Adams & Garth Blog

Tired of Picking Up the Slack for a Co-Worker? Here’s What to Do

August 23rd, 2016

As one of the leading employment agencies in Harrisonburg, Adams & Garth knows that working alongside someone who isn’t doing their job is a frustrating experience. What’s worse, though, is when you’re forced to pick up their slack – and do your job plus portions of theirs. How do you handle the situation? Here are 3 questions ask yourself so you make the right move:

How big of an issue is it?

If you’re doing a few extra minutes of work a day because of an underperforming co-worker, you have to ask yourself: are those extra few minutes worth causing potential conflict over? If it’s really not a big deal – but you still bring it up to your co-worker or boss – you might come off as having a negative attitude or being whiny. So just make sure it’s an issue that really does need to be addressed.

What can you do to deal with the situation?

For instance, you may be taking on extra work from a co-worker because they’re getting extra work from the boss. They may simply have too much on their plate to get it all done. If this is the case, bring it up to them and suggest ways to work toward a positive resolution.

If, however, it’s simply a case of them not doing their work, then you need to establish boundaries. You need to be very clear with them what you’re willing to do…and what you’re not. Otherwise, you could wind up being pushed around.

At what point should you talk to the boss?

Your boss is probably extremely busy and expects employees to solve problems on their own. That’s why it’s important to make sure the issue is really worthy of their attention before you bring it up to them. Keep in mind, bringing it up to them could inadvertently send the message that you’re not able to handle these issues on your own, without hand-holding.

However, if you’re still convinced this is an issue that needs addressing by your manager, be as specific as possible. Don’t just say: “Jim is being lazy.” Make sure you have examples of the specific behavior in question and what’s not working.

Interested in making a move to a different opportunity?

If you’re tired of picking up the slack of your co-worker and are ready to look for something new, Adams & Garth can help. As one of the leading employment agencies in Harrisonburg, we can help you with your job search from start to finish, from crafting a strong resume to matching you with a job opportunity that’s a better fit for you.

Contact Adams & Garth today to get started.

4 Ways to Improve Hiring at Your Company

August 16th, 2016

As a manager, one of your most important tasks is hiring. But, as one of the top staffing agencies in Charlottesville, Adams & Garth knows it’s certainly not always easy. Not only is it time consuming and costly, but the stakes are high when you consider the consequences of a hiring mistake.

If you’ve had hiring issues in the past, or are looking to avoid mistakes in the future, here are 4 ways you can improve your company’s hiring process now:

#1: Post candidate-centric job descriptions.

Finding the right candidate starts with posting great job descriptions. If you’re not careful and precise, you could end up attracting weak candidates, or ones who are a poor fit for your company. So how can you make your job postings better?

It’s important to give candidates a clear picture about what the job entails – think “a day in the life of”. But just as important, you must demonstrate what your company can do for potential employees. In other words, why should they want to work for you?

#2: Leverage technology.

The vast majority of top talent wants to work for companies that are digitally sophisticated. That’s why you have to go beyond the job boards – and leverage the power of social media in your recruitment efforts.

These days most candidates search for jobs on their smart phones or tablets. It’s therefore also important to ensure your website is mobile friendly.

In addition, when you have a few strong candidates on your radar, check out their social media profiles – especially on LinkedIn and other social media sites geared towards professionals – to find out key information that can tell you whether they’d be a good fit for your job.

#3: Look for the right soft skills.

When hiring, you have to go beyond technical skills and look for candidates with the right mix of soft skills. Skills like interpersonal, problem solving, communication and emotional intelligence are crucial for success on the job, regardless of the field you’re hiring for.

It’s also important to assess personality too. For instance, when you’re hiring a front desk receptionist, they should be an outgoing, friendly person who enjoys dealing with people. On the flip side, if you’re looking to hire someone for data entry, look for those who are more comfortable behind the scenes and who like to focus on speed and precision.

#4: Strengthen your interview process.

Oftentimes, hiring mistakes are caused by a weak interview process. Whether interviewers aren’t trained in best practices or are pressed for time, it can result in poor hiring decisions.

To avoid this, it’s important to make sure interviewers are trained on interviewing techniques and given the time and resources to thoroughly vet each candidate. It’s also important that interviewers ask the right questions. Otherwise, they won’t effectively get behind the candidate mask to assess each job contender.

