How to Measure Productivity on a Remote Team

With social distancing and shelter-in-place orders, businesses have had to go remote in a hurry. People in roles that have never been remote before are now working from home, while managers are left trying to measure each team’s productivity. In these cases, team leads and managers need actionable tips to help their employees stay on task.

Set Clear Deliverables

It’s easy to judge performance remotely when you set clear deliverables and deadlines for your employees. Setting clear expectations enhances employees’ productivity and allows them to structure their day so they can best meet objectives. This also helps cut down on the inclination to constantly check on employees to ensure they’re working — a common tendency for first-time remote managers. If employees are getting their work done, they’re working. It’s that simple.

Measure Metrics that Matter

This will look different for every team. Take a look at what outcomes matter most for each individual and for your larger group’s success and measure those activities. Measure the items that will drive ROI or that tie back to each team member’s KPIs. This could be the number of qualified marketing leads brought in, the mean time to resolve IT tickets, or the accuracy and timeliness of producing financials or processing vendor invoices. 

Publicize Project Management

Accountability is a strong motivator. Use cloud-based project management software like Trello or Asana so team members can see what everyone is working on. Here you can assign tasks to people, monitor progress, and set deadlines. These platforms make it easier to see what each person is working on, allow for multiple-project collaboration, and allow for visibility into team members’ action items.

Ask Employees to Track Time

Some managers are managing remote teams for the first time. And while most fully remote companies advocate measuring outcomes not hours, it may be helpful to understand how your employees are spending their time. If that’s the case, ask workers to use time tracking software to keep tabs on their work hours and assignments.

Have Regular 1:1s

Connect with direct reports via video conference for cadenced 1:1s. Having consistent face time with your team is crucial for building the trust needed for successful remote work. It’s also your chance to connect with individuals and understand what’s working and where they need more support.

The adjustment to this new workplace reality is challenging, especially when you’re managing a team. Contact Nelson today to learn about how we can support your staffing needs so you have one less thing to worry about.

By Catherine Tansey

Balancing work responsibilities with the demands of a full time job is inherently challenging. But with COVID-19 forcing school and childcare facility closures, you may find yourself suddenly forced to keep the kids entertained while fulfilling the responsibilities of your (newly) remote job. Here are our tips for a successful WFH day when the kids are there too.

  • Wake up early

Work-life balance is vital to a healthy, productive life. But when you’re juggling kids at home with tight deadlines, conference calls, and project work, you need all the focused time you can get. It may seem like there is no empty time in the day, but if you can swing it, get up a bit earlier than usual to get in some focused work time before the morning madness kicks in.

  • Create a routine

Routines are good for everyone and especially helpful at a time when normal schedules are upended. Smooth the adjustment to home-quarantine by creating a routine and sticking to it. For the most seamless day, decide the night before on the day’s activities, what the kids will eat for breakfast, and who’s in charge of snacks in between. Check out our sample routine below.

  • Make an agreement

If your kids are old enough, have them help create the routine and assign responsibilities. Then formalize the agreement by having your child sign on the dotted line. This action helps them buy into the plan and gives them a sense of accountability throughout the day. It also provides an opportunity to teach them about contracts and the importance of reading before signing – a great life skill!

  • Plan an educational activity for the morning

Schools may be closed but learning opportunities are everywhere. If your child’s school has assigned class work, the morning can be a good time for everyone to settle and focus on knocking off some items on the To Do list. Also consider tapping into a host of eLearning programs or activities to structure the kids’ morning so you have some time to concentrate on work. Sites like Scholastic Learn at Home offers “day-by-day projects to keep the kids learning, reading, and growing.”

Other educational resources include:

  • Khan Academy Kids: Free educational lessons for kids ages 2-7
  • Brain Pop: Available for free during school closures
  • Tynker: Helps kids ages 5 and older learn to code
  • Organize a physical activity for the afternoon

We need exercise more than ever to combat with the stress of being cooped up at home. Have the kids move their bodies to burn off extra energy and reduce stress and anxiety. Check out the kids version of the popular 7-Minute Workout for high-intensity exercise, or head over to the Cosmic Kids Yoga channel on YouTube for more mindful movement.

