5 Tips for Conducting a Successful Virtual Interview

5 Tips for Conducting a Successful Virtual Interview

 

LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS

 

5 TIPS FOR CONDUCTING A SUCCESSFUL VIRTUAL INTERVIEW

5 tips for conducting a successful virtual interview

katy doyle, recruiter

 

Before 2020, in-person interviews were by far the most common way of getting to know job applicants. Of course, once COVID-19 broke out, virtual interviews quickly became the order of the day — and remain so for many companies worldwide. 

It is true that there are several unique challenges associated with virtual interviews — both for the interviewer and the interviewee. However, with some forethought and preparation, you can make your virtual interview a smashing success. Here are five tips to keep in mind.

 

1. Dress for the Occasion

Even though you are not meeting in person, it is still important to dress as you would for any job interview. If you are the interviewer, you want to provide a good first impression of the company; and if you are the applicant, you want to provide a good first impression of yourself. With that in mind, make sure that your clothes are neat and presentable, your hair is clean and well-arranged, and your body language indicates attentiveness and professionalism (no slouching, please!)

In addition, it may be a good idea to practice looking at — and talking to — your computer’s camera. This is how you make “eye contact” during a virtual interview, and it can be a subtle but powerful way to enhance that first impression further. If need be, practice with a friend or family member beforehand to get comfortable with this habit.

 

2. Make Good Use of Backgrounds and Framing

If you cannot find an attractive space around your home, you may need to explore virtual backgrounds for your interview. Both Zoom and Microsoft Teams have professional-looking backgrounds that you can use. Again, it is a good idea to do a practice run with your background of choice before logging on for the interview — especially if you have not used these virtual backgrounds before. Check that your lighting is good, your face and body do not blend into the background, and your Wi-Fi connection is strong.

Also, it is good to remember that your framing plays a key role in conveying a professional appearance. If your framing is too high (i.e., part of your head is “cut off”), too low (it looks like you are “stuck in a box”), or positioned at the wrong angle (the other participant is looking up your nose), the other party will likely be distracted. You may leave a less than favorable impression on your audience.

 

3. Minimize Distractions

Working from home comes with its fair share of distractions. Do everything within your power to reduce (or eliminate) those distractions during your virtual interview.

For example, you may need to let your family members know about the interview well in advance and have them stay in another part of the home during the session. You may need to put away pets or have someone else watch them for a while. A quiet, private room with a door you can close would be preferable.

 

4. Come Prepared

You always want to come to a job interview as prepared as possible. This holds true for virtual interviews as well. For instance, if you are the applicant, you may want to come armed with a list of questions for the interviewer. Of course, if you are the interviewer, you will want to take notes on the answers that the applicant provides.

 

5. Find Common Ground

It can be hard to connect on a personal level during a virtual interview since so much of human communication is built upon body language and other non-verbal cues. Still, you can do your part to make the interview less “robotic” and more enjoyable. Perhaps the single best thing to do in this regard is to look for common ground. Engage in a little small talk. Keep the interview relaxed and conversational. When both the recruiter and the applicant are at ease, the flow of the interview will go much smoother.

If you would like more helpful tips on how to conduct a successful virtual interview, reach out to our friendly team of experts at Lutz Talent today. You can also view our current opportunities or learn more about related topics by visiting our blog.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

402.763.2976

kdoyle@lutz.us

LINKEDIN

KATY DOYLE + RECRUITER

Katy Doyle is a Recruiter at Lutz Talent with over nine years of experience in the recruiting industry. Her primary responsibility is placing candidates for Lutz Talent clients, as well as filling internal roles at Lutz. Doyle specializes in search and staffing for accounting and finance positions.

AREAS OF FOCUS
  • Recruiting
  • Accounting and Finance Industry
  • Networking

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Lutz Announces 2021 Shareholder and Director Promotions

Lutz Announces 2021 Shareholder and Director Promotions

 

LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS

 

Lutz announces 2021 shareholder and director promotions

Lutz, a Nebraska-based business solutions firm, recently announced its shareholder and director promotions for 2021.

