Adams & Garth Blog

When An Annoying Co-Worker Has it Out for You

April 15th, 2014

As one of the leading Charlottesville employment agencies, Adams & Garth knows work can be stressful enough without having a co-worker who seems to dislike you for no good reason. But the reality of the workplace is that sometimes you have to deal with difficult people. How do you go about it in a professional manner, while still standing your ground? Here are some tips:

Examine Yourself First 

When there’s an interpersonal conflict at work, people tend to look at others to blame initially. But you should first look at yourself. Is there a pattern of behavior here? In other words, are you experiencing difficulties with multiple people, or just one solitary co-worker? Look inward first to ensure you’re not over-reacting.

Talk to a Trusted Colleague

It can be shocking when a co-worker treats you poorly. And when you’re in the middle of the situation, it can be hard to remain objective. Talking to a trusted colleague at work can help. Ask them if they’ve noticed the behavior and whether they have any advice for dealing with it.

Be Direct

If you believe it is your co-worker causing the problem, then confront them. Your situation won’t get any better otherwise. When you do, be direct, but professional. Don’t attack, but do ask if there’s something you did to upset them. Oftentimes, people don’t know how their actions and words are impacting others.

By calling attention to their behavior, you’re letting them know you’re upset, but also willing to work on a solution. Worst-case scenario, they’ll deny their actions or try to explain them away.

Limit Your Contact

If problems continue and you can avoid being around your colleague, or working on projects with them, then do so. When you do have to collaborate together, stay on point and only talk about the task at hand. Don’t engage in polite conversation unless absolutely necessary. When you can, use email; just be sure to save a paper trail in case you need to verify any information.

Talk to Your Boss 

Going to your boss to complain should be your last resort. However, if you’ve tried every other tactic without success – and the issue is impacting your job satisfaction – then schedule a chat with your boss. Rather than pointing fingers at the person, focus on specific examples of how their behavior is impacting your ability to get work done.

If all else fails and you’re still miserable, consider looking for another job. While you didn’t do anything wrong, your job happiness is on the line. And this situation might be the jumpstart you need to explore better options elsewhere.

If you’re ready to start your search, call Adams & Garth. As one of the leading Charlottesville employment agencies, we partner with top employers throughout Central Virginia to offer you outstanding opportunities in a variety of fields. Contact us today to learn more or search our Charlottesville jobs now.

Communication is Key When Managing Your Virtual Employees

April 8th, 2014

Approximately 13.4 million employees, or 9.4% of U.S. workers, worked at least one day at home per week in 2010, compared with 9.2 million people, or 7% of U.S. workers in 1997. And that number is only going to increase in the coming years.

As leading recruiters in Lynchburg, Adams & Garth knows whether you already have remote employees on staff, or are planning to implement a work-from-home policy at your company, it’s imperative that you manage virtual employees right.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to communication. Employees aren’t on site to stop by your office for a chat, or connect with you over lunch – which is why you must make an effort to invest more in communicating with them.

Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Communicate everyday. Even if it’s just a quick text or email to check in, you should be talking with your virtual workers every day. That doesn’t mean you need to be hounding them; it simply allows you to give them an opportunity to share any progress, concerns, issues or accolades that you may not know about.
  • Invest in collaboration tools. Thanks to technology, there are a multitude of apps, software, websites and other tools you and your team can use to share, collaborate and stay connected. It’s simply a matter of finding the one or ones that work the best for you and your team. You’ll have to do some research and test a few out. But when you find the tool that is effective, it can be invaluable.
  • Give feedback. Just because an employee is off-site doesn’t mean they don’t need their share of feedback and encouragement. Don’t wait until the end of the year to have a performance review. Instead, regularly talk to your virtual team members about performance – what’s going well and what needs improvement, and recognizing their contributions to the team.
  • Get together. If you’re in the same city, then get together face-to-face with your staff every once in a while. If not, then use video conferencing tools. This is especially important if you’re talking about a sensitive or urgent issue. Much of communication has to do with interpreting body language and visual cues. Important conversations will be far more productive and you’ll ensure important message don’t get lost in a lengthy email when you take the time to communicate in person.

The bottom line? Virtual employees can be a huge headache or a huge asset to your company. The trick to achieving success is managing them right and communicating often.

Need help hiring for your virtual workforce? Call Adams & Garth. As leading recruiters in Lynchburg, we’ve got the knowledge, experience, and proven processes in place to help you hire right. Next time you need top talent, contact Adams & Garth. We can help.