Other physical activity resources include:

  • Plan a virtual play date

Coordinate with other working parents for a virtual playdate. Take turns guiding an online learning activity or monitoring the kids while the other parent gets an hour or two of dedicated work time.

Sample Routine:
[Plan meals and activities the night before.]

    • Breakfast
    • A brain-intensive, learning activity for the kids
    • Morning snack, like fruit, nuts, or vegetables and hummus
    • Another learning-focused task, such as 20 minutes on the language learning app Duolingo
    • Lunch
    • Physical activity
    • Snack + rest time
    • Dinner

If COVID-19 has suddenly turned your college-aged kids into remote students with extra time on their hands, share with them this blog on How to Land Your First Job After College. If they are contemplating military service, inspire them with this article on Why Hiring a Veteran Makes Good Business Sense.

For more information on Nelson’s full range of employment services, contact us today.

As many of us are now working from home and taking more meetings with the help of our laptop’s video camera, it’s inevitable to make some mistakes. Some mistakes are easily forgiven and easily correctible. But those that sear a hugely embarrassing image into the brain of co-workers or clients are the ones you want to think about before you turn your video camera to ON.

Whether you’re taking a meeting with your own team, interviewing job candidates, or trying to land a job or a new client, knowing how to present your best self takes a bit of learning and set up. But it’s all doable and will make your life working remotely a better experience … for everyone concerned.

For example, this video went viral some time ago – and it doesn’t take much to see how a little lock on the door would have hugely helped this video session!

For more hugely helpful video conference tips, read this great how-to by Lee Woodruff, executive media trainer. And remember, look behind you before you look in the camera. Good luck!

If we can help you with your employment or staffing needs, contact Nelson. We’re to help.

By Catherine Tansey

COVID-19 is forcing the largest work from home (WFH) experiment in history. As teams everywhere go virtual, employees at all levels of the organization are looking to make the transition as seamless as possible.

No matter what your job title, working remotely for the first time is an adjustment that’s compounded if you’re suddenly WFH on a full-time basis. As the dust settles after the initial transition, remember that change is easier when you’re set up for success.

First-time remote workers and employers can improve their WFH outcomes by focusing on:

1. Communication

The subject of how and when you and your teammates communicate tops the list for remote work priorities. This means addressing everything from the communication tools you use and creating protocols for documenting conversations to establishing understanding among team members about what and how we say things.

Switching from in-person to online communication can lead us to miss the nonverbal cues of our usual interactions, and this can make teamwork challenging. Some best practices for remote work communication are to be generous in your interpretation of others and explicit yet professional with your own feelings, responses, and questions.

  • Email: Use email for long, explanatory messages so others can go back and re-read for clarification.
  • Intraoffice messengers: Lean into tools like Slack or G Chat for quick questions or to solve timely issues.
  • Videoconferences or calls: Rely on synchronous communication for decision making and brainstorming.

2. Expectations

Clear, documented expectations help make remote work more satisfying and productive. If you’re the boss, set clear expectations, and if you’re an employee, ask for clarity, on the following:

  • Working hours: Spell out expected working hours and when everyone needs to be online.
  • Dress code for video calls: Clarify appropriate dress for video conferences.
  • Success metrics: Define success for tasks and teams and share them will all members.
  • Central repository for sharing documents: Try to trim down the communication scatter that can quickly happen when using multiple online tools, such as Slack, Dropbox, and email. Create a central depository where you and your team stores all documents in one place.

3. Workspace

Set up a remote office at home for your best shot at success. Dedicated workspaces can be the difference between a focused, productive day and a disjointed work-from-home experience. You may not always be able to avoid interruptions if you have pets or children at home, but a dedicated workspace with a “do not disturb” sign can help mitigate them.

For at-home workspaces and remote offices, consider:

  • Ergonomics: Use a table or desk that allows your arms rest at 90 degrees. Choose a comfortable chair with good back support.
  • Background: Be mindful that your backdrop is professional and tidy if you’re taking video calls.
  • Noise: Play ambient music or turn on a white noise app to limit distractions around your dedicated workspace.

As you begin your WFH journey, you may feel disorganized without the familiarity of your office space. You might miss the casual office chatter that keeps you connected and in the know. You may find it’s hard to focus and feel productive. All of this is normal, and with time you’ll adjust to your new remote working reality.

