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Why the Holidays Are an Excellent Time to Find a New Job

Searching for a new job can be a long and arduous process. And with all of the chaos that the holiday season can bring, it may seem like a terrible time to kick off your job search. However, this is one of the biggest job search rumors out there. Now is an excellent time to find a new job, and here are a few reasons why.

You may already be using PTO

During the holiday season, you are probably already using some PTO. Whether it’s a week-long break from work or just a long weekend, most of us take a few days off this time of year. Now, it might not seem ideal to use this much-needed time off to schedule interviews. But, with most companies moving to a virtual hiring process, it’s not too much of a burden to take an hour or two to jump on a video interview. By scheduling interviews during the holidays, you can sneak in an interview without having to take additional time away from work or raise suspicion from your current employer.

There is less competition

There are so many job seekers that take a break during the holiday season. Between family time, job search burnout, and the fear of hiring slowing down, many people take a step back from their job search this time of year. So, while others kick their feet up and relax, you should take advantage of the diminished competition. If you keep grinding this time of year, you will improve your odds of finding a new job before the end of the year.

Employers are wrapping up budgets

As hiring managers wrap up budgets and prepare for the new year, they are looking for gaps or areas to grow their teams. If there is a set budget set aside for the salaries of new employees, they are actively looking to find new talent. If they don’t utilize that money, their department often loses it in next year’s budget. Therefore, hiring managers are still actively searching for candidates before the year’s-end.

Companies are still in desperate need of candidates

Today’s labor market is not typical by any means. We’ve had candidate-driven markets in the past, but the pandemic has changed how employers hire for good. This year and in the foreseeable future, candidates are in the driver’s seat, and hiring managers are in desperate need to attract new talent. Many employers have vacancies that need to be filled, and thus, now is a great time to find a new job! Employers are offering competitive salaries and getting creative to entice job seekers. If you slow down on your job search now, you might be missing out on a great opportunity!

If you are still going strong with your job search but need a new avenue for exciting job opportunities, check out our Talent Network! We have hundreds of job openings across North America with some of the best companies out there.

Should You Use Sick Days While Working Remotely?

Prior to the pandemic, we wrote an article discussing whether it’s okay to use sick time when you are not actually sick. Some employers take this seriously, while others let you use your sick time at your leisure. However, a new dilemma has arisen as many of us continue to work from home: should you use sick days while working remotely? With nearly 92% percent of employees still working from home in some capacity, should you use sick time when sick or power through it?

Why you should use sick time while working from home

Before COVID-19 turned our lives upside down, it was a pretty simple process to stay home when feeling under the weather. It was an easy decision to stay home to rest up and prevent infecting your colleagues. Fast forward to today, and this decision becomes more challenging. Since you are already home, should you buck up and get your work done? In a recent poll by OnePoll, two out of three Americans feel less inclined to take time off when feeling ill. 70% of respondents also reported that they worked from home while feeling sick. However, this mindset leads to “presenteeism,” which is when employees are present at work but unable to perform and focus. As a result, this can lead to burnout, longer recovery times, and even costly mistakes or accidents.

So, instead of logging on with the sniffles, use some of your paid time off to rest up. After all, that’s what sick time is for!

How employers can help encourage healthy habits

Back in the day, the employees that came to work with a head cold were portrayed as committed and hardworking. In some circumstances, these people set a precedent, making others feel uncomfortable for utilizing their sick time instead of coming into the office. But the pandemic has forced many employers to abandon this mentality. Instead of discouraging employees from using sick time, executives need to foster a culture of acceptance. Companies need to encourage their employees to utilize their time off when feeling ill and make it known that it’s okay to log off and rest up. If one of your teammates is obviously under the weather, or you notice their mental health is less than par, urge them to use their time off.

Promoting a culture where it’s okay to use sick days while working from home will help you combat the Great Resignation and make it easier for your hiring team to attract new talent in this competitive market. Looking for more ways to attract new employees during these challenging times? Check out our client resources!

