5 Work Lessons from Shawshank Redemption

August 15th, 2019   •   Recruiting   •   no comments   

Work Lessons from Shawshank Redemption

So many lessons are packed in the movie masterpiece “The Shawshank Redemption.” We can learn a lot of things from it that make our business different and successful. Recruiters can learn something from the movie, as we know how meaningful some scenes are. We present you  5 work lessons you can learn from “The Shawshank Redemption,” and each of them can elevate your business in a good way. 

1. Be Flexible – Adjust to your Environment 

You can see in the movie the importance of adapting. No matter where you are, and how long you plan to stay there, you must have the ability to adapt. It is not only essential for the business, it is also crucial for personal development. When Andy Dufresne arrives in the prison, he is faced with so many challenges. How to keep up to all of them is a matter of art. And he makes it possible. With a few personal skills and a lot of team work, you can make each day meaningful, no matter where you are.

 2. Make Allies

In the Shawshank prison, everything is clear. If you are not able to make friends, you are out of business. Friendships at work are not always possible. But we can do our best to make them possible. Team work is based on some kind of friendship, as we are focused on each other. We must know the key features of our teammates, so we can make the most out of them. It is the thing that most recruiters should search for. Some kind of personal touch is necessary here, especially if we want to build a healthy working atmosphere. 

3. Stay Alert and Focused

 No matter how challenging the work environment is, you must keep your focus. That eye on the prize is what makes our career goals closer to our reach. You can remember how persistent Andy was when he worked on his escape. He did everything possible to get closer to his goal. And, he made it in the end. That’s a main lesson about working on our goals and having the right motivation to make them possible. The struggle is always there, and the success in much sweeter when we know how much effort we put into making things work. 

4. Getting the Big Picture

 In “The Shawshank Redemption,” few things are certain. The prison environment makes you institutionalized in the wrong way. But, what you can do is make the best out of it. We are sometimes stuck in a work situation where we cannot see the exit. But, if we take a look at the big picture, we can use a different perspective. In that case, the solution comes along, and we can make a successful choice. That’s why we need to see a bigger picture of each situation, because, most of the time, the solution is right there in front of us. 

5. Teamwork is Necessary

 You cannot make it alone. Especially if your business depends on more than one person. And almost any business does. What can you do to make things work for you? Ask for help. That’s when good teamwork comes to light. You can have more than one solution, because each team member can bring their own perspective. Combining all perspectives is usually a good way to find the right solutions. That’s why teamwork plays a significant role in the work process.

Search for the candidates who can think out of the box, because, sometimes, the little digging (like Andy does) into a problem can completely solve the issue.  There’s always the light at the end of the tunnel.  Andy from “The Shawshank Redemption” found it, and you can find it too.

Shawshank Redemption Summary

With the lessons from the movie, Flexicrew can make your work and recruiting process simpler, just by applying a few rules we learned along the way.  Call us today for some simple workplace lessons.

Ask the Flexpert…What are some Effective Interview Questions?

August 8th, 2019   •   Flexpert   •   Comments Off on Ask the Flexpert…What are some Effective Interview Questions?   

Effective Interview Questions – Purpose

Effective interview questions are those that obtain facts to help forecast a candidate’s successful behavior on the job.

Characteristics of effective interview questions:  they are easy to answer, there is generally only one answer, and each has a specific planned purpose in mind.

effective interview questions

5 Types of Effective Interview Questions

  1. Factual – Requires an answer with a distinct piece of information
  2. Candidate-specific – Personalized to the specific candidate and circumstances
  3. Action – Requires the candidate to describe how they accomplished past tasks
  4. Situations – Specific situations that are the same or similar to those the person will face on your job
  5. Probing – Follow-up, clarification, and detail questions designed to gain more information

Factual Examples: 1. How many prospects did you call on last week? 2. What percent did you lower accidents last year? 3. What CRM system do you use to manage clients? 4. What software are you certified in?

Candidate-specific Examples: 1. How did you manage the toughest deadline on the construction project? 2. How did you prepare for the presentation to your client? 3. How did you get up to speed on the AI technology at your company? 4. What was your specific responsibility in the warehouse?

Action Examples: 1. How did you build this year’s business plan? 2. How did you handle the last HR problem that was brought to you? 3. How did you get your last customer to add additional accessories? 4. How did you get all the team members to work together?

