Here’s how to deliver.
When it comes to corporate gift-giving over the holidays, it’s better to be a Santa than a Scrooge. The latest Randstad Workmonitor survey finds that 41 per cent percent of Canadian workers would like a gift from their employer this holiday season.
The survey which questioned employees from 32 countries around the world found that over four out of ten (45%) Canadian employees normally receive a gift of their employer, which is similar to the number of Canadian workers that expect to receive one this year (41%).
It is undeniable that holiday gifts play a broader role in improving the culture of an organization and below are just a couple of the benefits of employee gift ideas for the holidays:
• Tokens of an organization’s appreciation, even small ones, can have a big impact on employee morale and productivity.
• Corporate holiday gifts can help companies build and extend brand loyalty, foster stronger relationships and thank employees for a year of great work.
Now, are you wondering what you can give that will help lead to retention and employee satisfaction? It’s not hard to suggest the ever-popular choices which include a holiday bonus or gift cards, but what if your employees have worked hard and have done a fabulous job and you still can’t afford to give them bonuses, raises or gift cards? Consider giving gifts that are low cost to your business.
• If you decide that your business isn’t financially ready to give gifts, consider a hand-written note to your employees, thanking them for their hard work and service to the company. Often a gift like a personal note can mean a great deal to your staff.
• Telecommuting can be cost free for many organizations (most employees already have their own high speed internet connections at home and companies already have established capabilities for logging in from home). Allowing people to work from home once a week, or twice a month over the holidays can improve morale at little cost. Can you offer them a discount or special price on a product or service? Offer them something they can use to their advantage to start the new year.
• A donation to a local charity in the company’s name would be a rewarding alternative to traditional gifts like candy or branded office supplies.
• Whatever the gift is for employees, the most important thing is show them appreciation and gratitude for their work during the year. Remember, your business wouldn’t be where it is today without your employees.
Taking advantage of the opportunity to give back and show your staff that you appreciate them in a unique way is a great way to strengthen employee engagement and better satisfaction in 2013.
Do you usually give holiday gifts to your employees? Or are you an employee who receives holiday gifts from your employer? If so, what's the best or most unusual gift you've given/gotten? Let us know!
By Dayana Fraser
Randstad Canada experiences a 30% growth in General Staffing demand in Q3 of 2012.
October marked the end of the third quarter in 2012, where Randstad Canada experienced growth across most of our divisions. In Q3, Randstad Canada saw a 30% growth, when compared to the previous quarter, where contract demand increased by 35% and permanent demand increased by 12%.
The largest increases in demand were in Randstad Canada’s General Staffing division, which specializes in temporary staffing and permanent placement for specific industry sectors. Below is a breakdown of the gains in demand we’ve seen within our General Staffing division over the last fiscal quarter.
Do you need to build your permanent or contract team quickly? Click here to find out more about how we can help build your team with the right staffing solution.
Now that you have a stellar profile (be sure to read our LinkedIn Profile Tips post first, if you haven’t already) you are ready to actively increase your visibility and engage. Consider the strategies and techniques below to help find your dream job.
LinkedIn job search strategy
Find the right recruiter
When it comes to finding a job, a recruitment consultant can be a tremendous help to you when it comes to all of the “heavy lifting”. They know which companies are hiring, what employers are looking for, and will even prep a candidate for an interview. But how do you go about finding the right recruiter for you?
Research the top recruitment agencies.
There are many out there! Randstad Canada is the largest recruitment agency in the country and the only one that has been awarded the “Great Places to Work” award (but of course I work here, so I’m a bit biased!).
Find their company page on LinkedIn.
You can continue your LinkedIn job search by browsing the company’s directory. Take a look at their recent updates, is there an opportunity for you to comment, like or share one? Click here for the Randstad Canada LinkedIn page as an example.
Review the “How You’re Connected” section.
You will see all of the people in your network that work for that company. You may even find you have a friend or past colleague that works at the recruitment agency! Call them up or contact them to see if they have a few minutes, ask if there is someone they can refer you to in your area of specialty.
Search for people by getting creative.
For example, you can run an advanced search for the word “recruiter” or “hr” or “IT recruiter” with the company name to further research recruiters you may want to connect with.
Leverage the power of the LinkedIn community.
Join targeted groups.
Find the right groups to join by searching the LinkedIn Group Directory. But remember to review the group stats before committing in order to make sure the right people are in the group. Are you looking to network with senior decision makers? What industry? You can find out what the makeup of the group is (even if it is a private group) by clicking on the group statistics. These groups will allow you to network with other people in your industry, people in your job role, and even recruiters.
