Adams & Garth Blog

5 Signs a of a Potential Hiring Mistake

September 16th, 2014

Face it. A bad hire can cost you a lot more than just time lost on recruiting. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Central Virginia, Adams & Garth knows it can also kill morale, productivity and your overall bottom line. The best approach is to try and avoid potential bad hires in the first place. So if you interview candidates displaying the following kinds of behaviors, run – don’t walk – the other way:

Sign #1: They give vague answers.

You ask a question. Instead of a direct response, the candidate gives you the runaround. They ramble, are short on details and don’t answer anything you’ve clearly asked about. Regardless of the position you’re hiring for, good communication skills are probably an important component of it. If a candidate displays poor ones, don’t ignore it. This is the kind of communication you can expect from them once on the job.

Sign #2: They offer you a family member as a reference.

When a candidate gives you references – and it quickly becomes clear they’re either family members or co-workers, not managers – it should give you cause for concern. If a potential hire doesn’t want you to talk to their former bosses, there’s a reason why.

Sign #3: They behave unprofessionally.

There are many different behaviors that fall under the “unprofessional” category during a job interview – dressing sloppily, showing up late without a good reason, treating the receptionist with disrespect, or coming across as arrogant, to name a few. If a candidate showcases any of these – or any kind of conduct you find inappropriate – you can thank your lucky stars they showed you their true colors in the interview…not once on the job.

Sign #4: They bad mouth former employers or bosses.

Not speaking out against a former boss, employer, or colleague is interviewing 101. When a candidate makes disparaging remarks, it’s a sign that a) they lack tact and loyalty and b) they lack good judgment. After all, they have know idea whether you know the person in question.

Sign #5: They don’t have a clear record of success.

You need someone who can deliver results. If a candidate can’t offer you a track record of their accomplishments or successes, then don’t expect them to produce great results once on the job. You should be on the lookout for candidates who can succinctly and effectively explain the value they bring to the table – in the form of real achievements, not hypotheticals.

It is possible to spot a bad candidate before you make the mistake of hiring one. Just follow the tips above – and if your gut is telling you that someone isn’t right for the job, listen to it. You’re better off continuing your search then hiring the wrong person.

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.

How to “Wow” a Hiring Manager in the First Few Minutes

September 9th, 2014

As Harrisonburg recruiters, Adams & Garth knows that job interviews typically last a lot longer than a few minutes. But you never know when you could run into someone who could impact your career advancement – at a coffee shop, in the elevator, or at an industry event. And the impression you make can leave a lasting mark, good or bad. What can you do to ensure you “wow” a manager and set yourself up for an interview? Here are some tips:

Speak the Right Body Language

Whether you’re walking into a job interview or networking at an industry event, keep your posture straight, smile at the person you’re talking with and offer a firm handshake. Likewise, when you sit, don’t slouch or fidget. Even if you’re nervous, suppress the urge to drum your fingers or tap your foot.

Make Sure Your Hands are Dry

You don’t want your nerves to betray you with a cold, clammy handshake. Make sure your hands are warm and dry before offering it to someone.

Use Color to Stand Out

While you should always dress professionally for a job interview, that doesn’t mean you can’t stand out with a pop of color. Hiring managers are so used to seeing blacks and grays that a red tie or blouse can make you more memorable.

Focus on One Great Story

What’s one professional accomplishment or achievement that really showcases your skill set, experience and passion? Whatever it is, try to focus on it when you’re talking to the hiring manager. When they ask you the inevitable “tell me about yourself” question, you can relate the story and how it sums up the value you bring to the table.

Don’t Ramble

One of the easiest ways to undermine yourself is by rambling on and on when answering a question. Not only does it show you’re losing focus, but you’re probably also losing the attention of the hiring manager in the process. Instead, practice some common interview answers ahead of time to ensure your answers are clear and concise.

Follow Up

Whether you chatted for 10 minutes with a hiring manager at a conference, or had an hour-long formal job interview, you should always follow up afterward to thank them for their time and reiterate why you’re a good fit for the job.

Need more help finding a new job that’s a great fit for you? Call Adams & Garth. Our Harrisonburg recruiters will work with you to learn about your career goals and background, and then match you with job opportunities in which you can thrive.

Ready to get started? Contact us today.

