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Workplaces are constantly in flux, adjusting to new team members, new skillsets, and differing habits with each new hiring. With huge advancements in technology in the last 40 years, it was only a matter of time until a generation of graduates raised on technology hit the workforce, and the wait is over – Generation Z is here. As the population born between the mid-'90s and 2010, they've surpassed Millennials as the largest generation in the U.S. labor force. Gen Z is creeping its way into office spaces everywhere, and it's time we all prepared.

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Forget what you've heard about Millennials, Gen Z has traits of their own. Once you get past the easy stereotype that this generation could swipe a screen before they could crawl, you realize: they really have grown up in a world that has always had the internet. Digital devices have trained an entire age group to expect frequent updates and instant responses. It's no surprise that the attention span of a Gen Z-er is a mere 8 seconds. Their willingness to look elsewhere could easily translate to frequent job hopping if they aren't finding an employer that fits the bill.

Older colleagues will need to adjust to the trends of this new workforce, tweaking the tactics adapted for working with Millennials, while Generation Z should realize that a workplace can't always conform to their ideals. Recalibration on both sides of the hiring desk will ensure success for the company as a whole. We're here to help.

Tips for Companies

Meet in person.

Say goodbye to Millennials' obsession with emails; Generation Z is more into face time than FaceTime. Yes, they grew up in a digital world, but all of their instant communication's slang, "brb"s, and shorthand leave Generation Z excelling in in-person meetings rather than in writing. In fact, 3 out of 4 Generation Z-ers (74%) would prefer to communicate with their colleagues face-to-face.

Be straightforward.

Perhaps related to their preference for in-person interactions, where integrity can be easily determined, Generation Z places huge value on transparency and honesty in a workplace. They lack a blind trust in authority and have been raised to demand clarity and authenticity from the brands and companies they care about, so why would their employer be any different? A manager who fails to be direct and "real" with these employees will find themselves with a lot of open positions.

Create some healthy competition.

Much of Gen Z follows the saying "If I want it done right, I'll just do it myself." They embrace a challenge and like proving themselves, earning respect and authority in a genuine way. Introducing some healthy competition among your staff and you'll keep your Gen Z employees stimulated while developing some great work in the process!


Tips for Generation Z

Ask for what you want.

According to a Robert Half research report, the top job search priority for Generation Z is growth opportunities. Behind professional development, upward mobility is the second most important factor when looking for a job. Throw out the ping pong tables: you're looking for stability, professional advancement, and compensation. Make sure your millennial or Generation X managers are aware.

Embrace the inbox.

Email isn't going anywhere, at least not in the immediate future. If your manager prefers it, there's a chance you'll have to be open to emailing. Think of it this way: if accountability is something you value, written words are the ultimate proof of commitment.

With a population of over 60 million, Generation Z's presence in the workforce is undeniable. Their differences may seem stark in a sea of Millennials and Generation X-ers, but a recalibration of expectations for both managers and Gen Z-ers will keep things in your workplace as business as usual.

 

Posted: 5/9/2019 3:38:32 PM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments


This week, media outlets announced that unemployment applications are at their lowest since 1969. With sluggish consumer and business spending, this is a promising sign, suggesting companies are retaining employees.

In a market that leans heavily in favor of candidates, companies have to sell themselves as a desirable place of employment. Stocked fridges, company outings, and above-standard benefits are one thing, but there are better ways to attract top talent than throwing perks in their direction.

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Know what you want from a candidate.

If you want employees to be in it for the long haul, offer benefits that reflect this. Incremental increases in vacation and sick time, generous parental leave (or any parental leave, these days), and opportunities for candidates to advance at the company all favor a longer term employee. Mile marker incentives can also be very effective: try a bonus week of vacation for the fifth year of employment at the company, or something similar.

If you're in search of a continuous wave of fresh-faced innovative candidates, emphasize the importance of their role in current projects. Offer opportunities to travel and tell them about your post-work happy hours.

Be good at what you do.

The best way to attract the best people? Be the best company. We know, we're oversimplifying, but having a successful business will attract better candidates than adding ping pong tables to your break room. Simply put: people want to work at companies that are doing well. If you're the best that's out there, you won't have to work hard to emerge as a frontrunner for top talent.

Be straightforward.

A job posting should be detailed, clear, and concise, putting all requirements and responsibilities at the forefront. The actual position should meet any expectations made from the job description, to allow candidates to identify opportunities for their skills to really shine. They know what they could bring to the table, and being aware of all facets of the job beforehand means they can provide insight into their purpose and strengths in the role.

Check with your own Top Talent.

You know who's perfect for bringing in great candidates? Great employees! Offer a referral bonus to your team and have your best people scour their networks to fill the open position. They're aware that any referral reflects on their judgement, so no worries about your team suggesting just anyone in hopes of bringing in some bonus money – only their top choices will make it to your desk. Asking them to connect you shows you value their opinion, but compensating them somehow shows just how much. Plus, you'll be hiring someone who already gets along with at least one person on your team!

It can be a challenge to attract stellar job candidates, but we'll help you make it easier! Have you tried any of these tips?

Posted: 4/11/2019 11:25:25 AM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments


Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.
- Vince Lombardi

From a young age, most of us are quickly familiarized with the phrases "in a perfect world..." and "practice makes perfect." We spend so much time and energy becoming the perfect student, getting perfect scores. It would be difficult to argue that achieving perfection is the highest level of success, it seems.

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When we were all in school, hitting this target was more obvious – grades, class rankings, and evaluations all told us how close we were to being the "best." But years and years later, here we are, wondering how we measure up compared to others. As a job candidate, are we a "perfect fit"?

Well, there's good news, for candidates as well as hiring managers!

Job seekers – you can't be "perfect"!

