Posts

How to Land A New Job This Summer

How to Land A New Job This Summer

Those spring showers are starting to fade, and the warm summer days are fast approaching. But green grass and sunshine are not the only things on the horizon. It seems we are finally over the hill from the pandemic; employers are ramping up production as they finally return to somewhat normal. As a result, you may be evaluating your career options and looking for a new opportunity. If you are looking to take advantage of this scorching hot market, here is how to land a new job this summer.

Are you ready to return to the office?

With summer approaching, many employers are beginning to plan their return to the office. Some companies are returning on a hybrid remote/onsite work schedule, while others will be 100% in the office. Returning to the office is exciting for many workers but making others feel anxious. If you are feeling uneasy about returning to the office, here is a brief guide on how to prepare mentally. However, if working from the office is no longer suitable for your needs and lifestyle, remote opportunities are booming this summer.

Remote work may be permanent for you

As some employers are bringing their employees back to the office, others are embracing this new working environment. In May 2021, paid job postings skyrocketed 457% as of May 2021, according to LinkedIn Workforce Insights. Some industries are leading the pack of this work-from-home revolution. At the very top is the media and communications industry, which currently accounts for 26.8% of all paid job listings on LinkedIn. Software and IT services closely follow with 21.8% and wellness & fitness coming in third with 18.6%.

Overall, remote job postings account for 9.7% of total paid job listings, significantly up from under 2% last year. Therefore, if you are looking to land a new job this summer, you must explore remote opportunities.

Don’t drag your feet

There is still a lot of uncertainty out there in the post-pandemic workforce, but one thing that is for sure is the labor market is competitive. Employers are hiring again, and some are even struggling to find candidates. So, when a hiring manager finds a qualified, talented candidate, they move quickly. If hiring managers are making hiring decisions rapidly, job seekers have to, as well. If you find a job opportunity that interests you, you cannot hesitate. You may be the most talented candidate in the pool, but if you don’t apply right away, it may be too late for your candidacy. Employers need candidates now, and if they find a good one, they make an offer. So, if you are serious about finding a new job this summer, you must act fast.

Partner with a recruiter

Things are moving lightning fast in this labor market, and if you want to gain a competitive edge, why not work with a recruiter? Professional recruiting firms can help propel your summer job search to the next level. Our recruiters at JSG have exclusive opportunities you won’t find posted on any job board. If you want to find a new job this summer, reach out to us today, and let’s work together.

How WFH Will Change the Office

How WFH Will Change the Office

Is heading back to the office after working from home for over a year making you feel a little anxious? For the last year and some change, we have discussed in great detail how the pandemic is altering the workforce. But as offices begin to open back up, it’s time to discuss how working from home for the last 12+ months will change the office environment. Here is how WFH will affect working in the office.

More flexibility

Most people WFH have experienced more flexibility: flexible working hours, more accommodations, and less direct supervision. As we transition back to work in the office, this additional flexibility isn’t going anywhere. Giving employees more space and freedom has fostered better work-life balances, more creativity, and better overall work satisfaction. If employers want to keep their workforce happy, they cannot just brush this flexibility under the rug.

Managers will be more accommodating moving forward to fit the needs of their staff better. A typical 9 to 5 isn’t the ideal schedule for many workers. As we continue to adjust to our new “normal,” companies will be more supportive of individual needs. For example, if you need to work remotely once a week to be present for your kids, chances are employers will be more supportive and understanding. More flexibility will help employers better manage hybrid workforces and offer equal leniency to all their staff members.

Relaxed dress code

How many of you enjoyed working from home in your lounge wear or shorts and a t-shirt? It’s really nice to ditch the formal business wear and enjoy a more relaxed dress code. As we return to the office, you can expect a more casual dress code. And I am not just talking about casual Fridays – I am talking about a permanent dress code change. Employees can be just as productive in blue jeans and a shirt instead of business casual. It may be a small change, but this is one that workers will appreciate and feel more comfortable at work.