Situation Examples: 1. Explain in detail to me how you created the production plan. 2. How did you deal with the worst problem employee on your team? 3. How did you manage changes to the code during development? 4. How did you fit in the last company you went to work for?

Probing Examples: 1. How many people worked on that program with you? 2. How long did the program last? 3. Tell me your unique role on the program? 4. How did you achieve the key milestones of the program?

Using Effective Interview Questions

Remember the interview is the most telling part of the recruitment process.  An interviewer using effective interview questions can gain insights about the candidate which can’t be gotten from a resume, application, tests, etc.

Use several types of effective interview questions to get a true sense for the applicant’s skill and personality through face-to-face contact.

Contact Flexicrew today to gain our expertise in questioning candidates to predict success for your open positions.

Part II – Five More Characteristics of Successful Job Searchers

July 27th, 2019   •   Job Search   •   Comments Off on Part II – Five More Characteristics of Successful Job Searchers   

In Part ll of this article we review a second set of five characteristics of successful job searchers.

Effective Characteristics of Successful Job Searchers

In general there are five more overall traits that come into play for the successful job seeker:

  • No Limits
  • Tailored Resume
  • Honest and Open
  • ‘Can-Do’ Attitude
  • Clear Objectives

6. No Limits 

You should not limit yourself to apply for jobs online because you can find a lot of new, opportunities offline too. Endearing yourself to your potential peers is also paramount during this phase.  Your potential peers might give you tips you need to get into the company. This is something that you need to encourage in them.  

We have just told you about the traits of successful job seekers so you just can get the success when you are looking for a job. This will just allow you to get the results you want. Remember that you should get clear on what you want as soon as possible.  Remember also that Glassdoor.com will allow you to see for yourself what your potential employers need from a potential employee. You will see tons of samples of interviews that will just allow you to get the advantage you need.  

Tailoring your resume is another important thing, and you truly become an outstanding force in the job market because you will be doing something different and effective as soon as possible. Write your resume in such a way that you make yourself become an obvious fit for the position that you are applying for.  

7. Tailored Resume 

If you just want to succeed in the job market, you have to tailor your resume to the individual jobs that you will apply to. This will allow your potential employer to see that you took your time to do the homework that will attract their attention.  Tailoring your resume to each job will just allow you to show your potential employer that you are the exact fit for the job.  

8. Honest and Open

There is nothing worse than a dishonest employee especially if they lie during the interview. The job seeker needs to be open about their qualifications and training, what they can and cannot do, and what they have done and have not done. Make it mandatory for your hiring manager to check out candidates’ references or work experience. Call their references and school as soon as you can to confirm the veracity of the information they give. Job seekers need to demonstrate the highest levels of trustworthiness and accountability for everything they have done, even if it may reflect badly on them. The candidate needs to demonstrate that they are a moral person.

An example of openness and honesty that they can demonstrate to the hiring manager could be something like: As a supervisor, I had to deal with a junior whose work had deteriorated. However, instead of disciplining them, I asked them into my office to talk to them which helped get their output back to where it was before.  

9. Can Do’ Attitude and Promise to Overachieve

Attitude is one of the most valuable things your hiring manager should be looking for in a job seeker. The best candidates should not show any trace of a negative attitude but rather demonstrate a positive attitude no matter the circumstances. The best employees are the ones that always demonstrate a can do and flexible attitude and are ready to go the extra mile to ensure that they get the job done. Some of the questions to ask the job seeker may include how they dealt with challenges that they faced in the previous job that may have seemed insurmountable.

The best job seekers are typically the ones that can show that they have failed at some point but have picked themselves up and gone on to work even harder and fulfill their obligations. This calls for a demonstration of drive passion and enthusiasm in words and action. The best typically show unbridled passion for their work in addition to having a sunny and upbeat disposition.  

10. Clear Objectives

If you want a job, you have to get clear on what the type of job. You have to do this before starting to search for a job so you can get what you need too. You also have to take your time and think about your weaknesses and strengths because this will just allow you to better know yourself. You have to decide on money, promotion, prestige, and things like that. 

Conclusion

When hiring managers are conducting an interview they are not only looking for someone who has the skills and training but also the personality for the job. As such, it is critical that the candidate showcases both the soft skills in addition to what is recommended in this article to land that job. By showcasing their ability to work with others, adapt to changing or challenging circumstances, demonstrating decisiveness, trustworthiness, commitment, and passion to the job, they can prove that they have what it takes to work for your company. While they do not necessarily have to demonstrate all the qualities, having most of them is desirable.          

