What Should I Be Evaluating in an Offer Letter?

It’s the goal of every job search: the offer letter. But, as leading North Houston recruiters, Kingwood Personnel knows that some aren’t as straightforward as you’d think. It’s therefore vital to take the time necessary to reflect on yours and ensure it meets your expectations and needs. Here are some areas to focus on when you do:

The basics.

These include your job title, the manager you’ll be reporting to, your location, your start date and the hours you have to work. While these might seem like no-brainers, it’s important to make sure there aren’t any surprises. For instance, if the job title is different from what you thought, then ask why. This is your opportunity to make sure the offer meets your expectations and to negotiate any areas that don’t.

The compensation package.

This should include your salary, any commissions or bonuses, and projected increases. While you might be excited about the offer, don’t let your enthusiasm get in the way of being realistic. Whatever you’re being offered should be competitive for your field and your level of experience. If it’s not, then again, this is a point you’ll want to negotiate.

Beyond salary, it’s also important to evaluate your benefits. A robust benefits plan can often make up for a salary that’s a little low. On the other hand, if your benefits come with high premiums and high deductibles, along with hefty out-of-pocket expenses, then you might end up earning less money than you anticipated.

In addition, make sure you fully understand the company retirement benefits, pension plan, stock options, life and disability insurance, and any other benefits offered, including paid time off.

The hidden costs and perks.

Every employer comes with a host of these. For instance:

  • If your commute time is considerably more or less than your last job, it will impact how much you spend on gas each month.
  • If the company has an onsite daycare and offers a discount to employees, then you’ll have to consider how much you’ll save there and for how long.
  • If this job requires more formal attire – and you don’t have a lot of suits – you’ll need to calculate the cost of upgrading your wardrobe.

Also, if there are any specifics you negotiated beforehand, such as telecommuting two days a week, make sure these are in your offer letter. If they’re not in writing, then there’s no guarantee you’ll get them.

Need more help getting offers to evaluate?

Call the experts at Kingwood Personnel. As leading recruiters in North Houston, it’s our passion and pride to connect qualified candidates with leading employers in and around the area. Contact us today to learn more or search our North Houston jobs now.

Simple Questions to Ask Employers for Insights into Their Company Culture

During the job interview, you know it’s important to ask about the role, the responsibilities and how success will be measured. But are you also asking questions about a company’s culture? As one of North Houston’s top employment agencies, Kingwood Personnel knows if you’re not, then you could wind up accepting an offer at an organization that’s not a great fit for you.

To ensure that doesn’t happen, here are a few simple questions to ask to uncover and learn about culture during your next job interview:

What’s your process for onboarding new employees?
Some companies have extensive training and onboarding programs. Others expect you to get up and running on your own. But asking this question will ensure there are no surprises and you have realistic expectations as to how much training and support you’ll get. Not only that, but when a company does invest in training, it shows that they’re committed to workforce development and productivity.

What do you love about working here? What don’t you love?

Asking this question forces the interviewer to get specific about the culture and its perks, as well as areas where it might fall short. When they’re answering this question, look too beyond what they’re saying and evaluate their body language. If the person interviewing you is talking about what a great company it is, yet seems nervous, fidgety, or won’t look you in the eye, then it’s a potential red flag.

What was the last important accomplishment that was celebrated?

You want to work in a place where praise and recognition are at the forefront. Asking this question gives you some insight into whether the particular company you’re interviewing with acknowledges and appreciates employee contributions and success.

A few other questions to consider asking include:

  • How would you describe the company’s management style?
  • Are there any career development opportunities offered?
  • Does the company and/or department participate in any team-building activities?
  • How would you characterize the work-life balance among employees?
  • Are flex hours an option?
  • What types of personalities thrive best in your work environment?
  • Are there any social outings or activities for employees to participate in?

You can gain new skills and abilities. But you can’t learn the culture. That’s why it’s so important to ensure the offer you do end up accepting is with an employer that aligns with your career needs and goals, as well as your personality. When you do, you can deliver your best performance and thrive in an environment that’s right for you.

Need some help finding a company – with a culture – that’s a good match for you?

Contact the team at Kingwood Personnel. As one of North Houston’s top employment agencies, we can connect you with rewarding jobs and leading employers throughout the area. Contact us today to learn more or search our North Houston jobs now.

Reduce Your Costs by Hiring Project-Based Employees

Managing labor costs is essential to keeping your company finances on track and maximizing profitability. One strategy for reducing these expenses – not to mention gaining more flexibility in the process – involves hiring project-based employees (a.k.a. contract workers).

