Adams & Garth Blog

What to Do When You Make Mistakes at Your New Job

July 22nd, 2014

If you’re like most employees, you want your first few days and weeks on the job to go off without a hitch. The trouble is, you’re new to the position and the company – and therefore bound to make some mistakes along the way. To help ensure errors don’t get the best of you, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Learn From Mistakes 

As one of the leading employment agencies in Lynchburg, Adams & Garth can tell you that mistakes are expected. But it’s when you make the same mistake over and over again that it becomes a problem.

So learn from your errors. Determine what you didn’t do correctly, why you didn’t, and how you can ensure you don’t make the same mistake again. Going forward, make sure you incorporate what you learned from your mistakes into your work.

Don’t Dwell On Them 

If you made a mistake, learn from it and move on. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Continually dwelling on a mistake doesn’t improve the situation and it will only hurt your confidence in the long run.

Take Notes to Avoid Mistakes

To help avoid making mistakes, always keep your laptop or a notebook handy for you to take notes on. Your boss or a co-worker may offer details about office procedures or project deadlines and you don’t want to have to ask for the information again.

Check Your Work…Then Check It Again

If you’re just starting out in a position, then chances are you’re not super familiar with the work. Mistakes are more likely to happen, so be sure to double check your work before submitting it to your boss. It’s better to take a little extra time to hand in an assignment – and have it be correct – then to hurry through the work in order to submit it early.

Ask for Feedback

If you’re worried about the mistakes you’re making on the job, ask your boss for feedback on how to improve. While you don’t want to pester them every day for input on your performance, asking how you’re doing in the first few weeks of a job is completely reasonable.

A new position can be daunting enough without having to worry about mistakes. But everyone makes them – because no one is perfect. The trick is to put forth an effort to avoid mistakes and to learn from them quickly if you do make one.

Looking for a new job in which to showcase your skills and abilities?  Call Adams & Garth. As one of the leading employment agencies in Lynchburg, we work with some of the top employers throughout Central Virginia and we can connect you with opportunities that are oftentimes not advertised.

Contact us today to learn more or search our Lynchburg jobs now.

Why You’re Losing Out on Great Candidates

July 15th, 2014

You’ve reviewed dozens of resumes, conducted multiple rounds of interviews and made your hiring selection. The trouble is, when you present the offer to your first pick candidate, they decline. They’ve accepted a position elsewhere. What gives?

If this scenario has happened to you repeatedly, you could be losing out on great candidates for a variety of reasons. Here’s a look at two of them:

You’re not selling the opportunity.

Sure, a job interview is a chance for a candidate to show you why they’re the best fit for the position. But it’s also a chance for you to sell the opportunity – and the perks of working at your company – to the candidate.

When interviewing, it’s important to explain to candidates why they should want to work for you. What can you offer that other employers typically don’t? For instance, are you an industry leader? Do you provide higher compensation than the competition? Or do you offer flexible working opportunities? It’s important for each candidate to walk away from the interview with an understanding of what makes your job so attractive.

You don’t tell candidates where they stand.

As one of the top staffing agencies in Charlottesville, we hear candidates complain all the time about past interviewing experiences with employers. They thought an interview went well and were told they’d be contacted within a week. Three weeks later, they still hadn’t heard anything.

Not only will treating candidates this way cause you to lose them, but it will also leave a bad taste in their mouths. When future opportunities open up at your company, they’ll think twice about applying.

Remember too, while you’re trying to make a hiring decision, candidates are still conducting their job searches. When you take too long to communicate where candidates stand in the hiring process, you’ll lose them to another company.

If the above reasons aren’t true for you – yet candidates are regularly rejecting your offers, ask new hires what worked and didn’t work for them during the hiring process. Specifically, ask which features / benefits most compelled them to accept the job, which made no impact, and which made them almost turn down the job. When you know what’s working – and what’s not – in your offers, you can develop a better pitch that’s more enticing to candidates.

Need more help attracting and retaining great candidates? We can help. As one of the top staffing agencies in Charlottesville, we have the knowledge and expert team in place to help you find and hire top talent, the first time.

Contact us today to learn more.

