Josephine's Personnel Services, Inc.

Employee Motivators – Five Ideas to Help You Understand Your Team

March 4th, 2014
What motivates you?

What motivates you?

When trying to create a cohesive work environment, understanding what makes your employees tick is especially important. In this blog post, we identify five common workplace motivators for employees in hopes of helping managers and employers gain a sense of the most common desires their team members have.  Read the rest of this entry »

Worker’s Compensation – Myths, Facts and FAQ’s (Part Three)

January 21st, 2014
Do you know your rights?

Do you know your rights?

In part one and part two of our blog post series, we began delving into the highly confusing topic of worker’s compensation. We introduced basic facts in part one and continued by debunking common myths in part two. Today, in part three, we tackle the topic of frequently asked questions and deliver answers that are sure to aid in creating a strong and cohesive understanding of worker’s compensation.

Common Worker’s Compensation FAQ’s:

What is it?  This may surprise individuals but there are plenty of employees that don’t have any knowledge of the existence of worker’s compensation. Simply stated, worker’s compensation includes a set of compensation benefits that your employer is required to pay if you have an injury or illness that is directly correlated or caused by your work for the company.

What do I do if I get hurt or sick at work? If you have a condition that was caused by your workplace, you must report it to your supervisor right away or as soon as symptoms appear (for a developed disease etc.). When health conditions appear and medical care becomes necessary, prompt reporting will aid in the quick receipt of compensation and medical benefits. When you make a report, you will be given specific claim forms and various other paperwork. Be sure to complete the forms honestly and completely before 30 days have passed. Once 30 days have gone by,an investigation is less effective, and your compensation benefits may lessen or even disappear.

Is there any way to avoid getting hurt? Besides personal responsibility and judgment, every California employer is required by OSHA law to have a program in place for their employees for illness and injury prevention. These programs will vary from one employer to the next but should include ideas for correcting unsafe situations and safety trainings for team members. While the responsibility lies on the shoulders of your employer to create a safe workplace, as a member of that workplace you must share the responsibility in maintaining its safety.  You can do this by being aware of any and all workplace safety guidelines as set forth by OSHA and by gladly complying with those standards at all times.  Following these guidelines are the best way to prevent injury and promote safety.

There are dozens of other questions that are commonly asked in reference to work related illness and injury benefits, and while we may have only covered four questions today, we know the information will help in the development of your basic understanding of the concept. Be sure to check back next week as we wrap up the series with one final post full of even more frequently asked questions.

About Josephine’s Professional Staffing

 Founded in 1988, Josephine’s Professional Staffing has nearly 25 years of business success and is continuously committed to providing superior quality staffing solutions to companies in the Bay Area. We proactively and consistently search for avenues to provide staffing solutions in the field of administrative, accounting, healthcare, light industrial, technical and professional services while taking pride in each of our employees. Josephine’s Professional Staffing is a Certified Small Business Enterprise (SBE), Underutilized Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (UDBE), and Minority Woman-Owned Business Enterprise (MWOBE). We can be reached at jps@jps-inc.com or 408.943.0111 and are located at 2158 Ringwood Avenue, San Jose, CA 95131

Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Labor

New Year Resolutions – Tips for Job Hunting in 2014

December 24th, 2013

happyNewYearNew Year resolutions are not limited to losing those extra pounds or stopping a bad habit. In part one of this blog post series, we discussed the idea that the New Year is seen by many as a fresh start, a clean slate and an opportunity for change. Last week, we introduced three basic tips to prepare for job hunting in the New Year. Today, in part two, we continue with our introduction of job hunting tips with three more ideas to aid in finding success with your job related New Year resolutions. Read the rest of this entry »

Making a First Impression – Tips For Employers

January 9th, 2013

Why should your business bother to make a good first impression with potential hires?

Potential employees are not the only ones who should be worrying about making good first impressions. A business relationship with an employee goes both ways and as you already know there is no second chance at making a great first impression. But why should your business bother with this? Here are some tips, as well as some reasons, on why making the best first impressions you can with a potential employee is important.

