10 Hiring Tips to Find the Best Employees

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No matter what type of business you have, it’s very important to hire the right employees that can help you run your business. Every business manager and owner wants to hire successful employees who are going to help their business grow. By finding the right employees, not only can you tap into their knowledge base, but you can hire people who are going to have the skills and traits that you need to help your company thrive.

Consider these key tips to help you find employees based on their resumes and cover letters, and even their past performance. That way you can focus on finding employees that will be the right fit for your company and hiring needs:

1) Streamline Your Hiring Ads

Start with deciding on the types of advertising you want to use to find your new employee. If you go to sites like LinkedIn, and you are not specific with the skill sets you’re seeking, you may find that if you send out one job offer you may be hit with more than 3,000 resumes. This can be very overwhelming for an office manager who has to sort through resumes one by one. To help you narrow your candidate selection, you may want to focus on particular skills and include factors such as college graduate, past experience, and even relevant experience. Forbes confirms that streamlining applicant qualifications can minimize what can sometimes prove to be an arduous task.

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2) Consider Social Relationships

When you get ready to interview a potential employee if you find that they are not making eye contact with you or they’re only giving you brief answers to questions, they may be social introverts. This can work well if you are hiring for projects that require minimal supervision, but if you need them to be a team player, they may not be the best fit for your particular environment.

The adverse can also be said if you hire someone who is too chatty because they may prove too distracting to your team. You want to try to find the right balance of social intelligence to help compliment your groups on team projects —as well as solo projects.

3) Do a Social Media Search

We can’t stress this enough because while a resume and cover letter are geared to give you the highlights and the best attributes the person has to offer, if you actually want to be able to see them in a natural setting, check their Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram accounts. If you find that you see lots of negative comments or pictures of them drunk every night, or if there are a lot of negative comments about past employers, then you definitely may want to take your hiring needs elsewhere.

Mind Tools suggests that former and current athletes make great team players because they’re used to social dynamics. As each office setting is different, you may have to factor in what the specific needs are for your company or firm.

4) Find a Personality Fit

While not every company is going to set up a potential employee with a Myers-Briggs test, you may want to ask specific questions about how the person will react in different settings or set up your own type of testing questions to better understand whether or not they are an introvert, extrovert, judgmental, sensitive, or other personality type that could be a factor in your office setting on a day-to-day basis.

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5) Get Details

While you have your potential candidate in an interview, you do want to strategize your questions based on the responses they give. If they were fired from their last company, you may want to turn your attention to this with further exploratory questions. If they give brief answers and won’t elaborate, they might be trying to hide something. Another indication is if they try to quickly change the subject.

6) Ask Strategic Questions

You may want to ask your potential employee about where they want to work, where they see themselves in five to ten years and also what their typical routine is for getting up in the morning and what they do on weekends. The more you let them talk on their own, the more insight they will give into their personality type. You may find that they spend weekends volunteering at a shelter which says a lot, but if they have a part-time business or that they are in school, you may want to have them elaborate on how much time they spend on outside interests to confirm they won’t interfere with work obligations.

7) Anticipate Their Questions

Your potential employee should ask specific questions about the job site, the type of work they will be doing and maybe their coworkers. If they don’t ask questions, they may not be interested in the position itself and may just be looking for a salary.

Also look for the potential employee to tell you what they know about your company based on their research prior to the interview. Undercover Recruiter states that this is the biggest mistake potential employees make. If they don’t bring it up ask them what they know about your business to see if they did their homework.

8) Be Transparent about Their Responsibilities

If there’s a lot of heavy lifting involved, long hours or difficult personalities and an extremely stressful environment, make sure you indicate this in the interview. You want to establish that the employee will be required to handle this type of work environment. You may also want to have them look at a breakdown of all of their tasks and responsibilities and sign off on it to ensure that they understand the job requirements.

9) Factor in Your Other Employee’s Personality Types

If you know that your other employees are great with team dynamics, and they’re looking for someone to join their team, you may not want to hire that social introvert because they’re not going to fit in. If on the other hand you’re looking for someone who can stagnate schedules and will serve as backup support when your team leaves the office, then this person may fit in perfectly.

10) Let Your Employees Interview the Candidate

If you’re unsure about how you want to proceed, let your employees meet with the person and interview them. If you find that your employees are expressing a disinterest in the person or find reasons why they don’t think they would be a good fit, you may want to turn your attentions elsewhere.

