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Your Guide to a Rock Star Resume + Cover Letter

Tips to get your resume and cover letter dream-job-ready.

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This entry was posted in Job Seekers, Whitepapers by .

You never get a second chance at a first impression. In the job seeking process, your first impression (usually) relies on your resume and cover letter. While you may think these are ready to go, your dream job chances can be dashed before you get the opportunity to show them who you truly are: 1 out of 5 recruiters will reject a candidate before reading to the end of their resume (New College of Humanities).

We’re one of the largest staffing companies in the nation, so we see thousands of resumes and cover letters every week. Here are our tips to create the most professional and effective resume and cover letter.

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VIDEO: Informational Interviews

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This entry was posted in Job Seekers, Video by .

An informational interview is an educational conversation between two people. Typically, someone will pursue an informational interview with someone who has a career that they’d like, works at a company they’d like to work at, or in an industry they are interested in.

Watch and learn more about this quick and easy way to network and make connections for the life you want!

Ultimate Staffing’s parent company launches new website!

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This entry was posted in News by .

Roth Staffing Companies announces the launch of its new rothstaffing.com website. Roth Staffing Companies is the parent company of six specialized business lines including Ultimate Staffing Services (the 11th largest office/admin staffing company in the U.S.), Ledgent Finance & AccountingAdams & Martin GroupLedgent TechnologyAbout Talent, and Ultimate Locum Tenens. The new and improved Roth site will serve as a home base, giving visitors an overall introduction to the entire organization, providing internal candidates insight into the award-winning Roth culture, and easy link access to each line of business.

The site creates a more engaging user experience, featuring an interactive, modern design, and original resources – complementing the sites for its sister lines, four of which were launched last year.

For those interested in working at Roth, or in the staffing industry, the site features a catalog of video testimonials from Roth’s internal coworkers on what makes the organization award-winning.

Additional resources on the site include Roth’s cutting edge blogs, containing innovative content to educate hiring managers and job seekers alike – all written by Roth Staffing’s in-house award-winning research team to provide visitors with the latest information, data and best practices in workforce solutions. The blog features White Papers, articles and infographics on workforce topics, as well as news on the latest happenings across the Roth organization.

The site was designed and created by Roth’s Award-Winning Marketing Department, their fifth new website launch in 12 months.

About Roth Staffing Companies

Roth Staffing Companies is one of the largest privately-held staffing companies in the country, operating from more than 100 locations in 20 states and the District of Columbia via six specialized business lines: Ultimate Staffing Services, the 11th largest office/clerical staffing company in the country, Ledgent Finance & Accounting, Adams & Martin Group (legal staffing), Ledgent Technology & Engineering, and affiliates Ultimate Locum Tenens and About Talent (a workforce solutions company)

Roth Companies remains the only firm in the industry ever ranked #1 on the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing, privately-owned companies, was recently ranked #1 by Fortune as the Best Workplace for Professional Services, and is the only firm to receive all of the industry’s most prestigious honors in a single year, accomplishing this feat for four years. The organization is consistently ranked among the 50 largest staffing companies in the country.

Visit www.rothstaffing.com for more information or call (714) 939-8600.

 

Retaining Top Performers

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This entry was posted in Business Customers, Whitepapers by .

Your top employees are top targets. The candidate market is in a unique space: unemployment is low, turnover is at an all-time high, and loyalty isn’t necessarily a priority for all employees. As the demand for talent grows and the available candidate pool dwindles, recruiters have their eyes set on your best employees. And often, the temptation to take on a new adventure is too great.

While it’s easier to blame turnover on poachers, most employees quit because internal forces push them out, rather than external forces drawing them in. In so many words, it’s not them, it’s you.

Wandering Eyes

Even your most loyal employees are open to new opportunities, and the slightest nudge can tip the scale. Only 15% of employees are truly satisfied in their jobs and aren’t looking for other opportunities (LinkedIn). That means 85% of your employees could be at risk of leaving your organization.

