23Jun
Whether you are personally performing the search for that next candidate or hiring an outside professional vendor, BEFORE you begin the “chase,” remember, you want to find one that is the best for YOUR company. We know that quality candidates are in demand; however, someone who would be a good match for one company may not be a good fit for yours.

And remember, there is no such thing as a perfect prospect.

The world is yours when you lower your expectations and consider a candidate who may not be perfect but could be a true asset to your company.
Before you begin your search, an accurate job description is one of the most essential tools you can have. One of the biggest mistakes employers make is to create a vague illustration of what the potential employee can expect while “on the job.”
You will want to include:
  • job title
  • position’s purpose
  • specific required skills
  • required, and preferred qualifications
  • overall responsibilities
  • company culture
If you work with a professional staffing solutions provider, they will work closely with you to fine-tune the description. Using their expertise to compose something truthful and attract the desired candidates is a bonus. Either way, you want to be upfront and clear about the expectations of the role.
When developing the job description, the most successful employers will determine what they must absolutely have and what they could live without, initially. Think back to when you first began your career. Did you have all the skills necessary for your dream job? Or did you develop them over time? We know that you can teach some skills more quickly than others. If the right person is in front of you but lacks some capabilities on your list, they can learn if they have the right attitude and aptitude.
Note: The above is only valid if:
  • you don't need that skill immediately for your company to function
  • you have the time to invest in training or the resources to outsource to a third-party vendor, or they can learn "on the job."
  • the candidate has many of the other abilities and has the motivation to learn quickly (you can set a timeframe for the learning before hiring)

Upfront Impressions

If you’re like most busy employers, performing a proper candidate search can be frustrating. But the more reliant your business is on a particular position in the company, the more critical it is to fill that role with someone who will be an asset. Many companies have the best candidate in front of them. Still, during the interactions that follow an initial interview, it could be a turnoff if you don’t put effort into that “after interview” communication. Some examples are:

  • Being very vague about compensation and benefits – do your research to be competitive in your industry. Adding unique perks and benefits are incentives to sweeten the offer.
  • Neglecting to take the time to check the references that were so important to collect from the beginning.
  • Response time to phone calls and emails to thank you, inquire about the hiring status, or ask a follow-up question.

Another internal person can also oversee the above, but the point is that someone MUST manage them. Otherwise, it’s easy for a potential candidate to assume your culture is inflexible and unwelcoming. Employees want a nurturing employer that allows them to thrive and help the company succeed.

The above tasks become more manageable when you work with a qualified staffing company as they will handle the day-to-day communication.

Invest in the most promising people, not the most flawless. No one is perfect, and if someone has the best mindset and majority of the required qualifications, the fit will usually mean a loyal and motivated employee.

When you open your mind and align your expectations from the beginning, you will ensure successful onboarding and an employee who is there for the long haul to help your company grow.

Are you about to launch a candidate search? Lone Star Staffing Solutions is here to help from the beginning of the process to the actual hire. We take care of the mundane tasks and bring you the candidates we feel would be the best fit for your company.
16Jun
We are true leaders when we can surround ourselves with skilled people with the experience to help a company grow. Not all company owners can shift to that mindset for different reasons:
  • Fear of appearing weak for hiring “up” from their own individual level of expertise.
  • Pure ego where they want to “be the best” despite the benefits others with more experience can bring.
It is a well-known fact that a company that isn’t afraid to fill critical positions with employees with a higher level of expertise has a better chance of success. Putting egos aside, your team and people looking in from the outside will more highly respect you if you’re not afraid to “level up” and learn from others.

You will know you’re on the path to success if you have some of the following key leadership attributes. These should be shared with your top leaders and then, once fully vetted, with the entire team.

How Do You Score Your Leaders?

Generate a practical list of what specific things your leaders need to accomplish based on your company’s needs. Review it with your managers, supervisors, or anyone who plays a critical role in the company. Then each month, without fail, “tally” the card to see where each person stands.

Are Your Leaders Allowed to Lead?

There are many cases in a business where an employee is defined on paper as having a leadership role. Yet, the owner, or board, finds it challenging to step out of the way and allow this person to make decisions, even when it’s aligned with the company’s agreed-upon objectives.

Sometimes it requires baby steps. If this is the case, take a few days off and see how things go in their absence. You’ll be an even better leader if you make them feel comfortable enough to reach out to you with questions where your role is more consultative. And this open-door role must come without repercussions as we all learn from our blunders. We can, however, question their approach when they repeatedly make the same mistakes.

Are There Options for Personal and Professional Growth?

When you give your team the tools to enable them to grow, they will thrive, and your company will benefit from their evolving experience and new skills. It is especially beneficial if you can lay out a path that will help them grow, but each new piece of learning should move them a little further on the track to growing within the company.

Leadership tools come in many forms. And, some employees will differ in the way they want to learn. For instance, one person may be more visual, while another may do their best reading a book.

Some options for learning are:

Books
Create a mini-library with an easy way to “check out” a book. It may be necessary to place a time limit (i.e., one week) if it’s a highly sought-after book or something that aligns with a preset curriculum.

You may want to purchase multiple copies if a book falls in line with the “required” reading. And to take it further and nurture a collaborative environment, consider forming a book club with your internal team to discuss and share their opinions in an open, non-judgmental environment.

In-Person Training
This option is often considered during the onboarding process and generally consists of reviewing the procedures and expectations for working with the company. This upfront training should be a part of the process, no matter the level of the employee.

Leadership training is different as it is geared to the roles of the company leaders, which can include “future leaders.” Many third-party vendors can provide this service at a higher level and can be accomplished in-person or online. In-person, when made possible, is often a more efficient option as the facilitator can better capture the attendees’ attention. Your team will benefit, but so will your company as they continue to evolve their skillset.

Check-In Without Hovering

Set up regular check-in points where your leadership team meets to ensure everyone is on track. Holding a weekly meeting keeps things moving forward and allows you, as the ultimate leader, to weigh in on progress and how it will positively impact the company.

