What People Who Love Sitting Should Know About Using a Standing Desk

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You should see me on the subway: I stake out seating like it’s my part-time job. I may have been sitting all day at work, but, boy, when I board that train for my 40-minute commute, I do everything I can to grab a spot that lets me put my bag and butt down.

So when I started reading about the standing desk phenomenon a couple of years ago, you can imagine my lack of excitement. The thought of standing on purpose seemed crazy to me. Why would one do that? And this is coming from a pretty active person who runs about 30 miles a week.

But, in spite of my skepticism with the standing desk, I have read all those scary articles about sitting being the new smoking. So when Ergotron offered our company the chance to try out its adjustable model for free, I didn’t say no. Neither did a lot of my colleagues. While many of us went into it with a side eye, most of us ended the experience on a more positive note.

Here’s what we found:

1. The Standing Desk Is Best for Certain Tasks

Although a couple of participants reported that they could do “anything” while using the desk, most everyone mentioned emails as being a popular to-do. Bigger, meatier tasks such as preparing a long presentation or crunching numbers weren’t projects that the standing desk necessarily lent itself to easily.

2. The Standing Desk Helps With Those Sitting-All-Day Physical Issues

Back pain, tired, achy legs, crunched shoulders: These were all issues that users agreed the standing desk alleviated. “It helped my back to not be sitting all day long,” one of my co-workers reported, which, to long-time proponents of the standing desk, should come as no surprise.

3. The Standing Desk Really Does Combat Energy Lulls

Since most of us were only testing out the desk for a couple of hours at a time, it was interesting to note that simply standing up combatted energy lulls. In fact, one of my co-workers stated that “it was a huge productivity booster in the afternoons” when she was likely to become “sluggish and brain dead.”

All in all, the standing desk got positive reviews. While my office may only have about one or two die-hard, want-to-use-it-exclusively standing-desk folks, the majority of us who tried it agreed that it was a nice way to mix things up throughout the day.

Of course, if you don’t have a standing desk or something you can turn into a makeshift one, you might just try changing your environment. Does your office have a lounge area where people can do work? What about a space with a round table and chairs? An empty desk in a spot in the office you don’t know well?

Often, a change of scenery can be enough of an impetus to get motivated. If taking a laptop with you outside or to the office’s couch area isn’t an option, you can try asking your boss to spring for a standing desk of your own. While the model we tested ran on the expensive end of things (~$800), there are certainly more budget-friendly options out there.

Comfortable employees are productive employees, right?

https://www.themuse.com/advice/what-people-who-love-sitting-should-know-about-using-a-standing-desk

ABOUT SUPERIAN SOURCES

Superian Sources has more than 30 years of combined resources and candidate sourcing/placement expertise. We utilize our extensive networks in our drive to match the right talent with open opportunities. We design successful partnerships, placing the right candidates with the right assets into the body of growing and dynamic organizations in Accounting/Finance, Sales and Marketing, IT, HR, Administrative Support, Engineering, and Executive and Senior Management.

Please contact Superian Sources to learn more about how we can help you hire right the first time. Contact us at 415-234-0707 or email at connect@superiansources.com.

http://www.SuperianSources.com

 

 

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Why the Best Hire Might Not Have the Perfect Resume | Regina Hartley | TED Talks

Given the choice between a job candidate with a perfect resume and one who has fought through difficulty, human resources executive Regina Hartley always gives the “Scrapper” a chance. As someone who grew up with adversity, Hartley knows that those who flourish in the darkest of spaces are empowered with the grit to persist in an ever-changing workplace. “Choose the underestimated contender, whose secret weapons are passion and purpose,” she says. “Hire the Scrapper.”

 

ABOUT SUPERIAN SOURCES

Superian Sources has more than 30 years of combined resources and candidate sourcing/placement expertise. We utilize our extensive networks in our drive to match the right talent with open opportunities. We design successful partnerships, placing the right candidates with the right assets into the body of growing and dynamic organizations in Accounting/Finance, Sales and Marketing, IT, HR, Administrative Support, Engineering, and Executive and Senior Management.

