Ask the Flexpert…How to Boost Productivity in Difficult Times

Flexicrew is celebrating June as a month to boost productivity.  We will provide you a guide to increase your monthly productivity, to achieve greater performance, and great results.  Our blog contains proven steps and strategies for how to be a more productive worker (and person) by doing a series of activities daily in the time span of a month. With the help of this blog, we will focus you to reach multiple goals

throughout the month.  We will provide activities that will surely motivate you to become a more productive worker.Characiture of Flexpert

Make sure that you take note of your progress by keeping a journal on hand. Write in your journal after you have started or completed activities.  At the end of the month  you’ll see some positive changes. You see, if you focus on important activities, you won’t feel like being productive is overwhelming and that it cannot be done. This blog will help you realize that 30 days of productivity will really do wonders in your work and even in your life.

Habits and the Mind

We are shaped by our habits.  Useful and harmful ones fight each other for command of our minds. By discipline and willpower alone it’s possible to unlearn useless habits and change your behavior.

The key is persistence. Often you will need many months to see the results, so don’t surrender early.

By watching your mind regularly, you can start noticing recurrent patterns.  But the core idea is that you can adapt your workflow to these states instead of resisting them.

Procrastination itself can have different causes — maybe the task is too complex or too boring, fear of failure or simple laziness. Even a slight presence of these negative factors can make us go for instant rewards instead of doing something that will create a better future in the long term.

Avoiding work is similar — these are just the thoughts of what you don’t like about your tasks and what you would rather do. But you are not your thoughts, and they have no power over you until you feed them with attention. You can ignore them like a background noise by keeping your focus on your goals.

Preview of Boost Productivity Articles

Here is a preview of  what you’ll learn… Why work in short bursts;  Methods to Own Your Workspace; Goal Setting Tips;  Self Improvement Adjustments; Steps to Boost Productivity, and  more.

As we begin to enter the next phase, now is a great opportunity to implement good work habits to maximize their productivity and return to business with greater focus than ever.

Ask the Flexpert…What are Some Simple Tricks to Stick to your New Year’s Resolutions

In January (and every January), about 40% of all Americans vowed to change one thing or another about themselves.

New Year ’s resolutions usually fall under the following categories:

New Years Resolutions

  • Finance
  • Career
  • Personal development
  • Stress management
  • Health and diet
  • Fitness
  • Weight loss
  • Focusing on personal relationships

Fast forward 6 months later, 60% will have completely forgotten all about their resolutions.

But carrying out your resolutions, whether for work or in your personal lifestyle, can be done. Read on to find out how.

1. Define your Motivation

There are 2 types of motivation:

  • Intrinsic – this means your motivation comes from inside. For example, you prefer making a presentation, going to a business seminar, or doing research by yourself because you like how you feel afterwards.
  • Extrinsic – you’re pushed forward by actions outside your personal scope. In other words, you prefer working on a team project, and work harder when there’s a reward system in place.

Once you figure out your motivation type is, then all you have to do is put yourself in situations that make you more excited to accomplish even more.

2. Actions speak louder than results

Deciding on a goal for the new year is always easier said than done. However, it’s the steps you take to reach that goal that’s the tricky part. If you want to stick to your resolutions, it’s wise to break each step down into smaller goals, if possible, to make them more manageable.

Moreover, each time you achieve one, reward yourself and feel proud of what you’ve accomplished. Positive reinforcement is crucial to help guide you as you push toward your goal and commit to your responsibilities.

One way to keep everything in check is to make sure your actions are SMART:

  • Specific. Having a specific end result prevents you from making excuses.
  • Measurable. Evaluating your progress will give your motivation a boost.
  • Achievable. You can set daily goals as a building block to bigger goals.
  • Relevant. Otherwise, if it’s not relevant, why bother?
  • Time-bound. Goals need to have a defined end date.
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3. Be Honest with yourself

The more realistic your resolutions, the more likely you’ll see them through. If your goal for this year is to exercise more, then start small. Instead of planning a 5-day workout week, go for 20 minutes a day then increase gradually.

