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Even though the reference section on a resume is quite small, reference checking is crucial to a successful hiring process. Candidates may seem amazing on paper, and even have social networking profiles to back it up, but reference checks are the only way to prove that what they say is, in fact, true.

Bad Hires Cost the Company Money

Remember, a bad hire can cost the company a lot of money. From having to face costs to post the job again, to the personnel time it takes to interview a new round of candidates, it’s a costly mistake. Often, hiring and human resources professionals can cut their chances of a bad hire by making thorough reference checks.

Why Is Reference Checking So Important for Your New Hire?

Reference checking is the one time in the interview process you have access to independent information on a candidate’s previous employment positions. You can also ask for experience directly related to the responsibilities of the job position. If you have specific scenarios the position requires, you can ask references if the job candidate has had experience similar to them. This is also a time to clarify any “gray” areas in employment history, if you weren’t satisfied with the answers during the regular interview.

What Should You Ask a Reference?

Be specific and ask concrete questions that can illustrate a candidate’s skills, qualities, and knowledge. You can determine whether or not the candidate’s skills match up with what your job position requires. You can also gain an understanding with the type of worker and personality qualities the candidate has, based on learning how they handled particular situations at their previous job. However, DO NOT ask hypothetical questions. They are not fair to the candidate you are considering. The only exception to this rule is asking if the reference would hire them again.

Take This Opportunity to Determine Whether or Not the References Are Real

Unfortunately, fake references are very real. A true reference should be a manager or supervisor, not just a co-worker or friend. Social media has helped determine whether or not references truly were managers, but if you can’t find the answer on a site like LinkedIn, calling the reference will usually cast away any doubt.

Recruit the Workers You Need

Are you in need of reliable and honest local employees? Let MS-IL Staffing & Packing help you find the workers you need by contacting us.

A forklift operator plays an important role in your company’s success and meeting the demands of the supply chain. A bad hire can not only cost your company money, but can cause delays in important processes that affect the overall bottom line.

How to Hire the Right Forklift Operator

To make sure you hire top talent, be sure to consider these areas during the hiring process.

Key Forklift Operator Skills

When you are glancing over resumes and applications, look for these skills:

  • Experience operating the particular machines used at your workplace, or a similar model
  • Proficiency in math, at least at an eighth grade level with the ability to calculate loads, bills of lading, and freight quotes.
  • Reliability, so your supply chain remains productive and contributes to the company’s overall success.

Training Considerations

Any good forklift operator is trained. In addition to some previous experience, it’s important you also train your forklift operators in-house. To comply with OSHA standards, and ensure a safe and productive warehouse, your training programs should include:

  • facility operations, including surfaces, types of loads and other important specifications;
  • traffic patterns in the warehouse, including machines and especially pedestrian;
  • operation of specific machinery and an understanding of mechanical issues; and
  • hands-on testing.

Looking for Local Top Talent?

If you need help finding the right forklift operator to move your company to greater success, contact MS-IL Staffing & Packaging.

Keeping your employees motivated and happy goes a long way to improve your employee retention. It can be a tiring job to be sure your employees stay motivated through the ups and downs of daily operations, but by following a few guidelines, you will be able to seamlessly motivate your employees, which can keep your top employees around for the long run.

Key Tips to Employee Motivation and Retention

Motivating your employees is not as difficult as it might seem. Your team wants to be lead with purpose and a bit of personal attention. By incorporating these strategies, you will be able to keep your employees motivated and increase employee retention.

Be Clear About Expectations

It’s so important managers and supervisors are clear about their expectations for their employees. People will more often leave a manager, rather than leave a job or company. One of the best ways to keep your employees is to be clear about expectations regarding growth opportunity, daily tasks, wages or compensation, and company goals. When workers know what’s expected of them, they have a greater sense of purpose which translates to overall worker happiness.

Allow Employees to Speak Their Minds

Another great way to achieve higher employee retention is to create an environment where employees feel comfortable speaking their minds. Workers want to be able to share ideas, feedback, or frustrations. When a company allows the proper avenues for open communication, it makes their employees feel significant and valued. Workers will be more motivated and less likely to leave a company when they feel they can speak their mind to their co-workers and supervisors.

Reward and Recognize Your Employees

Employees want to feel their work is appreciated. A company can motivate and retain their employees by recognizing effort and accomplishments, and rewarding those workers who meet or exceed job performance expectations. Sometimes, the reward or recognition can come in the obvious form of an increase in compensation. Other times, small gift cards, or lunch outings are appropriate.

Know Your Employees

While it’s not a good idea to become friends with your employees, it is motivating for employees to feel as though you are invested in them. Getting to know your employees’ hobbies or even some personal goals can help increase their motivation at the office, and also feel more connected to your company, increasing their likelihood to stay at the company for many years.

