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Lower Your Candidate Rejection Rate

April 26th, 2013

There may be nothing more deflating than finally finding your ideal candidate only to have them accept an offer other than yours.  Sometimes you may have just lost out to a better offer.  Other times, though, there may have been something you could have done differently along the way to sway their decision to select your offer instead.  Take a look at these couple of factors and see if you have any opportunities for change in your hiring system.

  • Are you just too slow?  If the time from initial contact to making the offer is too long, your risk of losing the candidate goes up.  They have more time to go on other interviews, do more research on potential openings, and evaluate other offers.   Yes the adage “slow to hire and quick to fire” still applies, but too slow can definitely lose the race.  Communication is essential throughout the hiring process, but it becomes even more so if the process is going to be lengthy.  If you cannot shorten the time frame, make sure your candidate knows you are interested and give them some concrete times for the coming events:  next interviews, tests, possible offer deadline.  Better still, find a way to condense the time between interview to hire by bringing the candidates in one time, and having them interview with all necessary parties in the same day.
  • Is your offer a good one?  Perhaps you are losing these candidates simply because you are not offering a competitive salary.  Do your homework and find out what is currently being offered in your area by your competitors.  If you are too low, present your evidence to whomever is in the position to approve the increase and try very hard to get your offers at least competitive, if not superior.  And if you simply can’t increase the starting salary, make sure that your benefits package is in some way unique and has more to offer in the way of vacation, education, company outings, health insurance, etc. to make candidates think hard about turning you down.
  • Are you building relationships?  You really want to build relationships with your top candidates.  Even if you don’t intend to make more than one offer for this position, maintain contact with several viable choices, because you just never know what will happen.  Perhaps your first choice will not accept.  Perhaps you will end up needing more than one person with this skill set in the near future that you just couldn’t have predicted.  There are a number of circumstances in which keeping your top few candidates close would be beneficial. You also want to help them through this process of changing jobs as much as possible.  They should see you as an ally in this journey.  Ask them how their current employer will react when they resign.  Then offer suggestions for making that transition smooth for them and their employer.  This will help remove some of the stress associated with leaving a position, therefore removing another barrier to accepting your offer.

If you continue to experience a higher than normal rejection rate, call ERG Staffing Services.  We are expert in locating, screening and hiring clerical and light industrial staff for your warehouse business.  We can take some or all of this process over for you, freeing you up to run your business.

How to Handle a Big Mistake at Work

April 19th, 2013

Little mistakes happen frequently.  We are, after all, human beings and as such we are flawed.  The small errors are usually easily fixed and but minor blips in an otherwise smooth work life.  But when you happen to make a big mistake, one that costs your company time and or money to fix, you need to handle it properly to control the damage to your reputation and safeguard your career.  Here are some things to consider should this ever happen to you.

  • Own it.  If you make an error, admit it immediately.  Go to your direct supervisor and report it as soon as you can so steps can be taken immediately to fix the problem.  Waiting and/or trying to cover it up will only make things worse for you once the error is discovered by someone else.
  • Apologize.  Admitting your error is only part of it.  You must also sincerely apologize for the mistake.  Don’t give excuses.  Don’t make any more out of it than is necessary.  Also, don’t beat yourself up for too long.  It’s ok to feel bad for a bit, but don’t wallow in self-pity.  It is counterproductive to your next step…
  • Bring solutions.  Once you discover your error, begin brainstorming on solutions and fixes.  Strive to understand the full scope of the mistake and take into consideration others that might be affected by it.  See it from all sides and work with your boss to tackle immediate responses as well as secondary ones to begin to remedy the issue.
  • Correct it.  Work hard to undo what you have done.  Be willing to put in extra hours and effort to see that you do everything possible to make things right.
  • Prevent future errors.  In other words, learn from the mistake.  Perhaps the fact that you made this error in the first place uncovers a need for some more checks and quality controls to be put in place.  Further, if you made this error, chances are that your colleagues could make the same one in the future, so work with your boss to protect the company from a repeat performance.

When you are looking for employment in warehousing or any light industrial field, make sure you call us at ERG Staffing Services.  We are the leader in warehouse staffing in the New Jersey and Pennsylvania markets and we are ready to place you in the right job to match your skills.

Is Your Company Suffering From a Skills Mismatch?

April 12th, 2013

This term may be a new one to you, but a skills mismatch is something that many organizations are suffering from all across the US.  By definition, a skills mismatch means that your workers do not possess the current skills to meet the demands of your new industry developments, or even worse, you don’t have any employees on board who even have relevant skills.  How do you know if this is your challenge?

