How to Avoid Year-End Burnout

The final quarter of the year is here, and you’ve still got deadlines to meet, stuffed calendars, financial targets to achieve and team strategies to align for the next year. Even the holiday season can’t seem to make up for work-related exhaustion, stress, and anxiety. Long work hours and ever-growing to-do lists can take a toll and cause burnout for even the most hardworking and consistent employees.

Here are some tips to avoid year-end burnout, so you can peacefully enjoy the holiday season:

1. Prepare a “Priority List” – There will be several tasks to complete before the year-end but focus your attention and time on the essentials. Prepare a comprehensive “Priority list” that pushes you to complete tasks based on urgency. It’s important to understand what is crucial and time-sensitive before the year-end and what you can hold back until the new year.


2. Use Your Vacation Days – Spend time with friends and family and unplug completely on your days off. Breaks are important to energize your mind and boost productivity. A change of environment enhances creativity and sparks new energy into your work.

3. Schedule Me Time – Recharge your mind and body with a focused work out. Indulge in outdoor activities to fuel enthusiasm and build motivation. Bike rides, walks, yoga, and meditation are great stress busters. Additionally, schedule free time on your calendar and stick to it. It’s crucial to take some time out for yourself, even if it’s just 30 minutes a day.

4. It’s okay to say “NO” – Don’t take on more work than you can handle. It’s easy to say “YES” to everything and wanting to be that person to help others. Set clear boundaries on the things you can and cannot do. If you can’t physically and mentally spearhead another project, it’s better to say “NO” early on than feeling guilty for not meeting expectations.

Year-end burnout is real, but avoidable. Remember that you’re not alone. Confide in a colleague or manager. Be aware of your breaking point and take proactive measures to ensure that you don’t stretch yourself too thin.

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.

How to Avoid Job Search Burnout

Looking for work is like a job itself. It involves a lot of strategic planning, hard work and patience. Whether it is the pandemic that has forced you to look for new employment opportunities, or you have been on the hunt for a while now, don’t let job searching burn you out.

Here are some best practices to help you:

1. Develop a Strategy: Build a daily routine with specific goals and work your way through them. Start your job search process by determining your career aspirations and evaluating any skills gaps. Update your resume with latest work experience, certifications and expertise. Use your time effectively by brainstorming ideal companies you would like to work for and make yourself familiar with their job application process.

2. Track Your Job Search: When you do not have a plan in place, it is easy to lose track of the jobs you have applied for. It is very common these days to apply for multiple opportunities, confuse companies and positions and forget to follow up. One of the best ways to keep track of your job applications is to maintain an active spreadsheet that details out company name, job role, job title, job source, point of contact etc. This will help you stay organized during your job search, keeping priorities in check and saving you from squandering precious time and energy.

3. Leverage Your Network & Social Channels: This is the right time to tap into your network, connect with former colleagues, friends and get your name out there. Let people know that you are actively looking for opportunities and share your personal brand. Utilize this time to get creative and make the most out of your social profiles. According to a CareerBuilder survey, 70% of hiring managers use social media to screen candidates. Channelize your passion and engage in meaningful conversations on social media. From updating your LinkedIn profile to creating content, getting yourself out there can put you in the right place at the right time.

4. Be Patient: During your job search process, try to maintain a positive outlook and believe in yourself. Remember that job searching is a process and will not deliver results overnight. Ideally, you want to find a role that motivates you to work better everyday and be a part of a work family that supports professional and personal development goals.

Remote Onboarding: How to Better Integrate New Hires

When we bring on a new employee, we go the extra mile to make them feel welcomed. We like to leave a special note on their desk with a motivational message. There are lots of introductions and friendly handshakes. Maybe a special lunch event organized. But alas, not anymore. Remote onboarding has proven to be a totally different experience.

While it’s hard to recreate the enthusiasm that you get from a physical in-person introduction to a group of people in an office, making new employees feel appreciated and welcomed should not be deprioritized during this time. Companies can simply make some adaptations to their regular on-boarding routines and make use of technology in order to continue to make a great impression on new hires.

