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Hiring The Right Mindset

Part of the “Attracting and Retaining Top Talent” Series

Read almost any book or article on leadership and you will find that one mark of a great leader is his or her ability to select talent – to attract, retain, develop and motivate other leaders. Whether your business mindset falls under corporate, entrepreneur, small business, or non-profit and Government, your ability to attract the best talent with the right mindset defines your future success. The following points will help you in this process.

1. Define your cultural values. What is company culture? It is more than a set of policies, a working environment, or an atmosphere.  It defines common beliefs and behaviors as well as the way we view and value relationships. An easy way to define these traits for your company is to simply look at the behavior of the top leaders, particularly the founders or the president/CEO. The behavior of these leaders is the strongest cultural influence in any company. The example set by the top leaders of the company has a far greater impact than any set of rules. It is critical that cultural values guide everyday work.

2. Understand what motivates people. Remember Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs? It can easily be applied to attracting and retaining top talent. There are basic needs that have to be satisfied before higher needs can be satisfied.

  • Security: Regardless of the business mindset you seek, you have to be able to address both job and financial security. Study after study shows that the greatest influence on an employee’s commitment to a company is the senior management’s interest in an employee’s well-being.
  • Inclusion: People want to feel like they are “in the know.” Company goals and information have to be understood and shared.
  • Control: Many people develop a sense of self-worth related to their range of control.
  • Ego: People must feel that they play a key role in the company’s success.  Their work must be challenging and have importance.
  • Doing the Right Thing: People want to do what’s right. The question is not only “Are we doing the right thing?” but “Who are we doing the right thing for?” The social value of the work needs to be shared and understood.

3.  Make sure your message attracts the right people.The book, The War For Talent, describes four kinds of messages to which people respond.

  • Go with a Winner: This message attracts those seeking growth and advancement in highly successful companies more than a connection with the company’s mission and location.
  • Big Risk, Big Reward: This message attracts those wanting good compensation for considerable risk and careers advancing rapidly.
  • Save the World: This message attracts those wanting an inspiring mission and exciting challenges more than high compensation and personal development.
  • Lifestyle: This message attracts those seeking flexibility with lifestyle choices, better lifestyle benefits, and compatibility with the company’s leadership more than career growth and excitement.

4. Build an engaging workplace. The Gallup Organization has developed a dozen questions that measure the engagement of your employees. These questions, listed below, can be categorized into four main points of interest: “What do I get from this role? What do I give? Do I belong here? How can we all grow?”

  1. Do I know what is expected of me at work?
  2. Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work properly?
  3. At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?
  4. In the past seven days, have I received recognition or praise for good work?
  5. Is there someone at work who encourages my development?
  6. Does my supervisor or someone at work seem to care about me as a person?
  7. At work, do my opinions count?
  8. Does the mission or purpose of my company make me feel like my work is important?
  9. Are my coworkers committed to doing quality work?
  10. Do I have a best friend at work?
  11.  In the last six months, has someone talked to me about my progress?
  12. In the past year, have I had opportunities at work to learn and grow?

In the end, a leader will achieve greater business outcomes in the areas of retention, profitability, productivity and customer engagement by:

  • having a clear definition of the company’s values and business mindset;
  • understanding the values and mindset of each employee;
  • recognizing each employee’s true motivation to work;
  • helping each employee connect that motivation back to company goals; and,
  • maintaining open and honest communication.

Attracting and retaining top talent is all about how an employee feels about his or her work experience. Commitment to the company is becoming much more of an emotional-based decision with employees searching for deeper meaning in their jobs.

Hurricane Preparation for your next Interview

With Hurricane season in full motion (literally), we don’t take the news of a hurricane lightly. In fact, we are usually watching it form as tropical storms in the Atlantic at least a week before if not longer.  Days in advance, we are busy preparing.  As FEMA recommends with their Basic Disaster Kit  we should prepare a contact list and by stocking up on the following items:  food, water, batteries, First Aid Kit, Blanket, Battery radio, manual can opener, and the list goes on.

With this level of exceptional planning, would it be beneficial to apply this level of planning for a job interview?  Absolutely.

