Tag: staffing agency seattle

Getting the Most from Your Gen Y Workers!

by Jeanne Knutzen | February 18, 2014

0 Blog, Legal Issues - Staffing Gen Y, Gen Y Workers, Generation Y, hiring, Management, marketplace, pace staffing, PACE Staffing Network, recruiting agency seattle, Seattle Staffing, Seattle Staffing Agency, staffing agency seattle, Supervision, Teambuilding

For the generation of people born in the mid 70’s to 90’s who have been entering the workforce for the last decade and a half, their experience of work has been quite different than the experiences of previous workers. According to a recent study by Yale Economics Professor, Lisa Kahn, the impact of these first work experiences, will shape how our Gen Y’s deal with their work environment for decades to come.      Unfortunately for most Gen Y’s, their first exposure to the economic marketplace has not been good. They’ve seen jobs lost, retirement funds destroyed, people losing homes and in some cases families—all because of economic realities that appear to be beyond individual control. While our Gen Y’s have been more sheltered by their parents than the generations of the past, they are also a generation who has  found itself working inside an economic environment where even the most  calculated risks and well thought out plans have not panned out. It is no surprise that our Gen Y’s are probably one of the most risk adverse generations of the recent past. Here’s how that risk adversity plays out in the workplace: ●  They are less likely to change jobs, IF you treat them right. Even if more difficult for your Gen Y workers to develop loyalty towards you as their employer, they will stay put at jobs and companies that meet their needs. While older generations have been told that when you are young, you are supposed to change jobs to find the right fit for you, the Gen Y folks are actually more hesitant to do so, even for an increase in pay. In fact, studies show that Gen Y’s are more likely respond favorably and stay put in jobs or work for companies and managers who provide the kind of work environment they prefer. ●  They value mentorship. If you are managing someone younger, you may want to consider over explaining your instructions and decisions—making sure your Gen Y folks are mentored at a level that meets their needs for knowledge, information, and praise. While lacking the experience and perspective to read between the lines, they are very eager to learn, and enjoy opportunities you can provide them to interact with you on decisions you are making. They love being asked for their ideas or feedback. The typical awards for good work—annual salary bumps, title adjustments, etc.—are often less motivating to a Gen Y worker than are ongoing opportunities for mentoring from someone they value and respect. ●  They distrust hierarchies and will challenge conventional thinking. In team meetings, they will look for all parties to be treated as equal team members. If you expect to be treated as “a boss,” think again, as it likely won’t happen and could get in the way of your goal to get the most out of your generation Y workers. If they challenge your ideas, don’t take it personally. If you experience them either unwilling or reacting negatively to your requests to “keep you informed,” it’s not that they want to be secretive about what they do; it’s that they see no value in “reporting up.” What Gen Y’s value most is mentoring and coaching from someone they respect, someone who looks and sounds more like a teacher than a manager. ●  They think of success as being about “luck” rather than planning. According to Paola Giuliano of UCLA’s School of Management and Antonio Spilimbergo of the International Monetary Fund, employees who started working during the last ten years, tend to believe that success is as much about “luck” and “being there” as it is about effort or planning. While they have seen government safety nets growing at a rapid rate, it has been amidst a growing skepticism about the government’s ability to do what it promises. This somewhat fatalistic attitude towards success has made our Gen Y’s good at compromising—accepting jobs or work that are very different from their planned careers, knowing that someone or something will always be there if their luck fails. For our Gen Y’s, planning for success seems more futile and less relevant to what they see as reality. ●  They VALUE HARD WORK. Even though luck is a component of the Gen Y mindset, it doesn’t mean they shy away from hard work when the job requires it. Many of our Gen Y-ers have never known job security and consider “being fired” a very real possibility if they don’t work hard enough. Managers shouldn’t be afraid to challenge their Gen Y workers with “more to do,” but give them lots of latitude in how/when to do it. The lines between work and play are much more blurred for your Gen Y workers than it has been for workers of the past. ●  They need clarity! Gen Y workers hate uncertainty and expect quick and clear answers, neatly defined goals and how to get there. They also want access to information that they can research on their own. Ambiguity at any scale is unsettling to our Gen Y workers; putting pressure on managers to provide them with more information than has been made available to workforces in the past. They LOVE scorecards that let them know exactly where they stand and they need to know what they must DO to improve their scores. Objective measures of success will ALWAYS trump your subjective commentary. ●  They love teams; they hate conflict; they’re talented negotiators.  Our Gen Y’s have been deeply engrained with the wisdom that teamwork is far more efficient than self-reliance and will look for ways to engage with others in and outside of formal team settings.  You don’t have to worry about Gen Y’s becoming mavericks as did our Gen X’s. Their affinity for and the skills needed to develop teamwork is unparalleled in the history of workforces. To get your Gen Y’s assimilated into your work group; put them on project teams, preferably with short turnaround times and clearly defined deliverables. And yes, when conflict arises, be prepared to experience their negotiation skills, they’ve been negotiating with their parents and peers for years! jeanneJeanne Knutzen is the owner and founder of the PACE Staffing Network, a 38-year-old staffing company headquartered in Bellevue Washington—a community just outside of Seattle. PACE places the full range of generationally defined workers from boomers, to X’s to Y’s and so on in a variety of work settings—interim project work, core teams, virtual work environments. “We regularly explore the mindsets and perspectives of employees and employers to assemble teams that work together effectively. Helping clients find, select, and then manage the right workers to deliver the highest levels of work performance, is what we’re all about.” For a private consultation about what is going on with the employees on your team and some ideas on how to manage each employee to optimal levels of performance, please feel free to contact Jeanne at jeannek@pacestaffing.com.

