The Procom Jobcast

Tax time tips: 4 Mistakes to avoid when choosing an accountant

tax mistakes to avoidKnock 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).

Job search etiquette: Do you have any?

 


 

4 Job search time management tips

time management

Please (do not) excuse the interruption. Because interruptions are time wasters. And there’s no time for time wasters when the clock is ticking on your job search. Whether you’re currently employed and seeking a change or dwelling within the realm of the “in-between,” by failing to prepare, you’re preparing to fail. And that type of preparation isn’t conducive to employment. So try these four time management tips instead.

Set up a work station

Ask yourself, where am I most comfortable? Do I work better at the coffee shop, at home or in the library? Sometimes a change in careers requires a change in scenery. So if you’re unemployed and at home all day, shake it up and take your laptop over to Starbucks. The goal is to be comfortable yet focused, so make sure to choose a workspace where you can tune into the job search and still tune out the distractions.

Have a schedule

If you say you’ll be researching for one full hour, clock yourself to be sure you’re meeting that commitment. And that doesn’t include travel time to the library, having that latté in the middle or talking to the person at the table next to you. It’s an hour of work. Hard, focused work. Make sure to stick to your priorities, and tackle the most important things first thing in the morning when you’re fresh and ready to go.

 Only apply to jobs you’re qualified for

A good number to stick to for your job search is between 10-15 applications per week. There’s a stat that states only 35% of applicants are actually qualified for jobs they apply to, and since your resume should be tailored to each job opening, don’t waste your time on an application that will be sent to the wastebasket. Sure, you may have transferable or soft skills that can relate to the position, but if the job requires five years of experience and you’re a recent grad or have only two years under your belt, keep looking.

Get offline

Sometimes going off the grid gets you on track. We have instant communication tools at our fingertips, but they can interrupt the thoughtful work required for your job search. It’s tempting to constantly tap into your email, but only do so no more than three times a day. Most job and career emails require thoughtful consideration, and even though you’re eager to hear back, a hiring manager receives up to 250 resumes per corporate job post. So Instead of waking up and immediately checking your email hopeful there is an interested employer, try starting your job search each day with a good breakfast and some light reading. You might even try meditating or getting a good workout.

Looking for a job is a job, and if a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing right. Right

6 Workplace life hacks to make work life easier

It’s Monday morning, and let’s be real; the struggle can be so real right now. But here’s the thing about struggles: most of them only last as long as you let them, and Monday strife has the potential for a seven day expiry if you don’t take the preemptive approach to overcoming it’s obstacles.

 

But remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and in order to conquer the week, you may need to first start with the little things. Try some of these workplace life hacks that just may set the tone for a week of career domination.

.post-it note

2.

desk cords

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.

random words

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.

charger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.

the DIY fork

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6.

ninja heat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So next time the alarm rings on a Monday,  get up, eat breakfast…. and then ask yourself: What will I have for lunch with my pen fork?

8 Reasons why you didn’t score the gig

didnt get the job

Remember those times when things didn’t go your way and the only logical answer as to why you weren’t numero uno  was that the human roadblock between you and your goal was obviously jealous of your awesomeness? Well, when it comes to your job search, the green eyed monster of envy probably isn’t rearing it’s ugly head (……unless it sprouts from the shoulders of the losing candidate). There could have been any number of reasons why you didn’t get the gig, and other than simply not being qualified, these could be one of them:

  1. The definition of the job changed

Over the course of interviewing several different candidates, the company may have decided to revise the job description all together. As a result, management may have also revised the required skills. It happens.

  1. They hired internally

It’s actually pretty common. Even if a hiring manager knows of a strong internal candidate, some companies require outside interviews to take place anyway. Hiring internally is a low-risk move and one many organizations will make if there’s a qualified candidate already on staff.

  1. They were looking for the right cultural fit (and you weren’t it)

Sure, you may be qualified, but did you really picture yourself working alongside these people on an almost daily basis? Maybe the hiring manager couldn’t, either. Personalities play a role in the employment game, and maybe you didn’t come across as someone who would fit in on the team.

  1. You couldn’t agree on salary

If you’re looking for more than the company is willing to pay, odds are you won’t be offered anything other than the good luck email.

  1. The interview was a ruse

Some companies have policies that a certain number of candidates has to be interviewed for each position—even when the hiring manager has already decided on whom to bring on board.

