Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Using The Internet To Find Workers

his article will give you some great tips for using the Internet to find employees that work well in your business.

Make sure you pay attention to everything discussed here because it's important when using the net for employee searching.

Our world is becoming more digitized every day, and online venues can be great places to look for good help. However,you will need to be sure you tailor your message to attract the kind of help you need, and you should be prepared to weed out quite a few applicants who don't understand what you're looking for, no matter how carefully you word your job listing.

With online ads, the "where" matters more than it does for print classifieds. In most cases, a free online classified will not generate much interest. You can check with your local paper to see if they have a website with a classified section, many of them do, and listing on them is less costly than print; in some cases it's free. Job boards and forums are another good place to post classifieds, because job seekers can search listings by location and generally employers can post for free.

Typically, you can include a lot more information in an online help-wanted ad than in a print classified ad. Here are some tips on writing effective employment ads for online forums and classified sections:

1. Keep your language clear and concise. Use action words to describe what you're looking for, both to ensure job seekers understand, and to portray your company as a great place to work.

2. Create a detailed job description, so the candidates know exactly what is expected of them. This will also help to reduce the number of unqualified applicants you receive.

3. Target the forums and message boards where you're most likely to get qualified candidates. There are plenty of places online where like minds gather, and the more closely the people who will see your message are to your industry, the better the applications you'll receive.

4. Job banks are a great place to start. Places like Monster Jobs and Yahoo hot jobs attract a large number of job-seekers from many different areas, so you will probably get local talent and interest there.

5. Remember, you want your company to look good, so be sure to list any benefits and perks, including a great work environment.

6. Don't forget to include contact information! Make sure it's easy for potential employees to respond to your ad, the job market is fiercely competitive, and there are plenty of other companies waiting to get the best employees for themselves.

You now have a bunch of tips for safely using the Internet to locate potential employees. Make sure that you use all of these strategies so that you have the best chance of getting a great employee.

What to Look For When Looking For An Employee

This section will give you all of the tools you need for properly evaluating an employee.

What makes a good employee? There are several things you can look for during the application and interview processes that will help to ensure you hire good people the first time. The screening process should start with the initial application or resume.

One step you definitely shouldn't skip is the background check.Though there may be a small cost involved in this, it's important to make sure anyone you are considering hiring has supplied you with accurate information, and doesn't have a criminal background (or has sufficient record of dismissal).

Here are a few alarming statistics from HireRight, a company that verifies resume information and conducts background checks:

1. 10 percent of applications and resumes contain serious background misrepresentation

2. 30 percent of job applicants exaggerate accomplishments to look good on paper

3. 34 percent of applications and resumes contain outright lies regarding ability, education, and experience.

As you can see, background checks are an important step in the hiring process.

Nice people make the best employees. In general, they are fast learners, easy to teach, and fun to be around. If it comes down to choosing between an exceptionally qualified and rude candidate, or a nice one who may need a bit of extra training to get up to speed, it's in your best interests to choose the nice person every time.

Other than being nice, what qualities should good employees possess? Here are a few examples of qualities and characteristics to look for:

1. Responsibility: Seek people who will see their tasks through to the end, and will claim responsibility for their work and their actions on the job.

2. Initiative: Does the candidate demonstrate an interest in self-starting? Look for someone who will find something to do when they run out of work, rather than someone who'll wait to be told what to do, and then rush through the assignment.

3. Discipline: Good employees are able to focus and complete a task or assignment thoroughly.

4. Positive: The best employees are generally cheerful, even when working on an assignment they don't particularly enjoy.

5. Consistent: Look for employers who are dependable, show up on time, and will put in extra effort when necessary to finish the job.

6. Empathetic: Your employees should be able to recognize when coworkers or customers are having trouble, and be courteous and aware of their needs.

7. Modest: Look for people who give credit where credit is due, and don't try to claim all the recognition for the work of the team.

This set of tricks for evaluating employees before you actually hire them should give you an extremely high chance of finding that perfect employee.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Leadership Secrets for Great Meetings with just the right number

Ineffective and poorly- run meetings serve as one of the top talent and time wasters. Develop the skill to run a tight, highly focused meeting with just the right number and kind of people in attendance and your stature as a leader rises.

