Do You Know If You Are Becoming the Micromanager You Don’t Want to Be?
If you’re interested in improving your skills as a manager, then you’re probably no stranger to the common advice doled out by mentors, seminar leaders, blogs, and books written by experts. And if you’ve been reading and listening throughout your career, you’re probably familiar with the key differences between effective managers and ineffective micromanagers. A few examples: Strong managers give positive feedback and encouragement; weak ones are distrustful and critical. Strong managers recognize that mistakes teach us and help us grow; weak ones fear and avoid any form of failure, no matter how insignificant.
This list goes on, and most of these differences come as no surprise. Strong leaders are transparent, kind, resilient, and respectful. Weak ones are cagey, competitive, and overbearing. But in all these comparisons, one important detail may be getting lost: action. Just because you’ve heard these things before doesn’t mean you’re effectively working them into your daily routine. Despite a barrage of advice, we still sometimes slip into weak patterns when these patterns happen to be easier and our energy and attention are at a low ebb. Here are four considerations that can keep you from becoming the micromanager you really don’t want to be.
Actually track your feedback.
You might believe that you walk through the halls of your workplace doling out positivity like a radiant rainbow. But is this true? Are your positive thoughts taking the form of words and gestures? Keep an actual written list of the compliments and encouragement you give voice to each day and see if it measures up to your assumptions.
Reduce your constant contact.
Instead of asking to be looped into every meeting and getting a CC on every email, schedule weekly or monthly update meetings with each of your teams. Make the updates a regular expectation and you can cut yourself out of the daily information flow.
Alter your response to disappointments.
When your employee doesn’t get the desired results on a project, stop thinking of this as a failure or a problem. Instead, think of it as a growth opportunity — for both of you. Encourage your employee to practice resilience and experiential learning while you work on your positive coaching skills.
Letting go of control can be easier said than done, but making this happen can be the first step toward better and more effective leadership. Take two steps back, and your employees will grow into the space you create for them. For more on how to turn tips like these into meaningful action, contact the team at the ACCENT Hiring Group.
Google for Jobs – How Will It Affect Your Recruitment Strategies?
Late last year, Google introduced a new platform based on a perceived need among both job seekers and employers. In the face of a job market that’s been booming since the recession ended in 2011, a growing number of candidates are leaving the marketplace quickly, sometimes within days or weeks after launching a search for new work. Employers are scooping them up, which leaves candidates in greater control of the hiring balance and employers scrambling to claim talented workers before they become unavailable.
That’s great news for candidates, and the arrival of Google For Jobs makes the search even easier on the applicant’s side of the table. This new tool consolidates job posts from all over the internet, much like already established sites that have been doing this for decades. But Google makes use of sophisticated algorithms that can filter posts and target job seekers with only the most likely position matches. With these new resources, job seekers can adjust the filters for details like geographic area, industry, job level, salary, and the date when the job was initially posted.
But not all benefits are targeted at job seekers only; Google designed the tool with both sides of the equation in mind, so it’s easy for employers and hiring managers to zero in on candidates with appropriate skill sets and search filters. Using this platform will help you position your post in front of those who are most likely to respond, and if you’re using Google for Jobs to staff a position, the more information you provide (including salary details), the faster you’ll gain the attention and interest of candidates who are poised to thrive in the role.
Another benefit for both job seekers and hiring managers: submitting an application is easy. Once your post has landed on the desk or screen of a talented, appropriate, interested job seeker, Google for Jobs will allow you — the employer — to determine how and where the candidate submits a resume or online application. You provide the details and the platform sends the candidate to your chosen submission page with a single click.
Finding the right candidate can seem like an exhausting process, but keep in mind that your best new hires are out there somewhere, searching for you just as hard as you’re searching for them. New tools like this one can simplify the process and make it easier for the two of you to find each other and put the search behind you.
To bring the best talent in the Scottsdale and Phoenix areas to your team, turn to the ACCENT Hiring Group today!
Artificial Intelligence Won’t Replace Recruiters but It Will Make Their Job More Efficient
AI, apps, algorithms, and database management platforms won’t replace human recruiters any time soon. But these useful tools can (and already are) making the recruiting process much easier and more efficient. As a team of skilled recruiters and staffing pros with decades of collective experience and a wide network of strong industry connections — something no algorithm can duplicate — we often hear that the mainstream recruiting process is rapidly becoming digitized. And to some extent this is true, especially regarding four essential elements of the staffing and recruiting process: Sourcing, job descriptions, candidate matching and appointment scheduling. Here are a few insights into each of these important links that hold together a successful staffing effort.