Ask and answer questions.
By helping others and answering questions in your industry, you position yourself as a subject matter expert and increase your credibility. Similarly, when you ask intelligent questions, you are are able to engage in thoughtful dialogue with industry experts and prospective employers.
Engage with your network. LinkedIn Signal is an excellent tool to see what people are talking about in your network, and even outside of your network. This is an excellent tool you can use to join conversations or like, comment and share targeted content.
Job seekers – What NOT to do on LinkedIn!
Do not, I repeat, do not write anything along the lines of ”Unemployed” in your headline, no “Looking for work”, “Seeking the next opportunity” - or anything even remotely similar. This is a red flag to recruiters. It may be interpreted as “I was just fired” or “No one wants to hire me.”
Click here for more tips on how to build a good LinkedIn profile.
By Lauralee Guthrie
So you are on LinkedIn. Most professionals are, including your colleagues, your prospects, and of course recruiters. In fact, in Canada alone there are over six million professional profiles on
LinkedIn and a recent study by Jobvite shows that 93% of recruiters are using LinkedIn to find candidates.
But if you want recruiters to find you, your profile needs to be visible and effective. Having the right LinkedIn keywords in the right place can make all the difference.
Unfortunately, if your profile isn’t visible, recruiters may never find you and if by some chance they stumble across your profile, if it doesn’t stand out, they will pass you by.
Follow these LinkedIn profile tips to appear in targeted searches and increase your visibility.
The following checklist will show you how to optimize your profile with LinkedIn keywords so you will appear higher in relevant searches. The first thing you need to do is pick the right keyword! Either a relevant job title or skillset is a great place to start.
Wondering whether you should use a job title or skillset as your main keyword?
Think about what the skill or job title you want to be found for is. If you are interested in new opportunities that match your current job title, for example, the job title is a great place to start. But if it is a new role you are looking to move into, that can be more difficult to optimize your profile for, so its best to focus on a skillset.
For example, if your current role is a “Project Manager” and you are interested in new project manager job opportunities you should pick this keyword.
Or maybe you are only a project coordinator but want to move into a project manager role, then it might be best to optimize for a skillset like “PMP Certified.”
TIP: If you are going to pick a skillset, use LinkedIn’s Skills and Expertise Tool to see how popular your targeted skillset is (it even provides other related skillsets that might prove to be an even better choice than the one you had in mind!).
Once you’ve selected the best keyword for you, it’s time to strategically place it throughout your profile. Make sure you:
Select a relevant keyword that you want to be found for.
Search this keyword before making edits to your profile to see where you come up.
Include the keyword in the following areas:
Don’t just include your keyword here; make it catchy, relevant, and interesting - you have room to play. And don’t forget about your image! It is the first thing people see when you show up in searches, so make it clickable!
If a job title is your keyword, this is easy, it is your job title, but in the section describing what you do or did in this position, feel free to repeat the keyword one more time (this is also a section you can easily include a skillset, if that is your targeted keyword).
- Make sure you include your main targeted keyword but don’t forget to include all of the other related keywords! These keywords will help you come up in searches on linkedin, and in fact, you should include all 50! It’s easy when you use the LinkedIn tool!
Other sections including Publications and Certifications can’t hurt!
Then search this keyword in LinkedIn again and see where you come up. You should be a lot higher!
Watch how many times you show up in searches and how many views you get, this should grow quickly!
Remember, search for yourself before and after you make the edits and see where you show up! Good luck and let us know how these tips work for you! Please leave your comments below.
Click here for more tips on how to build a good LinkedIn profile.
By Lauralee Guthrie
7 LinkedIn Profile Tips to Turn a Good LinkedIn Profile into a Great One
Lets start with some edits and “fixes” to help you go from good to great.
Customize your url.
Why? It makes you look professional, gives you a clean url to direct people to and helps you come up in Google searches.
Click on edit your profile then you will see a url with a series of numbers, click on edit here and pick a custom url, I generally recommend your first and last name, so when people google you, usually this profile will come up first. Another option, if you are in a profession you think you will be in for life, you can use a keyword phrase, for example, I selected “social media consulting.”
Your picture and headline are what stand out in the search results. If someone is looking for a “Project Manager” and you come up but your headline just says “Project Manager” and nothing else, you look like everyone else, except for your colleague who’s headline may say “Project Manager who loves the challenge of implementing on time, on budget project plans. PMP certified.
You have 120 characters, make it count! Remember to keep your main keyword, more about LinkedIn Keyword Tips here but be creative and spice it up with an interesting fact about your skillsets or what you are passionate about in your industry. Speak to your audience, a good linkedin profile is specific!