First, figure out what is the specific outcome of the meeting and start with that as the written objective. Give your meeting a name that even states the “objective”. Next, ask yourself who has the greatest information or talent and should be at the meeting. Figure the personnel cost for the meeting. For example, if an employee has an average annual salary of $50,000, the per hour cost for that one person is $96 per hour. (This includes salary plus benefits and general company overhead). You can extrapolate other salary costs from this base. Here are other tips to make this meeting move from average to great:

(1) Put a specific time frame on the meeting and start on time. If people show up late, create some fun—but telling— response for tardiness. In one organization, the latecomer has to sing to everyone. In another, the latecomer buys cokes for everyone. In another, the latecomer is given a scarlet “L” on a tent card. In Saturn Automotive plant meetings, if the door is closed, you are late and an alarm rings if you try to enter.

(2) Develop good facilitation skills, making sure everyone participates and is heard from

(3) Summarize questions, outcomes, actions. Summarize frequently

(4) Have the names of who should attend on the agenda, which is sent out at least 48 hours in advance.

(5) Create a “parking lot” notebook. If an issue is brought up that is not on the agenda but might be addressed at another time, write it down so it can be tackled.

(6) Consider a stand-up meeting. To move people through quickly, have no chairs in the meeting room. It’s amazing how quickly people can get work done when there is no place to sit.

(7) At the end of the meeting, and as a way of staying focused and practicing continuous improvement of meeting management, tell the group the personnel cost of the meeting and if the money could have been spent more wisely in another format?

(8) Make sure a summary of the meeting is sent to the participants along with any action items or next steps, a due date, and the person or groups to which they are assigned. (9) To break a meeting routine, you might consider beginning by asking people to come prepared to tell the group about some person whom they want to acknowledge for outstanding service. Starting off by highlighting positive performance—particularly of unsung employees—is a powerful gesture.

(9) Don’t forget to say thank you. Time is the only true non-renewable, irreplaceable resource. When people give you their time, they gave you a piece of their lives.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Business Expansion Plan For Small Entrepreneurs

Every small business will eventually feel the heat and find the need for expansion. The time will come when the small plans that worked when first starting the business may no longer be sufficient.

Understanding What to Expand

The buzzword 'business expansion' may be catchy to outsiders but as a business owner you need to understand precisely what to expand in order that the scarce resources that you do have are optimized.

1. You feel increasing personnel helps increase production to meet growing demand.

2. Maximized labor can't cope with the market demand and you have identified that automating business operations would both reduce costs and increase efficiency.

3. International demand cannot be met as the business is operating now. Diverse markets need localized service points.

4. You need to keep more inventory on hand because price fluctuations don't allow just-in-time procurement. You are contemplating using a warehouse facility for storage.

5. Your supply chain is hard pressed; it is difficult to manage with the existing logistics operation.

The need for expansion can be a combination of above and you know well that you can hardly push it any further without expanding.

Planning Your Business Expansion

Having identified the exact nature of the expansion needed, the next step is careful planning. Let's examine each of the above cases.

1. Increasing personnel doesn't require increased funds. Payroll can be taken care of from the increased revenue from the business.

2. Automated machinery calls for extra skills for operating it. Ideally, you would train a few of your best people to operate the machines or hire extra personnel. Normally, the company that was used to procure the machinery will also provide training as needed. Y

3. Opening localized service points need not be by buying or renting real estate unless you have explored the possibility of outsourcing. This is where having a website comes in handy. The Internet is by far the best way to reach overseas clients. Also, using this method, your business will be open 24/7.

4. Constructing or leasing a new warehouse will increase your asset base but not without a huge investment. You should critically analyze if you can get by with the existing space, maximized by using retractable storage racks, thereby creating more space within your existing warehouse.

5. There is no substitute for augmenting logistics. Your options are either contracting out the supply chain or managing logistics yourself.

Knowing when and how to expand your business is essential for continued success. If you find that you are struggling to keep up with demand, and certain operations are continually pressed for time, then expansion is an option that you will want to carefully consider.

Time Management for Business Owners

It is important for business owners to make the most of every minute of the day. After all, you are trying to grow your company into something special. For this reason, time management is very important.

Do you manage your time everyday with a high degree of efficiency? If so, you do not have anything to worry about as you are probably on the right track. Of course, there is always room for improvement. Even if you think you are using your time wisely, you never know when a few changes here and there could make a big difference.

As the owner you need to learn how to become the best time manager in your company. You are in charge of everybody from your right hand man down to the newest employee on your payroll. For this reason, the way you manage your time is very important.

