Blog Posts

RED FLAGS TO LOOK OUT FOR ON A RESUME


Screening resumes is one of the most tedious tasks for some business owners. You may put out one job for a Dispatcher or Receptionist position and get hundreds of resumes to review. The good news is that our Recruiters have screened thousands of resumes and have some things that they recommend that you look out for below.

EMPLOYMENTS GAPS

We like to say, “mind the gap”. If there are large unexplained employment gaps this might be a reason to be concerned. The most common reasons for employment gaps are going back to school, being a stay-at-home parent, and taking care of a loved one. If the candidate has great skills and you would still like to proceed you can address the employment gap via a simple phone screen. If there is no explanation for the gap, then that is definitely a red flag!

JOB-HOPPING

Be mindful of applicants that change jobs frequently. This might mean that they will likely not stay very long with your company as well. Experts say that a minimum of 2 years working for the same company is ideal. If the applicant is consistently moving to a new job after staying less than one year, then that is a definite red flag! Hiring and training a new employee costs time and money. Be sure to choose well!

INCOMPLETE RESUME

If you are looking at a resume and there is not adequate information included which tells you what the person did and the impact they had in their job, then you should pass on that applicant. We have come across resumes that have no employment dates, contact information, or even proper names. You want to consider applicants that take the time to fully include all of their work history rather than just have one sentence for each job they had. A fully complete resume implies that the applicant is serious about their job search.

POOR RESUME FORMATTING

A resume should be easy to read with one consistent font that isn’t too small or too large. In addition, it should be in chronological order of employment. A red flag is seeing the job they did 10 years ago first on their resume and the most recent job last. The list of their work history should be in reverse chronological order. The most recent jobs should be first. This is an indicator of not being aware of modern resume best practices and is a red flag.

NO RELEVANT EXPERIENCE

If you are looking to hire an experienced Service Technician and the applicant has only been a Bookkeeper, then that is a red flag. It is likely that they did not pay attention to the job that they applied for or only applied to fulfill a quota of jobs that they need to submit their application for.

9 WAYS TO START BEING A BETTER MANAGER TODAY!


We have all had an awesome manager who encouraged us to work harder, stay longer, and improve our skills to get the job done! On the contrary, we have also had managers that made waking up in the morning and heading to work feel like a chore. Have you wondered what sets those managers apart? Continue reading for tips on how to be a better manager today!

Build Relationships

Building a balanced and professional, yet personal, relationship with each member of your team is key! A great question to ask is simply “how are you doing?” You want to also actively listen. Then, the next time you see that person and remember an event they mentioned, for example that their parent was in the hospital or they were looking for a new apartment, follow up and ask them about it. That is how relationships are built. You do not always have to talk shop. Humanize before you professionalize! Another simple but very effective way to connect with your employee is to take them out for lunch on their first day. This simple gesture tells your employee that they matter, and first impressions last forever!

Lead by Example

To become a leader who your staff is willing to follow, be sure to lead by what you do and not only what you say. If you would like your employees to show up on time, be sure that you also show up on time for meetings. If you would like your employees to provide great customer service, be sure that you are not being rude to customers. Know that you are the standard and whether or not you are aware of it, your employees are looking to you for cues on what is acceptable.

Be Accessible

You do not want to always be the one to come up with solutions to problems since this may create an unhealthy dependency. However, after the training period you want to make sure that you let your employees know the best way to reach you. If your days are packed with meetings or work that requires intense focus, be sure to let them know that they should send you a quick note via email, virtual chatroom, or text. If you would prefer them to walk in, be sure to let them know. The thing to watch out for is letting them know that your door is always open yet being frustrated when they actually take you up on it; this would break trust. Be honest and communicate your desired communication method up front. In addition, share your schedule with your team so that they can know when you are free.

Celebrate Their Wins

Whether you are aware or not, your employees are working hard to impress you. They may not say it or show it, but when they do something that adds value to the team or achieve a goal, celebrate them by saying “good job” or “that is great!” Our celebratory word here at Recruit4Business is “WAHOO!” This positively impacts our corporate culture.