At Nelson, we understand that change is challenging, especially in uncertain times. Just like you, our teams are now working remotely, and just like you, we’re learning along the way. As your employment partner, we remain dedicated to helping our clients and candidates orchestrate a fluid transition. Please contact us if we can assist with any of your employment needs.

By Catherine Tansey

In recognition of Valentine’s Day, let’s explore what motivates employees to love their jobs. Some people are engaged and love their work because they gain a sense of professional fulfillment or enjoy performing and succeeding at challenging work. Others simply feel energized by being in the workplace or embrace the camaraderie of a strong team.

One thing’s for sure: It pays to retain engaged employees who love their jobs.

A Gallup report shows that highly engaged teams are good for business. According to Gallup, engaged employees show reduced absenteeism, greater retention, and increased production. Additionally, when employees love their work, companies experience improved customer ratings, increased sales, and greater profitability. Now what’s not to love about that?

Help Your Team Find the Love

Because managers directly impact employee engagement, here are seven ideas for helping your team stay enthused about and enamored with their work:

  1. Be Flexible When It Comes to Work Schedules

According to a report by Totaljobs, a vast majority of employees want more flexible work hours. If an employee’s role doesn’t require stringent start and end times, consider allowing the individual to come and go as they please. Coming in later so you can see your kids off to school on the bus or leaving at lunchtime for a workout are small measures that go far in helping your team stay engaged and perform better.

  1. Rethink Your Dress Code

A toned-down dress code is the new norm in many organizations. If your company still mandates formalwear or business casual, it’s time to reconsider the policy. Millennials and Gen Z see stuffy suits and stringent dress codes as a sign the company is stuck in the past. Instead, outline what clothing is suitable for different work situations and encourage employees to come to work in comfortable, appropriate attire.

  1. Consider Remote Work or Foreign-Based Work Options

If the image of trendy Instagram digital nomads working from the beach is keeping you from allowing remote work, don’t let it. Working from an exotic location is not the norm for most remote employees, who usually work from co-working spaces, cafes, or their homes. Technology makes geographical location a nonissue for many occupations, and MetLife found in a survey that 54% employees would like the opportunity to work from abroad. So you might ask yourself: If employees don’t have to be in the office, why make them? A flexible policy is a sure way to help you attract and retain top talent.

  1. Get Serious About Professional Development

Create a culture of professional training and development at your company. This may mean sponsoring eLearning tuition reimbursement, offering technical skill development training, or having a mentor program. Support workers in learning new skills, taking on different roles, and show them they have a future with the company.

  1. Personalize Work-Life Balance

We often talk about work-life balance in the absolute, but a balanced lifestyle means different things to different people. To get a sense of what resonates with your team, provide a forum that allows employees to articulate what work-life balance means for them. Does “balance” equate to more flexible working hours or not taking work home on the weekend? Consider doing a productivity audit to find ways to get more done at the office or respecting a “no-email” after 7 p.m. rule. Follow through by meeting with direct reports to find the best ways to support their particular needs.

  1. Focus on Collaboration

Turns out most humans love to work with other humans. A culture of collaboration improves workplace transparency and helps employees feel connected to co-workers. Technology offers many options for boosting a collaborative environment and is especially useful in pulling together teams with remote employees. Additionally, you can foster collaboration by using personality assessment tools such as Myers-Briggs, which help employees understand personality dynamics within their teams.

  1. Hire the Right People

Seek out new hires who embody and will add to the existing culture you’ve worked so hard to create. You want diverse teams that support your organization’s mission, challenge stale ways of thinking, and make the work environment enjoyable for everyone.

Not sure where to start? Nelson can help facilitate your next great hire so you can help your employees love their jobs.

By Catherine Tansey

Looking for your next great hire? Consider making veterans a focus of your recruitment efforts. Military service members are highly trainable individuals who bring leadership skills, a strong work ethic, and a can-do attitude to the job. They’re accustomed to taking on new roles, have experience managing others, and use resources well. But because less than 10% of the American population has served in the military, many people are unfamiliar with the valuable skills and experience veterans have gained during their service.

