The “Online” Workplace - posted on 05/27/2016
Since the dawn of work place computers, managers and IT purists have battled the inevitable web surfing by employees out of boredom. Not only is there the potential for viral infection with every new page opened or item shared but the practice was deemed an inefficient waste of valuable employee work hours by employers. Fast forward to 2016. Social media platforms, online gaming and sales, job searches and around the clock news updates have infiltrated every moment of our day. The need to know what Martha had for lunch or the latest trending celebrity factoid is too irresistible for the average human to bear!
Companies have reluctantly begun to accept the inevitable and even embrace many aspects of this online revolution. While purchasing new shoes or cyber-stalking the ex during work hours are still questionable exercises, savvy employers have learned how to take advantage of many platforms, even hiring personnel to do nothing but online marketing. Each platform speaks to a different population; selective marketing is highly effective and efficient. Social media has created the perfect atmosphere to get your message out to exactly the demographic you seek.
Today, Marketers spend their work days scheduling tweets and Facebook posts and searching for relative, timely content to share with your company’s audience. It isn’t, and should never be, only about selling your wares, but creating a sense of trust, loyalty and interaction with the people who will best receive your message. Become an authority in your area for your line of work.
Cyber space is a funny creature. It functions through algorithms akin to schoolyard games. He, who is talked about the most, is the most popular. In adult terms, this is referred to as SEO. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. This pertains to the frequency and placement of your company’s website and references from online searches. Of course, you’d want your company to show up at the top of any search a potential customer might perform. How do you make that happen? Having your logo and company’s name linked online to active, timely content is one way to increase your SEO. Social media platforms are a very easy way to keep your brand fresh and relevant while creating an ever growing audience of loyal potential customers. You want to be everywhere they are, however, make sure your content stays fresh and on message. Vet all content you did not create yourself as most blogs and online articles are thinly veiled advertisements, most likely for your competition! Be mindful of not only the frequency of your posts but the timing. Research the days and time of day that your customers actually see your content or visit your page and schedule posts accordingly.
As a Staffing Agency, we post open positions in many different areas of the interweb. Being able to target potentially qualified candidates comes from knowing the tone and bedfellows in each social media realm. For example, if we need general laborers, Craigslist and Facebook are great for these non-skilled, broad types of positions. Whereas, if we need to find an Attorney or Engineer, LinkedIn and Twitter would best target a professional audience. Research platform demographics to learn where your potential customers spend most of their time.
Don’t under estimate the marketing potential of all of your employees. Most likely, they are all on one or more of the same platforms your marketing department utilizes. By following your company, sharing posts, retweeting, tagging your company and checking in at your facility, every employee has now just expanded your online reach, thereby adding to your potential customer following.
Employers should establish a policy regarding online activity during work hours. But in doing so, should be mindful, that they can truly benefit from their employees’ interaction with the company’s online brand. Install Anti-virus software; create a marketing plan and surf on, dudes!
Your Business Depends on Their Health - posted on 05/09/2016
Your Business Depends on Their Health
With no relief in sight, health care costs and loss productivity due to injury, illness and disease are increasingly reducing your company’s profit and efficiency. In 2015, the CDC reported that workforce productivity losses linked to illness/injury absenteeism cost employers $225.8 billion annually in the United States, or $1,685 per employee. With preventable diseases, work place injuries and conditions such as obesity, Diabetes, and stress related hypertension rates skyrocketing nationwide, what can you do to save your ship from sinking under this burden?
Education and awareness is essential to creating a healthier workforce. Many people avoid physicians all together out of fear, time constraints or financial reasons. Make sure your employees know and understand their insurance options and consider periodic health related guest speakers or bring in a mobile clinic for onsite consultations or exams. There are several online health surveys that your employees can take privately. Knowledge is power!
Encourage employees to be physically active and to eat healthy during their work day. How about an office treadmill or stationary bike or create a lunch time walk club. Create competition and comradery by starting programs and incentives for physical activity. Fit Bits and phone apps make this easy today. Who walked the most steps that week? Did someone achieve a weight loss goal? Think about your office layout. Are employees limited to their desk or work space all day long? Relocate your printer or copier to a central place which will force people out from behind their desks and to get moving. Not only are you encouraging healthier habits, thereby limiting future potential illnesses, but you are fostering a fun and interactive work environment.
An easy way companies can encourage healthier eating is to the change the options provided in lunch rooms and vending machines. Replace sodas with bottled water and less sugary beverages. Offer less salty, processed foods like fruits, nuts or granola. And nothing screams office interaction like the old fashioned water cooler! If your employees love to order out for lunch or have pot luck get togethers, encourage healthier choices.
Many people still smoke and while they are unable to smoke inside, smoke breaks waste your company time and, depending on where they are allowed to smoke, expose others to second hand smoke. Be prudent about where you place designated smoking areas. Ensure they are not close to high traffic areas, windows, or doors. To encourage quitting all together, place a limit on frequency of smoke breaks. Look into offering smoking cessation programs for employees and their families.
Physical health is easier to see and measure than mental health but don’t overlook it. Personal well-being is directly linked to productivity and health maintenance costs. For instance, grief and stress are a part of everyone’s life but did you know that a recent study showed that the hidden cost of grief is upwards of $75 billion in hidden costs from low productivity, accidents and errors due to decreased focus on the job and stress leads to actual physical damage and disease. Recognize and acknowledge mental health issues before they spiral out of control. Create daily stress relieving activities; this can reduce lack of focus as well so employees can return to their tasks refreshed and with increased attention to detail.
