Our goal is to provide useful information that will make your project(s) a success and we hope the following information is helpful as far as onboarding and managing remote contractors/consultants. Please call us with any questions or challenges or if you have any other insights we can share with others. We are all in this together and can make the best of a difficult situation!
Onboarding a new remote consultant:
- What equipment will they need as well as passwords and who to contact for technical assistance?
- Number of hours they should work each week?
- If they have to work overtime, who do they need to contact beforehand to get approval? We recommend this be in writing, email, etc.
- Are there any reports you want the consultant to complete on a daily/weekly basis?
- Who do they need to contact when they have a question?
- Make sure their supervisor lets the consultant/contractor know when they will be available during the day should they have questions.
- Determine and communicate clear, measurable metrics for acceptable performance. Make sure those are communicated in writing to the consultant and your Flex Execs contact. This will help your managers monitor goals and guide any performance related conversations.
Once a contractor/consultant is set up – here are some tips for a successful project.
- How would you like the remote consultant to communicate with others? Phone, email, text, etc.
- At what point should someone just pick up the phone and call vs. sending multiple emails?
- How often, and by what method do you want them to communicate with you as far as staying in touch? Is that call, email or video?
One of our clients with multiple food packaging plants around Chicago called to say they were opening another new plant in the Chicago area.
They did not have the internal resources to handle staffing the entire plant and, as we have often heard from clients, they needed to fill positions quickly. They wanted to know if we were up to the challenge. Our answer was a definitive “Yes!”
Our Challenge and Our Plan
Our client was going to need to fill approximately 100 positions ranging from line personnel to plant management. The client knew of our strong reputation as a result of having talked with another client who had sought our help and been pleased with the results.
Our first step was to develop a strategy. We needed to know the deadline for filling all positions. Once that was determined, we set about filling positions based upon their priority rankings on our pre-determined list.
We put together a team of recruiters that was headed by an assigned project manager. Each recruiter was given a number of positions to fill and each team had very specific requirements as to the types of individual skills that would be required of successful applicants. Within two weeks we had the first set of candidates ready for interview and our team was ready to assist with reference checks so that job offers could be made within only a few days after the first interviews.
It was a successful result for everyone.
When You Have Critical Recruiting Needs, Call Flex Execs
If you are contemplating a job change, you likely will think first about your resume. But what about your references? If you haven’t already started building a list of potential references, now is the time to start. It is always wise to stay connected with former managers so when you need a reference, you can advise them and they will be ready and willing to provide it.
Choose Your References Wisely
Research conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that even in the hiring process for middle management and executive-level positions, references play a key role. Therefore, who you pick as a reference could be the difference when it comes time for a hiring decision to be made.
When thinking of references, you should have a manager at each of the jobs you have worked at for the past seven years. You should also think about potential references who you supported as an internal client or worked directly with. The references you choose should have a deep understanding of your experience and should be seen as highly-credible professionals whose reference carries weight.
You don’t just want your reference to recommend you for any job; you want him or her to recommend you for the specific job or type of job you are seeking. Make sure the references you select can attest to your skills that make you a great fit for a certain position.
What won’t work for you are references who give vague or bland descriptions of your general traits and attributes. You can boost the strength of your reference letters by giving those you have chosen as references written details of your credentials. This can come in handy if you are selecting a professional reference who you haven’t worked with in a long time.
Don’t Limit Communication with References to the Application Process
Having gone to the trouble to get a group of great references, keep your references informed if you know employers you are interviewing with will be reaching out. If your best reference might be out of the country or otherwise unable to receive an email, you will want to let your future employer know that fact and offer a time when you know the reference will be available.
Maintaining your professional contacts is important even after you find new employment. Networking can’t be limited to just when you need assistance with a job reference from your contacts. After you land the job, let your references know and be sure to thank them for speaking on your behalf.
When It’s Time for a Change, Think of Flex Execs
Are you looking for a managerial opportunity in the Chicago area? Flex Execs Management Solutions specializes in placing interim HR, marketing, finance and operations professionals with some of the area’s most prominent companies. Contact us today to start your search!
When you hear the term “servant leadership,” you might ask what the term means and how it could apply to you in your job. Perhaps you wonder if it would work in your role as the leader of a team.
The term itself comes from an essay written in 1970 by Robert Greenleaf. His thesis was that under servant leadership, the leader sets direction for the team and then gives them the support they need to accomplish the goals that have been set.
Is your team in need of a new full-time or interim manager in HR, marketing, finance or operations? Flex Execs Management Solutions can help you find the right person for your organization. How could a servant-leader benefit your team?
How Servant Leadership Works
Done as it was intended, servant leadership facilitates a strong corporate culture by building creativity and teamwork. Under this type of policy a CEO is saying, “I hired you for your skills; I’m trusting you to deliver.” This still means that a leader adopting this principle is always alert. Trust can be broken. The leader, however, will realize that a business generally thrives when people are trusted to do their jobs and given the resources and assistance to deliver the best work they can.
Steven Covey who wrote the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, once said, “Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.”
