How to Deal with a Difficult Employee

difficult employee

There’s no such thing as the perfect employee. For that matter, there’s no such thing as the perfect employer. We’re all human, and we all make mistakes. 

But if you have a difficult employee, whose behaviour is continually affecting the business, you have a problem. Whether the issue is related to work ethic, attitude, punctuality, or competence, the following checklist can help you handle even the most difficult employees.

Address problems early

The longer you leave a problem, the more difficult it will be for you to address it. Don’t silently stew for months if they are arriving twenty minutes late for work nearly every day. If you let the behaviour continue, they will simply assume that it is okay with you.

As soon as you notice a pattern or behaviour that is causing problems, address it with them immediately to nip it in the bud. Make sure they are clear on company policies, and then be consistent in enforcing those policies to prevent any relapse into old habits.

Listen to them

Before you can help a difficult employee who is displaying a problem, you need to fully understand the reason behind it. Ask them why they think the problem is occurring, and then listen carefully to their response. They may reveal an underlying problem that you previously knew nothing about.

For example, if they are missing deadlines, it is easy for a manager to assume that the employee is not managing their time well. But perhaps they are struggling with excess workload or have some other valid obstacle that is preventing them from performing as expected.

At the very least, listening to your employee can help them understand that you want to help them succeed. It’s a step to show that you’re trying to work with them, not against them.

Provide Actionable Feedback

Depending on the issue, employee may not realize they’re doing something wrong, or know how to fix it on their own. Provide constructive feedback that the employee can act upon. Set a date to follow up with the employee to review with them how well they followed through on your direction. Always do this in a one-on-one setting, not on the floor in front of other colleagues.

Document All Reprimands

Even if it’s the first time you’re addressing an issue with an employee, make sure you document all reprimands and write-ups from the start and keep them in a file for that employee. It sounds harsh, but if it ever gets to the point where you need to fire them, having the documents to prove that the discussions happened can facilitate the termination without risking legal trouble down the road.

Be Transparent About the Consequences

Although there’s nothing wrong with being diplomatic when you’re addressing problems with employees, make sure they understand what the consequences are if they fail to improve.  If it ever gets to the point where you need to fire an employee, it should come as no surprise to them.

Conclusion

Handling difficult employees is one of the toughest parts of being a manager. But if you do the best you can to rectify the issues and follow through on a predetermined process, you will always do what’s right for both the employee and the business.

Need a new perspective on your new employees? Click here to check  out some of the services we offer to help your company succeed!

 

Top 5 Work-Life Balance Tips for Okanagan Employees

work-life balance

Many ambitious employees tend to prioritize their work above all else, especially in the early stages of their career. An Okanagan  employee is eager to establish themselves in the industry and position themselves for advancement. But overworking can skew an employee’s work-life balance and result in burnout.

The good news is that there is no need to sacrifice work-life balance for your career.  Here are the top five tips for maintaining work-life balance, even if you have a demanding job:

Set goals

At the beginning of each month, determine what goals you want to achieve both in your life and at work. Outline a plan and schedule for making each happen, and check on your progress at the beginning of each week. This will keep you focused on your priorities and help you avoid getting distracted with less important tasks or “busy work”.

Optimize your productivity

Work smarter not harder! Avoid context switching (aka “multitasking) and opt for task batching instead. Task batching involves grouping similar tasks together and then focusing on one group of tasks at a time. For example, group together all your meetings/calls then have a separate group for checking emails. Use a task management program (like Trello) to organize and prioritize grouped tasks.This helps you streamline your focus on like-tasks to get more done in less time!

Be transparent with your manager

As long as you are being honest, a good boss will understand and work with you when your work-life balance is suffering. Keep the lines of communication open by letting them know what your needs are. For example, if your morning commute is taking you twice as long because of rush hour traffic, ask them if there’s any opportunity to start your work day earlier or later. Or, if you need certain tools to help you get the job done faster, ask for them!

Exercise and eat right

Self-care is key to maintaining a positive outlook on life and helping you be your best self. Exercise is one of the best ways to stay healthy, which in turn increases your focus and productivity. If you’re not used to exercise, start with just 20 minutes a day. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but a brisk 20 minute walk can improve your cardiovascular health and help you maintain a healthy weight.

Similarly, a good diet is equally important. Avoid grabbing takeout for lunch and pack a healthy lunch each day.

Set boundaries

It’s important to know when to say “no” in order to avoid getting overloaded with work. You don’t need to volunteer for every single thing to try and impress your boss! Remember to focus on your priorities and decline invitations if they are not aligned with your goals.

