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4 Ways to Keep Your Accounting Staff from Burning Out

March 16th, 2017

Your accounting staff is the backbone of your business. It’s important to keep them engaged, happy, and productive. As a business owner or manager, can you provide the right support and incentives to prevent them from burning out too soon in their career? If you can start this process, you will be able to retain your top accounting talent. By implementing policies that help your team stay focused and happy you will reduce your need to replace key roles and can build a better overall corporate culture. So how do you get started? Here are 4 things to consider.

1. Pay attention to the busy season.

The first quarter of the year is always busy for accounting professionals. Tax season can be challenging for anyone dealing with corporate taxes, individual taxes, or providing support to the accountants on the team. It is essential that you pay attention to the workflow during this busy time and make sure that your team isn’t being overworked.

2. Provide fun activities.

Employees from any department can benefit from socializing together. As a manager, you can facilitate these kinds of activities. Bring in lunch or dinners, especially when the workload is highest. During stressful times, people may be inclined to skip meals to keep up with their work. Coordinate happy hours to get out of the office. Or set up a team-building outing, such as a trip to a local adventure park or host a barbecue on a summer weekend.

3. Encourage work/life balance.

Your team also deserves to have a good and healthy work/life balance. Make sure that they aren’t expected to work from home or respond to requests after business hours. Encourage them to turn off their work phones or emails. There is nothing that can’t wait until they’re back in the morning, including you.

4. Adequately staff the department.

Finally, a good step to ensuring that your accounting staff is happy, engaged, and not overworked, is to be fully staffed. Do they need additional support to take some administrative tasks off their desk? Consider working with a local staffing agency that specializes in accounting and finance to bring on additional help for your department.

Work with a Top Staffing Agency in Dallas

Do you want to make sure your accounting team has the support it needs to succeed? Contact the team at CornerStone Staffing and work with a top staffing agency in Dallas today to bring the best accounting talent to your company!

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What Helps Customer Service? It Starts with How You Treat Employees

February 23rd, 2017

We all know that good customer service is the heart of any business. Without a good relationship with returning customers or the ability to retain new customers, your company will be unable to function in the marketplace. If success ends with good customer service, where does it begin? How you treat your employees, both those who face customers directly and others behind the scenes, will help your company succeed. Here are some things to consider as you manage your employees and promote a good customer service mindset.

Stand up for your employees.

The most important thing you can do to show your employees you have their backs is to stand up for them. Trust them to make the right decision. Don’t overrule their authority. And, while the customer is usually always right, there will be times when they’re not. Show your staff that you accept their decisions and follow through with your support.

Treat employees like you would treat clients.

Many business owners feel that the heart and soul of their business is the clients. In truth, the real heart that beats in your company is your employees. Without them, and without job satisfaction, they are unable to provide the service you need to retain clients. Create a policy that puts your team first which can, in turn, allow each of them to treat your clients well.

Encourage them to go the extra mile.

You want your team to take the extra steps for your company voluntarily. They shouldn’t only do what is required, but feel compelled to do more and do better. Create a culture that gives your staff the tools they need to go the extra mile for your clients. Allow them to develop their own ideas that they can bring to management with ways to improve service.

Appreciate your team.

Lastly, you want to make sure that you say “Thank you,” to your staff. Customer service is often considered a thankless job. With the potential for upset customers and issues to address regularly. Be sure to reward positive behavior, thank them when they’ve handled a particularly difficult situation, and develop an environment of gratitude among your staff so that feeling of thankfulness can become contagious in your office.

Partner with a Top Staffing Agency in Dallas

Do you want to ensure your customer service team is performing at the top of their game? CornerStone Staffing can help by providing the best employees for your team. Contact us today to work with a top staffing agency in Dallas! 

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How Can You Build a Pool of Reliable IT Freelancers?

February 9th, 2017

The IT industry is changing and a lot of top performers are working as independent contractors or freelancers without committing to a full-time position with a company. If your company is reliant on skilled information technology experts, you may be wondering how you can compete in this gig economy and build a pool of reliable IT freelancers. Here are several things you can do to improve your relationship with independent contractors.

Treat them like everyone else.

Even if your IT freelancer works from home or is only occasionally in the office, make an effort to include them in company culture. Make them feel welcome in your organization. This will go a long way to giving them buy in to your company and the people they work with and for. They will be more interested in making a positive contribution rather than just collecting a steady paycheck.

Provide steady work.