And don’t forget to check in with each leader on a one-to-one level, so they feel even more comfortable sharing any challenges their facing.

When you focus on the executive development of your key leadership staff, you automatically elevate the quality and perception of your company.
And finally, don’t forget to work to improve your own skillset continuously. When you lead by example and openly share your progress, you gain the respect of your team while motivating them to do the same.
09Jun
We talk a lot about employee retention and best practices to keep them engaged in a culture where they can thrive. These expectations are still critical, and employers who care about their employees will develop a culture that attracts and retains quality team members.
But what about the employer? What should they be able to expect from an employer-employee relationship? Is it realistic to think they should also realize certain benefits? The answer is a resounding YES. Suppose all of the benefits fall solely on the employees to keep them engaged and motivated? What keeps the employer motivated to nurture and support the growth of their team?

The goal should be to make the relationship a win-win with everyone on board to do what’s best for the company.

To follow are some of the expectations that an employer should be able to anticipate from an employee.

Treat the Company as Their Own

Your employees may not have direct ownership of your business, but you want them to feel like they do. If you’re a business owner who provides rewards or other benefits tied directly to company profit or growth, they will be more incentivized. On the other hand, this mindset should also be in place simply because they want to see the company succeed.

Creativity and Problem-Solving

You hired them for their skills and experience, but you will want all employees to think creatively no matter the industry. Creative thinking doesn’t just apply to artists but everyone.

For example, you reach a roadblock in a project. You want your team to think, “how can we get this done,” versus “we can’t do this.” Challenges come up every day, and while that “creative thinking cap” may be left at home on some days, ultimately, you want, and should expect, creative thinking to be a part of the daily perspective.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

When we first interview employees, one of the questions typically revolves around their ability to work as a team. No matter how much they express how well they work as a team, it’s essential to ask them for clear examples. If possible, give them some scenarios where they can insert themselves into the situation and talk about how they would respond.

In addition to the above exercise, make it VERY clear that leadership will not tolerate any disrespect of co-workers. When this happens, it disrupts productivity and is not in the company’s best interests. At the same time, let the potential employee know that working as a team will still allow you to assess them as individuals for future growth in the company.

Working Efficiently

Many tasks, including long-term projects, generally come with budgets set in advance. It’s easy for employees to spend more than the allotted time because they don’t understand how they should allocate their time. If this is especially important based on the type of work assigned, get everyone in the habit of recording their time. When they genuinely think of the company as their own, as outlined above, it will be much easier and less costly to the company.

Working efficiently also includes attention to detail. Work with your team to set up checkpoints to ensure they aren’t so far into the project that they cannot correct something missed.

Put Forth the Best Effort

Everyone, every day, should arrive ready, willing, and able to do their best. Yes, there may be some days when someone may not be motivated, but it’s important to address this quickly if those days happen frequently. There may be something affecting them either at home or work, and you may be able to help without getting too personal. However, this needs to be corrected if it’s more of a general “laziness” issue.

Integrity Is a Virtue

When an employee has integrity, it’s easy to spot, and this trait is something usually ingrained in someone’s character. If you can form a team full of people who have integrity, the workplace becomes lighter and less complicated.

Loyalty

This quality is one of the most important things you should be able to expect from your employees. No matter if you do or don’t have a rewards system in place, loyalty from your employees should be a given. It goes back to the mindset of treating the company as their own. When asked about the company, there should be nothing less than positive commentary from your employees.

As with anything expected of your employees, it’s crucial to have everything outlined in your employee handbook in laypeople’s terms. And even more important, these discussions should happen in the early interview stages.

Are you about to conquer the task of searching for someone to add to your team? Give us a call as we can help with these upfront conversations and help you find the right people with the right attributes and skillset to grow your team further.
01Jun
Preparing your team for collaboration is one of the most significant factors in moving forward cohesively. And one of the common misconceptions is that teamwork comes naturally.

Example: Leadership may give a directive to “work together as a team,” but unless genuine cooperation is part of the mix, it most likely is not a true team effort with all parties engaged for the company’s benefit.

Can a business be successful without collaboration? Yes, but is it sustainable? First, it’s important not to jump immediately into the “blame game” when the team effort doesn’t go as smoothly as you had hoped. It doesn’t mean your employees are being difficult; it could simply mean they just don’t know how to come together as a group.

If that’s the case, great! It means you have the opportunity to provide them with the skills and tools to be better equipped. There are many third-party programs where you could bring in outside assistance, but there are other avenues to try first before you invest in those resources.

And, ALWAYS keep in mind that you’re dealing with people, not machines. There are many variables, and if you keep an open mind, you’ll find that bringing everyone together won’t be the battle you anticipate.

Outline the Goal

This part is placed primarily on leadership. Start with a smaller team-oriented task so that:
  • #1 it isn’t overwhelming
  • #2 once you fine-tune the process, you can duplicate it for more extensive projects
The above step is critical to set things up for success; you MUST be clear about the task objective in your mind first. Without that clarity, there’s no way you can expect your team to understand the goals.

Get Buy-in From the Team

First, to open the lines of communication by ensuring all parties involved that as everyone works toward a cohesive workplace, leadership agrees it will be a culture of non-judgment. Once established, you’ll be amazed at how open your team is to learning and self-assessing areas needing improvement.
When you foster an environment where team members can freely share ideas, you will close the disconnection gap. It won’t happen overnight, but if allowed to run its course, the outcomes from this new freedom will be demonstrated in a more results-oriented workplace.

