Get Ready to Network Throughout the Summer

May 26th, 2016

The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the flowers are an explosion of color all around. The summer is a great time to feel invigorated about your work and your life in general. Use this new found energy to take a bigger stab at networking. Here are some things you can do this summer to increase your chances of finding you next professional opportunity.

Network Everywhere

Are you at a summer baseball game? Maybe you are relaxing on the beach. Or you might be heading to an outdoor festival in your town. Never underestimate the ability to meet new people wherever you are. Introduce yourself to other patrons standing in the refreshment line or next to you in the stands.

Enjoy the Weather

Get outside. The summer weather does wonders for everyone, and once you’re outside and engaged, it is easier to meet people. Go to outdoor events that are happening in your city and challenge yourself to meet at least three new people.

Learn about Current Events

If you’re not sure whether or not you can talk to strangers in the park, be prepared with knowledge of current events. Stay away from the sticky topics of politics and religion, and you’ll be just fine. You can always talk about situations happening in your community that everyone can relate to.

Don’t Be Pushy

You don’t have to lead with the fact that you’re looking for a job. In fact, it may never come up in the conversation. Simply let them know what you do and how you do it. Talk to them about what they do as well. You may be surprised by shared connections. You can also benefit from being a person who makes connections to others in your network.

Provide contact information.

And finally, make sure you always have your contact information available to give to them. You can have a personal business card that provides information about you or a website. You can include your phone number and email address or access to a LinkedIn profile. And always try to ask for a card in return.

When you partner with Meador, you’re gaining a career advisor, a partner who is genuinely invested in your success. Contact Meador Staffing today to work with a top staffing agency in Austin and throughout Texas!

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Why Workplace Bullying Is a Serious Issue

May 19th, 2016

We hear a lot today about bullying. It is an epidemic in our nation’s schools and it negatively affects not only the children being bullied but the bullies themselves. Bullying isn’t limited to the school yard. Disturbing studies have shown that workplace bullying exists and is a much bigger problem than anyone previously realized. Let’s take a closer look at workplace bullying and why it is a serious issue.

Intimidating Behavior

Intimidation is a serious concern when some members of your staff may feel bullied into certain actions by more dominating personalities. It is important to know the difference between intimidation and a strong personality, but if an employee raises a concern, the onus is on you to investigate. Get information from all parties involved, including people who may have observed the communication. Taking a fact-based approach will help with the analysis.

Social Isolation

Are you seeing certain members of your staff left out of all interactions? This is often coupled with the creation of “cliques” within your work environment. If someone is being specifically shunned by others in the organization, find out why and if the reason is malicious you can take action. Everyone doesn’t have to be friends with each other, but if there is something deep-rooted then you may need to investigate.

Blaming without Cause

Far too often, individuals will blame their failings on others. If they work together in a group and the project fails, finger pointing will generally follow. However, if you’re also seeing individual blame unprompted, this could be a sign of office bullying.

Verbal Abuse and Threats

When bullying escalates, it often becomes abusive. And if it is isn’t physical, it can hard to notice if you’re not paying close attention. Verbal abuse is damaging to the recipient. Worse are threats of violence that may or may not be carried out. A violent threat should be treated as an act of aggression and proper action taken.

Public Humiliation

Bullies, whether they realize it or not, are usually responding to situations in their own life that are out of control. If they feel insecure or frustrated, they will often take this out on the people around them that they perceive as weaker. Public humiliation can be the result. Allowing members of your staff to be subjected to demeaning tasks or other humiliating situations will only breed discord in your company.

When working with Meador, you are joining a family-oriented business with nearly 50 years of experience. Contact our great team today to work with a leading staffing agency in Austin and throughout the state of Texas.

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Does Your Cover Letter Follow the New Format?

