February Contractor of the Month – Stacey Hou

posted by Megan Hari |

February’s Contractor of the Month is Stacey Hou, a Financial Analyst turned Data Analyst at one of Swoon’s clients, a consumer credit reporting agency in Boston.

Stacey started her Swoon journey when she applied to a role online and started working with Beth Suchocki. Beth and team offered advice, provided sample questions to ask during interviews, and checked-in throughout the process. In fact, Stacey was deciding on concurrent offers and Beth negotiated a more favorable package, ultimately sealing the deal for Stacey.

When starting as a Financial Analyst, a typical workday for Stacey included data entry and reporting, financial journaling, auditing and transactions. As she became more familiar with her role, Stacey realized due to her background in coding, that she was able to automate a lot of her work. Her boss was very supportive and began to assign Stacey additional tasks in business intelligence, coding and data analysis fields.

Stacey was then offered a full-time position with the client as a Data Analyst and her new position started this month! She now supports the business in quantitative data and coding to improve efficiencies.

“My favorite part about the job is the flexibility to identify the optimal way of doing a project and being able to run with it. I am not set to doing everything by a certain set of rules, and this empowers me to go a more creative and passionate route,” Stacey said.

We at Swoon would like to congratulate Stacey on her success and wish her well in her new, full-time role!

picture of Stacey outside

Fun Facts: Stacey has a three-pound toy poodle named Luna and a rescue Chinchilla named Bubbles! She loves music and works as an event pianist and church organist in her spare time.

video call on computer

How to Stay Connected as a Remote Employee

posted by Megan Hari |

Getting hired as a remote employee is both exciting and scary. There is the opportunity to be flexible with your location and to be more productive without people distracting you. However, there can also be a feeling of disconnect or loneliness as you cannot always be included in things happening in the corporate office and do not have the opportunity to go to someone in-person for an immediate response when an issue arises.

When I was hired to work remotely at Swoon, I didn’t know what to expect. I had my hesitations about not having everyone I needed around me; What if I didn’t know how to do something? How would I get support? However, from the minute I started, I never felt disconnected or left out and have always felt like a part of the “flock.”

Swoon has a plan in place to make sure all employees can work together no matter where they are located. However, not all companies are as aware of this need. If you are a remote employee and are feeling disengaged or left out, here are a few tips to help you get back in the loop.

Video Chat

Set up a brief meeting either daily or weekly where you can speak with your team and/or manager through a video chat application. Being able to see your colleagues is a lot more personable than a phone call and helps build relationships as you get to see each other’s facial expressions and mannerisms.

Companywide Trainings or Meetings

Whenever possible, join in on anything that is companywide. It gives you a chance to interact with colleagues that you don’t usually get to work with. This will also help you to stay current with what the corporate office is doing and the tools they are utilizing. At Swoon, we meet once a week with the whole company to go over numbers, goals, wins, birthdays, events, etc. which helps keep all employees on the same page.

Travel and Visits

As much as you can feel connected through technology, sometimes it is important to physically be in the office with your colleagues. I try to travel to the headquarters at least once a quarter, so I can work with my team in person and plan for the months ahead. It is also important to have company leadership come work from your location, so they can see how your day to day looks. They may be able to come up with ways for you to be more connected by living a day in your shoes.  You should always take the initiative by asking if a travel opportunity is possible and explaining how it will help impact your work.

Make Yourself Easily Accessible

In an office environment, it is easy to walk over to someone’s desk and ask a question or discuss a project. People are usually available to you most of the day except in when in meetings. It is important to have this same accessibility from your remote location. You should be available to respond to emails, phone calls, chats and text in a timely fashion. By minimizing distractions and being prompt with your responses, you will make others know that you are just as available if not more so than their local colleagues.

Just remember, as a remote employee, it may take a little more effort to feel connected with your coworkers. You will have to take control of your connections and reach out often. However, with the right plan in place, you will get the perks of working remote with the feeling of being local.

Written by:
Nicole Vallysedigh
Recruiter

positive mindset notes

What do Work Ethic and Mindset Have to do with Success Anyway?

posted by Megan Hari |

Work ethic is interesting. It has so much to do with culture and results; however unlike results, it is subjective – based on feelings or opinions. Anytime something is based on feelings or opinions, there is the opportunity for disagreement or judgment. Have you ever worked with someone who you feel does not have the same work ethic as you? How does that make you feel? What does the difference of work ethic have on a result?