When employers launch an applicant search for a welder, an account associate, a dental hygienist, a sales manager or a marketing pro, where do they start? Simply stapling posters to telephone poles won’t do the job, and neither will posting an old-fashioned classified ad in the local paper. In order to attract the best candidates and filter out those who aren’t likely to excel in the role, employers need to target their audience. This means they’ll have to go to the places where the best candidates go to seek work. A placement office in a specific university or a well-respected industry-specific job board might get the job done. But so will a series of algorithms targeting the screens of only those who hold the right qualifications, are actively seeking work, and live in the right geographic area. The first part of that equation requires a human touch; the second relies on sophisticated digital tools.
Job descriptions involve careful messaging and nuanced writing, which still lies in the realm of human tasks. But elements of every description, like lists of required qualifications, can be drawn from managed databases.
Once a job description has been assembled and a target audience identified, applicant profiles will need to be measured against the needs of the job. This falls within the category of human tasks…but not if the initial pool of resume submissions measures in the hundreds or thousands. In order to find the right candidates in such a large pool, keyword search functions and digital tools can be used to prioritize each required qualification and draw out the best resume matches.
Like candidate matching, interview scheduling involving one interviewer and five candidates or fewer isn’t an impossible task. But that story changes with a list of ten interviewers and 50 candidates, especially if those candidates will need to be flown to the venue and will need to share the room with multiple additional candidates (and interviewers). Scheduling can quickly become a hassle with a high price to pay for simple errors.
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STUDY: Top 3 Cities for Job Growth Are in Arizona
According to a recent study conducted by Wallethub, national unemployment numbers are low and strong job growth appears to be making a mark in 10 U.S. cities above all others. These 10 were chosen based a range of metrics that include population size (small but growing), socioeconomic factors, livability, and the strength of promising industries like healthcare and social assistance.
Unsurprisingly, three of the top 10 cities are in one amazing state: Arizona! Gilbert, AZ clocked in at number three, and the top two positions are tied and include Chandler, AZ (population 247,477) and Peoria, AZ.
We all know that Arizona wins the race for beautiful scenery, friendly people, a warm climate, and a rich culture and history. But not everyone knows about Arizona’s booming economic growth and central position in the tech industry. Most economists agree that the future of the US job market lies in the service sector, and Arizona cities are ahead of the curve on this point.
Employers searching for the best candidates in this corner of the marketplace are wise to center their staffing strategies in our beautiful state. And Arizona also represents a great career launch site for candidates looking for great opportunities with growing companies in healthcare, tech, media, and hospitality. Arizona is certainly having its day in the sun, and we’re excited to be located at the center of the action.
Turn to our staffing and job search experts here at the ACCENT Hiring Group if you’re ready to take your candidate search to the next level. We have the resources you need and all the cutting-edge tools that can help you find and identify the best workers in a market filled with excellent prospects. Contact our office today and find out what a top recruiter in Arizona can do for you!
Why Won’t Your Team Talk to You? They Want Predictability
Following the advice of countless management pros and business mentors (including this blog), you’ve decided to enact a small change to your management style— You’ve decided to open your office door and open your ears, to all comers. You’ve made your office into a welcoming space with a friendly atmosphere and two comfortable chairs in addition to your own. You never close the door unless you’re having a private conversation, and you constantly encourage your teams to initiate talks with you.
So why haven’t they done this? So far, all you hear is crickets, and the line outside your door is non-existent. Your teams don’t even call you on the phone—they prefer to get your attention using texts and email. Even though we haven’t met you personally, we may know why this is happening: Your teams need predictability, and they aren’t getting it from you. At least not yet.
Social Energy and an Unpredictable Boss
If you aren’t sure how your boss will respond to a surprise knock on the door or some unexpected news, you’d probably do what your teams do: stay at your desk and send a message. If you have to gauge your boss’s mood or mindset before you approach, you’re more likely to send a text. If you don’t know whether you’ll be welcomed, validated, rejected, brushed off, or yelled at, why take the risk?
Social energy is a limited commodity for almost everyone, even the most extroverted among us. And if you behave unpredictably, you drain the energy of everyone around you, especially those who report to you and depend on you for their jobs. Keeping your employees on eggshells will keep them away.
