Best Practices for onboarding new hires and making them feel welcome
Artisan Creative is celebrating 20 years of recruiting and being part of the Los Angeles creative community this year. In this time we have learned a thing or two that we’d like to share with you in the first blog of our 20/20 series. 20 blogs celebrating 20 years of creative recruiting! Enjoy.
Do you find job fairs are a whirlwind of elevator pitches and business cards? You’ve given your pitch to an employer, now what? We’ve put together a checklist to guide you and ensure you get the best out of the day.
This Saturday, Artisan Creative will be joining TechJobsLA for a job fair aimed at creatives and developers. We have sponsored and participated in this event for the past several years and look forward to seeing you there.
411 on TechJobsLA
TechJobsLA is a specialized job fair aimed at designers and developers including a series of incredible workshops and speakers. This year Artisan Creative’s founder, Jamie Douraghy will be holding a workshop on Discovering your Why. We all know what we do, and how we do it...do we know why we do what we do? Come join us.
TechJobsLA is an opportunity to meet recruiters, hiring managers, startups and companies as well as a chance to network and learn new skills. This year’s event will have a dedicated digital entertainment panel. They’ll be discussing trends and answering questions. Artisan Creative founder, Jamie Douraghy will be holding a Discover Your Why Workshop.
Here are 20 tips to prepare for this and any future job fair:
Modify your resume so you have tailored versions to suit specific industries and companies.
Print out your resume. Make a lot of copies, and we mean a lot! Keep them in a folder.
Make a one-sheet of your best projects to go with your resume.
Research beforehand to see what companies will be there.
Dress well. Dress as if you’re going for an interview. We’re in the creative industry -- suited and booted isn’t always necessary, but do dress well.
Be early. Get there early so you can mingle before the crowds come in
Volunteer. Where possible volunteer to help out during the day. You’ll get a first chance to meet the exhibitors, have one one one conversations, and make an impression.
Skill match. Each booth has a focus. If a booth doesn’t match your skills thank them and move onto the next one.
Open jobs. At each table, ask about their open jobs and see if there’s anything that’s a match for you. This is a perfect opportunity for face-to-face time with hiring managers and recruiters.
Collect business cards to keep track of who you have met. If you work in design, make sure your card is unique. At the last TechJobsLA, Artisan Creative received a scratch and sniff card! Loved it! How’s that for making an impression?
Have your elevator pitch!
Don’t be vague when you’re asked: “What is it that you do?” Give a concise and clear answer e.g. “I’m a visual designer specializing in entertainment
and technology. I’ve worked with XYZ and now I’m looking for a senior position.” It’s much more valuable to both you and the employer.
Attend workshops. What you can learn from workshops can be invaluable to your personal and professional development.
Ask questions of the speakers and companies - it’s an easy way to stand out.
Take a notebook to jot down any job leads and next steps.
Handshakes & Eye contact. Be firm. Make a connection.
Phone usage to be kept to a minimum. Emails and Instagram will have to wait.
Be friendly. Talk to the other attendees. You never know where your next job lead can come from.
Follow-up b y emailing a copy of your resume and thanking them for their time.
Jobs Alerts. Sign up for RSS feeds and job alerts of companies you met.
Reflect on the day and what you did well.
Are you attending this Saturday's TechJobsLA at BLANKSPACES DTLA? Come and have a chat with us at our table. Please review our open jobs page ahead of time, and follow us on social for tips on interviewing, resumes and job search best practices.
One of the joys of freelancing or working remotely is not having to work inside a typical office setting. While you may have an office that serves as your home base, working from anywhere means you get to be one of those folks working in a coffee shop in the middle of the afternoon. Being productive and focused in a public setting takes skill, though. We are after all sharing the space with others.
Take these tips with you the next time you set up shop in your favorite brewhouse.
Keep your voice low. If you’ve got a meeting or have to take a call, step outside, or use your headphones to hold the conversation and speak quietly. Long, loud or extended cell phone conversations about a client, the job, money or the deadline aren’t fun for anyone sitting near you--and can be disruptive to those around you.
