Tag Archive | Temp employees

Young Professionals: Six Keys to Building Your Career

by Josh Bersin

This week two new studies (one by The Economist and one by Quantum Workplace) highlight how rapidly young professionals’ view of their careers have changed. While startups continue to be exciting and people desperately want to work for pre-IPO companies, research shows that most Millennials (under the age of 30) are starting to really mature in their career thinking.

Here is some data:

Young People are Getting more Serious: The days of young people smoking marijuana, hanging around on the street in cities like Berlin, or kids in the UK engaging in binge drinking are slowly coming to an end. The Economist research shows that these teams of youth are going away and people are focused on their education, career, and making a living.

“Across the OECD, a club of 34 mostly rich countries, enrollment of 15- to 19-year-olds in education increased by 11 percentage points to 83% between 1995 and 2011. Among adults in their 20s participation in higher education has increased by a third. Young people who are studying rather than in paid employment have less money for hedonism.” (The Economist article).

People in their 20s rate “professional development” as their #1 issue in selecting a great place to work. The Quantum study, which surveyed 400,000 professionals, rated the top drivers of engagement by age and look what they found (it’s not surprising).

Fig 1: Quantum Workplace 2014 Employee Engagement Trends Report

Fig 2: Engagement vs. Education, from Quantum Workplace Engagement Report

Young professionals: this is your time. What this data, coupled with the strong jobs report launched earlier this week, shows is that we have entered a period of time where younger workers (people in their 20s and early 30s) are now getting far more serious about their careers.

Young Professionals: Welcome to Your Career – Six Keys

As an aging baby boomer who spends my career looking at talent and business trends, let me summarize some suggestions:

1. It’s time to take your career seriously: make sure you achieve your goals, openly communicate with your manager, and express your ambitions clearly.

When I was young I was far too shy (and not even sure) about my personal career .. and not until my late 20s did I really have any idea where it was going. Don’t worry if your current job doesn’t seem like your “dream job” – learn everything you can, contribute positively, develop great relationships, and express your desires in an open way. Today more than ever employers will help find you the right next step, as long as you’re doing good work in your current role.

2. Seek out the mentoring and advice of others.

Now that you’ve become a little more serious about your career, take some time to have lunch with a more senior friend, work associate, or even family friend. Ask them about their career, what they learned, and how they decided to do what they do. Building a career will take decades, and you will get lots of good ideas on which direction to go from many of us who have been down this path.

3. Stay open to changes and diversions in your path.

The one thing I would say about my career (and I hear this from most senior people) is that I could never have predicted it would go where it went. Every job and every assignment will teach you something new: something about work, something about life, and something about yourself. Stay open to these new assignments and opportunities and look at them as your stair-step path toward your eventual “perfect job,” whatever that may be.

4. Teach yourself every day.

These days we have so much learning, content, and information available online you should spend your commute time, travel time, or down time learning something new. Read about a new company or technology; follow a business leader you admire; take courses in new technology or tools; and learn to use all the tools around us. The world of business changes faster than ever – you should get comfortable being a “continuous and relentless learner.”

5. Push your limits.

The most valuable learning experiences you will have in your career happen when you get thrown into the deep end of the pool and think you can’t swim. I had a whole series of jobs I was not qualified for, but after months of hard work and lots of late nights, I figured most of them out and each one became transformational in my own career growth. If your boss offers a new assignment which is both important and new, think hard about taking it!

6. Be yourself.

Last year I wrote an article called “Learning to Be Yourself.” Now, more than ever, as the job market heats up, you should spend some time learning what you are really all about. I was always an introvert and shy as a young professional, and sure enough that eventually brought me into a career as an analyst, researcher, and entrepreneur. Don’t try to copy someone else who appears to be getting ahead – your path will be much more valuable if you stay true to yourself.

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
― Oscar Wilde

“Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.”
― Judy Garland

Building a career is a never-ending process, and even if you get layed off or your boss fires you, it’s part of moving forward. A good friend of mine is a senior HR executive and she was just ousted from the company she worked at for many years. Rather than think of this as a “failure” or “mistake,” I encouraged her to think about it as the opening of a new door to her career – one as an HR leader at a new, perhaps smaller company who will value her skills even more.

Every career is unique and you can succeed in a myriad of ways. I admire my doctor for the career he built; our family nutritionist is a highly successful professional in her chosen field; whenever I hire a contractor or consultant I learn about their career and am usually fascinated by their experiences.

The research clearly shows that over the next 3-5 years career development will be one of the most important issues in the labor market. Employers: take heed – if you don’t offer these kinds of “tours of duty” (as Reid Hoffman calls it in The Alliance), you’ll lose good people.

And those of you in the first ten years of your own journey, strap yourself in for an adventure and enjoy the ride. If you follow some of my advice, every day will be a growth experience and you’ll look back 30 years from now and say “wow, what a great career I had.”

