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Happy Hiring Days!

As much as this time of year takes a deep dive into people’s wallets, it also offers them a chance to replenish the things. That’s thanks to the inflation to their employment rolls in which companies engage to address the seasonal rush.

And it’s a good thing, too.

A seasonal job can furnish you with new skills, networking opportunities, fresh references, and the ability to evaluate a company and work environment inside a temporary environment. Better still, seasonal work gives you a seasonal cash injection and it may well blossom into full-time employment.

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Here is some ho-ho-holiday help for finding temporary work over the next festive stretch.

  • Troll the Internet. Social media is an excellent means of keeping an ear to the ground about seasonal opportunities. Be sure to “like” and follow desirable employers on Facebook and Twitter to catch wind of their hiring plans.
  • Give ’em what they’re looking for. Because seasonal work is necessarily constrained by a window of time characterized by a rush of busy-ness, it’s critical to represent yourself as a quick learner who’s good under pressure. Punch up the parts of your resume that highlight that stuff and brush up on your abilities to convey these skills effectively in a quick-hit interview — probably the best you’ll get in a company’s hiring flurry.
  • Seek jobs that align with your career aspirations. While landing a job is your first priority, wouldn’t it be better still if you could find one in your ultimate field of employment? Let the hiring manager know up front you’re interested in permanent work — it’ll set you apart from other candidates.
  • Arrive at the interview prepared. You’ll be more likely to win the job if you show up with a working knowledge about the company and its products. So have a thorough scour of its website — with a particular focus on any recent announcements about the place — before presenting yourself in the flesh.
  • Look beyond the usual culprits. While retail and restaurant work still dominates the seasonal job market, there are lots of seasonal opportunities beyond those walls. Think delivery services, merchandisers, snow removers, winter recreation centres, transportation, the post office and supermarkets.
  • Remember remote seasonal options. Not every job that crops up during this time requires your on-site presence. Some employers also light a fire under their virtual requirements, which means you might be able to secure work you can do from home. Companies could need to bulk up their customer service reps, for example, to help holiday shoppers and travelers navigate the season.
  • Forget the discount. Yes, seasonal employment might score you a break on a company’s products, but recruiters will be turned off by a candidate who hones in on this perk of his potential employment with them.
  • Stay on the seasonal track after it ends. So-called “seasonal hiring” is about more than Christmas. If you live near a ski hill, you can expect a boost in work till at least late March. And tax season is an employment entity unto itself, so be sure to knock on the doors of a few tax preparers while you’re in job-seeking mode.

Broadly speaking, retailers and restaurants look to ramp up staffing by about 15 percent between late November and early January. Getting a piece of this (mincemeat) pie is easy for folks who arm themselves appropriately and operate proactively.

Collaborative BI: A 411

Business intelligence is most intelligent, it turns out, when it’s applied in a collaborative fashion.

Collaborative BI is a not-that-new but still widely misunderstood approach to business intelligence and the data-driven decision-making that takes place under its umbrella.

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A combination of BI software and teamwork tools, collaborative BI has emerged in response to organizations’ wide-ranging failure to meaningfully utilize reporting and analytics. Here, collaboration is identified as the key to getting more out of this abundant and increasing data stash. And as businesses have expanded globally and upped their mobile workforce, the need for effective means of working together has become even more pronounced.

Just the same, BI remains a fairly solitary undertaking. Data-rich processes and applications mostly take place in isolation of one another, and interaction between individuals and departments in pursuit of problem-solving and decision-making is not encouraged.

But collaborative BI is powered by the philosophy that anyone — anywhere and at any time — should be able to share content and contribute to discussions. By exploiting social networking’s best features, it establishes a corporate environment that facilitates group brainstorming. Specifically, it tackles complex decisions by marrying information gleaned from BI software with the latest social media collaboration tools.

In this way, collaborative BI introduces a human element — think commenting, rating, bookmarking, tagging and sharing — to an otherwise data-heavy exercise. Smart tools on this front allow users, for example, to filter the most relevant data to the most relevant eyeballs, ensuring that information is both current and smartly targeted. Better decisions are the result.

And with better decisions, goes the deal, comes improved productivity, enhanced operational efficiencies, speedier responsiveness to business threats, upped employee satisfaction, faster time to market and better ROI.