May 12th, 2016

Have you considered your cover letter lately? It could be the reason your job search has stalled. This correspondence can set the tone for your entire job search, so it needs to be on point. The modern cover letter follows a specific format that allows employers to obtain the information they need to make a decision about their next move. You want to draw them into your story and entice someone to contact you based on what you can bring to the table. Here are three ways you can format your cover letter to be ahead of your competition.

1. Get to the point.

Your job is not to extensively describe all of the many reasons they want to hire you. What you want to do is wet their appetite. You can save details of your accomplishments for the interview. Instead, start with a strong opening paragraph that will get their attention and make them want to learn more. To do this, the best strategy is to get right to the point. Let them know what you want, why you want it and what you can do to get it. Let them know how you can fit into their environment and what you can do for them. And do this all in two or three sentences.

2. Provide a notes area.

When recruiters or hiring managers are reading resumes, they like to keep all of their information in one place. Most will jot down notes right on your resume or cover letter while they’re talking with you on the phone, during an interview or as they are comparing information about the candidates. Invite them to do this on your cover letter by giving them space in the margins to easily write their thoughts down. Bring them in a little bit, but not too much as to make it obvious.

3. Sell yourself.

Finally, it is your one job to make the hiring manager know that you are the very best person to contact for this position. Use your cover letter as a way to pitch yourself. Ask questions. Provide information that will make them pick up the phone because you have shown the value you will bring to their company. And then, to seal the deal, include your contact information in the conclusion paragraph of the letter itself. This means they don’t have to look up anything to give you a call right away.

When you partner with Meador Staffing, you are gaining a career advisor. We will help you conduct an effective job search that matches your skill set and schedule. Contact our great team today to work with a leader in staffing in Clear Lake and throughout Texas.

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Want to Make a Great Hire? Here’s the Key

May 5th, 2016

Your job as a hiring manager is to hire the very best person for the role. Many companies turn to assessment tests and psychological profiles to mitigate any of the risk involved in bringing an outsider into an established group. And, try as you might, bad hires happen. There isn’t one tried and true method to ensure that you’re hiring the right person, but there are some universal truths that can help you uncover the best candidates. Here are some things to consider.

Personal relationships build better employees.

We all feel better about a relationship when there is a connection. There needs to be a spark that you like this individual as a person, and vice versa. If you don’t like each other, the working relationship will never progress past polite formalities. If you want to hire a better candidate, get to know the whole person. Ask them appropriate questions to uncover their motivation. Begin that development during the interviewing process and establish a strong base during the first weeks of your new employee’s tenure.

Why outside the box matters.

Experts know that the best candidate is never someone that fits neatly into one specific box. For instance, if you hire someone with a very specific skill and then technology changes to make that skill obsolete, if this individual isn’t adaptable they are no longer the best employee you have. All of this matters. Hire the best all-around person for the job, not just the person with specific skills. It’s easier to teach new skills than it is to teach soft skills, communication and adaptability.

Hire people who can adapt to change.

To this end, you want to hire people who are not only skilled at what they do, but are willing to learn whatever it takes to continue to be a valuable employee for your company. You want someone who isn’t stubbornly set in their ways. You want someone who will embrace change and understand that change is often the key to innovation. Companies that don’t change will eventually get left behind. You want people ready to make changes on your team.

Uncover the right people.

Lastly, it is important to know that you aren’t always going to find these best candidates through traditional recruiting. You need to expand your network. You need to use creative channels to uncover the right people from wherever they might be, which is probably not openly applying on job boards. Be forward and ask for what it is you want without creating a description so challenging that no one fits it.

Are you looking for the perfect candidate for your open position? Meador Staffing Agencies in Houston TX can help you uncover the best candidate for your role.

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3 Interview Questions to Be Ready For

April 28th, 2016

Certainly, not all interviews are going to be the same. But as a job seeker, it is important to understand not just the specific details of what happens in each interview but the overall themes that will come into play. In general, there will be things employers want to know about their candidates and while the questions may be worded differently, they will be consistent across the board. So what are three of the interview questions that you should be prepared for in each interview? Here are some common concepts that appear in many interview situations.

