Career Concepts Staffing Services is Western Pennsylvania’s leading employment services company. They are a full service employment agency providing services since 1967 in the areas of: temporary staffing, temp-to-permanent hire placement, and direct hire recruiting. They provide services to both professional and industrial candidates, placing them in all major fields.
Communication is key in every aspect of business, but it is particularly crucial when it comes to customer service.
Improving communication with customers can not only boost your bottom line, it can also support employee morale and engagement. Below are four ways that you can communicate better with your customers.
When customers are talking or writing to you, they want to feel heard, so it’s important that you and your staff are actively listening to them. It also helps to make customers conscious of the fact that you’re actively listening. So, when you’re interacting face-to-face or over the phone, it is important to react to what is being said, such as with a nod, or an “Okay.”
Also, make certain you are recognizing what is being said by using affirmative words. Make your customers feel like you’re understanding them and ready to address their concerns.
2. Be Available on Multiple Channels
Modern consumers expect easy and direct communication through a number of channels. Your company should be effective at communicating with customers over emails, on the phone, through social media, or even an online chat program.
A phone call might be an old-fashioned form of communication at this point, but many people prefer it because it feel like they are being heard by a real person. Customers must be able to reach someone by phone during work hours. If you can’t answer the phone around the clock, put a system in place to call back customers as soon as possible.
Some consumers prefer to communicate via email because it allows them to lay out all of their thought and concerns. Your company should be prepared to respond to emails professionally and within one business day.
Many customers like to communicate over social media because they are already spending significant time on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Because communicating on social networks may not be private, the way you interact on social media can have immediate and massive impacts on your brand.
3. Embrace Positivity
Your customers want to know more about what you can do for them than what you can’t do. When you use a positive tone and positive language, you keep the focus on your abilities, as opposed to your limitations. For example, when a customer has an issue, customer service representatives ought to stay positive and give frequently updates on progress toward a solution.
4. A Little Patience Goes a Long Way
A customer is confused or has a problem with your product or service, they might not be in the best of moods. Often, a lot of patience is necessary just to get to the bottom of the situation, let alone develop a solution.
Being patient will allow you to pinpoint fine details and provide superior customer service.
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At Career Concepts, we provide the talent that our clients need to provide excellent good and services. Please contact us today to find out how we can help your company reach its goals.
Newer employees tend to have confidence issues, but a lack of confidence can hit anyone after a major job setback.
If you’ve been turned down for a raise, or gotten significant criticism when you thought you were doing a great job, it can seriously shake your confidence. One of the worst things you can do in this situation is to stew in that lack of confidence. The sooner you address your feelings, the sooner you can get your career back on track.
Below are a few simple tips on how you can boost your confidence in the workplace.
Recall How You Got There
The company hired you because it believed in you, and you need to believe in yourself.
You also applied to get the job because you knew you were capable of doing it and it was a job that you wanted to do. Maybe you wanted the job because the work itself seemed exciting. Or perhaps you wanted the job because it seemed like a good stepping stone to the job you really have your eye on. Remembering your confidence and drive to apply can make you feel like you truly do belong in the job.
Find a Buddy
The same strategy for keeping kids safe is also effective in the workplace. When you find a work buddy you can trust, you form a spoken or unspoken agreement to look out for each other. Then, when you’re not feeling confident, you can turn to your work buddy for help and advice.
When you’re not feeling confident, you may compare yourself to other people and think that they are better for some reason, like they know more or work harder.
That is irrational thinking. Everybody has their flaws, as well as their own strengths, history and points of view. Thinking that everyone is better than you just isn’t productive. It only feed into a cycle of negativity.
The next time you are feeling a bit insecure, just recall that we’re all human and we all make mistakes.
Release the Tension
Your physical and mental states are tightly linked. If you’re feeling tense and anxious because you’re not feeling confident, it’s a good idea to release that tension. A regular workout regimen, yoga or even pursuing physical hobbies like biking can help you feel more confident by simply helping you to release some mental and physical tension.
Let Career Concepts Connect You to Great Opportunities
Some people find themselves lacking confidence because they are not in the right job. At Career Concepts, we specialize in connecting candidates to best-fit job opportunities. Please contact us today to find a job in which you can feel confident.