Why You Shouldn’t Make a Counteroffer When an Employee Quits

July 8th, 2014

You thought an employee was satisfied on the job. Then they handed in their two-week notice. You know their position will be hard to fill, so you’re tempted to make a counteroffer. The question is: should you?

Think of it from the candidate’s perspective. If they’ve resigned, then chances are they have a new job lined up. If that’s the case, then they’ve already spent countless hours thinking about whether to look for a new job and accept the offer that came their way.

When you counter, you’re simply offering more money – but that might not even be what your employee really wants. It’s probably time to let him or her go. Here’s why:

Reason #1: Employees don’t typically leave just because of money. 

A bump in pay is always nice. But if all your employee wanted was a heftier paycheck, they would have asked for a raise. Since they didn’t, you can conclude that they’re looking for something along the lines of more challenging assignments, more responsibility, a more productive relationship with their supervisor, or a work culture that better suits them.

Reason #2: You’re prolonging the inevitable.

As leading Central Virginia recruiters, Adams & Garth knows that even when you do make a solid counteroffer, most employees still wind up leaving. It may be a few months down the road, or a year. But you’re simply prolonging the inevitable. You’re far better off making a clean break and hiring someone new.

Reason #3: Your other employees will take notice. 

If your employee formally resigns, they’ve probably already talked to their co-workers about their new opportunity. But when you make a counteroffer, you’re signaling to your team that all you have to do is quit to get a raise.

Other employees will surely take notice and begin looking for new opportunities elsewhere. The last thing you need is a counteroffer to produce a mass exodus of your staff.

When a team member quits, stop yourself from saying “What are they offering? I can do better.” Congratulate your employee, talk about next steps, and get started with the process of filling the skill gap they’re leaving behind. And you never know; they could be back some time in the future.

Have a vacancy in your company you need help filling? Contact Adams & Garth. As leading Central Virginia recruiters, we can give you access to top candidates that will hit the ground running at your firm. Contact Adams & Garth today to learn more.



What Should Be on My Company Careers Page?

July 1st, 2014

Gone are the days when candidates turned to the newspaper for job leads. Today, it’s all about the Internet where job seekers spend countless hours browsing job boards and company websites in search of just the right position.

When they get to your company career page or website, what should they find?

As leading Staunton recruiters, Adams & Garth recommends the information presented be unique to your organization and its culture. That said, there are a few key essentials you need to ensure you’re not missing:

Candidate-centric language.

It’s not all about you. It’s about attracting good candidates to your company. So don’t use your careers page or website to tout all your products and services.

Candidates want to know “what’s in it for them.” In other words, why they should want to work for your company. When you make this section all about you, it’s a big turn off for them. They can find information about your company’s background in other areas of your website.

An easy application process. 

Don’t make it hard for good candidates to apply for positions at your company. Make sure your job postings are front and center on your career site and that they are easy to apply to. The best job postings start with a clear job title. You don’t need to use fancy language or hyperbole. Candidates simply want to know about the opportunities you’re offering.

Valuable content. 

Beyond job postings, what other information should your career site include? Keep in mind you’re trying to put a face on your company, so include content that lets your company’s personality shine through.

Some examples?

A video with a hiring manager about what to expect during a job interview, a blog post by an employee talking about what they like most about working at the company, and snapshots from around the office so candidates can gain a sense of the work environment.

A final thought: Make sure you’re promoting your career website. If candidates can’t find it, then there’s no point in having it. So share and market it via social media. Make it easy for others to share. And include the website address in your email signature and on your business cards.

Need more help hiring for your company? Contact Adams & Garth. As leading Staunton recruiters, we can give you access to top candidates that will hit the ground running at your firm. Contact Adams & Garth today to learn more.

Do Your Hobbies Belong on Your Resume?

June 24th, 2014

You’re a passionate musician, an avid cyclist, or an old car enthusiast. When putting together your resume, should you list these kinds of interests in order to help you stand out to a hiring manager?

On the one hand, including some personal information makes you seem like more of a…well…person. You’re not just a faceless job candidate. However, you also run the risk of appearing unprofessional or turning off the hiring manager completely.