Hiring is hard work. But when you invest the time and resources – especially in ensuring interviewers are well trained – it will pay off in the form of top quality new hires.

Do you need more help with your hiring process? Call the 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.

Etiquette Alert! 5 Tips for Minding Your Manners in a Job Interview

August 9th, 2016

A great resume and strong interview skills are important to landing a new job. But so are your manners.

In fact, as one of the leading employment agencies in Charlottesville, Adams & Garth knows your behavior and attitude, and the etiquette you follow can have a big impact on your job search success. Not matter how well qualified you are for a particular opportunity, if you’re rude or buck the traditions of interview etiquette, you’re in for poor results.

To help ensure this doesn’t happen to you, here are 5 tips for minding your manners during your next job interview:

Tip #1: Be polite to everyone you meet.

From the person who schedules your interview to the front desk receptionist to the hiring manager, it’s important to be courteous to everyone you come in contact with during the hiring process. You never know who’s reporting back to the decision maker about their impression of you.

Tip #2: Turn your phone off or to silent.

You don’t want a hiring manager to remember you as the candidate who’s phone kept ringing during the interview. To ensure this doesn’t happen, make sure you turn your phone off, or at least have it set to silent. If you don’t – and it continuously rings – you’re sending the message that the interview is not your top priority.

Tip #3: Listen carefully – and don’t cut people off.

Don’t be the annoying candidate who constantly cuts off the hiring manager mid-question. Let the interviewer finish their thoughts before you start answering. Also, it’s important to listen carefully so you don’t ask about information that was already covered.

Tip #4: Follow up after interviews.

When your interview is over, follow up with an email or handwritten thank you note afterward. If you promised to send additional information – such as work samples or a list of references – be sure to send that promptly, as well.

Tip #5: But don’t pester.

If you don’t hear back right away, don’t pester the hiring manager. Managers are busy people who don’t have time to answer multiple emails from anxious candidates.

If, however, it’s been three weeks since you’ve heard anything and you were promised a decision in a week, then it’s certainly appropriate to send a polite inquiry about the status of the job.

Don’t let bad manners or rude behavior impact your ability to land the job. Instead, follow the tips above so you put your best foot forward during your next interview.

Need more help in your job search? Call the employment experts at 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.

6 Tips for Creating a Culture of Learning at Your Company

August 2nd, 2016

As experienced recruiters in Harrisonburg, Adams & Garth knows that to stay a step ahead of the competition, it’s important for your employees to always be learning. Not only will it lead to company-wide innovations, but a culture of learning also:

  • Increases efficiency
  • Enhances employee satisfaction and decreases turnover
  • Develops a sense of ownership and pride among staff
  • Creates a culture of curiosity, inquiry and sharing
  • Enables employees to adapt quickly to change

If you’d like to create a culture of learning at your company, here are 6 tips to follow:

Tip #1: Set the tone.

No one will want to serve as a mentor, or take up the opportunity to be mentored, if you’re not leading by example. It’s important that your team sees you coaching and developing employees yourself.

Tip #2: Create a formal training and development plan.

If you want learning to become ingrained in your culture, it’s important to create a formal training and development plan and mandate it for all individuals. If it’s not required for everyone, then it runs the risk of falling by the wayside.

Tip #3: Communicate the benefits.

Getting your people to buy into a culture of learning requires that you communicate what they’ll get out of it. Give specific examples of how learning initiatives have helped with your own career success. Also talk specifically about the benefits each employee will enjoy through participating and how it can positively impact their careers and the company as a whole.

Tip #4: Create dynamic learning opportunities.

Don’t just require employees to watch a dry training video. If, for instance, you’re trying to teach them about the benefits of social media in marketing your company, invite a dynamic social media speaker in for a lunch-and-learn. If a manager is struggling with running meetings efficiently, pair them with another experienced manager who’s great at leading meetings so they can share tips and advice.

Tip #5: Give recognition.

When employees successfully learn new skills, recognize them for it. Praise and positive feedback will not only serve to motivate them, but also encourage other employees to follow suit.

Tip #6: Monitor, measure, and modify.

To truly create a culture of learning, you need to regularly monitor and measure your efforts – and then make modifications where needed. One way to do that is through garnering feedback about each training session from employees, so you can learn about what’s working and what needs to be improved.

Creating a culture of learning doesn’t happen overnight. But it’s an investment that can pay off in the long run in the form of more engaged, knowledgeable and productive employees – and higher rates of retention.