  1. You’re too attractive

Yep. Said it. It’s an ugly truth. Psychological studies have shown that there’s a hiring bias against particularly attractive women for some roles (guys, you’re apparently safe from such discriminations).

  1. There was a better candidate

People often identify themselves as perfect for the job, but for every qualified person, there’s another one. Fitting the qualifications listed on the job description doesn’t necessarily mean someone else isn’t a better fit overall.

  1. You simply blew it

Sometimes there’s no other reason for not landing the job other than you simply made a really bad impression. Maybe you weren’t prepared, your body language made you seem disinterested, maybe you came across as too arrogant or perhaps you just didn’t click with the hiring manager. Sometimes interviews go badly, and it’s best to just move on with these tips.

When it comes to job interviews, all you can really do is prepare as best you can to make an enthusiastic and professional bid for your candidacy. You won’t be hired for every position you interview for, but don’t let the set backs get you sidetracked, the reason you didn’t get hired could have nothing to do with you (or you really did just blow it).

Live Over Lunch: The Pros to know to maximize your consulting business

You wouldn’t hire an electrician to fix your plumbing would you?

 

We went live over lunch to discuss the pros you need in your inner circle to help you maximize your consulting business. Watch the discussion and check below for some awesome professionals available to help you succeed.

live over lunch pros to know

Join our Talent Network!

International Women’s Day: Meet the womon of Procom who are #BoldForChange

IWD 2017

Today marks International Women’s Day! It’s a day that acts as a catalyst for driving grater change around the world and is a critical vehicle for moving closer towards gender parity.

Change doesn’t just happen. We have to make it happen, and each one of us can be a leader within our own spheres of influence. To raise our collective voice, we asked Procommers to shout out the powerful women of Procom who have been #BoldForChange.

You can see the results of our initiative for International Women’s Day by clicking here.

Ladies, you got this!

Body language and job interviews: What (not) to do

body language interviewSome say that people may not always tell you how they feel, but they’ll show you if you just pay attention. And we think it’s a pretty fair fact to state– because as far as our world works, actions speak louder than words.

Your body language will tell a tale even if your tongue won’t, so here are some mannerisms to lose if you want to gain the candidacy advantage.

Shifty eye contact

A lack of eye contact can come across as insecure or untrustworthy, and shifty eyes – well, no one trusts the person with shifty eyes. It’s important to look the interviewer in the eye, but know when to break away after a few seconds. An effective way to ensure you’re looking interested and engaged is “direct face contact.” Try looking at different parts of the interviewer’s face every two seconds; rotating from eyes, to nose, to lips, so you’re never just drilling into the interviewer’s eyes.

Heedless head nodding

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 while listening is an additional way to show attentiveness. It’s an indication that you’re enjoying and understand what’s being said. However, avoid fanatical nods that could mistake you for a puppet. Overzealous nodding can also indicate that you’re not on the same page, so limit the action to once or twice whenever relevant to the conversation.

Crossed arms

The arm cross is fluent in any language for feeling defensive or uncomfortable. And neither trait is co-worker conducive. Crossing your arms can also tell your interviewer that you’re anxious or hiding something. Try to keep them separate by placing one hand in your lap and another on the table—at the ready to gesture naturally during the conversation.

 The aggressive fragrance

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.

A weak handshake

Only the strongest candidate will win the job search, and a weak handshake isn’t going to help your cause. To a recruiter or hiring manager, it comes across as unimpressive, unenthusiastic and untrustworthy. Instead of offering a limp fish, firmly grip his or her hand while making eye contact and squeeze as you pump three times.

Slouching

Poor posture can be seen as a byproduct of low self-confidence, but adopting a powerful, upright position can increase the interviewer’s perception of assurance. So you want to sit with both feet planted on the ground in front of you with your back straight and one arm casually on the arm rest or on the table.

 

Remember, body language is one that everyone can understand. Let yours tell the tales of success.

3 Tips to manage your money with an irregular income

budgeting irregular income It can be a tricky line the tread– the one that divides a life budgeted on certainty versus one of chance. 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.

Don’t be better; be different. Here are 3 reasons why!

being different is better than betterContinuously striving to achieve perfection must be an exhausting exercise. It’s suspected that one can almost correlate the experience to trying to capture some type of fabled, elusive beast.

Like a Unicorn perhaps. Or maybe a Minotaur.

And like perfection… does either exist?