You’ll find that, as with all goals, as soon as you start seeing what you’ve accomplished, you’ll be pumped to do even more. However, it’s crucial that you stay away from the “all-or-nothing” approach. Doing something, even if it’s a small piece of what you’d originally planned, is much better and more productive than doing nothing at all.

Moreover, it’s equally important to not have too many resolutions up in the air at once. Make a list, prioritize them, and go from there. Once you feel the first one’s in the bag, go for the second, and so on. Focusing on one goal at a time will channel your energy and efforts there, helping you reach your target faster.

4. Think things through

Having a positive mindset is key when progressing towards your goals, but let’s be honest; every plan is bound for failure if you’re careful. Be smart and anticipate these obstacles so that when they do appear, you’ll be prepared.

For example, if you get bored when you exercise, choose upbeat workout music that’ll get you revved up. Or you can workout at home, as you catch up on your favorite TV shows. If your motivation method is extrinsic, ask a co-worker to be your accountability partner. The idea is to nip it in the bud before it becomes stronger than your willpower so that you can surmount any obstacle that comes between you and your goal.

5. Be accountable for your actions

Accountability means you’re taking responsibility for the choices you’re making. This may seem easy to do at work when you have a deadline and a boss reinforcing it. It may not seem as easy when you’re home alone and skip cooking a healthy meal, and order take-out instead.

You can enlist the help of a peer or join a support group where you’d know that you made a certain commitment to someone, if it’s simply sending a photo of your home-cooked meal on social media or, you can hang a calendar on your wall with progress notes so you can keep tabs on how far you’ve gotten and what still lies ahead.

Keeping your resolution can seem scary at first. However, with these 5 steps, you can do anything you put your mind to. Moreover, once you accomplish your first resolution, you’ll find that it’s not only beneficial, it’s fun as well!

Need Assistance Hiring Resilient Workers

If you need some assistance in recruiting and hiring more resilient workers in this uncertain labor market, contact Flexicrew today.


Ask the Flexpert…What Are Good Reasons Employers Should Hire Older Workers

Older Worker Discrimination

Is there bias against older workers? Certainly we in staffing agencies observe it to some degree. Yet this age discrimination remains hidden and tacit, it is unquestionable that it still exists and certainly it is upsetting.

Recruiting Attitude toward Older Workers

Employers, plus employment specialists and hiring managers within the organizations that have open jobs must show more innovation and be more imaginative in making use of candidates in all age brackets to accomplish more in the workplace. By disregarding or excluding the valuable experience and unique traits of our aging work force may bring about expertise gaps and missing skills in select industries and markets.

When recruiting older candidates, those doing the hiring should utilize a distinctive attitude and view these candidates with a creative point of view. On balance, older candidates offer a wide-ranging set of skills and experience to the workforce.


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Good Reasons Employers Should Hire Older Workers

Here are 10 good reasons employers should hire older workers and why they are good for business:

  1. It is not usually necessary to pay benefits like health care insurance.
  2. If an employer has a hiring freeze, hiring temporary older employees usually comes from a different budget.
  3. Older workers have a positive attitude.
  4. They have lower absenteeism and tend to be more punctual.
  5. Older workers have a better commitment to quality.
  6. Senior workers generally require less training.
  7. Older workers may possess superior customer service skills.
  8. Older temporary workers can be terminated at the end of a project with comparatively little or no cost.
  9. They often have better people skills.
  10. Older workers are more eager to learn new skills.

With these innate traits and benefits that we outlined, we hope you will give meaningful consideration to hiring older workers when you are trying to fill out your team. These individuals have many intangible skills that cannot be taught or trained which will positively enhance your workplace.

Need Assistance Hiring Older Workers

If you need some assistance in recruiting and hiring more mature workers in this uncertain labor market, contact Flexicrew today.

Ask the Flexpert…How to Overcome the Employee Shortage?

Trouble Keeping up with the Demand?