This option is typically less expensive than full-time employees for a few reasons:

Less red tape. With contract workers, you don’t pay local and federal payroll taxes, unemployment insurance, disability, workers compensations, and the host of other costs that come with being an employer. The contractor is considered “self-employed” and responsible for paying for many of these on their own.

No benefits required. Benefits are a big financial consideration when hiring full-time employees. That’s not the case with contract workers. In fact, you don’t have to worry at all about perks like health insurance and paid time off. If the contractor works through a North Houston contract staffing agency, then the agency might offer these benefits. For you, though, you simply pay the contractor the agreed-upon fee that was previously negotiated.

More efficient hiring. When you partner with a reputable staffing agency in North Houston to hire contract workers, you can also cut cost-to-hire. The agency will source, screen, interview, and skill test candidates on your behalf and can even conduct background and reference checks. With a network of both active and passive candidates to tap into, they can often perform this job faster and more cost-efficiently than many companies can do on their own. You can save money during the hiring and onboarding process, as a result, while still gaining access to the talent you need.

The bottom line? With contract workers, you can reduce costs significantly, all while gaining manpower to complete projects. Not only that, but you can actually improve your financial outlook with project-based staffing. For instance, you’ll have a workforce that’s more adaptable and flexible. That means you can easily take on new initiatives without increasing overhead. Simply bring project-based people on board for a specified period of time to complete work or access specialized skills.

One word of caution: Always make sure you’re classifying employees and contractors properly. Classifying regular employees as contract ones can land you in legal hot water with the IRS. If you are found guilty of such a misclassification, you’ll also have hefty fines to pay on top of that. To avoid this happening to you, work with an experienced contract staffing agency in North Houston. They can offer you guidance and advice, so you can leverage the many cost-saving benefits of contract workers in a way that’s legal.

Ready to get started?

Kingwood Personnel is here to help. For more than 30 years, we’ve been placing highly-qualified professionals in a variety of short and long-term temporary and contract positions with many of North Houston’s leading companies. We work with companies of all sizes, from Fortune 500 corporations to small and mid-size businesses. If you’d like to learn more, connect with our team today.

 

Tips on Developing a Strategic Staffing Plan for Your Business

Summer is here. And while you might be busy filling orders and managing seasonal employees, it’s also important to take a bigger picture look at your staffing function. When you do, you can create a strategic plan that ensures you’re always optimally staffed, with the right people in the right positions. Such a plan can also help you to fill skill gaps, fight rising overhead, and keep your company operating at peak performance.

To get there, here are a few key areas to focus on as you’re creating your plan:

Business goals.

As one of North Houston’s leading staffing companies, Kingwood Personnel knows when it comes to creating a strategic staffing plan, you need to think about both short- and long-term business goals. Whether you’re interested in taking on new initiatives, expanding into different territories, or reducing overhead, these goals are all impacted by the people you have – or don’t have – in place. Outline your goals so you can then develop the strategy to achieve them.

Current employees.

What’s the landscape of your existing staff? Is there high turnover? Burnout? Skill gaps? People in positions ill-suited for them? Or high-potential employees who aren’t being fully leveraged? Whatever the case for you, it’s important to gain insight into where you are now in terms of your team, so you know what you need going forward.

Current staffing needs.

To create a sound strategy, you have to understand the skills and experience you’re lacking, as well as how you’ll go about acquiring them. Your timeline for hiring is also a vital consideration to take into account. Some questions to ask yourself during this part of the process include:

  • What roles do you need to fill?
  • How will you fill them?
  • Are these temporary or full-time positions?
  • How long will it take to hire?
  • What will it cost?
  • What will the onboarding process look like?
  • How long will it take for new hires to become productive?

Future staffing needs.

You need to hire now. But that doesn’t mean you should put workforce projections on the back burner. It’s also a smart move to plan out the next five to 10 years so you can begin building a talent pipeline, developing succession plans, and taking into account any company restructuring that’s on the horizon.

Once your plan is created, make sure you monitor and update it at least once a year. Things happen – whether you win or lose a big client, or new legislation drastically impacts the industry you operate in. It’s therefore imperative to create a plan that’s agile enough to adapt to the changing needs of your business environment.

Interested in professional help creating a strategic staffing plan?