Faith in Your Team

One of the most challenging parts of turning the reins over is taking a step back and allowing the team to do the work. When you hover or question every move, it stifles creativity and shows that you don’t trust your team. Will they make mistakes? Yes, of course! Will they realize they need to try a different direction if it doesn’t work initially? That’s not always certain. But, if you keep the lines of communication open and encourage everyone to work together, they’ll do what it takes for the desired outcome without fear of repercussion.
If your team feels there’s a place for constructive discussions on collaboration, everyone will feel proud to contribute as part of a bigger team.
What will you do to foster collaborative and cooperative energy in your company?
26May
As we celebrate another Memorial Day with friends and family, let us not forget the sacrifices made by those who died protecting us.
Have fun and always, be safe!
Do you need help building a solid team? We’re here to help.
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19May
Are you in the midst of actively searching for a new position or simply contemplating a move? No matter what stage you’re in, if you haven’t considered “recruiting” a professional recruiter, we would like to give you some insight into the benefits.
If you are currently in a job search, it doesn’t mean you need to abandon your existing efforts. A recruiter can augment what you’re doing and, in many instances, provide advice based on where you stand now.
When candidates “go it alone,” they typically have other points of stress to worry about in addition to seeking new employment.
The job-seeker may be:
  • Employed and still need to focus on their current responsibilities. After all, you never want to neglect your present position and owe it to the current company to be fully engaged.
  • Moving in circles because they don't have the experience to know how to perform a job search successfully, essentially wasting time with no actual positive outcome.
Did you know that working with a Professional Recruiter doesn’t add more stress but reduces it while broadening your prospects for the next perfect opportunity? How specifically can a quality firm help?

Increased Opportunities

Many employers, especially on the executive level, do not publicize their openings. Instead, they have direct relationships with recruiters to locate the best candidates.

And the quality Professional Recruiters act as trusted advisors to companies who value honesty and want access to the best potential employees.

Saves You Time

Even with today’s technology, a job search can be tiresome. A recruiter will do the legwork and reach out to you with jobs aligned with your skillset and experience.

And, they will know what you’re looking for in a company’s culture. Imagine the time you will save when you no longer have to filter through all of those job listings.

Their Lips Are Sealed

One of the biggest reasons to work with a recruiter and utilize their expertise is that they realize the importance of keeping everything about your job search confidential. They will reach out to their network without disclosing your personal information. This isn’t always as important if you are unemployed; however, it’s crucial if someone is currently employed and does not want to reveal that they may be considering accepting a position with a new company.

Expertise and Experience

A qualified Professional Recruiter will have the expertise to work with you to improve your resume and bring out your best qualities. This doesn’t mean adding points that are not truthful, but many candidates find it difficult to talk about themselves. An experienced recruiter will pull out your best attributes and work with you on interview skills to put your best foot forward.

They Have Your Best Interest in Mind

Even though the candidate does not pay any fees for these services (the employer pays), a good recruiter will not be happy unless you’re happy. You both share the same goal, and their purpose is to find the perfect fit for both the employee and employer.
Lone Star Staffing Solutions is standing by to help with your job search. Whether you’re just starting, in the middle, and going nowhere, or haven’t taken any steps but are interested in a move. Our activities are confidential and shared only with your blessing with all of the above scenarios.

We would love to schedule a call to help determine your needs. You may also check out some of our opportunities by clicking on the “HOT JOBs” button below.

HOT JOBS

12May
The difference needed to find the best candidate(s) for your business.
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05May
You’re heading into a meeting, and all you can think about is, “Why are we having this meeting?” It’s not that you dislike meetings in general, but when you take the time out of a busy workday, you want it to matter.
The meeting starts, and an hour goes by with multiple people sitting around and talking. Some on topic, some off-topic. The session ends, and everyone appears to be motivated, voices elevated, and a sense of excitement as you depart the conference room or leave Zoom. You took notes, but when you get back to your desk to review your meeting notes, there isn’t a clear path to the next steps or specific tasks assigned to you or your department.

This is a common theme among companies who feel the need to hold meetings, sometimes just for the sake of having a meeting. If you take the time to prepare in advance and ensure it will be of substance, you’ll get more participation and increase productivity for your company.

To follow are some suggestions to consider BEFORE you schedule a meeting:

  1. What is the topic(s) for the meeting? Don’t cram your meeting with too many topics, as you risk a bunch of “clutter talk” without tangible results.
  2. What are the one or two things you want to see come out of the meeting (i.e., solid next steps for a project; identify who is responsible for specific tasks to include a timeline for completion).
  3. Create a clear agenda that includes which individuals should be ready to present to the group. Give the participants the appropriate amount of time to prepare unless it’s something they should already have completed.
  4. When you schedule the meeting, send the agenda with the invite so that each person has it and comes prepared. If possible, outline how much will be allocated for each agenda item. Priority items will always have a bit more time.

It’s meeting time, and everyone proceeds into the room. If your culture is one of camaraderie, purposefully give at least 15 minutes for the group to catch up, so the internal “networking” doesn’t affect the actual meeting time.
There should generally be one person in charge of facilitating a successful meeting. Yes, you can have others speak as their turn on the agenda comes up, but there needs to be someone to keep the discussion on track. And this person can professionally address those holding “sidebar” conversations that can distract those talking.

ONE

As each agenda item is on the table, agree on who is responsible for that project if applicable. Don’t wait until the end of the meeting, as you’ll want to be able to determine the task, assign the team member(s) and set a timeline for completion.

TWO

Stick to the allotted time for each agenda item so the meeting will end on time. This will keep the ball rolling and incentivize the group to be excited about future meetings.

THREE

If you’re the meeting leader, and for the most successful outcome, ensure that everyone is comfortable asking questions in the meeting or as a follow-up in a subsequent conversation. It can only be a win-win when you show that you want others to be successful in their position.
Change the voices in your meeting from “blah, blah, blah” to something relevant and grab the attention of the attendees by following the suggestions provided in this blog.
When you set the table for a successful meeting,
you will have a successful meeting. 
28Apr
How often have you engaged in a conversation and talked about a challenge you’re facing, and the person who is “listening” keeps jumping in with their suggested solution(s) before you have an opportunity to finish?
We’ve all been on both sides of the above scenario.
  • Conversations between friends
  • Meeting someone for the first time at a networking event
  • Being in a sales role in the discovery process with a potential customer or client
Being a good listener is probably one of the most important skills you can learn. When you open your ears and close your mouth, it gives you the ability to absorb much more information and BEFORE responding, look at the big picture.
That’s when you can use your expertise and experience to participate and provide helpful insight. And, if you genuinely don’t have the advice that would be helpful, don’t provide input that could lead the person in the wrong direction.
To follow are examples of how to engage in different situations.

