How to Build Trust on Your Team as a New Manager

You can be the smartest person in the room. But if your team members don’t trust you, then they’re not going to follow you very far. As a new manager, though, building trust can seem like a tall order. Where do you begin? Start with these tips:

Remember, actions speak louder than words.

If you chide an employee for being late to a meeting, then are constantly late yourself, you’re sending disparate messages to your staff. As a result, they won’t put much weight into what you say. That’s why it’s important to always lead by example, showcasing the behavior and attitudes you expect from your team members.

Create clear goals and expectations.

When you tell employees to do one thing one day, then demand that they change course the next, it creates confusion, uncertainty, and doubt on your team. That’s why it’s so important to make sure every staff member understands their individual goals, as well as the team-wide ones.

To communicate goals when you’re first starting out, schedule private meetings with each of your employees and talk to them about what you expect in both the short and long-term. Also, get specific about department-wide goals during team meetings.

Be available and open when it comes to communication.

Open dialogue is a good thing, even when you don’t always agree with what’s being said. But when you promote a culture of open communication on your team, your people will be more likely to come to you when issues arise. Likewise, they’ll be more likely to share their ideas for new innovations and how to accomplish company goals.

Get to know your people.

You don’t need to become best friends with your employees. But if you want to build relationships with each one – and a more trusting culture – then you need to get to know them on a more personal level, beyond just being their boss. Not only will this help you forge stronger ties with them, but it will give you some insight into what motivates your people.

Don’t blame, do give credit.

Mistakes happen. But when something goes wrong – and you automatically point fingers – you’re lowering morale and creating a negative atmosphere on your team. Instead, acknowledge where things went wrong and work together toward a solution. And when a team member does something well or goes above and beyond, make sure to give credit where it’s due.

Building a team – and a culture of trust – for a new manager can certainly be an uphill battle and it takes a while to get there. But when you follow the tips above and keep at it, your people will eventually come around and see that you have their best interest at heart.

If part of your team-building efforts includes hiring, let the experts at Kingwood Personnel help. As one of North Houston’s leading staffing agencies, we know where to look to find the high-quality talent you need. Contact us today to get started or learn more.

How to Use Social Media to Get Your Next Job

Job hunting has changed dramatically in the last 20 years. Gone are the days of scouring the local newspaper for job ads and mailing in your resume. In today’s world, the process is almost entirely online, whether you’re submitting your application on a company website, emailing in your resume, or posting a LinkedIn profile to attract potential recruiters.

On the employer side of the situation, things have changed a lot too. Applicant tracking systems are now the norm. And hiring managers today are using many online tools to recruit and screen potential candidates – including social media.

Not only are they Google-ing candidates, but they’re also checking out the likes of Facebook and Twitter to get more insight into individuals they’re considering. In fact, according to Career Builder, 60% of employers used social networking sites to research job candidates in 2016. Beyond that, employers are also posting jobs to social media and engaging with candidates during the process.

What does this all mean for you?

As North Houston recruiters, Kingwood Personnel knows if you’re searching for a new job, social media is a vital part of your efforts if you want the best results. But if you aren’t quite sure how to incorporate it into the mix of your other job search tasks, we’re here to help with some steps you should take:

Set clear goals.

It’s easy to get lost in the world of social media. You go to LinkedIn to look up a job posting and a half hour later, you’re still clicking around the site without accomplishing anything. That’s why it’s important to set goals when using social media. If you’re searching for jobs or researching a hiring manager, then stick to that. If you want to look up potential employers that are a good fit for you, focus instead on that goal. When you take this approach, you’ll get more done and waste less time.

Polish your profiles.

When a potential employer Googles you or looks you up on LinkedIn, what are they going to see? If it’s not totally polished and professional, you have some work to do. This means that whatever social media platforms you’re on, you need to ensure each one positions you in the best light. Some tips to do this include:

  • Updating your background, experience and career information so it makes a strong argument for why you’re a top candidate to consider.
  • Place an emphasis on your workplace achievements, not just on tasks and responsibilities.
  • Make sure your skills reflect where you are in your career today, not five years ago when you created the profile.
  • Include a professional-looking headshot.
  • Get rid of any irrelevant information or details that no longer reflect where you want to take your career.

Get active.

In addition to ensuring your profiles are up to date, also get active on social media. Different channels provide great opportunities for you to share your knowledge via posts and articles, as well as to network with those who can connect you to new opportunities.