Be a good guest. Buying one cup of coffee for several hours of table usage will not make you endearing to the staff. If you’re going to be showing up there more often, get in the good graces of baristas by learning their names and building a connection. If you plan on staying awhile, buy a scone or a snack! And tip generously for their use of Wi-Fi.
Invest in noise-canceling headphones. Coffee shops often play loud music that you may or may not want to hear, especially if you’re trying to concentrate. Noise-canceling headphones will allow you to listen in on meetings or block out noise without the distraction of the coffee shop noise. Plus, what if you’d rather listen to your own music that day?
Share. Is your laptop charged? Let someone else use the outlet. Are you taking up an entire table with your work? Move it over and let someone else sit there. Be respectful of your surroundings and fellow co-workers and karma will pay off.
Focus. Don’t get distracted trying to strike up a conversation or make friends a few chairs over. Be friendly,
Where is your favorite local hangout and what are your tips for working in a coffee shop?
Artisan Creative is celebrating our 20th year staffing and recruiting Creative, Digital and Marketing roles. Please visit Roles We Place for a complete listing of our expertise.
Between texting, phone calls, emails, tweets, LinkedIn posts, Slack messages, Pinterest boards, Gchat, and so on, communicating with each other is at an all-time high. However, communication requires really, truly listening -- and active listening is a skill that tends to get lost in the sea of technology noise.
The good news is that anyone can improve their active listening skills. By doing so, everyone can build better relationships, resolve conflicts and understand issues, whether in the workplace or elsewhere. In short, becoming a great active listener can yield amazing benefits for your career and relationships.
The most important thing to remember is to try and NOT problem solve on the fly. Try and quiet your problem solving mind. When you are thinking ahead to the answers, or what to say next, you are no longer truly listening!
Read on for 10 tips to help you develop and hone active listening skills:
1. Maintain eye contact. Don't be distracted by the ping noise of your phone, or scan the room to see what else is happening. Give them the courtesy of your full attention. Better yet, put your on airplane mode when in conversation with someone in front of you.
2. Relax. On the other hand, paying attention to someone simply means that: pay attention. It doesn't mean you need to maintain a serious or fixed stare. Carry on as normal, nod, but remain attentive by being present.
3. Be empathetic. The soul of active listening is empathy. If the person you're listening to is sad, happy, fearful, or angry in your conversation, put yourself in their shoes. Pay attention to power words and repetitions such as, "I was really, really upset" or, "I was ecstatic to get my promotion".
4. Look for nonverbal cues. Their cadence, tone of voice and body language can offer a lot of information. Look for small signs of nervousness, enthusiasm, or anxiety for example in their mannerism, gestures, and posture to help determine how they really feel.
5. Create a mental image. If you're having trouble following along or paying attention, paint a visual image in your head to help stay focused.
6. Avoid interrupting. Sometimes, it seems like a good idea to finish someone else's sentences, especially if you think you know what's coming. Yet this can derail their train of thought or come off as impatient. Moreover, interrupting can also come off as aggressive or competitive, as though you're trying to "win" the conversation. Slow down to their speed so you can listen attentively.
7. Stay in the moment. It might seem like a good idea to jump ahead mentally and plan what to say next. However, doing so means you're not actively listening and only listening only to part of it, while devoting mental energy to your next move. Rehearsing and listening at the same time doesn't work, so give your full attention to the other person.
8. Wait for pauses to ask questions. If you don't understand something, ask for an explanation, but, wait until there's a pause. Additionally, if your question takes the conversation off-topic, gently help steer it back on the right track.
9. Offer feedback. "Congratulations!" "What an awful ordeal!" "You must be excited!" show that you understand their feelings. You can also just nod along and show your understanding with facial expressions that match their emotion, like a smile or a frown.
10. Don't judge. Even if you feel like something they said was alarming or should be pointed out, resist the urge. Likewise, don’t jump to conclusions. A story with a rocky start may indeed have a happy ending!