1. What can you tell me that’s not on your resume?

Many job seekers get tripped up with this kind of question because they feel like it is an invitation to launch into their life story. While this should be a personalized response, it isn’t meant to include everything that isn’t on your resume. Instead, consider some stories you can tell about experiences you’ve had. People relate to stories, so think up some circumstances in your professional past that demonstrate how you would benefit a future employer. Engage them. Make it entertaining, interesting and appropriate. If you can tailor a soft skill that shows your value to the hiring manager through a great story, that will be a positive for your chances.

2. What salary do you expect?

Be careful, any talk about money in an initial interview can be a trap. When they ask you about money, the response shouldn’t be a specific number. If you suggest something too low, you’ll be trapped. If you suggest something too high, you’ll miss out. Instead, deflect the question appropriately. Tell them that you want to conduct the proper research into the job, now that you know more about it, and will be able to get back to them with a range. Most employers will respect this answer.

3. Why should I hire you?

A direct question like this also often throws people off guard in an interview. The employer wants to know why you think they should hire you, so put yourself in their shoes and solve their problem. Every job opening is a problem, so tap into their pain points and tell them how you are the right solution for them. Give specific examples, details, and compelling reasons to keep talking to you, asking more questions, or offering you the job.

Forget hours of blindly sending resumes to job boards and cold-calling potential employers. When you partner with Meador, you’re gaining a career advisor, a partner who is genuinely invested in your success. Contact our great team of recruiters today to work with a leader in staffing in Austin TX!

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Understanding the Importance of Your Company’s Online Reputation

April 21st, 2016

Your company’s brand may be as important an asset as the services or products you provide. Business in the 21st century has changed significantly and companies that fail to rise with the tide often get swept out to sea. Job seekers are going to spend their time researching your business before they decide to apply with your company, just like you might dig deeper into an employee’s history before hiring them. Your company’s online reputation may be all that stands between you and the top candidates in your field. Here are some things you should do to consider and understand the importance of your reputation online.

Search your company.

Before you can understand where you are in the grand scheme of the Internet, you need to see it firsthand. You may be surprised to discover some information that you did not know was out there before you searched for your company. Look at what is on the first two pages of search engine results for your company. Search the names of your top managers or executives. Look at employee review sites such as Glassdoor and JobVent. You have to know what problem you’re solving before you can solve it.

Bury negativity.

The best way to counter negativity on the Internet is to bury it with positive information. This has proven to be a much better technique than attempting to get sites to take down information. Don’t get into online arguments about angry reviews or Tweets (take them offline), but create content on your website and social media that will help counter this information and, over time, bury it deep within the search engine results. The more positive information you can flood the Internet with, the better. Just make sure not to produce that information in a spam-like fashion. The search engines are smart enough to recognize that behavior.

Empower brand ambassadors.

Your greatest tool for creating a positive online reputation is sitting right in your office now. Your employees use social media, sometimes on the job and definitely at home, so allow them to use their voice to promote your company in a productive way. Give them permission to share information online about their experiences to help others determine how working at your company will benefit them as well. This will help attract others to your company brand and, ultimately, become customers or applicants. If your company has a blog, encourage your employees to share the content. When you produce press releases, have your employees share the content. Explain the benefits your company receives when 10 employees “like” a post. The organic results will be nothing but positive for your organization.

Hiring can be a stressful task for any organization. Finding the right fit, and using valuable company time to do it, can be a costly burden. When you partner with Meador, we will take care of all the work for you. Contact our great team of recruiters today to work with a top staffing agency in Houston and locations throughout Texas.

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Who Doesn’t Want a Promotion? Focus on These 3 Tips

April 14th, 2016

You will probably never hear someone say they just want to work in their same job for the rest of their lives. Everyone imagines their career can climb the corporate ladder, and yet, not everyone does. So how can you focus your skills and ambitions to land that next promotion? Before you get started, consider these three tips that can get you from where you are now to where you want to be in your career and the future.

