Adams & Garth Blog

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.

How to Research Potential Employers – Before You Say “Yes” to an Offer

May 12th, 2015

When you’re looking for a new job, you want to know what it’s like to work at a company before you accept an offer. You’ll find out some details about a potential employer during the interview process. But what can you do to dig deeper, uncover any red flags, and find the company that’s truly a great fit for you? Here’s a look:

Ask good questions.

As one of the leading employment agencies in Central Virginia, Adams & Garth knows you should not rely on the interviewer to tell you everything you need to know to make the right decision. Ask questions that will help you assess whether or not the company is the kind you want to work for. Some examples include:

  • Why did the last person in this position leave?
  • What kind of personality fits best within the company?
  • What do you enjoy most about working here? Least?
  • How has the company changed since you started?
  • What’s one thing you wish you knew before you began working here?

Gain a different perspective.

As you talk with the interviewer, ask him or her if it would be possible to talk with prospective team members. It makes sense to meet with at least one co-worker without the interviewer in the room. If your request is denied, take note. Unhappy employees don’t make good brand advocates.

Search online.

Look to websites like Glassdoor.com to find reviews and insider information about the company and its working environment. Although, keep in mind: reviews that are overly positive or negative may be phony; those that fall somewhere in the middle will likely offer the most accurate picture.

Reach out to your network.

Use sites like LinkedIn to find out if you know any current or past employees. If you don’t, reach out to your network and ask whether anyone has worked, or knows anyone who has worked, at the company. They’ll be able to give you the inside scoop on what it’s really like to work there.

Pay attention to how you’re treated.

Before you accept an offer, think about how you were treated during the interview process. Was the interviewer on time? Or did he or she show up late? Did they give you their full attention in the interview? Or keep checking their cell phone? Do the employees you’ve seen seem happy and engaged, or miserable and stressed? Was the interview process well organized, or disorderly? Did the interviewer keep you in the loop throughout the process? Or did they leave you hanging?

Don’t ignore warning signs just because you want a job. If you say “yes” to an opportunity when your guts says “no,” you’ll likely end up unhappy and frustrated. Instead, wait until the right employer comes along.

Do you need help finding your next job? Call Adams & Garth. As one of the leading employment agencies in Central Virginia, we partner with top employers throughout the region to offer you outstanding opportunities in a variety of fields. Search our Central Virginia jobs now or contact us today.

Are You Losing Your Staff’s Respect With These Common Mistakes?

May 5th, 2015

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Staunton – and Central Virginia, Adams & Garth knows respect is a critical component to being a successful manager. If your employees don’t respect you, then they’re not going to give much credence to what you tell them to do. And if they’re not producing, it reflects badly upon you. Plus, once lost, respect is hard to earn back. To ensure you don’t lose the respect of your team, avoid these common mistakes:

Creating drama.

Do you gossip about your peers and subordinates? Lash out at people? Pick favorites? If you do, then you’re creating drama in the workplace, which can easily cause employees to lose respect for you. What’s worse is that this behavior can also set the tone for your staff, causing them to emulate your behavior.

Saying one thing and doing another.

When an employee asks you do to something and you promise you will, but never follow through, you’ll gain a reputation as unreliable and untrustworthy. Top talent don’t want to work for managers like that.

Avoiding difficult issues.

If you fail to face tough issues, your staff is going to see you as weak, which some will try to take advantage of. But handling performance issues, giving negative feedback and firing people for not doing their jobs are all part of your job. Dealing with them promptly and with fairness and sensitivity will only earn the respect and loyalty of your team.

Having different standards.

Your employees look to you to set the standard for the office. But if you behave one way (take 2-hour lunches everyday, miss deadlines and show up late to meetings), and expect your staff to behave a different way (take ½ hour lunches, meet deadlines on time, and show up to meetings early), then you’ll quickly lose their respect. You need to hold yourself to the same standard to which you hold your staff.

Shooting down input.

The healthiest work cultures are those where employees feel comfortable and encouraged to share their input and ideas. However, if you’re constantly shooting them down, or get defensive when someone doesn’t agree with you, you’ll quickly lose respect. Instead, stay open minded and welcome the feedback of others. You’ll build a stronger, more innovative team when you do.

Do you need help building a stronger staff? 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.

