The Procom Jobcast

Job Interviews: What you say vs. What they hear

Employment.

Unless your daily sustainability is derived from the proverbial silver spoon- we all need it.

Being manacled to the man 9-5  isn’t so bad if you’ve found out what you like doing best, and then found someone to pay you for it. Yet how does one go about securing such a desirable existence? Well, it’s hard not to be nervous in the hot seat, and it’s pretty easy for hiring managers to hear something that you didn’t actually say during an interview.

Press play to find out the most common “What you say vs. What they hear in a job interview” as posted by FastCompany, and then don’t say what they do…. or say what they don’t.

….Because no one really has time to argue semantics on a Monday.

 

Are you interview ready? Take Friday’s true or false quiz to find out!

Are you ready for your job interview?

It’s true that you rarely get a second shot at making a first impression, and when it comes to job interviews, 33% of hiring managers claim to know whether or not they would hire someone within 90 seconds. Are you interview ready? Take Friday’s true or false quiz to find out!

You should arrive to your interview at least 30 minutes early.

True

False

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The main purpose of an interview is to convince an employer to hire you.

False

True

It’s best to dress in your trendiest corporate clothes.

False

True

Days of the week matter when it comes to scheduling your interview.

True

False

The way you walk through the door can determine the direction of your interview.

True

False

It’s only okay to say something negative about your previous employer if what you’re saying is true.

True

False

It’s okay to request your interviewer as a Facebook friend after the interview.

True

False

Hiring managers will always print your resume off, so don’t worry– you don’t need to bring one.

True

False

You should be overly friendly to show that you’ll fit in with the other employees.

False

True

You should always bring a list of questions with you and take them out when it’s your turn to ask about the company.

True

False

You may want to brush up on your interview skills

It’s natural to feel nervous in the hot seat, but don’t let your nerves be the reason you don’t get the gig. Take some tips from the staffing pros to strengthen your in-person skills.

You’ve got what it takes to get the gig

Congrats! You impressed with your resume and aced the in-person interview. So now that you’ve talked the talk, it’s time to walk the walk.

BYOD: 5 Things to know when you ‘Bring Your Own Device’

bring your own device to work- the metricsWhen one doesn’t do their proper pre-party due diligence and scan for the BYOB clause in the invitation, he or she runs the risk of being a recipient of the “who invited this guy” side-glance when showing up empty handed.

Similarly, when a new employee doesn’t do their pre-prep job offer acceptance and scan their contract for the company’s Electronic Use policy, he or she could unknowingly become the target of Corporate Big Brother.

Which is worse? One may have you breaching your host’s liquor cabinet and the other could have you breaching internal security policies—yet both can result in you being kicked out.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is a policy that allows employees to bring personally owned mobile devices to the workplace and use those devices to access privileged company resources like email, file servers and databases as well as their own personal apps and data.

Here are 5 things you didn’t know when you BYOD to the office or when you work from home:

  1. When you set up your company’s email on your personal phone, you could be giving your employer the right to delete all of your personal data

Do you want to check your company email from your mobile? If this is part of your job, your employer may have you sign a “Bring Your Own Device” agreement. If you haven’t read that little piece of paper, do so. Now. Because you’ve probably waived your rights.

Companies need to secure their information systems, and if you want the privilege of accessing those systems on your personal device, you’ve got to essentially waive your right to privacy. BYOD policies ensure that employers will reserve the employer’s right to remote-wipe the device if there is a security risk, for example, if the device is lost or stolen.

You read that right: you’ve given permission for your employer to delete your personal data. If you lose your phone or no longer work there, you could lose those precious photos of your kids, bank records and whatever else you keep on your phone.

Take away– Actually read your employer’s electronic use and BYOD policies—and then back up your mobile.

  1. Emailing company docs to your personal accounts could give the wrong impression

So you still have work to do, but you just want to head out, and remotely accessing your work email could be a hassle (it happens). Forwarding your files from work to your personal email account seems like no big deal, right? Wrong.

The problem is that the act could create the impression that you’re trying to steal the company’s confidential information.

Take Away- Don’t download company information without permission, and do your best to protect the company’s trade secrets, confidential information and data.

