Business News, Employer Tips

3 Ways to Withstand the Tight Labor Market

With the current unemployment numbers at less than 4%, good caliber candidates are becoming harder to come by. Engagement and retention initiatives can help you keep your current employees on board longer, but how do you fill the open positions that naturally occur through growth or attrition?

Perhaps it’s time to rethink your strategy. Here are 3 tips to get you started.

Cast a wider net.

Think there’s plenty of fish in the sea? Think again! Consider adjusting your requirements, such as a certain educational level or non-essential skills. Don’t make the mistake of missing out on an excellent candidate because he or she didn’t have the exact title or credentials you were looking for.

Also, go beyond the job boards when hiring. Utilize social media, referrals, personal connections, general networking, and any other channels you have at your disposal.

Stop searching for “perfect”.

Those unique, elusive candidates with the perfect blend of credentials, skills, and experience are in high demand, but are they really worth the effort and cost of hiring them? And will they stick around long term? In many cases it’s better to hire for cultural fit and train for skills.

Make them an offer they can’t refuse.

If you’re interviewing a quality person in a competitive field, be aware that you probably aren’t the only company he or she is considering. That means you need to do something to make your company stand out as a desirable place to work. Polish your employer brand by addressing specific candidate concerns such as relevant work, collaborative culture, opportunities for growth and promotion, and community involvement. It’s also important to understand market compensation trends so you can put together an attractive compensation package.


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Life Tips, Professional Advice

3 Tips for Balancing Work and School Like a Boss

Going back to school as a full-time employee looking to further your career is no stroll in the park. First of all, go you! You’ve made a difficult decision that will ultimately pay in the long run. But if you want to make the grade, you need to figure out how to balance your work and school life. Apply our 3 expert tips to ace the juggling act and keep your sanity intact!

Consider your schedule.

Don’t try to keep your school secret or even downplay the time commitment. That will only result in an eventual breakdown. You’d be surprised how open your employer might be to the idea of you going to school. Depending on what you are studying, they might even help you pay for it.

Can you work earlier or later, work from home, or pick up hours on the weekends? Yes, even your boss might be into your schooling, if not to potentially benefit the company you work for, perhaps just because seeking a degree shows initiative.

Sit down with your employer and explain the benefits of going back to school, and he or she might give you some help you didn’t expect.

Organize your time.

Time management is the most important thing to consider when you’re trying to juggle work and school (and your own life, too). Make sure study time is dedicated and that you establish a space just for your educational materials. Eliminate distractions like your cell phone or email notifications.

Don’t forget: apps can help you be more efficient and limit your time on social media.

Be sure to schedule some time for yourself, too. Focusing on work and school all the time is not sustainable, and you’ll eventually face burnout.

Keep your eye on the prize.

Though it may seem like forever, juggling work and going to school won’t last forever. So if you lose some sleep in the short run, consider it payment toward a better future. Maybe mark down how many days of school you have left on a large calendar, and take it one day at a time.

No one said it would be easy, but take a deep breath — and don’t overdo it. The right mindset will help the whole circus make sense, and you’ll cross that wire and get your applause (and diploma) in no time.

Life Tips, Professional Advice

What to do When You Hate Your Job

The Sunday scaries are setting in. You’re dreading the week ahead, and wish there was any way to get out of it. Sound familiar? Many people hate something or other about their work, but aren’t sure if there’s something better out there for them.

Let’s face it, quitting a secure job is scary, but the only way to be sure if the grass is greener is being proactive. Here’s how to go about it:

Know it will take some time.

Change won’t happen overnight. Even if you’re ready to make the move, job searches can drag. Don’t give up, even if it takes weeks — or months.

Use other methods of job searching, such as a staffing firm. Sign up with an agency to get another set of eyes on the job hunt for you, and utilize them to help beef up your resume, or to aid in the interview process.

Networking is another great way to put the feelers out there. Take the time to update your LinkedIn profile. Talk with friends and family and see if they know of any opportunities available. It doesn’t hurt to use all of your resources!