And perhaps it’s rather unfair to unleash such a bold question on an unsuspecting Monday, but nothing legendary comes from treading lightly. And motivation is a Monday thing.

So, let us venture further to say that being great isn’t great enough.

Sure, that may seem like an intolerable thought for some to ponder, so let us pose this question instead: If being unique isn’t the greatest asset we have, or the stuff legends are made of, why is a horse with a horn on its head such a magical creature?

So don’t be better. Be different, here’s why:

“The best” is temporary

Being considered the best at something is a rather flimsy advantage that can be surpassed in a heartbeat by someone with a bigger following, or a lower price point, who flashes a fancier degree or has the nicest car. And somewhere along the road in your career, there’s always the risk of that technically better fit person popping up like the plague with their better technical skills ready and willing to be bandied about.

But here’s the thing about those things: People do business with people, and they do it with the ones they like. Anyone can offer a similar product or service, but no one can deliver the same experience. How you make an employer, coworker or customer feel during the interaction is what’s going to make you stand out.

Being better can hold you back

It’s easy to be blind to innovation when you’re scared to push the boundaries, but “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” didn’t invent the iPhone. Fear manacles you to mediocrity, and if your mind is set on being the best at the old way of doing things, someone else will be the one to discover a way to do it differently. And he or she is going to be the one who will be remembered. So don’t invest all your energy in being like everyone else. Carving out your own niche and positioning yourself as an early market adapter will set you ahead of the competition.

If no one knows, no one cares

You can have a really good idea. Like… a really, really good, mankind changing, world-evolving, earth shattering, post-apocalyptic cure for the human race type of idea, and no one will care if they don’t know about it. The best ideas—or the best people—can’t win if they fail to stand out in the first place.

Allow us to relate a tale: Two similar Candidates, with two similar resumes, applied to the same role. Candidate A’s resume was sent through email along with 250 other resumes. She was a perfect technical fit, with exceptional experience and an impressive portfolio.

Candidate B’s resume showed that he wasn’t as great as a technical fit as Candidate A, but he also had exceptional experience and an impressive portfolio. Instead of sending in a resume however, like Candidate A, this magical Unicorn of a Candidate stapled his resume to the top of a pizza box and sent it on over to the agency during lunch time. If you don’t stand out, no one remembers—even if you’re the best.

Who do you think got the gig?

The moral of the story here folks, is not that everyone likes pizza, or Minotaurs or magical Unicorns, it’s that standing out and being different is what will get you in with the same like-minded, mad individuals that make the impossible possible in our world devoid of such fabled elusive beasts.

 

5 Resume words to replace

resume words

Sticks and stones can break your bones but words can also hurt your resume.

When you’re looking to stand out in the job search, your resume is what’s going to get you in for an interview, so you’re going to have to inspire the attention of the person reading it. And you’ve only got about six solid seconds to do it. So listen to these wise words of wisdom when we tell you that you need to choose your words wisely. All it takes is a little action.

 

Action verbs

A verb is a word used to describe an action, and that’s just what recruiters and hiring managers want to see on your resume: actions. It’s imperative that your CV details the scope of your responsibilities and accomplishments; demonstrating what you’ve done for past employers, so future ones can be confident in what you can do for them. To do this, you need to replace boring passive voice verbs with action adverbs.

 

  1. Responsible for

Your job duties aren’t impressive, but what you’ve accomplished while performing them is.

Boring: Responsible for increasing social media traffic across all 14 company locations.

Better: Increased social media traffic by 30% within the first 90 days across all 14 company locations, generating new business leads and a 5% increase in conversions.

 

2. Duties include

This phrase is as equally unimpressive as the aforementioned.

Boring: Duties include raising $250,000 in fundraising initiatives for company’s charity.

Better: Raised over $250,000 for company’s charity by planning and executing fundraising initiatives including door-to-door recruitment, bake sales and silent auction.

 

3. Assisted or helped

Demonstrating that you assisted someone is only as informative as you make it, no matter what your assistance entailed.

Boring: Assisted the manager of the Legal Department with small claims cases.

Better: Handled all phases of litigation of small claims cases with the manager of the Legal Department; directed court clerk and court commissioner on what action to take on the company’s cases.

 

4. Various or Variety

So you handled a bunch of stuff. Cool! Being specific is what will demonstrate your knowledge and capabilities.

Boring: Implemented various malware prevention against advanced and targeted attacks.

