7 signs you’re a leader people want to follow

It’s not always easy to gauge how you’re doing as a boss.

Your reports aren’t always likely to tell you how you’re undermining their performance — or even what you’re doing well that they’d like to see more of.

The best solution to this problem is probably to ask for direct feedback. But where to start?

We’ve rounded up seven signs, based on research and expert opinion, that you’re doing a great job of rallying and motivating your team. Ask yourself how much each trait or behavior describes you, and consider asking your employees the same.

You’re generally positive

Research from 2015 suggests that happy people make more effective leaders.

That’s largely because they’re more likely to display transformational leadership, which means they’re especially good at inspiring and motivating their team and stimulating them intellectually.

Interestingly, according to the research, positivity was an even better predictor of leadership effectiveness than extroversion — a personality trait we typically associate with successful bosses.

This isn’t to say that you should force yourself to smile and laugh at every team meeting. Instead, it might be more helpful for those in the position of selecting future leaders to be mindful of those candidates’ overall affect.

You’re not afraid of change

Young managers are perceived as more effective than their older counterparts, according to a study of more than 65,000 leaders conducted by leadership development consultancy Zenger/Folkman.

One key reason why? They welcome novelty.

Zenger/Folkman says it’s possible that younger managers’ relative lack of experience means they’re more optimistic about the changes they propose and more willing to be the “champions of change.”

You’re pretty boring

The technical term is “emotional maturity,” which means being emotionally stable, agreeable, and conscientious.

As business psychologist Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic writes in The Harvard Business Review, “[T]he best managers in the world tend to be stable rather than excitable, consistent rather than erratic, as well as polite and considerate.”

That might be part of the reason why Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, is so successful. Rather than being emotionally volatile, like Steve Jobs for example, Pichai is reported to be predictable and to stay out of the spotlight.

In other words, Jobs is more the exception than the rule — better to emulate Pichai if you’re hoping to lead your team to greatness.

You demonstrate integrity

Chamorro-Premuzic also suggests that integrity is a key component of leadership effectiveness. Acting in unethical or counterproductive ways will ultimately undermine you and your organization.

In fact, one analysis found that CEOs rated as high-integrity by their employees had a multi-year return of 9.4%, while CEOs rated as low-integrity saw a return of only 1.9%.

Psychologist Travis Bradberry highlights several traps that leaders fall into, which can undermine their integrity.

One such trap is making everything about them — instead, you’ll want to actively solicit questioning and criticism. Another is micromanaging — remember that productivity looks different for leaders and individual employees. Give people a chance to do their jobs well on their own.

Click here to read the full Business Insider article.


OPINION: Making Manufacturing Great Again Will Require A Two-Pronged Approach

Employment in manufacturing peaked in the late 1970s at over 19 million. Since then, despite occasional positive bumps, manufacturing employment has shown a long-term secular decline. Today, fewer than 13 million workers are employed in factory jobs. This long-run, large scale decline in employment is largely attributable to automation and the offshoring of jobs to low-wage countries. The workers most affected by these technological and global shifts are unfortunately those with the least skills, whose jobs are most susceptible to these causes of displacement. The Carrier deal that President-elect Trump pushed through prevented fewer than a thousand jobs from being offshored, but as the CEO of United Technologies put it to CNBC, many of these jobs will be automated anyway; hence the benefit to US workers is likely very low. Even a thousand such deals are not the solution to the displacement occurring in manufacturing. The correct response to this predicament is skill upgradation, so that workers can work with these new technologies, as complements rather than substitutes. Beyond that, manufacturing also badly needs an image makeover.

In an interview, Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, claimed the lack of skilled workers in the U.S. as the reason for the company doing its actual production in China. While some speculate that the skills gap is more fiction than fact, there is clearly a problem in the manufacturing jobs market. Between 2005 and 2016, employment in manufacturing declined by 14%. There many potential reasons for this decline in employment: slow hiring, a small supply of workers, or turnover from workers quitting or being fired. The charts below, based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ JOLTS survey, are fairly revealing. Over the same period of employment decline, the number of job vacancies increased from 303,000 to 346,000 while the number of people hired for jobs declined from 369,000 to 272,000.


In addition, as the chart below shows, people were less likely to quit their factory jobs during the recession, but the quit rate is returning to pre-recession levels. Layoffs have fallen and remain low, bringing total separations down as well.