What Not to Include on Your Resume

April 28th, 2015

You know you need to include your past job titles, responsibilities and career accomplishments on your resume. But what are some details you should definitely skip? Here’s a look:

Salary information

As one of Charlottesville’s leading employment agencies, Adams & Garth can tell you should never mention salary information on your resume. When a job ad asks you to include salary expectations, then offer a range. Otherwise, you won’t give yourself any wiggle room when it comes time to negotiate salary. This is especially true if you’ve been working for pay that is lower than marketplace.

The reason you left your job

If a hiring manager asks you why you left or are leaving your job, then you certainly need to respond. However, this information is not appropriate for your resume. Your resume is like a marketing brochure about you; it should highlight your experience, accomplishments and any unique skills or abilities you bring to the table.

The names of your managers

If a hiring manager asks for references, then you can certainly give them a list of your past managers and their contact information. However, don’t include them on your resume. The hiring manager might know them personally and reach out to them about you. This could be a problem if you didn’t intend for a particular manager to serve as a reference. Plus it’s an unnecessary item that takes up space.

Your past employers’ addresses

If hiring managers truly need to know the address of a past employer, then can look it up online. Just like including the names of past managers, listing addresses on your resume simply wastes space.

Reference information

Unless a job ad specifically asks that you include a list of references on your resume, don’t do it. Also, don’t include a line about “references being available upon request.” Employers know they can ask you for references. So it’s a waste of valuable real estate on a resume.

When it comes to finding the right job, first impressions count. You can ensure your resume gives a good first impression by knowing not only what to include, but what not to.

Do you need more help with your job search? If you do, call the experts at 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.

How Long Should I Give a Candidate to Accept a Job Offer?

April 21st, 2015

As one of Staunton’s leading staffing agencies, Adams & Garth knows that deciding whether or not to accept an offer is nerve-wracking under the best circumstances. But if a candidate feels as if you’re holding a gun to their head to respond, they’re going to walk. Accepting a new job is stressful enough. So when a candidate is at their most vulnerable, don’t apply more pressure.

That said, you have other candidates waiting in the wings. And the longer you wait, the more you risk losing out on them. For instance, your second choice candidate may have another offer that they need to respond to quickly.

So what’s a reasonable amount of time to let a candidate think about an offer?

If you can, give candidates a week to respond. After all, they’re making a big life decision, one that will impact their finances, their family, and their career satisfaction. Ideally, once you’ve reached the offer stage, a candidate will know pretty quickly about whether or not they want the job. However, there are some people who need more time to ponder the pros and cons of the offer, as well as talk it over with their spouses or families.

However, if you need an answer faster, then you also need to tread lightly. You don’t want the candidate to feel like you’re trying to twist their arm. Say something like:

“You’re our first choice for the job. But we do have a few other strong candidates who have job offers they need to respond to as well. If you can get us an answer by Monday, that would be great.”

Regardless of how quickly you need a response, it’s important to communicate your deadline to the job candidate. If you need an answer before the end of the week, the candidate needs to know that. They’re not a mind reader, after all.

In addition, keep in mind, the more thorough you are during the hiring process with all candidates, the faster a candidate will be able to respond. For instance, if they still have outstanding questions about the compensation package and the role they’d be undertaking, then you didn’t go in-depth enough during the interviews.

Need help finding great job candidates you want to make job offers to? Call the 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.

 

5 Ways to Ace Your Next Phone Interview

April 14th, 2015

As one of the leading employment agencies in Charlottesville , Adams & Garth knows that these days, more and more companies conduct phone interviews before they invite you into the office for a face-to-face one. These screens can range anywhere from a 10-minute chat just to gauge your interest and qualifications, to hour-long, in depth interviews.

So how do you know which type you’re going to have – and how can you prepare for it? Here are 5 ways:

#1. Ask how long the phone interview will take.

When scheduling the interview, whether it’s with an actual hiring manager or their assistant, inquire about how much time you should schedule in for it. This way, you can make sure you don’t schedule any other events or activities too close to the phone interview.

In addition, you’ll have a good sense of just how in-depth the interviewer plans to get. A 10-minute phone screen is going to be far different from a 60-minute interview. With the latter, you’ll need to prepare just as you would for an in-person interview.

#2. Set the scene.

Make sure you schedule the phone interview during a time when the kids aren’t home and in an area that will be completely quiet (i.e. no barking dogs if the doorbell rings). Otherwise, you won’t be able to focus. And while background noise isn’t a deal-breaker, it can come across as unprofessional, hindering your chances of getting the job.

#3. Know the role.