Better: Implemented malware prevention against advanced and targeted attacks using User and entity behavioural analytics, Endpoint detection and response (EDR) and Security testing for DevOps (DevSecOps).

 

5. References available upon request

Okay, so this one doesn’t get replaced with an action verb because the only action needed is to take it out.

Boring: Listing the obvious.

Better: Leaving valuable resume real estate open for more space to list your accomplishments.

Writing your resume can seem like a daunting task, but you can’t make something happen without action.

 

 

Would your resume get past an Applicant Tracking System?

 


 

PROCOM WINS INAVERO’S 2017 BEST OF STAFFING® CLIENT AND TALENT AWARD!

best of staffing

Procom Group of Companies

WINS INAVERO’S 2017 BEST OF STAFFING®

CLIENT AND TALENT AWARD

Procom receives award earned by less than two per cent of all staffing agencies in the U.S. and Canada!

 

TORONTO, ON – February 16, 2017 — 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  Award for providing superior customer service to both Clients and Talent.

Presented in partnership with CareerBuilder, Inavero’s Best of Staffing winners are chosen from staffing firms across North America based on Client and Talent satisfaction ratings.  Winners of the Best of 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 both Clients and Talent, placing it significantly above the staffing industry average and amongst the best performing staffing firms in North America.  “Procom is honoured to be a recipient of the Best of Staffing award,” says Frank McCrea, founder and president of Procom Group of Companies. “Procom prides itself on operating with a true commitment the highest level of customer service.  An award chosen by our Clients, Candidates and Contractors demonstrates their trust in us and reflects our pledge to helping them in growing their 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.”

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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

Are you holding yourself back? Here’s how to allow yourself to succeed…

steps to success

 

Motivation on a Monday can seem like a Kardashian spin-off on any given day, undesirable, lackluster and more often than not, the interest just isn’t there.

And the word Allow may seem like an awkward verb to use when trying to correlate success and personal action. Because we all strive towards it, right…….so why would we hold ourselves back?

It’s a thought too heavy to ponder perhaps on a Monday, so let’s just instead concentrate on the things we may not even realize we’re concentrating on. Because sometimes we can only really move forward when we find out what’s actually holding us back. Alas, could it be you? Could you be the barrier in your own road to success?

Instead of Keeping up with the Kardashians, let’s instead keep these motivators in mind so we can stay on top of what’s keeping us back:

Persistence is far more important than perfection
How many times have you felt as though the progression towards your goal was “taking too long?”

It’s a misconception that plagues us all, but the key to bringing your plan into fruition is to accept that persistence pays off, and perfection is often an illusion. Whether you’re looking to advance your career, deliver a project or attain a new position, take a step back and realize how far you’ve come. Congratulating yourself on goal milestones will give you the extra pep in your step to get you striving towards achieving your goal(s).

Others should be your guides, not your goals
“The grass isn’t always greener….”  We’ve all heard the saying. But have we actually listened to what it means? Our role models help us mold ourselves, both personally and professionally, and of course we should try to exemplify the similar traits in our own lives that make them successful in theirs. Birds of a feather flock together, right? You must remember though, you are your own unique self, with your own individual timeline and your own personal goals. Don’t get too caught up with someone else’s path or you could lose sight of your own.

You’re not giving up because you’re starting over
Thomas Edison imparted those wise words of wisdom, and he was a pretty smart guy. He also never gave up. Even when others told him to. (And then there was light!)

It’s easy to get frustrated when we’ve decided on a path that ends up twisting and turning with unexpected bumps along the way. But don’t get defeated when things don’t turn out the way you expected them to right away. Even if you decide to hit the pause button until you found the right move to push yourself forward, remember: that’s okay.

Motivation can be found in many different ways and in many different forms, but when you find what works for you, keep it close. Life is a long journey.

 

…….(And it’s still okay to binge watch the Kardashians……)

8 Resume resolutions we hope you kept!

applying to jobs

 

It’s February. And it’s cold. Or it seems like everyone has a cold. The sun persists in playing a sneaky game of hide-and-seek; and it’s the same kind of game that the January gym goers are tempted to tag along with. Do I stay or do I go?

Because here’s the thing: 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February. So if finding a contract was on your radar in the New Year, these are some resume resolutions we hope you kept.

