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Tips for Onboarding Remote Workers

Tips for Onboarding Remote Workers


As we continue to maneuver through the COVID-19 pandemic, many of our new employees are being onboarded remotely. Welcoming a new hire in person is much more straightforward than bringing them in remotely. However, it can be successfully done. Here are some tips:

1. Have them fill out new hire paperwork before their start date-
In an in-person setting you may often have the employee start their workday in the HR office filling out paperwork. We highly recommend that you do this beforehand. No one likes filling out paperwork on their first day anyway! DocuSign is a great way to have all new hire paperwork sent and signed electronically. You want to make sure that you have a preliminary phone call with the employee beforehand to briefly talk about the documents that you will be sending over and to give them your contact information if they have any questions.

2. Fill up their calendar-
You want to think in advance about what the employee's first 2 weeks will look like. Be sure to schedule a time for them to meet with key players on the team. Encourage the team to share information with the new hire regarding what their role is and how they might be working together. If you have team meetings or one on one meetings with the hiring manager be sure to place that on the calendar as well. If they need to speak to the IT department or receive any training be sure to also include that on their calendar! A full calendar takes a lot of pressure off of the new employee as they feel more guided in their orientation period.

3. Send a welcome gift-
A great way to welcome your new remote team member is to mail them a small welcome gift. It can be anything that has your company logo on it to include swag such as pens, a notebook, a water bottle or coffee mug, hat, or sticky notes. A thoughtful gift goes a long way!

4. Mail hardware in advance-
Mail any electronic hardware to the employee in advance of their start date to make sure that they have enough time to be ready for their first day. This may include a company laptop, mouse, keyboard, phone, etc. Be sure that they have the contact information to your IT department for further instructions.

5. Share information on your communication networks-
Be sure to instruct your new remote employee on what communication tools your team/company utilizes. This includes your email platform, instant messaging, web-based phone applications, and video conferencing software. Make sure that they obtain instructions on how to log in to all networks.

6. Send a welcome email-
Nothing says welcome like a welcome email! Send out a welcome email from the Hiring Manager or HR office that includes the name, email address, job title, and a brief write-up on the new employee. This introduction helps the employee warm up to other employees who may also send them welcome email responses. Also, it helps them to not be a stranger when they do come into the office. You do not want a remote employee who has been with you for a year getting questions from fellow employees when they come into the office on whether they are new. Be sure to welcome them in an email that includes their photo!

7. Plan in-person meeting-
Nothing beats in-person connections, especially when you are establishing new work relationships. Be sure to think about a time when you can meet with your new hire in person and schedule it on their calendar. If you plan on continuing remote work environments after the pandemic is over, we recommend scheduling in-person team meetings and training at least once per quarter. It truly boosts morale and helps to establish a good company culture.

Can you require your employees to get the Covid-19 vaccine?

Can you require your employees to get the Covid-19 vaccine?


As the Covid-19 vaccine is now available, more and more Americans are choosing to get vaccinated. The question of whether it is a good idea to require your workforce to get a Covid-19 vaccination is currently highly debated. Vaccination legislation is a hotly contested topic and we are in unchartered waters. The answer to this question varies depending on whom you ask.

According to the CDC’s website, the FDA does not mandate the vaccination federally, but says that states, local government, and employers may require mandated Covid-19 vaccinations. They go on to say that employers may mandate vaccines, but they are subject to their state laws.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) says that employers may require their employees to adhere to a mandatory vaccine policy and that the vaccine in itself does not constitute a disability status. Here is an excerpt that provides further information:

K.5. If an employer requires vaccinations when they are available, how should it respond to an employee who indicates that he or she is unable to receive a COVID-19 vaccination because of a disability?

The ADA allows an employer to have a qualification standard that includes “a requirement that an individual shall not pose a direct threat to the health or safety of individuals in the workplace.” However, if a safety-based qualification standard, such as a vaccination requirement, screens out or tends to screen out an individual with a disability, the employer must show that an unvaccinated employee would pose a direct threat due to a “significant risk of substantial harm to the health or safety of the individual or others that cannot be eliminated or reduced by reasonable accommodation.” 29 C.F.R. 1630.2(r).

