Where Hiring Prospects Are Best
Looking for work? Then you might want to consider looking in San Rafael, Monterey or Sacramento. These are three Northern California communities with the greatest percentage of employers who plan to expand staffs in the last three months of the year. According to the latest survey by temporary staffing firm Manpower, 70 percent of San Rafael employers plan to hire for new positions, followed by Monterey (50 percent) and Sacramento (48 percent). Other Bay Area communities where hiring should be robust include San Mateo (40 percent), Napa/Solano counties (37 percent), San Francisco (29 percent), Oakland (27 percent), and Santa Clara (20 percent). On the flip side, Contra Costa County might be an area to bypass for now since only 3 percent of employers plan to do any hiring. Stockton is almost as bleak, with only 10 percent saying they will add positions. Of the 14,000 businesses polled nationwide, 28 percent predicted they will be hiring new help.
Helpful Hints for Tough Interviews
You can successfully field any interview question that comes your way, according to CareerJournal.com. Being prepared and knowing how to direct the conversation to the topics you want to cover are the keys to a successful interview. "Most people don’t realize that they don’t need to wait for the right questions to be asked," explains Gail Griffin, general manager of the website. "Develop two or three key messages and make sure your points are delivered." Try to find out what the company is seeking and its key challenges. Learn as much as you can about a job’s responsibilities and the attributes the company wants before job interviews. From your research, you can determine what types of things a company might want to know about you. Think of corresponding anecdotes and make sure your answers demonstrate your potential value to the employer.
On the Job Front
NATIONWIDE – Finance and information technology workers should find steady employment opportunities in the last three months of the year. That’s according to a survey of hiring managers by Robert Half International, a staffing firm. Ten percent of information technology managers (particularly in the construction field) plan to add full-time staff, compared to 6 percent of finance managers.
BAY AREA – Workers in San Francisco and San Jose earn substantially more than the rest of the nation. According to a study by Mercer Human Resource Consulting, median salaries in the nation are $30,000, while the median is over $37,000 in both SF and San Jose. The larger the salary, the larger the variation. A $60K paycheck comes out to $72K in Silicon Valley. Of course, in most cases, the cost of living in the Bay Area more than offsets the greater pay.
BERKELEY – Elephant Pharmacy, an alternative-style outlet, plans to expand dramatically after securing $26 million in equity financing. New outlets are planned in Los Altos and Walnut Creek and the company is also scouting sites in Oakland, San Francisco, Santa Rosa, Pasadena and other Southern California cities. According to its CEO, Elephant could be looking at 300 stores nationwide.
DIXON – Thanks in large part to growing Internet sales, Gymboree Corporation – designer, maker and retailer of children’s clothing – is expanding its operations. The company plans to gradually hire several additional call center and distribution staffers.
MILPITAS – Phoenix Technologies is trimming its staff to 403, a 14-percent cut. The move comes after the security software maker downgraded its projections for fourth-quarter profits from $14.5 million to as low as $8 million.
RANCHO CORDOVA – IndyMac Bancorp has added 80 employees and moved into larger offices. The local operation underwrites, funds and supports mortgage sales.
SACRAMENTO – Sutter Health plans to open six medical clinics inside area Rite Aid drugstores by the end of the year . . . QuickHealth Inc, a Burlingame operation, will open a retail health clinic in a local Wal-Mart by the spring . . . The state office of Real Estate Design reportedly has openings for leasing agents, space planners and architects to manage millions of square feet. According to the state’s private leasing agent, Cornish & Carey Commercial, the openings have not been filled because people in the private sector do not know about them . . . Center Court with C Webb – a restaurant started by the former Kings star Chris Webber – has started hiring at its office, 3600 North Freeway Blvd . . . County health, welfare and technical staff returned to work last week after union and government negotiators reached agreement that ended a two-week walkout by 4000 employees. No details on the agreements were revealed. Negotiations involving up to 3000 other county workers are ongoing . . . Copeland Sports is closing two stores, one downtown and the other in Carmichael.
European Workers Have It Worse
If you think you have it stressful at work, be glad you’re not in Europe. A Kelly Services survey has found that European workers (27 percent) are more likely than their American counterparts (11.7 percent) to describe their work as extremely stressful. "Workplaces can be viewed in both a positive and negative light," notes Carl Camden, CEO of Kelly Services. "Many workers seek challenge in their jobs, and stress can be seen as a positive factor indicating important and responsible tasks. However, workplace stress can also be associated with a demanding boss, lack of personal control, fatigue, and poor relationships with workplace colleagues." Contributing to stress levels were long hours and excessive workloads. For their part, American workers are "finding a way to strike a manageable life-work balance," according to Camden.