How to Adjust to a New Workplace


By Kayla Bayens

Adjusting to a new workplace can be stressful. You are the new guy and you aren’t quite sure where everything is yet. But coming into a new workplace environment doesn’t have to be a nightmare. The first month on the job is important as it will leave a lasting impression on your supervisors. Are you a slacker? Are you a team player? Can you keep up with those that have been on the job longer? But not to worry it can also be fun and rewarding starting your new job, here are some tips and suggestions to help smooth out the transition period.

Deep Breath

Now is the time to find your inner Zen. Changing jobs or learning a new one can be extremely stressful. You don’t know if you are doing what you need to or if you are even doing it correctly to start with. Take some time to take deep calming breaths in the morning before work to help you relax and focus. Keep your eye on the goal: Learn the job.

It will take time

Don’t expect to instantly understand every task, know how to do every assignment, or where everything is. These things will take time so remember to not get frustrated. By doing the job as best you can everyday and asking questions you will soon have a complete handle on everything. Soon you’ll be completely comfortable in your job and you won’t even have realized when it happened.

Get to know people

Take some time to talk to your co-workers, maybe ask to sit with some of them during your lunch break. It is important to make the effort to get to know them as you will probably be working on projects with them at some point. However it also gives you a sense of belonging to know the people around you and to be able to strike up a conversation with them. Beware the pitfall of becoming a part of an office clique this early on though. You haven’t been around long enough to understand the inner office politics of things and joining a clique this early can actually hurt you. Be nice, open, and friendly to everyone while doing your best to avoid the under current of inner office politics.

Have goals

A great way to make sure you make the right impression in your first months on the job is to talk about goals with your supervisor. What are the company’s goals for you or your team this month? In the next six months? Knowing the answers to these can give you a target to shoot for. Or if you wanted to earn some brownie points with management always aim to hit about the goal.

Ask for helpt1larg.fall.asleep.work

Remember you are new to this job so you won’t know everything from the start. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask for help if you aren’t sure. Doing this will actually make you better at your job as time goes on. Instead of getting the habit of doing a task the wrong way because you were too scared to ask, you can instead quickly learn the right way to go about tasks. Keep this in your mind: The quicker you ask for help, the quicker you’ll learn and become the best at your new job. So fire those questions away!

Ask for feedback

What better way to keep getting better at your new job then to ask for feedback. At the end of the first week talk to your supervisor about your performance. Where do you need to improve? Where did you excel? Are there any notes you should take into the next week to work on? Asking for feedback lets your supervisor know you care about doing the best job you can. It lets them see you are more then willing to go an extra mile to make sure you are doing the job in the best way for the company.

Know your surroundings

Take time to get to know where everything is. Do you know where the restrooms are? How about the break room? Water cooler? Printer or copier? All of these things are important to easing you into the workplace. Break rooms and water coolers can provide a chance to get to know some of your co-workers. The better you know where everything around you is, the more comfortable you’ll feel.

Unwritten office conduct

With in the office there will be some unwritten office conduct rules that you will just have to observe. Do people take their lunch at their desk or do they leave for lunch? Are deadlines hard, meaning they have to be in exactly by this time, or are they more like a time frame? Do people normally converse via email or do they go in person when they need to discuss something? Is everyone quiet and focused during work hours or is it a bit more relaxed with people laughing and talking while they work? All of these things are very important to find out in order to fit in. These unwritten rules create the backbone of any workplace environment, so keep an eye out and learn them as quickly as you can.

Dress for Success

p1When Job-Hunting: Dress for Success

by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D.

It’s probably one of the most overused phrases in job-hunting, but also one of the most underutilized by job-seekers: dress for success. In job-hunting, first impressions are critical. Remember, you are marketing a product — yourself — to a potential employer, and the first thing the employer sees when greeting you is your attire; thus, you must make every effort to have the proper dress for the type of job you are seeking. Will dressing properly get you the job? Of course not, but it will give you a competitive edge and a positive first impression.

Should you be judged by what you wear? Perhaps not, but the reality is, of course, that you are judged. Throughout the entire job-seeking process employers use short-cuts — heuristics or rules of thumb — to save time. With cover letters, it’s the opening paragraph and a quick scan of your qualifications. With resumes, it is a quick scan of your accomplishments. With the job interview, it’s how you’re dressed that sets the tone of the interview.

How should you dress? Dressing conservatively is always the safest route, but you should also try and do a little investigating of your prospective employer so that what you wear to the interview makes you look as though you fit in with the organization. If you overdress (which is rare but can happen) or underdress (the more likely scenario), the potential employer may feel that you don’t care enough about the job.

How do you find out what is the proper dress for a given job/company/industry? You can call the Human Resources office where you are interviewing and simply ask. Or, you could visit the company’s office to retrieve an application or other company information and observe the attire current employees are wearing — though make sure you are not there on a “casual day” and misinterpret the dress code.

