Attracting and Keeping Talent

Monday, 19 January 2009 12:04 by BarbaraV

I believe good people can either make or break a business… you could have the best product/service/idea in the world, but if you don’t have the right people in place to implement the key strategies and execute your business plan- you won’t last long, especially in today’s market.  So how do you attract AND keep superior talent especially in a time where the economy is so volatile?  I truly believe that making a personal connection with each and every employee is one of the fundamental reasons employees will remain loyal to your company.  Whether that be talking about a shared interest, recognizing their birthdays and/or anniversaries or just stopping by to say “hello” throughout the work week. 

In our business, personal connections are a vital foundation in the recruitment and sales processes.  We try to meet all of our candidates face-to-face so we can learn more about them, both personally and professionally…about their goals and aspirations.  The same holds true with our clients.  It is important that they know us and recognize what we can offer their business. 
 
Some companies institute great incentives to help retain employees and build loyalty.  Casual Friday’s, the ability to work from home, flex time, incentive trips, retail discounts… the list goes on.  But do any of these incentives really make or break the deal with employees (is wearing jeans on Friday’s that exciting)?  The employee pricing initiatives at Ford and GM were great, but now employees may have wished the money was used toward the bottom line.  At IQ we have had pampering days where I have brought in a massage therapist who provided massages to employees.  We have “Cocktail Thursdays”…a brainstorming session where some of our best ideas have been created, guitar hero challenges, bowling tournaments, golf outings, company picnics, Pirate games… looks like Hawaiian Shirt Day really has everyone excited!!!

I believe if you provide a fun, creative and stable working environment you can help ensure employees actually like getting out of bed in the morning! What are your thoughts? Do you find value in incentive programs?

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Interviewing Horror Stories! Eeek!

Monday, 12 January 2009 14:37 by BarbaraV

One of the first things I encountered as a new business owner was the daunting task of hiring new employees.  While most of my experience has been positive…and profitable…there have been times when I’ve had to stop and ask myself…”is this for real???”  So I thought I would start with some helpful hints to those considering taking the next step in their career…or perhaps a “heads-up” on what you can expect to be faced with during the interview process…

 -         Don’t bring your boyfriend, girlfriend, mom, dad, fiancé, sister, brother, friend, dog to the interview!  I know…you think this is a no-brainer…but believe me IT HAPPENS!  Granted, maybe your car is in the shop that day and you NEED someone to take you to the interview … that is fine and completely understandable, but do you really need to have your ride sit in on the interview??  Give them some money and send them for coffee and tell th+em to come back in an hour to get you!

 -         Personal grooming – in this case, sometimes LESS is better!  While you just HAD to have that last drag on that smoke…or couldn’t resist that hot dog smothered with onions for lunch…don’t force the interviewer to share it with you!  Always make sure you have plenty of mints!  Maybe Aunt Martha thought that Shalimar was the perfect birthday gift, but not everyone has the same taste in eau du toilet…so lay low on the cologne! 

 -          DON’T LET YOUR GUARD DOWN!  Just because the interviewer feels comfortable enough to drop swear words and local slang, IT IS NOT OK FOR YOU!  After all, they HAVE a job!  Before you speak, ask yourself…what would Miss Manners or your Mom do???

 -         While everyone is expecting that call from Ed McMahon … let’s hope it comes AFTER the interview!  Unless you are awaiting an emergency call…place the phone on vibrate…or, better yet, leave it in the car!   

I’m sure this is just the tip of the iceberg…would love to hear others experiences!Surprised 

Here are some great examples of what not to do....

 

 

 

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Welcome to Cocktail Thursday!

Friday, 9 January 2009 09:10 by BarbaraV

Welcome to “Cocktail Thursday”!  My name is Barbara VanKirk and 15 years ago I started IQ Inc, a technical consulting and software development company located in Murrysville, PA approximately 20 miles east of downtown Pittsburgh.  As we were planning our celebration of 15 years of doing business I took the opportunity to reflect on the past 14 years, how we started and how we got to where we are today.  One of the many things I have learned throughout the years is that you’re never too old… to stay young!  So, how do you connect with the multigenerational work force we find ourselves working in today?  Blogs!  So I thought why not establish a forum that can help others in either a professional or personal capacity.  Therefore, I’d like to invite you all to join me in a cyber COCKTAIL THURSDAY for some very open and candid conversations about work and life… Enjoy!!!

 

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