What Is Happening Out There

ARE YOU EAGER TO RETURN TO THE OFFICE, OR DO YOU WANT TO WORK FROM HOME FOREVER?

If you’ve grown comfortable working from home this past year, you are not alone. According to a survey conducted by Global Workplace Analytics, many employees feel the same way: 76% globally wish to continue working from home for at least two days a week.

No one knows what the future holds. At best, it is filled with speculation.
So, let’s try to make some sense of it.
It has become quite clear that remote working is here to stay, and here is why:

  1. Flexibility to schedule your work hours and choose a comfortable work environment.
  2. More time to spend with family and friends.
  3. Ability to have more control over your work-life balance.
  4. Freedom to be able to walk the dog, exercise, and even grocery shop in the middle of the day.
  5. No stressful commuting in traffic to get to work and back.

Working from home is fast becoming one of the most sought-after benefits an employer can offer.

It has not always been this way, as in the past, employers believed that working from home meant their teams would be easily distracted and not sufficiently productive. Some felt distrustful not being able to keep an eye on their workforce, which discouraged the idea of remote working.

But are people more productive working from the office?

Do distractions in the remote work environment affect focus and productivity?

Research shows that at least 65% of remote workers are more productive working from home, and 85% of businesses confirm that productivity has increased substantially due to better flexibility in their workforces.

As companies start to acclimate to this new norm, some are beginning to see its benefits, too. A number of the biggest companies in the world, such as Shopify, Microsoft and Twitter, have announced that their staff can continue to work remotely indefinitely.

It is important to note that not everyone is satisfied working from home. A growing number of workers from various industries think differently and would like to get back to the office. Sectors like healthcare, education, construction, and retail are among them, while finance, insurance, the arts, and technology prefer the remote option.

Some employees would like to continue to work from home part of the time but are keen to get back into the office for notable reasons. They may not have a home that allows for a dedicated and quiet space from which to work, or they may be easily distracted and find it easier to concentrate in an office setting. Social communication in an office environment is also something to consider, as some people may rely on the office for their social interaction. With all this in mind, a hybrid option of working from home a couple of days a week may be a good alternative for those employees who prefer not to go fully remote.

The global pandemic has forced an enormous, albeit involuntary, experiment upon us by releasing the genie from the bottle. The question remains where do we go from here?

One thing we know for sure is that it is not going to be easy to shove it completely back in the bottle in the predictable future.

THE RECRUITING TRIANGLE: CLIENT, CANDIDATE, RECRUITER; WHO DRIVES THE PROCESS?

What do we mean when we refer to the Recruiting Triangle?

Like many businesses, successful recruitment involves more than two parties working together to reach the desired result. The recruitment process involves a three-way relationship among the recruiter, the client, and the candidate, sometimes referred to as the Triangle of Trust.

The question is, who drives the process?

To better understand the relationship among client, candidate, and recruiter, and how each party can enhance its roles during the process, let’s break it down:

THE CLIENT

Two things an employer (the client) needs to do to support a successful three-way relationship are:

  1. Hire the best Executive Search Recruitment Company to take care of their needs and best serve their interests.
  2. Make the right final decision to employ the candidate who meets all the position requirements and will be happy working in the company for the long term.
THE CANDIDATE

As the candidate, you should be prepared with the following when entering into this relationship:

  1. Choose to work with an Executive Search Recruitment Company with whom you feel comfortable building a strong relationship. Keep in mind you are not paying them; they are there to do the “heavy lifting” and to make it work best for you; as such, you should follow their expert advice.
  2. A clear understanding of your focus, as this will be your best-selling point. Your qualifications, experience, or even some speciality that you can put forward to differentiate yourself could put you in a strong position to get the job.
  3. Learn about the job requirements and plan to communicate how your skills and experience meet those requirements.
  4. Persistence! If the process becomes tedious, persevere as this will show you are enthusiastic and are interested in the job.
THE RECRUITER

An experienced recruiter will be readily accessible to both the client and the candidate as the “Middle Person” in the Triangle of Trust, keeping a constant and open communication stream.

  1. A genuine interest in both the client and the candidate’s needs provides a sense of comfort.
  2. A strong track record of placing candidates in the right positions and a record of good relationships with clients inspire confidence.
  3. A strong culture of positivity motivates candidates to remain optimistic in the face of discouragement.
  4. Practical assistance in the form of tips (resumes, cover letters, interview strategies, etc.), encourages a long-term working relationship between candidates and their recruiter.
  5. Consistently matching candidates to positions by delivering the “right fit” solidifies an excellent reputation with both clients and candidates.
Now back to the question, who drives the process?