For instance, both Facebook and LinkedIn have countless groups to join, giving you the chance to become a part of the conversation in your industry or a particular niche. Over time, as you build relationships with others, you’ll be able to secure more job leads and referrals. If you already have a robust social media network in place, tap into it and ask your friends and colleagues for referrals to potential opportunities.

Need more help with your next job search?

Call in the North Houston recruiting experts at Kingwood Personnel. We can help you identify the position that best matches your skills, interests, and professional goals. Contact us today to learn more.

 

Top 6 Interview Best Practices

As one of Kingwood, TX’s top staffing agencies, we know that when it comes to candidate interviews, the stakes are high. An effective interview can help you hire the most talented candidate; a weak one, however, can result in a hiring mistake.

But if interviewing isn’t a regular part of your job, or you’re a little rusty, how can you get the information you need to make the right hiring decision? With these 6 best practices:

1. Do your homework.

Don’t simply glance at a candidate’s resume two minutes before the interview, or wing it and hope for the best. Rather, you need to be strategic in how you handle interviews.

Part of the process includes good preparation. For instance, before the interview, read through the job description to ensure it’s fresh in your mind so you can spot candidates with the attributes you need.

Likewise, review each candidate’s resume well before the interview. While you should have a uniform list of questions you ask candidates – so you can easily compare them later – also create a short list of questions unique to each one’s background. This will help you to dig deeper and find the right candidate.

2. Put the candidate at ease.

When most candidates walk into your office, they’re going to be stressed and anxious. But if you want to have the most productive conversation, it’s important to put them at ease. Give them a friendly smile and start off with an icebreaker. This, in turn, can lead to a more effective and fruitful interview.

3. Ask meaningful questions.

During the interview, you need to ask more than surface-level interview questions. That means going beyond questions that illicit vague responses, or “yes” and “no” answers. Instead, dig deeper with behavior-based interview questions, such as “tell me about the accomplishment you’re most proud of” or “tell me about a project that didn’t work out as you planned.” This will help you better assess whether a candidate is truly a good match for your needs.

4. Take notes.

You’re never going to remember everything a candidate says – especially if you’re interviewing five or six in one day. That’s why it’s so important to jot down notes and thoughts throughout each conversation. You’ll have a much easier time comparing candidates later, during your decision-making process.

5. Evaluate body language.

Beyond what the candidate says, also look at their non-verbal responses during the interview. For instance, are they making eye contact, how are they sitting and what’s their tone of voice when answering your questions? These can all give you a more thorough understanding of the candidate and their potential to meet your business needs.

6. Explain the job.

If you want to find the right candidate for the job, you have to do more than evaluate their interview answers. It’s vital you give them a realistic sense of what the job entails. Offer them an overview, give them a tour, answer their questions thoroughly, and cover both the highlights of the position, as well as the challenges. This way, you’ll set a candidate’s expectations and those who don’t think they’re a good fit can self-select out.

Don’t have time to conduct job interviews? Need help sourcing candidates for a job opening?

Let the experts at one of Kingwood, TX’s top staffing agencies – Kingwood Personnel – help. For over 30 years, we’ve worked closely with employers to assist them with sourcing, screening, interviewing, testing, and hiring the highest quality candidates on the market. From full-time professional hiring to short-term temporary employees, we can help you find the talented individuals you need. Contact us today to learn more.

How to Deal with an Underproductive Employee

As an experienced staffing firm serving North Houston, Kingwood Personnel knows that being a manager is stressful. You’re responsible for your performance, as well as that of your team. And when one employee isn’t meet expectations or deadlines, it can torpedo your whole department. What can you do? Follow these tips:

Deal with it.

Many managers make the mistake of hoping a problem with performance will go away, or that it will resolve on its own. That’s understandable considering these conversations can certainly be awkward. But in fact, performance issues have a way of escalating, which is why you want to face it now before the problem gets worse.

Don’t blow up.

You might be angry or frustrated. But don’t blow up at your employee or take them to task in front of the whole department. That approach will simply put them on the defensive, which won’t do anything to improve performance. If you’re upset, take enough time to cool off before you talk with your employee.

Schedule a meeting.

Your goal here shouldn’t be to chastise the employee. It should be to find out the source of the problem and to solve it. That’s why, before you walk into the meeting, prepare beforehand. Have clear examples of the problem behavior you’re seeing and how you want your employee to change course going forward.

Talk, then listen.