To help you decide whether or not to list your hobbies on your resume, consider this:

If your hobby is related to the Charlottesville job, then absolutely include it. For instance, if you’re a sports enthusiast and applying for a bookkeeping position at a sporting good store, then your interest is going to serve as a competitive advantage for you over other candidates who don’t know anything about athletics.

Also, if you know you share an interest with the hiring manager, then include it, as well. This information can serve as a great conversation starter, fostering rapport and helping you stand apart from other candidates.

If your hobby is polarizing or controversial in any way, then skip it completely. For instance, if you are active in a political organization or are an avid hunter, then steer clear of listing those (unless, again, it’s relevant to the position or employer you are applying to). Also never list personal information about your family, children, height, or weight, or include any pictures.

If your hobby is neither, then it’s really up to you whether or not to list it. Keep in mind, though, that most hiring managers aren’t interested in your hobbies. They want to know how your skills, background and personality align with the Charlottesville job and the company. That said, you’re not going to get black listed from the interviewing process for listing a hobby.

One note: Volunteering isn’t necessarily a hobby. And if you’ve acquired relevant skills and experience through it, then you should include it under the “Work History” section of your resume or you can create a separate “Related Experience” section.

Need more help creating a resume that gets results?  Call Adams & Garth. As one of the leading employment agencies in Charlottesville , we can help you craft a strong resume, prepare for interviews, and connect you with employers offering rewarding opportunities. Contact us today to learn more or search our Charlottesville jobs now.

Is Your Job History Scaring Away Employers?

June 17th, 2014

When you apply for a Lynchburg job, your work history becomes an open book to employers.

Just one quick glance at your resume or a few interview questions and they can quickly spot red flags without spending a lot of time digging deeper.

So if you think past mistakes are impacting your future career, what can you do to mitigate the situation? Here are some scenarios you might be dealing with and what you can do to overcome a job history that needs a little work:

You’ve been fired.

Being fired from a position never looks good, even if you have a perfectly reasonable explanation. Hiring managers are going to think that if you’ve been let go in the past, then it’s likely you could be fired from a future Lynchburg job as well – including their own.

If you faced a firing, then you need to figure out how you’re going to answer the interview question about why you left. Don’t focus too much on “the why”; instead, talk about what you learned from the experience. And be sure to practice your answer. You’ll feel more confident as a result.

You’ve been unemployed for a long time.

In today’s economy, there are many candidates out there who are unemployed for far longer than they may have been in the past. But if you’ve been on the job market for an extended length of time, hiring managers may still wonder why no one’s hired you.

That’s why it’s so important for you to stay busy, keeping your skills current and building new ones. Start volunteering, take on contract or freelance work, and enroll in continuing education classes. When a hiring manager asks what you’ve been doing during your free time, you’ll have a far more impressive answer as a result.

You have lots of employment gaps.

One gap in employment isn’t a huge deal. But several can indicate to a hiring manager that you don’t have any staying power with jobs. The last thing they want to do is hire someone they’ll have to replace in a few short months. For you to overcome this issue, you have to be ready to talk about it in your cover letter and in a job interview.

For instance, is there a reasonable explanation for the gaps – such as family responsibilities? If you don’t clarify, hiring managers will assume the worst.

Need more help overcoming your job history? Call Adams & Garth. As one of the leading employment agencies in Lynchburg, we can help you craft a strong resume, prepare for interviews, and connect you with employers offering rewarding opportunities. Contact us today to learn more or search our Lynchburg jobs now.



What Should a New Hire’s First Day Look Like?

June 10th, 2014

Most new hire’s arrive on the job incredibly eager and a little bit nervous. It’s up to you to make sure their first day not only goes smoothly, but serves as a great starting point for what’s hopefully a productive employee/employer relationship.

However, as leading Lynchburg recruiters, Adams & Garth knows that too often employers don’t put a lot of thought into that all-important first day. The end result is a disappointed employee who starts off on the wrong foot.

To help ensure you get your new hires on track from the start, here are a few basics of what their first day should consist of:

Prompt greeting by their boss.

