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Candidate’s Questions for Staffing Firms

Working with a recruiter is very much like friendship. Like a friendship, you want the relationship to be based on open and honest dialog. You wouldn’t want to feel neglected or misunderstood. Perhaps most importantly, you want the confidence your recruiter is interested in your success and will find you the accounting or finance job of your dreams.

It pains me greatly to say it, but not all recruiters approach the job in this way. Some just want to fill their database or force a candidate into a position that’s not a good fit. As a result, I have had many candidates, friends, and even family members ask me how to tell a good recruiter or staffing agency from one that’s not so good.

For me, there are several questions which can help you determine if a recruiter and staffing agency are highly efficient, responsible, and interested in you and your success:

Process Efficiency

  • Is their submission process for your resume easy to use?
  • Is information requested in a logical fashion, or is the form disorganized?
  • Do you receive notification that your information has been received/uploaded?

If the staffing agency does not have core processes perfected, chances are they don’t give their clients or candidates detailed attention they require.

Recruiter Focus

  • Does the firm have a process and did the recruiter explain it in detail?
  • Did the recruiter ask questions to get to know your career goals, or do they seem to be trying to fit your experience and skills into a predefined role?
  • Do you feel comfortable that the recruiter knows both your skills and the positions in which you would be interested and well-suited?
  • Would you feel comfortable contacting the recruiter with questions or concerns? Or, would you feel you were imposing?

This really is about a professional relationship. If you don’t have enough information to feel good about the process or feel you have easy access to a focused recruiter, you might not be with the right team.

Managing Expectations

  • Does the recruiter promise to find you work in a specific amount of time, say three weeks?
  • Does the firm claim to have “dozens of jobs perfect for you?”
  • Are you offered any data or information that helps you to understand the market demand for your skills and related salary ranges?

As a recruiter, the only promise I can make is that I will work hard. There are no guarantees of a job.

A quality recruiter will share information with you on the kinds of jobs that are open, the types of candidates applying and how you compare. If your recruiter does not help you see how you fit in the marketplace and just makes empty promises, you should consider finding another one.

As a job candidate, you should feel positive that your recruiter or staffing agency understands you and is working to find you the right position. If not, don’t waste any more time, energy, or emotions. Make a change and find one that is right for you. Trust me, we are out there.

Candidate’s Questions for Staffing Firms

Gratitude in the Workplace

Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s that time of year when we all take a few extra moments to reflect on things for which we are most thankful; our health, family, friends, that great vacation, a kind neighbor, and the little things we often take for granted.

In this season of gratitude, it makes sense to think about thankfulness in the workplace too. That may seem like an odd concept, but showing and receiving thankfulness at work can make your attitude, the attitude of your co-workers, and the whole work environment a whole lot better.

Gratitude has the interesting power of changing the ‘atmosphere’ around us. When gratitude is regularly practiced in the workplace - relationships can be transformed, complaints are often minimized, and satisfaction levels of all parties rise. This effect is long lasting - essentially, gratitude rewires the brain to see and process the world differently. Renowned researcher Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., is the world's leading scientific expert on gratitude, and cites research showing that practicing gratitude on a daily basis reduces stress hormones by 23%.

How can we benefit from this in the workplace? Here are a few tips for ways to bring gratitude into your daily work- life.

  • Employees need to hear “thank you”. Everyone needs to hear authentic appreciation, and more often than just once-in-while for that huge weekend project, or year-end budget deadline.
  • The more you give, the more you get. People who feel appreciated want to be helpful. And, those in an environment of gratitude trust each other.
  • Saying thank you doesn’t cost a thing, but it sure raises the self worth of those receiving gratitude; while raising their confidence in those offering it.
  • Remember the “co-stars”. Every office has a team that commands the attention; salespeople, the V.P.’s, etc… Remember the support staff behind the system. Everyone plays a part in making our work-machine actually work!
  • Forced thanks are never well received. Be genuine and authentic. True appreciation over an insincere abundance.
  • Gratitude is not “thanking someone for doing their job” – you’re thanking your co-worker for all they bring to the table.

Start your workplace attitude of gratitude during this thanksgiving season, but keep it going all year long!

Gratitude in the Workplace

Work from Home: Tips for Finance Pros

Today’s workforce is increasingly mobile. Whether you call it working from home, telecommuting, or a flexible work arrangement, more than 3.2 million workers in American are doing it, according to the American Community Survey. The work-from-home trend is expected to only increase according to Global Workplace Analytics.

Until recently, working from home was an option given only to certain positions in companies - finance often excluded. However, improvements in internet security and demands for home/life balance have afforded more and more finance professionals the opportunity to work remotely.

If you find yourself with the option to work from home, it is important to realize it is quite different than just doing your job without commute. Here are five tips to make your work from home experience a success:

Get Ready Each Day While working from home means you do not have to commute; you should still take time to get ready each day. Getting dressed for work helps signal your brain that you are “no longer home” and ready to work. You don’t have to dress formally but research indicates your attitude and performance will be improved if you at least dress in business casual attire.

Create a Workspace Working at home does not entail sitting on the couch with your computer in your lap. To be productive, you need to create a professional workspace. This means a functional desk, with storage and easy access to the tools and equipment you will need. To help, make a list of the items you use daily in the office and equip your home office similarly.

Communicate Boundaries
As a finance professional, you deal with matters which are complex and confidential. It is of utmost importance to establish that your office area, files, and work computer are “off limits” to family and friends.

Follow Good Work Practices Just like you would not walk out of a client meeting or audit to empty the dishwasher; you need to do the same when working from home. You must act as though you are not at home. Do not schedule home repairs, play dates, or other distractions during your work day.

Keep in Touch When it comes to colleagues and managers, don’t let working at home make you out of sight and out of mind. It is important for you to make an effort to reach out to colleagues and get “face time.” Use tools like Skype and online meeting services to see and speak directly with colleagues. It is also a good idea to be in the office once a month, even if only for lunch, just to reinforce personal connections.

Working from home can be both challenging and rewarding. The key to success is capitalizing on the benefits of your new arrangement while staying focused on your performance.

Work from Home: Tips for Finance Pros