Results are objective – representative of facts.

When reviewing quarterly results or actuals to budget, one does not have an opinion of if the expectations were met; either they were met, or they weren’t. It is cut and dry, unlike the team of individuals that make up those results. On those teams are many subjective attributes that make up the dynamics and one of those attributes is work ethic.  

Take a moment to self-reflect. How would you rate your own work ethic? (Yes, I’m combining subjective and objective.) How do you think others would rate your work ethic (ah ha – see what I’m doing here)? Do you view your own work ethic as others do? What is your approach to your work? Some may see it as a checklist where they focus on the tasks that get them from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Others see it as a series of actions where the focus is the result; they create alternative paths and resources to get there faster/better. Those who typically get more done have a different approach to their work; they focus on the result and how they get there. This typically leads to creative thinking, collaboration, and outcomes that exceed expectations. They will do whatever it takes to achieve results, which tends to translate to a strong work ethic.

I’m sure you have worked with both types of people – those who seem to have a strong work ethic and those who do not. Part of a strong work ethic is not about what you know, but about having a positive approach to what you are doing.

“There is little difference in people but that little difference makes big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.” – W. Clement Stone

Positive people with a strong work ethic are the ones we find ourselves wanting to work with and those who seem to have the most success. This holds true both within an organization and amongst external business partners. They are solutions-oriented and always looking for the most efficient and creative ways to solve challenges which typically leads to the best result. So, whether your role on a team is within the company or with a client, think about your work ethic and mindset. Are you efficient? Are you creative? Are you focused on the solution or the barriers? Are your results reflective of your effort? Success is as much of a mindset as it is talent; it is up to you, and YOU have the ability to succeed.

woman smiling

Written By: Patty Bogosh

January Contractor of the Month-John Santaguida

posted by Megan Hari |

January’s Contractor of the Month is John Santaguida, a Business Analyst at one of Swoon’s social media and mobile application clients. During a typical day, John checks the workflows he has set up and runs project requests. He also works on building these workflows for ad products and started a targeting incubation program where he and his team run new target requests and monitor the results.

Swoon recruiter Tyler Parks connected with John and helped him to land this role that he says he otherwise would not have applied for because he didn’t know he had the required skillsets. John loves working at Swoon and with his current company. He said he is never left out because of his contractor status and he loves the open-book, cross-functional nature of his team.

John hopes to become a product manager with the company down the line and continue to grow with the team. There have been conversations about converting him to a permanent employee this year.

Fun Fact: John knows how to make balloon animals!

Congratulations on being our Contractor of the Month. We wish you continued success!

Robot pushing man away in a machine piece

Robotics Process Automation’s Impact on The Job Market

posted by Megan Hari |

The “new year” is officially here, and businesses are now implementing new budgets, goals, and workflow processes. For many this means hiring more employees, but for some, it means implementing machines that can do a lot of the grunt work for them. This technology is called robotic process automation (RPA) and is used to streamline operations and cut costs.

RPA helps to reduce human error by automating simple things such as email responses, reassigning canceled flights, etc. It can also reduce staffing costs as it eliminates tasks that human employees complete during their work day; therefore, allowing each employee to focus on work involving human skillsets. This can be a pitfall to RPA because it eliminates some jobs altogether. Forrester Research said that eventually, RPA will take 9% of jobs away from humans globally.

On a more positive note for recruiting and the job market, additional contingent labor positions may be created to implement and provide support to RPA as the process is complex and quite time consuming. RPA software and the platforms used to connect these machines are constantly evolving and updating.

How is Swoon Preparing?

Swoon is prepared for the changes that RPA will bring to technology roles. We are here to find new roles for anyone who may lose their job due to RPA. We are also excited for the new jobs that RPA will create and the opportunities to help your companies fill these contract or direct hire positions.

For more information on RPA please check out this article and for more information on how Swoon can help you or your business, reach out to me today at chris.jensen@swoonstaffing.com.

Chris Jensen
Sr. Major Account Manager
chris.jensen@swoonstaffing.com

empty office space

The Human Element: Why Do People Ghost?

posted by Megan Hari |

And why is it more accepted, even normal, today?

Recently, there have been many publications on “ghosting” which, according to Dictionary.com, is “the practice of suddenly ending all contact with a person without explanation.”  Most of these articles are about ghosting in the dating world or leaving an event without saying goodbye. However, ghosting is present in the workforce as well in relationship-driven industries including B2B and B2C. Therefore, it makes sense why ghosting is happening more frequently than ever in the recruiting and staffing industry.

