Word on RealStreet!
Within the last few weeks, RealStreets team has seen a number of successes! Two Recruiters earned the designation of Certified Staffing Professional (CSP) from the American Staffing Association (ASA); two Recruiting Coordinators were promoted to Recruiter; and a Branch Manager was promoted to Director of National Sales. RealStreet is extremely proud of these individuals and pleased to enable their ongoing career development.
Chris DOnofrio Promoted to Director of National Sales
Chris joined RealStreet as a Business Development Manager. While in this role, he grew the companys sales, cultivated client relationships and enabled the expansion of the business from one office in Marriottsville, MD to seven offices across the country. When the new offices were opened, Chris was promoted to Marriottsville Branch Manager. He also stepped in to manage the Frederick, MD and Tysons Corner, VA offices as business needs changed. In this role, he not only maintained his business development responsibilities, but also gained the responsibility of managing the recruiting teams in each branch.
Throughout his career at RealStreet, Chris secured the companys position as a team member and sub-contractor on multiple large, ongoing contracts; helped the company become a prime contractor on a large government contract; and developed lasting relationships with numerous nationwide clients. Due to his ongoing success and commitment, Chris was recently promoted to Director of National Sales. In this role, he will focus his business development efforts on large, national accounts, while providing continued support to the branches, ensuring ongoing success at the local level as well.
For additional insight into Chris career development, view his bio on the RealStreet website.
Alexa Correa & Katie Malagari Promoted to Recruiter
Alexa and Katie joined RealStreet last summer as Recruiting Coordinators in the Frederick, MD office, where they supported the teams efforts to ensure a positive and efficient recruiting experience. Due to their hard work and success, they were each promoted to Recruiter within the year. As Recruiters, Katie and Alexa will take the lead in the recruiting process. Their responsibilities will include posting jobs, sourcing and screening candidates, conducting interviews and managing communications between potential candidates and clients. They will also maintain a critical role in the onboarding and employee relationship management processes.
To learn more about Katie and Alexa, check out their bios on the RealStreet website.
Paige Gemmeli & Angelica Wood Earned Their CSP Certifications
Paige and Angelica, recruiters in the Aberdeen and Tysons Corner offices, each recently earned the American Staffing Associations (ASA) designation as Certified Staffing Professionals (CSP). To earn their CSP, Paige and Angelica each invested a great deal of their time studying ASA materials on labor and employment laws and successfully completed an extensive and vigorous exam. RealStreet appreciates the effort put forth by Paige and Angelica and is proud of them for successfully attaining the certification.
Learn more about the ASAs Certified Staffing Professional program at AmericanStaffing.net
THE SECRET TO BUILDING AN EMPLOYER BRAND THAT ATTRACTS & RETAINS TOP TALENT
Gone are the days when companies could simply focus on the attractiveness of their product, service or brand name when hiring. Today, businesses have to consider how they are viewed as an employer as well. Otherwise, securing top talent could become a challenge.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BUILDING AN EMPLOYER BRAND THAT ATTRACTS COMPETITIVE CANDIDATES AND RETAINS TOP EMPLOYEES
Companies need to build their brand and manage perceptions if they want to attract highly skilled professionals to join their business. This goes beyond traditional branding, to include the employee experience and how information about the organizations culture is shared.
This part of the companys image must be carefully crafted and honed. In fact, it needs to be a part of the business strategy. If it is done well, it will go a long way towards ensuring that your ideal professional candidates are enticed by your business and any open job opportunities. If you want to build a powerful employer brand, here is what you need to do.
EVALUATE YOUR REPUTATION AS AN EMPLOYER
Before you can build an effective employer brand, you need to understand where you are today. To do this, you have to consider a number of factors, looking both internally and externally. Sometimes this can uncover displeasing information, but its better to know and address as soon as possible.
ASSESS YOUR BRAND
Review your branding strategy, ensuring that it is clear and consistent across all mediums and that it is in line with the overall business goals. However, in todays connected world, a companys image goes beyond their business cards and website. They play a role, but even a website is just a part of the overall online presence, which is still just a portion of the complete corporate image.
When each aspect is considered, what message is being conveyed to the world? Would qualified job seekers want to work for you? Would other companies want to do business with you?
Take stock of external factors that could impact the companys image as well. Are candidates and former employees leaving positive or negative reviews online? Are they venting about past work experiences or acting as advocates for the business? An overly negative outpouring of content, whether on review sites or social media pages, could hinder overall perception.
