Job Search 2013: What we’ve learned, and what’s to come

Three key points to take away from 2012

The job market is vastly different than it was just a few short years ago, as social media sites gain clout and cell phone technology surpasses any predictions. Three distinct trends have emerged from 2012, all vital to the modern job seeker.

Photos

On every site where you have an Internet presence, it needs to be accompanied by a professional photo. It’s best to have a series of photos taken, so you can use different snapshots for your social profiles, author bios, and blog posts. A photo gives you credibility: even if the person viewing it has no connection to you, they are more likely to click on the profile or believe the article when there is a face to associate with the name. While you may be hesitant about splashing yourself across the web, recognize that this has taken the place of an interview as the initial visual contact between you and a potential employer. If there’s nothing there, you lose a valuable chance to connect face-to-face, even if it’s only one-sided.

Recommendations

As the Internet shrinks the world, connections become increasingly important. This is reflected in the hiring process: instead of the traditional process of calling references, employers are casting a wider net of a potential hire’s companions. Through the “recommend” feature on LinkedIn and similar options on other social networking sites, coworkers and friends can vouch for you—and potential employers take notice. No longer is it enough to list three contacts and their phone numbers; with hundreds of friends and interactions visible to companies, all data involving you factors into a hiring decision. This can seem daunting at first—but when you leverage it right, you can boost your standing through other people’s words, which is automatically considered more reliable than self-promotion.

Branding

When you add professional pictures to online interactions, you’re well on your way to achieving the final, most comprehensive step toward an effective self-presentation. Building your identity into a virtual brand ensures you have the recognizability and legitimacy to be a viable candidate for a position. Stay active on social networks, write guest posts for blogs in your field, keep an up-to-date YouTube channel—a few years ago, these would have been considered leisurely activities, but as the line between work and life blurs, they now factor into your professional persona. By spreading your name through your field, and integrating it with your picture and profiles, you’ll market yourself better than an application or resume ever could. You’ll build an identity, one that employers will see and value.

What to expect in 2013

The job market is becoming even more specialized, and potential hires will have to stay on their game if they want to be top contenders for desirable positions. Certifications and niche degrees will become more important, as is any specialization within your area of expertise. Those doing the hiring are beginning to rely more on analyzable data to target their ideal candidate; by the end of 2013, there is sure to be a new list of requirements to land your dream position.

We’re here to help

Helpmates Staffing can help you hone your job search and place you in the career you’ve always wanted. We’ve worked with top employers throughout Southern California for more than 40 years, and we have access to unique career opportunities that aren’t available anywhere else. Contact Helpmates for Southern California Jobs that fit your skill set!

Management vs. Leadership: What’s the Difference? | Southern California Staffing

While the terms are often used interchangeably, leadership and management are not the same thing. The differences are sometimes subtle, but recognizing the distinctions can help those in senior positions gain a better understanding of their roles and responsibilities.

It’s also important to define these terms because in today’s competitive business environment, the people who work for you can no longer be viewed as cogs in the machine. Human resources are the most important asset for any company, and managers must strive to become better leaders in order to cultivate those essential resources.

What sets managers and leaders apart

Leadership and management go hand in hand, but the terms carry slightly different meanings. Where management is concerned with organization and planning, the role of leadership is to motivate and inspire. Specifically, here’s where they differ:

Focus. The drivers for management’s actions tend to be focused on operations. Managers are concerned with systems and structures. They work to maintain the status quo and keep things running smoothly, with an eye toward the company’s bottom line.

By contrast, leaders focus on people. Instead of maintaining current conditions, they work to develop the environment and inspire employees to concern themselves with systems, structures, and profitability. Leaders look toward the future of the company.

Implementation. Much of a manager’s working methodology centers around administration and control. They operate within the existing framework of the company, carrying out procedures that have already achieved proven results. Leaders may use existing protocols, but their actions are often built on innovation and inspiring trust from their teams.

Viewpoint. The function of a manager is not necessarily as callous and calculating as it sounds. Managers must meet certain targets, and most of their actions are colored by the lens of corporate goals and responsibilities. While not all managers take a “my way or the highway” approach to achieving their targets, they usually focus on the short-range view, asking how and when things will be done.

On the other hand, leaders adopt a long-range perspective. By asking what needs to be done and why, they seek out solutions that will benefit the company both now and in the future—even if those solutions challenge the existing practices and procedures.

Similarities between management and leadership

Despite the distinctions separating them, leadership and management are built on the same foundation. Both managers and leaders hold supervisory roles, and are responsible for directing a team of employees in pursuit of a set of common goals.

Regardless of the techniques and strategies they use, these senior roles carry additional responsibilities. Both are held accountable for the employees they supervise, sharing in the successes and the failures of their teams. Finally, managers and leaders are equally invested in the performance of the company as a whole.

How managers can move toward leadership roles

In today’s business landscape, those who adhere strictly to management principles will struggle to thrive. In order to cultivate a truly efficient and productive team, managers must incorporate aspects of leadership into their roles and learn to stretch existing boundaries.

Rather than simply assigning tasks to employees, managers should define a purpose for each team member. Telling them what to do is important, but telling them why they should do it helps them understand their own roles in the company, and allows them to feel like valued contributors to the team.

Encouraging employee participation—not just in production, but also in opinions on workplace issues and development of the business—is an important leadership tool that managers should embrace. This increases employee engagement, which naturally boosts productivity and improves efficiency.

We’re here to help

Helpmates Staffing has worked with the Southern California business market and its candidates for more than 40 years, providing highly qualified talent with leadership capabilities for companies like yours. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for your management team.

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