Kick Start Your Career!

November 2nd, 2012

Sometimes it is impossible to avoid a career burn out, but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer quietly. There are many things you can do to give your career a jolt that can help improve your outlook and performance. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you’re feeling a little down about your job.

  1. Understand your motivation. What is it that makes you happy? Do you like to have money and success? Do you want name recognition? Do you like to help other people? Knowing what gets your blood pumping is important to understanding why you’re sluggish now. Give yourself motivational goals to work toward to get your career moving in the right direction.
  2. Establish challenges. There is no success fairy that will come down and reward you with promotions and raises. Sure, your employer might provide these things as you continue to perform up to expectations but that shouldn’t be the only reward you have. Give yourself your own career challenges.
  3. Stay focused. One of the most important things is to make sure you don’t let your employer or co-workers know that you are burning out. Make the career change when it is right for you; don’t allow yourself to get sloppy and give your company a reason to let you go. Keep a positive attitude at work. If you can’t find things at your current job to motivate you, start looking for another one but don’t let your current work suffer.
  4. Don’t burn bridges. No matter how frustrated you get at your current job, never ever walk out. Keep your cool and if you need to remove yourself from the situation give them proper notice and work it out if they want you to stay. As much as you might be dissatisfied with this job it is important that you keep your references clean and positive or you might have more trouble finding your next job.

Are you looking for someone to understand what it is that makes you a top employee? Contact Meador staffing today to see how we can help you find the right job to motivate you.

Resume Polygraph Test

October 26th, 2012

Lying on a resume or job application is an unfortunate practice, but luckily not one that is all too prevalent. However, you never want your business to be in a position to be taken advantage of by an individual who decided to try to game the system. How do you know whether or not you are dealing with someone who is honest about who they are and what they have done? Lacking a lie detector test during the interview process, here are some ways to help you know if you’re talking with candidates who are on the up and up.

  1. Multiple Interviews. There is a multi-tiered approach to the interview process. Not only should you be sure to interview several people for each job opening, but also invite the top candidates back for second or even third interviews. Have other managers available to meet with the candidates as well so you can get several opinions to evaluate.
  2. Background Checks. Though it is becoming a popular practice, there is still a large legal gray area when it comes to Googling candidates prior to making a hiring decision. Sure, internet information is public to a degree but our level of privacy is exactly what the courts are trying to determine for various cases already pending. There is one perfectly reasonable way to research someone’s history: the old fashioned background check. For a small fee to any of the reliable background check companies you can have some peace of mind.
  3. References. It is not uncommon for businesses to skip the reference portion of the job search. It seems time consuming and unreliable. No candidate is going to provide you with the contact information of someone who will speak about them negatively. This is an important part of the process that should not be ignored. By talking to former managers and coworkers you will get an idea of who this person is and whether or not they will be someone that would be a good fit for your organization. Don’t just talk about their job history and performance; ask detailed questions about their character. Not everyone will answer you, but if you keep at it you’ll find the information that you need.

Are you looking to ensure your candidates have been properly vetted prior to their interview? Meador Staffing specializes in these services and can help you make our next hiring decision.

Not all Networks are Healthy Networks

October 19th, 2012

We’ve all had the experience where we’ve met someone who just doesn’t click with us. When you’re networking in the job market you might feel compelled to reach out to any and all possible connections, but what happens of that network is toxic? Or worse yet, what if your networking skills have people walking away without helping you.  Here are ways to see if the network is healthy or something you should just stay away from and ideas to improve your own networking skills.

  1. Keep away from bad vibes. It is easy to let the depression of your job search set in, but this is the number one reason people don’t get hired. If you meet with someone in your networking who is negative about the market, stay away. Don’t let that negativity seep into your attitude. Remain positive at all times. When talking with people about your job search, don’t sound desperate. Sound excited and helpful about opportunities.
  2. Avoid the Internet black hole. There is a big void in the vast expanses of the Internet. It is easy to get information quickly and it is also easy to send information quickly. This means that a lot of the information you send will disappear if it is not properly addressed. Consider doing more face to face networking than Internet marketing if at all possible.
  3. Be honest. All networking comes with a price. People who do you a favor are ultimately looking for you to return that favor sometime in the future. Don’t derail your networking before you even start by being dishonest with your contact about what you need. When you reach out to your network let them know what you are looking for and offer to help them as well.
  4. Make it not all about you. Most importantly, you need to have a service attitude.  Being honest about your intentions is just the first step, now you need to be able to follow up on your contacts and be as helpful as you can. Sent thank you notes when you can and let the individuals know how much they’ve helped you on your search.