Prepare for the phone interview ahead of time by reviewing the job description and making sure you have a solid understanding of the role. Also, think about what skills and experiences you have that are most relevant for the opportunity. You may not have a chance to highlight these, but if you are asked about them, then you’ll be prepared.

#4. Keep any notes in front of you.

One of the advantages of a phone interview is that you can keep your resume and notes right in front of you. For instance, you can write down an important skill – and the value it would offer to the potential employer – and keep those details in front of you. That way, you won’t forget points you want to get across.

In addition, you can also anticipate the kinds of questions you’ll be asked and write out answers ahead of time. The more prepared you are, the more confident you’ll feel.

#5. Be enthusiastic.

Remember, on a phone interview, a hiring manager can’t see you; he or she can only hear you. That’s why your tone of voice matters. Keep it upbeat and enthusiastic. Also, don’t speak so quickly that you’re hard to understand over the phone.

Need more help finding your next job? 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.

Help! A Fired Employee is Bashing the Company

April 7th, 2015

The problem: You fired an employee who wasn’t performing to expectation and had a bad attitude to boot. Now, weeks later, he is calling his former co-workers at the company and going to social media to badmouth your company. Even though you gave him many warnings, he thinks he wasn’t treated fairly and wants everyone to know it.

Should you call him on his bad behavior or just leave it alone?

The solution: As one of the top staffing agencies in Charlottesville, Adams & Garth can tell you that your best bet is to let the situation run its course. Your former employee is likely angry and taking his frustration out on your staff. But even if he’s complaining about what a terrible employer you are, your people know how they are treated. And if they thought it was badly, then they wouldn’t stay at your company for long.

On the other hand, if you aggressively pursued this person and tried to prevent him from speaking his opinion, then you could appear heavy-handed…or worse, guilty of the unfair treatment the employee is claiming. So try to stay out of it if you can.

If the situation is continuing to escalate, then consider making a general statement to your employees about how the company is committed to treating everyone fairly, and follows all proper policies and procedures when making important decisions. Specifically, talk about how the company handles performance issues, including how many times people are warned before being let go. That said, don’t get into the details of this particular person’s termination.

Also, take what this employee is accusing you of to heart. In other words, was the firing mishandled? Were there steps you should have taken but didn’t? While you can’t ensure every employee who gets fired isn’t going to go around and talk negatively about you, you can ensure that they are treated fairly and with dignity and respect. If you’re not sure, then it’s time to evaluate your HR policies surrounding terminations.

However, if your disgruntled employee is starting to go to social media and publicly defaming your company and trying to cause harm to its reputation, then it’s time to get your HR department and legal counsel involved.

Remember, if your employees know you to be a fair and reasonable employer, then the employee’s statements aren’t going to harm you. The personal experiences they’ve had themselves will make a far bigger impression on them.

Do you need help filling a position? If you do, call the staffing experts at 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.

5 Signs of a Bad Job Offer

March 24th, 2015

As one of the leading Harrisonburg employment agencies, Adams & Garth knows when it comes to job offers, some can sound too good to be true. Whether the compensation is far more than you expected, or the hiring process was incredibly speedy, something about the offer is nagging at you. What are some signs that a job offer might not be legitimate? Here are 5 signs to look out for:

Sign #1: They made you an offer without interviewing you.

There are certain steps of the hiring process that even the best employer skips. However, interviewing isn’t one of them. If a company makes you an offer – without conducting one or more in person or phone interviews – then it could be a sign of desperation on their part. If that’s the case, then you have to wonder why they’re having such a hard time hiring for the position.

Sign #2: The hiring manager acts in an unprofessional way.

Paying attention to how you’re treated during the hiring process can be an indication as to how you’ll be treated once hired. And if you’re experiencing disrespect or a lack of courtesy, then it’s a sign of what’s to come should you get hired.

For instance, if the hiring manager cancels your interview an hour before and doesn’t offer an apology or explanation, then you may want to look elsewhere for employment.

Sign #3: The organization has a bad reputation.

If you don’t know much about the company, then look to the Internet for some help in learning more. Conduct your own search of the employer and how they treat their employees. The Careers section or page of their website is a good place to start. Also, look for online third party forums too in which employees can rate their employers. In addition, if you know someone who works at the company, connect with them and ask about what it’s like working there.

Sign #4: The hiring manager doesn’t offer you clear facts about the job.