Compassionate Without Being Controlling

We all want to help those close to us, but we’ve all been there; sometimes, they just want to vent. The worst thing you can do is immediately jump in when your friend is “letting it out.” Let it play out while still demonstrating that you’re there for them. If you listen, you’ll better understand their needs, and you’ll know when it’s time to offer help or continue to listen.

At a Networking Event

When you meet someone for the first time at a business function, you may be on edge, especially if you’re an introvert. You don’t know this person and are unsure how to strike up a conversation that could potentially lead to a potential customer, client, or future strategic alliance. Guess what? To make it easy, you don’t need to put much thought into how you want to open the conversation.

When you approach someone for the first time, introduce yourself by being brief. Give the person your name, the company you represent, and perhaps a SHORT description of your role. Then ask them questions about themselves. When they begin talking, it’s important to give them the time to respond. Don’t interject with your own stories or swing it back to talking about yourself. When people interrupt someone speaking, it demonstrates a lack of respect. There are other ways you can show engagement without talking:

  • Make eye contact and listen without fidgeting with your phone or looking around the room.
  • Ask follow-up questions that show you’ve heard what they have been saying. Don’t make the mistake of not really listening because you’re thinking about the next thing YOU want to say. If you take the time to listen, you’ll know what to say when there’s a break in speaking.

If you’re a salesperson trying to make a connection, even if you haven’t “done your spiel,” they will remember you for showing respect by making them feel important by listening. Listening to the challenge they may be facing in business will lead you to the solution you may be able to provide with your product or service.

How Will You Benefit From Being a Good Listener?
  • Will build stronger relationships
  • More focused on what's important
  • Ability to process information at a higher level

When you’re not trying to force a specific outcome, you are free to focus on the other person. And by keeping your head in the conversation without wandering, you’ll gain the mutual respect that will ultimately help you reach the desired result.

Whether you’re in a business setting or allowing someone close to confide in you, being a good listener takes practice. The better you get, the more opportunities will come your way.

20Apr
What are the benefits of thinking like a child in business?
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14Apr
Do you feel like you’re on a merry-go-round where employees get on and off, but very few stay for long? If your retention is low, it is frustrating and can be very time-consuming and expensive as you have to retrain someone new, and the money invested is lost. 
Before you make your next hire, consider focusing on areas that impact the overall employee experience.

What's in it for them?

Do your homework to determine how someone in a particular role is compensated. It’s not just about the paycheck, as benefits play a large part in decision-making. And most people don’t realize that a solid benefits package could allow for a salary short of being competitive.

There are also other ways to up the anty for them:

  • Hybrid work environment (split time between the office and home)
  • Opportunities for personal and professional growth

Be clear about expectations.

It’s amazing how many employers glaze over what the job will entail. EVERY position in the company, no matter the level, should have a clear description of what the potential employee can expect. And part of the conversation should include the culture of the company. Are you in a more corporate setting, or do you support a more laid-back environment?

There is no right or wrong here. However, it’s essential to talk about it in advance, so there isn’t a shock. If someone doesn’t feel “at home” in the office, there’s a strong chance they will leave.

Do your due diligence when hiring.

The most challenging part of seeking qualified candidates is where to start.

  • You can utilize the job boards, which can be overwhelming as you’re forced to sort through hundreds of resumes that may or may not have the right qualifications and experience.
  • Or ask people in your network for recommendations.
  • You could reach out to an experienced staffing firm that knows how to drill down to the most qualified candidates. And they do the upfront interviewing to assess further, and the right firm will have the experience to see the difference between factual and fluff.

These steps are especially critical when hiring for leadership roles, as lower-level employees are more apt to leave if there is poor leadership.

Perform an "Exit" interview before it happens.

If someone leaves your company, there should be an exit interview to ensure you’re not missing something that can help avoid unwanted departures in the future. In some cases, if they’re leaving because they’re not happy, you may be able to talk it through, but that’s rare as usually there’s another career opportunity waiting for them by the time they’ve given their notice.

Talk to current employees about what they like about their job and encourage them to be open about what doesn’t make them happy. Before you have the conversation, set the guidelines that this should be a structured and professional discussion for continuous improvement, and they won’t face any consequences for being honest.

You can also use the positive data to share with potential employees and any negative data to investigate further.

Everyone in the company is essentially responsible for employee retention. Set the example by remaining professional and supporting an environment of open communication. 
07Apr
How often have you lost critical files only later to discover you didn’t back them up. Your first instinct is to panic, as protecting your data is crucial. If you don’t have a system in place, there are still potential opportunities to recover the data, but that can be costly. And, it’s not always guaranteed.
First, some facts about how we finally got serious about the need to back up our data, which led to an annual “holiday.”

September 15th, 1956

IBM engineer Reynold B. Johnson comes up with the idea of the external hard drive — the IBM 350 Disk File.

1960s

Computer Scientist Dr. Joseph Carl Robnett Licklider is believed to have invented cloud storage.

1998

"Toy Story 2" was almost wiped.

A year before the release of "Toy Story 2," somebody enters a command on the drives where Pixar stores the film's files, deleting 90% of the film.

2011

World Backup Day

After discussing backups on Reddit, student Ismail Jadun jokingly creates World Backup Day to be held annually on March 31st, eventually legitimizing it.

HOW TO GET STARTED?