Ease Their Nerves. Making a possible employee feel welcome will put them at ease. That translates directly to a better interview overall. We all remember how nerve-racking it can be to be on the other end of the interview process. Making an employee feel at ease will Read the rest of this entry »

A Business’ New Year’s Resolution

December 6th, 2012

We all do it in our personal lives but what about our businesses? Have you set a resolution for your business in 2013? From training to social media, here are a few ideas of what entrepreneurs and small business owners are focusing on to inspire your business’ resolution this New Year.

Communication. Whether internal or external, communication is key to running a successful business with happy clients and employees. Here are some tips for better communication in the workplace: Read the rest of this entry »

Find Good Help for the Holidays: How Can Temporary Staffing Help Keep You Running Smoothly This Season?

November 17th, 2011

If you didn’t include holiday hiring plans in your yearly projections, it’s not too late! While there tends to be a mad rush to begin seasonal hiring once the leaves start to change, many employers are still recruiting for candidates deep into the snowy underbrush of the winter holiday season:

  • Thirty-three percent of employers who are hiring seasonal staff reported they are still trying to fill open positions in November.
  • Eleven percent said they may still be looking as late as December.

There are various functional areas where companies need help the most during the holiday rush. Across all industries, popular areas for recruitment this holiday season include:

  • Customer Service – 30 percent
  • Administrative/Clerical support – 16 percent
  • Shipping/Delivery – 15 percent
  • Technology – 12 percent
  • Inventory management – 10 percent
  • Non-retail sales – 9 percent
  • Accounting/Finance – 8 percent
  • Marketing – 8 percent

Have you given any thought to how many people you’ll need, and where?

Think specifically about your recruiting and hiring needs. How flexible will these temporary employees need to be? Will they have regular shifts, or will they need to be available on an as-needed basis?  Be sure to mention this in your job description or any other communications you send out, so potential seasonal employees will know what you expect. Students, homemakers, retirees and other people who are often drawn to seasonal help positions will appreciate knowing what they can fit into their schedules.

Where Can You Find the People You Need?

The fastest and easiest way is to use a qualified temporary staffing agency. If you don’t already have a strong relationship with a staffing agency in your area, contact colleagues and other professionals with whom you network to get references or recommendations. Try to find an agency that specializes in your industry. They can quickly provide prescreened candidates with the experience and flexibility that you need. Make sure you ask questions about their ability to meet your employment needs. If you need to hire a large number of employees for seasonal employment, for example, ensure the agency has the necessary resources and expertise to fulfill your order.

The staffing agency can also weed out the undesirable candidates who aren’t worth your time and money, even on a temporary basis. These would include:

  • Someone who is unwilling to work certain hours
  • Someone who isn’t enthusiastic
  • Someone who knows nothing about your company/products

Your agency will send you people who are knowledgeable about your expectations, your needs, your company, and what you do.

Finally, if you are one of the 30 percent of employers who often transition some seasonal workers into full-time, permanent staff, this is a great way to evaluate potential employees. The assignment has a finite end, so if you don’t think the person would work out full time, it’s easy to shake hands at the end of the assignment and wish them well. If you do want to hire one of your seasonal employees, you may have gotten their new year off to a great start with your offer!

“My boss is such a #$%^!” How to Deal With a Difficult Boss

October 14th, 2011

There’s a reason movies like Horrible Bosses get made: just about everyone can relate! Most people at some point in their lives have had a difficult boss. Maybe it was a personality clash, maybe you felt like they had it out for you, or maybe they just didn’t respect you or your hard work.

Survey after survey has shown that the number one reason employees leave a company is because of a bad boss. But maybe quitting isn’t an option, or your job is great otherwise. Here are 6 ways to deal with a difficult boss.

