Adams & Garth Blog

How to Get the Most from Your Summer Interns

May 17th, 2016

Summer is just around the corner. And with the season, college students and new graduates will beginning their internships. If you’ll be managing an intern this summer, are you prepared to offer a valuable experience, so you can get the most from them? To help you in the process, here are 5 tips to consider:

#1: Create a meaningful opportunity.

Sure, your intern might be making coffee and filing. But that shouldn’t be all they do. Ambitious interns will want an opportunity to learn new skills, gain insight and make a contribution.

Start with the basics with your intern, but increasingly give them more responsibility as the summer goes on so they feel a sense of accomplishment. Teach them the tools of the trade in terms of software, whether it’s Excel or Sharepoint, to make them more marketable once they are applying for a job. And point them to books, publications, blogs and other sources of information that would be useful for them to read.

#2: Set them up with a manager.

Make sure you pair your intern with a single manager they will report to. If they’re thrown into the job without a point of contact, specific goals set for them, and someone to hold them accountable, they’ll flounder. It’s important to choose someone on your team who will enjoy and be good at managing and helping an intern.

#3: Talk big picture.

Make sure your intern understands the big picture of what your company does and how they fit in. By sharing insight into the big picture, you can bridge any knowledge gaps and help your intern be more motivated to succeed.

#4: Assign a dedicated project.

Your intern might be working on a various tasks throughout the summer. However, be sure to assign them one dedicated project that they can tackle. When you do, it will keep them focused, help them obtain new skills more quickly, and provide a means for you to measure their success.

That said, don’t assign them a project and then check in a month later. Instead, have them complete regular drafts that you or their manager can review so you can ensure they’re on the right track.

#5: Check in often.

Meet once a week with your intern to check in. This can be a quick 10-minute coffee break together, or you can invite them to lunch. But just make sure you review objectives and check on progress, and also answer any questions your intern may have.

Do you need more help hiring for your team this summer? 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 for the summer – and all year long. Contact us today to learn more.

4 Tips for More Consistent Performance On Your Team

May 3rd, 2016

Does this sound familiar? You have some employees who are regular rock stars. Others who are putting in subpar performance every day. And still others who vacillate back and forth between excellence and mediocrity.

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Central Virginia, Adams & Garth knows what you really need is a team of steady and reliable workers – who consistently deliver great results. Here’s how to get it:

Tip #1: Communicate clear goals.

Poor performance can often stem from a lack of understanding about goals. That’s why it’s so important for every person on your team needs to understand what they should be doing from the start. Meet with each staff member individually to set performance goals and monitor their progress with regular check-ins.

Tip #2: Invest in more training.

If you’re like most managers, you’re more than busy…you’re flooded with requests. So when a new person joins your team, you might not have the time or resources to ensure they’re trained properly. They’re on their own to figure things out. Sometimes, your new hire can get up and running quickly; most often, though, additional training is needed – especially if you want consistent results.

Why? Because thorough training can help ensure everyone in your department is following the same processes and procedures. It also ensures you customers are getting the same answers, regardless of whom they speak with. This all leads to more consistent performance and results

Tip #3: Get rid of obstacles.

When a goal or deadline goes unmet, don’t automatically point the finger of blame at your employees. Roadblocks – such as obsolete technology or unrealistic timelines – can often result in a lack of consistent performance. As the manager, it’s up to you to remove these roadblocks so your employees can perform at their best everyday.

Tip #4: Offer regular praise.

Besides regularly checking in with your team to keep them on track, you should be offering consistent praise, as well. And don’t play favorites and praise those employees you like best. Praise performance and results, not people.

Consistency starts with you. Consistently set realistic goals, invest in employee training, work to remove obstacles and offer praise – and you’ll get more consistent performance across your team.

Do you need help recruiting employees you can rely on to deliver? Call the team at 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 dependable candidates that are a great fit for you. Contact us today to learn more.

Should I Rehire an Employee?

April 19th, 2016

You know hiring is a challenge. So when a former employee comes knocking at your door looking for a new job, should you rehire them?