Hire Veterans for Serious Skills and Experience

    • Leadership

Many servicewomen and men are young when they join the service; over one-half of all U.S. service members are younger than 25 when they enlist. Not long after joining, they are tasked with leading teams and managing others. They study tactical skills such as how to make decisions, plan, organize, and execute. They also acquire core leadership skills such as motivation and delegation. Moreover, in the military, service members can’t be fired, so leaders are managing people they didn’t hire and cannot let go. They understand a team is only as strong as its weakest member and know how to spur collaboration and inspire team members in the toughest of circumstances.

    • Work Ethic

The military builds a strong work ethic. Service members are accustomed to being part of a mission-driven team with a focused view of accomplishing their goal. Because most service members are young when they join, their time in service shapes their work ethic for life. During deployment, there are no sick days or days off, and service members work nights, weekends, and holidays, no exception. Alongside the “get it done” mentality, service members learn personal integrity and a sense of urgency.

    • Diversity

For the modern workplace, diversity is a proven tool for gaining a competitive edge in the marketplace: Harvard Business Review reports that diverse teams are smarter and perform better. But diversity is most often considered in terms of race, religion, gender, and ethnic background with little emphasis on veteran status. Diversity is bringing people together from different backgrounds and with varied experiences to help teams look at problems differently and reach solutions creatively. Military veterans have specific experiences civilians are not privy too and are required to cooperate as part of diverse teams from day one. As Marine Jon Davis writes, the military is a subculture unlike any other and one that focuses “entirely on mission achievement, cooperation, and personal development. The military systematically builds individuals who are designed to join highly diverse teams.”

    • Trainable

Vets are a highly trainable population. They’re accustomed to shifting roles and are confident taking on new responsibilities with little notice. Because the military demands agility and adaptability, military service members have an innate growth mindset that’s advantageous for any industry sector and company. Much of their learning takes place on the fly, so vets have experience adding new skills and coming up to speed quickly.

    • Tax Credits

In addition to gaining an employee with military discipline, leadership, and work ethic, hiring a veteran can save your organization serious money. In 2011 a number of previously separate tax credits were combined into the Returning Heroes and Wounded Warriors tax credits to address veterans’ high unemployment rates. These general business credits can save businesses up to $5,600 under the Returning Heroes credit and up to $9,600 under the Wounded Warriors credit.

Tips for Hiring Veterans

Translate job descriptions: The military uses a professional lexicon unlike that of civilian organizations. To better represent job opportunities to veterans, translate job responsibilities and duties into military job codes that map to the job requirements with O*NET’s Military-Civilian Crosswalk.

Improve your outreach: Send employees and hiring managers to job fairs to speak directly with veterans about their experience and post on veteran-specific job sites like GI Jobs and com.

Take advantage of tax credits: Businesses must apply for veteran-centric tax credits within 28 days of hiring a veteran. Incorporate veterans into your hiring strategy for access to a pool of highly skilled, highly qualified individuals who offer valuable experience and an excellent work ethic.

For other tips on recruitment and hiring, contact Nelson today.

by Catherine Tansey

Many students want to make extra money by securing seasonal employment during the holidays. But when academic finals are wrapping up, conducting a job hunt is about the last thing you want to do. If you’re a college student or teen looking for a seasonal job, we’ve got you covered.

How to Find Seasonal Employment

Start your search early. Many people think seasonal employment equates to December work, but employers often start hiring in October or November. During your search, regularly visit job sites aimed at flexible work and make a point of applying every week. Diversity is key to a successful job hunt, so reach out to your personal and professional networks as well. Tailor your cover letter and resume to seasonal work and make a positive first impression. If you showcase your strong work ethic as a reliable employee, you the open the option for an extended contract or more part-time work in the future.

Types of Jobs Hiring for the Holidays

Retail is not the only industry that needs extra help around the holidays. Restaurants get busy with holiday parties and shoppers and often need additional hosts, food runners, and servers. Courier and logistics companies need extra hands to handle the increase in holiday cards, online orders, and packages shipped during this period. In your own neighborhood, friends and families rely on babysitters to get their holiday shopping done sans kids.

The 5 Best Seasonal Jobs for College Students

  1. Holiday Driver

Many organizations need delivery drivers during the holiday season more than any other time of year. You might be able to find a driving job if you have a clean driving record and are willing to work early mornings, nights, and weekends. Some companies pay up to $18 per hour and not all require a commercial driver’s license.

