Tag Archives: hiring

5 Facts You May Not Know About Staffing Companies

5FactsaboutStaffingComanpanies_July2013_webWhat comes to mind when you think of staffing companies? Do you think of part-time manufacturing workers and as-needed administrative help? Or perhaps it conjures up visions of high-level headhunters who only hire for executive positions? Your opinion of staffing companies is most likely based on what you’ve heard about them or from your previous experience with them, whether good or bad.

A poor experience, or even having no experience at all, can give you a negative impression of all staffing companies. But, there are a few things about staffing providers that you might not know.

  1. No Charge to Job Seekers
    If you’re working with a reputable staffing company, it will not cost you a penny to be screened, added to their database, or placed in a position. The only one who’s charged a fee is the client company since the staffing provider is doing them the service of providing candidates to fill the open positions. That means you’re getting a team of professionals to find you a job, for free! 
  2. Full-Time Hours Are the Norm
    The majority of temporary employees actually work full-time hours, not the sporadic part-time hours many people seem to think. Research from the American Staffing Association (ASA) found that almost 80% of staffing employees work full-time. Plus, temporary employees often get directly hired for full-time jobs at client companies. At Express Employment Professionals, 60% of our employees go to work full-time for client companies we hire for. 
  3. You’re in Control
    Staffing companies let you tailor your work schedule to your life. You tell them when and how much you want to work. So, whether you’re trying to work a lot of hours to save up money or just trying to fit in a few work hours around other activities in your life, you can do exactly what you need. 
  4. Benefits Are Available
    Many staffing companies offer their temporary employees benefits. Express Employment Professionals offers our associates a wide variety of benefits, from medical and dental insurance to vacation days and retirement programs. You just need to get the details on any requirements associated with being eligible, such as weekly hours worked or length of time on the job.
  5. Chance to Learn Something New
    Employees with a wide-range of skills and experiences are great assets to their employers, and staffing companies provide the perfect opportunity for you to learn a new thing or two. The ASA reported that 65% of staffing employees say they either improved their skills or developed new ones as a result of their temporary assignments. You may also have the chance to participate in specific training programs provided by the staffing company.

Searching for a job can be a stressful, time-consuming task, but you don’t have to do it alone. There are many reasons, beyond just these five, to look for a job through a staffing company. What are some other benefits you’ve found to using a staffing a company? Have you personally experienced any of the advantages listed above? We’d love to hear your thoughts – so please share in the comments section below.

 

Are Cover Letters Extinct?

CoverLetter_July_2013_WebFinding the job of your dreams isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s a continual cycle of searching for openings, tweaking your resume, customizing your cover letter, and following up. It’s natural to get worn down and look for short-cuts in this process, and the most common step to get cut is the cover letter. After all, it takes some serious thought to express in a few short paragraphs why you’re a good fit for the job and how you can benefit the employer, all while weaving in your personality and credentials. The rise in technology has made cutting cover letters short even more widespread over the past few years, leaving many job seekers to wonder – “are cover letters extinct?”

An Ongoing Argument
Unfortunately, employers have not reached a unified answer. Some, like Phil Rosenberg, president of reCareered, an online hub for job search advice, think cover letters have gone the way of the dinosaur. In a 2009 study his company conducted a survey of hiring managers, Rosenburg found “90% ignored them and 97% made a decision whether to interview or not based only on the resume.” While others, such as Don Charlton, founder and CEO of The Resumator, an online hiring software firm, strongly disagrees. Charlton explained in a CNN article, “The cover letter is the only thing you have that separates the person from being a candidate and being a human being.”

Technological Oversight
One of the primary reasons that cover letters get a bad rap is due to an oversight in applicant tracking systems. With the influx of workers looking for jobs over the past five years, companies and recruiting firms have been overwhelmed with candidates. As they’ve turned to automated systems to manage and sift through job seekers, many have left off the option to attach a cover letter or failed to set up a keyword search for cover letters. Often times, recruiters and hiring managers only select candidates by the results of keyword searches of resumes.

A Dilemma
So, what’s a job seeker to do? Unless an employer has specifically said not to include a cover letter, it’s better to be safe than sorry and go the extra mile of providing one. If you’re dealing with an online system, just attach both your resume and cover letter when you’re prompted to upload documents. When sending an email with your resume attached, use your cover letter as the email message. Your message might help the employer decide to go the next step and view your attachment. If you’re worried that not attaching your cover letter could mean it will be overlooked, or if you’re worried about printability, Beyond, a professional networking and job search site, suggests attaching it as a text file as well.

You never know which side of the debate an employer might stand on, so don’t take a chance. Extra work up front is worth it if it helps you land an interview and find the job you’ve been looking for.

In your job search, what’s been your experience – cover letter or no cover letter? Join in the conversation by sharing your thoughts below.

Express Employment Professionals Featured on Fox News

Express was featured on Fox and Friends early Tuesday morning on Aug. 21 and then on Thursday morning, Aug. 23, for the program’s “Companies Hiring Now” segment. This is an exciting time for any job seeker who is looking for employers who need them.

