Tag Archives: Chicago Recruiters

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

Flex Execs Management Solutions is ready to help you achieve the same outstanding results. Need to fill large quantities of positions in a short time frame? Contact us directly to get started today.

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flex execs selecting best references

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!

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flex execs servant leadership

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.

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flex execs personal hiring process

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.

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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.

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flex execs help employees become problem solvers

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.

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flex execs recruitment process outsourcing

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.

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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.

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A resource can be exhausted and depleted, but an asset is tended carefully and expected to grow. Such a statement begs the question: Do you see your employees as expendable, or are they assets that will serve you and your organization best when they grow?

If you see them as assets and communicate that fact, you will be more likely to have success in attracting and retaining the talent you need in today’s employment market.

Putting People First Makes You a Winner

Today’s market is candidate-driven due to low unemployment and an improving economy. This means good candidates are often in short supply, and those you have on your team may be open to better offers. If you understand that your employees are assets, they generally respond well by bringing strong work and increased productivity to your organization.

Lifetime employment is rare today. Most employees today recognize, and even embrace, workforce mobility. In order to retain your top performers, offer them the training and opportunities that help them see the value that comes from their current position. Be sure to also keep in mind that employees who feel they have a stake in the long-term success of the organization are motivated to stay with that organization and build their skills to grow with the organization.

A Positive Employee Experience Multiplies Benefits for Your Business

When you need to bring on new employees, and have worked hard to attract strong candidates, treating them as internal customers can increase the likelihood that they will stay with you for the long term. Putting people first will help ensure that your team members generate genuine enthusiasm for the work you task them with.

Through their professional networks, your employees have numerous contacts, any one of whom could become candidates for new openings if they hear good things about your organization. As the internet has become increasingly dominant in our lives, good news from employees and high reviews travel fast.

Always Put People First

Not only does improving your employee experience and corporate culture improve retention and loyalty, but surprisingly it can also increase innovation and profits. If workers feel pressure to deliver results in the short-term, either because they fear being fired or feel undervalued, they may be less likely to pursue innovations or develop their strategic thinking skills. On the other hand, if workers have a stake in the company’s long-term performance, they should be more likely to innovate and communicate your positive management policies to others.

At Flex Execs, our business is helping our clients and job seekers reach their goals in this competitive market. Contact us to learn more about our unique approach to recruitment and hiring.

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When you manage people, you may sometimes ask yourself if you are leading your team the right way. President Theodore Roosevelt asked the same question since he is credited with having said, “A leader leads, and the boss drives.”

Which are you? Are you playing a role or do you know that you have a chance to positively impact the lives of your staff and actively work to do so?

What Makes You a Leader?

Harry Levinson was a psychologist who first looked into the role of the American worker in the 1950’s. He recognized a link between job conditions and emotional health, and he expressed the concept that great leaders are those who climb the corporate ladder with deep respect for the people below them. In contrast, a boss will often overlook the fact that a paper job description can only explain the roles and the tasks an individual needs to fulfill.

A leader sees a job description as more than a detailed list of tasks and responsibilities. Beyond that list must be a mutual agreement with every staff member that includes mutual trust and respect. Building that trust takes continuous commitment, but it is a commitment that a leader readily accepts.

How Leaders Separate Themselves from Bosses

A leader will be an exceptional manager because he or she treats their employees as partners in growth.  They will help their employees grow and help them develop their individual skills and talents.

Leaders provide honest feedback that is given with respect. This ensures both parties can enjoy open communication for the benefit of the accomplishment of the tasks at hand. When projects are completed successfully, leaders show people how their work skills and work ethic made a positive difference. They engage all those they come into contact with so those working in areas with low visibility feel valued and not anonymous. They lead with intelligence and skill, but also show heart.

Are Your New Hires More Like Bosses or Leaders?

A recent study from Boston College recognizes leadership as part of a range of soft skills and traits.  Hiring for individuals with such skills and consciously working to apply them can result in a 250 percent return based on investment and higher productivity and retention. If your organization needs more leaders to expand your growth in a competitive atmosphere, let us help you find the leaders who will help you thrive. Call the recruitment experts at Flex Execs Management Solutions today.

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