Employers taking better care of their staff

One thing that will separate good employers from excellent ones is how they take care of their staff. Besides additional flexibility and dress code changes, employers are actively looking for ways to support their teams. One example of this is LinkedIn closing up shop the week of April 5th for a paid vacation for their entire workforce. In an effort to recharge and avoid burnout, LinkedIn is providing this paid week off to take care of their employees during a stressful time. Other companies are also offering mental health days to keep their employees happy, healthy, and productive.

Interested in exploring new opportunities?

These are just three of the fundamental ways WFH will change the office. If you are looking for a new opportunity with an employer that takes better care of their team, check out our job board. We have hundreds of exciting roles across North America with fantastic employers!

How to Manage A Hybrid Workforce

How to Manage A Hybrid Workforce

Last March, the majority of companies were forced into supporting a remote workforce because of the pandemic. Fast forward to today, and things are finally turning a corner for the better. As we continue to enter this new normal, many employers are supporting both a remote and an on-site team to optimize production and adhere to essential safety protocols. If your team is struggling to handle this new transition, here are a few tips on how to effectively manage a hybrid workforce.

Set clear expectations

With a split team, it is essential to establish clear expectations for both remote workers and your on-site staff. With a hybrid team, it can be more challenging to communicate and frequently check in to see how things are going. If expectations for your staff are clear and effectively communicated, it will be easier to hold everyone accountable. If you set expectations, your team will better understand what you are expecting from them, and thus, there will be less confusion and disparities amongst your team.

Clear communication is essential

When it comes to managing a hybrid workforce, you must facilitate clear communication. With your team in different regions and possibly in different time zones, communication can get messy. As a result, your company should invest in communication technologies such as Slack, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams. These communication tools will help enable solid communication and ensure your team is always on the same page. These tools will make it easier to check in with your staff, conduct regular meetings, and share project timelines.

Be flexible and open-minded

If you are managing a hybrid workforce, you must be flexible and open-minded. Your workers in the office will have a little more structure and rigidity. However, your staff working from home will have different distractions; they will be managing their personal and work lives simultaneously and maybe working nontraditional hours. If you plan on this hybrid team being successful, you must practice patience and understand that flexibility is key. Your remote staff may have to step away from their computers for a few minutes to tend to their kids or pets. Being flexible will help your team from reaching burnout and ultimately make them more productive.

Watch for signs of burnout

If part of your hybrid workforce has been working remotely for a while, they may be inching closer to burnout. Your in-office staff likely has more structure, and it’s easier to leave work at work. However, for your remote staff, it’s easy for the lines between work and home to get blurry. As the leader of your team, you should be looking for signs of burnout. Lack of motivation, late-night emails, employees who are always online, and less-than-perfect performance are all signs an employee may be on the verge of burnout. The expectations you set for your team will help mitigate this, but that may not be enough.

Encourage your team to share how they feel, regularly check in with them one-on-one to see how they manage this newer working environment, and listen to their concerns. Also, urge your staff to use their time off, especially those who are remote. It can be easy to let those vacation days stack up while working from home. Stepping away from work is essential to your team’s mental health and performance, and leaders must support that.

Emphasize cybersecurity best practices

Cyberattacks are on the rise for your employees that are working remotely. Your team is accessing company documents, systems, and other valuable information on personal internet connections. As a result, it is vital to establish IT best practices. It’s a good idea to regularly send emails with your company’s IT policies and procedures to reduce your risk of these attacks. Keeping your staff, and ultimately, your company secure from the additional working-from-home vulnerabilities will help your team remain safe and secure.

Managing a hybrid workforce is not an easy feat, but if you follow these guidelines, you are on your way to a more productive, happier team.

How To Answer Interview Questions About Remote Work

How To Answer Interview Questions About Remote Work

If you’re interviewing in 2021 and beyond, chances are, interviewers will ask you questions about remote work. The modern workforce is rapidly changing, and many managers are rethinking their previous aversions to working from home. So, how do you address it during your interview? First, there are two different situations we must examine: if you have experience working remotely and if you do not.