Every position has slightly different requirements, and being excellent in school won't always help you here. Show off your skills and display your talent, but don't dismiss an opening just because you don't think it sounds like a perfect match. Apply for positions just outside of your exact skill set and you might be surprised  at what you find – employers are willing to train the right candidate or shape the position to fit your strengths.

Hiring managers – there is no "perfect."

If you're holding out for the "ideal" candidate, it's time to stop. Last year was the first in almost two decades where the number of U.S. jobs available was equal to the number of job seekers. There's no shortage of open positions, so don't continue to tell yourself the next interviewee will be The One – the grass is not always greener. Instead, take a deep look at the habits, strengths, and personality of the candidate sitting in front of you and consider them for your company as well as for the specific position. Are they eager to learn? Diligent? Responsible, adaptable, and talented? They could be the perfect person for your team.

There's no telling what an adjustment to your thinking could do to your professional career or your business. If you're lucky enough to score an interview or meet a great candidate, you should count your lucky stars and stop holding out for something better – nay, perfect.

 

 

Posted: 3/21/2019 10:24:15 AM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments


Hi there. Remember us? We’re your friendly neighborhood staffing agency, and it’s probably not a coincidence that we’re located right near the Freedom Trail.

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We meet with tons of job seekers each month, from people first trying to get their foot in the door, to those who are seeking the next of many career moves.  We know you all take great pride in your past professional experiences, and certainly have some great work to show for it!  In many cases, your creative chops are what get you the job.  However, while we spend an abundance of time perfecting our cover letter, tweaking a resume, and prepping for interviews, do we give our work the same attention?

Having seen our fair share of portfolios, we have some suggestions for you.

1) Steer clear of certain websites.

Imagine you're a chef.  You don't use boxed macaroni and cheese and present it as your own, right?  That would be ridiculous.  The same goes for portfolios – don't use a site that doesn't allow you to customize.  Hiring managers can spot an amateur site a mile away.  Sites such as Behance or Dribbble are fine for networking and community support, but it is recommended to avoid using them as your primary portfolio.

2) You get what you pay for.

You may opt to pay for something.  Free websites often look like just that -- free sites.  There are several great portfolio building websites out there that are worth consideration.  Following are just a few:

Squarespace is one of the most popular portfolio building sites, with a plethora of template options and abilities to integrate apps for things such as ecommerce.
Cost: $12/month

Cargo is a similar service, allowing users to choose templates and then customize. Cargo stands apart from the rest due to an embedded video player.  While it once was by invitation only, their Cargo 2 is open to everyone.
Cost: $13/month

Format is a portfolio site with clean and simple templates perfect for designers and creatives looking to show visual work.  While it's a little trickier to master, there's more customization opportunities than with Squarespace.
Cost: $6/month

3) Build it yourself.

Take a weekend (okay, a few) and do some learning. Teach yourself the ins and outs of simple coding, buy a domain, and get moving!  Should you be worried it'll look like an amateur website, stick with the motto:  Keep It Simple.  Let your work shine with minimal navigation and a white background.  Perhaps you’d even like to add coding to your resume before submittal.

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Don't sell yourself short by settling for a subpar online portfolio.  By using a basic template site, you're placing yourself on the same playing field as any average joe with an internet connection.  Roll with these suggestions and prep your portfolio with a website builder that's built for professionals!

Posted: 2/25/2019 3:22:29 PM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments


When it comes time for the next step in your career, you rarely find a new job through a human being. You're searching online, applying on a website, or emailing a resume and cover letter in an effort to come across as best you can on paper. It should be easy to present your professional career on a resume, since we all have to do it at some point, right? But it's not as natural to write about yourself and your past experiences as you might think.

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Look, we've seen a lot of resumes. We've sorted through the good the bad and the ugly, and believe us when we tell you, we know what works and more importantly, what doesn't. Here are some tips on what you should and shouldn't do to create a killer resume.

Do: update frequently, even you aren't looking for a job

Sometimes the right thing comes along.. all together now.. when you least expect it! Why scramble at the last minute to put your best foot forward when you can be ready to go with some regular maintenance? You know how they suggest a quick clean of your living space for 10 mins a day to avoid a solid weekend of cleaning? Same situation. Once you have a good handle of your new job, add it to your resume, updating as your responsibilities change.

Don't: use an unprofessional personal email address

If your email address was created before you could drive, there's a good chance you'll want to keep it off of your resume – stick with an email closest to your name, and don't use your current work email address.

Do: write smart descriptions

Avoid using blanket phrases or uninteresting wording. For example, rather than saying "hard worker," start by describing a person who works hard, with wording like "dedicated and fastidious designer comfortable with a fast-paced project schedule." Instead of describing yourself as "creative," explain that you "developed innovative solutions for clients in a variety of industries" and "sparked connections in brainstorming sessions." If a fifth grader would use the word, try to think of a better way to exemplify the quality.

Do: revisit your annual reviews

One of the best places to discover your recognizable strengths is to take a look at your past performance reviews. If your supervisor noticed a strength or flaw, you can bet your future employer will be interested. Who knows, maybe they pulled something out of your personality that you hadn't even known about!

Don't: use keywords obviously

Get this: 491 of Fortune 500 companies use an applicant tracking system. ATSs are used to weed out resumes that don't fit the position. That's great for hiring managers, but what if your resume and cover letter resonate better with a real live person? Tough luck, as you'll need to include some keywords spotted in the job descriptions. Don't fill your resume with invisible text containing those keywords (yes, people really do that!), but instead try using them organically throughout the page. ATSs can somehow spot a "stuffed" resume from a mile away, so avoid overusing keywords.

Now that you know how to perfect the art of resume crafting, stay tuned for our next post on making a resume that'll move you to the top of the applicant pile!

Posted: 2/11/2019 8:22:22 AM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments