Thinking of Hiring a Virtual Executive Assistant?

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Consider Hiring Laura!

Ever wish you had an extra set of hands?  If yes, Laura could be the extra resource you need! 

  • 9 years’ experience

  • Project management

  • Event planning

  • Social media management

  • Appointment setting

  • Executive assistant support

  • Detail oriented

  • Skilled at meeting deadlines

  • Delightful at handling tasks with perfection

Laura is a flexible “jack of all trades” who loves to help those she supports be successful. She has recently spent 7 years working with a large employer in the Marietta area, with the last 4 years providing project and admin support to the CEO and EVP of Sales.

  • Work preferences: Laura is currently looking for a remote opportunity, working 10+ hours per week.

  • Pay rate preferences: Her rate is in the $25-30/hour range, not including IO fees.

And remember that IO takes the risk out of hiring by offering you the choice to hire directly or to keep an employee on the IO payroll. Let us eliminate your hiring risk! We pay the insurances and employer taxes. This is a huge benefit of using Innovative Outsourcing for your flexible staffing needs.

If you’re interested in exploring all the ways a great employee like Laura could be an asset to you and your team, CLICK HERE to learn more about the tasks a virtual assistant can handle.

To start the conversation about how Laura might be a perfect fit for your company, contact Sue Blanchet at sblanchet@innovative-outsourcing.com.

Don't delay, as Laura is a candidate that will be placed quickly.

The Power of a Flexible Workplace

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“47 percent of people actively looking for new positions say company culture is the main reason” — Hays.com

Does this make you wonder if you might have some work to do around your office?

A couple of weeks ago, we started a series about simple strategies to improve your work culture.  I’m going to share some of my experiences with the companies who are finding success in creating a great culture. 
 
#1 – Providing Feedback
(If you missed it, check out the link HERE)

#2 – Providing a Flexible Work Environment
33% of employees would change jobs for one that allowed them to work WHERE they want at least part of the time.  Gallup Survey, It’s the Manager   

So, flexibility is KEY!  What does it mean to have a flexible work environment?  Two things…

  • Flexible Time – Time is the new bargaining chip. People are as interested in more free time as they are in money – especially our millenials! Do you offer a way for your team to work 7am-3pm or 9:30am – 5:30pm? Work 4 ten-hour days instead of 5 days per week? Just allowing this flexibility – and allowing them to shift it when their life changes (not every week – but once in a while) – will make you a valued and appreciated employer and put you ahead of almost every large company in town.

  • Flexible Location – While 100% virtual teams are very difficult, allowing team members to work from home 1-3 days per week has been proven to IMPROVE productivity. People will also actually stay in their jobs totally engaged for longer (and today this means something). From Gallup’s book, "It’s the Manager," “the highest engagement falls in a sweet spot of working remotely three to four days a week." Yes, it is important for managers to be trained on how to manage workers when they are remote, (this needs training and is not easy). It is also important to set expectations for employees and only allow this for employees that have proven to be trustworthy. But for great employees who have a good track record, this can be a win-win scenario. The company gets greater productivity and an engaged worker, and the employee gets to have a day or two without traffic – working in their pajamas with coffee.

Owners who think “I can’t trust my employees. They will be at the movies,” might need to realize that this new way to work is coming – whether you choose to adopt it or not! The old school mentality of requiring everyone to be onsite during the same hours will soon mean that your workplace is dated. “Currently, 60% of companies offer their employees telecommuting opportunities.”  2016 SHRM Benefits Survey.

And, if you choose to be Inflexible, you will have a hard time hiring and retaining top talent. You will be able to get employees, just probably not the BEST ones. Many large companies are still not embracing flexibility, so small employers can beat big employers in the race for great hires just by marketing their FLEXIBILITY!
 
Maybe you and your management team need to take 15 minutes in the next couple of weeks to determine how you could employ a more flexible work strategy. 

Shorthanded, but Reluctant to Hire?

Do you need help from an additional staff member but do not want to take a financial risk?  Reading this recent AJC article, it is understandable why small businesses are sitting on their needs for more staff, and choosing not to hire. 

“A hoped-for boom in small-company hiring never happened because owners haven't wanted to take on the added risk and expense of more staffers.”  

Has this happened at your company? We understand. We are a small business too! 

A great solution for you may be to hire ON THE INNOVATIVE OUTSOURCING PAYROLL. That is right – we can hire your extra set of hands, and we take on the risk. You just pay hourly for the hours worked. You get the help you need without the long-term risk.  Part time is where this works best, but full time might also be an option depending on the job description. 

For example: 

  • Controller - 10 hours/week

  • HR person - 8 hours/week

  • Bookkeeper - 25 hours/week

  • Executive Assistant to CEO - 20 hours a week

Do any of these sound like something you need?  If so, now is the time! Contact us to get started.

The Power of Feedback

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“47 percent of people actively looking for new positions say company culture is the main reason” — Hays.com

When you read this statistic, does it scare you or make you feel confident about your company’s employees? Is it strange to you that corporate culture is the main reason for employees wanting to make a change? Does this make you wonder if you might have some work to do around your office?
 
For the next few weeks, we are going to start a series about simple strategies to improve your work culture.  I’m going to share some of my experiences with the companies who are finding success in creating a great culture.  And don’t worry - by culture, I don’t mean ping pong tables and free snacks (although those aren’t bad).
 
#1- Providing Feedback
The first (and cheapest) strategy that helps to create a better culture is… PROVIDING FEEDBACK.  Professionals want to know that they are valued!  There are two very easy ways to do that. 

  1. Verbal Feedback – Are you taking the time each week to go up to your employees and let them know that you are thankful for something they have done? Your direct reports should hear a verbal thank you or praise at least once a month. And that should happen IN PERSON if possible. This is where walking around with coffee in the morning without an agenda is an incredible tool. Stopping by offices and cubes can make a world of difference to your employees. If you don’t have an office – a once a week check-in call just to say hello with no agenda is critical.

  2. Written Feedback – When was the last time you sent your direct reports a hand-written note to thank them for something that they exceeded expectations on? When did you write a note just letting them know that you know that they could choose anywhere to work and you are thankful that they chose your workplace? Have you done this EVER? Setting aside 15 minutes a week to encourage your employees is a great, no-cost way to radically change the culture in a really quick amount of time in your company. If your response to this suggestion is to tell me there is nothing great to say to them, then you probably should call us to help you find some new team members. Gratitude and encouragement FEED our employees – they want to feel appreciated and valued.

As you sit in your office thinking right now, “She’s wrong! I don’t have time for that”, consider this statistic: “69% of employees would work harder if they felt their efforts were better appreciated.” – Socialcast  
 
Hmm. It looks like setting aside 15 minutes each week to show some appreciation is a good business decision and will not only help to reduce turnover, it will also likely impact your bottom line.

Candidate Spotlight: Sarah is available to hire

Are you looking for a marketing/executive support specialist? If so, meet Sarah. Sarah has over 10 years’ experience specializing in brand marketing, project management, content development and executive support. More specifically, she is well versed in social media content creation and management, email campaigns, website updates, tracking analytics as well as live event management.

Sarah is dynamic, self-motivated, reliable and extremely organized. Sarah is on the market because the company she most recently was with is shutting down and she is hoping for an exciting, new professional challenge!

Work location preferences: Sarah is currently looking for a remote or partially remote position, working anywhere from 20-40 hours/week.

Salary range preferences: Negotiable depending upon the hours and scope of the position.

Here is a video message from Sarah: http://bit.ly/iomeetsarah

To start the conversation about how Sarah may be a perfect fit for your company, contact Matt Filer at mfiler@innovative-outsourcing.com

Hire one of our top three HR Director candidates, and the placement fee is CUT IN HALF!

In this climate of employees leaving jobs often and the litigious environment we find ourselves in, now is the time to make sure you have the right HR professional on your staff. Maybe you have felt for a while that your HR person is not the right fit for your culture, or maybe your company has grown and now his/her skillsets are not a match. You need an HR person that is an expert at both compliance and strategy to support your initiatives. You probably know that you need to make a change, but change can be difficult since this person does all your hiring... We understand that!

After completing a full search for one of our clients, we now have several available excellent HR candidates that might be perfect for your company. What benefit is this for you to choose one of these?  Our standard placement fee is 20% of the first year’s salary, but since we have already invested our time identifying and qualifying three excellent candidates, we will pass this saving along to you. Hire one of these three candidates, and your fee is CUT IN HALF... only 10% of the first year’s salary.

Here is a review of their skillsets:

  • Current knowledge of HR compliances guidelines and implementation

  • Proficient in tactical execution of payroll, compensation planning, performance management

  • Talent acquisition/Full-cycle recruiting

  • Employee on boarding and off boarding

  • Employee relations and fostering employee engagement

  • Prior experience with building an HR department from scratch

  • Master’s degree and/or SPHR certification

  • Demonstrated ability to handle both the tactical and strategic needs of HR management 

Annual Salary Range: $115-125k/year
Location: Candidates reside in Powder Springs, Smyrna, and Atlanta

If you are interested in learning more about these candidates and this limited time offer, or if you have any full- or part-time staffing needs, please contact Matt Filer, mfiler@innovative-outsourcing.com 404-259-6449

Hire one of our best social media candidates!

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If you are like most business owners, you are constantly looking for new ways to get your company’s brand on the radar of potential customers. Using social media marketing is a great way to engage with current customers as well as attract new ones. Most small to medium-sized businesses have to choose between using people in-house or using an agency for their social media marketing.
 
Get the Best of In-House AND Agency
It can be a real struggle to consistently handle social media marketing, but we want you to know that you don’t have to choose between trying to figure it out on your own and using an agency. Innovative Outsourcing can offer a better solution.
 
Why should you spend excessive money on an agency instead of having a chance to really grow a staff member who knows and loves your business? And if you try to do this in-house with your current staff, they may not have the background to provide professional content and excellent strategy.
 
Choose Our Best Social Media Marketing Professionals
Innovative Outsourcing has Social Media Marketing candidates ready to help you.  Our candidates are available on a fractional basis (from as little as 10 hours a week) for reasonable hourly rates.
 
We have recently filled several Social Media positions and we have a variety of candidates ready for you to hire.  Many of our candidates have years of experience creating, managing, and implementing content marketing strategies and lead generation campaigns.
 
An Example of One of Those Exceptional Candidates

Whether you need help with your existing Digital or Social Media Marketing plan or need to develop one, contact Matt Filer today!

Interview Prep Isn't Just For Job Applicants

Everyone knows the importance of being well-prepared for an interview with a potential employer. However, how much do YOU prepare before you are interviewing candidates for a new position in YOUR organization? There are several things you can do that will help to ensure that you have productive meetings with your candidates, and you can ensure that you are not exposing yourself to any unnecessary legal risk. 
 
Over the next several weeks, we will be reviewing some important elements of an effective interviewing process. Many of these reminders come from feedback from our candidates after returning from interviews. Just a few extra minutes on the front end and a few minor changes can help to ensure that you are putting your best foot forward and that you select a person who will be a great addition to your team.
 
We believe reading through these tips will be helpful as you grow, and you can always keep them on file to review again before your next search process begins.
 
Today's Interview Element: Determine WHO You Want To Hire
 
We know this sounds elementary. Of course, you have thought about the skills and experience you need for the open position in your company. However, there are some extra steps you can take that will make a huge difference in the success of your hiring efforts.

Write a good job description.  Having a specific and thorough outline of what a candidate will do on the job makes it easier to assess an applicant’s previous experience and skills and how they line up with what you need. Make sure you list your “must-haves” and your “nice-to-haves.” Some things are essential in order for a new employee to be able to hit the ground running while others can be trained.

Know the intangibles that you need/want.  As you have probably learned the hard way over the years, skills do not typically cause an employee to fail in a position. However, it is more typically issues related to work ethic, personality match, being a team player, etc. Ask yourself these questions, as the answers will lead to a great hire. 

  • “What makes a person successful in this role?”

  • “What type of behaviors/ attitudes make a person a great member of my team?”

  • “Who on my team would I like to clone and what is it about them that makes them so valuable to me?”

