Mapping Your Career Path

September 24th, 2015

Is your progress up the career ladder defined by chance or by conscious choice? Map your Career Path with effective methods for moving up the career ladder:





Is this the right job for me? Ask Yourself!

August 5th, 2015

Knowing yourself inside and out is key to landing the job that is the right fit for you.  Tips on matching your personality to a career and employer can be found in the following article:




June 26th, 2015

It’s a bird – It’s a plane – It’s SUPERTEMP!!!  Read a great e-book on helping your temporary employees unmask their super powers and give you their best efforts!  Access it here:  SuperTemps

To Take It or Not To Take It? That is the Question

June 25th, 2015

A job offer is exciting!  However, there are many factors to weigh when accepting a new position.  View the following slideshow here for some points to ponder when receiving a job offer:  Johnsonandhillstaffing/yougotthejob




Need Talent?

March 5th, 2015

Need Talent? Build a Community

A true talent community is more than a database, pipeline or network. It’s a powerful tool to attract passive candidates, find talent ahead of your needs and ultimately make great hires. Why do you need one — and how can you build yours? Find out in this special report.

Download the E-book here:


The “I” In Team

January 15th, 2015

There is an “I” in team.  That’s not what we’ve been told our whole lives, but it’s true.  It’s clear this old adage is meant to foster a spirit of cooperation, not competition.  However, there is an “I” in team, and it is this “I” that makes all the difference in putting together a complete and strong, successful team.  The “I”ndividual.  Each individual in a team and the differences in the way they work from rest of the team are essential to building a balanced, strong, productive unit.

Some people are natural leaders and thrive on being the one in charge, overseeing projects or processes, or taking the reins and delegating to others.  Obviously, if a team is composed of all or many leaders, there would be no one to delegate to.  Everyone would have their own way of getting things done.  A leader can sometimes be labeled a “control freak”.  However, a leader is essential to keep a project on task, to make sure everyone plays a part, and to ensure each aspect of the task is being handled.  Having someone who oversees the big picture and makes sure each member’s strengths and resources are being utilized to their full potential is essential to maximize a team’s effectiveness.

Another essential component of a strong team is having someone with expertise in a field or area of concern.  Someone with a lot of years of experience in an industry carries an innate knowledge and a gut instinct for handling issues or problems that may arise. They may foresee problems ahead of the rest.  Team members can sometimes see these “experts” as overbearing or “know it alls”, but they are invaluable to a team’s success, keeping things smooth by preventing problems and raising concerns.

Then there are the creative minds.  For those who are detailed and task driven, the creative minds can be a challenge.  They may be more laid back and focused on the big picture, not the details.  They may seem not invested or unfocused.  However, their contributions in brainstorming ideas and coming up with unique ways to see or do things help bring new perspectives to the mundane.  Their laid back nature also contributes to the team’s harmony and keeps interpersonal issues from escalating.

Not everyone can think creatively or generate ideas quickly.  However, a team needs someone who can fill in the knowledge gaps.  It needs someone who is going to fill in the blanks by researching what needs to be done or what compliance concerns there may be in operating a business or in overseeing a specific project.

A team also benefits from having a “planner”, someone who will keep the team on track in meeting goals and ensuring all details are being addressed.  They may seem to micromanage at times, but planners like to see that all aspects are addressed and will see them to completion.

Communication is essential for everyone in the team.  Someone with the ability to communicate effectively with other team members, or to those who are being reported to, keeps everyone on the same page.   Communication is the key to any relationship, and within a company or team, effective communication saves time, prevents misunderstandings, and fosters that team mentality.

Some people are natural team players.  While it is essential that all members of a team are team players, having people who naturally operate that way is crucial.  These might be the individuals who seem to lack drive or initiative, but when given a task are more than happy to complete it.  They happily take on whatever is delegated to them.  They are flexible and a great support in making sure the small things get done.

There is an “I” in team.  There are several “I”s, and these differences while challenging at times, make a strong, complementary team.  Everyone working together, recognizing our own weaknesses and appreciating the strengths in others that are different from our own, creates a cohesive unit that can meet the countless needs of functioning within a team or company.




September 18th, 2014

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”
― Stephen R. CoveyThe 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

I know you can hear me, but you are not listening”.  What are we really saying when we say that?  We are letting another person know we want to be understood.  We want them to acknowledge what we say in a way that reassures us we are on the same page.  Effective communication is so important in the workplace.  How efficiently and effectively we can communicate equates to time and we all know “time is money”.  Communication is a two way street – what is said and what is received both play an equal role in effectively communicating with one another.