Between the Great Recession, career changes and the occasional misstep, it’s easy for anyone to have a period where they go through a few jobs quickly.
Unfortunately, that situation can cause you to be seen as a “serial job hopper” – someone who doesn’t commit to an employer for very long. Even though they shouldn’t, some employers really try to avoid hiring serial job hoppers.
If you had a period where you went from employer to employer in quick succession, think about the following approach to ensure your resume looks strong and steers you away from that pesky job-hopper label.
Emphasize When Leaving a Job Wasn’t Voluntary or Your Fault
If you left one or more jobs due to layoffs, downsizing, restructuring, a company going out of business or a temporary job ending, make those instances very clear in your resume. Employers won’t hold them against you if they know the reason you left wasn’t your fault, and there’s no need to suffer consequences of these situations because you withheld information.
“Combine” Jobs Where Possible
If you worked for several different companies as a temporary or contract worker, you should list all of the companies you worked for under a single “Temporary Work” or “Contract Work” subsection. This way, you can should that you had a range of different employment experiences (a good thing) and going from company to company was simply due to the nature of the work.
Use a Functional Resume
The most widely used resume format is called chronological, but it’s not the only option out there. You can also use what is known as a functional resume, which focuses on abilities and achievements, as opposed to work history.
A combination, or hybrid, resume combines the functional and conventional formats: Employment history is listed chronologically, but achievements and skills are prominently listed.
Focus on Your Summary Statement
A summary statement can tell the story of your career the way you would like it to be told. Rather than letting your work history speak for itself, you can emphasize your overall length of time in the field and desire to find a position when you can thrive for a long time.
Spotlight Your Achievements
One of the big worries when it comes to job hoppers is that they will leave before making a major positive impact, meaning they will cost a company more than they will provide value. From screening resumes to conducting interviews to performing background checks, hiring a new employee isn’t cheap.
The way to somewhat contract this concern is to show that you can make a major positive impact in a short time span. One way to do this is to include an achievements section near the top of your resume.
You Don’t Have to Include Everything
Although you shouldn’t lie on your resume, you also don’t have to include every single job you ever held. For instance, if you worked at one company for 7 years, took another job for 3 months and then moved to another job for a few years, you don’t have to include that job in the middle.
Let Career Concepts Help You With Your Resume!
At Career Concepts, we often assist people with many kinds of career challenges. Please contact us today to find out how we can help your career or search for a new job on our job board.
Coming to the conclusion that you’re not a good fit at your current company can be a tough pill to swallow.
Once you admit there is a problem, the next step is to do something about it. Start by trying to get to the root cause of the issue. Then, talk to people in the company to get as much information as possible. And finally, decide if you’re going to stick it out … or move on.
Finding the Root Cause
The collective values, priorities and beliefs of a company make up its culture. To be fair, it’s pretty difficult to get a feeling of a company culture in the hiring process, and you shouldn’t blame yourself for not spotting a mismatch for starting your current job.
Now that you have identified a problem, your first move should be to step back and determine why you aren’t feeling so great about your employer. Try to see how the culture is different from the one you were anticipating. Taking this initial step will allow you to figure out why you’re feeling uneasy.
Talk to People
If you don’t think you’ve made an honest effort to connect to people at the company, you need to reach out and make social connections.
This effort will allow you to feel a bit more connected to others in your workplace. Also, developing these personal bonds will raise your comfort level, which helps when you feel the need to speak up about work-related issues.
If trying to get more socially comfortable at your workplace doesn’t help, or that ship has sailed, talk to your boss about your concerns. Begin the discussion by asking your supervisor for feedback on your recent performance. If your boss doesn’t pick up on your uncertainty, go ahead and bring up the issues you’re battling, talk about your frustrations, why you’re feeling the way you are and any suggestions on how things could get better.
Should I Stay or Should I Go?
After reaching out to co-workers and talking with your boss, take a couple weeks to consider what you have learned in those interaction and internalize any useful lessons. If things take a turn for the better, then keep going down that road. If things don’t improve or get worse – it might be time to start looking at new jobs.
A bad cultural fit is a bad situation. You can’t expect everyone else in the company to change for you and trying to tough it out can be hard on you mentally.
Fortunately, there are all kinds of company cultures out there and finding one that allows you to thrive isn’t very hard at all.
