Posts Tagged: wfh

Top 5 Ways to Stay Safe at the Office

At Career Contacts, we often write blogs based on the conversations we are having with hiring managers and candidates.

Top of mind for candidates going back into the office lately is around how to ensure they are keeping safe (and leadership is looking to ensure they are doing their part too).

This week, we wanted to share our top 5 most rewarding ways to stay safe in your office environment during the pandemic. Although they may seem like easy things to do, they hold a much deeper value than people may assume.

  1. Remember to PLEASE stay home if you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, no matter how small!

This is by far the most important step when practicing safe living during this time. This will effectively flatten the curve as well as not only protect you, your loved ones and your bubble, but it also protects all those you may encounter! Think of it as you actively protecting so many people by simply being cautious. No matter how small or insignificant your symptoms may be, it is safer for us all if you stay home. Be sure to express your concern to your employer and bubble, and proceed to dedicate a few days to your health! In BC, we are fortunate to have easy access to testing should your medical advisor suggest it, we recommend taking their recommendations seriously. Get your necessary essentials delivered or dropped off by a member of your bubble and take your few days of quarantine with a peace of mind. After the lockdown, most roles are finding ways to function from home. If this isn’t possible, this is what sick days are for.

  1. Splurge on a mask you  LOVE!

It’s true, masks really do prevent the spread of COVID-19! While masks may not have been a common essential in our past, they most certainly are now. They are now required in most, if not all stores and businesses, and without wearing one you are putting yourself and your bubble at risk of exposure. You are more likely to remember, use and enjoy your facemask if you dedicate 20 minutes to surfing the web to find a design, fabric, or function of mask that suits your personal needs. A handpicked mask is also a great opportunity to support brands you love and show a bit of personality in a way we haven’t utilized before. Kick the disposable masks to the curb and spend a little extra on one you are happy wearing regularly! Whether it be in the elevators, to the coffee shop, or even to a team meeting, be sure to bring your reusable mask to all personal and work efforts outside your home (this will also actively prevent more single use waste entering our oceans and landfills!).

PRO TIP: Don’t forget to handle your masks appropriately and wash them as needed.       

(spotted: A few of our HR Consultants, Pam and Reena, staying safe while on site)

  1. Remain tidy and distanced while in office

When entering your office environment, be sure to check for symptoms prior to arriving and don’t forget your mask! As COVID-19 protocols are in full swing, this is a time to develop new personal habits and reminders in efforts to reduce the spread. Once entering the office, you must remember to sanitize and be aware of your surroundings. For example, if a coworker is in the common spaces, you should not be. Be sure to communicate to your co-workers that the friendliest thing they can do when communicating with you is ensuring their distance and practicing safe living at (and outside of) work. When communicating, be sure to emphasize your gratitude and be kind – these are hard times for everyone. In regard to your workspace, have your belongings close to you and away from others to avoid cross contaminating as well as have disinfectant wipes available nearby for all your equipment and materials for end of day sanitization.

PRO TIP: Minimize the materials and things you have surrounding you is a great way to eliminate potential contamination; it can reduce clutter which fosters organization and ultimately leaves you with more space and less stress!
  1. Keep your bubble small and well connected

Your bubble; your people! These are your cheerleaders, loved ones and best friends. They are your chosen support system, and you are theirs. As this is an uncertain time for everyone in the world right now, it’s important that we each do our part to support one another the best way we can; through distancing. With fall, winter, and flu season in view, it is especially important to be practicing safe living. When organizing your bubble, it is important to remember that every individual, family, and household will be under different circumstances. For the people you live with such as immediate family, a partner or roommates, there is no need for any restrictions on physical contact.

When considering who you socialize with outside of your household, it is important to remember that the recommended size is six individuals per bubble. This is being called your “Safe Six” and means a group of six friends or extended family members that is consistently involved with one another. These individuals may breach the 2 meter physical distance however, no physical contact should be practiced to ensure safety to all parties. This is a great way to refocus on some people who hold a special place in your heart, or a guilt free excuse to minimize your surface level relationships and devote time to those you can count on for support throughout the pandemic.