Give Kingwood Personnel, one of North Houston’s trusted staffing companies, a call today. We can assist you with the process – from start to finish – so you can get a targeted and customized plan that works best for you and your team. Contact us to learn more or get started.

How a Recruiting Company Can Greatly Benefit You in Your Job Search

Searching for a new job? Not getting any offers? It can be a disheartening experience. Plus, if you’re not a professional recruiter, it’s also hard to know where you’re going wrong, so you can improve your odds of getting interviews and a new position.

The good news is you don’t have to go it alone. In fact, a recruiting company in North Houston – like Kingwood Personnel – can help in a variety of different ways. Here’s just a few of them:

Knowledge.

When you partner with a recruiting company in your job search, you suddenly have access to in-depth knowledge you didn’t have before. For instance, you can learn about what exactly hiring managers look for on resumes and in candidates. You can also gain expert insight into the local companies that are hiring or will be soon. In addition, professionals at a recruiting company will have unique perspectives on in-demand skills and experiences employers are looking for. All this translates into a partner who can help you better navigate the job market and find an opportunity faster.
Access.

Many times, North Houston employers use recruiting companies to hire for confidential opportunities not available on the general employment market. You can access these hidden jobs when you work with professional recruiters. Not only that, but recruiting companies have many contacts with local employers. As a result, if you’re the ideal fit for a certain company, they can send along your resume, even if the company isn’t actively hiring.

Guidance.

If you’re on the fence about where to take your career, the professionals at a recruiting company can offer you the guidance you need. They can help to clarify your strengths and goals, all so you take the right next steps in your career. In addition, on a practical level, they can assist you with resume writing and interview preparation. This will help to ensure you make the strongest impression possible on hiring managers.

Feedback.

When you work with a recruiting company in North Houston, they will follow up to get feedback on your interview with prospective employers. That means you don’t have to wait and wonder about whether you got the job. Your recruiter will be able to tell you if you’re still in the running, or whether the hiring manager decided you weren’t the right fit. If you didn’t get the job, they will often be able to get feedback as to why – information you can leverage to improve your odds at your next interview.

Ready to put the advantages of a North Houston recruiting company to use in your job search?

Whether you work in accounting, HR, sales and marketing, manufacturing, or another field, Kingwood Personnel can help you find your next great job. In fact, for the past 30 years, we’ve been connecting the area’s top talent with the leading local employers. Contact us today to learn more.

The Quick Guide to Finding Great Jobs on Facebook

Looking for a new job in North Houston? You already know you need a polished LinkedIn profile. But what about Facebook? Are you using this social media site in your search?

If not, you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity to network, find new leads and connect with potential employers. To help you make the most of Facebook during your job hunt, here are a few tips to put to use:

Complete your profile with your professional history.

Make sure you fill out the “Work and Education” section of your Facebook profile. You can use much of the same information you have on LinkedIn, just edited for Facebook. For instance:

  • List your current position, as well as past workplaces.
  • Add your professional skills, including your job duties, experience, and accomplishments.
  • Share where you went to college and high school.

Once you do, you’ll be prompted to connect with your school’s online Facebook community, which offers a great opportunity to network.

Search for jobs in your field.

As of 2017, searching for jobs on Facebook got a lot easier. Thanks to a new feature, companies can easily publish job openings on their pages just as they would any other post. You can also go to https://www.facebook.com/jobs on Facebook, which lists current job openings near you.

When you see a job that you’re interested in, simply click the “apply now” button. You’ll then get a pop-up form that’s been populated with your career background information. Submit it to the employer, along with a 1,000-word letter, or you can send it as is. You can also set notifications for future job openings posted by companies you’re interested in.

Put your friends into a professional category.

If you want to communicate easily with professional contacts you’re also Friends with, create a category for them. Simply click on your “Friends” list. When you find a Friend that you’d like to network with, hover over the “Friends” button next to their name and then click on “New List.” You can name it “Professional,” or “Job Search” or whatever you’d like.

Once you have this category in place, you can more easily communicate and network with work- and job-search related Friends directly. This is especially important if you’re trying to keep your search confidential. You can also limit what your professional contacts see if you only want personal Friends to view certain posts.

Share appropriate posts and respond.

When you’re posting, be sure to share appropriate content that is not going to be a red flag for a recruiter or hiring manager. In addition, when you do post, promote yourself and your career. Talk about your accomplishments on the job, share news and updates about your search, and discuss industry trends of interest to you. Considering that 65% of recruiters use Facebook to find candidates, this is a good way to position yourself as an active member of your career field and an industry expert.

