Adams & Garth Blog

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.

 

Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe: Which Candidate Should You Choose?

March 18th, 2014

When you’re hiring, all you want is one good candidate who fits the bill. But what happens when you come across two or three? How can you possibly choose the right one when all seem qualified for the position?

As Central Virginia recruiters , Adams & Garth knows that while it’s certainly a tough call, there are some key indicators you can look to so you can make the right decision for your company:

Indicator #1: Personality

Of course you need to hire the person with the right technical skills. However, don’t forget about the culture of your company, as well as what kind of personalities will best thrive in the position you’re hiring for.

If you haven’t already, then you should conduct a personality test of your top pick candidates to garner the information you need. Otherwise, you could be hiring someone who appears to be the right fit, but doesn’t quite match up once on the job. Think too about the culture of your company. If you operate in a more conservative, formal environment, then a candidate who embraces that kind of workplace will be more successful.

Indicator #2: Employee / Manager Relationship 

Who will your new hire be reporting to? It’s important to think through this relationship before making a hiring decision. Not that a new employee and manager need to be best friends. But the new hire does need to be able to integrate themselves quickly with their supervisor’s management style. Why is this so important? Because employees don’t quit companies, they quit supervisors. So making the right match is important for hiring success.

Indicator #3: Career Goals

When hiring, don’t just consider your needs, but the needs and goals of a potential new hire, as well. If a candidate expresses an interest in advancing their career toward management, and you know your company offers plenty of opportunities for growth, then voila – goals are aligned. But if the opposite is true and most employees generally stay put in the same position for years, then perhaps that’s not the candidate for you.

Still in doubt about whom to hire?

Then give your candidates a homework assignment. Don’t ask them to complete a full fledged project. But do ask them to complete a task that will give you more insight into how they think, the quality of their ideas, and how eager they are about your opportunity. This one step could make it crystal clear whom your next new hire should be.

Need more help hiring great people for your team? Call Adams & Garth. As Central Virginia recruiters with over 20 years of experience, we can work with you to find the person best-suited for the job and help you avoid the risk of making a hiring mistake. Get started now.

Need Top Performers? Here’s How to Hire Them

March 11th, 2014

“We can’t find good people.”

As one of the top staffing agencies in Charlottesville, it’s something we hear often. But we can tell you that if you take the right approach when hiring, you can bring exceptional, impactful people on board. However, far too often, employers make the following mistakes, leading them down the path to disappointing new hires:

  • Not knowing what traits are needed to be successful on the job.
  • Hiring someone because they like or feel more comfortable with them.
  • Hiring someone they know.
  • Hiring in a hurry.

This simply doesn’t make sense. Think of it this way: If you were considering purchasing a major piece of equipment – one that cost $40,000 – you’d never make a decision because you liked or knew the salesperson or needed the piece fast. Rather, you’d take your time, learning all you could about it and the impact the purchase could have on your business.

The same holds true for hiring. Next time you need to hire top performers, follow these best practices instead:

Focus on personality traits when recruiting.

Hard skills are important, of course. But they don’t make people go above and beyond or achieve success. And if your new hire doesn’t have the right personality to do the job, they’re going to fail.

Think of the highly detailed, ultra organized, super introverted administrative person – and put them at the front desk answering phones and greeting people. They’re not going to be happy there and will eventually wind up disengaged and miserable. They’d be much better office handling back office tasks.

Look to existing high performers. 

What do other top performers on your team bring to the table that average ones don’t? Use those individuals as a starting point to determine the kind of specific hard skills and personality characteristics you need to hire for. Once you identify what the best performers are doing differently – and better, you can screen for and hire people with a proven record of doing the same.

Stay objective.

Don’t hire based on gut or personal feelings. It’s critical that you remain objective during the process. Use tools like assessments and skills testing will help you do so. What you learn about a particular candidate may actually surprise you – and it could be the exact opposite of what your gut feeling indicated.

Don’t have the time to devote to the hiring process? Let Adams & Garth know. 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.

How to Hire Personalities That Fit Your Company

February 18th, 2014

As leading recruiters in Harrisonburg, Adams & Garth knows that regardless of whether you’re looking to hire for a large corporation or small business, you need people who fit with your organization’s culture.

Hiring those with the right hard skills – but who end up being a behavioral mismatch – is a recipe for disaster. They’ll do the job for a while, realize they don’t like the culture and eventually start looking for a new opportunity…leaving you right back where you started.

So how can you recruit the right personalities in the first place? It all starts with how you go about hiring. Here are some tips to help you.

Tip #1: Define the personality you’re looking for. 

You know your company better than anyone else – and the position you’re trying to fill. So what kind of a personality is going to be a good fit for both? Is it someone who is creative, passionate and innovative? Or someone detail oriented and a stickler for organization?

