Adams & Garth Blog

Writing Job Descriptions that Get Results

July 21st, 2015

As one of the top staffing agencies in Charlottesville, Adams & Garth knows when it comes to finding top talent, the impression you make is a critical factor. And it all starts with the job description.

Post a clear, concise, compelling job description and you are likely to attract high quality candidates. However, advertise a vague or long-winded job description – or one that focuses totally on your company needs, rather than what you can offer to a prospective employee – and you’re going to fall far short in terms of attracting the best people. Even if you truly are offering a rewarding role at a dynamic company, professionals will walk away without giving your job description a second thought if you take the wrong approach.

Besides helping you attract high caliber employees, a strong job description will also:

  • Better define the role and expectations
  • Help you determine where to source candidates
  • Serve as a guideline when it comes to the interviewing process

Don’t treat your company job descriptions as an afterthought; they are a vital component of the hiring process. To help you enhance yours, follow these tips:

Outline what success in the role looks like.

Rather than just listing out a bunch of job tasks and responsibilities, outline and describe what success in the role looks like. If it’s inspecting 50 widgets each day, then state that. If it’s being able to file paperwork, greet clients, and schedule meetings, then communicate that. The better you define the role – and what success looks like in it – the better fit candidates will come your way. Candidates will either think “that sounds right up my alley” or “no, that’s not for me.” Either way, it’s help you develop a qualified pool of talent for the role.

Communicate 4-5 requirements.

When you’re hiring, you probably have some requirements for the right candidate. And it’s important to communicate those in the job description. However, don’t list 25 or 30 requirements. If you do, you’ll turn off high quality candidate. Keep in mind, the job description is just the start of the hiring process. You don’t need to convey every detail of the job in it.

Format it in an easy-to-read.

How your job description looks will impact the results it produces. So make it easy for candidates to read and understand. Use bullet points, bolded subheads, and clear language throughout. Also, don’t forget to infuse some personality as well as the benefits of working at your company into it.

Do you need more help writing job descriptions and finding top candidates? 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.

 

Using Social Media to Find Great Candidates

July 7th, 2015

As one of the top staffing agencies in Charlottesville, Adams & Garth knows that today more than half of all candidates use social media to uncover new opportunities. So if your sourcing strategy doesn’t include leveraging the power of social media, then you could be overlooking some top talent. But if you haven’t recruited job candidates via social media, where do you begin? Here are some steps to help you in the process:

Create a Strategy

You wouldn’t start a new business initiative without a solid strategy in place. Likewise, don’t add social media to your hiring efforts without a firm plan in place first. Where do you start? Think about what your goals are for leveraging social media, which sites are going to deliver the best candidates to you, and how you will attract them to your job postings.

Be Patient

Don’t expect results right way when it comes to recruiting via social media. It might be slow going at first and take some time for you to establish your company online. So if you post some job openings and don’t see the kind of results you want, don’t give up. Recruiting via social media should be a long-term effort. When you are consistent with it, over time, it will bear fruit.

Post More Than Jobs

Sure, you’re going to want to post about job openings at your company…but make sure you go beyond that. You’re trying to attract and engage the best people. That means creating an online employment brand that speaks to them. Talk about what it’s like to work at your company, post about the trends and challenges facing your industry, and answer questions via online forums.

Evaluate Progress

When you first begin using social media in your recruiting efforts, there’s going to be some trial and error. Some efforts will work; others won’t. But after a few months, you may see some trends and patterns emerging. For instance, you may realize that certain sites are much more fruitful than others in terms of attracting high quality talent. However, you won’t know unless you have a plan in place for evaluating progress.

Remember, garnering results using social media takes time. So don’t expect great candidates to come knocking at your door overnight. However, once you’ve invested some time and effort into it, you will start producing positive results.

If you’d like more help recruiting candidates, contact 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 the talent you need, the first time.

Contact us today to learn more.

 

Need to Recruit Better? Here’s How

June 16th, 2015

As one of Staunton’s leading staffing agencies, Adams & Garth knows whether or not your company is successful depends on the employees you hire. Unfortunately, for many organizations, the recruiting process is an afterthought or something done in haste. The problem with this approach is that it can oftentimes lead to hiring mistakes – which can be costly.

To improve your recruiting process – and get the most out of your new hires, here are some tips to consider:

#1: The basics are important.

For instance, a clear job description, an easy and intuitive process for applying, and responding to applicants promptly are all fundamental to recruiting success. These elements go a long way in making the candidate experience a positive one. As a result, your company will be able to attract higher caliber candidates.

#2: Candidates are people too.

If you regularly have many job openings with hundreds of candidates applying, responding personally to each one isn’t realistic. However, that doesn’t mean you should leave candidates in the dark. You can still send out a template email that informs individuals that you received their resume and what the next steps are.