How can we communicate efficiently and effectively? How do we know when we are understood, and how can we convey we are truly listening and understand others?

7 Habits author Stephen Covey advocates the principle of “Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood”.  This principle highlights the importance of really listening to the person we are speaking with.  While they are speaking, we are not formulating our argument or waiting for a moment to interrupt.  Instead, we are present with them in the moment.  We are truly ingesting what they are saying with the intention of connecting with their needs at that moment.

One way to not only show others we are actively listening but to also ensure them we are understanding them is to repeat back to them what they have told us.  It gives the other party a chance to confirm or to clarify and correct our understanding. However, we are not just parroting what they say.   We want to first acknowledge their statement or feelings and draw them out by providing additional ways of expressing what they have said.  For example, if someone says “I don’t like my job”, we don’t just day “You don’t like your job”, we can say “It sounds like something at your work is making you unhappy”.  This type of response all at once feels empathetic and opens the door for them to elaborate. It seems simple, but it really works!

Listening to what is not said is just as important to what is said.  Some people need to be more drawn out than others, and actively listening can help them do that.  We help them find additional ways of expressing their feelings, getting at the core of what it is they want to convey.  It is also an easy way to express empathy for another’s feelings.  We are acknowledging what they say, not brushing them off or not replying with a “fix-it” solution or unwarranted advice.

When people feel understood they are more willing to open up and express themselves.  Feeling free to express oneself is the first step to communicating effectively.  Actively listening perpetuates open communication and gives both parties opportunities to clarify their expressions and to demonstrate they care about and understand one another.

Tracking Transformation

August 1st, 2014

There are many areas of life where the same principles apply … “do unto others”…. “people in glass houses…”.  These adages are used to help people achieve success in interpersonal relationships.  The areas of business and wellness also share some of the same underlying principles when it comes to achieving success.  One of these principles is in setting measurable goals.

 “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible

–         Tony Robbins

We can say we want to increase our profit margin, but by how much and what will we do to achieve that?  Obviously, the way to measure success in this area is with the specific formula measuring our profit margin.  Once we have a goal set, we can then make specific plans on how we are go about achieving it, continually measuring incremental progress and analyzing outcomes along the way and changing strategies as needed.

 When it comes to wellness, we can set similar goals, specific targets that will not only tell us if and when we achieve our goals, but ones that will motivate us and guide us to our larger goals.  Goals are measureable when we focus on how much or how many.  Recently at Johnson & Hill Staffing we have adopted this principle in two ways.

We are utilizing pedometers to measure our daily activity.  Each person can set their own goals, but we also create contests to promote a little extrinsic/competitive motivation as well.  Recommended activity for health adults is 10,000 steps per day.  I know, for me, seeing my pedometer say 8,724 at 8 pm at night motivates me to reach that 10,000 and got me moving when I might not have otherwise.

The other way we are using measured goals is with water intake.  We have water bottles that are marked with measurements.  Some of us have 64 oz. water bottles so we can easily see how we are doing on our daily requirement of water.

We can also measure goals with time.  Maybe we want to accomplish something we have not done before.  Setting a timeframe in which to do it or a deadline is one way to measure our success.

It seems like such a small thing, but these measurement devices are a constant reminder of our wellness goals.  It’s easy to let the tasks of the day distract from wellness goals.  However, having these constantly in front of us, we are continually reminded “drink more water” or “get up and move”.  They also keep us from fooling ourselves – “I was pretty active today” or “I think I drank a lot of water today”.  We often alter our memories to prevent cognitive dissonance so we can live with ourselves.  The numbers don’t lie.  We can know for certain what a 10,000 step day looks like.  For me, I know it’s very hard to get to 10,000 if I don’t go to the gym for my 45 minute workout where I get about 5,000 steps.  I also know it requires me to forgo the elevator at work and get up and walk to other desks instead of sending an email.

I’m a numbers person, so this form of measurement appeals to me.  But there are many other ways to measure progress that are less number driven – how do you feel at the end of the day – did you wake up refreshed? What kind of food did you eat today?

Whether in business, health, or other areas of life, measured goals have proven to be effective ways of transforming ourselves.  We can have tangible evidence of our progress, or perhaps lack of, and have confirmation of what it takes to achieve the goals we set out for ourselves.