Create a Healthy Company Culture

There are many ways to create a healthy and positive company culture. This can also help increase your employee retention. For more information on how to enrich your office culture and retain happy employees, contact MS-IL Staffing & Packaging.

 

Depending on the industry, gaps in work history can be normal, even seasonal. The length of the absence in employment will determine how to best talk about it during an interview. Let’s break it down.

Boost Your Resume

Take advantage of any time off to grow as a professional. Whether you take classes, do volunteer work or become part of a professional networking group, you will gain experience from every opportunity, and they can be listed on your resume. Plus, if it’s unplanned time off, you may find a real job possibility from these “extracurricular” activities.

Short Gaps in Employment

If you have short gaps in your career path, or seasonal breaks, you can list the years of each job on your resume, instead of specific starting and ending dates. Highlight your strengths and responsibilities to draw attention to your experience rather than the length of time at each job.

If you have a job that has regular breaks or seasonal low times, plan ahead to get involved in opportunities to grow in your trade or enhance your skill set. This will not only make you a better worker, it will make for positive conversation points during your interview.

Long Gaps in Employment

Unfortunately, there can be times when you may have a long gap in employment. Especially in these lapses, it’s important for you to stay with the times, and prove you’re not out of touch.

If you left the workforce for a reason like raising your family, caring for a loved one, recovering from an injury or continuing your education full-time, talk about that with confidence. Don’t be apologetic about your decision; instead, showcase how that decision makes you a strong and capable candidate for the job.

Keep it Positive

No matter what the reasons for your employment gaps, it’s beneficial for you to stay positive during your interview if they are a part of the conversation. Never talk badly about a previous employer, and recognize how you’ve grown during those gaps to become a better professional. If you feel you might need practice before talking about this during an interview, then definitely do so!

Employment Guidance and Resume Tips

If you are looking for more employment opportunities, or a different career path, contact MS-IL Staffing & Packing. We’ve helped many professionals find a path that works for them. If you want help making your resume stand out to hiring managers, we can help you there, too.

No good leader has dreams of becoming a micromanaging boss. However, sometimes even a good leader can slip into micromanaging tendencies.

Why You May Be Micromanaging

If it was an accidental spiral into micromanaging, it could be innocent. Here are a few reasons good leaders find themselves trapped in a micromanagement style.

  • Unconscious Insecurities

If you have underlying insecurities about your leadership adequacy, you may actually be doing damage by overthinking your responsibilities.

  • Bad Hires

Hiring unqualified, immature, inexperienced or unmotivated employees is a drain to everyone on the team, and it can also pull any good leader into the habit of hovering over their workers. This type of boss behavior often leads to micromanaging.

  • Striving for Perfection

No one is perfect. While it’s important to have clear expectations of your employees (and communicate them), it’s unreasonable to expect perfection. By striving for perfection, you will only become frustrated, unmotivated and burned out. These effects can turn you into a micromanager and will negatively impact your team as well.

So, are You Micromanaging? Here’s How to Tell

1) Measuring or monitoring too much.

The advances in technology and available data are amazing. It can help offices be more productive, cut costs, reach more customers, etc. However, tracking too much, just for the sake of tracking, leads to micromanaging and confusion. Instead, focus on what’s most important. Measure one or two things for each project or area of the company and only add to those if absolutely necessary.

Where measurement deals with data, monitoring is concerned with behavior. Another point of confusion is when a manager thinks they are mentoring an employee, but in reality, they are just constantly looking over their shoulder. Step back and give your employees the space to do their work.

2) Gathering too much consensus. When making a decision, it’s important to collect input from employees who will be affected by or involved in that decision. Too much discussion, however, can lead to confusion and things not getting done. To avoid this trap, set a deadline to make decisions. If input isn’t gathered by then, move on! 

3) Intervening too much. Don’t be a “helicopter boss.” Your employees are allowed to make mistakes – then they can learn from those mistakes! A manager who always jumps in doesn’t give their employees the opportunity to learn some valuable lessons and bounce back stronger, smarter and more experienced than before. 

4) Creating too many priorities. Many people, including managers, can fall into a trap of trying to achieve too many tasks or goals that aren’t related. If you set too many priorities that fall on the same level of importance, you only create confusion. Plus, employees become overworked without clear direction.

Looking for More Management Advice?

For more help on being a confident leader for your office, and ditching any trace of micromanaging, visit MS-IL Staffing & Packaging.

To get top-performing job candidates to interview for your open position, you need to write effective and compelling job postings. The quality of your job post will determine what type of candidates apply for your company.

Guide to Writing a Highly Effective Job Posting

  • Use a Strong Job Title

Be sure to use a strong, straight-forward job title. You can also include a brief subtitle that highlights the main responsibilities (up to three) that relate to this position.

