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How Is Arizona Business Doing?

One of the goals of our blog is to keep our readers up to date on how things are going in Arizona. There is a slew of information in from the first quarter of 2011 and some developments that have occurred recently.

Legislation

One of the biggest issues to begin the year was Arizona Senate Bill 1041. This bill was intended to attract new business, especially ones that would be purchasing property plant and equipment, to Arizona. This bill would have let businesses that meet certain investment standards reduce their property tax to as low as 5% for a decade. Those looking to move to Arizona and those who are already here but wanted to expand obviously loved the idea. Those who have been here and already made investments, in spite of a down economy, were opposed. Governor Brewer vetoed this Bill when it crossed her desk.

Housing

Home prices still are not that great here in Arizona. Residents are still seeing declines in the value of their houses, and a significant number of homeowners are still upside down in their mortgages. At the end of the first quarter, just over 68% of the homes in the Phoenix metro area were underwater.

Consumers

Whether consumers are spending or not says a lot about the economy. A Rocky Mountain Poll this January pertinent to consumer confidence showed that Arizonans were the most confident that they had been in two and a half years. Profit growth from Arizona based companies like PetSmart and local construction firms in the first quarter is another good sign. This contrasts the housing market, but good news is welcome. Retail sales in Flagstaff also showed some very good numbers, with a 29% increase in tax revenues based upon car sales. Big-ticket purchases are always a sign of good things to come.

Tourism

One of the important portions of our state’s economy is tourism. Restaurants and hotels need this push to get by and reach profitability. Hotels in Scottsdale were among the best in the nation when it came to occupancy (86.9%) and revenue per room ($166.05) this March. That is great news and shows that our states hospitality industry is working past the slight that Arizona’s reputation took due to some of the headlines that made national news.

Things seem to be slowly improving. While it will take patience to fully take advantage of these slow upturns it is great to see a shift toward growth. A strong economy is good for the entire state of Arizona and everyone who does business here.

Sources:

Brewer Tax Veto Splits Private Sector (Phoenix Business Journal)

Zillow; Phoenix Home Prices Decline, 68 Percent Underwater (Phoenix Business Journal)

Petsmart Quarterly Income up 33% (The Arizona Republic)

The Rocky Mountain Poll; Consumer Confidence up in Arizona (W.P. Carey-Arizona State University)

Scottsdale Hotels Tourism Rebound (The Arizona Republic)

Retail Sales Holding Up (Arizona Daily Sun)

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Two Weeks’ Notice

The fact of the matter is that turnover is a very real thing, especially when it comes to construction or hospitality staffing. Employees find new jobs, be it because they are unhappy, are moving or simply want to work in a new position. Ideally an exiting employee provides you with notice. Two weeks is standard but let’s be honest, even a week is nice.

The Employer’s Role

When you receive a two weeks’ notice, you have options. Unless a contract stipulates it, you are not required to grant the employee the entire two weeks if you already have a new person trained and lined up. On the other hand, you can ask the employee to stay a little longer than two weeks, but he is not obligated to say yes. Replacing an employee can be time-intensive, so begin searching for a replacement as soon as possible. You can look for new hires at a job fair or through a staffing agency. Bringing in a temp could give you some extra time to find the perfect long-term person for the position.

Managing the Last Two Weeks

If the employee is in good standing, there is usually not a reason to let him go immediately once he has given notice. After all, he did provide you the courtesy of notice. You may want to set up some expectations for the last two weeks. One theory says that you just politely let departing employees know that nothing will change–they will be responsible for the same duties they have always been and that now there is simply a defined end date.

If you are not comfortable with this, you may choose to downgrade their duties a bit. You may transition them away from some of the job functions that are key to the overall business and ask that they work in a backup role while they finish out their time with your company. If you exercise this option, take some time to explain to the employee that you appreciate their being straightforward with you but that you have a process for transitioning staff out of your company. Keep in mind that allowing staff to complete their notice sends a good signal to other staff members. It will make them more likely to warn you when they decide upon a job change themselves and let them know that you are an understanding employer.

Dealing with the fact that employees quit is simply part of running a business. Every manager needs to be ready to transition employees out of their jobs while simultaneously bringing on new staff. Having a plan in place will help to make this process easier for you.

Sources:

How to Hire Wisely (Inc.)

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How to Describe Management Experience on a Resume

Every job seeker has the same goal while polishing his resume: to keep his list of experience and accomplishments from hitting the trash can. As hiring managers skim through work histories, they are often looking for signs of leadership and past management positions. Optimize your management experience by choosing the ideal placement, giving the right amount of information, and perfecting the wording to catch the manager’s interest.

Find Proper Placement

To most effectively draw attention to your management experience, place it at the top of your resume, directly under the career objective. If your past management position was not your most recent employment, you can still move it to the top of the resume in several ways. Many people will only include relevant work experience on the resume. Others choose not to list their work history chronologically, but instead in order of relevance. Whichever option you choose, be careful to be upfront in its labeling. You do not want the hiring manager to suspect you are trying to trick him.

