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Challenges of a shrinking workforce…

There is a shrinking workforce in Wisconsin and a recent BizTimes publication highlighted that fact.

WFA Staffing is in the business of locating qualified talent for our client employers, and have been doing that for a long time.  We know the difficulties in searches since we live it day-in and day-out.   Our recruiting staff has come to understand which searches will require a longer time frame, and we have had the opportunity to see what the going rates are in some of the toughest recruiting categories.

WFA views ourselves as partners with our client employers.  Our company has always thought in those terms and we find that many of our client employers are also thinking along these lines.  Our seasoned staff can help employers gain a feel for what timespans ought to be planned for in recruiting.  They can also advise on going rates for the talent being sought.  We know that some positions will simply be tougher to fill. We also want to be open with our clients in that regard.

Frankly, if you are not having those same discussions with our competitors, you might want to give us a call.

We are all looking for the right talent at the right price.

That may sound a bit crass but that is often the name of the game in today’s market.  Especially in certain sectors of employment, available people are in very short supply.  Even though it might be tempting, we do not reach out to former employees whom we have placed.  That is simply not the way we choose to operate.

Given the shrinking workforce, we have had discussions with good long-term clients who are re-thinking their staffing plans. Some are even at the point of relaxing their standards a bit just to be able to continue to serve their clients.  Gone are the days when an employee performing at 80% of requirements could be released.    Finding a good replacement in a few weeks, no longer is an option, at least in certain categories of positions.

Another critical aspect adding to this shortage of talent quite frankly is the numbers of candidates who fail the requisite drug tests.  That seems to be an increasing issue rather than simply being better some months and worse other months.

The laws of supply and demand are active in today’s marketplace.

 

The skill sets in greatest demand carry the highest costs but will also deliver profits in return.  Profits don’t flow if product quality or service is degraded, or if delivery times stretch out to untenable lengths of time for customers.

If you know you’ll have needs over the next few months, please let us know what those are likely to be so that we can be aware and get those wants into our system soon.  A new hire a week or two early is far better than a new hire a week or two or more too late.

Fred D'Amato

 

Fred D’Amato, President

 

Authenticity- Be yourself!

Be-yourself-in-a-worldAuthenticity is important.  Authenticity in interviews is very important.  What is authenticity?   How can we be authentic in interviews?  It is actually quite easy to define.

We define interview authenticity as you being you in the interview.

You are who you are. You have hair of a certain color; you are so many inches tall; you weigh so many pounds, you talk the way you talk, and your attitudes and experience are what they are.  That is the authentic you.  Authenticity is not something you can conjure up for specific occurrences such as an interview.  Too often, we have seen the situation where a person studies all he or she can about the company with which they are about to interview.  Is that a bad thing?  Absolutely not; you ought to learn as much as possible about your prospective employer before you interview.  But you should not try to be someone you are not and never have been.

Being authentic during the interview simply means that you act like yourself.

You don’t create some new version of yourself because you think that might work better for you during the interview.  You might be able to fool the interviewer once in a great while, but even then what have you gained?  The company thinks they have hired a person who doesn’t really exist.  You cannot be someone other than who you really are.  Actors and actresses play roles but that is only for the time they are onstage or in front of the camera.  You cannot play a role as an employee for 40 or more hours a week and for 50 weeks out of the year with two weeks of vacation to be your real self.

It is important tauthentic-self-picture-quotehat you be your real self during interviews.  That is how you achieve authenticity in the interview.  If the employer isn’t willing to hire the real you, then you are spared having to act the part of someone different for the rest of your career with that employer.  You know that would be impossible, but it is amazing how many times people who are seeking a new position are tempted to do just that.  There can be a lot of pressure to land that new job.  Bills are piling up; your spouse is counting on it; you need that ideal position to feel good about yourself.

But, no matter how rough the situation might be, do not fall into the trap of trying to act like a different person because you think that’ll get the offer to come your way.  It will almost always do just the opposite.  Even if that acting works once in a while, you would be miserable from the first day on.