How to Build a Better Wellness Program

September 2nd, 2014

A recent RAND Corporation study found that over 85% of U.S. businesses employing 1,000 people or more offer some sort of workplace wellness program. That’s great. Until you consider the fact that only 60% of employees are aware that their employers offer a wellness program – and only 40% of those who are aware actually participate in it, according to Gallup research.

As one of Staunton’s leading staffing agencies, Adams & Garth knows wellness programs can be expensive. However, when done right, they can help offset the rising cost of health insurance while boosting employee morale and productivity.

So if your company has a wellness program with lackluster results, here are a few ideas that can help you improve it:

Create a Communications Plan

Support your wellness program with a strong communications plan. According to a white paper – “Well on the Way: Engaging Employees in Workplace Wellness” by Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Co. – barriers to engagement can oftentimes be overcome through championship of the program by the CEO and co-workers who are identified as health ambassadors by their enthusiastic participation in wellness initiatives.

In addition, the paper also points out that enhancing communication via one-on-one benefits counseling can also help drive participation in a company’s wellness program, as well as improve understanding and appreciation of the entire benefits package.

Invest in Incentives

Employee incentive programs provide rewards – financial or otherwise – for those team members who engage in healthy behavior. A growing trend is to cover an additional percentage of a worker’s health insurance premiums for achieving certain health goals, such as lowering blood pressure or losing weight.

Go Beyond the Physical

According to Gallup and Healthways, which have developed a comprehensive source of well-being measurement, the five essential elements of well-being are:

  • Purpose: liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals
  • Social: having supportive relationships and love in your life
  • Financial: managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security
  • Community: liking where you live, feeling safe, and having pride in your community
  • Physical: having good health and enough energy to get things done daily

When employees are thriving in several of the above elements, it becomes simpler for them to achieve things that are in their own best interest, such as maintaining good physical health. For instance, if an employee has strong financial well being, they are less likely to be stressed out and fall into bad habits (such as overeating and smoking) that undermine physical health.

Many businesses simply focus their wellness programs on physical well-being. However, by focusing wellness programs on all five elements above, companies can enhance their bottom line.

Other tips for strengthening your workplace wellness program include:

  • Find out what the top drivers of healthcare costs are for your employees and create incentives for wellness initiatives to help deal with those risks.
  • Incentives should be determined based on the demographics of your team members. For instance, what appeals to a workforce that skews older may not be as effective for a company with a younger workforce.
  • Make sure that the incentives are attainable by your employees. They won’t participate if criteria for earning incentives are unrealistic.
  • Make the incentives and what the employee has to do to earn them easy to understand and easy to communicate. 
Communicate early and often about what participants need to complete to earn the incentives.

Need more help recruiting and retaining top employees? Contact 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 managing your team. Contact Adams & Garth today to learn more.

Silence Isn’t Golden When it Comes to the Job Interview

August 26th, 2014

You landed an interview for a terrific opportunity. You nailed it and know you’re in the running. But now it’s a week later and you still haven’t heard anything from the employer.

Sound familiar?

If it does, you’re certainly not alone. As one of the leading employment agencies in Lynchburg, Adams & Garth knows this scenario happens far too often to job candidates all over the country – regardless of profession, experience level or abilities.

The question for you is: Should you continue to wait, give up or reach out?

You should absolutely follow up after a job interview. But before you rush to the phone to call the hiring manager, read these tips for how to go about it:

Call or Email, It’s Your Choice

It doesn’t make a difference whether you call or email the hiring manager to follow up. Just make sure you do it in a timely manner. Don’t let weeks slip by before reaching out. Otherwise, it will be perceived that you’re not interested in the job.

Likewise, don’t be too eager either. If the hiring manager told you they’d have a decision by Friday afternoon, don’t call him or her at 8 am on Monday morning. Give them a few days leeway time so you don’t appear desperate.

Be Polite & Professional

If you were promised a decision by a certain date – and that date has come and gone – you’re probably annoyed. Rightfully so. But don’t let your emotions show in your email or phone call. Be polite and professional at all times. A hiring manager may or may not remember you if you’re gracious. If you’re rude, on the other hand, they’ll certainly remember you for the wrong reasons.