Looking to expand your positive network? Contact Meador Staffing today! 

Going After Your Dream Job

October 5th, 2012

Doubt is a power demotivator. It sneaks up on you when you least expect it. However, sometimes you have to push it aside to be able to achieve great things. If you have ever experienced doubt when it comes to job applications, sometimes even keeping you from clicking the “apply now” button, here are some things to keep in mind.

  • What makes you feel inadequate? What is making you feel like you shouldn’t apply for this job? What parts of the job posting don’t you feel you can do well? What things are intimidating for you? Often people will look over a job posting and if they only feel confident about 4 of the 5 job duties listed, they won’t apply at all. Often companies are willing to work with the right candidate if their skills are most of the way there. More importantly, they want to make sure you’re a better personal fit with their team than a wiz at all the functions.
  • Talk to a professional. Once you know what it is that is keeping you from applying to your dream jobs, talk with a career coach about how to improve that part of yourself. Talk to experts in the field to expand your knowledge in that subject. The more you feel comfortable with your experience gaps the more assured you will feel about the skills you do possess.
  • Track all of your accomplishments. You may not include all of them on your resume, but you will feel more confident if you know what you have successfully accomplished in your career. Every time you have a great idea or you receive praise from your boss, write it down in a journal. You can also refer to some of these as examples during an interview process. When someone asks you to tell them about a time when you solved a problem, you will remember what it was you did.
  • Ask questions about the environment. Sometimes we worry about whether or not we would be a good fit in the role but that isn’t necessarily what the hiring manager wants to know. If you make it to an interview you are pretty close to getting the job so be sure to ask as many questions as you can. Ask about available training. Ask about the manager and how they mentor their employees. Ask about the team and how they work together. These are considered smart questions by companies and will paint you in a positive light in the interview.

Are you looking for more advice to feel confident about your job search? Contact Meador Staffing today!

Don’t Scare Them Away: An Easier Hiring Process will Attract Better Candidates

September 28th, 2012

You’re looking for a new employee but you don’t know where to begin? The first step should be to audit your current hiring process and evaluate if there are any changes or streamlining that can be done. The easier it is to interview with your company the more confident candidates will feel and you’ll be better able to gauge their abilities. Make your process easy to navigate and you will see returns. Here are 6 simple steps to improving your hiring procedures.

  1. Establish the difference between applicant and candidate. Many individuals become frustrated with the application process. They feel like they have spent so much time filling out application paperwork or sending resumes to an online “black hole” only to never hear back. Make sure that people understand that the application is the first step in the process. Let them know that their information will be reviewed and that qualified candidates will be contacted.
  2. Make the job description accurate. It is frustrating for a potential candidate to see a job description online that describes them perfectly but not feel like they were considered for the position. Part of the onus on this is certainly on the applicant – if they feel they are a fit for the position they should customize their resume to reflect it. However, if you are specific about the skills you are seeking in the job description you will receive more qualified candidates from the start.
  3. Communication between hiring managers and recruiters. There is a saying “the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.” Many candidates feel like they get caught in the middle between members of the hiring team who seem unable to provide consistent answers to questions. Make sure that the managers communicate with the recruiters about what they need before the first candidate is ever brought in.  If everyone on the same page the experience will be much more pleasant.
  4. Create an order to the process. Make sure the steps of the interview and hiring process are in a realistic order. It does little good to have a requirement for college GPA but not check the records until after the candidate has been through four interviews and you’re ready to make an offer. Establish the flow of the procedures before you even begin to look at resumes.
  5. Use Skype or Google+ Hangouts. When you’re interviewing candidates who live elsewhere, you should utilize technologies that make communication easier. By using free online video conferencing services you can create a comfortable experience that will not only make the candidate feel like you’re serious about meeting with them but can also can give you the opportunity to assess their body language and communication skills.
  6. Stop looking for perfection. Many hiring managers will have a vision in their mind about what the perfect candidate looks like. They want very specific skills and experience. While you don’t need to compromise on everything it is best to eliminate the need for perfection up front. Many really good candidates are disqualified because of something relatively small and trainable. If a candidate checks most of your boxes and you feel as though they will get along personally with the team, you may want to take the leap.

Are you looking for ways to make your hiring process better? Contact Meador Staffing today to see how we can help you!

