September Employees of the Month

Congratulations to SVP of Finance and Administration Diana Scott and Senior Partner Angie Truitt, Joseph Chris Partners’ Employees of the Month for September.

What You Don’t Ask Could Cost You!

There are always those dreaded questions you hate to ask a potential candidate. It’s difficult at best to ask and talk about the “hard questions” but you have to do it.
Why? Because if you don’t…you are doing a disservice to your client, candidate and yourself. Sometimes we are so concerned about making a placement that we forget that the client who hired us and the potential candidate look to us to advise them. All we want to hear, is YES, YES, YES but in reality it’s OK to hear NO because it is your job to be subjective, truthful and thorough and no isn’t always a bad thing.

Does your current employer know that you are looking and/or unhappy?
Gaps in employment?
Why did you leave your previous positions?
Who have you interviewed with or submitted your resume to on your own?
Current compensation?
What is the compensation you need to make a change?
Have you thought about a counter offer?
Tell me why you are a fit for this organization/position?
The company requires a background/credit check and drug testing…are you willing?
Are you working with any other recruiters
Ask the questions and be prepared…if not…it could cost you the placement and respect of your client.

How to be found on Linkedin

We all know that Linkedin is a great site for networking, gathering information about companies and finding candidates. It is, in my opinion; one of the most professional site’s for doing the above mentioned. So, with that being said, here are some tips on how to make yourself much more accessible to recruiters!

1. Update your status regularly. Let people know what you are doing, what positions you are working on, or post a link to an interesting article. Be professional but personable. Social networking is about being “sociable.”

2. Follow companies. A lot of companies are using Linkedin as a platform to sell themselves. They also post news releases as well as let you know who has left the company and who has joined.

3. Follow people. Use the “Signal” tool to set up searches, this will allow you to follow the latest news, job postings and most importantly changes. Don’t be a stalker.

4. Join Professional Groups. This will allow you to message other group members, and jobs postings are sometimes listed in the careers section. Take part in discussions, this will help to show case your knowledge.

5. Connect, Connect, Connect. Build a network, upload your connections from your email address book. Don’t try to connect with people you do not know, if they are a friend of a friend, ask to be introduced and try to connect with people that are relevant to what you do.

6. Get recommendations. Ask your clients, ask your co-workers but make sure they know you well. This is a great way for prospective employers to see how respected you are.

7. Embrace other social media sites. Twitter and blogs can interact with Linkedin. Just remember to keep it professional. Employers are using these site’s to screen prospective hires.

8. Add Applications. My Travel,, and Events are just a few that let people know what you are doing professionally.

9. Adjust your settings. This allows you to receive what you want to receive and filter out what you do not want to receive.

10. Make sure your Linkedin profile is 100% complete.

Keeping your Key Employees

It is no secret that everyone has been affected in some way by the recession. Turnover of key employees should be a huge concern for business owners. As an owner, you know that you are stressed about the state of our economy and what it has done to your business, so it would be safe to assume your employees are feeling stressed as well. Rieva Lesonsky, CEO of GrowBizMedia is quoted as saying “If you are not concerned that the toughest employees to replace are the most likely to bail on you; you should be.”

What to do to remedy the situation? Are your employees working 50+ hours a week? Are your employees doing the work of 2 people because of elimination of positions? Did they lose benefits? Did they lose pay and bonuses? Bringing pay/bonuses back can “undo” some of the damage that the recession has caused but ultimately your employee money does not take the worn out and stressed feeling of not having a good work life balance.
How can you as an owner help to reduce the stress? Here are a few tips:

1. Ask your key employees what you can do “specifically” for them. It might be as simple as letting them come in late once a week or leave early on a Friday.
2. Find low cost ways to provide support. Hire an administrative person at minimum wage to do the administrative side of your employees job.
3. Bring healthy treats for breakfast or breaks. Pay for them to go and get massages once a month. Take them out of the office on a “play date” as a group.
4. Start to bring back any benefit the company can afford.
5. Cross train and shift responsibilities; this will ensure if you do lose someone, that another employee can step up to the plate.
6. Talk to your key employees and let them know how how much you value them and that they are a part of your strategy for success. They need to know there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Awareness that your employees are stressed is the first step. Make sure you know which ones are feeling the most stress and do what you can to ease it. You may not be able to eliminate all the recession damage but attempting is worth a try.

How do I know these tips work…because our CEO, Veronica Ramirez has used them and we are a cohesive team moving in the right direction together.

Things That Annoy a Hiring Manager

1. Do your homework about the company – don’t ask questions that could have been answered if you had looked at their web site
2. If they request that you apply online – do so – don’t send your resume through the mail, personal email or fax
3. If the ad says “No phone calls” – don’t call
4. If the ad requests a cover letter or salary requirement – include them – don’t leave them out
5. Make yourself available when they can interview you – don’t dictate your schedule
6. Respond to emails/phone calls in a timely manner – don’t wait a week
7. Arrive 5 – 10 minutes early – don’t arrive 30 minutes early AND don’t be late for phone interviews
8. Ask questions about the position, responsibilities, expectations – don’t ask questions that focus solely on salary and benefits
9. Follow up – but don’t call repeatedly AND leave a message if you get voice mail, most companies have caller id and can see how many times you have called
10. It is frustrating and disappointing when you are not selected for a position – don’t show it, be gracious, ask for feedback and ask that they keep your resume on file for future positions

The Profile Picture…

Oh the dreaded Profile Picture! Everyone these days uses various sites for networking and most,
if not all, allow you to post a Profile Picture. Some people don’t post Profile Pictures because they
would like a little anonymity and some people think they don’t take good pictures. If you are going
to be on a networking site…post a picture…it makes you human and to some degree..real.
People always wonder if they are dealing with a person or a spammer…your picture states that you
actually use the site and you are serious about networking with others.

