Making a good first impression

04/22/14 0 COMMENTS

You aced the phone interview and now they would like to meet you for a face to face interview. No problem…right?
Right! If you follow these basic suggestions…remember most people have an impression of you within the first
10 seconds of meeting you.

1. Make eye contact, smile and give a firm hand shake: This may seem obvious, but many candidates when nervous, forget to make eye contact. The number one killer for first impressions is to fail to make eye contact. People generally think when you do not make eye contact that you are trying to hide something or you are just plain rude. Smile…it just makes a person look better and the interviewer will think you are friendly, confident and happy to be at the interview. The Handshake…a firm handshake is a must. Weak handshakes come off as the person being weak. And don’t crush their hand by over doing it…that can be taken as a sign of aggression.
2. Greet the person by their name and ask how they are: Greeting the person by their name can be the most positive action you do to create a good impression. Saying a persons name creates a level of comfort and familiarity. And by all means, ask the interviewer how they are…first of all, it is the polite thing to do and it shows a degree of interest.
3. Be polite to every person you come in contact with: When you arrive, TURN OFF your cell phone…if you feel the need to be busy, take a trade magazine and read it, or appear to read it. The best thing you can do is interact with the receptionist or other employees that walk through, but don’t keep them from doing their job. Interacting with company employees shows that you are confident, friendly and sociable.
4. If you are asked if you would like something to drink: Say yes. And ask for water. Nothing else…no coffee, no soda and definitely no adult beverages…this is an interview, not happy hour. To refuse a drink, is rude in some cultures and to walk in with your own drink is a big No-No.
5. Wear appropriate clothing: A poor choice in clothing can kill you before you even get started. Men, wear a suit, not one from 20 years ago, and your best Sunday shoes, do not show up in a GQ suit with shoes that have scuff marks or worse yet, a hole in the sole. Women, wear a suit/skirt or suit/pants and do not wear any revealing clothing and keep the stilettos in the closet. It is ok to accessorize, but don’t wear all your bling or bathe in perfume. And for both genders…make sure you remove any facial piercings. Oh…and make sure you brush your teeth and pop a mint before you walk in.

Happy interviewing and I know you are probably thinking these basic suggestions seem silly to remember but when you have had a candidate go into an interview and not remove their sunglasses through the entire interview…you take nothing for granted!
You only have one first impression.

On-boarding New Employees

04/15/14 0 COMMENTS

Definition: On-boarding is a strategic process of bringing a new employee into the organization and providing information, training, mentoring and coaching throughout the transition.

Purpose: Effective employee on-boarding serves three purposes. First, it ensures that the new hire feels welcomed, comfortable, prepared, and supported. This leads to the new hire’s ability to make an impact within the organization, both immediately and over time. Finally, employee success leads to satisfaction and retention, which allows the organization to continue to meet its mission.

Employee On-boarding Checklist
1. Confirm offer letter sent and returned signed
2. Call or email to officially welcome the new employee
3. Provide new employee with a contact in the event of a question or issue
4. Create an on-boarding schedule for new employee
5. Assign on-boarding mentor for new employee’s first 60 days
6. Order business cards, set up computer, phone, log in password and leave office supplies on desk
7. Provide the email account and password information to new employee
8. Send an announcement via email to all other employees
9. Address parking options if parking is designated/cost is involved
10. Make sure new employee information is added to all employee lists
1. Introduce to co-workers
2. Department/Company tour (restroom, vending machines, water/coffee)
3. Have new employee meet with HR Department to complete all necessary documentation
4. Distribute key and/or access card to office
5. Discuss procedures for scheduling time off, and unexpected illness
6. Review work schedule, pay schedule, overtime pay and dress code
7. Go over phones, fax, copier and how to obtain office supplies
8. Provide computer orientation at new employee’s desk
9. Take new employee to lunch or arrange a welcome lunch for them
10. Give logo/brand company items to new employee as a welcome gift

First Week:
1. Review job responsibilities and expectations
2. Review performance and appraisal process
3. Review company’s mission, strategy, values, functions, policies and procedures
4. Review emergency plan/exits
5. Provide health and safety training
6. Schedule one-on-one time with new employee, this is vital to their success, it gives you the ability to gauge how they’re doing, answer any questions, and give them feedback
First Month:
1. Schedule weekly/monthly meeting to touch base
2. Make sure all training has been completed or scheduled
3. Ensure that all benefit paperwork has been completed and submitted
4. Review and clarify performance objectives and expectations after the first month
5. Overview of budget and finance policies and procedures
6. Make sure employee has projects/tasks to complete
7. Complete 30 day on-boarding evaluation survey

Do you love your job?

