20Oct
We want to expand our staff in the new year, but isn’t it too early to think about that? If you know that hiring more people will be a Q1 task, it’s not too early to prepare. Like most things in business, planning is the best thing you can do for the most successful outcome.

What Will You Be Looking for in a Candidate?

The first step is determining what departments or areas in your company have gaps.

You must ensure you have outlined clear job descriptions for each role type and, when possible, lay out a career path for each position. This information is invaluable during the interview as savvy prospects will ask about future growth within the company.

That’s a good thing as it will mean that individual is seeking a long-term opportunity.

It is also beneficial to have a profile of what type of person you seek, also known as an “avatar.” It may sound complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. Is there an example of someone who performs at the level you want? It could be within or outside of your company. If you have an example of the qualities, write them down, and include questions that help them convey how they would manage certain situations.

  • How do you manage your team members during a tight deadline?
  • Give me an example of how your communication skills kept a project moving forward.
  • How do you handle conflict among your team members?

Set the Wheels in Motion

If the first quarter is the hiring timeline, don't wait until the beginning of the year rolls around before preparing for a great hire.

After you’ve completed the above step of detailing what you’re looking for in both skills and qualities, you’re ready to determine mediums to secure the best candidate.

During the holidays, people are busy and not necessarily seeking a career move, especially if they’re counting on an end-year bonus. If you’re working with a recruiter, this time of year isn’t as daunting as their network never sleeps.

They have access to candidates who want to make a move in the new year but aren’t actively looking via the most common means.

This advance action will still allow you to postpone the actual hire to Q1, but wouldn’t it be great to begin the process to hit the ground running in the new year? In a candidate-driven market, this thinking will make all the difference.

Get the Market Facts

When you work with a professional recruiter, they should be following the trends and will provide more clarity when it comes to competitive salaries for that job type.

And, since money isn’t always the deciding factor, a recruiter can:

  • Offer suggestions about other benefits that will keep you competitive and attract the candidates you want.
  • Help you define your company culture so everyone involved knows what to expect.

Ask for Help

If you're like most business owners or department heads, your plate is full.

A successful search involves:

  • Reviewing and filtering incoming resumes
  • Doing your best to separate the legitimate from the “creative” applicants who embellish their qualifications
  • Networking
  • Engaging on social media
  • Upfront interviews to narrow the candidate pool

Yes, you can do it on your own, and some business owners are used to it, but working with a recruiter will allow you to continue to focus on your core business.

Don’t Push the Process
Remember the adage, “Hire Slow, Fire Fast, no matter what route you follow.” The goal is to expand your team to include candidates with the qualifications that will bring value to your company and complement your current team.
And finally, when you get a process in place that works, document it so that you can replicate it for the next hire.
13Oct
Are you a business owner with a successful company but lately, it’s become “too successful?” Most would say that’s a good problem to have. But when you have a reputation built on performance and delivery, you realize it’s very easy to tarnish that good standing with your customers or clients if you cannot keep up with demand.
When an entrepreneur starts a new business, the intelligent thing to do is hire once the income rolls in. And even then, most will employ slowly to keep the payroll expenses in line with the incoming revenue. During those early times, you wear many hats, which can be exhausting. Still, on the other hand, if managed correctly, you’ll be able to develop a model for future roles.

When you’ve expanded to the point that the amount of work outweighs the number of employees, your business can suffer in many ways. When entrenched in the business’s day-to-day, it’s easy not to notice the early signs of neglect.

The most frequently affected areas are:

CUSTOMER SERVICE

Depending on your business type and if it relies heavily on customer service, this area must be a priority for everyone in your company.

Incoming complaints aren’t acknowledged
  • Returns are increasing, and people are posting negatively on social media
  • Your on-time delivery record is a thing of the past
  • Loyalty programs fall by the wayside
  • Your service or product is not up to par with your ordinarily high standard

This area needs to be top-of-mind as it keeps people coming back and word-of-mouth, as always, is essential for incoming referrals. You don’t want to risk losing the momentum you built while managing it with minimal staff.

YOUR EXISTING STAFF IS BURNT OUT

When you build a team, hopefully, the goal is to:

#1 slowly build your team

#2 include them in your vision

When your employees understand your big-picture goals, they feel a sense of ownership without ever owning any part of your business.

