Finding ‘Hot Pockets’ in Today’s Job Market

While the general unemployment rate may remains relatively high, for professionals and those with a college degree, the unemployment rate is closer to three percent. Employers have increased demand for qualified candidates in certain sectors, including Financial Services, Human Resources, IT and some entry-level positions.

PSG’s President Aaron Green recently shared his thoughts with Boston.com about what makes some industries and jobs ‘hot.’

Read the full article here.

Ask A Recruiter: Tips for Working with a Recruiter

Q: This is my first time working with a recruiter. How can I make sure it is a productive experience?

 

A: Working with a recruiter can give your job search a big boost. While some parts of working with a recruiter are similar to the experience of searching on your own – e.g. the need to be prepared and responsive – there are some differences, too. To get the most from working with a recruiter, here are my tips:

 

Bring your A-Game For some reason, some candidates treat their first meeting or interview with their recruiter casually. While the recruiter is “on your side,” it’s still very important to make a good impression. The recruiter will use your initial conversations and meetings to help them determine your preparedness for meeting an employer and your “hire-ability.” Show up on time (or early). Dress professionally. Be prepared to answer the questions that typically come up in a job interview and also have questions of your own ready to ask the recruiter and get insight on the process.

 

Be prepared to tell your story. A “get to know you” meeting with a recruiter is different from a coffee date with friends. The recruiter needs data and detail to fully understand your situation. Before meeting your recruiter, take a look at your resume and add detail (go back and research it, if necessary) about the dates of each job, the salary, and any helpful details about your accomplishments.

 

Don’t hold back. Be prepared to share as much detail as possible about your current search, including the location, position, responsibilities, industries and specific organizations you are interested in, and your preferred start-date for a new job (ideally you should be ready to move into a new job immediately). Even if you’re just “testing the waters” and are not ready to discuss every aspect of a job search in detail, be specific about the things you can talk about.

 

Be transparent. When it comes to compensation, you might be tempted to “fudge” your salary history or give a range. However, doing so makes it more difficult for the recruiter to find you the right opportunities. The more detail you can provide to the recruiter, the better able they will be to help you find a suitable new position. Don’t be vague. Be clear about salary numbers, bonus, bonus structure and current benefits.

 

Have an open mind. Recruiters want to know what you’re looking for in a new job and what your priorities are. At the same time, try to limit your restrictions by avoiding statements like “I’ll only take a job with x percent salary increase” or “I only want to work in X area.” Try to cast a wide net, especially to start, and be open to a range when it comes to compensation.

 

About the Recruiter

Greg Menzone is a 10-year veteran of the staffing industry who has made hundreds of successful placements. Greg and the team he manages specialize in direct hire placement of accounting and finance professionals. 

 

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Massachusetts Unemployment Rate Rises But Economy Expands

Massachusetts’ monthly unemployment rate ticked up in September, from 5.8 percent to 6 percent, and is now higher than the national average unemployment rate of 5.9 percent. However, experts attribute the rise to more than 15,000 workers entering the job market and say that, combined with the addition of 9,400 jobs, is a good sign for the Massachusetts economy.

 

Other positive signs for the local job market:

  • Massachusetts has added jobs in four of the past five months and more than 60,000 jobs in the last year.
  • In addition to 9,500 retail jobs that were added to the local economy last month (mainly attributed to the end of the Market Basket dispute), jobs were also added in the information services, leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, financial services, and construction sectors.

PSG Sponsors Annual NEHRA Conference

PSG was proud to sponsor Northeast Human Resources Association’s (NEHRA’s) Annual Conference last week, which was attended by more than 500 HR pros (the conference’s highest attendance level since 2007) from across Massachusetts and New England. The theme of the conference was “Connect. Grow. Thrive” and speakers discussed topics ranging from HR’s perception in the workplace to leadership to wellness. Many of the workshops and sessions were filled with standing room only audiences. PSG staff met with clients and other HR professionals at the event, many of whom expressed interest in increasing their use of staffing services. IT/technical staffing, as well as accounting/finance and HR continue to be among the areas highest in demand for talent.

 

With more than 2,000 members, NEHRA is the largest professional HR association in the Northeast.

 

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Workforce Magazine Names PSG to Hot List of Temporary Staffing Providers in the U.S.

For the second consecutive year, PSG has been named to Workforce Magazine’s “Hot List” of temporary staffing providers as part of its annual special report on the staffing industry.

 

The report noted that the staffing industry is “still soaring” and enjoying high demand, which is predicted to continue for the foreseeable future. Aaron Green, PSG’s founder and president, spoke with Workforce about some of the trends driving demand for staffing services, including the temp-to-hire practice and the competitiveness of the current hiring market, also referred to as the “war for talent.”

 

Read the full article here.