Today, there are 322,000 vacancies that are unfilled. Clearly, manufacturing jobs exist, and employers are ready to hire, but for some reason workers and firms are not matching up to fill these jobs. What could explain that?

As a recent study in the Journal of Economic Perspectives shows, there has been a global shift towards the value added by high skill workers in manufacturing and a shift away from low and medium skill workers. As manufacturing has become more technologically advanced, the demand for skilled workers to occupy positions has grown, but many companies appear unable to find people with the requisite skills. As per a recent report by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute, 70% of companies reported shortages of workers with adequate technology, computer and technical skills, despite their willingness to pay higher than the market wage in their area. As a result, nearly 2 million jobs will go unfilled over the next decade due to this skills gap.

But there is more to the skills gap than just workers who don’t have the basic problem-solving or computing skills that companies want. A significant problem facing companies is also the lack of demand for these jobs amongst workers with skills. Many workers are simply no longer interested in manufacturing jobs, and there appears to be a stigma attached to manufacturing work. A survey on the Public Perception of Manufacturing shows that while most Americans perceive manufacturing as the backbone of a strong domestic economy, few parents want their children to work in this industry, and manufacturing is the last career choice for people between the ages of 19 and 33.

Read this article in full at Forbes.com.


Client Spotlight: Junk King of Dayton

Pete McCreary of Junk King

Pete McCreary cheerfully looks at a calendar pulled up on his computer screen and points to Monday, December 18.

“You see that? That was a busy day,” he says.

And what constitutes a “busy day” in Junk King’s world?

Well, there were 18 appointments. That’s “huge” for a day in mid-December. Sometimes a large appointment may demand up to five trucks. Other times entire offices need to be cleaned out … and Junk King must respond with 20 trucks to haul away materials.

McCreary owns two Junk King locations. One is in Dayton and the other just north of Cincinnati in Sharonville. His team of 18 drivers hauls away junk — and a few treasures — from Union, KY to Piqua.

McCreary’s operation is one of the most successful in the entire Junk King franchise.

“I am where I thought I would be,” he said, reminiscing about his plan from the start. “I guess that tells me I was optimistic.”

McCreary got his start five years ago when he was looking to start a business.

“I knew I wanted to help older folks” he said, when asked about his initial interest.

After an experience with a family member, he began to seriously think about the hauling business. A close friend had a similar experience and he soon reached out to someone working in the business.

“It was perfectly good commerce,” he said.

He decided to buy into the Junk King franchise.

“I loved their emphasis on recycling,” he said. “I started checking into their business model and realized it would be a perfect fit for what I wanted to do.

“Plus, the company was young enough that I was able to get in at a good rate with flexibility.”

McCreary started working with BarryStaff this year and so far the staffing agency has provided him with two employees.

“It’s nice to call and say, ‘Hey, we need a couple guys,'” he said.

So where does he see Junk King going from here? In ten years, he’d like to have between 15 and 20 trucks (currently there are seven). Junk King’s employee tally is growing each year, so there’s no telling how large his operation could be in a decade.

“There’s a lot of business we’re starting to tap into,” McCreary said.

Click here to watch a short video shot inside Junk King.




Top Ten Tips for Using Staffing Firms

1) How exactly does a staffing firm work for me, the job-seeker?2016_bs_threatread_final
With few exceptions, the staffing firm becomes your advocate and “represents you” – a relationship that starts whenever you apply for a job through an staffing firm listing and submit your resume. In most cases there is no fee to you as you are the applicant; employer is the client;. Your link is the headhunter or representative who contacts or helps you.

2) If there is no fee for me – then who pays the placement fee?
There is no fee for you – client pays the fee. Many staffing firms work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they don’t get paid unless they successfully fill the open position by submitting the best candidate. There are also retained searches, meaning that the staffing firm gets paid no matter how long it takes to fill the job, and there is no other competing agency involved. If the client finds a candidate on their own, they must go through the staffing firm and the firm gets paid.

