Got a small project you need done but you don’t want to spend a lot of money? Causora is an online marketplace for designers, marketing and advertising services, IT and more. The twist? The money you pay goes to charities. Causora is a place professionals can advertise their services and have the proceeds go to the charities of their choices. Business logos that usually cost thousands of dollars can be purchased for a few hundred. Services are offered for a fixed price or buyers can enter into an auction and bid for services.Google+
Most liked posts
Popular Tagsaccounting and taxes blogging blogs Branding Business Development business travel Capital Access Compliance Customer Service ecommerce Email marketing entrepreneur entrepreneurship Facebook Generational Marketing GrowSmartBiz Conference Grow Smart Business lead generation LinkedIn Marketing michael dougherty mobile marketing networking online marketing Raising Capital Resources retail sales sales process SBSI Search Marketing seo small business small business accounting small business hiring small business loans small business marketing small business resources small business technology social media Technology trends Twitter Web Design Workforce
- Advanced Degrees
- Allison Kapner
- Best Of…
- Business Development
- Capital Access
- Carol Roth
- Cover Letters
- Customer Service
- Email marketing
- Jennifer Nycz-Conner
- Job Search
- Life Transition
- Lunch with Entrepreneurs
- Patrick Madsen
- Patti Nuttycombe Cochran
- Personal Brand
- Robin Ferrier
- sales process
- Sarah Morgan
- Small Business
- small business
- Small Business Success Index
- social media
- Thomas Madrecki
- What's next Gen Y
- Working World
Posts Tagged ‘Workforce’
The rising cost of health insurance, the need for greater productivity at work and the costs in both time and money of illness in the workplace are driving a growing trend: Small business owners are trying to get their employees to live healthier lifestyles. While being overweight, smoking and being inactive are all obvious causes of poor health, one factor that’s attracting more and more attention is the sheer number of hours most people spend sitting each day.
If your small business is office-based, chances are most of your staff spends 8 hours a day or more sitting hunched at their desks. New research is showing that prolonged sitting—even in otherwise active people—can be harmful to health. So how can you get your staff up off their chairs?
- Offer standing desks for employees who want them. You could invest in ready-made furniture such as Focal’s standing furniture. Or, depending on how handy you and your employees are, you could also raise existing desks to an appropriate height by bracing them to the wall.
- For the really committed, try treadmill workstations. These can be pricey (and most people won’t be able to walk all day, anyway), so you might want to invest in just one and let employees use it at different times of the day with their laptops.
- For a less expensive solution, stability balls can provide many benefits by requiring employees to work their core muscles just to stay stable. Workers can alternate the balls with regular desk chairs as they build up stamina.
- Make exercise part of the day. OfficeGym sells a chair-based exercise system that makes it easy to fit in a workout at your desk. You could also encourage employees to take quick stretching breaks instead of coffee breaks.
- Hold standing or moving meetings. Holding your meetings standing up is a great way to not only get people off their chairs, but also keep the meetings shorter. Double the effect by starting the meeting with a group stretch. You can take it up a notch by holding walking meetings outdoors. (Just make sure someone is recording what’s discussed on a voice recorder or other device so nothing gets forgotten).
- Walk around. Instead of shooting an email to the person next door, try actually getting up and talking to him or her. (If this gets too time-consuming, you could set a “no-email day” once a week to force people to actually walk around and talk to each other). This tactic can have benefits beyond just walking around as employees interact in new ways.
Image by Flickr user jseliger1 (Creative Commons)
You may decide to use a recruiter when looking for that perfect job candidate, but why limit yourself to one recruiter when you may be missing out on a huge talent source? Ascendify takes the recruiter/hiring manager relationship to a new level with their social platform. Instead of a limited amount of static listings, Ascendify can offer your company a higher number of quality candidates, increased participation in employee referrals, greater efficiency in screening and more understanding of your brand for potential new hires. The platform makes it easier for candidates to understand your corporate culture, your benefits and special programs that make them want to work for your company.Google+
With so many readily available distractions threatening to zap your employees’ productivity, it might be a good idea to keep an eye on exactly what your staff is doing on their computers. Are more hours spent on Facebook during the workday than on getting those invoices out? What about punctuality? DeskTime is designed to find and eliminate wasteful habits. Plus, the reports system shows both the entire company’s work results as well as those of individuals. Don’t worry about invading your employees’ privacy: The system only records application names, website URLs, start times and end times, never anything sensitive such as keystrokes or form input. DeskTime is especially helpful for virtual companies.