If You Have Remote Work Experience

Having experience makes fielding questions about working remotely a little less intimidating. However, it’s still important to prepare yourself! Prior to your interview, take some time to think about your previous work from home position(s). Here are some common questions that you can expect in your interview:

  • Who was your supervisor, and how did you communicate?
  • What was your accountability structure?
  • How did you fight distractions?
  • How did you prioritize your tasks?
  • What are your strategies for maintaining a work-life balance?
  • How did you overcome any obstacles that came up?
  • How did you stay in touch with fellow team members?
  • What was the most challenging thing about working remotely?

If You Do Not Have Experience Working Remotely

If you don’t have experience working remotely, make that known upfront. The last thing you want to do is get caught in a lie or be put in a position to handle something you’re not equipped for. Instead of answering questions related to past experiences, you’ll need to be able to speak on common remote work skills such as your adaptability and accountability. Here is an excellent example script that you can customize to fit your personality, skills, and experience.

“While I don’t have any previous experience working remotely, it’s something I believe I would excel at. In previous positions, I’ve been largely independent – charged with setting my own schedule, meeting deadlines with little assistance, and jumping in to help on projects in other offices. I pride myself on being adaptable, focused, and innovative. For example, when I finish one project, I don’t just sit there twiddling my thumbs until I am assigned something else. I always keep a collection of back-burner projects and tasks that I can jump into at any time. This helps me stay productive and motivated!”

Either way, it’s essential, to be honest. While working from home can be rewarding, it also comes with its fair set of challenges. Be sure to assess if this remote position is indeed the right opportunity for you! And if you need more interview advice or tips on working remotely, be sure to explore our candidate resources.

4 Items to Improve Your Work from Home Experience

4 Items to Improve Your Work from Home Experience

It’s been roughly a year since millions of people worldwide made the transition to working from home. If you are working remotely for the foreseeable future, it may be time to reassess your home “office” setup. If you are looking to improve your work from home experience this year, here are four items that may help.

A second monitor

Do you have a second monitor while working from the office but not at your home? If you don’t have the luxury of working with a second screen, it’s time to request one. Whether that’s asking your supervisor if you can grab yours from your office or asking your IT team to send you one, having a second monitor is a massive productivity boost. Instead of using a tiny 15′ (or smaller) laptop screen, secure a second monitor to view multiple windows, applications, and other documents side by side. Say goodbye to switching back and forth between windows all day! Plus, a second screen can streamline your communications by having your Zoom, Slack, or Teams app open on one screen while looking at your other.

Blue light-filtering glasses

If you are like most people throughout the pandemic, your screen time has massively increased. Workers across the globe are reporting an average workday of 2.5 hours longer while working from home. The result of extended screen time can be eye strain. And according to a report by Eyesafe Nielsen, the average screen time per person rose 60%, to more than 13 hours a day, in March 2020. When you stare at a screen longer, you are blinking less, which can harm your vision. To counter this, invest in some blue light-filtering glasses. These glasses (which don’t require a prescription) can help filter out the harmful blue light emitted from screens. It’s essentially a nighttime mode on your phone for your eyeballs. Using a pair of these glasses can help your eyes feel less fatigued and are a must to improve your work from home experience. Plus, they are pretty affordable!

A furry coworker

If you are missing your coworkers a little too much, you can always adopt a furry one! Pet adoptions have exploded over the last 12 months. In fact, Animal Shelter Count tracks shelter adoptions across the nation with over 500 rescue organizations. They recorded 26,000 more pet adoptions in 2020 than the year prior – a 15% increase. Having pets can help keep you company, boost your mood, and make you more active. Sometimes we all need a nudge to step away from our computer for a few minutes, and a furry coworker can be very convincing!

Meal prep services

I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want to do after working all day from home is cook. Currently, it’s more challenging to go grocery shopping or go out to eat (depending on where you live). An easy way to spice up your lunches or dinners is meal prep services. There are many options available, like Blue Apron, Home Chef, and HelloFresh that offer tasty and healthy meal prep services. You can customize them for your house’s meal planning needs and can cancel anytime you want. If you are looking to spice up your meals and sick of thinking about what to cook every night, give one of these tasty services a try!

These are just a few items to consider adding to improve your work from home experience. If you are interested in reading more career or work from home advice, visit our blog!