 

Massachusetts Unemployment Rate Rises in August; Impacted by Market Basket Shut Down

The unemployment rate in Massachusetts rose to 5.8 percent in August, up from 5.6 percent in July. The state lost 5,300 jobs in August, according to a report from the state Office of Labor and Workforce Development that specified “temporary employment disruptions in the retail sector” contributing to the loss of 9,800 jobs in the retail sector.

The U.S. unemployment rate is 6.1 percent.

The Best Time to Look for a Job

Job seekers stymied by the ‘summer slow-down’ can take heart: your in-box will start buzzing again soon.

PSG’s President Aaron Green recently shared his thoughts with Boston.com about the best and worst job-seeking ‘seasons.’  However, while some periods may be slower than others in some industries or at some firms, Green advises that the best time to look for a job is “when you need one.”

Read the full article here.

The short answer: best time to look for a job is when you need it, says Aaron Green, founder of Professional Staffing

The short answer: best time to look for a job is when you need it, says Aaron Green, founder of Professional Staffing

Massachusetts Unemployment Rate Rises Slightly to 5.6 percent

Massachusetts’ unemployment rate rose slightly – from 5.5 percent, its lowest rate in almost six years, to 5.6 percent in July, according to the state’s Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. Massachusetts also added 13,800 jobs to the economy last month.

In July, the professional, scientific and business services, as well as education and health services sectors, added the most jobs. A net of 67,300 jobs have been added to the Massachusetts economy over the past year.

The national unemployment rate is currently 6.2 percent.

Ask A Recruiter: Balancing Personal and Professional Use of Social Media

Q: What are your recommendations for balancing personal and professional information on social media?

A: It used to be easy to know which social media were for strictly professional use (e.g. LinkedIn) and which were for more personal use (e.g. Instagram), but the line has certainly blurred. Some job seekers leverage the social aspect of sites like Facebook and Pinterest to showcase a passion or talent that enhances their personal brand, and some job seekers are sharing more personal information on their professional profiles in order to differentiate themselves.

A simple answer is to create separate identities on the social media you use to keep personal and professional interactions separate. But that can be confusing to friends and followers and life today rarely has relationships that fall into such neat categories.

It’s important today to understand how social media is perceived by others. No matter how you regard and use social media, employers and recruiters will use it to help them do their jobs. Most will Google you and look up your LinkedIn profile. For many positions (not all) it’s considered a detriment NOT to have a LinkedIn profile. In addition, the social world is expanding every day. Whether they’re active users or not, your various family members and acquaintances from every imaginable aspect of life are on social media and can see your posts.

With that in mind, here are some tips for balancing personal and professional information and activities on social media:

Consider the impression you’re making – Take a look at your profile(s) as if you were a recruiter or hiring manager. What is the first impression you get from your photo (or lack of photo)? Do you share professional content on your profile? Does your online activity reinforce your resume? I.e. do you participate in online groups or blog about topics that demonstrate your expertise? Make sure your online presence is sharing the impression you want it to give.

Make sure you’re search-friendly – Just as there are certain conventions to follow for writing resumes, there are different criteria to consider when updating your digital bio. In this case, that means making sure your bio includes the right keywords to appeal to employers.

Remember the behavior rules for social situations – Poor social skills – think of party-goers who monopolize conversations, complain about everything, or take credit for others’ ideas – are just as bad when they happen online. Social media was designed for engaging, not broadcasting. With that in mind, consider posting updates that spark conversation or adding your comment to a retweet. Look for businesses and brands that you’d like to work with and follow them online. Engage with the thought-leaders in your industry.

Know the difference between personalizing and being overly personal – Sometimes we don’t know where the line between personal and professional is until we’ve crossed it. Negative comments, a spike in ‘unfollowers,’ or overall decrease in activity on your social media profile page can be signs that you’ve gone too far. Conversely, a lack of activity and engagement may mean that you’re not interesting enough.

Update privacy settings – If you don’t trust yourself to remember personal and professional boundaries, consider creating rules that will remember for you. Facebook and Instagram both allow you to choose who can see your posts and Pinterest gives you the ability to create secret boards.

 

 

About the Recruiter

Kristen Coppins has 10+ years of experience in the staffing and recruiting industry.  As a Director and member of the management team at Professional Staffing Group (PSG), she oversees the new hire training and development program. Kristen is also a member of ASA’s Continued Education Committee.  K-Coppins

Massachusetts Unemployment Rate Continues to Drop

Massachusetts’ unemployment rate for June dropped to its lowest rate in nearly six years – to 5.5 percent – and the state added 3,700 jobs in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent report.

 

Compared to figures from one year ago, Massachusetts’ total unemployment rate is down 1.6 percent and the state has added a net total of 48,900 jobs, 48,400 in the private sector and 500 jobs in the public sector.

 

The biggest jobs producers were in the education and health services sectors, which added a combined 6,000 positions in June. Retailers added 1,800 jobs, while local government grew by 900 positions. Manufacturing jobs lost 1,100 in June.

 

The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent in June.