As one of Staunton’s leading staffing agencies, Adams & Garth knows it depends on the situation. For instance, if this person was a problem employee with weak performance in the past, then that’s a no brainer. Politely turn them down.

However, what if it’s more complicated than that? Say, for example, they were a great employee but left for greener pastures. Maybe they didn’t feel like they were being offered enough opportunities for development. Or perhaps they wanted a more flexible schedule.

If an employee left over these issues in the past, then there’s a chance they will quit again in the future if the issue hasn’t been resolved. That’s why you need to ask specifically about it.

The last time they worked for you, the individual could have had small children that required a more flexible schedule. But now the kids are grown up, so your former employee doesn’t need that same schedule.

Whatever the case, just make sure the same issue that caused this person to leave in the first place won’t rear it’s ugly head a second time around.

If you’re still not sure what to do, here’s a look at some other reasons why former employees are at least good to consider:

  • The person is a known entity. You know their work ethic and their attitude. You know how effective and productive they are. And you know whether or not they work well with others. There’s no worry about this candidate looking one way on paper and then acting completely different once in the office.
  • They understand the culture. This can make the learning curve significantly shorter, which means they can get up and running faster. It also means they know the good, bad and ugly about the culture and office politics and still want to boomerang back.
  • They have an expanded skill set. The former employee may be applying for a management position that they weren’t previously qualified for when they worked at your company. Now they have the skills and experience to add more value. Even better, another company paid the price to train them.

Don’t have any boomerang employees knocking on your door? Need more help recruiting great workers for your job openings? Call the experts at Adams & Garth. As one of Staunton’s leading staffing agencies, we can take the hassle out of recruiting for you, so you can focus on other priorities. Contact Adams & Garth today to learn more.

Is an Employee Underperforming – or Stretched Too Thin?

April 5th, 2016

You have an employee who isn’t getting their work done. They tell you their work load is too high and they are simply stretched too thin. How can you tell if they’re right on – or on the wrong track at work? Here are some tips to help you:

Look at your employee’s past performance.

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Central Virginia, Adams & Garth can tell you that if you have an employee you know is a solid, dependable worker with extensive experience, then it’s important you take their concerns to heart and trust their judgment. However, if the employee is new, or has been a weak performer in the past, then it may be time for some additional training and support.

Look at the performance of other employees.

If you have other employees who perform similar work or are in a similar position, then look to them to see if they are also having trouble meeting deadlines or managing their workload. This will give you a better idea of whether or not your expectations for your employee are realistic. If everyone on your team is missing deadlines or in the same boat, then it’s time to readjust workloads.

Look at the employee’s job in depth.

In order to understand whether or not performance or workload is the issue, you need to understand what your employee’s day-to-day looks like. What projects are they working on? What are the deadlines for these? How much time is allotted to each task?

You may find you allocated a few hours to a task that is actually taking the employee days to complete. Or perhaps your employee is dependent upon a co-worker to complete their part of the project first and that person is moving too slowly. Whatever the case, it’s up to you to identify the roadblock and help your employee overcome it.

Look for shortcuts.

Work with your employee to help them streamline projects and tasks and find shortcuts for getting work done faster. Act as a problem solver and collaborate to find a solution, whether it’s delegating certain tasks or cutting them out of the process entirely. Keep in mind, in order to get the best results, you need to have a conversation with your employee…not put them on the defensive.

Once you’ve gone through the process above, you should have a better idea of whether your employee is underperforming…or truly stretched too thin.

Whether your issue is weak performance or understaffing, Adams & Garth can help. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Central Virginia, we can give you access to the high quality, dependable talent you need, whether on a full-time or temporary basis. Contact us today to learn more.

How Information Overload is Overwhelming Your Employees…& What to Do About It

March 15th, 2016

Information overload is defined as the exposure to or provision of too much information or data. According to Deloitte’s 2014 Global Human Trends Capital Report, it’s overwhelming your workers, harming productivity and lowering worker engagement.

