5 Steps to Keep Your Job Hunt Moving Forward

October 28th, 2011

Even in a job market that’s notoriously difficult to crack, experts say many candidates sabotage their search by making common job-hunting mistakes.  Are you guilty of any of these?

Passive, not active. It’s not enough to submit your resumes to a handful of online job postings and wait for a response. Sitting at home and waiting for a call will likely get you nowhere. Instead, be an active participant. Work your network and expand it wherever possible. Keep updating your skills. Learn more about what the job market is looking for. Most important, if you get a lead on a position, don’t sit on it! Be ready to respond with a professional and clearly written email and/or follow-up telephone call.

Holding out for the ideal job. You may have in mind a job that’s perfect for you, but the real world doesn’t necessarily work that way. If you pass on job openings that don’t completely fit your search criteria, you may never get called in for an interview. Remember, whenever employers post an open position, they get hundreds of responses. Look more closely at openings that you may be suited for and take the next step. Better to do well in a “not-perfect” job right now and keep searching for that dream job later.

It’s all about me. Job experts note that many candidates think first about what an open position can do for them, rather than what they can do for the company that’s hiring.  Big mistake. You want to know what need you can fill with your particular skills and experience, not what perks or privileges the job may or may not include.

Looking too close to home. Chances are, the job you want isn’t going to be situated around the block — or even within a few miles of your home. Consider open positions that require a longer commute or even full-scale relocation. Opportunities are out there, if you adopt a more flexible mind-set.

A job is a job is a job. A front desk receptionist in one business may be nothing like a front-desk receptionist somewhere else. Don’t make the mistake of focusing on the position, without understanding more about the business offering the position. These days it’s easy to research companies online, so you’re better equipped to explain — by resume and/or interview — how you can best fit their needs.

You’ll find that by following these steps and thinking active, rather than passive, you’ll generate more energy and focus in your job search.

Be on the Lookout for Anti-Social Job Candidates

October 21st, 2011

Just about all recruiters can remember one time or another when they moved ahead with a job candidate even though something didn’t feel “quite right.” Sometimes the result was simply a poor fit for the company and the new hire was eventually terminated or simply left. In the worst cases, a bad or anti-social hire resulted in damage to team morale and important corporate projects or even dire legal consequences.

Fortunately, there are warning signs and other avenues of investigation to reduce the risk of hiring an anti-social employee. Nothing is foolproof, of course, but if you keep these tips in mind you’ll be sure to weed out individuals who have no place in your organization.

“We or I?” Every candidate is on his or her best behavior during a job interview. But listen carefully to the answers they provide to your questions. If the candidate says “I” more often than “We,” it could indicate a “loner attitude,” or reluctance to work closely as part of a team. This may emerge more clearly if you ask them to describe projects they worked on in the past and how much collaboration was a factor in the project’s success.

Dig deeper into references. Checking with references provided by the applicant is part of due diligence, but you can always dig deeper. Ask the reference to direct you to another person the candidate worked with (a customer, co-worker, supervisor, etc.).  Also, seek out past employers not listed as references; while some may not wish to offer much detail, the answers they do give can be helpful.

Don’t skim over the background check. These days, there are plenty of ways to access information about a job candidate’s background. Start by securing his or her permission to conduct a complete drug test and criminal background check. You also want to know if the applicant has any pending criminal or civil court cases, and the reasons behind them.

Trust your gut. Always treat each job candidate with respect and fairness. At the same time, if something occurs during the interview process or background check and you feel it in your gut, don’t ignore it. If something about the individual bothers you or makes you feel uncomfortable, that same intangible feeling can crop up again once the candidate is hired–and then it’s his or her co-workers who are stuck with the situation.

Meador Staffing screens and accepts job candidates of the highest character.  Learn more about how we can help you fill the open position in your company.

Job Postings – What They Say and What They Mean

October 14th, 2011

Any experienced job-seeker knows them when she sees them: the common phrases and buzzwords found in virtually all job postings and descriptions. Not surprisingly, there’s a gap between what the job description says and what it really means. The language may look like English, but in reality it’s a strange brew of jargon and catch-phrases that may have different meanings, depending on the circumstances.

Here’s a brief run-down of some of the most frequently encountered phrases, along with tips on how to make them work for you.

Experience required. Many job descriptions include this phrase, without any specific information on exactly how much experience they’re talking about. Some job-hunting experts suggest this should be interpreted as a minimum of three years.

Willing to work independently. Sounds attractive, right? Well, be careful. It could actually mean anything from “We’re not sure what the job entails” to “You’ll have to learn what to do on your own.” This is probably best suited for a person who enjoys the challenge of succeeding without anyone’s help.

Fast-paced, challenging environment. Could this mean “There’s chaos here and no one knows what’s going on”? It’s safe to assume the position requires a candidate who works well under pressure and can juggle multiple projects without losing focus. At some point, you’ll want to determine if “fast-paced” means a healthy production schedule or widespread confusion.

Working knowledge. This one is fairly straightforward. The employer desires specific skills and abilities; if you’re interested, be prepared to offer evidence that you have what they’re looking for.

Opportunities for growth. New companies and start-ups often include this phrase in their job description. They may be operating on a shoestring budget and hoping an interested candidate will look past a less-than-desirable starting salary, in exchange for the chance to move up the ladder. This could be a great opportunity for the ambitious job-seeker.

Perform other tasks as needed and Some overtime required. Both of these phrases suggest a work environment involving hard work and long hours. That’s not a bad thing, of course, especially if you thrive on new challenges and opportunities for growth. (And you can be reasonably sure that’s the kind of person the employer is looking for.) It may also mean the job duties haven’t yet been clearly defined and that, if hired, you may be called upon to help shape the ultimate position.

Meador Staffing Services offers great employment opportunities in Austin, Houston and across Texas. Contact us today to learn more.

Time and Dollars Saved Using a Staffing Agency

October 12th, 2011

Among the many benefits a staffing agency can bring to your candidate search is a significant savings in both time and money. This hiring option frees you to focus on what’s truly important—the successful operation of your business and a focus on the strategy needed to make it grow.

Start with time saved.

As any HR recruiter knows, the hiring process involves many moving parts, including (but not limited to) receiving, processing and reviewing resumes; scheduling  and conducting interviews; and negotiating terms of salary and benefits. Each of these steps requires a significant time investment.

With a staffing agency, you don’t risk investing time in the entire laborious process, only to find the person wasn’t really qualified in the first place.

Experienced technical recruiters in a first-class staffing agency know how to sift through reams of resumes to find and select the best candidates. Staffing agencies follow precise screening procedures for both direct hires and temporary personnel, seeking not only a person with the skills and experience you’re looking for, but the right personality to succeed in your workplace.

The result? You see only qualified candidates for the open position, without the time-consuming labor involved in getting there.

Save money with direct hires or temporary staff.

For many small businesses, bringing on temporary staff helps control costs and reduce employment risk. Since temporary personnel work for the staffing  agency–not the business itself–overhead costs like overtime, benefits and unemployment claims aren’t your concern. These individuals can be used as needed, without having to commit to a 40-hour work week.

A high-quality staffing agency handles the employment process for both direct hires and temporary personnel. This includes the costs related to pre-employment  testing, background investigations and drug screenings. Expenses related to payroll processing and benefits administration are reduced as well.

At Meador Staffing, we deliver flexible and customized staffing solutions for employers across Texas and beyond. Our solutions help employers cut costs, improve workforce flexibility, and find top candidates for their unique needs.  When you partner with Meador, we take care of all the work for you.