  1. Corporate Big Brother can see any email, text and other electronic communications sent on the company’s server

One typically assumes your boss doesn’t have time to monitor every email you send. That’s probably true, but you’re forgetting about the IT department. This doesn’t mean that your company is looking for reasons to spy on employees, but they could hold the content against you if they deem it to be inappropriate or a misuse of personal communication.

Take away- If you don’t want it seen, don’t put it on the screen.

When it comes to Corporate Big Brother, the bottom line is to read your BYOD policy on your contract before you sign on the dotted line.

Applicant Tracking Systems: How we find you

applicant tracking systems and job seekersIt’s an interesting process when you’re looking for job. Because just as you’re seeking a place to work—we’re also actually seeking you.

As a Job Seeker, you use the best tools you can to land a gig you’ll love, and when a recruiter is looking for the best possible candidate for their client, they use tools like Applicant Tracking Systems to find the right fit, and that’s how we find you. Procom uses Bullhorn, a clever little management robot that’s basically a CRM for humans.

How does an ATS work?

 When you submit your resume through an ATS, a CRM like Bullhorn stores it in its database. The recruiters then search for keywords for the particular job opening. If your resume contains the keywords they want, then the ATS will rank you higher in the search results. The keyword searches include the skills and experiences specific to the particular job opening. Recruiters can even command Bullhorn to search its entire database of resumes to look for Candidates with certain qualifications. This means that even if you submitted your resume a long time ago and never got a response, recruiters can still find it, because it’s stored in Bullhorn—forever.

So when you’re on the hunt for employment, just remember, we’re also on the hunt for you—and so are the robots.

Beat the Monday Blues with these 5 Tunes

There’s just this thing about music. The melody, the rhythm the harmony…

The perfect song can seem just like every living organism: It has a pulse, and sometimes, you can feel like you fit more into lyrics than you do into life. And also just like every living organism, you can find yourself falling victim to the Monday Blues. But don’t despair- music can be the best medicine for such an affliction. Try listening to a few of these tunes to turn down the melancholia and turn up your work week!

Bruno Mars- Uptown Funk

Whether you’ve got your chucks on or Saint Laurent, this song is a straight up masterpiece to lightening the mood:

Walk the Moon- Shut up and Dance

Oh, don’t you dare look back! Just keep your eyes on M(e)onday, don’t go holdin’ back… claim your destiny!

Bob Marly, Three Little Birds

This is our message to you: Don’t worry, about a thing…’Cause every little thing is gunna be alright!

Beyonce, Run the World (Girls)

When Bey looks in the mirror and asks herself, “Who runs the world?” you know she says “I do.” You should too.

Taylor Swift, Shake it off

Baby, sometimes you just gotta shake it off…. so we’re just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake it off!…

 

Can you think of another song to add to the list?

 

True or False: Could these really be reasons you didn’t get the job?

True or False: Could these really be reasons you didn't get the job?

There are more than two players in the hiring game, and it's one you won't always win. Other than not being qualified--or simply blowing it--Can you spot the reasons real hiring managers have admitted to using for not selecting a Candidate?

The interview was a ruse

True

False

The definition of the job changed

False

True

You have children

False

True

You’re too attractive

False

True

They didn't like the way you spoke about money

True

False

You seemed like you wouldn't fit in

True

False

Credit check determined you declared bankruptcy or have a bad credit score

False

True

3 Tips to regulating life with an irregular income

tips to saving money
“I always wanted an awesome boss, so I started working for myself.”

That’s not a famous quote, but it probably should be. It’s a sentiment likely shared by every entrepreneur or Contractor who lives by paying themselves. But when it comes to life’s money matters, money…well it matters. But it doesn’t have to be feast or famine if you plan your finances. Try these tips to regulate life with an irregular income.

 

  1. Determine your minimum income

If you’ve been a Contractor for at least one year, take a look at your income reports to determine the bare minimum income—which is just that, the absolute minimum you’ve made over those 12 months. You’ll be able to get a pretty good idea of any seasonal fluctuations in your incoming finances. If you have a couple years’ worth to analyze, you can notice the patterns of which months are the most and least profitable and plan accordingly for any potential slumps.