Also, once you get down to your final pick candidates, you need to treat them with a personal touch. Keep them in the loop when decisions are made. Roll out the welcome wagon when they come in for second and third interviews. And communicate how enthusiastic you are about their background. This kind of attention with make your company stand out to the best candidates.

#3: Create a shadowing experience.

For many candidates, it’s difficult to tell what it’s really like to work at a company. Make it easy for those applying for jobs at your organization. Give them the real scoop by letting them shadow an employee or several employees for a day. Not only will that communicate a sense of transparency, but candidates will be able to quickly tell whether or not your company and the job is the right fit for them.

#4: Promote your company.

Don’t just give candidates a dry document outlining company benefits and perks. Instead, give them some real insight into why it’s great to work for your company. Talk up the flex schedule, the company exercise room, and the year-end bonuses – or whatever it is that makes your organization unique. Remember, you’re not just evaluating candidates; they’re evaluating you too.

Do you need more help with your recruiting efforts? Call 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.

5 Tips for Managing Interns

June 2nd, 2015

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Central Virginia, Adams & Garth knows when it comes to internships, great experiences don’t just happen. If you’re managing interns, it’s up to you not only properly orient and onboard them, but also manage them effectively as well. To help you in the process, here are some tips to consider:

Prepare Ahead of Time

Before your intern walks through the door, make sure you’re prepared for them. Know ahead of time exactly their job duties, hours, responsibilities and your expectations for them. Sure, there may be times when a task just comes up that you need the intern to handle. But for the most part, their jobs should be defined just like any other employee.

Welcome Your Intern

Make sure your intern feels welcomed during those first few days. Spend some time with him or her not only going over job duties and expectations, but also addressing any questions or concerns they may have. Give them a tour of your facility and introduce them to all the people they’ll be working with. Also, inquire about their career goals and make sure their assignments are aligned with those objectives. Encourage your intern to give feedback and ask questions along the way.

Check in With Your Intern

Don’t forget about your intern after their first few days on the job. Carve out some time in your calendar each week to check in with them. Make sure they’re clear about their assignments and on track toward meeting their goals. Also take the time to answer questions and teach them things you wish you knew when you were at that same stage in your career. Not only will these regular check ins keep your intern heading in the right direction, but they’ll also help them feel more like part of the team.

Give Your Intern Meaningful Assignments

Don’t relegate your intern to the copy room for a summer of filing paperwork. Make sure they have an opportunity to participate in meaningful assignments, as well. So think about some projects you can have your intern work on that relates to his or her career goals and strengths.

Explain Everything

Some things might be self-explanatory to you, but don’t assume your intern has any prior experience or knowledge of these things. Instead, explain everything, from the process for completing a task and the deadline to scheduling expectations and the appropriate use of sick days. Also, encourage your intern to come to you with any questions.

When you follow the tips above, not only will you ensure your intern has a valuable work experience, but that they can also make positive contributions to your team.

Do you need help hiring top performers for your team? Call 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.

 

When an Employee is Abusing Sick Time

May 19th, 2015

You have one employee who calls in sick every Friday, or every Monday. It’s starting to seem like they’re using sick time as vacation days. What do you do?

First, make sure a pattern truly exists.

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Central Virginia, Adams & Garth can tell you if it’s happened once or twice, it could simply be a coincidence. However, if it’s happened more than that – especially in a short amount of time – you should inquire about what’s going on. Simply bring up the issue to your employee and let them know you’re concerned about their sick time use. Cite the dates they’ve taken off and how they’ve occurred right before or after a weekend.

How your employee responds will guide you as to what steps to take next.

There could truly be a legitimate reason for the sick time. For instance, perhaps your employee has been taking Friday afternoons off because they have a standing doctor’s appointment for a chronic health issue. You want to know these details before you plunge ahead and discipline an employee for abusing sick time.

However, if there’s no good excuse for taking so much sick time off, then communicate to your employee that sick time is truly for when they are ill…not when they need a day off before a big holiday weekend.

In addition, convey to them how taking so much time off impacts the rest of the team because it’s unplanned. Finally, let your employee know that you’re going to be monitoring the situation going forward.

At this point, your employee will know you’ve noticed the trend in the sick time they take and the issue will likely be rectified.

You may also require that this particular employee submit doctor’s notes going forward. However, keep in mind that means you don’t trust them to be honest with you, which isn’t a good position to be in. And if this sick leave issue is simply one performance problem in a long string of them, then it may be time to bid farewell to this employee.

If that’s the case, and you need help filling a job opening, 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.

Are You Losing Your Staff’s Respect With These Common Mistakes?

