Key Questions To Ask Remote Employers

As we recover from the pandemic and some companies make the move towards establishing remote work on a permanent basis, candidates will likely see a lot more opportunities for teleworking roles. While it may not be an ideal fit for everyone, remote jobs provide greater flexibility, less constraints around location, and a more technology dependent working environment.

In order to assess whether the remote role you’re applying for is well supported by the organization that’s offering it, consider asking these 3 questions at the interview:

1. Can you describe your company’s remote culture?
Some companies might have an established remote workforce while others might be new to this. Because remote employees can feel disconnected, it’s important for organizations to bring everyone together, encourage frequent collaboration, and have a check-in system in place. Get a sense of how frequently the teams communicate and by what method, whether there are any virtual team events in place, or what their policies are for creating an inclusive culture that address the challenges of distance work.

2. What technologies do you have in place to support remote work?
There are many different technologies on the market that allow for collaboration and communication between team members, such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google Hangouts, and Slack. You want to ensure that the company will provide such resources so you can get to know everyone at the company and have an established method of communication with your team. It is also key to determine how easily you’ll be able to share and access files. Is the company working from a cloud environment? What type of IT support will be provided? Make sure that you are comfortable or open to learning their tech stack.

3. How do you track productivity of remote employees?
Productivity tracking is done differently across organizations and even teams within one company. Some roles require closer monitoring than others. Companies can track work by using technologies such as ActivTrak or opt for an honour system. It’s important to find out what the process and expectations are around the role you’re applying for. Are you expected to work during certain hours or is there room for flexibility? Does this job have frequent deadlines and a defined reporting structure? Get as much clarity on expectations as you can.

When you interview for a remote role, ask the right questions to gauge your fit. Companies that have a well-thought-out remote work support system in place will add to your and their success.

5 Tips for Successful Business Continuity During COVID19

By our sister company, ProVision Staffing

Even under these unprecedented circumstances, some businesses are continuing to operate smoothly. What’s their secret? They acknowledge the challenges and also focus on the opportunities to make their company more resilient.

We offer 5 important strategies for businesses on a mission to stay alive, stay relevant, and come out of this pandemic less harmed:

1. Invest in remote work setups – Since 2010, the amount of people that work remotely once a week has grown by 400%. (Hubspot Research) Prior to the global pandemic, only 41% of global businesses offered remote work flexibility (flexjobs.com). Now is the time to increase your company’s investments in videoconferencing tools and collaboration software, many of which do not require a huge budget.

2. Consider contract employment – Contract employment gives businesses the freedom to “hire talent on-demand”. The flexibility and scalability of contract staffing allows businesses to achieve their long-term and short-term growth targets, which makes this staffing solution ideal for challenging economic times.

3. Keep communicating with & supporting your employees – It becomes extremely crucial to calm and reassure your workforce during such uncertain times. Employers must encourage upskilling, boost morale with special incentives and schedule regular video calls etc to maintain your teams momentum.

4. Plan for the future – Use this decrease in pace to re-evaluate and identify new business opportunities. Start building new connections, growing your social media presence and developing a strong comprehensive plan for COVID19 recovery.

5. Support your client base – Show your clients that you are here for them, and that you care about them. Avoid pushing for sales and take the time to listen to their concerns. Strengthen existing relationships by providing solutions that will appeal to them and that are relevant under existing circumstances. It is important to be recognize and plan that your customers’ requirements might change post COVID19.

It’s important for businesses to be adaptable and open to change. Post COVID-19 the world will likely be a different place, at least for the next little while, and businesses that are set up to adapt to the “new normal” will have the competitive advantage.

Contract Staffing To Support Your Business

PTC has been in the recruitment business for 3 decades and has witnessed multiple economic ups and downs, from the global financial crisis to the current COVID-19 pandemic. As we navigate this unprecedented landscape and its impact on the economy, we continue to support companies by providing temporary and contract staffing solutions. 

Businesses can benefit from contract staffing in a number of ways, especially in such challenging periods:

Cost-Effective Solution 

In order to remain competitive, to reduce overhead costs and to manage cash flows in such uncertain times, hiring temporary employees proves to be a cost-effective solution. Temporary employees work on specific projects for certain number of hours. If your business is seeking short-term support or requires additional help to manage workload due to unexpected external variables, hiring contract workers is ideal. 

