Adams & Garth Blog

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 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.

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.



What Should Be on My Company Careers Page?

July 1st, 2014

Gone are the days when candidates turned to the newspaper for job leads. Today, it’s all about the Internet where job seekers spend countless hours browsing job boards and company websites in search of just the right position.

When they get to your company career page or website, what should they find?

As leading Staunton recruiters, Adams & Garth recommends the information presented be unique to your organization and its culture. That said, there are a few key essentials you need to ensure you’re not missing:

Candidate-centric language.

It’s not all about you. It’s about attracting good candidates to your company. So don’t use your careers page or website to tout all your products and services.

Candidates want to know “what’s in it for them.” In other words, why they should want to work for your company. When you make this section all about you, it’s a big turn off for them. They can find information about your company’s background in other areas of your website.

An easy application process. 

Don’t make it hard for good candidates to apply for positions at your company. Make sure your job postings are front and center on your career site and that they are easy to apply to. The best job postings start with a clear job title. You don’t need to use fancy language or hyperbole. Candidates simply want to know about the opportunities you’re offering.

Valuable content. 

Beyond job postings, what other information should your career site include? Keep in mind you’re trying to put a face on your company, so include content that lets your company’s personality shine through.

Some examples?

A video with a hiring manager about what to expect during a job interview, a blog post by an employee talking about what they like most about working at the company, and snapshots from around the office so candidates can gain a sense of the work environment.

A final thought: Make sure you’re promoting your career website. If candidates can’t find it, then there’s no point in having it. So share and market it via social media. Make it easy for others to share. And include the website address in your email signature and on your business cards.

Need more help hiring for your company? Contact Adams & Garth. As leading Staunton 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.

What Should a New Hire’s First Day Look Like?

June 10th, 2014

Most new hire’s arrive on the job incredibly eager and a little bit nervous. It’s up to you to make sure their first day not only goes smoothly, but serves as a great starting point for what’s hopefully a productive employee/employer relationship.

However, as leading Lynchburg recruiters, Adams & Garth knows that too often employers don’t put a lot of thought into that all-important first day. The end result is a disappointed employee who starts off on the wrong foot.

To help ensure you get your new hires on track from the start, here are a few basics of what their first day should consist of:

Prompt greeting by their boss.

Don’t schedule a new hire’s first day when their supervisor isn’t going to be around. Also, don’t keep them in the reception area idling around and waiting.

Make sure their new boss is there, ready to greet them and introduce them to team. This sets the tone for the relationship and these small steps will foster a good first-day experience for your new hire.

A fully equipped, functioning workspace.

Make sure the new hire’s workspace is set up and ready to go before they arrive on the job. Not only will it make it easier for the employee to get up and running faster, but it sends them the message that you’ve invested some time preparing for their arrival.

Co-workers ready to meet them. 

Don’t let the new hire be a surprise to your current team. Prepare your existing employees well ahead of schedule and encourage them to introduce themselves to the new hire. The first day on a new job is overwhelming, but friendly faces can certainly help to ensure your new hire doesn’t feel isolated.

Also, set up your new hire with a mentor or someone with a similar job role to help them get settled. Rather than having to direct questions to different people, your new employee will feel more comfortable knowing they have a buddy to turn to.

Answers to your new hire’s questions.

If you were new to the job and the company, what would you want to know? A good place to start is with the basics – such as the location of the lunchroom and restroom. Then move onto actual work. Review the new hire’s role at the company and invite them to ask any questions.


Check in with your new employee regularly throughout the first day. Ask them questions, get to know them personally, make sure everything is going well, and address any concerns.

Remember, your efforts in those first few days are setting the tone for the rest of the work relationship! So be sure to welcome all new hires right.

Need more help with hiring and onboarding new employees? Call Adams & Garth. As leading Lynchburg recruiters, we can not only give you access to top candidates, but also help you ensure they will hit the ground running at your firm. Contact Adams & Garth today to learn more.