Yes your picture is important. And no, it shouldn’t include your family, a hand from that special someone you cropped out or you in scuba gear (yes, I have seen this!). And puleasseeee… no sexy pouts for the camera, this is professional but friendly. Enough said.
Have a stellar summary.
Remember, people read differently online, they quickly scan content and then go back if they find something interesting so make your profile easy to scan! This means lots of white space and I love to use bullet points. *Tip* bullet points aren’t built into LinkedIn’s content editor so the trick is to write your summary up in word and then copy and paste it into LinkedIn, the bullets will stay!
Showcase your skills.
You can add up to 50 skills, add the most relevant ones and then find out which ones are growing in your industry by exploring LinkedIn’s Skills and Expertise tool. Add all 50, this helps with your visibility in search. These also provide powerful social proof because with one click, your colleagues, clients and friends can endorse you.
Do you speak any other languages? There is a section for this. Have you been quoted in the news or published an article or paper recently? Add that under the publications section. You can also showcase your certifications and/or honors and awards.
I love the Reading List by Amazon App, feature a few of the top books in your industry and write a brief recommendation, this positions you as a thought leader and adds some colour to you profile. Another great app that can add both colour and interactivity is the slideshare app, here you can feature your portfolio, a presentation from any speaking events or even a slideshow of your background and experience.
A clear, concise and colourful profile will stand out. If it speaks to your audience, these edits will be sure to invite more connections and activity and can bring you closer to your dream job.
To skyrocket your visibility and generate even more exposure, find out how to tie in your targeted keywords that will help you appear in LinkedIn Keyword searches more than ever before!
Good luck and feel free to leave comments below!
By Lauralee Guthrie
Change is constant, but admittedly can often be met with resistance. There are countless examples of people, organizations, and even empires that have spiraled downhill due to their inability to cope with change. It is how change is managed that can be the difference between surviving and thriving in business and like it or not, all organizations must change in order to remain relevant.
You may already know that your organization needs to implement change to survive, but how can you get others on board to help make it happen?
Here are 5 change management tips to ensure that you can successfully implement the initiatives needed in order to ensure your organization maintains its competitiveness.
1. Anticipate resistance
Be aware of what you’re up against. Recognize that people often prefer to stick with what they already know and what they’re comfortable with; it’s human nature. Anticipate resistance and be ready to provide reasons that will justify the change.
2. Acknowledge employee emotions
It’s important to realize that the resistance isn’t personal, but can stem from a fear of the unknown! Listen to your employees concerns, ensure they feel understood and comfort them. If people feel unheard they will either speak louder or just give up communicating, both of which are undesirable outcomes.
Many times, people are resistant to change because they feel that it is purposeless, often reasoning; “Why fix what isn’t broken?” There is often a disconnect because employees often become singularly focused on their individual role and aren’t always aware of the bigger picture. Keep employees aware of the issues that exist within the organization through regular discussions and communicate how the proposed change will prove beneficial.
4. Make changes gradually
Implementing change in phases is often the best way to ensure that employees do not become overwhelmed by modifications to the routines they’ve grown accustomed to.
5. Measure benefits
Nothing speaks louder than results. While the change is being implemented, measure the impact and benefits. If people see the benefits, it will not only help them understand why the change is being implemented, but will motivate them to jump on board as well.
Change management is always easier when your organization is equipped with the right people – Click here to learn more.
By Hamel Khakhria
Sound decision-making is a critical ingredient for success in small business and it’s an ability and skill that every entrepreneur must possess.
When it comes to small business, owners will face important decisions that may impact the future of the company on a daily basis - and they cannot afford to make poor choices.
As a small business owner, this may seem stressful, but keep the following tips in mind and you'll find yourself making wiser decisions and on the path toward long-term success.
Business Decision Process
Identify the problem. Sometimes it is difficult to identify the real decision to be made. Identify what the problem is and why it is a problem. If an employee is consistently late for work, you may think that the real decision is whether or not to fire her or him. In fact, the real decision is whether or not that employee is actually a valuable asset to the business and worth working with to change the behaviour.
Gather facts and seek knowledge. Before making a decision, gather as many facts as possible. Seek reliable advice from those people who you know to make sound decisions and who have enough knowledge on the subject to offer good advice.
Make a plan and set goals. Successful businesses all have a plan or road map for their business. Consider all of the information you have gathered and then extend it into the decision making process. Decisions are made with education, planning and commitment. But make sure your decisions are consistent with your goals. Goal setting can help you focus your priorities and reduce the inconsistencies that may hinder you from achieving your goals.