As you use these key tips to help you to find the right employee, remember it’s going to be a combination of finding a good fit, checking into the person’s background, and also seeing how they relate in social and team settings. Don’t be afraid to bring your employees in to interview with the candidates you’ve selected so they can help you narrow down your search and hire the person who will work best with your firm or company.

 

 

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Getting Paid to Drive? It’s Too Good to Be True

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Image courtesy of Pexels.com

When you’re in between jobs or in need of some supplemental income, it’s hard to say no to the prospect of earning fast, easy money. But honest income generally doesn’t come without putting in some effort, so be cautious of any money-making opportunity that offers a high return for little to no work on your part. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

When Sue, a consumer from Lakewood, Wash., received the below email, she was excited at the idea of making money just by putting a company logo on her car. The email said she would be “paid to drive” $800 a week—more than a lot of people earn with a full-time job—just by wrapping her car with an advertisement.

From: Michael
To: Sue
Subject: Toms Job Position
Date: Tue, 12 May 2015 00:31:04 +0200
Greetings,
We are currently seeking to employ individual’s in the USA.
How would you like to make money by simply driving your car advertising for Hennessy, JOHNNIE WALKER, Pepsi, Coke, Apple Product or TOMS shoes.
How it works
Here’s the basic premise of the “paid to drive”
Concept: AUTO WRAP seeks people — regular citizens, professional drivers to go about their normal routine as they usually do, only with an advert for “AUTO WRAP” plastered on your car. The ads are typically vinyl decals, also known as “AUTO WRAP” that’s almost seem to be painted on the vehicle and which will cover any portion of your car’s exterior surface.
What does the company get out of this type of ad strategy? Lots of exposure and awareness. The AUTO WRAP tend to be colorful, eye-catching and attract lots of attention when you are stuck in traffic and people can’t avoid seeing the advert on your car alongside them. This program will last for 6 months and the minimum you can participate is 3 months.
We are offering $1,600 every 2 weeks and also an advance payment of $500, the logo will be placed on both doors or the hood of your car if you are interested.
No fee is required from you, “AUTO WRAP” will provide experts who will be responsible for placing and removal of the logo when your contract expires.
Kindly send me the required information’s below.
Please respond only if interested.
Michael
Promotional Manager
TOMS

When Sue responded to the email, she was asked for her personal information, including full name and address. She was then told a check would be mailed to her for an up-front payment and to cover the car-wrapping costs.

Fortunately at that point, Sue grew suspicious and reached out to BBB for guidance.

While there may be a handful of legitimate companies that pay you a bit of money to stick their logo on your personal vehicle, the unsolicited email Sue received is not how they go about hiring people.

What generally happens in this all-too-common scam is the victim will be sent a check for more money than was promised. He will be instructed to deposit the check in his account, wire a portion of it to someone else, and keep the rest. Little does he know the check is fake, and he becomes responsible for the bank’s losses after he’s wired real money to a fraudster. Scammers ask for money to be wired to them because it’s virtually untraceable, like handing someone a wad of cash.

Here are the warning signs of a car-wrapping scam:

  • You’re told all you have to do is sign up, and you’ll be selected. The truth is that the odds are against you. A legitimate company told Bankrate.com they have more than one million drivers in their database—and they’ve hired only 6,000 of them in the last six years.
  • You’re offered the job on the spot. A real company will want to talk to a candidate before hiring him; they won’t offer a job to someone without going through an interview first.
  • The company wants you to send them money. You should never pay up-front fees to receive employment. And no legitimate job would ever overpay an employee and ask him to wire the money elsewhere.
  • The company promises a free car. There is no such thing as a company that will give you a free car.
  • There are typos and bad grammar. If a job offer is truly coming from a well known brand such as TOMS or Pepsi, the email or letter won’t be riddled with mistakes and poor writing.

Want to Open Your Own Business? Start Here

Image courtesy of Gratisography / Ryan McGuire | freerangestock.com
Image courtesy of Gratisography / Ryan McGuire | freerangestock.com

Reposted from my column in the Portland Business Tribune.

When you envision your dream job, you probably think about things such as the difference you’ll make in the world, what your office or store will look like, how much money you’ll make, how satisfied and accomplished you’ll feel at the end of each week.

