Archive for November, 2014

How many times have you heard that the holiday time isn’t the time to be looking for a job? At least every other person you talk to probably. They tell you just relax this last month or so and hit it hard in January. Clear Choice Staffing Solutions wants you to know that advice could be costing you a great opportunity and the holidays are the time to ramp up the job search effort! 

Waiting for the holidays to be over before you begin your job search is a huge mistake. Employment experts will tell you now is the time to get that job search ramped up. Working the holiday time to find work will more likely get you in place to start that new job January 2nd, or sooner. Here we offer you 8 reason why that is so:

1. Companies Finds Money To Spend

We all know what if feels like to find some money in an old purse or wallet. Businesses aren’t any different. Just before the end of year when companies are getting their books in order for year-end closing, they often find budget room to fill a position or two. Except unlike us, they have to spend it to justify next year’s budget.

2. The Competition Is Waiting

You’re checking Clear Choice Staffing Solution‘s website and blog weekly and you’re reading this blog. Other job seekers are still in line with the myth that the holiday season is not the time to look for a job. So they are sleeping in, going on trips, etc. While all of them are on a trip, you’re in prime position to snag that highly competitive position. 

3. Get Ahead By Being Prepared

If you aren’t finding jobs to go after right now, use the holiday time to get prepared and be ready when the job market opens up in January. Freshen up that resume. Update your LinkedIn profile and any job board profiles.

4. Bonuses Come and People Leave

End of the year bonuses are common for many companies and just as common, people leave after they get their bonus (or didn’t get one). By having yourself prepared and there, you’ll be in the shallow end of the pond, ready to grab that bait.

5. Holiday Time Is Vacation Time

It is pretty common for businesses to have multiple people take off this time of the year, leaving them with a skeleton crew. Is is just as common for those businesses to contract with temporary help to fill some gaps. This is a great opportunity for you to get your foot in the door.

6. Quick Response Gets The Recruiter’s Attention

Business often have trouble getting in contact with those who sent a resume because, well, its the holidays and they went on vacation. When you are quick to answer the phone, return the call or answer an email, you’re going to the top of the list of potential candidates. Especially if they are in a hurry to fill the position.

7. Opportunity For Networking Improves

The holiday season brings family and friends together. What better time to network! Maybe you’ve been unemployed awhile and really aren’t in the holiday spirit, understandable. Clear Choice Staffing Solutions agrees with the experts though – get out there and network at every possible opportunity. Family gatherings, friends parties or spouse’s company party are all great opportunities. It wouldn’t hurt to invest in a small quantity of business cards with your name, cell phone and email address and hand them out as you meet somebody.

8. Reach Out To Those You Haven’t

No better time than the holiday time to reach out to those you haven’t spoken to in awhile. Instead of using FaceBook to say Happy Holidays, send an actual handwritten note in a card to offer good tidings, include your contact information. Don’t ask for a job, just check in and with your contact information in hand, they will be able to reach back out to you. 

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is  upon us already? 2014 has flown by for us! This year has been one of changes and growth for Clear Choice Staffing Solutions. Our move to open a Houston office in 2013 has proved to be successful. As such, we’d like to take a moment here to give thanks. 

We are grateful for the new clients that we have gained and will work hard to remind you why you came to us. We are grateful for those who have came to us with an opportunity to place them with these clients as well. It is because of those two groups that we enjoy our success today.

We’d like to remind everyone during a day of watching football and parades, spending time with family, friends and enjoying feasts and laughter, take a moment to be thankful. While the roads we travel may not be smooth, there is a purpose for us to be sent down those roads. Give thanks as you break bread with those you love this Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving from the staff at Clear Choice Staffing Solutions!  

Wow! One of your star employees just gave their 2 week notice (or maybe they called and left a voice mail, or just didn’t come in?). Regardless how they exited, you didn’t see it coming and were caught totally off-guard.

