Are You Ready for the Upcoming Overtime Rule Changes?

October 20th, 2016

Early this year, President Obama signed a bill intended to increase the salary threshold overtime pay for millions of U.S. workers. When the bill goes into effect, the threshold for overtime pay will increase nearly double. This means any employee with any job title will be eligible to earn overtime if they do not meet the minimum pay required. The current threshold for exempt employees is currently just over $23,000 annually. The new rule will increase this to over $47,000. More employees will qualify for time and a half if they work more than 40 hours per week. Is your company ready for these new rules? Here is how you can prepare for the change coming in December 2016.

Encourage 40-hour work weeks.

The best way to avoid paying overtime for your exempt workers is to enforce 40-hour work weeks. If they do not clock overtime, you don’t need to worry about paying for additional time and a half. Not only will this help you adhere to the new rules, but it will also help improve the work/life balance of your employees.

Increase your staff.

To help reduce the need for overtime, you may want to hire additional employees within the office. Hiring another full-time employee can often be less expensive than paying overtime hours the staff you currently have employed. For example, you can hire an assistant to help senior staff work more efficiently.

Adjust cost of living raises appropriately.

There may be instances where the new overtime pay can become a de-facto raise. Rather than increasing their base salary during their year-end review, continue with their current salary and adjust pay overtime. You can both evaluate how this works over the next several months and adjust as necessary.

Work with a staffing agency.

Your staffing partner can work with you to place individuals within your business as temporary employees. They can increase your production and not your overtime hours since their employer of record is the agency, not your company. The fee you pay to the staffing company will handle the employee pay rate and any administrative costs, which may work out to less than a permanent salary.

If your organization has any staffing needs because of the upcoming overtime legislation or just has employment needs in general, don’t hesitate to contact Meador Staffing today. As a leader in temp services in Houston, we are ready to help your company!

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How Do You Choose a Staffing Agency?

October 13th, 2016

Are you looking to work with a staffing agency to help you find your next job? If you’ve never worked with a recruiter in the past, it can be complicated to determine how to choose a staffing agency that will help you in your job search. Before you apply with agencies in your area, here are some things to consider to help you determine which recruiter will be a better fit for you, your goals, and your career path.

Recruiting Basics

The basics of recruiting are simple. A staffing agency will work with their clients to determine the requirements for open positions. They will then begin the recruiting process to find qualified candidates. The client pays the recruiting fee, not the employee. In fact, if you’re asked to pay a fee for a company to help you find a job, this is not considered professional or appropriate.

Job Advertisements

Beyond the basics of recruiting, you will need to know how they go about advertising for their job. Do they post them publically online? Do they use job boards? Do they send out a blast to their candidates? Do they offer an online job portal so you can review new jobs and apply to any that match your qualifications?

Placement Percentage

You will also want to know the details of their job placement success. How many of their applicants are they able to place each month. How long does it take to get a job from the time someone has applied? The placement rates are sometimes stunningly low, so it is important to understand the measurement for success before you decide to work with a recruiter.

Recruiting Process

It is also important to know how they source employees and what the process is to apply. Do you fill out an online application? Do they do skills testing? Can you maintain your own applicant portal online to update skills and education as you go? When do they check references? Do they perform background checks or other pre-employment screenings?

Candidate Responsibility

You should also know what you need to do in this process. Many people falsely believe that once an application is submitted, their work as a candidate is done. But recruiters want to work with people who are motivated and are interested in ensuring that their job search goes smoothly. Learn when they would like you to follow up. And how they would like you to proceed if you have your own lead.

Are you interested in working with a qualified recruiter to help you find your next job? Contact Meador Staffing Agencies, a leading in staffing services in Houston 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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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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Hiring is a Science

August 23rd, 2013

Experts have shown that the hiring process works best when it is formulaic and scientific. All too often managers find themselves making decisions based on emotional criteria such as “I’ll know it when I see it,” or “they reminded me of me.” When an employee fails in their new role the hiring manager is left wondering what happened. Here are some ways you can improve your hiring process by treating it as a scientific method.

  1. What is the hiring process? A typical hiring experience will consist of three phases: source candidates, engage, and hire. Each of these steps requires their own set of tools to use and rules to follow. Sourcing will need access to online job boards and social media while engagement means reaching out to interested applicants and talking with them about their experience and your company.
  2. Pre-employment screening. One tool that it is important to add to the hiring process is pre-employment screening. When you conduct background checks and require drug screening for each candidate considered for the role you are creating a baseline that each potential employee needs to reach before they can be offered a position with your company. Screening products can be expensive so work with a local staffing company who will offer this as part of the cost of their service.
  3. Additional assessments. Beyond drug and background checking are other pre-screening options for you to consider. Once again you can work with your staffing provider to determine which are right for you. You may want to implement behavioral testing along with tests for certain skills. Behavioral tests can give you insight on the candidate’s personality, integrity, cognitive ability, and how they will fit into your current team.
  4. Reference checks. With so many companies instituting a policy of only providing dates of employment it is harder than ever to confirm professional references. However, it is an important step that should not be skipped. You can utilize the recommendations on LinkedIn to get a picture of their previous work. A staffing service can also help you with this process and conduct reference checks on your behalf.

Do you want to perfect your recruiting and hiring methods? If you are looking for staffing agencies in Pasadena TX, contact the employment experts at Meador today.

