Outlining Successful Step-By-Step Interview Tips For New Hiring Managers

Interview tips for new hiring managers.

How First-Time Hiring Managers Can Prepare To Maximize Results

As a first-time hiring manager, the interview process can be daunting. Although it may get easier over time, you need a blueprint to be certain you’re diligently accomplishing your goals. Whether you need to improve existing methods or it’s your first time hiring, there are key components that will help eliminate bumps in the road. It begins by identifying what success looks like to your team and aligning your goals with your recruiting team and department manager. You must know the duties as well as the hard and soft skills necessary to fulfill the expectations of the role. Also, establishing a targeted deadline for filling the position will provide you with necessary benchmarks to meet along the way.   

First-time hiring managers can begin by reviewing resumes. This allows hiring managers to study the applicant before the interview even begins. Here are three specific things to watch out for:

  • Is the resume accurate and up to date? Look for formatting and any inconsistencies with grammar, spacing, font and color. 
  • Does the resume contain any red flags? Inconsistencies with gaps in employment or discrepancies with social media profiles will provide more insight. 

Step-By-Step Blueprint For First-Time Hiring Managers 

First-time hiring managers need to be aware of questions that are off limits. Avoid topics that involve race, religion, age, family and in many states, salary history. Of course, having structured questions and a scoring method is foundational to the process, but it’s also vital that hiring managers actively listen and go beyond the standard format. It’s okay for hiring managers to be improvisational, as this can often be a defining moment in the interview process. If you have a general gut feeling, it’s best to dig deeper and prepare to ask more clarifying questions. Even if a candidate may say something that seems odd, don’t write them off entirely; ask a follow-up question and give them a chance to explain further. 

First time and seasoned hiring managers need to lay the groundwork for success. Here are a few simple steps to keep you on track. 

  1. For virtual interviews, as a first-time hiring manager you should test your technology to assure that you don’t experience any glitches. Confirm that your audio is functioning properly, lighting is optimal and background scenery is appropriate. 
  1. As the hiring manager, you should give your candidate a warm welcome and be sure they feel comfortable. If the interview is in person, you can offer them water.
  1. Seasoned hiring managers avoid ineffective or open-ended questions like, “So, tell me a little about yourself.” Remember you want to ask questions that yield answers of relevance and real substance, cutting through any extraneous information. 
  1. Both first time and experienced hiring managers need to be prepared to answer questions about the company: mission statement, company culture, perks for the job and any options to grow within the organization. 
  1. Now, the first-time hiring manager will have a much clearer picture of the candidates: their personality, motivations, long- and short-term goals and specialized skills. Ideally, hiring managers can now envision the candidates you potentially see thriving within your company. 
  1. The first-time hiring manager’s next step is to schedule a time to discuss candidates and examine interview notes with the direct supervisor for the open position and your hiring team. 

First-Time Hiring Managers Can Achieve Successful Outcomes

Laying the groundwork with these effective steps can allow first-time hiring managers to embark on this process with confidence. It’s not always about finding someone with perfect credentials and work experience, it’s also being an organization they can see themselves working for and want to invest in. Ultimately, you’re building a team that adds value and represents your organization in the best way possible. Hopefully these tips eliminate a few of the challenges of being a first-time hiring manager. 

Effective Ways To Successfully Market Yourself For Potential Job Opportunities

market yourself, job opportunities

Knowing How To Create Your Individual Brand

Knowing how to market your brand seems like something that’s only necessary when you’re an entrepreneur or business owner, however this practice is becoming more common as of late. Spurred on by the advancement of technology, people want a competitive edge and know it’s essential to stand out in order to achieve this. Knowing how to accomplish this strategy is key. Here are some helpful tools to get you on your way.

Begin with setting achievable goals and keep reasonable expectations in mind. It could be something as simple as increasing your social media presence or creating awareness for your small business. What are you trying to accomplish? Is it to become more attractive to potential employers? Be sure to brainstorm all of your thoughts and narrow them down to no more than three goals. This will provide you with a helpful framework for your personal brand and keep you from getting sidetracked.

Identify Target Markets

Next, it’s important to identify your unique sales proposition (USP); what do you have to offer? Combining your niche market with your passion will provide more focus while you’re developing your individual brand. If you stray too far from your personal niche, you risk diluting your efforts and slowing the process. However, once your individual brand is established, then you can begin to dip your toe in more unfamiliar territory. But don’t stray too far from your target market.

