Three Ways to Prioritize Your Inbox

September 27th, 2017

The average American worker spends six hours per day or more than 30 hours per week checking email, according to a 2015 survey conducted by Adobe Systems. If email has taken over your life, it’s time to get a handle on your inbox.

As Seattle recruiters, the Accountingpros Recruiting + Staffing team knows a thing or two about email. Use these tips to prioritize your inbox, so you can spend more time doing actual work.

Get Rid of Unnecessary Clutter

It’s hard to navigate an inbox filled with junk. Delete emails you no longer need to make space for new ones. Archive messages you’ve already responded to, but want to keep. Lower the volume of incoming emails by taking the time to unsubscribe from newsletters and other automated mailers you don’t read anyway.

When your inbox is filled with fewer distractions, it’s a lot easier to get in and get out. A tidy inbox will allow you not to feel overwhelmed every time you log in.

Create Inbox Filters

Every email you receive doesn’t have to be read right away. Create filters to automatically send certain messages to specific folders. For example, if you’re on a list to receive a daily performance email you only sometimes need, direct it to a certain folder. This way it won’t clog up your inbox and you’ll know exactly where to look to find it. Make as many folders as you like, as long as you can keep track of what’s inside them.

Tackle Your Inbox Head-on

Some emails require an immediate response, while others can wait awhile, or need none at all. When checking email, open all messages to see what’s requested. If you need to reply and it will only take you a few minutes, do so right away. Divide the rest of the messages that need a reply, but will take longer to craft into two categories — time-sensitive and not time-sensitive.

Reply to those of an urgent manner as soon as possible. Schedule time later in the day or the next — if you’re really busy — to reply to the others.

If you’re hiring accounting or finance talent in the Seattle area, team up with Accountingpros Recruiting + Staffing. Our skilled recruiting managers are here to fill your open positions with the best and brightest temporary/contract, contract-to-hire, and direct-hire professionals in the Northwest. Contact us today to get started!

Have Some Feedback for a Coworker? Here’s How to Give It Properly and Professionally

September 20th, 2017

When given properly, peer-to-peer feedback can be a great way to learn and grow. You spend all day working alongside your colleagues, so you have first-hand knowledge of areas they excel and others that could use some improvement.

Some people genuinely enjoy well-intentioned advice, while others don’t take it quite as well. For best results, your comments need to be delivered in a professional, non-judgmental manner, so your message doesn’t get misinterpreted.

Follow these tips from Accountingpros Recruiting + Staffing — one of the top accounting recruiting agencies — to give your feedback in a manner that will stick.

Tailor Your Delivery

The impact of your feedback is largely determined by the delivery. If the person feels attacked, they’ll immediately become defensive, instead of listening to what you have to say. Avoid this by highlighting behaviors, not traits. For example, instead of telling someone they’re lazy, say you’ve noticed they haven’t been putting as much time into projects as the rest of the team.

Provide Specific Examples

Self-reflection is difficult for many people, so make your point loud and clear by offering exact instances of the behaviors in question. For example, if your feedback involves your colleague’s know-it-all behavior, provide an example or two of a time they dismissed other employees’ opinions without merit.

Don’t Forget the Positives

No one enjoys being barraged by negative feedback. Give the conversation a positive spin by mentioning a few things you think your colleague is doing really well. This will show the person you’re not out to bring them down, but simply want to help them become their very best self.

Give the Person a Chance to Respond

Being talked at without a chance to defend yourself isn’t fun. Give your coworker the opportunity to explain the bad behavior(s) in question. Turning your critique into a conversation will allow the two of you to work toward finding a resolution together. You can’t expect to get very far with a one-sided discussion, so this will open the lines of communication.

If you’re searching for an accounting or finance job in Seattle, Accountingpros Recruiting + Staffing wants to help. Contact us today to find a temporary/contract, contract-to-hire, or direct-hire opportunity with a top local employer.

