It’s Time to Accelerate Your Engineering Career

June 20th, 2016

There is no doubt that engineering is a noble and in-demand discipline. Without engineers we wouldn’t have bridges, airplanes or computers. Becoming an engineer takes years of education and training to become fully qualified. Once you have completed your necessary training and have gained some experience in the workforce, you should seriously consider where you want your career to take you, both in the short term and long term.

This article will discuss the importance of career growth, and seeking an employer who not only allows for but encourages your professional development. Here are a few tips to give your engineering career a boost.

Gaining Experience Quickly

One of the quickest ways to gain experience is through temporary positions. Each employer and work environment has new lessons to learn and new opportunities to further your career. Taking on temporary contracts will provide you with a wide exposure to different teams and projects that will add variety to your resume and experience to your professional profile.

While there is something to be said for staying with one employer for an extended period of time, if you don’t have the ability to show you grew within that one position by taking on increasing responsibilities over time, you are doing your career a disservice. It can be difficult to gain a wider array of job experiences while working for one employer, and that is why taking temporary contracts will help you gain experience quickly and efficiently.

Taking on Passion Projects

Show employers you are fully invested and interested in your career by experimenting outside of the office environment on various passion projects. Offering your services pro bono or volunteering with a nonprofit in your free time shows your commitment to your community and your interest in providing value outside of your 9-to-5 job. Taking on passion projects provides you with the opportunity to learn new skills or put your existing skills to good use.

Seek to Improve Your Work

Great engineers are always learning because the industry is constantly changing. New technologies and methodologies are ever revolutionizing the engineering industry. In order to accelerate your engineering career, make sure that you are never settling for just good enough. Actively seek to improve your work through soliciting quality feedback and staying on top of current events in your field. Your attention to detail and commitment to your work product will stay with you and influence your career and your reputation.

Building a Strong Network

Last, but certainly not least important is building a strong professional network to support your long-term career goals. Working with a staffing partner to find the right opportunities is the more vital step in this process.

If you find yourself in a situation where your current employer is not supportive of your career growth, it is time to reevaluate your options. The team at Search Staffing is well trained and supportive of advancing the careers of engineers in the workforce. They are a reliable source of support in your job search and are able to connect you with employers who are committed to your career goals. Contact us today to speak with a Search Staffing representative about where you want your career to take you.

3 Skills to Display as a Machinist

June 20th, 2016

Your resume is your front line of attack in your job search. You need to present yourself well on paper even before you have the chance to interview with an employer and prove your abilities. A well-written resume should be clean, concise, free of mistakes and spelling errors, and above all else, it should present your skills and qualifications in an effective manner. Employers are on the lookout for certain key skills in their machinist candidates. Are you confident those skills are reflected well in your resume?

Today’s article will discuss the three most important skills to promote in your machinist resume and how best to illustrate your qualifications to a discerning employer.

Skill #1: Precision in Measurement

A great deal of the daily tasks machinists are required to perform involves taking and managing precise measurements. They need to measure size and weight of raw and finished materials to ensure accuracy and effectiveness. Those measurements must also be regularly compared with those of scale drawings to ensure parts are produced within the required tolerances. Measuring is a prerequisite for on-the-job quality control which is of key importance to employers looking to hire machinists.

Within the body of your resume, it is worthwhile to illustrate how your precision in measurement has benefited past employers in terms of the quality of your work. It is also worth listing as a key skill within your skills and qualifications section, preferably near the top of your resume.

Skill #2: Craftsmanship

Machinists are considered to be skilled craftsmen, and as such are in high demand. Those who are trained well in the art and science of machine operation are also expected to perform with a high level of craftsmanship. Taking pride in the work you do is what will set you apart in competitive talent pool. Make sure employers know you provide value in your craftsmanship by describing how your attention to detail, quality and precision have improved a product or process on a previous project or for a previous employer.

Skill #3: The Ability to Operate Common Machine Shop Tools

Flexibility across workplaces is another important skill that will help you catch and keep the attention of your prospective hiring manager. Emphasize your ability to operate multiple standard tools, as well as some less-standard tools as well. A wide familiarity with the different machines that are in use today will reassure employers that you are up to date on real-world work environments and that, once hired, you will be prepared to hit the ground running.

Discuss your adaptability across multiple workshop environments within the body of your resume, preferably in relation to your unique successes or accomplishments within your work history. While flexibility might be considered more of a “soft skill” than the other, more technical skills you will want to list in your qualifications section.

If you are looking for your next exciting opportunity in machine operation, give the recruiters at Search Staffing a call. They can help you prepare a resume that will grab the attention of industry-leading employers and set you on your path to a better career. Contact us today!

