Top 5 Employee Skills Okanagan Employers are Looking for 2018

okanagan employers

Kelowna and the surrounding area has been exploding with new growth and job opportunities the past few years. 2018 is shaping up to be no exception! With recent graduates and job-seekers flocking to Okanagan, the competition for jobs can be pretty stiff when facing Okanagan employers.

So what traits, skills, or characteristics will separate you from the crowd? Here are the top 5 skills that Okanagan employers are on the lookout for:

Ambition

With lots of tech startups in the area, an entrepreneurial spirit will go a long way with many Okanagan employers. Employers are looking for hires who will show dedication, drive, and loyalty, not someone who views the position as “just a job”. A candidate who demonstrates ambition will reassure the employer that they are willing to learn new skills, systems, or processes. They might even become someone who will help the employer build the company!

Adaptability

The ability to embrace change is a crucial soft skill to many employers. Adaptable employees are more likely to rise to tackle new challenges head-on, and be willing to perform tasks outside their job description. They can easily cross-train on other desks when the need arises and often become indispensable in their departments.

Precision

Work output that is riddled with errors and omissions can become a huge expense for a company. Therefore, the ability to conduct duties with accuracy is one of the most important skills an employee can have. Detail-oriented employees will produce quality work that will save the company time and money.

Critical-Thinking

Employers are looking for employees who can take direction but also solve problems on their own. Employees who are able to troubleshoot and prevent issues will streamline workflow and free up management to focus on other tasks.

Cultural Fit

Lastly, an employer wants to know that their new hires have good interpersonal skills and will work well with the rest of the team. A good team-player will increase efficiency and help create a positive work environment. Cultural fit means also means the employee understands and shares the company’s core values and vision.

Conclusion

Education and work experience are important and will likely always play a factor in an employer’s hiring decisions. But it’s the other employee skills and characteristics that will often make or break a candidate’s chance of making the short list! Not sure which skills to put on your resume? Contact us for a skills assessment. 

 

How to Retain Good Employees

retain good employees

There is perhaps nothing more discouraging than hiring and training a top-notch employee, only to have them resign a few months later. Yet in many offices, this scenario is woefully common. The statistics don’t lie: a whopping 65% of employees are likely to resign from their position to pursue another opportunity.

A high turnover rate is not only stressful, it’s costly: Estimates are that replacing even an entry-level employee can cost up to 40% of an employee’s salary. Here’s a few tried and true methods to retain good employees:

Have a Strong Onboarding Process

An employee’s first three to six months have a huge impact on how long they will stay with the company. The vast majority of newly hired employees are not full invested in the company upon their start date. Providing proper training and facilitating a smooth transition into an employees new role helps develop a good relationship from the beginning and garner faith in the long-term benefits of the role.

Give Employees the Tools They Need

Make sure that your employees have the tools they need to do their work well. It’s important to budget for upgrades to increase efficiency and ease of work. This could include anything from computers and software, to ergonomic office furniture.

Review Employee Compensation

One of the biggest causes for these “flight risk” employees is compensation. While salary certainly plays a large role, other forms of compensation such as benefits, vacation, work-life balance, and opportunities for growth are just as important.

Develop the Office Culture

A healthy office culture is important to keeping employees engaged with their work and committed to the company. Encourage team-building activities like an office fundraiser for charity. It’s also important to have fun at the office to keep moods elevated and positive. Try implementing a weekly trivia game or raffle. Invest in your employee break room and stock it with games and snacks!

Recognize Your Employees

Recognizing the efforts and achievements of your employees is paramount to employee retention. According to one college study, 69% of employees would work harder if they were given more recognition by their superiors. Another survey shows that 50% of employees believe receiving recognition from their superiors improves their relationship and builds trust.

Recognize the whole team by having a catered lunch to thank them for their hard work. Or when an individual goes above and beyond, call them into your office to thank them for their accomplishments. Highlight an employee’s achievements in the company newsletter, or at the next staff meeting.