I feel fairly confident in assuming that your vision does not include a boss. In your dream job, you’d be your own boss! You’d be an entrepreneur, living out the American Dream.

You’ve spent countless hours imagining it, so why not go for it? What holds most people back from taking the leap and starting their own business—manifesting their dream job—is uncertainty and fear.

The cold, hard truth is that about half of all new businesses don’t make it past five years, according to the Small Business Administration (SBA); only a third survive 10 years or more.

Yet small businesses are everywhere, the backbone of our communities. There are more than 340,000 small businesses in Oregon, according to the SBA. In spite of the possibility of failure, people are still trying. And when true entrepreneurs fail, they learn from it and try again.

There’s no question that owning your own business is risky. But with risk comes reward. To paraphrase French author André Gide, you can’t cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.

The following guidance may help you get closer to turning your dream job into a reality.

Do what you know and love. Don’t start a business because you think you’ll get rich quick. A business built around your passion and talent is much more likely to succeed. If your heart isn’t in it, your chances of growing and being profitable are slim.

Make a business plan. This is your roadmap to success. Describe what makes you stand out from your competitors, who your target customers are and how you plan to market your business. A well written business plan will also support your request for funding from your bank or government programs.

Be wise with money. Save up as much as you can before launching your business, but you’ll likely still need financing. Check with the SBA to find resources and government-backed loans. If you’ll need retail or office space, location is important, but keep a budget in mind and try to negotiate on price. When you’re up and running, keep a detailed profit and loss statement, and always keep current on your loan payments, taxes and bills.

Stay in compliance. Find out from the IRS what business taxes you’ll need to pay. Check with the Washington Department of RevenueOregon Secretary of State or Alaska Department of Commerce to find out if you need to register your business with the state. A specialty license may also be required, depending on the type of work you’ll be doing.

Manage your reputation. It’s a given that potential customers or clients will search online for information about you and your business. According to research by ZenDesk, 88 percent of people have been influenced by an online review. Take a little time each day to work on your website and social media profiles, and respond to positive and negative comments in a professional manner. Delivering on your promises is essential, too. Build trust by doing what you say you’re going to do when you say you’re going to do it.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Chances are you won’t get it exactly, perfectly right the first time. You will experience ups and downs, successes and failures. If your idea isn’t panning out, reflect on the mistakes you’ve made and what went wrong, and think about what you could have done differently. Don’t let your ego keep you from calling it quits when it’s appropriate. If it’s time to walk away, take time to regroup—and then try again.

Seeing BBB Through the Eyes of a Newbie

newbieHave you ever wondered what Better Business Bureau is all about? Words like “trust” and “ethics” may come to mind, but what is BBB really like? Well, let me give you an insider’s look from the perspective of a newbie.

I joined the Public Relations team at BBB in August. Before that, I had spent 10 years in broadcast television as a news reporter. Back then, I had seen BBB as a source for scam information, fraud alerts and the authority on ethical business practices.

None of that has changed. Now as an employee, I see that indeed BBB places marketplace trust at the top of its priorities list. But there are some things I’ve learned about the organization that surprised me.

1. Having fun is a priority.

One of the first things I was told as a new hire is that BBB wants me to enjoy coming to work. And they mean it! There’s a sense of humor here. People play pranks on each other, dance, joke and laugh. In the summer we have a Fun Day, where the entire office goes to a park to play, eat and enjoy each other’s company. And come Halloween, we have the most elaborate costume contest ever. It’s cut-throat!

2. BBB is a not-for-profit.

In the short time I’ve been here, I’ve learned that BBB does so much for the community. We host Secure Your ID Day events twice a year, where consumers can shred their documents and recycle old cell phones for free. We provide mediation services between businesses and customers. We have a foundation that’s giving away a $10,000 scholarship to a local high school senior this year. Not to mention the countless people who have stepped foot in our office looking for help because they’ve been ripped off.

3. Employees are valued here.

There’s a big board in my office that lists BBB’s core values. Around that list is a circle of words that reads, “Our People: Talent Acquisition, Retention and People Development.” BBBers actually have a name for this circle: They call it The Hug. That’s because BBB believes it’s the people who hug and hold the success of the organization together. That makes us a valuable and treasured commodity.

4. BBB is led by a man who believes in doing the right thing.

I’m talking about our CEO Tyler Andrew, who will undoubtedly read this. Obviously it’s awkward and embarrassing for me to write about him since he’s my boss, but I felt compelled to add him to this list because he truly is one of the most surprising things about BBB.

