Don’t Disqualify Yourself Before the Interview

May 18th, 2016

chicago-employment-agenciesIt has been said, “To err is human.” This is very true, especially when people are under pressure to get a job. People can be prone to putting their foot in their mouth. They may do or say things that are inappropriate without realizing it. And they may even go so far as to disqualify themselves before they even get a job interview.

How does this happen? You may not realize it, but hiring managers can be highly critical of the behaviors of candidates. If they come on too strong, they seem desperate. If they don’t respond appropriately, this can send up red flags. How can you avoid eliminating yourself from consideration before you even have an opportunity to interview for a job? Here are some tips.

Follow the rules.

It’s possible that you can eliminate yourself from even being considered for a job if you neglect to follow the rules. Read through the job description and advertisement carefully. Follow the instructions provided. This can include how to apply for a position, who to send your resume to, and understanding the requirements of the job. You may not meet all of the requirements, but you want to meet as many of them as possible. Even if it’s time-consuming, follow the rules and apply the way you are supposed to – no shortcuts!

Be honest, but don’t be too honest.

People can be too honest in their emails or cover letters when applying for a job. They may reveal something that doesn’t belong in this format – instead, it should be discussed in an interview. Now we aren’t saying be dishonest, but don’t bring up points that would make you a non-desirable hire (only have X years of experience, don’t know this technology, etc.) Let this come out in the process. If you are asked directly about it, obviously don’t tell a lie. But it’s not a great idea to highlight your weaknesses and shortcomings.

Highlight your strengths, not weaknesses.

As a candidate, you want to paint yourself in the best possible light. This means, taking the time to highlight all of your achievements, skills and unique traits that you bring to the table. Do not bring up anything negative nor discuss your weaknesses at this point. If and when you get to the interview process, you will probably be asked what your weaknesses are. This will give you a chance to discuss your weaknesses in a positive way. For example, you could say that you are very detail-oriented and that causes you to need more time to work on projects.

Avoid bringing up negatives.

In all of your communications with the hiring team, be sure to avoid bringing up any potential negatives in your work history or personal background. This can happen innocently enough without your knowledge. Watch what you put on your resume too. Never ever say anything negative about a former employer or the work that you performed there.

Provide your contact information.

You would be surprised at how many times candidates apply for a job, but then neglect to provide adequate contact information. This includes a home telephone number and a mobile telephone number. Use a professional email address and be sure to check it frequently. Avoid using message numbers or voicemails that have long musical recordings before someone can leave a message. Remember, keep it professional and set a good impression of yourself from day one.

Join a Top Staffing Agency in Chicago

At Davis Staffing, if you are looking to advance your career, earn extra income, gain more flexibility or find a full-time job, we can help. Contact our great team today and work with a leading employment agency in Chicago.

Do You Hate Small Talk? 5 Tips to Make It Easier

May 6th, 2016

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Small talk is one of those skills that either you are good at it or you feel very awkward. Being socially adept is something that all working professionals can work on. It’s a skill that you don’t have to be born with because it is something you can improve. You might not be able to walk in and light up the room, but you don’t have to feel anxiety or nervous leading up to the event. You can learn to be good at making small talk and feeling comfortable around new people. Even if you hate small talk now, there are some ways to make it easier.

Believe you can do it…

The hardest part about small talk is getting past the fear of it. Take a deep breath and say to yourself, “I can do this’ before you speak to anyone. When you believe you can do anything, you can pretty much erase any fear you have about approaching other people to make conversation. If you psych yourself out before even taking on the task, then you are going to struggle with anything.

Practice everywhere.

Nearly every place you go there will be an opportunity to make small talk with people. Try it out at the grocery store with the cashier, the waitress at your favorite restaurant and at work with a few colleagues. Just say something interesting and see what others say in return. Practice smiling and being calm. This is especially important if you will be using small talk in an interview.

Ask people questions.