How to Set Work Boundaries Before the Holidays

The last two years have been a whirlwind, especially if you are a hiring manager. As the holidays quickly approach, our work lives become a little more overwhelming. Balancing end-of-the-year projects, finalizing budgets, balancing family time, and working with an understaffed team; this time of the year can be demanding. As a result, it can be more challenging to establish boundaries between work and our personal lives. If this sounds all too familiar, here are some tips for setting work boundaries before the holidays.

Snooze your messages and alerts

For most of us this time of year, we have a lot on our plates. Between juggling end-of-the-year tasks and preparing for the holidays, our free time is limited. Therefore, it’s no surprise when late-night messages come through. If you are looking for an easy way to avoid burnout during this stressful time, try snoozing your work notifications. On apps like Outlook or Microsoft Teams, you can easily set schedules where you can snooze notifications at times you choose. Some of us don’t always have this option but try snoozing work notifications if you struggle to manage your work-life balance. Setting these work boundaries will prevent work alerts from seeping into your personal time and help you rest and unwind. Instead of reading work emails right before bed, you can spend time doing what you love or relaxing!

Take some time off

With many of us unable to travel or take our typical vacations, a common theme throughout the pandemic is letting your paid time off stack up. Even if you are staying home for the holidays, taking time away from work is imperative to establishing work boundaries. It can be challenging to take time off during “crunch time;” however it’s essential to take a step back for your mental and physical health. After all, you earned that time off! Schedule your PTO strategically so you can focus on recharging your batteries instead of worrying about work. Plan it well in advance so you can prioritize your tasks and due dates so you can actually enjoy your vacation instead of worrying about work.

Use this time to prepare for next year

The holidays are typically the busiest season of the year. Everyone has specific tasks or items they must handle before the New Year; however, instead of getting a head start on new projects, use this time to prepare for next year. Spend some time going through your inbox or files and cleaning up items you no longer need. Then, create folders to organize them all so you can quickly locate them when needed. A little housekeeping is an excellent way to establish work boundaries before the holidays, as you can come back from your time off feeling organized and ready to tackle 2022!

How to Attract Applicants in A Competitive Job Market

The unemployment rate is currently sitting at a pandemic low of 6% and the U.S. economy added nearly 1 million jobs in March. The result is the candidate-saturated market is quickly transforming into a competitive one. So how can your hiring team attract qualified candidates that fit your company dynamic? Here are a few suggestions to source the best candidates in a competitive job market.

Refresh your employee benefits

One of the best ways to attract applicants in a competitive job market is to refresh your employee benefits. Is your company currently offering a traditional vacation and sick time policy? If so, it’s time to review and revise it to fit our current climate better. If you are still offering sick time and vacation time, you should start thinking about offering a paid time off (PTO) pool. Updating to a PTO policy will give your employees more flexibility and control of the time they earned, and it will let them utilize it as they need.

Flexibility is key

Last year, employers were forced to quickly shift their gears to remain operational. Companies that wouldn’t have even batted an eye at supporting remote work suddenly found themselves knee-deep in Zoom meetings. Thankfully, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel with the pandemic. However, if your team wants to attract applicants in this competitive market, you must remain flexible. What if you find the perfect candidate, but they need the flexibility to work from home twice a week because their kids have virtual learning. Are you going to turn away this top-tier candidate because you want them working from the office 9-5 every day? When possible, offer flexibility that the best candidates have grown to love over the last year, and you will instantly see a boost in your applicant pool (and retention rates!).

Offer employee referrals

To encourage your current employees to get involved in the recruitment process, offer a referral program. Whether that’s a cash bonus, gift card, or some company swag, your employers are more likely to submit an employee referral if they have an incentive. Creating an employee referral program is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to receive qualified candidates that will fit your company’s culture. Typically, your employees won’t stick their necks out for just anyone. Plus, you can establish your referral program, so a bonus is only available for a successful hire. You can even place a time restriction on it. For example, employees only get a bonus if the referral is hired and stays on the team for at least 30 days.