Having Trouble Finding Local Electrical Engineer Talent?

June 13th, 2016

Electrical engineers are a very specialized talent pool. If you find yourself in needing to hire industry-leading talent but are unable to source high-quality candidates, it can be a very difficult situation. Luckily, there are a number of things you can do as a hiring manager to locate and attract talented electrical engineers to join your company.

Understanding the Electrical Engineering Talent Pool

Electrical engineering is a particularly specialized skill set, which requires a significant investment of time and education on the part of the candidates. Depending on your location, there may or may not be local schools which even offer the types of programs that will make your candidates qualified for the position. This is a key reason why some localities may offer only a handful of qualified candidates, and considering the demand for electrical engineers such areas see an unavoidably competitive hiring market. With that in mind, employers need to be proactive in their recruiting efforts and willing to provide the extra incentive to recruit and retain the talent they require.

Finding the Right Talent

Recruiting efforts such as help wanted ads, job listings, and job fairs are all hyper-local in their focus. Finding and attracting engineers outside of a given area can be difficult. While the internet has made it easier to communicate with candidates who are not located within the immediate vicinity of your business, convincing those applicants the work is worth a long commute or even relocation may not be in our best interest.

That said, social media is a powerful tool that allows employers to connect with a wider audience of candidates. There are often applicants looking for a change of scenery and as such are willing to widen their search parameters. To connect with your ideal electrical engineering candidates, be specific in your job descriptions, use smart keywords in your recruiting material, and be transparent in your expectations. To widen your search, consider joining localized groups on LinkedIn or Facebook. Above all else, make sure your company’s social media presence is strong and effective.

Networking with existing electrical engineers is another effective way to pinpoint high-quality talent. Many candidates or potential candidates are connected through school, work or social groups. Receiving a recommendation for a talented hire can be a simple and effective way to find your next electrical engineer. Ask current staff members if they have any connections seeking an opportunity with a company like yours, and consider offering a reward structure to incentivize hiring recommendations.

Working with a high-quality staffing firm such as Search Staffing often provides the support needed for companies to connect with a wider talent pool. We are highly skilled at recruiting and placing industry-leading talent in hard-to-fill positions. We have connections throughout multiple areas meaning our talent pool is more diverse and eager to hit the ground running. Give us a call today to see how we can help you find the talent you are looking for.

The Career Path to Become a CNC Machine Operator

June 7th, 2016

Interested in becoming a CNC machine operator? While there are a number of education requirements, training and experience you will require, this exciting and innovative career path is one that we are seeing high potential in. Today’s article will discuss the necessary steps you will need to take to become a qualified CNC machine operator.

About CNC Machine Operation

CNC Machine Operators are tasked with the necessary set up and operation of computer numerically controlled machines (aka CNC machines). These machines are regularly used in the metalworking industry, and job duties of machine operators include loading materials, setting tools according to job order, monitoring machine operation during use, and machine cleaning and preparation. CNC machinists are expected to document their jobs and monitor supplies. While operating CNC machines can be dangerous if done without the proper protections, operators are trained in the safety requirements and regulations necessary to operate the machinery as safely as possible. 

Career Requirements

In preparation for this career path, certified CNC Machine Operators generally have a college or trade school degree with a focus in machine technology or CNC machine operations. They are then certified through the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) or the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association International. Experience in machine operations of at least one year will help solidify your resume, along with skills in mechanics, familiarity with CNC programming software, the ability to read blueprints, operate tools such as calipers, micrometers, lathes, and mills, and enough physical strength and stamina to work while standing and the ability to life up to 75 pounds of material on a regular basis.

How to Become a CNC Machine Operator

Knowing the requirements and skills needed to become a CNC machine operator is a great first step in this engaging career. But depending on where you are in your own path can determine what steps you should take to get there. First, candidates should earn a high school diploma, followed by completion of a certificate or associates degree program with a focus on the skills directly applicable to the work CNC machine operators are expected to perform. Certificate programs through community colleges or vocational schools teach the necessary skills in a short period of time (weeks to months). Associates degrees last for two academic years, but supplementing the training necessary with more general education courses can help in your long-term career development.

Once your education is complete, you will need to solidify your skill set by getting certified. This can be done through many different schools or organizations (such as the National Institute for Metalworking Skills or Fabricators and Manufacturers Association), but all require work experience and specific coursework to qualify to take the exams. Once you are certified, the next step to becoming a CNC Machine Operator is to make the necessary connections to obtain a position.