SHAREHOLDER

Chris Bouchard

Chris Bouchard has been promoted to Talent Shareholder in Lutz’s Omaha office. He has been a prominent presence in the Omaha talent search market for the past 20 years and leads Lutz’s talent division. Bouchard focuses on direct-hire and temporary staffing and strategic assessment and selection of potential candidates with an emphasis on human resources, accounting, finance, and office administrative positions.

Ben Burton

Ben Burton, CPA, has been promoted to Tax Shareholder. Over the years, Ben has been a cultural leader at Lutz, active in developing our tax staff. His primary focus is providing income and state and local tax services to corporations, partnerships, and individuals. In addition, he specializes in trust and estate consulting and compliance. Burton works in Lutz’s Omaha office.

Ben Burton

Joe Donovan, CPA, has been promoted to Tax Shareholder in Lutz’s Omaha office. Joe is known for his ability to provide top-notch client service along with efficient project management and staff development. He primarily focuses his time on tax compliance, research, and consulting assistance to privately held companies in various industries, including real estate development and construction.

Jenna Grenier

Jenna Grenier, CPA, has been promoted to Tax Shareholder. She is a member of the Central Executive Committee and a key contributor to the tax operations of Central Nebraska. She focuses on providing tax and consulting services to privately held companies and their owners. Grenier works in Lutz’s Grand Island office.

Aaron Hoffman

Aaron Hoffman, CPA, has been promoted to Tax Shareholder in Lutz’s Omaha office. He is a go-to member for QuickBooks and small business accounting in addition to his strengths in serving clients and solving problems. He provides tax planning, research, compliance, and consulting services to privately held companies focusing on the real estate and construction industries.

Aaron Hoffman

John Kampfe, CPA, has been promoted to Tax Shareholder. He serves many of Lutz’s largest and most complex clients and is known for his technical expertise. His primary responsibilities include providing tax planning, research, and consulting services to privately held businesses and individuals. Kampfe works in Lutz’s Omaha office.

Julianne Kipple

Julianne Kipple, CPA, has been promoted to Healthcare Shareholder in Lutz’s Omaha office. She provides an elevated level of technical expertise to the healthcare clients she serves. Her expertise is in accounting and consulting services for healthcare facilities, including outsourced CFO services, Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement, and Medicaid Disproportionate Share Surveys (DSH).

DIRECTOR

Adam Austin

Adam Austin, CPA, has been promoted to Tax Director. He brings several years of experience to the Omaha/Lincoln tax practice. His commitment to mentoring and developing staff has proven to be invaluable. He is responsible for providing tax consulting and compliance services to individuals, partnerships, and corporations focusing on the healthcare, manufacturing, and agriculture industries. Austin works in Lutz’s Omaha office.

Clarke Beller

Clarke Beller, CPA, has been promoted to Audit Director in Lutz’s Omaha office. He has been integral in the construction practice from both a niche management and production standpoint. Clarke exemplifies the say-it-straight mentality, which both clients and team member’s respect. He specializes in providing auditing and consulting services to privately held companies and employee benefit plans with a focus on the construction industry.

Katie Byrd

Katie Byrd, CPA, has been promoted to Audit Director. She is heavily involved in several of the firm’s complex clients and does a tremendous job solving their problems. She provides assurance services to businesses focusing on the retail, service, manufacturing, nonprofit, and franchise industries. In addition, Katie assists with transaction advisory services and employee benefit plans. Byrd works in Lutz’s Omaha office.

Kirk Delperdang

Kirk Delperdang has been promoted to Healthcare Director in Lutz’s Omaha office. Kirk brings many years of experience, excellent client relationships and advanced technical knowledge to the healthcare department. He provides healthcare enrollment services to clients with a focus on Medicare providers and reimbursement analyses. In addition, he is responsible for leading Lutz’s cost report service line.

Nick Hall

Nick Hall, CFP, has been promoted to Director in Lutz Financial. He has a deep technical background in financial planning. He specializes in creating thorough, adaptive financial plans and investment management strategies for high-net-worth families. Hall works in Lutz’s Omaha office.

Sarah James

Sarah James, CPA, has been promoted to Tax Director in Lutz’s Hastings office. She is highly technical and has proven that she can take the lead and build solid relationships through her service and delivery. She is responsible for providing income tax planning, consulting and compliance for individuals and closely-held businesses.