04/07/14 0 COMMENTS

Do you love your job or are you there just collecting a paycheck?

No job is perfect, even the best relationships have their down days. So, with that being said, all of the following may not be the case all of the time but when you LOVE your job, many of the following should be the case!

1. Do you talk about people or do you talk about the great things they are doing?

When you love your job, you talk about people and their successes, not their failures.

2. Do you think, “Do I have to do that” or “I can’t wait to take this on?”

When you love your job, you enjoy taking on new tasks, not complaining about them.

3. Do you see your clients as “people to satisfy” or simply as “people?”

When you love your job, you think of them as real people who have real needs, not as numbers.

4. You enjoy your time at work.

When you love your job, it’s a part of your life, not something you have to do.

5. You would recommend working at your company to your best friend.

When you love your job, you can’t stop talking about how great your company is, not trash talking about it.

6. You enjoy attending meetings.

When you love your job, you enjoy meetings…seriously…Why? Because it’s fun to be at the center of thoughtful, challenging discussions that lead to decisions, initiatives, and changes – changes you get to be a part of, not “do I have to go to another meeting?”

7. You think about winning not surviving.

When you love your job, you enjoy being challenged to achieve your potential, not “am I going to get fired today?”

8. You see your manager as a person you work with, not for.

When you love your job, you feel valued, respected, and trusted, not like a door mat.

9. You don’t want to let your co-workers down.

When you love your job, it is important to you that you carry your weight because you admire your co-workers – and you want them to admire you, not “I have to do everything around here.”

10. You hardly ever look at the clock.

When you love your job, you’re too busy making things happen, not “oh my gosh, I have 7 more hours to go.”


Top Real Estate Websites:

04/01/14 0 COMMENTS

Looking for a new home or apartment…these websites should be able to help you find what you are looking for!

Happy Hunting!

Yahoo Homes
Frontdoor Real Estate
MSN Real Estate
AOL Real Estate
Apartment Guide
Home Away
RE/Max Real Estate

You used what word on your resume?

03/25/14 0 COMMENTS

If you are a recruiter or work in a HR Department, then you can definitely relate to my pain.

I review resumes, not once but probably twenty or more times a day. Quick glance; look at education, current company, title, progression of career…not bad…until I read the cover letter or qualifications and a stream of clichés start flying off the page.

Your resume is the first impression a potential employer has to go by when forming their opinion about your qualifications. I am old school, so there are some words like detail oriented and dependable that are some what acceptable. But in all honesty; who would put “always miss work on Monday” vs dependable or “makes typo’s regularly” vs detail oriented?

There are certain words that show a lack of imagination, the ability to think “big” and overall confidence and/or leadership. So with that being said; here are the words you should probably remove from your resume or never put on it to begin with.

1. Hopeful – Implies you are not sure… you need to be certain

2. Assist – Leaders are assisted… not assisting

3. Professional – Would you say you were/are anything but “professional”…it’s a given

4. Approximately – If you don’t know, then find out…if you do know, then in a humble way share what you have accomplished

5. Attempt – You need to use quantitative words…”increased” or “exceeded”

6. Implemented – Implemented is good if you are in a planning department but otherwise; tell me how you improved existing processes while still getting the job done

7.Team Player – This is where imagination comes in; relay how the people you managed were promoted or tell me what your company’s retention rate was/is…that screams “team player”, without using the word

So, take the time to review your resume and cover letter. Do you see any of the words mentioned above? If so, then use your imagination, be creative, have fun and spice it up…trust me…being unique can get you an interview just because it shows a certain confidence.

Managing your pipeline

03/18/14 0 COMMENTS

Recruiters manage the flow of several pipelines. These pipelines must always be active, current and overflowing if their business is to be successful. So they organize their day, centering it around certain basic activities to keep the pipelines going. If any one of these pipelines are out of sync it could cause the recruiter to be out of commission and consequently, they then earn no commission. A key part of a recruiters focus is on balancing these pipelines and increasing the flow in each of the following:

Searches: Searches are the heart of a recruiting organization. Without positions to fill, the recruiter is out of business. A recruiter is continually on the hunt for searches through all manners of marketing, cold calls to potential clients, calls to existing clients, referrals, networking and advertising.
Candidates: Now in order for the above mentioned searches to be filled, the recruiter must have qualified and preferably passive candidates. So a recruiter is always pursuing every avenue they can through cold calling, social media web sites, job postings and referrals. By continually sourcing candidates, a successful recruiter is managing and increasing the flow of contacts, relationships, and resumes.
Submissions: A submission is a qualified candidate that you submit to your client. If the recruiter is managing their searches and candidates, then the first hurdle of the placement process has been cleared by your submission. It is absolutely essential for the recruiter to have an ongoing flow in the first two pipelines in order to efficiently and effectively make their submissions. Hopefully your client will be interested in the candidate and want to interview them and the candidate thinks the company and opportunity are exciting enough to interview for…and when these two things come together…it is then time to coordinate the interview. Now it gets really exciting.
Placements: Placements are what a recruiter’s work life is all about. Recruiters are in the business of, and stay in business only by, making placements. A placement is that magical moment when everything clicks and all the bells and whistles go off. These placements require the experienced mediation, management, communication, and sales ability of a skilled recruiter. Making placements and closing deals is a recruiters reward for managing their all-encompassing pipeline activity.

What To Look For When Hiring a Search Firm

03/11/14 0 COMMENTS

What To Look For When Hiring a Search Firm

Hiring a quality search firm for your company is as critical and important as the actual employees you hire to work directly in your organization. We have all heard; “A bad hire is a costly hire.” So, how do you know if the search firm you’re interviewing has the right stuff to give you the advantage over your competition in finding and hiring the best candidates?
Process: Ask the prospective recruiter/search firm to walk you through their process for finding and hiring a candidate, from the moment a job order is received until the actual hire. This will give you insight into the recruiter’s thoroughness, network of contacts, and integrity.

Candidates: Ask the prospective recruiter/search firm, “Where do you find your candidates?” Do they have experience with only one source – online job boards, for instance? Or does the recruiter have experience with a wide range of networking sources? Good recruiters/search firms will have a strong network of contacts they can rely on to get your organization the best candidate. They will also be aggressive; and not reluctant to make COLD CALLS to find the passive candidate that every company would like to hire. If the recruiter/search firm can not give you a clear and direct answer regarding their sourcing tactics; beware. It is very important to learn what kind of candidates the recruiter/search firm have experience in placing. You certainly do not want to hire a firm who has never placed the type of candidate you are in need of. A good recruiter/search firm will bring knowledge, information, and value to your company.

Cost: Make sure you understand how search firms charge. Firms may charge as much as 40% of your new hires first year salary, but 20% to 30% is more the norm. A contingency agreement means the search firm only charges a fee if you hire a candidate they presented. A retained agreement requires a percentage of money to be paid before the search is started but your search will take priority over a contingency agreement. Many top-notch firms will not work on contingencies, and many will want a fee if you fill the position with them or without them. Make sure you understand the contract.

Performance: Verify a recruiter/search firms success rate. Check their references. Reputation in the recruiting industry is similar to water…without it a firm will not persevere. Make sure and verify who will be performing the search. Ask how long a typical search takes to complete. Inquire if there are companies they can not approach. Search firms will not recruit from their own clients; which is a benefit to you as well. Also, provide the search firm with a list of companies that you want them to approach and those you do not want them to approach. Be very detailed in your job description of requirements; telling the search firm that you need “An educated bubbly personality who would fit well with your culture” is a recipe for disaster. A better description would be, “We need a VP level individual from a Fortune 500 company with 5 years of experience handling all production for the company.” Bottom line; do your homework.

The best recruiters/search firms are motivated by the challenges of recruiting itself. Money is a factor for any recruiters, but the very best are those who love finding that needle in the hay stack.The best recruiters also love making good matches between candidates and companies. They get a charge out of getting to know people, both within their company and outside of it. They enjoy learning about candidates’ skills and personalities, and about the jobs they’re trying to fill—and they get satisfaction out of bringing the right candidate together with the right company. And finally, the best recruiters/search firms are those who can make the difficult hire and give you the best chance of retaining new hires.


JCP Would Like to Welcome Recruiter, Shannon Miller

02/26/14 0 COMMENTS

Since joining Joseph Chris Partners and residing in Houston for 15 years, Shannon has developed strong relationships in the commercial construction and real estate industries.

Shannon is goal oriented, fearless and committed to driving business connections toward win win results. Shannon owned and operated a philanthropic retail business in Houston, Texas for 7 years in which she headed up sales.
Ms. Miller has never met a stranger, possesses an enormous heart and a passion for charitable causes. She has spent countless hours mentoring and counseling young adults.
Being a native south Floridian, Shannon enjoys any and all activities on the water, sports, traveling and most importantly, spending quality time with family and friends.