Poor Performer Got You Down? Here’s What to Do

June 3rd, 2014

Nobody likes a poorly performing employee. But for bosses, they are a fact of life. Unfortunately, though, too many managers choose not to deal with them due to a lack of time, not wanting to confront, or not wanting to play the “bad guy.”

But as leading Charlottesville recruiters, Adams & Garth knows when you choose to let poor performance go, you’re simply hurting your team, your company and your career in the end. You’re also hurting the poor performer, as well. They know they’re not doing a good job and the position may not be right for them. Maintaining the status quo simply prolongs the pain for everyone.

The following steps can help you address your underperforming employee – and hopefully coach them toward success:

Make sure your employee is clear about expectations. 

What to do: This sounds like a no brainer. But many times, poor performance can stem from an employee’s uncertainty about what you expect from them. Goals change, deadlines are altered, responsibilities shift – and the end result is an employee who isn’t quite sure what to do and when to do it.

You need to clearly define the picture – big and small – to your employee. Spend some time explaining where the company is going, what it’s doing to get there, how the employee can contribute, and how they benefit from it all.

Make sure they understand.

What to do: Once you’ve discussed the situation, make sure your employee understands what you are communicating. Also be sure to let them voice their opinion. Perhaps they were given added responsibilities, but don’t feel they have the training or support to fulfill them.

Whatever they do say, don’t get emotional. Seek to understand the employee’s point of view.

Make sure they’re involved.

What to do: If it’s training they need, then ask the employee what kinds of opportunities would help them most. If they feel like there are certain tasks they simply can’t perform, talk about which projects and responsibilities are more aligned with their strengths.

The point is to get your employee involved in discussing potential approaches so they are more invested in the solution.

Make sure they feel recognized. 

What to do: If the situation improves, it’s important to recognize your employee and reinforce their positive behavior. Even if they aren’t a star performer yet, the fact that they’re making progress is important. And to continue to keep them on track, you must recognize their efforts.

Need more help dealing with staffing and HR struggles? Call Adams & Garth. As leading Charlottesville 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.



Advice on Managing the Office ‘Loafer’

May 13th, 2014

He doesn’t show up on time. When he gets there, it takes a half hour to get settled. He lets other people pick up the slack without a thought. And he never offers to help out or take on extra work.

It’s the loafer, the deadbeat, the lazy employee. There’s no enthusiasm. He barely does enough to get by. And one thing is for certain – his bad habits are starting to impact the workplace. Some employees are getting angry and others are starting to emulate the behavior. Morale is a sinking ship – and you’re at the helm.

What do you do? 

Ultimately, know that it is up to you to intercede. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Culpeper – and Central Virginia, Adams & Garth knows that as easy as it would be to simply ignore the situation, the loafer is not going to change without intervention.

First, think about where things went wrong. You probably didn’t hire a lazy employee. They were likely eager and motivated in the beginning. So when did things start going awry?

It could be that the employee in question is simply one big hiring mistake; or perhaps they’re feeling bored and unmotivated due to working conditions or a lack of challenging projects. Whatever the case, determining the source is essential to diffusing their behavior.

Second, good leadership begins with good communication. That means it’s time to confront your lazy employee. If they have been a valued team member in the past, be sure to express that. Then talk about the behavior in question, listing out specific examples.

Also, prepare a list of clear goals and expectations you have for the employee – so they know exactly what you expect from them. Don’t leave room for ambiguity. For instance, “I need you to complete five reports by Friday” or “I need you to finish off that presentation by Wednesday at noon.”

Once you’ve confronted your loafer about his behavior, you need to follow up. Check in at least every week to ask how things are going and whether he has any issues or concerns. This doesn’t need to be a formal conversation; swinging by their desk after lunch for a chat will do.

  • If the situation does improve, then praise your employee. True, they may not be your top performer. But if they’re headed in the right direction, then they’re going to need some positive feedback to stay on track.
  • If, however, the situation continues on, then it’s time to let your loafer go. They will only continue to adversely impact your team with their bad behavior, which can cost you dearly in the form of morale, productivity and retention. It’s simply not worth it.