How Can You Invest Time Now to Ensure Long-Term Career Success?

September 13th, 2017

The actions you take today will impact your career tomorrow, so it’s important to make wise decisions. Instead of simply focusing on the now, set your sights on where you want to be five, 10, and even 20 years down the road.

Accountingpros Recruiting + Staffing — one of the top Seattle accounting temp agencies — suggests investing time in the following four activities now, to ensure a bright future.

Build Relationships

Surrounding yourself with the right people is imperative to your long-term success. Having the right connections can get you far in business, so take the time to establish relationships with your peers. At work, focus on getting to know like-minded colleagues willing to invest the time and energy to climb the corporate latter. Externally, join at least one professional association and attend as many events as possible to expand your network.

Learn Everything You Can

Take advantage of every learning opportunity made available to you, even if it doesn’t currently relate to your job. Knowledge is power, so the more well-rounded your expertise, the better. Attend all training sessions, conferences, seminars, and lunch-and-learns on your radar to soak up every bit of information that could be helpful in the future.

Find Your Passion

It’s hard to achieve long-term success in a job you hate. Be honest with yourself about your true skills and interests, and use this to embark on a truly fulfilling career path. You won’t achieve your personal best unless you’re doing something you’re passionate about. If you discover you’re not in the right job, this will be a minor setback, but ultimately, taking the time to get on the right path now will allow you to achieve greater success in the future.

See the Bigger Picture

Most people focus on short-term wins — i.e., responding to the boss’s email the fastest or intermittently volunteering to work late on a project — and while these are great, they won’t catapult you to the top. If you want to stand out from the crowd, focus on time-intensive projects that don’t have an immediate payoff. This might involve instituting a major overhaul of the company’s accounts receivable process or streamlining month-end activities.

If you’re ready to take the next step in your accounting or finance career, allow Accountingpros Recruiting + Staffing to guide your search. Our expert recruiters take pride in connecting top talent like you with leading Seattle employers. If you’re ready to find a great new job, contact us today to get started!

Taking the Steps to Improve Performance Evaluations

September 6th, 2017

When properly conducted, performance reviews are a valuable tool that help employees learn and grow. If your company doesn’t have the best process in place for these evaluation, take the time to make the necessary adjustments.

Accountingpros Recruiting + Staffing — one of the leading accounting temp agencies in the Seattle area — shares five tips to help make your performance evaluation process more effective than ever.

Provide Training for Managers

Most people don’t have the innate ability to give a great performance review, so get your managers up to speed by providing training. This is especially crucial for new managers, but even those who have been leading teams for years can always use a brush up.

Create S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Reviewing past performance is a key part of a yearly evaluation, but goal setting is even more important. Work with each person to create S.M.A.R.T. — specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, time-bound — goals that clearly define your expectations. This will make it easy to evaluate each person’s progress in the year to come.

Follow a Set Schedule

Some employers conduct performance reviews on each person’s anniversary with the company, but that can get confusing. It’s much easier to make sure evaluations are given in a timely manner and equate individual performance to organizational goals when all reviews are completed during the same time period.

Meet With Employees Throughout the Year

It’s unreasonable to think meeting with an employee for an hour or so annually is an effective way to evaluate their performance. A formal review might only take place once per year, but you should meet with each person on a quarterly basis — at minimum — to check in and see how things are going. This will allow you to better keep tabs on their performance throughout the year and make any necessary adjustments to their goals.

Consider Implementing 360 Degree Reviews

Managers aren’t privy to every aspect of an employee’s performance, so 360-degree reviews can be very helpful. In this type of evaluation, managers solicit feedback from each person’s subordinates, direct peers, and even a self-evaluation from the employee to gain a well-rounded prospective. This information makes it possible to conduct an evaluation that isn’t one-sided, which is much more helpful to the person.

Need to fill an accounting or finance position at your Seattle area company? Accountingpros Recruiting + Staffing has you covered. Hire with confidence by contacting us today!