Servant Leaders Are Highly Active
To be effective, servant leaders must know what is going on. The leader stays in contact with the staff but now has more freedom to stay on top of the industry and gather the information that will keep the organization competitive. At Flex Execs, we meet this type of executive often.
A CEO who has chosen to be a servant leader is fully knowledgeable about the functions of the staff and can work to bring two functions together in order to create cohesion and cooperation.
A servant leader needs humility to accept that she doesn’t always have the answer, and that leader needs the expertise to know when he or she must step in.
Servant Leaders Lead Highly Successful Businesses
The popular grocery store Wegmans, which has its home offices in New York State, is known for this style of leadership, and the company consistently makes Fortune’s Top 100 Companies to Work For list. Currently, they are #2 on that same list. They are known for empowering employees to make decisions and have grown because of it.
Whatever Your Leadership Style, We Can Help
Flex Execs Management Solutions has been helping businesses find interim managers with strong leadership skills for over 28 years. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your business.
Tagged:Chicago RecruitersExecutive Recruiters ChicagoFlex ExecsFlex Execs Management SolutionsInterim Professionals ChicagoLeadership StyleProfessional Recruiters ChicagoRecruitment Process Outsourcing
Ask almost anyone today and he or she will tell you how impersonal the world has become. It doesn’t have to be that way during the hiring process. In fact, making the hiring process more personal makes it more likely to get a positive response from a well-qualified job candidate.
Making Hiring Personal
According to an American Staffing Association Workforce Monitor Survey, 69 percent of Americans feels the job search today is too impersonal and 80 percent say that applying for a job feels like sending their resume into a black box.
The fact is that experienced candidates won’t leave a good job unless they have a true sense of what their new job and that job setting involves. They want – and need – to connect with those they will soon be working with. Taking a new job can make anyone fearful of making a poor choice. Just as you would not buy a house after only seeing the neighborhood once, you wouldn’t be likely to take a new job if you had only minimal contact with your potential new environment.
Building Genuine Connections with Candidates
Before the interview, send them an email with interesting information on the company. Why would someone want to work for your business? Get them excited about the organization before they even meet with anyone. Was there a recent acquisition which shows the company continues to grow? Did they win some type of best employer award? What are employees saying about the organization?
When the candidate is there for an interview, bringing them into the conference room and introducing a few future co-workers should not be the only way you consider encouraging a “yes” from a qualified candidate. Think outside the box.
- Use tech to your advantage and respond promptly to candidate concerns or questions using tech. If a candidate leaves your office and later has a question, can he or she get a response to that question from you or a staff member by sending an email? Unanswered questions leave doubt and doubt in a candidate’s mind can lead to a negative response to a job offer. Employers who can make applicants feel as though they’re getting personalized, one-on-one treatment will have an edge over competitors.
- Choose 2 peers and/or direct reports to the position and provide the candidate with their email or phone number where they can be reached to discuss the company outside the interview process.
- Send candidates a thank-you email or card after the interview advising them how much you appreciated their time and that a decision will be made by a certain date, keeping them advised on the timeline for the hiring process. It is critical that you advise all candidates that you phone screen or interview the final outcome.
- Invite candidates to join a video conference with a portion of your team. Let them see and hear on a first-hand basis what your employees experience on a regular basis.
- Depending on the position, consider offering a “one day in the role” opportunity where they can experience the role and how the team works together before they accept the offer. This is not for all jobs but could be beneficial in some instances.
Let Flex Execs Help You Personalize Your Hiring Process
Flex Execs Management Solutions has helped companies in the Chicago area and beyond find high-quality managers for over 28 years. What can we do to help you succeed in the hiring process? Contact us today to learn more.
Tagged:Chicago RecruitersExecutive Recruiters ChicagoFlex ExecsFlex Execs Management SolutionsHiring ProcessInterim Professionals ChicagoLeadership StyleProfessional Recruiters ChicagoRecruitment Process Outsourcing
Recently, an international manufacturing company called us with a request to quickly fill a critical position. It is the type of call we receive often.
In this case, the company’s benefit manager was going out on medical leave just before their benefit open enrollment period was set to begin. They needed a strong, experienced benefit professional who could step in and hit the ground running. This meant that we had to find a self-sufficient individual who was an expert in the field.
The Flex Execs Solution
Recruiters at Flex Execs have a wide range of networking contacts. These contacts have been built through client relationships, professional memberships, ongoing education and formal industry experience. We immediately applied that experience to find a strong benefits manager for our client.
Within a day of the client’s call, the team of recruiters met to develop a plan of action and to decide what sources could be tapped to find and hire an interim benefits manager. Within a few days, we had located and set interviews with likely candidates. Within a week, we had the interim benefits manager on board for our client.
Satisfied Clients Are the Core of Our Business
Once the new hire began work, she was able to handle the entire open enrollment process without a problem. Our client told us, “We literally never could have gotten everything done without her. She is a dream come true and a lifesaver to help us get everything set up for open enrollment. She also created 1,300 individual letters for merit increases. We could never have accomplished all of these things without her, and we are just so thankful.”
Is Your Team Shorthanded?