Culture Fit is Important to Career Concepts
At Career Concepts, we strive to connect job seekers to best-fit job opportunities and we often get people out of bad-fit situations. Please contact us today to find out how we can put you into a culture where you can thrive.
After spending the entire winter trudging back and forth to work, employees are prone to thinking about spending more time outside once the weather turns nice.
Company managers have the tough task of being understanding, while making sure that productivity doesn’t slip. If you’re in change of a team of employees, you need to let people shake off any cabin fever. The labor market is extremely tight right now and maintaining a supportive company culture is vital to having a strong employer brand.
With these issues in mind, consider the following tips on how to keep your staff focused on their assignments now that the weather is nice.
Support Employees Taking Time Off
Many companies have adopted the policy of giving employees unlimited vacation. This policy doesn’t result in everyone being gone all the time because (good) employees feel the need to show up and do good work.
Regardless of your company’s policy, you need to support the idea of your staff members taking their paid time off. If you’ve hired good people, you shouldn’t have to worry about them skipping out on their responsibilities.
Allow More Schedule Flexibility
If your company doesn’t allow significant schedule flexibility, springtime is a great time to try experimenting with it. Production schedules and customers can be demanding, but flexibility should be possible for most jobs. You simply need to figure out a way to work it in.
If your company already allows flexible schedules, encourage your employees to use their time to take advantage of the nice weather.
Have Fun With Objectives
Your employees want to loosen up after a long winter, and a good way to let them do that while maintaining productivity is to set fun goals. For instance, you could create a competition, or you could promise a fun party if you reach a team objective.
No one expects work to become all ‘fun and games’ once the weather turns nice but injecting a bit of fun lets your team know that you understand where their heads are at, and it’s the understanding that counts.
Hold A Social Event
Research shows employees who say they are happy are more productive. Therefore, investing in a social event to buck up sprits will produce tangible returns for your company.
Anything from a cook-out to volunteer work, to a happy hour can recharge employees and help them to reengage with their jobs.
Lead By Example
If you’re worried about your employees getting distracted by better weather, the worst thing you can do is to let the weather distract you. Employees naturally follow the lead of their boss. Therefore, you need to stay focused.
Build the Skills on Your Team with the Help of Career Concepts!
At Career Concepts, we help company leaders meeting their goals year-round by providing them with custom staffing solutions. If you’re in need of new talent, contact us today.
There comes a point in almost everyone’s career where they hit a brick wall. Maybe they’re frustrated by setbacks or they feel stagnant at their current job. When this happens, it’s common to reevaluate your career and figure out if there’s any point in continuing down this career track.
In this situation, a basic test is to determine if you’re “engaged” at your current job. If you’re not engaged, then you’re not at the right job, not with the right employer or both. Below are five ways to figure out if you’re in the right career.
1) Do you enjoy the work?
Lots of people are focused on chasing bigger and bigger paychecks. If job satisfaction is important to you, don’t be one of them. Instead, choose a career focus that leverages your interests and passions. We spend about one-third of our day at work, and decades of our lives in a career. Make sure you’re investing that time in subject matter that intrigues and excites you.
2) Do you feel confident?
When you’re feeling assured in your decision making and feel like you have the freedom to take sensible risks, you’re in a good place in your career. Employees tend to thrive when they’re asked to take chances, with the idea that risk taking will allow for personal professional growth or tangible business benefits.
3) Are you shaken by a bad day?
If you’re obsessed with what you’re doing, your career outlook won’t depend on a single bad day. While every job duty won’t be thrilling, mundane tasks are typically seen as a means to an end if you’re in it to win it. A long-term positive outlook makes it easier to absorb the occasional setback or disappointment.
4) Do you like the people around you?
Workplace survey regularly show that job satisfaction is tightly tied to the relationships we have with bosses and co-workers. If you genuinely like your boss and you co-workers but hate your job, you need to reassess your current career situation. On the other hand, if the people around you are making you miserable, a change of scenery might be the right move.
5) Are you looking to grow?
It’s only natural to advance and grow as a person, in both your personal and professional lives. If you’re not excited about the possibility of getting ahead in your career, not just getting a promotion and making more money, you need to reassess your current career track.