3) Is it wrong for me to submit my resume to multiple staffing firms?
No, it isn’t wrong, but do limit yourself to a very few firms and let the staffing firm know that you have. When you submit your resume to an online service (i.e. Monster.com or CareerBuilder) you won’t get a chance to set up an appointment and talk to a recruiter and let them know. If your resume fits the bill — meaning of the keywords in your resume are picked up through the online services’ algorithms and an employer finds you, then you’ll get an email or a call from the prospective employer. Staffing Firms with real live recruiters would appreciate knowing you’ve submitted yourself elsewhere (you needn’t go into detail that’s your business) – and they would also like to know if you have submitted yourself for the position directly. If you have, they won’t submit you or represent you for that job because it is duplication of your efforts.

4) What can a recruiting firm/staffing firm do for me that I can’t do for myself?
A good staffing firm will get your resume and set up an interview to talk about your skills, your goals, and the job you are applying for. Resumes don’t always do a candidate justice, and a good recruiter is almost like a job therapist – and will draw out of you information relevant to the position that you may not have thought to mention in your resume. A good recruiter knows a lot about the job you are applying for too, which can be helpful. Job descriptions are notoriously bland and don’t really give you all of the useful inside scoop it would be useful to know before you actually interview. Recruiters also have jobs that aren’t posted, and after talking with you may recommend you for something you didn’t even know was out there.

5) I applied online to a recruiting firm and no one called me – what does that mean?
It can mean one of many things – you weren’t qualified for the job you applied for and they didn’t bother to let you know. Your resume wasn’t received – if you didn’t get a confirmation notice of some sort that might have happened. Email them and ask. It was received but they haven’t gotten back to you yet – sometimes these things don’t happen in “real time”. Our advice? Don’t be shy – write and ask!

Read the full article, originally published by generalemployment.com, here.


What’s More Stressful Than a Root Canal? Finding a Job


If you’re a job-search candidate, you may not be surprised by the results of a new study that show “looking for a job” nearly tops the list of activities that are notoriously stressful. A recent report from Hired discovered that people find it more stress-inducing to try to find employment than to do almost anything else, including moving, planning a wedding, public speaking, doing taxes – and even getting a root canal.

In fact, the only stressors that ranked higher than job search in the study (which had 83 percent of respondents saying they find it somewhat or very stressful) were going through a divorce or breakup (92 percent) and experiencing the death of a loved one (94 percent). Compared with those high figures, getting a root canal got a much more lackluster response, with 73 percent of respondents finding it anxiety-producing.

What makes searching for work so challenging and difficult for working adults? The study identified the interview process as the most stressful part of a job hunt, along with starting over in a new role if you get lucky enough to clear the interview hurdles. With this in mind, review these four tips that can ease some of the stress as you prepare to begin interviewing:

  • Let your resume work for you. You should think of your resume as step one in the interview process, since it’s really what can open the door to companies and get the process started for you. If you neglect this point, you may be missing out on opportunities to meet with potential employers. If you prepare your resume correctly, you can also use it as a tool to help guide your discussion and responses during the interview itself. So remember to tailor your resume to the exact position to which you’re applying – that means if you’re applying for more than one job, you’ll need to craft more than one boilerplate resume. Customizing your resume for specific jobs and companies shows the employer that you’ve done your homework.
  • Research the company’s culture. As you prepare for your interview, pay special attention to learning as much as you can about the organization. While knowing how you want to respond to tough questions can go a long way, it also helps to become an expert on the company that you’d like to join, so that you can showcase your expertise during your interview. Use the corporate website and outside career sites like Glassdoor.com to get an insider’s view on the company’s culture.
  • Avoid making an interview gaffe. Part of your prep should involve knowing what topics and tone to avoid during your interview. Having savvy answers to interview questions is critical to your success, but it’s equally important to understand what issues to dodge during your discussion. One of the biggest no-no’s is asking too soon about salary – you definitely don’t want to raise this question during a phone screen or first interview. And speaking of phone interviews, your attitude can come through loud and clear even if no one can see you. Be sure to stay upbeat and energetic throughout the conversation – your voice is all that the interviewer has to go on, so it’s important that you do your best to sound professional and positive.

Read the full article, published by U.S. News, here. 


Please Don’t Do These 9 Things In An Interview

Looking for a job can be stressful and demoralizing.  I’d really like for you to succeed: it would be good for you, for the company that hires you, and for the overall economy.  In fact, I want you to get the best job you possibly can – one that you enjoy, and that challenges you and makes best use of your strengths.