  • Do you feel that your team is working as hard as possible and still falling short of reasonable goals?
  • Do you frequently have tasks that no one, or only one or two people seem to be able to handle well ?
  • Do you feel that your company is losing ground in the marketplace, despite your best efforts?

Read on for some tips to begin to address your skills mismatch problem.

Determine what your problem is.  Is it that your employees have skills that are simply outdated?  Or, do you need to hire people who possess these skills because the learning curve is too long.

Determine who is best suited for each task and position.  Perhaps you have the right individuals in your organization, who possess passion and skills that you need, but they are working in the wrong position.  By evaluating each workers actual skill set and where their interests really lie, you can shift their responsibilities to make them more effective and probably much happier too.

Train, retrain, educate.  Once you understand who should be working where, see where your gaps are, and endeavor to fill them through education and training.  Seek out educational opportunities outside your workplace at community colleges and industry-specific training facilities.  And if you cannot find a resource, you need to create your own.  Many companies now are working closely with their local community colleges to create curricula that will provide the job market with employable people with the skills they will need.  You may need to get creative in your education solution, but the effort will pay off in increased productivity and more fulfilled workers.

Evaluate and reevaluate your progress.  Skills mismatch is not a new problem, and it will continue to rear its ugly head in the future as our technology increases at lightning speeds.  You must stay on top of so many advances in so many arenas, and make sure that your staff is able to keep up with their training at the same pace.  Again, your attention to this will have great payoffs.

Make it your culture.  The easiest way to keep up is to incorporate your training and education programs into the overall culture of your company.  One that is driven by education is one that enjoys satisfied employees being fulfilled by working in a forward thinking, cooperative and mutually beneficial environment.

At ERG Staffing Services, we understand how important it is to have the right people in the right positions.  Contact us today to get started on solving your employment challenges in light industrial and warehouse staffing.

Ways to Insure Better Hires

April 5th, 2013

The figures are startling: 70% of managers and HR professionals reported a bad hire in 2012 costing them between $25,000 and $50,000 each!  These figures come from a CareerBuilder study conducted in August and September 2012 among 2,494 individuals across the US.  Seeing these figures really drives home the need for an impeccable hiring process.

Because we are human beings dealing with other human beings, no interview and screening process will ever be flawless.  But there are steps that we can take, and areas upon which we can place more focus that will help us greatly improve our odds at making a good hiring decision mush more frequently.

  • Focus on Fit.  We hear this so often because it is so important.  In the above mentioned study, HR managers cited that 60% of the bad hires didn’t work well with other employees, and 59% had a negative attitude.  Those are large percentages.  The need to seriously consider your company culture becomes tantamount to many other considerations, including skill set.  Of course you cannot completely ignore a candidate’s lack of skill or experience, but do keep in mind that you can teach skills: you cannot teach personality.  You may want to shift the priority of temperament and attitude a bit closer to the top of the “must have” list.
  • Ramp up your employee referral program.  It is proven time and again that new hires found through an existing employee are a better match for your organization and tend to stay with you longer than those found outside your employee network.  Make sure your staff knows what positions you are hiring for, the qualifications required and preferred, and the benefit awarded the employee who refers a successful hire.  This results in minimum output for you with the potential for maximum gain.
  • Hire slow.  Fire Fast.  This old adage is a good one, as it begs us to spend the necessary time on the hiring process.  Many times we feel the pressure to fill the opening yesterday.  This is not to make light of the need for speed, but rather to prioritize a quality hire above a quick hire.  One way to have it both ways is to have a rock solid hiring plan and stick to it.  Make sure you have your “must have” list properly arranged, insure that all pre-screening is done effectively, have all the appropriate managers and peers in the loop where necessary, etc.  Good planning on your part, and effective training of all involved in the hiring process will help to keep the speed up while still finding out what is most important about each candidate.  Hopefully you can eliminate the need for too many fast fires.

ERG Staffing Services is a leader in the light industrial staffing market.  Contact us any time you have a warehouse or clerical position that needs to be filled.  We will deliver the right candidate to you, right away.

How to Find the Perfect Candidate for Your Light Industrial Job Opening

March 22nd, 2013

Every time you endeavor to fill an open position with your company you have a new opportunity to fin just the right person for the job.  Each time you enter into the process, you are seeking that candidate who will glide right in and dazzle everyone with their knowledge, skill, and engaging personality.  That person is assuredly out there every time you are looking for them.  But how do you find them?  You find lots of people who are willing to come on board, but not that perfect person.  Well here are a few ideas to try and draw in the right person each time.