 

  1. Drill down on your monthly expenses

There are four types of expenses a month: set, variable, debt and business. Your set expenses are things that must be paid each month like your mortgage or rent, car payments and utilities. Your variable expenses are ones you must budget for like groceries or entertainment, and debt expenses account for things like your minimum credit card payments. But don’t forget about your business expenses! These are costs related to things like business supplies, travel and dining.

Preferably, your expenses should not be more than your minimum monthly income. If they are, you might want to prioritize your expenses to see which ones are vital and which ones aren’t (like your top tier cable TV subscription).

 

  1. Save the difference

To save yourself some worry, plan to have at least three months’ worth of income in a savings account during a potential famine situation. You may want to also set up a few different bank accounts to keep your money organized:

  • Tax account: You’ve got to face the inconvenient truth that your taxes are higher. But if you’re looking for a pretty solid benchmark plan for the tax man, you should squirrel away 30% of your income into a tax account.
  • Retirement account: Another unavoidable truth about being a contract worker is that if you don’t save for retirement, no one else will. Aim to deposit 10% directly into a retirement account. Your future self will thank you.
  • Personal checking: Here’s where you can pay yourself. Take the monthly budget amount you calculated during tip 1 and use it to give yourself a monthly paycheck—be consistent month over month.
  • Personal savings or Business checking: After you pay yourself, any extra money should stay in your business checking to continue building that three month buffer.

 

Sometimes the best things in life really are free—like peace of mind knowing that you’ve got life (and your expenses) covered.

Would you get the job? Try this interview quiz

Would you get the job?

Job interviews shouldn't feel like interrogations, but it's easy to feel nervous in the hot seat. Find out how cool you can stay under pressure. Would you answer these 8 tough questions correct to get the job?

Question 1: "Tell me about yourself"

Begin by describing what you wanted to be when you grew up, then include your high school aspirations, followed by your college career and details of your first job. End with why you're there today.

Reply with, "Well, what would you like to know?"

Begin with your post-secondary education, work history that relates to the position and most recent career experience. End with why you are currently seeking a new opportunity.

Question 2: "What's your biggest weakness?"

Take a secret strength and disguise it as a weakness. "Oh, I'm SUCH a perfectionist!"

Name an actual weakness you need to improve upon and the steps you've taken to do so.

Demonstrate that you have no weaknesses and reiterate the value of your strengths.

Question 3: "There seems to be a gap in your work history. Why is that?”

Demonstrate how you've honed your skills during your time off. Talk about any freelancing, volunteer work our courses you've taken that relate to the position.

Explain that you wanted to take time off to decide what you really wanted to do with your career, which lead you there today.

Discuss personal issues that required you to take time away.

Question 4: “Tell me about a time you had a conflict with a co-worker or manager and how it was resolved…”

Explain the issue succinctly and the specific action you took.

Explain how a co-worker didn't hit a deadline, which made you pick up the slack to get the job done. (Demonstrating that you're not afraid to pull more than your own weight.)

Explain that you're a team player, and you don't believe in conflict in the workplace.

Question 5: “Why are you looking for a new position?”

Explain that the current company culture is not in line with your personal beliefs.

Explain how you don't believe in the way your boss or manager runs your department and you need a change.

Reiterate that it’s been a great learning experience but that there isn’t room for anymore growth or advancement within the company, and you want to tackle new challenges and develop your skill sets.

Question 6: “How would you explain a complex database to your 10-year old nephew?”

You wouldn't. What does a 10-year-old need with a CRM?

You would practice your answer in both technical and laymen's terms to become familiar with the jargon and data before beginning your explanation.

You would provide your nephew with graphs or charts detailing the instructions and explain in laymen's terms what they mean.

Question 7: “What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?”

Align your answer with the values of the company and explain the outcome of being pushed out of your comfort zone.

Respond that you don't believe in taking risks unless you are sure of a positive outcome.

You don't take risks.

Question 8: “Why should we hire you?”

Passionately describe the company culture and how you would fit right in.

State that you are the best fit simply because no other candidate will do a better job.

Identify your own experience from your past positions that directly relate and how you demonstrated those skills as value drivers

You may want to brush up on your skills...

Happy April Fools!
To see if you would really pass the interview test, try these tips: http://bit.ly/236p0oK

Congratulations! Your interview skills are awesome!

