Virtual Job Fairs – Part I: The Advantages of a Virtual Job Fair

B Loehr - virtual job fairIt’s no wonder virtual career fairs have gained popularity in recent years. There’s no need to rent a facility or equipment. No hiring or paying additional staff to load, unload, and set-up furnishings, brochures and applications or man the traditional job fair booth. Not to mention saying goodbye to parking hassles – for both the job seekers and the hiring company.

Both similar to and quite different from traditional career fairs, a virtual job fair offers a plethora of advantages to job seekers, recruiters, and hiring managers alike. A virtual fair may be hosted by one business, featuring the open positions throughout the company, or a group of companies who participate in a single, online event. Job hunters gain finger-tip access to employment opportunities. Recruiters and hiring managers are afforded easy access to a larger pool of candidates.

Here are but a few of the advantages.

The “Pros” for Job Seekers

  1. Convenience

What could be more convenient that perusing job listings from the comfort of your home? Prop up your feet and let your fingers do the walking as you get a feel for the available opportunities.

  1. A flexible timeline

Rather than being limited to a strict three to four hour time slot on a particular day, an online fair may last a week or more, with 24/7 availability. This open access format allows for easier job seeker participation, regardless of each one’s present work schedule.

  1. Ideal for relocation scenarios

If relocation is in your future, a virtual job fair is the perfect set-up. A candidate-seeking event hosted by multiple companies can provide a variety of job opportunities in a one-stop environment. It’s a much better alternative to making several time consuming, costly job-search trips to the new location

The “Pros” for the Hiring Company

  1. Less hassle, less paperwork

The format of a virtual job fair creates reports that list who applied for each position, who from the company interacted via chat or email with each candidate, and even who exchanged virtual business cards. Hiring personnel have real-time access to recruiting information – without stacks of applications, resumes, and other documentation cluttering their desk. Real-time access allows for candidate screening and the arranging of interviews without being buried by a mountain of paperwork.

  1. Less effort = more applicants

Because virtual fairs make the application process easier and more accessible, it often yields a larger, broader pool of candidates, including potential candidates from diverse backgrounds with a variety of work experiences.

  1. The “comfortable” interview

An interview held across a virtual channel scores points for both comfort and security. Another positive factor is the ease with which multiple persons from the company, at the same time or in succession, can participate in the interview process without scheduling constraints. This access to a greater amount of feedback, gained over a shorter time period, benefits the hiring process.

In Virtual Job Fairs Part 2, we’ll explore the “how-to” of hosting a virtual job fair.

In fact, virtual job fairs can be a win-win for both candidates and the hiring company. Of course, contacting B. Loehr Staffing is always a winning proposition too. We specialize in providing our clients with top personnel and skilled Field Associates for all their hiring needs, while they concentrate or other pertinent areas of business. We’ve been doing this for over 100 years, but we aren’t the best because we’re the oldest – we’re the oldest because we are the best.

The Best Employee Store

b loehr - jobs

The Best Employee Store

Where to look for the best employees

Skilled, eager to learn, a real go-getter whose personality and approach to work fit well within your company culture. Now… that’s not too much to ask, is it?

Since no one can afford to spend precious dollars and waste chunks of time on a bad hire, every hiring manager who’s worth a lick is beating the bushes for the best candidates to fill every opening at the company. They work hard at hiring not only because every position from the custodial staff to the general manager is important, but also because excellence in hiring translates to a successful bottom line.

So, where do you look for those applicants who will help your company excel?

Mass job postings that catch everyone looking for any job, anywhere, doing anything generally net less qualified applicants than these more targeted approaches.

  1. Virtual career fairs

Exchange the travel and set-up, the hassles and expense common to physical job fairs for the ease of a virtual job fair. Showcase all your company has to offer without toting a heavy box or spending hours smiling behind a brochure-laden table. It’s an ideal way to reach out-of-the-area candidates who plan to relocate or would be willing to move for the right job.

By hosting a scheduled chat room, recruiters can share information about company life, job openings, the hiring process and more. Questions and responses are available for all participants to see. One-on-one side conversations can allow for a more personal approach and some fairs offer the option of video interviews.

  1. Informal, in-house events

Maybe it’s an open house following an expansion or renovation. Could be an annual holiday event hosted for the community. What about that reception welcoming the new company president? All  these events and a host of others present the perfect opportunity to showcase who you are as a company while targeting job applicants who already have an interest in your business.

Station friendly, out-going personnel in a prominent area near a display focused on current job openings. Prepare these ambassadors for the reality of conversing with mostly already-employed people who, at this point in their career, may be contemplating a job change.

FYI: many of the top-notch employees currently work for someone else. That doesn’t mean these quality workers wouldn’t be interested in what you can offer them.