  • Include a Compelling Introduction

In your job posting, include an introduction that is similar to a lede in a newspaper article. It should be informative and interesting, making it hard to resist reading more about the open job position. If your introduction is boring, people may think your job or company is also boring.

  • Tell the Company Story

This doesn’t need to be long because it shouldn’t take focus away from the open position. It is effective to include a concise summary of when and why the company started in addition to what the mission of the company is, so the applicants can begin to get aligned with your purpose as well.

  • Sell the Job Position

Not all jobs are exciting, but you need to do your best to communicate the value of your open position. Describe how significant the job is to the company’s success, so the candidate is excited for the opportunity to fulfill these duties and be a part of your company.

  • Give Directions for the Application Process

Since there are various steps depending on the channel of the job posting, this is extremely helpful information. It will also help eliminate unnecessary communication between your office and applicants.

Post Your Jobs & Find the Best Talent for Your Company

For more help on posting your open positions to the best audience for your business, contact MS-IL Staffing & Packaging.

Every manager and human resources professional understands the importance of employee evaluations, but sometimes it can be hard to deal with performance problems.

While it’s a regular part of your job to deal with performance issues, you should still try to minimize poor performance. To maximize performance in the workplace, you should identify the underlying issues that can be associated with poor performance. This way, you can do your best to avoid those issues.

3 Underlying Issues in Poor Performance

  • Unclear Expectations

It’s crucial that all managers communicate clear expectations for their employees. Minimizing confusion will give employees the confidence and direction they need to perform their best. If performance is still subpar, you will know it is not because they didn’t understand the expectations of their job, and then you can move on to identify other issues, or find employment solutions.

  • Untrained Employees

Make sure that you provide thorough training for all your workers. Training should be both hands-on and in the form of booklets or packets, so employees are able to reference training materials after their initial training sessions. You should also encourage an open-door policy when it comes to questions. Employees need to know they are allowed to ask questions or ask for feedback so they can be sure they are doing their job correctly.

  • Work Overload

Whether there aren’t enough hours or people to accomplish the tasks, or the work is being done sloppily, continual overload can negatively affect the quality of work and lead to burnout.

All these reasons for poor performance in the workplace can also lead to greater employee turnover, so it’s important to evaluate whether these issues are something your office needs to address.

Boost Morale & Productivity

To avoid poor performance and employee turnover, contact MS-IL Staffing & Packaging to discuss ways to find stellar employees, create a positive company culture, and increase employee productivity.

Almost every business or hiring manager has faced the dilemma of having several open positions at their company and needed help filling these positions with quality candidates. This can be extremely frustrating and costly to the company if open positions are slowing productivity. Thankfully, a staffing agency can be a helpful partner to solve this problem.

4 Ways a Staffing Agency Can Help Fill Open Positions

A recruitment agency can be an effective partner in employment solutions – whether you have to fill one position or 20 (or more). Here are four reasons you should ask your local staffing agency for help filling your open positions.

  • They are experts. Staffing agencies are dedicated to being experts in job trends, specific industries and recruitment practices. They stay ahead of trends, and a local agency is focused on your market – not an area of the country that doesn’t apply to you! They will know how to find qualified talent within a reasonable radius of your company.
  • They have a large network. Whether you are looking for temporary workers, full-time positions or seasonal employees, a local staffing agency has a network that can supply quality talent for your needs. Because this is their business, and not a department at a company, they spend their days building a network of professionals they are confident to recommend. Even if you have several open positions, they will be able to help you find workers for each position.
  • They help in all areas of hiring. From recruitment, to background checks, to payroll and/or benefits administration, they are there to help you. This will help you find the right job candidates quickly, so you can move on to your other work.
  • They will help minimize hiring chaos. One of the biggest risks when hiring in high volume is the sheer amount of paperwork to organize. A recruiting agency will keep everything organized, so you can focus on your other responsibilities and your days don’t spiral into chaos during a busy hiring season.

Start a Partnership & Never Look Back

If you are ready to have extra help during high-volume employment needs, contact MS-IL Staffing & Packaging. They’ll find qualified professionals to help your company fill any number of open positions.

Every human resources department or manager has wondered how to make their employees more productive. Some even try to figure out how to make them happy. The truth is, these two questions don’t have to be separate.

Why You Should Invest in Your Employees’ Happiness & How to Do It

In fact, happy employees are productive employees. When your employees are happy, they are motivated and they work harder. To dive a little deeper, here are the main reasons why it’s important to invest in employee satisfaction.

Employee Development & Engagement

Your employees want to know you value their talents, skills, and potential. A company can help boost employee happiness – and even retention – by investing in the professional development of their workers. Bring in educational presentations or workshops, or even consider offering a discount for additional certifications. Your employees will be grateful for the opportunity to improve on their professional skills, and you’ll also receive more skilled, happy workers to help your company succeed.

