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How to Hire an Employee: 6 Tips to Head Off Hiring Headaches

How to Hire an Employee: 6 Tips to Head Off Hiring Headaches

In any economy, knowing how to hire an employee with the skills and experience you need means knowing how to manage a headache. The hiring process is typically costly, sometimes disappointing and often a time suck. Even as the effects of the pandemic begin to slowly recede, that same hiring process can be downright daunting.

Even with unemployment gradually ticking downward, an attractive job posting will still likely yield a high stack of resumes to sort through. Once you settle on your top candidates — and that might take hours or even days — you’re looking at a series of phone vetting’s, video interviews, skills testing and reference checks. All this at a time when you’re already slammed with work and juggling the challenges of managing a remote team.

And not to pile it on, but you really need to get it right. Making a bad hire means more disruption for your team — as well as a waste of yet more valuable time and money. In a recent survey, nearly two-thirds (64%) of senior managers polled said the negative impact of hiring the wrong candidate is greater today than it was just before the pandemic started.

So, how to hire an employee when you’re busy, stressed, distracted and just want someone good in that role right now? Glad you asked. We have five helpful suggestions and one “Best of Show” tip to attract and hire the talent who can deliver maximum value to your organization.

1. Focus on the job description

The spread of COVID-19 scrambled the economy, and its effects are different in different parts of the country, even as the pandemic begins to wane. Whatever the state of your hiring market and whatever position you’re hiring for, writing a detailed, compelling job description is critical to your success in recruiting top talent.

If it’s a new role you’re trying to staff, carefully consider the tasks you want the employee to take on in both the short term and long term, and the levels of education and experience your ideal candidate should possess. If you need to hire an employee for a vacated role, take the opportunity to evaluate whether you want to make changes to the position. Chances are you’ll want to add or shift some responsibilities, especially if the job description has not been updated recently.

As you write your job description, keep in mind that not all talent is going to be top talent. Include enough information to attract job seekers who are well-suited for the position, without being excessively long or too specific. But give enough detail, too, to discourage the under-qualified. List the skills, experience and certifications you absolutely require, and briefly say how success will be measured for the successful hire. You don’t want to spend time reviewing dozens of resumes that don’t come close to your needs, and no job seeker wants to spend time applying for a role they won’t come close to being considered for.

2. Cast a wide net

When you’re ready to start recruiting candidates, cast your net deep and wide. You want to post the opening on your website and on job boards that cater to your company’s industry, of course. But you should also share the job ad on your company’s social media accounts.

You may also want to ask your team members, as well as trusted contacts in your professional network, for referrals. They can often be a great source of promising leads, including professionals who may not be actively looking for a new job, but might be open to considering a new opportunity.

3. Don’t shortchange the resume review

Evaluating resumes and other application materials is a tedious and time-consuming part of the hiring process. But being thorough in your review is a critical step in determining whether a candidate’s qualifications align with the criteria for the available position.

During your review, look for keywords and phrases that match those in the job description. This will show whether the candidate studied your posting and took the effort to speak directly to your needs. Carefully review candidates’ technical skills, but also look for evidence of their soft skills, be it in the clarity of their writing (as demonstrated in their resume and cover letter), or in the details of their professional history (experience presenting at team meetings, for example, or in cross-departmental collaboration).

Finally, consider how impactful the job seeker was at their current or past role. Do they clearly explain the added value they brought and how they helped meet company goals? Don’t shortchange yourself here. You want to hire an employee who can slide into your open role and make a difference from the get-go.

4. Go deep in the interviews

As you did when reviewing resumes, zero in on both technical know-how and interpersonal qualities during the job interview. Open-ended and hypothetical interview questions allow the candidate to discuss their experience and skills, while giving you opportunity to assess their analytical and verbal skills, tact (how they talk about a current or past employer, for example), diplomacy (how they describe interactions with other teams) and other soft skills. Stay friendly, stay engaged, and ask follow-up questions when you need to.

Pay attention, too, to how well the candidate prepared for the interview by testing their knowledge of your company and industry. You can’t expect them to have read your annual report or know the full history of your company, but they should have an understanding of and appreciation for the firm’s mission and product. Aim to hire an employee who embraces the company, not just the job and paycheck.

While your conversations will naturally take different courses, be sure to ask all candidates the same general questions to keep the playing field level. And explain what makes your company and its corporate culture special. Remember, interviews are a two-way street: You want to find the most qualified person for the job, but a candidate will want to be equally excited about joining the team.

5. Determine the right salary range

In any business environment, offering a competitive compensation package is key to attracting top talent.