By Rieva Lesonsky
Will you be hiring employees for your small business this year? If so, you’re in good company–but you might face challenges as tough as looking for a needle in a haystack. More than one-fourth of hiring managers polled in the CareerBuilder Hiring Forecast for 2013 say their companies will be hiring full-time, permanent employees in 2013, up 3 percent compared to 2012. However, that doesn’t mean the hiring outlook is rosy.
Many businesses are still on the fence about hiring. Although more than 60 percent of employers in the survey say they are in a better financial position than last year, the slow pace of recovery is still affecting hiring plans, and the percentage of companies planning layoffs also increased, from 7 percent last year to 9 percent this year. Small businesses, in particular, show signs of indecision, with both the percentage planning to hire and the percentage planning to lay people off up 3 percent from last year.
If you are planning to hire, what markets will see the most competition? Sales (29 percent) and IT (27 percent) are the top areas where companies plan to hire. These are also the two areas that will see the biggest salary increases. Customer service, engineering and production are close behind sales and IT, with slightly over 20 percent of companies planning to hire for these roles.
While it may be hard to believe, in many industries and/or regions of the country, it’s hard to fill skilled positions, and employers are struggling to find workers. How are companies dealing with the shortage?
- Temp time: More businesses are relying on temporary employees or using staffing services to fill in the gaps. Some 40 percent of companies surveyed report plans to hire temporary and/or contract workers in 2013, an increase from 36 percent last year.
- Talent poaching: More employers are actively recruiting employees from other companies. Almost 20 percent of employees in the survey reported having been approached by a potential employer in 2012 even though they hadn’t applied for a job at that company.
- Pay raises: Employers are concerned not only about finding skilled workers, but holding on to those they already have. No wonder many employers in the survey said they plan to increase compensation for both existing staff and prospective hires.
- Do-it-yourself: Instead of searching for skilled employees, more companies are training their existing employees to move up to positions of greater responsibility or learn new skills that are needed within the business. Some 39 percent of employers said they will train current employees for new positions this year, up from 38 percent last year.
Image by Flickr user John Pavelka (Creative Commons)Google+
Talented students need real-world experience, and your business needs help on a project, but you don’t have the money to hire freelancers. SpringTern wants to help put you and the talent together. SpringTern connects small and midsized businesses with students to do volunteer work projects. Projects are generally short-term and part-time (most on the site are under 100 hours) and can be done remotely, so there is no need to find space for the student in your office. SpringTern has facilitated over 20,000 hours of work experience since its launch and received positive reviews from student and business users alike. It only costs $45 to list your project on the site.Google+
Working from home can get old fast, and being isolated can stifle productivity and creativity for a lot of entrepreneurs. However, office space can be costly and distracting. NextSpace hopes to change all that by providing cool workspaces with a professional infrastructure for freelancers and entrepreneurs looking for a creative community in which to grow their businesses. NextSpace locations have Internet and utilities, conference rooms, business services and, most importantly, other creative individuals you can bounce ideas off of and can network with for more business opportunities. Currently there are six NextSpace locations with another one in the works; you must be a member to take advantage of their locations.
By Rieva Lesonsky
What does 2013 hold in store for your employees and your business? According to the 2013 Workforce/Workplace Forecast from The Herman Group, 2013 will look much like 2012, with most employers adopting a “wait-and-see” approach to hiring and U.S. unemployment remaining above 7 percent for the year.