Employers should conduct an individualized assessment of four factors in determining whether a direct threat exists: the duration of the risk, the nature and severity of the potential harm, the likelihood that the potential harm will occur, and the imminence of the potential harm. A conclusion that there is a direct threat would include a determination that an unvaccinated individual will expose others to the virus at the worksite. If an employer determines that an individual who cannot be vaccinated due to disability poses a direct threat at the worksite, the employer cannot exclude the employee from the workplace—or take any other action—unless there is no way to provide a reasonable accommodation (absent undue hardship) that would eliminate or reduce this risk so the unvaccinated employee does not pose a direct threat.

If there is a direct threat that cannot be reduced to an acceptable level, the employer can exclude the employee from physically entering the workplace, but this does not mean the employer may automatically terminate the worker.

K.7. What happens if an employer cannot exempt or provide a reasonable accommodation to an employee who cannot comply with a mandatory vaccine policy because of a disability or sincerely held religious practice or belief?

If an employee cannot get vaccinated for COVID-19 because of a disability or sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance, and there is no reasonable accommodation possible, then it would be lawful for the employer to exclude the employee from the workplace. This does not mean the employer may automatically terminate the worker. Employers will need to determine if any other rights apply under the EEO laws or other federal, state, and local authorities.

So, the answer to the question of if an employer can mandate that employees have the COVID-19 vaccination is, yes they can. Now you will have to highly consider if you should make this a mandate even though you can legally do so. On the positive side, you may have to worry less about the safety of your business operations. However, some negative effects of making this a mandate include the fact that you may lose good employees if they do not wish to take the vaccine. You may also open yourself up to a lawsuit if an employee is terminated based on their refusal to take the vaccine based on a disability or religious beliefs and reasonable accommodation was not made.

Currently, employers in the healthcare and childcare arena mandate some vaccinations. The idea of mandating vaccinations in the workplace is not a new one. However, before you make this a policy, be sure to consult with an HR lawyer in your state. Each state has different laws. Many states have introduced legislation to attempt to stop employers from being able to mandate vaccinations. At this time, we are not aware of any such legislation that has been passed.

In conclusion, if unvaccinated employees do not pose a great risk to the overall operation of your business and the health and safety of others, we recommend that you do not mandate vaccinations if you can successfully operate with social distancing and protective gear. We do recommend informing your workers about the benefits of becoming vaccinated. There are just too many moving parts at this time when it comes to this topic and if you do not have to add another layer to your HR policies and practices, it is best if you do not at this time.

There are many considerations for circumstances which may arise as a result of COVID-19 in the workplace. We recommend you visit the EEOC website for more answers to questions you may have here.

10 Things to Never Say During an Interview

10 Things to Never Say During an Interview


So you have landed an interview for a job you want. You have taken the time to dress to impress and are wondering how to best prepare for the interview. We hope that this blog post will help you to land the job! Here are 10 things to never say during a job interview:

Sorry, I’m late.

You should always attempt to be on time for an interview. A good idea is to drive the route to the location beforehand to be sure to familiarise yourself with the route and traffic pattern. Hiring Managers are often booked up and we should always respect their time. You should try to arrive 30 minutes early; however, do not walk into the office until 5 minutes to the time of your scheduled interview. We recommend 5 minutes because walking in 15 minutes early tends to stress out your interviewer as they may be wrapping up a meeting or project and may feel stressed to rush to start the interview early. This may require you having to wait in the car or at a coffee shop but it is worth it to be on time! 

What does your company do?

In the age of the internet and social media, there should be no reason for you to not know what the company does. Familiarize yourself with their mission, vision, and values, and think about challenges they may currently be facing and how you can add value to the company. There might be a circumstance where you have searched but were unable to find adequate information on the company. In that case, you may inform the interviewer about what you were able to find out and that you were hoping to hear more on a particular aspect of the company.

What is the pay-rate?