Erin Counter, Wellness Guru


Your Best Job-Search Resource: Staffing Services De-Mystified

July 17th, 2014

In other posts, we’ve talked about the benefits of a staffing service, the flexibility of temporary work, and all the opportunities one can find through a service. However, we really never defined some key staffing service lingo or explained how all this works! So here it goes.

Temporary (AKA contract)
Just as the name implies, these assignments have a specific end date. There may be someone on medical/maternity leave, a seasonal increase in business, or a special project. These are just some of the possible reasons a client may have need for a temporary employee. The timeframe varies rather widely. Some assignments are just one day or a couple weeks, and others could be for as long as a year! On average, they tend to be around 2-3 months long.

And a quick note about some other terms that can be rather confusing. The labels full-time and part-time really refer more to number of hours worked per week; it’s not an indication as to whether a job is temporary or permanent. Actually, it’s quite possible to have a full-time job that’s temporary or a direct-hire position that is part-time.

Temp-to-hire (AKA temp-to-perm)
In the temp-to-hire scenario, the client is looking to fill this position on a permanent basis. And while this trial period allows them to see if things work out from their end, it’s also a fabulous chance for you to test out the job and see what you think. If at the end of the trial period both you and the client are happy with the match, then the job offer would typically follow. The length of time for this trial period varies. But overall, it usually averages out to about 3 months or so if you’re working full-time hours. So it actually functions very similarly to the 90-day probationary period that many employers use.

Direct hire
In this scenario, the company is using the staffing service to help with the sourcing and interviewing of applicants. But when the client selects someone for the position, that individual is an employee of the client company from the very first day on the job.

The process and what to expect

While it varies a bit from one staffing service to the next, the process typically unfolds like this:

  1. Get started with the application, which is often found at the staffing service website. Be sure to submit your resume!
  2. Interview in-person with the staffing service. You can talk a bit more about your background, skills, preferences, etc. This conversation is crucial; it paints the picture of what you’re looking for!
  3. The process may include computer evaluations and reference checks

That should give you an idea of the basic language you’ll encounter in the world of staffing services. And during this process, a really great staffing service will take the time to get to know you just as thoroughly as they know their business partners. And from there, they can match you with jobs that meet your needs while also meeting the needs of the companies they work with, resulting in a wonderful win-win situation. So now that you’re an expert, get started and find the path to your dream job!

Put Your Best Foot Forward–And Get Your Dream Job! (Part 2)

June 26th, 2014

In the last posting, we talked about ways to put your best foot forward and stand out to employers in the resume/application process. The next step is the interview. If you have received an invitation to interview, this means you must be doing great things in the application/resume department. Excellent work! So with that said, how do you go about continuing with the positive impression you have made thus far?

It’s simply a matter of handling yourself professionally. For phone interviews, here are some ideas for you to keep in mind:

  • Be sure you block your schedule for that time so you will be uninterrupted and free from distraction
  • Prepare by practicing some classic interview questions and also some behavioral-based questions
  • Review your resume and really be able to elaborate on any section or bullet point
  • If possible, do the call on a landline. Cell phone service can be unpredictable. You don’t want to lose the call or struggle with interference
  • This is not the time for multi-tasking. Focus on your call. No driving while interviewing!
  • As always, use your professional voice, smile, and say please/thank you
  • And just as you would with an in-person interview, have some questions ready for the interviewer(s)

Not surprisingly, some of the same concepts apply to an in-person interview. But in this case, you also want to make sure that you totally look the part. Be the whole package deal, and employers will be thoroughly impressed with your professionalism and poise! Before the in-person interview, consider doing all of the following:

  • Have resumes printed out on formal paper
  • Select what you’re going to wear and have it ready the night before
  • Definitely eat your regular meals that day but avoid restaurants or coffee shops that will leave a strong aroma in your clothing
  • Give yourself time to get ready at a deliberate, leisurely pace
  • Pop a breath mint in your mouth and walk in the door 10 minutes before your interview time.

When you do arrive for the interview, bring your A-game. Shake hands, make eye contact, smile, and say please/thank you. As we said in the last posting, so many of these suggestions seem like common sense, but there are many applicants out there who aren’t putting this level of detail into the process. So it really stands out in a very positive way!

The great thing about all this prep work is that it will leave you feeling less stressed because you’ll have all your ducks in a row, so to speak. Preparation is the very best way to help minimize nerves in just about any type of stressful situation. While no set of steps is a formula that leads directly to a job offer, following the advice in these blogs will help you to really stand out as a professional. And in some cases, it’s the little things that end up being the tie-breaker between you and another candidate.