Here are 9 other trends you need to know about:
- Recruiting will intensify in many industries. Both big and small companies, especially in the IT sector, will feel pressure to hire due to burned-out, overworked staff. The bad news for small employers is that with big companies (with bigger benefits) hiring too, competition will be fierce.
- Trained, experienced workers will be in short supply in many fields. Consider promoting from within and providing your entry-level employees with the training they need to move into higher positions. Also develop relationships with local schools, colleges and universities to give you a pipeline to educated workers.
- Communities will become more aware of the lack of skilled employees, and smart local leadership will invest money and effort into developing the local workforce for the careers of tomorrow.
- Gamification will be used in training, performance evaluations and as a bonding tool to make work more fun and build relationships. It’s an especially important tool for companies seeking to engage their Millennial employees.
- Companies will use social networking to recruit new employees and to train and develop those they have. Don’t forget the internal social networks that even small companies have: If you’re looking to hire, try looking for referrals from your existing team.
- Companies will keep trying to do more with less—cutting staff and hiring independent contractors to squeeze still more productivity and profit out of their teams. There’s a right way and wrong way to re-engineer, Herman Group notes. Try to do it without cutting staff.
- “Job churn” will grow as too many employers continue to ignore what’s needed to create a happy, engaged work force. “There is a tremendous pent-up energy for job-hopping, which many employees have been putting off for years,” Herman Group warns. Ignore it at your peril.
- A second Obama Administration will likely mean greater regulation. You’d be smart to have access to an attorney with HR expertise, just in case. Herman Group believes that the Affordable Care Act may spur small and midsized employers to move from providing health insurance to taking part in “insurance exchanges” and funding their employees’ purchase of coverage there.
- Last, but not least, your small business might see more competition in 2013: Herman Group believes more unemployed people will take advantage of the growth in independent contracting by starting their own businesses (or at least becoming freelancers) to supply the services that businesses need.
Image by Flickr user brian Dhawkins (Creative Commons)
By Karen Axelton
Do your New Year’s plans for your business including hiring new employees? Then you’ll want to make sure you get the perfect person for the job. One of the most important parts of choosing a new employee is conducting a good job interview that gives you all the information you need to make a decision. But many small business owners aren’t sure how to do a thorough interview. Here are some tips to help you.
Be prepared. Before the interview, review the candidate’s resume and job application. Also create a list of questions that you ask all candidates. This not only helps ensure you don’t forget anything important, but also means you’re judging employees from a level playing field by asking everyone the same things.
Focus. Don’t check your email, answer your phone or look at your computer during the interview. Not only is it rude, but you’ll also get distracted. You only have a short time to talk to this person before deciding you want to make them part of your business; shouldn’t you be paying attention?
Ask open-ended questions. Instead of questions that can be answered with “yes” or “no,” ask questions that require an explanation or call on the candidate to elaborate. You’ll get a better sense of the person’s personality that way, as well as fuller descriptions of his or her experience.
Know what you can and can’t ask. To avoid getting in trouble for discriminatory hiring, in general, you should stay away from questions regarding an interviewee’s age, marital or parental status, religion, race, disability or legal immigrant status. (This Nolo.com article provides more information and resources on hiring questions.)
Make it a team effort. If you get nervous during interviews, to the point where you find it hard to focus, consider having a partner or key employee conduct the interview with you. You can take notes and observe the candidate, while your partner can do most of the talking. This tactic has the added benefit of giving you someone else’s perspective on the candidate.
Write it down. Take notes on the candidate’s answers to help you remember what was said, especially if you’re interviewing several people in a row. After each interview, spend 5 minutes or so jotting down the relevant information, including your first impression of the person.
Follow up. Let the candidate know when he or she can expect to hear from you regarding the job—and be sure to follow up when you say you will. There’s nothing worse for a candidate than waiting in limbo to hear about a job offer. What’s more, if you’re not professional about how you handle this, it could affect your business’s reputation on social media.
Image by Flickr user Marco Bellucci (Creative Commons)