One of the simplest options is to survey a variety of individuals, including current team members, recent job applicants and professionals who are part of your target audience but are not employees today. This allows you to gather feedback regarding how you are viewed, taking into account a range of perspectives.
When you craft the questions on your survey, include points that are known to be of importance to your target audience. For example, most Millennial workers prefer employers who offer opportunities to learn, grow and advance, so you can ask participants whether they view you as being successful in that category. Similarly, you could request that they describe your culture based on their own knowledge of the company.
CREATE A PLAN BASED ON YOUR ANALYSIS
Once you review the companys reputation, you can identify areas where you excel as well as shortcomings. Then, you have the ability to craft a strategy for overcoming weak points. This could involve either correcting public perception in situations where a lack of awareness of what you have to offer, led to negative feedback or adjusting your company culture or programs to meet the expectations of your target audience.
In either scenario, it is important to understand that improving your employer brand is a marathon, not a sprint. You cannot overcome any perceived deficits overnight. Instead, you need to be diligent about showcasing what you have to offer and why you should be viewed as an employer of choice.
Article Originally Published by RealStreet
Analysts: Infrastructure, modularization, resiliency top industry drivers
Approaching the halfway mark of the year, the commercial construction industry is strong, staving off any premature cooling before an impending economic downturn and integrating innovation in relatively slow but steady measures all the time.
But what do experts anticipate for the rest of the year and going into the next? Two presenters at last weeks ENR FutureTech conference in San Francisco offered their takes on where the industry is heading some that mirror the trends Construction Dive anticipated going into the year, and some that represent minor shifts in the market.
Infrastructure spending is inevitable
Even though Congress and President Donald Trump cant agree on how to fund infrastructure improvement projects, many are inevitable, and they will have a huge impact on the construction industry this year and into the future, according to presenter T.G. Jayanth, Capital Projects Expert at McKinsey & Co.
Its a well-known fact that infrastructure in this country is aging, its collapsing and breaking, Jayanth said. Even though federal infrastructure legislation is still under debate, he is bullish on the segment, saying that general contractors that serve this part of the industry are in the right place."
Another big trend the growth of cities is driving the need for more roads, transportation, green spaces and recreational and entertainment venues, he said. By 2030, about 65% of the worlds population will live in urban areas. This creates a critical need for housing and infrastructure, he noted.
The cost of such development is staggering, he said, with a global spend of about $2.5 trillion annually. Power, roads, telecommunications and water are the top four most in-demand types of infrastructure projects, according to McKinsey data.
The price tag for many of these projects will increase up to 40% because they will be built to high levels of sustainability, Jayanth said, noting that resiliency will play an important role as extreme weather becomes the norm.
He predicts that resiliency standards will soon become a mandatory part of building codes in many areas and urged attendees to become aware of resilient techniques if they arent already. All that its going to take is a couple more extreme weather events before lawmakers step in with legislation, he said. Were very loosely regulated in this area now as resilience is not a requirement, but it will soon become a requirement."
Room for growth, one prefab room at a time
Modularization and off-site fabrication continue to be important drivers for the industry, Jayanth noted. The segment represents only a tiny fraction of the U.S. construction market, unlike in other countries where a third or more of the building stock incorporates factory-built technologies.
While U.S. modular projects have not yet achieved the promise of substantial cost savings, its scheduling efficiencies are definitely real, Jayanth said, with some projects achieving time-saving improvements of 20% to 50%.
While some construction execs view modularization and the firms that offer it like Katerra, RAD Urban and Z Modular as competition, Jayanth urged them to instead look at offsite methods as a growth area.
In the U.S., modularization is only 3% of current construction, he said. By starting at such a small baseline you have the opportunity to get in and ride this wave of modularization.
As an example, he mentioned the 26-story AC Hotel NoMad by Marriott, which will be the worlds tallest modular hotel when it is completed next year in New York City. The 168 prefabricated guest rooms will arrive on-site fully finished inside and outside and ready to be stacked on top of a traditionally built restaurant and lobby. Marriott estimates that assembly of the modular units will take 90 days.
Economic outlook looks bright
In a separate FutureTech session, Dodge Data & Analytics Senior Director of Industry Insights Research Steve Jones said that the much-anticipated U.S. economic slowdown is looming, but it wont be as bad as many believe. Headwinds like trade tensions, rising material prices, the federal budget deficit and tight labor markets are putting a drag on construction starts.
His company's projections are for construction starts to end the year flat compared to last year, although some segments of commercial construction will be up, including electric, utility and gas plants, which will end the year up 39%, with institutional following with a 6% increase and manufacturing projects up 5%.
