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Proving Your Time Management Skills

July 28th, 2017

Most hiring managers in most industries seek a few core qualities from prospective candidates. In addition to job-specific skills, almost every hiring manager—from those in manufacturing to education to food service—wants employees who commit themselves fully to the job. They also want employees who don’t require extensive oversight and those who can handle tasks and solve problems independently. And almost all managers want a team who can manage their time to the best advantage of the company.

If you know how to break your day down into hours and minutes and use each hour to complete useful tasks that move the company—and your own career—forward, then you’re a master of time management. And you’ll need to highlight this ability in your resume and cover letter. Here are few moves that can help you accomplish this.

Be direct.

When in doubt, it’s okay to simply say “I’m a master of time management”. You can use this exact statement in your cover letter or your job interview, but keep in mind: You’ll have to provide evidence to back it up. What specific events or accomplishments from your past can you share to drive this message home? Gather two or three concrete memories or quantifiable victories and list them as bullet points in your resume. As for your interview, get ready to tell your story, even if you aren’t specifically asked.

Explain your strategy.

People aren’t usually born as exceptional time managers. Babies aren’t very good at this skill, no matter how their personalities develop later on. So if you’re an efficiency wizard, explain how you got where you are. Explain the methods and strategies that you’ve discovered and how they help you stay on track. Share what you’ve learned, and share how you learned it.

Be open to growth.

Recognize that no matter how organized and driven you may be, there are always moves you can use to get more out of the day, multitask, delegate, coach and strategize your way to improvements in this area. Stay receptive to new information.

Explain how you’ve gone the extra mile.

Don’t just boast about what you’ve gained from your time management expertise; be sure to mention what you’ve invested. If you stayed late to develop a new plan, or broke the rules to chart a new course that ultimately worked out well, bring these facts and stories to your reviewer’s attention. Describe the risks you’ve taken, the losses you’ve sustained, and the mistakes you’ve made—But focus on the happy endings and lessons that resulted.
For more on how to grab the spotlight and show off your time management skills, turn to the Westchester County job search experts at Merritt.

Can Temporary Employees Cut Your Overtime Costs?

July 14th, 2017

Overtime hours committed to the company by hardworking employees can be a godsend for a growing company; these extra hours put in outside of the standard business day and exceeding 35 hours per week can keep a company afloat during a challenging crisis or a rush of deadline driven orders. But of course this dedication comes at a cost, and while overtime hours are invaluable, they also cut into the margins they produce. So if you feel like these margins are undermining your long term success, consider easing the pressure on your current teams and reducing the strain on your bottom line by employing temporary teams for short term projects. Here are a few factors to consider.

Highly Skilled vs Medium-Skilled Labor

If you have highly trained or certified staff members putting in overtime hours to conduct tasks that lie outside their skill areas, reconsider. A trained machinist who stays after hours to help box and ship a rush order, for example, may be making 1.5 times his or her salary to complete a task that could be managed by a junior or temporary staffer. When it comes to overtime costs, task allocation matters, and small missteps in this allocation could come at a high cost.

Temporary employees bring value of their own

Some question the value of bringing on new or temporary team members who may take the hours that rightfully belong to seasoned and committed full-time employees. But don’t discard or dismiss the value of temporary labor. Temporary employees often work just as hard and possess as much skill, training and commitment as full-time staff, and more important, temporary employment often serves as a pipeline to full time hiring agreements. Connect with your temporary employees and evaluate their performance closely. Ask them about their plans for the future, and if they’re seeking full time work over the long term, develop a pathway and offer guidance to help them move in this direction.

Full time hiring can bring a high price tag

Hiring full time staff to handle temporary or seasonal burdens can be an expensive move. The hiring process brings background checks, paper work, tax reporting, and sometimes legal contracts that can be costly and binding. But temporary staffing means rapid, inexpensive onboarding, and an easy drama-free separation after the short term period ends. In the interim, the staffing organization handles the insurance and paperwork so you don’t have to. During the contractual period, your team member works for the staffing company, not for you.

For more on how to choose temporary help to move your growing business through peak periods of high demand, contact the Fairfeld County staffing and management experts at Merritt.

The Benefits of Working with a Recruiter During Your Job Search

September 23rd, 2016

You’re hitting your job search with everything you have, and you’re taking advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. You’re contacting your network, scanning job boards, and pursuing leads, and you’re submitting at least a few resumes to prospective employers every single day. But there’s a critical step you may not have added to your list; are you working with a professional recruiter? Here are a few reasons you may want to add recruiters to your job search team.

Recruiters cost nothing

Your recruiter works for the company (or companies) that hire her candidates; she doesn’t work for you. No legitimate recruiter will expect payment from a candidate, and it’s in her best interests to seek out only the best adapted and most qualified applicants on the market (hint: that’s you). Your recruiter wins when the company wins, and the company wins when they identify and hire the highest level of talent. Become a link in that winning chain: it won’t cost you anything.

Recruiters have large networks.

You may think your own professional network is expansive. After all, you’ve been studying and working in your field for a long time. But your recruiter’s network IS his field. He knows people who know people who know people, and his connections and resources extend in all directions. He can connect you with people and companies that can move you forward, and he also helps them to find you.

Recruiters can offer coaching tips.