Job Searching While Employed – Stay Under the Radar

September 21st, 2012

We all know sometimes it is necessary to keep a job even if the situation is not ideal. At the same time, looking for a job while working can put you at risk of violating company policy and being fired if your employer finds out. There are best practices when it comes to searching for a job while still employed. Here are several suggestions to make your job search easier and more discreet.

  • Expand your network on line. It isn’t unusual for individuals to build up their LinkedIn networks even while they are working. LinkedIn a personal profile, but it is common to use them for networking for your current employer. Do everything that LinkedIn suggests to make your profile 100% complete including adding a photo and asking for recommendations.
  • Face to face networking events. Don’t discount in-person events. Even if you don’t explicitly state that you are looking for a job it is always good to meet as many people you can and build your network. The more people you have in your web the more opportunities you have in the future.
  • Don’t be public about your intentions. It is best not to announce that you are looking for a new job on any public or even semi-public social networking sites. Even if you mentioned it casually on your Facebook page you just can’t control how people are going to respond.
  • Don’t respond to confidential ads. The chance of a confidential post on Monster or Career Builder being from your current employer is slim; but the possibility exists and taking the risk can put you in an awkward position. Only apply to jobs where you can research the company before sending your resume.
  • Don’t go to job fairs. Trying your luck at a job fair just to see what is out there is a precarious proposition. Job fairs in your town are likely to attract many of the largest employers including clients and competition of your current company.
  • Don’t expect your coworkers to keep your secret. Lots of people say, or think, they can keep a secret. It simply isn’t worth finding out the hard way that someone can’t. Don’t talk about your job search while you are on the job.
  • Chose your references wisely. As you provide references to interviewers, you want to make sure that you control the message. Talk with your network of previous employers and coworkers to manage the process. Don’t even provide a phone number to your current employer and you can even politely ask that they not contact them until after you’ve given notice.

Are you looking for a staffing company who understands the best practices of the job search? Contact Meador Staffing today!

Interviewing Entry Level Candidates

September 14th, 2012

Interviewing entry level candidates requires completely different assessments than interviewing experienced employees. Someone just out of college or who has never worked in your industry before will not be able to reference certain information. Here are several ways you can get the most out of an entry level interview.

  1. Provide Prompts. It is quite possible that an entry level candidate has never interviewed in a professional setting before. Manage expectations – both theirs and yours. Tell them what you want to hear in an answer such as “give me an example of a difficult class project you worked on.”
  2. Assess their organizational and time management skills. These are universal traits. These are also not aspects that a young adult can learn if they don’t already possess them. Ask them questions about balancing school work with a part time job.
  3. Assess their problem solving skills. This is another example of a skill that cannot be learned. If a young adult or other entry level candidate has not learned to deal with conflict or is unable to problem solve without panicking, they may not be a match for a corporate position, even an entry level one. Ask them how they might have dealt with an awkward customer at a part time job or if they’ve had to defend their position in a paper or project.
  4.  Assess communication skills. Every business wants their employees to be effective communicators, both in written form and in person. This will be easy enough to determine based on their effectiveness at interviewing. Pay attention to grammar and language usage. Ask the candidate to send over either a short cover letter before your first meeting or a follow up thank you note afterward.
  5. Assess soft skills. Soft skills are essential building blocks of a successful employee. They encompass many of the aspects above but also things like being able to work well with a team, being reliable and on time, and be able to process information from various, and often differing, sources. These are the most difficult to evaluate in an interview. Even though you’re assessing things that may not be apparent in a short interview, ask them concrete questions. Have they worked with a team before; sports for instance? Do they have trouble being somewhere on time?
  6. Assess their motivation. Finally, you need to understand how motivating the entry level employee is. It is a huge red flag if someone does not express an interest in moving up within a company. Ask them questions about their previous achievements in school. Ask them questions about what types of projects they are excited to work on to determine what inspires them to do better work.

Are you looking for a staffing partner who understands how to evaluate soft skills for new employees? Contact Meador Staffing today to see how we can help you!

Use that Alumni Network

September 7th, 2012

Looking for a job after graduation can seem difficult. Many recent graduates are experiencing issues with the current job market and they are the highest group of unemployed or underemployed individuals in the economy today. There are some things you can do to help improve your chances; such as reaching out to your University or College Alumni groups. Many alumni look for ways to give back to their school and by tapping into their network you can give them an opportunity to help in a tangible way. They may be willing to give you career advice or even help you with a job in their organization. Here are some suggested ways to network.