Companies are increasing their need for high performing talent, but the supply of skilled candidates has diminished.  That makes it harder for employers to satisfy their needs.  The economy is hot and organizations want to participate.  But, how do they do that when they can’t find enough qualified workers?

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This has become a candidate-driven environment.  Nearly 40% of organizations couldn’t fill their job openings last month.


Some helpful hints to deal with this employee shortage are:

Extended Hiring Process

Reset your expectations that a longer hiring process is the new normal.  It’s been observed that open positions are remaining that way approximately one and a half months.  The time to fill a position has roughly doubled over the past 5 years.  So you must start your recruitment process earlier and pay particular attention to your job description and your company reputation.


With more available positions and salaries finally starting to rise, employers can expect to see more turnover.  That will worsen the hiring crisis.  Higher performing workers have even more job opportunities available.  So, it’s vital for retention to support current employees’ desire for greater training and career development.   That shifts the discussion away from money and toward retention actions.

Counter Offer

If an employee plans to leave, the earlier you get this information the more time you have to consider whether or not to counter. The key is learning why the employee plans to quit.  Asking the employee if they would consider staying if those areas were improved could make a difference in retention versus back to hiring.

Dissatisfaction causes a worker’s choice to jump ship. In this candidate-shortage environment we advise finding out your top employees dissatisfaction points and presenting them with a counter offer.  Your plan is to persuade them to remain with your firm and for you to avoid the cost and hassle of going the new hire route.


Higher wages in your new hire offer is an obvious answer, though painful. But a competitive compensation package can be the solution. Be sure to research what your industry is paying for certain experience, skills, and positions. You can tweak that to make sure you have a solid offer. If a high-performing candidate already has a firm offer from a competitor, consider the components of the offer and make your offer addresses learning, company culture and career advancement as your response.


In the past, there were fewer employment opportunities and more competition for jobs. An organization could list their job opening on its website and multiple qualified applicants would respond. Today, candidates aren’t necessarily proactively seeking new opportunities. But, if an employee recognizes your firm and it has a good reputation then they’re more likely to respond to your job post. So, actions to strengthen your company name and differentiate your firm become an asset in this tight labor market.

There are many other ways to deal with a worker shortage.  If you need some assistance in surviving and thriving with recruitment in this tight labor market, contact Flexicrew today.

Ask the Flexpert…What to Consider in a Needs Analysis?

Needs Analysis

When focusing on the types of needs required for a particular position, Flexicrew recommends the following should be implemented to capture the relevant information:

  • Organization or Institutional Analysis
  • Personal Analysis
  • Content Analysis
  • Work or Task Analysis
  • Suitable Training Analysis
  • Performance Analysis and …
  • Cost Analysis

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Organization or Institutional Analysis

This comprises the strategic plans of the organization, objective and goals. A proper development program should offer an organizational-based analysis which aims at solving the problems in a given institution. For example, if a training program is set to prepare a warehouse supervisor, then any warehouse that needs or offers such a position should be consulted and every aspect of its needs be taken into consideration.

Cost-benefit Analysis

This compares the cost of training to the projected benefit of the employee undertaking the training.

Suitable Training Analysis

Here you aim to solve employment problems. This will clearly state if a given training of that particular position provides the desired solution to the problem at hand and in the near feature.

Personal or Individual Analysis

This entails a level of already existing skill and knowledge on a given training, learning styles, and whoever is supposed to carry out the training process.

Do employees have the relevant skillset?

Changes in policy, software, procedures or equipment necessitate further employee training and development.

Content Analysis

This should be done to the employees specific to their positions. Have a look at their documents and testimonials and compare to the task that is supposed to be undertaken. For example, if he/she is an engineering manager, find out if s/he has trained in engineering before and what of the management recommendations from previous jobs, if not then s/he requires further development in order to serve in that position effectively.

Performance Analysis

Performance analysis focuses on employees who are intended to carry out established standards. Below standard performance might require more development in that field to meet the set standard.