In fact, 65% of executives in Deloitte’s survey rated the “overwhelmed employee” an “urgent” or “important” trend, while 44% said that they are “not ready” to deal with it. The report also estimates that information overload costs mid-size companies $10 million a year.

The good news is that HR and managers have the opportunity to lead efforts to manage the seemingly inescapable communication practices that are leading to overwhelmed employees.

According to the report, here’s how:

Get feedback.

In order to assess information overload at your company you need feedback from your employees on what’s troubling them the most. Ask them about frustrating or time wasting workplace practices and systems. Work to reduce the number of steps it takes to complete a task or process.

Change expectations.

As a manager, if you’re online day and night responding to emails, your employees will feel the need to do the same. So work to deliberately change these kinds of all-consuming expectations. If you can, avoid sending emails at night or on the weekends. When you do, you’ll be signaling to employees it’s ok to take time off and disconnect.

Embrace flexible schedules.

Implement a flex time policy and let employees work from home, even if it’s only occasionally. Send the message that it’s ok to miss a meeting if someone is in the midst of a massive project. These kinds of policies make it easy for employees to free themselves from less important tasks so they can focus on key projects or personal needs.

Keep meeting short.

Incorporate guiding principles at your company surrounding meetings, including keeping them short – to 30 minutes or less. This forces people to rapidly discuss issues, resolve problems, and get back to work. Keep them small too so that only the core team who really needs to be there is invited.

Delegate decision making.

Who on your team can call the shots? Are employees empowered to make decisions without consulting others? Enable your employees to make more decisions on their own and you’ll make everyone’s lives a whole lot easier.

Outsource non-core tasks.

If your company has a lot of repetitive, non-core tasks, consider outsourcing them to free up your team’s time and energy. Tasks can include anything from administrative to writing and publishing.

If you’re interested in learning more about how outsourcing can save your company time and money, call Adams & Garth. As one of the top staffing agencies in Charlottesville, we have the knowledge and expertise to help you find and hire top talent for temporary and temporary-to-hire positions – so you and your core team can focus on other priorities.

Contact us today to learn more.

5 Questions the Best Job Candidates Will Ask You

March 1st, 2016

The smartest job candidates know a secret: Just as you are evaluating them, they need to be assessing your company as a potential employer. How do they do it? By asking great questions. That’s why, when it comes time for the “do you have any questions for me?” portion of the interview, you should listen very carefully.

What kinds of questions do smart candidates ask? Here’s a look at 5:

#1: What are your expectations for me within the first six months on the job?

As one of the top staffing agencies in Charlottesville, Adams & Garth knows strong candidates want to deliver great results. But they can’t do that unless they are crystal clear about your goals and expectations. While they might spend the first few weeks, and perhaps even months, getting to know the ins and outs of the company and the position, they also know that once they hit the six month mark, they want to be as productive as possible.

#2: What are some traits or strengths of your top employees?

The best candidates know it takes more than just technical skills to succeed in a new position…it also takes a fit between employer and employee. And asking about what strengths the most successful employees share gives them insight into whether they would fit in with your company, as well as whether they have what it takes to achieve success on the job.

#3: What goals are the highest priority at your company and how would my role fit in with achieving those?

Top candidates want to be contributors. They want to ensure the job opportunity they do accept has meaning and will make an impact. They’re not looking for any old job. They want a position with a purpose.

#4: What drives results in this position?

Sure, HR people handle HR tasks. But what they’re really doing is sourcing and recruiting top-notch people who will drive productivity and bottom line results. Likewise, smart candidates will want to know what drives results in the position they’re interviewing for.

#5: Do a lot of people at your company get hired through referrals?

When your employees love their jobs they’re going to refer others to their companies. So if you have a high percentage of employees hired through referrals, it sends the message that your organization is a great place to work.

Do you need more help sourcing, evaluating and hiring top candidates for your team? Call Adams & Garth. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Charlottesville, we have the knowledge and expert team in place to help you find and hire the best people, the first time.

Contact us today to learn more.

