Adams & Garth Blog

How to Handle Being Overqualified for a Job

July 28th, 2015

You might have an advanced degree and loads of experience. But, as leading Harrisonburg recruiters, Adams & Garth knows that doesn’t mean a hiring manager is going to want to hire you. Why? Because they think you’re overqualified. And to them, that means more dollar signs. Not only do they think they’ll have to pay you more, but they also view you as a potential liability. They fear that when a better, more challenging role comes along, you’ll jump ship – and their investment in you as an employee will go up in smoke.

So if there’s a position you really want, but you’re overqualified, what can you do convince the hiring manager to give you a shot? Here’s a look:

Promote Your Qualifications as a Benefit.

The hiring manager might view you as a risk. But only if you don’t promote your qualifications in the right way. For instance, you have to demonstrate the unique value you bring to the table because of your experience – and specifically how the potential employer will benefit. Also, don’t forget to highlight the fact that because you have so much experience, you’re likely to get up to speed – and more productive – faster than another candidate.

Explain Why You Want the Job.

A hiring manager is going to wonder why you want to take a step down in your career. And they’ll often think you’ll quit as soon as something better comes along. To put their minds at ease, explain why you want the job. Perhaps you’ve wanted to get your foot in the door at the company for a long time, or maybe the position enables you to travel less and spend more time with your family. Whatever the case, it’s up to you to ease the fears a hiring manager might have about you.

Give Them a Commitment.

Don’t try to make yourself seem less qualified on your resume or in the interview. Instead, deal with the hiring manager’s concerns head on by offering a commitment to stay at the company for at least 18 months. That way, they’ll know you won’t leave after a few weeks.

Throughout the interview, be sure to focus on what you can do for the employer in your answers. How can you save or make them money? How can you save them time? What will your experience help them do that they can’t get with another candidate? The more you can show that you’re the one to deliver the desired results, the stronger chance you have of landing the job.

If you’d like more job search help, call the experts at Adams & Garth. Our Harrisonburg recruiters will work with you to learn about your career goals and background, and then match you with job opportunities in which you can thrive.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

Writing Job Descriptions that Get Results

July 21st, 2015

As one of the top staffing agencies in Charlottesville, Adams & Garth knows when it comes to finding top talent, the impression you make is a critical factor. And it all starts with the job description.

Post a clear, concise, compelling job description and you are likely to attract high quality candidates. However, advertise a vague or long-winded job description – or one that focuses totally on your company needs, rather than what you can offer to a prospective employee – and you’re going to fall far short in terms of attracting the best people. Even if you truly are offering a rewarding role at a dynamic company, professionals will walk away without giving your job description a second thought if you take the wrong approach.

Besides helping you attract high caliber employees, a strong job description will also:

  • Better define the role and expectations
  • Help you determine where to source candidates
  • Serve as a guideline when it comes to the interviewing process

Don’t treat your company job descriptions as an afterthought; they are a vital component of the hiring process. To help you enhance yours, follow these tips:

Outline what success in the role looks like.

Rather than just listing out a bunch of job tasks and responsibilities, outline and describe what success in the role looks like. If it’s inspecting 50 widgets each day, then state that. If it’s being able to file paperwork, greet clients, and schedule meetings, then communicate that. The better you define the role – and what success looks like in it – the better fit candidates will come your way. Candidates will either think “that sounds right up my alley” or “no, that’s not for me.” Either way, it’s help you develop a qualified pool of talent for the role.

Communicate 4-5 requirements.

When you’re hiring, you probably have some requirements for the right candidate. And it’s important to communicate those in the job description. However, don’t list 25 or 30 requirements. If you do, you’ll turn off high quality candidate. Keep in mind, the job description is just the start of the hiring process. You don’t need to convey every detail of the job in it.

Format it in an easy-to-read.

How your job description looks will impact the results it produces. So make it easy for candidates to read and understand. Use bullet points, bolded subheads, and clear language throughout. Also, don’t forget to infuse some personality as well as the benefits of working at your company into it.