Please contact Superian Sources to learn more about how we can help you hire right the first time. Contact us at 415-234-0707 or email at connect@superiansources.com.

http://www.SuperianSources.com

25 Hiring Mistakes to Avoid

 

 

hiring-mistakes-850x476Increase your chances of making your next hire a great match for your small business, by avoiding these 25 hiring mistakes:

RECRUITING MISTAKES

1. Not Writing or Updating a Job Description

How can you know if you’ve found what you’re looking for in a candidate, if you haven’t clearly defined it? Write down the main duties and the skills needed.  The act of writing it down clarifies your own thinking.  A clear job description also helps the candidate decide if the role is right. And it helps co-workers understand what’s needed in the role (they may not be aware of everything required, and that can lead to workplace tensions especially if someone internally was passed over).

2. Ignoring Previous Mistakes

So, the last employee didn’t work out.  Figure out what went wrong before hiring again.  Was the last person not up to the job?  Perhaps you need to look for more experience.  Or was the problem  the inability to get along with co-workers?  If so, you might want to emphasize team interviewing this time.  Whatever happened, avoid repeating the same hiring mistakes.

3. Not Knowing Market Compensation

Recruiting will be a frustrating exercise if you are wildly out of the ballpark on pay.  Ask other business owners what they pay. Check out salary surveys and advertised positions on job boards.

4. Failing to “Sell” Your Advantages

Small business owners sometimes feel they can’t compete with larger employers. Get over that. Soft benefits like flexible hours or a friendly environment can make a difference. Emphasize every advantage.

5. Sugarcoating the Job

Persuasively “sell” your company and the career potential — yes. But don’t sugarcoat job challenges. For instance, if your startup has zero procedures in place and you expect the new hire to create those, point it out. Some people aren’t comfortable in such an unstructured environment. It’s better that he or she discover key challenges ahead of time.

6. Not Considering Internal Candidates

The quickest way to demotivate employees is to never promote from within. Employees assume they have no career path. If you must go outside to recruit for a position, take the time to explain why.  Emphasize your willingness to promote from within when the situation is right.

7. Not Casting a Wide Enough Net

Online job boards, LinkedIn, even old-fashioned print classifieds can be fantastic ways to find people.  Don’t overlook your website, either.  Ask around to your contacts in industry groups and the chamber of commerce.  And consider whether it might be faster and easier to hire a recruiter to find good candidates.

8. Overlooking Employee Referrals

Get employees engaged in the company’s future by inviting them to refer candidates. Employees who refer a new hire feel invested in that person’s success. Consider paying employees a bonus if their referral is hired.  Typical referral bonuses in a small business are a few hundred dollars. Make the bonus payable after the probationary period successfully ends.

INTERVIEWING MISTAKES

9. Neglecting to Phone Screen

Hold a phone interview (or Skype interview) first. It saves time by narrowing the interview pool.  Spend 15 minutes talking and if the candidate seems like a possible fit, invite him or her to a full interview.

10. Free-styling the Interview Process

This assumes you have an interview process, of course. Is there a written skills test involved? Will you give a tour? How many people from your company will do the interviewing and in what order? Will you have second interviews? Prepare by re-reviewing the candidate’s resume just before starting the interview. Jot down interview questions so you don’t forget something important.

11. Doing All the Talking

Get the interviewee talking. You’ll learn more and get glimpses into personality and character.  Does the person convey a sense of responsible competence? Or is he or she a complainer with a tendency to blame others? To help the candidate relax and open up, find a conversation starter from his or her resume, like a hobby. Ask open-ended questions like “What did you like least about your last job, and why?” not “So you worked for XYZ Company for 3 years, correct?”.

12. Not Involving the Team

The final hiring decision is yours. But you’d be wise to consider input from key team members.  Others may spot things you missed.  Besides, existing employees may resist a new hire they feel was foisted on them with no input.

13. Looking for Another You

The person you’re interviewing across the desk reminds you of a younger you. This, experts say, is not the right person for your company. You may call yourself your harshest critic, but when he or she is right across from you, you’re more likely to be a little biased. Worse yet, JetBlue CEO and Stanford University professor Joel Peterson says, “An unchecked tendency to hire people just like you can be discriminatory; if it means you’re excluding people because they’re different, that can spell legal trouble.”

JOB OFFER MISTAKES

14. Not Checking References

One of the most common hiring mistakes is discounting references. It’s true today that some former employers are reluctant to say much due to legal reasons.  But other references may be candid — or reveal more than they intend. Ask questions about the candidate’s work ethic, accomplishments, duties and reasons for leaving prior jobs. You might just get revealing answers.