Mercer states 34% of employees say they plan to leave their current role in the next 12 months. Gallup states a much higher percentage: 51% of workers are looking to leave their current jobs. LinkedIn research shows that 25% of employees are actively looking for new work, with two-thirds of them currently employed. In fact, 3.22 million Americans (2.2% of the workforce) quit their jobs in January 2017, the highest quit rate since February 2001 (Department of Labor).

While statistics on tenure and turnover may vary, one truth remains constant: employees are looking.

Currently, 75% of jobseekers are employed but open to new opportunities— these are known as “passive candidates.” Almost 60% of workers look at other jobs at least monthly (Indeed). Platforms like LinkedIn and Glassdoor email new opportunities to passive candidates on a daily or weekly basis.

Just because they are open to new opportunities doesn’t mean they don’t like their current jobs: 80% of passive jobseekers are satisfied in their current job (LinkedIn). Among people who “love their jobs,” 50% would be willing to leave for a new opportunity (Adobe) and Glassdoor reports that 84% of candidates would consider leaving their current company if another company with an excellent reputation offered them a job.

More than half of U.S. employers (57%) said hiring activity has increased over the past 12 months, while turnover has picked up by 37% in 2016 (Willis Towers Watson).

With demand high and available talent low, recruiters are becoming more aggressive. They aren’t shy about going for your top talent, and their tactics are effective. In 2015, 75% of workers with new jobs hadn’t actively applied for the position, they were referred or “poached” (FRBSF Economic Research).

The reasons they leave go beyond simple temptation. It’s not just a Millennial problem.

Millennials have developed a reputation as job hoppers. And it’s not an incorrect assessment; 44% of Millennials say, if given the choice, they expect to leave their current employers in the next two years (Deloitte). But it’s not just Millennials: 37% of Gen X and 25% of Boomers are planning to leave their company in the next two years (Lightspeed).

Cost & Effect

When turnover is high, talent becomes a primary concern. According to the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM), the top three challenges faced by HR organizations today are turnover, employee engagement, and succession planning.

The impact of these challenges all come at a high cost to your budget, to your team, and to your morale. Finding a new employee slows processes, requires recruiting efforts, and impacts culture.

The cost of replacing an employee can range from 30%-400% of an employee’s salary (ERE Media).

When you lose an employee, their surrounding team feels the impact, too–not just in their productivity, but in their team dynamic as well. Friendships can be a powerful tool in engagement and retention. Employees with a best friend at work tend to be more focused, more passionate, more loyal to their organizations, and they change jobs less frequently (SHRM). Employees agree: 46% of professionals worldwide believe that work friends are important to their overall happiness (LinkedIn) and 50% of employees with a best friend at work report a strong connection with the company (Gallup).

Friendship does have an effect on tenure: 37% of employees say “working with a great team” is their primary reason for staying (Gusto), while 55% of employees have put off job hunting because they didn’t want to leave their coworkers (ICIMS).

A revolving door of teammates does not allow for this kind of synergy. Meanwhile, a solid tenured workforce can:

Help guide strategic planning Acquire cross-training Mentor and train others Nurture culture Tenure’s impact on culture will be your biggest asset, and turnover’s impact on culture will be your biggest detriment. Longevity helps solidify and support culture, setting and maintaining the standard. A consistent culture is effective in its practices and expectations.

Why They Go & Why They Stay

There is no one factor that influences employee tenure. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics currently defines the average employee tenure at 4.2 years. Typically, the top reasons job seekers will leave for another job are:

More compensation (61%) Location (42%) Better work-life balance (40%) Health benefits (36%) Growth opportunities (35%) Company culture (21%) Leadership (15%) (Jobvite)

All of these factors address employees’ human needs—the need to grow, the need to be valued, the need to live a full life.

Growth and opportunity are a particular driving force. Forty-one percent of employees said they would need to leave their current employer in order to advance their careers (Towers Watson). More than 60% don’t feel their career goals are aligned with the plans their employers have for them (Forbes), and another 47% of Americans would leave for their ideal job even if it meant less pay (Adobe).

Interaction between work and life can seriously influence tenure. Bamboo HR reports that 14% will leave if they don’t have a healthy work-life balance, while 46% of HR leaders say employee burnout is responsible for up to half of their annual workforce turnover (Kronos).