Speaking of steady, to keep a freelancer happy is to keep them busy and engaged. Don’t just throw busy work at them, but be ready to give them necessary projects. If you don’t have anything for them, they will move on and freelance for someone else. You may never be able to get them back. If you provide steady work, you’ll be able to develop a long-term relationship with your IT freelancer.

Share feedback.

Just because your freelancer doesn’t work for you full time doesn’t mean you should avoid providing feedback. Let them know when they’re doing a good job. Talk to them about concerns you have. Be open with communication and allow them to approach you if they have questions as well. This positive back and forth will help you both work together well and accomplish more.

Be flexible with their schedule.

Lastly, remember that a freelancer is not a full-time employee. This means that they will have a non-traditional schedule. They may work from home. Or they may only work a few days a week. Rather than focusing on the hours they put in, focus on the results of their project. Know that a freelancer does this job so they can have a flexible schedule and as long as they are completing the necessary tasks, everything should be okay.

Work with a Top IT Recruiter in Dallas

Do you want to work with skilled and engaged independent IT contractors in your business? Contact CornerStone Staffing Today to work with a top recruiter and staffing agency in Dallas TX!

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Which Leader Does Your Team Want?

January 26th, 2017

Managing is about more than just being the boss. Your employees want a leader that inspires them and supports them. If you’re currently in a management position or looking to progress into one throughout your career, there are some personal traits or soft skills, you should consider cultivating. Be the leader your team wants. Here are several things to consider adding to your experience and skill set.

Positive Behavior

Positivity is the cornerstone of good management. Your employees will not want to work for someone who only complains or is negative all the time. When you project your emotions, you are asking for your team to emulate your behavior. That is why it is imperative that you act in a positive way to encourage positive work.

Adaptable to Change

The best-laid plans never go the way they’re intended. That is true for life and for individual small projects. If you want to ensure that your team is able to roll with the punches, you have to demonstrate your ability to adapt and change along the way. This means everything from embracing new ideas to utilizing new technology.

Down to Earth

Your team will also want someone who they consider down to earth. What is the opposite of down to earth? Often those people are described as “flighty” or “spacey.” You don’t want to be seen that way. Your staff deserves someone who is even tempered and has control over their emotions. Don’t allow yourself to fly off the handle.

Ethics and Integrity

Your team also wants you to be ethical and demonstrate integrity in the office. They want you to be fair to everyone rather than picking favorites and treating others poorly. Make sure that you adhere to your own values and support the overall values of the company.

Willingness to Pitch in

Finally, your staff wants to see that you don’t just manage the department, that you know what you’re talking about. They want to see you able to take action. If things get tough, don’t’ be afraid to roll up your sleeves and help out. Get your hands dirty to show that you still have what it takes to be a part of the team yourself.

Work with a Top Staffing Agency in Dallas

Is your company looking for great employees? Contact CornerStone Staffing today to get started on working with a top staffing agency in Dallas and throughout Texas!

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Boomerang Candidates – Is It Right for Your Team?

January 12th, 2017

Boomerang CandidatesWe all know what a boomerang is: An Aboriginal Australian hunting weapon that is thrown and comes back to the thrower. The word, over time, has come to mean anything that gets thrown out and comes back, and that is true for employees. A boomerang candidate is a former employee who left your organization for another position and is now interested in returning to your company. But should you consider this candidate for your open job? Here are some things to consider.

What skills did they learn elsewhere?

When they left your company, what happened next? What kind of company did they work for and what experiences can they now bring back to your table? Was this growth something your company was unable to provide? Take a hard look at their skills. Even though they have worked for your company in the past doesn’t mean they are a good long-term fit.

What does your candidate pool look like?

What other candidates are you considering for this job? Where did you source them? What do they bring to the table that your boomerang candidate cannot? A fresh perspective may be just as valuable as reinstating someone who needs a little training. It is a good idea to weigh these pros and cons before making a decision.

Did they leave on good terms?

The most important thing to consider is why they left in the first place? Was it a life change that was unavoidable, like a relocation or new circumstance? Did they simply want to take an opportunity to learn something new that your company couldn’t offer at the time? Or, and most importantly, was there a specific reason they were not a good fit for your organization? Has anything changed that demonstrates improvement in that area?

How does your team feel about them?

Finally, you need to talk to others in the company who remember or worked directly with your boomerang candidate. Do they feel as though this person left on good terms? Do they feel confident that this placement would work out for them? Do they have fond memories and like your former employee as a person? If not, why? What would need to change to make it a better long term fit?