In the end, it comes down to the Triangle of Trust, with all three parties contributing. It is up to the candidates to make sure they are honest about their skills and motivation. The clients need to make sure the recruiter has one point of contact. And it is the recruiter who is the key to ensuring that if things go awry (which is always possible), the relationships remain sound. It takes an experienced and competent recruiter to manage difficult situations that can arise while at the same time serving the best interests of each party and keeping the momentum going to make sure that everybody is satisfied in the end.

Recruitment is like walking a fine line. It takes finesse, commitment and healthy relationships to succeed.

NEW YEAR, NEW CAREER?

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Abraham Lincoln

Everyone is welcoming 2021 with feelings of excitement, but some may be experiencing a touch of trepidation for what the new year may bring. Desperately needing to leave 2020 and all its challenges behind, we are more than ready for new beginnings; for setting new goals and intentions.

Did you know that January is the busiest month of the year for new job postings and new hires? The new year is a time when many of us reflect on our experiences and decide what we want for our future.

Are you toying with the idea of a career or job change? If so, this is the best time to bite the bullet and do it!

But, before you do, ask yourself: Why you are contemplating this change?

ARE YOU STUCK?

Are you stuck in an unfulfilling job because you do not have a plan for your future career? Are you bored, have you lost your passion? Take some time to figure out why you are not happy in your current position. Identify the cause; perhaps a bad relationship at work, the work itself or possibly the lack of future opportunity to grow. This self-assessment will help you understand where you would like to see yourself in the future.

ARE YOU STRESSED?

Work-life balance is something that we all need. If you feel stressed and exhausted at the end of every day and find yourself waiting for the weekends to “unwind,” you probably don’t have the right work-life balance. Remember, life is short, and your health should be non-negotiable.

IS IT ABOUT THE MONEY?

Sometimes it is about the money. It may not be the most important thing in your life, but it is undeniably essential. If your current career path is not providing the income you need, it is probably time to look for a new job.

TALK TO YOUR EMPLOYER

Before throwing in the towel, express your motivations and concerns with your current employer. They may have plans for you, including a promotion and pay increase. Afterwards, if you still want to go in a different direction, then go for it!

Taking this approach will do one of two things:

  • You may realize this was a great way to protect your time invested and repair any concerns
  • You may realize and confirm that there is indeed nothing left for you there and it is time to move on

Either way, you have made an informed decision.

NAVIGATING OPPORTUNITIES

Now is the perfect time to sit down and make a list of your skills. Jot down everything including current work, academic, extracurricular, volunteer and then add anything you have done in your past that you have found enjoyable and stimulating. Place them in order of preference to determine the list of activities you would like to use in your new career.

The internet is a gold mine when it comes to researching your interests and a potential new career. The more you read, the easier it will be to set your goals and make a career decision. When you find something that piques your interest, check it out against your new list of preferred skills to see if it fits. Reach out to your friends, past colleagues, your alma mater, and other contacts for advice, introductions and even brainstorming.

There is a vast amount of opportunity in emerging markets. Now is possibly your time to be proactive and set yourself up with a career in an industry that will boom in the future.

TAKE ACTION

Call one of our recruiters at ALIGN to find out how we can help you find the perfect job to build your dream career. We will assist you in discovering the right company and opportunity as well as navigating the assessments and interviews. We are always eager and excited to speak with you and support your journey toward the future you are planning.

In the words of Henry David Thoreau:

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.”

ONSITE OR REMOTE WORKING? WHICH IS BETTER?

The Coronavirus Pandemic has forced employers worldwide to consider remote work as a bona fide option for their employees. Some businesses have embraced the choice while others have developed a hybrid option by staggering schedules, allowing staff to work from home and the office at specific times.

This alternative reality has given business owners a first-hand insight into the advantages and disadvantages of their employees working from home. This paradigm seems to work for some employers and their staff and but not for others. Why is that?

The first question most employers want to know is how productive their employees will be when they work from home. With no immediate end to the pandemic in sight, many industries have shifted their attitudes and embraced various remote working options for the near future; for roles that allow it. And that is the key – Roles that allow it!

Clearly, not all jobs can be done from home. Managers and employees who perform administrative and clerical functions, certain types of sales and human resources roles can effectively work remotely. But what about manual laborers, construction workers, machinists, drivers, and many other service workers who are unable to perform their jobs remotely?

Remote work, while not for everyone, has its pros and cons. Let’s explore these further.