May 5th, 2015

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Staunton – and Central Virginia, Adams & Garth knows respect is a critical component to being a successful manager. If your employees don’t respect you, then they’re not going to give much credence to what you tell them to do. And if they’re not producing, it reflects badly upon you. Plus, once lost, respect is hard to earn back. To ensure you don’t lose the respect of your team, avoid these common mistakes:

Creating drama.

Do you gossip about your peers and subordinates? Lash out at people? Pick favorites? If you do, then you’re creating drama in the workplace, which can easily cause employees to lose respect for you. What’s worse is that this behavior can also set the tone for your staff, causing them to emulate your behavior.

Saying one thing and doing another.

When an employee asks you do to something and you promise you will, but never follow through, you’ll gain a reputation as unreliable and untrustworthy. Top talent don’t want to work for managers like that.

Avoiding difficult issues.

If you fail to face tough issues, your staff is going to see you as weak, which some will try to take advantage of. But handling performance issues, giving negative feedback and firing people for not doing their jobs are all part of your job. Dealing with them promptly and with fairness and sensitivity will only earn the respect and loyalty of your team.

Having different standards.

Your employees look to you to set the standard for the office. But if you behave one way (take 2-hour lunches everyday, miss deadlines and show up late to meetings), and expect your staff to behave a different way (take ½ hour lunches, meet deadlines on time, and show up to meetings early), then you’ll quickly lose their respect. You need to hold yourself to the same standard to which you hold your staff.

Shooting down input.

The healthiest work cultures are those where employees feel comfortable and encouraged to share their input and ideas. However, if you’re constantly shooting them down, or get defensive when someone doesn’t agree with you, you’ll quickly lose respect. Instead, stay open minded and welcome the feedback of others. You’ll build a stronger, more innovative team when you do.

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

How Long Should I Give a Candidate to Accept a Job Offer?

April 21st, 2015

As one of Staunton’s leading staffing agencies, Adams & Garth knows that deciding whether or not to accept an offer is nerve-wracking under the best circumstances. But if a candidate feels as if you’re holding a gun to their head to respond, they’re going to walk. Accepting a new job is stressful enough. So when a candidate is at their most vulnerable, don’t apply more pressure.

That said, you have other candidates waiting in the wings. And the longer you wait, the more you risk losing out on them. For instance, your second choice candidate may have another offer that they need to respond to quickly.

So what’s a reasonable amount of time to let a candidate think about an offer?

If you can, give candidates a week to respond. After all, they’re making a big life decision, one that will impact their finances, their family, and their career satisfaction. Ideally, once you’ve reached the offer stage, a candidate will know pretty quickly about whether or not they want the job. However, there are some people who need more time to ponder the pros and cons of the offer, as well as talk it over with their spouses or families.

However, if you need an answer faster, then you also need to tread lightly. You don’t want the candidate to feel like you’re trying to twist their arm. Say something like:

“You’re our first choice for the job. But we do have a few other strong candidates who have job offers they need to respond to as well. If you can get us an answer by Monday, that would be great.”

Regardless of how quickly you need a response, it’s important to communicate your deadline to the job candidate. If you need an answer before the end of the week, the candidate needs to know that. They’re not a mind reader, after all.

In addition, keep in mind, the more thorough you are during the hiring process with all candidates, the faster a candidate will be able to respond. For instance, if they still have outstanding questions about the compensation package and the role they’d be undertaking, then you didn’t go in-depth enough during the interviews.

Need help finding great job candidates you want to make job offers to? Call the experts at 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 other priorities. Contact Adams & Garth today to learn more.

 

Giving Employees Privacy in a Tight Office Space

March 17th, 2015

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Central Virginia, Adams & Garth knows that cubicles with half walls, open floor plans and shared office space are becoming the norm. But do they really produce more creativity and better collaboration?

According to research by the University of California, Irvine, the answers “no.” They found that employees in cubicles receive 29% more interruptions than those in private offices. And employees who are interrupted frequently report 9% higher rates of exhaustion.

If your office has limited space – and it seems to be shrinking by the day – what can you do to help your staff have some privacy when needed? Here are a few tips:

  • Let employees telecommute. If you have staff members who prefer quiet and privacy – and they can do their jobs from home – let them. Chances are, they’ll be more productive than if they’re working in an open layout with noise and distractions.
  • Create a private space for employees to use. You may not have enough space to offer each employee a private office. But take one of your offices or work areas and transform it into a private space for all employees to access. It can be as simple as a small office with a desk and a phone. Communicate to your employees that this is the space they can use if they need to make a phone call and need some privacy or need to work without interruption.
  • Give employees who want them headphones. Some people thrive in an open office space; but many do not. Acknowledge that fact by giving employees who want them headphones they can use when they don’t want to be interrupted or when they don’t want to hear the noise around them.