Happy April Fools!
To see if you would really pass the interview test, try these tips: http://bit.ly/236p0oK

4 Social media mistakes to avoid during your job search

social media mistakes to avoidRecruiters and hiring managers are creeps.

It’s a proven fact.

In fact, there’s probably a very scientific study somewhere showing that among the internet’s most diligent creepers, they would rank higher than an ex when it comes to creeping your social profiles.

A creeper (in the very prestigious urban dictionary) is defined as: “ Someone who uses Facebook but is looking at other peoples’ profiles, going through their pictures, their statuses, their wall posts, their picture comments;  subscribed to random people or their pages.”

They’re online. And they’re everywhere. This study states that 93% of recruiters are likely to look at a Candidate’s social media profile. So when it comes to your job search and social media, avoid these common mistakes if you want to take you and your digital footprint through the front door of your dream job.

  1. Compromising photos

We all have a life outside of work, but posting (what some may deem) inappropriate photos will give off the wrong idea about your extra-curricular activities. During your job search, you may want to take your profile to the next level with your privacy settings. Sure, you may not upload a photo yourself, but ones you’re tagged in by friends will also appear in your timeline. Double check your privacy approval settings to be safe.

2. Appearing over opinionated

Employers tend to see it as a positive if potential employees have a view on a certain topic. However, they can also easily be put off if they perceive those views to be too radical and/or opinionated.

3. Inviting your interviewer to connect with you on Facebook

This is a big no-no and happens a lot more than you think. Interviewers want to see the “true you,” so they’re being friendly and approachable– but they aren’t trying to befriend you. Just because you’ve hit it off with your interviewer, it doesn’t meant that you should feel comfortable enough to invite them to be a friend. More often than not, this will leave an impression that you’ve crossed an unwritten boundary.

4. Avoid remarks about your workplace

You should never make negative remarks about your previous workplace or employer during a job interview; neither should you bad-mouth them online. A future employer will think that if you can write that about another company, then surely you can write the same thing about theirs.

Social media connects us all, but avoid these common mistakes if you want to be connected to the right career opportunity.

4 Non-verbal job interview tips

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, imagine what poor in-person body language can communicate when you’re trying to give the perfect first impression. Job interviews can make anyone feel the heat while in the hot seat—it’s normal to be nervous, but a master’s degree may not help your career chances if you can’t master your mannerisms. Try these non-verbal interview tips that tell the hiring manager you’re the one for the job.

 

Eyes

You get asked a lot of questions in a job interview, but one of them shouldn’t be if you have a staring problem. The goal is to be confident—not creepy. It’s important to look the interviewer in the eye, but know when to break away after a few seconds. Another effective way to ensure you’re looking interested and engaged is “direct face contact.” Try looking at different parts of his or her face every two seconds; rotating from eyes, to nose, to lips, so you’re never just drilling into the interviewer’s eyes.

Ears

When you’re trying to craft a selling response, it’s best to listen before you answer. Aside from keeping eye and face contact, nodding your head occasionally while listening is an additional way to show attentiveness. It shows that you’re enjoying and understand what’s being said. However, you’re a human not a marionette, so avoid fanatical nods that could mistake you for a puppet.

Mouth

Just breathe. Take a (non-noticeable, gulping-for-air-type) deep breath while a question is being asked, and answer on the exhale following the air flow.  Deep breathing engages our parasympathetic reaction, which calms us down. Also, try taking 10 deep, diaphragmatic breaths before the interview. This will reduce your heart rate, blood pressure and stress hormone level.

Nose

Aggressive fragrances have a tendency to overpower anyone’s nostrils, which could give the hiring manager the impression that you don’t have any common sense when it comes to office scents. You want to leave the interview with a lingering impression as to why you’re the right fit, not a cloud of perfume or cologne—so leave it off.

Mom was right when she said not to slouch, and a firm handshake is more palatable than a limp fish’d one when serving your candidacy for employment. Remember, body language is one that everyone can understand.