Word your message along the lines of:

“I know you mentioned you were going to be making a final decision by the end of the week. I just wanted to follow up with you to see where you are in the process.”

Follow Up Twice

Follow up once. If you don’t get a response, then follow up again a few days later. If you hear nothing back, don’t take it personally. You never know what’s going on inside the company.

Reach Out to Your Connections

If you still haven’t heard anything back, check your social networking connections to see if you know anyone who works at the company. If you do, ask them if they’ve heard anything about the status of hiring for the position.

Understand That Silence is an Answer

If a hiring manager hasn’t responded to multiple follow up attempts, then you need to read between the lines. Realize that “no answer” is your answer. Also, if you don’t hear back from the hiring manager, don’t attempt to track down his or her home phone or cell number, or personal email address. Instead, refocus your energy on other opportunities.

Need more help landing a new job that’s just right for you? Call Adams & Garth. As one of the leading employment agencies in Lynchburg, 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 Lynchburg jobs now.

Does Your Job Ad Sound Like Everyone Else’s?

August 19th, 2014

You’re looking for “passionate employees,” offer “competitive compensation” and provide “tremendous opportunities for growth.”

Guess what?

So does every other company out there. In fact, as one of the leading staffing agencies in Culpeper – and Central Virginia, Adams & Garth knows if you’re including these kinds of statements in your job ads, then the top talent out there won’t be able to tell you apart from your competition. In addition, when you write generic job ads, you attract generic job candidates.

How can you write better job ads – ones that don’t sound like everyone else’s? Here are some tips to help you:

Ask Yourself These Questions

Too often, job postings focus on a laundry list of duties and responsibilities. But if you’re hiring an administrative assistant, for instance, then qualified candidates already know what an administrative assistant does. Don’t focus solely on duties. Instead, before you begin writing the job posting, ask yourself a few questions:

  • What business problem will the right candidate help us solve?
  • How will we measure their success?
  • Why would someone want this job?

Answer these questions – and craft your job posting around your responses and it will be much easier to attract ideal candidates.

Be Precise in Your Language

You don’t want to get bombarded with resumes from people who simply aren’t qualified for the job. Otherwise, you’ll spend hours wading through candidates who aren’t a good fit.

To avoid this, you need to be as precise as possible in your language. If you need a financial planner with a CFP designation and experience working with teachers, then don’t simply state you need someone who “knows financial planning.” Precision takes a little more work on the front end, but the final result is you’ll cut down on the number of applications you get from unqualified candidates.

Focus on Attitude

A candidate can have strong skills and extensive experience, but if they don’t have the right attitude for your culture, they’re not going to be successful. So think about the hard and soft skills your top performers share. Are they independent thinkers or highly collaborative? Do they love risk taking and adventure, or focus more on certainty and security? Do they seek recognition for their work, or do they like to avoid the limelight?

For instance, if you need to hire a new manager, rather than saying you’re looking for “candidates with management experience,” instead consider: “We’re looking for a candidate with an educator’s heart, one that can not only manage their team members, but coach and mentor them as well.”

If that doesn’t sound good to a candidate, then they won’t apply. For you, that means less time focused on the wrong people and more time to find high performers that are a fit for your culture.

Need more help attracting high quality candidates? Call Adams & Garth. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Culpeper – and Central Virginia, we can connect you with top talent in and around the area. Contact us today to learn more.

How to Deal When You Get Turned Down for a Promotion

August 12th, 2014

You’ve been working extra hours. Giving your job all you’ve got. Vying for the attention of your boss. But alas, when it comes time for promotions, you get looked over. What can you do about it? Here are some tips to help you overcome a tough situation and come out ahead:

Take a step back.

Rather than getting emotional, take a step back and look at the situation logically. For instance, while it might be hard to swallow, was the person who secured the promotion more qualified than you? If they were, then determine what you need to do in order to obtain those same qualifications so you get the promotion the next time around.

Ask why you didn’t get the promotion.

As one of the leading employment agencies in Lynchburg, Adams & Garth knows that at first glance, it might not be clear to you why someone got promoted over you. If that’s the case, then ask your boss why they were promoted and what you need to do in the future to get a promotion, as well.

When you have this conversation with your boss, you may find there are specific areas that need improvement or new challenges you need to take on to prove yourself before you earn a new spot. If they’re able to give you clear cut reasons as to why you were passed over, then consider yourself lucky so you can work on turning their “no” into a “yes.”

