Adams & Garth Blog

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.

Could Your Company Culture Use Some Work?

March 3rd, 2015

As one of the top staffing agencies in Charlottesville, Adams & Garth knows statistics show that employee unhappiness is on the rise. One of the culprits is a negative workplace culture. Such a culture can result in a lack of team work and collaboration, high turnover, and low productivity. So if you suspect your culture could use some work what can you do about it? Here’s a look:

Be transparent.

Be open and honest with your team, even when you’re sharing bad news. Otherwise, the rumor mill will take over and your employees will lose trust in you. That said, it’s also important to remain upbeat and focused on the future. So even during a down time, it’s also important to talk about how you’ll overcome it and the opportunities that could arise out of the situation.

Provide positive feedback.

You don’t want to offer praise just for the sake of it. But when employees are consistently working hard and achieving goals, then you need to communicate your appreciation to them. Otherwise, you’ll lose out on employees in search of other opportunities they feel more valued in.

Give credit.

When an employee goes above and beyond, then give credit where it’s due. If you don’t – and you take credit instead – your employees won’t be driven to do their best, nor will they trust you.

Ask for input.

When it comes to problem solving, your employees should be your go-to source. They’re the ones working closely with your products and customers and are most likely to see opportunities for improvement and innovative solutions. In addition, by asking your employees to share their ideas, they’re going to feel like a more valuable part of the team.

Foster competition, don’t hyper focus on it.

Some competition is certainly good for your company. Regularly pitting employees against each other is not. Some individuals thrive in high-stress environments, but most don’t…at least not for long.

Provide support.

Communicate regularly with each of your employees. Sit down with them and create a career plan for growth within the company and meet to review and modify it as needed. Otherwise, employees won’t know where they fit in and they won’t remain on board as a result.

As a manager, creating a positive workplace culture isn’t a task to cross of your “to do” list. It’s an ongoing effort and there will always be questions and room for improvement. However, by following the tips above you can take steps toward ensuring your people – your most important asset – can benefit from a great company culture.

If you need help hiring the right kind of people for your unique culture, 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 the talent you need, the first time.

Contact us today to learn more.

 

Sloppy Mistakes That Are Killing Your Job Search

February 24th, 2015

As one of Central Virginia’s leading employment agencies, Adams & Garth knows you can have the most experience and the strongest skill set. But if you’re making sloppy mistakes on your resume and in your cover letter, then you’re not going to get an interview, let alone the job offer.

What are some of the biggest and most egregious errors candidates make when applying? Here’s a look at 4:

Mistake #1: Spelling and grammar mistakes.

One minor typo won’t hinder your chances of getting an interview offer, especially if you have a strong background. However, if your resume and cover letter are sprinkled with mistakes in spelling and grammar, then it’s going to be a red flag for a hiring manager. Every job requires some degree of communication, often times in writing. If a hiring manager is concerned about your ability to do so in an articulate and professional way, then you’re not going to be considered for the job.

Mistake #2: Writing in a tone that’s too casual.

With texting and Facebook, people today – especially those in the younger demographics – are used to writing in a far more casual tone. While this might be ok in an online social setting, it’s not acceptable when submitting your cover letter and resume to a potential employer. You don’t need to adopt a completely formal, uptight tone. You can still be conversational. But you must follow the rules of grammar you learned in grade school. That means no “LMKs.”

Mistake #3: Addressing your resume to the wrong person.

Consider yourself lucky if there’s an actual name of a hiring manager in the job posting. When there is, you’ll have someone to contact and follow up with after you apply. However, they likely won’t want to hear from you if you put the wrong name (for instance, the last hiring manager you applied to) in your cover letter or in your email with your resume. Make sure you review everything before hitting that “send” button.

Mistake #4: Using the wrong company name.

This often happens when candidates do a quick cut and paste from the last job they applied to and forget to swap out the company name. But this signals to the hiring manager that 1) you didn’t take the time to tailor your cover letter for their job opening and 2) you lack attention to detail because you clearly didn’t proofread. Either way, it’s not the message you want to send to a hiring manager.

The mistakes above can be easily avoided by simply taking some additional time and effort to review your resume and cover letter before sending it to a potential employer. If you’re uncertain of its accuracy, then give it to a friend or family member to review ahead of time.