Professional networking opportunities may be available to you through your school or training program, but working directly with a staffing partner, such as Search Staffing, will position you for quick and efficient hiring.  To see what we can do to help you land an exciting job in CNC machine operation, contact Search Staffing today.

How to Attract Candidates With Job Descriptions

May 27th, 2016

Recruiting high-quality talent can seem like a never-ending process. There are so many ways to find the right people for your job opening that the hiring process can seem overwhelming. On top of that, budget and schedule demands can add constraints that turn an otherwise straightforward process into a high-pressure situation. Believe it or not, there are a number of actions you can take to simplify and optimize your search for the ideal employee. Working with a qualified staffing agency such as Search Staffing is a step in the right direction, but it is also important to really consider your marketing of a job opportunity.

The job description in particular is what will make or break the success of a hiring process. Today’s article goes in depth to provide you with the tools you need to craft and position a truly effective job description and attract the candidates who will benefit your organization in the long term.

Create Balance

One problem we come across often with unsuccessful job descriptions is overloaded content. An employer may be so eager to target their exact expectation of an employee that the job description becomes intimidating and unrealistic from the perspective of a candidate. To avoid this, we recommend balancing brevity with details. It’s important to really focus on what qualifications and requirements are relevant to the position. Then consider adding details that will describe what makes this position and the work it involves interesting and exciting to applicants.

By adding minimum and preferred qualifications (including education, certifications, and years of experience) you will tell readers what your expectations for the position are, but avoid going overboard because you will inevitably frighten off perfectly qualified individuals and find yourself left with candidates who simply didn’t bother reading through the job description.

Highlight the “Small” Benefits

Candidates look to job descriptions to learn what hiring managers are looking for but also what they are offering. While discussions of salary and financial compensation are often best left to a post interview conversation, highlighting the little things like flexible work schedules and a great company culture will help attract the attention of candidates who are in high demand. Noting your dedication to employee career development and salary growth will also help you attract choosy applicants.

Consider your Language

It’s important to remember that job descriptions are like marketing material. You are advertising your company as a place of employment, and should present the opportunity in an engaging and interesting manner. Putting the extra time and thought into the language or medium used to advertise an opening will help get your job opening the attention it deserves.

Just as you do in your product or service marketing material, use lively and engaging language to describe the position. Avoid using bland templates that are obviously not unique to the opportunity, and keep your audience in mind. The resulting job description will not only attract more applicants, but also a higher caliber of candidate.

For more tips on how to improve your job descriptions, or for help in finding the right candidate, contact the staffing experts at Search Staffing Group.

Want the CNC Position? Talk About Safety

May 15th, 2016

CNC Machinists are in high demand today. But while employers are looking to fill a good number of job openings, they are not willing to hire just anyone. Candidates need to be able to present their experience, training, and qualifications well to impress hiring managers. Beyond that, knowing what topics to focus on in an interview can make all the difference. Pain-points and hot topic issues in manufacturing make for excellent talking points and will help you connect with your interviewer while highlighting your expertise.

One such pain-point which is common across most manufacturing jobs is that of safety. Addressing safety in an interview can be what sets you apart from the other applicants. Discussing a good safety record, a willingness to comply with safety procedures, and the ability to agree with those decisions can be music to a hiring managers ears.

Read on to learn more about safety from the perspective of a hiring manager committed to building a safe work environment.

Safety on the Job

While you should never operate or program a CNC machine without the proper training, it is also important to note your ability to consult the specific operator’s manual for the particular machine and control type. Knowledge of the unique aspects of each machine can make the difference between a safety-minded employee and one who is setting themselves or others up for accidents on the job. Appreciation of the fact that accidents can happen any time with long term repercussions will show employers that you are aware of the risks and take them very seriously.

While CNC machines are equipped with a built-in safety system which includes guards, emergency stop buttons, soundproof casing, curtain guards, and other features, an operator who is not familiar with the individual specifications of their machines will inevitably find themselves in unsafe situations. Knowing the limits of your knowledge and working to fill those gaps will help you impress your employer and reassure them that safety is a top priority for you.

Safety Culture in the Workplace

It’s not enough to be mindful of your own safety in a productive workplace. To really impress a hiring manager, make a point to note your value of safety culture and encouraging others to rise to your level of safety awareness. Show leadership through your passion for creating a greater environment of safety awareness among your coworkers. An effective safety culture is one that results from individual and group values, attitudes, and competencies focused around increasing safety on the job.

If you are looking for other tips to succeed in your CNC machinist interviews, consider contacting a career consultant at Search Staffing. Our recruiters are trained to help you hit the ground running when it comes to the job application process, and will be able to prepare you for a successful job in your manufacturing specialty. Contact our staff today!