Take action. Select the best solution to the problem but be certain to understand clearly why it is best. Act decisively and with confidence once the decision has been made. You should have the confidence to know that you have made the best possible decision based on the facts available.
Evaluate, obtain feedback and monitor. Once you have taken action to solve a problem, management must evaluate its effectiveness. Evaluation standards must be determined, feedback channels developed, and monitoring performed. The goal is to answer the bottom line question: “Has the problem been solved?” Always be prepared to evaluate your decisions and honestly admit to yourself if they were sound and if not, how they could have been improved.
Keep in mind, not all of your decisions will be the right ones. Decision making is a skill like any other, and practice makes perfect. Whether you’re a small business owner or the executive of a major corporation, the general approach to solving problems is the same. Consider the steps above next time you are faced with a difficult decision about your business.
At Randstad Canada, we work with businesses both large and small. While these companies may differ in size, they all share one common trait: the success of their business hinges on their ability to make sound decisions. Contact us today. Allow us to help you source the talent you need to make your business succeed, click here for more information.
The Walking Dead: Is Your Workplace Infected?
You start seeing the signs; the vibe around your workplace seems rather…dead. You’ve got that itching feeling that something just isn’t right. Employees begin to seem less spirited, less motivated, and ultimately less productive. Your once vibrant employees are beginning to resemble…zombies.
Be warned, zombie-like behavior actually is infectious and its influence will spread without the need for biting. Simply having unmotivated employees in the workplace is often enough to affect the moods of other employees.
However, fear not! There’s no need to pull out the shotguns – we’ve created a guide to detect workplace zombies and vanquish them! All you need is a few employee engagement ideas and you can save your employees from becoming infectious zombies that destroy the brains and productivity of your organization.
How to tell if your workplace is infected by Zombies?
Not sure if your employees should be classified among The Walking Dead? Well here are a few signs that your office probably needs some employee engagement ideas to improve the environment.
Change of Mood
Often, a sudden change in an employee’s mood signal’s something is brewing. If this goes unnoticed the employee may feel as if they don’t matter.
Weariness, fatigue, and lethargy are often the first signs of disengagement.
Lack of Initiative/Participation
When an employee is no longer eager to complete a task, perhaps something has caused their excitement about work to dwindle.
If you’ve noticed an increase in absences among certain employees, this is a major indication of withdrawal.
The final and most blatant sign of disengagement is outright complaining. If you hear employees complaining about issues around your workplace it means they’re dissatisfied and they feel that the company’s goals are not in line with their own goals. Nothing is more infectious and damaging to employee spirit than constant complaints.
How can you save your workplace?
So you’ve seen the signs. You realize, with dread, that your workplace is infected. Unless you take action soon, the zombie-like behavior will spread amongst colleagues. This is where we have you covered. Here are 7 employee engagement ideas (easily remembered by the acronym ZOMBIES) that you can use to save your workplace:
Make sure you set forth clear expectations for your employees – this way they’ll understand exactly what is expected of them and they are not wasting their efforts on things that don’t matter.
Encourage open communication with employees so they feel they can express how they truly feel, rather than internalizing their objections or expressing them through the grapevine. Often, opening up lines of communication can lead to the discovery of many things that could potentially improve the organization. It also makes employees feel as if they are actually part of the company, rather than merely employed by it.
Recognition, recognition, recognition! If an employee feels they have made a contribution that has not been recognized, they’re going to be less inclined to make contributions in the future. There are many ways to recognize employees outside of financial compensation. Different people prefer to be recognized in different ways. It can range from a public recognition/award, to just letting fellow colleagues know in a daily meeting, or even a private sincere conversation letting them know that you appreciate the efforts they’ve made. When people feel that their work is valued, they will usually keep up the good work.
Trust works both ways. Show your employees you trust them by offering them greater responsibilities, and keep your promises in order to build mutual trust. A sense of trust makes employees feel more emotionally invested in the organization’s failures and successes and creates a very positive and personal environment to work in.
After opening up the lines of communication, often employees will make suggestions that prove to be very useful and actionable. Don’t let it end there; show employees how their feedback has been used. It will make them feel as if they are helping shape the organization and, in turn, will make them feel valued.
Nothing has the potential to make employees feel more engaged than your organizational culture. Employees yearn to be proud of their employer, to identify with their company, and to belong. There are many things you can do as an employer to help develop and foster your organizational culture, just make sure the steps you take are inclusive, recurring, and, above all else, make your employees feel good.