If you think that offering a referral reward for an employee recommendation is expensive, keep in mind the average cost of a vacancy. Having a vacancy open for weeks or even months can be much more costly than a $200 Amazon gift card.

Partner with a recruiting firm

If you are serious about attracting applicants in a competitive job market, working with a professional is a wise decision. Recruiters that specialize in your industry are great resources to have on hand. We have pipelines of talented candidates that are ready to make a career transition. If you are ready to tackle this competitive market head-on, reach out to us today. At JSG, we have offices across North America that are ready to source the best candidates on the market.

How To Normalize Employees Taking Mental Health Days

Following an extremely taxing year on the North American workforce, more workers are prioritizing mental health in their careers. They are purposely seeking out companies that offer mental health days and normalize taking that much needed time to recharge. However, companies are not rising to the challenge. In fact, according to a Deloitte survey, “95% of employees who have taken time off due to stress named another reason, such as an upset stomach or headache. Also, less than 30% of employees feel comfortable talking to their managers about their mental health, and even less (25%) to HR.” So, how can your company attract these candidates and create a more successful team overall? Try implementing these three strategies to normalize mental health days in your workplace.

Change Your Policies

The first thing you must do is implement a concrete change in policies. Don’t just assume that your allocated “sick time” will attract new candidates. Talk to your HR team about changing the PTO policy to explicitly include mental health days so that employees know this is accepted and encouraged.

Advertise Your Priorities

After you’ve made a change to your policies, shout it from the rooftops! Advertise it on your website, include it in your job descriptions, even build a social media campaign around it. Everyone from current employees to prospective candidates should understand that your team supports mental health days. You will be amazed at how this small change can attract impressive talent!

Encourage The Use Of Mental Health Days

As a result of “unlimited vacation day” policies, we learned that just because a perk is offered doesn’t necessarily mean it’s utilized. Fostering a supportive mental health culture will take ongoing work. Check-in with your team members often, and keep the mental health policy top of mind. If you notice that someone is struggling, encourage them to take a couple of days to recharge! Sometimes people need a break more than they’d like to take one.

These are just a few ways that your company can start supporting time off for mental health. This is a trend that will only continue to grow in the corporate world, and it’s essential that you don’t get left behind in order to remain competitive. Interested in learning more ways to support your team and hiring efforts? Explore our client resources!

Why You Should Take PTO During the Pandemic

Have you taken any vacation or PTO during the pandemic? If you haven’t, you’re not alone. A recent survey conducted by JSG indicates that 66% of people haven’t taken any time off throughout the pandemic. It can be challenging to justify taking time off with everything going on in the world right now – tight on funds, unemployment, difficulties traveling, limited activities available, etc. However, forgoing your vacation time starts to take a significant toll on your work productivity and happiness. Despite the virus, here is why you should take PTO during the pandemic.

The side effects of not taking PTO right now

It can be discouraging to take PTO given our current global pandemic. However, there are so many side effects of not utilizing your PTO, especially if you are working remotely. In fact, professionals working from home have an average workday that is 48.5 minutes longer than those working from the office. When working from home, the lines between work and home are easily blurred, making it difficult for you to unplug from your job. As a result, employee burnout is at an all-time high.

To mitigate this, you should be utilizing some of those PTO days that you have worked hard to earn. Even if it’s just a day or two, utilizing your vacation days will help lower stress, improve mental health, boost productivity, and increase job satisfaction. Harvard Business Review found that employees that use at least ten vacation days each year are 30% more likely to receive a raise. Plus, those who take regular vacations have higher job satisfaction. Obviously, this is easier said than done for many workers. Sometimes you feel that you have too much work to take time off, or maybe your manager is very approachable when it’s time to request some PTO days. Regardless of your situation, it is crucial for your health and quality of work to take time off, especially with all the extra stressors in each of our lives.

What can you do with those PTO days right now?