Josh Jenkins

Josh Jenkins, CFA, has been promoted to Chief Investment Officer. He specializes in assisting clients with portfolio construction, asset allocation, and investment risk management. He is also responsible for portfolio trading, research and thought leadership as well as analytics and operational efficiency for the Firm’s Financial division. Jenkins works in Lutz’s Omaha office.

Jake Klabenes

Jake Klabenes, CPA, has been promoted to Audit Director in Lutz’s Hastings office. He specializes in audits of governmental agencies, specifically housing authorities, with additional experience in not-for-profit entities and low-income housing tax credit projects. In addition, he has been a pivotal contributor to the Central Nebraska assurance department through managing scheduling and implementing processes. 

Matt Longenecker

Matt Longenecker has been promoted to Tech Director. Throughout his six-year career at Lutz, Matt has built a reputation for solving problems no one else can. He is responsible for meeting with outsourced IT clients to develop a plan to resolve their technical issues. This includes designing a solution plan, presenting a proposal, and managing the technical support staff to implement the project. Longenecker works in Lutz’s Omaha office.

Alex Lutz

Alex Lutz has been promoted to Tech Director in Lutz’s Omaha office. He is responsible for technology and data analytics consulting, service and technical escalations, as well as building processes and procedures to improve the quality of service on the MSP helpdesk. During his 9 years at Lutz, Alex has emerged as a leader with a rare combination of technical, operational, and cultural skills. 

Steve Nebbia

Steven Nebbia, CPA, has been promoted to Consulting Director in Lutz’s Omaha office. He is responsible for providing business and analytics consulting as well as tax consulting and compliance. Steven plays a vital role in overseeing tax operations and department changes. He uncovers critical data for decision-making, including implementing automation for tax processes using Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

Jonathan Patent

Jonathan Patent, CPA, has been promoted to Tax Director in Lutz’s Lincoln office. He provides tax compliance and consulting services to clients with a focus on the construction and real-estate industries. In addition, Jonathan provides tax research and multi-state tax compliance services. Patent also plays a vital role in recruiting and staff development initiatives within the firm. 

Dan Sweeney

Dan Sweeney has been promoted to Tax Director in Lutz’s Hastings office. He is often called on as a resource when highly technical issues arise, creating challenges and opportunities for our clients. He focuses on several areas, including tax preparation and planning for individuals, businesses, and estates and trusts. His experience also includes international tax and tax research.

Ryan Wade

Ryan Wade has been promoted to Tech Director. His primary responsibility is to manage the software solutions practice, including team administration, client relationship management and consulting on CRM and ERP strategy and solutions. Ryan is also the lead on Lutz’s online client portal, Threadworks. He oversees the design, development and implementation of the software internally and externally. Wade works in Lutz’s Omaha office and is active in the Omaha community. He is currently the Chair of the Nebraska Tech Collaborative.

Chris Wagner

Chris Wagner has been promoted to Director of Retirement Plan Services in Lutz Financial. He specializes in providing company and corporate retirement plan consulting and investment advisory services. Under his direction, Lutz Financial’s retirement plan division has grown to provide consulting and investment advisory services to more than 100 companies. Wagner works in Lutz’s Omaha office.

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Making a Career Change + Tips from the Experts

Making a Career Change + Tips from the Experts

 

LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS

 

Making a Career Change + Tips from the Experts

Changing careers is not always an easy decision. However, for some, it’s a necessary one. You may consider a new job if you are feeling dissatisfied at work, uninterested in your duties, making a life change, lacking new challenges in your role, among other reasons. Whatever the cause, given the time you spend at work, it’s crucial to enjoy what you do and the culture you belong to.

“The word career vs. job is important to understand the difference. A Job to me is something that pays the bills, and a career is something you can’t wait to get up in the morning and go to.” – Talent Shareholder, Chris Bouchard

In this video, Jack Moylan and Chris Bouchard of Lutz help you understand why you should consider changing careers, when it’s time to act on that decision, and what’s most important to look for in your next role. If you have any questions or would like to consult with a member of our Lutz Talent team, feel free to contact us directly.

ready to make a career change?