Know What Information to Give

Don’t clutter up your resume with information the hiring manager won’t need. Common examples of this are the full addresses of businesses or the names of your supervisors. Instead, focus on your achievements. Provide a description of your management position, and most importantly, don’t spare any details about ways you helped bring in extra profits or increase productivity. This is your place to brag about what you can do and convince a potential future boss that you would be an asset to their company. Other information to provide about past management experience includes:

  • Exact job title
  • Company name
  • Company description
  • Length of employment

Craft the Perfect Wording

Before diving into your work descriptions, strategize. You want short, direct sentences that communicate a strong message and set you apart from other applicants. Try to start sentences with action verbs when possible. Use specific language, leaving aside fluffy word choices such as “great,” “good,” or “things.” Of course, your final step should include several thorough proofreads. You don’t distract the hiring manager from your leadership skills with an accidental misspelling. Guard against errors with the help of a friend for a final and honest look over before sending your resume to a potential new employer.

For more tips on employment—both getting hired and hiring—please visit us online. We offer a wide variety of staffing solutions for many different industries.

Sources:

MIT Career Development Center

Sandbox Advisors

Tech Republic

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Temporary Labor Offers Permanent Perks

Taking advantage of temporary labor to staff catered dinners, conferences, and other events can benefit your business in many ways.

Skill

The skill level of temporary workers ranges from general abilities to specialized areas of expertise. A staffing agency has access to an array of temporary talent. The people whom the agency provides to work for you will precisely match your company’s needs.

Flexibility
A staffing agency is expert at providing qualified help to work for you. It can respond to you quickly, with a small or large number of workers to work whatever hours and days necessary. This is especially helpful for seasonal increases in business or for managers who need to staff events.

Eagerness
Temporary workers choose to work as temps for many reasons. They often like the opportunity to explore different career fields and appreciate the chance to build their resumes. While permanent employees can sometimes lose their drive and simply fall into a routine of going through the motions, temporary workers are eager to impress, and always striving to make that great first impression.

Cost Savings
In shaky economic times, using temporary workers can be a smart way to reduce expenses. Permanently hiring a large number of workers with general skills or a few with specialized skills can be a big expense, while “borrowing” their help temporarily is very cost-effective. You’ll pay to get your job done well, but not for hours you don’t need, overhead, or other associated expenses. In the case of event coordinators, a temporary agency is an extremely cost effective means of staffing functions with your balance sheet in mind. It may be hard to keep full-time workers if you do not have constant events. Temps know from the start that they are working for only a specific amount of time.

Commitment
When you use temporary labor, the temps are working not only for you but for the staffing agency as well. We are committed to doing an extraordinary job as a matchmaker, and being the solution to your staffing challenges. It will make choosing to use temporary labor benefit your business, and be your go-to contact for questions or concerns in regard to any of the provided temporary workers.

Whether you need extra hotel staff for banquets or if you operate a catering company, temporary labor is an option that you should look in to. The tourism industry here in Arizona only adds to the number of events that our state hosts. As it is such a viable business, business owners and managers need be aware of their options.

Sources:

CEO Blog: Temporary Jobs Will Begin the Boom (CNBC)

Increase in Temp Workers is Encouraging (USA Today)

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How to Keep Staff Motivated

Business operators quickly discover that when employees grow bored with tasks or apathetic about their responsibilities, their work will begin to suffer and their creative attempts become mediocre at best. An unmotivated staff can hinder the entire company. It usually falls on the supervisors and managers to find nonmonetary methods of inspiring passion and hard work from each staff member. There are many simple ways to boost morale and inspire employees to offer their best efforts.

Give Recognition

Disgruntled staff members often complain that their best work goes unnoticed. Make a point to acknowledge and occasionally celebrate a job well done. It will boost the employee’s self-confidence, and encourage him to perform at higher levels in the future. Recognition can be public, private, casual, or formal. Different situations will warrant a different response. Public acknowledgement for hard work will not only encourage the recognized employee, it will also encourage the rest of the staff to strive for the same honor.

Talk Long Term

An employee lacking direction will struggle with finding motivation for their daily tasks. To give your workers a sense of purpose and forward motion, try talking to them with the future in mind. Transform their jobs into careers by asking about their long-term goals and leaving the door open for future promotions and job titles.

Improve the Working Environment

Working in a clean, uncluttered, and decorated environment can do wonders for staff morale.

Collectively improve the mood your employees by adding warm paint hues, a few paintings, and maybe some plants. These changes may seem trivial, but surveys indicate that employees highly credit an aesthetically pleasing office environment with productivity and motivation.

Work on Your Attitude

Bad moods can be contagious. If you display fatigue, frustration, or apathy, your employees will start to show the same attitude. Train yourself to smile and voice your own passion for the work you do. Other staff members might also get swept up in your excitement.

Keeping your staff focused and motivated is a huge part of your job as a manager. The communications that you convey can keep everyone on track and ready to work as a team. Here at Labor Systems, we have a few principles that we take to heart and incorporate into our management philosophy which we have been very happy with. They have bred success with our staff here in Arizona and in the other states where we provide temporary employment services.

Sources:

20 Ways to Motivate Your Employees Without Raising Their Pay (Biztrain)

7 Tips for Motivating Employees (Inc. Magazine)

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