  • Advertise your company culture, not just the job.  There are jobs out there that are just like the one you are offering.  And you want the top candidates to choose you, not the other guys.  This is simple:  just tell them why they should.  Get the word out about why it is so great to work with your organization.  Make sure everyone knows what your company culture is all about.  What makes you interesting, what makes you better, what can they expect to get out of employment with you, what unique opportunities for development and growth do you offer?  This way it isn’t a job they are applying for, it is an entire culture and environment and work experience that they are seeking.  You are already unique, just make sure they know why.
  • Ramp up your screening process.  The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over but expecting different results.  If this feels familiar to you, it is easy to do something immediately to change this pattern.  Examine your screening and interviewing process.  Make sure you are going beyond the basic Q and A session.  Offer candidates the opportunity to actually demonstrate what they can do.  Set up a second interview with those in whom you are interested where they can have a practical experience with your team.  Get them paired up with a peer for an hour or two and observe them in the environment.  If appropriate, give them a real work challenge they will encounter on the job and see how they handle it.  All good candidates will be excited to show you just what they have to offer.  And the insight you will gain into their qualification is priceless.
  • Delve deeper into each candidate.  The more you know about each person the more you can assess their fit with your organization.  Many times, a candidate will have all the right skills, experience and qualifications and the wrong temperament.  They end up being a square peg in a round hole, you spend a lot of time and money getting them up to speed, and they ultimately don’t work out.  But the more you know about a person the better you can assess how well they will fit with your team and your culture.  Check them out on social media.  Find out about their hobbies and interests outside of work.  Anything you can do to get a better understanding of who this individual really is will help you to accurately assess whether you should make them an offer or not.

At ERG Staffing Services, we are highly skilled at filling light industrial posts with qualified individuals who will be a good fit with your company culture.  We get to know you first, so we can appropriately screen candidates for you later.  Contact one of our trained professionals today to find out more.

 

 

Been out of the Work Force for a While? Here are Some Tips for Easing Back In.

March 15th, 2013

You have been out of work for some period of time, and now you have finally landed a new job.  Now what?  You are used to being in charge of your own schedule, coming and going when you decide, and now, starting in one week, you have to do the 9 to 5 grind (a welcomed grind so it is!).  Here are some tips for getting yourself back in work mode.

Get your rest.  It may sound silly, since you were not going to work every f day, but you may have been staying up late and sleeping later than usual during our time off.  Now you need to get yourself back on a work day schedule.  Insure that you get the right amount of sleep for you, about 8 hours or so.  A regular bedtime planned around what time you need to be out of bed in the morning is an important adjustment to make.  You will be more likely to perform your best when rested.

Plan out your first week.  Think about your commute, your meals, when you will go to the gym, who will be getting the kids after school…all these wrinkles should be ironed out before you start your first day of work.  This planning removes stress and allows you to focus on the important task of making a good start at your new workplace.

Share your feelings.  You will undoubtedly have many and mixed emotions about returning to work.  You will obviously be relieved and excited to be employed again.  You may also be sad about leaving the easier schedule of unemployment.  Fear and anxiety are also common emotions people go through when returning to work or embarking on a new journey.  One thing you can do for yourself is to share your feelings with those close to you.  Give them the opportunity to share in your joy and support you in your fear or nervousness.

Don’t dive in head first, at least not right away.  This may sound counter-intuitive  but often times in our zeal to do a great job and impress our new boss and colleagues, we dive right in, head first, and try to tackle everything all at once.  This could work out fine, or it could lead to you getting completely overwhelmed, burned out right away, or making some big mistakes because you don’t know enough yet to do things properly.  Do yourself and your new employer a service, and don’t try to be superman.  Take things a bit slower, at least for the first month or two, until you are certain you know everything you need to know to do it all very well.

If you haven’t yet found your next work situation, ERG Staffing Services can help.  We are expert in placing light industrial and clerical workers in jobs that they are perfectly suited for.  Call one of our professionals today to get started.

Best Practices for Your Onboarding Program

March 8th, 2013

You have taken the time and devoted the efforts to finding and hiring the right candidates.  Now, you need to retain them.  One way to increase your employee retention is to establish an onboarding program.  A few reasons to put effort into this program:

  1.  New hires will immediately feel that they are a part of something bigger, and that they are important.
  2. They will get a good sense and understanding of your company culture.
  3. Newbies can become hooked into your social and professional networks more quickly.
  4. The training time required to get new employees up to full productivity is reduced.