Or the delay could be on your end – whether you feel you have to save up some money or work out any personal issues, or maybe just figure out what the next move is. Whatever the case may be, the first step is identifying you’re ready to move on.

Don’t just quit.

As satisfying as it may seem, resigning in haste simply isn’t an option for most of us.

Consider the fact you may need a good reference letter, or leave the possibility open that you may be able to transfer within the company. Whatever the case may be, burning bridges isn’t the best way to go out.

Be careful about what you say and who you say it to.

When you think you’ve found the perfect position and are able to score an interview, you’ll probably be pretty excited. Be weary of broadcasting how much you’ve hated your job, no matter who it is. Companies check references, and will speak with previous employers. What you say matters.

Recruiters and prospective employers look for people who are going to build their businesses and reputations up through engagement and contribution; not tear them down. Going into an interview with the idea that you can spend even a fraction of the time ripping into the company for which you currently work (or formerly worked) often says far more about you than the company. What’s more, you never know who your interviewer might know, or even if the company you’re trying to leave could hold associations with the company to which you’re trying to move.

Discover what kind of change you want to make.

Review job descriptions for the position you want. Look at the education and skills section to determine general industry requirements, as well as specific employer requirements.

Next, Review your past jobs and identify areas where you have performed the tasks listed in the job description for your desired role. When you take the time to do this step, you’ll often find that you have transferable skills that’ll qualify you. And if you see a gap, you’ll know investing in a degree or a course is worth it.


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Employer Tips

Surviving the Summertime Slump: CP’s Tips to Motivate your Employees

Ever notice that the higher the outdoor temp, the lower the productivity? No one likes to be cooped up in the office when they could be soaking up the sun. It’s natural for employees to become distracted from their work, thinking about weekend plans or an upcoming vacation.

But there are ways to keep morale and productivity up through the long summer months. Here are our tips to summer-proof the workplace.

Be flexible.

Be flexible about where and when your employees work. Host team meetings outside or let them leave a little early on a Friday. Show them you care about their life outside of work and give them the option of flexible schedules.

Employees will appreciate the freedom and trust that comes with flexibility. Just be sure your team is prepared to keep up strong communication in order to collaborate from a distance while still reaching company goals.

Embrace the Summer.

Celebrate Summertime as a team and host employee outings. Throw team events and parties like a picnic or BBQ, an ice cream break, a group sports outing or an after-work happy hour. These activities will not only boost employee happiness but set your team up to be more engaged and productive over the longterm.

Encourage your employees to use their vacation time as well. Stepping away from the office is a great way to relax and recharge. You can set goals and reward high performing employees with tickets or free hotel stays. Travel incentives are unique opportunities and ultimate motivators for those employees with wanderlust.

Additionally, your dress code should be more casual during the hot summer months. Employers can even experiment with themed days to wear fun summertime items such as hats or Hawaiian shirts.

Get to know your team.

Investing time into getting to know your employees can increase the dedication they have to their work, no matter what time of year. Create a space where your employees feel understood so that they can feel connected. Some people will value more time with their families, while others will value continuing education or mentorship. Actively listen to your people and use this to find out what drives them.


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Things To Do

Keeping it Local: Summertime Fun in RI

When it comes to big Summer fun, Little Rhody does not disappoint. Whether you are planning a stay-cation or a looking for some day trip ideas, here are our top picks for things to do in RI in the Summer.

Bold Point Park

 555 Waterfront Drive East Providence, RI

Kick off your Summer with live music by the waterfront. Bold Point Park, located on the East Providence waterfront has views of Upper Narragansett Bay and the Seekonk River, and overlooks the Providence skyline. In true RI fashion, this venue has it all.

With bands like Ben Folds, The Beach Boys, YES, and Josh Turner, there’s a little something for everyone. Hit up their website for tickets and more info.