  1. Work Hard: First and foremost, continue to work hard and be on time. If you and your boss have an uneasy relationship, you don’t want to give him any ammunition against you. Furthermore, try and schedule a time to sit down with your boss and go over the specifics of what he expects from you. Leave no room for misunderstandings when it comes to your responsibilities. Once you have the list, document it, and then follow it to the letter.
  2. Document Your Boss’ Behavior: Try your hardest to get along, but document everything that happens that you feel is troublesome. Keep a journal (but keep it at home!) of questionable situations that have transpired between you and your boss, complete with dates, times and full descriptions. Also keep a file with any supporting documentation, memos, emails, etc. Why? When you’re ready to take action, or if your boss tries to fire you, you will have documented, detailed proof of her mistreatment of you to present to HR or a lawyer, if necessary.
  3. Document Your Work: Do you often have to stay late at work without collecting overtime? Have you taken the lead on a project that wasn’t in your job description? Made a sale that brought in a sizable check to the company? Make sure to write down all such achievements, including any positive overall effect your work had on the company. Why? If your boss tries to terminate you, you will be able to show that you’re a valuable and competent employee. This will help you make your case if your boss attempts to fire you for being “incompetent”, “not doing your job”, or a host of other reasons, when you know it’s simply personal.
  4. Hold Your Tongue: If your boss says something that upsets you, don’t respond in anger – even if she was completely rude or out of line. Your boss may be trying to trap you into saying something she can terminate you for, or use it as documentation that you don’t work well with the team. Furthermore, if the matter is brought before a higher-up, it will be obvious who is the problem. Also, be careful with whom you share your issues within the office. It’s best to keep these matters to yourself.
  5. Only Confront with Evidence: If and when you’re finally ready to say something to your boss, be nonconfrontational and try your best not to make it personal. Use specific examples of situations you’ve documented to bolster your position and ask for tangible changes that will help you feel more respected and appreciated. Don’t go to his manager until you’ve tried talking to your boss and had no success; only go up the chain of command as a last resort. If you do, talk about the specific issues you have (not your boss’ personality), come with evidence and try to stay as positive as possible.
  6. Always Have a Plan B: Most people are nervous about confronting their bosses because they fear blowback or getting fired. Before you talk to your boss, have a plan B in case things don’t work out: the best alternative would probably be a job offer from another employer. By not having a back-up plan, you have given your boss leverage over you because he’ll know you have nowhere else to go. Having a plan B empowers you with the ability to walk away at any time should the negotiation not go right.

 

Go Green! Green HR Practices that Your Company Can Institute

September 15th, 2011

Maybe it’s because they seem to use the most paper, but human resources departments are the ones who tend to lead the charge in going green at the office. In truth, it’s also because HR takes responsibility for employee satisfaction and retention, and more companies are discovering that environmental awareness is important to their employees.

“Many employers now recognize that green programs in the workplace can promote social responsibility among workers and help retain top talent,” said Don Sanford, managing director of Buck Consultants, a human resources and benefits consulting firm.

Here are several areas where HR practitioners can easily incorporate a “green” mentality:

• Using the internet or teleconferencing to cut down on business travel
• Putting Summary Plan Descriptions (SPDs) or other company information online to reduce printing
• Promoting the reduction of paper usage
• Storing paperwork electronically?
• Providing recycling trash bins for paper around the office and for bottles and cans in the break area
• Implementing wellness programs around proper nutrition, fitness, and healthy living
• Offering opportunities for employees to telecommute or work from home
• Instituting Ride/Share programs

Research has shown that employee involvement in green programs dramatically increases when organizations appoint one employee to lead the efforts. Encourage this individual to start a companywide movement toward:

1) Purchasing Green Office Products? There is a large range of ‘green’ office products available that help lower waste, lower energy usage, and use a lesser amount of chemicals than traditional products.

• Recycle and Reuse Ink & Toner Cartridges Several retail stores offer consumers the ability to purchase remanufactured ink and toner cartridges, which cost up to 15% less than traditional cartridges. Remember to recycle your used cartridges, also.
• Purchase PCR Paper? PCR paper is made of Post-Consumer Recycled content and is the same quality as non-recycled paper.
• Look for Energy Star Electronics When buying office electronics, such as computers or printers, look for those with Energy Star labels. These products automatically shut down if they are not in use, so they use up to 75% less energy.?

2) Saving Energy The entire company can easily help conserve energy and energy costs with a few simple changes.

• Go Fluorescent You can save up to 75% of lighting energy by using Energy Star fluorescent light bulbs. These bulbs last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs, which also helps reduce maintenance costs
• Use Power Strips ?An additional 75% of energy can be conserved when you plug your electronics into power strips. It’s easy to turn the power strip off at the end of the day, and on every morning, rather than letting electronics run 24/7.

3) Eating In If the company provides a comfortable, relaxing area for employees to spend lunch and snack times, many will pack a lunch instead of consuming fuel to go out to eat. Decorating with real plants, when possible, will also help clean the air.