  1. Retail Worker

For retailers, the months leading up to the holidays are the busiest time of year. Many companies scramble to prepare for the increased demands taking place on Black Friday and during the month of December. During this busy time, teens and college students can find work as cashiers, floor associates, stock room workers, and more.

  1. Restaurant Jobs

Restaurant jobs are the holy grail of work for many students. They offer flexible hours and decent pay, plus they’re fun. To land a restaurant job, bring a pen and a few copies of your resume and visit restaurants in person between 1-3 p.m. You’re likely to catch managers during this sweet spot after lunch but before dinner service has started yet. Restaurant experience is great to have on your resume and can help you get a part-time job when you’re back at school or in the summer months.

  1. Online Work

Another viable option is online freelance work in social media management or as a virtual assistant. Check out job boards or drop by local businesses to find out if they’re happy with their current social media management. The best part? This kind of work can be done from anywhere—even your dorm room or school library.

  1. Babysitter

Babysitting is a tried and true seasonal job option for teens and college students. Sign up for an account on Care.com or hit the streets of your neighborhood. If you have previous experience, collect referrals and share them with potential new clients.

See Beyond Seasonal Work

Part time seasonal work is great for students looking to make extra cash, but it doesn’t have to be a one-time thing. Keep the door open for more work over school breaks and the summer by making a positive impression on your employer. And remember, there’s no better time to start building your career than today. Seeking work or internships in your field of study during the holidays is a savvy way to work toward securing your first job after college.

For more tips on finding and securing employment, subscribe to Nelson’s newsletter today!

By Catherine Tansey

Thanksgiving is about gratitude. We express thanks for good health, favorable circumstances, and the relationships in our lives—including those of our co-workers and employees. Ensuring people feel valued and appreciated year-round is essential for successful employee engagement and retention, and Thanksgiving employee appreciation is a great time to let your company’s efforts shine. Like all authentic expressions of gratitude, Thanksgiving 2019 need not break the bank. Here are six Thanksgiving ideas for employees this year.

1. Plan a Potluck

Skip the catered lunch and invite employees to contribute to a globally themed potluck. Turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing rule the month of November, and it’s easy to tire of these heavy and traditional foods. Instead, celebrate your office’s diversity and employee culinary chops by requesting individuals just bring in a favorite dish—bonus points if it’s an international one. Bonding over food is powerful, and employees get a chance to break from work, interact with cross-functional team members, and talk about food—always a lively topic of conversation.

2. Facilitate a Group Volunteer Opportunity

Thank employees by organizing a volunteer outing for the office and treating everyone to a meal or cup of coffee after the event. Today’s employees are eager to be part of a team that’s community-oriented and focuses on giving back. While a day out of the office donating time and good spirit may not feel like a traditional way to say thanks, employees want proof of an organization’s social values, and this approach will surely make an impact.

3. Organize a Pie Swap

Eat dessert first! Arrange an office pie swap to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday and encourage everyone to participate. Include a sign-up sheet for individuals to jot down their name and the type of pie they’d like to bake. Then set aside time in the afternoon for pie, coffee, and social connection.

4. Host a Pumpkin Spice Contest

Since its debut in 2003, pumpkin spice latte has become firmly engrained in the North American cultural zeitgeist, but the ubiquitously fall flavor is delicious in far more than lattes. This Thanksgiving host a pumpkin spice contest and invite employees to get creative with their contributions. Award the winner a gift card, half-day off, or other gift that acknowledge their creative contribution. It’s a modern and seasonally appropriate way to take a break from work, share yummy treats, and host a little friendly competition.

5. Send Handwritten Thank You Notes

Digital communication rules our everyday lives. Be it text messages, email, or group messengers, we rely on keyboards and screens to get in touch and exchange information—oftentimes even our sincerest thanks. For this year’s Thanksgiving employee appreciation, consider putting pen to paper with handwritten thank-you notes. Studies show the act of writing and sending a handwritten note are positive and profound for both the sender and recipient. And remember, great thank you notes share common features: they’re heartfelt, specific, and personalized.