Contact us to discuss opportunities!

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Torn Between Job Offers? 4 Things to Consider

Torn Between Job Offers? 4 Things to Consider

 

LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS

 

TORN BETWEEN JOB OFFERS? 4 THINGS TO CONSIDER

torn between job offers? 4 things to consider

melissa adams, client relations lead

 

About 30 percent of human life is spent working. Therefore, it is important to choose the right career for yourself. When you have two job offers on the table, choosing the right one to accept can be challenging. To make an informed decision, you need to have complete information about both offers to compare them objectively. But how will you ensure you make the right choice? Below are a few things to consider.

 

How Does the Job Align with Your Long-Term Career Goals?

As a professional, you should establish goals that explain how you intend to progress in your career. Your employer can play a major role in supporting you to achieve these goals. As such, you should consider what each company can do for you. When comparing job prospects, be sure to pick the one that better aligns with your long-term career goals.

Choose a job that will challenge you to work hard and grow. A position that holds promise will not only offer stimulating assignments but also demand excellence. A results-driven focus can motivate you to grow beyond your current skill set. In the end, the job will contribute towards making you a better professional overall.

Your job should also offer opportunities for growth, whether through mentorship, educational opportunities, or professional exposure. Such opportunities will enable you to learn new skills and become an expert in your field.

 

Weigh Salary with Work-Life Balance

There is no doubt that salary is an important consideration when choosing between two jobs. However, you should not let this blind you. Find fulfillment by assessing the culture of each workplace. Working for an organization with a clear purpose will give you a sense that you are doing something meaningful.

The right position will also encourage a healthy work-life balance. As much as you may love your job, it is important to also enjoy life outside of work. Consider choosing a job that offers flexibility in terms of your work schedule. This will allow you to meet your family obligations, engage in your hobbies and explore other endeavors.  

 

Compare Your Two Prospective Managers

Your manager will have a significant impact on your experience at work. A good manager will help you transition into your new role, serve as a mentor, motivate you, and offer constructive feedback. This will contribute to a healthy work environment and ensure continuous professional growth.

The interview will present you with an opportunity to meet your future boss. When comparing two job offers, you should assess your experience with each company. This includes details like how the interview made you feel, whether the interviewers were ready to answer your questions, and how timely and responsive the employer was. Make sure you pay attention to what matters to you most. Generally, you will want to ensure that you get along with your prospective manager.

 

Go with Your Gut 

Once you have done your research and compared offers, you will be in a great position to make a sensible decision. However, be sure to consider what your instincts are telling you. Every new role comes with its fair share of risks, so trust yourself and take the leap.

In the end, the job you choose should fit your personality, enable you to make a positive difference, and bring you satisfaction. At Lutz, we are dedicated to helping you find positions at great companies where you can thrive. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or check out our current job opportunities

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

402.827.2065

madams@lutz.us

LINKEDIN

MELISSA ADAMS + CLIENT RELATIONS LEAD

Melissa Adams is a Client Relations Lead at Lutz Talent with over 14 years of experience in the recruiting industy. She is responsible for assisting the talent team in managing client accounts, as well as developing new client/candidate relationships. Adams specializes in search and staffing for accounting and finance positions.

AREAS OF FOCUS
  • Client Account Management
  • Client/Candidate Relationship Development
  • Accounting & Finance Industry
EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND
  • BS, University of Nebraska, Omaha, NE

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Job Interviews During a Pandemic: What We’ve Learned

Job Interviews During a Pandemic: What We’ve Learned

 

LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS

 

JOB INTERVIEWS DURING A PANDEMIC: WHAT WE'VE LEARNED

Job Interviews During a Pandemic: What We’ve Learned

JANA STONE, talent sourcer

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has truly — and likely, permanently — upended the way we interview for jobs. Since March 2020, HR managers, recruiters, and candidates alike have had to adapt, performing interviews over the phone, via videoconferencing, or at a safe distance (with masks on).