When establishing your onboarding program, you should consider the following:

  1. Establish an official time frame for your program, probably 3 to 6 months or more, depending on the position.  There will be a few days of intensive immersion at the start, and then a schedule for the remaining weeks.  You may want to set up a “shadow” rotation so the new employee gets to spend some time in each department following another employee through their day to day tasks.  Also, schedule periodic check- ins with supervisors or managers to make sure the new hire is feeling settled and learning from the experience.
  2. Make sure that your new employee has all the necessary resources available at their fingertips.  This means everything from training manuals, videos and office equipment, to a peer mentor.  Make sure they know where the break room is and what is available to them for their use such as a microwave, refrigerator, etc.   It may seem overly simplistic, but you need to make sure they know how to use the telephone and have a phone list handy.  Make sure they get a crash course in how the copier works.  These are small items that can really take away some new-job stress for a person beginning with your company.  And, it will allow them to be able to focus on becoming productive right away.
  3. Help them assimilate.  So much employee turn-over is actually because a new employee never really feels that they fit in with the rest of your staff, or that no one is paying attention.  Make sure that you have a supervisor or a mentor directly responsible for insuring that your newest staff members get included in all team meetings or functions.  The manager should help the new hire to set goals, and then help them create a plan to meet and exceed those goals.   Further, the manager should monitor the employee’s progress and give them feedback all along the way.

Once you find the right applicant for your open positions, you really want them to stay long-term.  The time and energy you put into establishing your onboarding program will be paid back to you with increased employee retention.

ERG Staffing Services will find you qualified applicants for your light industrial jobs, and even prequalify and hire them for you.  This saves you time and energy so you can focus on all the other aspects of your business.  Contact our trained experts today to learn exactly how we can help you, and we can get started right away.

How to Maintain Productivity During a Temporary Hiring Freeze

March 1st, 2013

Forecasts for our country’s economy indicate sloth-like growth in 2013, with estimates of 1.4 percent for 2013. For recruiters, this poses a real challenge, because slower growth inevitably leads to layoffs and hiring freezes.  And for managers, an even bigger concern is how to keep up your output and productivity in a climate of fear and uncertainty.

It all starts with you.  As a manager or team leader or senior staff member, you have the eyes and ears of the rest of the staff on you.  The mood and morale of the group can be directly affected both positively and negatively by your actions and words.  So when your team freezes up and morale starts to sink for fear of losing jobs or at the very least not getting ahead in their career with your company, it is up to you to lead the way.  The team is looking at your level of commitment as a guide to what their own should be.  If you are committed to the goals of the company and it is obvious by your behavior, your team will pick up on that and follow suit.  However, if you are scared, and you show it, they will follow your lead there too, and you will end up taking everyone down with you.  Be positive and energized and lead your team to higher morale.

Give them the state of the union address.  Fear usually comes from ignorance.  If a hiring freeze is announced, no matter how short term it may be, workers immediately lose confidence in the company’s security and assume that layoffs cannot be far behind.   This in turn will bring morale crashing down and productivity will grind to a halt.  If layoffs are not around the corner, tell them so.  Do not let the rumor mill take the place of actual information.  Ask your team what their concerns are.  As soon as possible, have a team meeting to address their questions and discuss exactly what the hiring freeze means for your company, giving them insight as to why this is a good decision.  By being up front and forthcoming with facts and information, workers should be able to keep their faith in their leaders and will hopefully be able to focus on their goals.

Set new goals for the new climate.  A team can be defined as a group of individuals working together toward a common goal.  There is no better time than now to rally your team around some common goals that you will establish.  This renewed focus gives workers confidence and allows them to maintain and even increase their productivity if they feel they are making progress toward a goal.  Communicate what the new goals are, how you plan to achieve them, why they are important and what the rewards are for reaching them.  Now is the time for motivators and cheerleaders.  Celebrate all milestones, small and large, and keep your team focused and motivated with continuous feedback and updates.

If you are faced with a hiring dilemma, let the trained professionals at ERG Staffing Services guide you to a solution.  Contact us today and we will get you in touch with the right candidates to fill any light industrial or clerical staffing needs you have – the right people, right now.

Employee Burn Out – Diagnosis and Solutions

February 22nd, 2013

“Burn Out” may be a somewhat antiquated term, but it is alive and well, unfortunately, in today’s workforce.  According to Jonathan Alpert, a NY psychotherapist and author, nearly everyone “is facing more pressure.  With people laid off, people are taking on more responsibilities, working harder and having les support and that amounts to burnout. No one wants to complain for fear of losing their job”, so most employees stay and suffer in silence, all the while becoming less and less productive.