Are you looking for the right candidate to fill your open positions? Contact CornerStone Staffing today to learn about how our awesome team of recruiters can help!

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Use LinkedIn to Get Real Info During Hiring

December 29th, 2016

linkedin-blogCurrent standards indicate that most serious job seekers should have a basic LinkedIn profile. But what does that mean for employers? When you’re looking for a new candidate for your open position, and you turn to LinkedIn, what are you really looking for? You can use LinkedIn to get real information that can help inform your hiring decision. Here is what to look for and how to use the information when you’re setting up interviews and making offers.

Look for sincere recommendations.

The recommendation section of a LinkedIn profile shouldn’t replace good, old-fashioned references, but they can be helpful. It is easy to tell the difference between a sincere recommendation and one that just goes through the motions. Look for details, mentions of specific scenarios, and how closely the individuals worked together. Then see how many sincere recommendations a person has.

Review mutual connections.

LinkedIn is built on first, second, and third-tier connections. For every person you add to your network, you also add an exponential network. Review the individuals that you have in common with your candidate. Can you reach out to anyone to discuss the individual candidly? What can you learn from these connections about your candidate that can help inform your choice?

See how active they are.

It can also say something about a job applicant when you see how active they are. Not only that they are active, but how they interact with their networks and groups. Do they provide information that is positive and helpful? Do they only use the site to promote themselves or do they share other useful information? Are they positioning themselves as an expert or a thought leader?

Read their blog posts.

Speaking of thought leaders, does this candidate use the LinkedIn blogging platform to share important information about their experience? LinkedIn blogs make it easy for professionals to demonstrate their expertise in their field. Even if they don’t post often, check for the quality of blog posts they’ve made in the past. Are these posts items that can help your company grow or share how knowledgeable your candidate is?

Do you need any additional help in bringing the top talent to your company? Contact the team at CornerStone Staffing today to work with a top staffing agency in Texas.

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Is Your Accounting Team Appropriately Staffed for Busy Season

December 15th, 2016

accounting-teamWhile the holidays might be downtime for many offices, accounting firms are looking toward the first of the year to signal the start of accounting season. Between January and April, financial professionals are the hardest working people you’ll find. Tax time can be stressful for everyone from the clients to the accountants themselves, so how can you ensure that everything will run as smoothly as possible? Before tax season starts, evaluate what you can do to make things easier. Let’s take a closer look.

Don’t wait until it is too late.

Staffing your team in March may be too late to make a dent in the work that your firm will have this tax season. Instead, get started now. The holidays are a perfect time to reach out to find temporary seasonal workers who will be available after the first of the year. If not, you run the risk of not finding the employees with the qualifications you need to accomplish the tasks at hand.

Avoid overworking your team.

You may have a great core staff. They may be rock stars in accounting. But that doesn’t mean that you can have them work 24 hours a day and seven days a week without consequences. There will certainly be some overtime inherent with tax season, but working your staff to the breaking point won’t serve anyone. Instead, make sure that you have enough short-term help to get you through the season. They can be there for administrative support or take on more tasks depending on skill level.

Review the past to determine need.

In order to determine the skill level of short-term employees or the number of temporary workers your company will need for the season, review the workload you’ve had in recent years. How many clients did you have last year? What were your billable hours? How many new clients have you added this year who will need attention during tax season? Review all of this information and get input from your accounting staff to see what kind of temp help will be best for you starting in January.

Partner with an agency.

To accomplish all of this, your best solution is to work with an agency who specializes in accounting and administrative support. You can talk with them now to determine how they can help you best in the coming months. Talk to them about their inventory of available employees, the skill levels, and the rates you will need to pay. Share your data so you can both create a plan that will work well this tax season.

Are you looking to staff your accounting department before tax season starts? Contact CornerStone Staffing today to get started on working with a top financial staffing agency in Texas!

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Do You Really Need to Conduct an Annual Review?

November 23rd, 2016

job-reviewAs we slide through the end of the year, you’re probably considering the dreaded task of the annual review. This task is intended for managers and employees to discuss contributions and make a plan for the following year. But is an annual review even necessary? Are they actually causing more harm than good in some cases? Before you step into that meeting, consider these thoughts about year-end reviews and determine what really works for you and your business.

Are performance reviews a waste of time?

More and more large organizations are doing away with the annual review. While the process intended to hold employees more accountable, it doesn’t result in the kind of development modern businesses are looking for. Instead, it singles out employees and makes them more defensive, not less. It may be time for your organization to ditch the formal review process.

What is the value of your review process?