ONE:
Set aside time to back up all the existing files on your desktop computer, laptop, or tablet. You can do this on the hard drive of your choice with at least 1 TB of space. Yes, you can go with a smaller hard drive, but you may need to upgrade as you continue to add more files.
TWO:
Don’t want to use a hard drive? The cloud has numerous companies that specialize in backing up your important data. Do your research and set it to auto backup, so you’re never missing a crucial backup.
THREE:
Have a little fun! Hold a “back up that thing” party and invite your staff to join you in doing a backup together. This activity can be fun and essential at the same time, as we would never want to lose that vital client file. Most technology-savvy companies have an automatic system in place with everyone on their network, so they’re not relying on individuals to perform that critical task.
FOUR:
Before the need arises in real-time, and once you’re fully backed up, run through the steps needed to restore those files. Otherwise, you’ll be scrambling to figure out how to restore your data when it happens. And we all know it’s when you’re busy with day-to-day tasks that a calamity occurs. Document the process and share it with other key team members to ensure you’re up and running quickly.
BENEFITS OF PERFORMING THE ABOVE TASKS
  1. It will be easy to grab the file you need from wherever you are (if in the cloud)
  2. Peace of mind. Some documents are irreplaceable, so we recommend backing them up on both a hard drive and the cloud.
DELETE. DELETE. DELETE.
When you have time, and we know that’s rare, set aside a specific amount of time each day or week and start weeding through old archived files. Eventually, you’ll get through all of them, and there will undoubtedly be some you can delete. The negative of this exercise is that you can easily get lost down a rabbit hole as you’ll come across many files you haven’t seen in a while. Delete what you can and sort the rest into folders that will allow you to find them quickly.

You will also come across duplicates that take up valuable space. Some apps can identify and delete the additional file copies; however, you may want to open both to compare for any differences. Remember, technology is beneficial but not always perfect.

In our business, it’s essential to have a system that allows us to store and save our necessary files properly. But it’s backed up the way it should be to avoid later loss. And, we have a consistent way to communicate among our internal and external teams, allowing us to sleep better at night.
Don’t wait until the next computer crash or other mishaps before taking the steps needed to protect your data.
01Apr
Fact or fiction with this video? We’ll let you choose. Want to know what is real? Reach out to us for the answers you need.
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24Mar
Four-legged fur babies and even those with fewer legs (birds, reptiles, fish, etc.) bring us joy and can help us relax. But did you know that this type of companionship can also contribute to our wins in business?
Having a pet in your youth and the lessons learned during that time can play a role in your career success today.

Has my dog taught me something? I already know how to sit and shake hands.

Empathy

You show additional care when they’re not feeling well or simply miss you while you’re out of their sight.

Creativity

Choosing the best manner for obedience or potty training based on the pet’s personality.

Troubleshooting

When your pet doesn’t feel well or behaving abnormally, you need to either repair the situation or seek outside assistance.

Responsibility

You need to ensure your pet is fed, bathed, and has regular vet visits.

Compassion

We love our pets, and the most challenging part is when we aren’t able to “fix it.” We learn to be there for them and be the adult/parent they need us to be.

Even if you didn’t have a pet when you were younger, there’s a good chance you’ve had one during your adulthood. We all know caring for a pet requires sticking to a schedule, managing your time, and multi-tasking.
And, who hasn’t broken the ice at the office with a good “Do you know what “Sparky” did last night?” story. Sharing tales of the antics of our pets help to build relationships and form bonds over remedies related to pet health, the food they eat, and what toy is the least likely to get destroyed.
On the other side, pets give us non-conditional love, and for those of us who have returned to the office (if working remotely), we’re further taught about empathy. Our pets had our companionship 24/7, and most have a difficult time without their “pack leader” once they return to the office.
For that, experience tells us that even with us, a change in routine is more successful when introduced in increments. If you know you’ll be returning to the office, now’s the time to prepare them for this big event.
  • Leave home for short spurts, slowly increasing to larger stints away.
  • When you come home, remain calm. It's already a big occasion for your pet, and when you can "dial it down," it won't be such a huge deal.
  • Find a toy where you can put something like peanut butter (if your vet says it's OK) to keep them distracted. Can't find that perfect toy? Ask your co-workers what they use as people love to share.
  • And like us humans, make sure they get the exercise they need as it reduces their energy level, in a good way.

Our pets are family. When you transfer the skills you learn from each other to the office environment, you’ll be a better person and react appropriately in different situations.

If you’re not able to have a pet, for whatever reason, we encourage you to donate to your favorite animal charity to help in the care and feeding for those four-legged babies waiting for someone to love.
16Mar
When we go to the grocery store and are patiently waiting in line to check out, in addition to the gossip magazines and preventative medicine advice publications, we all see the brain teaser books and puzzles meant to keep your mind active and alert.
We all choose, or not, based on what information we crave.
For some, the gossip magazines take us into the celebrity world with some facts and some fiction. For others, we want to know the best tactics to lose that weight or take better care of ourselves. Then you have the 3rd category, where we hunger to keep our minds alive and lean towards learning new things.
No matter your age, it’s never too late to keep your mind active by learning a new skill. It could be for your enjoyment, or you may want to increase your skill set to help expand your career. Either way, it’s always a great idea to expand your horizons.
These explorations into something new can teach you more about yourself and could even lead you in a different direction.

Get Motivated to Learn

Do you know the feeling you get when you have a planned vacation in the future? Just knowing you’re about to get away, even if it’s a stay-cation, gets you motivated to lose those extra pounds, get caught up at work, and even a reason to happily get out of bed.

And when we talk about learning a new skill, it doesn’t need to be career-related. Is there something you’ve always wanted to do but either didn’t have the time or think it was worth the time to invest, such as:

  • learning a new language
  • learning to play an instrument
  • learning to play a sport

When we open up our minds to letting ourselves be creative, we then clear our brains to focus on the other part of our lives that requires us to be responsible. Including space on your calendar to enjoy something new makes the daily “tasks” much more bearable as we begin to look forward to learning.

Trying something new requires a little effort, but in the long run, you’ll find it beats getting swallowed up in a rabbit hole of social media or binge-watching TV. And, when you learn something new, you’ll have something you’re proud of to share with your circle.