If you build your team the right way, you’ll know they mean it when they come to you with alerts that they are overworked. You can count on essential pieces falling through the cracks when that happens. And when you reach a certain point without acknowledging that you need to expand your team, it may be too late. Some signs to look for if they’re not coming to your directly:

  • More people are calling out sick
  • Increase in incoming complaints
  • Turnover in staff

For this area, it’s up to you to let your employees know there’s an open-door policy where they can feel 100% comfortable communicating with you in a non-threatening atmosphere. Of course, they need to understand all communication needs to be respectful and professional.

YOU STILL MANAGE MINDLESS TASKS

If managed correctly, every job or task in the company is essential. However, if you find yourself spending time on duties that you can delegate, that can also be a downfall.

When your company reaches a certain revenue point, your focus needs to be all-in on your core business. Responsibilities that help grow your company, not tasks that bog you down and keep you from the heart of what drives your business.

When you consider the above key areas, and your revenue is steady with enough profit to add more expenses, it’s time to invest in growing your team. Slowly as discussed above, but when you hire the right people, your growth will continue to increase.

Are you ready to take your company to the next level but nervous about securing the right people to help you get there? Consider partnering with a recruiting company that will take the time to understand your needs and take into account your company culture.
Lone Star would love to talk to you about their experience and process for securing the quality candidate you seek.
06Oct
Most of us have been there. We’re in a job role we would ordinarily love if it weren’t for our horrible boss. You try to find joy in what you’re doing, but your boss wreaks havoc every time you attempt to move forward.

It’s a terrible spot to be in when you love what you’re doing and are good at your job but are regularly brought back to a negative reality when your boss gets involved.

DO YOU STAY? DO YOU LEAVE?
Who can you talk to, especially if your boss is the core authority?

If the situation is awful, with no other options for a reprieve, it may be time to leave. But before you take that drastic action, ask yourself, “Have you done everything you can to make things better without giving notice? “Is there a way to “manage” the existing environment?”

We’re all human, and you should rule out any underlying variables responsible for your bosses’ behavior. Consider putting yourself in their shoes, but first, forget they’re your boss, and look at your current situation from an outsider’s point of view.

If you’ve reached this point, you may not feel comfortable speaking to them openly. This scenario is unfortunate, as many times, a reasonable conversation could go a long way to clearing the air and repairing a negative situation.
Let’s first try to determine the “why” for the behavior you find to be unbearable.
A clearer understanding of what influences his demeanor gives you a more straightforward path to what prompts certain moods.
  • What does he consider a successful outcome? For example, how does he measure project results?
  • What is his worse fear? Does he have superiors who evaluate him as harshly as he judges you?
  • What makes him smile? Does he love it when you finish in advance of a deadline?
  • What makes him frown? Does he get grouchy when people don’t think on their feet and provide input during a meeting?

If you can figure out some of the above, you can try alternating how you approach him by simply rephrasing a sentence, performing a task differently, or doing more things he finds smile-worthy.

Help to Facilitate the Success of Your Boss

If your boss is the company owner or a division or department leader, you could share their success if you’re willing to help make it happen.

Why should you help someone who has been a bad boss? Is it possible that they have a weakness preventing them from accomplishing their own goals at a peak performance level? If you’re up for it, this could be a way to shine in their eyes.

For example, if they’re not great at keeping a project moving forward with all parties involved, perhaps use your project management skills to help manage that process. And at the same time, you could bring a focus to their strengths, boosting their ego.

It would be best if you didn’t attempt to “outshine” your superior in front of others but instead worked to make him look good behind the scenes. These actions go a long way, and there’s a strong chance their demeanor could change toward you, especially when you reduce their stress level. Others will know who is doing what, but by demonstrating that team attitude while becoming indispensable to your boss, it’s most likely the world as you know it at the office could change for the positive.

You may soon find that you’re the go-to person when they need assistance which could open more doors for you.

Horrible Bosses – Trailer

Quitting is not an option, so, with the benefit of a few-too-many drinks and some dubious advice from a hustling ex-con, the three friends devise a convoluted and seemingly foolproof plan to rid themselves of their respective employers…permanently.

LS3 is not recommending this behavior, and this video is included for the purpose of a good laugh.