How to be Predictable
Unfortunately, just recognizing the value of a predictable demeanor won’t make adopting such a demeanor any easier. Your mood and mindset change throughout the day, and since you’re only human and you have a right to express yourself, pretending to be a robot won’t help anyone. Instead, start by exercising emotional control and equanimity, and when that doesn’t work, be honest with those around you. Use your words to describe your sense of anger or frustration instead of volume, facial expression, or unexpected actions and decisions. Try saying, “That’s upsetting news,” instead of swearing, hyperventilating, or launching into a shoot-from-hip reaction. While you’re at it, hold all of your conversations in confidence unless you have a good reason not to.
When you take a position, stand behind it. And pause for two full seconds and two full breaths in and out before you respond to comments, news, or questions that surprise or upset you. This simple courtesy of a measured reaction can yield big dividends in employee trust.
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Are you looking for the right employees to bring to your team? Contact the ACCENT Hiring Group today and work with a top employment agency in Scottsdale.
The Equifax Data Breach Reinforces an Important Workplace Mindset about Security
According to cybersecurity experts and HR pros across a wide range of industries, the Equifax data breach that occurred early last year contains some critical lessons for employers everywhere. Specifically, one: employee cybersecurity training represents an important aspect of company stability.
The data breach at Equifax could have been prevented by a host of factors, presumably, and the resulting PR fallout could have been mitigated by a stronger and quicker response from the company CEO. But when traced back to its original source, the entire scandal and the exposure of millions of volumes of personal data can be linked to simple human error. And simple human error—while impossible to completely control—can be reduced dramatically with proper training.
Lesson for HR: Train Employees with Cybersecurity in Mind
While IT teams work to keep sensitive data restricted, encrypted, and isolated from other files, company directors should keep their attention focused well beyond the IT landscape. As it happens, data security isn’t just an IT issue. Training and security policies should be a part of daily life for board members, C-suite personnel, and every employee of the company all the way down to the newest entry-level hire. And while every member of the team will play a different role in the organization and will handle data in very different ways, there are three recommendations that should apply across the board:
- Employees should work every day to limit information access only to those who need the information. This simple reminder should be worked into the fabric of the company culture.
- Multifactor authentication should also become part of everyday life in the workplace. When properly maintained, two-factor authentication (like passwords combined with fingerprint or face recognition) can prevent unauthorized data access. Just as important, it can provide a trail that reveals who accessed specific information and when. This can be applied to files as well as restricted areas of the building.
- Administrative passwords should be changed on a regular basis. At first, employees may resent the hassle of needing to change their passwords more often, but in the long run, this simple routine can add an inexpensive and meaningful layer of protection.
Establish training sessions early for new employees so they can quickly become familiar with company policies and processes. And keep in mind that it’s never too late to implement regular security training for existing employees who need a refresher course.
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Meeting 2018 Goals Might Make Business Owners Uncomfortable
2018 is about to begin, and as we approach the starting line, most of us will bring the same optimism, positivity, and clean slates that we always bring…year after year after year. Every time the new year rolls around, business owners and ambitious employees show up with their sleeves rolled, ready to dive in and get things done. We set goals and we embrace fresh starts.
And this approach generally works. Goals are met by the end of the year, more or less, as long as they aren’t too lofty. Companies stay in business, for the most part. Workers stay on track to personal success and the world keeps turning.
But this year, what if you adopt a different strategy? What if you take your established goals and ramp them up by a few notches? Instead of aiming for comfortable levels of modest success and a continuance of the status quo, why not walk right up to the edge of your comfort zone and step over the line? Here are a few things to keep in mind if you’re ready to make yourself temporarily–but genuinely—uncomfortable in the interest of reaching beyond your grasp.
Do more for your employees.
Maybe you’ll bring in slightly higher profits this year or greater returns than you have in the past. So why not push all that money (not some, but all) back toward your employees? Why not increase salaries or hiring to a point that could conceivably imperil your profits? If you truly believe that your employees are your greatest asset, back up that that belief with real dollars. Invest in the engine of your company by investing in your teams.
Take meaningful risks.
Meaningful risks are real risks. And when you take a real risk, you don’t hedge or hold back just in case your plans fail. Real risk means banking on success and diving in head first and eyes open. Promise more to your clients. Promise more to your employees. And then deliver on those promises, come what may.
Attempt something you haven’t done before.
When you find a move or a routine that works for you, you stick with it. And that’s fine, at least for a while. But this year, break out of your routines and attempt something that instills you with a sense of real anxiety. Put something on the line, design a new system that may not be perfect, or extend yourself in a way that you never have before. See what happens! Greater risks and greater rewards go hand in hand for a reason, and no matter what, you’ll end the year with a story to tell.