Who would benefit from seeing your content? What are the demographics and interests of your target market? For instance, if your personal niche is web design and SEO, then you’re likely going to target people who are interested in marketing and web design. Find out where they’re networking and whether they are attending business conferences or symposiums. Make it a point to attend the same conference and start networking. Identifying your target market is worth the effort and should be done methodically and thoughtfully.

Use A Website To Tell Your Brand’s Story

Another way to put your brand out there is to create a personal website. Featuring an online portfolio helps potential employers see the quality of your work. A website can offer more granular detail, allowing the employer to uncover more information about you than a resume. It’s also a unique opportunity to reveal your brand’s personality. Having an industry-specific blog on your website also showcases a breadth of knowledge and experience.

Attracting Your Target Audience

Always strive to write engaging and useful information that people are interested in and want to interact with. This will carry a lot of momentum for attracting your target audience and gaining their trust. Be sure to include a detailed biography in the “about” section of your website. Write a summary of your bio and include it on each one of your social channels. Your biography can include your history, goals, accomplishments, professional affiliations and hobbies.

Create your social media presence and curate content for each social channel. Posting on Facebook or Instagram is more casual and can amplify your brand expression. Whereas, posting on LinkedIn demands a more professional tone and more serious content.

Networking Is Important To Showcase Your Brand

Attend business conferences to develop relationships with other people in your industry. Networking is a key component for expanding your contacts and a great way to build your reputation. It also gets you in front of people looking for the type of content and insights you provide. If business conferences aren’t an option, social media is the perfect place to showcase your brand, build rapport with industry leaders, collaborate and become a part of that online community.

Using A Content Calendar For Your Brand

Now that you’ve established a core strategy for marketing your individual brand or business, it’s vital that you stay active with the process. Posting content to your website and social media is necessary to remain top of mind with your existing audience and will serve to attract new followers to your brand.

Create a schedule of your actions with specific and measurable goals. Using a content calendar can be a tremendous help when it comes to consistency. They should be flexible and be updated as you evaluate your results. Highlighting posts or blogs that received favorable responses can help you determine the type of content to expand on as you move forward.

We’ve covered a lot of effective methods to help with your brand expression. Remember to be authentic when curating content for your website and social media. Your personal brand will have a lot more influence when you’re able to showcase your personality, values and mission.

4 Stages Of Becoming A Valuable, Competent New Employee

A young man is becoming a competent employee

You’ve spent weeks arduously crafting your resume, filling out countless applications, preparing for multiple interviews and you’ve finally accepted an offer. While the job search may be over, it’s important to prepare for the learning curve that lies ahead. As you start a new job, especially if you switched industries, you may not be as competent as you’d prefer, a discouraging fact for many. What follows are four phases you should become familiar with as you acclimate to your new job and strive to become an impactful,  competent employee.  

Stage 1: Starting a new job is exciting 

At this initial stage you’re relieved to be finished with applications and excited to prove yourself as a competent employee. As such, you display a high level of enthusiasm to your managers and coworkers. Perhaps you show up to work early, dress to impress and maintain an optimistic attitude at all times. You also progress through job training and learn about your company’s products, services, management style and culture. As the honeymoon experience reaches its peak, however, ominous clouds of anxiety may start to form as you begin to comprehend how much more you need to learn to become more competent at your job. 

Stage 2: Starting a new job requires commitment and learning

During the second and most difficult stage, you’ve confronted the reality of how much you don’t understand in order to perform your job duties competently. It may discourage you by how often you make mistakes or appear unknowledgeable. This discouragement can negatively impact your motivation to work. After all, no one enjoys being an incompetent employee. But rest assured, supportive managers will be patient and encourage you during this phase. 

So, what should you do during this phase? Despite the letdowns, it is crucial that you as an employee learn from your mistakes quickly and persevere through the emotions that come with failure. Your future professional self will greatly benefit from sticking it out. In the meantime, find consolation in your increased competence thus far.

Stage 3: Becoming a knowledgeable, confident and competent employee

In this third stage, despite any initial misunderstandings, you’ve learned a tremendous amount about your role in the company, how to mesh with your coworkers and the overall work environment. You probably feel more confident as you look back on your work journey and see how much you’ve grown. Your manager and team members find you a more competent employee, who they can rely on to complete tasks in a timely manner and with much less assistance.  