15. Failing to Do a Background Check

Everyone deserves a fresh start, sure. But know who you’re bringing into your company.  And don’t ignore red flags just because the person is likable. If a background check raises issues such as long gaps in work history, or discrepancies about education and experience, seek explanations until you’re satisfied.

16. Wearing Social Media Blinders

Check the candidate’s social profiles.  How would you like to discover, belatedly, that your shiny new hire makes snide remarks about customers on Twitter, barely disguising their identities?  (Customers read social media, too!)

17. Choosing a Paper Tiger

An impressive resume does not necessarily equal a great employee. You don’t hire the resume, you hire the person handing it to you.  Follow your gut.  A niggling uncertainty may be your subconscious speaking. If you’re not sure, bring the person in for another interview.

18. Hiring Unqualified Relatives

A family business is commendable. But for a critical role, such as sales, it can be costly to hire a relative who’s not qualified. It could even jeopardize your company.  Nor is it fair to relatives to put them into high-pressure roles they’re not ready for.  If you’re committed to hiring green family members, slot them into less crucial roles.  Then they can learn the ropes over time.

19. Thinking You Can Train ANYone

Hiring an inexperienced candidate may save money near term. But can your company afford a long learning curve? Besides, some people may never perform satisfactorily no matter how much training they get.

20. Hiring Someone Unenthusiastic About the Job

Your prospect should want, really want, one job … the one you’re filling. David Finkel, the founder and CEO of Maui Mastermind wrote for The Huffington Post, “Ask them, ‘Before we do this final round of interviews with our top three candidates, I want to protect your time and our time, is this a position that you definitely want?’”

21. Hiring Too Fast

Managers sometimes rush to hire out of a feeling of desperation. In the long run it’s better to go with temporary help or limp along short-handed until you are confident you’ve found the right person.

22. Taking Too Long

On the other hand, one of the biggest hiring mistakes is taking an unreasonable time to decide. Don’t let months go by. You’ll lose that candidate.

23. Not Issuing a Job Offer in Writing

Always put the job offer in writing. It avoids misunderstandings and legal problems.  The offer letter should be based on standard language approved by an attorney familiar with employment law in your state. The job offer also should state any required contingencies such as passing a background check or drug test.

24. Having a Weak Onboarding Process

You’ve invested a lot of time and money to bring on a new person (in terms of recruiting fees, interviewing time, pay). Take the time to onboard the person properly.  Introduce him or her around. Don’t overwhelm with HR paperwork the first day.  Don’t use company-speak or internal jargon without explaining it. Encourage existing employees to help the person get acclimated to your company culture.

25. Not Communicating Enough  

Your business is not the same as every other business. Do not assume that because a person has experience that he or she needs no training in what THIS particular job involves. Your company’s circumstances may be night-and-day different from the person’s last job. Your new employee can’t magically read your mind to understand your expectations or important company goals.  Spend time talking with your new hire to pave the way toward success.

25 Hiring Mistakes to Avoid

 

Check out http://www.SuperianSources.com

7 Bad Habits That Bosses Never Want to See at Work

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When it comes to a business setting, you can think of “unproductive” in three different ways. First, an employee can be so outgoing and bubbly in the office that you actually miss the fact that he or she has never actually been productive. Second, you can see that an employee’s work is starting to decline and realize that the employee has become unproductive. Or lastly, an employee may just plain be unproductive and everyone knows it.

However, in all three situations, the characteristics are the same. How these employees got there, or why they’re there, might be a different story, but for employers, it all starts with being able to recognize some of these characteristics. If you can recognize that an employee is unproductive, that’s the first step in making changes.

Consider some of these traits and actions to look for below:

1. Complaining

It doesn’t matter why someone is complaining or whom he or she is complaining to (or about), complaints often show that someone is not willing to put in the work to make a change. It’s a time waster, and it’s almost always easier to complain than to be productive. As John Brandon mentioned in a past article, “The really productive people don’t dwell on the problem. They just do the work.”

2. Making Excuses

Similar to complaining, making excuses is not the way to be productive. It’s one thing if things don’t get done because other things take priority, but if something doesn’t get done because of an unfair excuse, then that’s a problem with the employee. Start paying attention and see if there seems to be an excuse for everything. One or two every once in a while is OK, but excuses can get out of hand quickly.

3. Putting Things Off

This characteristic can go right along with excuses. Most of the time, an employee will put something off because of an excuse, but sometimes you’ll notice that he or she will act like it can wait and brush a task off as “not a big deal.” Again, while this might be OK in small doses, if it becomes a habit you have a problem.

