How to Manage Through Sensitive Situations

July 20th, 2017

A tragedy or other sensitive situation can strike an office at any time. An entire company is affected when an employee passes away or become ill. But through everything, management needs to manage to ensure that everyone is provided with the tools they need to cope and continue. What actions should you take to support your team through this situation while still maintaining productivity? Here are some thoughts to get you started in the event you ever have to deal with this kind of situation.

Be aware of your staff’s emotions.

In the case of the death of a coworker or even a serious illness, don’t assume that your entire time will be emotionally able to carry on without a pause or some help. Know that everyone grieves and deals with emotions differently, so simply being aware of how your staff reacts will be important to the healing process. Give them space and support they might need.

Consider how this might affect productivity.

By doing so, you do need to consider how your productivity will be impacted. Will there be people who can pick up the slack? Are you prepared for an emergency in your company? Simply looking ahead at what needs to get done over the next several months will give you an idea of ways you can compensate to ensure everyone’s needs are met.

Organize a gift for the employee or their loved ones.

Often the reason people feel so helpless in situations like this is they can’t do anything about the situation. By asking your team or organize a care package for their coworker who is ill, or finding the appropriate memorial gift for the loved ones of the deceased co-worker they can feel like they have a hand in the grieving process.

Provide professional resources for your staff.

But no matter how much time you give to your team or what kind of gift they organize, there will be individuals who aren’t able to process the information on their own and move on. This is why you need to ensure they have access to a professional who can help them along the way. Partner with a counselor or provide access to group therapy so they can build the personal tools they need to cope.

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How to Write Smarter Job Search Emails

July 13th, 2017

It is simply a reality of the 21st-century job search – you will have to write professional emails throughout the process. There are plenty of times when emailing is going to be preferred both by you and the person you’re connecting with. Let’s look at some of the times when you will be emailing throughout your job search and we can provide some easy to use templates to get you started.

Initial Inquiry

In today’s marketplace, you’re probably sending a lot of resumes via email through online job postings. You may already know that you shouldn’t just attach a document without some accompanying email. If you do that, the recruiter probably won’t open it. But your initial inquiry should act as your cover letter.

This cover letter needs to include important information that might not be on your resume, your contact information, and your interest level. Also be sure to address it directly to the hiring manager or recruiter. If you can’t do that, never use “To Whom It May Concern.” Simply begin with “Good Morning” or “Good Afternoon.”

Here is a template to get you started:

Good Morning [Mr. or Ms. and their Name, if known],

I saw your listing online and I’m interested in learning more about the [job title] position.

I have [# of years] experience with [this work] and believe I would be a good fit.

[Insert a specific example of how this experience has helped you in the past in a similar position.]

I am available to talk at your convenience. Call me at [phone number] or email me at [email address] so we can set up a time to meet.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

[Your Name]

Thank You Note

After any interview, you probably know that you should be sending a Thank You note. Some people prefer the handwritten note over the email, but there are limitations to that option as well. They take longer to arrive and may not include all the details you want to convey.

A Thank You note is a great way to share information you may have forgotten in the interview. For example:

Good Afternoon [name],

Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me. I enjoyed meeting your staff, loved your office, and am excited about the opportunity.

[In this section, start with something like “I forgot to mention in the interview, your job posting specifically stated that you were looking for someone with (experience.) I have worked with that in the past and (share details about your experience).]

I look forward to hearing back from you.

[Your Name]

Interview Follow Up

After an interview, you should also follow up with a potential employer. During your meeting, you should have asked when they expected to make a decision. Then, after you’ve sent your initial thank you note, you can mark the calendar with the time frame. For instance, if they said “about a week” connect with them 5 days later and remind them you’re still interested. For instance:

Good Morning [name],

I really enjoyed our meeting on [date] and wanted to find out if you had made a decision regarding the open position in [department or office.]

I am available and interested in talking with you more. If you have any more questions for me, you can reach me at [phone number] or [email address].

I look forward to hearing from you.

[Your name]

Online Networking

Emails are also a staple of online networking, such as the generated emails from LinkedIn when you connect with a new person. But these general emails don’t share any information and don’t give any reason the person should accept your invitation. You should always customize it for your specific needs.

For example, you may have a mutual professional acquaintance. You can reference that. Or they may work in an industry you are interested in or have worked in before. They may be in your city and you’re looking for more local connections. Add a paragraph about why you’re reaching out and they’re more likely to connect.

As always, you should customize all of the templates we’ve provided here and use them only as a jumping off point.

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4 Reasons Employees Quit (and What to Do About It)

July 6th, 2017

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, American workers are not saying in their current jobs until retirement. While the average length of employment varies based on the job duties and title. There are multiple reasons that employees quit. More than ever before, employee satisfaction is becoming an important topic for managers and business owners. And it is as important to know why your employees are choosing to leave as it is to determine retention programs to keep them. Here are some of the most common reasons employees leave their jobs and what you can do to overcome it.

