June 17, 2018

Bare Minimum Background Checks for Hiring on a Small Budget

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When you are running a small business with limited resources, you may consider foregoing background checks to cut employment costs. However, personal and professional references often don’t provide enough information about a person. Even simple background checks can make candidate selection decisions faster and easier. This is especially important for a small business that might lack the resources to address problems that can arise from poor hiring decisions.

Criminal Background Checks

Running a basic criminal background check on applicants before officially hiring them can keep a small business from becoming a victim of fraud. While many issues that might come up through a criminal background check may not be relevant to the individual’s ability to perform their job, crimes related to fraud or theft should be considered during a hiring decision. While large corporations can handle some losses, one wrong employment decision can drive a small business to close. For this reason, money spent on criminal background checks is an essential insurance policy for the overall security of your business.

Credit Reports

A credit report is another background check that can offer employers valuable information about applicants. However, small employers can afford to be more discriminating with which positions require credit checks. Applicants for jobs that require a high level of financial accountability or that will have access to business finances should be screened using a credit report. Be aware that the states of California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Oregon, and Washington have state laws prohibiting employers from using employee credit reports in hiring decisions.

Legal Considerations

For all types of background reports, employers must be careful to follow specific legal requirements. You may not run a criminal or credit check on an individual without their written consent. Most employees will ask applicants to sign a background check consent form at a later stage in the hiring process. After viewing a background check, you must send the employee a pre-adverse action disclosure, a copy of the report, and an explanation of their rights to dispute reports if you think you may not hire them based on the report. When you make the final decision to not hire them based on information in the report, you must send applicants an adverse action notice to let them know.

Vetting

Transparency in hiring, on the part of the employer and the employee, is essential to building trust. This transparency can be achieved through proper vetting processes. Vetting assures that potential employees are who they claim to be and have done what they claim to have done so that you can choose the best talent for your business with confidence. In order to establish trust with potential employees, your business can join the Clear Business Directory by completing an annual vetting process which shows your community and potential hires that your operations are reputable and trustworthy.

Small business owners should always run a criminal background check on potential applicants; doing so can save a lot of money in the long run.

 

References

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The Trick to Independent Sales…is Sales

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As part of my business and career coaching, I work with many wonderful men and women who have undertaken to build a brand around selling products through independant or network marketing. These are men and women with ambition, who believe in the products their selling, and who understand the value of leveraging interpersonal networks to build their own brand. However, with all the hype surrounding this model, some believe that success comes without effort. Truthfully, there is no product on the market that sells itself, and there has never been. The people that reach colossal levels of success distributing for these organizations are expert recruiters and sales reps. If you want to succeed in this industry, you need to identify the skills and strategies from their example that can be replicated. Here are a few case studies:

 

Jackie Ritz

Jackie started distributing doTERRA oils in 2009. She credits initial sales success to her enthusiasm for the product. “After feeling such a difference using dōTERRA, I couldn’t stop talking about them.” But the secret to Jackie’s success was moving into recruiting and success coaching. Whereas many multi-level organizations’ compensation plans produce diminishing returns the farther down your downline you recruit, Jackie leveraged this organization’s “unilevel compensation” method to drastically increase earnings with a depth-of-roster strategy.

Takeaways: Pay attention to your organization’s compensation methodology when determining the best sales strategy. A cookie-cutter approach might not work for every commission structure or product category.

 

Rolf Kipp

Rolf calls Forever Living “The Most Beautiful Business on Earth.” While perhaps overly poetic, his book is retailing for over $40 on Amazon. It’s unclear what percentage of his millions has come from product sales and referrals versus the book and speaking engagements, but it’s clear from his current marketing push that the latter is not insignificant.

Takeaways: Your level of sales success in sales pays off twice; once directly, and again when it can be leveraged to sell training materials to up-and-comers in the industry. While this is a strategy that may not pay off until later in your career, it is a lucrative one.