Your Next Investment: Hiring

June 10th, 2013

It needs to be remembered that hiring should not be an impulse purchase. It happens too many times; a hiring manager will meet with a candidate who sounds perfect. They check all the boxes and answer all the questions right. They may even remind the interviewer of themselves in many ways. A hiring decision is made on the spot and now the real personality comes out. You can discover you made the wrong decision pretty fast. Instead, hiring should be treated like an investment. Managers should comparison shop and spend time making the best decision. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you’re looking for your next superstar.

  1. Effective Interviewing techniques. Every interview should be effectively the same. If you ask each candidate the same questions you can have a baseline to evaluate each answer. Don’t stick only to a rundown of the resume. Ask them behavioral questions based on their previous experience. For instance, find out how they saved their company money on a large scale project. Or talk to them about their customer service experience and how they handle a negative customer.
  2. Drug testing and background screening. This type of pre-interview screening is a great investment. You want someone who is reliable and responsible to work for your company. Establish guidelines that you’re willing to adhere to before anyone’s results are returned. Test and screen every candidate. A local staffing company will often offer these services as part of their process so you may be able to save both time and money by working with recruiters.
  3. Reference checking. References can be tricky because many companies have a policy of only verifying dates of employment. It is a good idea to try to drill down to discover as much information as possible. The candidate’s former coworkers and managers will be able to provide insight on who they really are as an employee. Once again, this is something your staffing provider can do for each candidate submitted for your open positions.
  4. Investment in training time. Your new employee investment shouldn’t stop once the candidate has been hired. Many employees cite a lack of training and career support as a reason why they fail in their positions. Be conscious of their learning style and work with them to understand and comprehend each aspect of their new position. If you provide excellent training you can be confident in their performance once they are working on their own.

Are you looking for tried and true tips for making the best hiring decisions for your company? Contact the recruiters at Meador Staffing today! 

 

Office Politics Advice

February 1st, 2013

It is difficult, if not impossible, to avoid office politics. As much as we know it doesn’t help to get involved there is something in our very nature that makes us want to be a part of this kind of social structure. However, there are ways to beat traditional office politics and be a better employee for it.

  1. Be kind and respectful. This sounds like playground advice but it is timeless and universal. Learn everyone’s name no matter what they do in the office. Learn about their lives so can have conversations with them that go beyond small talk. Most importantly, be genuine when you speak with them.
  2. Chose to like everyone. It is easy to get caught in the trap of “us” versus “them” in any group setting. There will certainly be people in your office that you get along with better than others. Don’t form cliques. Consciously chose to like a co-worker that you would never be friends with outside the office.
  3. Positive gossip. Everyone talks in the office about everyone else; this is just part of the human experience. Rather than sharing the negative information try to spread positive news. Brag about your co-worker’s accomplishments and when someone baits you with negative information turn it around on them. Compliment your coworkers and management directly if you love what they’ve done.
  4. Do the unpleasant tasks. There are some employees in the office who get stuck with the unpleasant jobs because no one else will do them. Guess what? The people who do don’t want to do it either. Consider volunteering for these types of things like cleaning out the refrigerator or cleaning the bathroom.
  5. Don’t be secretive. Be sure that everything you say to everyone in the office can be shared. Rather than talking behind someone’s back approach them and discuss the issue in the open. Being transparent will give you a reputation of being an honest and respectful person in your office and you’ll be trusted with more information.

What are some other ways you can be above the politics in your office? If you are looking for staffing agencies in Pasadena TX, contact the experts at Meador Staffing to see how they can help you. 

Answering “What is your Greatest Weakness?”

January 18th, 2013

Is it a trick question or do they want you to answer honestly? How exactly do you know how to answer when an interviewer asks about your greatest weakness? Do you need to tell them how bad you are at something or can you spin a positive attribute into a negative one? Here are some tips for navigating the muddy waters of the weakness questions.

  1. Prepare, prepare, prepare. Interviewers can tell if you’re making something up on the spot. It can result in a less than positive interaction. Think about this question long and hard before you ever make it to the interview; you will likely be asked some form of it. Think of a way to answer this question that is thoughtful and provides some real insight into you as a person and a candidate for their position.
  2. Avoid the key requirements. Whatever you do, don’t answer this question with something that specifically contradicts the core requirements of the job itself. Prepare for the interview by understanding the company and the job description. If you know the position involves entering information into a customer website and incorrect data can result in significant revenue loss; don’t tell the interviewer that you have trouble paying attention to details.
  3. Challenge, action, result. Professional career coaches recommend using this approach to answer this question. Determine what the most challenging part of your example is, the action you took to correct it, and the positive outcome of the overall situation. Most interviewers don’t like the “turning a positive into a negative” answer to this question because it inevitably sounds fake, but this answer format still provides valuable information about your weakness but ends with a positive result. It gets you to the same place.
  4. Don’t recite cliché answers. Recruiters hear things all the time like “I’m a perfectionist.” This answer doesn’t provide any concrete information it is just regurgitating things that we know are negative. If you really feel as though your perfectionism is your biggest weaknesses consider rewording your answer. You could tell them that you have trouble giving up control of projects because you want to make sure every detail is perfect. Remember to provide an action and a positive result. Tell them that you seek out other members of the team with strong skills and learn to rely on their expertise.

Are you looking for ways to creatively answer the most common interview questions? Meador Staffing can provide helpful advice for your job search.