Small talk isn’t about talking at all. In fact, it’s more about listening to others. Most people enjoy talking about themselves, their interests, their lives, and so you can take advantage of this by being a good listener. Ask some people questions that are open ended, such as:

  • Tell me more about you?
  • What’s your favorite part of working here?
  • What did you think about that latest movie?
  • Can you share some ideas with me about [insert topic]?

Follow up with their questions.

Once you have other people talking, use this opportunity to then share something meaningful about you. Listen for common ground with others and relate to what others are saying. Be funny. Be interesting. Show that you are listening to them by asking relevant questions.

Talk about things you are comfortable with.

There are always going to be some topics to steer clear of with small talk. For example, politics, racism, religion and moral topics can often turn into heated arguments. Keep topics light, interesting and fun. Stay away from negative things. If you are uncomfortable talking about something, chances are someone else is too.

By using the above tips you’ll soon be the best small talker in town. Just be yourself, have fun with this, and demonstrate your confidence.

Work with a Leading Chicago Staffing Firm

Learn about the Davis Staffing difference by contacting our great team of recruiters. When you are ready to take the next step in your career, partner with a top staffing agency in Chicago and call Davis!

Is It Acceptable to Text Job Candidates?

March 25th, 2016

chicago-temp-agenciesThe job market is increasingly filled by younger candidates, those accustomed to using mobile devices practically 24 hours/day and seven days/week. Many younger job candidates are either currently employed full-time, or they are in-between jobs looking for that next great opportunity. But the truth is, they are busy and on-the-go most of the day.

If you’ve ever been in a recruiter’s shoes and tried to reach one of these candidates and received zero response, you are not alone. It seems that candidates cannot be bothered to call or e-mail anyone back, or they find it difficult to sneak away from their jobs to respond. But texting, that’s very easy to get a response and also recieves high reading rates.

Maybe this is the answer for recruiters?

But is it ever acceptable for recruiters to contact candidates via text message? Is it considered professional? According to a recent survey, the answer is “Yes.” Software Advice reported that “43 percent of job seekers younger than 45 years old considered recruiters who use text messaging as professional.” Additionally, now more than 60 percent of the recruiters polled in this survey were already using text messaging to get in contact with candidates or to send job leads to them directly.

So, that answers that question. But, what are some best practices for sending text messages to candidates?

1. Keep text messages brief and with a call to action.

Get to the point in your text messages and ask the candidate to respond if they are still interested or seeking work. Then if they answer with a yes, send them the job info and a link to learn more. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and headaches.

2. Send job leads as they come in via text message.

If you are trying to connect with a candidate and failing, try sending a message that invites them to apply online for a few great new jobs that have recently arrived. Follow up with candidates who actually apply using a text thank you message to make it more personal.

3. Don’t over-rely on text messaging for communications.

Take the time to use a variety of communications with candidates, and use the right type for the right task. For example, emails are best for arranging interviews because you can share files more securely. Directions and confirmations for interviews can be sent via text messaging.

Text messaging works as an option to reach job candidates, especially younger job candidates, because of the high open rates with this technology. You don’t want to spam their inbox because that will just have a negative effect and turn the candidates off to your company. Check with each candidate and see if they want to receive text messages. If they do, it won’t hurt to use that advantage to land more quality candidates.

Whatever challenges you face, Davis Staffing has the experience and flexibility to help you overcome them. Contact our Certified Staffing Professionals today, and we will help meet your company’s employment needs as a top staffing agency in Chicago.

What You Can Do after a Bad Interview

March 18th, 2016

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After weeks of waiting for a job interview at a dream company, the big day has finally arrived. But, as if you have a curse put on you, everything goes terribly wrong. You wake up with a huge pimple on your forehead, your power suit has a stain on it that went unnoticed until the morning, you cannot find a copy of your resume, and you have to take public transportation because your car won’t start. You arrive late, embarrassed and not exactly ready to put your best foot forward, let alone answer any interview questions.