Fortunately, there are ways to increase your time management proficiency. Not to mention the fact that practice makes perfect. Once you are in the habit of making the most of your time, you will continue to do so day after day without even thinking about it.

How do you feel about your time management skills? If you have any room for improvement, and you probably do, now is the time to do something about it. Soon enough you will find yourself working more efficiently and having more time available than ever. This is sure to make you a better business owner, while helping to increase profits.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Secrets To Leadership Exposed

Much has been written about leadership: rules, pointers, styles, and biographies of inspiring leaders throughout world history.

But there are certain leadership ideas that we ourselves fail to recognize and realize in the course of reading books. Here is a short list of things you thought you knew about leadership.

1. Leaders come in different flavors.

There are different types of leaders and you will probably encounter more than one type in your lifetime. Formal leaders are those we elect into positions or offices such as the senators, congressmen, and presidents of the local clubs.

Informal leaders or those we look up to by virtue of their wisdom and experience such as in the case of the elders of a tribe, or our grandparents; or by virtue of their expertise and contribution on a given field such as Albert Einstein in the field of Theoretical Physics and Leonardo da Vinci in the field of the Arts.

Both formal and informal leaders practice a combination of leadership styles.
- Lewin's three basic leadership styles ;authoritative, participative, and delegative
- Likert's four leadership styles ;exploitive authoritative, benevolent authoritative, consultative, and participative
- Goleman's six emotional leadership styles - visionary, coaching, affiliative, democratic, pacesetting, and commanding.

2. Leadership is a process of becoming.

Although certain people seem to be born with innate leadership qualities, without the right environment and exposure, they may fail to develop their full potential. So like learning how to ride a bicycle, you can also learn how to become a leader and hone your leadership abilities.

Knowledge on leadership theories and skills may be formally gained by enrolling in leadership seminars, workshops, and conferences. Daily interactions with people provide the opportunity to observe and practice leadership theories.

Together, formal and informal learning will help you gain leadership attitudes, gain leadership insights, and thus furthering the cycle of learning. You do not become a leader in one day and just stop. Life-long learning is important in becoming a good leader for each day brings new experiences that put your knowledge, skills, and attitude to a test.

3. Leadership starts with you.

The best way to develop leadership qualities is to apply it to your own life. As an adage goes 'action speaks louder than words.' Leaders are always in the limelight.

Keep in mind that your credibility as a leader depends much on your actions: your interaction with your family, friends, and co-workers; your way of managing your personal and organizational responsibilities; and even the way you talk with the newspaper vendor across the street. Repeated actions become habits.

Habits in turn form a person's character. Steven Covey's book entitled 7 Habits of Highly Effective People provides good insights on how you can achieve personal leadership.

4. Leadership is shared.

Leadership is not the sole responsibility of one person, but rather a shared responsibility among members of an emerging team.

A leader belongs to a group. Each member has responsibilities to fulfill. Formal leadership positions are merely added responsibilities aside from their responsibilities as members of the team.

Effective leadership requires members to do their share of work. Starting as a mere group of individuals, members and leaders work towards the formation of an effective team. In this light, social interaction plays a major role in leadership.

To learn how to work together requires a great deal of trust between and among leaders and members of an emerging team. Trust is built upon actions and not merely on words. When mutual respect exists, trust is fostered and confidence is built.

5. Leadership styles depend on the situation.

How come dictatorship works for Singapore but not in the United States of America? Aside from culture, beliefs, value system, and form of government, the current situation of a nation also affects the leadership styles used by its formal leaders.

There is no rule that only one style can be used. Most of the time, leaders employ a combination of leadership styles depending on the situation. In emergency situations such as periods of war and calamity, decision-making is a matter of life and death.

Thus, a nation's leader cannot afford to consult with all departments to arrive at crucial decisions. The case is of course different in times of peace and order -different sectors and other branches of government can freely interact and participate in governance.

Another case in point is in leading organizations. When the staffs are highly motivated and competent, a combination of high delegative and moderate participative styles of leadership is most appropriate.

But if the staffs have low competence and low commitment, a combination of high coaching, high supporting, and high directing behavior from organizational leaders is required.

Now that you are reminded of these things, keep in mind that there are always ideas that we think we already know; concepts we take for granted, but are actually the most useful insights on leadership.