~ THE BENEFITS OF LEARNING
  • It’s a confidence booster.
  • Your brain becomes healthier. The mind continuously reshapes itself as you continue to develop new skills.
  • You’ll gain confidence and find it easier to overcome anxiety in stressful situations.
  • A positive mindset. As you continue to learn, you’ll feel more empowered to take on new challenges, both personally and professionally.
~ WHERE TO START

First, ask yourself if there’s something you’ve always wanted to discover. As we mature, some of our options may no longer be there due to physical limitations, but there are plenty of opportunities to turn a “wish I could” into “I can.”

Start small and do your best to manage time, so the activities that pay the bills or caregiving for your family don’t fall by the wayside. As you move forward, you’ll work it out so that the balance is there. And once those around you know you’re following your passion, they will do their best to help you achieve it.
~ SOME IDEAS TO GET YOU STARTED
There are many options to begin learning. You can learn through:
  • tradition paper books or audio tapes
  • apps
  • local or online course
  • tutors

Learning can be challenging initially, but once you jump-start your brain, it becomes easier and is more rewarding.

Are you ready to get the mental and physical boost you need through learning?
10Mar
March is Women’s History Month and the perfect time to reflect on how women have positively contributed to the workforce.

“Women’s History Month is an annual event to celebrate the contributions of women to history. It is celebrated during March in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, together with International Women’s Day on March 8.” ~ Wikipedia

When we’re talking about the workplace, women and men function differently. This blog isn’t about who is better than the other but about celebrating how far women have come and how they complement their business counterparts.
We can agree that men were considered the obvious choice for leadership roles in the past, and thankfully not as much now.
This evolution was possible because both men and women leaders realized a change in how we think would benefit the companies they serve.
Women have since been able to embrace…
~ empowerment
~ developing their skills
~ and career advancement

Women tend to be more inclusive, compassionate, and passionate about a collaborative work environment. They can help balance a workplace simply because they are helpful by nature.

Some of the specific traits women possess are:

Great Communicators

Women are known to pick up on emotional and verbal cues more quickly, which helps them get their point across, and their listening skills allow others to express themselves without fear. This attribute is excellent for collaborative efforts.

Problem Solving

Women can troubleshoot even before a problem comes to light. They do this by picking up clues that others may not notice until the damage occurs. Preventing a negative outcome can save the company both time and money.

Strong Work Ethic

Women have it ingrained that playing fair and maintaining a certain level of conduct should be part of their overall demeanor. For companies who strive to raise the bar and have a high level of transparency, this is an excellent trait.

These are just a few of the qualities that come to mind when we think of the advantages of empowering women in the workplace. Today, even more than yesterday, we continue to work hard to incorporate gender diversity into our culture.

Happy Women’s History Month to all the strong women who make the world a better place.
Lone Star Staffing Solutions is a proud supporter of women-owned businesses and is SBA Certified Woman-Owned.
02Mar
Developing a culture of camaraderie and mutual respect will motivate your team and increase productivity.
Do you need help building a solid team? We’re here to help.
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24Feb
For many, 2022 is the year to reset and recharge. Whether personally, professionally, or both, it’s vital to remain positive. As we head into the end of the 1st quarter, it’s time to take stock of what went right and wrong, at the end of each quarter.
Some may have goals in writing and hold themselves accountable based on what they plan to achieve. Others have that info in their head, which may work, but it’s easy to forget. Writing things down is usually the best approach, as you can visualize your accomplishments as you check items off.

Also, remember that it’s not just your own goals you should be aware of, but the goals of your customers and clients.

After all, if you are responsible for helping them reach even a part of their goals (i.e., securing quality talent), their needs should be part of your big picture thinking.
When you take on a new client, talk to them about where they see their organization heading.
Check out some of our ideas for keeping in tune with helping the people you serve in their growth.
  • Are they looking to expand their services?
  • Will they need to expand their team to ensure they meet the needs of their customers or clients?
  • If they have stakeholders, what are their expectations, and is there anything you can do to help them achieve their own goals?

Talk to them about their anticipated growth.

Don’t pressure them with heavy sales as that could backfire, especially if they aren’t ready to discuss future work. But, if you have regular conversations with them (at a minimum quarterly), you can be prepared to fulfill their future needs. When you act as an extension of their team, they’re more likely to include you in these conversations. Especially when they know you’re the expert at what you do and genuinely understand their business. In reality, you become a trusted advisor.

And as always, if you have new products or services, let them know about your latest offerings to demonstrate that you care about their growth. But again, don’t slam it down their throat and only include what’s relevant to their business.

Never stop planning.
We know all too well how things can change, so allow yourself to be flexible but as true to your path as possible. In summary, work on your goals but be there to assist with the goals of those you serve as when they grow, you grow.
15Feb
Are you ready to expand your team, but you dread the process and know that it can be expensive if you make the wrong hire? Taking on the hiring challenge on your own is possible, but when you engage the services of a professional staffing solutions firm, you have more possibilities available to you.
  • A larger pool of qualified talents, many of whom are "passive," meaning they are currently employed and aren't actively putting their name out there. However, they are open to discussing the possibility with a trusted recruiter.
  • You won't have to dedicate your staff members to help with the search as the recruiter will do most of the heavy lifting. This is especially helpful when it's pertinent to keep the talent hire confidential.
  • The process is usually quicker as the recruiter has systems to narrow the list to include the "A" candidates.
  • You can choose a recruiter specializing in the field you're seeking to hire. For instance, if you're looking for top talent in the technology industry, a company that "lives" in that arena will have the most connections and experience when it comes to pre-screening candidates.

I’m interested in hiring a recruiter. How do I make the most of the relationship for the best results? To follow are some tips to help make the search successful.

Clear Communication

A good recruiter will be very insightful and know the right questions to ask you. You must be open and honest about your needs. Make sure to include the skills & experience needed to perform the job and the type of work environment they should expect. There is no right or wrong answer, but it will help the recruiter give a clearer picture, which helps secure a better fit.

Industry Knowledge

Top candidates generally seek out recruiters who understand their areas of expertise. When the recruiter has experience in their industry, it gives them the upper hand to weed out those who may not be all that their resume claims. And, they’ll have a good handle on the terminology when you are working together on the job description.