Besides financial reasons, the biggest excuse for not using some of those PTO days is the lack of activities to do right now. Sure, you may not be able to book a 7-day trip to Maui during the pandemic safely, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use your time off to unplug from work and relax.

You don’t have to have an elaborate plan to enjoy some time away from work. You can go on a camping trip, go for a hike, take a day-trip to the lake, go for a long drive, or even just take a day off to do some yard work around the house. Whatever you decide to do, plan it in advance. It will give you something to look forward to and help you keep that motivation up!

Just be sure to unplug from work. Set an out of office message for your email and try not to check your phone. You will return with a better attitude, less stress, and a boost in motivation.

3 Ways Companies Can Offer Flexibility For Employees

As states across the country start to establish plans for fall education, many companies are finding themselves needing to adapt. As such, you need to offer options and provide flexibility for employees. Everyone is juggling work, assisting their kids with home learning, and following appropriate social distancing guidelines. Here are three ways you can accommodate your team member’s needs while still allowing for maximum productivity.

Implement Work From Home Flexibility

Dozens of major companies have announced that employees won’t be going back into the office until at least 2021, including Scotiabank, Google, and Indeed. Others like Facebook, Slack, and Zillow have communicated that employees don’t ever have to come back to the office in the same capacity. Due to ever-changing lockdowns and changes to the school system, many companies are forced to come to terms with a new future of work. Whether you offer full-time work from home options or flexible workweeks, your employees need it now more than ever. As Google CEO Sundar Pichai explained in a memo to employees, “I hope this will offer the flexibility you need to balance work with taking care of yourselves and your loved ones over the next 12 months.”

Expand Your PTO Policies

The pandemic has changed how we think about PTO. Former policies consisting of five days of sick time will not fly moving forward when the minimum quarantine time for Coronavirus is 14 days. Provide clear communication about new sick policies to your team often. Make sure they understand proper protocols if they do need to quarantine or take time off to recover.

Establish boundaries

Recent research shows that since the beginning of the pandemic, the average workday has lasted 48.5 minutes longer. Your employees are feeling the pressure of a global pandemic, an economic recession, and increased childcare demands. By setting clear boundaries (everyone logs off at 5 pm, no matter what), you can help your team avoid burnout.

By offering flexibility for employees, you demonstrate your investment in the team. Interested in more management and hiring tips? Explore our client resources!

Should Employers Offer Mental Health Days?

The topic of mental health in the workplace is gaining in popularity, especially with the younger generations. According to a recent study, 91% of Gen Z and 85% of Millennials believe employers should have a mental health work policy in place. This brings up a controversial question: should employers offer mental health days? Here’s the scoop on mental health days and how they can be key to attracting younger job seekers to your company. 

Up and coming generations were often accommodated for their mental health conditions in school settings — extra time for testing, specialized testing environments to help with concentration, etc. As a result, they are more comfortable discussing it in the workplace. About 78% of younger workers believe it’s important to openly discuss mental health in the workplace. Consequently, employers are struggling to accommodate these needs. 

So, what can your team do to support the mental well-being of your staff members? Here are a couple of suggestions: 

Encourage your staff to use their sick days 

A few years ago, Madalyn Parker went viral for sending an email to her team, telling them that she was taking a few days off work to “focus on her mental health.” Subsequently, the company’s CEO was very supportive of her. Parker’s email is an excellent example of an employer being flexible and allowing their team to use “sick” time to recharge and focus on her health. 

Don’t shy away from conversations 

If one of your employees approaches you and wants to talk about their mental health, don’t brush them aside. Hear them out and see if there is anything you can do to help. Additionally, try to consistently invite open conversations about mental well-being. The worst thing you can do is create an environment of distrust. Employees need to feel comfortable discussing their well-being with their manager or HR. This is an essential step to creating a positive employee experience.  

A few small changes are all it takes 

The bottom line is that the younger generation is taking their mental health seriously. And as a result, employers must be more supportive in the workplace. You might be surprised at how much an open mind and a few quick adjustments to your company culture can create a more positive work environment.