Knowledge, Abilities, and skills

All positions have competencies, which might vary from one to other. When explaining the particular position, all the desired skills, attitude, abilities and knowledge should be effectively pointed out.


Here is a list of competencies that employees in a given position should possess to work effectively: innovation, teamwork, planning, decision making, self-management, persuasion and influence, global perspective, leadership, customer focus, technology, risk management, communication, action orientation, adaptability, results-oriented, analytical skills, establishing objectives, fiscal management, coaching or employee development, project management, interpersonal skills among others.


Need help determining competencies that employees should possess or assistance in finding workers who meet those requirements – call Flexicrew Today!

Ask the Flexpert…Why Are Employers Struggling to Find Workers

Employment experts confirm employers are having a difficult time recruiting qualified employees to fill vacant positions.

It’s a very tight market.  There are more job openings available than trained and experienced individuals to fill them.

Employers are also trying to find applicants from a smaller pool of potential candidates. The unemployment rate was 3.5% in September 2019, according to the most recent figures. The workforce has been the number-one issue facing businesses in the last few years.

Since more people have jobs, less people are looking for work.  Candidates today have many options in multiple industries.

Firms struggle to find qualified workers with the skills necessary for the available jobs, and the most difficult jobs to fill seem to be technical skills positions, transportation jobs, and middle management.

The construction industry especially has complained about a shortage of experienced workers. In a survey by the Association of General Contractors, 78 percent of respondents said they were having a hard time finding qualified workers.

Symptoms of the problem
  1. Job applicants don’t show up for scheduled interviews
  2. Online openings will receive a lot of applications, but those applicants aren’t dedicated to the hiring process
  3. Applicants often won’t respond when employers reach out to them
  4. Struggle to find workers willing to do entry-level or hard work.
Problems for Employers
  • Hiring difficulties have increased causing firms to forgo new business opportunities
  • When short-handed, employees work longer shifts, making them more tired, so their attitudes might not be as appealing.
  • Some organizations haven’t started new projects for lack or talent
  • Projects have been delayed due to lack of people to complete the project
  • Retention is harder for businesses because employees have more employment options.

This is not ‘your father’s recruiting environment.’  It isn’t effective to use just one recruitment strategy anymore. Recruiters really have to be going at it in a number of ways and have had to adapt to this changing job market.

Employers Using Different Approaches to Make Their Jobs More Appealing

They have:

  • Adopted more flexible employee scheduling to be more appealing
  • Have tried to recruit to ‘nontraditional workers,’ including semiretired workers, retirees, etc. to fill entry-level jobs
  • More and more redoubled efforts to attract young people to apprenticeships
  • Some have raised pay, added vacation days and offered hiring and longevity bonuses
  • Broadened ties with local vocational institutions, expanding skilled apprenticeship programs
  • Gone regional or national with recruiting efforts that formerly stayed close to home
  • Aging or discouraged workers are being drawn back into the workforce
  • More employers start hiring people with a non-violent criminal history so the candidate field opens up

Candidates don’t necessarily need experience because the company will now provide training.

It’s becoming more common for businesses to reach out to recruiting agencies for assistance finding people to fill entry-level and upper-level positions. At Flexicrew, our clients are counting on us to do the leg work to find the skills they can’t find or don’t have time to search for.

There had been such a big push for a college education in past years that schools placed less emphasis on skilled trades. Now, Public Schools and other area districts are building their career technical education and employers are accommodating more on-the-job training


If things seem bleak now, a Washington Post article states that tight labor markets are likely to persist. Over the next decade, as the baby boomers retire, the labor force will expand by 0.5 percent annually, roughly one-third as fast as it did between 1950 and 2016, predicted the Congressional Budget Office.

Ask the Flexpert…What are some Effective Interview Questions?

Effective Interview Questions – Purpose

Effective interview questions are those that obtain facts to help forecast a candidate’s successful behavior on the job.