If you need more help with your resume, cover letter, or job search, turn to the experts at Adams & Garth. As one of Central Virginia’s leading employment agencies, we partner with top employers throughout the region to offer you outstanding opportunities in a variety of fields. Contact us today to learn more or search our Central Virginia jobs now.

Struggling With Information Overload? Here’s How to Deal

February 17th, 2015

As one of the top staffing agencies in Charlottesville, Adams & Garth knows too much information overloads our brains and causes us to become even more forgetful and uncertain. But in today’s day and age of constant texts, emails, dozens of passwords to keep track of, and other incoming data, it can seem unavoidable.

However, a new book called The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload by Daniel Levitin, a neuroscientist and psychologist, offers some solutions. In it, he explores how high achieving individuals are able to overcome information overload and enjoy a more focused and less stressful life.

Here are a few key insights from his book:

Give everything a home. According to Levitin: “Place memory evolved over hundreds of thousands of years to keep track of things that didn’t move, such as fruit trees, wells, mountains, lakes.” That means we’re not necessarily wired to keep track of items that are constantly on the move, like car keys, wallets, reading glasses, and cell phones. As a result, we spend an ample amount of mental energy trying to find them. However, when these often-used item have a set home, then you don’t you have to waste time and energy – and get frustrated to boot – searching for them.

Focus instead of multi-tasking. Set times during the day when you don’t check your phone messages and email, or browse the Internet, and simply focus on the work at hand. Also, create a “to do” list of tasks for the day and prioritize them. Don’t let distractions get in the way of completing each task. Why? Because focusing on one task at a time actually takes less energy, according to Levitin. In fact, he writes:

“People who organize their time in a way that allows them to focus are not only going to get more done, but they’ll be less tired and less neurochemically depleted after doing it.”

Give yourself time. As a manager, you often spend your days in back-to-back meetings. While you think you’ll remember everything that occurred, you typically won’t. So instead of scheduling one-hour meetings, schedule 50 minute ones and give yourself 10 minutes in between to make notes on what transpired and any action items you need to take.

Don’t skimp on sleep. According to Levitin, “sleep has been shown to enhance the formation and understanding of abstract relations, so much so that people often wake having solved a problem that was unsolvable the night before.” So make getting a good night’s sleep a goal at the end of each day. For some, that might mean eight or nine solid hours, while for others it might be a good six hours and a power nap during the day. Make good sleep a priority – and you will get more done.

If part of your struggles are due to staffing issues at work, give Adams & Garth a call. 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.

Passed Over for a Promotion?

February 10th, 2015

If you were expecting to be promoted, but got passed over, it can be especially painful. But, as one of the top employment agencies in Charlottesville, Adams & Garth knows how you react and the steps you take next can have a significant impact on your career path. So carefully consider your actions.

Assess yourself.

There’s likely a reason you didn’t get the promotion. Be honest with yourself about why that is. And don’t let feelings of anger or jealously get the best of you. If you want to get promoted in the future, you need to continue doing your job – and doing it well.

Don’t blame your newly promoted colleague.

Remain professional at all times. While it may be tough, let go of any feelings of frustration directed at your colleague and congratulate him or her. Support and assist them as much as you can in their new position.

Talk to your boss.

While the conversation might be uncomfortable, it’s important that you understand why you were passed over for the promotion. How can you improve in weak areas or gain the right skills if you don’t know what they are? So rather than sulking about the fact that you weren’t promoted, look at the experience as one to learn from and focus on those areas in which you can improve.

Also, whatever you do, don’t try to convince your boss that they promoted the wrong person. While it’s ok to express disappointment, arguing will simply insult your boss’s judgment.

Set goals.

Once you know which areas to focus on, set goals for developing the skills you need to get promoted in the future. You may also want to speak with your boss to create a game plan to be reconsidered for a promotion once you reach certain milestones. Just make sure you’re both clear on expectations.

Consider whether to move on.

There are time when people are promoted due to biases and personal relationships. That’s the ugly truth. In these kinds of situations, you need to think seriously about whether you want to stay with your employer or move on. If you’re a hard worker and good at what you do, then there’s no reason as to why you can’t earn a promotion. But if you’ve been trying for several years now, with no success, then getting a job with a company that appreciates all you have to offer should certainly be considered.

