Tag Archives: Employment

Job Search tips – part 2

Consider the following guidelines when when beginning a new position.  These guidelines will ensure a positive experience for yourself as well as for the company you chose to work for.business suit

‘on the job’ tips

  • Be sure to be a few minutes early on the first day on the job to familiarize yourself with the office environment and routine. (up to fifteen minutes early is sufficient)
  • Confirm dress code prior to first day on the job. If ever unsure of dress code it is better to be more corporately dressed.
  • Maintain a positive attitude and outlook at all times. This will help you naturally turn problems into opportunities.
  • Plan to have at least one or two relevant questions or statements to ask or comment on during the orientation or training session. This will confirm your interest in the role and the company in general.
  • Come to the first day on the job with a pen and notebook to take notes on new details and general information. Ensure you are clear on any position details.  Ask questions—don’t assume.
  • Send a thank you card to the person that offered you the position. As mentioned in Part 1, in the internet age, this will certainly help you stand out in the long term.
  • Be proactive – if you have completed your assigned work, ask for additional work.
  • Respect company and employee confidentiality regarding any information you learn about the company, other employees’ salaries as well as your own.  Compensation (your own or others) is to be held in strict confidence.
  • If you feel that you ever experience unprofessional behaviour from a peer or manager consider the whole situation and any trends. Once you have done this, look to speak confidentially with the Human Resource Manager.
  • It is not always easy being ‘the new guy’, but your positive outlook will always help you get through.

.

photo credit: _Davo_

Job Search tips – part 1

Consider the following guidelines when going on a job interview. shaking hands These guidelines will ensure a positive experience for yourself as well as for the company you chose to work for.

Interview tips

  • Be on time.  Intend to arrive a few minutes early to a job interview (but no more than 10 minutes)
  • Dress professionally and show a positive attitude. Do not underestimate the importance and impact of professional image. If ever unsure of dress code it is better to be more corporately dressed on the first meeting.
  • Research the company before meeting with the company representative. Plan to have at least one or two relevant questions to ask during the meeting.
  • Employers want to surround their teams with positive people. Always speak positively about past employers and team members or even yourself. Any negativity or discussion of ‘personality conflict’ will not be looked upon favourably. It is better to talk about highlight points and if a discussion about a ‘challenge’ comes up in the interview always look to find the ‘positive outcome’ that you learned from it or that may have resulted from it. (as this can sometimes be a challenging topic consider your response to this in advance of the interview)
  • Take notes during an interview if appropriate and ensure you are clear on any position details.  Ask questions—don’t assume.
  • Send a thank you card to the person that interviewed you. In the internet age, this will certainly help you stand out. Be sure to double check for any spelling or grammatical errors before sending.

What a Difference a Culture Makes

fork in road

Fork in the road

I recently met a friend for lunch, and asked him how he was enjoying his current job he has been in for the past year.

Let’s take a step back in time. Several years ago, my friend took a job working in Human Resources for a small company that seemed liked a great place to work. But, sometimes we realize that perception is so much different than reality.  About two months into his role, he started to question if he made the right move to this company. Shortly after, what he felt was validated.  The corporate culture was not what he had perceived it would be.

My friend tried his best to like where he worked, and stuck it out for over a year, but it was too much of a struggle. Among many other faults, the leaders and managers did not make an effort to meet with the HR department. How the company had originally presented themselves was not the case at all. Working in HR, it was difficult to promote the company to potential candidates.

Another opportunity with a company in a completely different industry came up. Unhappy in the current job, my friend was hesitant at first to take on a role in an industry he was not familiar with. All his friends said ‘if it is out of your comfort zone, maybe you shouldn’t take the job’. He started to think hard about his choices. His partner simply said ‘don’t question yourself’. With that simple piece of advice, he moved forward with the application process and the potential manager reassured him on the phone in a long conversation, showing his support.  That care and attention and human touch is what made all the difference, even prior to the official job offer, my friend knew this was already an environment and culture that he could feel comfortable in.

And one year later, he is so very happy that he made that change.