Even in a hurting economy, a candidate is going to take a day or two to consider a job offer. There also may be some back-and-forth negotiation, especially if you’re trying to secure a highly skilled and experienced professional or staff a specialized position. Be patient and be fair: You don’t want to hire an employee who will be anything but delighted to start their first day on the job. Once the candidate has accepted, make it clear that the final offer is contingent upon any reference or background checks you need to complete.

6. Best of Show tip for how to hire an employee

Does the hiring process still look daunting? If you’re thinking, “Well, yes!,” then know you’re in good company.

It’s plain to see that making a successful hire takes a lot of time or energy, especially when you go it alone. That’s why many hiring managers will turn to a specialized staffing firm for help. At HCRC staffing, we have years of experience placing candidates

The hiring process doesn’t have to be another pain point. Let us help you find the talent you need to get your organization through this stressful business environment. We move fast because we understand that the need is urgent.

Have a great day!

Brian Torchin / CEO

HCRC Staffing

Office 800-472-9060

Cell: 267-251-5275

Fax 800-263-1547

Brian@hcrcstaffing.com

www.hcrcstaffing.com

Ghosting is on the rise

Ghosting — the act of disappearing without warning — has become increasingly common during the hiring process since the onset of the pandemic.

Alarmingly, only 27% of employers say they haven’t ghosted a job seeker in the past year. It’s another sign that ghosting has become standard practice in the hiring process — even though it creates a terrible candidate experience and can threaten a company’s employer brand.

But while the uptick seemed tied to coronavirus’ arrival, few respondents identified the pandemic’s effects as their reason for ghosting. Job seekers did, however, point to the pandemic as a likely cause of employers’ ghosting. This is certainly possible after all, soaring unemployment and the subsequent economic fallout upended a previously tight labor market.

Employers may want to address both candidate ghosting and their own applicant follow-up as the former creates a hiring hurdle and the latter offers a poor candidate experience.

To avoid such issues employers should focus on strong communication.

For example, hiring  managers should follow up with job seekers as much as possible, give them a timeline on when you expect to fill the role and the negative consequences for the enterprise if it is not filled in a timely fashion.

Employers should aim to speak to each person interviewed Such things will reach social media, reflect well on your employer brand and make it easier to attract people who will show up for work.

Recent research agrees that social media reputation plays an important role in an employer’s ability to attract candidates.

Brian Torchin / CEO

HCRC Staffing

15 of the best questions to ask an interviewee

It’s time to fill that vacancy on your team and the pressure is on to find a job candidate who has all the skills and professional experience you need. But can you determine that from just an interview? It’s possible — if you pose smart queries. Here are 15 of the best questions to ask an interviewee.

1. What do you know about our company, and why do you want to work here?

You’d think with the easy access to information online today, most candidates would do their homework, but that’s not always the case. Some applicants may not even know what type of business the company engages in. Ask this interview question and you’ll find out quickly who is sincerely interested in working for you — and who isn’t.

2. What skills and strengths can you bring to this position?

Did the interviewee blindly apply to your opening or did they consider how they match your needs? This question can help you find out. Applicants should be able to think critically about how their abilities will benefit your unique team.

3. Can you tell me about your current job?

This is a great interview question to ask a potential employee that can help you evaluate communication skills, while gaining insights into an individual’s background that goes beyond the resume.

4. What could your current company do to be more successful?

This inquiry can give you a sense of whether interviewees see the big picture at their organizations. It may also reveal why they really want to leave their current jobs.

5. Can you tell me about a time when you had a disagreement with a boss or colleague and how you handled the situation?

This is one of the best questions to ask an interviewee because you’ll get a sense of their conflict resolution abilities. What tone does the person use when talking about the other people involved? Were they able to handle the situation described appropriately? Did they find common ground? Emotional intelligence is keenly needed in almost every job.

6. Do you work best alone or on a team?

What kind of work will the candidate be performing if they’re selected for the position? This question helps determine if they’re suited to the types of assignments they’ll receive. Someone who enjoys solitary work and long stretches of uninterrupted time may not thrive in a position that requires collaboration or multi-tasking.

7. Why are you leaving your current job?

Does your job opportunity provide an alternative to the factors (lack of professional development, management problems, etc.) that made them unhappy in their current role? If so, showcase those benefits. But keep an eye out for candidates with unrealistic expectations.

8. How would your coworkers describe you?

This top question to ask an interviewee can help shed light on the candidate’s soft skills and how they might work with the other members of your team. Understand the strengths of your current staff members and be on the lookout for a candidate who will complement those.

9. How would your boss describe you?

This may give you a sense of the candidate’s relationship with previous managers. Reliable? Prompt? Efficient? Keep in mind, though, who you’re asking. The answer will be simply their opinion of what the boss might have said. That’s why it’s still critical to check references. Request a list of contacts and give former employers a call to hear how their impressions align with the candidate’s.