Once you explain the nature of the meeting, as well as why you’re concerned, give your employee time to tell their side of the story. Say something as simple as “Tell me what’s going on here.” Perhaps they’re not totally clear on your expectations for them. Or maybe there are problems at home. Whatever the case, you always want to treat your employee with respect and that means giving them the floor to voice their side.

Set goals.

Once you’re both clear on the cause of the underperformance, you can work together to set goals going forward. It’s vitally important at this point that your employee understands what’s expected from them and what specific steps they need to take to improve.

Reevaluate performance.

Even if your meeting ends on a positive note, it’s still important to check in with your employee on a regular basis. You don’t have to schedule anything formal. However, do make sure you’re keeping tabs on the progress they’re making and their performance. Also, provide any necessary training and resources your employee might need to boost their performance.

Getting an underproductive employee back on track isn’t an easy task. But it can be done by following the tips above. And if you’d like more help and advice on these and other HR and staffing-related issues, connect with the team at Kingwood.

For over 30 years, Kingwood Personnel has been providing world-class staffing firm services in North Houston, matching leading companies with high-performance professionals across a wide range of industries. Contact us today to get started or learn more.

Top Ways to Attract the Best Candidates

When you’re looking to fill vacant positions, you’ll likely need to use more than an attractive salary to get top talent to apply. Regardless of the unemployment rate, the best candidates always have options when it comes to choosing an employer, and you need to stand out from the competition to get them interested.

If you’re looking for ways to attract the most capable job seekers imaginable, here are some methods for attracting the candidates you need.

Company Culture

One method for attracting top talent is to have an attractive company culture. Often, this involves having a well-defined mission and core values, as well as providing support to employees interested in building their skills or furthering their careers. Having a leadership team that prioritizes communication, trust, and transparency can also help, as these points assist in the creation of a strong overall culture.

When you develop your company culture, you need to form it in such a way as to attract the kind of job seeker who will flourish in open positions. This involves creating a brand that focuses on finding candidates that are the right fit as well as highly skilled.

Work Environment

Having the right physical environment can also be a method for attracting the best candidates. When employees feel comfortable at work and can easily access the tools they need to complete their duties, they are more likely to be engaged on the job. Typically, a sense of engagement can increase their overall job satisfaction, and happy workers can make other job seekers interested in applying to vacancies.

The type of environmental improvements a company can offer depends on the industry, as what works in an office doesn’t always fit in an industrial space. Often, a quick discussion with your current workforce can help you determine what changes are most desirable, giving you some initial direction.

Perks

Providing a wider range of benefits and perks can also attract the best candidates available today. Anything from flexible scheduling to student loan repayment to free lunches might draw the attention of job seekers looking for more than just a paycheck.

Typically, the best place to start is with the standard benefits package. Offerings like medical, dental, and retirement accounts can go a long way to increase interest in your vacancies. Generous time off is almost always appreciated and the option to work from home, even occasionally, is highly desirable.

You can also create a career planning program that helps employees grow with the company. This may include an effective performance review process, goal development, and even succession planning. This allows workers to manage their careers strategically and can be especially attractive to employees who want to keep moving forward.

Do you need help finding the best candidates for your open positions? The professionals at Kingwood Personnel can connect you with top talent in the area. As a leading staffing agency in the north Houston area, we have the knowledge and experience to get the job done right. Contact us today to see how our services can work for you.

When to Let Go: Knowing When to Fire an Employee

As one of the leading placement firms in Kingwood, TX, Kingwood Personnel understands that some people won’t always fit in with your organization. You may not even realize it right away.

It’s never easy to let an employee go, but it can be detrimental to morale and business objectives to keep someone on staff who isn’t making a positive contribution. While there are many ways you can gauge if it’s time to let someone go, these are just a few ways to know if it’s time to say good-bye:

Consistently not meeting expectations, even after many warnings

If at first an employee doesn’t meet your expectations, the case may be that there’s been a miscommunication, a lack of training, and/or there weren’t clear expectations set from the beginning. But once you’ve communicated your expectations, set clear goals, and provided ample training opportunities – and the employee is still underperforming – then it’s clear they’re not a fit for the role they’re in. Not only does this situation waste time and money, but it can also cause tension between others within your company.

Unable to adapt to change

As your industry continues to evolve with changing technologies and advancements, an employee who is immovable or refuses to improve with your organization can slow your company down. If an employee isn’t comfortable with change or improving their abilities, then it may be time to move on.

Lack of passion or drive

Newly hired employees are full of excitement and enthusiasm about the opportunities that lie ahead. As time goes on, those who aren’t committed to the company’s values and mission can easily lose their drive and passion. While this might be a temporary situation due to a challenging project or a difficult client, it becomes a big problem when it’s an ongoing issue.