Characteristics of effective interview questions:  they are easy to answer, there is generally only one answer, and each has a specific planned purpose in mind.

effective interview questions

5 Types of Effective Interview Questions

  1. Factual – Requires an answer with a distinct piece of information
  2. Candidate-specific – Personalized to the specific candidate and circumstances
  3. Action – Requires the candidate to describe how they accomplished past tasks
  4. Situations – Specific situations that are the same or similar to those the person will face on your job
  5. Probing – Follow-up, clarification, and detail questions designed to gain more information

Factual Examples: 1. How many prospects did you call on last week? 2. What percent did you lower accidents last year? 3. What CRM system do you use to manage clients? 4. What software are you certified in?

Candidate-specific Examples: 1. How did you manage the toughest deadline on the construction project? 2. How did you prepare for the presentation to your client? 3. How did you get up to speed on the AI technology at your company? 4. What was your specific responsibility in the warehouse?

Action Examples: 1. How did you build this year’s business plan? 2. How did you handle the last HR problem that was brought to you? 3. How did you get your last customer to add additional accessories? 4. How did you get all the team members to work together?

Situation Examples: 1. Explain in detail to me how you created the production plan. 2. How did you deal with the worst problem employee on your team? 3. How did you manage changes to the code during development? 4. How did you fit in the last company you went to work for?

Probing Examples: 1. How many people worked on that program with you? 2. How long did the program last? 3. Tell me your unique role on the program? 4. How did you achieve the key milestones of the program?

Using Effective Interview Questions

Remember the interview is the most telling part of the recruitment process.  An interviewer using effective interview questions can gain insights about the candidate which can’t be gotten from a resume, application, tests, etc.

Use several types of effective interview questions to get a true sense for the applicant’s skill and personality through face-to-face contact.

Contact Flexicrew today to gain our expertise in questioning candidates to predict success for your open positions.

Ask the Flexpert…How to Plan for Holiday-Staffing Needs

Holiday-staffing needs are an annual challenge for business. How can you improve the way you handle them?

Try these quick ideas to satisfy holiday-staffing needs:

Engage Employees in Planning

Request employee assistance with tracking time-off requests. Also, let your employees know you are using this year’s holiday to plan for next year. This not only improves the data you’re gathering, but it also creates buy-in from employees.  They become a part of the decision-making process to solve holiday-staffing needs.

Collect Holiday Time-off Requests 

Ask for all holiday time-off requests now from permanent employees.  The more advance notice and leeway you have for staffing, the better. Again, let employees know why you need this information and how it helps you solve your holiday-staffing needs.

Use Current Staff Flexibly

Look at the needs of the busy time or a time when many will be on vacation to see if permanent staff can fill new or different roles. This can sometimes be fun for employees, to get to do something different from their usual work.

Set Customer Expectations

If you’re unable to be at the desired staffing level, then identify appropriate ways to avoid disappointing customers. Let them know in advance what to expect.

Temporary Staffing Solutions

Many organizations make use of temporary staff during the holiday season. For short-term solutions, perhaps to cover the Thanksgiving weekend or the Christmas and New Year’s weekends. Flexicrew can place skilled and qualified workers in your open shifts. We also can often find a last-minute replacement for a worker who abruptly takes off during the holiday season.  We recommend for temporary or seasonal employees that you have a specific and detailed agreement and set of requirements. Include date and time commitments.  If you know your busiest time, then require that all seasonal employees be available to work those days.

For those planning ahead with longer-term vacancies, Flexicrew can supply workers for three-months or longer assignments. Filling holiday schedules with seasonal workers offers the added bonus of staffing with workers who want to work the holidays. They may be alone, or in a new community, or just find it satisfying to be with other team members during the holidays.

Many organizations that want to avoid that annual hassle of holiday-staffing needs have turned to Flexicrew to handle all staffing requirements. We offer the advantage of a national search and an industry database of temporary workers.

Strategize for next year

With this year fresh in mind, give yourself a running start thinking about holiday-staffing needs for next year.  But our best suggestion is to take notes now. Then set aside time to plan for 2019 holiday-staffing needs.