 

  1. COMPLETE CONTACT DETAILS

It sounds like an obvious, but a lack of contact details is something recruiters see more often than not. You always want to include your full address, email and mobile number on each page of your resume, specifically ensuring your postal code is listed. Recruiters use something called a radial search by postal codes when they’re scanning for candidates, and if yours isn’t listed, you don’t exist.

 

  1. KEY WORDS

Never use a blanket approach when it comes to your resume and applying to positions. Instead, take the time to tailor your application to each company you apply to.

Ensuring a resume is keyword-rich and addresses the specific needs of each job posting will help increase the chance of  yours getting passed Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and into the recruiter or hiring manager’s hands. Resume keywords are the skills and qualifications used in the original job description, and the more times each pops out on your resume, the more likely you are to have in-depth knowledge of the technology or skill in the eye of a perspective employer.

However, simply using any form of these keywords will not win the robot war. They must be formatted to echo the original job description exactly— to an ATS, there’s a difference between “Microsoft Word,” “MS Word” and “Word.”  When it comes to your job description, a “marketing coordinator” will find his or her way into an interview room before a “branding ninja” will even be noticed by the resume robots.

 

  1. CONSISTENCY

There’s only one you, and here’s a secret, every resume you send to a recruiter is kept on file. For-ev-er. So if you’re sending in multiple CVs with different dates, companies and titles – and they don’t match your LinkedIn profile or other resumes, there’s probably going to be a perceived honesty issue.

 

  1. THE 3 Cs

Keep your resume clean, clear and concise.

You may work hard, but you want your resume to be easy to read, so leave enough white space in between each position and remove any logos or photos. Highlight your work experience in reverse chronological order to demonstrate your work progression, and keep the length to 4-6 pages max!

Determining resume relevancy is best left up to the robots and recruiters, so don’t attempt to stand out by bolding irrelevant words that will only negatively distract the eye—the same goes for different fonts and colours. Keep formatting simple!

 

  1. PROOFREADING!

Your resume is your professional first impression—and a direct reflection on your attention to detail and written communication skills. Use spell check! And after you’ve done that, check it again yourself. And after that, send it to someone you trust for another pair of fresh eyes.

 

  1. BEING QUANTIFIABLE

In other words—the numbers. When you’re trying to show the value you can bring to a future employer, recruiters want to see what you’ve produced for the previous ones.  List any stats that highlight revenue generated or the results of a project you supported. Remember though, figures don’t always have to be monetary to prove their worth. Make sure to include any percentages of achieved targets or time taken to deliver a piece of work or project.

 

    7… AND VERIFIABLE

In this day and age, you can’t run. And with social media, references and everything else on the interweb, you can’t hide things that really aren’t there either. Don’t put on your resume that you’re PMP certified if you’ve let your PMP lapse or include a magical undergrad degree that you never quite finished.  Lying isn’t conducive to employment!

 

  1. AVOID ASSUMPTIONS

Last but not least, remember: If it isn’t on your resume, it doesn’t exist! Don’t assume that because you’re a Business Analyst that recruiters and hiring managers will automatically know you’re involved in UAT and have written BRD’s. If you don’t say it on your resume, people won’t assume that you have it.

 

In order to win the resume war, you need to first battle the bots, and an ATS will automatically eliminate over 70% of resumes before a recruiter or hiring manager will ever lay a human hand on one. Use these tips to ensure yours sees the light of day.

 

Procom sponsored curlers are going for gold!

winning team

Procom KW is a proud sponsor of Team Mooibroek! These boys have had an exciting season so far and are currently ranked #1 on the U18 Ontario Curling Tour and #10 on the U21 Tour!

 

Team Mooibroek is also fresh off a big win this past weekend at the Toronto Cricket Club, taking home the title at Stu Sells U18 Slam!

 

Procom KW is proud to support the team as they prepare for the U18 Qualifiers that lead to the provincial championship and hopefully the U18 Nationals being held in Moncton, NB in April!

Good luck Team Mooibroek from Procom!

 

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We want to find you the contract you deserve, so we need to know what’s most important to you when you’re looking for one!

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On demand is in demand: 3 Tips to retain talented contingent workers

how to retain top talent

 

Remember when a little unknown company by the name of Netflix emerged back in the early 2000’s? Some people were curious, others were dubious, and now over a decade or so later, more than 50 million members globally subscribe to the on-demand media streaming giant.

There’s a visible trend emerging in the talent-recruitment world, and with over 40 per cent of the U.S. workforce comprised of contingent workers, studies show that companies are following the Netflix business model: On-demand workers are in high-demand.