First Impressions Matter

02/25/14 0 COMMENTS

Have you ever been on a job interview, thought you rocked it and didn’t get the job knowing full well that you are qualified?
Wonder what went wrong?

There could be numerous reasons but first and foremost is “First Impressions Matter.”

Whether a company is looking at your resume for the first time, conducting a phone interview or interviewing you face to face,
you have about 10 seconds and the other person has an opinion of you before you ever even get started.

1. Appropriate clothing: Always dress your best! Women, stay away from revealing clothing, too much jewelry and too much perfume and make-up. The normal attire for an interview is a suit and guys, please don’t wear one from a decade ago. Know the culture of the company; and make sure you dress accordingly. Note to all: if you have any facial piercing…remove them before you arrive for your interview, including tongue piercing. And last but not least…your shoes…please make sure they are on the “newer” side, because there is nothing worse than looking like a million buck and your shoes looking like they cost $10.

2. Eye Contact, Smile and Handshake: I know, you are all rolling your eyes, thinking uh…that’s a given. Well, you would not believe how many nervous candidates fail to do one or all three. Looking directly in someone’s eyes shows respect as well as, you have my full attention. Many people relate someone not looking them in the eyes as being a sign that they have something to hide or maybe are not always truthful. Smiling is so simple…it enhances your appearance and says, “I am happy to be here and I am a people person.” As far as a handshake goes, weak is not good at all, firm is good and too firm can imply aggression. Practice.

3. Say their name and be personable: Greeting a person by their name and asking them a polite question, such as, “how are you today” has been proven to be two of the most influential acts to elicit a positive impression. People like to hear their name and feel as though you truly are interested in them. Keep it short…you are there to interview for a job.

4. Interaction with other employees: Talk to the receptionist, if other employees are coming in and out of the waiting room, smile and acknowledge them. Be engaging, it will make an impression on your potential co-workers and will show the interviewer that you are a people person who is confident and sociable. Turn off your cell phone before you arrive, so you are not tempted to play games, read email or have a conversation. If you need something to “do” while you are waiting, read an appropriate trade magazine. Remember the “other” employees are forming an opinion of you as well.

5. Would you like a drink: As a matter of fact, you do! Even if you don’t. This is a sign of hospitality and a refusal can be considered rude. Water is great…you don’t have to worry about it being too hot…and it won’t be obvious if you spill a drop and it can help you with your dry mouth during the interview. Whatever you do, do not roll up with your own beverage in hand.

Now all of these actions seem to be obvious but sometimes it’s the obvious things we forget. Good luck and go out there and make a stellar first impression!

The Questions Great Candidates Ask

02/17/14 0 COMMENTS

You’re interviewing a candidate and get to the end and ask them, “Do you have any questions for me?”
Do you ever get that doe in the head-light look? Or do you feel like they are just asking questions to make themselves look interested or smart? Or do you ever get a short and simple “No?”
Basically, they do not hear a word you say when answering them, because they are thinking of the next question they can ask to look as bright as possible.
That is the difference between someone who is “just looking for a job” and someone who is well prepared, having done their homework and have a true interest in working for your organization. They are evaluating
you, if they want to work for you and your company.

Great Questions the Great Candidates Ask:

1. What are the common attributes of your top performers? Every company and culture are different, so the key qualities for any company are going to be different. These candidates want to find a home so they need to know if they will fit in and if they do fit, they want to be a top performer.
2. What are your expectations of me in the first 90 days? These candidates want to hit the ground running, They do not want to spend an excessive amount of time “getting to know the organization.” They want to make a difference immediately.
3. What drives results for your company? They are asking this because they know that when they help a company succeed, that means they succeed as well. Employees are an investment and they should want to generate a positive return on their salary.
4. What do your employees do in their spare time? This is a very telling question…it shows if the interviewer really knows the people they work with. This can be a tough question if the interviewer is with a large company…so they will probably speak in general terms. This question also lets a candidate know if they really have an opportunity to fit in.
5. How do you deal with…? Every organization faces major challenges and every employee wants growth and advancement so they don’t just want to know what you think, they want to know what you plan to do.

So be prepared for these questions because at the end of the day, it is about finding the right candidate because that results in higher retention rates, lower training costs and better overall productivity.

Happy Interviewing!

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