Need help hiring engaged, knowledgeable, productive people for your team? Call Adams & Garth. As leading recruiters in Harrisonburg, we know that attracting the right candidates can be hard work. But we’ve got the skills, experience, and proven processes in place to assist you.

Next time you need to hire, contact Adams & Garth. We can help.

Does it Matter if You’re Interviewed First, Last – or Somewhere in Between?

July 26th, 2016

A potential employer asks you in for an interview. They ask: “When can you come in? 9 am or 4 pm?” Does your decision matter? Can being interviewed first, last, or at some point in between impact your chances of getting the job?

There are actually conflicting opinions surrounding this issue. Some experts argue that it’s, in fact, best to go first. According to an article published in Psychological Science by Uri Simonsohn of the Wharton School and Francesca Gino of the Harvard Business School, researchers found that candidates interviewed earlier in the process received a more objective evaluation.

The reason? The researchers stated it was because the interviewers were reluctant to give a high score to a candidate who followed consecutive candidates who also received high scores.

However, other experts believe the end of the day is the best time for an interview. In contract to those who tout early morning interviews, they believe there’s an advantage to being fresh in the minds of the interviewing committee once the interviews are over.

And the controversy doesn’t end there.

In addition to times, there’s also a question as to when is the best day to schedule an interview: Monday, Friday, or mid-week? Some experts advise mid-week, from Tuesday to Thursday. The logic is that you’ll then have the hiring manager’s full attention, rather than if you were to schedule an interview on a hectic Monday morning or at the end of the day, right before the weekend.

Some theories say first thing is better, and others believe the last interview slot will be remembered more. But really, as one of the leading employment agencies in Staunton, Adams & Garth knows interview order doesn’t make a huge impact.

If you’re a terrific candidate with a strong track record – and you can effectively articulate your skills, experience and fit for the job – the hiring manager isn’t going to forget you…whether you interview at 9 a.m. or 2:30 p.m. Likewise, if you’re a weak fit, going first or last in the interview process isn’t going to increase your odds of getting the job.

That’s why you shouldn’t worry too much about interview order. Instead, schedule your job interviews during a time when it’s most convenient for both you and the prospective employer.

Do you need more help finding your next job in Staunton? Call the employment experts at Adams & Garth. As one of the leading employment agencies in Staunton – and Central Virginia, we work with some of the top employers throughout Central Virginia and we can connect you with opportunities that are oftentimes not advertised.

Contact us today to learn more or search our Staunton jobs now.

School Days: 4 Tips for Creating a Training Plan for Your Team

July 19th, 2016

In just another month, it’s back-to-school season for students. But what about education for your employees? Do you have a training program in place to help them learn, improve and develop?

As leading Staunton recruiters, Adams & Garth knows when it comes to training, efforts are typically focused on new hires or entry level workers. However, studies show that training for employees across all levels can yield big benefits in the form of improved performance and higher productivity. In addition, it can also boost retention efforts by demonstrating your company’s commitment to its employees.

To help you take advantage of these benefits, here are 4 tips to keep in mind when creating a training plan for your team:

Tip #1: Assess your needs.

Before you create a training program, you must first evaluate:

  • Your company’s strategic objectives, mission, vision, philosophy and weaknesses.
  • Your employees’ overall performance, along with strengths and weaknesses, including any skill gaps that can be addressed through training.
  • Your own observations about where employees feel confident and where they feel ill equipped.
  • Workplace regulations and changes your company needs to make to remain in compliance.

Tip #2: Know your audience.

Different people learn differently. So it’s important to address the diverse learning needs of your employees. Some may learn better via written instructions, videos and handouts; others will absorb more through online interactive assignments. Other employees, like tactile learners, will learn best through live demonstrations and practice scenarios. So it’s important to know who your audience is – and the most effective way to teach them.

Tip #3: Get buy-in.

Adults learn differently than children do. That’s why it’s important that you customize your training approach to the needs of your adult learners. For instance, get trainees involved in the curriculum by asking for their feedback and advice on topics to cover and approaches to take. In addition, it’s important to show employees how they’ll benefit from the training program and specifically, how it will help them improve performance.

Tip #4: Track efforts.

Make sure you establish metrics so you can track progress of the training program. Also, once the program is underway, solicit feedback from your employees so you can find out what they found most helpful and areas where the program can be improved, as well as topics to cover in the future.