They’re simply not a fit

Even if someone has all the hard skills required to be successful at the job, they may not have the soft skills– the ones that will determine whether or not a candidate will blend with the culture – to make it at your company. And if you’ve got someone on staff who isn’t a fit culturally speaking, then it will become clear very quickly. The faster you cut ties, the better.

Firing an employee can be a difficult. However, keeping someone on staff who isn’t doing a good job, or isn’t the right fit, can cause serious damage to their career and your company in the long run.

Do you need help finding great candidates – ones who are the right fit – for your job openings? Call Kingwood Personnel. As one of the leading staffing and recruiting firms in north Houston, we can assist you with the entire search process – from sourcing and screening to hiring and retaining the best people for your positions. Contact us today to get started.

4 Red Flags to Consider in Your Job Search

Searching for a new job can be a challenge. Between perfecting your resume and cover letters and prepping for interviews, you may be missing some key indicators that the job or the company is not right for you. The expert recruiters at North Houston’s leading recruiting firm have put together a list of red flags to watch out for as you’re searching for employment:

You have significant doubts about your ability to perform the job.

If you understand the requirements for the job and you have doubts about your ability to thrive in the role, that’s an indication that this may not be the position for you, even if you’re desperate to find a position quickly. As one of the leading job placement agencies in Kingwood, we know that accepting an opportunity that’s not a true fit can only result in frustration and misery. If you’re concerned you don’t have the skills or experience to do the job, it’s best to continue your search.

The employer is vague on the details.

You may be asking great questions about the job and its requirements, but if the employer is responding with vague answers or won’t get into specifics, consider it a warning that requirements may change significantly after you’re hired. If this is your experience, it may be best to walk away from the opportunity early on. You’ll want to know what you’re getting in to ahead of time, and an honest and good employer will be transparent about that.

Your interview wasn’t a great experience.

If you have an interview with your would-be boss and they treat you rudely, act judgmental, or are overtly critical of you at this stage, it’s never a good sign. You might walk away from an interview like this feeling badly, but imagine having to work with that individual each day. After all, your boss will significantly impact your overall job satisfaction, so if they make you uncomfortable during the interview, it might be wise to walk away from that opportunity.

You just get a strange feeling.

If you get an uneasy feeling when you think about the job or speak to the hiring manager, you’re intuiting that something just isn’t quite right, and you should listen to that gut feeling.

If you’ve been unemployed for a while, it’s tempting to take the first job offer that comes your way. But before you make a move, make sure the employer isn’t showcasing any of these big red flags.

Need more help finding a job – and an employer – who’s right for you? Call Kingwood Personnel. As one of the leading job placement agencies in Kingwood, Kingwood Personnel can help you locate the position that best matches your skills and interests – whether you’re looking to move up the corporate ladder, re-enter the workforce, get more experience, or just gain more control over your schedule. Contact us today to learn more.

How to Handle Passive Aggressive Employees

Passive aggressive employees often indirectly resist their assignments, avoid face-to-face confrontation, and act with petulance.

These types of employees may act out covertly to sabotage others and, subsequently, tank projects and business objectives. If you have someone like this in your employ, it’s best to deal with her or him head on. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Kingwood, TX, Kingwood Personnel knows that allowing passive aggression to continue can seriously impact productivity, morale, and your bottom line.

So how can you properly handle a passive aggressive person at work? Here are a few tips:

Be direct with them

Handling a passive aggressive person is a challenge because, by definition, they typically avoid direct confrontation. Instead, they may mumble snide comments or purposefully miss a deadline to hurt a teammate.

That’s why, when confronting a passive aggressive employee, you’ll want to be clear and direct about the behavior you’ve witnessed. Document specific examples so that you’re able to have an objective conversation with them.

Remain collected

It’s easy to become frustrated at a passive aggressive employee, but it’s imperative to remain calm and collected when dealing with the situation. Over-reacting or attacking the employee will inevitably make the situation worse. While being direct is important, passive aggressive personalities don’t respond well to attacks; they simply shut down and become more problematic.

Lead by example

As an employer, it’s not your job to change someone’s deeply-rooted personality or coping mechanisms. But if you create a company culture that encourages communication, support, and openness, it can diffuse negative behaviors like passive aggression before it can take root.