The contingent workforce typically encompasses a set of highly skilled IT specialists and Consultants to light-industrial workers, and this growing number of multi-faceted talent is rapidly changing the way organizations are doing business. According to a recent report released by supply management firm, Ardent Partners, 92 per cent of enterprises indicated non-traditional staffing was a vital to moderate part of their overall corporate strategy. By this year, contingent workers; including Independent Contractors, statement-of-work-based labour and freelancers will account for almost 45 per cent of the world’s total workforce.

For many businesses, non-traditional staffing offers a way to tamp down on costs while acquiring skilled but scarce talent. A contingent worker may be pricey, but the cost is temporary—making them much more palatable to a bottom line.

So, the plusses for businesses add up; but for contingent workers who frequently have to answer the question of where the rent money or mortgage payment is coming from each month, there lay a distinct discrepancy.

How do you keep temporary talent from jumping ship?

The first mistake businesses make is the assumption that contingent workers are happy to wait until their current contract expires to discuss a new deal. Wrong! A recent study from Procom shows that while still on assignment, 31 per cent of contingent workers are always looking for another opportunity elsewhere. Are you doing everything you can as a business to keep contingent workers engaged? Try these tips for reducing turnover of contingent staff:

  1. Next steps discussions

Like every type of employee, contingent workers desire certainty, and if they don’t have it with their current employer, they will look elsewhere for security. When a contract begins, automatically set up “next steps” discussions at the midpoint and subsequent midpoints until the contract expires. At each discussion provide details about upcoming opportunities, and be clear as to whether or not there is a possibility that the assignment would be extended.

  1. Recognize their value

Inclusion is key. Appreciating the unique needs of a contingent worker involves an up-front effort to ensure inclusion in the workplace. Although they can’t be identified and treated as full-time employees, avoid creating subcultures between full time staff and your contingent workforce. A Contractor knows his or her position may be eliminated at a given time, and their salaries and any other perks are pre-determined compared to those of full-time employees; they’re not as incentivized as the rest of the staff. As an employer, businesses can’t be careless or apathetic when dealing with a contingent workforce. To remain motivated, productive and inclined to stay or return for future projects, contingent workers need to feel as though they are part of the team and not just temporary bodies in a seat.

  1. Develop and maintain close communication with your staffing agency

Staffing agencies are your third party connector, and they make it their business to know yours, as well as their Contractors. Ask to be kept in the loop with their surveys within the labour pool, so you can have feedback as to what you can do or do differently to hold on to your talent in the future. Do some companies invite their contingent staff to company events and Christmas parties? These perks can increase engagement, word-of-mouth referrals and inspire intention to return for future projects.

 

At the end of the day, when it comes to the contingent workforce, there’s a clear correlation between the basic human regard awarded Contractors and their subsequent intention to stay for the duration of their entire assignment, perform at their highest level and return for future projects. Treating temporary staff in line with the true value they contribute to your business will pay off by way of retention.

Monday Motivation: 7 Office Space traits that will get you promoted

Some have vilified him; others still celebrate him, but whether you loathed or loved when Ron Livingston Jack Berger broke up with Carrie Bradshaw with the infamous 7 word post-it note, you’ve got to admit: Ron is kind of a boss. He’s clearly wise in the ways of concise communication and in making definitive decisions; he keeps good company and takes action. All in all, he knows how to work the world and the workplace.

How’s that for some Monday Motivation?

So if you, too, seek to achieve awesome in life and at the office, ask yourself, “What would Ron do?”

(Or try these 7 tips in honour of one of the best movies of all time.)

1. Always be looking to create opportunities to improve your workplace.
Because you’re inventive. And innovation matters.

WWRD: See a better way of doing things? Master the ability to maximize your workplace value by continuously looking for ways to expand your sphere of ingenuity throughout the organization.

2. Ask for more responsibility 

WWRD: If your skill set could benefit a specific project or different parts of the organization, offer to collaborate. It will demonstrate your desire to extend your skills and position within the company. More responsibility also increases your knowledge-base and puts a spotlight on your value to the organization– and that’s good. Unless that spotlight is from a florescent bulb.

No one looks good in florescent lighting.  (In the case of actual said lighting, see number 1 about improving workplace conditions.)