Why “Hands Off” Always Starts with “Hands On”

by Jeanne Knutzen | January 20, 2014

0 Blog, Management.Supervision direct hire, Seattle Temporary Staffing, staffing agency Bellevue, staffing agency kent, staffing agency seattle, staffing partnerships, Temp to hire, Temporary Staffing

Part of our “How to Get the BEST from your Staffing Partner” Tool Kit       While many staffing companies, the PACE Staffing Network included, will advertise their services as a  “hands free” staffing solution, in reality we all know that getting to  “hands free” always starts with our customer’s “hands on” commitment to building a staffing partnership.    Here are 7 “hands on” things you can do to get the best out of PACE or another staffing partner of your choice, when it comes time to use our services to hire the “just right” employee. 1. COMMIT TO A PARTNERSHIP, NOT A SCRAMBLE.  Some hiring managers believe that the best way to ensure hiring success is to bomb the market - to send out written job descriptions to multiple staffing agencies, post their job on multiple job boards, and then sit back and wait for the response. The motive for this approach is to hire quickly and efficiently, finding the employee amongst the sea of candidates that will be uncovered using this approach.   In reality, the result is often an unintended and unwanted opposite. Here’s why… Most high performing staffing companies will not commit internal resources to work on requests where they believe success is either not likely or determined more by luck than skill. They are also reluctant to represent jobs that have been commoditized, i.e. widely available in the candidate marketplace. They know that when multiple agencies are asked to scramble for candidates, the candidates that are assembled quickly are often not the right fit, lengthening the hiring process and expanding the time spent screening unqualified candidates The alternative? Select one, possibly two, staffing companies who have a financial incentive to invest in the time necessary to ensure quality screening. Spend YOUR time making sure your staffing partner has the information they need to source the right candidates and screen them according to your criteria. Let your staffing partner decide how best to source for the right candidates, so that you no longer have to worry about job postings. If you have given your staffing partner enough time to do their work in a quality way, and they don't perform in the timeframes needed, you've likely selected the wrong partner—a staffing company that doesn't have the resources you need. The right staffing partner will align their services with your work style and standards. 2. PLAN FOR SUCCESS. One of the best ways to start a partnership is to spend time at the beginning of your HIRING project, planning for a successful outcome and all the steps in between. Share all you know about the job you need filled and the type of candidates you believe are most likely to be successful in the job. Your pre-hire homework should include talking to those people who know what the job entails; who have a perspective on what type of candidates will do the job well, and where there have been problems with certain types of candidates in the past. Make sure the information you are providing to your staffing partner captures current work content and all the nuances important to placement success. Job descriptions are helpful, but typically need to be updated when it's time to replace an existing employee.  And if you’re hiring a temporary or contract worker to fill a job formerly filled by a core employee, make sure you assess exactly what you need from that temporary or contract worker. The work to be done and the skill requirements for the right candidates are typically quite different for temporary compared to core hires.   Create a realistic timeline for each step in the hiring process—sourcing, evaluating, interviewing, selecting and onboarding the right candidate. Know what’s at stake if the steps in the timeline aren’t completed as planned so all eyes stay focused on addressing the business need, knowing where you have wiggle room and where you don’t. Memorialize your timeline so that both you and your staffing partner know exactly what’s expected, and by when. Reach agreement about how, when, and what will be communicated throughout the hiring process so that you stay in sync throughout the process – no surprises for you or your staffing partner. 3. DEDICATE THE TIME NEEDED! In today’s job market, the competition for talent often translates into the need for hiring managers to give the hiring process their undivided attention. Once your staffing partner has sourced, recruited, evaluated and submitted candidates, there are critical steps in the process—interviewing, evaluating, and deciding—that, only you can do. Trying to sandwich in resume reviews or candidate interviews in-between other work you consider more important, is not a formula for hiring success. So, we like to make sure our client’s work schedules are arranged to have enough time to review submittals, conduct interviews and provide timely feedback. Because the best candidates are typically in the job market for short periods of time, we recommend that you stay prepared to respond to candidate submittals within 24 hours of receipt and be available for a candidate interview 1-3 days from their submittal.    You also must be available to provide feedback, field questions, or address issues with your staffing partner as they come up. Your staffing partner’s recruiters need to know that the work they are doing to attract candidates to their client's jobs will have a payoff for themselves and their candidates. In the staffing business, we refer to customers who request and then don’t respond to candidate submittals, as “black holes.” Too many “black holes” and even the most sought after clients can lose recruiter attention, reducing the chances of a positive outcome. 