1. Be indispensable.

There is a fine line to walk here, but the bottom line is that you need to demonstrate that you are indispensable to your company. You want to position yourself as an expert at what you do so you are the first person your bosses and co-workers approach when dealing with a specific problem. However, don’t fall into the trap to make yourself so indispensable that you are unable to take days off or refuse to do certain tasks outside the scope of your normal position. Staying humble in this area is important as well. No company or employees want to deal with some who comes across as a know-it-all.

2. Be likable.

To land your next promotion, you also need to ensure that you are someone well liked in the office. It is rare for someone to grant a promotion to a person they dislike. You don’t have to be treated like a literal door mat, but building goodwill and having an amiable personality will help you go far within the company. Be someone well-liked by all levels of the organization. This can help establish and maintain a good reputation with the people who are likely to make the decisions to promote star performers in the future.

3. Be creative.

Someone who is creative and innovative is also likely to be considered over someone who just goes through the motions or follows all of the specific guidelines. Not only should you be creative in your own job, finding new and better ways of doing what you do, you should also have some innovative strategic thinking for the future of the company itself. Organizations want to promote people who have a vision that matches the overall success of the business as a whole. They like to see employees who are committed to helping the company grow, not just employees who do enough to complete their daily tasks.

Our success stories over the years only reaffirm our core belief – people come first! Contact Meador Staffing today to work with a leader in staffing in Austin TX and throughout the rest of the Lone Star State.

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Run Better Meetings by Starting with Small Talk

April 7th, 2016

Are meetings the source of eye rolls and anxiety in your office? Employees often feel like they are a waste of time, and they would be better off working rather than listening in on a meeting. The truth is, meetings run better when people trust each other, so how do you develop that trust? When you create personal connections, you have a means to enhance your meetings in a way that is positive for everyone. The best way to get started is by facilitating small talk between your employees and management. Here are some tips for getting started.

Water cooler philosophy

Every office has a water cooler situation even if they don’t have an actual water cooler. This casual interaction between co-workers has no professional expectation. It is simply about getting to know the people around you in the office and understanding how to work with them better. While you may not think that talking about the latest episode of The Walking Dead or what you did on your vacation can help increase meeting productivity, getting to know others casually absolutely does. No one wants to just come in to work each day and only talk about what’s happening inside the office walls. Create that personal connection to see productivity and engagement increase.

Commonalities between people

This type of conversation sparks a sense of community. Once you know what you have in common with the people around you, it is easier to facilitate the types of things that will enhance teamwork. If you’re on the same page from the start, you will increase communication skills and be able to move forward. All discussions are met with a different attitude, and no one feels that someone is out to get them.

Better cooperation skills

When co-workers have things in common, they are also more likely to be willing to cooperate with each other. They won’t feel like they’re competing for accolades but rather that they are all on the same team. If there is no natural water cooler situation in your office, create it by implementing a few minutes of getting caught up at the beginning of each meeting. Maybe it’s near the coffee pot or in the break area. Let your employees dictate that natural meeting place.

Get down to business

The real key with this tactic is knowing when to stop the idle conversation and move into the business that needs to be accomplished. Never let the small talk become so overwhelming that you are no longer able to get anything done. Cut it off after a few minutes in a natural way to segue into the meeting itself. The worst possible scenario is a 30-minute meeting that features 20 minutes of discussing nothing on the agenda. The leader needs to have a sense of when to get going.

Meador Staffing will help you find the right fit for all of your employment needs. Contact our great team today to get started on working with a leader of staffing services in Texas since 1968.

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Do You Know What to Look for on a Company Website?