For those that work from home or have flexible office situations, it can be a nice option to try a new work location from time to time. We know the Bay Area is teeming with fabulous coffee shops and cafes that can offer a respite from the home office. Here are some picks to get work done in San Francisco while enjoying some tasty treats.
Coffee Bar (Mission): While the name might not stand out as special, the coffee sure does! (All the benas are sourced directly from local roaster Mr. Espresso.) Known for being a start-up hangout, this cafe is especially great for those who need to power through a work marathon. When you get hungry, grab some food from their full lunch menu.
Haus (Mission): This space offers Scandinavian minimalism and plenty of tables and chairs to accommodate all kinds of busy bees. Simple and elegant, Haus has coffee, tea, kombucha, and baked good. Best of all, on warmer days, you can work outside on the back patio with lots of seating.
Matching Half Cafe (Western Addition): Warm and charming, the floor-to-ceiling windows at this corner coffee shop lets in plenty of sun and serves pour-over Sightglass coffee, along with some lighter fare for breakfast and lunch. For those popping in towards the end of the work day, there’s local draft beer and wine, plus happy hour specials.
The Social Study (Fillmore): Vintage in its approach (exposed brick, pendant lighting, used books and globes scattered throughout for decor), this spot delivers on its name, making it a great place to study and socialize -- like, say, meet a co-worker to go over a project, or set up a meeting with a client after hours. Hip-hop, disco, funk, and every other groovy beat that gets piped in through the speakers keeps you pumped throughout the day.
Nook (Nob Hill): For those in need of a hearty breakfast or lunch to fuel them, this neighborhood cafe has plenty of good eats, from a well-known Caesar salad to their vegan German chocolate cake. Watch as the cable car rolls past the sidewalk seating, or come in later in the day when you need a break for their daily happy hour and finish up the work day with a delicious Sangria.
Java Beach Cafe (Outer Sunset): Why work from home when you can work by the beach? Simple coffee, bagel sandwiches, and surfer clientele keep this place busy, even if it might look a little dated by SF standards. Cozy and comfortable, you can take in the sand dune views and watch the sunset while you wrap up the remaining pieces on that project.
Where are your favorite San Francisco coffee shops and cafes to get work done?
Although productivity, efficiency, and creativity are important ideas to nurture and improve upon in the workplace, so is your mental health. It’s as necessary to be personally and professionally happy as it is to draft the copy, pitch the design, or get the project done. How can you be happier at the office, whether you’re commuting or working from home?
In short spurts, stepping away from your desk and getting out is a good thing. Doodle, shoot some hoops, have a dance party, or play a videogame to clear your head for a moment.
Rock out. Music can definitely improve your mood. Keep your favorite songs on file, or cull multiple playlists so you always have your favorite tunes at the ready.
Meditate. This is an excellent way to clear your head and improve your mental and emotional state. Find a quiet place (or put on headphones) and take five minutes to breathe. You can also use apps like Headspace to help guide you.
Get some greenery. Find a pretty vase and stock up every so often on fresh flowers to brighten up the day. Or, try some small plants that can withstand office lighting, like bamboo.
Stock up on water and better snacks. While you may be tempted to eat free chips at the office or fill up your desk drawer with candy, we recommend lots of water throughout the day and high-nutrient snacks that will fuel you through the day to keep you feeling healthy, not sluggish.
Exercise before work. Getting in a run, swim, or some kind of cardio before you start your day can help improve your energy for the rest of the day.
Focus on gratitude. Identify three things daily that you’re grateful for. Doing so has shown to offer greater psychological and emotional benefits. Moreover, show yourself some kindness. Instead of listing major milestone achievements, keep a running tab of the tiny wins.
Be social. Connect and engage with your co-workers. invite them to a lunch or happy hour. Don’t let social awkwardness or anxiety get in the way -- you just might make a new friend!
Praise. Praising your co-workers won’t just make them feel better -- it’ll make you feel better, leading to an increase in empathy and decrease in stress. Write a note, give them credit in a meeting, or start team bonding traditions.
Want some inspiration for cool office spaces? Check out our Pinterest board!