4. GET CLEAR ON KEY REQUIREMENTS – REALLY! It’s easy to create a long list of “attributes” that you’d like to see in the hired employee. It’s much harder to prioritize that list so that you know which requirements are key to placement success! If you ask your staffing partner for candidates lucky enough to have “everything” on your list, be prepared either to get no candidates or too many candidates, who perhaps more problematically, lack the requirements you believe to be key. Make sure you are clear on the difference between attributes candidates “must have” and the attributes that are better left as “would like.” The take away from any planning process is full agreement with your staffing partner on a SHORT LIST of candidate attributes considered “key” to placement success. And here’s an important tip, once you’ve agreed on key requirements, ask your staffing partner to present prospective candidates using a summary worksheet of how each candidate meets your key “must have” requirements. Don’t let yourself get distracted by impressive resumes or cover sheets that cover up a lack of skills or experiences in areas considered key—a common cause of hiring errors.     5. MAKE SURE THE CANDIDATE YOU REQUEST IS THE CANDIDATE YOU CAN AFFORD. The candidates who CAN DO the job come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and costs. They will have different skill sets, work experiences, each dictating the amount of money they will request as their pay and benefit package. Be prepared for your staffing partner to share information about the realities of the current job market—things you need to know about what type of candidate’s are available in the marketplace, at what price. If you find that the information you are getting differs from what you thought, don’t shoot the messenger or ignore their message by continuing to insist on the impossible. To make the right hiring decision, the type of candidate you are looking for has to be available in the marketplace and meet the parameters of your budget. Sometimes this requires both discovery and negotiation. For example, let’s say you need to hire an administrative employee to manage your calendar, schedule appointments, and remind you of upcoming tasks. This is a job requiring a very specific set of mechanical skills and a mastery of calendaring technology. If, in addition to these skills, you want to hire someone who will work independently, use their own judgment to arrange meetings and activities on your behalf, keep others informed of projects you are managing, etc. that’s a different set of skills and experiences. Do you need to pay for the higher of the two skill levels? Only you can decide. However, your staffing partner should be able to point out the impact of each requirement on the required pay package. Some employers will simply elect a “developmental” strategy and hire the lesser skilled candidate in order to stay within budget requirements. Others will spend the money on the more highly skilled employee because they need the services of an assistant, not just a technician. 6. BE PREPARED TO BE FLEXIBLE – TO ADJUST THE PLAN. While pre-hire planning is important to an organized, efficient, hiring process, some of the steps in the process or plan often need to be adjusted when faced with the nuances of candidate needs and availability. A candidate who needs to relocate in order to accept your job offer may delay the starting date, requiring you to decide if the candidate is “worth the wait.” A highly skilled candidate whose pay requirements are considerably more than what you had budgeted may or may not be the right hire—but you need to be prepared to decide. Our point? Be prepared to deal with real life candidate situations as they come up, knowing that hiring in today’s marketplace often requires flexibility and creativity. Don’t be afraid to use your staffing partner as your marketplace expert. If you don’t hire the candidate that needs to relocate, what are your chances of finding a similar candidate locally? Is the job you have going to be meaty enough for the higher skilled candidate? Let your staffing partner guide you through your search for answers to these questions. 7. COMMUNICATE CANDIDLY AND OFTEN.  When things change for you, make sure you let your staffing partner know. The work it takes to source, screen, and prepare a candidate for specific work requirements takes time. Your staffing partner doesn’t like wasting time any more than you do and that’s what happens when they don't have the information they need to do their job efficiently. Reciprocally, expect your staffing partner to keep you posted on their candidate sourcing successes as well as information they gather as they track their candidates throughout the placement process. Many times they will be privy to candidate information that will let you know if your preferred candidate is actually going to accept your job offer if extended. We recommend daily touch-points between our recruiting team and our clients to make sure we stay current on what each of us is experiencing as we interact with potential. Feedback processes should be honest, candid and ongoing. This is particularly true with regard to submittal reviews and/or follow-ups after interviews. Your staffing partner needs your feedback ASAP, as they use that feedback to make adjustments in their sourcing and evaluation activities. Don’t be embaNancyrrassed if you don’t think the candidate your staffing partner thought “should be perfect” was not the right fit for you. Selecting the right candidate isn’t about being “right or wrong” in your assessment, but is about gathering as much information as you can on each candidate so your hiring decision can be based on a broad base of information and perspectives. For more information on “how to get the best from your staffing partner” contact me, Nancy Swanson, at nancys@pacestaffing.com or (425) 454-1075 ext. 3010. I’m PACE’s Vice President of Partnership Development – I am focused on helping our customers develop the type of recruiting partnerships that we know will optimize their staffing results.  