If the hiring manager can’t define the position in terms of goals, responsibilities and expectations, then how do you know if it’s a good fit for you? If a company offers you job – and you’re still not crystal clear about what you’re supposed to be doing and how your performance will be measured – then chances are you’re walking into a bad job situation.

Sign #5: You have a bad feeling.

Sometimes you can’t pinpoint a particular reason why you want to turn down a job. You simply have a gut feeling it’s not right for you. In those instances, trust your gut. If the job doesn’t feel right, at least do more research on the company before making a decision.

If you need more help getting job offers that are right for you, call Adams & Garth. As one of the leading Harrisonburg employment agencies, we work with top employers throughout Harrisonburg and Central Virginia and can help match you with a job opportunity that’s a great fit for you.

Contact Adams & Garth today to get started.

 

Giving Employees Privacy in a Tight Office Space

March 17th, 2015

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Central Virginia, Adams & Garth knows that cubicles with half walls, open floor plans and shared office space are becoming the norm. But do they really produce more creativity and better collaboration?

According to research by the University of California, Irvine, the answers “no.” They found that employees in cubicles receive 29% more interruptions than those in private offices. And employees who are interrupted frequently report 9% higher rates of exhaustion.

If your office has limited space – and it seems to be shrinking by the day – what can you do to help your staff have some privacy when needed? Here are a few tips:

  • Let employees telecommute. If you have staff members who prefer quiet and privacy – and they can do their jobs from home – let them. Chances are, they’ll be more productive than if they’re working in an open layout with noise and distractions.
  • Create a private space for employees to use. You may not have enough space to offer each employee a private office. But take one of your offices or work areas and transform it into a private space for all employees to access. It can be as simple as a small office with a desk and a phone. Communicate to your employees that this is the space they can use if they need to make a phone call and need some privacy or need to work without interruption.
  • Give employees who want them headphones. Some people thrive in an open office space; but many do not. Acknowledge that fact by giving employees who want them headphones they can use when they don’t want to be interrupted or when they don’t want to hear the noise around them.

While some people prefer private space in which to work, others need it due to the nature of their jobs. For instance, it’s hard to communicate confidential information when you have 20 co-workers in ear shot. But by following the tips above, you can give your employees the privacy they need without relocating or adding on additional office space to your building.

Keeping your staff comfortable is one key to retaining top talent. If you need additional advice on hiring and retaining your employees, call Adams & Garth. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Central Virginia, we’ll work with you to learn about your company, your culture, and your key staffing pains. We’ll then get to work sourcing, screening and interviewing candidates so we can find one that’s a great fit for you – and then help you retain them. Contact us today to learn more.

 

Always Overlooked at Work?

March 10th, 2015

Feel you like you work hard but are constantly passed over for promotions? Keep in mind, your perception may not be the same as your boss’s. To help you get noticed – and get ahead in your career, here are 5 tips to follow:

Tip #1: Determine your worth.

What value do you offer to your employer? Have you helped save money, save time, improve productivity, or enhance efficiency over the past year? As one of the leading Charlottesville employment agencies, Adams & Garth can tell you if you don’t know your value, then neither does your boss. Identify those qualities and accomplishments you bring to the table that no one else does.

Tip #2: Promote your interest.

Does your boss even know you want a promotion? If it’s a secret ambition you haven’t voiced, then the answer is likely “no.” He or she is not a mind reader, after all. You have to share your desire in order to move up. Think about how you can effectively articulate your value using the information you learned in Tip #1. Then meet with your boss in person, promote your accomplishments and ask about opportunities for advancement.

Tip #3: Ask what you need to do to get ahead.

If your boss doesn’t think you’re quite ready for a promotion, find what you need to do to get there. Simply ask: “What would you recommend I work on to position myself for a promotion?” If your boss makes specific recommendations for improving your performance or enhancing your skill set, take those suggestions to heart and create an action plan for implementing them.

Tip #4: Expand your network.

It’s easy to stay in your comfort zone with those you work with on a daily basis. But doing so won’t help you get ahead. Stretch yourself and get to know those outside your department. Befriend those in HR, or other departments you’re interested in working in.

Tip #5: Dress the part.

If you want to grow into a leadership position, then dress the part. Don’t show up to work in jeans and a t-shirt, even if that’s what co-workers wear. Stand out with sleeker, more professional attire.

Advancing your career is 100% up to you. Follow the tips above and you’ll be well on your way toward your next promotion.

Feel like you won’t get promoted no matter what you do? 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.