 

5 Things Not to Say in a Job Interview

April 1st, 2014

Job interviews are tense. As a result, candidates can sometimes blurt out things they never intended to say. While it may be accidental, the damage is done and the offer is typically lost.

If it’s happened to you, take heart. As one of the leading employment agencies in Lynchburg, Adams & Garth knows even the best candidate can blow an interview with one bad comment. To make sure it doesn’t occur again in the future, here are a few statements to avoid making at all costs:

1. “Why should I want to work for you?”

Many times, hiring managers will ask why they should hire you. That doesn’t mean you should turn the tables and ask the same question, unless you want to come off as pushy and rude. Instead, if you really want to know why you should work at a company, ask specific questions, like “what do you like most about working here?”

2. “I’m desperate. Please hire me.”

There are a lot of candidates out there in your shoes. But if you tell a hiring manager this, you can pretty much kiss that offer good-bye. No one wants to hire a desperate candidate. Employers want people who are positive, enthusiastic, and driven. Not those who want any job they can get.

3. “That’s a dumb question.” 

So the hiring manager asked you “if you were an animal, what kind would you be?” and you responded instinctively. Who can blame you? But when you’re in a job interview setting, it’s important to think before you speak. When you have an urge to say something sarcastic, just bite your tongue. If you’re going on a lot of interviews, you may get asked some silly questions. Just accept it and answer them to the best of your ability.

4. “I’m interviewing with your competitor.” 

You might think this makes you sound more in demand. But actually, telling the hiring manager who you’re interviewing with is a big turn off. Employers want you as the candidate focused on them and their opportunity. When you’re not, they’ll assume you’re not excited about the position and may offer it to a candidate who is.

5. “No, you’ve answered everything.” 

You nailed every aspect of the interview, until the hiring manager asked if you have any questions. Don’t respond with this! Always come armed with at least three or four thoughtful questions that go beyond the basics of what you already talked about during the interview.

Need more help with your job interview performance? 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.

The Friends & Family Plan: Be Careful When Working for Those You Know

March 25th, 2014

In theory, working for a family member or friend sounds great. After all, you know their personalities, what they do and what you’re getting yourself into – plus you have a shot at helping their business succeed. What could go wrong?

A lot. Before you accept a job in Central Virginia where you join the ranks of a company owned by someone you know well, keep a few things in mind:

Clearly defining roles and expectations is more important than ever.

When you work for someone you don’t know, you still need goals and expectations. However, when it comes to working for family and friends, this is even more important because there is so much at stake – namely your relationship.

But this can be hard because many times, small businesses are family owned and far more casual about job descriptions and responsibilities. So it might be up to you to insist on this aspect. When you do, your time at the company is far more likely to be productive and successful.

Use what you know.

You know your friend or family member’s personality. It’s unlikely they are going to be any different at work. So if they have a tendency to be sarcastic, a little too direct, let their tempers flare, or uncommunicative, then guess what? They’re probably going to be like that at work, as well.

The advantage for you though is that you already know this information going in and you can use it to help guide you when conflicts do arise.

Brace for conflict.

Speaking of conflict, expect it. Just because you know or are related to the person you are working for, doesn’t mean you are going to be given the VIP treatment or handled with kid gloves.

Don’t cross boundaries.

If your sister is the boss and out of the office, don’t act on her behalf when a decision needs to be made or fire put out, unless she told you directly to do so. If you do, you’ll not only undermine your relationship with her, but you’ll also make a bad impression on your colleagues. Know where the boundaries are and don’t cross them.

Put communication on your priority list.

Communication is important regardless of the work setting. But again, considering there are personal relationships involved, it becomes even more vital when you work for friends or family members.

So communicate when you have an opinion, or you’re upset about something. Don’t keep your mouth shut just because you’re afraid of offending a family member.

Whether you choose to accept a job with a family member or a friend is up to you. But if you do, follow the tips above to keep both your work and personal relationships in tact.

Looking for jobs in Central Virginia? Let Adams & Garth know. We partner with leading employers to offer you outstanding opportunities in a variety of fields. Contact Adams & Garth today to learn more.

Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe: Which Candidate Should You Choose?

March 18th, 2014

When you’re hiring, all you want is one good candidate who fits the bill. But what happens when you come across two or three? How can you possibly choose the right one when all seem qualified for the position?