Sometimes it’s just a matter of timing. Job searching fluctuates in accordance with life events. Around birthdays, job searching increases by 12%, 16% around class reunions, and up to 9% around work anniversaries (HBR). Any life events that inspire reflection can lead your employees to wonder, “What’s next?”

There is an eternal human search for “something better.” The good news is, your organization can proactively address every single one of these factors.

Rob Beanett, author of Passion Saving: the Path to Plentiful Free-Time and Soul- Satisfying Work defines the Employee Life Cycle, defines the cycle at seven years and SHRM’s 2016 Human Capital Benchmarking Report defines average employee tenure at eight years, but it’s shortening. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics currently defines the average employee tenure at 4.2 years. The cycle includes:

  1. Overwhelmed

    Starting a new job or position initially begins as stressful, but the new challenge drives them forward. New hire initiatives are crucial in balancing stress and engagement.

  2. Happily Challenged

    Within six months, the employee is still being challenged but enjoys the experience.

  3. Smooth Sailing

    After another 6-12 months, the employee is confident in his ability to handle the job. They still enjoy the work, but there is not as much of a challenge and they are not learning as much.

  4. Bored

    It can take 3-7 years before an employee can feel like they can do their job in their sleep. Now the employee must actively begin looking for a new challenge.

  5. Indifferent

    Left unchallenged, the employee becomes unhappy with the company. They won’t care enough about the work to do it well. But if they find a new challenge, the cycle can begin again.

In the life cycle of an employee, it’s up to you to intervene and empower.

Lead the Way

How you involve your company’s leadership will make all the difference. They will set the tone and build a tenured team. In fact, 51% of employees who don’t feel they have the support of leadership plan to leave their job in the next year, compared to 25% of those who do have leadership support (American Psychological Association). In addition, 14% of HR leaders say lack of executive support is an obstacle to improving retention in 2017 (Kronos).

Through dedicated practices and daily efforts, your company’s leadership creates the employee experience—and plays a huge role in engagement. According to employees, the most memorable recognition comes from their manager (28%), a high-level leader or CEO (24%), and their manager’s manager (12%), followed by customers and peers.

We know that people don’t quit their jobs, they quit their boss. The main factor in workplace discontent is an employee’s manager—not wages, benefits, or hours (Gallup).

Half of U.S. adults have left their job to get away from their manager (Gallup), which is understandable considering the way the manager influences the factors mentioned earlier. Managers account for at least 70% of variance in employee engagement scores (Gallup). But don’t be so quick to point the finger of blame. Your company’s leaders need great managers, too. Leaders need the same support from the individuals they report to. Just 35% of U.S. managers are engaged, while 51% are not engaged at all (Gallup). Meanwhile, 42% of managers are currently looking for jobs with other organizations (Modern Survey).

Managers actively influence nearly every factor of tenure and engagement. They require support, growth, and recognition to fill their own cup first—then they can nurture other employees.

Building Loyalty, Achieving Retention

If you want to retain your top employees, you must implement a dedicated, proactive strategy.

Prepare Employees

If your top employee won the lottery, who would do their job tomorrow? There should be no position on your team or in your organization that only one employee knows how to do. Cross-training employees can not only keep them challenged, it provides opportunities for growth and can come in handy when looking for a replacement.

Pay Competitively

Financial temptation can be your biggest enemy: 35% of employees will start looking for a job if they don’t receive a raise in the next 12 months (Glassdoor). Fix this by offering truly competitive pay. Give raises and adjustments proactively and always connect it with some other form of recognition. Never let a paycheck speak for itself. To ensure your pay is competitive, see our Salary Guide.

Don’t forget benefits. Your employees need them. It’s as simple as that.

Value Transparency

Frequent Forbes contributor and seasoned Fortune 500 HR SVP Liz Ryan discusses a unique process at one of her former organizations. As her employees were receiving an avalanche of recruiter calls, turnover was becoming a top concern. Instead of punishing employees, the leadership team created a “poaching form.”