Final Thought On Holiday-Staffing Needs

The holiday season can be stressful for HR and operations managers alike. With added holiday-staffing needs, consider this a time to deepen relationships with employees and customers by showing you care about meeting their needs … and that you value their consideration in return.

Your Next Step

Interested in a meeting with us this fall?  We can discuss how Flexicrew Staffing can help your business with temporary worker recruitment, temp-to-permanent, or direct hires.

Contact Flexicrew today for more tips or ideas on how to deal with holiday-staffing needs . We can help you to develop your plan and find your staff.

Ask the Flexpert…Is a Performance Review Still Worth it?

Some companies are moving away from using a performance review.  The issue with these reviews is if they become the only or major source of manager-worker discussion.

A good performance review has 3 major pieces:

1. Drive Results

It should identify employee’s good behaviors and results the employee carried out in the previous time period.  In addition, it should lead to improved results and increases in employee’ performance.

2. Clear Expectations

When the review is completed, both parties should be clear on and agree to the direction both will take going forward and expected outcomes.  Moreover, it should schedule subsequent followups – kind of mini reviews.  Measuring performance and giving feedback shouldn’t only be a once per year big event.

3. Relationship Building with a Performance Review

It’s true that loyalty results when the manager and employee form a partnership approach.  An ongoing performance review process builds a relationship and connection between the manager and team member.  It makes it easier for an open and honest discussion when a difficult situation arises.


Surveys point out nearly half of HR professionals don’t believe an annual performance review assesses employees’ work correctly.  But, it’s even more unfortunate that over half of employees also don’t regard reviews as accurate.  Likewise, almost 54% of employees don’t believe an annual performance review motivates their performance.


Final Thought

Managers can’t make this a one time a year review of results.  So, follow-up after the review is critical.  Feedback by both parties should be continuous to make the annual performance appraisal most helpful.


Your Next Step

Interested in a meeting with us this summer?  We can discuss how Flexicrew Staffing can help your business with temporary worker recruitment, temp-to-permanent, or direct hires.  We cover technical, industrial or clerical areas.  Feel free to contact us.

Contact Flexicrew today for more tips or ideas on creating change in your work place, . We can help you to develop your work team and grow your business.

Ask the Flexpert…Job Descriptions – Do they Matter?

Why formal job descriptions?

Ask the Flexpert
Ask our Flexpert any job description questions to get it right.

Hiring organizations have no legal obligation to develop, maintain or periodically revise job descriptions. By the same token, there are multiple advantages and legal upsides that make that practice useful.


Good job descriptions perform several important functions

They are especially useful if they are carefully written, maintained and used.

They describe the key elements, specifications and functions of every job for employers. Formal job descriptions are the basis for setting expectations for positions.  They reflect the skills and experience job candidates must have.  They are also useful as a basis for performance appraisals.

Likewise, they provide benefits to other teams or individuals who interface with a certain position to know what to expect from that function.

Key components

Then, let’s define some important parts.  For instance:

  • Job titleList of The right job description elements
  • Goals of the job
  • Pay rates
  • Hours/shifts, overtime and weekend work
  • Exempt/non-exempt status
  • Employee benefits
  • Organization reporting relationships/hierarchy
  • General duties including descriptions of significant activities
  • Position duties which make up the main part of the job’s actions
  • Background including experience, education, licenses, credentials, training, and necessary tech skills
  • Harsh states such as: contact with severe temps, prolonged standing, heavy lifting,  major overtime, etc.

Summing up

In other words, job descriptions are key details of every job, for every firm.  We described how good ones perform many central functions.  We also outlined how to write clear, concise and accurate job descriptions that define defined roles.

Also, have new-hires sign employment contracts.  They should state that they have received their job specs, reviewed them, and agree what’s assumed in their role.  This can better protect and inform both employer and employee.

Want to find out how to access Flexicrew’s broad network of skilled workers and professionals?  Contact us today!

Or ask us to review your firm’s job descriptions.