Find a New Career With Help From the Recruiters at Career Concepts
At Career Concepts, we regularly help people overcome career struggles, often by connecting them to exciting job opportunities. Please contact us today to find out how we can help you and your career.
Regardless of whether a first offer for a job is generous or downright insulting, the last thing you want to do is accept it without thinking about it. Consider every offer from all angles: If it falls short of what you wanted, you might want to consider a counter offer, or you may determine that this job isn’t the right opportunity.
Assessing the Offer
Consider the overall compensation package, not only the salary and benefits. Think about the commute, the hours you’d be working, any risks associated with taking the job and the business culture. If the position offer is contingent on screenings or background checks, make sure you know what must happen for the offer to be permanent.
Accepting the Offer
If you are satisfied with the offer, go on and accept it. Even though you might accept the offer over the phone or in-person, you still ought to formally agree to it with an acceptance letter. An acceptance letter gives you an opportunity to confirm the specifics of the offer and show your professionalism.
Declining the Offer
If you have determined that the job is not going to work, you must turn it down. A professional email turning down the offer will allow you to keep a positive relationship with the company, which can be beneficial down the road. In the letter, convey your appreciation and clearly say why you cannot accept it. Avoid going into detail about why you are not accepting, particularly if it is for reasons that may offend the company.
Starting a Negotiation
If you have considered the offer and feel it could be a bit better, you may want to negotiate. Research the standard compensation for the position and compare your qualifications to those listed in the job posting. Then, consider a reasonable combination of salary, benefits and working arrangements that would make you accept the offer. Be sure to consider things like schedule flexibility and work-from-home arrangements into your counteroffer if that’s what you want.
When looking to open a negotiation, don’t just say what you are hoping to get; explain why. Offer reasons why you can’t take the offer in its current form, such as a need for more flexibility related to childcare or a pay rate that is a sizeable improvement on your current compensation. If you offer reasonable justifications, it makes your counteroffer more compelling.
When negotiating, it’s important to know when to either accept what seems like the best offer you can get, or walk away. Too much back-and-forth increases the risk of having the employer rescind the offer.
Find Your Next Job with Career Concepts
At Career Concepts, we work hard to get best-fit career opportunities for job seekers. If you’re looking to take the next step on your career path, please contact us today.
One of the most difficult facets of a job interview is the unavoidable subject of previous jobs. From giving details about past salary to gossiping about former boss, there are so many pitfalls when it comes to talking about past jobs; it can be challenging to know what’s the best thing to say.
When interviewers inquire about your previous jobs, they’re trying to find two crucial pieces of information: The abilities you sharpened in your earlier jobs, and just how much you’re prepared to disclose about past employers. The ideal answer provides plenty about the former and little about the latter that isn’t public knowledge.
Obviously, it’s a solid idea to think of a handful of lines prior to the interview. Do this and you won’t be caught unaware on questions about previous positions.
Maintain a Facts-Only Policy
A typical question that pops up in job interviews is: “Can you tell me about a typical day at this past job?”
In asking this question, interviewers simply want to find out about your duties and obligations at former jobs. They are also hoping to find out about your current opinion of a past job and the way you approach sensitive topics.
Get ready for this question by writing down a set of the duties associated with past jobs, standard situations you faced, and the ways that you addressed the more stressful aspects of these jobs.
Avoid Getting into the Gutter
Responding to questions regarding your past positions gets a bit more challenging when interviewers ask directly about management at a past job. The first rule is to never trash former bosses or employers. Also, don’t discuss sensitive information. You never know the connections your interviewer has and divulging the wrong information to a well-connected interviewer can come back to bite you.
Respond to this question by steering the discussion back to your achievements and job duties. Never tell an interviewer anything he or she can’t find out by doing an internet search.
Be Able to Explain Why You Left Each Job
If you are not employed, you probably don’t have the luxury of giving a response that is completely positive. There was obviously a problem of some kind if you left without having a new job in place.
If you were let go for reasons not connected to performance, you need to make that clear and mention any extenuating circumstances. If you were fired for poor performance, you should avoid placing blame and instead talk about a change in circumstances or expectations that happened after you were hired. Often, a job situation will change due to new management, cutback or even a change in approach.
Be sure to emphasize one or two lessons you learned from the experience and try to reassure the interviewer that you are not a high-risk candidate.