Telecommuting is quickly becoming less of a trend and more of the norm. In fact, 37% of U.S. workers say they're done it! Part of this is the practicality of the modern workplace -- for many positions, it's not necessary to be in an office. And for many workers, maintaining a healthy work-life balance is preferable to a higher salary.
So, where would you like to work? At your home office, or on the sofa? What about in a co-working space or a coffee shop? You might think that telecommuting would make a great part of your daily work routine, but it takes a surprising amount of self-discipline, concentration, and effort. See if working remotely is right for you by asking these five questions:
Can you communicate well online or via video chat? Interacting with a team in-person is very different from being online. You need multiple communications tools to connect. If you feel like email is the only way to get in touch, you need to shake it up and practice communicating with instant messaging, video conferences, and teamwork platforms like Slack and Asana. Get comfortable using these technologies, and know when it's best to hop on the phone. One last thing: if you can't be available when everyone else is, you'll either have to work twice as hard to stay on top of what's happening, or need to connect more often to stay abreast of changes.
Are you able to initiate conversations and projects? You can't be shy when you work remotely! Starting conversations with your co-workers or manager so you can get the ball rolling on projects is necessary. And if you're a manager, it can be hard to be present and available when telecommuting. You'll need to reach out to team members regularly, and set very clear goals and expectations, as well as offer support from afar.
Can you be a great team player without seeing the team? Since you won't be interacting with colleagues in the breakroom or over lunch, you need to think about how you reach out and connect to co-workers. This means having team calls to catch up, setting up video conferences to brainstorm ideas, or scheduling virtual lunch dates. You may also have to boost team engagement by recreating "water cooler" conversation. Ask about personal topics like vacation plans or what was on TV last night.
Do you have a great task management system in place? Many telecommuters report they are just as productive as on-site employees, but poor management and engagement could mean telecommuting doesn't work for a company -- or for you! A lack of oversight can lead to major issues later. If you're working as part of a team, talk to your manager about what work productivity really means, and how to prove it. If you're a manager, make sure your team understands those goals, and hold them accountable. And if you struggle with personal responsibility, working remotely may not be the best option for you.
Is it possible to still meet occasionally? Okay, the whole point of telecommuting...is to not go into the office! But if you're working for a company that's located in the same city as you, it can't hurt to visit the office now and then. This way, you can review things like quarterly goals or evaluate projects with the whole team at once, and then get back to work. Think of it as a fun way to catch up with people, too! Try to schedule a happy hour or some kind of after work activity so you bond and get to know the people you're working with online.
Flexible work hours bring a specific set of challenges, but also many rewards! The needs of working remotely vary from those of the traditional office, so as long as you keep in mind these ideas, you'll be able to keep your team engaged and motivated.
Having “one of those days” where everything is feeling out of control, is really about how quickly you can recover. You can write the day off, or you can turn things around with a new game plan. It’s mostly about managing your attitude.
Take a break. Sometimes things only seem bad, and a moment away from the center of chaos (also known as your desk) can help you see everything clearly. If you freelance, extend your lunch break by a bit longer to give yourself some well-deserved “me” time. Or, if you’re in the office, take an extra moment out of your day to take a quick walk to clear your head.
Get ideas out of your head and on to paper. Create a to-do list and set realistic goals for accomplishment. Stress can make a challenging day worse. Identify what you can do quickly and take control of your day. For example, “I have to respond to this email by lunch,” or, “I need to come up with three more ideas in the next hour”. This motivation will help you see past the bad day blues and get your mind back to work.
Ask for help. When you are in a challenging situation set time limits for your tasks, delegate where possible, and prioritize. Ask your boss or your co-workers for a helping hand. Collaborating and working together, gets more done!
Eat! Make sure you have good nourishment. Feeding your mind and body is essential to how you deal with difficult situations. Avoid sugar!
Some days are more challenging than others, with events seemingly beyond our control. However our attitude is entirely in our own control. How we deal with a stressful situation, handle ourselves and treat those around us, is our responsibility. Find a way to get a quick attitude adjustment when it’s needed.