I asked him, “When did you know it was the right culture?” he simply said, “I never questioned it. I knew since day one”. He continued, “The corporate culture is consistent with the messaging they present publicly.  When I recruit for the company, I can honestly tell candidates that I’m happy working there”. He also added that having a supportive manager makes all the difference.

He described his state of mind at the previous employer as  “unhappiness to the depths of my soul. For all the misery, it was a huge learning experience – learning about myself and my limits”.

And to that, I say, what a difference a year makes. What a difference a corporate culture makes.

photo credit: Newtown grafitti

Do you love your job?

What do you really think about your job?

According to a survey conducted by FreshGigs.ca,  61% of Canadian professionals are happy with their current job.

Do you agree with some of these trends in the workplace? Check out this infographic below.

click on the image for a larger view

Do You Love Your Job? INFOGRAPHIC
Infographic brought to you by FreshGigs.ca

Perks at Work

Yes, we’ve heard about company perks that big employers like Google and Facebook can offer their employees. But, what can smaller companies do? With limited budgets, it can be challenging, but offering attractive low-cost perks encourages creative ideas that will keep employees engaged and happy.

Some good perks to many employees are flexible schedules, telecommuting, and extra vacation days. Depending on the environment and culture, some employees enjoy the benefits of Take Your Dog to Work Day. There is also job sharing for new parents, or a paid day off per year to volunteer for a favourite charity. These are just some of the benefits that enable employees to work well and live well.

Many years ago, I worked at a company where the Director of our branch office did a lot of corporate travel. He racked up the air miles points, enough to be rewarded a long haul flight, and every year at the staff holiday party he drew a name out of a hat. I remember one year, the winning staff member was our long time receptionist who used the air miles to go on her honeymoon to the Caribbean. Although only one person really benefited from this perk, we all felt great about it.  It did wonders for morale.

A tricky thing about introducing a new perk, is the sustainability of it. When financial times are tough, sometimes it’s those little perks that go away first. It can be awfully hard to take back those pizza Fridays that everybody enjoyed for the past year. Outrage may occur, and companies don’t like being the bad guy.

That being said, it can be fun to change things up a bit. Replace one perk with another one. A great morale booster is a peer-led recognition system, whereas the staff nominates one of their fellow co-workers as a star employee for going above and beyond their regular work.  The company provides the prize – anything from a paid day off or gift cards. With a values-driven culture, the company should be in tune to their employees’ interests, and the awards can be highly personalized.

While going above and beyond the standard benefits can help boost moral and create a loyal workforce, keep in mind that it is not the dollar amount that matters. Taking a philosophical approach to values and culture, and the thought you put into it will create a culture of happiness and fun in the long run.

Workplace Culture – Surprising Truths Revealed in Survey

Culture. It’s what we at McNak think about with every recruit we take on. Culture is such a big part of why new hires stick; a perfect piece in a complex puzzle.  This Inc. article reveals some surprising truths behind perceptions of executives and employees. Some wise words are shared that give pause to think about our own organizations and how we perceive culture.

For those that must know the survey results now, click here.

.

photo credit: Jason Hargrove

Hiring right, the first time.

People responsible for hiring often find themselves hiring in a panic. A vacancy occurs, a job description and employment ad are hastily pulled together and the HR department starts recruiting.

Unfortunately, they have missed the point. It is not just about filling the void with a qualified individual; it is about determining exactly what your company needs to be great and finding someone who will go above and beyond that. A great employee is as much about fit as it is about skill.

True, companies will usually spend more time finding the right person for senior vacancies, but the same level of attention needs to be used for all positions, from entry level and administrative to marketing and customer service.

“Finding someone who fits your corporate culture is, in some ways, more important than finding someone with the right skill set.”
~ Sarah McNeill

It’s in the best interests of every company to hire the greatest person for the position; the flip side is the tremendous cost of hiring the wrong person. There are the obvious costs of re-advertising and re-interviewing, but that isn’t all.

You’ve invested time in orientation and training for the new employee, not to mention the time spent recruiting. If you have to let that person go, that time and money have just walked out the door. Making the wrong hiring decision affects everyone in the company; it reduces productivity, and causes internal turmoil.

If you hire the right people, they can hit the ground running. Bringing them on is virtually seamless. Not only do they take less time to train, but they bring passion for their new job.