PRODUCTIVITY

Many off-site employees are proving to be more efficient, are working harder and tend to be much happier and less stressed (better work-life balance). Feeling appreciated and trusted by their bosses for being able to work remotely in their home environment is immeasurable.

Conversely, other employees may start with the best of intentions and soon realize that working from home can be a juggling act. Distraction with household duties or needing to care for a demanding child may interfere with delivering high-quality work in a timely manner.

COMMUNICATION

Some remote workers feel more connected with their co-workers, mainly because of video conferencing and other technologies that make it easy to communicate with their team. This ease of communication makes the world a smaller place; connecting with groups is as effortless as if they were in the same city. Time saved by telecommuting can allow for higher productivity as well as a decrease in the number of distractions an office environment brings (noisy colleagues, music, unnecessary meetings).

Fewer distractions mean higher productivity, correct?

Hmmm, maybe not!

Consider that in today’s culture, the spark of many great ideas is lit by the organic, spontaneous and often unplanned conversations that happen in an office environment. For example, being able to have these interactions is an essential element of the tech industry, where ideas are the foundation of every part of their business. When working remotely, this spark can be lost; having a “team” brainstorming session over Zoom is just not the same.

NETWORKING

Working from home can also impact networking. Many companies require staff to be “out there,” engaging and meeting with people one-on-one to build their networks. Being isolated at home can impact the growth of these networks, and companies should carefully take this impact into account.

IN CONCLUSION

One of the most significant drawbacks of remote work is the danger of losing the team and company culture that exists in a physical workspace. Take our office as an example. We laugh, yell, play and nudge one another to get on it! Music is always playing, candles and incense burning with sandy floors from people taking beach walks throughout the day. Towels, surf boards, sun screen and sunglasses are all over our office with the smell of fresh coffee brewing, ice machine rattling and energy drinks scattered all over the place. We have fun seeing one another in addition to seeing Team members’ dogs when they visit. We would have to work harder to maintain our close and supportive team culture if everyone worked remotely.

So, in the end, it depends on many factors.

For the immediate future, working from a physical office is still a viable and beneficial option providing the COVID-19 protocols are strictly in place to protect everyone. For those who are not comfortable in an office environment, remote work is an equally viable option, depending on their functions.

What it comes down to in the end is “it depends” 🙂

As so many parts of our lives turn digital, it would not be surprising if, after the pandemic, many people will have gained a deeper appreciation for the value of human contact and will be yearning to get back into the office.

Underqualified Or Overqualified – Who Gets Hired First?

Finding the perfect candidate to hire can be a challenge.

Oftentimes, candidates are either underqualified or overqualified for a specific job, causing decision makers angst. While there are pros and cons to hiring either candidate, the question remains: Who will get hired first?

Let us examine their benefits and pitfalls.

The Underqualified Candidate
  • May not have all the necessary credentials.
  • Probably has not held the title before.
  • Is more than likely lacking in experience.

It may be easy to jump to conclusions and immediately rule out the underqualified candidate, reasoning he/she will not be able to hit the ground running. But what if this person is a go-getter, a visionary who has not yet had the opportunity to grow? Sometimes, an underqualified candidate can be full of surprises, driven to prove him/herself by bringing in fresh ideas, innovative solutions, and a different approach to frustrating, unsolved problems. A fresh set of eyes, so to speak!

An underqualified candidate has the motivation to prove that you made the right decision by hiring them and may work even harder to deliver their worth. Plus, you will be able to train this candidate to do things your way from the beginning (no bad habits to eliminate).

The Overqualified Candidate
  • Has the knowledge, skills, and abilities to hit the ground running.
  • Will require minimal training.
  • Has a positive impact on your company almost immediately.

It is tempting to jump at the opportunity of hiring a candidate with all the skills you need and more. But, what of the likelihood he/she soon realizes thejob is not challenging enough and needs more? If you do not have a higher position available, he/she may move on, and you will be back to square one, again.It is essential to understand why the overqualified candidate is interested in the job. From there, you will be able to determine his/her motivation and whether the position is considered a transitional option until a better one presents itself.

Photo By Kraken Images

Making the Right Decision

Every job has its place in an organization, so it is crucial to hire the candidate that is the best fit for your immediate needs. But it is also essential to assess the candidate’s personality and whether he/she will be a cultural fit. While a candidate may have all the “hard skills” required, soft skills like communication, problem-solving, time management, work ethic and attitude go a long way. The candidate who aligns with the organization’s values is in it for the long haul. He/she will then be ready and able to fulfil the requirements of the position, get the job, and ultimately succeed!

Overqualified or Underqualified then becomes irrelevant.