Do you need more help writing job descriptions and finding top candidates? Call Adams & Garth. 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.


Hiring Managers Want Results! Here’s How to Promote Yours on Your Resume

July 14th, 2015

As one of the top employment agencies in Central Virginia, Adams & Garth knows when an employer is looking to hire, they want to know what sets you apart as a candidate. One way to stand out in a sea of other job candidates applying for the same opportunity is to showcase your achievements using figures or numbers. But if you’re like many out there, quantifying the results you’ve accomplished over the years can tricky. How do you do it? Here are a few areas to think about:

Money you’ve saved employers.

Organizations are always looking to make or save money. If, during the course of your past positions, you were able to do that, it’s important to promote that accomplishment on your resume. Think about different ways you’ve saved or made money for a past employer – or better managed a task so it was more efficient cost-wise. Some examples include:

  • Successfully managed an operating budget of $500k.
  • Cut company office supply costs by 15%.

Time saved for employers.

Similar to money, organizations want to be able to cut time spent on tasks, and deliver positive results faster. Important milestones to communicate on your resume in relation to time include meeting critical deadlines or spearheading a more efficient way of doing business. When reviewing your resume, a hiring manager will think that if you could achieve those results for one company, then you could do the same for their company.

Value delivered in other areas.

It can be hard to attached numbers to many other daily tasks. However, when doing so, examine your primary duties in a role, especially those most relevant to the job you’re applying for. Then think about things like how often you performed that task or how many individuals you managed throughout the process. For instance, include amounts such as:

  • Managed a team of 10.
  • Wrote 10 responses to RFPs in a one-year time period; four of which were successfully secured.

The bottom line? The more you can put numbers on your resume, the better your chances are of standing out – and getting a call for an interview from a hiring manager.

If you’d like more help sprucing up your resume and landing a great new job, call Adams & Garth. As one of the top employment agencies in Central Virginia, we can help you with your job search from start to finish. Contact us today to learn more!

Using Social Media to Find Great Candidates

July 7th, 2015

As one of the top staffing agencies in Charlottesville, Adams & Garth knows that today more than half of all candidates use social media to uncover new opportunities. So if your sourcing strategy doesn’t include leveraging the power of social media, then you could be overlooking some top talent. But if you haven’t recruited job candidates via social media, where do you begin? Here are some steps to help you in the process:

Create a Strategy

You wouldn’t start a new business initiative without a solid strategy in place. Likewise, don’t add social media to your hiring efforts without a firm plan in place first. Where do you start? Think about what your goals are for leveraging social media, which sites are going to deliver the best candidates to you, and how you will attract them to your job postings.

Be Patient

Don’t expect results right way when it comes to recruiting via social media. It might be slow going at first and take some time for you to establish your company online. So if you post some job openings and don’t see the kind of results you want, don’t give up. Recruiting via social media should be a long-term effort. When you are consistent with it, over time, it will bear fruit.

Post More Than Jobs

Sure, you’re going to want to post about job openings at your company…but make sure you go beyond that. You’re trying to attract and engage the best people. That means creating an online employment brand that speaks to them. Talk about what it’s like to work at your company, post about the trends and challenges facing your industry, and answer questions via online forums.

Evaluate Progress

When you first begin using social media in your recruiting efforts, there’s going to be some trial and error. Some efforts will work; others won’t. But after a few months, you may see some trends and patterns emerging. For instance, you may realize that certain sites are much more fruitful than others in terms of attracting high quality talent. However, you won’t know unless you have a plan in place for evaluating progress.

Remember, garnering results using social media takes time. So don’t expect great candidates to come knocking at your door overnight. However, once you’ve invested some time and effort into it, you will start producing positive results.

If you’d like more help recruiting candidates, contact Adams & Garth. As one of the top staffing agencies in Charlottesville, we have the knowledge and expert team in place to help you find and hire the talent you need, the first time.