Need help filling a recent vacancy? Call Adams & Garth. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Culpeper – and 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 the ones who are a great fit for you.

Contact us today to learn more.

How to Spot a Fake Reference

May 6th, 2014

It’s hard to imagine that a candidate would actually submit a fake reference. But as one of the leading staffing agencies in Staunton – and Central Virginia, Adams & Garth knows there are job seekers out there who are desperate and dishonest and do just that. What’s worse is that there are actually companies online selling their fake reference services to them.

If you’re hiring, it can be a scary scenario.

A candidate makes a terrific impression and the only step separating them from your company is checking a few references. You make a couple calls, get terrific character and skill assessments and decide to hire the candidate on the spot.

The trouble is, the people on the other end of the line were phonies. While coaching a friend or colleague to serve as a reference is nothing new, these “professionals” are far more sophisticated, actually creating fake company websites and bogus jobs to go along with their pretend accolades.

So what can you do to protect your company?

  • Be aware. The first step is knowing that this is becoming a problem. If you aren’t aware of it, you can’t take steps to combat it.
  • Be specific with your questions. The more specific you are with your questions, the better chance you have of catching a phony reference giver in a lie. For instance, use information directly from a candidate’s resume to ask questions about their background – e.g. “I saw on Mary’s resume that a big part of her job was answering phones. How did she typically greet customers?”
  • Do some digging. If you’re suspicious, then do your own digging to see if the company is for real. If you don’t get any hits, or you see other websites warning you about the company, then consider it a big red flag.
  • Outsource your background checks. If you’ve gotten burned in the past by a fake reference, then consider using a professional service to conduct background checks. A reputable firm will be able to verify not only your candidates’ references, but all of their background information, so you can hire with peace of mind.

Need more help vetting candidates? Call Adams & Garth. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Staunton – and Central Virginia, our trained specialists can take the hassle and risk out of hiring, so you get the honest, skilled, hard-working employees you need. Contact us today to learn more.

Communication is Key When Managing Your Virtual Employees

April 8th, 2014

Approximately 13.4 million employees, or 9.4% of U.S. workers, worked at least one day at home per week in 2010, compared with 9.2 million people, or 7% of U.S. workers in 1997. And that number is only going to increase in the coming years.

As leading recruiters in Lynchburg, Adams & Garth knows whether you already have remote employees on staff, or are planning to implement a work-from-home policy at your company, it’s imperative that you manage virtual employees right.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to communication. Employees aren’t on site to stop by your office for a chat, or connect with you over lunch – which is why you must make an effort to invest more in communicating with them.

Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Communicate everyday. Even if it’s just a quick text or email to check in, you should be talking with your virtual workers every day. That doesn’t mean you need to be hounding them; it simply allows you to give them an opportunity to share any progress, concerns, issues or accolades that you may not know about.
  • Invest in collaboration tools. Thanks to technology, there are a multitude of apps, software, websites and other tools you and your team can use to share, collaborate and stay connected. It’s simply a matter of finding the one or ones that work the best for you and your team. You’ll have to do some research and test a few out. But when you find the tool that is effective, it can be invaluable.
  • Give feedback. Just because an employee is off-site doesn’t mean they don’t need their share of feedback and encouragement. Don’t wait until the end of the year to have a performance review. Instead, regularly talk to your virtual team members about performance – what’s going well and what needs improvement, and recognizing their contributions to the team.
  • Get together. If you’re in the same city, then get together face-to-face with your staff every once in a while. If not, then use video conferencing tools. This is especially important if you’re talking about a sensitive or urgent issue. Much of communication has to do with interpreting body language and visual cues. Important conversations will be far more productive and you’ll ensure important message don’t get lost in a lengthy email when you take the time to communicate in person.

The bottom line? Virtual employees can be a huge headache or a huge asset to your company. The trick to achieving success is managing them right and communicating often.

Need help hiring for your virtual workforce? Call Adams & Garth. As leading recruiters in Lynchburg, we’ve got the knowledge, experience, and proven processes in place to help you hire right. Next time you need top talent, contact Adams & Garth. We can help.