Adams & Garth Blog

What to Do When an Employee Needs Hand Holding

January 20th, 2015

Imagine this scenario:

You have an employee who is always knocking on your door. They’re asking for feedback, direction and advice at every turn. You typically don’t mind offering input. But this particular employee seems to need to be told what to do all the time. What should you do?

As one of Staunton’s leading staffing agencies, Adams & Garth knows if an employee is constantly coming to you in need of help, then there are a few different scenarios that could be in play:

First, you’re not providing them with enough guidance and they’re simply in search of the answers they need to do their job. As a manager, an important part of your job is to offer clear direction and feedback. If you’re not comfortable in that role, then you need to get comfortable quickly, or else you won’t succeed as a manager.

Second, if you’ve already offered clear feedback and direction, and the employee is still floundering and coming to you non-stop, then they may be in a position ill-suited for them. If that’s the case, you need to re-assess their talents and re-align them with a job that matches their skills. When employees are in positions that are a match for them, they feel more engaged, competent and connected. Ideally, before a person is hired for a role, you’ll know their talents to ensure you’re hiring the right person for the job.

A third reason an employee may be constantly interrupting you for guidance is that they’re not confident and need re-assurance from you. It’s up to you, as their manager, to tell them clearly and directly they need to stop disturbing you so much and make decisions and solve more problems on their own. Explain to them about what you need to be updated about, what you don’t, and to determine for themselves what issues should be escalated to you.

In the beginning, you may also want to set up weekly progress meetings to discuss any issues or concerns they may have. Ask your employee to save discussion items for that meeting, unless something is truly urgent, so you’re not interrupted continuously throughout the week.

Keep in mind too, some employees need more guidance and direction than others. As their manager, it’s up to you to tailor your management approach to ensure every employee on your staff succeeds.

Need help hiring for your team? Call the staffing experts at Adams & Garth. As one of Staunton’s leading staffing agencies, we can take the hassle out of hiring for you, so you can focus on other priorities. Contact Adams & Garth today to learn more.

7 Secrets to a Cover Letter That Gets Results

January 13th, 2015

Is one of your resolutions for 2015 to find a new job? If it is, then your cover letter is a critical component of the process. In fact, as one of the leading Charlottesville employment agencies, Adams & Garth knows your letter can be the difference between getting a call for an interview or not. To help you write one that gets results, follow these tips:

#1. Don’t offer the same details that are on your resume.

Your cover letter is an opportunity to set yourself apart from the competition and showcase your personality. It should not just be a summary of your resume. Instead, it should add something new to your candidacy, such as work habits, why you want a particular job, or references or positive comments from a previous boss.

#2. Stick with facts, not hyperbole.

Avoid fluff and exaggerated statements such as “I am the best qualified candidate for your opening.” Instead, focus on facts, figures and details, like why you’re a good fit for the job. That’s the kind of information that will help you stand out to a hiring manager.

#3. Show personal interest.

Make the case as to why you’re the best person for the job in an enthusiastic way. If you’re applying to a company you’ve always wanted to work for, then explain why you’re a fan. If there was something in particular that resonated with you in the job description, discuss that. If there’s a certain aspect of the job that aligns exactly with one of your strengths, highlight it in your cover letter.

#4. Describe how you can help.

Your cover letter shouldn’t be all about you. When writing one, think of it from the perspective of: how can my skills and experience help this company? If you’re in sales, for instance, describe how you’d go about increasing revenue. If you work in customer service, highlight how you’d enhance the company’s service process.

#5. Offer explanations.

Your cover letter is the place to explain issues such as gaps in employment, or if you’re over- or under-qualified for the position. If you don’t address situations like these upfront, the hiring manager may simply overlook your resume. It’s up to you persuade them as to why you deserve a second look.

#6. Be conversational.

While you don’t want to be too casual, or use slang, don’t go overboard and be too formal either. The best cover letters use language that is warm and conversational in tone.

#7. Don’t cut and paste.

When sending a cover letter, don’t use a form letter. Hiring managers can quickly tell which candidates spent time crafting a custom letter and which ones simply cut and paste from the Internet.