Don’t schedule a new hire’s first day when their supervisor isn’t going to be around. Also, don’t keep them in the reception area idling around and waiting.

Make sure their new boss is there, ready to greet them and introduce them to team. This sets the tone for the relationship and these small steps will foster a good first-day experience for your new hire.

A fully equipped, functioning workspace.

Make sure the new hire’s workspace is set up and ready to go before they arrive on the job. Not only will it make it easier for the employee to get up and running faster, but it sends them the message that you’ve invested some time preparing for their arrival.

Co-workers ready to meet them. 

Don’t let the new hire be a surprise to your current team. Prepare your existing employees well ahead of schedule and encourage them to introduce themselves to the new hire. The first day on a new job is overwhelming, but friendly faces can certainly help to ensure your new hire doesn’t feel isolated.

Also, set up your new hire with a mentor or someone with a similar job role to help them get settled. Rather than having to direct questions to different people, your new employee will feel more comfortable knowing they have a buddy to turn to.

Answers to your new hire’s questions.

If you were new to the job and the company, what would you want to know? A good place to start is with the basics – such as the location of the lunchroom and restroom. Then move onto actual work. Review the new hire’s role at the company and invite them to ask any questions.


Check in with your new employee regularly throughout the first day. Ask them questions, get to know them personally, make sure everything is going well, and address any concerns.

Remember, your efforts in those first few days are setting the tone for the rest of the work relationship! So be sure to welcome all new hires right.

Need more help with hiring and onboarding new employees? Call Adams & Garth. As leading Lynchburg recruiters, we can not only give you access to top candidates, but also help you ensure they will hit the ground running at your firm. Contact Adams & Garth today to learn more.


Poor Performer Got You Down? Here’s What to Do

June 3rd, 2014

Nobody likes a poorly performing employee. But for bosses, they are a fact of life. Unfortunately, though, too many managers choose not to deal with them due to a lack of time, not wanting to confront, or not wanting to play the “bad guy.”

But as leading Charlottesville recruiters, Adams & Garth knows when you choose to let poor performance go, you’re simply hurting your team, your company and your career in the end. You’re also hurting the poor performer, as well. They know they’re not doing a good job and the position may not be right for them. Maintaining the status quo simply prolongs the pain for everyone.

The following steps can help you address your underperforming employee – and hopefully coach them toward success:

Make sure your employee is clear about expectations. 

What to do: This sounds like a no brainer. But many times, poor performance can stem from an employee’s uncertainty about what you expect from them. Goals change, deadlines are altered, responsibilities shift – and the end result is an employee who isn’t quite sure what to do and when to do it.

You need to clearly define the picture – big and small – to your employee. Spend some time explaining where the company is going, what it’s doing to get there, how the employee can contribute, and how they benefit from it all.

Make sure they understand.

What to do: Once you’ve discussed the situation, make sure your employee understands what you are communicating. Also be sure to let them voice their opinion. Perhaps they were given added responsibilities, but don’t feel they have the training or support to fulfill them.

Whatever they do say, don’t get emotional. Seek to understand the employee’s point of view.

Make sure they’re involved.

What to do: If it’s training they need, then ask the employee what kinds of opportunities would help them most. If they feel like there are certain tasks they simply can’t perform, talk about which projects and responsibilities are more aligned with their strengths.

The point is to get your employee involved in discussing potential approaches so they are more invested in the solution.

Make sure they feel recognized. 

What to do: If the situation improves, it’s important to recognize your employee and reinforce their positive behavior. Even if they aren’t a star performer yet, the fact that they’re making progress is important. And to continue to keep them on track, you must recognize their efforts.

Need more help dealing with staffing and HR struggles? Call Adams & Garth. As leading Charlottesville recruiters, we can give you access to top candidates that will hit the ground running at your firm. Contact Adams & Garth today to learn more.



Should You Deliver Your Resume in Person?

May 27th, 2014

Finding job opportunities that are a good fit for you can sometimes feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. So when you do uncover an opening that seems ideal, you want to stand out and make the best first impression.

Could one way to do that be to deliver your resume in person?

