Dad’s lesson: Do your homework.

I was thinking about my work as a recruiter and remembered a lesson my father taught me many years ago. I was a senior in college and asked him if he had any advice before going to a couple important job interviews.

“Do your homework before you meet them, know something positive about the company that the interviewer may not know.”  My father wanted me make a good impression, stand-out in a good way, to do more.

Today the contents of a library are available on your smart phone. My best clients know I am interested in their businesses. I researched one client and learned the CEO holds several patents in his industry. I incorporated that into a conversation with him and prospective candidates. With another I pointed out career path similarities with two candidates and the company president. They were both hired. I learned the CEO’s five-year plan from a client’s annual report and pointed out how a particular candidate can help achieve his vision. Believe me, it can help!

It doesn’t matter if you are going for an interview, making an important presentation, or preparing for a conversation with an old client. Let them know you do a little more, that  you work a little harder, know more about them, their company and their goals then the other guy.

It can make the difference between average and exceptional.

Thanks Dad, I heard you.


The Importance of a Disaster Recovery Plan

Office floodRecently, our company and community experienced historic levels of rainfall from Hurricane Harvey. My office building was flooded and the community got lots of media attention. As the storm approached the decision was made to close our offices and relocate operations.

We had a plan and were prepared for events that altered the daily activities of our company. It took less than 30 minutes to shut down the company’s home office operations. Employees and tenants in the building were all vacating. The computers were removed, servers disconnected and were relocated to our CEO’s home. In an hour all operations were up and running.

Our next step included uninterrupted phone contact between our clients and the company, our data is stored in the cloud, software was preloaded on everyone’s laptop allowing employee access from anywhere. Our level of service to our clients was seamless and we did not let anyone down.

Our company has been operating from a satellite office for weeks and we hope to return to our offices next month. I would guess that if I didn’t share this information I doubt anyone would know we moved.

A good disaster plan for a small business is crucial. This event demonstrated to me the importance of preparation. I have seen people panic when their laptop didn’t boot-up. Imagine what could happen if the entire company couldn’t boot up!

Every plan should include having access to your data, technology and the ability to maintain a productive working environment. Restoring operations quickly is crucial to the bottom line and maintaining the highest level of quality and service for the people you do business with.

How good is your disaster plan?