Ready to get promoted to a new job at a new company? Read our post about How to Get Job Search Help From Your Network, or call Adams & Garth. As one of the top employment agencies in Charlottesville, Adams & Garth partners with leading organizations throughout Central Virginia – and can give you access to rewarding jobs in your field!

Contact Adams & Garth today to learn more.

To Promote or Not to Promote?

February 3rd, 2015

In an ideal world, an employee would excel and deliver great work consistently…and they’d eventually earn a promotion. In the real world, though, it’s not always that simple.

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Central Virginia, Adams & Garth knows employees can make mistakes, deliver inconsistent results, and disappoint when you least expect it. So how can you tell when it’s really time to promote an employee – and when you should hold off? Consider these tips:

Evaluate their track record.

Everyone – even the best employees – will have blips on their track record. However, you’re looking for an overall trend of positive performance when deciding whether to promote someone. Some signs include:

  • They’re reliable, show up on time, and maintain a positive attitude.
  • They keep up with their work and achieve their performance goals.
  • They consistently get positive feedback from customers.

A spotty record, on the other hand, is not a good indication that someone is ready for a promotion.

Look at their personality.

If you’re thinking of promoting someone into management who regularly looks down on others, doesn’t collaborate well and is too aggressive, you may want to think again. Someone might have the right hard skills to perform a certain job, but if their personality isn’t a fit, then you’re asking for trouble. Before you make a decision, think about how their personality will translate in the new position. The last thing you want to do is set someone up for failure.

Think about the rest of the team.

How will your other employees react to news of a promotion? Will they think: “this person is great for the job,” or will they question your judgment? It’s important to take your team’s reaction into account before making a move.

Ask whether you can afford it.

Promoting someone undoubtedly means that person will get a raise in salary. The question is: can you afford it? Asking someone to take on more work and responsibility – and deal with the many challenges that come with a promotion – all without extra compensation – isn’t good for retention. So before you make an offer, ensure you have the funding you need to promote.

Promoting the wrong individual at the wrong time can cause serious damage. That’s why it’s so important to take the time to consider whether a promotion is the right step for an employee, well before making an offer.

Need help hiring for your company? Contact 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.

When Your Boss Doesn’t Show You Any Love

January 27th, 2015

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, love is on everyone’s mind. But when your boss doesn’t show you any – in the form of respect, warmth, recognition, or kindness – it can be tough to handle. Is it time to move on for greener pastures? Or should you stick it out with an ill-tempered or detached boss?

As one of the leading employment agencies in Central Virginia, Adams & Garth can tell you: It depends.

First, think about where your boss is coming from. He or she could be under a lot of pressure and stressed out, while you’re interpreting their attitude as a problem with you individually. Ask around and see if other co-workers are experiencing the same treatment. If they aren’t, then dig a little deeper to find the root cause.

Here are a few possibilities:

Your boss has a problem with your performance.

Are you often late, unprepared, or do you miss deadlines? Does your boss assign the important or more challenging tasks to others? Have you had performance problems in the past? Then those issues could be the source of your boss’s frustrations. If they are, then it’s up to you to change his or her mind by building a track record of positive performance and good behavior.

Your personalities don’t mesh well.

You may do good work, but perhaps your personality and your boss’s simply don’t blend well. Part of the problem is likely the two of you have different communication styles. Whatever the case, there are a few ways you can open up the lines of communication, including:

  • Being calm. Don’t get angry. Your boss doesn’t have to share your opinion and the two of you don’t need to be best friends.
  • Ask your boss for advice and guidance on your performance. For instance, you may have a habit of just pointing out problems and he or she may want you to offer solutions instead.
  • Don’t demand, instead suggest. Aim to solve problems and attain a productive and professional relationship, rather than be argumentative.

Your boss feels threatened by you.

If your boss treats you inconsistently – for instance, you’re having a good conversation and then you present a fact they didn’t know and they get defensive – then it’s a sign they’re insecure around you. If that’s the case, they can then use the power of their position to make your life miserable at work.

So how do you deal with this sticky situation?

Start by always being constructive and aiming to collaborate. Look for ways to help your boss and make their job easier. If you find a mistake they made, don’t bring it up in front of others. If problems persist, talk to your boss and ask for clarification about the issue.

Ready for a new opportunity – with a new boss? 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.

 

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.