If you’re searching for a job, consider working with a staffing agency like Express. More and more employers are relying heavily on staffing companies to fill open positions before hiring them on as full-time employees. You can check out the video below:

3 Questions to Ask About Employee Benefits Before You Get Hired

3 Questions to Ask About Employee Benefits Before You Get Hired Getting a new job requires some detective skills, including understanding your total compensation package prior to accepting a job offer. While most of us need our job to provide a regular paycheck to take care of our living expenses, we also need to consider the benefits program offered by a potential employer. Here are a few questions you might consider asking your prospective employer to help you make a better decision in evaluating a job opportunity.

  1. How much of my total compensation will include a benefits package?
    While your salary is important, don’t forget to consider the amount spent on employee benefits. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in March that private industry employee benefit programs accounted for 29.5% of total compensation. This compensation includes paid sick leave, holidays, and vacations, as well as employer contributions to health and life insurance, retirement savings, and into Social Security and Medicare in the U.S. It is appropriate in your job offer process to ask for a clear outline of the benefits program offered. A job opportunity may look more or less attractive based on the benefits, so it’s critical to have the full picture before making your decision.
  2. May I review your health insurance program?
    If you are expecting your employer to provide a health insurance option, make sure you have a firm understanding of the program. You’ll need to consider what you’re currently paying and what you’ll be expected to pay under the program offered by your potential employer. If you’ll need to use that health insurance to provide care for your family or dependents, make sure to uncover the costs with that type of program and their eligibility. When you review the health insurance program look for information on co-pay amounts, pre-existing condition rules, deductible amounts, and prescription drug programs.
  3. What are your most unique employee benefits?
    While you should have uncovered all of the benefits offered in your employee summary, there may be a few employee perks you’ll find important. This is also a good question to uncover a little more about the culture of the company you’re considering. Companies may offer an employee gym, onsite child care, flexible work schedules, or other unique programs that may make a position more attractive, even if the salary is smaller. And don’t forget to find out about smaller benefits that can really add up like paid parking, discount dry cleaning services, or an economical onsite dining option.

Looking for a new job can be stressful, but when you do get a job offer make sure to slow down and evaluate the entire offer before accepting a position. It’s possible to negotiate your salary and benefit options before you’re hired, but it can be much harder to negotiate, or not possible, after you’ve accepted the position.

I Know What You Tweeted Last Summer, Can Social Media Harm Your Job Search?

Dangersocialmedia_Jan2011_webSocial media has become an amazing tool millions of people use every day to meet, connect, and stay in touch with each other all over the world. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ help their users express themselves and meet like-minded individuals to share their thoughts and passions to build communities like never before.

They are also tools for potential employers to get a better picture of who you are outside of the interview or résumé. According to a recent survey conducted by the recruiting and applicant tracking software company Jobvite, 90% of employers will refer to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin before making a hire. Many employers feel that whatever you do in your normal social life will reflect in your work life. With the newest Facebook Timeline feature, it will be even easier for companies to see posts from your crazy college days, outbursts from teenage angst, or outrageous decisions as a young adult from two or three years ago. Here are some ways social media may keep you from getting hired and how to avoid it.

Trash Talkin’

Any vicious or ill-tempered comments you make on your social media sites can make you look bad. These are reflections on you as a person outside of the job interview where you are actively trying to put your best foot forward and impress.

One of the most famous examples of this is the “Cisco Fatty” incident in 2009. Job seeker, Connor Riley was offered a position with consumer electronics company Cisco. Later that day, Riley posted the on her Twitter account:

 

“Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.”

 

Soon, a manager at Cisco found the tweet in a search and responded:

 

“Who is the hiring manager. I’m sure they would love to know that you will hate the work. We here at Cisco are versed in the web.”

 

Needless to say, her job offer was soon withdrawn. Be careful when posting your thoughts and opinions online no matter what frame of mind you’re in at the time. You never know who is reading it. A safe bet is if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything.

Picture Postin’

Pictures are great ways to highlight the best memories from your past. They can also be proof of some of the most unprofessional and embarrassing moments in your life. What you do in your free time reflects the kind of person you are. Potential employers will not see you as a reliable, serious candidate if your profiles are littered with party and prank photos. You might also want to avoid showcasing your record number of tattoos or piercings if looking for a job with a lot of face-to-face and direct business meetings.

Go Googlin’

Have you ever typed your name into Google and searched yourself? What do you think you’ll find? You should search your name regularly during your job hunt to see what pops up. If you want to use your profiles for silly pictures and rants, set your profiles to private. It won’t keep everything from those looking for you, it will help. If you want your name to appear more professional, sign up for several other professional social networking sites like Ziggs, Ecademy, or Networking for Professionals, The more your name is out there producing positive content, the more good things will show up on Google.

Some employers really do use online profiles to help make hiring decisions. Online image company Reppler reports almost 65% of employers say they have passed on prospective hires after taking a look at their social profiles. What have you done to help boost your professional image online?