And finally, when bringing in new people to the organization, always make sure that they are a good fit. Just as one zombie is enough to start an outbreak, one person can quickly turn a workplace into a disengaged environment.
Click Here to make sure you’re hiring the right people
By Hamel Khakhria
The Walking Dead Photo Credit
Photo Credit: Scott Garfield/Courtesy of AMC
In times of dire need the secret service calls upon Bond, James Bond. In times of dire need an organization calls upon an Analyst, a Business Analyst.
A Business Analyst's role is actually very similar to that of an International Super Spy.
Like James Bond, Business Analysts gather data, analyze the data to create a plan of action, and communicate the plan so that it can be effectively executed.
In fact if James Bond were applying for a job this is what his Business Analyst Resume Sample would look like.
There are a few crucial things that can be gathered from James Bond’s Business Analyst Resume Sample.
Emphasize your ability to communicate effectively
A business analyst is usually the person within a project or organization that explains very technical aspects to those who may not be so technically-inclined. It is their job to turn complex data and concepts, into dollars by communicating with vendors, IT departments, and business stakeholders. So a business analyst is expected to be a good communicator. James Bond displays his exceptional communication abilities by including his discussions and Joint Application Design (JAD) sessions with Q, the Head of Research & Development.
Showcase your research abilities
Typically, in a business analyst role, you will have to deal with quite a bit of data and documentation -take this opportunity to showcase your expertise in gathering requirements, researching and documenting existing Business Processes, workflows and developing project management templates! Provide examples of how you uncovered threats and opportunities to an organization and implemented an action plan that led to results.
If you are a Certified Business Analyst Professional, PMP, have an MBA, or any other applicable designation or certification, ensure you list them immediately after your name! In Bond’s business analyst resume sample, he does this so that it immediately catches your eye, ensuring that a potential hiring manager is hooked and will want to further examine his business analyst resume sample.
Today, there are many opportunities for Business Analysts. In a world where the amount of data is exponentially increasing, where technology is constantly evolving, and where knowledge and implementation decides the winner – organizations need business analysts.
Click here to use your new business analyst resume sample to apply for business analyst jobs!
Resume services that help you craft the perfect general purpose CV may not be doing you any favours. So make note of these resume tips:
A perfect resume really only exists in tandem with a detailed and specific job description. Creating a Swiss army knife type of resume is like trying to cook a great meal by using all the ingredients in your kitchen. You think you’ve created a masterpiece while everyone is reaching for the Pepto Bismol.
If you want to earn an interview, you need a customized message. Here are some resume tips that will help you achieve that.
Think about this from the hiring managers point of view, someone who has been tasked with finding, for example, an experienced sales person for their company.
You, as a candidate, see the ad online for the role and so you respond with your all-purpose resume. Yes, you have tons of sales experience. What more could they want?
Well, how about industry specific experience? Selling an oil and gas product for example does not really translate very well to a consumer product or a technology solution. The language is bound to be different, specific industry knowledge valuable and being connected to their customer base (knowing the players) could very well make or break your success.
How about the size of the customer? Selling office equipment to large corporations with diverse types of customers, procurement divisions and long sales cycles won’t qualify you to sell kitchen appliances to small business owners.
Size of the sale matters too. If you’ve sold $10 Million aircraft for several years, changing to selling a $500 solution is going to have a steep learning curve.
See what I mean? A sales job is not a sales job is not a sales job. It’s a very specific requirement and most job descriptions will be loaded with clues. A winning resume will speak to that.
A hiring manager will be looking for specific words and phrases in your resume that will move them closer or further away from selecting you. Every word you use that doesn’t match their map of the ideal candidate will move you away from the target. It’s like the Hot/Cold game you played as a kid.
“Getting warmer. Warmer. Getting hot. Burning hot.”
That’s what you want in your resume. Burning hot.
Here’s a simple technique to help you get there.
Read the job description carefully then list the top three requirements. Then rank them. Now re- build your resume to match the key requirements (only if it’s true of course).
If you’re not mentioning an industry specific hot skill in the first two lines of your resume, you’re missing a great opportunity to sell yourself before the reviewer jumps to the next resume in their Inbox.
And surprise endings are for thrillers, not CV’s. You want your first few paragraphs to clinch the deal. Your experience with those top three skills should be clearly covered and described as quickly as possible. Everything else is just frosting on the cake.
I would take a one paragraph description of how a candidate perfectly matches the top three hot skills over a two page cover letter any day of the week. And most hiring managers will too.
By Russ Smith, Branch Manager, Randstad Technologies