Jones pointed out that data centers are a hot segment and represent an opportunity for construction companies to experiment with new techniques. Because many data center owners are tech-savvy entrepreneurs, they want to hear good ideas about how to get their buildings up faster," he said.
Looking at the economy overall, 2020 and 2021 will most likely see a downturn, but it wont be long or deep, he said. We basically have a pretty strong economy right now. We don't have a lot of the same fundamental things going on that brought the last great crash.
Jayanth said that the pending federal infrastructure plan could help mitigate a slowed economy. It will create a lot of jobs and pump a lot of money into the system, he said. Infrastructure projects can potentially offset a lot of the slowdown.
The uncertainty is all part of working in the industry, Jones told the audience: "Construction is a cyclical business. Love it or hate it, thats the reality of it."
Article Originally Published by Construction Dive
Small Business Owners Economic Outlook Rebounds, Hiring Plans Hold Steady
WASHINGTON, DC Data from the Q2 MetLife & U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index indicates employers are experiencing a boost in confidence about the state of the national economy and their financial future. The index overall score increased this quarter to 68.7, indicating nearly 69 percent of small business owners currently have a positive outlook about their companies and the small business environment in the United States.
This 3.1-point rebound follows a drop during the first three months of 2019, and marks the largest quarter-to-quarter increase in economic confidence in the history of the Index.
Results from the survey of 1,000 small business owners show this upward trend in confidence across all demographic groups. Breaking from a pattern of lower optimism in previous quarters, female business owners now express similar levels (58 percent) of optimism about the state of the U.S. economy as their male counterparts (59 percent). Results also suggest that new hiring is being led by millennial- and Gen-X-owned businesses, contributing to 39 percent of small business hiring plans nationwide (despite representing only 27 percent of survey respondents).
Small business owners are showing renewed confidence that the nations economy is poised for growth, following the resolution of the longest shutdown in government history, said Jessica Moser, senior vice president and head of MetLifes Group Benefits Small & Specialty Business. This rebound in small business sentiment is a powerful leading indicator, as small companies have long been a significant growth engine for our country.
This quarters index casts a spotlight on one of the most complex and time-consuming chores for small business ownersnavigating health insurance options. Sixty-nine percent of survey respondents say the process to select health insurance plans is time consuming, and one in five small business owners says they do not have enough information to make informed decisions about health care options.
When seeking health insurance guidance, small business owners most commonly turn to brokers, consultants or agents (32 percent), while 9 percent depend on online search engines and 7 percent seek advice from other business owners. Other information sources include HealthCare.gov and other government sites (5 percent), professional employer organizations (5 percent), and health insurance company sites (3 percent). Notably, 7 percent of small business owners say they do not know where to turn for information.
Its pretty time consuming to navigate and understand the best options for your employees, said Natalie Kaddas, president and CEO of Kaddas Enterprises in Salt Lake City, Utah. Her small manufacturing company works with a broker, who each year provides information on cost increases for her current plan and alternative plans worth considering. Still, Kaddas says she and her staff could use more guidance.
I wish I had some more data and information, Kaddas said. I feel like some of my employees are choosing a plan without a lot of information. Theres an educational component thats missing, and I dont necessarily have the skill set to try and bridge that gapbut I try.
When considering health care coverage options, one in five small business owners say their top priority when considering plans is keeping monthly premiums low; another 20 percent prioritize minimizing out-of-pocket costs like co-pays and deductibles. But cost is not always the top concern: 9 percent of owners say flexibility and variety in choice is paramount when considering their options, followed by access to quality hospitals and treatments (7 percent) and quality and size of provider networks (6 percent).
For small business owners, health care costs and complexity continue to gobble up time and resources that could otherwise be spent growing their companies and creating more jobs, said Tom Sullivan, vice president of small business policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Coupled with struggles finding qualified employees to fill open positions, these headwinds are holding back even higher levels of confidence from Main Street employers.
Article Originally Published by U.S. Chamber of Commerce
NSA Warns Microsoft Windows Users: Update Now Or Face 'Devastating Damage'
Are your networks, servers and workstations updated and patched regularly? If you are not absolutely certain, now is the time for action. The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) uncharacteristically reached out to the general public and issued a warning to users of Microsoft Windows, urging them to check if their systems are fully patched. The NSA also stressed that failure to do so will drastically increase security risks which could have a "devastating" and "wide-ranging impact" on individuals and businesses alike.
For more information, read this article from Forbes.