Do you need more tips on how to hire and retain top talent for your team? Call the staffing experts at Adams & Garth. As leading Staunton recruiters, we can give you access to top candidates that will hit the ground running at your company – and help you train and retain them going forward. Contact Adams & Garth today to learn more.

What If You Don’t Want That Big Promotion?

July 12th, 2016

You’re dependable, smart, hard working – and a big promotion is right around the corner thanks to your efforts. But what if you don’t want one? You’re happy where you are in your career and have no desire for the stress and responsibility that inevitably comes with moving up.

As one of the leading employment agencies in Harrisonburg, Adams & Garth knows if you’re offered a job promotion – and you’re not thrilled about it – handling this tricky situation can be tough. But it’s up to you to talk with your boss and explain where you’re coming from.

When doing so, keep in mind the old adage – “It’s not you, it’s me.” Even if it really is about the job being offered, spin it in a way that’s going to least offend your boss.

How do you do that?

First and foremost, it’s important to show gratitude about the opportunity being offered. It can help lessen the blow for your boss and those around you. For instance, “I’m so flattered that you’re offering me this position. The truth is that I would love to take it, but…

So how do you fill in the blank?

Be honest without highlighting any of your own shortcomings, or pointing fingers. For instance, explain:

  • How much you love your current role and the fact that you have big plans for it going forward. Talk about your goals for the next three, six, nine and 12 months and how you want to see them come to fruition. Discuss the value you want can provide in your existing position and how it will make a difference for your boss, the team and the company.
  • Why you don’t believe you’re the best person for the job – for instance, because you have small kids at home, or elderly parents you’re caring for and it’s not a good time for you to be taking on an expanded role at work.
  • Your overall career path, where you see yourself in five years, and why the promotion doesn’t fit in with that vision.

Also, if you work alongside someone whom you do think would be a great fit for the job, let your boss know. It shows that you care about the success of your co-workers and the organization – and can hopefully help get you off the hook for a job you don’t want.

Interested in learning about other jobs in Harrisonburg? Call Adams & Garth. As one of the leading employment agencies in Harrisonburg – and Central Virginia, we can help you with your search from start to finish, from crafting a strong resume to matching you with an opportunity that’s a great fit for you.

Contact Adams & Garth today to get started.

Handle With Care: How to Deliver Bad News to a Good Employee

July 5th, 2016

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Charlottesville, Adams & Garth knows that giving bad news is hard. As a manager, though, it’s also a part of your job.

But what if you don’t agree with the news – for instance, a decision was made among the higher ups not to promote your top employee, or to turn down a raise request from one of your hardest workers? It can make an awkward situation all the more difficult.

Here are 5 tips for how you can best handle the situation:

Tip #1. Know before you go.

Clearly, you need to have a discussion with your employee. However, before you go to a meeting with them, make sure you have answers about the situation. For instance, who made the final decision and what was their rationale?

Your employee will undoubtedly ask these kinds of questions and it’s up to you to get answers ahead of time. You may also want to prepare and rehearse exactly what you’re going to say to your employee.

Tip #2. Be clear.

Even if you don’t agree with the final decision, you don’t want to give your employee mixed messages. Instead, explain the decision and why it was made. Be thoughtful and compassionate about how you deliver the message – but also very clear.

Also, be mindful of your body language during this conversation. For instance, make sure you look your employee in the eye and don’t fidget or try to evade questions.

Tip #3. Explain “the why” behind the decision.

It’s hard for an employee to accept an unfavorable decision or bad news if they don’t understand “the why” behind the decision. However, if you explain the rationale – and the decision-making process that was used, there’s a much better chance that they can accept the situation and move on.

Tip #4. Let your employee vent.

No doubt your employee will be upset about the decision. And it’s important for you to acknowledge their disappointment.

However, even if you disagree with the final decision, don’t share your misgivings with your employee. Instead, explain how this particular decision was made, and that you and the rest of the executive team are going to look at how these decisions are made going forward. Don’t get into a debate with them about whether or not the decision was a good one.

Tip #5. Talk next steps.

Give your employee a few days to process the decision. Once they have, meet again to discuss next steps going forward. For instance, if they were turned down for a promotion, have a conversation with them about what they need to do going forward to get promoted and how you plan to help them.

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Charlottesville, Adams & Garth knows that giving bad news is never fun – especially when it’s to a really good employee. But by following the tips above, you can handle the situation with care, while still ensuring your staff member stays on track.