We always recommend companies include the pay rate in the job advertisement. However, if the information is not in the ad you should wait until an offer is made before talking about money. It is the job of the Recruiter or Hiring Manager to find out what your desired pay-rate is before the interview, so hopefully, an adequate offer is made. At any rate, an interview is to ensure that you are a great fit for the company culture. It is not an offer of employment. 

How much vacation time do I get?

This is similar to the question about pay. You should wait until an offer is made to discuss paid time off. You can always counteroffer for the PTO that is right for you. We also recommend waiting until an offer is made before discussing time off. This tends to give a negative impression to employers.

My last boss was horrible!

No matter what your work experience might have been, it is important to always keep your responses on the positive side. You are potentially moving on to a much better work environment and you do not want to ruin your chances by complaining. Most Recruiters and Hiring Managers know that there are always two sides to a story and without fully knowing you, they may worry that you were the problem. It is a good rule to not speak negatively about someone who is not in the room. 

I’m working out childcare.

Your childcare status is personal information to you. This statement can be a turn-off and label you as potentially unprepared and unreliable. Remember, an interview does not mean that you will get an offer. Keep it professional rather than personal and make arrangements as needed on your own. The burden on childcare is not on your employer, so it is best not to share that information.

It’s on my resume.” or “Did you read my resume?

Hiring Managers rarely have the time to comb through your entire resume; if you are asked a question and respond by saying that the information is on your resume, it comes across as rude or defensive. Go out of your way to answer the questions as if the interviewer does not have your resume in front of them.

I’m working on getting good transportation.

Do not divulge any questionable information to the interviewer that may put you in a negative light. If you do not have reliable transportation, try your best to work that out between the interview and a potential offer. Even if you have hitched a ride with a friend to make it to the interview and need to ride a bicycle to make it to work, that information is yours. If you need to use your vehicle as a part of your job function, then you can discuss this at the time of offer. An interview is simply a time for you and the interviewer to get to know each other.

I don’t have any questions.

It’s always a good idea to go to an interview prepared with questions to ask. It shows that you are engaged and interested in knowing more about the position and company. Some good questions to ask are, “what does a typical day look like in this position?” “Is this a new position or are you replacing someone?” and “How do you see this role impacting the overall vision of the company?”

Any swear words!

No matter how comfortable you get in an interview, be sure to not use any obscene language. Your interviewer should use professional language, but even if they do not, be sure to not do as they do. Interviews should be conducted in a manner that is as professional as possible. Bring your A-Game and leave any foul language at home. 

We hope that these tips will help you in your next interview! Best wishes!

LOGO FOR HOW TO ACHIEVE MORE WORK/LIFE BALANCE

HOW TO ACHIEVE MORE WORK/LIFE BALANCE


The idea of balance is something that seems so foreign to us after a year such as 2020. For many of us, work and life became co-mingled. There are some who would say that there is no such thing as finding a balance. However, we wanted to share some tips with you that, if practiced, will help you to achieve a better sense of much-needed work/life balance.

Schedule your day in advance - It is so easy to allow your workday to be hijacked by other activities. If you struggle to get everything done in a workday and find yourself taking work home, a good tip is to schedule your work a day in advance. Often times we tend to take home the work that we do not enjoy doing because we leave those tasks for last. We highly recommend putting the tasks that you enjoy least first on your work schedule. This will ensure that they are out of the way and you have the rest of the day to do the work that actually feeds your productivity. Scheduling your work a day in advance allows your mind to rest at night as you have a more predictable template for the next morning.

Stick to your set work hours - Going in early and consistently staying at work late actually decreases productivity as it leads to burnout. Try to stick to your set work hours. Stay focused and get through your work in the allotted time and respect the boundary of your schedule. Yes, there may be times when you have a project to complete that might take you more time during a particular part of the year, but that should not be your consistent experience.

Exercise regularly - You knew that this one was coming! Exercise is an essential function of our bodies that should not be neglected. You may think that you do not have enough time to work out, but even 5 consistent minutes of exercise each day is a great start! Feel free to start with a small goal. A good workout releases good hormones which naturally relax, balance, and destress the body.