Identify your “must haves” before you even start recruiting.

Tip #2: Customize the process to include the traits you’re looking to hire for.

Once you know the kinds of traits that are most essential, be sure that the hiring and interview process screens for them.

For instance, if you need to hire someone who can think quickly on their feet, throw them a curveball question during the interview and assess how well they perform.

If, on the other hand, you need a highly creative individual, give each candidate a homework assignment to showcase their talent.

Tip #3: Show your personality during the interview process.

Some hiring managers tend to be quite formal during the interview process, which is fine. But don’t take it to an extreme where you’re not showcasing your personality or that of the company to candidates. You want candidates to be straightforward and honest; as a result, you need to do the same.

Think of it this way.

Most candidates are on guard during the interviewing process. However, when you reveal something about yourself – such as challenges you’ve faced on the job – they are going to be much more apt to open up and share honest experiences. The benefit? You’ll gain a more accurate picture of each candidate.

Tip #4: Approach the interview like a conversation.

Don’t purposely try to stump or intimidate a candidate. You’ll close off the lines of communication by doing so.

Instead, look at the interview as a two-way conversation, not like you’re the one in control and the candidate is the subordinate. The more at-ease a candidate feels, the more they will reveal about themselves and their personality (whether intentionally or not).

Need more help hiring candidates that are a great fit your organization? Call Adams & Garth. As leading recruiters in Harrisonburg, we know hiring can be risky. 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.

 

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Is It Time to Fire an Employee?

February 11th, 2014

Making the decision to fire an employee is never an easy one. However, as leading recruiters in Lynchburg, we know that sometimes it’s certainly unavoidable.

To ensure you’re making the right decision, here are a few red flags that signal it’s time to terminate:

The employee isn’t putting your feedback into action.

If you’ve conducted a performance review with your employee – and laid out clear areas that need improvement – then your employee should be well on their way to getting back on track. However, if it’s still business as usual and you don’t see any progress being made, then it’s time to consider letting them go.

No employee is going to change sub-par performance overnight. However, if it’s clear they’re not even making an effort, then there is no point in keeping them around.

The employee isn’t following the rules.

When an employee isn’t showing up for work on time, doesn’t dress appropriately and isn’t following the rules you’ve set forth, then a discussion is certainly in order. However, if you’ve talked the issue over with your employee more than once and they’re simply ignoring you, then it’s clear they think the rules don’t apply to them.

Before things get out of hand and their behavior starts influencing those around them, it’s time to fire them.

They can’t do the job. 

The employee is a hard worker, is making an effort to improve, and follows the rules. The trouble is, no matter how hard they try, they simply can’t do the job.

Perhaps you made in error judgment when hiring them in the first place. Whatever the case, you can’t let consistently poor performance go unnoticed. After all, the reason you hired them was to do a job – and you need them to deliver.

They have a bad attitude.

There’s nothing more frustrating then having an employee who is great at their job, but brings a consistently bad attitude to work everyday. What’s worse is that this toxic outlook eventually rubs off on the rest of the team – impacting morale and productivity in the long run.

If you’ve had talk after talk with the employee in question to no avail, it’s time to fire them. Skills can be learned, but a new – and better – attitude is far harder to acquire.

If you’ve had to let an employee go recently and would like assistance filling their position, give Adams & Garth a call. 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.

6 Must-Ask Interview Questions

January 21st, 2014

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Lynchburg – and Central Virginia, Adams & Garth knows good questions can reveal the true nature and intentions of a job candidate. But bad interview questions? Those typically result in hiring mistakes.

To help ensure you hire right, here are a few interview questions to ask every candidate:

1. Why do you want to work here?

There are two reasons to ask this question. First, it shows you how prepared a candidate is. If they offer an incredibly detailed answer with specifics about the company’s reputation and employment brand, then you know they did their homework. In addition, this question helps you gauge whether someone really wants to work for your company or just wants a job.

2. What areas were highlighted in your last performance review as needing to be improved?

This question is great to ask because it helps you get a true sense of the candidate’s weaknesses and assess how self aware they are of them. Plus it’s a question that can be easily verified with a phone call to their past boss.

3. Tell me about a time you had to work on a project that didn’t go as expected.

Regardless of the position you’re hiring for, obstacles and challenges will be a part of the new hire’s reality. Asking this question helps you gauge how well they deal when things don’t go as expected. More specifically, it will better help you assess their problem solving, creative and critical thinking skills.

4. What kind of work environment is ideal for you?

Sure, you need to hire the candidate with the right skills to get the job done. But if they don’t fit well within the culture and the operating environment at your company, then they’re not going to thrive.