3 Interview Questions You Should Ask Remote Work Candidates

3 Interview Questions You Should Ask Remote Work Candidates

It’s been nearly a year since the beginning of the pandemic where thousands of companies were forced to transition to a remote working environment. This transition is temporary for some employers, but many are permanently shifting operations to allow their staff to work from home. Regardless of which boat your company is in, you will eventually have to hire a new staff member on a remote basis. Hiring someone for a remote position takes a unique skill set and requires you to ask different interview questions to ensure candidates will be the right fit. You need to understand if they are reliable, flexible, and excellent communicators. Here are three interview questions you should ask remote work candidates.

Have you worked remotely in the past?

First of all, you want to understand in what capacity they have worked remotely in the past. Are they currently working remotely? Or are they considered an essential worker and able to work on-site? Shifting from working on-site to your home “office” is challenging, and you need to see if your prospective candidates are up for the task. You are looking for qualified candidates that fit the work style or environment. Understanding what capacity a candidate has worked from home is an excellent first step.

If a candidate has not worked remotely, that is not a dealbreaker. You will just want to look for qualities in their answers to understand if they fit that working style.

What types of communication tools have you used, and how did you use them?

Asking a candidate what type of communication tools they use will help you understand how they will virtually work with others. You want to see what tools they have used in the past and how they have used them to communicate. Clear communication while working from home is essential. They don’t necessarily have to have experience with the same tools your team uses. For example, skills with Microsoft Team will undoubtedly translate into using Zoom or Slack. Most importantly, is learning how they use these tools to work with others successfully and complete assignments.

How do you control your time management and remain organized?

Time management and organizational skills are crucial for remote workers. It is much easier to check in on workers when you physically share office space. However, when people work remotely, they have much more independence; candidates will be more responsible for managing their time and organization. Asking this question will allow you to understand how a prospective candidate keeps track of their time, prioritize their work, and stay organized throughout the day. Answers will differ from person to person. So, what you are looking for is that they have a thoughtful method for managing their time and staying focused.

Need more hiring input?

So, these are three basic interview questions you should ask remote work candidates to see if they are a strong fit for your team. If you need more help vetting candidates for remote assignments, reach out to our team at JSG. We can help you identify the candidates that will make an immediate impact on your team from the safety of their homes. Let’s work together!

The 2021 Job Search Checklist

The 2021 Job Search Checklist

If you are ready to seek new employment opportunities in 2021, there are a few things you need to do to be successful. The labor market is still in recovery mode, and you will need to put in a little extra work to land a job this year. Here is the 2021 job search checklist to help ensure you land the job you’ve been working hard to find.

Are you ready to work remotely?

When you are looking for a new job this year, there are a few questions you should ask yourself; one of these questions is, are you ready to work remotely? Even after the virus is long-gone, remote work will be here to stay in some fashion. Many employers are permanently moving to remote working environments, while others will offer a hybrid system where you will work both onsite and at home. So like it or not, working from home is the new normal. And that’s not a bad thing! There are many benefits to working from home, like a more extensive job market pool for you to enter. You may no longer be restricted to local job opportunities. Remote work allows job seekers to apply for exciting opportunities across the nation or even globally.

Give your resume a facelift

Giving your resume an upgrade is one of the most critical points on this job search checklist. Your resume is often your first impression, and if it’s not up to par, you could be disqualified from the hiring process. In 2021, there will be a lot of competition throughout your job search. To stay a step ahead of your fellow job seekers, you must tailor your resume for each position. If you blindly submit your resume to every job posting you see, you won’t have a lot of luck. Quality is better than quality when it comes to your job search. Customize your resume objective, tweak your skills section, and reword your bullets to fit the job description better.

Look outside your current field

We have been talking about this a lot lately. 2021 may be the year of a career shift. And we are not just talking about switching jobs; we are talking about changing careers entirely or transitioning to an unfamiliar sector. Some industries are performing better than others right now, and it may be time to shift to one of these areas. If you have the right transferrable skills, your opportunities are virtually endless. Don’t be afraid to take the plunge into a new career.

