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Contract jobs: How to get recruits to excel at work through formal mentoring

Millennial are soon going to take over the workplaces as studies peg their strength at almost three-fourth of the workforce in the near future. In such a scenario, engaging and retaining them will become even more of a challenge to organisations. Here is where mentoring will play a huge role in satisfying both the ends of the spectrum: the employees and the management.

It’s a win-win formula

With mentoring, employees get to learn and develop new skills. Importantly, they will never feel bored at work or try to hop jobs for the same reason. When a company offers a formal mentor to them, it not only shows that the company cares but also that they are ready to invest in the new recruit because they believe they can trust you and your skills to develop further. Not only do the employees develop better interpersonal skills but also up their emotional quotient. This is critical to organisations as I.Q is not everything. The employee’s attitude matters most. Since mentoring is a collaborative exercise, this works wonders as recruits form relationships at work, which increases team building and engagement.

Toppers need mentors too
You are a new recruit but you have past experience. And you are a trailblazer. Do you need mentoring? Ofcourse, you do. No matter how talented you are, not only do you need a leader but also a mentor. If you have the potential to grow, you are the rising star in the company. You could benefit if the company pairs you with the topmost performers in the company. Not only will you look up to that person but also thank the firm for having put you in the right company. The idea of mentoring a talented person like you is to groom you to head a department or even the company, depending on the circumstances. By mentoring high achievers like you, it’s setting in motion a tier 2 and tier 3 leadership chain of command.

Inclusivity

There are different forms of mentorship and one such is diversity mentoring. It’s particularly crucial today because there are people from all walks of life and cultures cohabiting work spaces. Understanding them and their strengths goes a long way in building an inclusive corporate culture without any racial, gender or colour bias. The company benefits because it can retain diverse talent and also develop their skills. Importantly, it builds teams and grows companies.

Reverse mentoring

Yes, you read that right. Reverse mentoring is where youngsters train the experienced on the newer modes of communication and workplace systems. This is particularly crucial when seniors are required to upgrade their technical skills and be up to speed with workplace trends. This has another important benefit: it bridges the communication gap between the less experienced employees and members of senior management.

And finally…

Engaging and retaining employees is the biggest headache that companies are facing today. Mentoring is one way to benefit both sides of the fence. Not only does it give the millennials a clear goal to pursue but also keeps them on their toes as they are constantly being given feedback on their performance by their mentors. This form of guidance, support and setting clear targets helps freshers and young working professionals to excel at their workplace.

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Contract Jobs: Six Ways To Work Smarter Than The Others

You get better pay but you also work more. Or you are paid less but still made to work more. In either scenarios, the only way to strike the right work-life balance is to work smart. Not only will you be more efficient at your contract job but also less tired.

Take the help of tech

Even if you are tech-savvy, there are many of us who still rely on paperwork and post-its. It’s easier to just make a note and clip it on the cork board or stash it in a folder. But it’s not easily traceable or trackable. Having all of this in a digital software could come in handy. From scheduling to maintaining a calendar to ticking off the to-do lists, it’s the best way to be organised. You won’t miss an important deadline, event or instruction. Everything is readily available and in real time. Importantly, it reduces clutter. And there are automated tools that allow you to auto-schedule routine work as well. Some can even serve as your virtual assistants.

Message management

Emails, voicemails, SMSes, snail mail, bills, and other forms of messaging system like Slack, Whatsapp for Business, Google Docs and so on can take a heavy toll on your productivity. This is particularly true for creative people whose minds need to be on the task at hand. Any form of distraction will lead to an interruption in the flow. Similarly, when you are busy brainstorming over your business strategy, one email can impede the progress of your thoughts. So what do you do? Group all the messages into different levels of importance: important, not so important, can wait, delegate, delete, file, and so on. Not only will you be able to clear all your emails in a jiffy, but also get time to focus on the job at hand. Another way to do it is to come to the office half an hour early only to check all the office mail. Set the next time to check mail in the afternoon and again in the evening. If it’s really important, people will call you anyway.

Find the sweet spot

Everyone has a different time when they are the most productive. Some prefer the early hours of the day and some prefer evenings or nights. Depending on your preference, ensure that you stay off the social networks, mobile phone and water cooler conversations around that time. It’s time to be productive, not talkative.

Breaks are important

It’s not all work and no break. Getting away from work, even if it’s just for a few minutes, works like a charm. Your brain is rested and you come back with renewed energy. You could do a brisk walk, do some office errand, drink water, tea, coffee, snack, or just chat with someone who is not from the same profession as you do. Anything that takes your mind off your immediate work is a good stress buster. And sometimes, just closing your eyes or staring at the ceiling works just as fine too.

One man army

It’s great to shoulder all the burden and do everything that comes your way. But sometimes, it’s best to delegate it to someone else. This will not only lessen your burden but also empower the other person. When will they learn if you don’t give them a chance. By doing this, you can focus on the most important things and leave out the least crucial.