Dang, now you got to do that posting an ad, interviewing, background check and all that stuff that takes up valuable resources of both money and time. Studies have found that it can cost 150% of that employee’s salary for that whole process. Then there is the training too! Oh yeah … how long will it take to get the new employee up to speed and how much business will be effected, even lost, because of this? In some industries, some positions, as many as 30% of the companies interviewed, say it can take a year to get a new employee 100% at full potential.

Sad thing about this star employee’s parting is that there probably some signals it was about to happen. Management should be attuned and aware that there are team members looking over the fence at what may be greener pastures. A Gallup poll has found that 70% American employees are disengaged with their job.

Clear Choice Staffing Solutions is going to provide you some signals that will tell your bright employee star is on their way and how you can intervene and change those plans:

Missing Work / Taking Time Off

When the employee that has always had good attendance abruptly starts missing days or taking time off may be looking for another job. Address this head-on and upfront. Ask them if everything is good in the workplace. Do they have any issues or matters they would like to discuss, like maybe improving their own position on the team.

Vague

Your star, top employees are going to be engaged in their job. They speak up first and have ideas and suggestions about making things happen and work. When an employee is planning on a departure, they lose interest in the job itself and don’t bother to push themselves.

Delegate Their Responsibilities

Management is suppose to delegate duties and responsibilities. Non-management employees that are happy and proud of their job and will take on more duties and responsibilities. When a non-management employee starts delegating their own duties and responsibilities to other employees, it is most likely a transition.

Routine Or Schedule Changes

When a current employee abruptly changes their routine or schedule, they could be working in time for interviews. They may be dressing better and not participating in company activities like they always have. At this point, your best move is to to be proactive in finding their replacement or find out what will make them stay. This is usually when a counteroffer comes into play so be prepared.

Starting To Disengage

Of all the warning signs, when an employee starts to disengage, should be the main warning sign. When they no longer participate in discussions with the same vigor they always have, or get into a project or their daily work with the fire they always have, they probably aren’t content. Don’t ignore this sign – address it immediately and find out what’s going on.

Fellow Employees

When an employee is planning on departing, it is common for their co-workers to begin complaining about that employee’s performance. They often will hint that something is possibly underway. Use this as an indication that you need to have a chat with them. Maybe they are just simply burned out and need to do something different and new. Its better they find that happiness elsewhere than bring the unhappiness to your workplace.

Attitude Changes

A typical indication is a the attitude changes. Address this quickly with a one-on-one meeting and if you can fix things that will keep them, and they are valuable to you, make a counter offer that includes those changes, responsibilities and/or salary. However, if they are just ready to go, don’t fight it.

Soft Clues

When an employee is struggling with their work situation, most can not hide that conflict. You can see it in their body and their face. They don’t look you in the eye anymore. They don’t easily laugh and their smile isn’t genuine.

Getting to work on time doesn’t seem to much of a problem for most us. In fact, we usually get in a little early. But the leaving the office on time is a whole other matter, maybe even impossible. Or so we may think anyway. 

Maybe its only 15 minutes one day, then 30 minutes another and an hour here and there, but it adds up. It can be easy to get overwhelmed with work when trying to balance our personal needs too.

There are several personal things that we can’t do online in the evenings and the places we need to go are only open business hours, when we’re working. It is the small tasks of daily life coupled with work that can start piling up on us. We begin to feel like we’re losing control and becoming quickly disorganized.

So what can we do to change this daily, repetitive grind and get out of the office on time? Well it requires completing our work for the most part. That in turn, requires being productive while at work. That in turn, means we need to practice time management.

Clear Choice Staffing Solutions has some dos and donts that can help you leave the office on time.

Start Avoiding:

Answering just one more phone call when its time to leave.

Checking your email one more time.

Wasting time during work hours.

Creating a crisis, issue or problem during the day.

Making extra work.

Working in an environment that staying late is nothing more than just for looking good.

Taking work home.