Network early and often

Another essential bullet point on the 2021 job search checklist is networking. Many people underestimate the value of networking. It unlocks doors to opportunities you would never find on job boards. Also, networking gives you a sense of camaraderie. If you have been hunting for a new job for a while, you are not alone. Networking allows you to share your stories with others that are also struggling and provides a platform to help one another out. You never know who can lead you in the right direction or make an introduction in your network. Network early and often to make the most out of your job search. And once you land a job, don’t forget to share with your network. They are invested in your career adventure and would love to share this exciting moment with you.

Partner with a recruiter

The final mark on the job search checklist is to reach out to a recruiter. If you really want to optimize your energy and time spent on your job search, work with a recruiting firm. Our JSG recruiters have access to exclusive job opportunities, work with clients that are ready to make hiring decisions immediately, and have your best interest at heart. Partner with us today and let us help you find your next job opportunity this year. Take a look at our job board and let’s work together.

3 Tips to Boost Your Time Management During the Holiday Season

3 Tips to Boost Your Time Management During the Holiday Season

During the chaotic last two months of the year, time management becomes one of our biggest challenges. With end-of-the-year projects, budgets, and the holidays, this time of year can really be stressful. Add a pandemic in the mix, and things get a whole lot more interesting. If you are struggling to stay focused during this time of the year, here are three tips to boost your time management during the holidays.

Make a list (and check it twice)

We have published numerous articles about utilizing lists to help you stay on track, and that is because it works. Write down all of your weekly tasks or break them down into daily accomplishments, if that works better for you. Write these tasks down and cross them off once you’ve completed them. Nothing feels more satisfying than checking off something from your to-do list! The holidays are hectic, and making lists can help mitigate some stress and improve your time management.

Eliminate distractions

The holidays create a lot of distractions: shopping, family get-togethers, and everything in between. This year might look different for most, but that doesn’t mean there are no distractions. Many of you are still working remotely, which creates a whole new field of possible distractions. Maybe it’s your kids finishing off the year with distanced learning, your partner or roommate bugging you all day, or even your pets; working from home creates a bunch of distractions.

This year, to boost your time management during the holiday season, try and eliminate some of these distractions. Turn off the Christmas movies, put on some headphones, lock yourself in another room … whatever it is that you have to do to be more productive. By removing some of these distractions, you can improve your time management and start crossing some tasks off that list!

Don’t be afraid to delegate or ask for help

People often struggle to delegate, especially right now. Many workers feel obligated to be connected 24/7 to prove that they are still working hard, even from their own homes. As a result, this might prevent you from delegating tasks to your team or even asking for help. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your team or boss if you need assistance. It’s better to ask for help on a project or delegate a task to a team member then be late on an assignment. Leveraging your team for support is one of the easiest ways to boost your time management this time of year.

October 2020 Jobs Report

October 2020 Jobs Report: 638,000 Jobs Added

According to the Labor Department, U.S. employers added 638,000 jobs last month, much than economists projected. This is the sixth month in a row of job gains as the country continues to recover from the pandemic. The unemployment rate also dropped to 6.9%, a whole percentage point lower than September’s rate. The positive results of this month’s report are primarily thanks to the decline in the number of temporary layoffs and a boost in seasonal hiring. Here is an overview of the October 2020 Jobs Report.

October 2020 Jobs Report Overview

U.S. employers are on a six-month streak of adding nonfarm payrolls. And with a massive decline in government workers due to the conclusion of the 2020 census, the Labor Department would have reported over 900,000 nonfarm payroll gains. “The 638,000 rise in nonfarm payrolls in October is stronger than it looks as it included a 147,000 drop in temporary Census employment and, alongside the big fall in the unemployment rate, it suggests that the labor market recovery still has plenty of momentum,” Andrew Hunter, senior U.S. economist for Capital Economics.

This month’s gains are a shock to many economists as the number of positive coronavirus cases continues to surpass daily records. On November 5th, the U.S. reported almost 117,000 new coronavirus cases. And although we have made significant strides in our country’s recovery, there are still 11.1 million unemployed persons (down 1.5 million from last month).