6. Give Everyone Friday Off

Want a Thanksgiving gesture that’s sure to make employees feel appreciated and valued? Give them a day off. Most companies include the Friday after Thanksgiving as a company holiday, but not all. If it’s feasible for your business, consider offering Friday as a paid or floater holiday. Show employees you value their time and hard work by giving them an extra day to spend with family and friends. It won’t go unnoticed.

Purchasing gifts or expensive catered lunches is a common way to express employee appreciation for Thanksgiving, but there are many ways to say Thank You. Be sincere in making employees feel valued and creative in your approach. Our list is a great place to start!

In today’s rapidly changing business environment, many companies strive to create a unified and “dynamic” workforce that acclimates to evolving conditions while continuously pushing the company forward.

In fact, the term “dynamic workforce” has become a buzzword within human resources and usually describes teams comprised of skilled, passionate, engaged, adaptable, and results-driven employees. As an example, a recent Deloitte survey shows that 71 percent of passionate employees reported their willingness to work extra hours during the week, even though they were not required to do so.

To develop a dynamic team, employers can provide employees with both the flexibility and tools to perform their jobs to the best of their abilities. The goal of this investment is to create an environment that supports high-performing, engaged employees while also improving production and efficiency rates.

Technology offers many tools to help increase your business efficiencies. Below are some specific ideas you can implement to build a more dynamic workforce.

Online Learning Platforms

One of the best ways to create dynamic teams is to empower employees with continuing education and training and offer them the tools and knowledge to grow in their positions. This type of support can be a stipend for higher education or delivery of individual learning modules that expand upon the employee’s current skill sets.

To simplify this process, many companies use an online learning platform to host employee training materials. These systems’ automated processes help to reduce costs and increase efficiencies. Additionally, they can assist you in testing and certifying employees to gauge their understanding of each course. Certifications have become a top indicator of a dynamic workforce as companies have begun integrating them into their training programs. These learning programs can also help to bridge the skill gap that exists between current employees of various positions.

Intelligent Scheduling Systems

It can be difficult to manage employees who have different work schedules. Using an intelligent system that populates all employees’ calendars into one visual system helps to make scheduling more efficient.

Additionally, these systems are built to engage the modern mobile workforce, which is estimated to reach 72.3% by 2020. Remote employees need dynamic tools that connect them to the home office and track project tasks or client appointments more efficiently. Intelligent scheduling tools use smart systems capable of assigning the proper person to each case based on scheduling needs, skill sets, and gaps in production.

Workforce Planning Tools

Effectively managing your team, no matter their locations or schedules, increases your dynamic capabilities. By instituting an integrated workforce planning tool system, your company can help reduce common workflow stresses that impact many employees each day.

These workforce planning systems can organize teams, skills, and controls into one single platform. After the platform collects data over time, human resources teams can use the information to better predict and plan for allocation needs, skill gaps, and company-wide reorganizations.

Mentor Programs

Although mentor programs are popular in the workplace, they can be difficult to manage. Existing technology can help mitigate the unnecessary stress your company faces with managing and facilitating mentor relationships.

Popular mentor software options use artificial intelligence to create better matches and outcomes. The software helps facilitate goal-setting practices and conversations that help employees get the most out of a mentor program

The benefits of mentor programs are endless, and with a technology solution employers can track participants’ progress and engagement to see how the program is going. Not only do these programs help employees get out and meet co-workers whom they may not normally work with, but they also provide the opportunity for a significant amount of knowledge transfer.

Putting It All Together

If you care about the success of your organization, make it common practice to care about your employees who drive the results of the business each day. Investing in their future can help you build a workforce that is passionate, driven, and excited to grow their careers with your company. By placing interest in your employees’ futures, your company could begin to see higher-satisfaction and engagement rates and reduced turnover.

By Rebecca Ferlotti

While growth in many industries has stalled at around 12% since 2000, the retail warehouse sector has expanded by 90% over the same time period. For warehouse employees, this expansion translates into advancement opportunities and the potential for improved job security.

A New Breed of Positions

In the past, warehouse positions focused primarily on manual labor. However, with new technology and advancements in distribution and logistics, warehouse roles have evolved to accommodate the expanding marketplace and require team members to have additional or new skills.