 

Brian McClure

Brian receives a staggering monthly income from a company that is (technically) a multi-level, Ambit Energy. Whereas most utility companies have contracts with municipal, county, or state governments that provide them with a de facto monopoly, Ambit operates in deregulated energy markets where this disruptive model can potentially drive down the cost of energy and gas bills significantly. Because these markets are new and few, Brian’s outstanding referral bonus can be attributed to his being an early arrival to a new and lucrative opportunity.

Takeaways: Truly successful, disruptive companies operate in “blue ocean” spaces where there is minimal competition. Try to identify new ways of solving old problems, and stake out that territory before someone else does.

 

No matter which brand or product you’re selling, the essential skills related to success are a willingness to learn and innovate, an emotional intelligence that can fuel your recruitment efforts, and above all, a willingness to get out there and drum up leads. The independent model might be an innovation of the last thirty years, but the keys to success are as old as markets themselves. Don’t let that discourage you; these skills are replicable. But it’s never going to happen without effort, no matter how convincing the hype.

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How to Handle Disagreements Between Coworkers in the Workplace

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Disagreements between employees are inevitable. If you are a business owner or manager, you will sometimes be responsible for handling these disagreements. Forbes explains thatthe ability to recognize conflict, understand the nature of conflict, and to be able to bring swift and just resolution to conflict will serve you well as a leader – the inability to do so may well be your downfall.” So before you get involved with settling disputes, take a few moments to stop and think about the best strategies for fairly handling disagreements using the tips below as guidelines.

 

Understand What It’s Worth

Before your involve yourself in any kind of employee problem, stop to figure out what the problem is worth. Is this an issue that actually impacts the day-to-day operation of the business? If so, how far are you willing to go to solve the problem? Regardless of what’s going on, you need to be aware of what’s potentially at stake before you involve yourself at all. If the problem is entirely interpersonal and doesn’t impact anything else in the workplace, you might not need to be involved with the disagreement at all.

 

Know What’s Important

One of the most important things you can do is to distinguish between disagreements and illegal offenses. Just because there are disagreements or bad feelings between a boss and an employee or between coworkers does not mean illegal offenses have been committed. However, the Law Offices of Jeremy Pasternak specify that “harassment may involve: offensive comments, jokes or physical conduct that denigrates a protected class; requests for sexual favors to keep your job or get a promotion; unwanted leering, touching or physical contact.” Even if you don’t feel you should otherwise get involved, an illegal offense is something that your business must take seriously. After all, your lack of action could end up being read as supporting a hostile or illegal atmosphere, which could put your business at risk. It’s important that you put your personal feelings aside and figure out whether the disagreement has been caused by something that might be legally actionable.

 

Remain Impartial

It’s also important for you as the employer or manager to remain impartial in the disagreement. It doesn’t matter what history you have with either employee. What is the objective situation? In some cases, this might mean siding with an employee with whom you would not usually side. In others, it might mean not taking action even when you feel for one of the two parties. The most important thing you can do is to protect the long-term health of your business, and that means keeping your feelings out of the matter.

 

Cover Your Bases

Finally, make sure your bases are covered. If you have any company policies that dictate how disagreements are handled, make sure you follow those dictates to the letter. If you have a human resources department or legal department, make sure you run any potential issues by them first. While it might seem self-serving, it really is in everyone’s best interest to make sure that you make sure the company is covered before you begin to involve yourself in any employee disagreements. From there, you can start to make the hard decisions that will help to resolve the situation.

If there are disagreements between your employees, don’t go with the instinct to immediately interfere. Instead, stop, take stock of the situation, and figure out if action is either required of you or is best for the health of your company. If you do need to be involved, follow protocols and be as objective as possible. While you can’t make everyone happy, you can adjudicate disputes fairly. As a leader, you must be prepared to be an example and to guide your coworkers and employees to a peaceful resolution.

To learn more about creating agreements for results and collaborations, schedule time at www.meetme.so/ShannonGronich

 

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Business Trip Cheats to Make Your Next Meeting in London Out of This World

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It is no secret that business trips are often long, stressful affairs, packed with multiple meetings and little downtime. When you know your destination is London, however, you want to see as much of England’s capital as possible. With iconic sights such as the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and the London Eye, this city’s food, culture and attractions are as diverse as those who live there. To help you out, keep these cheats in mind to make the most of your trip across the pond.