Meet others halfway - Teamwork makes the dream work! Many of us face burnout because we have not learned the art of asking for help and delegating. If you are carrying a full load, ask for help. Do not lose a limb because you gave it to someone else. Compromise and your life will be much more balanced! Carrying the entire team is not in the best interest of you or the company.

Keep your work email off of your personal phone - This is a tough one! Do not allow work to creep into your personal life. If you truly want work/life balance, you have to separate the two. This practice is especially difficult for those that live to work. Know that you will do your best work when you set healthy boundaries. Apply yourself fully at work, but draw the line when it comes to incorporating your work emails into your personal life.

Do what you love - No one else has your interests in mind more than you do. Make sure that you make time to do what is important to you no matter what. It could be golfing, hunting, knitting, biking, hiking, swimming, video-gaming, camping, shopping traveling, etc. The website meetup.com is a great resource to find like-minded people who share your interests. Get to know yourself again. Feed what sparks joy to your heart and you will be a better you for yourself, your family and community, and your company!

LOGO FOR WAYS TO GET MORE CUSTOMERS FROM SOCIAL MEDIA

6 WAYS TO GET MORE CUSTOMERS FROM SOCIAL MEDIA


There is no question that social media is an effective sales and marketing tool for small businesses! You can absolutely use Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and others to attract new customers. Here are 6 ways that you can reach your customers through social media;

1. Use hashtags. When posting on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or any other social media platforms be sure to use hashtags. A customer in Seattle that needs a new HVAC system would likely search the hashtag #seattlehvaccompany, #seattlehvac, or #seattlehvactech. A person looking to purchase a home in Idaho is likely to search the hashtag #idahorealtor, #boiserealtor, or #idahohomes. Be sure to use appropriate hashtags so that potential customers can find you easily! Gone are the days of telephone books. Customers still search on google to find goods and services, but more and more are looking to social media as it is an easier way to see behind the scenes of the work that a company does and to reach out directly to them. The social media algorithms prefer for you to switch the hashtags you use, so keep a batch of them for rotation.

2. Share “how-to” information. Youtube offers an array of instructional videos. You can learn anything — from how to remodel a home to how to cut your own hair. We might be tempted to feel that making our knowledge public means that customers will not need us; however, this could not be further from the truth. Most people who watch instructional content will not have the time or skill level to complete the tasks that they need to be done. If you showcase your skills online, it is likely that customers will call on you when they need that job done. Starting a Youtube channel to share “how-to” videos can help you gain trust. You can also share this information on other platforms as well. Once a potential customer trusts you, they will sell themselves. They will be contacting you rather than the other way around. Instructional content can be created for Facebook, Instagram, and even TikTok as well.

3. Focus on quality, not quantity. You may be tempted to post frequently rather than focusing on the quality of what you are putting out, but this is a trap. Customers will definitely judge you based on the look of your posts. Be sure to take the time to have quality videos, photos, or graphics posted. Hire this out if needed. It is important to be consistent with your posts, but it is also important to put out good quality. Posting quality posts 2-3 times per week is better than posting subpar posts daily.

4. Build relationships by engaging with customers. Be sure to respond to comments and messages promptly. A simple, “thank you” on a customer’s comment or taking the time to answer a question goes a long way! Another way to continue to foster relationships with customers is that when they tag or share a story of your company, go ahead and re-share it to your platforms. This will help to build engagement. Also like, comment, and follow potential customers.

5. Create Ads. All social media platforms offer ways for you to pay to promote your content. They target your ideal customers and, for as low as 5 dollars per day, you can promote your business. Social media companies are great at putting you in front of those that need your services. Invest in ads!

6. Share your real company personality online. Customers want to see the human side of your business. If you are a fun company, then share some content of your fun employee events. Do you do quality work? Then do not be shy! Share images of your work along with customer testimonials online. Are you facing a particularly busy or challenging time? Then go ahead and share that in a light-hearted way. If you are celebrating a big win such as a number of years in business then share that. You can also tastefully broach tough topics. The more human and relatable you are the better. Your customers should get to know you online even before they give you a call.