What should you do if everything has gone wrong and you’ve left the building after a bad interview? Don’t worry – there are ways to redeem yourself and maybe even get a second chance to make a better impression.

First, go home and relax and calm down.

The last thing you want to do is contact the recruiter and start sobbing on the phone. Get yourself home, changed into something comfortable, get a hot cup of tea, and collect yourself. Then jot down what you would like to say to the recruiter, so you can get your thoughts organized.

Within 24 hours, call and speak to the recruiter.

Once you have a chance to process what you want to say, take the time to give the recruiter or hiring manager a phone call. Do not send an email. You want to speak directly to the person you went to meet with. Explain what happened and that you experienced an unexpected bad day. Ask the hiring manager if they would be willing to give you a second interview, and you promise it will be much better.

If you are granted another interview, make it count.

Hiring managers are human beings, and they understand that things happen. In fact, the decision to call and request another interview was enough to convince them. But, you have your work cut out for you. Bring your “A” game, and be able to show examples of previous achievements in your career. Show out your best side in the interview and thank the hiring manager profusely for giving you another chance for a brighter interview.

Always have good manners and show appreciation.

This is going to take more than just a handwritten thank-you card, although it’s a start. Take the time to send a grateful email, followed by a small gesture of appreciation such as a card with a gift card for a local coffee shop or restaurant in it. Or have a small plant delivered to the recruiter from a florist.

Remember, bad and good days happen for a reason and if you get a second chance you may still be in the running for the job.

At Davis Staffing, we’ll listen to your needs, evaluate your skills and interests, then match you with the perfect temporary, temp-to-hire or direct hire opportunity. Contact our great team of recruiters today to work with a top staffing agency in Chicago!

Why You Shouldn’t Quit Your Job Before You Have a New Job

February 19th, 2016

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In the quest for a better job, very often people are tempted to quit their current job before they have a new one. The thought process is that they will have more time to search for a job and go to interviews. However, not having a job can actually hamper your ability to get one. Learn why you should hang on to the job you have currently while you seek alternative career options.

1. Recruiters often view unemployed people as less worthy

For some reason, maybe it’s because of a lack of productivity, but hiring managers and recruiters tend to devalue candidates who are currently unemployed. In fact, some won’t even consider a candidate who isn’t currently employed. It’s not fair, but if you are an adult who should be working, the recruiter will see this as a red flag if you have quit a job before you have a new one.

2. It can hurt your potential references (burns bridges)

When you quit a job without having a new one lined up, even if you give two-week notice, this decision can damage your references. The people you worked for, your former supervisor, and others may look negatively at you and therefore won’t have anything positive to say. They may even ignore requests for information.

3. You have to answer “Why did you quit your job?” from here on out

As if interviews weren’t awkward enough, but when you quit your job before having something else waiting, you will be questioned about this repeatedly. Do you really want to be put in the hot seat about this decision? While some job situations can be really toxic, leaving an organization can call into question your commitment.

4. Job offers can and do fall through, so you lose income

Uh oh, you thought you had the job in the bag and then the recruiter called to inform you that the company has decided not to hire you. Or that the job offer has been cancelled due to company budget cuts, and they won’t be hiring for at least six months. These things can and do happen. Don’t be stuck with no job offer, leading to no income.

An alternative to quitting your job is to register with a temporary staffing agency and take on temp assignments until the right job comes along. You’ll leave the job you hate and you can be earning money and learning new skills in the meantime.

Partner with a great temporary staffing agency in Chicago in Davis Staffing. We have a great team of recruiters who are ready to help you take the next step in your career and get you excited about your career path.

Are You Aware of the Message Your Body Language Sends in a Job Interview?