Food Truck Friday at Roger Williams Carousel Village

ftf
 1000 Elmwood Ave, Providence, RI 

It’s a win-win for kids and parents: hit up the zoo for an hour or two in the afternoon and then head on over for the Food Truck Festival! Enjoy over 15 locally owned food trucks and local beer from Trinity Brewhouse, while listening to live music. See the full list of food trucks attending at https://www.foodtrucksin.com/carousel

Kids can ride the Carousel ($2), hop aboard the Carousel Train ($3), play at Hasbro’s Boundless Playground for the kids (free!), and much more.

Pints, Pizza & Pups at The Guild

461 Main Street, Pawtucket, RI

July 11, 2019 5pm – 8pm

Home to brewing partners Narragansett Brewing Company, Newburyport Brewing Company, Devil’s Purse Brewing Company, and Farmer Willie’s Craft Ginger Beer, The Guild is a 131,000-square-foot brewing campus, including a 100-barrel brew house – the largest American-made craft brew house in the United States – and a full-service taproom. The taproom, located in the 100-barrel brew house itself, lets beer drinkers have a first-hand look at the brewing process – while they enjoy the finished products.

This special event, hosted by the Animal Print magazine and EGAPL Heart of RI Animal Rescue League is at The Guild on July 11th. Help them celebrate the launch of their new website http://www.theanimalprint.com and raise money for the league!

Enjoy free pizza, giveaways, live music, dogs, cash bar and a silent auction with amazing items! Bring along your best furry buddy, so he/she can join in the fun! Dog tickets are limited so register early if you would like to bring your pup!

Newport Kite Festival

nkf25
 Ocean Drive, Newport, RI 

July 13, 2019 – July 14, 2019

The spray of colors across the sky along Ocean Drive in July at the annual kite festival is a sight to behold. Watch the coastal skies fill with dancing kites at the two-day Newport Kite Festival. Grab your family, pack a picnic and enjoy the sights – admission is free, held at Brenton Point State Park.

Beavertail

beav2
Beavertail Rd, Jamestown, RI 02835

Beavertail State Park, located in Jamestown, Rhode Island, is known for offering some of the most beautiful views along the New England coastline. The Park attracts people from all over the country, to enjoy its pristine environment. Beavertail’s most popular activity is sightseeing and can be done from the comfort of a vehicle, in one of the four overlooks or on foot, from the rocky coastline. Beavertail also provides some of the best saltwater fishing in the area, along with offering hiking trails, and a naturalist program that attracts hundreds of people each year.

Whale Watching in Narragansett

humpback2
  33 State St, Narragansett, RI  

Take a tour with Frances Fleet and try to spot some whales off of the port of Galilee. You’ll most often find beautiful finback whales, but perhaps also the majestic humpback, false killer, or pilot whale. Book your trip here.

Main Street Stroll: Taste of East Greenwich

 378 Main St, East Greenwich, RI

August 22, 2019 5 PM – 8 PM

Main Street Strolls Taste of East Greenwich hosted by Besos Kitchen & Cocktails, features festive themes, showcasing local artists, musicians, and performers, attracting hundreds of visitors to each event. The strolls also offer a nostalgic shopping experience with shopkeepers staying open late for strollers to enjoy or stay and eat at one of the many dining spots on and around Main Street and the waterfront.

Spring Lake Beach

Spring-Lake-Beach-6824
50 Old Hillside Drive Glendale, RI  02826

Take a trip to Spring Lake Beach for a uniquely awesome Summer beach day. The beach facility includes a floating dock, children’s water slides, concessions, and a penny arcade with some of the oldest games in the country. Rent kayaks or sports equipment from the beach shop for some extra fun in the sun.


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Business News, Employer Tips, Professional Advice, Uncategorized

How Returnships Can Benefit Both Parties

Many workers may experience a career hiatus — whether it’s due to circumstances such as taking time off to care for young children or looking after an ill family member. For these people, it can be very challenging once they are ready to re-enter the workforce because many employers are reluctant to hire applicants whose resumes show lengthy employment gaps.

One effective strategy is pursuing an internship designed specifically for them: a mid-career guide often called a “returnship.”

Returnships welcome a way to sharpen skills, gain some recent experience for their resume, and revive their network.

Modeled after traditional student internships, organizations hire individuals for a few months to a year during which they pair employment with mentoring and training, and can provide an excellent transition back into the working world.