Conclusion

With the right strategy, Okanagan employees can maintain a healthy work-life balance that advances their career while maintaining their self-care and home life.

Sometimes, achieving work-life balance comes down to finding the right job to begin with! From there, it is simply a matter of being honest with your employer, your family, and yourself about what you can handle.  

 

5 Pro Tips for Okanagan Graduates to Ace The First Job Interview

first job interview

Acing the First Job Interview

Graduating from university or college can be a disorienting experience. After spending years learning new skills and honing them, you’re suddenly out in the real world and need to find work!

The good news is, it’s never been a better time to find a job as a graduate in the Okanagan area. The economy is strong and job opportunities are plentiful. But once you’ve got your foot in the door with a strong resume, you need to ace that first interview in order to stand out from the competition.

Here are five pro tips for impressing your potential employers in the first interview:

Do your homework

There’s nothing more disappointing to an employer than an interviewee who doesn’t know anything about the business! These days, with nearly every business being represented online, it’s easy to research the company you’re interviewing at and internalize a few fundamental facts.

How long has the company been in business? What do they specialize in and how are they unique from their competitors? What is the company’s vision? Work this information into your responses and show your employer that you’re interested in not just the job, but the company brand.

Know what you bring to the table

The first job interview is your chance to sell yourself as the perfect employee! Once you’ve researched the business and the role you’re applying for, take a good look at your resume. Which of your skills will your potential employer be most interested in? What separates you from other candidates in Kelowna? Determine your biggest selling points and make sure you emphasize them during your interview.

Prepare for the common questions

Know in advance how you will respond to the most common interview questions. Questions like:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What is your biggest strength/weakness?
  • What are your long term goals?
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • Why should I hire you?

Giving advance thought to these questions will help you answer confidently and succinctly when they come up.

Prepare Questions to ask

There may be a point during the interview when the interviewer will ask, “Do you have any questions for me?” Use this opportunity to ask genuine, well-thought out questions about the role, company, and work culture.

This not only demonstrates your enthusiasm for the job opportunity, but you will benefit from it as well. You want to make sure the company is as good a fit for you as you are for them!

Watch your body language

First impressions are important, and body language plays a large role in making the right one. Wear professional attire, and keep your posture straight. Have a firm handshake to demonstrate confidence. Make regular eye contact and smile to show that you are trustworthy. Wait until you’re invited to take a seat, and avoid putting anything on the table except your portfolio or resume.

Conclusion

If you are called for your first job interview in Okanagan, the employer already believes you have the skills and qualifications for the job. All you need to do is live up to your resume, and show your enthusiasm by arriving to the interview well-prepared. Not sure where to start? Contact us to help you ace your first job interview.

 

Temporary vs Permanent Placement : 3 Questions Kelowna Employers Should Consider

permanent placement

Perhaps you already know that using a recruitment agency might be one of the best things you can do for your Kelowna business. You get a hand-picked shortlist of qualified candidates to choose from, saving precious time and resources finding the perfect hire.

But there’s one more decision to make when hiring through a recruitment agency.  Will you choose a temporary hire or a permanent placement?

Consider these three questions to determine which type of placement is right for your business:

Is the role a long term opportunity?

Temp hires are perfect if you’re not sure the role will be required for the long term. But if there is a potential for long term employment, both the temp and employer can benefit from a contract. If the temp learns the job well and develops a good working relationship with the other team members, the employer can then hire them on full time.

Permanent placements are ideal if the employer is certain that the role is a long term opportunity from the start. Someone who joins the company with plans to stay long term will be more likely to show commitment to the company’s brand and vision for the future.  

Even with permanent placements, there is still a 90 day probationary period where the employer can re-evaluate if the new hire is working out or not.

How much experience does the role require?

The downside to temp placements is that they typically require someone who is willing to work in a temporary capacity. Temps usually know that their potential for future employment with the company is less secure. Candidates who are already working are as likely to leave their current job for a temp role. As a result, many of the employees who are available for temp work tend to have less work experience.

A permanent role is seen as a more secure opportunity that will attract experienced candidates, since they might then be willing to leave their current position to pursue it.

How quickly do you need the help?

Temp hires can be placed quickly, and are best utilized when you need immediate help for your team. For example, a temp is perfect for covering for an employee who had to take a sudden leave of absence.

Permanent hires typically take longer to onboard since they are often leaving another company. Also, they  need to leave a minimum of two weeks notice with their former employer.

Conclusion

Whether you are looking for long term employee, or just looking for extra help during your peak season, a Kelowna recruitment agency can help you find the perfect candidate to suit your needs.

 

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.