LOGO FOR WHAT IS A “STAY” INTERVIEW

WHAT IS A “STAY” INTERVIEW


Stay interviews are conducted to help business owners and managers understand why employees stay and what might cause them to leave. The concept of a stay interview might be foreign to you, but it is truly a powerful practice for your business!

One of the top reasons for incorporating this procedure is that it can help to reduce turnover. Data suggests that the reason employees quit is that they do not trust their managers. Stay interviews are the best trust-building activity as they create a dialogue between managers and employees. The cost of replacing a highly trained employee can be nearly double their annual salary. Stay interviews can help you keep great employees! In addition, they help you to gauge employee satisfaction. When employees feel that they are heard, they are more often satisfied with their job and much more engaged in the company. Utilizing stay interviews helps you to determine if the employee is satisfied in their job or not.

Another great benefit of stay interviews is that you can find out if you are wasting time on procedures that do not work for your employees. Maybe you have other processes or procedures that your employees could be more engaged in. Find out where people stand, make changes, and increase everyone's productivity.
Stay interviews can also help set realistic expectations. The employee can communicate what they feel is a realistic change or benefit they would like to receive from the employer. You can also communicate what the company can reasonably do, and build and maintain dialogue. Use this as an opportunity to create and maintain an open line of communication with your employees.

You may be wondering how often to conduct stay interviews. If you have a new employee starting, you want to conduct a stay interview in the first three to six months. By this time, the new hire would have wrapped up their training, making it a good time to check-in and get a feel for how they are doing. You can move stay interviews to an annual basis after that. In addition to on an annual basis, if you have a major change in your company, such as changing ownership, management, or are restructuring, that is also a good time to conduct stay interviews with your employees.

When conducting the stay interview, be transparent about its purpose. Communicate why you are conducting the interview and also what you can and cannot reasonably accommodate. Another thing to keep in mind is that stay interviews are different from performance reviews. Be sure to put the mind of your employee at ease by assuring them that the information they provide is meant to improve the company and would not be linked to their performance evaluation in any way.

Approach the interview prepared that not everything the employee says will be positive. There might be some constructive criticism that can help in making worthwhile changes in your company. Remember that the goal of the stay interview is to open dialogue with your employee to obtain honest feedback. After the stay interview is complete, the process does not stop there. Remember to give the employee timelines and follow-through. Set a date and stick with it to follow up and address any concerns that are shared. For instance, if the employee expresses that they are unhappy with their compensation, notify them that you will discuss this with the management team and follow up with them in a week's timeframe.

There are some things to avoid when conducting stay interviews. Be sure not to ask close-ended questions with yes or no responses. You want to ask questions that will engage your employees. Also, remember to keep the information private and not share confidential information. Leave any defensiveness at the door do not react poorly to honest answers. Sometimes honest answers are difficult to hear, but take the time to appreciate that the employee was willing to share them with you and follow up to address any concerns. Try not to send questions in advance. You want the answers to be honest and unscripted.

Finally, here are some examples of stay interview questions. First, “What work are you doing here that you feel is most in-line with your long-term goals?” This question helps to determine if the employee feels like they are on the right path. If you have an employee who struggles to answer this question, perhaps they view this job as just a short-term job rather than a long-term career with your company. Another question is, “What do you need from the company to set you up to be successful?” This question allows the employee the opportunity to speak up on what the company could change and what support they could give to the employee. You can also ask, “Are there additional training opportunities that you would like to explore that would help you in your job?” “Is there anything that the leadership team could be doing differently?” “Do you feel challenged?” “Are you learning new things?” These questions help gauge if the employee is bored in their work or is excited about the challenges they are facing.

You can also ask “What area of the company would you like to learn more about?” This is an important question, especially for an entry-level role, as you can plan on having the employee job shadow for another position. Now that would not be a guarantee that the employee will be able to be immediately transferred into another position, but it is important to address their curiosity and see if they could be a fit elsewhere.