The form asked for the name of the recruiter, the hiring company, the name and description of the project or position, salary offered, and other details. Then, the company paid their employees $50 for each completed form. It worked like a charm. They were able to inspire an open dialogue about what employees were looking for and know what their competition was up to. Once recruiters figured out what was going on, the poaching slowed considerably.

A program like this can demonstrate trust, give you a chance to address concerns and efficiently enact retention strategies based directly on employee feedback.

Create Structured Career Paths

Everyone needs something to work towards. Work with employees on an individual basis to define a career path within your organization. Frequently check in on this path and adjust according to their needs and goals, ensuring they are challenged appropriately.

This is also how you will select your next group of leaders who will affect the tenure and performance of other employees. Promote according to performance and strengths, while rewarding tenure.

Surveillance

Surveillance falls under the transparency umbrella. And it can be a tricky game. If you are or want to monitor employee internet or phone use, only use it to help, not punish.

For instance, if you notice an employee is spending considerably more time on LinkedIn, use that information to have a discussion about what the organization can do in service to that employee, rather than telling the employee to stop doing that.

Do not try to limit their behavior. The harder you press down the lid, the harder it will pop up.

Recognition

When 82% of employees don’t think they’re recognized for their work as often as they deserve (BambooHR), they will look for it elsewhere. Your top performers give you plenty to recognize. Create a structured program that allows for an abundance of both formal and informal recognition.

Flexibility

To address issues of location and work-life balance, allow for flexible work options. This is an effective demonstration of trust and appreciation while proactively meeting employee needs. Additionally, workers who were offered telecommuting options were more productive and had lower turnover (HBR). Make sure employees have the appropriate tools and training available to do their work well.

Survey Frequently

Surveying allows you to keep an eye on engagement and give employees a chance to speak candidly. Take results seriously and make adjustments accordingly.

Support Leadership

Promote the right people into management roles, and make sure your leaders have the tools available to keep employees engaged.

Culture

Whether you recognize it or not, your organization has a culture. It’s simply the personality of your organization. You do not need ping pong tables to have an effective culture. You simply need to build your organization around your values, and in turn, implement programs that strengthen those values.

Keep a pulse on your culture and continuously nurture it. Every program, every technology, every process should somehow revert back to one of the values of the company. Always keep your culture at the forefront of every company communication.

Open Doors

No matter how great your organization is, some people will quit. It’s just part of life! Master the flow of talent and support your employees in their next step. Write recommendations and use your connections to help them build their careers. Soon, your organization will build a reputation as a launch pad, and you’ll get flooded with talent. Plus, you’d be surprised how many of those former employees will come back as boomerang employees—40% say they’d consider returning to their former company (Workplacetrends).

There’s nothing about the tenure crisis that you can’t manage. With dedicated programs, you can build effective longevity and reap all the benefits. The most important factor is to focus on helping your employees build their livelihood. When your employees are your main focus, they will find a career worth staying for within your organization.

Tips from Within

Creating Structured Career Paths

Jess Bushey serves as Market Vice President for Roth Staffing Companies, parent company of Ultimate Staffing. She oversees some of Roth’s most successful and tenured teams. Here’s what she has to say about creating structured career paths:

“I find that having a structured career path has empowered our coworkers, benefitting the overall organization. As a new employee is on-boarded, we lay an outline of several career opportunities relative to where they are starting, establishing what each stepping-stone requires. We then check in during quarterly performance reviews, outlining and benchmarking goals and outcomes that are needed to reach those next steps.

The key component to this is clear and consistent communication and allowing coworkers to explore different options than they originally thought they might aspire to.

Having a clear career path for promotion encourages coworkers to take ownership, keeping them engaged in their current role and within our organization. It has also allowed us to retain our top talent and have stronger succession planning for organic growth. It preserves and enlivens our company culture to have leaders who started in entry-level positions and grew into leadership positions, where they have authentic stories to tell our newest coworkers.”

VIDEO: How To: LinkedIn Open Candidates

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This entry was posted in Infographics, Job Seekers, Video by .