Gather Information. Before the interview, research the company – just as you would follow a Tropical Storm forming in the Atlantic. Take 5 minutes a day to read up on any “new news” that may be forming on their website. Follow their social media outlets for instant news on updates.

Basic Company Hire Kit. Before you go in for the interview, put your own Basic Company Hire Kit together on the company. Understanding the company’s structure and how the position you are interviewing for brings value to the company. This helps make sense of how YOU fit into the company. It would be valuable to gather the following information.

*What are this organizations products and/ or services? (Even nonprofits serve people through education, lobbying efforts, publications, etc.)

* What direction has the organization taken within the past one to two years, and what might be expected in the future?

* What does the organization value? Innovation, teamwork, efficiency, professional development, public service. Look in the company’s mission and values to help uncover.

* If you are interviewing with a division of an organization, how does that division work /relate to the parent organization.

Contact List. Much like the Emergency Contact List of people you need to have during a hurricane. It is beneficial to spend some time researching the contact list of people you are meeting with and possibly working with. Look to identify them as people – not necessarily their role in the organization. Try to learn about their interests, what motivates them, what they do in their free time, where they give their time in the community, etc. This will help to give you an understanding of the type of people that work for this organization and some possible insight to the culture.  While you may not find out personal information prior to – it would be important to try and learn it during the interview process.

Supply Kit. Much like the list of supplies gathered for a Hurricane. Take some time to make sure your list of supplies are in order. 

*Cover Letter – make sure it is personalized and applicable for the person you are meeting with during interview.

* Resume – customize to position interviewing for. Spell check, spell check, and spell check.  Bring a few extra printed out in case other people from the company join your interview.

* References – It is always beneficial to have this information printed out in your supply kit. Contact information is important, and if you can have written references – this is a plus.

* Bring proper identification to complete an application if this is part of the process.

* Follow Through – Try to get their business card and correct address so you can drop a Thank you note promptly in the mail.

Much like Hurricanes, job interviews are stressful. Being prepared and knowledgeable can help any interviewee feel like they are Greg Fischel  (weather man extraordinaire)….the “go- to” person for answers.

9 Leadership Lessons from Baseball

With the NCAA College World Series starting this Saturday, June 15th – we couldn’t be more proud (and excited) for NCSU  and UNC, who have earned their way to the tournament.

In addition to being great leaders on the field, the players have shown they are also great leaders off the field.

Timely with his article, 9 Timeless Leadership Lessons from Baseball, Dave Kerpen, CEO of Likeable Local and NYT Best Selling Author, shares his thoughts on leadership (and love of baseball):

1.      Swing for the fences.  Think Big. Leaders know a company vision has to be BIG, and yes that means over the fence.

2.      The best players get their uniforms dirty.  Leaders live by example, and that means demonstrating that every position in the company is important. The best leaders get “in the weeds” and pitch in, because no role in the company is too small.  Roll up your sleeves and “pitch in”.

 3.    Measure everything that matters.  In the book and movie Moneyball, Billy Beane brought in a new era of baseball. By measuring statistics such as on-base percentage, Beane demonstrated he could field a competitive team for less money than the teams who relied on gut instincts alone. Great leaders know to use all of the data and analysis to make smart, informed decisions.

4.      It’s more about the team than about any one superstar.  Baseball is a team sport and not an individual game.  As Kerpen points out, even a dominant pitcher only plays once every five days. The best leaders recognize that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts; and while it’s great to have top talent – it’s the team that wins championships.

 5.      Don’t go down looking.  In baseball, it’s important to be patient and wait for your pitch. However, with two strikes against you – it’s time to swing the bat.  Great leaders have strong convictions, and they don’t go down without a swinging for what they believe in.

 6.      Keep your eye on the ball.  Hitting a major league pitch going 80-110 mph is one of the most difficult tasks; and in order to be successful – players must be laser focused on the ball. In business, great leaders know that staying focused is the key to success.

 7.     Hit em where they ain’t.  One of the greatest hitters of all time, Willie Keeler said, “Hit em where they ain’t.” Which essential means, it doesn’t matter how hard you hit the ball; just hit the ball where the opposing players aren’t. In building a business, great leaders and entrepreneurs know by finding a market need, and solving an existing problem, they can build a successful organization.