Need more help finding a new job in North Houston?

Kingwood Personnel is here for you. We can help you identify opportunities that are the best matches for your skills, interests, and professional goals, whether you’re looking for more flexibility in your life or to climb the corporate ladder. Search our North Houston jobs now or contact us today to learn more.

Expert Tips on How to Leverage Your Professional Network to Find Jobs

You know you need to add networking to your job search “to do” list. And yet, if you’re like many candidates, it’s an activity you dread.

The good news is that as leading North Houston headhunters, Kingwood Personnel knows that you don’t have to spend all your free time on it to find a great new opportunity. In fact, just by investing some time and effort into networking, you can expand your connections, while also obtaining leads, referrals, advice, guidance and support. It’s a win for you and a no-brainer for your job search.

To help you leverage the full power of networking, here are some tips to put to use:

Check yourself.

Before you reach out to your network asking for job search help, do a quick check online by Googling yourself and taking a look at your online reputation and social media profiles. The last thing you want is a friend to refer you for a job and the hiring manager to find something negative about you. Make sure everything posted about you – and by you – is appropriate and professional.

Identify what you want.

Before you reach out to a contact, make sure you’re clear on what it is you’re asking for. General or vague requests aren’t going to garner the response you want. So, for instance, if you have a contact at a company that just posted a job you’re interested in, ask whether they’d be willing to refer you.

If you’re just looking for general help, make a list of colleagues, business contacts, friends and family who could serve as a source for job leads. When you reach out to them, be as specific as possible about the type of position you’re looking for. Also, ask them if they know of any openings within their companies or at other organizations and to keep their ears open for opportunities.

Connect with people personally.

When you are contacting those in your network, don’t blast out one general email to everyone. Instead, pick up the phone and call those you’re closest to. Explain your situation and the type of positions you’re on the lookout for.

For those in your network that you’re not as close with, but still want to reach out to, send an email to each one, individually. Make it as personal as possible, so it doesn’t sound boilerplate, and also get specific in terms of the type of job you want.

Be respectful.

No matter who you’re contacting or what you’re asking for, always be respectful to those you reach out to. Nobody wants to feel like they’re being used to get a job or referral. Instead, treat your contacts like partners and allies, not just a way of achieving your end goal.

For instance, when you’re communicating with them, find out ways you can help them, too. Also, in the future, when they reach out to you for guidance and support in their job search, be quick to respond and help out.

Ready to network your way into a new job?

Call the North Houston headhunters at Kingwood Personnel. We can learn about your background, skills and career goals, all to help you find your ideal role. To find out if we’re the right resource for you, submit your resume or contact us today.

Job Search Hacks That Help You Get Noticed by Recruiters

For every corporate job opening, recruiters get around 250 applications. That means you’re contending with 249 other job candidates – many of whom might be as skilled and experienced as you – for a shot at an interview. So how can you stand out among so many?

As one of North Houston’s top employment agencies, Kingwood Personnel has the tips and tricks you need. Here’s a look at 5 hacks to help you get on the radar of recruiters and get noticed.

#1: Include keywords on your resume.

In today’s world, many resumes go through an applicant tracking system before a recruiter sees them. These systems work by scanning for keywords and key phrases, looking for relevance, and sending only the most qualified ones to recruiters. As a result, if you don’t include keywords and phrases from the job posting on your resume, yours could slip through the cracks.

#2: Quantify your achievements.

It sounds simple enough and yet it’s one of the best ways to stand out to recruiters. In your cover letter and on your resume, make sure you’re not only listing out relevant accomplishments, but also talking about them in terms of dollars, time, percentages and other numbers. When you do, you’ll gain a competitive advantage over other candidates.

#3: Optimize your LinkedIn profile.

Recruiters often look to LinkedIn when sourcing candidates, as well as when vetting them. That’s why you need a polished and professional presence on the site. If yours could use a little work, then now’s the time to improve and optimize it. When you do, make sure you have a good quality headshot and also complete the summary section, using it as an opportunity to talk about the skills and experience that set you apart.

#4: Engage with companies on social media.

Many companies today use social recruiting as a part of their hiring strategy. So if you’re not connected with potential employers on social media, you’re missing out on an opportunity to open up a dialogue with recruiters and hiring managers. Not only that, but social media offers a great way to learn more about the company, ask questions, and find out about the latest openings.

#5: Work with an employment agency.