  1. Social media

Target the individuals who follow you on social media—Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. By posting well-written job descriptions that detail job openings, you’ll be reaching an audience who, are both familiar with your products or services, and have at least a cursory interest in the business.

Create a “Why should you work for us?” campaign that highlights the features of your employment package and “pin” it to the top of your Facebook page. Share as much or as little about specific job openings as you’re comfortable with sharing. If you prefer to limit the details, direct more serious seekers to your website with a simple “check our website for employment opportunities” message.

  1. A staffing firm

A reputable staffing firm can deliver skilled, quality workers to your doorstep, saving you both time and money. When the time-consuming recruiting and hiring process is efficiently handled for you, then your efforts can be focused on the many other tasks vying for attention. Let the trained personnel at the staffing firm see to the “homework” and “legwork” necessary to screen applicants. Trust their experience in the recruiting and hiring field to yield great hires for your company.

B. Loehr Staffing  takes pride in hiring the best Field Associates in the office/administration, accounting, medical office, call center and light industrial fields.  Contact us today to find out how we can supply quality workers to meet your company’s needs.

 

Can Certification Help You Get a Better Job? Or Any Job?

b loehr - certificationYes. No. Maybe.

Unfortunately, there’s not a definitive, cut-and-dried answer to that question. It’s complicated and can be tricky to navigate the whole “should I?” or “shouldn’t I?” issue when it comes to seeking professional certification.

You might be considering an update or upgrade in your current skills as a means to advance in your field. In some cases, a professional certification makes all the difference. In other situations, a certificate is of little value because hiring managers are looking for experience or a specific skill set rather than credentials.

In fields such as medicine and teaching, certifications and accreditations are seen as the “entrance ticket” to the profession. In others areas, certifications, while not mandatory, can significantly improve your chances of either landing a job, receiving a promotion, getting a raise or being assigned additional responsibilities.

It’s important to note that the majority of professional certificate programs are designed for people already working in a particular field. These programs are not as suited for people with limited work experience or recent high school graduates.

On the other  hand, while lower level certificates often don’t cause a significant career impact, these basic certificates shouldn’t be dismissed as they can be considered stepping stones. It makes sense that the value of certifications increases with the difficulty and experience required to get them. That translates into the greatest career impact being realized from the more advanced, industry and position-specific certifications.

These credentials are a few of the growing number of certifications being sought-after by employers:

This certification, the most globally-recognized credential in the field of project management, tests candidates in the areas of initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and closing. The popular certificate provides the project management skills necessary in a wide variety of industries. 

  • Security

Recent privacy and security breaches at major retailers and within the healthcare industry have made security a hot topic. Many companies, whether retail or offering professional services, are pouring money into their privacy programs, with plans to increase staffing in the related departments. Many government jobs also require security training. A variety of programs provide certification in several different aspects of dealing with privacy and security issues. 

With the boom in recent years in the fitness industry, this career field has experienced faster-than-average growth. While anyone with an understanding of fitness could aspire to be a fitness trainer, having a certificate—or multiple certs—will prove your level of training to prospective employers.

As the business world becomes ever more global, knowing more than one language can provide a significant career boost. The field of customer service immediately comes to mind when considering where multi-lingual skills would be useful. In reality, many industries can benefit from employees proficient in additional languages. Certification assures an employee completed a specific amount of study and training.

When you invest the time and resources to gain a professional certification, employers and peers are encouraged to take you seriously as a professional. At B. Loehr Staffing, we appreciate the additional levels of training in which our candidates invest. Contact us today about opportunities in the fields of Office/Administrative, Accounting, Medical/Clerical, and Light Industrial.

 

 

 

Is your Website Performance up to Par?

???????????????????????????????We live in an omni-channel, always connected world where a consistent website performance is not only expected by consumers, it’s crucial to the very existence of any business with a digital focus. Both profits and reputation take a hit when a site experiences downtime—the nemesis of every company invested in online marketing. A service that monitors for downtime will minimize the dollars lost to this it-happens-to-everyone-at-some-point annoyance. Common sense says do everything possible to reduce downtime.

But what about overall website performance?

Well, as long as it’s live… right?

While that’s a super easy trap to fall into, it’s also a dangerous pit that can rob your business of untold potential. Consumers are a demanding lot because they CAN be. With so many sites to choose from, in most cases, customers can afford to be picky which means website performance cannot be an afterthought.

It’s time to take a hard, honest look at the key components that factor into a website’s performance.

  • Load time

While the actual load-time for any website will depend on a variety of factors, the “faster the better” is the mantra web users live by. Try accessing your site from a computer you’ve not used to access it previously. Test each feature and note the time it takes for each application to load. Let your IT team or website provider know you’re interested in the timeliest experience possible for your customers.