Stage 4: Commitment transforms you into a competent employee

Congratulations on becoming a highly capable employee! After all the time and effort you’ve put into the new job, you can complete much of your work automatically. Your manager is confident that, when delegated tasks, you will deliver results without a lot of additional detailed directions. As a competent member of the team, perhaps it’s time you start asking for more responsibility or working toward a promotion. 

Becoming proficient at your profession takes time and hard work. The beginning stages in your new job will be challenging, but do your best to learn something new everyday. Every piece of knowledge will bring you one step closer to becoming a competent employee and team member in your company.

Employees and Productivity: How to Avoid the Afternoon Slump

Tired woman at home office looking at watch

For many employees, there’s something that happens most afternoons. You may have even come to expect it: an energy crash.

The afternoon crash not only affects employees, it can also have a negative impact on overall company productivity and quality of work.

What can you do to avoid the afternoon slump and keep energy levels up? Keep reading to find out.

  1. Encourage Going Outside 

Going outside to get fresh air and sunlight can wake employees up, even in the middle of the day. Sunlight during the day can have the same effect as getting sunlight in the morning – it wakes the body up and gives you more energy.

  1. Get Moving

Encouraging employees to get up from their desk can not only wake them up a bit, it can also improve their creativity. As reported in Business Insider:

A pair of Stanford scientists recently had two groups of volunteers take creativity quizzes in which they tried coming up with alternative uses for common objects, like a coffee cup or a pen. The first group sat at desks in a blank room; the other walked on a treadmill in that room. The students who walked came up with about 60% more uses for each object, and their ideas were not only creative but useful as well, the researchers wrote in their study.

  1. Encourage a Light Lunch

While you may not be able to tell employees what to eat for breakfast or lunch, you can provide snack options that provide optimal energy. As Business Insider notes, “After we ingest too many empty carbs — foods high in sugar but low in protein — our blood-sugar levels spike; when they plummet a few hours later, we experience a ‘crash’ in energy levels.”

If possible, provide healthy snack options for employees to enjoy or offer takeout menus for restaurants that prepare nutritious food.

Experiencing the afternoon crash does not have to be a daily grind for employees. As an employer, encourage team members to go outside, move a little and eat well for high energy levels; and don’t forget to take this advice yourself.

How To Give Constructive Employee Feedback With Care

Nobody likes giving an employee negative feedback and, unless everything is going perfectly, giving constructive criticism can be pretty rough on both the employer and the team member. Unfortunately, ignoring problems and hoping they’ll just disappear will be worse in the long run.

The good news is there are a few key tips that can help make the review process fairly painless for you and the employee, and likely to yield tangible results.

Set The Stage For Sharing Employee Feedback

Here are a few things you can do to help the initial sit-down go smoothly.

Avoid Surprises

A meeting without notice can cause an employee to feel intimidated and put them on the defensive when you provide feedback. Schedule the meeting ahead of time and let them know what you want to talk about. This will give the employee some notice and time to prepare.

Keep It Private

Don’t provide individual employee feedback in a group setting. Constructive criticism should be given privately so that an employee doesn’t feel singled out. Public and rushed feedback can quickly devolve into destructive criticism.

Make Sure Your Employee Feedback Is Effective

Giving employee feedback is useless if you don’t present it to them in the right way. In order to make sure that improvements are easy to identify and follow-through on, consider these tips from LinkedIn.

Be Specific, Not General

Specific critiques are far more actionable than general employee feedback, and also easier to deal with. For example, don’t tell an employee they need to run their meetings more efficiently – that’s too broad. Instead, tell them to have an agenda sent out before each meeting and to stick to it.

Be Descriptive and Helpful, Not Evaluative and Punitive

Let’s say an employee turns in a report that has errors within it. If you’re in a rush you might be prone to criticize them for the errors and tell them it’s not up to standard. But taking a moment to be helpful can go a long way. Point out the errors and ask the employee how they might avoid them in the future. This turns criticism into a coaching session.

Own Your Feedback

Don’t give in to the temptation to pass the blame for the feedback to someone who isn’t in the room, or an unnamed force like “management.” Instead, stand behind your words and make it clear to the employee that they are yours by using phrases like, “That’s how I see it,” or “In my view.”

Address Issues, Not the Employee

Don’t tell an employee they are bad at a certain task. Instead, point out the specific errors they have made. There’s a psychological reason behind this. If you tell a team member they are “bad,” it reinforces a fixed mindset and makes it harder to move beyond.