Voice Your Feelings

Before you give up:
  1. Consider privately requesting a meeting to share your feelings with your boss.
  2. Use this opportunity to discuss how you feel openly.
  3. Preface the conversation with something non-threatening to set a more relaxed, non-judgment zone. For example: “I would love the opportunity to talk to you about some of the areas of discomfort I’ve been feeling, and hoping I can speak openly as I value your input.”

Write down your thoughts in advance so that you don’t miss anything, and ONLY include areas that directly affect your performance or morale. If your list is too long, there may be no hope of arriving at a “happy medium.”

Getting too petty or into the weeds isn’t productive. And, whenever possible, include a solution to something currently challenging.

During the meeting, keep the following suggestions in mind:
  • Allow them to respond without interruption. You may be surprised to find they have similar challenges or feel the same way.
  • Always keep your voice neutral. Scream at the top of your lungs if that’s how the meeting is going. But ONLY in private after you’ve exited the building for the day.
  • No blame games, as you’re both adults and can accept constructive criticism. This could quickly become a learning exercise for both of you and a starting point for future communication.

It’s incredible how you can misinterpret behavior and if you genuinely love your job, do all you can to make it a comfortable environment for everyone involved. And, of course, if nothing works, it’s time to move on once you’re secured another position.

For both employers and employees, if you’ve reached the point of no return, we’re here to help you take the needed steps to move on to the next opportunity.
17Mar
When ready to hire for a critical role in your company, do you clearly understand what you require when filling the position?

Before you begin, take a step back and determine what the role will entail, and start drafting one of the most important aspects – a clear job description.

Unfortunately, many hiring managers understand what they’re looking for but haven’t properly put it in writing to share with the person, or recruiting firm, who will assist with the job search.

This part of the process is essential. It could be the difference between employing the right person for the position or someone who, on the surface, looks like a proper fit but, without a clear description of their duties, does not possess the skills and mindset to be the right candidate.

Writing the job description is one of the most critical aspects of the hiring process. Poor hiring decisions can quickly impact your company’s long-term health, which is why it’s necessary to set your job search up for success from the beginning.

Elements of a Good Job Description

In addition to the daily duties, you want to include what you expect the right candidate to accomplish, so they have a proper understanding of that position’s goals. To be competitive, you will need to perform the research to have accurate job details and attract qualified candidates.

If the ability to write a good job description is not your forte, take advantage of a qualified staffing solutions firm’s services as they understand market trends and what makes sense to skilled candidates.
Your job description should include the following specifics to help weed out unqualified candidates:
  • Job Title
  • Description to include daily activities and responsibilities
  • Desired skillset
  • Required level of experience and education
  • The physical location of the position and if it’s remote, include details such as what that would look like (i.e., fully remote or a combination of physical/remote)
  • The expected amount of time needed to dedicate to the position. Is it full-time, part-time, or flexible as long as the work is complete and up to company standards?
  • The description of the overall company culture (i.e., more structured or more casual based on the type of work involved
  • The salary range and any benefits
  • Summary of your ideal candidate. This step further narrows down the applicants as it provides insight into your company.
Accuracy is Essential

If your job description is inaccurate or too vague, this could cost you time and money and leave you frustrated, especially when you need to fill the position swiftly.

On that note, expediting the process too quickly could negatively affect the process as the adage “Hire slow, fire fast” is a huge factor in getting it right the first time.

You will also be inundated with unqualified applicants if your details are not precise. The application process is already overwhelming as you need to comb through resumes and cover letters, which can be highly time-consuming.

If you’re like most, with a busy schedule, this may be the time you consider working with a staffing solutions firm that will remove all of the upfront legwork from your plate.

Help a Recruiter to Better Serve You

If you work with a staffing solutions firm, a poor job description can considerably slow down the process. A qualified firm will have the goal of making the hiring process much less stressful. Allow them to manage all of the upfront details.

They will provide you with only qualified applicants who meet the qualifications you require and who will complement your company’s culture.

As mentioned earlier, the right recruiting firm will help take your job description to the next level as they understand the terminology and what best attracts the right people for the position.

Valuable Tip to Help Lay the Road Map

Do you have someone in your company who fits the profile of your next desired hire? We encourage you to talk about this with your recruiter as he/she will be able to draw from that description and incorporate it into a good job description.

In summary, the goal is to lay the foundation of your search with a job description that will clearly define your next hire’s expectations. Simultaneously, it should provide enough information to attract the best person to add to your growing team and help your company succeed.