Specialized Workforce 

Temporary and contract workers are equipped with specialized skill sets and hone a wide range of industry knowledge and experience. As a result, they are well-armed to fill skill gaps within an organization, allowing for businesses to continue with smooth operations.

Shorter Hiring Process

Businesses turn to contract workforce solutions because they benefit from a shorter hiring process. Contractors are experienced with time-sensitive projects and are often available to start immediately, once hired. 

Contract To Hire 

Hiring contractors is a great way for companies to test the waters and assess cultural fit. Companies get to work with contractors for a definitive period of time, allowing them to evaluate their skills and performance without having the pressure to commit to permanent employment.

Increase Talent Pool

Given this economic climate, many experienced candidates find themselves either unemployed or underemployed. Companies should use this opportunity to conduct a thorough ‘candidate market’ assessment and expand their talent pool to meet future workforce demand once the crisis settles. 

As we face the long-reaching implications of COVID-19 together, our goal is to support and champion your staffing needs at all times.

How to Enter the Workforce After a Leave of Absence?

From taking care of family members to engaging in voluntary initiatives, there are many common situations that can make it necessary to take a leave of absence from the workforce. Once you’re ready to start working again, it can feel overwhelming to figure out how to land a job when you don’t have current work experience. The tips below can help you address gaps in employment and ensure a successful transition back into the workforce:

Tap Your Network – Or Get to Expanding It

The most effective way to ease back into the workforce is via professional connections. Since these contacts are already familiar with your previous work history, they may be more inclined to offer referrals or provide job leads that can get you noticed by hiring managers. If you’ve let your network decline, no worries – just make it a priority to start expanding it. Attend industry events and conferences to meet new professional contacts. Reach out to people you know and let them know you’re open to new opportunities.

Update Your Industry Knowledge

The finance and accounting industry can change rapidly, especially with advances in technology. Depending on how long you’ve been out of the workforce, the current state of the industry could look much different than you remember. In order to market yourself effectively as a candidate and perform successfully if hired, update your industry knowledge by reading relevant industry news and journals, and attending events and conferences.

Replant Your Digital Footprint

Update your LinkedIn profile (or set one up, if you don’t have one), participate in online industry forums, write blog posts, comment on posts, etc. When hiring managers review your digital footprint, they’ll be more likely to give you a chance if you have an appealing online presence.

Demonstrate Recent Use of Skills

A common concern for hiring managers with candidates who have been out of the workforce for an extended period is their skills are no longer sharp. Alleviate this concern by being able to demonstrate recent use of your finance skills. Examples include: getting new certifications, completing educational courses, and taking on freelance or volunteer work.

Address Your Absence Proactively

There is nothing to be ashamed of regarding your leave of absence; however, you need to be prepared to discuss it. Address your absence in your cover letter and interview responses. Keep it to the point – state a basic reason for why you’ve been out then discuss why you’re enthusiastic to return. Hiring managers will know your lack of recent work history isn’t a red flag, but a positive sign that you’re refreshed and ready to contribute.

Enlist Support by Working with a Staffing Agency

If you’re facing challenges navigating your re-entry into the workforce after an extended leave, enlist support by working with a staffing agency. They can utilize their expertise to ensure your resume and interview skills are up to par and connect you with temporary roles to build your resume as you ease back into full-time work.

Get back into the workforce and find your next Finance. Accounting & Administrative job with PTC Recruiting. We are a specialized accounting and finance recruiting firm with nearly three decades of experience filling positions for some of the best employers across GTA and southern Ontario. Our mission is to understand the needs of job seekers and bring them opportunities that are the best fit. Search our available jobs now to see what PTC has to offer.

Smart Staffing Series: Accommodating In-Demand Employee Benefits

Attracting (and most importantly, retaining) top talent isn’t simply a matter of “upload a posting and wait for the applications to roll in.” The most skilled professionals have their pick of options, so to get them to consider you as a potential employer, your benefits package must be appealing. A common assumption is that a high salary is most important, but that’s not necessarily the case – in fact, more than half of employees surveyed stated they would be somewhat likely to take a job with a lower compensation offer in exchange for better benefits. Learn more about the most in-demand employee benefits to help you accommodate top talent: 

Work-Life Balance  

Benefits that aid employees in maintaining work-life balance, such as being flexible with schedules and allowing remote work, are in such high demand that many employees find them more valuable than a higher paycheck. Recent research indicates that 80-90% of workers would like to work remotely at least part time. Millennials enjoy remote work options because they are accustomed to blurring the line between work and home life. Gen X-ers like the independence it offers.  