Need help hiring for your team? Let us know. With more than 15 years of staffing and recruiting experience right here in Charlottesville, we can help you source, hire and retain top employees for a variety of positions. Contact us today to learn more.

 

 

What’s a Pain Letter – & Should I Be Using One in My Job Search?

June 28th, 2016

Writing a cover letter is a tough job. How do you convince the hiring manager you’re right for the position in just a few paragraphs?

One recent trend is to send in a “pain letter” rather than just a cover letter. A pain letter is simply where you talk about a hiring manager’s biggest problem – i.e. “the pain” – and then explain how you can solve it. Some experts so that in doing so, you showcase your skills and experience, your knowledge of the company, and your desire to make a contribution.

But are pain letters really a good idea? After all, how do you really know what a hiring manager’s biggest pains are?

Sometimes, the answer is right in the job description. For instance, the job description might say something like:

“We’re looking for a social media manager who can develop an effective strategy and improve our presence on various social media channels.”

Once you know the specific pain point (lack of strategy and visibility on social media in the example above), you can get to work crafting a letter that shows how you can relieve the issue for the employer.

That said, if you can’t figure out a specific pain point, don’t try to guess at it. If you do – and you’re off the mark, you’ll appear presumptive and out of touch to the hiring manager. Instead, aim to frame your cover letter in terms of what the hiring manager needs (a finance whiz, an administrative guru, or whatever the case may be) and how you will excel in the position.

Keep in mind, the best way to stand out to a hiring manager isn’t to follow the latest trends. It’s to have a solid resume with a proven record of success and write a compelling cover letter that explains why you’re a great fit for the job.

A few other cover letter writing tips include:

  • Tell a story – in other words, why you want to work at the company, or why you first entered your career field.
  • Don’t regurgitate your resume. Include new information on your cover letter.
  • Use numbers where you can to quantify accomplishments.
  • Don’t be overly formal; be professional yet friendly.
  • Customize each letter for the different positions you apply to.
  • Keep it short – no more than one page.

Need more help writing cover letters – or finding your next dream job in Central Virginia? Call the employment experts at Adams & Garth. We can connect you with leading employers and top jobs throughout Central Virginia. Call us today to find out more.

5 Traits Your Small Business Should Hire For

June 21st, 2016

As leading Staunton recruiters, Adams & Garth knows when you run a small business, every employee on staff can have a big impact on your bottom line. Not only are they the face of your company, but their successes and failures behind the scenes can dictate whether you flounder or flourish.

With that in mind, how can you hire the strongest people for your team? Here’s a look at 5 traits to be on the lookout for during the hiring process:

#1: A High Level of Enthusiasm.

The right technical skills don’t mean much if an employee isn’t enthusiastic about their job and eager to learn more. So ask candidates about why they want to work at your company and take note of answers that show a sense of excitement about your business.

Also, keep an eye out for those who have a love of learning, even though they’re industry veterans. Those are the people who will bring innovation and creativity to your company – along with a competitive advantage.

#2: Easy to Get Along With.

In a large company, you may not notice difficult employees as much. But in a smaller business, a poor dynamic can truly wreak havoc. That’s why it’s important to hire those people who seem easy to get along with, have a positive attitude, and can mesh well with your existing team.

#3: Great Multi-Taskers.

When you run a small business, you wear a lot of hats…and so do your employees. As a result, it’s important to look for people who are flexible, can switch gears quickly, and manage a variety of different projects simultaneously. When interviewing candidates, ask them to tell you about a time when they had to juggle multiple projects at once.

#4: Motivated to Succeed.

When you’re running a small business, you don’t have a lot of time to hold hands. You therefore need people who are internally driven and motivated to succeed.

These are the people who will look for ways to help you grow the company – without you having to ask – and will welcome new tasks and responsibilities. When screening resumes, look for candidates who have a strong record of achievement in their past positions.

#5: Strengths Different From Your Own

It’s easy to hire people just like you. But diverse teams lead to stronger companies.

As a result, it’s important to look for and hire those with a skill set, abilities and personality different from your own. They can help you overcome any blind spots and bring a fresh perspective to the table.

Do you need more help hiring for your small business? Call the experts at Adams & Garth. As leading Staunton recruiters, we can give you access to top candidates that will hit the ground running at your company. Contact Adams & Garth today to learn more.