4. Running Everything by the Boss

This may happen for one of two reasons: Either the employee is hoping the boss will just do the work or delegate it to someone else (usually because of excuses the employee lays out), or the employee doesn’t feel like he or she can be independent and get things done. In either situation, an employee won’t be productive. Part of productivity is being able to take the problems at hand, get creative, and work hard to solve them, and part is actually wanting to solve them. Running to the boss doesn’t help anyone get to that point, and therefore hurts productivity.

5. Only Caring About Getting Credit

This is a classic sign of someone who does not really care about the job. Therefore, such employees only worry about being productive if it’s going to get them credit in the long run. In order to really be productive, you have to be creative and innovative in your role—simply doing what you’re told and then stopping your work isn’t always using your time efficiently. Even more than simply being unproductive, this is a characteristic that really shows an employee is not motivated, which brings us to our next point.

6. There Is No Motivation or Drive

You can usually tell if people don’t have motivation or drive if they’re doing all of the things mentioned above—making excuses, putting things off, complaining, and always bothering the boss. All of these feelings combined with a lethargic attitude contribute to not being productive. Why would an employee be productive if he or she doesn’t care about the company and what that productivity could produce? After all, being productive takes work.

In some cases, there is a lack of motivation and productivity simply because that employee was the wrong fit to begin with.

7. Personal Betterment and Brand Is Slipping

This is usually what happens when people get complacent at their jobs. Maybe they’re doing what they’re told and not making excuses or complaining, and maybe they even sometimes solve problems on their own and get things done, but if their personal brand and betterment is slipping, then the work becomes routine. Part of being productive is learning new skills and taking pride in an online brand (even if it’s just to help the company). This shows independence and it shows motivation. Without this, productivity lacks.

The Takeaway

As you can see, a lot of the characteristics mentioned above compliment one another and string together. It almost works like a domino effect, so you’ll likely see an unproductive employee exhibiting more than three or four of the characteristics on the list. The best thing you can do as an employer is to be able to look for and recognize these traits and then take steps to re-motivate the employee.

https://www.themuse.com/advice/7-bad-habits-that-bosses-never-want-to-see-at-work

 

Check out http://www.SuperianSources.com

3 Ways Even the Most Awesome Candidates Can Improve Their Interview Technique

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Maybe you’re naturally good with first impressions, or maybe you’re practiced every manner of mock interview question you can find multiple times—either way, there’s always more you can do.

That’s probably not the most welcome message in the world, but when it comes to landing your dream job—you know, that thing that could actually make you look forward to the 40+ hours a week you spend on getting a paycheck—did you really expect anything less?

Here are three things you can always do to polish yourself up before this incredibly important meeting.

1. Use the Job Description Wisely

Think of this as your interview prep cheat sheet. The job description basically spells out for you where you should be focusing your preparation efforts, and yet, for some reason people often forget to make full use of this handy guide. It’s essentially an outline of how the conversation will go.

Use it to craft position-specific mock interview questions to practice with or as a checklist for coming up with relevant stories and examples to use. For example, if it says, “looking for a detail-oriented person capable of juggling multiple projects,” make sure you have a story or two exemplifying that.

Finally, see if any questions pop up after reading through it. Is there a missing piece? Clarification needed? Yes? Great—now you have unique, relevant questions to ask the hiring manager at the end.

2. Do Your Homework on the Company

When you’re interviewing, you’re not just trying to sell your skills, you’re also trying to pitch what a great fit you are for the company. The better you know the organization, the more likely you are to stand out when it comes to that second piece. In other words, do your company research and connect the dots as to why you’ll be the perfect addition. (And if you’re struggling to find that connection, that’s a strong sign that it might not be right for you.)

Peruse the website and read the mission, values, and annual report. Check out the company’s social media accounts (and if available, Muse profile) to learn more about the culture. If the team clearly values honesty, make sure to weave that in (naturally). Or, perhaps management seems to love the “get ’er done” mentality—make sure your interview answers hit on that at some point.

Lastly, if you really want to impress, get a sense of the company’s strengths and what it does better than its competitors. No hiring manager hates a well-placed compliment as to why his or her organization’s crushing it (or is going to crush it) in an industry.