Your cover letter is typically the first impression you make with a hiring manager. That’s why it’s important to spend the time to get it right. Still, cover letters can be a challenge to write. If you need help, call Adams & Garth. As one of the leading Charlottesville employment agencies, we can help you with the process. We also 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.

Keep the Flu Out of Your Office This Winter

January 6th, 2015

The flu season is in full swing – and, as one of the leading staffing agencies in Central Virginia, Adams & Garth knows it can wreak havoc on your workplace, not to mention productivity, if you don’t take a proactive approach. To help keep the flu in check and away from your staff this winter, follow these tips:

Tip #1: Encourage employees to stay home when sick.

Too many times, employees feel compelled to come into the office, even when they’re down and out with the flu. Don’t let them! Tell employees to stay home when they’re ill – and don’t punish them for using sick days. Make sure you set the example too by staying home when you’re sick. And finally, if an employee is clearly sick, don’t hesitate to send them home. The flu is highly contagious, after all, and the last thing you need is an entire staff battling it.

Tip #2: Make it easy for employees to get a flu shot.

Send out reminders about local flu-shot clinics. If your company is large enough, consider offering a flu clinic on-site, as well. Whatever you do, make is easy for employees who want to get vaccinated to do so.

Tip #3: Invest in hands-free appliances.

Moving toward hands-free appliances, like automatic soap and paper towel dispensers, can certainly pay off in the form of fewer sick days used by employees.

Tip #4: Keep it clean.

Doorknobs, railings, faucets, conference tables, copy machines, community office products, and any equipment people touch should be disinfected daily. Also, encourage employees to clean their desks and keyboards regularly. Provide hand sanitizer, wipes, disinfecting sprays and towels for them to use.

Tip #5: Promote hand washing.

According to studies, hand washing is still one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of the flu. While you don’t want to sound like a nagging parent, encourage employees to wash their hands regularly. Post signs in restrooms, break rooms and lunch rooms.

Tip #5: Prepare for more sick days.

Plan for the flu ahead of time by having options in place for employees to work from home. That way, if they feel up to it, they can still get work done without coming into the office and potentially spreading the virus.

From lost productivity to missed deadlines, the flu can cause a host of challenges. Overcome them by encouraging and educating workers about how they can fight back. When you do, you can reduce sick time, maintain productivity, and operate a healthier workplace.

If you have employees out on extended sick leave and need extra help as a result, 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.

 

New Year’s Resolutions When You’re Looking for a New Job 

December 23rd, 2014

Is “finding a new job” on the top of your to do list for 2015? If it is, then be sure to set these 4 resolutions ahead of time so you can achieve job search success:

Resolution #1: “I will network more.”

As Harrisonburg recruiters, Adams & Garth knows that networking is the fastest path to a new job. To leverage all it has to offer, commit to attending at least one networking event each week, whether it’s in person or online. Also, try to meet at least one new person each week and re-connect with old colleagues and business contacts.

In addition, leverage the power of social media and online forums to reach out to those in your field. Keep in mind too, just because someone doesn’t work in your industry, doesn’t mean they can’t help you in your job search. So keep an open mind when networking. You never know where it can lead.

Resolution #2: “I will apply only to positions I’m qualified for.”

When searching for a new job, it’s tempting to apply for every job under the sun. But in doing so, you’re wasting your time – not to mention the hiring manager’s time – because you’re applying for jobs you’re not really qualified for. When it comes to job hunts, quality trumps quantity every time. Focus only on those few positions you’re really qualified for and tailor your resume and cover letter for each one.

Resolution #3: “I will spend ample time preparing for interviews.”

You spent the time and energy creating a great resume and cover letter. But if you don’t invest that same effort in preparing for interviews, you’re not going to get the job. When you do schedule an interview, be sure to:

  • Research the company (including mission, vision, key players, and competitors) and the position.
  • Spend some time preparing your answers to common interview questions.
  • Be ready to talk about why you’re a good fit for the job with specific examples of your strengths and accomplishments.
  • Have a list of questions ready that will help you assess whether the job and the company are the right fit for you.

Resolution #4: “I will work with a recruiter.”

Recruiters are another great source for finding out about job opportunities. Many times, companies don’t advertise positions they’re looking to fill; one way to find out about them is through a recruiter. So work on finding one you trust and leveraging their contacts and experience to help you find the job you want.