Write down some specific questions.  Based on your must-have skills/experience and the answers to your intangible questions, write down some specific questions that you will ask each candidate. It’s okay to move off-script and go with the flow of the conversation, of course. But by making sure you ask each candidate 10 or so of the same questions, it will make it a lot easier for you to do your evaluations once the interviews are over.
 
Behavioral Interviewing Questions are one of the best ways to get to those “intangibles” that you are looking for in your next hire.  Stay tuned for some easy ways to implement those in our next post!

Looking for a good business book?

Need a recommendation for your next great read?  Cindi Filer, CEO of Innovative Outsourcing, offers her thoughts on what she and her staff have been reading lately.  She calls this her "Book Buzz," and she would like to offer you this reference of what's on the IO shelf right now.  Click on any book shown below to read the review and learn how this book may benefit your business.  Then please provide your comments in the section below so we can get the conversation started!

A Billionaire wants to mentor YOU!

Imagine this! You just received an invitation to meet weekly for coffee with one of the 100 wealthiest people in the world, a billionaire investor and philanthropist. He is taking a special interest in you, and he wants you to fully grasp all the important things he has learned in his 68 years of life and work.  He will mentor you by tracing his footsteps and missteps, his successes and his failures.  When your mentoring sessions are completed, you will be equipped to carry that spark as a blazing torch, enlightening your personal life and your business.

While it may not be an actual “talk-over-coffee,” Ray Dalio’s #1 New York Times bestseller Principles: Life & Work is the ONE must-read book this year, both for your business and your personal growth. Even if you are not a “book” person, there is just too much great stuff here to let this one slip by another day.

RAY DALIO is the founder and co-chairman of the best performing hedge fund in the world.  He’s made the list of the most influential people in the world by Time and Bloomberg Markets. Even if you have not a stiff of interest in hedge funds or investing, the stories he tells and the life principles he shares will keep you hanging on his every word.   

There are two overarching themes that ooze through the richness of Dalio’s wisdom.  

  • Principles are ways of successfully dealing with reality to get what you want out of work and life, so identify and use your principles as a measuring stick for all you do.
  • In applying these principles, be radically open-minded and radically transparent.  This will assure that you learn quickly, and that you don’t get hung up on what things “should” be like, but what is reality.

It is impossible to highlight the favorite parts of this book, but from a staffing perspective, let me jump right to Part III where Dalio hits the very heart of building a business based upon solid work principles.  Because there is just so much rich information, Dalio does us a tremendous service, and begins this section with a summary and table of these principles, indexed to the pages where each topic is covered in more depth.  He begins by saying, “An organization is a machine consisting of two major parts:  culture and people.” Then he proceeds to itemize how to get the culture right, and how to get the people right.  These are not pie-in-the-sky ideas, but instead he outlines specific steps.  For example, to support his principle that you need to create a culture in which it is okay to make mistakes, but unacceptable not to learn from them, Dalio provides five specific steps any business leader can follow to assure this happens. 

After learning how to get the culture right, my favorite section explains how to get the people right:

  • Remember that the WHO is more important than the WHAT
  • Hire RIGHT, because the penalties for hiring wrong are huge (then he adds eight steps to assure you succeed in this)
  • Constantly train, test, evaluate, and sort people (and he gives you very specific strategies to accomplish this)

As a reader and a business leader, you are challenged to manage your business like someone operating a machine to achieve a goal. Just as a machine operator knows the components that produce the product, “…know what your people are like and what makes them tick, because your people are your most important resource.”

Ray Dalio admits that he is no different from you. "Whatever success I’ve had in life hasn’t been because of anything unique about me—it’s because of principles that I believe anyone can adopt."

So grab a cup of coffee, open the book, either hardcopy or audio, and enjoy a few moments each week as Ray Dalio fills you with the inspiration and wisdom that may make you think differently about your life and work.  Oh, and Part III of Dalio’s book — that’s our sweet spot, so Innovative Outsourcing would be honored to come along side you to put these principles in motion as you build your team at your company.

Listen to Ray Dalio’s Ted Talk 
Watch the Animated Series (30 minutes divided into 8 short episodes) 
Book Summary Outline