Consider the situation.

Once you learn more about why you were passed over, assess the overall situation. Do you agree with your boss’s decision? Or do you feel underappreciated and ill-treated? Is there a way you can move forward in your current position, or do you feel ready to move onto a new opportunity?

Take action.

What steps do you need to take in order to achieve your goals? For instance, if you agree with your boss’s assessment, what specifically are you going to do to ensure you don’t get passed over for a promotion next time?

If, on the other hand, you feel their final decision was unfair, are you ready to start looking elsewhere for different opportunities? If you are, then what do you need to do – e.g. polish your resume, start networking, and looking for jobs online? Whatever your final decision, you need to take specific action steps in order to achieve your ultimate career goals.

Ready to learn about new job opportunities? Call Adams & Garth. As one of the leading employment agencies in Lynchburg, 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 Lynchburg jobs now.

How to Prep Your Core Staff for Temporary Workers

August 5th, 2014

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Central Virginia, Adams & Garth can tell you that using temporary staffing lets you take advantage of many great benefits. But your employees may not see it that way. They may view temp workers you bring on board to help out as a threat to their own jobs. With talks of layoffs, downsizing and outsourcing still going on at many companies across the country, it’s no wonder.

As the boss, though, it’s up to you to get your team to buy-in to temporary staffing so both your core staff and temp help can work together harmoniously. Here are some tips to help you:

  • Talk Up the Benefits. Does temporary staffing help you save time, save money, take on more projects, or get more done? Whatever benefits it offers to your company, communicate those to your staff. They’re thinking about job security, not strategy. So if you explain the bigger picture to them in terms of how the company benefits, then they will be more open to the idea of temporary staffing.
  • Explain the Temp’s Role. Whether you’re using one temporary worker or 20, explain to your team the role they will be playing at the company. The purpose of this is to ease any threatening feelings an employee may have toward a temp. Also, if you expect one of your employees to share office space with a temp, don’t spring it on them at the last minute. You may get a hostile response if you do.
  • Let Your Employees Ask Questions. Your team will likely have questions about the situation, so answer them as thoroughly as you can. The more comfortable your staff members are with temporary staffing, the more productive both your core team and temporary workers will be. Let your employees know, too, to come to you with any issues or concerns. The hope is that you will nip any awkward or tense situations in the bud before they escalate.
  • Give Your Temporary Worker a Buddy. Assign one of your core staff members to your temporary worker to answer questions and help get them acclimated. The person you choose should be someone who is patient and a good communicator. The more comfortable your temporary workers are, the better they will perform.

Need temporary help for a new project or an uptick in demand? 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.

What to Do When You Make Mistakes at Your New Job

July 22nd, 2014

If you’re like most employees, you want your first few days and weeks on the job to go off without a hitch. The trouble is, you’re new to the position and the company – and therefore bound to make some mistakes along the way. To help ensure errors don’t get the best of you, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Learn From Mistakes 

As one of the leading employment agencies in Lynchburg, Adams & Garth can tell you that mistakes are expected. But it’s when you make the same mistake over and over again that it becomes a problem.

So learn from your errors. Determine what you didn’t do correctly, why you didn’t, and how you can ensure you don’t make the same mistake again. Going forward, make sure you incorporate what you learned from your mistakes into your work.

Don’t Dwell On Them 

If you made a mistake, learn from it and move on. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Continually dwelling on a mistake doesn’t improve the situation and it will only hurt your confidence in the long run.

Take Notes to Avoid Mistakes

To help avoid making mistakes, always keep your laptop or a notebook handy for you to take notes on. Your boss or a co-worker may offer details about office procedures or project deadlines and you don’t want to have to ask for the information again.

Check Your Work…Then Check It Again

If you’re just starting out in a position, then chances are you’re not super familiar with the work. Mistakes are more likely to happen, so be sure to double check your work before submitting it to your boss. It’s better to take a little extra time to hand in an assignment – and have it be correct – then to hurry through the work in order to submit it early.

Ask for Feedback

If you’re worried about the mistakes you’re making on the job, ask your boss for feedback on how to improve. While you don’t want to pester them every day for input on your performance, asking how you’re doing in the first few weeks of a job is completely reasonable.