  1. Monitor your mental health

Last but certainly not least, please do not forget to monitor your mental health and advocate for yourself. COVID-19 has had an incredible impact on people worldwide and it is important to know you are not alone and there is support available to you from both your peers and the government. Be sure to indulge in some self-care, physical activity or a virtual happy hour with friends to ensure you are heard and supported in whichever way you may need. A hot bath, long walk and phone calls with loved ones can work wonders on your mindset! When creating your bubble it’s important to compile those you feel comfortable confiding in, so you may support one another when need be. It is okay to feel overwhelmed or anxious by the uncertainty the COVID-19 outbreak has created. It’s important to remember that mental health is just as important as physical health, and to take measures to support mental well-being.

Here are some resources that can assist with maintaining mental health in the workplace during this time.

If you are an employer interested in learning more about how to ensure your office is a safe space for employees, please reach out to us at hiring@careercontacts.ca.

Keeping Remote Teams Connected

We are officially on week 3 of a 100% virtual Recruitment and HR team and although we miss being in the same physical space, we are also really proud to be doing our part and staying home.

As a newly formed remote team, we have been feeling really connected after creating our own process and thought we would share some of our favorite “social” events.

Virtual Happy Hour

Every Friday, we get our entire extended remote team together for a virtual happy hour. We all catch up on how we are doing, our wins, our struggles and just support one another. This isn’t about productivity, it’s about genuine connection.

We care about each other and want to make sure we are all ok. We are in this together so it’s important that we all know we can lean on one another.

It’s also a fun time to brainstorm new ideas and get our whole team together!

 

Coffee Chats

In smaller remote groups, we connect by video or phone, with a coffee in hand. These are generally shorter connections with only a few people, to connect on a deeper level. This might be to solve a work problem, come up with some new ways of supporting client, or simply be a way to download the day on to someone that cares.

Online Work Outs

Our team loves to snack – we might be some of the best snackers out there! We also like to stay in touch and keep active. When we were all together, we’d challenge each other to take the long walk back after lunch or encourage someone to get to the evening workout class.

Now, with so many amazing gyms and trainers putting on online class, we can log in together, and do similar works outs. We have not let go of our roots though, and always share the best snack finds; and have a new list of office snacks ready to go when we can all be together again!

Challenges

In keeping with the healthy lifestyle goals, we can hold each other accountable remotely for our own personal goals. We are more than just what we do for a living, and at Career Contacts, we want everyone’s personal goals to matter just as much as their work goals. We are all about bringing your whole self to the job – fitness goals and all! Whether this means challenging each other with our health, fitness, education, side hustles or big dreams, we push each other to be the best versions of ourselves when we need it most!

Virtual Spa Days

The week that things got serious for us (about a month ago now), we had an employee spa day planned. We, as owners of the business, wanted to celebrate our teams and ensure that they never forgot how much we appreciate the work that they do, and the trust that they put in us.

Now that we are working from home, as a remote team, we are finding new ways to ensure that our teams are still focused on self care and making sure we still get to treat our teams in a small way.

Overall, what we have seen is that our teams care about staying connected more than anything else. The work continues (albeit at a slower pace) and clients trust that we are doing whatever it takes to get them what they need. We are also ensuring that our teams are taking advantage of this time to spend time on themselves, with their loved ones, and have a team of champions in their corner to do it!

 

The Power of the Phone Interview – Part 1

This is day 11 of total social isolation for our team due to COVID-19.

That means in some of our cases, the kids or pets are home, are significant others are around, and as Recruiters, that means interviewing from home.

At Career Contacts, we have a really robust screening process, and an important piece of that is the phone interview.

Some of the perks of a strong phone interview are:

  1. Reducing unconscious bias
  2. Saving time (and therefore, money)
  3. Improved candidate experience (when done correctly)
  4. Increased quality of the hire by adding a step in the process

Now that our hiring managers are also conducting phone interviews, we’ve received a lot of questions on the do’s and don’t’s of phone interviews and thought we’d share our list!