Finally, do you need to run out and spend a lot of money on clothes for interviewing? No, but you should make sure you have at least two professional sets of attire. You’ll need more than that, but depending on your current financial condition, two is enough to get started and you can buy more once you have the job or have more financial resources.

Expert Hints for Dress for Success for Men and Women

Attention to details is crucial, so here are some tips for both men and women. Make sure you have:

  • clean and polished conservative dress shoes
  • well-groomed hairstyle
  • cleaned and trimmed fingernails
  • minimal cologne or perfume
  • no visible body piercing beyond conservative ear piercings for women
  • well-brushed teeth and fresh breath
  • no gum, candy, or other objects in your mouth
  • minimal jewelry
  • no body odor

Finally, check your attire in the rest room just before your interview for a final check of your appearance — to make sure your tie is straight, your hair is combed, etc.


The Pros of Hiring Temporary Employees


By Kayla Bayens

Hiring temps is becoming the normal in today’s businesses. Many companies hire only temps, later bringing on the really great workers as full time employees. This practice is seen a lot and there is a reason for it. The practice of hiring temporary employees affords the companies a lot of benefits that they normally wouldn’t get. Below are some reasons that your company should start thinking about hiring temporary employees when it comes to filling your staffing needs.

Built in Screening

Hiring a temporary employee through an agency all the screening is handled for you. When you are sent a potential candidate you know that person has been screened for qualifications, had a background check, and is legally allowed to work in the state. All that work is handled for you without having to bog down your HR people. The weeding is done before the resumes even reach your hand.

Staffing Flexibilityhappy-worker

You can quickly adjust to any changes in your workload in order to maximize your efficiency. Suddenly have a large influx of work coming in, hire a few temporary employees through a Temp Agency in order to help handle it. Has your workload dipped down after a few months? Well luckily for you instead of having to now keep on unneeded employees while hoping for another large workload to come in you can just let the Temp Agency know the assignment is completed. Both you and the temporary employee can move on to other things while still having both your needs met.

Evaluate without Commitment

Alot of company’s work off of a temp to hire system because of this benefit. Sure someone’s resume might look amazing, and they might have been fantastic in the interviews. But how are they really when it comes to jumping into the job and working? Why not be able to take a few months and find that out without the headache of hiring them on full time when it might not even end up being a good fit. Sure most places have a probationary period for new hires but if that cut off date sneaks up on you without you realizing then you’re in trouble.

Save Time & Money

In most cases hiring a temporary employee is cheaper then hiring a full time employee with benefits. That is because when you go through a Temp Agency they, the agency, not you are the ones who take on the financial burden and responsibilities for recruiting, screening, testing and hiring workers; payroll expenses and paperwork; payroll and withholding taxes; unemployment and workers’ compensation insurance and any other employee benefits they may want to provide. Taking the brunt of the work, time, and money it takes to find the right employee off your hands. Allowing you to focus more on building the best company possible.

happy-workersSpecialized Skills

Sometimes you just don’t have a particular skill that you need in order for your team to accomplish a project. Temporary employees allow you to quickly find and hire on someone with that specialized skill set. Often these individuals also take less time to ramp up into full gear. Which lets your team quickly move forward rather then waiting for the sometimes tedious task of hiring a permanent employee.

High Productivity

You might think temporary employees might be a bit lacking in productivity since they know they won’t be there long. However the opposite as in fact found to be true. According to an extensive study conducted by Vox on labor markets from 1985-2008 it was found when markets were deregulated to allow for more temporary workers employment and GDP per employed person both greatly increased. So contrary to popular belief temporary workers are actually on a whole extremely productive and beneficial to a company.

How to Be Prepared for a Temporary Position Interview


By Kayla Bayens

Wonderful opportunities, contacts and careers have resulted from temporary positions. So an interview for a temporary position is not something you wing and just show up to. Especially since temporary positions can run the gambit from receptionist to a CEO, and if the company really likes you your temporary position could turn into a permanent one. Here are some tips to help you gear up and be prepared for your next interview.

1) Do Your Research

Research the company you are interviewing with before hand. Using their company site you can access valuable background information like their annual revenue as well as things such as mission statements. Looking these up before hand will give you an edge as you now know more about what the company is and the kind of people they look for. By bringing up this information during the interview or by tailoring your answers to highlight how you would fulfill critical parts of their mission statement you will stand out as a better candidate.

2) Get a Job Description

Using the job description you have been given take a piece of paper and fold it down the middle. On the left side write “What are they looking for?” at the top of the paper, on the right side write “What I have to offer”. Compare the company’s needs with your experience and qualities. Are there any shortcomings? Can you show them you learn quickly or bring added value to the company from the start?