1. A lack of connection.

Employee loyalty doesn’t have to be a relic of the 1950s. There are plenty of things you can do to ensure your team feels a connection to your corporate culture. Learn what makes your employees tick as individuals. Get to know them. Then help them understand how their unique skills fit with your overall company culture. Once they have a sense of belonging, they are bound to be loyal to your brand.

2. No challenge or motivation.

While you’ve hired each employee to be a very specific cog in a very complex machine, no one is happy doing the same tasks over and over again. They need to feel challenged. And you can provide that for them. Create milestones for achievement. Allow them to have creative control over aspects of their job. Find out what motivates them and reward accordingly. Some companies also cross train so everyone can feel a sense of variety in their work.

3. No clear career path.

Of course, one of the most common reasons a person leaves a job is to advance their careers. They may not see any upward mobility in their current job. While you may not be able to promote everyone in your organization to an executive level position, there are ways to provide advanced career opportunities throughout the business. Demonstrate the long-term career viability on your team.

4. They’re stressed or bored.

Happiness is essential to personal satisfaction. And there is ample evidence that stress in the workplace is the cause of multiple medical conditions, like heart disease. If someone feels that stress is far too overwhelming, they may look for a less stressful environment. The opposite is also true. If someone is bored and not having fun on the job, they will be less likely to remain loyal and look for a place that puts more emphasis on enjoyment.

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Best Practices for Bilingual Testing During Hiring

May 18th, 2017

Do you have an open position for a bilingual professional? There are many cases, especially in customer service or other client-facing positons, where skills with another language will be imperative. But what considerations do you need to make when hiring someone who is bilingual? Before you make a hiring decision, think through some of the ways to ensure you’re using the best hiring practices to make the best choice for your company

The best way to use testing.

The first step is to find a testing product that works best for you and your company’s hiring process. But keep in mind that it is important to review the quality of the tests and use a product considered validated to help avoid hiring bias in your final choices. Testing should always be reviewed objectively to avoid making unnecessary connections with incorrect information. If you use online testing, talk with the testing provider about ways they avoid testing fraud.

Utilize a staffing partner.

One possible solution for testing is to work with a staffing agency to provide the pre-employment screening necessary to determine if a candidate is qualified for your open position. They can provide the testing needed to determine the level of language proficiency for each candidate. They can also give you the results in a way to allow you to make an unbiased selection while knowing the most important information.

Consider the pay rates.

When you make the hiring decision, there are some other aspects that are worth considering. For instance, have you thought about a premium pay rate for individuals who bring bilingual skills to the table? There may be a reason to pay slightly more for these candidates as you can make use of their extensive skills for success in the position. Review resources like Salary.com to determine the best pay rate for bilingual employees in that position.

Implement strong onboarding.

It is also important that you utilize appropriate onboarding and training techniques to ensure all expectations are being met. Does your new hire need more training to avoid preventable workplace conflict over incorrect translations? Do you need to make sure they are comfortable in their position and understand all the necessary information when it comes to discussing information with employees and customers in two different languages?

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Want Monday to Feel Like Friday? Tips to Do Just That

April 13th, 2017

The common phrase is “Thank goodness it’s Friday,” but very few people say the same about Mondays. In fact, Mondays have become something of an office joke. “Someone has a case of the Mondays!” But you don’t have to live your life dreading the first day of the workweek. In fact, with just a few lifestyle changes you can make every workday feel full of hope and energy, just like Friday does. Here are some tips to help you start your week off on a positive note.

Get a good night’s sleep

One of the greatest enemies to productivity is poor sleep. While you may feel like the weekend is a good time to get out of your regular routine, but inconsistency can also have a negative effect on your workweek. On Sunday night, treat bedtime like you would on any weeknight. Go to bed at a normal time so you can wake up refreshed. Create a relaxing bedtime routine. Avoid technology after you get in bed. Keep the temperature cooler than you would during the day.

Stay hydrated

Another challenge many people have is staying hydrated. Far too many people operate in a state of constant dehydration because we aren’t as aware of our body’s need for water. Once you feel thirsty, you are already experiencing dehydration. Stay on top of your need for liquids. Focus on water rather than sugary or caffeinated beverages, which might give you a quick boost of energy but the experience will be temporary.

Plan ahead on Fridays

Many people feel like they’re scrambling on Monday to catch up on things they’ve missed over the weekend. But what if you could have a little peace of mind on Monday morning without having to work all weekend long? For the last hour of work on Friday afternoon, take some time to organize your work and make a plan so you can hit the ground running on Monday morning.