As Central Virginia recruiters , Adams & Garth knows that while it’s certainly a tough call, there are some key indicators you can look to so you can make the right decision for your company:

Indicator #1: Personality

Of course you need to hire the person with the right technical skills. However, don’t forget about the culture of your company, as well as what kind of personalities will best thrive in the position you’re hiring for.

If you haven’t already, then you should conduct a personality test of your top pick candidates to garner the information you need. Otherwise, you could be hiring someone who appears to be the right fit, but doesn’t quite match up once on the job. Think too about the culture of your company. If you operate in a more conservative, formal environment, then a candidate who embraces that kind of workplace will be more successful.

Indicator #2: Employee / Manager Relationship 

Who will your new hire be reporting to? It’s important to think through this relationship before making a hiring decision. Not that a new employee and manager need to be best friends. But the new hire does need to be able to integrate themselves quickly with their supervisor’s management style. Why is this so important? Because employees don’t quit companies, they quit supervisors. So making the right match is important for hiring success.

Indicator #3: Career Goals

When hiring, don’t just consider your needs, but the needs and goals of a potential new hire, as well. If a candidate expresses an interest in advancing their career toward management, and you know your company offers plenty of opportunities for growth, then voila – goals are aligned. But if the opposite is true and most employees generally stay put in the same position for years, then perhaps that’s not the candidate for you.

Still in doubt about whom to hire?

Then give your candidates a homework assignment. Don’t ask them to complete a full fledged project. But do ask them to complete a task that will give you more insight into how they think, the quality of their ideas, and how eager they are about your opportunity. This one step could make it crystal clear whom your next new hire should be.

Need more help hiring great people for your team? Call Adams & Garth. As Central Virginia recruiters with over 20 years of experience, we can work with you to find the person best-suited for the job and help you avoid the risk of making a hiring mistake. Get started now.

Need Top Performers? Here’s How to Hire Them

March 11th, 2014

“We can’t find good people.”

As one of the top staffing agencies in Charlottesville, it’s something we hear often. But we can tell you that if you take the right approach when hiring, you can bring exceptional, impactful people on board. However, far too often, employers make the following mistakes, leading them down the path to disappointing new hires:

  • Not knowing what traits are needed to be successful on the job.
  • Hiring someone because they like or feel more comfortable with them.
  • Hiring someone they know.
  • Hiring in a hurry.

This simply doesn’t make sense. Think of it this way: If you were considering purchasing a major piece of equipment – one that cost $40,000 – you’d never make a decision because you liked or knew the salesperson or needed the piece fast. Rather, you’d take your time, learning all you could about it and the impact the purchase could have on your business.

The same holds true for hiring. Next time you need to hire top performers, follow these best practices instead:

Focus on personality traits when recruiting.

Hard skills are important, of course. But they don’t make people go above and beyond or achieve success. And if your new hire doesn’t have the right personality to do the job, they’re going to fail.

Think of the highly detailed, ultra organized, super introverted administrative person – and put them at the front desk answering phones and greeting people. They’re not going to be happy there and will eventually wind up disengaged and miserable. They’d be much better office handling back office tasks.

Look to existing high performers. 

What do other top performers on your team bring to the table that average ones don’t? Use those individuals as a starting point to determine the kind of specific hard skills and personality characteristics you need to hire for. Once you identify what the best performers are doing differently – and better, you can screen for and hire people with a proven record of doing the same.

Stay objective.

Don’t hire based on gut or personal feelings. It’s critical that you remain objective during the process. Use tools like assessments and skills testing will help you do so. What you learn about a particular candidate may actually surprise you – and it could be the exact opposite of what your gut feeling indicated.

Don’t have the time to devote to the hiring process? Let Adams & Garth know. 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.

Mistakes That Will Land You in the Wrong Career

March 4th, 2014

Ever feel like you’re getting by in your career, but not thriving? You like what you do…sort of…but don’t truly love it?

As one of the leading employment agencies in Central Virginia, we see people all the time who are in careers they either aren’t well suited for or they simply aren’t happy in. Engineers who should have been accountants. Administrative assistants who should be graphic designers, and the list goes on.

There are many reasons why people find themselves trapped in jobs and fields they want “out” from. If you’re one of them – and wondering where things went wrong – here are a few career mistakes that may have led you off course and how to rectify each:

Not following your instincts. 