DO:

Talk about salary

When possible, we encourage companies to be transparent with this process. If you are paying fairly, there should never be a worry of “leaving money on the table”. I also personally am a big fan giving candidates a range, and encourage them to share theirs.

Talk about culture fit / add

Instead of expecting them to know what you’re all about, take the time to share a bit about your values and what your company stands for. Tell them about your social events, your training programs, anything that highlights your company as a employer of choice.

PRO TIP: This might not be the right candidate for the role, but they might be for the next role, or be able to introduce you to your next dream candidate – it’s worth giving them a good feeling about the company.

 

Invite them to ask their questions

Candidates want to feel comfortable asking about what matters to them. It’s a great way to gauge what they value, and also allows them to screen themselves out early in the process if needed be. The more transparent you can be, the better!

DO NOT:

Ask what they make now

It’s really none of your business. They are applying for a new position, likely with new roles and responsibilities, and potentially with greater expectations. Ask them what they are expecting to make in the role they are applying for instead.

Be afraid to dig deeper

If they don’t ask, it’s ok to find out what they value from companies – vacation, work from home, benefits. The offer package has a lot of room and if you know what they value, you have more to offer them when it comes time.

This also applies to things like their computer skills, communication skills or previous experience with a specific tool or program. Take the time to ask them the non negotiables up front. If you need someone with SAGE software experience, get that out there in the first round and reduce your work on the back end.

Be Late

Disorganization in the hiring process reflects heavily on the company as a whole. Respect that the candidates time is equally as valuable as your own, and remember that they are interviewing you, as much as you are interviewing them.

If you are going to be late, you’re going to know an hour before hand, maybe even half an hour before – make sure you give them a heads up.

If you are cancelling all together, ensure that you are sincerely apologetic, and work with their availability to reschedule. Don’t normally work past 5 but that’s all they have available? Make it work!

The most important thing during a phone screen is to listen to your candidate, have a genuine interest in what they have to share, and be mindful of their time. Interviews are not easy for most, so walk into any interview with compassion and you’ll be pleasantly surprised what you get back in return!

 

Want some more tips?

Stay tuned for our next blog: Behind the Scenes of a Great Phone Interview

Working From Home Blog Series

Part 1: The Benefits of Your Employees Working From Home

Employees have been asking to work from home (or remotely) for years.

Over time, this has become more common to work from home, but is still not how most organizations operate. At the most, employees have options to work from home on occasion, and are rarely doing their roles 100% remotely.

Now, with the Corona Virus, COVID-19, employees are being asked to work from home with little notice, and less support.  Let’s take advantage of this opportunity to enjoy the benefits of working remotely., but also support employees in being successful at home.

Here are a few of the benefits you may experience, depending on your role in the company.

Benefits to the company:

  • Companies are all upgrading IT so that employees are efficient with time and accessibility
  • Companies are able to show (not just tell) that they put trust in employees
  • Employees working remotely are often more productive (less interuptions)
  • Remote meetings are often more time effective and shorter in length
  • Companies are able to hire employees from anywhere in the world – global reach!
  • Allowing employees to work remotely is one of the best perks you can give them

Benefits to the employee:

  • Time is saved on the commute to and from work
  • Reduced costs of eating out, coffees etc.
  • Extra time available for continuous learning like online courses and learning
  • Allows you to work independently and demonstrate you are a hard worker and your value to the team – letting the work speak for itself

Benefits to employee and employer:

  • Our carbon footprint is reduced (everyone wins!)
  • Productivity will be increased on projects without distractions and interuptions
  • The balance of work / life improves
  • The cost of employee parking, bus passes, transportation is reduced

During this difficult time with COVID19 and the Corona Virus, let us all work together to be the best teams possible and support one another in finding success in our new work environments.

Collaboration over competition has always been our mantra and now more than ever, we are committed to supporting one another to come out of this time stronger, more connected and prepared.

Stay tuned for part 2 of our blog: How to Work from Home Effectively

Call Now Buttoncall now