Be yourself.  Walk the way you walk.  Talk the way you talk.  Tell the truth about your experience and education.  Act the way you’d want to be able to act if you were hired.  Be the real you; that is authenticity in the interview.

Tom Krist

 

 

Tom Krist, CEO

 

Habits – Are they good or bad?

habits-wordle1Habits come in all varieties, but we tend to think of ‘bad’ habits whenever the word ‘habit’ is mentioned.  Maybe that is natural from childhood on through adulthood.  Maybe we were admonished so often as youngsters that we see the word as having a bad connotation.

Habits are defined as: a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.

Even this definition of a habit is tinged with the stigma that a habit is usually bad.  But, that is far from reality.  If you have the habit of smoking you probably realize that is, by definition, a bad habit.  But, if you have turned that habit into a habit of no longer smoking, then you have traded a bad habit for a good habit; maybe that is chewing gum.  But be sure you don’t have the habit of loudly chewing your gum.

We often become creatures of habit, and we do not always recognize that in ourselves.  We tend to go to the same restaurants and we might have a habit of ordering the same dish since we’ve developed a liking for it.  We patronize the same gas stations.  We watch the same TV shows.  We have a favored news program that has become a habit.  We have a favored theatre.  We have a favored meal.  We have a favorite kind of music.  We may even have a favorite Bible verse.

In the workplace, habits, even good habits, can be the source of irritation for our associates.  Have you ever tired of the person who slurps her soup at lunchtime?  Do you annoy others with the tune you habitually hum?  Do you always begin a conversation with the same opening line?  Are you constantly clearing your throat?

The most innocent thing we do might be the source of irritation for others without us even recognizing that.

It is, unfortunately, usually easier for us to identify the bad habits of others than it is to identify habits we have that bother others.  It takes a very good friend, a kind-hearted person, to help us see those kinds of things about ourselves.

When we demonstrate that we can take a bit of criticism without ‘losing it’, we have taken a huge step toward being a better associate.

Habinew-habitsts during employment interviews can make or break the interview.  A good habit played to excess will be as damaging as a bad habit displayed during the interview in your job search.  A good friend can be an excellent source of constructive criticism…if we are confident enough to make that request and to handle the resulting discussion positively.

 

 

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Alan Campbell, Account Executive

Interesting Times…

 

imagesThe business of finding talent has gotten considerably more difficult of late, and it does not appear that will resolve anytime soon based upon what we see locally and nationally.

With that reality upon us all, there are things prospective employers need to consider.  In some cases, if the desired talent and experience can be located, more money may solve the dilemma but the “more” may be a significant amount given the demand in certain sectors of employment.  There is a distinct shortage of high level, broadly experienced talent.  This may be a time when some decisions need to be made.

Does my company really require a top level person with tons of experience, or is this the time for my company to think about bringing on board a quality person who might not have quite the level of experience we’d love?  Would operating short-handed be better or worse than waiting for, or paying more for the right person?

There is a cost to be paid for not filling positions just as there is a cost to be paid for providing some OJT, but while providing the OJT your company will be gaining the benefit of that employee’s production or sales.  Will every one of those people who were hired with a bit less experience or a bit less education than desired be long term employees?  Maybe not, but they will have contributed something even while you were deciding if they were ‘keepers’ or not.  You may have to refine the training process or the score-keeping process or both.  And you will need to be willing to pull the trigger on termination decisions if that is required; and, that isn’t always an easy thing to do.

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On the other side of the coin there are also the intangible feelings of loyalty that may be created within the person who was given the opportunity to learn on-the-job that might not otherwise be present.   If you are fully staffed or nearly so, you have the opportunity to work through these tight hiring periods.  If you are short-staffed, you are probably going to suffer on production or sales or both and that can’t be offset.

 

Interesting times indeed.

Alan Campbell, Account Executive

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