06Jun

After falling in the first quarter to the lowest level since 2014, staffing employment came roaring back in the second quarter that ended June 30, adding almost 200,000 new temporary and contract workers to the US economy.

The numbers from the Labor Department released July 2 bear out the trend first seen in the weekly Staffing Index produced by the American Staffing Association. The Index, which tracks weekly changes in temporary and contract employment, began declining in early March as COVID-19 cases began rising. With businesses shutting down, idling millions of workers, the Index fell to a historic low.

But with the May 3rd Index update, the first signs of improvement began to show. Slowly , and, now more rapidly as businesses reopen, the Index is trending up.

Between May and June, the Index gained almost 9 percentage points. Meanwhile, all staffing agencies, including we here at Green Key Resources, added a total of 148,900 jobs during June. For the quarter, staffing agencies added 195,800 new contract and temporary jobs.

“The economy is not out of the woods yet. But the overall numbers are certainly encouraging,” says Green Key Resources Managing Partner Andrew Chayut.

“Temp and contract positions are a leading economic indicator,” he explained. “As businesses begin growing, they first bring on temporary workers. That’s what we’re seeing and it’s definitely a positive development.”

While the recovery is fragile, tied as it is to the spread of the coronavirus and government efforts to stop it, other economic indicators are all improving.

The Employment Trends Index from the non-profit business research group The Conference Board, was up by 8.3% in June. Hiring by staffing employment agencies was one of the two strongest contributors to the ETI, which is a composite of 8 labor market indicators.

The Conference Board’s other, closely watched economic indicators, were also up, some even more strongly. CEO Confidence for the quarter increased by 10%; Consumer Confidence was up 12.2%. The Board’s most recent Leading Economic Index was up 2.8% in May. June’s results are due to be released July 23.

Photo by AbsolutVision

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Jun 6, 2023

The Importance of Confidence for Women Healthcare Leaders

Women may hold three-quarters of all healthcare jobs, yet only 37% of the executives at the nation’s largest hospitals are female. The percentage is smaller still at Fortune 500 healthcare companies where less than a quarter of executive jobs are held by women.

What can women who aspire to healthcare leadership do to change that?

Act with confidence, says Dr. Joanne Conroy CEO and president of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health and founder of Women of Impact — Healthcare.

In a podcast discussion, Conroy described the importance of communication – confident communication — in reaching the top tiers of healthcare administration.

“When women present an idea, a concept, or something in kind of a strategy session, they often weaken their points by using qualifiers by saying, ‘I’ve been thinking about this,’ or, ‘Would you think about it?’ instead of giving their opinion with confidence,” Conroy says.

Part of the reason for that approach, she says, is cultural. Women are brought up to emphasize relationships more than self. “They make things happen by being flexible,” Conroy says, adding there’s a time to be flexible and “a time to be firm and confident.”

There’s also a sort of tentativeness in how women present that arises from a lack of confidence in their own ideas. “When sometimes they don’t get credit for their ideas,” says Conroy, it’s “because they don’t present them in a way that makes people stop and say, ‘Wow that was a great idea.’”

Conroy recalled counseling women considering a step up, but hesitated to apply because they felt they weren’t completely prepared. “If there are 10 job requirements, [but] if they have nine of them, they’ll say, ‘Well, I’m not ready.’ But there are many men that have two of them and say, ‘That job is for me!’”

Her advice is to observe the women around them to learn from those who are good communicators. Use the power of silence, she says. “I do observe women that are making a pitch and use 100 words when they should use 25,” she explains. “There’s nothing more powerful than a very direct, simple opinion [or a] request followed by silence.”

How something is presented demands practice. Conroy says she’s spent “hours in front of bathroom mirrors making sure that what I wanted to come out of my mouth came out of my mouth.“

In the end, she says, “It’s all about confidence… [be] confident, articulate, and memorable.”

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

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Flexibility, Communication Are the Keys to Becoming a Top Admin

The warning about serving two masters is an apt caution for administrative professionals who, as companies reopen offices, may find themselves suddenly having two bosses.

Where once an executive assistant might stay with a single executive, the trend now is for all but the most senior leaders to share the services of a single admin. As a recent article from the American Society of Administrative Professionals (ASAP) says, “managing the expectations of diverse personalities might prove frustrating at times.”

When that frustration results in missed deadlines or hurried work, it only makes the situation worse. Before you get caught in the middle of conflicting demands, the article says it’s up to you to work out the ground rules each time you’re assigned a new executive .

“Setting clear boundaries from the very beginning helps prevent future conflicts,” advises the ASAP. “Make sure they’re [the new addition] aware of the full scope of your role.”

Most executives will work with you, but, says the article, there will be times when a request comes in that you can’t handle either because someone else is responsible or you’re just jammed and won’t get to it in the time they want. That’s when you may need to diplomatically explain the situation, explaining when you will be able to deliver.

“Understand each executive’s priorities, so you can manage tasks related to them as urgently as possible whenever they recur,” the article suggests.

This is when having good communications with each executive you support is especially critical. Those boundaries you set should be translated into uniform procedures, sort of an operational plan that each person you support understands. “If everyone is on the same page, you’ll avoid inefficiencies associated with conflicting requests.”

It’s natural to gravitate toward the individuals with whom you work best. Playing favorites at the expense of another is the surest way to create a difficult work environment. So don’t, advises the ASAP. Be flexible.

“You need to give each executive equal treatment when performing assigned tasks. Even as you encourage uniform procedures, you must remember that each manager has a unique personality and needs. You might have to slightly tweak the approach you use to suit their preferred work style.”

Sometimes, despite all your best efforts, there will be conflicts. When you get conflicting directives, says the ASAP, “The best solution is to inform them of the incompatibility and let them solve it among themselves… The executives will ultimately appreciate your neutral stance as you demonstrate that you sit above petty office politics.”

Supporting multiple people can be a challenge. But it also can help you grow as a professional, giving you the opportunity to take on different projects and demonstrate your ability to handle anything.

Photo by Firmbee.com on Unsplash

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