 8.      Be ready for a curve ball – or a change up. The key to being a successful hitter in baseball is to be great at hitting the major league fastball, AND to be able to hit a curveball and change up. Great leaders are agile and adaptable, and know that in building a successful organization – the organization has to be also. The best players can knock a fastball out of the park, but are also prepared for the unexpected.

 9.      Talent wins games, but team chemistry wins championships.  The most talented players in the league combined with the smartest coaches doesn’t guarantee a championship.  If the team doesn’t have chemistry, doesn’t get a long and doesn’t believe in each other – they will not be successful. Famed management expert and author Peter Drucker once said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” More important than any vision or strategy, the best leaders know the key to success is building a team that believes in each other and in the organization.

 With the leadership lessons in your back pocket, bases are loaded and you’re up to bat…….so “Play Ball.”





Global Connectivity – Video Interviewing

Organizations using Video Interviewing are nearly twice as likely to be Best-in-Class.” Aberdeen Group 2011

As the demand for talent, highly skilled talent that is, continues to increase in the global marketplace, Greene Resources is providing connectivity between employers and candidates in a flexible, more cost effective way utilizing video interviewing technology. Greene Resources partnered with the pioneer of video technology in an effort to give our customers and candidates an optimized hiring experience.  This enterprise system was designed by recruiters and delivered by software experts.  The approach provides hiring teams and recruiters an all-inclusive solution that integrates instantly with retrievable candidate videos, profiles, credentials and documents.  Thus, it enables faster decisions, eliminates travel requirements and costs, and improves quality of hire.

Video interviewing successfully engages passive candidates, provides a richer interaction with candidates earlier in the process, and delivers a better hire faster and more cost effectively.” Human Capital Institute.

Candidates and hiring teams can connect 24×7 around the globe.  Companies hiring have the flexibility of one on one interviewing and panel interviews. Video interviewing also offers on-demand candidate video responses to specific interview questions, allowing hiring managers to maintain question consistency across the board.

“Video Interviewing is going mainstream.” Bersin & Associates 2011

Candidates have the opportunity to showcase their skills and experience, enabling them to present traits that are sometimes difficult to communicate through the traditional interview process. There is opportunity to present work examples and job artifacts, allowing candidates the opportunity to present a more authentic overview of their skills while allowing hiring managers more visibility to identify top talent faster.

Greene Resources is pleased to provide you a faster, flexible competitive advantage in connecting Best-in-Class companies with Best-in-Class talent. To learn more about this innovative tool and utilizing it for your business, please contact us.

Attracting and Retaining Top Talent

Think for a minute on how much time, effort and money  is spent on attracting and keeping your top clients. Think about the amount of energy expended on  hundreds of prospects that never become customers.  Perhaps you have an entire sales force dedicated to the nurturing of those prospects and new clients. Perhaps you have a defined sales and service process that ensures new customers continue to get attention even after delivery of the product or service.  Perhaps you have an entire customer service department built on the concept of continuing to service the customers’ wants and needs. 

 Now, let’s turn to another customer base – your employees.  How much energy is spent on ensuring their satisfaction?  How many cards and letters have they been sent thanking them for their service? What have we discovered about what gets them up and going to work everyday and how we can make their experiences with us better?  Did they  have a fully furnished workspace upon their arrival? 

 Today, successful companies  require vision, flexibility, speed, innovation, and a detailed understanding of their market to meet the needs of increasingly demanding clients – both internal and external.  Perhaps the most demanding (or should I say deserving) client of them all is the employee.  The better we are at realizing this, the more successful we will become in attracting and retaining top talent. 

 How do you attract and retain top talent?  Well it starts with defining your company’s culture and then communicating it effectively and consistently to the staff.  The following ten principles will assist you in getting started:

 (1)                 See the big picture and help others do the same

You have to know and be able to communicate (a) what your company does, (b) why you work for your company, (c) what makes your company successful, (d) what makes your company unique, and (e) where your company is going.  Know, and be able to express, your company’s mission, core values and beliefs, and vision.