If you’d like to learn more about how a recruiter can help you in your job search, call 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.

 

Conducting Employee Reviews With Underperformers

December 16th, 2014

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Staunton – and Central Virginia, Adams & Garth knows whether you’re the boss or an employee, you likely view the performance review process as a painful one. But it can seem even more excruciating when you have to conduct an evaluation with an employee who is underperforming.

How can you approach the awkward conversation and make it as effective as possible? Here are some tips to help you get your less-than-stellar team member back on track:

Determine the Root Cause of the Problems

It’s never a good idea to go into a performance review and just wing it. But this is especially true with an underperforming employee. You need to take the time to think about what’s causing the problem so you can work with your employee to address it. Ask yourself:

  • Is this person a bad fit for the job?
  • Do they lack the required skills?
  • Are they being given enough training and support?
  • Am I giving them enough feedback throughout the year?
  • Do they understand what’s expected of them?
  • Do they have clear performance goals and objectives?

What you might find out is that you are contributing in some way to the poor performance. So don’t simply concentrate on what a problem employee is doing wrong; you may need to make some changes, as well.

Get Feedback From Others

Before your performance reviews, ask other employees and managers for their input on the situation. You may want to conduct a 360 review, or connect with the individual’s past boss at the company and ask for their advice on the matter. When you have conversations like these, handle them with care and keep them confidential.

Have a Conversation With the Underperformer

Though it can be tempting, don’t lecture an employee on everything they’re doing wrong. To engage the employee in the process, it’s important to have a conversation. Explain to them what you’re seeing and how it’s affecting the team. Make it clear you want to help them and ask them for their take on the situation. Work together to brainstorm solutions. Keep in mind, your employee may need some time to digest the information you’re presenting, so don’t expect an immediate resolution.

Create a Plan of Action

Work with your employee to create a plan to get them back on track. Talk about what you’re each going to do differently and settle on goals and measurable actions that you can use to monitor progress. Make sure part of the conversation involves the resources your employee will have access to in order to accomplish the goals and expectations you’ve set forth. The last thing you want to do is set them up for failure.

Monitor Progress

Make sure you follow up. Check in with your employee regularly and set up formal touchpoint meetings to talk about progress, challenges and successes.

And whatever you do, don’t ignore issues with problem employees. Though they can be uncomfortable to talk about, it’s a must if you don’t want them to fester and affect the morale on your team.

Need help hiring top performers? Call Adams & Garth. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Staunton – and Central Virginia, our trained specialists can take the hassle out of hiring, so you get the skilled, hard-working employees you need. Contact us today to learn more.

Should You Give Your Boss a Gift This Holiday Season?

December 9th, 2014

To gift, or not to gift? That is the question when it comes to your boss this holiday season.

As one of the leading employment agencies in Charlottesville, Adams & Garth knows that some employees buy their bosses gifts each year, while others are on the fence about whether or not to do so, or how much to spend. If you fall into the latter category, then you’re certainly not alone. It’s tricky because if you don’t buy a gift and your co-workers do, you may look unappreciative. On the flip side, if you get too big of a gift, then your boss and colleagues may think you’re sucking up.

To help you decide what to do, consider the following:

  • Employers should typically be the ones giving to their employees during the holiday season to thank them for their dedication and hard work. So don’t feel like you need to get your boss a gift just to keep your job or look good.
  • That said, you might feel truly grateful for the opportunities your boss has afforded you and want to get them a gift to show your thanks. If that’s the case, then avoid being overly extravagant. Oftentimes, the best gifts aren’t the biggest. So consider something small, like a hand-written note with a gift certificate to your boss’s favorite lunch spot or a basket of treats. Avoid gifts that can be seen as too personal, like perfume or jewelry, or too pricey. You don’t want to offend your boss or make them feel uncomfortable.
  • Another option for gift-giving is to join forces with your co-workers and purchase one large gift for your boss. Ask your colleagues to contribute as much as they are comfortable with and then make a group decision about what to get your boss. That way, everyone feels included and on equal footing.
  • If you’re a new employee at the company, ask around for what is typical this time of year. You may find out most of your co-workers don’t purchase gifts for the boss, or that everyone pools their money to purchase one gift. Whatever the case, when you know the precedent, you can follow it.

