Tag Archives: Flex Execs

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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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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The need to hire an interim professional can arise from multiple scenarios. Whether the need comes from increased demand for your product or services, from medical leaves or retirements, or from the fact that no one on your staff has the skill sets you need for a specialized project, it helps to lay out your goals and figure out what you need in a contract expert before you set out to find the right candidate.

Do you know what key metrics and objectives the interim specialist needs to meet? What challenges will they encounter during the term of their position? What skills will they need to bring to the table? These are just a few of the questions that should be addressed before the search for an interim hire begins.

Who Constitutes Your Ideal Candidate?

Those whom we place as interim professionals  are generally experienced and results-oriented. They are attracted by the challenge of short-term assignments and may welcome the opportunity to work in a new and interesting industry or in a new area of the country for a short period of time.

Before starting the search process, identify what performance expectations you have and the core skills and personal characteristics you want from your interim professional. If you are hiring for a position that requires specific industry experience, make sure you know what experiences you are looking for in potential candidates. If you are hiring for a corporate-style position, industry may be a secondary concern.

Regardless of why they are looking for new work, interim experts are people who are ready to enter a new position and quickly assume the required role. The experience and capability they can bring to your business will be an asset.

Don’t Delay Recruitment Decisions

As unemployment continues to decline, the best interim professionals often have multiple offers on the table. They may also take offers quicker due to the shorter term of their position, rather than taking a longer time to ponder a full-time job offer. Have a contract ready for the perfect candidate as soon as possible and do not delay recruitment decisions for unnecessary deliberations.

Understand What Interims Need from You

Interim professionals need to have clear goals and performance expectations, all of which should be defined in their contracts. They need to understand the limits of the position and the authority they have within your contract with them. Your interim professionals will be most successful if permanent staff have a clear understanding of the role they will fill.

Work with a Reputable Provider to Find the Right Interim Manager

When you contact Flex Execs Management Solutions to hire an interim professional, we know that you want an individual who can help you get the results you need quickly.  In short, they need to be able to “hit the ground running.”  Flex Execs will do the vetting so the interim professional is ready to work.

We also know that any individual hired on an interim basis will need good communication skills and a management style that allows him or her to build productive relationships quickly. If the interim hire will be bringing a new skill set to an organization, we look for the individual’s ability to be a strategic thinker. When finding someone to fill an interim role, call Flex Execs Management Solutions.

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Hiring for multiple locations can quickly strain your budget and your own HR staff.  Flex Execs has worked successfully in such situations and has the experienced recruiters to help you quickly find the right staff in economical and time-efficient ways.

Hiring Across Locations for Telecommunications

One of our telecommunications clients needed to hire 30 CSRs per month for a number of months. While they had located and hired some candidates, they wanted to find even stronger candidates with a skillset that better fit the persona they were looking for.

In short, they needed to find better qualified candidates with specific experience.  The client also told us the interview process for hiring with their organization was thorough and challenging, making it especially important to locate source candidates who would do well in such interviews.

Take the Solution to Where It’s Needed

To accommodate the increased hiring needs, Flex Execs placed contract recruiters on-site in the client’s facilities in the three different states that required the new employees. We studied the individual characteristics of the employment market at each location and developed plans to maximize them. We used multiple techniques and were conscious of the need to “think out of the box” regarding the ways to attract the candidates that would have the skill sets required.

These interim recruiters highlighted the benefits of working for the company and paid special attention to preparing strong postings that gave applicants a sense of what it would be like to work for the company. They were clear about how to apply and made those steps easy to follow. They also articulated the role the successful hires would play within the organization.

Over the ensuing months, our client’s new CSRs were not only better equipped to handle client issues and challenges, but they were also being promoted within months.  This outcome was exactly what the client desired and, in fact, exceeded their expectations.

Your Success is Our Success

Our telecommunications client continued to use us for their other staffing needs across departments.

His comment to us was, “Flex Execs did an outstanding job and our senior leadership can’t believe the level of professionals that you have brought into our organization in such a timely fashion.”

Our team stands ready to help you in the special hiring situations you face. A visit to our web site will give you an insight into how our cost-effective, on-demand solutions can work for you. Find out how Flex Execs Management Solutions can address your managerial hiring needs today.

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For a growing business, one location is often not enough. When you have multiple locations in rural areas, finding the right talent is a challenge for most companies, especially in a tight candidate market.  Couple that with the lowest unemployment rates in our lifetimes, and it can mean serious recruiting challenges.

Our client told us that the successful applicants would be in highly-visible positions and would be working in various rural areas.  The company needed to have the positions filled quickly but had not been having success working with other talent agencies.

Finding the Right Candidates Means Taking the Right Approach and Being Creative

Using the expertise of our recruiters and considering the unique needs of our manufacturing client, we were able to take the focus beyond finding the right managerial fit. Our team looked at what types of people would be a strong fit for their culture and engaged unique and creative recruiting strategies to identify the right people.

Placing the emphasis on leadership skills and culture fit, we were able to find interested candidates in the targeted rural areas that were a great fit for these mid- to senior-level management positions! Our Client was  able to fill these critical positions within a matter of weeks with talented people that fit the bill for their  needs

How Impressed was Our Manufacturing Client?

Equally important to the approach we took to drive results, we did so at a savings of nearly 40% under what a traditional search firm would have charged! The client was happy, and we were happy to hear her say, “Flex Execs has done such a great job that all the hiring managers are asking specifically to work with your company.”

Is your team looking for a fresh approach to direct hire recruiting or interim management solutions? Let Flex Execs Management Solutions help you reach your hiring goals to. Contact us today.

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flex execs set expectations contract hires

Once you have made the decision to engage a new contract employee, your next step is to determine how to best set expectations for their assignment.

Training an “on-demand” workforce generally requires rethinking the delivery of training you may have received or the training you provide to full-time hires. How will these contract employees interact with your full-time team? What is the scope of their responsibilities? How will you set expectations for what needs to be completed and what goals need to be met in the short-term?

Here are some guidelines your team can follow to set expectations for your contractors and help them make the best contribution they can.

Simple Techniques Can Drive Success When Working with Contract Employees

Entrepreneur magazine’s business coach, Marcus Erb, suggests that managers can increase the effectiveness of contract employees by meeting with them in person. If you’re working with a remote contractor, call them directly or set a video meeting with programs like Skype, Google Hangouts or Zoom.

Meeting and setting expectations is important for all contract employees. Everyone is intimidated if they do not know exactly what their job entails. Remember that merely telling a contract employee to “check with” another employee if questions arise, leads to haphazard training and potential disappointment for everyone.

Position Agreements Set Standards That Lead to Excellence

To communicate the expectations, many experts now recommend the development of what can best be termed as a position agreement. Position agreements are designed to clarify an employee’s role. Because of that, they are applicable to any individual in that role and are not specific to only one individual.

To be most effective, position agreements tell employees exactly what results they are expected to achieve, what work tasks are required of them to achieve the result, and what standards will be expected of them as they complete their tasks.

When you write a position agreement, you are writing a document that is designed to propel the employee in the right direction in order to meet the actual goals of the company.  You are holding the employee accountable for job performance so that both the employee and the manager can each know what is expected and what each can expect the other to do. 

Let Flex Execs Help

Our success has been built on helping organizations in need of interim professionals. The team at Flex Execs Management Solutions is here to put our expertise to work for you. Contact us today!

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