Here are some simple rules to follow when you post your profile picture:
1. Do not change it all the time: people identify you by your image and if it changes too often, it is distracting
2. Use a current picture: We all looked better when we were 25…don’t use an out of date picture; post one that is current
3. Simple is best: Face shot of you smiling at the camera…don’t need a side view of you gazing at the sunset
4. Special Effects: Photo shop is a wonderful tool, just don’t do it to your picture, if you meet people in person, they will notice
5. Body Shot: Not necessary; it’s your face they want to see; it makes you human
6. Avatars: Do not use them, you are trying to present yourself as professional and personable not silly and goofy

Just remember that you want to promote an image that will encourage employers, clients, candidates and recruiters to call you.

The Dreaded Recruiter

Unless you have been living under a rock or just started recruiting yesterday (for your sake, let’s hope not) most people have come into contact with a recruiter at some point in their lives. They have either called you at your desk while your boss is telling you how great you did on your last project or they’ve called you for a referral and we all know a referral is “code word” for “are you really interested without me directly trying to recruit you” and last but not least, they have called you trying to help you fill your positions within your organization.  Ughhh…the dreaded recruiter!
People love to bash recruiters. Some people do not think it is a real profession. Some people detest recruiters worse than an IRS Agent or even criminals.
You would think that recruiters would be some what respected. We help people get jobs and we help organizations build their teams…simple enough…right?!
Recruiting is a tough job. Harder than it was 5 years ago. There are a lot of unemployed people right now seeking employment, and there are just as many people who are employed and for some reason, they want to make a change. Recruiters are fielding
far more resumes than ever, yet we have less positions to fill due to our economy. Recruiters are also receiving more calls due to the higher volume of resumes.  Yet, eventually we end up getting a black eye.  Why? Because some recruiters don’t give valuable feedback or any feedback at all or they don’t return phone calls.  Being a recruiter myself, please let me try to explain the above:
1. We work for the client; they pay the fees.
2. We submit many candidates and the client usually only wants to talk about the ones they want to interview.
3. With unemployment at almost 10%, recruiters are working twice as hard, fielding twice as many people and unfortunately not everyone is a match.
4. We don’t always get feedback, I know you can’t believe it, but more times than not; we don’t. And, then the times when we do…and you really don’t want to know what they said.
Now with all that being said, please try to remember we are looking for an exact fit based on our clients expectations. We don’t like to hurt anyones feelings…so if you didn’t get a return phone call or feedback; please email us and gently remind us and we will do our best to call you back.  Email us…it is fast, easy and hardly ever ignored.


Joseph Chris Partners’ CEO, Veronica Ramirez Competes in ULI’s Annual Sporting Clay’s Tournament

As reported in Real Estate BisNow: Congratulations to Joseph Chris Partners’ CEO, Veronica Ramirez, for competing in ULI’s (Urban Land Institute) first annual sporting clays tournament at the Greater Houston Gun Club which raised $10,000.00 to the University of Houston’s graduate Real Estate Program. The smoking gun of Byron Justice led the Old Republic Title team to victory. Byron is the 2011 national FITASC champ. Veronica Ramirez gave him a run for his money with a near-perfect score. Looks like “you shoot like a girl” might be quite the compliment!

A Good Attitude in a Down Economy

“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the goal.” ~ Henry Ford

Ok…yes, it has been really tough in the recruiting world compared to 5 years ago but things are tough all over.
Here are some simple “rules” to work by that I was taught many years ago when I was just a “wet behind the ears recruiter.”
When you read them, you will probably think, “I know all this” but are you doing them…living by them…working by them?

1. Stay off the internet – it will drain your results and waste your time
2. Arrive on time/or early – Stay until quitting time/or a little later – enough said
3. Attitude – keeping a positive attitude in a slow market is a necessity
4. Five calls before 9:30 – just grit your teeth and do it
5. Daily planner – it helps to keep you focused and all top producers do it
6. Reading in the office – read emails twice a day (first thing in the morning/last thing in the afternoon) industry articles should be read after hours
7.Skill Improvement – read industry related articles, listen to CD’s about improvements during your commute, participate in a Web training
8. An interview a day – a daily push for an interview will yield results
9. Goal setting – make a new one weekly and post it on your phone so you can read it daily
10.10 meaningful conversations a day – measure your results daily
11. 5 New Prospects a day – lack of prospecting means you will not have new business
12.Reward yourself – whatever goal you have set for the day, once you achieve it…take a walk outside, get a cup of coffee or whatever motivates you
13. Limited Non-Business Conversations – these conversations interfere with your concentration and take time away from your work – pleasantries are good but no more than 5 minutes

I am sure you can add your own “rules” to this list and I hope you do.
Remember…instead of focusing on the end result, focus on doing things right and results will follow.

Happy Recruiting!

Happy 9th JCP Anniversary Mark Hall!

Please join me in wishing Mark Hall a Happy 9 year Anniversary with Joseph Chris Partners! Mark has brought in $1,626,046 in sales over the last nine years and is staying on a strong pace! Mark joined the company with a vast amount of business savvy which proved to be an asset coming into the recruiting industry. He is known for “no baloney” communication when speaking with clients in which “frank truth” proves to be appreciated. Mark is also known for his repeat business and loyalty. Happy Anniversary Mark and I thank you for your determination in getting through this challenging shift in the industry and I look forward to us continuing to grow together as a team!