Check in Regularly with Employees

Schedule routine one-on-one meetings with each of your employees to check in on how they’re doing. Ask them about what challenges they’re facing and ask for their feedback on how to improve office operations. These sessions can not only help you to guide your employees, but also give you insight on what motivates them and improves their engagement.

Conclusion

To find and to retain good employees is challenging, but being able to keep them requires just as much strategy. Making the effort to reduce turnover will result in happy, long-term employees, and a productive office.

Contact us if you are struggling in finding good employees for your company.

 

Resume Rules 101: How to Pass the Six Second Test

resume rules

Employers can get more than 75 resumes for every position they are hiring for. It’s no wonder then, that the average employer uses resume rules and looks at each resume for no more than six seconds before tossing it into the shredder. It’s an intimidating statistic to be sure, but with the right layout and content, you can keep pass this lightning-quick vetting process.

These are the 5 Resume Rules you must adhere to:

Grammar and Spelling

One of  the most obvious resume rules, yet it’s staggering how often resumes are submitted without proofreading. One typo and your potential employer won’t make it past the objective line. Proofread yourself several times, then get a friend to proofread it. Alternatively, you can use free online tools like Grammarly to catch typos and grammatical errors.

Don’t Skip the Cover Letter

In your employer’s eyes, a well-drafted cover letter is a strong indicator that you’re someone who really wants the job. For many employers, skipping this step it an instant prompt to delete your resume.

Use Keywords

Every resume you send should be tailored specifically to the role you’re applying for. Read the company’s website for details on what they do, and what their mission statement is. Then review the job description and determine the keywords used for what they want in an employee. Be sure to include those keywords in your resume, preferably near the top, in your objective line or summary statement.

Professional Layout and Font

A blank Word doc with a few bullet points is lazy and unprofessional looking. With a plethora of free templates available on programs like Word and Google Docs, there’s no excuse not to have a professional looking resume. Make sure your font is easy to read and avoid dense paragraphs; there should still be a lot of white space. Keep your resume to one or two pages. Be concise in order to include as much information as possible without cluttering the page.

While a pop of colour can help your resume stand out amongst the monochrome ones, use it sparingly and keep to darker colours, like navy blue.

List Accomplishments, not just Duties

An employer isn’t interested in what duties you performed in your role so much as how well you performed them. Therefore, don’t just list out your responsibilities and duties. Keeping to a concise, bullet-point format, describe your duties as accomplishments. Back up your accomplishments with facts and numbers. For example, instead of saying you were “responsible for order entry,” say, “entered orders efficiently and improved turnaround time by 60%”.

Conclusion

Your resume is your first impression on a prospective employer, so ensure that it represents you as the ideal candidate. With a strategic approach to your resume, you’ll be sure to make it past those critical first six seconds and onto their shortlist.

Not sure if your resume is enough? Contact Us for friendly advice! Make sure to also check out the list of available jobs Platinum Personnel has to offer to find your perfect employer fit.

 

6 Tips for Hiring First Employee

hiring first employee

On paper, finding and hiring first employee seems like a simple enough task: Find a resume that showcases the qualities you’re looking for, bring that person in to meet them, and offer them a job.

But as a lot of new Managers quickly realize, hiring new help is much harder than it looks. Trying to find qualified resumes in a sea of applications can be like finding a needle in a haystack, and spending a few short interview sessions with person is not much to go on when hiring someone to spend so much time with you and your team.

But there are ways to make finding and hiring the right candidate easier. Try these six strategies to help you find and hire your first employee:

Know the Role You’re Hiring For

Put together a detailed job description of the role you are hiring for. If you aren’t involved in those day-to-day activities, enlist the help of someone in that department or who has a role similar to the one you’re hiring for. Make notes on what previous experience or level of education is required. This will help you create a detailed job listing that will attract the right candidates.

Determine Missing Attributes that will Make Your Team Better

Take a hard look at your department and identify the skills you wish your team had more of. Or alternately, what skills or attributes aren’t working in your group. Could you use more employees with critical-thinking skills? Someone with more years experience under their belt? Target the attributes that you believe are most important and use them as a reference point for how suitable a candidate is for the role.