There are other possible factors that can cause burn out, too.  Unrealistic deadlines can result in the hamster wheel effect – employees keep running at full tilt but are never able to reach the goal.  Compounding this feeling of high stress, managers who never recognize or reward such hard work  create an atmosphere of despair and eventually, apathy.  Don’t let things get this far.

How to spot it:

  1.  Missing deadlines
  2. Not living up to previous standards of work quality
  3. Doing less work and being less productive
  4. Increase in lateness or absenteeism
  5. Negative change in demeanor or attitude

How to remedy it:

  1. It starts with communication.  Meet with effected employees one on one or even in a group setting to uncover root causes of burn out.
  2. Really listen to what they are telling you.  There may be some messages you don’t want to hear.  But to save your workforce and protect your team’s productivity, listen.
  3. Work out a plan together of how to reedy these issues.  For example, if a worker feels completely overburdened, consider redistributing his workload.  If someone feels that work is completely taking over her life, figure out ways to help her achieve better work- personal life balance.
  4. Write it all down.  Document the individuals who are feeling burned out.  Write down what the causes are, and describe in detail what solutions you have come up with together.  Distribute these notes to all appropriate parties.  Treat this as a living document and revisit it frequently to see if your solutions are working or if they need modification.

Prevention is key, too:

  1. Keep it fresh.  Whether it is tasks or just the environment at large, variety is truly the spice of life that keeps us coming back for more.  If there are routine tasks that need to be performed regularly, change who has to do them.  Maybe it can be as simple as redecorating the breakroom, or changing the location of the weekly staff meetings.  Anything you can do to periodically break the monotony of reoccurring tasks is positive.
  2. Cross train.  The benefits of cross training employees are vast, but in this case the big benefit is that it keeps workers interested.  Everyone enjoys learning new things, and they feel more valued as employees if they know you are investing in their training.
  3. Team building.  This doesn’t have to be a huge company outing, but if you have it in your budget, why not?!  If not, think small, like a company night out to the local ball park, or even breakfast at a favorite spot near the office.  In nice weather, have a pot luck picnic and organize games for the families.  Helping employees to enjoy each other’s company outside the workplace promotes teamwork and productivity in the workplace.

“Ultimately the biggest price companies’ pay for burnout is a loss of talented people.  As the economy improves, they will leave the enterprise,” says John Izzo, author of Values-Shift: The New York Work Ethic and What It Means for Business.

Let ERG Staffing Services help you in finding staffing solutions for your warehouse business.  We are highly trained staffing professionals and we are a phone call or an email away.  Contact us to get started.

Tips for a Successful Interview with a Recruiter

February 15th, 2013

If you have never interviewed with a staffing company before, you may be tempted to treat the experience with a bit more levity than a “real” job interview.  Don’t do it.  This is as real an opportunity to land a good job as any other interview directly with a company, maybe even more so!  Follow these guidelines for a successful experience.

1)      Dress as you would for any job interview.  The recruiter may seem so warm and friendly on the phone that you may think that your interview is more of a “get to know you better” session, which it is.  But it is also a full on job interview, so dress the part.  Don’t go casual.  You want to seem credible, serious and worth consideration, and your attire should say that about you.

2)      Have your resume ready.  Have a few extra copies available too.  Make sure it is accurate, updated, and addresses any gaps you may have in employment.  Be prepared to answer questions about your time between jobs honestly.  Don’t try to hide these gaps.  If the recruiter later uncovers any inconsistencies with your version of your employment history, it will definitely count against you.  A recruiter’s reputation is on the line every time they send who they believe to be a well-qualified applicant to one of their client companies.  They will not risk sending you if they feel you may have been less than truthful on your resume.

3)      Practice your interview skills before you go.  Again, treat this as you would an interview for your dream job, because it may well turn out to be!  Make good eye contact.  Answer questions thoughtfully.  Prepare some concise questions to ask before you go.  Practice mock interviews with a friend if it’s been a while since you last interviewed.  There is no preparation that is too much.  All this work will make you more relaxed and confident, and better able to represent yourself.

4)      Be a helpful source of information for the recruiter.  The recruiter may not understand the ins and outs of the job they are trying to fill as well as you do.  It is your industry, after all.  You are in a unique position to offer some insight into the job their client needs to fill.  And, your advice will be greatly appreciated because it will allow the recruiter to better perform his job.  By striking this cooperative, mutually beneficial tone with the recruiter, you will help yourself because it is in the recruiter’s best interest to get you placed.

At ERG Staffing Services, our staff of highly trained professionals is here to place you in the job you are seeking.  Contact us today so you can begin the process of landing your next position in a light industrial workplace.