 

4 Mistakes to avoid when choosing an accountant

Knock knock…

That could be the beginning to a heinous knock knock joke… It might be opportunity knocking… or, at this time of year, that double rap tap-tap could be the tax man at your door. You can’t avoid him, and he can be quite persistent when he wants in your bank account. There’s no closing the windows and shutting the drapes when he comes a callin’, so when it’s time to dance to the tax man’s tune, don’t make these common missteps that will have him stepping on your toes and crippling your earnings.

  1. Choosing an accounting firm that won’t quote a fixed fee

First thing’s first—and this is numero uno. Your dedicated accountant should provide a very specific set of services like your tax return, VAT return and so on, but a really good accountant will go beyond. As an Independent Contractor, you need someone who you can pick up the phone to if you need tax advice, or to pick their brain about an aspect of your finances that’s bothering you—and you don’t want to be charged an extra fee for such conversations. A great firm will bundle this into a fixed monthly fee, so you always know where you stand.

  1. Not having a dedicated accountant

We mentioned a dedicated accountant in #1 because that’s what you need. You’re busy all day, every day running your business and its administrative side, so if you don’t have an accountant dedicated to your company, you may find yourself spending more time reminding them who you are rather than dealing with the issues that you need addressed. A dedicated point of contact—who knows you and your business from the beginning—will save you the trouble of groundhog day’ing it every time you pick up the phone.

  1. Choosing the first firm Google tells you to

Despite the world of e-Commerce and online buying being so thoroughly convenient, you may want to deviate from the typical Google search. It’s easy to stay close to home, so typing in what you want along with your hometown seems like a Google-go-to. But closer isn’t always better when it comes to accountancy. As already mentioned above, Independent Contractors need specialized services – so prioritize that, and don’t worry about where the right firm might be based.

  1. Assuming all accounting firms are the same

Just as your business specializes in a certain service, accountancy is the same. As an Independent Contractor, you need an accountant who not only understands the small business environment, but also one who has specific experience in dealing with contractor needs. This is especially important when it comes to giving advice on things like your expenditures and income reporting and other accountancy issues only affecting the contingent workforce.

So when you hear that rap-tap tap, open the door with a smile, because with the right accountant, the tax man’s knock can turn into opportunity knocking (and that may or may not have been a semi-heinous joke).

5 Tips to turn a contract into a permanent consideration

So, you’ve beaten the bots and impressed during your in-person interview, but once you’ve successfully taken on the hiring battle, you still have to win the performance war. Your previous experience may have helped you talk the talk, but when it comes to contract extensions, these tips will help to ensure you’re walking the walk—and demonstrating the qualities that could most likely help you strut into a permanent position.

 

1. Become indispensable

When you demonstrate your knowledge, enthusiasm and interest in existing projects other than your own and provide actionable insights that result in a successful execution, you’re demonstrating the value you bring to your other team members and the company. Sure, you were hired for a specific task, but your employer may not know what other talents you have to offer unless you reveal them, so take the initiative and look for opportunities to showcase your skills. They may say that no one is indispensable, but if you want to prove your worth as a full-time team member, demonstrate that you’re a worker that the team can’t imagine functioning without.

2. Build relationships

Good communication is great persuasion, so if you’re looking to become a part of a team, voice it with both your thoughts and actions. This doesn’t mean you need to be friends or socialize outside of work, but make an effort to be involved and be friendly at the office. If there’s additional training on offer, you should take it. Going above and beyond shows that you are willing to learn and that you take a keen interest in the company; this may even provide opportunities for networking. The goal is to make your presence known. So instead of sending an email, visit your colleagues or direct managers, volunteer for extra project activities outside your job description, represent your team at meetings or attend meetings so you can be more involved and meet a wider range of teams.

3. Avoid the office politics

The workplace is prime spotting ground for watching different breeds of humans interact outside their natural habitat, so it can prove difficult sometimes not to watch a show. However, you will be more highly regarded if you don’t get involved in the hunting and pecking order of the workplace and avoid office gossip.

4. Document your work

Whether you’re on contract or a permanent employee, it’s your responsibility to fill out your time-sheets, expense forms and any other paperwork in a timely fashion. This illustrates you’re responsible, reliable and organized. Sometimes, as a contract worker, you won’t be a regular part of the staff team and will get left out of what is the normal information flow. By taking the initiative on communications and providing critical updates to projects, you also demonstrate your strong skills in this area.