Set Aside Time to Review Resumes

It’s tempting to skim resumes briefly on your computer in attempt to rush through them, but you could miss the best candidates if you don’t take your time. Print off the resumes and set aside a predetermined time in your day to go through them one by one. Expect to spend a considerable amount of time doing this; a job opening can easily yield 75 or more resumes.

Prepare Interview Questions in Advance

Bring in a list of standard questions to each interview to make sure you don’t forget to cover something important. When a candidate is highlighting their best attributes, ask them for examples of how they demonstrated those attributes.

Conduct Second Interviews

It’s difficult to get a firm grasp on how well someone will perform after one short interview. Even if the candidate made a stellar first impression, it’s good practice to have them back for a second interview. Use the second interview to introduce them to other members of the team they’d be working with. The feedback and alternate perspective provided by your team can help you make the final call.

Always do Reference Checks

These days, references are not often included on a candidates resume, but they should always be available upon request. Follow up with your candidates’ references to check facts and get a feel for their character. It’s a good idea to ask references for information as to why a candidate left their last position.

Conclusion

Finding and hiring first employee properly can be a painstaking task to say the least. If time is a resource you simply do not have, consider using a recruitment agency to do the legwork for you. An experienced agency can utilize their team of skilled recruiters to help find the ideal fit for your company.

6 Best Habits to Become a Successful Employee

successful employee

For the job-seeker, finding the right job can be a daunting task. However, it’s just as important is to perform the job well once you have it! If you want to hit the ground running at your new job and fly through your probation period with flying colours, here are these six habits you should develop as a successful employee:

Participate in the office culture

The office is a place you spend a lot of time in, so make an effort to get to know you coworkers a little and contribute to the office culture. Developing a good camaraderie with your co-workers can help you work more effectively with them and create a more productive work environment.

Be a problem-solver

It’s certainly important to ask for help when you need it. But running to your manager with every little question can be frustrating to your boss and in many cases, unnecessary. Make an effort to troubleshoot issues on your own to show your employer you’re capable of working independently.

Be a reliable successful employee

It seems simple, but it’s surprising how many employees struggle with the simple prospect of showing up for work each day. Understand that every time you call in sick with a sniffle or are late for work, you put strain on your coworkers.

Be reliable in the quality of work you produce as well. Make it a priority to meet deadlines and follow through with what you say you are going to do. Show your colleagues and employer that they can depend on you!

Proactively communicate and follow up

Today, a lot of correspondence is done over email and can be a highly efficient way to communicate. However, if you aren’t receiving the response you need to move forward with your job, follow with a phone call.

Follow-up and proactive communication skills are often critical to preventing issues and completing tasks in a timely manner.

Strive to be efficient

Be aware of your time-management and how long it takes you to complete your tasks. Keep your cell phone out of sight to reduce distractions and help keep you focused on the work at hand during company time.

For the most time-consuming tasks, try to come up with some ideas to make the process more efficient. Make suggestions to your boss if you think you find a faster or better way to do something.

Be a team-player

Help others with their workload when your own load is lighter. Be flexible and willing to take on work that is different from your day-to-day in order to help out a colleague. Listen to your coworker’s challenges and collaborate with them to find solutions.

Conclusion:

Regardless of whether you’re new on the job or a seasoned employee, these six habits can can get you noticed by your employer as  a successful employee. Show the company your dedication to the job, and you will achieve long-term career success. 

Can’t wait to become a successful employee? Check out our latest job positions here.

How to Hire the Right Cultural-Fit for your Company

how to hire

Some candidates look great on paper; they have all the education, experience, and skills needed to do the job well. But equally important as skills, is the candidate’s personality and how to hire the right fit, so that candidates work well the rest of the team.  

Unfortunately, judging culture-fit can be the hardest task of all. In fact, more than half of resource managers admit to misjudging personality fit with work environment. The wrong fit can result in decreased productivity, low morale, and high turnover.