Do Not Micromanage

Be sure to read our blog post on micromanagement. The first thing you want to do is hire well. If you hire well then, you do not need to micromanage. Call us if you have any hiring needs! After you have oriented and trained your employee be sure to let them know that you are there if they need you yet trust them with the responsibilities you have given to them. Have systems in place to track their performance such as targeted metrics and customer satisfaction surveys so that you can coach them when needed. Micromanagement kills creativity and productivity so be sure to watch out for that.

Practice Self Care

There is nothing worse than having a grumpy and overworked boss. This just crushes your employees and causes everyone on the team to be stressed. Be sure to take vacation, enjoy hobbies outside of work, and spend quality time with those you love. A refreshed manager is a good manager. Set positive boundaries to foster a good work/life balance.

Give Honest Feedback

Too often we avoid having conversations that we think will be difficult. If you do this, do not worry because it is just human nature. Having honest conversations is a skill and like any skill it can be practiced and improved over time. The key to being able to give honest feedback is tied to our first point. You must have an established relationship. If your employee is connected and knows that you have their best interest in mind, they will be more open to feedback. Incorporate the employee in formulating a solution to the issue. Let them own it.

Accept Honest Feedback

A key trait of a good manager is being open to employee feedback. Some of the top managers in the world know that they are not perfect and look for ways to improve every day. Do not take feedback personally and dive into the feedback to learn more about yourself and the needs of the employee. For example, an employee might give you feedback that says that you are too demanding. Instead of becoming defensive or shutting down, examine your personal contribution to the issue. Also, ask questions to see what current and future implications this may have to the success of your team and the employee. Always look for opportunity to learn and grow.

Study Your Team

You should become an expert at knowing the abilities, personalities, aspirations, and even quirks of each member of your team. What is each team member good at? What motivates them? If you cue in to these traits you can unlock the key to positively impacting the efficiency and productivity of your team. Give each person an opportunity to shine at what they are good at! We have tools to help you with this process. Our Team Dynamics service utilizes advanced techniques and psychometrics to help your teams to work more effectively to improve your company’s performance. Call us at (877) 816-6649 to learn more!

We hope that these management tips help! Feel free to also follow us on social media to keep the conversation going!

WHAT DOES A RECRUITER LOOK ON A RESUME


Have you ever wondered what recruiters look for on a resume? Companies have limited time to recruit for positions that they need filled. On average, recruiters spend up to six seconds scanning a resume, looking for specific things to answer their main questions. That is not a lot of time! Knowing what to put on your resume to make you stand out would put you ahead of the large applicant pool. We asked our Recruiting Coach Marnie and she shared the top five must haves for putting together a resume.

  1. Your work history. Your resume is in essence the history of your work experience, skills, abilities, and education. Recruiters primarily want to know about your longevity and dependability in positions. These traits should be easy to see on your resume. Marnie says that the first thing recruiters are looking at is a proper sequence of employment. They do not have much time to spend so your jobs should be listed in reverse chronological order. This means that the job you have now, or your most recent job should be the first thing the recruiter sees. Do not list your oldest job first. This will cause them to have to fish through your resume to find your most recent position. You also want to include the name of each company and the month and year you started and ended. If it is the position that you are working at now, then you would put your starting date and “current” or “still employed” for ending date. Also bullet points should include the content of what you did at each job. These points include the duties you did every day. In addition, do not just include what you did at the company, but also include what you did for the company. Your achievements should be included. For example, a salesperson should list what their gross sales were, their growth percentages, if they brought in a specific amount of new accounts, etc.  If you were in accounting, for instance, you need to be specific. Did you do job costing, accounts receivable, accounts payable, processed on average 40 invoices a day? Be sure to also use key words found in the job ad as you write your work history. 
  1. Contact information. Your contact information should be at the top center or on the top left of your resume. Your name as it is stated on your driver license should be on your resume. If you go by a nickname, you can put that in parentheses as well. Marnie said that she cannot tell us how many resumes she sees every day that do not include full names or contain a number that is disconnected. It is also important not to use your current work email as your email address. Your email address should be professional as well; hotmama69@hotmail.com is not a professional email address handle. An inappropriate email address can cause you to not be selected to move forward. In addition, check your junk folder frequently if you are actively looking for a job. Remember to use a good working number with a voicemail that has been set up and avoid using your current work number. 
  1. Skills. Marnie indicated that she prefers a skill section over a professional summary. She said that professional summaries have a lot of fluffy information. A professional summary that says “I followed company procedures and provided customer service to the best of my ability” does not indicate much about your actual skills. Indicate what your hard skills are with a few of your soft skills and certifications. I.e. if you are an HVAC Service Tech then you would indicate that you have your EPA, if you are an Electrician include your license, if you are an Accountant include your degree, software programs used, and skills such as AR, AP, job costing, etc.  If you have the skills required for the job, make sure it is highlighted and it is on your resume right at the top in your skill section next to your soft skills. Soft skills include skills such as communication, public speaking, teamwork, problem solving, active listening, etc. These are things that cannot necessarily be taught, but that you personally bring to the table for the job. Do not put a hard skill or a soft skill on your resume that you are not a hundred percent comfortable and confident in. These are things that you are highlighting that you are proud of, not things you want to be. You might be asked about them in an interview. 
  1. Education. In most cases experience trumps education so do not worry if you do not have a college degree. That said, your high school diploma should only be listed if you graduated high school within the last five years. However, if you went to a trade/high school or you did two years of college credits in high school to obtain your AA degree you may include it as you obtained a focused degree or certification program. If you have a degree and went to a two or four year university be sure to include the name of the university, what your degree was in, and when you graduated. If you did not complete the program be sure to indicate that it was not finished. 
  1. Address gap and work history. If you took time off work for school or to take care of a family member it is helpful if you indicate your reason for a gap in your experience.  Also, include odd jobs that you may have had during those times. If you took on a temporary job while searching for a new one, indicate that as those skills may be transferrable. Again, indicate the name of the company and the start and end dates.

