the real value of contingent workers is not just in providing companies with increased flexibility, but also the ability a contingent workforce provides for companies to tackle change quickly, with quick access to employees whose skill sets are unique and not easily developed “within.” Temp to hire strategies directly impact an organizations recruiting, staff and organizational development costs, impacting a company’s ROI for years to come. Temp to Hire contingent workers also impact bottom line profitability by driving down unemployment claims, workers compensation claims, upgrading employee quality (only the very best employees are eventually hired), and keeping core workers “on their toes” with a fresh pool of new talent becoming the workplace norm. The mathematical difference between the costs of an auditioning employee compared to the costs of a fully benefited core hire almost always pencil in favor of the temporary worker as the lower cost solution. The design and execution of temp to hire staffing strategies is a core area of expertise for the PACE Staffing Network. Over 35% of the employees we place on temporary or contract assignments end up being hired by PACE clients each year. For programs specifically designed for hiring, the conversion rate can be closer to 85%. For a personal consultation on the effective utilization of temp to hire staffing strategies and to do an analysis of how a temp to hire model could impact your overall staffing costs, contact me, Nancy Swanson at email@example.com, I am PACE’s VP of Partnership Development.