  1. Your school’s career center. This office typically maintains a database of the alumni willing to mentor students. You may be able to source specific alumni who work in your industry, shared a major programs, or who live in the area of the country that most interests you. The career center may also sponsor alumni events where former students come to the university to meet with and talk with current students. Take advantage of every alumni program the university offers.
  2. The alumni office and newsletter. Your university has outreach programs for their former students. Become involved in this process. If you can volunteer or work at the alumni center you will have access to individuals who may be willing to share their experiences and expertise. The newsletter also often includes highlighted alumnus and will feature their accomplishments. Read this and touch base with someone who inspires you.
  3. Geographically centered alumni associations. You may not choose to stay in your hometown after graduation. Many other people had the same thought. Alumni, especially from larger schools, will form associations in their towns to network. Reach out to those groups and express your interest in their town. Not only can you learn about the area, but you may also learn about jobs and industries.
  4. LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the best professional internet networking site available. You can easily find informal groups that can connect you to alumni in your city or in your field. People on LinkedIn are there to make connections so use that network as much as you can.

Are you a recent graduate looking for more job search tips?  Contact Meador Staffing to help you navigate today’s market. 

Turn Your Employees into Rock Stars

August 31st, 2012

We’ve all heard the term “the power of positive thinking.” Imagine applying the same thought process to your management style. You can encourage your employees to be the best they can be simply by telling them they are the best at what they do. Reinforcing positive behavior from your employees helps to discourage negative situations. Here are several tips to turn your team into rock stars.

  1. Set positive expectations. When dealing with your team don’t rely on negative reinforcement to get the job done to your satisfaction. When you expect mediocre results you will get mediocre results. Provide details for what you would like the project to be in the end and guidelines to get the team there, but then allow your team freedom to be successful. Encourage them along the way and assess milestones.
  2. Leave out the “But.” Sometimes managers believe that the way to break the bad news is to start with something positive but add a “but” to the sentence. Try leaving it out altogether. Describe the job or the project in the most positive ways and don’t give them a negative aspect to focus on at all. You’ll be surprised by the results. Employees often assume the project is expected to fail or that management has no faith in their abilities once the “but” is added to the sentence.
  3. Easy vs. Complex. Similarly, try to describe job duties or project requirements in the easiest terms. Don’t tell an applicant that the job they are doing is incredibly complex and difficult. Instead, try to encourage them by explaining that the job will be easy for someone of their background and expertise. Studies have shown this type of encouragement increases performance.
  4. Give an ego boost. This may sound silly, but boosting an individual’s ego will help their performance. You can do this any number of ways but try to tell your employees they are wonderful at what they do and that they are a key part of the team even at a time when their performance isn’t critical.

Looking for additional management tips or superstars for your team? Contact Meador Staffing to find out what we have to offer.

Turn Seasonal Work Into a Full Time Job

August 24th, 2012

Summer is starting to fade and the crisp chill of autumn air is creeping in. With the holidays right around the corner now is the time of year to consider picking up some seasonal work. If you have found yourself in the job market for quite some time adding part time seasonal work to your resume will help keep your skills fresh for your next full time job. In addition to that, it is not impossible to turn a seasonal job into a full time position. Here are some ways to swing the odds in your favor.

  1. Be upfront. Let your manager know you are really looking for a full time job. Your manager will know your intentions and keep you in mind for any full time positions. Make sure your attitude reflects your desire to work with the company long term.
  2. Go above and beyond. The majority of seasonal jobs are in the customer service arena. Make sure that you don’t check out early in the game. Make an effort to go above and beyond in the service you provide. Managers want to hire someone they can rely on to treat customers well so prove that you are the right person for a full time job.
  3. Don’t be passive. Being proactive will get you noticed by the people who make the hiring decisions. If someone calls in sick, don’t hesitate to volunteer to cover that shift. Ask to lend a hand on any additional projects. And if you find yourself with idle time, ask for additional work.
  4. Care about the company. Prove you’re interested in the company. Learn as much as you can about the core values, the business structure and any challenges they may face in the coming year. Show that you want to contribute to the organization.
  5. Be forward thinking. Prove to the manager that you are thinking beyond your seasonal job. Speak up and provide suggestions that will help the company. They may not be implemented but they will show the manager that you are interested in the future of the organization. You want to demonstrate that your contributions will be positive for the company.

Looking for your next opportunity to make an impression? Contact Meador Staffing today!