How to Get the Best Out of your Employees in 2015

January 9th, 2015

As a manager, you probably have plenty of experience with coaching and training models, and you probably know a thing or two about how to motivate, correct, teach, and inspire. You probably encourage your teams—and your managers—to set goals and find ways to follow through on long term plans. But are you applying these same tactics you your own goals and your own plans? Are you content with your current level of success, or are you ready to aim higher? How would you describe your New Year’s resolutions for 2015? If you’re still working on your vision for the year ahead, these suggestions might help.

Focus on leadership.

Set at least one goal related to leadership and your ability to direct and shape the success of those around you. Keep in mind that your own growth and your team’s growth are linked, so as you improve, so will they. Focus on any of several areas: example-setting, motivation, knowledge sharing and teaching, and fair, consistent rule enforcement.

Set goals related to innovation and change.

No system is perfect, and no person is perfect either. No matter how well the status quo works for you, if it isn’t changing, it isn’t growing. Examine every process and find ways to make bad things better and good things great.

Set goals related to workplace culture.

When honestly step back and examine your workplace culture, what do you see? Now think about what you’d like to see. How can blaze a trail from one to the other by the end of the year? Study your staffing plan and make an effort to hire the kinds of candidates that fit your vision. And once you have them on board, find ways to keep them…and find ways to cultivate the traits you want.

Fix problems and squeaky wheels.

You’ve been avoiding an issue because you just don’t like thinking about it or you aren’t sure how to deal with it. In 2015, stop doing this. Saddle up and charge those problems head-on, no matter what they are. (For example, a high-performing but toxic employee who needs to go, or an expensive safety issue that requires an innovative solution.)

For more on how to set clear goals for the year ahead and face them with everything you have, contact the experienced staffing professionals at PSU.

Phone Interviews: How to Field the Most Common Questions

June 13th, 2014

Companies often begin the interview process with a quick phone screening after the initial resume review stage. Once the stack of candidates is narrowed down to a reasonable size, a round of short phone conversations can narrow it further by eliminating candidates who can’t or won’t accept the job for a host of practical reasons. It’s more cost effective to identify these reasons before bringing a candidate all the way in for an in-person meeting, which can mean travel expenses, missed work, and lost time for both parties.

When your potential employers contact you by phone for a brief round of general questions, you’ll want to be ready, since making the right impression can move you forward to the next stage. Here are a few of the questions that will likely be part of this process.

1. “This job will be located in X city. Your address is outside of a 30 minute commuting range, so what are your plans if you’re offered the position?”

Your employer wants to know if you plan to take on a harrowing commute, or if you intend to move in order to be closer to the workplace. The two of you will need to determine who will cover these moving expenses and how much time this move might take. These are practical considerations that your employer will need to factor into the selection process.

2. “I can see from your resume that you lack a specific credential that this job will require. (A degree, a year of experience, a software skill, etc). How do you plan to step into the role without this qualification?”

If you plan to enroll in a course to compensate for this skill deficit, now is the time to say so. If you’re already enrolled, state your intended completion date. And if you simply don’t have this credential and there’s nothing you can do about it right now, keep the conversation focused on the strengths and contributions you can offer that might make this one issue seem less important.

3. “This job will involve a responsibility that’s (difficult, dangerous, etc). I can tell by some of the details in your resume that you may not be prepared for this. How will you adapt to this challenge?”

Answer honestly. If this information is a dealbreaker for you, say so now. If you still want the job, find a clear, concrete way to explain how and why this challenge won’t be a problem for you.

For more information that can help you navigate the challenges of your initial phone or video screening, reach out to the staffing experts at PSU.

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