Looking for a new boss this holiday season? 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.

Celebrating the Holidays at Work

December 2nd, 2014

It’s that time of year and employees want to celebrate. What are the benefits of embracing the holiday spirit – and in what ways can your company do so?

The Benefits of Holiday Celebrations:

  • Allows employees to relax and recharge.
  • Boosts morale, which in turn increases employee motivation and productivity. When employees are motivated, they deliver greater organizational success.
  • Enhances loyalty, thereby reducing the attrition rates of the organization.
  • Fosters an environment of caring and respect, enhancing the bond among employees.
  • Reaffirms a company’s desire to create a “family-like” atmosphere and reflects how much an employer cares for employees. Also sends a positive message that you value and respect your team.

Tips for Celebrating the Holidays at Your Company

Create a Planning Committee

The group should include those from across the company who will plan and implement holiday events.

Give Back

Make a donation on behalf of your employees for a cause that aligns with the beliefs and values of your company. Make sure to communicate the impact of the contribution with employees. Also, get employees involved in selecting the cause to support.

Recognize Top Performers

However you do celebrate, make sure to announce employee successes over the past year by recognizing both individuals, as well as teams. For instance, you can present service or performance awards to show appreciation to staff while they’re among their peers and business leaders.

Don’t Forget About Diversity

Not everyone celebrates the holidays, so be respectful of different religious views. Pay attention to the diverse customs and needs of your entire workforce so everyone feels included.

Reinforce Company Policies

Instances of inappropriate behavior, like sexual harassment, are higher during this time of year. That’s why it’s important for companies to remind employees that policies are still applicable during company events.

Have a Good Time

Regardless of how you celebrate the holiday season, what employees will remember most is how the event made them feel. So whatever your company does, just make sure it’s appropriate for your unique workplace and culture and that people have fun and feel appreciated.

Understaffed during the holidays? The holidays are a busy time of year for many companies. If yours is one of them, call Adams & Garth. As leading Staunton recruiters, we can give you access to top candidates throughout Central Virginia that will hit the ground running at your firm. Contact Adams & Garth today to learn more.

Help! I Love My Job, But Hate My Boss

November 25th, 2014

Love your job? Can’t stand your boss? As one of the leading employment agencies in Charlottesville, Adams & Garth knows you’re not alone. There are countless employees out there who loves their positions, but hate those they report to. If you’re in this situation, what should you do? Jump ship, or try to make it work? To help you, consider the following:

Check yourself.

Consider your role in the problem. For instance, your boss may have issues with you because you’re not performing well on the job. So if you’re five minutes late every day, behind on your work, and not reaching productivity goals, then strive to improve and better meet your boss’s expectations.

Become an ally.

Your job is to work for your boss and support his or her initiatives. So be proactive to learn about your boss’s expectations and priorities, then get to work helping them achieve their goals. A boss who knows that you are actively supporting their best interests will come to view you as an ally, improving your relationship in the long run.

Set up regular status updates.

On a regular basis, check in with your boss and bring him or her up to date on the projects you’re working on. These conversations will not only keep your boss in the loop, but also facilitate a more positive working relationship.

Go over your boss’s head.

If your boss is creating a truly toxic environment no matter how hard you work to rectify the situation, then you may want to talk to their boss or go to HR. Before you do so, though, document the offenses in writing for a certain period of time (for instance, a week, a month, or a quarter), then discuss the issue with your boss’s supervisor and/or Human Resources.

Move on.

If you’ve made attempts to change the working relationship with a bad boss and have still come up empty handed, it may be time to move on. That said, you should try to stick it out until you find a new opportunity. Here’s why:

  • It’s much easier to find a new job when you’re employed. If you aren’t, hiring managers will wonder why you aren’t working. And fair or not, hiring managers place a higher value on those who already have a job than those who don’t.
  • Finding a new position can take a long time. In today’s employment marketplace, it can take up to a year – or more – to find a new job. Are you financially prepared to be unemployed for that long? If not, then keep your job until you find a new one. The last thing you want is to accept a bad fit job just because you’re under financial pressure.
  • It’s easier to explain why you don’t want your current manager contacted as a reference. If you’re searching for a new job while employed, it makes sense that you don’t want prospective employers contacting your manager. However, if you’re unemployed and don’t want them to contact a former manager, they’ll wonder why.