For this article, we spoke with Mark Nishikawa of HIRE Technologies and Lindsay Carson of ProVision Staffing, both of whom had to be introduced into our work family remotely. They shared tips and experiences to help us craft a guide for a more successful onboarding of remote workers:

Digitize on-boarding documents

On-boarding employees usually involves a lot of paperwork, from signing deposit and tax forms to integrating the new hire into a company-wide benefits plan. Digitizing these documents can translate into meaningful time and cost savings for the employer and employee. HR software such as BambooHR, WorkBright, ClearCompany, Zenefits & ProProfs Knowledge Base automate the on-boarding process. For example, ProProfs Knowledge Base helps managers create a virtual employee handbook to familiarize new hires with company policies, vision, mission etc. “Digitizing the onboarding process frees managers from manual paperwork and allows them to shift their focus on optimizing new hire engagement,” Mark suggested.

Setting up a work-from-home station

Cloud-based technologies make it easy for new employees to hit the ground running even from home. Offer assistance in setting those up and make sure to assign appropriate user permissions to avoid frustrations. “It’s helpful to get an overview of what applications and tools are required for the job and to have the login credentials noted in one place,” Lindsay suggested. Be sure to also ship any required hardware (such as laptops) in advance of the start date, preferably all set up and ready to go.

Communication is key

Good, widespread communication is always important but especially so when everyone is working remotely. Announce the addition of a new employee with a company-wide email briefly outlining their role. Include a short profile with their interests and hobbies to help start conversations among the team. “It helps to feel welcome when your manager reaches out consistently and tries to answer your questions,” Lindsay pointed out.

Use Video Conferencing

Face-to-face interactions through video calls are vital to the success of remote onboarding. “A group call to introduce the members of the company is helpful because you can put a face to a name,” Mark mentioned. Organize regular group video calls, even if brief, for the benefit of helping the new employee interact with their coworkers, rebuild office banter, and help keep your company culture alive.

One-on-one meetings

Don’t forget that new employees need a little bit more attention. You want them to last, you want them to be engaged, and you want them to succeed, after all. In an office it is easy to see when someone is struggling or finding something to be a challenge. But remotely not so much. One-on-one virtual meetings or calls between the new employee and their manager are a good way to provide support, identify struggle points, and nurture a professional relationship.

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.

The Unforeseen Costs of a Bad Hire

Making the wrong hiring decision isn’t just frustrating and stressful – it can have a major impact on your bottom line. Bad hires, whether they don’t have the necessary skill sets to perform the job or simply lack the right attitude or work ethic, can have a widespread negative influence you may not necessarily realize until it’s too late. Learn more about the unforeseen costs of a bad hire – and what you can do to prevent it:

The high costs associated with bad hires are expansive, and include:

Replacement Expenses
From the cost of recruiting for a new employee (such as agency fees and advertising costs) to the actual training of the new employee once hired, the replacement expenses can add up due to a bad hire.

Morale
Even once a bad hire is gone, their negative influence may linger in the form of lowered morale for your current team. This can result in decreased job satisfaction and engagement and cause your company culture to take a hit.

Productivity
Bad hires can cause productivity to drop significantly, both during their employment and once they’re gone. Current employees having to clean up the bad hire’s mistakes, as well as the learning curve for their replacements to acclimate will cause the drop in productivity to take a while to improve.

Reputation
If bad hires give subpar customer or client service, it can damage your company’s reputation in the marketplace. The reputation hit may not be confined just to the company – a series of bad hires can also damage your reputation as a manager, making colleagues question your judgment.

What can you do to prevent bad hires?

Make the decision-making process more objective
Take measures to remove any subjective judgment calls during the hiring process when evaluating candidates. Avoid “going with your gut” and instead, develop a set of criteria against which to assess candidates.

Preview their performance without commitment
Often you only have a candidate’s resume and interview to go by when making your decision. What they say they can do, versus how they’ll actually perform, can be vastly different. Alleviate this issue by previewing their performance without commitment, such as by implementing pre-employment assessments or having them do a small trial task.

Get outsider perspectives
Bring in reinforcements to help you view candidates in a fresh light. Getting outsider perspectives from a third party (e.g., working with a staffing company), gives you the opportunity to see candidates in a different way. A staffing firm’s expertise may allow them to see red flags you may not have otherwise spotted.

 

Eliminate the Risk of Bad Hires
Feel more confident in your hiring decisions by teaming up with PTC’s team of recruiting experts for your hiring needs. For nearly 30 years, PTC Recruiting, a division of Bay Talent Group, has been collaborating with companies across sectors for their accounting, finance, and administrative staffing needs. Our industry expertise, combined with our deep passion for truly understanding and fulfilling our clients’ needs, has led to our record of success in placing the right candidates. Contact PTC today to discover how we can help you with your finance and accounting hiring needs.