Contact us today to learn more.


What to Do When a Job Offer Gets Pulled

June 23rd, 2015

You’ve finally found a great job opportunity. But a week before you’re supposed to start, you get a call from the HR manager at your new company. The job offer has been put on hold. What should you do? Do you wait around until they’re ready to bring you on board? Or do you cut your losses and start your search all over again?

While it’s certainly not fair that your job offer was rescinded, it is perfectly legal – as long as there was no contract signed. If you did have a contract, then there may be a basis for a legal claim. If you didn’t, then you’re basically out of luck. You’re considered an “at will” employee and as such, an employer can terminate the relationship at any time, including before it even began.

What do you do now?

First, don’t take the situation personally. Unless they discovered some horrible issue in your background, then it’s not your fault the offer got pulled in the 11th hour. There could have been a variety of factors at play. For example, maybe the person leaving decided not to quit after all and accepted a counter offer. Or there could have been a change that took place in the company – such as a new CEO or departmental merger – that caused the offer to be withdrawn.

It’s up to you to find out whether this is a temporary situation, or if the offer is really gone altogether. If it’s a financial issue, which most are, then the employer may have realized their financial outlook wasn’t as bright as originally thought. Whatever the case, try to speak to the decision maker so you can get a clearer sense of where you stand.

While you’re doing that, though, don’t hold your breath for good news. You have bills to pay and a career to move forward, so it’s important to re-start your job search. Also, the more time that passes after an offer is pulled, the less likely that you’ll get hired – even if it was your dream job.

Do you need more job search help? Call the experts at Adams & Garth. As one of the leading employment agencies in Central Virginia, we will work to get to know you, your background, skills and personality – all so we can match you with job opportunities that are a terrific fit.

Search our Central Virginia jobs now or contact us today.


Need to Recruit Better? Here’s How

June 16th, 2015

As one of Staunton’s leading staffing agencies, Adams & Garth knows whether or not your company is successful depends on the employees you hire. Unfortunately, for many organizations, the recruiting process is an afterthought or something done in haste. The problem with this approach is that it can oftentimes lead to hiring mistakes – which can be costly.

To improve your recruiting process – and get the most out of your new hires, here are some tips to consider:

#1: The basics are important.

For instance, a clear job description, an easy and intuitive process for applying, and responding to applicants promptly are all fundamental to recruiting success. These elements go a long way in making the candidate experience a positive one. As a result, your company will be able to attract higher caliber candidates.

#2: Candidates are people too.

If you regularly have many job openings with hundreds of candidates applying, responding personally to each one isn’t realistic. However, that doesn’t mean you should leave candidates in the dark. You can still send out a template email that informs individuals that you received their resume and what the next steps are.

Also, once you get down to your final pick candidates, you need to treat them with a personal touch. Keep them in the loop when decisions are made. Roll out the welcome wagon when they come in for second and third interviews. And communicate how enthusiastic you are about their background. This kind of attention with make your company stand out to the best candidates.

#3: Create a shadowing experience.

For many candidates, it’s difficult to tell what it’s really like to work at a company. Make it easy for those applying for jobs at your organization. Give them the real scoop by letting them shadow an employee or several employees for a day. Not only will that communicate a sense of transparency, but candidates will be able to quickly tell whether or not your company and the job is the right fit for them.

#4: Promote your company.

Don’t just give candidates a dry document outlining company benefits and perks. Instead, give them some real insight into why it’s great to work for your company. Talk up the flex schedule, the company exercise room, and the year-end bonuses – or whatever it is that makes your organization unique. Remember, you’re not just evaluating candidates; they’re evaluating you too.

Do you need more help with your recruiting efforts? Call Adams & Garth. As one of Staunton’s leading staffing agencies, we can take the hassle out of recruiting for you, so you can focus on other priorities. Contact Adams & Garth today to learn more.