What You Can Do for Your Country: Tips and Advice for Finding a Great Government Job

September 8th, 2011

About 2 million people are employed in government jobs, making the federal government America’s largest employer. And you don’t have to live in Washington, D.C. to be a government employee. Only 10% of that 2 million are located in Washington, while the rest work throughout the United States and overseas. Government employees are hired in just about every career field and in a wide variety of occupations.

While government salaries aren’t always comparable to private sector on the lower levels, the benefits and pension plans are excellent. So is the job stability.

Finding a government job can take time: the period from initial application to job offer can be four months to a year. But if you’re willing to invest the time, a government job can offer long-term rewards. Here’s how to compete for one:

Know Where to Look

All federal agencies are required to list all openings publicly. The best place to start looking for a government job is on the USAJobs web site, where you can search for jobs in various locations, build a resume online and sign up to receive job postings via email.

However, not all federal agencies use that site, so if you know you want to work at a specific government agency or department, look at that agency’s web site for further career information.

Network

To find out about new government positions on the federal and local level, join professional networking groups. Just like in the private sector, there are professional associations for government workers in just about every discipline, and most of them collect job openings in the relevant field.

No matter how many years since you’ve graduated, you should also check with your alma mater’s career services department, since many colleges and universities maintain good relationships with certain government departments and agencies in an ongoing partnership.

If you have specialized technical or professional skills, you may be able to speed up your search by finding recruiters who have contracts to fill government jobs.

Know the Scoring System

You only have to file one application for a government job, but that application has to do two things: get you past the lower-level screeners or computers that are making sure you meet minimum requirements and impress the hiring managers who will eventually be evaluating your application.

Make sure your resume includes as many of the exact keywords as possible from the requirements in the job listing itself. Most applications for federal jobs are rated on a scale from 1 to 100, and more matches will get you a higher score and increase your chances of making it to the next level. You will also get points for military service, disabled status and volunteer work related to the position, if you use the right keywords to describe it.

To impress hiring managers, don’t just list responsibilities: cite and quantify results you achieved in past positions. Don’t worry too much about taking up too much space. Resumes for federal jobs typically average three to five pages.

Ace the Interview

Government interviews are quite different from what you’re probably used to when applying for a corporate job. It’s likely to be a panel interview with two or more questioners interviewing you at the same time. Also, the interview will likely be focused much more on what you’ve done in the past than anything you hope or plan to do in the future.

Interview questions will focus on your ability to meet the requirements mentioned in the job posting. The government wants proof of your abilities, so create a list of relevant anecdotes and practice discussing them in a clear and confident way. Their theory is that the best predictor of the future is past performance.

Summer Help Heading Out the Door? How to Use Temporary Support to Finish Any Open Summer Projects

August 11th, 2011

Summertime, and the living is easy. Unless you are in charge of keeping critical projects running on schedule but are losing employees to their summer vacations.

Most employees take their extended vacations during the months of June – September in order to enjoy the summer with family and friends. School schedules and great weather make this time of year perfect for taking holidays — which means managers must often scramble to coordinate vacations in an effort to avoid a backlog of incomplete work.

To help cover for your colleagues during their time off, why not bring in temporary staff? We’re not talking about inexperienced college interns or your boss’s favorite nephew. There are three great places to find skilled talent that can help you on a temporary basis.

First, consider former employees who left on good terms, whether through retirement or taking a job at another company. They might be able – even glad – to put in some freelance hours for you. Their knowledge of your clients, your company culture and your methodologies will allow them to make immediate contributions.

Second, take a look at the pool of job candidates that were previously rejected for the incumbent’s position. Often, those individuals were qualified but lost the position to someone even more skilled. Their qualifications might allow them to help you now, and they might be glad to get some extra work experience and pay.

A third good source is a staffing firm that specializes in employees with the skills you need. A good agency will have long-term relationships with employees and can ensure they have the necessary technical skills and knowledge. If you want more than a warm body to fill a seat and do busy work, use an agency that will give you skilled, experienced employees. If you’re hiring them for only a few weeks, they need to hit the ground running, so you’ll want temps you won’t need to train.

The key to successful use of independent contractors or temporary employees lies in planning what type of help you will need, how much, and when. Having the right people in place, wherever they came from, will help you keep your sanity while keeping your company afloat during the vacation-heavy summer months.