Alternatively, openly discussing the errors and allowing a chance for them to be remedied reinforces a growth mindset and shows that the employee can excel at a task instead.

Employee Feedback Should Be a Dialogue, Not a Monologue

Consider opening your sessions with a question like, “How do you think the meeting went today?” This allows them to open up and share their thoughts, which will help you refine your employee feedback on the fly. 

The employee should also be given the chance to explain his or her reasoning behind their actions and ask their own questions about how to improve. Hearing their perspective can help you tailor your future feedback with them.

Recap at the End of the Meeting

Before the conversation is over, inquire about what the employee heard and give them a chance to tell you in their own words that the message was received.

Follow Up, Don’t Forget

You don’t want to give constructive employee feedback and then never bring up the issue again. Instead, make it a goal and track how the person is improving in that area so their weakness transforms into a strength. If your feedback was important enough to deliver, it’s important enough to follow up on.

Whether you’re an employer seeking out a new employee or a candidate seeking a new position, we want to help you succeed! Click here to check out our current job listings and contact us if you have any questions or are interested in applying.

How To Increase Productivity At Work, No Matter Where You Work

Whether you’re preparing to enter a busy quarter, catching up on work or just trying to make the most of your day, there are always steps you can take to become more productive. Productivity at work may seem like an overwhelming topic, especially when everyone is inspired and motivated differently. So what are the easiest ways to stay on task through a long work day?

The methods to  increase productivity at work are not one-size-fits-all. There are numerous factors including the type of person you are, where you work and what your limitations are. For example, the suggestion to brighten your work space might not come so easily for those working from a cubicle in a corporate office. Read on to find a strategy or two that you can incorporate into your work day.

Tips For Staying Productive While Working In An Office

  1. Plan ahead. Get to your desk 15 minutes early and write out a list of tasks to get your work day started. Highlighting your top three tasks can also help you stay on track to accomplish your daily goals.
  2. Time chunk desirable tasks to help space out your day. Lori Lynn Smith, a Lifehack author, says that by shifting your focus between tedious and repetitive tasks and those that are more engaging, you can keep yourself happily involved in your work throughout the day. Give each task category a time frame and alternate back and forth between them for better productivity at work.
  3. Listen to music. Did you know that music can help you settle into your work routine? Low-volume music or a trusty set of earbuds can drown out noises in the office without interrupting your coworkers. Choose music that helps you focus without distracting you. It has been shown that while listening to classical music your IQ actually increases—you might want to give it a try!

Tips For Staying Productive While Working From Home

  1. Plan phone calls and meeting thoughtfully. Unless you live completely alone, you don’t want to have loud children or a barking dog in the background of your conference call. Not only is it unprofessional, but you might miss something important while trying to silence those around you. Plan your calls according to the daily hustle and bustle of your home.  
  2. Have a designated office space, even if you don’t have a private room for it. Having an office space can increase your productivity at work. Productivity Writer and Author Kayla Matthewssays that this will help put you in “work” mode, as well as prevent you from seeing things that might distract you, like that pile of dirty dishes you ignored last night or a hamper full of clean clothes waiting to be folded. Giving yourself a designated space often means a higher rate of productivity at work.

Whether you work from home or in an office, increasing productivity at work doesn’t have to be a challenge. 

For more recommendations on increasing productivity at work, read additional articles on our blog today! Or, if you’re looking for a new position, see our current job listings!

4 Easy Office Decor Tricks That Will Boost Employee Engagement

Do you enjoy what you see when you gaze around your office? How about your employees? Is their work space reflective of who they are and what they do? If you answered “no” to any of these questions, it might be time to think about adding some inspiring decor that will not only please the eye but will boost employee engagement. Bring on the plants, colors and natural light, your staff may need it more than you realize. 

Kelly Weimert at The Spruce explains, “There are several incredibly simple and economical decor tricks you can integrate into your office that will leave you and your employees feeling energized, inspired and motivated.” Whether your office is large or small, you can apply these tips to optimize your company’s employee engagement.

Decor Tricks to Boost Employee Engagement

1. Brand Your Work Space

When you look around your office space do you see your brand? Is your logo proudly displayed? Does the office theme match your mission? Is your team part of the branding? Your office is not only a representation of the business, but it also represents the employees and managers who occupy it. Frame a team picture, get your employees branded coffee mugs, etc. Do whatever is in your means to let your employees and guests know that this is an inclusive space.