For example, warehouse employees now often operate machinery or tap into other skills they have developed over time. In fact, working in a modern warehouse environment has the potential to improve an individual’s soft skills, which ultimately can help them advance by improving their adaptability, time management, attention to detail, communication, and independence.

Management, senior level, and C-suite candidates can also find ample opportunity in this growing business sector.

Not Enough Candidates

Another plus is the simple fact that retail warehouses are searching for qualified and trainable candidates. In today’s tight labor market, employers in the warehouse and distribution/logistics fields find they have more available jobs than applicants. These employers are therefore creating innovative hiring campaigns to build their teams.

Generation Xers are more likely to seek out warehouse jobs than Millennials, and warehouse careers may be a viable option for Generation Y job seekers.

Benefits of the Boom

Warehouse wages are increasing. For example, Amazon raised its minimum wage to $15 per hour, which is higher than many other sectors’ minimum wage rates. Because there is no slowdown of consumers purchasing from both e-commerce and brick-and-mortar businesses that also have internet sales, online retailers need massive warehouses for stocking products and processing orders.

There is no shortage of jobs in the field, and employers often prefer to promote from within, just like other industries. Being given a chance to climb the ladder is non-negotiable for many people seeking warehouse roles, and employers understand they need to meet that demand by providing training and advancement opportunities. Because of the distribution center job surge, there has also been a positive change in the transportation and logistics field with over 23,000 new jobs created in 2018.

A majority (60%) of warehouse employees enjoy their jobs and say they find their work to be rewarding. This compares to just 24% who prefer to work in a retail storefront instead of a warehouse.

Four advantages to warehouse employment:

  1. Many warehouse positions offer full benefits packages.
  2. Being hired for a full-time warehouse position means having consistent work, which translates into having a consistent paycheck.
  3. By working in a warehouse environment, employees gain or can improve upon transferable skills.
  4. Warehouse employment is growing, offers advancement opportunities, and is a source of all levels of positions in both large and smaller organizations.

Four tips for warehouse employees:

  1. Make sure you have necessary certifications (such as a CNC operator certification).
  2. Wear comfortable shoes with a steel toe to protect your feet. Since you will be walking around the warehouse, consider getting shoe inserts to alleviate foot pain.
  3. Take quick stretch breaks every so often to decrease the risk of injury on the job. Remind yourself to drink water during those quick breaks.
  4. Check to make sure you have all your safety gear before entering the warehouse each day (ear plugs, goggles, gloves, etc).

Warehouse services are forecast to grow at a 6% compound annual growth rate through 2022. High demand for warehouse workers is prompting employers to rethink their practices and adapt to the changing job marketplace, which could mean higher wages and better working conditions. The industry shift could have a significant impact on the desirability of these positions for many years to come.

If you need help finding a warehouse position, Nelson recruiters will work with you to determine your career path.

By Catherine Tansey

Running an on-brand Instagram account isn’t only about attracting new clients or building rapport with users. Instagram is now integral to social media recruiting, which has become a major initiative of forward-facing HR departments. Today, some 70% of employers use social media as part of their recruiting strategies. Whether tapping into your LinkedIn network to fill a position or posting a call for applications on Twitter, using social media can be one the most effective ways to connect with the talent your organization wants to land.

What is social media recruiting?

In a nutshell, social media recruiting is the practice of using social media channels to promote open positions, connect with leads, bolster company brand, and get a pulse on talent trends. Smart social media recruiting goes beyond the traditional career-focused channels like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Indeed. A successful social strategy means taking a creative approach to recruiting on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

Why should you use social media recruiting?

The short answer is that social media should be part of your recruiting mix because it’s low cost, highly effective, and increasingly the place where top candidates look for jobs. Also, because social media tools blend users’ personal and professional lives, they help talent teams reach both active and passive job seekers, gain insight into crucial candidate intangibles like personality and values, and bolster company brand.

And it’s critical to remember that with millennials and Gen Zs quickly becoming majority demographics in the workforce, social media recruiting boosts your organization’s chances of attracting these digital natives.

Top ways to incorporate social media for recruiting

  • Omni-channel approach

We know, we know; your organization already has a Facebook account. Why do we need Instagram and Twitter? you ask. Well, because different social media channels are best for different audiences and specific types of engagement. For example, you can best build a following and showcase company culture on aesthetic-focused Instagram. Lean on LinkedIn to source candidates by using its sophisticated search capabilities and filters. Reach out on Twitter to fill freelance creative jobs for writers and graphic designers.