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For guidance as you look toward 2018 and beyond, turn to the team at the ACCENT Hiring Group and work with the top recruiters in Scottsdale!
Managing Contract Workers Requires Specific Feedback
When regular employees are brought on board, the terms of their employment are understood at the outset and the relationship between employer and employee is defined and — unless otherwise stated — permanent. Expectations, job descriptions, and standards for performance are typically part of the equation.
But relationships with contractors and contingent workers aren’t as defined. Contract workers tend to join the company on an independent or project-by-project basis, and they aren’t governed or protected by the rules and guidelines that serve this purpose for regular employees.
So, if you’re managing a team of contract workers, your methods for coaching and incentivizing may be limited. You can’t offer the same rewards, punishments, privileges, or warnings that apply to regular team members. How can you motivate them to give their all and correct them when they go astray? Here are a few simple tips that can help.
Don’t be afraid to give feedback.
Feedback — as with regular employees — should be frequent, low-drama, honest, and clear. But too often, employers withhold difficult feedback because they fear they may be misunderstood or they may drive contractors away. But if problems persist, they may eventually reach a breaking point, and at that time it may be too late to salvage the project or the relationship or both. Polite silence helps no one, so if you aren’t getting what you need, speak up.
It goes without saying that compassion and respect should influence all of your interactions with everyone, both inside and outside of the workplace. But contingent workers require extra consideration when it comes to criticism. Help them feel like part of the team, and trust that they understand the nature of their jobs. Before attempting to change an aspect of their personality or their work, make sure you’re asking for something that’s reasonable and necessary.
If something goes wrong and your contingency employee simply isn’t a fit, the arrangement can be severed much more easily than an employment relationship. So there’s no need to panic or become heated; just get to the heart of the matter (or speak with the person’s agency/manager/supervisor), and explain the issue. The next time you engage with a contractor, remember what went wrong and be extra clear about your needs and expectations.
Provide a quick but formal training program.
Before you send your contract off on an independent project, provide them with at least one paid training session so their questions can be identified and addressed.
Pay them fully and promptly.
There’s no faster way to undermine a contingency relationship then by allowing hassles, disputes, and hold-ups regarding payment. Set clear payment terms at the outset when it comes to rates, methods and payment frequency, and stick to these terms.
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An experienced and established staffing agency can help you navigate every one of the items above. To learn more, contact one of the top staffing agencies in Scottsdale and work with the experts at the ACCENT Hiring Group.
Variable Compensation for Employees: What Does the Data Say?
If you’ve ever managed a team — or spent time working as an exempt employee — you know that a salary offer doesn’t always provide a complete picture of an employee’s total annual compensation. In addition to base annual salary for exempt employees and hourly rates for non-exempt workers, by the end of a given year a typical employee may receive compensation in the form of insurance benefits, a hiring bonus, a performance-based bonus, or team incentives that have yet to be determined as the year begins. Variable compensation means two employees who make the same amount on paper can take home wildly different amounts of money by the end of the year.
Is this a good thing for the company? Anecdotal responses are mixed; some say variable pay generates motivation and increases productivity, while others believe the practice inhibits transparency, perpetuates bias, and undermines company culture. If incentives are offered for subjective or undocumented reasons, if they’re offered unfairly, or if they’re offered and then withdrawn, the concept of variable pay can easily become a source of resentment and a driver of turnover.
In an effort to see past opinions and gather clear data on the subject, Payscale conducted research and published its 2017 Compensation and Best Practices Report, and the results were revealing in some areas. Here are a few key takeaways from the report.
Variable pay is a prominent aspect of modern compensation. 74 percent of the companies that participated in the survey report offer some form of variable pay.
Variable pay practices are more likely to take place in larger companies and less likely among small companies and start-ups.
Variable pay trends show increasing frequency during the year. Instead of one end-of-year bonus, companies are more likely than they were a year ago to offer quarterly or monthly bonuses.
Among surveyed companies, 64 percent offer individual bonuses, the most common form of variable pay. 25 percent offer team incentives, and 46 percent offer spot or discretionary bonuses.
A growing number of companies are providing bonuses and performance-based incentives to non-exempt workers. Top-performing companies are more likely to do this.
Individuals and non-exempt workers often don’t recognize their impact on team goals. Variable pay based on team performance can help these individuals align their goals with those of the company.
Contact the team at the ACCENT Hiring Group to learn more about the study and find out if variable pay is the right move for your growing company.