Have a positive attitude

Finally, sometimes the difference between a bad day and a good day is all in how you approach it. Maintaining a positive attitude can help you stay focused, not get down about things you can’t control, and approach your work with interest rather than frustration. In some ways, this is similar to the mindset of “fake it until you make it.” You can use your power of positivity to approach even the most boring or difficult of tasks with a fresh mind.

Work with a top staffing agency in The Woodlands

If you are ready for a new job that makes every day feel like Friday, Meador Staffing can help. Contact our team of recruiters today to work with a top staffing agency in The Woodlands.

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Why Data Is Your New Friend in Recruiting

April 6th, 2017

At its core, recruiting is still a people-based process. You search for new candidates and, though a select process, determine who will be the best fit to work with your company. But data shows us there is more of a science to it than just being in the right place at the right time. Is there additional data that can help you determine the techniques that are most effective? How do you use this information to hire the right people for your company? Here are some of the metrics you can use to determine the best hiring strategy for your business.

Sources of candidates.

Start by reviewing where all of your candidates come from. What percentage reach you by an online job posting? How many are referrals? How many discover you through alternative means, such as social media? Then, determine where your top performers came from to see which channels are the most successful for your office environment. Once you begin to track all of this information you can begin to see patterns emerge that can help you focus your searches in the future.

Location of candidates.

For most companies, it is also important to determine where, geographically, your employees are coming from. The commute to your office will often be reflected in your employee’s ability to arrive on time and perform at top efficiency. This will help you determine where to target with ads and how to get involved in your community to reach out to individuals who might be a fit for your organization.

Essential skills of candidates.

Next, review the essential skills your top performers have in common. What background traits do they share? Are there commonalities in previous employment, education, or other factors that can help you determine the best ways to narrow down potential employees in the future?

Common personality traits of candidates.

You will also want to evaluate the soft skills and inherent personality traits common in your staff. Your office environment is as important as the work you do, so it is important that your team can work well with each other and have a similar value system to your corporate identity. This can all be determined based on how well they fit with your corporate culture and one another.

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Are you interested in finding the right candidates to meet the traits of your top performers? Contact Meador Staffing today to work with a top staffing agency in Austin.

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Is This a Fun Place to Work? Look for This

March 30th, 2017

Where you work is as important, if not more, than what your job will entail. You can’t work effectively in an environment that makes you feel uncomfortable. More and more employers are figuring this out and working on making the office culture an integral part of the conversation. So how do you determine if a new place of employment will be a fun spot for you to work?

Talk to other employees.

The first step to determining if a company is right for you is to talk to the current employees. During the interview process, ask if you can meet with others in the department where you will be working. Ask them candid questions about why they like working for the company, their favorite things, and get a sense of their personalities to learn if this is a department you can work in.

Talk to former employees.

It is safe to assume that any current employee would speak well about the company, so it is also a good idea to talk to former employees and get a better-rounded picture. Connect with former employees on LinkedIn and ask to speak with them either over email or to get together for coffee. If more of the former employees describe the working situation as challenging rather than satisfying, you may be right to have some concerns.

Review social media.

Another place to review and see if you can find insider information is social media. Search Facebook and Twitter for mentions of the company. See what people are saying and if their impressions are overall good or bad. However, know that Facebook is often used as a place to vent, so learning to discern these comments will be an important tool as well.

Trust your gut.

Lastly, be sure to trust your instinct. If you get a bad feeling about a place during the interview process, it probably won’t go away once you’re working there. If at any point you think this isn’t the right place for you, don’t take the job. On the other hand, if the company gives you a generally good feeling, there is a good chance that this place will be a good fit for your personality.

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5 Things Your Employees WANT You to Say

March 23rd, 2017

As the manager of your department or owner of a small business, you’re the leader. As such, your job is to inspire and motivate your staff. By now, everyone understands that micromanagement is not the best solution to a positive work environment, but what is the best way to be the right kind of leader in your office? Consider these 5 things your employees genuinely want to hear from you monthly, weekly, or even daily.

1. I have trust in you.

You don’t just trust your employees, you have trust in them. This means that you believe that they are capable of doing the job at hand. Tell them so. But also show it in your behavior. Don’t micromanage. Don’t hover over them when they are completing a task. Trust in their ability to get the job done without being overly concerned with the processes they follow.

2. This is what we want to achieve.

At the same time, your team wants to understand the end goal of the project or initiative. They don’t need you to micromanage how it is accomplished, but they want buy-in for what it is they should be achieving. Any time you roll out something new, give your staff an idea of what the outcome should be before letting them take control.

3. I want to set you up for success.

Your staff also wants to know that you’re putting processes and tools in place specifically to help them succeed. When you tell your staff that their success is your priority, you are making them feel appreciated on the job. That the ultimate goal isn’t the success of the job or the product, but of each of their individual contributions that make up the whole.