By being the type of employer who concerns themselves with their employees’ mental and physical wellbeing, you are creating a happy, inviting work place with little turn over, healthier workers, increased productivity and lowered health care expenditures. A real win-win for all involved!
Governor Larry Hogan, Labor Secretary Kelly Schulz Attend EARN Program Graduation at Arcon Welding - posted on 04/22/2016
Hogan Administration Approved Arcon EARN Grant to Meet Regional Employer Demand
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan and Maryland Secretary of Labor, Licensing & Regulation (DLLR) Kelly M. Schulz today joined Katarina Ennerfelt, president and CEO of Toroid Corporation/Arcon Welding Equipment, for a tour of the Salisbury facility and to attend an EARN graduation ceremony.
The Employment Advancement Right Now, or EARN, Program is an innovative DLLR initiative that helps businesses cultivate the skilled workforce they need to compete while helping prepare Marylanders for meaningful careers. Through EARN, the state invests in employer-led skills training in some of the most high-demand sectors: construction, advanced manufacturing, cyber security, and wellness.
Arcon Welding Equipment recently received a State EARN grant as part of a partnership between Wor-Wic Community College, Toroid (who created Arcon Welding Services), the Lower Shore Workforce Alliance, Quality Staffing Services, and other employer partners.
“Congratulations to today’s graduates who, after 13 hours of rigorous training, are now eligible to test for certifications that open the door to high-wage, high-demand jobs,” said Governor Hogan. “By supporting EARN and other innovative programs that address regional workforce needs, our administration remains committed to ensuring Maryland employers have the talent they need to compete in and contribute to Maryland’s growing economy.”
This is the second group of Arcon Welding/EARN graduates who are now qualified for high-demand, high-wage jobs. Through EARN and other top-notch programs, the Hogan administration is working to ensure that Maryland employers have the talent they need to compete and grow in an ever-changing 21st-century economy.
“At the Maryland Department of Labor, we are equipping Maryland workers with the skills that businesses need to thrive through our workforce initiatives such as EARN, and we are dedicated to providing Maryland employers and workers with opportunities to ensure that Maryland is open for business,” said Secretary Schulz. “This is an example of an EARN success story, and we are appreciative of our ongoing partnerships with local businesses that are helping to lead workforce into the future.”
“Arcon Welding Services Training Center is a community effort. Through Governor Hogan’s EARN program, businesses, academia, local governments, and the state have joined forces with a single goal in mind, to match our workforce with industry needs,” said Ms. Ennerfelt. “Together, we are giving people the opportunity to train for good-paying jobs.”
This EARN partnership, made possible through a grant approved by the Hogan administration, works to address the specific workforce needs of lower Eastern Shore regional manufacturing and fabrication companies–for short-term sustainability and growth.
Original source: http://governor.maryland.gov/2016/04/21/governor-larry-hogan-labor-secretary-kelly-schulz-attend-earn-program-graduation-at-arcon-welding/
Changing Course in Mid-Stream: Navigating the Job Market in 2016 - posted on 04/21/2016
We all had parents, grandparents, etc., who got a job out of high school and stayed with that same company until they retired, right? Forty years, day in day out. The same.
Welcome to the new millennium where Casual Friday lasts all week and the up-and-comers have job ADD so bad, your HR Department has installed a revolving door. Not that loyalty is totally dead, it’s just been damaged a bit by a thirst for new experiences, rapid ladder climbing, and global thinking – the world is their oyster!
Well, if they can do it, what’s stopping you, the more… ahem… experienced professional? During your typical work day do you feel as if you’ve “been there – done that – was bored last time?” Knowing the retirement age continues to increase, do you really want to do the same thing, for the same company for the next however many years? It’s OK to look around, feel your skillset oats, and see if something better could be awaiting you.
Once you’ve embraced the possibility, there are some things you should know and be prepared for, if you’ve been stationary for a bit, things have changed out here. The days of face to face resume drop offs, pop-ins asking if they’re hiring and fancy paper monuments to your past accomplishments are long over.
The biggest thing you’ll notice but probably not be surprised by is that everything is online; the listings, the applications, resume submission, interview scheduling and the ever-dreaded “thanks but no thanks” obligatory response. Oh, and forget about the pop in to “put a face to the name on the resume.” Due to the ever looming threat of hiring discrimination, the less contact they have with you, the better for them. However, make sure you receive an emailed application submission confirmation; technology is great…when it works. Some smaller companies may not have automated confirmation emails so a short polite emailed inquiry regarding the status of your application is permissible.
Speaking of that resume, has it been 2016ed? Gone are the days of listing every accomplishment and position held. Those doing the hiring will pour through hundreds of resumes to find 3 or 4 actually qualified candidates. They don’t have time or the patience to read every word. Your goals should be clearly stated at the beginning and be specific to the position for which you are applying. Same with your education, work and volunteer experience; if it doesn’t pertain to that particular job, skip it. You can fill in the blanks during the interview process. When listing your accomplishments, focus on what you can do for the company rather than simply rehashing your past job duties. They have to be able to answer, “What’s in it for me if I hire you” after reading your resume.
What once was referred to as a “Headhunter” is now a “Staffing Agency.” Servicing both sides of the employment coin, modern day staffing agencies have access to nationwide databases and platforms for job postees and resume posters. Recruiters know their area businesses inside and out and can be your best friend once you decide to make the leap.
Hopefully, these words have not discouraged the aforementioned leap. The world is your oyster too; the water just may seem a bit murkier than you remember. Doesn’t mean it’s unnavigable. Best advice alert – do your research. Everything you could ever want to know about the job, the company, interview tips, resume writing, is literally at your fingertips. Let your fingers do the walking and best of luck to you!