4 Secrets to Attracting Great Candidates

February 16th, 2016

In today’s job market, top candidates have their pick of job offers. So even if you offer competitive compensation and rewarding work, that doesn’t guarantee you’ll attract top performers. The good news? There are some steps you can take to significantly improve your odds of landing star employees. Here’s a look at four of them:

1. Make the job description more candidate-centric.

As one of the top staffing agencies in Charlottesville, Adams & Garth knows there’s an art to writing an effective job description. Unfortunately, many today are too focused on the minutiae of the job rather than the big picture. But when you have a long-winded job description – one that solely focuses on what the company needs and not what the candidate wants – then you’re going to turn off top candidates.

Keep in mind, you don’t need to include every detail about the job and its associated tasks. Instead, focus on the big picture responsibilities and goals and make sure to communicate why your company is a great place to work.

2. Make applying easy.

If it’s not easy to apply for a job at your company, even the best fit candidates are going to give up. It’s up to you to build an online application process that’s short and sweet. The application process isn’t meant to cover every detail of the job opportunity. It should help you gain the insight and details you need to find top candidates and filter out weak ones.

3. Make candidates feel comfortable.

Your company might be offering a great salary, a challenging and exciting position, and more vacation time than your competitors. But if candidates don’t feel welcomed and comfortable when they interview and during the hiring process, they’re not going to come back for more.

So make sure when you are interviewing someone, you put the smart phone down and offer them your full attention. Take them on a tour of the office, introduce them around, and if you need to cancel an interview, give your sincerest apologies. Also, if you promise a decision by Friday, make sure you stick to that schedule. If you can’t for some reason, then at least keep candidates in the loop about progress.

4. Make sure candidates understand the position.

When you’re hiring for a position that you know comes with some challenges, make sure candidates are clear about them. Don’t paint a rosy picture about an ideal job opportunity. You may scare away a few job candidates. But the one you do eventually hire will be prepared for the realities of the job, rather than blindsided by them.

If you’d like more help attracting great candidates to your company, 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 top talent, the first time.

Contact us today to learn more.

Advice When You’re Hiring Employees Who Need to Relocate

February 2nd, 2016

Having to recruit outside the area to find the right professionals for your job openings can be a challenge. It’s a lot harder – and more expensive – to bring someone from a different location into the mix vs. hiring a local.

What’s more is that even the seemingly ‘perfect’ candidate can leave after a short time because they’re feeling homesick. So hiring an employee who needs to relocate can certainly feel like a big risk.

The good news? As one of the top staffing agencies in Charlottesville, Adams & Garth knows there are steps to take ahead of time to ensure you hire right, even when you’re hiring from outside the area. Here’s a look:

Step 1. Be clear about the job.

Don’t fall into the trap of painting a rosier-than-what’s-reality picture for the potential hire. You owe it to them – and your company – to be clear about the job, and the potential obstacles and challenges that will come with it. Keep in mind, not only are you asking a candidate to change jobs, but uproot their entire life. So you have to be completely honest and direct.

Step 2. Get their spouse to buy-in.

Someone’s spouse is going to play a big part in the decision making process. So if you’ve got your eye on a particular candidate, it can certainly help to get their spouse to buy-in to your opportunity. How can you do that? Invite the candidate and his or her spouse into the company for a guided tour and lunch. Talk to them about the housing market, schools and the area’s culture. Getting a sense of whether a spouse is interested in the job and the area can also give you an indication of whether or not you could be wasting your time on a candidate.

Step 3. Offer relocation resources and support.

Changing jobs is a big deal no matter where you live. However, if someone has to actually move to a different location, it’s important to offer the resources and support that can help make the process a little easier. In fact, there are companies that specialize in getting re-located employees settled in their new locales. In the meantime, you should also introduce them to their new co-workers and set up socials and luncheons so they can get to know the team on a personal level

Step 4. Keep those communication lines open.

Always strive to communicate regularly with your new hire during the relocation process. Continue to do so in the first few days and weeks after the move, which are so vital to ensuring the employee gets engaged. Communicating with them openly and often can help nip potential issues in the bud before they become major issues.

Do you need help recruiting and hiring great employees for your team? 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 top talent, the first time.