January 22nd, 2016

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Unless we have a mirror in front of us, it’s impossible to see ourselves in a job interview. Thus, we don’t know how we are behaving or what kind of body language we have. Some people are conscious enough and can completely control their body language. This is a natural trait, but not a universal one. For you to land the job you want or to be liked by the interviewer, you must be aware of the various signals that your body language would be sending out.  You must know the differences between positive and negative body language so you can use the former to increase your chances of getting the job.

Let’s talk about some negative body languages that can cost you the interview and the job.

Make Consistent Eye Contact

If you don’t make eye contact, then the interviewer would immediately think that you are nervous or lacking confidence, you are insecure or you are outright lying. Dishonest people don’t make eye contact. Also, if you are indifferent towards the job, the interview or the interviewer, you would avoid eye contact. Establish eye contact and be natural.

Avoid Nervous Movements

Don’t bite your lip, don’t scratch your head and don’t flare your nostrils. Biting your lip is again a sign of nervousness or anxiety. While everyone knows that a jobseeker or interviewee will be nervous, biting lips or scratching your head can be the red flags. They show that a person is confused, bewildered, afraid and perhaps one doesn’t really have what it takes to attend the interview or get the job. Those who have the skills and the preparation would rarely be so nervous. They would be confident that they can get the job done and that would show in their body language.

Don’t Sit with Folded Arms

It makes you look disapproving and defensive. A signal of crossing your arms means you aren’t interested in what’s across from you and on the other side of the table. Don’t narrow your eyes. They make you angry or look offended. Don’t raise your eyebrows as that makes you look surprised, in disbelief or unprepared.

Maintain Good Body Posture

Slouching or consistently fidgeting while sitting will make you look bored or apprehensive, uncomfortable or restless. Tapping your feet will make you appear very nervous. Wringing hands will make you look scared.

Be Confident

Sit upright, be still, look the interviewer in the eyes and talk slowly but clearly to answer the questions. When you are explaining something, it is acceptable to move your hands but don’t make animated movements and certainly avoid exaggerated physical gestures. Be calm, patient and just sail through the process. You don’t need to be robotic or too rigid. Just being upright and upfront will be enough.

With more than 50 years of experience, Davis Staffing will listen to your needs, evaluate your skills and interests, then match you with the perfect temporary, temp-to-hire or direct hire opportunity. Contact a leading Chicago staffing agency today to get started on working with one of our great recruiters!

Effective Phone Interview Tips for Employers

December 31st, 2015

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The use of phone interviews to screen job candidates has become the norm for most hiring managers. With so many more people working remotely, companies find it too expensive to pay for travel for onsite interviews, and the increasing use of mobile apps and web-enabled communication systems – phone interviews make perfect sense. The only problem is that far many recruiters don’t know how to conduct effective phone interviews, instead rushing through them and not getting a good impression of the candidates. This is somewhat new territory for some, and it can be tempting to conduct them too quickly in order to maximize time.

Instead of defeating the purpose of the phone interview, here are some quick phone interview tips for getting it right.

1. Dedicate uninterrupted time for phone interviews

Never try to multi-task while conducting your phone interviews with candidates. Activities like checking email, filling office paperwork, answering incoming calls or eating at your desk are not only rude to the candidate, but they can distract and take away from your ability to actually listen to what the candidate is saying. Schedule a dedicated 30 minutes for each candidate and stop trying to do other stuff at the same time.

2. Give the candidate an agenda for the interview

It may sound odd, but in order to get the most from the interview, a little preparation goes a long way. Provide the candidate with a brief outline of what you will be covering in the interview, and state the purpose of the interview. For example, you could let the candidate know you will be going over the job description and requirements to see if they may be a good fit for the job. Provide a copy of the job description and requirements, along with call-in information, conveniently in an email sent before the interview.

3. Consider the candidate experience

The phone interview may be the first impression that the candidate has of your company, outside of the corporate career website. Be sure to make this time a pleasant one, by introducing yourself and the company first, then asking the candidate to share a little about themselves. Talk about the positives of the job, the work environment and the benefits.