Wasting time on email, social media and surfing the internet during work hours.

Feeling guilty.

Start Doing:

Expecting a longer time to wind up the day.

Leaving clear and thorough instructions for the person taking over for you or covering for you.

Staying late on the days you really need to.

Steering clear of the people who are time wasters, especially your time.

Getting organized by working smarter.

Getting your work completed an effective and productive way during business hours.

Thinking twice about taking any work home.

Setting a good example for those working under you.

Thinking about being productive to get the results instead of just sitting at your desk.

Getting into a habit of simply leaving on time.

If you are a long time work late person, this isn’t going to be easy at first. However, you can do if you set your mind to and follow the tips we’ve provided. Start Monday morning!

 

Along with Halloween, Thanksgiving and all the other Fall and Winter holidays, this time of the year brings colds and flu too. While employers may offer paid sick days or PTO, that doesn’t mean everyone that catches a cold or comes down with the flu will take advantage of that benefit. Perhaps they don’t feel “that sick” or they save those days to take when their kids are sick.

So here they come to work, coughing, sneezing and blowing their nose. Sharing bacteria and germs with everyone. Before you know it, there are more people out sick than there are working. There are somethings we can all do though to prevent the spreading of that unwanted bacteria and germs.

Help prevent the spread of germs in your office by washing frequently and following these five recommendations.

Distance Make The Heart Grow Fonder 

And it also keeps you healthy! We can often be contagious with a cold or flu and not know it. Healthy people can be contagious 24 hours before any symptoms begin to develop and show themselves and for as long as a week after they do show. From November to April is the prime time for sickness, so avoid close contact and minimize your exposure during these months.

Clear Choice Staffing Solutions can appreciate the need to save your sick days for when your kids get sick, but do everyone a favor, including yourself, and if you do get sick, stay home for 24 hours after your fever has broke. Flu-like symptoms include body aches, chills, cough, fatigue, fever headaches, runny nose, sore throat, stuffy nose, possible diarrhea and vomiting.

Be Brave And Get Picked

Getting the annual flu shot is the one thing that is strongly recommended by the CDC and medical experts. Afraid of needles? Ask your doctor about the optional intradermal shot which takes a smaller needle and requires less of the virus fighting formula but is still just as effective. One downside to that option is you may experience more redness and soreness.

No time for a doctor appointment? No excuse – the flu shot is available at just about every corner drugstore these days. Some clinics and doctor offices offer flu shots with no appointment necessary. There aren’t too many other times you can just walk in and be seen like there is during flu season!

Be Aware, Be Cautious, Plan and Think Ahead

Be aware of anywhere that people touch with their hands. Bacteria and germs await for their next victim on door handles, elevator buttons, fax machines, office coffee pot, stair rails and the water fountain. Even books, files, food containers, hand or power tools, pencils, pens and phones. If there is any chance that somebody touched something before you, it has bacteria and germs on it.

When it comes to staying healthy during cold and flu season, prevention is power. When opening doors, use your elbow to push them open or a covered had to pull them open. Use paper towels to turn off and on faucets and use hand sanitizers constantly. The germs that spread the common cold can live on your skin or other surfaces for three hours.

Cautious Is Wise

Antibacterial products do not kill germs. Some experts say that antibacterial soap can actually grow bacteria that resist the antimicrobial agents in the soap. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers or products that state they are made to reduce germs are your best ally when it comes to fighting bacteria and germs during the cold and flu season.

When you have a simple cold, a trip to the doctor is just a waste of your co-pay. Antibiotics won’t do a thing for a cold because they are virus based. Save your doctor office co-pay for ear infections, sinusitis or worse that antibiotics actually help. Use that co-pay money for OTC cold remedies like cough suppressants and decongestants. They won’t cure your cold, but they will ease the misery you’re having.