There are many reasons to develop a
relationship
with a qualified recruiting agency.

  • They get to know your company culture.
  • They can help develop job descriptions that make sense and attract top talent.
  • They will keep you in the loop when someone quietly seeks a change but needs to be careful, so they don't alert their current employer.

Streamlined Process

A recruiter does much more than find the ideal candidate. They handle all of the time-consuming pieces such as:
Initial interviews | Skills assessment | Reference checks

Will Take Action if Things Don’t Go as Planned

Before you agree to work with a recruiting firm, make sure they have a strong services agreement in place should a placement not work out.

 

No matter how much due diligence is performed, there are occasions when it is not a good fit. The candidate checked off all the boxes, but sometimes life happens. You need to make sure you are working with a solid recruiting firm that will be there to pick up the pieces and find a replacement.

Your company is your baby, and every team member is vital to its success. And, your time is a commodity as it’s essential to focus on your core business instead of getting caught up in an area that may not be your strongest skill. A good recruiting firm will act as an extension of your team, and everything they do will be in your company’s best interest.
If you would like to test the waters and learn more about how partnering with an experienced, knowledgeable and honest recruiting firm can benefit your company, give us a shout. We would love to get to learn more about your business.
09Feb
Valentine’s Day is the perfect holiday to show your employees a little extra care. While chocolate and flowers may be the conventional options, there are other, more meaningful ways you can show them how much their work is valued.
Don’t wait until the last minute, and start preparing with one of these employee-focused plans today.

Host An Employee Appreciation Party

You may not have a large budget for employee appreciation, but if you’re looking for a way to show your team that you care, hosting a special party is a grand gesture. From a fancy catered night out to a lunchtime pizza party – a gathering gives employees a chance to relax and recharge. Consider providing complimentary food and drink, or expand to include activities, entertainment, or even fun prizes.

You could even begin a tradition with an annual gathering as a company-wide gift. This will give everyone something to look forward to and may even become a favorite employee perk.

Be sure to send out party details and information in advance so that employees can make schedule changes to prioritize attendance.

Holding it during regular office hours guarantees much more participation as you need to consider those who have outside commitments off-hours.

Note: If you plan on including alcohol, it is your responsibility to ensure everyone has a safe way to return home.

Publicly Recognize Hard Work

It can be easy to focus on the faces in front of the projects but don’t forget the people behind the scenes who help make it all happen. Depending on the size of your company, employees may feel overworked and underappreciated.

Give everyone a chance to shine by publicly acknowledging each employee’s work and dedication. You can do this through a company-wide email, including a personalized thank you on your business social media, or creating a printed kudos list to post in the break room. Be sure to use the names of each person and include quotes from managers or coworkers about the impact of their contribution to the work environment.

Taking the time to celebrate little wins can go a long way towards making employees feel valued and respected.

And, of course, publicly thanking them throughout the year goes a long way.

Send Your Staff a Gift

A personalized gift is a great way to make each employee feel special. Not every option has to be expensive to be impactful. A simple thank you card with a $5 gift certificate to a local coffee shop would bring a smile to any face! Try something more elaborate, like a personalized coffee mug or mouse pad if you have more time and budget.

You could even have a fruit or snack basket delivered to their home address if you’re able to go the extra mile.

A lot of it depends on the size of your company as it can get pricey. For instance, a smaller company has more flexibility, but there are ways to make it happen even with many employees.

The key is to find something meaningful, memorable, and even better if it’s useful. These types of gifts express gratitude while also reinforcing positive company culture. To follow are some ideas to consider:

  • Coffee mug (not the typical company mug with a logo, but something that says they’re appreciated)
  • Desk toy (preferably not a noisy option)
  • Gift certificate for an additional hour at lunch or a “show up an hour late to work” hall pass
Get creative as not all gifts have to cost money.

When you treat your employees well, they return the favor with better attitudes and a higher level of productivity.

At Lone Star Staffing Solutions, we love celebrating the needs of employees and employers every day! Let us manage all the details by providing you with the best cost-effective staffing solution for your unique needs.
02Feb
Take the time to polish your interviewing skills. This applies to both employees and employers.
We can help. Are you ready?
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26Jan
Attracting top-notch employees requires more than finding a great candidate and extending a competitive salary and benefits package. These days, it’s about developing a company culture that will keep people engaged and inspired.
Engaged employees are more productive, which leads to better results for your business. And, a happy team translates into happy customers and clients. They’re also less likely to leave after only working for a short period — which means spending less time/money hiring and training new people. By implementing a few changes, you can begin to create a company culture that everyone will want to support.

Be Clear About Your Company Values

Every business has its own set of values—beliefs that form the basis for how they operate. Some are obvious, like “work hard” or “put customers first.” Others are less visible and take some digging to uncover. The values you choose should be clearly defined and communicated to potential employees.

This will help applicants evaluate whether or not they will thrive in your company culture and help minimize the number of candidates who would not necessarily be a good fit. Taking these steps will help accelerate the hiring process. Always be transparent about your vision and mission when partnering with staffing agencies to find new talent or when posting open positions online.

Showcase People Behind The Work

The factors that make up a healthy company are many:
  • Mission
  • Values
  • Reward structure
  • Team dynamics
  • And more

But at the heart of it are the people empowering the organization. Passion can be an impactful recruiting tool, especially when it’s authentic. Survey your current employees to find out what they like most about their jobs and use that information to attract incoming talent. Allowing the candidates to hear from a current employee during the interview process, instead of marketing jargon can be the difference between finding top talent or just another job-seeker.

Be Personable When Communicating

Make an effort to be more engaging and personable in all of your communications when corresponding with potential candidates. Outdated website text and stuffy job descriptions can be a subtle signal of a low-engagement work environment. Personalize emails, minimize internal jargon, and refrain from using robotic “corporate speak.”

You need to build rapport and trust to successfully advance a qualified job-seeker. And that means taking the time to communicate in an approachable and candidate-friendly way.