4. What else can I provide for you?

Far too few managers will ask employees to tell them what they need to make something more successful. Don’t be afraid to ask them what you can do to help them succeed in their jobs. If there are tools that can assist or materials that can help, be sure to provide them. If someone feels overwhelmed, get them the additional help them they need to unload some of the burden.

5. Ask if you need help.

They also want to know that you, as a manager, can pitch in and help out if push comes to shove. You’ve worked your way up to your position, so how can you demonstrate that you can still get your hands dirty. If your staff needs you in any capacity, they should feel comfortable coming to you to ask. You can facilitate this process by letting them know they shouldn’t be afraid of asking for help.

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10 Minutes to Mindfulness Every Day

February 23rd, 2017

You may be skeptical about the practice of meditation. But, not all meditation is created equal. You might think about sitting in a lotus position, closing your eyes, concentrating on your breathing, and clearing your mind. But mindfulness meditation is not like this at all. With this method, you don’t try to turn off your brain. You embrace your thoughts and lean into them. And learning to do this can change the way you think every day. It has helped many successful people achieve the next level of their careers, and it can help you too. Here are some ways you can start a 10 minute a day mindfulness routine to help enhance the way you think.

Choose the time of day

People often try to shoehorn themselves into a schedule that doesn’t work for the natural rhythms of their bodies. The same is true with meditation. If you’re a morning person, then 10 minutes just after you wake up can be a great way to start the day. If you are more of a night owl, then 10 minutes right before settling down for the night can help calm you and establish a good routine for bedtime. Choose the time of day that works with the way your mind and body naturally work together.

Avoid technology

Mindfulness is not the same as trying not to think about anything. But in today’s connected world, technology does serve to keep us tethered to things outside ourselves and outside our control. In the morning and at night, put down technology to connect with yourself and your own thoughts better. Don’t be tempted to use a meditation app to facilitate your mindfulness, this should be a time when you are alone with your thoughts.

Stop multitasking

Another problem many modern workers have is the need to constantly multitask. There is one major problem with that idea. The human brain was never designed to multitask. We may think we are when we find ourselves pulled in many directions at once, but we are much better at focused tasks one at a time than trying to do all things at once. Don’t multitask while spending 10 minutes being mindful and you’ll begin to see how it can affect everything you do.

Check in with yourself

Once you begin a mindfulness meditation practice, check in with yourself once a week or once a month to see how you feel about it. Has it helped you make better decisions? Has it helped you slow down to accomplish things more deliberately? Does it help you keep your thoughts in check? Only you can determine the success of your new meditation routine, but it is still important to see where you are with it on a regular basis.

Partner with a Top Staffing Agency in Austin

If you are looking for the right balance in your professional and personal lives, Meador Staffing is here to help. Contact our awesome team of recruiters today to get started on working with a top staffing agency in Austin!

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The Latest Technology to Help in Recruiting

February 16th, 2017

Hiring may be one of the most difficult, and important, aspects of your job as a business leader. Hiring the wrong person can result in missed opportunities and damage control. But hiring the right person will aid in your company’s growth and success. But the old fashioned recruiting methods might not be your best bet in our new, modern world. Using technology to help you find and hire the right candidates for your business can not only save you time and money but also help you put the right people in the right positions. Here is some information on the latest technology that can help you out.

Use marketing automation

Many businesses will start the hiring process over again when a need comes up, but that means they are missing out on stellar candidates who have applied in the past. There are potentially dozens of talented individuals who have already responded to your open positions, so don’t forget about them. One way to make sure you stay in touch with former candidates is to use targeted marketing to stay top of mind with them as they continue their job search. You may not have something right now, but make your company a desirable place to work when you do.

Use an applicant tracking system

An applicant tracking system, or ATS, is technology that helps you keep potential candidates in a database that you can search when a need arises. They are often used by staffing agencies and large corporations that receive hundreds of applications at any given time. An ATS can allow you to search for specific keywords so you can find former applicants who fit current job openings and reach out to them.

Use video interviewing

Another popular technology trend in hiring today is the video interview. Using programs like Skype or Google Hangouts, you can take the phone interview to the next level. This gives you a chance to talk to individuals who are willing to relocate for your job. Or, it allows you to be face-to-face with a candidate before bringing them in for your in-person interview process. It gives you access to their communications skills and body language and allows them to see yours as well.

Use mobile application processes

Online applications are also key in today’s connected economy. Successful companies are using mobile apps to help job seekers apply to their open positions faster and easier. Current research shows that if a job seeker needs to jump through multiple hoops to apply for a job, they aren’t likely to finish the process. This is true for people of all skill levels, so you may be missing out in very talented performers who would be an asset to your company. Make the application process easier for candidates rather than harder.

Partner with a Top Staffing Agency in Austin

Are you ready to work with a staffing agency that features all of these tools? Meador Staffing is here to help! Contact our great team of recruiters today to work with a top staffing agency in Austin!

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