Learn about the ways Flex Execs Management Solutions can help you explore your hiring options. We are happy to answer your questions, so contact us today to learn more about our recruitment solutions.
Consider the following scenario: An employee comes to your office to report a serious issue that could result in a long-time customer taking a major account from your firm. Do you say you will take care of it? Or do you ask the employee what their plan is for solving the issue?
Feedback is Important
In his research of over 27,000 executives and employees, author and leadership trainer Mark Murphy found that only 23 percent of respondents said when they share their work problems with their leader, they always respond constructively. On the opposite end of the spectrum, 17 percent say their leader never responds constructively. Murphy’s best constructive response came down to this: “What’s your plan for solving this issue?”
If you work with employees to bring their solutions to life, they learn to develop and implement strong critical-thinking skills. Employees then feel more comfortable approaching you before an issue becomes critical. Best of all, when you say those seven words, you will find that you won’t be drawn into every problem that comes along.
Trust is Earned
Managers who berate staff or who are quick to anger soon become managers whom almost everyone will avoid. This is not an effective way to help your employees provide better service and increase productivity – which could reflect poorly down the line on the manager’s reputation.
Fear Creates Tension
The work atmosphere is made up of many components, but fear is not constructive. Research shows that relaxed minds really are more creative. Another benefit of building strong problem solvers is that building an employee’s confidence tends to build a positive work environment and ultimately strengthens an employee’s commitment to the organization. As if that weren’t enough, solving a problem successfully boosts a worker’s morale and gives individuals pride in what they do.
Author and business mentor Charbel Tadros best summed up the value of challenging employees to offer problem-solving plans when he said, “A highly paid, highly motivated employee who is not allowed to work with his full potential is like a Ferrari which is not allowed out of the garage.”
Want to Find Professionals Who Solve Problems?
If you need advice or have questions, contact the team at Flex Execs Management Solutions today. We help organizations of all sizes find interim professionals in HR, marketing and operations.
To find the best candidates in today’s market demands specialized knowledge and a great deal of time. Recruitment today requires tapping local, regional and global sources and extensively promoting your available positions. No wonder it leaves you feeling drained when combined with the rest of your day-to-day responsibilities in human resources!
An Answer to Your Recruiting Headaches
Steve Jobs once said, “The secret of my success is that we have gone to exceptional lengths to hire the best people in the world.” He went on to add, “You need to have a collaborative hiring process.”
Recruitment process outsourcing, or RPO for short, is not outsourcing in the traditional sense. It is a collaborative partnership between two organizations with defined expectations.
It may be designed to include job advertising, screening, testing/assessments, interviewing and selection, background verification, and drug testing. It may be expanded to include onboarding and orientation. In short, it can be what you and your HR staff need it to be.
Is It Cost-Effective?
RPO has gained acceptance because it has proven to be cost-effective when used as intended.
An RPO solution is not a way to add only one or two individuals to your existing HR team. Rather, RPO is designed to transform multiple aspects of your recruitment process. It makes the provider you select the single source for your organizational hiring. You can hire talent in a timely manner and free your in-house HR team to focus on personnel management and labor relations.
The Benefits of Recruitment Process Outsourcing
When business unit leaders need advice about building a new location based on talent availability, they know their RPO partner will provide accurate and detailed market data to position the business for success.
When you develop a relationship with a RPO, you reduce the amount of time it takes to find exceptional talent due to the knowledge that recruiters in you RPO will bring regarding industry expertise, technology and recruiting skills.
Ready to Launch RPO?
Learn about the ways Flex Execs can help you explore your options. We are happy to answer your questions. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you meet your recruiting goals and maximize the effectiveness of your human resources team.
A Flex Execs Case Study
An insurance company called us to ask for our help in developing a recruitment plan for their customer service department. The previous staffing firm filling these customer service positions did not have a strong assessment process, leading to unqualified employees being hired. Staff turnover was high and was resulting in customer service problems.
This case brings to mind a well-known saying from Warren Buffett: “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” Taking that thought to heart, the client told us to get to work promptly.
The Flex Execs Solution
In order to meet the client’s expectations, we put a team of five of our top recruiters to work. They, in turn, did a situation analysis and developed a new plan designed to attract stronger candidates.
A major part of our plan was to put in place a pre-screening process that would do a better job of eliminating unqualified candidates early in the process.
Good customer service representatives need to be inherent problem solvers who like helping people. They need patience, enthusiasm and commitment, as well as good speaking and writing skills. Also important is empathy. Current business research shows that demonstrating empathy and making better connections with customers to help them solve their problems has become a differentiator for successful companies in a world dominated by the Internet.
After taking this complex array of required skills into account, we designed a screening process that proved to be an excellent predictor of a candidate’s suitability for work in our client’s customer service environment.
A Successful Outcome
As a result of the new recruiting procedures, our client experienced lower turnover rates and improved customer service quality. Because of the reduced turnover, the client also reports a savings to their organization of $250,000 compared to the first vendor.
Ready to put the Flex Execs Management Solutions process to work? We can help clients in various industries make better and quicker hiring decisions. Contact us today to learn more.