3 Qualities to Seek in all Quality Control Specialist

May 10th, 2016

If you are in the market for a talented quality control specialist, you likely have a good idea of what such an employee would bring to the table. A strong background in the specialty is an indicator of past success in the field. High-quality references and interesting example projects are two more signs that your candidate will be able to meet your needs.

Experienced hiring managers are able to recognize a strong candidate by their application material, but keep in mind that work history and qualifications can often be misrepresented when presented in a resume. Often, when actually placed on the job, the difference between reality and the resume are profound, with long term negative impacts to a team or even business as a whole. Here are a few more subtle qualities to look for in a quality control specialist to ensure that the candidate you are considering has the skills to live up to your expectations.

Documentation Skills

In business, documentation really is everything. Being able to track, organize, and report on issues of quality control is critical to optimizing and solving long-term problems. Look for a candidate who has experience with effective documentation and who knows that such skills are of value within such a position. The process can be simple enough to be overlooked by many hiring managers, but the point remains that if a quality control specialist is unable to follow through on your companies’ reporting requirements, they will be unreliable in the position for the long term.

Attention to Detail

While quality control specialists are needed throughout a wide variety of industries, one key skill that the best specialists possess is a keen eye for detail. As the main objective of all quality control specialists is to test a product for its intended use and make sure it performs up to the necessary specifications, being able to identify and isolate problems quickly and effectively is critical to the success of the job.

A candidate who possesses this level of detail orientation should be able to cite specific examples of how and when their attention to detail paid off. Look for resumes or cover letters that provide examples of issues that were identified and resolved within the greater context of a project. If none of your candidates are able to communicate that information within the scope of their application, make sure to discuss real-world examples and scenarios within the interview.

Project Management Skills

Lastly, but certainly not the least important of these skills, is project management. Like the other skills mentioned above, hiring managers should look for specific examples of project management skills in action within the greater context of an application. Great project managers have the ability to communicate across diverse disciplines, motivate multiple team members toward a shared goal, keep schedules and budgets on track and organized, and make high quality and informed decisions. Again, look for real-world examples of these skills within a candidate’s work history to ensure they’re success with your team.

For more advice on what to look for in a quality control specialist, or for ways to find a quality control specialist, contact our expert staffing team today.

3 Tips for Networking as an Accountant

May 5th, 2016

Effective networking is arguably the single most important thing you can do to give your accounting career the boost it needs to take you from good to great. Professional connection opportunities are around every corner, but positioning yourself to meet the right people in the right situations can be more difficult. Today’s article discusses three key tips accountants can use in their networking efforts to make sure their efforts are rewarded.

The Value of a Digital Network

LinkedIn has become a very important source for digital networking, particularly in the realm of professional development. LinkedIn offers location specific groups that allow you to connect with other accounting professionals within your geographic region. An introduction through a digital network can offer a nice icebreaker for those who are hesitant to meet people in person. Connecting with other financial professionals online by participating in engaging online discussions makes the act of networking that much easier.

Focus on Public Speaking

Many accounting professionals don’t have the opportunity to really develop their public speaking skills on the job which can make the act of networking a bit intimidating. Joining professional groups or a Toastmasters group can give you the chance to practice and improve your public speaking skills. Additionally, such events can provide valuable networking opportunities. Meeting casually with others within your profession helps to set the stage for productive conversations in the future. Furthermore, practicing your public speaking skills in an equally less pressurized situation will help to bolster your confidence and make discussions flow more naturally and result in more productive outcomes.

Non-Traditional Networking

Making natural connections with professionals who are as eager to build their own career as you are to build yours can be a little strained at times. Don’t be afraid to think outside the networking box when it comes to reaching out to people. Some of the most productive conversations happen when you least expect them to. Consider looking to online forums such as Reddit to find professional meet-ups and engage in conversations relevant to your field. Keep in mind that people love to talk about themselves and online forums provide a wealth of opportunities to do just that. By looking to connect with people outside of the usual networking mixers and events, you engage them in a more interesting and often more productive way.

Other non-traditional opportunities for networking include joining community or interest groups (online and in real life) and striking up conversations whenever you have the opportunity to engage with someone. Ask what they do and why, and don’t be afraid to tell them your story as well. A great professional connection can happen just about anywhere. The trick is to place yourself in the right situations so that you are able to meet the right people and then convert those opportunities into long term and meaningful connections.

For more tips on networking, or for help in your job search, contact our expert staffing team today.

Hired a Temp? How Long Should Your Trial Employment Last?