In the service of that, there are some actions I want to steer you away from when you’re doing a job interview, things that – trust me – will not create the impression you want to create. Of course, some approaches are a matter of taste and style –  certain interviewers will like them while others won’t – but there are also ways of behaving that are pretty universally not a good idea. And, unfortunately, interviewees often get counseled to do some version of these things. So, having interviewed a great many people over the course of my career, and having spoken to hundreds of hiring managers about what they’ve liked and haven’t liked in those they’ve interviewed, here you go. If you want an interview to go well, don’t:

1. Freeze up – A few years ago, I interviewed a woman for an administrative position with our company.  Her resume looked excellent and appropriate, and she had been articulate, though very quiet, on the phone.  When we were actually sitting in a room together, though, she more or less disappeared: wouldn’t look at me; gave monosyllabic answers in a frightened mumble; seemed terrified when I asked her to tell me why she wanted to work for our company. If you can’t make it through an interview without crumbling, people are unlikely to believe you’ll be able to withstand the rigors of a normal job.  So if you find interviews particularly daunting, work on your self-talk beforehand. For example, if you find you’re saying things to yourself like, “I’m terrible in interviews, I know I’ll look like an idiot” – that can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Instead, change your mental monologue to something more hopeful, yet still realistic, like “I get nervous during interviews, so I need to practice beforehand, and remember to look at the interviewer and keep breathing.” And do practice, too – that can really reduce your fear of the unknown.

2. Dominate – Then there’s  the opposite behavior. I was once interviewing a woman who swept into the room, flashed me a blinding smile, shook my hand as though it were a pump handle, sat down and just started talking.  The quality of what she said was actually good – she’d done her homework about our company, and had great insights into what the job might require. But there was no space for anything but her monologue – I wasn’t able to ask her a single question.  It was exhausting, and certainly not something I would have wanted to experience every day.  If you know you have a strong personality and tend to talk a lot, coach yourself before you go into an interview to get curious about the interviewer: what he or she might be interested in hearing from you, his or her view of the job and of the company.  If you’re in a curious mindset, you’ll be much more likely to listen, and the interview will be a dialogue, vs. a monologue.

3. Be sloppy – Some companies are very casual – people come to work in tee shirts and jeans – while others still have rigorous dress codes (someone told me yesterday that female employees at the Ritz-Carlton are still expected to wear hose every day).  Try to find out, before your interview, what’s standard dress at that particular company.  But no matter how casual the dress code – don’t be a slob. Having good personal hygiene – clean hair, showered, nails trimmed – and clean, unwrinkled clothing is much more  important than whether you’re a little over-dressed or under-dressed. When someone comes to an interview looking like he or she has just rolled out of bed, it communicates lack of respect for the interviewer, the job and the company.

Click here to read the full article. 

Community Room Testimonial: The Marketing Formula

tmfwebsite“I want to thank the management of Barry Staff for being so community-minded and generous in sharing your facility with our organization.  The community conference room was perfect for our focus group – comfortable, modern, friendly – I could go on and on.  It was the first experience for everyone in our group and it was nothing but positive.  Your staff members were polite and welcoming (Steven and your night custodian).  It was the kind of experience that we all look for but rarely find.”

— Bob Parks, The Marketing Formula


BarryStaff Comments on New Unemployment Data

This morning the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics issued data that showed the unemployment rate in November decreased by 0.3 percentage point to a nine-year-low of 4.6 percent. The number of unemployed persons declined by 387,000 to 7.4 million.

The civilian labor participation rate, which measures the number of working-age people are in the labor force, changed little in November — at 62.7 percent. The employment-population ratio held at 59.7 percent. These measures have shown little movement in recent months.

Employment in other major industries such as manufacturing, transportation, warehousing, leisure and hospitality changed little over the month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

BarryStaff, as a company, has seen a surge in candidates looking for work.

“We’ve seen a dramatic increase in applicants and people going to work in the last three weeks or a month,” Barry said. “A lot of the people that have been doing outside work are now starting to look for inside work.

“People also want more money in their pockets for the holidays,” he said.

Early speculation was that the unemployment rate would be higher.

“Early forecasters expected a higher unemployment rate, but that didn’t happen,” Barry said. “That’s largely because the weather has been so nice that construction, landscaping and other outdoor industries did not have the drop-off in labor that is common this time of year.”

BarryStaff works with approximately 100 clients throughout the Miami Valley, a number of them in manufacturing.