Flexicrew Staffing has the expert knowledge and resources to help you find the position you won’t find on your own. Let us assist you in uncovering those hidden positions that exactly match your talents and experience.  Call today.  flexicrew.com/contact-us/

Avoid These Mistakes When Hiring A Staffing Agency

July 15th, 2019   •   Temporary Staffing   •   Comments Off on Avoid These Mistakes When Hiring A Staffing Agency   

There are thousands of staffing companies that exist in the U.S. with many of them well known. That can offer some reassurance and make for easy decisions on hiring a staffing agency. But, problems and mistakes can occur if your company has a need for special skills. Or, you want employees who fit either a narrow range of criteria or too many. Nothing is ever guaranteed and unfortunate surprises can happen because of intense competition in the temp staffing industry. Due diligence and keeping a keen eye on third party providers must be maintained.

Hiring a Staffing Agency

Just as you want to cast the widest net possible if you are searching for employees, the same applies to staffing agencies. The best practice is to use multiple staffing agencies when possible. You never know what is happening within another business. That means a level of trust has to exist on your part that any agency is doing everything right. Proper screening, background checks, and ensuring people with the skills you want are referred. Working with 1-2 agencies creates overlap that could work to your benefit.

All employers want highly skilled, experienced, and educated employees. Imposing a list of criteria and asking temp agencies to find candidates who fit the bill is a toss-up. Of course any agency working for you will do their best to come through with qualified people. To be fair, the exact nature of the skill sets you seek will make a difference. Obviously there will be varying amounts of difficulty depending on what you want. The risk is receiving applicants who are not fully qualified which means wasted time. Your company may have to wait much longer while the agency tries to fulfill your requirements.

You may be tempted to choose an agency that works fast and seems to deliver results very quickly. There is minimal contact from them which may be a plus because you are very busy. That is the company you want to avoid because they are not building a relationship with you. A staffing company must know your business on a deeper level so they understand your needs. In the future, take notice of efforts to visit your business to discuss your needs and even look around your operations. The best long term arrangements are built on positive and stronger relationships.

You can avoid wasted time by going beyond the interview process and testing candidates. Or rather, have the interviewing agency do this for you. Your company can create a test as part of the screening process. Most agencies only interview candidates, and there is no guarantee about the quality of the process. The best approach here is to ask potential agency hires if they are willing to do this. This is one test of the agency and will measure their desire to provide great service.

There are many factors contributing to mistakes made when hiring a temporary staff agency. Since avoiding them can be challenging, you have to perform your own due diligence. In time, you will learn which agency to pass on and those with whom a cultivated business relationship is desirable.

Flexicrew Staffing Agency Best in GA and east TN

The subtle secrets mentioned above are what you should be looking for before settling on the staffing agency that you intend to work with.  Give Flexicrew a call and we’ll work our magic on your workforce!

6 Tips That Help Improve Managers’ Listening Skills

July 8th, 2019   •   Leadership   •   Comments Off on 6 Tips That Help Improve Managers’ Listening Skills   

Helping to improve managers’ listening skills will better engage a work team.  Managing subordinates is a difficult task. It requires discipline, patience, and hard work. The key to being a good manager is great communication skills. Listening is half of communication, and here is a list of six tips that will help to improve managers’ listening skills.    

Active managers' listening skills

Look at the subordinate

Making eye contact is one of the important practices to take on when supervisors communicate with subordinates. It is not surprising, since humans are the only primates who have white on their eyeballs. The other primates’ entire eyes are black.  Humans have a big contrast between their eyes and the pupil. It makes us capable of noticing what the other humans are focusing on. Thus, looking at the speaker is an indication, that the manager is focused on what a worker is saying. If managers avoid eye contact, it is a clear giveaway to the subordinate that the manager is not listening.   

Don’t interrupt

Interrupting an employee is not only rude, but it also makes it obvious that the boss who interrupted is not really listening to what the worker has to say. Besides, interrupting others gives an impression that what you have to say is more important, than what they have to say. As a manager, it is very important to show that everyone is equal and employees’ words have value. Even if supervisors want to make a quick point in the middle of an employee’s discussion, it’s important not to interrupt. Wait until after they are finished and then come back to the remark you wanted to make.   