Oftentimes, a job or career field can seem perfect on paper. The salary is great, the benefits look ideal, the work seems challenging. So rather than really thinking about whether it’s a good fit for you, you may have looked at all the practical aspects of the opportunity and ignored that nagging sensation that the opportunity just wasn’t the right one.

What to do about it: Your gut can offer you a pretty sophisticated warning system. Don’t ignore it! Even if the next job you’re offered sounds perfect, but it still feels wrong, politely decline and keep looking. You’ll thank yourself in the end.

Doing what other people want you to do.

Sometimes outside pressure – from parents, spouses, friends, and colleagues – can cause you to make decisions and accept positions that aren’t right for you. Or perhaps you earned a degree in a certain field and feel that you’re now committed to it. Bottom line? You’re not where you want to be.

What to do about it: Don’t continue to turn a deaf ear to that inner voice telling you something’s wrong. It’s ok to want other people’s approval. But is it really worth it at the expense of your own personal happiness?

It’s time to start listening to the one person who’s career satisfaction you are in charge of. So start thinking about what gifts and interests you have and how you can find a job that puts them to work.

Not changing course quickly. 

Most people out there have taken a job they wished they hadn’t or made missteps in their career track. However, the key to career success is recognizing a wrong move and rectifying it as quickly as possible. Otherwise, you’ll stay miserably stuck in a career and job you don’t like.

What to do about it: Be honest with yourself. Admit your mistake and create a plan of action for moving forward. Why spend another moment in a job that makes you unhappy when there are plenty of opportunities out there that are better suited for you.

Need more help finding a job – or a new career – that you’ll love? 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.

 

Help! My Boss Doesn’t Know What He’s Doing

February 25th, 2014

When you land a job and get a new boss, you have a few simple expectations. One of them is that your boss is going to be competent.

Sadly, as one of the leading Charlottesville employment agencies, Adams & Garth knows this isn’t always the case. Many times, employees get promoted into positions where they’re managing other people – yet have no idea how to lead a team. This results in confusion, disengagement and a total lack of confidence in management.

Some signs your boss is incompetent?

  • They can’t make decisions, or make poorly planned decisions.
  • They set unrealistic expectations on a regular basis without understanding how it hurts morale.
  • They don’t seem to know how to get their own jobs done.
  • They don’t know how to motivate team members and keep them engaged.

What’s worse is that having a bad boss could reflect poorly on your career. For instance, if your department is under-performing, the rest of the company (higher ups included) may view it as the fault of the whole department, rather than just one bad manager.

So if you think your boss is incompetent, you clearly need to act. Here are some tips to help you deal with the situation in a professional manner:

Make sure you understand what’s going on.

You may jump to conclusions and think you have a bad boss because of a couple bad decisions. However, before you declare your boss to be useless, take a step back and try to understand the big picture. Your boss has many responsibilities and stressors that you are not fully aware of. And they are making decisions based on information you’re not necessarily privy to.

In addition, you may think your boss lacks information in a certain area that you’re strong in. But keep in mind, that’s probably why they want you on their team in the first place – to fill a certain knowledge gap.

Talk to a trusted peer.

Ask a trusted co-worker what their thoughts are. They may be thinking the same thing you are – or something else entirely. Explain the situation and your perspective and ask if they’re having similar issues. If they are, then you’ll know it’s not just you.

Talk to your boss.

Whether you like it or not, you and your boss are in this together…at least for now. So if there’s a particular area where you think your boss is really dropping the ball, let them know.

For instance, if their deadlines are always unreasonable, then say something like: “I want to do a good job, but I think these deadlines are nearly impossible to achieve because of X, Y, and Z. Is there any way we can rework them?” Don’t attack them. Be clear, specific, and present a plan of action.

Take charge.

Even if it’s your boss’s fault, it makes your whole team look bad when projects fail. So if you can step up in a certain area to lead and execute, then do it. You will paint yourself in a far more positive light when you’re a part of successful projects.

Be careful.

No matter how much you don’t like your boss, resist the urge to trash them or complain. If the situation is getting out of hand, then make a point to talk with HR or your boss’s boss. But tread lightly. People running organizations typically don’t look kindly on those they perceive as bad-mouthing another manager. Put simply: Proceed with caution.

Ready to move on from your bad boss? If you’d like to cut ties and head in a different career direction, call Adams & Garth. As one of the leading Charlottesville employment agencies, we’ll get to know your background, skills and personality….we’ll then get to work matching you with opportunities at some of the area’s top employers.