How do I Format and Draft a Job Offer Letter

by Jeanne Knutzen | November 26, 2013

0 Blog, Hiring.Best Practices, Human Resource Roles accounting staffing agencies seattle, staffing agencies in seattle, Staffing Agencies In Seattle WA, staffing agencies seattle, staffing agency seattle, staffing agency seattle wa

After weeks of careful sourcing, resume collection, conversations with recruiters, and a long, meticulous interview process, you’re finally ready to choose a candidate. And luckily for you, the choice is easy. Your final contender has it all: wits, drive, a strong work ethic, a pleasant attitude, and affordability. So now you need to make it over the final hurdle: presenting an offer she can’t refuse. And making sure she isn’t lured away by your competitors before her start date. Just to stay on the safe side as you draft your offer letter, keep a few tips in mind: first, retain two back up candidates so you can don’t have to start over if this one gets away. And second, remember that your letter is only part of the process. You also need to reach out to the candidate by phone, and you’ll want to stay socially connected with her between the date of the offer and the day she steps onboard. Try to prevent a change of heart by keeping her thoughts focused on a future with you, not her past with the company she’s leaving behind. Here are a few ways your offer letter can send the right message and accomplish this goal.

1. Be personable. The legal language of the letter is important, but give your words a personal touch, and make sure the tone is warm, welcoming, and enthusiastic. Make it clear that her arrival is considered an exciting and positive event, not just another bureaucratic item to check off a list.

2. If the offer will be contingent on anything, from a criminal background check to a medical exam, social media review, reference check, or blood test, make each of these items clear. Arrange them not in a block of text, but in a list of distinct bullet points.

3. Provide clear instructions to the employee regarding her next step. Will she need to sign the letter and return it by mail or email before a certain date? Will she need to contact the HR office by phone to formally accept the offer? Will she need to submit any additional material to deal with the contingency items listed above? These instructions should appear in the letter’s final paragraph, right before the close.

4. The terms of employment should be made clear in the letter. If this is an at-will agreement or a defined contract, include the terms in the letter or attach them in a separate document.

5. Summarize the insurance benefits associated with the position and clearly state the annual compensation.

The requirements and recommendations associated with your offer letter will vary with the position, the industry, and the laws in your state. If you are looking for staffing agencies in Seattle, contact us today.