April 27th, 2016

There is no doubt that temporary and contract employees are able to provide valuable support when your company needs it most. They are an ideal option when project needs are high but long-term resources are uncertain. Many temporary workers seek out contract work as it provides them with the opportunity to develop their skills, their network, and their resume in a relatively short period of time; not to mention temporary work can help pay the bills while they continue their search for a more permanent opportunity.

Given that temporary work is such a convenient opportunity, why then are there often hesitancies (both from employers and employees) to rely too heavily on short-term contracts? How long should an ideal trial period last before bringing a temporary worker on board permanently? These are all questions that employers are eager to answer, and in today’s article, we discuss the key issues.

Timing is Everything

The need for contract workers often stems from uncertainty in a company. This uncertainty can be due to a structural reorganization, budget ambiguity, or even a lack of qualified professionals in the job market. The result is the same: there is a need to find workers who can support business and project needs while holding off on a long-term hiring commitment. A good length of time for a temporary contract can be anywhere from 6 to 18 months, with some erring on the shorter side to avoid any conflict.

Getting the most from your temporary hires is all about timing. While it really is up to the employer to set the length of a contract, there is also a mental limit that most temporary workers are willing to remain under contract before expecting to be brought on full time. Recognizing that your short-term needs may not directly align with their long-term career goals is important, and seeking ways to bring the two perspectives into a mutually beneficial balance is key to a successful contract hire.

The Dangers of Hiring Too Early

It is true that employers can hire their temporary staff too early. Such situations can result in a bad hire when waiting a little longer could have resulted in a more informed decision. Don’t let the pressures of a competitive hiring market or urgency felt by an individual worker overly influence your decision-making process. Take the time you need to evaluate whether they will really be a good fit for the position and the team in a more long-term capacity before making them an offer of permanent employment.

The Dangers of Hiring Too Late

On the other hand, waiting too long to hire a high-quality temporary worker can result in frustration on the side of the employer or even legal action if contractors are misclassified and treated as an employee. If you don’t want your valued temporary staff to leave for another opportunity, wasting precious time and money invested in their training, and you want the piece of mind that comes with lower exposure to legal sanctions, consider bringing the employee on full time before it’s too late.

For more insight into hiring the best temporary talent in your area, contact the staffing experts at Search Staffing Group today!

Top 3 Tips for Hiring and Managing Temporary Engineers

April 20th, 2016

Hiring and managing temporary engineers is a great opportunity for employers to grow their staff in valuable and proactive ways. While temporary workers are recruited and contracted in a different manner than the average full-time employee, the benefits they provide to a workforce are often highly influential. In order to get the best out of your temporary staff, here are the top three tips you can implement in your hiring and management practices when it comes to your contract engineers.

Round Out Your Team

Seek out an engineer with a slightly different background than most of the applicants you are used to seeing. A well-rounded resume helps to bring new knowledge your team and will provide them with the opportunity to think outside the box, address problems in new and interesting ways, and interact with other members of the team in a more synergistic manner. Every team member has something to teach and to learn from the others. Keeping that key element of collaboration in mind when bringing on new talent, particularly temporary talent, will enable your staff to leverage unique skills and experiences for a truly synergistic team environment.

Think Long Term

Most temporary workers are in fact looking for permanent employment, whether that is with your company after a successful trial period or a competing company who recognizes the value of the experience they have gained as a temporary employee. As a hiring manager who is committed to staffing your company with industry-leading talent, knowing when to hire a temp permanently can make a significant difference in the long-term success of your hiring strategy.

This requires some long-term and strategic thinking around your recruiting practices. Engineers are in high demand and that trend is unlikely to reverse in the near future. Recognizing high-quality talent and investing in their training on the job will set your temps up for success within their temporary position and in the long term as well. If a contract engineer is a good fit for the company culture, able to engage and collaborate well with their team, and understands the priorities and goals of their projects and the corporate strategy, they will in all likelihood make an excellent permanent addition to your team.

Emphasize Career Growth

Temporary workers are as interested in developing their career as any other employee you will have hired. Keep that in mind when interviewing candidates for a temporary engineer position. Highlighting career-growth opportunities to the interviewee if they were to take a long-term position down the road addresses a number of issues that temporary workers are often concerned by. It says that you are loyal and committed to employees who are loyal and committed to the company. It also reassures candidates that any time spent on a contract job with your company is not time wasted in their career.

Addressing the immediate need for temporary workers upfront but still recognizing that there is potential to convert a contract into a permanent position if the situation allows, provides temporary workers with the confidence they may need to accept and fully engage in the opportunity.

For more insight into hiring the best temporary talent in your area, contact the staffing experts at Search Staffing Group today!