While some people prefer private space in which to work, others need it due to the nature of their jobs. For instance, it’s hard to communicate confidential information when you have 20 co-workers in ear shot. But by following the tips above, you can give your employees the privacy they need without relocating or adding on additional office space to your building.

Keeping your staff comfortable is one key to retaining top talent. If you need additional advice on hiring and retaining your employees, 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.

 

Could Your Company Culture Use Some Work?

March 3rd, 2015

As one of the top staffing agencies in Charlottesville, Adams & Garth knows statistics show that employee unhappiness is on the rise. One of the culprits is a negative workplace culture. Such a culture can result in a lack of team work and collaboration, high turnover, and low productivity. So if you suspect your culture could use some work what can you do about it? Here’s a look:

Be transparent.

Be open and honest with your team, even when you’re sharing bad news. Otherwise, the rumor mill will take over and your employees will lose trust in you. That said, it’s also important to remain upbeat and focused on the future. So even during a down time, it’s also important to talk about how you’ll overcome it and the opportunities that could arise out of the situation.

Provide positive feedback.

You don’t want to offer praise just for the sake of it. But when employees are consistently working hard and achieving goals, then you need to communicate your appreciation to them. Otherwise, you’ll lose out on employees in search of other opportunities they feel more valued in.

Give credit.

When an employee goes above and beyond, then give credit where it’s due. If you don’t – and you take credit instead – your employees won’t be driven to do their best, nor will they trust you.

Ask for input.

When it comes to problem solving, your employees should be your go-to source. They’re the ones working closely with your products and customers and are most likely to see opportunities for improvement and innovative solutions. In addition, by asking your employees to share their ideas, they’re going to feel like a more valuable part of the team.

Foster competition, don’t hyper focus on it.

Some competition is certainly good for your company. Regularly pitting employees against each other is not. Some individuals thrive in high-stress environments, but most don’t…at least not for long.

Provide support.

Communicate regularly with each of your employees. Sit down with them and create a career plan for growth within the company and meet to review and modify it as needed. Otherwise, employees won’t know where they fit in and they won’t remain on board as a result.

As a manager, creating a positive workplace culture isn’t a task to cross of your “to do” list. It’s an ongoing effort and there will always be questions and room for improvement. However, by following the tips above you can take steps toward ensuring your people – your most important asset – can benefit from a great company culture.

If you need help hiring the right kind of people for your unique culture, 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 the talent you need, the first time.

Contact us today to learn more.

 

Struggling With Information Overload? Here’s How to Deal

February 17th, 2015

As one of the top staffing agencies in Charlottesville, Adams & Garth knows too much information overloads our brains and causes us to become even more forgetful and uncertain. But in today’s day and age of constant texts, emails, dozens of passwords to keep track of, and other incoming data, it can seem unavoidable.

However, a new book called The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload by Daniel Levitin, a neuroscientist and psychologist, offers some solutions. In it, he explores how high achieving individuals are able to overcome information overload and enjoy a more focused and less stressful life.

Here are a few key insights from his book:

Give everything a home. According to Levitin: “Place memory evolved over hundreds of thousands of years to keep track of things that didn’t move, such as fruit trees, wells, mountains, lakes.” That means we’re not necessarily wired to keep track of items that are constantly on the move, like car keys, wallets, reading glasses, and cell phones. As a result, we spend an ample amount of mental energy trying to find them. However, when these often-used item have a set home, then you don’t you have to waste time and energy – and get frustrated to boot – searching for them.

Focus instead of multi-tasking. Set times during the day when you don’t check your phone messages and email, or browse the Internet, and simply focus on the work at hand. Also, create a “to do” list of tasks for the day and prioritize them. Don’t let distractions get in the way of completing each task. Why? Because focusing on one task at a time actually takes less energy, according to Levitin. In fact, he writes:

“People who organize their time in a way that allows them to focus are not only going to get more done, but they’ll be less tired and less neurochemically depleted after doing it.”

Give yourself time. As a manager, you often spend your days in back-to-back meetings. While you think you’ll remember everything that occurred, you typically won’t. So instead of scheduling one-hour meetings, schedule 50 minute ones and give yourself 10 minutes in between to make notes on what transpired and any action items you need to take.

Don’t skimp on sleep. According to Levitin, “sleep has been shown to enhance the formation and understanding of abstract relations, so much so that people often wake having solved a problem that was unsolvable the night before.” So make getting a good night’s sleep a goal at the end of each day. For some, that might mean eight or nine solid hours, while for others it might be a good six hours and a power nap during the day. Make good sleep a priority – and you will get more done.

If part of your struggles are due to staffing issues at work, give Adams & Garth a call. 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.