Workers are returning on-site

A noticeable shift in the October Jobs Report was the number of remote workers returning on-site. 21.2% of employees last month worked remotely because of the virus. That is slightly down from September’s rate of 22.7%. This trend will be interesting to watch going forward as the number of positive cases continues to climb. Regardless of this slight decline, millions of people are still working remotely, and hiring managers will have to continue to change their processes to attract them.

Job gains by industry

Last month, U.S. employers added 638,000 nonfarm payrolls. Noticeable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality (+271,000), professional and business services (+208,000), retail trade (+104,000), construction (+84,000), healthcare and social assistance (+79,000), transportation and warehousing (+63,000), manufacturing (+38,000), financial activities (+31,000), and other services (+47,000). Employment in government fell by 268,000, mostly due to the loss of 147,000 2020 Census workers.

Revision from the previous jobs report

The Labor Department reported that total nonfarm payroll employment gains have increased in previous months. In August, payrolls were revised up by 4,000, from +1,489,000 to +1,493,000, and in September, payrolls were revised up by 11,000, from +661,000 to +672,000. With revisions over the last two months combined, employment was 15,000 more than previously reported.

Find the talent you need before year’s end

We have less than two months left of 2020 (thankfully); it’s time to start thinking about your hiring needs going into the new year. There are millions of talented workers on the market, and you don’t want to wait to scoop them up, or you will miss out. If your hiring team needs assistance navigating this challenging, ever-changing labor market, reach out to us today. We are here to help you start the new year off on the right foot.

WFH burnout

3 Signs You’re on The Verge of A WFH Burnout

Show of hands: how many of you remote workers thought you would still be working from home in November? Yeah, neither did I. It has been a long eight+ months for most of us, and what seemed like a nice treat might be the bane of your existence. Working from home can be fantastic, but millions of remote workers are on the edge of a burnout. However, with a few tweaks in your day and good habits, you can combat this feeling and keep productivity rolling strong. Here are three signs you are on the verge of a WFH burnout (and how to avoid them).

You haven’t established WFH boundaries

Not everyone has the luxury of a quiet, at-home office to work from. In reality, you are probably working on your dining room table or the couch. And while your temporary setup might have been nice in the beginning, the lack of boundaries is starting to diminish your productivity. However, you may not have that leisure if you are also trying to facilitate your children’s distant learning or keep your dog entertained.

No matter what your work setup is, you have to set boundaries for yourself. Establish working hours (if possible) and create a space where all you do is work. If your entire home and day consist of working, you will quickly start to feel burnt out. Create healthy boundaries for yourself to improve your mental health, productivity, and job satisfaction.

You feel the need to respond instantly

While working from home, it is easy to feel the guilt of not responding to an IM or an email right away, even if it’s after your “working hours.” I get it; it’s hard to resist the urge to reply to a co-worker when you are off work but just a few feet away from your laptop. This is where you need to exercise self-control. It’s okay to read the message, but that doesn’t mean you have to respond right away. Of course, if it’s a work emergency, go ahead and reply. However, if it’s just a normal message, it can probably wait until tomorrow.

So many remote workers are on the verge of a burn out by always being available. It’s easy to do so or just think to yourself, “it will only take a few minutes. I can respond to that now.” But after eight months, that mentality starts to take a toll on you. Just like when working in the office, you are not always available, and that is okay. We must realize that we don’t need to instantly respond to every message to prove that we are working. If you struggle with this, put your email on do not disturb, or set quiet hours so that you don’t even see the messages come through at a time you set for yourself.

You don’t take any time off

It can be challenging to take time off right now. Let’s be frank; there isn’t a whole lot to do as far as vacations go. Regardless of our current circumstances, it is essential for your mental health and productivity to take time off. We earn vacation and PTO days for a reason; don’t be afraid to use those days to take a step away from all the chaos and relax. Even if you are just hanging out at home, taking a day off here and there is so rewarding. It makes you feel refreshed when you return to work and will help avoid WFH burnout.

And this doesn’t have to be a week-long vacation. This can be taking a Friday off to make a long weekend or taking a half-day to go enjoy some nice weather. So, if you have the time off, don’t be afraid to use it. The longer you put off carving out time for yourself, the closer you will be to a WFH burnout.