Before she presents you to her client, your recruiter will have a chance to study your resume and (usually) meet with you in person or by phone at least once. Since she knows what the employers are looking for, she can help you address potential concerns and highlight the elements of your resume that they’re likely to find impressive. Recruiters can help you play up what works and dial back the issues that may stand in your way; trust your recruiter when she offers you some free guidance.

Recruiters have a wide reach.

Recruiters provide an integral service in almost every imaginable industry. No matter what you do, and no matter what kind of job you’re looking for, there’s a professional recruiter out there somewhere who can help you get where you’re going. The experts at Merritt staffing have decades of experience in a long list of fields and industries.

Recruiters are great listeners.

When they’re trying to fill an open position, hiring managers have a long list of specific needs. But job seekers have specific needs as well. No matter what you’re looking for– in terms of salary, location, hours, responsibilities, and opportunities for advancement– your recruiter will listen carefully and help you find it.

Partner with a recruiter and find the fast track to your next job offer! Contact the Fairfeld County staffing professionals at Merritt today.

Overcoming 2016’s Biggest Hiring Challenges

January 8th, 2016

The upcoming year will bring a host of new opportunities for hiring managers, including a new generation of graduates who will be stepping onto the job market with skills, ambition, and energy to spare. But 2016 will also bring plenty of challenges for HR pros and hiring teams, and if you plan to expand your company or replace departing employees during the year ahead, you’ll want to be ready.

A potential skills gap

Some industries are likely to experience a widening skills gap during next 12 months, which may leave critical positions standing empty while managers scramble to find qualified candidates. In some fields, this is nothing new. But now that skill sets are becoming more highly specialized and technical than ever before, industries that have never had this problem are about to feel the pinch. If you just can’t seem to find the right candidate for a hard-to-staff position, an experienced recruiting firm can help.

A thinning candidate pool

During the peak of economic downturn in 2009, excellent candidates flooded the marketplace. Laid off workers lined up for every open position, many of them highly overqualified and willing to jump through hoops to impress potential employers. But at this point, unemployment rates are dropping, and great candidates are harder to find—and even harder to attract and retain. Qualified recruiters can help you target these candidates and shape offers that will bring them on board and keep them away from your competitors.

Employees are moving faster

Young millennial employees have plenty to offer to a growing company, including tech skills, affordability, and the enthusiasm and innovative attitudes that characterize their generation. But today’s entry-level employees aren’t like those of past generations. They have bigger loans to pay off, greater demands on their time, and fewer stigmas associated with “job hopping.” The average tenure of an entry-level employee is rapidly dropping below two years, and in order to retain valuable employees after training and investing in them, you’ll need to go the extra mile. A great recruiting firm can show you how.

Sourcing will become more complex

Large national job boards are still excellent places to post positions, and candidates still use them. But because these boards attract so many resumes, candidates are now migrating away from this resource and toward smaller, industry-specific resources with tighter keyword and geographic filters. Again, an established professional staffing firm like Merritt can help you make the most of the sourcing outlets, websites, and apps that will become available in 2016.

The staffing landscape is about to become more competitive and more focused than ever before, thanks to sophisticated online job search tools and expanding social and professional networks. Contact Merritt Staffing today, and choose a team of staffing experts that can help you stay on top of these changes.

Three Interviewers to Prepare For

September 18th, 2015

As you put the finishing touches on your elevator pitch, map out the route to your venue, and take care of your other last minute pre-interview preparations, add one more detail to the list. Not all interviewers are the same, and there’s more than one approach to the candidate selection process. But distinct patterns tend to arise all the same, and there’s a strong chance that you may encounter any one of these three common interview types as you step in the door and sit down to begin your session. Be ready.

The Friendly Face

This interviewer will put you at ease immediately. As soon as you see his smiling face coming across the lobby to greet you, your blood pressure will drop and your nervous tension will fade away. Your interview will feel like a conversation with an old friend, and you’ll find yourself sharing your true feelings and talking easily and openly about your skills, passions, and plans for the future. There’s nothing wrong with this scenario, and this is the sign of a great interviewer and a promising company. But be careful. Don’t be fooled; this person is not your friend, and even though he seems fascinated by everything you say, he’s reading between the lines and conducting an evaluation that’s shrewd and entirely self-interested. Keep a close eye on your words and gestures.

The Bored Interviewer

This interviewer seems distracted and disinterested in the process at hand. She’s asking questions, but she isn’t really listening to the answers, and she seems to take every opportunity to turn away from you, scan her email, check her phone, or gaze out the window. If you walked away, you’re not sure she would notice. And the longer you stay, the more bored and irritated she seems to become. But again, be careful. Choose your words with caution. Because she IS listening, even if hers isn’t the only opinion influencing the outcome of this decision.

The Confrontational Person

This interviewer makes a seemingly deliberate attempt to appear obnoxious, hostile, cold, or intimidating. He takes every opportunity to scowl at you as you speak and he tends to cross examine each of your responses as if you’re saying or doing something wrong. He appears to believe that this job is a golden reward offered from on high, instead of mutual exchange of labor for a fair salary. His demeanor may be off-putting, and he may be making a poor impression on behalf of the company, but be patient. As far as possible, stay polite and humble. Give this person and this company a chance…After you’ve landed this job and settled in, you may be glad you kept things in perspective.

For more on what to expect from the interview process, contact the staffing and job search team at Merritt Staffing.

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