10. Where do you see yourself in five years?

A job candidate who has professional drive and lofty career aspirations is valuable. Look for someone who is engaged in their career and has clear goals, and consider mentioning how your organization can help them achieve those objectives. Finding a prospect who is interested in career advancement and sees opportunity with your company increases the chances that they’ll be happy in the long run.

11. Can you describe how you handle tight deadlines?

Does your team frequently face challenging time constraints? Do you need someone who can work quickly and accurately while under pressure? Ask this interview question of a potential employee and you’ll at least get their opinion as to how they handle stress and whether they can keep up with the pace of work at your organization. You could also follow up by asking if they’ve ever missed a deadline and, if so, how they handled the situation.

12. In your most recent role, was there a time when you had to overcome a significant challenge?

Use this question to get a sense of an interviewee’s critical thinking and analytical skills. You should also pay attention to how the candidate describes their behavior when faced with a challenge. Did they struggle or did they come up with an action plan and see it through?

13. What’s the most interesting project you’ve worked on in a past position?

Ask this interview question to determine if the applicant would likely enjoy the work available at your company. Do the types of tasks they find fulfilling align with the job description for your position? Making sure employees find their work professionally satisfying is one of the most important factors in retention.

14. What’s one fact that’s not on your LinkedIn profile?

Here’s an open-ended question to ask an interviewee that can help you uncover some interesting insights. Similar to asking, “What do you think I need to know that we haven’t discussed?” it could spark some conversation about a hobby outside of their 9-to-5 life or even a compelling story that reveals more of their strengths and motivations. This question can help you understand not just what a job candidate has done, but why.

15. Do you have any questions for me?

This question typically wraps up the interview. Most candidates who are interested in the job will be prepared with a few relevant questions for a hiring manager. However, if the discussion was long and detailed, the candidate may have already asked their questions. In a case like this, it’s okay if a candidate doesn’t have a list of questions at the end of the interview.

7 Best Hiring Practices for Small Business Owners in 2020

As you grow your small business, you may need more people on your team to help you achieve your goals. The employees you hire set the foundation for your company’s success.

While you may be eager to begin hiring, don’t share job listings or start interviewing candidates until you’re ready to act quickly. You could lose out on a valuable employee if you drag out the process too long.

Once you’re prepared to expand your team, follow these best practices to make the most of your hiring process.

7 Best Hiring Practices in 2020

1. Spend less time on the job description.

Business owners and hiring managers tend to write lengthy job descriptions that include paragraphs about the company, job duties and responsibilities in addition to a long list of required skills. While applicants should understand the full scope of the position, extensive text may be intimidating to job seekers, she said.

2. Ask open-ended questions with answers in mind.

Asking candidates open-ended questions during an interview will allow you to pick up on soft skills that indicate how they may behave in the workplace,

By asking more conversational questions that lead to a dialogue, you’ll have a more accurate impression of whether you can work with this person and whether he or she is up for the challenge.

You should also have an idea of the responses you’d like to hear so you can adequately judge candidates, she said. If multiple managers are conducting interviews, you should be in agreement in what you expect. Anyone conducting interviews should ask questions in the same style and represent the company culture to give the applicant a cohesive impression of the business.

3. Create a sense of belonging from the first phone call.

From the first point of contact with a job candidate, make sure they feel like they would have a place within the company.

You should maintain the same level of enthusiasm throughout the hiring and onboarding processes once they join your team.

4. Give candidates time to ask questions.

Candidates’ questions during an interview are often just as important as managers’. Job seekers have a responsibility to find out if the job and workplace is a good match, and you should give them time to do so.

They have to be able to sense if the employer is a right fit for them.

5. Prepare for interviews.

When you give candidates an opportunity to ask questions, you must be prepared to answer. You should be ready to provide information about the position in question, the company as a whole and how the candidate could succeed at the company.

Coming into an interview unprepared could not only ruin a candidate’s perception of the job, but could also damage your reputation as well.

6. Don’t rely too much on technology.

Technological tools have become prevalent in recruiting processes, but they don’t always help you find the best person for the job. Tools like artificial intelligence software that matches keywords in job descriptions and resumes may limit your pool of candidates.

Without face-to-face interaction, you won’t be able to judge the soft skills that make someone a good fit or not for the job at hand. Relying too much on data could be detrimental to finding the right employee.

7. Hold informational interviews or meetings.

When searching for a job, people will often reach out to a company where they would like to work even if the company isn’t hiring. As a manager or business owner, you should take meetings with people who are exploring their career options. You can reach out to them at a later time when you have an opening.

How to Retain Top Performers When They Have Maxed Out Salary

How to Retain Top Performers When They Have Maxed Out Salary

It’s difficult enough to retain top-performing talent in an employees’ market, but when a high performer’s salary has maxed out, it becomes even more difficult. While money may — or may not — be the primary motivator for employee happiness, putting a ceiling on an employee’s financial compensation certainly has the potential to demotivate.