Consider a few of the following strategies when hiring for your corporate culture:

Include a complete mission statement with the job description

Be as descriptive as possible in your job description, not just about what the task entails and the type of liaison required for the position, but about the kind of place your company is and the long term company vision. The more detail you include, the more likely you are to attract the right candidates to the job.

Conduct a group interview

Some employers find value in conducting a “culture interview” when they think they have found a candidate who is the right fit. This process involves arranging some a meet-and-greet between some of your staff members and the candidate. The feedback you get from your team after the interview can be invaluable to determining how well they will fit in with the group.

How to hire a temp to perm

Hiring a temp to start can viewed as a “working interview”, during which you can gauge first hand how well they work with your team. If they meet (or surpass), all your expectations, you can then decide to hire them full-time with confidence that you are making the right decision.  

Use an agency with a guarantee

Platinum Personnel offers a 90 day guarantee on permanent placements. In the event that candidate does not work out long-term for your company, we’ll find a replacement free of charge.

Conclusion

Using a few key recruiting strategies, you can greatly reduce – if not completely eliminate –  the risk of hiring the wrong candidate for your work culture. Having a expert placement agency in your corner is one of the easiest steps you can take! Contact us today.

Top 10 Jobs in Kelowna for Recent Graduates

jobs in Kelowna

In 2018, Okanagan Valley has become the land of opportunity. Mostly this is particularly true for new graduates searching for work in the Kelowna area. If you are a local graduate seeking employment, you should definitely consider the following jobs in Kelowna.

Real Estate Agent

Kelowna’s housing market has seen an impressive boom in the past year as citizens depart Vancouver’s overpriced housing market in search of greener (and more affordable) pastures. As a result, the need for new talent in the Kelowna Real Estate industry has never been greater.

Programmer or Software Analyst

The tech industry in Kelowna has grown into a 1.3 billion dollar industry, and is known as B.C.’s very own Silicon Valley. Because of resources such as  Accelerate Okanagan help to draw in tech businesses from around the globe, there’s no better time or place to be a graduate in computer science.

Tour Guide / Tourism Associate

With its sunny weather, nearby wineries, and beautiful Okanagan lake, it’s no wonder that Kelowna enjoys a booming tourism industry. Therefore, there are many opportunities to serve in tourism, ranging from guided boat tours, wine tasting servers to instructing at ski resorts.

Healthcare Administrator

Majority of job vacancies are located in the city’s General Hospital and the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Medicine, whose campus is located in (remove-South Central) Kelowna. As a result,  Healthcare industry currently accounts for 27% of all job vacancies in the Kelowna area.

Horticulture Specialist

One of Kelowna’s biggest economic assets is its agriculture. The Okanagan area is a thriving expanse of farmland that includes wineries, lavender farms, and various types of orchards. Due to this factor, any student with a background in horticulture or agriculture will find many opportunities awaiting them in Kelowna.

Civil Engineer

The B.C. government expects to see as many as 6000 or more jobs in the construction industry by 2025. This is the ideal role for the graduate with a civil engineering degree or diploma in construction technology.

Marketing Strategist

Kelowna and its surrounding area is teeming with new businesses and entrepreneurs. Due to this, startup businesses are looking for a talented marketing strategist who can get the word out about their service or product.

Human Resources Specialist

More jobs in Kelowna create a greater need for H.R. specialists. Furthermore, B.C. government predicts this sector will see a considerable increase in employment opportunities within the next 5-10 years.

Architect

Kelowna’s growing community needs architects to design and create plans for new buildings, whether they be commercial, institutional, or residential. Architects require a three-year internship and an exam with the provincial association. However, the effort is worth it; the government predicts there will be over 1400 jobs for architects by 2025.

Sales Executive

Getting into sales is a great opportunity for the extroverted business administration graduate who loves to connect with people face to face. Today, every business needs outside sales associates who are adept at meeting potential clients and closing deals.

Conclusion

Regardless of industry or field of study, there is no shortage of exciting  opportunities for different jobs in Kelowna.

Contact us to help you find the right employment opportunity for you!