The question “When was the last time you thought about leaving us and what prompted it?” helps to address any second thoughts the employee has about staying employed with your company. Was it a bad day? Was it a toxic environment that led them to start applying for jobs, maybe an unhappy experience with their direct manager? It is important to address any concerns.

We hope that these practical questions help and that you will begin incorporating stay interviews in your company!

LOGO FOR TIPS TO PERFORM AN IN-PERSON INTERVIEW

5 TIPS TO PERFORM AN IN-PERSON INTERVIEW


Many hiring managers and business owners find conducting in-person interviews intimidating. This post will help you prepare for, understand the legal aspects of, and actually conduct better in-person interviews.

Examine the candidate’s resume - Before the actual in-person interview, carefully examine the candidate’s resume. We suggest that you make sure that a candidate has the minimum qualifications required for the position and in addition, check to make sure that their desired pay rate matches what the position is offering. For information on what to look for on a resume, you can read our blog post “What Does a Recruiter Look for on a Resume?” to get more detailed insight.

Conduct prescreening - We recommend letting your Recruiter or HR Manager conduct a short prescreening call to cover basic questions such as, what the candidate is looking for in a job, why they are looking for a new position, and when they can start. At this stage, you can also ask questions to confirm that they have the relevant experience. The candidate’s tone over the phone can tell you a lot during the phone screen, so be sure to not skip this step!

Assess the candidate - Assessing the applicant is a crucial step that can save you time and money! There are no bad personalities, but different personalities match different positions. We offer assessments which tell you if the candidate is a good fit for the position that you are considering them for. On average it takes about 6 months to see if an applicant is a good fit in a role, but a good assessment would let you know right away! Our assessments generate targeted questions for you to ask during the interview based on the candidate’s results. These assessments are very valuable tools!

Send out interview invitation - When setting up an interview with the candidate, remember to send them a confirmation email with your company’s address, the date and time, information on parking if necessary, and who they will be interviewing with. Let them know how long the interview will take as well. Also, inform them of who to contact in case they need to make any changes to their scheduled appointment.

Prepare interview questions - Be sure to prepare questions ahead of time for the interview. We recommend that you print out the job description and the candidate's resume. Be ready to provide the candidate information about the company and the benefits offered for this position. Do not forget about the legal aspects when preparing interview questions. Two basic rules apply to asking questions. First, you need to make sure that all questions are job-related, and second, that all questions can reasonably be asked of all candidates. You should not ask about a candidate’s marital status, age, religion, national origin, arrests, or convictions. For example, you can ask “Are you able to work from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM?” This is stating the required schedule for the position. On the contrary, asking “Do you have childcare?” is an illegal question and could be viewed as discriminatory. Your interview process should be structured and every candidate should be asked the same set of questions. A good idea is to create a library of interview questions and have your HR attorney review them.

The candidate should feel comfortable during your interview and be able to open up to you. This depends on your interviewing style and willingness to make it safe for them to share information about themselves. Making a good first impression is very important. Keep your office clean and make it inviting. Ask a candidate if they would like a beverage. You may be surprised how offering coffee or water can relax a candidate and break the ice. You can also start with small talk, for example asking how was the traffic, then introduce everybody in the room, including their names and job titles. Tell the candidate what will be covered and how long it will take. Also, let them know that they can ask questions as well. If you allow questions to be asked throughout the interview, it will feel more like a conversation. If you have two people conduct an interview, we suggest that one talks to the candidate and the other observes and takes notes. Make sure you listen to the full answer before asking another question.

We hope that these tips were helpful! Happy interviewing!

LOGO FOR RED FLAGS TO LOOK OUT FOR ON A RESUME

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.

LOGO FOR 9 WAYS TO START BEING A BETTER MANAGER TODAY

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!

LOGO FOR WHAT DOES A RECRUITER LOOK ON A RESUME

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!

LOGO FOR DOES MICROMANAGEMENT WORK

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.

LOGO FOR HIRING FOR COMPANY CULTURE

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.

LOGO FOR TIPS FOR WORKING AT HOME WITH KIDS

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!”

LOGO FOR ARE EXIT INTERVIEWS A GOOD IDEA

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!