This has come with a host of new challenges! At the same time, we have gained some valuable insights into the hiring process in general and conducting/attending job interviews. Here are five things that pandemic interviews have taught us:

1. It’s possible to have a completely virtual hiring process.

This came as a big surprise to many hiring managers over the last year or so. Granted, many companies had already transitioned to a completely virtual hiring process pre-COVID (think “gig companies” that hire remote workers, for example). However, the coronavirus outbreak forced many organizations that had previously been tied to “traditional” hiring/onboarding methods to rethink their approach.

Several recruiters were surprised at how easy it was to switch over to digital onboarding. The bottom line? Almost everything can be done 100% virtually, including key forms like the new hire’s W-4 and I-9! With the right tools and processes in place, you do not have to fret about hardcopy documents being signed and filed away like they were in the old days.

2. Candidates may have more flexibility in customizing their hiring process.

Before COVID-19, some organizations maintained a “take it or leave it” attitude when it came to their hiring process. In other words: “If you can’t come into our office and follow our onboarding procedures, then we can’t hire you.” This was sometimes the case even when the job opening was for a remote position.

Now, things have changed a bit. Many candidates—understandably worried about what COVID-related precautions prospective employers were taking—asked a lot of questions about what the hiring process would look like. Some candidates even asked to attend a virtual interview instead of an in-person one — even if the company was not offering that accommodation at first.

Many organizations responded with increased flexibility in their hiring process. The result? You as the candidate may have more of a say in what the interview process will look like for you.

3. How skilled (or unskilled) applicants are with technology will be more evident.

Ah, the wonderful world of Zoom! Virtual interviews have turned into a frustrating experience for some job candidates, but they have also offered a significant advantage for recruiters. Interviews conducted via a video conferencing platform can serve as a “barometer” for the applicant’s technological expertise (or lack thereof). After all, if the open position requires a certain level of familiarity with software programs and other technological tools, then the recruiter will be interested in seeing how candidates navigate their interview while using such a tool.

The takeaway for candidates? If your interview is going to be conducted via Zoom or another video conferencing platform, it is wise to get some practice time in before the main event. You want to present an air of professionalism and competence during the interview. Familiarizing yourself with the platform beforehand will help you to do just that.

4. Virtual communication is different than in-person communication.

This is just the reality of the situation. In-person communication is much more nuanced than its virtual counterpart and emphasizes subtle cues, such as those from body language. On the other hand, virtual communication contains its own “etiquette” and non-verbal cues. Here are just a couple examples:

  • It is important to be constantly mindful of the “mute/unmute” button. For example, forgetting to unmute yourself is a minor inconvenience in the grand scheme of things, but it can disrupt the flow of your conversation (especially if you are unsure how to unmute yourself at the beginning of the call).
  • Remember that your background and framing are key to conveying a professional appearance. A disorganized, dirty background will not win any points with a recruiter (and neither will a pet wandering through the background). Framing that is too high (the recruiter is looking up your nose) or too low (it looks like you are in a box) can also be very distracting. If your surroundings do not send the message you’d like to send in your interview, consider adding a virtual background prior to your call.

5. You can get a job without a handshake.

It’s true: a firm handshake and a confident gaze into the recruiter’s eye are actually not required to win a job. Who would have thought?

If you would like to learn more about the hiring process, or have any questions about our staffing services, contact our team at Lutz Talent today. If you are in the job market, be sure to explore our current opportunities as well. You can also find information on related topics by visiting our staffing blog.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jana Stone

402.769.7057

jstone@lutz.us

LINKEDIN

JANA STONE + TALENT SOURCER

Jana Stone is a Talent Sourcer at Lutz Talent with over three years of recruiting experience. She is responsible for interviewing and placing candidates for Lutz Talent clients. Jana focuses on the accounting, finance, office administration, and human resources industries.

AREAS OF FOCUS
  • Recruiting
  • Candidate Experience
  • Relationship Management
EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND
  • BS in Communications and Biblical Studies, Grace University, Omaha, NE

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6 Common Causes of Job Dissatisfaction and How To Overcome Them

6 Common Causes of Job Dissatisfaction and How To Overcome Them

 

LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS

 

6 COMMON CAUSES OF JOB DISSATISFACTION AND HOW TO OVERCOME THEM

6 common causes of job dissatisfaction and how to overcome them

Steve guenther, client relations manager 

At one point or another, we all have or will experience some form of job dissatisfaction. Whether you are not seeing eye to eye with your boss or experiencing frustration with a certain project, you are not alone. In fact, more than 50% of the United States employees find themselves in similar situations. The secret is knowing how to overcome these issues appropriately.