There’s no such thing as perfection

Mistakes happen. Everyone is human, including you. You shouldn’t over work to the detriment of your health and those of others. Don’t be tough on yourself and on others. It’s okay to be near-perfect. Never try to be perfect because that usually leads to a dip in morale, high stress, depression, micro management and energy loss and low productivity.

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Contract jobs: How to get them, the right way

Unemployment can make anybody insecure and lose confidence. The job market is tough today because there is more demand than supply. It’s become more competitive than a decade ago. So how can you stand out from the crowd and make your presence felt to the employer? Here is where the situation demands you to be proactive and inventive. No point in sitting down and accepting the rejection. If you are a job seeker, consider yourself a challenger.Contract job

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FIGURE OUT YOUR USP

Imagine yourself in the employer’s chair. Why would he hire you? Take your time to come back with an answer. Once you are sure you can confidently answer that question and show the employer that hiring you is the best return on investment he can hope to achieve, you have a winner on your hands.

GO OUT

Staying home and being the quintessential couch potato will only drive you nuts. Instead, chat up with long-time colleagues, partners, friends and associates. Go to some networking events and social get-together. You never know who might take interest in your skills or give you a solid reference or recommendation. Being out and about also makes you lose your inhibitions and become more confident. Networking events catalyze that as you meet new people and exchange positive vibes.

REFERRALS

Companies pay more importance to referrals, and so do their employees. Who wants to hire a complete stranger when they can get a friend they already know. Fewer ego issues and far better productivity. Instead of looking for a job on LinkedIn, you should search for the job you want in the ‘people’ search category. Since we add so many strangers to our network, we don’t realize that there are potential employers and employees you could work with. With this nifty tip, you will not only know the vacancies in a particular company but also a way to get recommended by one of their own employees. This will help you to filter companies that have a vacancy but not worthy enough. If your contacts had worked in that company and tell you to avoid it, you can move on to the next company instead of getting hired and regretting the decision.

CONQUER THE WORLD

Sometimes, due diligence works wonders. But for that, you also need a generous dash of confidence. Nothing can beat good old fashioned research. Find out the top 20 or top 50 companies you want to work with. Get to know their key department heads. Find out about their requirements. Fill up their application forms and send a personal cover letter to each of them with a hard copy of your resume. Make an appointment with those who acknowledged receiving your application, dress in your best and make an impression. When a candidate is so thorough, well prepared and personable, the chances of getting hired increase substantially.

SHUT OFF FROM SOCIAL MEDIA

Any kind of information about you on social media could be bad for you. Your political, sexual or religious leanings are best left unsaid. You never know what could trigger negativity among your potential employers. Therefore, avoid putting out any such views online. The better bet would be to not have a social media identity under your real name. It’s best to avoid the client from researching on you and finding a ton of information that could go against you. Like your feminism stance, your anti-government remarks or your penchant for travelling at the drop of a hat.

AND FINALLY…

Stay active. Remain positive. Don’t just sit at home. Mine the internet. Interact with friends and strangers. Never give up. You will be hired only if you try.

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Flexi jobs: The future of workplace recruitment

No longer do companies want full-time employees to sit on the ‘bench’ and await new work. They would rather hire people on contract, based on the work they already have on hand. Welcome to the new age of staffing. Call them flexi jobs, flexi staffing, contract jobs or part-time jobs, but they are here to stay. Not only does this flexible working arrangement work to the company’s benefit but also help the employees take off for a few days or months to pursue their other interests like photography, backpacking or just rest for a while to recharge themselves.

 

Flexibility and gaining a competitive edge is driving the industry to go for a flexible work schedule that fosters part time work and powers contract employees. According to the Indian Staffing Federation (ISF), the growth in contract staffing was 10% in 2017 and is said to rise to 12% this year. “The ISF has predicted that the 2.1 million temporary workers presently in the organised sector will increase to 2.9 million workers by 2018, making India the third largest market in the world,” said Adam Pode, Director of International Research at Staffing Industry Analysts.

 

That’s not all with flexi jobs. According to one ISF report, the Indian IT flexi staffing industry crossed $3 billion in 2016-2017 and is expected to witness 14-16% growth in the next three years. And this extends to all states and sectors across India. The ISF should know. Some of the topmost companies in India are part of it and make up 20% of the total market share. 

 

One other study by ISF found that 60% of the companies who were making use of flexi staffing were more capable of withstanding revenue dips and remaining in business. The justification isn’t without reason. The employees get to do short term projects for a limited period, so they can take a break from work, and get back to working on a new project that will give a shine to their bio and also upgrade their skill set. They get the same pay and perks as the permanent employees but they don’t have to remain stuck with one company or job for long. They do have the option of joining the company full-time if the company and the candidate find it mutually beneficial. But otherwise, the candidate could just take a break from the contract job. 

 

The majority of people opting for temporary jobs happen to be under 30. And it’s understandable. They are new to the workforce and want to try out all their options and also indulge in their hobbies before family life and financial responsibilities take over their life. Although the IT industry is the primary driver of flexi jobs, the other sectors queuing up include retail, telecom, pharma, hospitality, manufacturing and agriculture.