 

Why Jobs in Okanagan are on the Rise

Jobs in Okanagan

2017 was an impressive year for Okanagan region job market. Within the span of one year, Kelowna – the largest city in Okanagan Valley – went from having the worst job market in Canada, to being number one. The number of jobs in Okanagan has increased a whopping 14.3% in 2017, and has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country.

So what’s the reason behind the growth? Here are three major factors contributing to the rise of jobs in Okanagan:

Innovation:

The technology sector in particular has had a significant impact on Okanagan. In just three years, tech has grown 30% to become a 1.3 billion dollar industry. QHR and Disney Interactive are sector leaders that paved the way for new tech businesses and are further enabled by Accelerate Okanagan. AO is a not-for-profit organization that provides tech business with mentorship and connections needed to succeed in Okanagan.

New Developments

Aside from the technology sector, Okanagan has seen impressive growth among a number of other industries. Healthcare, Tourism, Agriculture, and Manufacturing, have all become economic strengths within the region.

From an international investment standpoint, it’s far cheaper to open a business in Okanagan than in the lower mainland. The Business Development Bank of Canada also offers more support to small businesses and programs for local Okanagan businesses. As a result, entrepreneurs are flocking to the region.

Great Community

There are a number of compelling reasons to relocate to Okanagan. It’s a beautiful place to live, with Okanagan Lake is one of the regions highlights. Okanagan has a better weather and more sun, than its rainier counterpart in the Lower Mainland.  

The thriving agriculture in Okanagan means access to fresh local produce. And of course, those enjoy wine will also be attracted to the 30+ wineries in the region!

Finally, Okanagan has become a far more affordable place to live compared to Vancouver’s dramatically inflated housing market.

Conclusion:

For the recently graduated who looking to enter the workforce, Okanagan is an excellent place to begin your career. The Okanagan and Kelowna area offers the best of both worlds: opportunities to thrive your industry while enjoying a high quality lifestyle.

5 Reasons to Hire Kelowna Recruitment Agency

Kelowna recruitment agency

Why Hire Kelowna Recruitment Agency?

Kelowna is a growing community with an exploding job market: Jobs in Kelowna increased by 14.3% in 2017, and ranked as the number one job market in the country! To find the perfect hire in this rapidly growing marketplace, you need a local professional who has not only the industry expertise, but also constantly monitors the local job seeking community. That’s where Kelowna Recruitment Agency comes handy.

Here are five reason you should use a Kelowna recruitment agency:

Saves Company Time

Reviewing resumes can be a poor use of company time, especially if it results in the wrong hire. Recruiters do all the screening, interviewing, skill testing, and background checking. Afterwards, employer needs only to cherry-pick from the recruiters’ carefully vetted shortlist.

Saves Company Money

An in-house hiring manager spends a lot of money and resources through advertising, interviewing, background checking, and training. As a result the costs can quickly add up and exceed the company budget.

Kelowna recruitment agency can provide predictable hiring costs that are in alignment with the budget. Furthermore, their industry expertise can help negotiate an appropriate salary while still securing the best candidate.

Recruitment Expertise

A good recruiter will act as an ambassador of your company brand to candidates within your industry. They can provide candidates with insight on the work culture and company vision. Much as, a professional recruiter also knows their candidates’ individual work histories and strengths. They will take the time to ensure the candidate is the right fit for the company’s long-term goals before adding them to their shortlist.

Better Local Connections

Usually, recruitment agencies are better-connected than in-house hiring managers. They already have a pool of top-tier candidates that may be the right match for your business. As well, many of the best candidates are not actively applying to jobs, and recruiters know how to find them. They have an extensive network of contacts that they can utilize to connect you with these hard-to-find candidates.

Improves Community Reputation

A Kelowna-based recruitment agency can help you make the right hire and reduce company turnover. Over time, this creates a long-term, cohesive team of employees. Furthermore, good hiring decisions build up a company’s reputation by having staff that provides top-quality service to their clients.

Conclusion:

Whether it’s an entry-level administrator or a seasoned manager, who you hire can impact the success of your business. Take the guesswork out of making the right call by utilizing the services of a local Kelowna recruitment agency.