 (2)           Be committed

Managing  is about getting involved.  Being involved is a visual commitment to your employees. It is about coaching, teaching and inspiring others.

 (3)           Get close to your customers

The only thing that cannot be duplicated by another company is the relationship that you and your staff have with the customer.

 (4)           Invest in your people

There is a popular quote that says, “I don’t care how much you know until I know how much you care.”  Your job, no matter your position, is to help make other people successful. 

 (5)           Be positive

Rather than dwelling on the negatives, attack problems with a can-do attitude.  Have a contagious attitude, but one worth catching.

 (6)           Have fun

Don’t be so serious all of the time…lighten up.  In today’s work environment there are too many headaches to have to deal with a manager or coworker who is a headache.

 (7)           Focus on continuous improvement

Ask why a lot. Get rid of things that get in the way and be willing to make a radical change.  Trying harder, while using the same old tools and techniques, is a path to failure. 

 (8)           Do it now

Employees and other customers want answers today.  If an answer can’t be found, at least let them know when it will be found and deliver on time.

 (9)           Commit to honesty and integrity

Your ethics and values will always contribute more to success than techniques and strategies.

 (10)         Create brand recognition

Without brand recognition, employees and other customers will have a hard time differentiating you from your competitor.  Hence, they might as well work for your competitor as to work with you. 

 In order to be successful, you have to be willing to get involved in the activities of your employees.  You have to establish a vision, be consistent with your message, be unique, committed, and most of all, memorable.  This type of leadership will prevent you from being like your competitors.  It will create commitment from your employees and from your other customers. And most of all, it will be fun.


A Good Recruiter

When was the first time you realized you needed a good mechanic?” was the caption on a truck I saw recently.  It made me think, when was the first time you realized you needed a good recruiter?

Maybe it followed a frustrating interview experience. Maybe it followed an extremely positive hiring experience. Whatever the path that led you here, recruiters are an invaluable resource in the hiring community and can be your # 1 advocate (and often times your #1 fan).

As a candidate, recruiters can provide an immeasurable degree of perspective. Here are a few of those perspectives that I think you’ll agree it is worth finding your good recruiter.

  1. Company insight – recruiters have a unique opportunity to be able to provide insight to the company, culture and position that you may not be able to pull out of a job description.  It is also to their benefit to provide this level of insight as they have a vested interest in working towards a mutually beneficial match.
  2. Neutral perspective – As a neutral third party, recruiters may be able to have more detailed conversations about the opportunity, the company and not come across too “salesy” during the interview process.  Giving the candidate a great position to be able to evaluate and ask honest questions. Evaluate objectively with a neutral perspective.
  3. Honest Feedback – Third party recruiters are hired by the company to handle the search and interview process for them.  As recruiters are interviewing many, many people – they may be able to provide you feedback on your interview and your experience relative to other candidates in the job market.
  4. Coach – as you continue to work your way through the interview process, the recruiter will be able to help coach you through the process. This will be valuable as you begin meeting with multiple hiring authorities, managers, etc.  Having someone not only coordinate these meetings, but also provide the hiring managers details about your experience can work to your advantage.

This is where company insight, neutral perspective, honest feedback and a coach can make the difference in working with the “right” recruiter.  For more information on Greene Resources and our approach to creating life fulfilling moments – please check out our website on our job opportunities. We would enjoy being your great recruiter!

Succession Planning

There was an interesting article written by Ron Thomas this week on “Passing the Baton: What’s so hard about succession planning?”

“One of the things I did best was provide a successor. Adam (Silver) has the respect of the owners and the players, he has expertise in the very important areas of social media, international and television, all of which report to him.” David Stern, commissioner of the National Basketball Association, said this week in announcing his retirement . 

Stern will retire on Februrary 1, 2014, and will be replaced by Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver, 30 years to the day Stern started with the league.

 “I decided that things are in great shape and there’s an organization in place that will ultimately be led by Adam that is totally prepared to take it to the next level,” Stern said.

 As Thomas points out, athletics are great at succession planning. They hire every year for the same position and plan for the baton passing. 2nd and 3rd string quarterbacks train just as hard as the Tom Bradys, Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Mannings of the world.

