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Tips to Be an Effective Listener for Your Contract Employees

 

Do you want to develop better relationships and improve productivity among your contract employees? Would you like to reduce misunderstandings and conflicts as well?

One of the best ways to accomplish these objectives is by actively listening. This involves consciously understanding the words your contract employees use and the message they provide. It also includes checking your understanding before replying.

Actively listening during conversations builds trust and credibility between you and your contract employees. The more you learn from these conversations, the more you can show you want to understand and support your contract employees.

Contract employees who feel listened to and respected typically perform their best. They also are likely to want to return to your company for future opportunities after the end of their contracts.

Implement these tips to more effectively listen to your contract employees.


Give the Speaker Your Complete Attention

Focus entirely on what your contract employee is saying.

  • Look at the person who is talking.
  • Pay attention to the speaker’s body language to determine how they may feel.
  • Mentally repeat the words you are hearing.
  • Focus on the words and emotions being shared.
  • Ignore the distractions around you.
  • Wait until the speaker is done to reply.

Display Proper Body Language

Show you are engaged in what the contract employee is discussing.

  • Maintain an open, interested posture.
  • Smile and use other expressions.
  • Nod and gesture when appropriate.
  • Include “yes,” “uh huh”, and other verbal comments.

Clarify Your Understanding

Reflect on what you believe your contract employee is telling you.

  • Paraphrase with “It sounds like you are saying…” or “What I am hearing is…” to ensure you understand the message.
  • Periodically sum up the speaker’s comments.
  • Ask questions to gather additional information.
  • Remain non-judgmental and patient.
  • Manage your emotions.

Reply Appropriately

Be open, honest, and candid with your response.

  • Take a moment to think before you speak.
  • Stay open-minded and patient as you consider different aspects of the situation.
  • Remain clear, empathetic, and respectful.
  • Be open to further discussion.

Looking for Contract IT Employees?

Contact RightStone to fill your contract IT staffing needs. Reach out today.


How to Highlight Contract Work on Your Resume

 

The inclusion of contract work on your resume helps show you have the education, skills, and experience needed to be successful in a role. This can help you stand out among all the other candidates.

Engagement in contract work demonstrates your ability to quickly adapt to new environments and begin producing. It also helps eliminate potential gaps between full-time jobs.

Follow these guidelines to include contract work on your resume.


Use a Reverse-Chronological Order

Begin listing your work experience with your most recent position first. For your contract work, include the name of the staffing firm, its location, the name of the company you worked at, your position title, and the duration of the contract. For each full-time job, list the name of the company, its location, your job title, and the duration of your employment. Then, work backward for the past 10 years.

Listing each position helps provide a cohesive picture of your work experience. It also helps hiring managers understand what your background is like.

Another option is to list your contract work by industry. You can organize your work under one heading, such as a staffing firm, to ensure continuity. This helps show the relevance of each position to the job you want.

In either case, clarify the staffing firm you worked for, the companies you worked at, and the contract positions you held. This shows that the staffing firm was your employer and you held multiple contract positions through them. Including the names of the companies you worked at can increase your authority in the industry.

Emphasize Your Accomplishments

Include your achievements for each contract position or job. This shows the value you added to each organization.

Use numbers to quantify your benefits for each employer. Show how you helped each company make or save money or increase efficiency. This indicates how you can provide value for your next employer.

Highlight Your Skills

Point out the skills you gained from each contract position or job. Be sure to review the job posting to determine which keywords and requirements to focus on. Include your skills that are most relevant to the job you are applying for. This helps your resume get past an applicant tracking system (ATS) and to a hiring manager.

Get Help with Your Job Search

Partnering with a recruiter from RightStone provides you with resume and interview coaching and other job search assistance. Get started by visiting our job board today.


Tips for Achieving Work-Life Balance

 

Work-life balance is your prioritization of the time and energy committed to your professional and personal responsibilities. How you divide your time depends on what best fits your needs on a given day.