We hope that these tips were helpful! Good luck on your job search!

DOES MICROMANAGEMENT WORK


There are various management styles. Micromanagement is a negative term that refers to a management style characterized by extremely close supervision and control of the minor details of a subordinate’s workload and output. Are you a “check with me first” type of manager? If you are not sure, let us discuss the difference between a micromanager and an effective leader. 

Micromanagers request to be copied on all emails while an effective leader should only be copied on relevant emails. If you desire to be an effective leader you should want to take responsibility of the outcome and results, but not control the way that every step is done. It is important to focus on the bigger picture versus the small details. A micromanager also lacks confidence in their team and feel that when somebody else does the work, they do not get good results. An effective leader provides feedback to employees and allows room for collaboration. 

A micromanager needs frequent updates, but an effective leader discusses deadlines with employees and why it is important to complete a certain task within a specific timeline. Micromanagers rarely asks for input from others. Simply put, they lack confidence in people, feel that they know better, and that they must be followed at all times. Effective managers realize the importance of asking their team for input. 

We all know that the majority of people do not like to be micromanaged. Micromanaging can kill your business. It will impact your employee turnover rate and people will simply not want to work for you. Think about it, would you want to work for someone that does not trust and appreciate you? A survey published by Trinity Solutions reveals that 79% of respondents were currently experiencing micromanagement in the workplace, while 69% out of that 79% had considered changing jobs. Another study done in 2014 by The University of Pennsylvania concluded that educated employees tend to work harder and better when they have control over their work schedule. Employees love when management show appreciation for their good work and effort. This also helps to create a good company culture. Simply saying “great job on closing that sales deal,” “I'm so proud of you,” or “impressive work” will encourage a positive and productive organizational climate. Keep in mind that moods are contagious. 

In addition, a recent study by Ernest and Young has revealed that team competition can create a healthy competitive work culture. We encourage healthy debate and open communication between teams. This can help people to learn from one another, share opinions, and simply bring new ideas to the table. Be sure to reward your best performers. We all know that the right compensation drives sales behaviors. Spiffs are a great way to push for results and encourage your employees to strive for higher performance. In order to use spiffs correctly, you need to set specific and clear expectations. Offer training and give employees the opportunity to learn more aspects of the company. Also show them their promotional path in the company. Using incentives is a key benefit to rewarding employees and increasing productivity. In return they will be happier, produce higher quality performance, and display loyalty.

So in conclusion, micromanagement is not your friend and will have a negative impact on your employees. Choose employee recognition over micromanaging and create a good work environment that rewards your teams. Contact us to see how we can help you bring your company to the next level.

HIRING FOR COMPANY CULTURE


There are various management styles. Micromanagement is a negative term that refers to a management style characterized by extremely close supervision and control of the minor details of a subordinate’s workload and output. Are you a “check with me first” type of manager? If you are not sure, let us discuss the difference between a micromanager and an effective leader. 