How to let recruiters know you are available on LinkedIn – without your boss knowing.  LinkedIn can be a powerful tool in your job search.  But what happens when you like your job and your open to new opportunities?  Watch our video to learn how to privately signal to recruiters on LinkedIn that you are looking for a new job – without anyone at your organization knowing.

Informational Interviews – what is it and how do I get one?

Get a roadmap to the life you want

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This entry was posted in Job Seekers by .

So, what exactly is an informational interview? It’s kind of like a job interview, where your pursuit is not a job, but advice. It’s an educational conversation between two people. Typically, someone will pursue an informational interview with someone who has a career that they’d like, works at a company they’d like to work at, or in an industry they are interested in.

Informational interviews are like cheat codes for your career. They’re an inside look at what it takes and what it’s really like to work like that person. How they got to this point, what life looks like in that role, where they are going next – all act as a roadmap to get what you want in your career.

Nothing can match experience. And people are more than happy to share it. While you may think that an executive wouldn’t want to spend an hour talking with just anybody, you’d be surprised. People love to talk about themselves. And it’s actually a new trend in entrepreneurship. Watch enough YouTube videos and soon enough an ad from Tai Lopez or the Laptop Entrepreneurs will pop up offering you a free class in how to be like them. They worked hard to get where they are and they are eager to share what they have learned.

Informational interviews can give you more than just a roadmap. They are a vital source of connections. They’re not just a resource for you, you are a resource for them! In 2015, 75% of workers with new jobs hadn’t actively applied for the position, they were “poached” or referred (FRBSF Economic Research). When you set up an informational interview, you learn about them and they learn about you. They can act as a referral or they can connect you with opportunity within their own company.

But you have to ask them in the right way. Here are a few tips to secure an informational interview and make the most of it:

Selection Process

Think of anyone you admire and reach out to them. Start by looking to your initial network – maybe it’s someone in your professional network or a friend of a friend. You can also reach out to total strangers. Social media has eliminated traditional social boundaries and has increased accessibility. Networks like Facebook and LinkedIn allow you to search by name and organization, making a once random process streamlined. LinkedIn can be your ultimate tool, giving you access to their entire career timeline. Search for potential contacts based on everything from their alma mater, to company they work for, or positions they hold.

Don’t be afraid to dig…

Once you’ve picked someone, do your research – just don’t stop at LinkedIn. When researching someone for an informational interview, follow the Google rabbit hole to find everything you can. A knowledge of the articles they’ve written, organizations they’ve volunteered for, or events they’ve spoken at can help you really stand out when asking to set up an interview.

Approach respectfully

How you reach out to a contact will depend on how you know them. If you share a mutual connection, that connection will get you in contact with them. If they are strangers, LinkedIn might be your best approach. However, with the right Google technique, you can likely access their email. If it’s not listed on the company website, you can try common iterations of emails. For example, if someone is named Mickey Mouse, these can include:

  • MickeyMouse@company.com
  • Mickey.Mouse@company.com
  • MMouse@company.com
  • Mouse@company.com
  • MouseMickey@company.com

Infiltrating a space like email, especially unexpectedly, requires a respectful approach. The research you did earlier can help this feel like less of an ambush. Here is an example of an email approach:

 

Hello Mickey,

My name is Super Ambassador, and I have been working in cartoons for 5 years now. I have been following your career on LinkedIn, and I am in awe. Your career seems to be the perfect combination of science and art. Your work in Alice in Wonderland contrasts so beautifully with your work in Steamboat Willie, while your article on your new Star Wars campus in Anaheim had such an in-depth analysis of qualitative data that could truly change Southern California tourism. Inspiring.

I’d love to learn more about your career journey and position within the Disney organization. With so much happening, I imagine you are busy. A 15-minute phone call, or even a quick cup of coffee, would be so appreciated.

Thank you,

Super Ambassador

 

Starting with a compliment and following it up with evidence to support that you know who they are, is flattering and demonstrates your intent and investment. Doing your research can go really far. Throw in commonalities, like companies you’ve worked for, schools you went to, or events you attended – anything that can strengthen the connection. We like people who are like us.