Here’s another phone interview tip: Respect the candidate’s time and work around their schedule (as they may have to take time out from another job or family).

4. Ask probing interview questions, but not too many

The phone interview is an initial screening of each candidate, and the expectation here is to ask a few probing questions to identify if the candidate is someone who deserves a face-to-face interview. Limit the questions to those concerning the candidate’s career goals, what skills and experience they have, and their interest in the company.

5. Listen for verbal queues and rapport

The challenge of a phone interview is that you cannot see the candidate to measure facial expressions and other body language. But, a skilled interviewer can listen for verbal queues like sighs, pauses, groaning and other things that people use to express themselves. Listen to see if you can tell if the candidate is smiling, laughing or trying to build rapport with you.

6. Follow up with each candidate

Even if you choose not to go forward with a candidate, be courteous and send a follow up email or letter to the candidate within 48 hours. If the candidate is someone you want to pursue, act swiftly and get the candidate committed to a personal interview immediately. Be sure to follow up with every candidate and treat this as a priority.

Use the above tips for better phone interviews, and do your best to perfect your skills as a recruitment professional.

Davis Staffing can help provide the best job candidates for your openings and with whatever challenges your company is experiencing. Contact our team of recruiters to work with one of the top temp agencies in Chicago today!

Hit a Home Run in Your Next Phone Interview

December 18th, 2015

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When you are trying to secure a job, you will likely have to interview in a variety of different ways. This means that not all of your interviews will be face-to-face. You will most likely have to endure at least one phone interview, if not multiple phone interviews, before you obtain the job of your dreams. This means that you need to know the secrets to success with a phone interview. Find out how you can make the best impression on the managers that you are interviewing with over the phone.

It is important that you do well in the phone interview, so that you make it one step closer to obtaining the job. Here are some quick tips for hitting a home run with your next telephone interview.

Be Prepared

It is important that you approach a phone interview with the seriousness and preparation that you would any other type of in-person interview. This means that you need to really prepare for your phone interview. It’s a good idea to go over the job description and job duties before your interview. Jot down some questions to ask and some brief information about your past employment. This method will help to refresh your mind and will make sure that you are ready to answer any questions presented to you. It is essential that you are prepared for the expected questions, but also for the questions that might not seem so straightforward. You need to be able to answer effectively in order to “wow” the recruiter on the phone.

STAR

It is always a good idea to prepare a STAR document once you have secured a phone interview. This type of document allows you to show off your problem-solving skills during your phone interview by preparing Situations, Tasks, Actions and Results. It gives you access to a bit of a cheat sheet that you can consult when you are being asked a number of different questions over the phone. By preparing this type of document, you will be ready for just about any question or scenario that comes your way. This document is something that you need to prepare each time that you are getting ready for a phone interview with a different company. While you definitely think about using documents during a phone interview, make sure to take the same documents to an in-person interview. There’s no rule that says you can’t have some type of support during an in-person interview.

You need to make sure that you take your phone interview seriously and put the preparation in that it takes to make the best impression possible. Follow the above tips and you will do well!

For more than 50 years, Davis Staffing has been helping clerical, light industrial, technical and marketing professionals achieve their career objectives. Contact us today to work with one of the top staffing agencies in Chicago.

Grab the Recruiter’s Attention with These Job Seeker Tips

November 20th, 2015

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As a job seeker, you literally only have about 10 seconds to grab the attention of a recruiter. This is because for every job opening, there are thousands of applicants coming in to the company. Recruiters have limited time to review resumes and profiles of candidates. They have to focus on a few quick factors before they can even narrow down the list of candidates to call for an interview.

What can you do as a job seeker to grab the recruiter’s attention? Forget about all the tedious improvements to your resume. Here some better ideas to get the attention of the right recruiters and hopefully a job.