Dealing with Professional Adversity

by Jeanne Knutzen | January 30, 2013

0 Blog, Human Resource Roles staffing agencies in seattle, Staffing Agencies In Seattle WA, staffing agencies seattle, staffing agencies seattle wa, staffing agency seattle, staffing firm seattle, staffing firms seattle wa

 So you’ve had a rough day. Or maybe you’ve had a rough year. You fought hard for your promotion to management, but the reality of the position isn’t playing out as you imagined. Or maybe you fought hard for your new job, you celebrated the day you received an offer, and now you’d rather die than spend another day in this nightmare. Or maybe, like countless professionals these days, you weathered the ups and downs of office life until the day you didn’t, and now you’re out on your own doing whatever you can to make ends meet until you can get your career back on track. Whatever your position may be, it’s no picnic, and no crystal ball can assure you that things will look brighter by the end of the day, the week, or the even the decade. So what should you do? And how can you channel the optimism you need to carry you through this challenging chapter of your professional story?  Try these simple tips. Staying Optimistic During Challenging Times 1. Line up your role models. Many of the people who we consider paragons of “success” didn’t face an easy path on their way to the top. In fact, some of the most successful people in history struggled with crippling setbacks, disappointments, and episodes of uncertainty. Who are your adversity role models? Think of the person at the top of your list (either a famous name or a personal hero drawn from your circle of family and friends.)  Take a close look at this person’s life, and recognize that during his or her darkest periods, she was just as uncertain as you are about how the future would play out. 2. Stop negative thought cycles. One negative thought (or imagined worst case scenario) tends to lead to another. So when you feel yourself losing your footing and sliding into a dark place, recognize that this is happening and do three things: 1.) Stand up from your chair or change your physical position. 2.) Take three deep breaths in and out for a count for five seconds each. 3.)  Switch gears and turn your unrealistic negative fantasies into realistic positive ones. 3. Fail hard, and fail smart When you fail (which you will if you’re a human being), learn from the experience. But actually learn, don’t just surround yourself with cheerful sounding platitudes. The lessons your failure brings may not resemble the lessons you have in mind, or the ones you’ve absorbed from movies and TV. In fact, they may not look familiar at all and may be unexpected and utterly unique to your own life. Be quiet for a while and stay alert to the real lessons, the ones that will have meaning for you, and only you. When you face a rocky stretch of road, remember that you don’t have to navigate your situation alone. You can, but you don’t have to. Reach out to the career management and staffing experts at Pace for insight, perspective, industry news, job leads, and other information that can help you find your footing and move forward with confidence.

Employees Want Flexible Companies

by Jeanne Knutzen | January 16, 2013

0 Blog, Human Resource Roles company flexibility seattle, seattle staffing firm, staffing agencies seattle wa, staffing agency seattle, staffing agnecies seattle

A little flexibility in the relationship between employee teams and their employers can go a long way in terms of raising morale and can even have a dramatic effect on a company’s bottom line. Despite evidence supporting the positive influence of flexibility, many managers still see this as counter-intuitive and are reluctant to increase wiggle room in scheduling, time management, and company policy. But these managers do so at their peril. If you find yourself having a hard time releasing your grip on rigidity and corporate tradition, here are a few things to consider. Reasons to Implement Flexibility

  1.  Allowing proven and trustworthy employees to work remotely, even just once a week or a few times per month, can help these employees attend to other obligations and then move work to the top of their priority list. A strong work life balance means grounded, well-adjusted and focused employees, which provides a cascade of positive benefits for the company.
  2. Working outside the office actually appears to increase, rather than decrease employee work hours and overall productivity. The reasons behind this aren't clear, but they may have something to do with the overcompensation employees often display when they aren't used to working with low supervision.
  3. Allowing an employee to leave the office on a Wednesday and make up the hours on Thursday or Saturday can have a surprising impact on appreciation and company loyalty. This shift takes nothing away from you, or your business, but it brings disproportionate reward since it often means so much to the employee.
  4. Flexibility with company rules, rather than by-the-book rigidity, may seem to open the door to all kinds of grey areas and weaken the entire concept of “company policy”. But if you demonstrate a case-by-case attitude toward dress code enforcement, for example, it shows that the company culture is humane and reasonable. Just know where to draw the line; dress codes are one thing, but hard hat zones and safety violations are another. It’s also important to make sure flexibility is distributed fairly.
  5. A flexible approach to onsite versus offsite project completion also demonstrates that your organization is tech savvy and unafraid to rely on wireless connectivity. An increasing number of offices are not only allowing their employees to work occasionally offsite, but are in fact hiring full time remote employees who live in other states. This flexibility may be the key to attracting and retaining the best talent in the business, regardless of location.
For more information on the benefits of flexibility, or how to hire, manage, and retain offsite employees, reach out to the Seattle staffing experts at Pace. We can connect you to the best candidates available and help you hold onto them once they’re onboard.