Contact us today to learn more.

How to Hire Personalities That Fit Your Company

February 18th, 2014

As leading recruiters in Harrisonburg, Adams & Garth knows that regardless of whether you’re looking to hire for a large corporation or small business, you need people who fit with your organization’s culture.

Hiring those with the right hard skills – but who end up being a behavioral mismatch – is a recipe for disaster. They’ll do the job for a while, realize they don’t like the culture and eventually start looking for a new opportunity…leaving you right back where you started.

So how can you recruit the right personalities in the first place? It all starts with how you go about hiring. Here are some tips to help you.

Tip #1: Define the personality you’re looking for. 

You know your company better than anyone else – and the position you’re trying to fill. So what kind of a personality is going to be a good fit for both? Is it someone who is creative, passionate and innovative? Or someone detail oriented and a stickler for organization?

Identify your “must haves” before you even start recruiting.

Tip #2: Customize the process to include the traits you’re looking to hire for.

Once you know the kinds of traits that are most essential, be sure that the hiring and interview process screens for them.

For instance, if you need to hire someone who can think quickly on their feet, throw them a curveball question during the interview and assess how well they perform.

If, on the other hand, you need a highly creative individual, give each candidate a homework assignment to showcase their talent.

Tip #3: Show your personality during the interview process.

Some hiring managers tend to be quite formal during the interview process, which is fine. But don’t take it to an extreme where you’re not showcasing your personality or that of the company to candidates. You want candidates to be straightforward and honest; as a result, you need to do the same.

Think of it this way.

Most candidates are on guard during the interviewing process. However, when you reveal something about yourself – such as challenges you’ve faced on the job – they are going to be much more apt to open up and share honest experiences. The benefit? You’ll gain a more accurate picture of each candidate.

Tip #4: Approach the interview like a conversation.

Don’t purposely try to stump or intimidate a candidate. You’ll close off the lines of communication by doing so.

Instead, look at the interview as a two-way conversation, not like you’re the one in control and the candidate is the subordinate. The more at-ease a candidate feels, the more they will reveal about themselves and their personality (whether intentionally or not).

Need more help hiring candidates that are a great fit your organization? Call Adams & Garth. As leading recruiters in Harrisonburg, we know hiring can be risky. 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.

 

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Is It Time to Fire an Employee?

February 11th, 2014

Making the decision to fire an employee is never an easy one. However, as leading recruiters in Lynchburg, we know that sometimes it’s certainly unavoidable.

To ensure you’re making the right decision, here are a few red flags that signal it’s time to terminate:

The employee isn’t putting your feedback into action.

If you’ve conducted a performance review with your employee – and laid out clear areas that need improvement – then your employee should be well on their way to getting back on track. However, if it’s still business as usual and you don’t see any progress being made, then it’s time to consider letting them go.

No employee is going to change sub-par performance overnight. However, if it’s clear they’re not even making an effort, then there is no point in keeping them around.

The employee isn’t following the rules.

When an employee isn’t showing up for work on time, doesn’t dress appropriately and isn’t following the rules you’ve set forth, then a discussion is certainly in order. However, if you’ve talked the issue over with your employee more than once and they’re simply ignoring you, then it’s clear they think the rules don’t apply to them.

Before things get out of hand and their behavior starts influencing those around them, it’s time to fire them.

They can’t do the job. 

The employee is a hard worker, is making an effort to improve, and follows the rules. The trouble is, no matter how hard they try, they simply can’t do the job.

Perhaps you made in error judgment when hiring them in the first place. Whatever the case, you can’t let consistently poor performance go unnoticed. After all, the reason you hired them was to do a job – and you need them to deliver.

They have a bad attitude.

There’s nothing more frustrating then having an employee who is great at their job, but brings a consistently bad attitude to work everyday. What’s worse is that this toxic outlook eventually rubs off on the rest of the team – impacting morale and productivity in the long run.

If you’ve had talk after talk with the employee in question to no avail, it’s time to fire them. Skills can be learned, but a new – and better – attitude is far harder to acquire.

If you’ve had to let an employee go recently and would like assistance filling their position, give Adams & Garth a call. As leading recruiters in Lynchburg, we’ve got the knowledge, experience, and proven processes in place to help you hire right.

Next time you need top talent, contact Adams & Garth. We can help.