Mother Nature Knows Best

Contrary to common belief, Vitamin C won’t cure the cold or keep you from contracting any infection like a cold. However, it is good to reduce the duration and severity of the cold. Don’t over-do the Vitamin C though, that can be even more harmful to your body.

For those who prefer natural remedies like a herbal supplement echinacea or zinc. The claims these can prevent colds or reduce the duration and symptoms are still up for debate, but there is no proof either way right now, so if they make you feel better, go for it. Ginger, green tea and honey are other all natural ingredients that are known for helping the immune system against infections and easing the discomforts of being sick.

It is a challenge to keep healthy during the cold and flu season, but it isn’t impossible. Following the tips we’ve listed and taking the proper precautions, you just may get through the next 6 months unscathed!

 

For Americans, Thanksgiving is more than just a day off work. It is the one time of the year families gather together for food, fun, laughs and memories. That’s the personal side of this holiday, the fourth Thursday in November. 

But what is Thanksgiving for the workplace? Does the staff leave early the Wednesday before and the entire company close for the day, or maybe for 2 days? Or is your company one those where things carry on the same as always,maybe with just a skeleton of employees on hand? 

Here at Clear Choice Staffing Solutions we take the time to think about all the things we have to be thankful for. While we’ve had some ups and downs this year, we have many things to be thankful for,as we are sure all of clients and employees to as well. 

We’d like to offer some suggestions for this Thanksgiving holiday where you can show your staff how much you appreciate them and their contributions. We feel pretty certain that if you show your gratitude to your staff, it will naturally “pay it forward” all on its own.

Since many people take vacation the week of Thanksgiving or the week after, making for a longer holiday break, prior to Thanksgiving week, call the staff together and show your gratitude.The traditional thanks includes food associated with the holiday itself. Since most are heading out next week to dine on Turkey and all the fixings, take a different menu approach. Cater in BBQ, Pizza or TexMex, something that by standard American Thanksgiving is completely unlike Thanksgiving.

If cost is an issue for you, get a potluck lunch setup with everyone signing on to bring something. For the non-cooks, there is always the need for paper and plastic products as well as breads. Gathering together to share a meal will forge a social bond among the staff, even those that work in different departments at opposite ends of the building.

Make the event a non-work related event by having plenty of seating and tables for everyone to sit, eat, relax and talk. Have each employee that is comfortable in doing so, stand up and say what the Thanksgiving holiday means to them and what they have to be thankful for. Even those who aren’t Americans may have something they would like to say.

Going forward, remember that you can be thankful for you team every day of the year and it certainly doesn’t hurt to share that thanks. Let them know you appreciate their contribution and when you have the workplace Thanksgiving, sit down at the table and break bread with with your work family and be thankful you have them.

 

We just covered the things to consider before making the decision to relocate for a job. It is a personal decision for everyone and the answers are different for everyone. What Clear Choice Staffing Solutions wants to talk about today is how the decision part was the easy part of this mission.

As stressful as making the “right” decision is for any of us when it comes to relocating for a job, the more stressful about the move, is well, the move. Regardless how excited you are about your new job, how excited you and your family may be about the new city, moving is stressful.

You’ve accepted this mission, now make it work and make it work smoothly. We offer you 8 tips that can help you with this step with Mission: Job Relocation.

Organization

This is a must to make moving a less stressful as possible. The logistics of such a move are many and if you aren’t organized, you’ll get off to a bad start. Your best friend is a daily to-do-list.

Availability

Most companies provide new employees that are coming to them on relocation offer relocation services. Find out what is available to you and make use of the service. This includes things like house hunting, transportation of your vehicles, help in buying a new home and selling your existing home or finding a rental as well as organizers that will help you settle in your new home. These services often include job search assistance for the spouse.

If your new employer doesn’t offer a relocation package, negotiate to get one. By doing some homework to find out what it will cost to move, you’ll be able to provide a detailed estimate to your new employer.

Environment

Before you make the move, take the time to visit the area. A day or two of exploring the new area will make it more comfortable once you do move. Pickup local news papers and surf the internet.