5. You want something? Ask for it.

If you want to be considered for a full time position, this isn’t the time to act like a wallflower and hope you’re simply picked for the part. If the timing is right, talk to the key decision maker and let your interest in a full time opening known.

If all the world’s a stage, then this performance is your audition. If none of these tactics work and your contract role truly has an inevitable end date, then concentrate on doing the best job possible for the employer. Then, several weeks before the scheduled end-date, set up a time with your manager and discuss your interest in their company and field, you may get a referral to another company if this one simply can’t hire you.

6 Career tips for women in tech from women in tech

According to the latest National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) Report Card, women represented 57% of all undergraduates in the United States, yet earned less than 1/5 of all computer and information sciences undergraduate degrees and engineering degrees. In 2013, just 14% of Fortune 500 CEOs were female, and now only 26% of computing occupations are held by women.

 

What do these numbers mean? Well, if you’re a woman looking to break into the tech industry, they should mean absolutely nothing. Because you aren’t just a number, and you can achieve anything you damn well please.

An integral part of success is integrity, and true leaders keep blazing their own trails, keep breaking the barriers and continue to plow towards progress even when the way seems long and out of reach. Little girls who dream can become women with vision—these are some of those woman, and this is what they have to say to you:

1. Be Brave

“A small step is to be brave. It’s intimidating being the only woman in the room and that happens for me weekly, particularly in Asia, so you have to be brave. You may encounter hostility or embarrassment, but you need to be brave, remind yourself why you are there. It’s not personal, it’s about business.” – Helen Adams, vice president of sales, Europe and Asia, ARM Holdings

2. Be confident

“Confidence plays a big part of what you are. If you’re analyzing yourself and what you’re going to say, remember the men in the room are doing the same.” – Jacky Wright, vice president – strategic enterprise services, Microsoft

3. Ask hard questions

“Ask hard questions. This is a really good skill to finely hone in.” – Nicole Vanderbilt, VP international, Etsy

4. Trust your gut

“Don’t always do what you should do, trust your instincts.” Vanderbilt talks about turning away from the traditional industries to work for a company she cared about, and going to business school in Europe, all counterintuitive moves that got her to where she is today. – Nicole Vanderbilt

5. Be memorable

“Be seen, be heard and be memorable in a way you can advance not just your career but the careers of the women around you.” – Erin McSweeney, executive vice president, global HR, EMC

6. Make bold decisions

“Leap and the net will appear, if you make bold decisions. Don’t ask for permission, ask for forgiveness. Look for the quickest way to fail.” – Alex Depledge, former CEO and co-founder, Hassle.com

When you’re chasing your dreams, don’t waste a single second. You may stumble, but stumbling isn’t falling when you stand up taller than before your knees went weak. You got this girl!

Incorporating: Weighing the pros and cons

To incorporate or not to incorporate? If you’re an Independent Contractor, that is the question. Being self-employed offers just as many risks as it yields benefits. Since you’re working for yourself–without the safety nets protecting full-time employees– consulting may be a financial balancing act that seems more like a tight rope, rather than a cake walk.

We all know there exists a certain freedom along with other tax benefits when you’re self-employed, but should you operate as a business rather than an individual?

What does being incorporated mean?

Corporations are separate legal entities from the actual business owner. This form of business offers added legal protection, but in the early years a sole proprietorship or partnership will often offer more tax advantages.

 

Tax Pros: The tax law for incorporated entities states that any income up to $500,000 is taxed at 15.5%. Income tax rates are lower for corporations than for the personal income received by sole proprietors. The tax burden can be reduced by earning income through your corporation due to the lower corporate tax rates. One of the main benefits of getting incorporated is the fact you can take money out of the incorporation tax free! This is known as a tax free loan.

Liability Pro:  One of the main advantages of incorporation is limited liability. A sole proprietor assumes all of the liability for their company. As a sole proprietor your personal assets, such as your house and car can be seized. As an incorporated contractor, you are considered a shareholder and not responsible for the debts of the corporation unless you have given a personal guarantee. Unlike a sole proprietorship, a corporation has an unlimited life span. The corporation will continue to exist even if the shareholders die or leave the business.

Non-financial Pros: Asset protection and marketability!