Job dissatisfaction can cause physical and mental health problems such as insomnia, excessive worrying, and even depression. Fortunately, finding a solution may be easier than you think. In this post, we explain the common causes of job dissatisfaction and potential ways to overcome them.

1. Career Growth and Advancement

Every employee wishes to see growth and advancement in their career. The opportunity to move up the ladder is motivating and can help significantly improve an employee’s performance.

If you are experiencing limited career growth, let your boss know that you would like to be included in the organization’s long-term plans. Start by setting clear and specific goals you wish to accomplish to reach the next level. Once you have these, set up a meeting with your supervisor to request their feedback. Ensure you follow up with your boss consistently to track your progress.

2. Work/Life Balance

An organization that understands the balance between work and home life is crucial. Taking lunch breaks and holiday allocations in full can help employees stay happy, refreshed, and productive.

However, not everyone is the same. Each employee must determine what work/life balance means to them. Then, they must plan how to achieve this while continuing to be productive at work.

3. Supervisor’s Support

Having a supportive boss plays a significant role in your job satisfaction. Unfortunately, not all managers have their employees’ best interests at heart. Some supervisors tend to be more concerned about the bottom line and may fail to give enough attention to people who directly impact them.

A manager who is more engaging and supportive offers their employees inspiration, appreciation, and motivation. If they lack the guidance you desire, be proactive and ask for a meeting with your boss to discuss your performance. It is important to be transparent about your feelings and describe how your boss can best support you.

4. Culture and Workplace Environment

Employees spend a substantial amount of their time at work. With this in mind, organizations must promote a positive environment and culture for the job to be fulfilling. Organizations can take action by organizing regular team lunches, team-building activities, and work parties to foster positive relationships among colleagues.

If you feel there is hope for improvement in work culture, you can wait for the situation to improve. But if there is no change, it may be time to update your resume and begin your job search.

5. Incentive or Compensation

Employees desire compensation and incentives that match their level of work. The feeling of being compensated fairly can increase satisfaction and the production of quality work.

If you feel your pay is below what you deserve, it is crucial that you first do your research to establish if this is true. Once you are through with the research and have comprehensive information on salary guidelines, find a time to meet with your supervisor. In this meeting, you can request their feedback on a possible pay raise.

6. Challenging Tasks

The tasks you perform can play a significant role in determining whether you will find satisfaction in your job. When you do meaningful tasks, you are likely to become more inspired and motivated, increasing your productivity.

Employees want to feel that they contribute to a company in a meaningful way but also have interest in their tasks. You may find that the tasks you are performing are not challenging enough at some point in your career. If this happens, ask your supervisor if there are any new or additional duties you can take on.

The Bottom Line

Take action to make your job fulfilling! Start a conversation with your supervisor to discover ways the company can help increase your level of job satisfaction. If you have any questions, please contact us. You can also learn more about our staffing services or view our current opportunities.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

402.763.2969

sguenther@lutz.us

LINKEDIN

STEVE GUENTHER + CLIENT RELATIONS MANAGER

Steve Guenther is a Client Relations Manager at Lutz Talent with over 20 years of experience in a hiring and managerial capacity, and more than five years in staffing/search. He is responsible for assisting clients through the hiring process by searching for and selecting potential candidates that will fit their current and future business needs. Steve focuses his efforts on the accounting, finance, human resources, and office administrative industries.

AREAS OF FOCUS
  • Recruiting & Search Services
  • Temporary Staffing
  • Direct Hire Placement
  • Client Account Managment
AFFILIATIONS AND CREDENTIALS
  • Predictive Index Analyst, Certified
  • Organization Analysis & Design, Certified
EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND
  • BA in Business Administration, Wayne State College, Wayne, NE
COMMUNITY SERVICE
  • Saint Columbkille Catholic Church, Parish Member, Volunteer

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