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The Number One Piece of Advice

First and foremost, plan ahead. Chances are you received a schedule or list of the professional responsibilities that you need to complete while in London. Make sure you know when and where those are, then block out your free time and determine what you have time to do. Time management skills will be key here. Make sure you keep on task while you are there. Use some productivity hacks to maximize your productivity while you are abroad.

Where to Stay

Where you stay in London is highly dependent on your job duties. You might have been assigned a place to stay, but if not, look into hotels or even better, London corporate apartments that are near where you will be spending most of your time. London corporate apartments offer all the luxuries of home, making your trip feel more like a relaxing vacation or homestay instead of a work trip. One that gives you a beautiful place to sleep, get work done and is within your budget is sufficient for business trips. Look for a site that offers complimentary breakfast so you can save time as well. Efficiency and comfort are essential.

What to See

London has many well-known attractions. Some that are worth checking out are taking a ride on the London Eye, an enclosed Ferris Wheel, strolling through the Victoria and Albert Museum, which showcases exhibits related to art and design and picking up some souvenirs from Harrods, the iconic department store. If you want advice on lesser-known travel locations in the city, here are a couple of suggestions. Stroll through some of Hyde Park, located right in Central London, for a quiet escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Or, spend time in the West End, taking in a show.

Where to Eat

For restaurant tips, it is a bit difficult because London has so much good food that it might seem impossible to decide what to try. For restaurant tips, if you are going to see the sights, finding places that are high-quality and get you food quickly are useful when you are short on time. Visit a pub to try traditional British foods, like pies and sausages, or get prepackaged sandwiches from a grocery store or café so you can stick to your time schedule. Try to avoid common American chain fast food stores. Order something you have never seen before or that you always heard of but never had a chance to try.

Use your free time to your advantage and experience some of what London has to offer. With these hacks, you can have a great trip from a personal and business perspective.

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How to Become a Respected and Engaging Leader in Your Workplace

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Becoming a workplace leaders does not always mean that you are given a title and a pay raise, at least initially. You may have to prove yourself first. Fortunately, it is not that hard to do when you utilize the following strategies.

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Lead by example.

Dress, speak, and act the part of the leader you want to become. Treat others the way you want to be treated to earn their respect. Don’t play favorites; instead, view everyone as equal. Perform your work in a positive and productive way to let others see that you are serious about your job and expect others to be, as well. Avoid negative behaviors such as being overly critical, judgmental, or biased. Maintain ethical integrity and encourage employees to do the same.

 

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Apply leadership tactics.

Read books about leadership and study positive role models. Then do as they suggest to build rapport and gain respect at work. Plan projects efficiently to ensure success, selecting the most suitable individuals for each role. Monitor without micromanaging. Provide adequate training and skill-building opportunities to help employees reach their potential and excel at their jobs. Use company resources prudently to build success.

 

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Encourage input.

An interactive workplace is more effective than one that operates from the top down. Use various means to solicit employee suggestions and feedback. For example, a suggestion box may attract new ideas or recommendations. Company newsletter recognition fosters awareness and appreciation of employee efforts. Meetings or focus groups enable employees to have a say about their department’s performance or problems. An interactive in-house discussion board may elicit informal comments or insights. Employees who feel valued are more like to respect and follow company leadership.

 

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Provide structure.

Employees want to know how the company is doing and where it is headed. Routine updates or periodic reports will keep them apprised of the organization’s status and allow them to feel like they are part of the loop. Employees who feel disenfranchised are less productive and more likely to grumble about company policies or even leave their jobs if they are dissatisfied and feel unappreciated. Maintain a hierarchy of authority and an environment of openness to instill employees with security and a positive attitude toward your ability to lead.

 

It has been said that leaders are born, not made. But someone who is willing to stand up and show the way to others within a company can quickly earn respect as a leader. 

Apply to attend the upcoming Business Acceleration Summit and mastermind with our industry leaders and mentors, including Forbes recognized Transformational Leadership Strategist. 

 

Featured Image credit: ASEA

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