So, when faced with top talent whose salary potential has hit a ceiling, what can you do to help keep them happy? Here are a few ideas:

1. Navigate Around the Financial Compensation Wall

For example, look for processes by which they can garner bonuses for work they do. Even if it’s not a revenue-producing position, consider creative methods. For example, create a path for a customer service representative to convert a service conversation into a sale. Even if they are not the one closing the sale, build a process that tracks their referral, and when the referral becomes revenue, the rep can receive a percentage or spiff.

2. Stop Micromanaging

Many leaders or managers may not see their behavior as micromanaging, but this behavior can come in many forms. It may be that with each project you assign, you require a process overview and continual, daily oversight of task completion, step by step, seemingly hour by hour.

Perhaps instead of being hands-on in your top employee’s next project, you could let go of it completely. Do this by asking for the employee’s assistance in accomplishing a specific outcome, and then let them figure out the path to achieve the result. When they have accomplished your ask, they can present it to you versus your being involved throughout the nitty-gritty details of the process.

3. Offer Time Off

If your employee is truly a top performer, then they still are motivated to get their work done and to exceed expectations — both yours and their own. So, by offering them more flexibility with their work schedule, you are simply motivating them to work even smarter so that they can enjoy their more flexible schedule. As well, high-performers have a strong sense of when they need to be on-point in the office and when they can slack, including being away from the office. They have an instinct for the ebb and flow of opportunity and work requirements and will accommodate.

Finally, high performers need the refreshment that comes from time away in order to refuel for high productivity. Encourage them to take time away from work so that you can reap the benefits of their fresh perspective.

4. Show Them Respect

In the humdrum of the day-to-day, too many people in the powerful role of leadership lose sight of their employees as human beings. When you find yourself in a stressful situation, revenue and customer pressures mounting, you may take it out on your staff. And often, the high-performing talent who are foundational to your success get the brunt of your angst. You take for granted that they can take it; they are the power players that you have compensated so well. You may, in those moments, dismiss their feelings and just let it rip. Instead, show them you respect them by communicating with respectful words and actions.

Take one for the team, from time to time, and let your top performer off the hook in regards to a difficult client, scheduling snafu or other situation. Just work it out and then, going forward, find a better path than involving your top performer in every situation that nags at you.

5. Invest in Them

While you may not have the budget to boost their salary, consider other ways you can invest in your top-performer. For example, look for opportunities to send them to training or conference events, particularly those in parts of the country — or world — that you know appeal to them. Or, look at their office setup, whether they are in-house or virtually operating, and invest in new technology or furniture. Not only will you elevate their outlook, but more than likely, you will improve their already high-performing results.

6. Be Grateful

Show them, through words, through actions, through personalized gifts and through a grateful demeanor, that you value them. Treating top performers like a replaceable cog in the wheel will get you nowhere fast — underappreciation erodes enthusiasm, confidence and overall attitude, and could ultimately be the reason your top talent ends up in the competitor’s arms. Express gratitude, on the other hand, and you strengthen the foundation for a strong, long-term relationship.

Brian Torchin

HCRC Staffing

Brian@hcrcstaffing.com           

www.hcrcstaffing.com  

Cell: 267-251-5275

Fax 800-263-1547

The Top 15 Questions to Ask Candidates

It’s time to fill that vacancy on your team and the pressure is on to find a professional who personifies the key qualities you need. But how can you determine that from just an interview?

What matters are the questions you ask. Here are 15 questions to ask interviewees that will give you insight into a candidate’s skill level and demeanor, so you can feel confident in your decision.

1. What do you know about our company, and why do you want to work here?

You’d think with the easy access to information online today, most candidates would do their homework, but that’s not always the case. Some applicants may not even know what type of business the company engages in. Ask this interview question and you’ll find out quickly who is sincerely interested in working for you — and who isn’t.

Having trouble finding qualified candidates? We can help:

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2. What skills and strengths can you bring to this position?

Did the interviewee blindly apply to your opening or did they consider how they match your needs? This question can help you find out. Applicants should be able to think critically about how their abilities will benefit your team.

3. Can you tell me about your current job?

This is a great interview question to evaluate communication skills, while gaining insights into an individual’s background that goes beyond the resume.

4. What could your current company do to be more successful?

This inquiry can give you a sense of whether interviewees see the big picture at their organizations. It may also reveal why they really want to leave their current jobs.

5. Can you tell me about a time when you had a disagreement with a boss or colleague and how you handled the situation?

This is one of the more valuable questions to ask interviewees because you’ll get a sense of their conflict resolution abilities, personality and potential for future problems. What tone does the person use when talking about the other people involved? Were they able to handle the situation described appropriately? Did they find common ground? Emotional intelligence is keenly needed in almost every job.