Another simple way to get noticed and get a new job is to work with a local employment agency. They know which employers are hiring and how to stand out to them. They can also help with practical advice on resume writing, interviewing, networking and other aspects of your search. In essence, you can gain a partner in your job search success, one that can help you find a new opportunity faster.

Ready to learn more about how a professional employment agency can help you?

Contact Kingwood Personnel. We’re experts at connecting talented individuals like you with rewarding new jobs in and around the North Houston area. Contact us today to learn more.

How to Overcome Being Overqualified for a Job

You might think being overqualified makes you a shoo-in for a job. However, as an employment firm in North Houston, Kingwood Personnel knows it’s actually a red flag for hiring managers. They think once you’re in the position, you’ll:

  • Grow bored and quit.
  • Have a hard time being managed by someone with less experience than you.
  • Leave once a better opportunity comes along.

So if there’s really a job you want, can you overcome the over-qualification factor? Whether you want a step down in responsibilities or just a change in your career, Kingwood Personnel knows that answer is “yes.” It all starts with taking the right approach. Here’s how:

Talk about it in your cover letter.

You know you’re overqualified; so talk about it, don’t avoid it. Bring it up in your cover letter. Explain why it is you’re applying for a position you know you’re overqualified for. Then talk about how your skills and experience can benefit the employer.

Don’t bold job titles on your resume.

Job titles are one of the first pieces of information a hiring manager will see on your resume. If yours are all for leadership positions, and you’re applying for a job that’s at a lower level, it can become a problem. Instead, play up your skills and experience and downplay job titles.

Discuss salary.

One of the biggest reasons candidates who are overqualified often don’t get a second look is related to money. Employers assume they can’t afford you, so why waste time on an interview. That’s why it’s important to confront this issue head on. Let the hiring manager know you are seeking market rate for the job, not necessarily something that aligns with your current salary.

Play up the value you can offer.

While you might be overqualified, you still have a lot to offer. For instance, talk about your longevity in past positions and your loyalty to your employers. This is especially important since hiring managers are concerned you’ll quit the second a better offer comes along. Also, use specific examples of your accomplishments to talk about the positive bottom line results you’ve delivered throughout your career.

Offer to work on a trial basis or sign a contract.

If the hiring manager is considering you, let them know that the job is the one you want and that if hired, you’re committed to making it work. If the fact that you’re overqualified is holding them back, offer to work on a trial basis for a month or to sign a contract promising to stay with the company for a specific period of time.

Need more help getting over being overqualified for jobs?

Call in Kingwood Personnel. As an experienced employment firm in North Houston, we know how to market your skills and background all to help you find the job that’s a match for your background and lifestyle needs. Simply contact our team today to learn more.

Important Things to Keep in Mind During a Career Transition

A few years ago, you were happy in your career. Today, however, things are lackluster. You’re thinking of a transition. But that’s a big decision and an even bigger move to make. What should you keep in mind, so you don’t get in over your head? Here are a few tips to help you:

Think beyond passion.

There might be a certain field you’re excited about or a hobby that you want to turn into a career. While your feelings are important to take into account, you also need to do your homework and conduct extensive research first to ensure it makes sense to jump into the new career you’re considering.

Likewise, ask yourself some hard questions, such as: are you willing to work more hours to start over? If you’re like most professionals, you have a lot going on in your life and even more so if you have a family. Transitioning to a new career can take up a big chunk of your extra time and your passion can quickly flare out, as a result.

Check your financials.

Simply put, can you afford to switch careers? If you do, what kinds of changes will you have to make in your lifestyle? Will you be able to earn a similar paycheck, or will you have to take a big step down in terms of salary? How will that impact you?

Beyond the income you earn, it’s also vital that you think about benefits. If your family relies on you for health insurance, for instance, how will you ensure coverage for them? Answering these questions will help ensure that you walk into a new situation with eyes wide open and fewer surprises ahead.

Have a plan B in place.

There’s no guarantee your new career will pan out, or it could take longer than what you expected. How will you deal with that? Are you willing to go back to work in your old field? If not, then what’s your contingency plan? There are always unforeseen obstacles in the road when changing careers. But by planning ahead for them, you can make the journey a little less stressful.

Unhappy in your career and ready for a change?

Let the experts at Kingwood Personnel help. As a leading recruitment firm in the North Houston area, we will take the time to get to know you, your background, your skills and where you want to take your career. We can then help you create a new plan of action that helps you achieve your goals – and more job satisfaction. Simply contact our team today to learn more.

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