How to Stand Out at Work – and Get Promoted

June 9th, 2015

You have a job you love, so you don’t need to focus on your career, right? Wrong. As one of the leading employment agencies in Central Virginia, Adams & Garth knows if you want to progress and move forward at work, there are steps you need to take to ensure the higher ups notice you. What are they? Here’s a look:

Make sure you’re seen.

According to studies, workers who telecommute may end up getting lower performance evaluations, lower raises and fewer promotions when compared with colleagues in the office – even when they work just as hard and just as long. So if you telecommute, it’s still important to show your face every so often. If it’s not possible to actually go to your work location, then consider using Skype or another video teleconferencing tool during meetings in order to raise your visibility.

Give people your full attention.

When your boss or a colleague walks into your office, stop texting or emailing. People deserve your full attention and if you don’t give it regularly, then you’re making a bad impression. If you feel like you’re interrupted too often to get work done, then close your door for an hour or two each day.

Develop relationships with others.

If you’re an introvert, this one can be a challenge. But it’s important for you to strive to develop relationships with those you work with. Ask people what they did over the weekend. Inquire about a co-worker’s family. Tell a colleague a funny story from the latest conference you went to. Whatever you do, aim to share with your colleagues; you’ll make yourself more memorable and relatable as a result.

Be a problem solver.

If a colleague is having an issue – and you know you could help him or her – volunteer to do it. Even if it’s outside the realm of your role at the office, your co-worker will be appreciative and likely to want to return the favor in the future.

Voice your opinion.

Nobody likes a know-it-all or someone who comes across as highly opinionated. But do make your voice heard through direct and insightful comments in meetings and during brainstorming sessions.

Give credit where it’s due.

If you see your boss or a colleague going the extra mile, recognize them for it. While you don’t want to kiss up or come across as insincere, giving credit where it’s due is always appreciated and remembered.

Are you ready to stand out in a new job? Call Adams & Garth. As one of the leading employment agencies in Central Virginia, we will work to get to know you, your background, skills and personality – all so we can match you with job opportunities that are a terrific fit. Search our Central Virginia jobs now or contact us today.


5 Tips for Managing Interns

June 2nd, 2015

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Central Virginia, Adams & Garth knows when it comes to internships, great experiences don’t just happen. If you’re managing interns, it’s up to you not only properly orient and onboard them, but also manage them effectively as well. To help you in the process, here are some tips to consider:

Prepare Ahead of Time

Before your intern walks through the door, make sure you’re prepared for them. Know ahead of time exactly their job duties, hours, responsibilities and your expectations for them. Sure, there may be times when a task just comes up that you need the intern to handle. But for the most part, their jobs should be defined just like any other employee.

Welcome Your Intern

Make sure your intern feels welcomed during those first few days. Spend some time with him or her not only going over job duties and expectations, but also addressing any questions or concerns they may have. Give them a tour of your facility and introduce them to all the people they’ll be working with. Also, inquire about their career goals and make sure their assignments are aligned with those objectives. Encourage your intern to give feedback and ask questions along the way.

Check in With Your Intern

Don’t forget about your intern after their first few days on the job. Carve out some time in your calendar each week to check in with them. Make sure they’re clear about their assignments and on track toward meeting their goals. Also take the time to answer questions and teach them things you wish you knew when you were at that same stage in your career. Not only will these regular check ins keep your intern heading in the right direction, but they’ll also help them feel more like part of the team.

Give Your Intern Meaningful Assignments

Don’t relegate your intern to the copy room for a summer of filing paperwork. Make sure they have an opportunity to participate in meaningful assignments, as well. So think about some projects you can have your intern work on that relates to his or her career goals and strengths.

Explain Everything

Some things might be self-explanatory to you, but don’t assume your intern has any prior experience or knowledge of these things. Instead, explain everything, from the process for completing a task and the deadline to scheduling expectations and the appropriate use of sick days. Also, encourage your intern to come to you with any questions.

When you follow the tips above, not only will you ensure your intern has a valuable work experience, but that they can also make positive contributions to your team.