If you’d like professional help with your job 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.

Warning: Be Wary of This Candidate

November 18th, 2014

As one of the top staffing agencies in Charlottesville, Adams & Garth knows making a bad hire is expensive. Worse, it also means you likely missed out on hiring someone great. So how can filter out those candidates who perform well during the hiring process, but will fall apart once on the job? Here’s a look at a few traits to be on the lookout for:

They’re too vague.

In the business world, generalizations simply don’t cut it. It’s important for you to know facts, figures and details when it comes to hiring the right person for the job. If you continually probe a candidate for these specifics – and come up empty handed – then move onto another candidate with a proven track record they can talk about.

They ramble.

Sure, rambling might be a sign of nervousness in an interview. But it’s also a sign that a candidate might not really understand what you’re asking them. Not being able to provide a concise answer could also mean they’re ill-prepared or have weak communication skills.

They’re too casual.

Whether they show up to the job interview dressed inappropriately, or they seem to have a lack of regard for you or your staff, then it’s a sign of what’s to come if you hire this person. Ditto if they seem overly tense and stressed out.

They don’t know much about your company.

Once you start asking questions, it quickly becomes clear a candidate knows next to nothing about your company. The best candidates will not only know the basics, but also the unique value they can offer you. If a candidate isn’t going to spend any time learning about your company before the interview, then it shows a lack of attention to detail and professionalism.

They’re negative.

A candidate who is critical or openly bashes a former boss, co-worker or employer may carry that resentment over to their new position. In addition, making negative comments shows a lack of tact, as well as poor judgment.

They don’t ask questions. 

Candidates can’t find out if they’re a good fit for you if they don’t ask questions. So be wary of those who don’t. It’s an indication they’re unenthusiastic about the job, not prepared, or lazy.

They focus on the perks.

An initial interview should be about a candidate learning more about the company, the role and your needs. If it seems like they’re asking too many questions about vacation time and salary, then it’s a sign “the perks” are the priority, not the work.

When a candidate shows the signs above, then filter them out of the running and move onto other, stronger individuals. And if you need help with the candidate sourcing process, 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.

Contact us today to learn more.

How to Get Job Search Help From Your Network

November 11th, 2014

When you’re searching for a new job, one of the first areas to look to is your network of colleagues, friends and family. As one of Charlottesville’s leading employment agencies, Adams & Garth knows that many times, job opportunities aren’t posted or advertised, so you won’t learn about them unless you’re referred by someone you know. That said, there’s a right way – and a wrong way – to leverage the power of your network to help you find the job you want. To help you, here are a few tips:

Contact people individually.

Don’t send out a mass email to everyone in your address book. Instead, think of those individuals who work in industries that are most likely to need people like you. Then call or email each one of them separately. They’ll be much more likely to respond and help you when you communicate directly. Why? Because when people are a part of a group email, they’re going to assume that someone else on the list will respond and help you.

Don’t be generic.

Don’t tell your network that you’re looking for “anything.” They won’t be able to point you in the direction of jobs that are a good fit for you. Instead, be as specific as possible when it comes to the kind of position you want and the type of company you want to work for. For instance, let your network know you’re looking for “a full-time job as a bookkeeper at a small to medium size company.”

Reach outside of your field.

Even if you work within a certain field, don’t limit yourself to only networking inside it. Otherwise, you may miss out on a great opportunity. Connect with those outside your industry too because they may know about jobs or hiring initiatives at companies you hadn’t initially considered.

Be tactful.

It’s annoying when someone you reach out to doesn’t get back to you. But don’t take offense. They could be incredibly busy, don’t think you’re a good fit for the position, or have a personal crisis on their hands. You never know what an individual is going through. So if you contacted someone a couple times and they haven’t returned your call or email, don’t get aggressive. Simply cross them off your list and focus instead on those who can help you.

Looking for jobs in Charlottesville? Get help from Adams & Garth. As one of Charlottesville’s leading employment agencies, we partner with top employers throughout the region to offer you outstanding opportunities in a variety of fields. Search our Charlottesville jobs now or contact us today.