2. Maximize Lighting

Soft, natural light is inspiring and will increase employee engagement more than many other strategies. Find ways to incorporate natural light into your space, rather than the typical harsh, bright lights you usually find in offices. If your team is looking at their computer screens all day, the softer light will help them to not strain their eyes, resulting in a healthier staff and more consistent productivity.

3. Add Inspiring Greenery

According to researcher Lewis Humphries at Lifehack.org, studies show that the presence of plants in the workplace can significantly reduce stress and blood pressure. It was also revealed that workers surrounded by plants were able to complete computer-based tasks with a reaction time that was 12 percent faster than alternative test groups. The research also suggests that the process of tending to potted plants can help improve focus over the course of a typical working day, increasing the concentration and attention to detail in the process. Not only will adding greenery to your work space improve employee engagement and decrease staff stress, but the plants also purify the air and provide opportunities to customize and enhance your interior with decorative pots and vases.

4. Get Organized

Do you have an office organizational system for files and important documents that your employees need access to? Organization is not only a time and frustration saver, it can also be aesthetically pleasing, resulting in higher employee engagement. Browse fun websites like The Container Store to get inspired and let your creativity flow!

While decorating adds a few touches of beauty to a space, it also benefits the company in multiple ways. Take a look around your office to see where you can easily implement the above tips; they will inspire your staff and improve employee engagement overall.For more recommendations on increasing employee engagement, read additional articles on our blog today! Or, if you’re looking for a new position, see our current job listings!

5-Minute Team Building Games Your Employees Will Actually Like

Team building exercises should be both educational and enjoyable for your staff. By implementing five-minute games into your meetings, your employees will develop their communication and problem solving skills while also growing and learning about one another. We have outlined our four favorite team building games for you to try at your next staff meeting. 

Four 5-Minute Team Building Exercises For Your Staff

1. Play a Quiz 

Create a quiz with five to 10 team building questions on it about your company history, future company goals, the boss’ background or any other relevant topic. Once your employees have finished the quiz, go through the questions and reveal the correct answers. If an employee gets an answer wrong, they are out. The last one standing wins!  

2. Describe and Draw 

Pair off your employees into teams of two. One person on each team will start with a blank piece of paper and the other’s paper will have a shape (e.g. circle, square, triangle, etc.) on it. Whoever starts with the paper with a shape, will need to describe the shape to their partner without saying the name of it. Their partner will need to listen and draw their interpretation of whatever they think their teammate is describing. At the end, have a short de-briefing and learn how each employee communicates and receives messages differently.

3. Object Memory

Create a list of at least 30 words. They can be related to a topic of your choice or random. Display the list for your employees to view for one minute while they try to memorize as many words as possible. After one minute, hide the list and ask everyone to write down as many words as they can remember. See who remembered the most. Repeat this game with a new list of 30 words, and let your employees try in teams. They will quickly see that they can remember more words when they collaborate. Debrief and discuss assumptions about working individually vs. collaborating. 

4. Purpose Mingle

This is a quick and easy team building game that will improve your employees’ productivity and get them thinking about how they will contribute to an office meeting. Before your next meeting, have each individual walk around and share what they hope to contribute to the meeting with as many of their colleagues as possible. If applicable, you can offer a prize to the employee who shares with the most people, and another for the employee who successfully contributes what they intended.

Developing an efficient team doesn’t have to be tedious or an overwhelming challenge. Most leaders and managers today are beginning to understand that we get more out of our employees when they feel valued, and team building activities are an easy way to get employees recognized. Entertain your employees while reinforcing company values in an engaging and lasting manner. 

At Josephine’s Professional Staffing, we offer solutions to staffing, retention and productivity issues. For more recommendations on building your team, read additional articles on our blog today! Or, if you’re looking for a new position, see our current job listings!

How to Increase Employee Motivation: Avoid These 4 Mistakes

In seeking low-cost and time-efficient methods for employee motivation, managers often make a few crucial mistakes that can actually harm morale and lower engagement at work. Every office and individual is unique so it can be difficult to please everyone, and managers often have the best of intentions when they try to encourage their team, but they don’t always hit the mark. We have outlined four ways your own actions can work against your goals when it comes to motivating employees. 

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