3) Dress Appropriately

As a general rule of thumb your interview attire should always be a level or two better than you would wear at work. For an interview your goal is to look more professional and more conservative that you would at any point while on the job. It keeps appearances from being the reason you didn’t get the job and forces hiring managers to focus on your skills and experience instead.

4) Bring a Resume

You should always bring multiple copies of your resume to a job interview even if you emailed a copy of your resume before hand. This will cut down on possible confusion if HR didn’t pass along your resume to your interviewers. You should also always bring a note pad and a working pen to your interview in order to write down any important details or possible questions you might have during the interview.

5) Know Your Availability

This is extremely important to know before your interview. If you are a student know the exact days and times of your classes, if you have any possible conflicts as far as previous engagements know those and be up front about them. It is worse, and reflects poorly on both you and on the company, if you don’t mention a possible conflict of availability and have to back out of the assignment after you have already accepted it.

6) Be On Time

Punctuality is a must. If possible do a dry run a few days before your actual interview so that you know where you are going ahead of time, but make sure to do it around the time you would be heading for the interview. This will give you a more solid idea of how long it will take to get there and how much time you need to factor in for traffic. The best practice is to show up early because early is on time, on time is late, and late is never acceptable.

7) Have a short information statement ready

Be prepared for the interviewer to ask you to talk about yourself. For this they expect you to go over past positions, your qualifications, your education, etc. Having this ready ahead of time will allow you to practice it until it sounds natural. The more time you have to practice it the less you will stumble through it when asked. Don’t be afraid to show confidence and make eye contact while proudly talking about yourself.

10) Prepare questions of your own

Have questions prepared ahead of time to ask the interviewer both about the position and about the company. Taking the time to do so shows a higher level of interest in the position and distinguishes you from other candidates. This can be as simple as asking who your supervisor will be, or how do your responsibilities on the job break down. Make sure your questions use specific concerns or knowledge you might have about the position or company as these will have the greatest impact.

11) Remember names

Most importantly remember the names of your interviewer. Use those names during the interview to build a relationship with them. Doing this will cause the interviewer to respond in kind, meaning when it comes to picking candidates your name will be at the forefront of their mind.

Tips to Onboarding New Temp Employees

welcome temps

By Kayla Bayens

It’s easy to overlook new temp employees. Welcoming new temp employees is important for several reasons. Not only will the temp better understand their new workplace, but they will feel more comfortable and confident if their peers and supervisors make an effort to welcome them. Here are 14 ways to ensure that your new temporary employee feels at home in your organization from the start.

1. Welcome them upon arrival.
Don’t leave the temp in the waiting room on their first day. A supervisor or team-member should be available to greet them as soon as he or she arrives.

2. Introduce them to others at the company.
Try to introduce the temp to members of their team and other people they may need to interact with in the company. You may also want to send an email that announces new workers’ arrival and describes their background and what they will be doing for you.

3. Have their workstation ready.
Arriving at the office to a fully functional computer, phone system and work area is definitely meaningful to a temp. If possible, have an IT representative walk them through passwords and other technology setup procedures. If your company employs an ergonomic specialist, have that person stop by to make sure the desk, chair and keyboard are properly configured.

4. Assign work buddies.
Work buddies can help temps comfortably transition to their new professional environment. The buddy should work in the same field and be able to answer questions and explain policies to the new temp employee.

5. Take them to lunch or coffee.
Depending on the assignment length and situation, a welcome lunch or coffee break with just yourself or with team members and supervisors is another way to greet new temps.

6. Give them a tour of your offices.
Temp employees should be comfortable navigating the workplace. Make sure that they are familiar with important locations in the building, (bathrooms, the kitchen, additional entrances and exits, etc.)

7. Explain your expectations.
Describe the professional hierarchy within the new employee’s team. For example, who they report to and who reports to them.

8. Give them something to do.
Offer the new temp employees a training manual if available, to read. In addition to small, simple tasks to complete during their first few days.

9. Get paperwork in order.
Notify your HR department of any new hires before the temp starts.

10. Be open to questions.
Make sure to answer any questions, and express your pleasure at having the new temps aboard. You may want to set aside a few minutes to check in with them towards the end of their first day for this.

11. Take time for the training.
Find someone who has availability, and the time to train with the new person.

12. Provide Necessary work items.
These include: keys, (office file cabinets, bathroom) security codes, badges/id cards and any other item that an employee might have. This helps the temp feel like a part of the team, rather than an outsider.

13. Review Dress code and office protocol.
Let the temp know on the first day any important office procedure as well if they are in compliance with the dress code. Other nice information can be things like good lunch spots, where people might park, coffee locations and other helpful tips.

14. Confirm their work schedule.
Make sure the schedule is clear and confirm If there have been any changes or adjustments.

“What is ordinary to you maybe a desert of woeful newness to another.” ― Richard Llewellyn