Attracting the right employees can be fostered in many ways — but it starts with valuing candidates, showcasing the people who empower the company, and communicating realistically and honestly.
Let Lone Star Staffing Solutions help you find the right employees for your business. We pride ourselves on maintaining outstanding relationships with top talent that are a perfect fit for your business.
20Jan
You just learned that you weren’t chosen for the job you wanted. Even though rejection is inevitable during a job search, it doesn’t make it hurt any less. How can you start recognizing a “no” as a positive thing by learning from your mistakes and taking pride in giving it your all? The following suggestions will help you prepare for the next time it happens and learn how to bounce back in a flash.

Accept That Rejection Is Normal

It’s normal to be upset when a potential employer chooses another candidate for a great job opportunity. After all, you put a lot of time and effort into the application process. Getting rejected from a job can cause you to lose your self-confidence and result in negative self-talk. That’s why it’s important to remember that rejection is normal and unavoidable.

It’s just one more chance for you to grow as an employee. Reframe the situation into a positive because it frees you up for a new opportunity that will be a better fit. Accepting rejection doesn’t mean you shouldn’t improve where needed for your next job possibility. But it does make you more resilient and able to deal with the negative feeling of getting passed over for a job you wanted.

Don't Burn Bridges

There are many reasons why you might not have been offered the job.

  • You may not have the proper education, skills, or experience for that particular position. If that’s the case and this is the type of role you want, take the steps needed to acquire those skills.
  • Maybe the interviewer didn’t feel you would fit in with their company culture. In the future, make sure you’ve taken the time to research the company and its culture and ask yourself if you genuinely feel this would be a good match.
  • We don’t like to hear it, but perhaps you didn’t make a good first impression with the interviewer. Hopefully, you’re working with a professional recruiter who will help you brush up on those skills if that’s the case. It’s also possible you did just fine, but the connection wasn’t there.

You shouldn’t take it personally as difficult as it is to miss out on a job offer. Don’t burn any bridges by badmouthing the employer or interviewer when you receive a rejection.

Make sure to thank them for the opportunity and let them know you would be interested in a potential position in the future.

Conduct yourself with poise and grace, knowing that there are always other opportunities. The employers will appreciate your decorum and may keep you in mind for different roles.

Redefine What Skills You Bring To The Table

After an unsuccessful interview, focus on how the experience will make you stronger and more prepared for the next time around. You should consider every interview as an opportunity to learn something new about yourself. Review your resume and write down at least three things you learned during the interview process.

These could include improving your resume or better responses to some of the questions asked. You might find that the experience has shown you skills to highlight that will make you more desirable in the future.

It can also be helpful to ask the recruiter or employer for feedback that you can use to help make your next interview a success.

Get Some Perspective and Move On

After a job rejection, you may be too emotional to see things clearly, so try to step back and look at how you might have done some things differently. Ask yourself what situations contributed to the outcome and what you can do to improve in those areas. If there are actions you could take toward having a more positive future experience, do them now.

For example, if you were passed over because you didn’t meet the minimum requirements, try to gain experience in those areas by doing volunteer work or taking classes.

Once you have a plan, forget about the situation and move on. Dwelling on what you perceive as failure won’t do anything but keep you in a negative mindset.

Be proud of yourself for applying and putting forth effort.

No one likes rejection, but when it comes to job searches or professional experiences, rejection is inevitable and can only make you stronger!

Make your next job search easier by partnering with Lone Star Staffing Solutions.

We have a comprehensive database of employers looking to find talented employees, just like you! Contact us today and get one step closer to finding your dream job.
13Jan
Are you hitting a wall in your search? Our extensive screening, vetting process, and industry knowledge allow us to introduce you to the most skilled candidates.
Are you ready to find the best IT candidate for your company?
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06Jan
A popular New Year’s resolution is to find increased success in your career. Whether that means looking for a new job, aiming for a promotion, or pivoting into a completely different industry, there are many ways to attract your dream employer.
One of the best strategies to develop into a “top candidate” is by continuing to learn new skills. To get started, begin by trying one of these four steps toward personal growth while gaining the knowledge that will help you stand out from the competition.

Take a Class

There are many in-person and virtual class options to help you learn new skills. While it’s always beneficial to brush up on the requirements of your current position, exploring a new capability can broaden your horizons. Even if you aren’t seeking new employment, the ongoing dedication to lifelong learning will demonstrate to your current employer that you want to make yourself more of an asset. A quick search online can return many potential opportunities, or check with your manager to see if there are any company-sponsored classes where you can take advantage of learning that’s already in place.

Attend a Seminar

There are many in-person and virtual class options to help you learn new skills. While it’s always beneficial to brush up on the requirements of your current position, exploring a new capability can broaden your horizons. Even if you aren’t seeking new employment, the ongoing dedication to lifelong learning will demonstrate to your current employer that you want to make yourself more of an asset. A quick search online can return many potential opportunities, or check with your manager to see if there are any company-sponsored classes where you can take advantage of learning that’s already in place.

Get a Certification

If you are looking to jump into a new industry, certifications can help propel your career. Pursuing a relevant certification will show your existing, or potential employer that you have specific skills, even if you don’t necessarily have years of experience in that area. There are hundreds of certification options, depending on what you would like to learn, that can be completed in a day or could take many months. Make sure to do your research on the company offering the certification to make sure that it is legitimate and well respected in your field.

Find a Volunteer Opportunity

Volunteering allows you to learn new skills while also giving back to your community. Talk about a win-win! Numerous organizations are happy to trade education for your time and willingness to support their mission. Becoming a board member for a non-profit or helping to plan a local fundraising event are great ways to grow the “skills” section of your resume while seeking a new opportunity.
After learning a new skill, Lone Star Staffing Solutions can help you find an employer that values your growing talents.

We specialize in understanding the unique needs of employees and employers by facilitating connections that are beneficial for everyone.

Contact our team today and achieve your resolutions early by finding your perfect employment fit!