As one of the leading employment agencies in Culpeper – and Central Virginia, Adams & Garth can tell you the answer is “no.” (Unless, of course, the job ad directed you to do so.)

You may think that by buying some fancy resume paper and hand delivering your resume in person to the receptionist would make you appear unique. But you could actually hurt your chances of landing an interview by taking this approach.

After all, do you really trust the receptionist to ensure your information lands into the hands of the right person? For all you know, it could wind up sitting on his or her desk for weeks, or even worse, in the trash.

Follow some simple advice:

Apply for the job opening as directed. If that means online, then complete the online application. If they asked you to email your resume and cover letter to HR, then put together a compelling case for your candidacy and hit the “send” button.

Here’s a secret:

Hiring managers like candidates who can follow directions. So don’t get fancy or try to stand out with gimmicks, like hand delivering your resume. They have many candidates to choose from and the ones who ignore instructions are not going to be among them.

Besides following directions, what else can you do to stand out to a hiring manager? Here are some quick tips to remember.

  • Write a custom cover letter that allows your personality to shine through (that means no boilerplate or template letters) and persuades employers why you are a good fit for the job.
  • Create a resume that showcases your background and experience, and also includes specific achievements that illustrate what you can do once on the job.
  • Keep it simple. Don’t put together a five-page resume or a 5,000-word cover letter. Brevity is key. To achieve it, spend some time reading through the job posting and really thinking about how your background aligns with the position. Then focus on those key points (not your entire background and work history) that best sell you for the particular job.

Need more help finding your next great job? Call Adams & Garth. As one of the leading employment agencies in Culpeper – and Central Virginia, we work with some of the top employers throughout Central Virginia and we can connect you with opportunities that are oftentimes not advertised.

Contact us today to learn more or search our Culpeper jobs now.



Think You’re Underqualified for the Job? Think Again!

May 20th, 2014

Imagine this scenario:

You come across what sounds like the ideal job opening. You have the right skills and the right education…but then you get to the experience requirements. The employer wants 7 – 10 years. You only have five years.

Do you walk away, or apply anyway?

You may not realize this, but as one of the leading employment agencies in Staunton – and Central Virginia, Adams & Garth can tell you when an employer includes a list of “requirements” in a job posting, most of the time it’s simply “wants” and “desires,” not absolutes. After all, do you think a hiring manager is going to let the perfect candidate get away because that person has four years, seven months of experience, rather than the “5+” years listed in the ad?

No, of course not.

Obviously, if the job posting is for an experienced bookkeeper and you’ve never crunched a number in your life, then you don’t fit the bill and you need to walk away. But if you’re missing a few of the requirements, or don’t have the exact years of experience, apply anyway.

Here are some tips to help you sell yourself – and why you’re qualified for the job:

Write a killer cover letter.

There are likely going to be candidates applying who may meet – or even exceed – the criteria outlined in the job ad. That’s why you need to set yourself apart through a carefully crafted, compelling cover letter. One way to stand out? Learn all you can about the company and the position and then communicate why your background is a great fit for both.

Play up your accomplishments on your resume.

If you don’t fit the exact requirements of the job posting, it’s even more important to promote your relevant accomplishments on your resume. Hiring managers want to know one thing – what can you do for them if you’re hired. When you showcase your track record of success with specific, real world examples, you will get their attention.

Don’t forget! If you’ve got volunteer experience that is more pertinent to the position you’re applying for, include that as well. A resume does not only have to consist of paid positions.

Find your connections. 

If you know someone who works at the company, now’s the time to leverage the power of that connection. A candidate referred by a trusted employee is going to make a far stronger impression than a resume from a stranger.

Be realistic.

Don’t apply for positions you’re grossly underqualified for. When you do, you’re simply wasting your time as well as the hiring manager’s. And if a future opportunity comes along at the company that you are qualified for, that manager may just see your name again and assume you’re not a fit for that position either.

Looking for your next dream job? Let Adams & Garth know. As one of the leading employment agencies in Staunton – and Central Virginia, we work with some of the top employers throughout Central Virginia and we can connect you with opportunities that are oftentimes not advertised.

Contact us today to learn more or search our Staunton jobs now.