“A total of 48% of 600 polled by LinkedIn have seen an increase in ghosting since the beginning of 2018.”

This leads me to question, “Why has rudeness become more accepted with highly professional and generally decent people,” and set me on a path to find connections between the many publications, blogs and podcasts discussing “ghosting,” “icing,” etc.

Here are a few reasons people are ghosting in the recruiting world:

  • It is currently a candidate’s market, where there are more jobs than there are qualified individuals to fulfill them, so candidates can be pickier on the roles they want to accept.
  • Unfortunately, recruiters are sometimes guilty of ghosting candidates. I like to think that most industry professionals are above this, but there are recruiting and staffing professionals that are either overwhelmed with their workloads or are not thinking long-term when they forget to follow up or decide not to follow up with a candidate.
  • Hiring managers are ghosting staffing agencies. From an agency perspective, if the candidate is not right for the role after an interview, we see more ghosting of feedback as the clients are simply moving on to the next candidates.
  • Managed Services Programs (MSPs) have been no strangers to ghosting, as recruiting agencies often work with the end-client via a vendor management system and little to no human interaction with the decision makers. This makes ghosting sometimes the norm for MSP recruiting scenarios.

Many human interactions are through email, social media, apps and other communication portals powered by technology which makes it easier to dehumanize these conversations.

Being “too busy” has also become an acceptable reason for ghosting. However, when we make human connections with other people, one would think the propensity to ghost is decreased, and yet an article from HuffPost suggests that there is a common fear of conflict.

There are many psychological reasons why someone ghosts, but at its core, ghosting is avoidance and often stems from fear of conflict.” HuffPost

Fear. This is causing us to avoid commonplace decorum in our personal and professional relationships. We make ghosting okay in our minds because we want to avoid conflict and/or negativity. The reality is; however, when we “ghost,” we are essentially kicking the conflict can down the road to deal with later.


For the recruiting and staffing industry, when a…

  • Candidate ghosts an interview or pulls a no-show, this is likely tracked in a CRM, and the recruiting company/potential employer will probably not want to interview them for any other roles in the future.
  • Recruiter ghosts it may ruin their reputation down the line and their company’s. This is a small industry and reputations are built over time, with Glassdoor, LinkedIn, Yelp reviews, etc.
  • Hiring manager ghosts on feedback or establishing next steps, reviews of the company on sites like Glassdoor will likely not be as desirable for other potentially quality candidates if news of their ghosting gets out.
  • Employee ghosts…references are still relevant! And the unemployment rate will not likely stay below 4% nationally forever. It’s the lowest it’s been in 50 years.

The Golden Rule of treating others as one’s self would wish to be treated is highly applicable in interpersonal relationships, and as of recently, the dilemma of “ghosting” in the workplace. Don’t hide behind technology as an avoidance vehicle. In today’s connected world, reputation and “reviews” go a long way.

Author: Quyen Pham Regional Director, West Coast

December Contractor of the Month- Brent Danis

posted by Megan Hari |

Congratulations to December’s Contractor of the Month, Brent Danis! Brent is a Senior Technical Product Manager at one of Swoon’s biggest clients in the travel technology industry. He helps execute new business features that are brought in by the company’s product team. By working cross-functionally across the company, he makes sure all business features are being implemented correctly.

Brent was first introduced to Swoon when Technical RecruiterAjla Huseinovic reached out to him as she thought he would be the perfect fit for this role. He said from his very first interaction, his experience with Swoon has been incredible and he wanted to thank Ajla and Jack for helping him land his role.

“It has been awesome working with Swoon, from the phone calls and onboarding to the continued process as a contractor. I have already recommendedSwoon to some of my friends and colleagues.”

Brent’s future career goal is to continue growing and learning in the product management field. Fun Fact: Brent wrote a book about his decade traveling abroad that was published on Amazon.

Keep up the great work, Brent!

Maximize Productivity and Crush Year-End Goals

posted by Megan Hari |

December is here and that means most people are anxiously awaiting the holidays (I know I am). With after work happy hour celebrations, volunteering, and shopping for everyone in your family plus more, this is one of the busiest months of the year. That’s why we need to be aware of how we are spending our time, especially in the workplace. Here are some Swoon tips on how to maximize your productivity and better manage your time so you can crush your year-end goals!