 

https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-ways-even-the-most-awesome-candidates-can-improve-their-interview-technique?ref=carousel-slide-0

 

Check out Superian Sources at http://www.SuperianSources.com

 

11 Must-Reads for Anyone Thinking About Completely Changing Careers This Year

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Taking that first step toward a career change is an exhilarating moment. That is, for five minutes, until you realize you don’t know what you’re doing, where you’re going, or how to even start.

But this kind of transition doesn’t happen overnight, and you can’t be expected to have it all figured out right away.

So, to help you get on your feet and go after your dream, one step at a time, here are 11 great resources that’ll cover everything you need to switch industries, develop new skills, interview for a field in which you have no experience, or just consider other options.

  1. Know you want a change, but don’t know exactly what? Picking up a side gig is a great way to dip your toes in and see if you like what you’re doing—if these people can do it on top of their full-time jobs, so can you!
  2. Or, maybe you do know what, but you aren’t sure where to start. Time to go to the experts who have been there, done that, and have a ton of great advice.
  3. If a big decision, such as grad school or starting your own business, terrifies you (or is financially out of the question), here are four less scary alternatives you can absolutely consider.
  4. And if a complete switch is just out of the question, there are also ways you can move within your own industry and still experience positive results.
  5. A tip? Think of this transition as a “pivot point.” This simple mindset alteration will further motivate you to break out of that career rut you’re stuck in.
  6. Way more than a few years out of school? It’s never too late to start over. Here’s the perfect (and realistic) guide to changing careers when you’re older.
  7. Don’t have any traditional experience in your dream field? This doesn’t mean you can’t still apply—there are plenty of ways you can highlight transferable skills on your resume.
  8. And if you’re really not sure what to put down on your application, try focusing on other experiences that shaped who you are today.
  9. The hardest part about this process can be the interview where you have to explain your switch—so show the hiring manager your value and spin the conversation in your favor.
  10. Feeling completely overwhelmed? Talk to a career coach who can help walk you through this process and make it feel way less intimidating.
  11. Finally, to give you some inspiration, here are six high-paying jobs that are perfect for people in your same position!

https://www.themuse.com/advice/11-mustreads-for-anyone-thinking-about-completely-changing-careers-this-year?ref=carousel-slide-1

 

Check out http://www.SuperianSources.com

4 Ways You Can Always Improve Your Resume (No Matter How Good it Is)

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No matter how good your resume is, it can always be better. I heard you groan—but it’s true. Now, don’t worry, I’m not going to ask you to redo the entire thing. Instead, I’ll just point out a few places where you can improve.

Remember: The stronger your application, the better shot you’re giving yourself at landing the job you want. And that’s what we’re all here for, right?

1. Make it Easier to Skim

It doesn’t matter how beautiful or relevant your resume is if the hiring manager simply can’t find what he or she is looking for. This means priority number one (after getting all your experience down) is to make it readable, and more specifically, skimmable. Here’s a list of 12 pointers for you to go through. However, if you’re pressed for time, at least make sure you’re maximizing the impact of the first five words of each bullet point by including keywords as early as possible.

2. Check to Make Sure It’s Tailored

You may think your resume perfectly describes your skills and experiences all on one tidy sheet of paper, and you’re probably right, but the real trick is for a recruiter who is hiring for a particular position to agree with you. This requires adapting it to a particular job. No matter how flawless it is, it will always benefit from some personalization. Here’s how to check where your resume can use some tailoring.

3. Optimize it for Mobile Viewing

Careers have changed, so it’s no surprised that recruiting’s changed, too. One thing that does seem to catch job candidates off guard though is how often their resume will be viewed on a mobile device. You might have a lovely printed resume, but to ensure it stays lovely even when viewed on a phone, consider implementing some of these tips. If nothing else, move away from a two column resume and stick with one single column. It’ll be easier to navigate for mobile devices and applicant tracking systems.

4. Turn it Into a Website

For those of you who really want to go above and beyond, consider creating a website for your resume. Not only will this help you stand out from other applicants, but you can show off some of your skills with an online portfolio. For some inspiration, check out these 35 amazing examples. Then once you’re pumped to make your own, consider one of these 14 options for how to actually build it out. Just don’t forget to include a link on the version you do send to hiring managers!

With all this said, if you’re one of those people who keeps tinkering with your resume instead of actually networking and applying to jobs, then let me instead direct you here. Because at some point, it’s time to bite the bullet and just click send.

 

https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-ways-you-can-always-improve-your-resume-no-matter-how-good-it-is-1

 

Check out the Superian Sources website at http://www.SuperianSources.com