Micromanagers request to be copied on all emails while an effective leader should only be copied on relevant emails. If you desire to be an effective leader you should want to take responsibility of the outcome and results, but not control the way that every step is done. It is important to focus on the bigger picture versus the small details. A micromanager also lacks confidence in their team and feel that when somebody else does the work, they do not get good results. An effective leader provides feedback to employees and allows room for collaboration. 

A micromanager needs frequent updates, but an effective leader discusses deadlines with employees and why it is important to complete a certain task within a specific timeline. Micromanagers rarely asks for input from others. Simply put, they lack confidence in people, feel that they know better, and that they must be followed at all times. Effective managers realize the importance of asking their team for input. 

We all know that the majority of people do not like to be micromanaged. Micromanaging can kill your business. It will impact your employee turnover rate and people will simply not want to work for you. Think about it, would you want to work for someone that does not trust and appreciate you? A survey published by Trinity Solutions reveals that 79% of respondents were currently experiencing micromanagement in the workplace, while 69% out of that 79% had considered changing jobs. Another study done in 2014 by The University of Pennsylvania concluded that educated employees tend to work harder and better when they have control over their work schedule. Employees love when management show appreciation for their good work and effort. This also helps to create a good company culture. Simply saying “great job on closing that sales deal,” “I'm so proud of you,” or “impressive work” will encourage a positive and productive organizational climate. Keep in mind that moods are contagious. 

In addition, a recent study by Ernest and Young has revealed that team competition can create a healthy competitive work culture. We encourage healthy debate and open communication between teams. This can help people to learn from one another, share opinions, and simply bring new ideas to the table. Be sure to reward your best performers. We all know that the right compensation drives sales behaviors. Spiffs are a great way to push for results and encourage your employees to strive for higher performance. In order to use spiffs correctly, you need to set specific and clear expectations. Offer training and give employees the opportunity to learn more aspects of the company. Also show them their promotional path in the company. Using incentives is a key benefit to rewarding employees and increasing productivity. In return they will be happier, produce higher quality performance, and display loyalty.

So in conclusion, micromanagement is not your friend and will have a negative impact on your employees. Choose employee recognition over micromanaging and create a good work environment that rewards your teams. Contact us to see how we can help you bring your company to the next level.

TIPS FOR WORKING AT HOME WITH KIDS


As schools remain virtual or hybrid as a result of COVID19 and more companies are requiring that employees work from home, productivity can be a challenge. We all hope to never be that employee that is yelling at our kids while we think that we are on mute during a conference call. However, even if this has been you, we hope that these tips for how to successfully work remotely with kids at home will help! 

  1. Create signs. Signs placed on your door that say “in a meeting” or “do not disturb” would help with older children. Think about questions that you are asked often, such as, “what is for lunch or dinner,” and put those signs on your refrigerator. 
  2. Utilize nap times. Try to schedule your conference calls, online demonstrations, and important work that need more focused time during your younger children’s nap and sleep times. This would allow you to be less stressed and more productive. 
  3. Rotate toys. A good idea is to have toys in bins that you can rotate to keep your child interested. If you can, put a plan together with different toys that can be hidden for a few days, then rotate them, and suddenly they become the new toys! 
  4. Prepare food and snacks in advance. A great tip is to pack lunches and snacks ahead of time as if you are going to school and work. You can also label them so that everyone knows which is theirs. Prepare snacks and bottles for your little ones in advance also. That way you are not getting distracted because they cannot find a snack. It would also be great if you have a nanny help out as then your children will not be coming to disturb you during working hours. 
  5. Ask for flexibility in hours. If waking up before your family helps to get work done, then you might want to pitch that idea to your supervisor. Managers, try to offer some flexibility if your employees need a break to get their children ready in the day, feed them breakfast, etc. They can make up that time at another point during the day. 

We hope that these tips helped. Try to have fun while your kids are at home or let them have fun. We may want to yell at them because they are distracting us from work, but remember that they are just kids. Some of them are devastated that they are out of school as well. So let us be nice to them too. They are struggling as much as we are being at home. 
In the future we will look back at 2020 and say, “we did it!”