March 24th, 2016

As a job seeker, you’ve been told over and over again to do your research before you go into an interview. But what exactly are you looking for and how do you find it? Before your next meeting, consider these strategies for finding the right information on a company website without wasting time going down rabbit holes that won’t serve your job search.

The mission and vision statement

You will find a mission statement and the company’s overall vision usually stated clearly on the landing page, but if you dig deeper you will find a little more. What you want to know is why the company exists. What problems do they solve? How do they see themselves fitting in with the greater industry? Do the mission statement and overall vision actually get implemented when you visit during the job interview or is it just fluff?

Community involvement

Many employees today want to know their employers are in touch with the local community. What is the organization doing in relation to charity, volunteering, or community involvement? This can better help you understand if the company has the same or similar core values to you and if you’ll be a fit in their environment. There is a balance between being active and helpful in the community and going over the top by trying to promote every single thing the company does.

The target audience

It is also helpful to know how they market their products or services. Who is their target audience? How have they built their core customer base? What is their presence on social media? The more you know about how they attract new clients or conduct their business overall can help you better understand your role if you were to be hired.

How it is different from competition

Chances are, this company isn’t the only one in the area conducting this type of business. Do a compare and contrast between the websites of several of their competitors. This will give you a picture of how they are different from other companies in the same industry and why they might be a better match for you.

The company culture

Hopefully, with their website and their social media, you’ll also get a sense of their overall corporate culture. You want to see what an average day is like for the employees in the office and how they interact with others. Look at their Facebook and Twitter accounts to learn more information. Review their staff bios to see if you have common interest with others in the office. You might only bring up one of those details in the interview, but that could be enough to show you did your homework and want the job.

The experts at Meador will tailor your strengths with open job positions. As a leading staffing agency in Houston TX, we have created great relationships with employers since opening in 1968. Contact our great team today to take the next step in your career.
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What Happens When You Get Promoted to Being the Boss?

March 17th, 2016

When you’re rewarded with a promotion in your current company, what happens to your former co-workers? In many cases they become your new team, and you’re thrust into a management role over individuals with whom you’ve worked closely for some time. It is no surprise this can create tension in the workplace. How do you deal effectively with your new role as boss? Here are some tips you can follow to make the transition easier.

Acknowledge the change.

There is really no point in trying to pretend like nothing’s changed. Management is a very different type of position than general employment, and it is critical that you let everyone know that you are now in a position to supervise them. This acknowledgement, instead of insisting things will continue the same as before, is the first step in building trust with your former co-workers.

Communicate your expectations.

You also need to be clear in your communications with your new team. Setting expectations early about what is required and what is not appropriate will help set the tone long term. In this process, also make sure to give your team an opportunity to ask questions, offer suggestions and provide feedback. Utilize that information to ensure you are a positive force. Establishing guidelines will take time and should evolve. Finding a balance between your management style and what works for your team will take time.

Don’t rule like a dictator.

While you don’t want to continue to pretend things are business as usual once you’re in a supervisor role, you also shouldn’t completely alter your personality and start ruling with an iron fist. Micromanagement is one of the biggest complaints for employees, and they will view it as a direct betrayal when it comes from someone they recently saw as one of their peers.

Address resentment.

If anyone you work with does start to act resentful for the fact that you were promoted and they weren’t, address the issue. If you do not, things could spiral out of control. Their work could suffer and you could have additional conflicts. Talk to them about their feelings and be supportive. Ignoring the issue will lead to bigger problems down the road, either through an office argument or the employee leaving the office.

Create a new network.

Now that you are no longer in the same peer group, it is important that you find a network of other managers that can be your accountability group or mentors to help address your questions along the way. Talk to the individual who was in your role before you, if they are still with the company, or join management groups online to get feedback and help you with problems.

Meador Staffing works with some of the best employers across Texas, and we have access to a range of top jobs – many of which are not advertised elsewhere. Contact our great team of recruiters today to work with a top staffing agency in Houston TX and other locations in Texas.

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