Most major banks and insurance agencies will prefer not to work with sole proprietors. When you’re incorporated, you immediately increase your marketability. This is one of the most important benefits. Simply being incorporated means that you have a limited liability—meaning, the risk associated for financial institutions, insurance companies or even staffing firms is greatly reduced. Staffing firms don’t need to pay EI or CPP for you which makes you as an incorporated entity a lot more attractive to work with over sole proprietors.

Paperwork and data entry cons: It’s true that there is a lot more paperwork involved with incorporating your business. And when tax time rolls around, you’ll have to be a lot more diligent with your receipts and reporting.

Cost con:  If you want to get incorporated, it costs $1000 or more depending on who you hire to assist you with the process.

Do you prefer to work as an individual or as an incorporated Contractor? Is getting incorporated worth it or not? Before you decide, make sure to discuss your personal situation with your accountant and lawyer.

 

 

 

Tax tips for Independent Contractors

It’s coming, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.

The hardest thing to understand in the world is the Income Tax. Einstein said that. And he was a genius, so imagine how the rest of us feel about the whole sordid affair—and when you’re operating as an Independent Contractor, the business can get a whole lot more convoluted.

One simply can’t write off tax season, but with it looming on the horizon, we’ve put together a list of tax deductible expenses that as an Independent Contractor, you can write off.

 

 

  • Your vehicle: Fuel, parking, regular maintenance, oil changes, repairs, highway tolls, insurance: these are all expenses you can partially write off; it all really depends on how much you use your vehicle for work-related purposes. If you use your car 75 per cent of the time for work-related trips, then you can write off 75 per cent of these expenses. So be cognizant of your work-related vehicle expenses so you can take advantage of the deductibles you’re legally entitled to.
  • Travel: Hotel accommodations, public transportation fares and 50 per cent of your food and entertainment costs are legitimate deductibles. It’s a pretty delicious benefit to working for yourself.
  • Supplies: Any expenses you incur for the purpose of providing goods or services can be written off. For example, drugs and medication used in a veterinary operation, or cleaning supplies used by a plumber are legitimate deductibles. If you lease computers, cell phones, fax machines and similar equipment, you can deduct the percentage of the lease costs that reasonably relate to earning your business income.
  • Professional Services: Accounting and legal fees incurred as part of any business advice or record keeping are considered acceptable deductibles by the CRA. You can also deduct any filing fees incurred for preparing your GST/HST returns.

Sometimes it all comes down to a numbers game, and when you’re armed with knowledge, it’s a lot easier to make sense of it all.

 

Expert Eats: Join live & discuss what matters most to Independent Contractors

Grab your lunch and let’s Blab!
Join guest speaker Andrew Wall CPA, CMA on Tuesday, March 1st from 12:30 – 1:00 p.m. on Blab’s live video chat as he discusses some of the common financial mistakes Independent Contractors make.  Andrew’s candid discussion will focus on:

  • Setting up your business properly
  • Strategies for maximizing deductions
  • Insights to mitigating personal service business (PSB) risk
  • Live Q&A session

This informative live chat is designed to give you the knowledge needed to maximize the benefits of your consulting business.

Watch the discussion, set your bookmarks!

OR

Sign up with your Twitter account for free to video-in and join the live conversation here. You can also Blab with us using the hashtag #ExpertEats.

We look forward to Blabbing with you!

 

Procom wins Inavero’s Best of Staffing® Client and Talent Awards!

Procom Group of Companies

WINS INAVERO’S 2016 BEST OF STAFFING®

CLIENT AND TALENT AWARDS

 

Earned by less than two per cent of all staffing agencies in the U.S. and Canada!


TORONTO, ON – February 18, 2016 — Procom Group of Companies, a leader in North America’s contract workforce management industry, announced today it has won Inavero’s Best of Staffing® Client and Talent  Awards for providing superior service to Job Seekers and Clients.

Presented in partnership with CareerBuilder, Inavero’s Best of Staffing winners are chosen from staffing firms across North America based on Client and Contractor satisfaction ratings.  Winners of the Best in Staffing designation make up less than two per cent of all staffing agencies in the United States and Canada. 