Work-life balance typically does not mean an equal balance of your responsibilities. As your priorities change, how you balance your commitments typically changes as well.

Your ability to achieve the work-life balance that is right for you helps increase your motivation, engagement, and productivity. The better able you are to find a healthy balance between your professional and personal life, the happier and healthier you should be.

The maintenance of work-life balance is especially important if your work arrangement is remote or hybrid. It can be challenging to enforce set work hours when your teammates and manager are not present to encourage you not to work during the early morning or late-night hours. This is why you must enforce boundaries for your work hours. The rest of your time needs to be spent on yourself and your family members.

Implement these tips to better manage your work-life balance.


Limit Nonessential Activities

Maintain a schedule of your most productive tasks as much as possible. The prioritization of the tasks that need to be finished increases the odds that they get done when planned.

Spend a small amount of time on your less important activities. These typically include checking your personal email, browsing social media, and surfing the internet. You can make time for these activities during your non-work hours.

Learn to Say No

Turn down the projects and activities you do not have time for. This may include social requests such as coworker parties that you have little interest in.

If you agree to take on everything that is asked of you, you likely will begin to feel overwhelmed. Your increasing workload and social activities can take away time from your core responsibilities or the personal activities that mean the most. This can result in increased stress and decreased productivity.

When asked to take on additional work, check whether there is room for it in your schedule. If not, explain to your manager why you cannot help out. Be sure to thank them for considering you.

Manage Your Stress

Schedule time to participate in activities that reduce stress. This may include yoga, meditation, running, reading, or working out.

Participation in activities you enjoy helps take your mind off work. It also can improve your mood and health. The better you manage your stress, the more engaged and productive you likely will be.

Regularly eat healthy foods. This helps strengthen your immune system and reduce your blood pressure.

Get 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Your body needs time to mentally and physically rest. You should wake up energized and productive.

Find a New Job

If you need a new IT job that offers better work-life balance, let RightStone help with your search. Visit our job board today.


3 Reasons IT Professionals Should Consider Switching to Contract Work

In 2018, one in five U.S. jobs was a contract job, and the number continues to grow. By 2030, half of all workers could work on temporary contracts rather than a permanent basis.

An increasing number of IT jobs also fall in this category, and if you’re currently in a full-time role or looking for one, you might wonder if a contract job might suit you better.

Here’s when and why you should consider switching to contract work.

You Want a Pay Raise

The best way to get a pay raise in today’s economy is to get a new job. And one of the surefire ways to make sure the salary bump is more than negligible is to take on a contract.

Contract jobs pay roughly 20% more than full-time employment for two reasons. First, a contractor won’t get the same benefits. Though benefits vary by agency and contract, and we’ll come back to that later. Second, paying contractors looks different on a balance sheet than paying employees. Unlike employees, contractors aren’t a “fixed cost,” so clients are more willing to spend more even if they keep the contractor around as long as an employee.

You Are Returning to the Job Market

Getting your foot in the door for a permanent position can be tough if you have a gap in your employment history. Whether you are a new grad or returning to work after several years, employers still tend to overlook you for candidates already in a similar role.

Contract roles come with no strings attached, which makes it easier to step into them if your employment history works against you, in part because employers (and investors) see investing in contractors differently than a permanent employee, who costs more in the long run.

You Want to Specialize

It’s not uncommon to see a permanent IT post come with the responsibilities of an entire IT department in one role. Hiring managers want to get the most bang for their buck for permanent staff. If that expectation doesn’t appeal to you, then a contract job may suit you well.

Employers tend to bring on contractors for specific and often specialist roles. If you want to increase your knowledge and experience in areas like cybersecurity, data center management, or ERP, you may find you have more opportunities as a contractor.

Becoming a consultant can open up a whole new world of work for many IT professionals.

Are you looking for your next role?

Visit our jobs board and get in touch to learn more about how we place IT consultants with the perfect client.


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