So if you offer a more formal, conservative setting and a candidate describes a laid-back environment as their ideal, then you may want to think twice about hiring them.

5. Describe the perfect job. 

Remember, a good hiring decision is about finding the person that fits. And if a candidate goes on to describe a job that in no way resembles what you can offer them, then it’s likely not a good fit. That doesn’t mean they are a bad candidate. It simply means they are not the right fit for you.

6. What kind of people do you find most difficult to work with?

If a candidate ticks off a litany of personality “types” they don’t care for, then it could be an indication that they’re actually part of the problem. Another reason for asking this question is to find out how a candidate deals with a difficult personality type, so you can ensure they have strong interpersonal and problem solving skills.

If you’d like to outsource the entire hiring process – interview and all – give Adams & Garth a call. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Lynchburg – and Central Virginia, we’ll 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.


 

To Hire or Not to Hire Your Spouse

January 14th, 2014

You run a business and you need to hire. You know your spouse could do the job, but should you hire the person you’re married to? As leading recruiters in Lynchburg, Adams & Garth knows it certainly depends on your own unique circumstances. To help you make the best decision, ask yourself these questions first:

Why does it (or doesn’t it) make sense? 

If you and your spouse have a contentious and problematic relationship at home, then bringing them into your business simply doesn’t make sense – even if it would mean free or discounted labor costs.

Another aspect to consider is whether your spouse actually has the expertise you need. Just because your husband or wife is good with numbers doesn’t mean they should serve as company bookkeeper. You need someone with the right skills and experience to do the job properly.

Do you balance each other out? 

Couples who tend to work best in business together typically have complementary skills. For instance, one might be more creative and a risk taker, while the other is more practical and analytical. If you and your spouse have the same skill set and passions, then you may wind up with a big blind spot in the end.

What are the details of the arrangement? 

For instance, will your spouse be helping you out temporarily, part-time or on a full-time, permanent basis? You both need to be on the same page before he or she begins working with you. The last thing you want is your spouse assuming the situation is temporary, when in your mind, it’s indefinite. You’ll also need to determine compensation and the financial aspects of the arrangement.

How will it impact finances?

Before hiring your spouse, particularly if it’s for a full-time job, discuss financial implications with your accountant or financial planner. Adding your spouse to your payroll can offer a variety of pros and cons.

What happens if you get a divorce?

Remember, if you don’t have some kind of legal agreement that states otherwise, all or part of your business could be considered marital property in the event of a divorce. And if your spouse contributed to the success of the company in any way – such as by working for it, they will be entitled to an even greater percentage of the business.

If you’ve decided hiring your spouse is the wrong business move, but you have a position to fill, call Adams & Garth. As one of the leading recruiters in Lynchburg, we know hiring can be risky. 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.

Does It Really Matter Where Employees Sit?

December 17th, 2013

You’ve got orders to fill, teams to oversee and fires to put out. Does where your employees sit really matter – and should optimizing seating be a part of your already hectic schedule?

The short answer is yes.

As leading recruiters in Lynchburg, Adams & Garth knows where employees sit can hinder or help productivity; it can facilitate or deter collaboration; and it can foster relationships or create a work environment where everyone is acting as lone wolves.

When evaluating seating, there are a few factors to take into account. Here’s a look:

What’s your culture like?

When deciding how to optimize employee seating, you must take your company culture into account. For instance, if your employees are regularly dealing with confidential information, then having an open seating arrangement doesn’t make sense. However, if your company thrives on collaboration, then keeping employees segmented into cubicles won’t work either.

Are people who work together sitting together?

If your marketing department is constantly seeking out information from the sales team, then it makes sense to seat both marketing and sales together or near each other so they can collaborate more easily.

Are you taking what employees want into account?

It’s easy to follow trends and create open seating in your office. But how is that going to fly with older workers? If, for instance, a senior worker had their own office, but now has to sit in an open arrangement right next to a new hire, then they will feel is if they’ve been downgraded.

When reworking the seating in your office, consider the demographics and take into account the feelings and needs of all workers.

Are you considering different personalities?

One way some companies are segmenting where employees sit comes down to personality – they’re splitting out the loud employees from the quieter ones. Employees who talk a lot generally feel uncomfortable – and may be less productive – in quieter groups and the same holds true for employees who want a quieter workspace.

Also, while people with similar emotional temperaments work best together, that’s not always the case. For instance, if you’ve got an employee who regularly seems stressed, then consider seating him or her next to another employee who’s naturally cheerful and upbeat.

Keep in mind, when rearranging seating at your company, it may take a few rounds to get things right. It’s ok to experiment with different seating arrangements to determine what works best.

And if you need helping filling empty seats at your company, 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.