Give subordinates time to express themselves

It should be obvious, that some problems require more time to explain than others. Also, some people need more time to say what they think. A good listener-manager will grasp this and will give as much time as needed for a subordinate to fully and comprehensibly express their thoughts. Managers should not hurry things. They need to be sure to sacrifice their time if it is required.  Because this sacrifice will pay off by making it a higher quality conversation.    

Focus on understanding

It can be easy to listen, but it is hard to listen correctly. It is a waste of time for both an employee and a manager if they don’t try to comprehend what the other says. For a manager, it is especially important to focus on understanding what the worker has to say because, without full comprehension, right decisions cannot be made. A manager must try to make an effort while listening to catch every word and phrase, and try to comprehend what points are being made by the employee.    

Suspend your judgement

Judging others is easy. Thinking through and solving problems is difficult. When listening to an employee, try to avoid judgment. Backlashing at an employee will bring no good for the subordinate or the company. At most times it is hard to hold back feelings like anger or disappointment, but showing these emotions to an employee will ensure that in the future, the employee will avoid talking and solving problems with the boss. If an employee knows that the manager is non-judgmental, an employee will trust the manager more, and a strong relationship will be born. Such a relationship will bear fruit for a long time.    

Ask questions for clarity

Even if a manager involves all of these tips into their listening practice, there might be moments where he does not understand some of the speaker’s points. Because of that, the final tip is crucially important. As a manager, if there is something you do not grasp fully, do not be afraid to ask questions. Asking is not a sign of weakness, but rather of strength. It also shows that you were actually listening and not daydreaming through the employee’s discussion. An employee will be willing to answer these questions, since it will be obvious that the manager was making an effort and listened carefully.    

Conclusion

If you want more pointers on how to improve managers’ listening skills, contact Flexicrew and listen to some sound advice.

 Listening is difficult, but trying to be a good listener pays off. When listening to the employees remember to stay focused and try to grasp what they were trying to say. Without conscious effort, no value will be gained, and it will be a waste of time for both parties involved.

Ask the Flexpert…How to Overcome the Employee Shortage

June 26th, 2019   •   Talent Shortage   •   Comments Off on Ask the Flexpert…How to Overcome the Employee Shortage   

Trouble Keeping up with the Demand?

Ask the Flexpert

Companies are increasing their need for high performing talent, but the supply of skilled candidates has diminished.  That makes it harder for employers to satisfy their needs.  The economy is hot and organizations want to participate.  But, how do they do that when they can’t find enough qualified workers?

This has become a candidate-driven environment.  Nearly 40% of organizations couldn’t fill their job openings this month. 

Some helpful hints to deal with this employee shortage are:

Extended Hiring Process

Reset your expectations that a longer hiring process is the new normal.  It’s been observed that open positions are remaining that way approximately one and a half months.  The time to fill a position has roughly doubled over the past 5 years.  So you must start your recruitment process earlier and pay particular attention to your job description and your company reputation.

Turnover

With more available positions and salaries finally starting to rise, employers can expect to see more turnover.  That will worsen the hiring crisis.  Higher performing workers have even more job opportunities available.  So, it’s vital for retention to support current employees’ desire for greater training and career development.   That shifts the discussion away from money and toward retention actions.

Counter

If an employee plans to leave, the earlier you get this information the more time you have to consider whether or not to counter. The key is learning why the employee plans to quit.  Asking the employee if they would consider staying if those areas were improved could make a difference in retention versus back to hiring.

Dissatisfaction causes a worker’s choice to jump ship. In this candidate-shortage environment we advise finding out your top employees dissatisfaction points and presenting them with a counter offer.  Your plan is to persuade them to remain with your firm and for you to avoid the cost and hassle of going the new hire route.

Compensation

Higher wages in your new hire offer is an obvious answer, though painful. But a competitive compensation package can be the solution. Be sure to research what your industry is paying for certain experience, skills, and positions. You can tweak that to make sure you have a solid offer. If a high-performing candidate already has a firm offer from a competitor, consider the components of the offer and make your offer addresses learning, company culture and career advancement as your response.

Reputation

In the past, there were fewer employment opportunities and more competition for jobs. An organization could list their job opening on its website and multiple qualified applicants would respond. Today, candidates aren’t necessarily proactively seeking new opportunities. But, if an employee recognizes your firm and it has a good reputation then they’re more likely to respond to your job post. So, actions to strengthen your company name and differentiate your firm become an asset in this tight labor market.

There are many other ways to deal with a worker shortage.  If you need some assistance in surviving and thriving with recruitment in this tight labor market, contact Flexicrew today.