They benefit businesses.

A return-to-work internship program offers a structured, low-risk program so that managers can access a pool of talent they’d otherwise be missing out on.

Hiring and training new employees can be massively costly to businesses — returnships give companies access to already skilled and experienced professionals. By opening their doors to candidates who might otherwise be hesitant to apply for such positions due to their time out of the workforce, businesses can take advantage of a wealth of otherwise untapped talents.

Plus, by hiring those whose skills require only a little “fine-tuning”, businesses can save a small fortune on employee development. By breaking from traditional hiring strategies and taking the focus away from hard skills, returnships offer businesses more room to take in a candidate’s experience, enthusiasm, and potential cultural fit, reducing the risk of a costly poor hire.

Returners come laden with previous experience, solid skill sets, and familiarity with workplace expectations; things which can take businesses a lot of time and money to build up in new employees.

Clearly, the value that a returning professional can bring to a workplace is immeasurable, and businesses who put in the time to help returners develop can find themselves gleaning the benefits long into the future. By offering a returnship program, you’ll help support top talent as they reenter the workforce — and in turn, improve your business.


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Professional Advice

How to Navigate Summer Office Fashion

“Dress how you want to be addressed.”― Bianca Frazier

Once it hits 100 degrees outside, staying work and weather appropriate quickly becomes a fashion feat. Keeping cool without being a hot mess can be tricky, but totally doable. Follow these guidelines to keep it professional in the Summer without looking inappropriate or over casual at work.

linen blazer

Achieve a more relaxed business casual look in the summer by wearing lighter fabrics like cotton and linens in creams and khakis. You can also work casual pieces into your normal work attire, by pairing a nice t-shirt and blazer or dark-wash jeans and professional top for casual Friday.

madewell slides

Flip flops are just a no-no. Save those for the beach and opt instead for a leather slide, which is equally as relaxed and comfortable.

10113752_lovely_as_lemonade_wedge_orange_MAIN

Have fun with your footwear and go for flashy flats, open-toed heels, or wedges with bold and bright summery patterns. With bare shoes, consider these three C’s: clean, clipped, and chip-free. Manicured toes are essential for exposing your bare feet in the office.

Shorts are difficult to pull off in the workplace, so it’s generally best to stay away from them. Golf shirts and bathing suits under your clothes are also not ideal. If you look like you’re ready for the beach, you do not belong at the office.

geometric-1Summer dresses are a great way to help keep you cool on sticky days. Opt for those with some structure in light or bright colors and soft, friendly patterns. 

As temperatures rise, so too do hemlines. So what’s acceptable in terms of length? The general consensus is no more than a couple of inches above the knee; short shorts, miniskirts, and clingy fabrics aren’t appropriate.

Avoid spaghetti-strapped and strapless dresses and those that reveal too much of the chest, shoulders, and back. Also, be careful about the fabric choice. Thin, barely-there sundresses should be saved for the weekend.

work

Keep in mind the hotter it is outside, the cooler the office will be, so always keep a light blazer or cardigan within reach for when you’ve had enough of the arctic blast. Keeping a blazer or a tie on hand is also convenient for when you have client meetings.

pants

Depending on the formality of your workplace, sleeveless dresses and blouses could be an option in areas with scorching temps. Open backs, plunging necklines, rising hems, and peeking midriffs are always inappropriate at work. Also, be careful not to show too much skin at once. If you opt for a sleeveless top, for example, pair it with pants instead of a shorter skirt.

 

electro-denim-lab-5700-6257251-1shoes-without-socks-menFor men, short-sleeved button downs and polos with a nice pair of khakis or chinos is a great way to stay cool and look cool, too. A rolled up long sleeve can be a stylish way to stay comfortable. Also consider no-show socks to give the ankles some air while rocking the classic sockless look, paired with a loafer or oxford shoe. 

Whether you go with short sleeves, lightweight materials, or slightly more casual outfits, there are plenty of ways to stay cool and comfortable while still looking office-appropriate.


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