A passive aggressive employee can cause a great deal of stress for you and your other employees. So if you have a passive aggressive team member, it’s important to confront them about their behavior. But it’s just as important to ensure you have a culture built on trust and communication to prevent feelings of passive aggressiveness in the first place.

Do you need help hiring people with a positive attitude and great work experience for your team? Call the recruiting experts at Kingwood Personnel. As one of the leading staffing services firms in Kingwood, TX, we can assist you with the entire search process – from sourcing and screening to hiring and retaining top talent. Contact us today to get started.

Interview Questions to Ask if You’re Hiring Temps

More and more companies are turning to temporary agencies for their staffing solutions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, temporary work accounts for about 2.9 million jobs in the private sector.

But that doesn’t mean you should be less thorough with temp hires. As one of Kingwood’s leading staffing agencies, Kingwood Personnel knows that one key to hiring a great temporary employees lies in asking the right interview questions.

Here are a few questions to ask temp candidates:

Would you be interested if a permanent position became available?

It’s always important to understand a candidate’s career goals. The case may be that you’re hiring a temp to meet demand for a short-term increase in business without increasing your overhead. However, if that turns into a long-term demand, you’ll likely want to have a candidate available who is receptive to that opportunity.

What is your availability?

Having the skillset required to perform the job is only half the battle in finding great temp talent. If they aren’t able to fit your schedule, it’s a no-win situation. It’s important to find those candidates who can meet your scheduling needs and who can also be flexible should those needs change.

How easily do you adjust to a new environment?

Each time a temp employee begins a new assignment, how quickly they can assimilate to a new culture and set of rules will, in many ways, determine their success in the role. Someone who doesn’t handle change well may not be as great of a fit in a temp role.

How would your colleagues describe you?

Although you’re likely going to be performing reference checks, this is a great opportunity for you to see if your candidate’s answer matches or is close to what their previous coworkers say about them.

Hiring a temp worker shouldn’t be less of an undertaking when it comes to interviewing. These questions are just a starting point to help you make the best hiring decision possible.

Do you need expert help hiring temp workers – and taking your company to the next level? Call the team at Kingwood Personnel. As one of Kingwood’s top temporary staffing agencies, our extensive database of North Houston candidates allows us to identity proven performers who can step in and make an immediate contribution to our clients’ growth and productivity goals. Contact us today to learn more.

How Your Staff Can Help Grow Your Business in 2016 and Beyond

As one of the leading staffing agencies in Kingwood, Texas and the surrounding north Houston areas, Kingwood Personnel knows growing your business isn’t all a matter of acquiring new customers. Sometimes taking a step back – and focusing on your people, can help you achieve your growth goals.

Below are a few tips to consider:

Ramp up customer service.

It’s an old, but true, adage that it costs more to acquire customers than to keep your existing ones. And having a loyal base of clients is key to a steady and healthy business.Therefore, it is crucial that your current employees know how to service your current customers. With most business markets more competitive than ever, it’s important to be attentive to clients’ changing needs. Just like your best employees always have options on where they can work, your best customers can always spend their money elsewhere, if their needs are not being met.

Invest in your employees.

When you’re looking to grow your business, it’s important to commit resources to the professional development of your staff. You can’t expect your managers and employees to learn new skills and achieve their growth potential without training and education opportunities.

So whether it’s regular brown bag lunches that focus on important topics each week, or professional development seminars, ensure your employees have access to plenty of learning opportunities.

Create a culture of empowerment and collaboration.

Don’t micromanage every detail of your staff’s day. Instead, empower them to make decisions and act on them. Even if they make mistakes along the way, they’ll learn far more than if you are constantly looking over their shoulders, trying to do the work for them.

Also be sure to instill a strong spirit of collaboration in your team. Promote internal communication and encourage employees to forge ties with those outside their teams and departments. Some of the most innovative and profitable solutions come from cross-departmental collaboration.

Address hiring mistakes.

The last thing any business needs is to bring someone on board who isn’t a fit for the job and the culture. That said, if a hiring mistake happens, then you need to take swift action and part ways with the employee. Poor performing staff members erode morale and impact productivity. The longer you leave them on the team, the more they will harm your company.

Need more help ensuring you have the right people in the right positions at your company?

Call Kingwood Personnel at 281.358.2018. As one of the leading one of the leading staffing agencies in Kingwood, Texas for over 30 years, organizations all over North Houston and the surrounding areas rely on our expertise to source and retain top talent for hard-to-fill, key positions across a broad range of business disciplines.

Contact us at 281.358.2018 if you would like to learn more.