Tips to Discover if Your Applicants Have Growth Potential

While it may be fairly easy to determine if an individual has the skills necessary to meet the job requirements, that is only part of finding a successful match to grow with your company.  You can evaluate past work history, education and training, even cultural fit with behavioral questions.  But can you tell if this is a person who will grow with your company, or one who will stagnate, get disillusioned, and eventually move on?  Here are a few revealing questions to ask that may help uncover their growth potential.

How much do you want to earn?  You may as well just address the elephant in the room.  Income is hugely important to any candidate, and it is likely among the chief reasons this person is sitting in front of you.  If you catch him off guard, you can see how well he handles the situation.  His answer will give you insight into how he sees his future developing with your company.  A very low number says he is short sighted or just being conservative.  An overly conservative number conveys either ignorance of what the position will draw, or a lack of confidence that he can command more.  Contrastingly, a number outside of what is realistic for the position and/or your organization demonstrates expectations that might not work for your company.

Do you have any freelance experience?  A candidate who has the confidence to strike out on her own is a self- starter and could be someone of value for you moving forward.  However, it is important to take into consideration any corporate policies your organization might have that restrict such outside ventures and to be prepared to communicate such policies accordingly.

In what ways do you spend your free time learning?  If this stumps him, it could be a red flag that he is not motivated to continued his education and increase his skill set on his own time.  Such a candidate may expect you to spoon feed his training and growth to him, which may or may not be a good fit for your organization.  Individuals who are self-motivated and dedicate their own time to enhancing their skills and knowledge can be powerful catalysts for organizational growth.

What is your dream job?  This question will uncover the level to which an applicant is driven, inspired, and motivated, and to what extent she actively sets goals and priorities. Generations X and Y are more likely to be concerned with achieving a high level of job satisfaction and balance in their lives.  You may find in her answer a way to customize the job duties to help give her increased satisfaction from her work and thereby give her more reason to stay long term.

Where do you see this company in five years?  A forward thinking candidate will have a big picture view of your business and the market in which it operates.  Not only will he be able to see himself in the future, he should be able to project a course for your organization as well.  Someone with limited forethought will only think about his immediate responsibilities and will have given no thought to the future.

How do you react to change?  For long term success every individual should be able to wear many hats.  She should embrace new challenges and have a drive to resolve them, even if the task is far removed from her current work responsibilities.  Those resistant to change will stagnate and eventually be left behind in the wake of progress.

Your goal as a company is progress; Staff members who are committed to you for the long haul will help you get there.  Finding the right fit for your company’s goals can be challenging, and Helpmates has the experience, knowledge, and tools to provide you with exactly the hires you need to keep the wheels moving forward.  Contact one of our Certified Staffing ProfessionalsTM today to support your strategy for progress and growth.

Stay On The Radar in a Busy Workplace

Why is it important to be noticed in a bustling, distracted work environment?   Some people prefer to work anonymously and “fly under the radar” to avoid scrutiny and  go about their work life in perceived peace.  But where does that get you?  Nowhere! If you want to move up, get promoted, enjoy new challenges, grow, and have a fulfilled work experience, then your best bet is to build connections.  Just showing up every day isn’t enough.  You have to have a face, a voice, and a presence.

Put your face to your name.  If you work virtually or don’t have much personal contact with some or all of your colleagues get a professional photo of yourself and get it on your company intranet, your LinkedIn profile – anywhere your colleagues will see it.  This way they have a face with the name and you are instantly more “real” and more memorable.

You have a voice, of course, but what are you saying with it?  When communicating with coworkers and superiors, speak in a way that is effective and also interesting.  Even in your written communications, use language that is as colorful as appropriate, and don’t be afraid to let your personality come through.  Have a story to tell when you meet someone in the hallway or  cafeteria.  Make sure that not every interaction you have with another is about you.  Ask about them, and make a connection.

Put down the phone.  Smartphones are incredible tools to manage our work and home lives.  But when they get in the way of real human interaction with the person right in front of you, they are not a tool for but rather a hindrance to effective communication.  You know how annoying and even rude it can seem when you are trying to have a conversation with someone and they can’t pull their eyes away from the screen.  Don’t make this mistake.  In order to have memorable connections with people, you need to have some simple things such as eye contact and genuine facial expressions in response to what they are saying.  Put the phone down for these moments.

How are your communication skills?  Do people frequently misunderstand what you mean in written word?  Do you have an accent or speak quickly so that it is challenging for others to keep pace with you?  If so, make it a point to work on these methods of communication so you can be easily heard and understood.  This way your words will not be overlooked or overshadowed and you can have the impact that you desire.

Finding common ground will get you everywhere.  Don’t forget that the easiest way to make a sincere connection with another person, no matter who they are, is to find common ground.  Being able to discuss topics of interest will help you make a professional connection more personal.  Make sure to create positive discussions that stand out to your coworkers. If your discussions are intriguing and genuine, you won’t be forgotten.

Get noticed by being yourself and making real connections with those around you.  Being top of mind and “on the radar” is always of value in the workplace.  You will surely be remembered the next time they are looking for a fourth to round out the new client golf outing or when they are creating the short list of those up for the next promotion.

If you are looking to stand out and find a rewarding workplace in which to thrive, contact the experts at Helpmates Staffing. We have more than 40 years of experience in coaching employees to long-term career success!

What Do Your Workers Want from You Once School is Back in Session?

Soon the kids will be back to school, and workers will be faced with the increased challenge of finding a balance between home life, childcare, after school activities, and work obligations. Many times this conflict of interests is a main source of employee frustration and lowered morale, eventually leading to attrition.  As an employer, you are in a position to make this delicate balancing act a bit easier by offering your workers some much desired flexibility.

A recent national survey of 500 HR Managers, found that three quarters of employers surveyed are indeed offering some flexible schedule solutions to their teams. More and more, employers are finding that the need for at least some flexibility in scheduling is a basic requirement of employment, not simply a nice perk.

It will benefit you to find some ways to be accommodating this fall, as long as it doesn’t interfere with the productivity of your company or result in increased effort on the part of your managers to oversee any policy changes.  Here are a few examples of what you might be able to offer.  See which ones, if any, will work best for you.

  • Offer reduced hours.
    Many people will work extra hard during the week, or even come in an hour early Monday through Thursday to get tasks completed so they can leave early on Friday.  This may end up saving you some money on your electric bill to keep the office cool on hot afternoons.  It will certainly go a long way toward the collective group morale.
  • Offer telecommuting options.
    Even if it is only one day a week, this option is very appealing to employees, allowing them one less day of childcare payments or savings on gas.  You need to consider which job tasks lend themselves to telecommuting and which employees’ work ethics will match the task.
  • Schedule a company outing.
    Use the opportunity to do team building activities, allowing everyone to enjoy each other away from the pressures of the office.
  • Consider job sharing.
    If appropriate, coworkers can team up to make sure that each other’s job tasks are accomplished so they can alternate days off.  This promotes teamwork while allowing employees the flexibility in their work life they really desire.

One thing to keep in mind, no matter which of these options you select, is that ground rules need to be very clearly spelled out to each worker so they know the expectations and what they may have in return.  This will ensure that productivity remains intact, clients’ needs are being met, and your company benefits from your flexibility as do your employees.

These options all have one main focus: keeping your employees as happy as possible at work.  Happy employees are productive and loyal, and more willing to go the extra mile for you when it is needed because they feel their needs are being met.

Making plans to manage your fall workload?
Let Helpmates’ Certified Staffing Professionals fill your needs for office personnel, accounting, healthcare, distribution, manufacturing, or HR professionals.  Contact us today.

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