Adams & Garth Blog

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.

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.