Be gracious and humble, and most importantly, patient. Their schedule may be packed, so be patient in scheduling and accommodate their schedule. Not everyone will be able to meet you in person, or they may schedule a call for 5 AM. Take every opportunity.

Be prepared

When you do schedule an appointment with your contact, research and have your questions ready. Remember, this isn’t a job interview, it’s not so much about selling yourself. It’s about learning from them.

Physically write down your questions so you can keep the conversation on track and more effectively utilize their time. Here are a few examples of questions you might ask:

How did you get into the field?
What do you think made you so successful? (ie characteristics, connections, education, etc)
What do you see happening in this field over the next few years?
How would you describe the culture at your organization?
What advice would you have for someone starting out in this field?
What are some next steps I should take if I want to enter the field?
Is there anyone else you recommend I talk to on this topic?
Are there any questions I should have asked you, but didn’t?

Then write down their answers so you can reference them in the future. Also, be prepared to answer questions about what it is you’re looking for. This is your chance to talk about your own career goals.

The dreaded elevator pitch

While this conversation is about them and not you, they will want to know who you are and what you want. This is where your elevator pitch comes in.

If you are unfamiliar with the elevator pitch, it’s a succinct and concise introduction, intended to capture your audience in the time it takes to ride in an elevator. In so many words, you have less than 30 seconds to introduce yourself and establish your value, making your audience want to continue the conversation.

This is where you sell yourself. These can feel dreadful, but they shouldn’t! You have a lot to offer, but you must be prepared. When they ask, “So what do you do?” Be ready.

Your pitch will capture their attention and make them say, “Interesting. Tell me more.”

To craft your pitch, start with a paper and pen. List 5-10 of the accomplishments or traits you’re most proud of, emphasizing what you can do for your audience. They should answer these questions: Who are you? What do you do? How much or how many (quantitative points support your statements)? What are you looking for?

Then continue to shave them down into a more concise conversation. It should be very natural, yet professional. It should feel like an average conversation:

I’m Super Ambassador, and I am the world’s greatest temporary employee. Most people don’t brag about that, but in the past year, I’ve rescued 7 businesses when talent got short. My most recent assignment, I came in as an administrative assistant where I coordinated a 3-day gathering of the organization’s top leaders from across 10 states, on top of my basic duties. Now I’m hoping to expand my work into a permanent role in the HR space, helping to build culture and maintain compliance.

In the pitch above, the speaker drew their audience in with a hook, provided quantitative support for their top accomplishments, and concluded with what they are looking for next. It’s quick, succinct, and natural.

Continuously update and practice your pitch so you are always ready, in and out of informational interviews.

Once you deliver your pitch, it will be up to your contact to respond. Hopefully, they will offer to aid in your next step.

Follow-Up

After your meeting has ended, always always always send a thank you card. Send a real, handwritten card thanking them for their time. When they feel appreciated, they are more likely to help out even more in the future.

If they connected you with others in their network, promptly follow-up with your next informational interviews. Don’t allow too much time to pass.

Be Fearless & Act Accordingly

Do not feel daunted, reach out to who you really want to learn from. Some may be harder to get in contact with than others, but do not underestimate who will be willing to spend a moment with you.

This includes being persistent in contact and scheduling. If they say they are too busy, check in with them monthly and regularly. If they decline, politely thank them and move on to the next person on your list.

Once you have that advice, put it in action! Take their tips to heart and immediately act them out.

Two very different and very successful people know the value asking: business magnate and billionaire, Warren Buffet, and Canadian DJ & Journalist, Nardwuar. Nardwuar has interviewed everyone from Kurt Cobain to major political figures. In his TED Talk, he insists the reason he got those interviews was because he asked for them. That’s it. Meanwhile, on the other side of the spectrum, Warren Buffet said, “You can really learn a lot just by asking—that sounds like a Yogi Berra quote or something—but it is literally true.”

Informational interviews hold advice and insight you cannot get anywhere else. If you want to interview the most famous and influential, or become a billionaire, the solution lies within the ask. You can get the roadmap to the career – and life – you want.