A new position can be daunting enough without having to worry about mistakes. But everyone makes them – because no one is perfect. The trick is to put forth an effort to avoid mistakes and to learn from them quickly if you do make one.

Looking for a new job in which to showcase your skills and abilities?  Call Adams & Garth. As one of the leading employment agencies in Lynchburg, 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 Lynchburg jobs now.

Why You’re Losing Out on Great Candidates

July 15th, 2014

You’ve reviewed dozens of resumes, conducted multiple rounds of interviews and made your hiring selection. The trouble is, when you present the offer to your first pick candidate, they decline. They’ve accepted a position elsewhere. What gives?

If this scenario has happened to you repeatedly, you could be losing out on great candidates for a variety of reasons. Here’s a look at two of them:

You’re not selling the opportunity.

Sure, a job interview is a chance for a candidate to show you why they’re the best fit for the position. But it’s also a chance for you to sell the opportunity – and the perks of working at your company – to the candidate.

When interviewing, it’s important to explain to candidates why they should want to work for you. What can you offer that other employers typically don’t? For instance, are you an industry leader? Do you provide higher compensation than the competition? Or do you offer flexible working opportunities? It’s important for each candidate to walk away from the interview with an understanding of what makes your job so attractive.

You don’t tell candidates where they stand.

As one of the top staffing agencies in Charlottesville, we hear candidates complain all the time about past interviewing experiences with employers. They thought an interview went well and were told they’d be contacted within a week. Three weeks later, they still hadn’t heard anything.

Not only will treating candidates this way cause you to lose them, but it will also leave a bad taste in their mouths. When future opportunities open up at your company, they’ll think twice about applying.

Remember too, while you’re trying to make a hiring decision, candidates are still conducting their job searches. When you take too long to communicate where candidates stand in the hiring process, you’ll lose them to another company.

If the above reasons aren’t true for you – yet candidates are regularly rejecting your offers, ask new hires what worked and didn’t work for them during the hiring process. Specifically, ask which features / benefits most compelled them to accept the job, which made no impact, and which made them almost turn down the job. When you know what’s working – and what’s not – in your offers, you can develop a better pitch that’s more enticing to candidates.

Need more help attracting and retaining great candidates? We can help. 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.

Why You Shouldn’t Make a Counteroffer When an Employee Quits

July 8th, 2014

You thought an employee was satisfied on the job. Then they handed in their two-week notice. You know their position will be hard to fill, so you’re tempted to make a counteroffer. The question is: should you?

Think of it from the candidate’s perspective. If they’ve resigned, then chances are they have a new job lined up. If that’s the case, then they’ve already spent countless hours thinking about whether to look for a new job and accept the offer that came their way.

When you counter, you’re simply offering more money – but that might not even be what your employee really wants. It’s probably time to let him or her go. Here’s why:

Reason #1: Employees don’t typically leave just because of money. 

A bump in pay is always nice. But if all your employee wanted was a heftier paycheck, they would have asked for a raise. Since they didn’t, you can conclude that they’re looking for something along the lines of more challenging assignments, more responsibility, a more productive relationship with their supervisor, or a work culture that better suits them.

Reason #2: You’re prolonging the inevitable.

As leading Central Virginia recruiters, Adams & Garth knows that even when you do make a solid counteroffer, most employees still wind up leaving. It may be a few months down the road, or a year. But you’re simply prolonging the inevitable. You’re far better off making a clean break and hiring someone new.

Reason #3: Your other employees will take notice. 

If your employee formally resigns, they’ve probably already talked to their co-workers about their new opportunity. But when you make a counteroffer, you’re signaling to your team that all you have to do is quit to get a raise.

Other employees will surely take notice and begin looking for new opportunities elsewhere. The last thing you need is a counteroffer to produce a mass exodus of your staff.

When a team member quits, stop yourself from saying “What are they offering? I can do better.” Congratulate your employee, talk about next steps, and get started with the process of filling the skill gap they’re leaving behind. And you never know; they could be back some time in the future.

Have a vacancy in your company you need help filling? Contact Adams & Garth. As leading Central Virginia recruiters, we can give you access to top candidates that will hit the ground running at your firm. Contact Adams & Garth today to learn more.