ARE EXIT INTERVIEWS A GOOD IDEA?


As a business owner you may be familiar with conducting interviews of applicants you are considering for an open position. However, we would like to share that conducting exit interviews is just as important as interviewing a potential new hire. If you have started to read and you are completely lost as to what an exit interview is, that is completely ok! That is why we are here!

An exit interview is an interview you conduct with an employee who voluntary decides to leave your company. Research conducted by Burke, Inc. shows that 91% of fortune 500 companies conduct exit interviews. They are a great tool that helps you to assess the overall experience that the employee had with your company. It also helps you to discover any bottlenecks or identify opportunities for how to improve the experience of future and current employees, which will in turn improve your retention rate.

Firstly, conducting exit interviews will provide you with more insight and opportunities for employee development. Very often we hear about candidates leaving their existing employers, just because of a lack of career growth opportunities, stagnation, and an absence of financial opportunities. According to Glassdoor, employees are about three times more likely to leave for a new employer than to stay and move into a new role at the existing company. A dynamic environment and constant changes are particularly important for millennials. In order to combat this trend, we recommend that you develop a career path roadmap for each employee. Early on in your employment relationship, show your employee how they can have a career rather than just another job with your organization. Map out specific goals that they need to achieve to get to the next level. Acknowledge their wins and continue to support them and dialogue about their growth potential.

During your exit interview, you may discover that the individual is leaving to obtain better compensation and/or benefits. If the employee mentions that they are leaving to receive higher compensation, it should at least be 10% to 20% higher. If they indicate that they are leaving for a lower rate of increase, then it is likely that compensation is not the only reason why they are leaving. It might be that your wages are competitive, but your benefits are not. An exit interview will help to uncover the real reason why they are leaving and will offer you more insight into how you can plan for the future by improving the retention of great employees. Very often poor management is the reason why good employees leave. During an exit interview, you may discover information about management issues within your company. If you find that you are having a lot of turnover within a particular department and during the exit interview employees are stating that they are leaving due to the management style of their supervisor, then it is your responsibility to protect your business by making sure that you hire and train managers that are the best fit for your company.

A quick Google search will reveal many exit interview questions. We recommend using some open ended questions. A great question is, “please complete the sentence. I don't know why the company doesn't just ________.” Another great question is, “was your time here longer, about the same, or shorter than you thought it would be when you first joined the company?” Base other questions on your company's culture and refine them to minimize bias and to probe for uncovered insights. After you ask the question, wait for the response. They may show you some simple ways that you could improve your company, and help you to come up with better practices and procedures to improve retention.

An exit interview also provides you with an opportunity to review all legal issues before the employee leaves the company. During this time, you can discuss their obligations with the company such as noncompete, nondisclosure or non-solicitation agreements, invention or patent policies, maintaining trade secrets, etc. This will help you to reinforce your legal protections.

In addition, exit interviews enhance your corporate brand by leaving a good impression on the exiting employees. In general, departing employees should be treated with respect and gratitude. This process can encourage them to recommend your company to potential employees, to continue to use your company's products or services, or maybe even create some new collaborations in the future. You always want your departing employee to leave on a positive note. You never know how your paths may cross again in the future. Now that you have come close to the end of this blog post you may be eager to begin conducting exit interviews. One question might be, who conducts these interviews? Usually your HR Manager would be the individual to conduct them. If you do not have an HR Manager, it might be a great idea to have a third party such as a consultant perform the exit interview. A good time to schedule it would be on the last day or two, before the employee leaves. It should not last longer than one hour. It is also important to do it in a private setting and one-on-one where the employee will feel comfortable and safe. The person conducting the interview should use a template document to record their notes and the employee’s answers. Finally, the information you receive during exit interview should be used for implementing positive changes within your organization. Managers should be encouraged to put their egos aside and to look at the information with an open mind. It is easy to feel offended when an employee chooses to work for a different company. However, the magic happens when personal feelings are put to the side and the information in the exit interview is used to improve business practices. Based on the findings, examine those areas of your business and determine if changes are warranted. The final goal is to retain valued employees, identify your reasons for turnover, and to create targeted retention. Exit interviews are important when the employee is already leaving the company. But what about stay interviews? How about interviewing your existing employees to make sure they are happy working for you? We look forward to sharing insight on that topic with you in the future! Stay tuned!