6. Do you work best alone or on a team?

What kind of work will the candidate be performing if they’re selected for the position? This question helps determine if they’re suited to the types of assignments they’ll receive. Someone who enjoys solitary work and long stretches of uninterrupted time at their desk may not thrive in a position that requires collaboration or multi-tasking.

7. Why are you leaving your current job?

Do your company and position provide an alternative to the factors (lack of professional development, management problems, etc.) that made them unhappy in their current role? If so, showcase those benefits. But keep an eye out for candidates with unrealistic expectations, and bear in mind that an employee who leaves an organization for petty reasons may not be a good long-term fit for you.

8. What’s your ideal work environment?

Asking interviewees this question can help determine whether or not they’ll flourish at your company. If your office has an open floor plan, for example, a candidate who prefers a private workspace may not be the best fit; the reverse is also true.

9. How would your coworkers describe you?

This is another question that can help predict how an interviewee will work with the other members of your team. Understand the personalities of your current staff members and be on the lookout for a candidate who will complement those. For example, Type A employees may thrive with an assertive new team member, while this may prove challenging for quiet, introverted employees.

10. How would your boss describe you?

This may give you a sense of the candidate’s relationship with previous managers. Reliable? Prompt? Efficient? Keep in mind, though, who you’re asking. The answer will be simply their opinion of what the boss might have said. That’s why it’s still critical to check references. Request a list of contacts and give former employers a call to hear how their impressions align with the candidate’s.

11. Where do you see yourself in five years?

A candidate who has professional drive and career aspirations is valuable. Look for someone who is engaged in their career and has goals, and consider mentioning how your organization can help them achieve those goals. Finding a prospect who is interested in career advancement and sees opportunity with your company increases the chances that they’ll be happy in the long run.

12. Can you describe how you handle tight deadlines?

Does your team or company frequently encounter time constraints? Do you need someone who can work quickly and accurately while under pressure? Ask this question and you’ll at least get their opinion as to how they handle stress and whether they can keep up with the pace of work at your organization. You could also follow up by asking if they’ve ever missed a deadline and, if so, how they handled the situation.

13. In your most recent role, was there a time when you had to overcome a significant challenge?

Use this question to get a sense of an interviewee’s critical thinking and analytical skills. You should also pay attention to how the candidate describes their behavior when faced with a challenge. Did they panic and shut down, or did they come up with an action plan and see it through?

14. What’s the most interesting project you’ve worked on in a past position?

Ask this question to determine if the applicant would enjoy the work available at your company. Do the types of tasks they find fulfilling align with the job description for your position? If not, this applicant may not be the right fit. Making sure employees find their work professionally satisfying is one of the most important factors in retention.

15. Do you have any questions for me?

If candidates have been paying attention during the discussion, they shouldn’t find this to be a tough interview question. So there’s no excuse for a blank stare in response.

         

www.hcrcstaffing.com 

5 STAFF BONUS IDEAS TO BENEFIT YOUR BUSINESS

Staff morale and wellbeing can really benefit from great staff bonus ideas. Giving staff a little extra can lead to big wins for a business and here are some of the best ways to do so.

Flexibility

Schedule Flexibility – Holidays are always busy times for everyone, shopping and wrapping gifts, or having get together with family when the kids are out of school. So, when the holiday season comes around again, never keep your employees in the office. Let them be home with their families.

Always allow your employees flexibility when it comes to when and where they will be working during the holidays or any other busy time of the year. This can help them to manage stress more effectively. Flexible schedules will show employees that hard work is appreciated and personal time is respected.

Personal Concierge Services

Most anyone would love the chance to avoid all of the mobs surrounding the holiday shopping season. A personal concierge service will be able to handle errands, including pick up and drop off of dry cleaning, or even grocery shopping to make the lives of employees a lot easier.

Concierge services can make for a great holiday bonus, but they can also be used for a reward program for your employees year round. Say you have an employee that performs very well one month, you can them to relax by offering a service to take care of a lot of their tasks.

The wonderful thing about this perk is that it will motivate employees to work hard, while giving them less work that they have to tackle around the office. A lot of employees will feel that if they receive time off, they will have to spend it doing chores at home. Providing them with someone else to get things done will allow them to spend time relaxing to doing their hobbies.

Gym Memberships

You can help employees to get healthy and stay that way by offering gym memberships with a holiday bonus. Look for a gym that has a wide range of locations and services, so your employees can customize wellness plans for their needs. For example, you may have one employee that likes nutritional education and running, while another may want yoga classes.