3. Don’t skip the office party. No matter how lame you think it will be.

WWRD: Don’t miss out on the chance to socialize with co-workers because you don’t want to “mix business with pleasure.” You’re basically skipping out on a chance to learn more about office news (and we mean news, not gossip), alienating yourself from people who you spend 8 hours a day with. Who gets remembered when it comes time for an advantageous project or reward? Not what’s his or her face who never shows up.

However, copious libations are frowned upon–employee discretion is advised.

4. Be a team player

WWRD: Hold up your end. Don’t call yourself a team player and then balk at having to pitch in on other projects. Complaining is futile; ask how you can help instead. Being a team player builds your reputation, and making  thoughtful decisions and having honest interactions with others is significantly noticed.

(But don’t do this. This is a bad decision.)

Speaking of bad decisions…

5. Be drama free 

WWRD: Office environments mean you have to work closely with different personalities. Don’t like a co-worker? Your boss doesn’t or want to care. Unless there’s a real problem, keep your co-worker complaints to yourself. Bringing drama to the workplace implies your maturity level isn’t worthy of the next step.

6. Quantify your results 

WWRD: Those who get results get ahead (unless you have a horrid personality, no one wants to work for someone who can’ t get along with others). Keeping records of what you’ve done to enhance the company’s bottom line puts you and your department in the good books. It not only shows your value but also your loyalty and commitment to the organization.

7. Practice self-promotion

WWRD: Modesty is a virtue, sure, but if no one knows of your greatness, you wont get ahead. Let it be known if you’ve created an award winning program or achieved another worthy goal. Use performance appraisals not just to go over your accomplishments, but to talk with your boss about potential advancement opportunities. Sell yourself!

And remember, if these 7 tips don’t help you land the promotion, the post-it could also always help you leave to find another opportunity:

Now set forth, and achieve the level of greatness you’re capable of.

Could your social media profiles cost you a contract?

Are you socially savvy in your job search? Take our Friday Fun Quiz to find out!


8 Reasons why you didn’t get the job

reasons you didn't get the job

 

Thank you for your interest…”

“We’ll keep your resume on file…”

“Good luck in your job search…”

Those words.

You crafted the perfect resume, breezed by the initial phone conversation and left the interview feeling like you’re already a part of the team– and then you get the email. You know the one. The one with those words…

It’s supposed to be the job offer you’ve been waiting for, but instead of a contract, you’re stuck with condolences… What went wrong?

There could have been any number of reasons why you didn’t get the gig, and other than simply not being qualified, these could be one of them:

  1. The definition of the job changed

Over the course of interviewing several different candidates, the company may have decided to revise the job description all together. As a result, management may have also revised the required skills. It happens.

  1. They hired internally

It’s actually pretty common. Even if a hiring manager knows of a strong internal candidate, some companies require outside interviews to take place anyway. Hiring internally is a low-risk move and one many organizations will make if there’s a qualified candidate already on staff.

  1. They were looking for the right cultural fit (and you weren’t it)

Sure, you may be qualified, but did you really picture yourself working alongside these people on an almost daily basis? Maybe the hiring manager couldn’t, either. Personalities play a role in the employment game, and maybe you didn’t come across as someone who would fit in on the team.

  1. You couldn’t agree on salary

If you’re looking for more than the company is willing to pay, odds are you won’t be offered anything other than the good luck email.

  1. The interview was a ruse

Some companies have policies that a certain number of candidates has to be interviewed for each position—even when the hiring manager has already decided on whom to bring on board.

  1. You’re too attractive

Yep. Said it. It’s an ugly truth. Psychological studies have shown that there’s a hiring bias against particularly attractive women for some roles (guys, you’re apparently safe from such discriminations).

  1. There was a better candidate

People often identify themselves as perfect for the job, but for every qualified person, there’s another one. Fitting the qualifications listed on the job description doesn’t necessarily mean someone else isn’t a better fit overall.

  1. You simply blew it

Sometimes there’s no other reason for not landing the job other than you simply made a really bad impression. Maybe you weren’t prepared, your body language made you seem disinterested, maybe you came across as too arrogant or perhaps you just didn’t click with the hiring manager. Sometimes interviews go badly, and it’s best to just move on with these tips.

When it comes to job interviews, all you can really do is prepare as best you can to make an enthusiastic and professional bid for your candidacy. You won’t be hired for every position you interview for, but don’t let the set backs get you sidetracked, the reason you didn’t get hired could have nothing to do with you (or you really did just blow it).