Use Strategic Keywords and Headers

Modern day recruiters use applicant tracking systems that automatically screen resumes based on keywords. Your resume should contain job specific keywords and your professional profiles should follow this too. Read through the job description to locate these powerful keywords. Be sure your profiles and social accounts are coordinated in this effort with strong keyword-driven headers.

Highlight Previous Companies

Even if you’re still developing your professional brand, it’s easy to stand out to recruiters by jumping on the brand of the established company that you work for. For example, if you have worked at a company like Google, Facebook or Macy’s, these are recognizable brands that will impress recruiters. Why is it important to take advantage of the brands of the companies you’ve worked for? If the recruiter wants to look good, they will leverage these brands when pitching you to their clients. Very often companies also want to go after their competitors’ former employees. Make sure you highlight the company that you work for in the past particularly those with well-recognized brands.

Just Be Honest

Recruiters are looking for people with outstanding personalities. This is particularly true with companies with unique corporate culture. With that said, you’ll want to be honest with recruiters and show your uniqueness to them. Share any special hobbies that you have, any skills that grab attention, anything fun that you’ve done, and of course your portfolio of published work if you have one. The goal is to get the recruiter to spend a little extra time perusing your resume and professional profile. If you stand out, you can expect that you will be called in for an interview or you may be referred to other companies for positions that suit your uniqueness.

At Davis Staffing, we’ll listen to your needs, evaluate your skills and interests, then match you with the perfect temporary, temp-to-hire or direct hire opportunity. Contact a top Chicago staffing agency today to get started!

Focus on Feedback and Expectations in a Candidate Market

October 30th, 2015

Focus on Feedback and Expectations in a Candidate Market
As a recruiter, it’s easy to get caught up with sourcing and processing candidates as quickly as possible, without giving much thought to their actual experience. But, in a candidate-driven job market, the way in which you treat candidates has much to do with how effectively you can place them into jobs. A poor experience will send a good candidate bolting to a competitor. This is why your focus should always be on creating reasonable expectations and gathering feedback from candidates as often as possible. Here are some ways to accomplish these goals.

Create an easy application process

The number one reason why good candidates avoid applying for a job is because of a lengthy or complicated application process. To improve the chances of getting great candidates to apply for work, make the application smooth and simple. You don’t need to know every piece of information, just the vital parts. Use social tools to allow people to apply using their LinkedIn profiles, for example.

Get on those follow-ups, fast!

Being responsive to candidates matters when it comes to high-level candidates. This is an expectation with most job seekers today. Millennials are eager to hear from hiring managers and they understand the technology of email autoresponders – they are looking for something more personal. Take the time to check the application updates daily and follow up with suitable candidates. The response doesn’t have to be in two minutes, but a timely response will meet their expectations.

Conduct phone screenings effectively

Taking the time to acknowledge applicants is a start, but the next step in honoring the candidate experience is to conduct live phone screenings. Call each applicant and invite them to schedule a brief introductory phone call to learn more about the company and see if there is a career opportunity they may be interested in. During phone screens, be personal and ask relevant questions while using the candidate’s name often. Invite candidates for an in-face interview once they pass the phone screen.

Ask for Feedback After all Interviews

Send out a brief survey to gather feedback from candidates on the quality of your interviewing and application process. There are free survey programs to accomplish these goals. Use this data as the basis for improving your application methods and interviewing process. Ask candidates to be specific about what they expect, what they liked, and what they didn’t like about learning more about career opportunities with your company.

Use a Staffing Agency to Get Feedback

Another way to streamline the application process and get good feedback on your hiring practices is to work with a staffing agency to handle these initial details. Let the staffing agency work with candidates, only sending those who meet your criteria. This sets up clearer expectations, and you can ask the staffing agents what you can do to improve the way candidates are handled on your end of the hiring process.

Davis Staffing strives to provide excellence in service with personalized attention and gainful employment opportunities to our employees. Contact our great team of recruiters today to work with the top staffing agency in Chicago.

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