Help With Health Insurance

With the Glassdoor survey, health insurance has been touted as a top benefit for employees, valuing it more than a pay increase. Even if you have an organization that doesn’t offer insurance, it can be helpful to cover insurance costs with their holiday bonus or cover premiums for a certain number of months.

Unlike a big holiday bonus check, one that covers the employee’s insurance for several months will help them with coverage for a long period of time. Extending this benefit beyond the first year will also show employees that they are being rewarded for constant performance instead of a one-time bonus in a standard holiday gift.

Share Ownership

Share ownership can be a great way for businesses to give their staff a boost and also to give them an interest in the running and wellbeing of the company.

By offering staff the ability to buy shares back or offering them shares with their work, you give them a feeling they have some say in the company and also that they can benefit from their hard work.

Brian Torchin

| HCRC Staffing | Brian@hcrcstaffing.com | www.hcrcstaffing.com

6 Ways To Damage Your Reputation In A New Job

 

 

Bad employee

There are many ways you can inadvertently damage your reputation in a new job. As my former client found out, showing up late on your first day of work is one of those ways. Here are six ways you can sabotage your reputation that you should avoid at all costs:

6 Ways to Damage Your Reputation

#1 – Show up late on your first day of work: This is my number one “no-no” when it comes to starting a new job. Showing up late may damage your reputation because it can make you look unreliable and unable to plan for potential obstacles. If you can’t even make it to work on time, do you think your manager will trust you to finish a project on time? Always give yourself plenty of extra time to get to work for the first few weeks so you can get a feel for traffic patterns and how much time you’ll need. Bring a book or magazine to read in case you get there early.

#2 – Wear inappropriate attire, based on the company culture: Wearing a dark suit is not a good idea if you’ve been hired by a start-up company where everyone wears jeans and shorts to work. Similarly, wearing too casual attire to a company where most employees wear suits five days a week won’t work either. Take the time (before your first day on the job) to understand the company’s culture and find out from your new manager or HR representative as to what attire is appropriate. Never wear perfume or cologne to work – leave these for evenings and weekends. There’s almost nothing more annoying as a manager than having to hold a discussion with a new employee because their over-powering perfume/cologne is disrupting office productivity.

#3 – Refer constantly to how your previous company did things: When you keep referring to things saying, “That’s not how we did it at ABC company,” or “Where I came from, this is how we did it and it worked much better,” you will severely damage your reputation. Why? Because nobody likes an arrogant know-it-all who thinks they are better than other employees or who believes their previous company did things better. I once led a department after the parent company had purchased and merged five companies into one. Ego-bragging about former companies was so prevalent I implemented a fun way of calling attention to this negative practice. Whenever anyone used the name of his or her former company and someone pointed this out, the person had to add $1 to an empty shoebox in my office. When the shoebox was filled with money I used it for a pizza lunch for the team and to talk about the ego-bragging and why it was so detrimental to our newly combined company. After that, the negative practice almost immediately ceased.

#4 – Question the way (and why) things are done: Like I mentioned in item #3, no one likes an arrogant know-it-all. Before espousing your opinions in your new job, take the time to identify all angles of a situation. This means understanding the stakeholders, inputs, resources, processes, and outcomes/results. Once you have this information, you can dig deeper into certain circumstances using terminology such as, “Help me understand how…” and “How does department ABC then use this information to…?” How you word things is just as important as the questions you ask, so think before you speak.

#5 – Ask for time off: You’d think this would be a no-brainer “no-no”, but you’d be surprised at how often hiring managers express their frustration to me about new employees blindsiding them with time off requests. If you receive a job offer in June and your family already has vacation plans scheduled for mid-July, let the hiring manager know immediately (before you begin your new job) and proactively work with them to ensure your vacation will not disrupt the productivity of the department. Surprising your new manager with a personal time off request can damage your reputation because it can make you seem like a deceitful and immature person.

#6 – Spend time “water cooler gossiping” to get the “dirt” on people in the department: Everyone wants to get to know the people in their new company as quickly as possible – but don’t spend time finding out through the gossip “grape vine” around the water cooler or break room. Take the time to get to know colleagues first hand and form your own opinions. Don’t let other’s nasty gossip cloud your thinking when it comes to co-workers.

As my former career-coaching client found out, it can be fairly easy to damage your reputation in a new job. Once damaged, it can take time and effort to repair your work reputation. To avoid having to go through this situation yourself, be aware of the six key ways you can harm your reputation when starting a new job – and wisely avoid them!

 

 

Have a great day!

 

 

Brian Torchin

HCRC Staffing

111 Forrest Ave

1st Floor

Narberth PA 19072

Brian@hcrcstaffing.com

www.hcrcstaffing.com

Office 610-660-8120

Cell: 267-251-5275

Fax 800-263-1547

 

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A Winning Mindset: Making 2018 Your Year

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Every NFL franchise reports to training camp with the same goal in mind, and the same outlook. They want to win, and believe that their staff, starters, and bench players have the potential to bring the Vince Lombardi trophy home to their respective cities. However, potential isn’t easily quantified. For some it’s obvious; others, a bit more confounding.