Living Expenses

Whether you are moving within the state or out-of-state, the cost of living varies. That difference is usually compensated in the salary agreement. If nothing has been mentioned, ask about, but again, after you have done some research and have support in asking.

Commitments

Many experts recommend renting before buying when you relocate for you job. This allows you time to learn the neighborhood and visit others before making that long-term commitment of a mortgage. Choose the shortest lease time possible so if you do find a more suitable home, you aren’t locked in.

Tax Deduction

Whether or not your new employer offers financial assistance to relocate, you could be eligible for some reimbursement on your taxes. Visit the IRS tax site for more information or schedule an appointment with a tax specialist.

Social Network

Your current friends may have connections to help you make new friends. There are many online services that can help you find people with the same hobbies or interests you have. Larger cities often have newcomer events too. By making new friends, you’ll become more settled in your new environment. 

Clear Choice Staffing Solutions just posted a blog on why everyone is moving to Houston, Texas. By the information we received, reviewed and studied, it seems Houston has it going on from affordable housing to a wide open job market. So that got us to thinking. If you received a job offer that required you to relocate, would you? Or if your current employer gave you the option of being transferred to another city or being one of the cuts, would you choose to relocate?

A lot of folks say “Heck yes!” and others its a decision to be thought about, talked ab out with the spouse, children, parents and then thought about some more. For many, the answer is “Absolutely not, this is home, I’m not going anywhere.”

Relocating for a job is a big change. Not just for the employee, but if they are married or have a significant other, children and especially if it means living the only home they’ve ever known. What experts say though, make the relocation because you want to, not because you think you should. If it doesn’t feel comfortable on every level, then the wise decision is to stay put.

Relocating for a job is a personal decision and for everyone, it is different. Not all situations are the same. For instance, job relocation is a good decision for the person that won’t have much to upset in their personal life. However for the person who has stakes in their career, in the city they currently live and work, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but relocating takes more planning and they need more time.

Therefore,before a decision this big is made, you should be sure the job is the right job for you. You want to be sure that the organization that is offering you the job is committed to you. Have the offered moving expenses? If they aren’t willing to pay for you to relocate, you may want to rethink the job offer.

The move is easier if your family and friends support the relocation and easier yet if you can know somebody in the new location. If your considering the relocation because you haven’t found a job where you are now, make certain that the job prospects are good where you’re going.

Experts recommend creating sort of a business plan for the relocation. What is your objective? Review the pros and cons of the move. Set a time line up and set a budget for the move. Even if you have a guaranteed job waiting for you, there are always unexpected expenses and the unknown. In the end, it all depends on your gut feelings, your career goals and personal aspirations.

 

Have you wondered why Clear Choice Staffing Solutions has opened a second office in Houston Texas? Well, we’re like a tumbleweed. We are always changing and growing, rolling with the wind. When we noticed the wind kept heading south, we had to take a look at what Houston was all about.

First of all, Clear Choice Staffing Solutions had found out that USAA and Hiring Heroes have both ranked Houston as Number 1 for Veterans that are looking for mid-career changes and finding those jobs. Now these two list weren’t just looking at Texas either. They checked out cities nationwide for what was offered to those mid-career veterans that are coming back from overseas and making the transition into civilian life.

USAA and Hiring Our Heroes performed a study to help locate and identify the best metropolitan areas in the U.S. for our Veterans to find that second career. A civilian career that could utilize the military skills they have learned and provide them a decent wage growth. A career that offered them the ability to use any certifications they have earned as well as use any licensing they have earned as well. 

Houston had the most top rated industries with jobs available to employ our Veterans. Houston had the lowest unemployment rates at 6.1 in 2013, among many other Texas cities such as Austin, Forth Worth and San Antonio.

With job growth of 2.6 percent, Houston ranked in the top 10 percent of the metro areas studied. With homes selling at $149,500, below-average median price, and good pay rates, Houston is the ideal place for the men and women returning from other lands to call home.