The most important thing to know is whether or not your annual reviews are bringing value to the workplace. Is it causing more anxiety for your management team or employees? Are they both walking away from the meeting with renewed motivation? Or are people simply going through the motions because it is required?

Is your review process often enough?

One challenge is that an annual review doesn’t actually solve any performance issues. Companies that do more information review processes throughout the year, either every quarter or 6 months, are finding that their employees are more motivated because they feel empowered by the feedback.

Is there harm in waiting to share feedback?

In fact, there is ample evidence to show that waiting for an annual review to provide feedback can negatively impact the performance of employees. Rather than giving them the tools to correct behaviors, they’ll feel as though there are being criticized by individuals with more power. It is better to provide specific examples of things that need to improve but do it along the way as the concern arises, not all at once.

Are you looking for new team members to add to your company? Contact CornerStone Staffing today to get started on working with a leading Texas staffing agency!

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Want to Retain Top IT Talent? Focus on These Areas

November 10th, 2016

retain-employeesEmployee retention is just as important as hiring the right IT talent from the start. To keep your star tech employees happy and engaged, it is imperative to focus on certain areas to create loyalty and enrichment. Without addressing these items, you may find yourself replacing unhappy or disgruntled IT employees far too often. Here are 5 areas you can focus on to retain your top talent in the IT department.

1. Provide flexible options.

Today’s top IT talent are looking for a flexible workplace. Not only do they want the ability to be flexible with their time, but also the freedom to explore solutions without being micromanaged. Provide a results based workplace that tracks the completion of projects without getting caught up in the hours they take to complete these tasks.

2. Increase open communications.

IT employees also want open lines of communications that go two ways. They want to be able to discuss concerns with their employer whenever necessary. But they also want to hear feedback. And don’t only approach your team with negative feedback. Be sure to provide positive reinforcement as well.

3. Focus on hiring and onboarding.

The first impression is probably the most important. If you can give them a quality experience in the hiring process and within the first days of training, you will increase overall satisfaction on the job. Provide an orientation that introduces them to the corporate culture. Match them with a mentor who can answer their questions along the way.

4. Provide access to the best technology.

An IT department without access to the latest technology tools will be quickly crippled in the solutions they can provide. If you don’t offer these tools to your employees, they will find a company who will. Give them all the tools they need to make informed decisions and provide top solutions for your department.

5. Offer options for career development.

IT employees, especially those in the millennial generation, are craving continued education and career development. An employer that doesn’t care about the future goals of an employee is not one that these professionals want to work with. Give them options to learn more and expand their horizons while on the job.

Do you want to hire top IT talent for your company? Contact CornerStone Staffing today and work with a leading IT recruiter in Dallas!

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What Do You Say to the Job Candidates Who Don’t Get the Job?

October 27th, 2016

how-do-you-tell-them-they-didnt-get-the-jobWhen you’re interviewing for your open position, you will meet multiple people but only be able to hire one. This means there can be several well-qualified individuals who will not get the job. How you respond to them is just as important as how you make the offer to your selection. Burning bridges goes both ways and with the value of word-of-mouth and social media connections, you can’t afford to have someone disgruntled with their interviewing experience. Here are some ways you can say the right thing to someone who doesn’t get the job at your company.

Be upfront about not getting the job.

There are a lot of reasons managers don’t communicate with candidates who didn’t get the offer. They may not want to deal with confrontation. Or they may get busy so it drops off the priority list. But each person you interview deserves some notification that they haven’t gotten the job and the general reason why. This will help them move forward in their job search rather than become jaded.

Stay positive about the hiring process.

To this end, you want to stay positive. Feel free to present constructive criticism in a positive way, but otherwise, you should focus on the positive reasons you made the decision to hire someone else. Tell the employee about why someone else made the cut, which can give them an idea of what they might be missing when applying and interviewing for jobs.

Offer to contact them when things change.

Things do change. A perfect hire can turn into a nightmare when you least expect it. Or, other employees may leave or you may experience growth in your industry. The top candidates for your open jobs are often the biggest untapped resource for future jobs when most companies simply start over again. If they made the cut once, they are worth looking at again.

Follow up with them in the future.

The real key when it comes to offering to contact them in the future is to actually follow through on that process. Maintain a file for each department with potential candidates that you’ve met before. Follow up with them when you have a need or throughout the year just to keep in touch. Check in with them about where they are now, which can also give you insight on competition.

Are you struggling to find the best candidates for your job openings? Work with CornerStone Staffing today to get started on working with a top Dallas recruiter!

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