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Four Things to Keep in Mind Before Accepting a Job Offer

January 22nd, 2016

You landed an offer! And that’s great news…especially after the weeks and months of patience, care, and anxiety you’ve poured into your search so far. But before you submit your enthusiastic “yes” and call an end to this grueling ordeal, think twice. Not every job is the perfect job for you, and if you say yes simply because you’re ready to start collecting a paycheck, you may create more problems for yourself than you solve. In the long run, it’s better to walk away from a weak offer then accept it and deal with regrets later on. Here are a few questions you’ll need to answer before making your decision.

Are you being paid what you’re worth?

What you’re worth is not always the result of a simple equation. You may be tempted to accept a salary that parallels that of your last job, or even a lower figure on the grounds that it’s better than nothing at all. But be careful. Your skills and experience have increased since you stepped into your last position, and your value has gone up, no matter how long you’ve been searching for work. Your potential employers don’t get to decide what your time is worth; you do.

Are you ready to stay for at least six months?

This may be a placeholder position for you, and that’s fine. It’s perfectly OK to accept an offer and continue looking for something better while you step into your new role. But how soon do you expect to leave? Will you be able to provide your new employers with at least two weeks’ notice? And will you be able to limit your search time to evenings and weekends only? In some cases, it might be easier and more practical to simply say no an offer you feel isn’t right for you and continue dedicating yourself to the search full time.

Will the benefits of this position meet your needs?

Your health insurance, pension benefits, and tuition reimbursement may be just as important as your salary considerations. Make sure these employers are able to offer what you need, when you need it. Don’t be surprised to discover that you’ll need to complete a six-month probationary period before your benefits can be activated.

Will this position help you reach your goals?

If you’re stepping into this role because it offers the potential advancement opportunity, exposure, experience, or mentoring that can move your career forward, confirm these things before you say yes. Don’t make assumptions. Gather evidence that your employer’s promises can and will be met.

For more on how to ask the right questions and find a job that works for you, reach out to the staffing professionals at Merritt Staffing.

How Does Change Impact your Workforce?

December 11th, 2015

Most workplaces operate like delicate ecosystems; functional teams are made up individuals with complex relationships and established interpersonal patterns that serve and reinforce a specific status quo. When conflict arises and things go off the rails, your teams probably step into their familiar roles—peacemaker, problem solver, devil’s advocate, cheerleader—in order to push things back on track. When one member tips the system too far in one direction, another steps into reverse and stabilize it before it goes off course. Actions have reactions, friends support each other, plans fall apart, and everyone works together to keep things moving in a steady forward direction.

But what happens when the ecosystem changes? When new employees are introduced into the mix, for example, or when beloved team members suddenly leave the group for good? When big changes happen, do you find your feet quickly? Or do you collectively wallow through a period of low productivity and reshuffling before order is reestablished? Here are a few ways to minimize the impact of change on the success of your group.

Provide notice and warnings.

When a key employee gives notice, or when you decide to hire a new employee or bring on temporary staff, don’t ambush your current teams. Give them as much warning as possible. Even if they don’t seem to care or don’t believe this change will impact them very much, keep offering reminders as the day approaches. Be clear about why the change is happening and what will be expected of each current staff member.

Keep things positive.

Change can be upsetting and scary, but it can also be exciting and interesting. New people can be a drag, but they can also represent potential new friends or allies, and they bring interesting new stories and experiences to the group that can refresh existing worldviews. Emphasize the positive. Get your current teams excited about the new person. Share some key details regarding the person’s background and interests.

Provide infrastructure.

Long before the new person arrives or the departing one leaves, adjust your infrastructure to accommodate the change. Never leave a new employee standing idly in the hallway while you prepare a desk for them, and never drop a departing employee’s projects and responsibilities on a current team member without providing the tools required to handle these tasks. Everybody should have the basic equipment, space, and support they need in order to navigate the change, and they should have these things long before the change takes place.

For more on how to keep your teams from missing a beat during an awkward staff transition, reach out to the hiring and management experts at Merritt Staffing.

Onboarding your Temporary Workforce

February 6th, 2015

Once you decide that you’re ready to add a few temporary hands to your team, you’ll need to take the next step: introducing and acclimating your temps to the culture and rhythms of your current workplace. New employees often struggle to find their feet and a friendly welcome can make a world of difference. Temps also need to know where to turn when they have questions about their tasks, and if your current teams are adequately prepared, they’ll be able to answer these questions without losing stride. Keep these tips in mind as your start dates approach.

Give your current teams all the facts.

Make sure your teams have plenty of warning about the start dates for your temps, but also be sure to share their names, their areas of expertise, and a little bit of each person’s backstory. Give both parties a few details they can use to launch a conversation, and encourage your full time staff to show interest in the newbies and make them feel valued.

Assign clear responsibilities.

Your teams should know exactly what will be expected of them when each temp arrives. Be clear about who will greet them at the door, who will introduce them to the office, and who will insure that their workspaces are prepared and functional. There’s nothing more awkward then a temp left standing alone in a workplace with no assigned guide, no desk, and no clear place to direct her energies.

Avoid redundancy.

Here’s another awkward scenario: your temp arrives and sits down to her assigned task, only to be approached by a full time worker who believes he’s the one charged with the same task. If the task belongs to the temp, make sure the regular staff member knows what he should be doing instead. Workflow communication and scheduling are critical to smooth temp-onboarding.

Bring everyone into the loop.

Too often, full time workers watch temps walk past in the hall without knowing who they are– or caring. Full time workers should recognize temps when they see them. And when these encounters take place, they should show friendly interest in the temp’s acclimation process. Encourage phrases like: “Do you have any questions? Are you adjusting okay? Do you have everything you need?”

For more on how to make your temps feel welcome, motivated, and ready to work, reach out to the temporary staffing experts at Merritt Staffing.

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