Much like a 4×100 relay, Thomas points out the baton passing is a skillful art of transfer. In the work place, the knowledge transfer must be done the same way.

So why is this so hard to do in the workplace?

Both big and small companies face their own set of challenges in succession planning. But comparatively, both are limiting their areas of succession planning. PWC research states that most companies are successful at succession planning for the C-suite and corner office, but lack succession planning for majority of company positions.  

So what happens if a key manager leaves on a Friday? Do you have someone to take over on Monday that has been cross trained, has the knowledge transfer, and can immediately jump in? Or will there be a learning curve or downtime during a recruiting search?

Thomas recommends that like the 4×100 relay, companies should have a track around their deparments with each position carrying a baton.  Whenever there is approval to bring on a new hire, departments should be asking, “What is the next step for this role?” “What skills will be needed for that role?” In other words,” What will we need?”

“It is critical that organizations define the skill sets, expertise, and character required for all roles by taking into consideration today’s business needs, “says Thomas. That way, as businesses prepare to go to the next level, they have a relay of batons ready to take them there.  There must be a reason the word “Success” is in Succession planning!

10 Apps for the App-solutely Busy

There is a rather rhetorical question I ask of most executives, “How do you go about fitting more hours in the day?”  The other day I received a comedic response, “Someone should build an app for that.”

Good news. There already is.  Not just one but ten. Melinda Emerson, the No. 1 Woman Entrepreneur to follow on Twitter according to Forbes, shared her top 10 apps for Entrepreneurs (and Busy People).

1. Evernote. This easy-to-use, free app helps you stay organized across all your devices. It lets you take notes, sync files, save web pages, capture photos, create to-do lists and record voice reminders. And it makes all these tasks completely searchable, whether you’re at home, at work, or on the go. The small-business owners I surveyed said it’s the best productivity app out there!

2. Dropbox. This free, cloud-based, file-storing service lets you bring your photos, docs and videos anywhere and share them easily with your laptop or mobile device. No more danger from the blue screen of death with this app. Move all your files to the cloud so you can access them from any device, anywhere. You can also interface with your team to share files, which provides great version control and cuts down on e-mail. 

3. Nozbe. This task-management system provides a simple user interface and is extremely intuitive. Nozbe lets small-business owners keep track of what they’ve delegated and what they’ve assigned to themselves. It’s available on both Android and iOS devices, and you can e-mail it tasks to add. The app also integrates with Evernote and Dropbox. 

4. Ifttt. A shorthand for “If this, then that,” Ifttt is a simple Web app that automates actions when certain conditions are met. For example, if it checks the forecast and it looks like rain, you can set it to send you a text message to grab your umbrella. Ifttt can also automatically bookmark blog posts for you in Delicious, Digg, etc. and call with appointment reminders. And that’s just a start. It can be a bit intimidating at first, but you’ll get the hang of it quickly. 

5. LastPass. This free password manager and form filler relieves the stress of trying to remember a slew of passwords. If you regularly move between multiple computers, devices and operating systems, LastPass securely stores and gives you access to any of your account credentials.

6. Square. This on-the-go mobile-payment device plugs right into your smartphone to accept credit card payments. And you don’t need to set up a merchant account at your bank. Just order the card reader for free and set up an account. Square charges 2.75 percent per transaction, and funds deposit in your account the next day—with no transaction or amount limits.

7. Mint. If you need to know if a business check cleared the bank, you need this app. Mint compiles all of your financial information in one place. You can see what’s happening with your checking, savings, investment and retirement accounts anytime and track spending as you go. One caveat: You can’t transfer funds through this read-only app. Even so, it makes the list for being such an efficient financial tracker. 

8. FlightTrack Pro. An essential app for tracking flight information, FlightTrack Pro has proven more accurate than any other source and gives information in real time—often before that same info is provided by the flight crew. This $10 app makes just about every conceivable flight detail available. Add a flight and you’ll get departure and arrival times, airport code, terminals, gates, aircraft and status. And there’s no need to keep checking the app on the way to the airport; it’ll alert you as departure time nears. Its only drawback is that it’s currently available only on Apple devices.