Do you need help hiring top performers for your team? Call Adams & Garth. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Central Virginia, we know hiring can be a hassle. But we’ve got the knowledge, experience, and proven processes in place to assist you. Next time you need to hire, contact Adams & Garth. We can help.


How Long Should My Resume Be?

May 26th, 2015

As one of the leading Harrisonburg employment agencies, Adams & Garth can tell you that this is one of the most commonly asked questions from job seekers. For a long time, there was a rule that resumes shouldn’t exceed a page. So candidates spent hours trying to manipulate and cram information on their resume to fit it all on one page.

But times have changed.

While no hiring manager wants to read a five-page resume, if sending a two-page one enables you to better communicate and promote why you’re the best fit for the job, then don’t worry about breaking the “one-page” rule.

What if you have extensive experience in your field?

Still stick to two pages.

The strongest candidates know how present their backgrounds in a concise manner – and hiring managers appreciate their ability to distill important details. In addition, keep in mind, hiring managers don’t want a laundry list of responsibilities you had in a position you held 15 years ago. They want to know about what you’ve been doing now and in the past few years.

Also, if your resume is three or four pages long, hiring managers will be less likely to see the important details you want them to. Remember, they will only give your resume a cursory glance before deciding whether or not to add you to the “maybe” pile. You want to ensure the strongest selling parts are immediately visible.

If you’re on the opposite end of the spectrum – and don’t have a lot of experience – try and stick with a one-page resume. If you’re one year out of school, having a two page – or longer – resume doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. In fact, you may come across as a bit pretentious if you’re inexperienced with a long resume. So avoid it if you can.

Whatever you do, don’t try to reduce the font size or margins in order to squeeze information onto your resume. While these tricks can get your resume down to one or two pages, they can also make the text almost impossible to read. Your text size should be a minimum of 10.5 points and margins should be no smaller than 0.5 inch.

Do you need more help with your resume? Call Adams & Garth. As one of the leading Harrisonburg employment agencies, we can help you with your job search from start to finish, from crafting a strong resume to matching you with a job opportunity that’s a great fit for you.

Contact Adams & Garth today to get started.


When an Employee is Abusing Sick Time

May 19th, 2015

You have one employee who calls in sick every Friday, or every Monday. It’s starting to seem like they’re using sick time as vacation days. What do you do?

First, make sure a pattern truly exists.

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Central Virginia, Adams & Garth can tell you if it’s happened once or twice, it could simply be a coincidence. However, if it’s happened more than that – especially in a short amount of time – you should inquire about what’s going on. Simply bring up the issue to your employee and let them know you’re concerned about their sick time use. Cite the dates they’ve taken off and how they’ve occurred right before or after a weekend.

How your employee responds will guide you as to what steps to take next.

There could truly be a legitimate reason for the sick time. For instance, perhaps your employee has been taking Friday afternoons off because they have a standing doctor’s appointment for a chronic health issue. You want to know these details before you plunge ahead and discipline an employee for abusing sick time.

However, if there’s no good excuse for taking so much sick time off, then communicate to your employee that sick time is truly for when they are ill…not when they need a day off before a big holiday weekend.

In addition, convey to them how taking so much time off impacts the rest of the team because it’s unplanned. Finally, let your employee know that you’re going to be monitoring the situation going forward.

At this point, your employee will know you’ve noticed the trend in the sick time they take and the issue will likely be rectified.

You may also require that this particular employee submit doctor’s notes going forward. However, keep in mind that means you don’t trust them to be honest with you, which isn’t a good position to be in. And if this sick leave issue is simply one performance problem in a long string of them, then it may be time to bid farewell to this employee.

If that’s the case, and you need help filling a job opening, call Adams & Garth. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Central Virginia, we’ll learn about your company, your culture, and your key staffing pains. We’ll then get to work providing you with access to the people you need, where and when you need them. Contact us today to learn more.