Houston has made several other lists as well. Travel + Leisure Magazine named Houston “America’s Favorite Cities” and Forbes listed Houston in the top 10 of ‘“Baby Boomtowns: The U.S. Cities Attracting the Most Families. NerdWallet has named the suburbs of Houston to be one of the “Best Places for Young Families in Texas.”

So you want to know why Clear Choice Staffing Solutions opened a 2nd office in Houston and set it up as Corporate office? Because a tumbleweed goes with the wind, changing, growing and moving on to bigger things.

 

Here at Clear Choice Staffing Solutions, we know that there are laws specifically to protect prospective candidates from certain discrimination and prejudices. Except for working mothers. Even in today’s times of equal rights for women, shared parenting duties, the wider acceptance of flex time and floating schedules, working mothers still have a level of discrimination. 

Coming across several articles recently about this subject, I was interested to see what the concerns and issues are that some employers, or at least the hiring managers, have in regards to working moms. Do they have valid concerns with sound merits supporting those concerns? Or are they simply just spill-overs that have remained in their minds, handed down from generation to generation, if you will. 

We’re all entitled to our opinion, it is a free country. However, it is a free country with laws to protect us from discrimination. So just how many of these concerns are a fallacy and how many are reality though? Let’s take a look through the eyes of a hiring manager:

Hiring Managers Fallacies versus Working Mothers Realities

Working Moms And Sick Days

Fallacy: Hiring managers feel that a working mom can’t be relied on because they call in sick when they have a sick child and sometimes it is more than once a month.

Reality: There is nothing more dreadful for a working mother than getting that phone call from the daycare or school that your child is sick. Or your child waking up in the middle of the night running a fever or throwing up. Hiring managers need to realize that it isn’t a choice nor is it a day of vacation. Many parents take turns calling in to care for the sick kids, some moms may not have any one else. Working moms know that there is a target on their back and that phone call is supporting hiring manager concerns.

Working Moms And Stay-at-Home Mom

Fallacy: Hiring managers have concerns about a working mom deciding that she wants to be the stay-at-home mom and will announce this decision without a warning.

Reality: Every new mom has this battle within herself, no argument there. She has to determine if she wants to be the stay-at-home or the working mom. Yes she’ll cry all the way to work the first day, but most of the time, once they are at work, they remember how much they missed the busyness, the social aspect of working. However, with that being said, family finances come into play and with the cost of daycare today, it is too often cheaper for moms to stay home.

Work-From-Home Moms Are Doing Really Laundry

Fallacy: Many hiring managers are concerned the mom that work-from-home are actually doing housework all day instead of working. 

Reality: Yes, work-at-home moms will often put on a load of wash and start dinner while at home. They also take the hone with them to the bathroom. She may work in her pj’s all day, but good chance she started working before you even woke up and she probably didn’t shower. She also isn’t spending time commuting or standing in the break-room chatting with co-workers. Its not necessarily easier working from home folks – the work-at-home mom is probably multi-tasking more than you realize. 

Work or Kids The Priority

Fallacy: Hiring managers want to hire employees that have 100% commitment and devotion to the company. It is assumed by many hiring managers that a mom will always put her kids first when it comes to priorities.

Reality: This may be so when it comes to after-hours cocktail versus her son’s baseball game. Working moms value their paycheck and probably need it or they wouldn’t be there in the first place. However, they value their family too. Trust your working moms to know how to prioritize these important things in their lives. Is that meeting with the new client worth missing the Fall Carnival? Or is that parent-teacher meeting more important than after hour cocktails with the department?

Think Before You Judge

As the hiring manager, you have your priorities and they are with the company, which is understandable. However, you can’t judge all working moms to be a risk. There is a good chance, that working mom you’re on the fence about hiring is better at multi-tasking than that childless person you’re considering.