Encourage Collaboration

Employees are happier in the workplace when they create meaningful relationships with their co-workers. They are not looking for best friends, but they will enjoy their days more when they feel connected to their colleagues.

One informal way to do this is to hold a happy hour every quarter (or more) to allow your workers the chance to get to know one another in a relaxed environment. Getting to know hobbies and establishing connections is a great way to boost employee happiness and morale.

For workplace collaboration, be sure to have regular check-ins with your employees so they always have the chance to speak their mind, brainstorm or ask for feedback. You can choose to have these meetings with an agenda, or be more relaxed, depending on your company culture. Either way, giving your employees a chance to collaborate will help improve their happiness at work and can boost productivity as well.

Happy Employees. High Performance. Low Turnover.

When you do your best to implement practices that invest in your employees’ happiness, you will find productivity among the company increases as well. Another notable change is your employee retention will also increase, making your happy and strong team more successful.

Implement These Practices & Find Greater Success

If you are interested in learning more about how to implement these practices, or how to find valuable employees for your growing team, contact MS-IL Staffing & Packaging.

Your online presence, or what you share on social platforms, matters. For many job seekers, they’ve been creating and sharing social content for at least a decade. However, maybe they’ve only been crafting resumes and cover letters for a few years, so there’s some disproportion when it comes to a professional reputation. While resumes and cover letters are definitely important material for hiring managers, so is your online presence since most will do a quick search of your name online.

How to Assess & Clean Up Your Online Presence

Don’t worry. While you may not be able to go back and redo some decisions in your college years, you can change what to publicize to the public, including your prospective employers. Here’s a simple guide for how to assess and clean up your online presence.

Do a Search for Yourself

Before you go through your social media profiles, do a search so you can see how much work you have to do. Be sure you see what a connection sees in addition to what a person who you are not connected with is able to view. Don’t assume that a hiring manager will not be a connection. If they request a connection on LinkedIn, you will want to accept it, so you’ll have to consider what content you want to share with your connections as well.

Content to Clean Up

Now that you’ve made notes about some things you want to clean up with your social accounts, plan to address these issues:

  • No bad-mouthing co-workers or employers, past or present.
  • No pictures or posts that clearly illustrate irresponsible behavior.
  • No dirty laundry rants or “TMI” posts.
  • No fanatical political content.

While these may seem like strict rules to follow, when you are looking for a job, it’s more important to be mature and professional than to express every emotion or thought that occurs during your day. A company will consider your professional experience first, but they also want to hire a person who fits within their culture.

Content to Enhance Your Talents

After all of the rules, you shouldn’t feel as though you can’t express anything. In fact, you can do a lot on your social platforms that can aid in your job search:

  • Create a personal website or blog to showcase your talent, knowledge or perspective.
  • Make all your social profile pictures the same for easy identification.
  • Add details of volunteer work, charity interests, hobbies, certifications or licenses, etc.

There are several ways to express yourself in a professional and mature way that will allow employers to see your qualifications and your personality without getting distracted by some irrelevant posts from the past.

Get Noticed for the Job You Want

Find the jobs you want and get help with your resume or other career questions by contacting MS-IL Staffing and Packaging.

As a hiring manager, you have a lot of responsibility. One of your biggest responsibilities is making sure you hire valuable and competent workers for your company. A bad hire is expensive, but a star talent can help your company reach their goals faster.

While resumes provide the basic information for each candidate, you’ll need to spend time interviewing your candidates to determine whether they will be a good fit for your company. It’s a crucial time to weed out bad candidates from the ones who should move on for another round of interviews.

If a job candidate does any of these faux pas, consider it a red flag, and move on.

  • No Knowledge of Job Position or Company

It is one of the first rules of applying to or interviewing for a job: The job applicant should do their homework on the company. If you are interviewing a candidate and they aren’t even aware of the job’s responsibilities, or key information about the company, they aren’t interested in working for your company. Even if the applicant has shining experience, if they aren’t dedicated enough to do some basic research to get the job, how dedicated will they be as an employee?

  • Unable to Prove Previous Job Experience

It’s hard to believe that anyone would lie on a resume or cover letter, but unfortunately, it still happens. If during the interview, a candidate can’t provide proof or details on previous employment experience or anecdotal examples, you should end the interview and move on. This is a clear red flag and is a clear reason to consider someone else.

  • Not Willing to Take Responsibility for Shortcomings

Another red flag, though maybe a bit more common, is when an applicant is hesitant or unwilling to take responsibility for any weaknesses or professional shortcomings. No one is perfect and your new hire should own this fact. It’s common to ask about weaknesses or setbacks in the office or professional setting, and if your job candidate cannot answer this question honestly, they might have a hard time with constructive critiques, being a team player, or demonstrating integrity when they work for you.

Find Quality Job Candidates for Your Company

If you need help finding quality candidates for your job openings, contact MS-IL Staffing & Packaging.