More Paid Time Off  

Another in-demand benefit is more paid time off – and the ability to actually use it without being frowned upon or seen as uncommitted. Approximately 40% of employees reported one of their top desired benefits was for more paid time off for longer periods, such as leaves of absences or sabbaticals. 

Retirement  

The quality of employer retirement plans are of significant concern to employees, as more than 60% report their primary retirement savings is their employer retirement plan. And with more than half also worried about having enough for retirement, providing options for top-tier retirement plans can alleviate their concerns and make them more committed. Boomers, in particular, are interested in retirement-focused benefits as many of them may be playing catchup with fewer years to work with. 

Wellness Initiatives  

Physical and mental health issues can cause significant stress on employees and impact their ability to work. Wellness initiatives, such as offering healthy snack options, education on health topics, smoking cessation and weight loss programs appeal to the majority of workers. More than 50% of employees stated their employers should actively encourage workers to have healthier lifestyles.  

How Competitive is your Employee Benefits Package?

If you’re finding it a challenge to attract the tier of candidates you desire, turn to PTC’s team of recruiting experts. PTC Recruiting, a division of Bay Talent Group, has nearly 30 years of experience in collaborating with companies across sectors for their accounting, finance, and administrative staffing needs. Contact PTC today to learn more about our recruitment services.  

Smart Staffing Series: Understanding and Meeting Your Candidates’ Expectations

Continuing with our “Smart Staffing Series,” in which PTC aims to help you make the most informed choices for your talent acquisition strategy, a crucial factor to keep top of mind is the overall quality of the candidate experience. How candidates feel they are treated through their interactions with your company can not only influence whether top talent accepts your offers, but also impact your organization’s reputation among other prospects and even your client or customer base. Understand and meet your candidates’ expectations with these tips to keep in mind throughout the hiring process:

Before:

Simple Application Process

Once they are under consideration, candidates will put in the work; however, they may pass on applying if an application process is too cumbersome. Ensure you are making it quick and easy to apply in the initial stage. Also, add an auto response after an application has been submitted to give candidates peace of mind and save you time from having to answer inquiries on if it was received.

Relevant Information

Candidates want to be able to clearly understand the job they are applying for, so they don’t waste their time or yours if it’s not a good fit. Carefully craft your job descriptions to have the most relevant information clearly communicated.

During:

Respect for Candidate’s Scheduling Needs

Once you have determined who you want to meet with, be mindful and respectful of candidates’ scheduling needs, not just those of the company. Flexibility in response times and interview time slots is key, especially if candidates are currently employed.

Streamlined Decision Making

Since there is a good chance candidates are pursuing other opportunities as well as yours, they expect you will make a decision in a timely manner once you’ve interviewed them. While you shouldn’t rush to make your final selection, it’s important your decision-making process is streamlined in order to evaluate candidates in a systematic way that doesn’t get held up unnecessarily.

After:

Tactfully Providing Closure

Candidates understand that even if they are fully qualified and really want the job, they may not end up with an offer. However, they still desire closure, even if the news isn’t what they were hoping. Make it a point to reach out and let rejected candidates know in a tactful manner they were not selected, so they can move on to opportunities that are a better match.

Preparation for Success

When a candidate is given an offer, they go in with the assumption you will prepare them for success as a new hire. This means having an effective onboarding system as well as thorough training and regular check-ins to ensure they are acclimating to everything from the job duties to company culture to being treated professionally by their new co-workers.

An Effective Staffing Strategy Takes Time

If time is a resource you’re short on as a busy manager, consider delegating the recruitment process to PTC’s team of recruiting experts. PTC Recruiting, a division of Bay Talent Group, has nearly 30 years of experience collaborating with companies across sectors for their accounting, finance and administrative staffing needs. Contact PTC today to learn more about our recruitment services.