  • Get a sense of a candidate’s personality

An individual’s social media presence is a great way to learn more about who they are. Their profile and social presence allow you to understand their interests, values, hobbies, and, to some extent, their personality. Remember, discovering disparaging comments, bullying, or other bad online behavior should always be a red flag that prompts more investigation.

  • Encourage past and current employees to share

Utilize your employee network to build a bridge between your brand and candidates. For example, the average job seeker uses 7.6 job sites in their search, and hearing both the good (and bad) from current and past employees strongly influences where they apply.

Encourage current employees to post on social media and job sites by highlighting company benefits, sharing thought-provoking content, interacting with others in the industry, and improving recruiting and acquisition for the company. By leveraging your company’s desirable culture and engaged workforce you can build a strong employer reputation online.

  • Interact with users

To maximize the benefit of social media, it’s important to stay engaged with your social network and followers by sharing relevant content, responding to likes and comments, and reaching out to industry leaders. Using online platforms to share job openings, showcase company culture, and reach passive candidates are easier feats when you’re able to generate some buzz through conversation.

Whether you’re eager to fill open positions today or build your talent pipeline for tomorrow, social media recruiting is necessary in the digital age. Learn more about effective recruiting strategies by visiting Nelson’s events page for upcoming webinars and in-person events.

Rebecca Ferlotti

With October 3 being National Techies Day, you might wonder if a career in technology is right for you. A growing demand for technology professionals plus high starting salaries and low barriers to entry make this field a dream for people who love computers, advanced technologies, and cool, new gadgets.

The Booming Tech Job Market

According to tech industry group CompTIA, U.S. companies currently have some 700,000 unfilled jobs within information technology careers, a statistic that presents good odds for those who are entering the workforce, switching professions, or stepping up their career trajectories. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts tech jobs will be in high demand for a long time and will likely experience a 13% increase from 2016 to 2026

While there are plenty of tech careers available, cyber security professionals are in particularly high demand. A study by Modis uncovered that employers’ ideal candidates are “obsessed with security,” which means individuals traveling along the cyber security job track have many positions to pick from.

Tech Job Options

For example, information security analyst is a viable career path for people with technology security skills. This position pays just shy of $100,000 on average. Plus, the Modis study found employers have a hard time finding people with this specific interest, which gives job seekers an advantage at the negotiating table.

Technology jobs do not always require a bachelor’s degree, but having a four-year degree can open up a range of career opportunities, such as:

  • Software developer
  • Computer systems analyst
  • Database administrator
  • Computer network architect

All of these job titles pay over $80,000 median annual salary, with some coming in at over $100,000. As a general guideline, people who choose an IT career can expect to make anywhere from $55,000 to $175,000 annually.

A number of tech jobs don’t always require a four-year degree. For example, web developer roles usually pay a decent salary (around $70,000) and often only require an associate degree. Certain customer support roles often require two years of schooling vs. four. For people who do not want to commit to college, coding bootcamps or tech certification courses may offer a better path.

Other Considerations of Tech Jobs

In addition to some level of education, companies frequently seek out candidate attributes such as soft skills, digital leadership skills, and specialty experience. LinkedIn’s most recent study concluded that cloud computing, artificial intelligence, analytical reasoning, and mobile application development are among the top 25 required technical skills listed in tech career job posts.

As a candidate, remember that you need to interview potential employers in addition to them interviewing you. Because technology companies offer similar salaries, you have to narrow down your options based on additional criteria.

Some benefits to discuss:

  • Remote work and flex time
  • Mentorship programs
  • Continuing education
  • Paid time off
  • Health insurance
  • Bonus structure or stock options

Diversity is another point of contention for employees (and employers) in the tech space. When considering a company, you might want to find out if it has a diversity and inclusion policy. If not, take a good look at the culture to make sure the company is a good fit for you.

Choosing the Tech Career That’s Right for You

Tech career options are nearly limitless, which is why Nelson is here to help pare down your options. We customize our placement process by ensuring we understand your interests and experience before matching you with potential employers. We can’t wait to help you land your dream career in tech. Contact us today!