PLAN AHEAD

It seems obvious, but like you have heard hundreds of times, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Make sure to have a game plan on how to achieve your goals before arriving at the office each day. Many of our recruiters spend time each evening getting together a candidate list to call first thing the next day. Didn’t get to all the day’s emails? Answer them during your morning commute if you take public transit so you don’t have to waste your morning hours with planning and can get straight to the big stuff. Writing out a rough list of what you need to get done for the next day before you leave the office each night can be very helpful. By knowing what needs to get done and setting a task list for exactly how you are going to tackle it, you set yourself up for more success. Bonus points if you write a task list and timeline over the weekend to be a superhero the next week!

MEETINGS

We’ve all been in meetings where Bob and Jane speak about the same topic in 10 different ways and explain things that could have been sent in a quick email. Frustrating. Try to avoid meetings when possible. Of course, teamwork and collaboration are key, but a quick face to face with someone or grabbing a coffee for 15 minutes can be just what is needed to make sure everyone is on the same page. Think to yourself before scheduling your next meeting: Could I explain this in an email? How many people are collaborating; could a phone call be just as effective if not more so? This tip is not meant to discourage meetings altogether, but simply to remind you to use your, and others, time as efficiently and as wisely as possible.

FOCUSED MINDSET

Your mindset is a huge part of your productivity and overall performance throughout the day. Studies have revealed that each day, employees have a 4-hour window of focused concentration maximum. Therefore, work to your strengths, and ask yourself if you’re more productive after your morning coffee or are your more focused on a full belly after your lunch break? Once answered, simply, time-block your schedule to maximize your output. No excuses during time-blocks – be like Nike and “just do it”. This is a time to act with self-interest: set agendas for even the quickest of meetings to avoid wasted time; appoint a better-suited person to complete tasks asked of you to avoid “stolen time” from your schedule; recognize your roadblocks and do what you can to bypass them (clean cluttered inbox, mute the constant interruptions on your phone, alert colleagues you will be out of pocket for the designated timeslot, etc. It is important, especially on long-term projects, that you set goals along the way . . .  but start at the end! Sometimes a project conclusion can seem so far away that it becomes overwhelming; however, if you set deadlines, benchmark the project, and delegate whenever possible – your mind will be less scattered, and you will stay motivated. Plus, you will allow others the opportunity to shine and become involved by delegating. Having a mindset that allows for flexibility within your day but still adhering to the goals put forth will allow you some agility along the way to deal with the unforeseen details while staying laser-focused on the end goal.

As you are working this week, try to implement at least one of these tips into your day. Notice the difference in your productivity and quality of work!

 

 

November Contractor of the Month – Peggy Martz

posted by Megan Hari |

Swoon’s November Contractor of the Month is Peggy Martz, a Recruiting Agent for a large manufacturing client in Peoria, Illinois. She has been promoted since starting with the company and is very happy in her current role. Her typical day includes helping with orientations, setting up over 18 interviews, making offer calls and more.

Shanda Coppage recruited Peggy by finding her information on Indeed. Peggy said Shanda was awesome and easy to work with and that Jeremy Johnson has been a pleasure to work with as well.

“Swoon made the hiring process very easy. There have been no troubles. I worked as a recruiter at a temp agency, so I know it can be very hard!”

Peggy has been working in the Human Resources field for 21 years and hopes to do so until she retires as she is very passionate about it. She enjoys working with her boss, Jason, and being part of something new each day. Fun fact about Peggy, she has a farm at home with a goat, pig, and chickens!

contractor and swooners posing with chuck the duck

October Contractor of the Month – Nirmit Rungta

posted by Megan Hari |

Swoon’s October Contractor of the Month is Nirmit Rungta, a Business Analyst for a large healthcare client in Richmond, Virginia. Nirmit was on a one-year contract with the client, and because of his hard work, it was extended into 2019.

He applied for the position online and was quickly in contact with Lisa and her team. He was then introduced to Sonya and Ashley and had nothing but wonderful things to say about them.

“Swoon has been wonderful. Ever since I joined, everyone has been great when they come to meet with me. They make things comfortable with the right combination of formal and informal in our meetings,” he explained.

Nirmit’s future goals are to expand his knowledge within the company to become a project manager. In his spare time, he enjoys staying fit by playing soccer and volleyball, hiking, and cycling. Fun fact: In his past, Nirmit was a drummer in a metal band!

Congratulations on your hard work paying off, Nirmit. We look forward to watching your career grow!