Contact us today to learn more.

What You Need to Communicate About Company Culture in the Hiring Process

January 19th, 2016

Throughout the hiring process, your goal is to find the candidate who is the best fit for your position. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Central Virginia, Adams & Garth knows that goes beyond someone with the right skill set and experience to get the job done. It also includes identifying someone who will fit in with your company culture. In fact, statistics show that many new hires leave after just a few short months on the job due to a lack of cultural fit.

How can you communicate and promote your culture during the hiring process? So candidates get a clear vision of whether the opportunity is right for them? Here are some tips to help you get started:

Rework job descriptions.

When reviewing your job descriptions, make sure to promote the company culture. Some questions to ask yourself in the process include: If the company was a person, what would his/her personality be like? And what makes the company a special or unique place to work? When you are interviewing candidates, make sure to ask questions about why they think they’d be a good fit for the culture.

Give candidates a great experience.

You’re not going to hire every candidate who applies at your company. However, you can give each and every one of them a positive experience. That means offering a convenient and easy way to apply for jobs. Treating them with respect and consideration. And keeping them in the loop throughout the hiring process. You never know whether they could be a perfect fit for a job down the line. So you want to ensure your company makes the best impression possible on each of them.

Don’t just tell them; show them what the culture’s like.

Don’t just talk about your culture and what makes it unique. Show candidates so they can experience it for themselves. For instance, create an employee blog on your careers website and publish posts and videos highlighting your office and team members. Also, when a candidate comes in for an interview, give them an office tour and an opportunity to talk to your employees.

Ask new hires to share their experience.

Use social media to your advantage. For example, ask new hires to share their candidate experience on your employee blog and social media profiles. If you have a great hiring process, their experience will help you promote it effectively.

To land the best people, you need to promote your company’s culture. Top talent has a choice of where to work and will be looking for companies that best meet their career objectives and lifestyle goals.

Would you like more help with the hiring process? 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.

How to Boost Trust With Your Staff in 2016 – and Beyond

January 5th, 2016

As one of the top staffing agencies in Charlottesville, Adams & Garth knows that trust plays an important role in every workplace. It impacts employees’ well-being and job performance, as well as a company’s productivity and retention rates. But unfortunately, for many organizations, it’s on the decline.

In fact, according to a study by the American Psychological Association (APA), more than half of employees feel like their employer isn’t open and upfront, a third feel that their organization isn’t always honest and truthful, and one in four say they don’t trust their employer at all.

So how exactly do you define workplace trust – and how can you improve it in your office?

Dr. David Ballard of the APA’s Center for Organizational Excellence says, “Trust is really the expectation that workers can count on and rely on their organization. That involves a lot of things, including past interactions with their company, whether they feel like things are done fairly, openness in communication, whether their values are consistent with the company’s values, the reliability of the company, and their perceptions of their company’s motives.”

Building trust certainly takes time. However, there are steps you can take today – right now – that will help you boost workplace trust in 2016 and beyond:

Be clear.

A lack of clarity about one’s job can quickly lead to distrust and disengagement. That’s why it’s so important to ensure all your employees have clear goals and expectations set forth for them. It’s also important to monitor progress and get feedback from your team members with regular check-ins.

Be fair.

Treat all your employees fairly. That means avoiding favoritism and offering competitive compensation. It also means following through on your promises by staying true to your word and enforcing rules across the board for all your employees, not just for certain ones.

Be transparent.

It’s true that you can’t share every detail with your staff. But communicate as much and as often as you can, even when the news isn’t good. Otherwise, you’ll constantly be up against the rumor mill of misinformation. Sharing information – whether it’s providing a financial outlook or decisions about company policies – demonstrates that you trust your people, which, in turn, will help them trust you more.

Be grateful.

Be appreciative towards those who deliver exceptional results; don’t take them for granted. Make sure you recognize them for their contributions and reward them for great work. Not only will you inspire them to continue working hard, but you’ll motivate others to do the same.

Do you need help hiring top performers for your team? 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 top talent, the first time. Contact us today to learn more.