Of course, there is no championship of private medicine. The best two practices in America do not square off in a fabricated triage to decide who provides superior care. There is no gold-plated Staff of Hermes to hang practice’s trophy case. Still, every practice begins a New Year expecting to thrive, and to remain competitive in their respective market. To this end, head physicians and leaders in management must identify and acquire resources that will ensure their continued success. They may also need to attempt to change, or to eliminate whatever it was that may have stood in the way of their success over the last 365 days.

Making roster moves

It’s no secret. The medical field is experiencing a physician shortage. We’ve touched upon how important hiring right is for a practice in previous posts, but it’s not easy to do without a rich field of talent to choose from. While experience may be a desirable trait for most hiring managers, it is unwise to count out residents. Don’t think of recent med-school grads as “round-2” selections. They are your first-round draft picks, your prime investment in the future of your practice. As such, superior scouting is paramount. In the interview process, ask every revealing question you can. Really try to gauge their personality, and temperament. Give them the benefit of a dry-run at your practice. These few days will function as a combine of sorts, to watch their abilities in action.

When courting the youngest and brightest, you must also remember that they know the position they are in. They can bargain for what they want. We already discussed what the current generation of medical practitioners value above all else. It isn’t wise to fight this, or to lure them with false visions of what the average work day at your practice is like. In the old days, the average physician changed jobs about twice in their entire career. New physicians figure to match this number within their first five years. Retention is key. Make sure a young hire knows not only the culture of your practice, but its trajectory in the coming years. Will your compensation model be changing? What about care delivery?

Making the good better

This next point applies to both your new “star” hires and your veteran staff. Think about the best performers at your practice, or the ones with the highest talent ceilings. You know who they are. What you should also know is that they may not continue their improvement and operate at their highest potential simply by showing up for work each day.

The growth of a worker is an ongoing and very active process. It is also one you must be involved in. Are you taking the time to teach and mentor them so they can eventually assume more advanced leadership roles and responsibilities? Are there opportunities for them to learn at your practice, ways to add new skills, and deepen the ones they already have? These opportunities and resources are keys in the present toward realizing your practice’s goals, and securing its expansion in the future. Make sure you have room for them in your budget.

This same plan applies to both your average, and lackluster performers. In the case of the former, schedule a meeting to ascertain their current knowledge and skill level. Then, point them in the direction of specific resources (digital, print, and otherwise) designed to address gaps, and which they can access on their own time, at their own pace. In a follow-up meeting, ask this worker what other additional support they may need going forward. Sometimes, people find it difficult to initiate change, or in this case, improvement, because they don’t know how or where to start. You will be providing that starting point, and showing them you care about the end-result.

When approaching the issue of poor performer, remember the old adage about those who make assumptions. There could be a number of reasons why they haven’t been performing their duties as well in the last year. Make sure you schedule the time with them to find out what these reasons may be. These employees may benefit from another type of coaching meant to focus, empower, and build their confidence back up. You do not necessarily have to fill this kind of roll. It can be delegated to someone else with the necessary skills, or filled from the outside.

Making changes when necessary

Sometimes, despite how many times you’ve tried to accomplish something, it never quite pans out. This can go on for a long time until you, as the head of your practice, realize one difficult truth: It’s not about drilling the prescribed route over and over again to perfection. It’s about realizing that running that route, and others just like it, will never get you to where you need to be. The playbook is out of date, and a major shift is needed in the way you get things done.

Even if your staff agrees that the old plays are ineffective, they may be highly resistant to change. It means learning a new way to use their skills, to change something that hasn’t been changed in a long time. Don’t let this deter you. Change is painful, but necessary. There will be those among you who are more pliable, more open to change. Designate them your coordinators.

The most difficult changes to make, the ugliest in fact, do not involve procedure. They involve personnel. Negativity, standoffishness, and narcissism are as toxic to your practice as resistance to change. One person exhibiting these traits on a regular basis can destroy what it is you are trying to build. Cuts become a necessary evil. If you’ve made your practice a place where team-players thrive, where they can grow and evolve, where leadership is understanding and accessible, where rewards and reprimands are administered fairly, and in a professional manner, then you’ve done all you can. No matter how skilled or indispensable a volatile employee may seem, they’ve got to go.

 

 

 

 

Have a great day!