Procom received positive satisfaction scores of 9 or 10 out of a 10 point scale from  Clients and Talent, placing it significantly above the staffing industry average and amongst the best performing staffing firms in North America.  “We are honoured to be a recipient of such a prestigious award,” says Frank McCrea, founder and president of Procom Group of Companies. “Procom prides itself on operating with true transparency towards Clients and Independent Contractors.  An award chosen by them demonstrates their trust in us and reflects our commitment to their growing businesses and careers.”

“Leaders of growing companies are more committed than ever to staying flexible in this stable yet volatile market, making staffing firms the most viable employment partnership,” adds Inavero’s CEO Eric Gregg. “Finding the best staffing partner with a proven commitment to service excellence can be really tough. BestofStaffing.com is the place to find the winning agencies that place talent with the skills you need in your city, province or state. We are very proud of the 2016 award winners.”

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About Procom

Procom is one of North America’s leading staffing and contract workforce services providers. A privately held company, Procom is deeply committed to continuous growth and improvement to the benefit of our Clients and our Consultants.

Successfully meeting the needs of Fortune 500 clients since 1978, Procom has 14 offices across North America, with over 8,500 skilled professionals currently on assignment.

About Inavero
Inavero administers more staffing agency client and talent satisfaction surveys than any other firm in the world. Inavero’s team reports on over 1.2 million satisfaction surveys from staffing agency clients and talent each year and the company serves as the American Staffing Association’s exclusive service quality partner.
About Inavero’s Best of Staffing

Inavero’s Best of Staffing® Award is the only award in the U.S. and Canada that recognizes staffing agencies that have proven superior service quality based completely on the ratings given to them by their clients and job candidates. Award winners are showcased by city and area of expertise on BestofStaffing.com – an online resource for hiring professionals and job seekers to find the best staffing agencies to call when they are in need.

For more information:

Wendy Kennah, director, recruiting

wendyk@procom.ca

416.545.5207

3 Tips to connecting on LinkedIn

Have you ever considered the difference between networking and connecting? Because there is one.  Sure, there’s definitely less than 7 degrees of separation between the two connotation-wise, but the similarities within the realm of proactive communication end there.

Professionally connecting in the digital landscape is no different than creating in-person impressions.

Would you exchange business cards with a potential client at an event and then toss that golden ticket among a growing pile of faceless, printed names? Of course not. So why join the world’s largest professional network with access to millions of members and do nothing with it?

Here are three ways you can make the impression that creates connections– and relationships.

Join groups and position yourself as a value-adder

The great thing about LinkedIn is that it’s a hub of industry influencers, leaders and innovators. When a company you follow or a connection you’d like to make posts a blog on a topic you’re familiar with, join the conversation by sharing an insightful comment or asking a thoughtful question. When you’re on the job hunt, the goal is for your targets to start recognizing your name and face.

Once you feel confident that you’re on their radar, send them a private reply expressing you really like what they contribute to the group and you would like to further the relationship.  

Get on the Google grind and creep away

Google is a gift to the savvy Job-Seeker, and sometimes one simply must get stalkerish. If you don’t share a mutual connection, or can’t get someone in your network to pass along an introduction—don’t despair. There’s a wily way out of this: Start creeping (and we don’t mean this in the restraining order, illegal way—we’re talking the smart, tech-savvy, business-professional way). Did your target recently speak at a conference or publish an article? A quick Google search will let you know, and even if you didn’t physically attend the event, the internet has a sly way of recapping with cliff note versions and videos. Does the person you want to connect with write a blog? Read it and share it on your social platforms with an insightful comment. Are they on Twitter? Follow them and retweet their posts about it. Are they hanging out on Google+, YouTube, Facebook or Instagram?

You know what to do.

Connect through a contact page

Many business professionals also manage their personal brand online with portfolios and websites. The beauty of these personal portals is that they usually come with a contact page. The key is to use these doors to open lines of communication.

Remember, the thing about LinkedIn connections is that they’re there to connect. The last time we checked, the social platform had 414 million members. Don’t get lost in the crowd.

Top Contractor jobs by category

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The contingent workforce is a dynamic ecosystem that can change at any moment in any given location. If you’re looking to join the force and want to know the most popular Contractor jobs by category, we gathered some market data; here’s what it offered.