9. Expensify. If you travel for business, you want to keep your receipts. You can do it the old-fashioned way, but why give yourself extra work? Your smart phone can keep track for you. Using your phone’s camera, you can snap pictures of your receipts to retain a digital record in chronological order. The app also allows you to log mileage, meal expenses and other business-related travel costs.

10.  Coffee Break. If you’re one of those who sometimes gets into “the zone” and barely remembers to eat lunch, now there’s an app to remind you. Studies show your brain becomes less effective if you don’t break every 90 minutes, so schedule your day with the Coffee Break app. Imagine your Mac shutting down to tell you that you’ve been sitting in front of the screen too long and need a break. This app features a mechanism that refuses to do anything else for you until you rest your eyes, grab some lunch or get some fresh air.

While this may not promise more hours in the day – hopefully it “app”lies to a more productive day (and a few more coffee breaks).

Made in America

US Manufacturing is on an optimistic trend in both job growth and fueling the economy. Manufacturing has been hiring more consistently than any other industry and recently had their best month in the last five years. 

Historically around 9 percent of the nation’s jobs are in manufacturing.  But last year, the manufacturing sector added 13 percent of new jobs.  And last month, they added one-fifth of the 243,000 net jobs for the economy. And with US Manufacturing export on the rise, this has also added additional jobs in other industries such as shipping, warehousing, and auto sales.

So is US Manufacturing making a comeback? Or just coincidence?  Some doubt that it will ever gain back as much market share as it had in the 1960’s.  However, there are a number of reasons that US Manufacturing is becoming more competitive.  China is currently seeing an increase in production costs, while there is an increase in flat wage growth in the US.  The corporate borrowing rates are near historic lows and there is also acceleration in the US natural gas production that is lowering key costs for U.S. factories.  

“Labor cost is not the only factor that is under consideration when you are locating. Taxes, energy costs, the advantage of being closer to the customer,” said Chad Moutray, chief economist for the National Association of Manufacturers.

That is good news for America and good news for North Carolina.  North Carolina is home to manufacturers such as Cree who  are fueling economic growth for our state as well.  With more opportunities to enter the work force, it feels good to be able to say, “Made in North Carolina.”

For more information about Greene Resources’s Manufacturing Division, Productivity Staffing,  please contact:

Statistics from this article are credited to two articles published by the News and Observer on February 15, 2012

March Madness for the Job Seeker

Well folks, it is that time of year again. Fans are devotedly sporting their team gear, office conversations turn back to the recent game injury, and rivalries are heightened.  March Madness is here.  This month of constant basketball can teach us a lot about the game.  As job seekers, we can also take lessons from these games and transfer them into valuable learning experiences.

There Will Be Upsets. Take this year for example; #15 seed, Norfolk State, beat #2 seed, Missouri. Upsets happen.  As job seekers, it is important to learn from these mistakes, brush yourself off and try again. Getting discouraged when you are rejected from a position is easy to do; but it will end up just delaying your success.

It’s Not Over ‘Till It’s Over. In basketball you learn to never count out a team until the buzzer has sounded – same for the job search.  You may be applying for a position that seems out of your reach, maybe you feel like you bombed a question in your interview, but it is important to continue with 100% effort until the end of the process. Make sure to make a strong impression from your resume to your thank you and follow up.

Sportsmanship.  We have all watched that player who gets angry after a foul is called; but just like in a career search, a bad reaction leaves a lasting impression.  Rejections from positions will happen, but resist the urge to send the nasty email or badmouth the company.  Always be grateful for the opportunities you have been presented.

Be prepared, mentally and physically. When a player is physically there in the game, but is not truly there in mind – you can tell.  Let this be a lesson for us. A successful job search requires both mental and physical preparation.  Mentally, understand such things as the type of position for which you are applying and your strengths and weaknesses for that type of position. Prepare also for the physical requirement of the job search. Understand how time consuming and exhausting the search can be and prepare accordingly. Appropriate preparation will ease the difficulty of your job search.

So now I challenge you. When watching your next basketball game, try to notice other valuable lessons that can relate to your job search. We would love to hear about them.

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