 

 

Brian Torchin

HCRC Staffing

111 Forrest Ave

1st Floor

Narberth PA 19072

Brian@hcrcstaffing.com

www.hcrcstaffing.com

Office 610-660-8120

Cell: 267-251-5275

Fax 800-263-1547

 

 

Patients for Life: Making Connections that Last

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In previous posts, we’ve touched upon the importance of the patient/doctor relationship, of practice visibility, and of marketing your practice based on various demographic information. These are all efforts toward increasing your patient base, earning their trust, and making sure they get the kind of service they need. Your patients trust in your judgement, and your efficacy as a physician. Your marketing campaign was memorable, witty, and also reassuring. Your practice is closer to where many of your patients live than your nearest competitor, and you offer more flexible payment options.

But is this the sum total of a real connection? In this post, we will discuss the term in a bit more depth, beyond marketing, practicality, convenience, and clinical savvy. How does a real, lasting patient connection start? What does it entail, and how do we keep that connection from weakening?

The birth of connection

The path toward long-term, meaningful connections with patients is relatively straightforward. Step one entails really putting you, and your practice out there in a meaningful, and effective way. In a previous post, we listed the various ways in which to advertise your practice prior to its grand opening. Traditional avenues like print—a story in the local newspaper—and radio are still viable. Utilizing digital strategies are, of course, a must. But becoming noticed is only half the battle. You must ask yourself how you want to be perceived. To this end, we really suggest hosting an open-house event.

This is your first chance to allow patients to really see you, not just a representation of you. This is a chance to learn about them, while showing them things about you. Being so open and candid with people is not easy for everybody. It is completely acceptable to draw up boundaries for yourself. But in order to connect, you must make yourself known, not just noticed. At the same time, you must prove a genuine desire to know those you will be treating. This should continue well after the open-house concludes, and your doors officially open.

…but how do they really feel?

Supremely confident. Highly competent. Consistently dependable. Who doesn’t like those attributes? Well, we certainly can’t think of anyone, but how a person determines if they genuinely like another human being is a bit more complex. Let’s backtrack a bit. As silly as it may sound, showing interest in a person’s life, making an earnest effort to actually learn who they are and identify a few common denominators, is paramount. These can speak more for you than your diplomas and licenses ever could.

Initiating a conversation with a patient means the world. It could start with a word or two about the recent performance of a mutually loved sports team. Or, you can following up with them about a family member—a son or daughter going off to college, a mother back in physical therapy, etc. Do you have children? Did you also have to take care of an aging parent? Share your experience. In doing so, you are doing the one thing that pretty much ensures you will be genuinely liked by your patients. You are letting them know that you like them.

“If you don’t like me, then I don’t like you.” Simple enough. Most people don’t commit themselves socially and emotionally to those who don’t reciprocate. Sharing with someone, and getting them to share in turn shows them that you value their company, and opinions. Remember to keep a light-hearted tone, smile, and laugh once on a while. Be aware of your facial expressions, as well as those of the person in front of you. We wear mistrust, annoyance, and impatience like masks, and just because your words aren’t patronizing doesn’t mean that your face isn’t actively betraying the sentiment.

The circle of trust

There is a fine line between liking someone and trusting them. Naturally, we expect that you practice medicine to the utmost standards of the profession. You are patient, and empathetic. You are transparent and forthright about treatments, billing, and other policies. These are the necessary starting points. But, as with getting a patient to like you, gaining their trust is a bit more complex, is easily lost, and can involve a variety of seemingly unrelated factors.

Did you ever serve in the military? Make this known, because it will go a very long way with veterans, especially those suffering from PTSD, or any kind of physical condition they sustained during their service. Outside the office, are you a “plain-clothes” kind of person? If so, then simply being seen out in the world by certain patients can provide a major boost.

One highly effective strategy is to make bio-cards available to all of your patients. These should summarize your life experiences and goals, providing a glimpse into who you are as a person, not just a physician. Make a stack of them available in your waiting room, and send them out through good, old fashioned mail to patients.

Assume nothing

Accessibility, shared experience, and transparency form the bedrock of lasting doctor-patient connections. There is, however, a tendency among physicians to sabotage what they try so hard to create. We all make assumptions. It is part of a default setting our mind goes into when we are only given a few pieces of information to go on about something, or someone. The key for a physician (for everyone, really) is to acknowledge this process as it is happening. Yes, making calculated assumptions based on available evidence and history is part of a doctor’s job. But always go back for a second, or third look before you leap. Beyond a misdiagnosis, choosing how to treat and communicate with patients based on appearances, or early speech and behavioral patterns and can have an alienating effect on them…and on yourself.

 

Have a great day!

 

Brian Torchin

HCRC Staffing

111 Forrest Ave

1st Floor

Narberth PA 19072

Brian@hcrcstaffing.com

www.hcrcstaffing.com

Office 610-660-8120

Cell: 267-251-5275

Fax 800-263-1547