Budget Friendly Tips for Celebrating the Holidays at Work

December 10th, 2013

In today’s economy, the last thing you probably want to do is have to budget for an unnecessary expense, like a holiday party. But celebrating the season does not need to get costly. To help you spread some holiday cheer at your company – without breaking the bank – here are a few tips to consider:

Tip #1: Determine a Budget 

As one of the leading Charlottesville staffing agencies, Adams & Garth knows one of the quickest ways to spend more then you planned is to not dedicate a budget to your holiday celebrations. So determine how many people will attend and how much money per person you’re comfortable spending. Is it $15 or $50?

It’s completely up to you. But knowing that number ahead of time will help you determine the kind of holiday party you have – e.g. a casual luncheon at the office or a celebration at a high-end steakhouse.

Tip #2: Combine Your Party

Do you work in a building or space with lots of other tenants? See if any others companies want to combine their parties and host one big event for all employees. By pooling your resources, you’ll be able have a more extravagant celebration.

Tip #3: Host a Potluck

Rather than having your party at an expensive restaurant, host a potluck at your office. Just make sure employees don’t all bring the same dish. Assign certain dishes – appetizer, dinner, and dessert – to employees so you have a variety of menu items.

Tip #4: Have Your Party on a Weekday Night 

If you do plan to host your holiday party at a restaurant, having it on a Monday or Tuesday night can save you versus hosting it on a Friday night. A restaurant may be willing to give you a break on the cost if you host an event on an off night.

Tip #5: Don’t Worry About Gifts 

You may be tempted to purchase gifts or offer giveaways at your holiday celebration. But resist the urge. These typically wind up costing you a lot more than they’re worth and what employees remember is the holiday party experience, not some tacky basket they won.

Tip #6: Thank Your Employees

Rather than give gifts, offer words of thanks and praise to your employees during the celebration. Let them know how much you appreciate their hard work and offer specific examples of ways the team has gone above and beyond throughout the year.

Also, be sure to keep things light. For instance, when talking about last year’s accomplishments, don’t then segue into everything that needs to get done for next year. You’ll deflate the merry mood of your team. You can discuss those initiatives after the New Year.

And if you have any projects in the New Year that will require you to add staff to your team, give Adams & Garth a call. As one of the leading Charlottesville staffing agencies, we can source, screen and recruit candidates so you find the talent you need. If you’d like to learn more, give us a call.

What Your Body Language Says to Job Candidates

November 12th, 2013

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Lynchburg – and Central Virginia, Adams & Garth knows there’s plenty of information out there about analyzing the body language of job candidates. But what about your own body language when you’re interviewing? Have you ever thought about how it can impact a candidate’s perception of you and your company?

To ensure you don’t let any bad body language signals get in the way of attracting the best talent, here are a few habits to avoid:

Habit #1: Drumming your fingers.

When you drum your fingers on your desk, it sends the message that you’re impatient and stressed. A candidate will wonder: if a job interview has you so frustrated, what will you be like to work for? Instead, keep your hands at rest in your lap. Or, if your hands need something to do, keep a pen handy and make notes during the interview.

Habit #2: Rubbing your neck. 

Another seemingly innocent habit involves rubbing your face or neck. The neck is home to many nerve endings and, when rubbed, it can lower your heart rate and provide comfort to you.

So if you’re uncomfortable, you might unconsciously touch or rub your neck as a calming mechanism. While it might seem like an innocent gesture, doing it too much during a job interview can indicate discomfort and stress.

Habit #3: Jiggling your leg or foot.

While many people have this habit, it can be especially harmful during a job interview. Not only does it send the message that you’re nervous, but it’s also incredibly distracting to the job candidate who’s trying to focus on answering your questions. So make an effort to sit still during the job interview with your legs crossed or both feet on the floor.

Habit #4: Folding your arms across your chest.

This can indicate a couple things – none of them good. It can say that you aren’t open to answering questions and have something to hide. Or it can signify that you think you’re superior to the job candidate. You don’t want job candidates to walk away from an interview thinking either, so be sure to keep your arms at your side or on your desk.

Habit #5: Smiling when talking about serious subjects.

There’s nothing wrong with smiling during an interview. And in fact, a friendly grin can certainly put a job candidate at ease. However, if you’re smiling too much – especially when covering serious topics or answering questions important to the job candidate – you’re essentially saying you don’t take the interview seriously.

You may be bored, stressed or uncomfortable in certain interviewing scenarios. However, it’s important not to let it show to the job candidate. If you do, it can reflect poorly on you, the position and the company.

If you need more help hiring terrific candidates, give Adams & Garth a call. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Lynchburg – 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 that are a great fit for you.

Contact us today to learn more.