Let me be clear: I’m not the “kissing up” type.

Tyler is the kind of guy who goes out of his way to make you feel welcome, to push you to not settle for second best and is always open to new ideas. Basically (and amazingly) he’s a guy you’d like to grab a drink with. And you know what I’ve discovered? The kind of culture he fosters makes employees enjoy working for him. It’s like we all want to go the extra mile for him because we know he’d do that for us.

It’s a simple formula, if you really think about it. It’s a shame it’s so rare.

Recently Tyler came down for a surprise visit to our Oregon office. He brought balloons and gifts and revealed the theme for our new year: Onward and Upward. I look forward to seeing what new surprises 2015 will bring!

Make Better Business Resolutions in 2015

Image courtesy of Eduardo Bogosian | FreeRangeStock.com
Image courtesy of Eduardo Bogosian | FreeRangeStock.com

Reposted from my column in the Portland Business Tribune.

It’s the start of a new year, which means it’s time to decide how you want to improve your organization. Yes, even your business can have New Year’s resolutions!

January is a perfect time to review your goals and set new ones. If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few ideas that could help your business succeed in 2015.

Image courtesy of Chance Agrella | FreeRangeStock.com
Image courtesy of Chance Agrella | FreeRangeStock.com

1. Improve customer service.

Most businesses would be nothing without the loyalty of their customers or clients, so customer service should be a priority for every business.

According to Oracle.com, 73 percent of consumers love a brand because of friendly customer service. The kindness and helpfulness of your employees can make or break your relationship with current and future customers — which also affects your bottom line. A 2 percent increase in customer retention has the same effect as decreasing costs by 10 percent, according to “Leading on the Edge of Chaos” by Emmet and Mark Murphy.

Be innovative with how you engage your customers — and view them in terms of relationships, not transactions. Motivate your employees to treat customers with respect and fairness. When a known loyal customer enters your store, personally greet him. Show appreciation through freebies or discounts, and deliver value before and after making a sale.

By going above and beyond expectations, your customers will be so impressed that they will tell their friends about their experience, which will hopefully result in even more loyal customers!

Image courtesy of Pexels.com
Image courtesy of Pexels.com

2. Revamp your recruitment or hiring process.

New employees will either improve your company or weaken it, so recruit people who will contribute to the growth and profitability of your organization.

Your job announcements or postings should clearly define all of the position requirements, such as education, experience, skills and attitude. This will simplify the interview process, because you’ll have a “map” to follow to evaluate each candidate against your requirements. In turn, it will be easier to determine who is the best fit and who will be most successful in your organization.

Unfortunately, some people stretch the truth on their resumes. So don’t just take someone’s word for it — put candidates to the test! Does the person claim to have copy editing skills? Give him a poorly written document to edit and correct. Does she allege to be great at conflict resolution? Role play as a disgruntled customer, and see how she handles it. Is he an applicant for a PR position? Ask him to write a press release for a make-believe product or event. Tests will help you differentiate between who has the necessary skills and who does not.

Have a promising job candidate interview with several people throughout your company, especially those she would interact with the most if she is hired. Your opinion of someone is just one viewpoint. Gaining additional perspectives will increase your odds of hiring the best person for the position.

Image courtesy of Pexels.com
Image courtesy of Pexels.com

3. Increase your social media presence.

Too often, the task of connecting with customers and marketing a business on social media falls to the bottom of the to-do list. But if you want to attract new customers and keep old ones interested, make it a priority to regularly and consistently promote your business.

Create a calendar to help you plan out social media posts as well as blogs, articles and campaigns for big events. This will also help keep you on track with your posting goals, such as two blogs per week or one tweet per day.

Consider delegating some of the posting responsibilities to your employees. You may find you have a few people on your team with a hidden talent for blogging or social networking! It will also lend a diverse voice to your posts, which will keep customers interested.

Social media is not just about posting, but it’s also important to engage with your audience. Don’t have a one-sided conversation — ask questions, have discussions and always respond to feedback, whether positive or negative. According to Oracle.com, only 23 percent of companies provide customer service on Facebook; and according to MaritzResearch.com, 70 percent of companies ignore complaints on Twitter. Shocking, isn’t it? With the bar set so low, it should be easy for you to stand out from your competition!