If an APM strategy lacks strength, digital performance will suffer. Issues will crop up and threaten to leave customers glaring at a non-responsive page. Schedule a “load test” for every new application, allowing plenty of time to address any issues that might arise when the app faces high traffic or heavy use.

  • Simplicity vs. Complexity

Complicated over-the-top technology does not necessarily make a better website. In fact, extra bells and whistles not only complicate the consumers’ experience, they can rob resources from the applications crucial to complete the customer’s transaction. As more is expected from websites in the number of scripts needed and the push for real-time notifications, prioritize resources to give consumers the most satisfying experience.

Monitoring and Testing Options

In the pursuit of the optimum website experience, testing for speed and overall performance has to be a priority. Many free sites offer a variety of testing options.

Google’s PageSpeed Tools offers web developers the means for analyzing and optimizing loading speeds in addition too other resources such as browser extensions for staying up-to-date on the latest rules and functionality for continuous optimization. Because, in layman’s terms, everyone knows faster is better.

Pingdom Tools offers both free and several levels of fee-based services that go beyond monitoring for downtimes, to include an array of performance parameters to ensure optimum end-user experience. Contact via email, Twitter, of SMS will alert subscribers if issues are detected.

Brand equity and loyalty depend on digital performance. Customers know that high-performing apps and websites reflect the honesty and integrity of the host company. Reward their faith and loyalty with the best website performance and monitoring possible.

At B. Loehr Staffing, we take time to share valuable information with our clients and prioritize our website’s performance to better you better. Our number one priority, however, is filling our clients’ employment needs, matching them with the best field associates for every position. Contact us today. We are the best because we have been giving our best – since 1898.

3 Keys to Effective Decision Making for Leaders

b loehr - decisionsThis is a tale of two executives, Mr. D and Mr. G., and their different approaches to leadership and decision-making.

Mr. D arrived at XYZ Company eager to “get the lay of the land”, make connections with the department heads and staff, and get a feel for the people, the place, and the atmosphere. He observed and listened, and observed some more. He did not introduce new ventures and ideas right away but over time, shared his insights and philosophies. Mr. D led with a decisive, yet very approachable style. While he preferred to “bring people on board” rather than rule with an iron fist, when warranted, he could and would exercise his clout as CEO.

When approached by his secretary with relatively routine requests, he typically responded with “Give me a minute.” and then retreated to his office. An hour later, Mr. D would relay to the secretary his decisive, well thought out answer. His leadership team and staff both appreciated and had confidence in his “give me a minute” approach.

Mr. G succeeded Mr. D at Company XYZ. He arrived on the scene with a mile long list of ambitious plans and dreams. He jumped in with both feet, wasting no time in asserting himself as “head honcho.” He changed up everything, waving off suggestions and protests alike. His leadership style resembled that of an Army General who had little regard for the opinion of his troops, who were often caught in the crossfire following one of his rapid-fire, ill-suited decisions.

Once, when it was clear that he would have to significantly dial back his lofty plans, Mr. G remarked in a rare moment of clarity, “I often try to squeeze size 10 plans into size 5 shoes.” No truer statement had ever been uttered. Unfortunately, rather than allowing the experience to be a pivotal moment in his leadership journey, the moment passed with no changes to his think-on-your-feet approach. The next day found him shooting from the hip as always, with almost no regard for the fallout.

I bet you can easily guess whose years of leadership yielded the most growth at XYZ Company. The Company thrived under the confident leadership and thoughtful decision-making of Mr. D. The same could not be said of Mr. G’s often panic-mode-driven time at the helm.

Strong, effective leaders recognize the need for an iterative process when it comes to making decisions. The three key components of this repetitive strategy include:

  • Observation
  • Interpretation of the observed findings
  • Determination of appropriate interventions

Too often, either internal or external forces – sometimes both – push for an answer too quickly. As deadlines loom, patience grows thin and nerves become frayed. It’s times like these that prove the old adage, “haste makes waste” true. Hasty decisions waste time, money, and resources. They create weariness and stress that filter through the ranks.

The time it takes to back away and observe from a distance is worth the perspective it will yield. From a step away, the issues of concern are magnified, while elements operating smoothly also rise to the top. It’s like “getting on the balcony” to view what’s happening on the “dance floor” below – it allows a much clearer assessment. This “big picture” perspective can shed new and important light that will lead to a more effective decision.

At B. Loehr Staffing, we recognize how important decision making is – especially when it involves making the right hiring decisions for your company. Contact us today – we will match you with our best-fit Field Associates for all your staffing needs. After all, we aren’t the best because we’re the oldest – we’re the oldest because we are the best.