Find a Better Job with Career Concepts!
At Career Concepts, we regularly help job seekers find the perfect job for their skill sets. If you’re currently looking for job search assistance, please contact us today!
After you accept a job offer, you’re probably filled with a sense of relief, and while there’s nothing wrong with basking in your achievement, you also need to start thinking about how to succeed in your new job.
The first days and weeks of any new job are crucial. You need to make a good impression by presenting yourself in a professional manner and hit the ground running. Consider the following five tips on how to prepare for your next first day on the job.
1) Dress appropriately
Dressing properly on the first day shows you are serious about succeeding as a new employee.
Hopefully, you paid attention in the interview stage of what individuals in similar jobs were wearing on the job. If you didn’t catch this detail, it can’t hurt to ask your new manager what attire is appropriate. If you have any doubts, it is always better to try to overdress a bit and adjust moving forward.
2) Get there early (and leave late)
Showing up a bit sooner than your official start time is definitely a good idea if you’re looking to make a good first impression.
To do this, start by determining the route you are going to take and how long it will take to get there. If you arrive a lot sooner than expected, kill some time in a location away from the company. Also, try to be one of the last to leave on your first day. This can allow you to get a sense of end-of-day routines.
3) Be upbeat and confident
Hopefully, you’re feeling a sense of pride after getting the new job, and you should embrace this feeling on your first day, so you can project positivity and confidence.
Shake as many hands as you can. Offer a real smile, and initiate dialogue with your new co-workers. Tell others you are hoping to pitch in as soon as possible and look forward to working with them.
Having a friendly disposition and greeting new co-workers with a smile will help you get noticed. Trying to become ingrained in the culture from the get-go will show you want to be a team player.
4) Be ready to talk shop
You may have done your research and thoroughly impressed your interviewers with your knowledge, but unless your new colleagues sat in on the interview(s), they won’t know your level of working knowledge. While you won’t be expected to know the company shorthand just yet, you should know the essentials of the job, the company and the industry.
5) Be curious
It’s natural to feel intimidated on the first day of a new job, but you shouldn’t let feelings of intimidation keep you from asking questions and paying attention to everything you see and hear. Even if a new colleague is talking about a procedure you’ve done countless times before, it doesn’t hurt to pay attention to what is being said.
Career Concepts is Your Career Partner!
At Career Concepts, we continue to work with people after they’ve started a new job to make their transition as seamless as possible. If you’re currently looking for job search assistance, please contact us today.
The old saying goes, “It’s called work for a reason,” but coming into work every day shouldn’t have to feel like soul-deadening drudgery. Many companies are finding ways to emotionally connect their staff members to their jobs so they enjoy coming into work.
Read more below on how to make sure your employees look forward to coming into work.
Improve Your Company’s Culture
Building a good culture starts with hiring the right people. You need to hire team players who generally have a positive disposition, as well as the ability to do their jobs.
It’s also important to establish and communicate clear team objectives. Progress toward these objectives should be shared with full transparency to ensure everyone feel like they are in the loop. Individual staff members should also know how their role contributes to meeting these objectives.
Finally, it’s important to loosen things up occasionally with friendly competitions, meaningful team-building exercises, participation in community events and social events.
Get to Know Your People
While it’s important to connect with your employees on a group level, it’s even more important to connect with them on a personal level. Find about your staff members’ personal passions, significant events and challenges is a great way to understand their personal motivations and give them what they need to be engaged employees.
Recognize All Kinds of Contributions
In some businesses, there are star performers who always seem to be getting recognition from management. There’s nothing wrong with celebrating star players, but it’s also essential to recognize the people who reliably put in week after week of decent work. These workhorses are just are important as your show ponies and deserve proper recognition.
Trust Your People
Whatever the motivation, micromanaging comes down to a lack of trust – not trusting that an employee or team of employees can do quality work. Micromanaging might lead to good work in the short term, but the approach will likely be resented by employees, who may become disengaged and quit.
If you trust your staff to do good work, employees will take more pride in their work because they feel like they have more ownership over it.
Looking to Add Top Talent to Your Team? Contact the Recruiters at Career Concepts!
At Career Concepts, we help company leaders reach their goals by providing them with top talent for their teams. If you’re currently looking for top talent, please contact us today.