Tag Archive for: Hiring Practices

Improve Your Workforce through Topgrading

If you find your hiring process slowing down, now is the best time to revamp your workforce. With a strong 69.3% participation rate in the 7-County Metro, many skilled workers are encouraged to find work in today’s economy. Making this an opportune time to recruit and hire top performers for the future needs of your business.

According to our Sr. Account Manager, David Weiler “Now is the perfect opportunity to improve your workforce through top grading underperformers.”

Underperforming employees can drag down the rest of your workforce. It is important to identify these employees and replace them with top performers. This drives performance and improves your company’s results. Which effectively helps you get ahead of hiring competition.

So, if you want to improve your business’ chances in today’s economy, topgrading is the way to go.

Here are 5 things to know about topgrading your workforce:

1. Look at Organizational Makeup

To understand how to topgrade your workforce, you need to analyze the composition of your organization.

Generally, your workforce is made up of:

  • 20% of an organizations employees are superstars
  • 60% of its employees are competent
  • 20% of its employees are underachievers

The goal of topgrading is to get rid of the bottom 20% of your employees and replace them with superstar candidates. By making this a consistent part of your hiring process, eventually, your bottom 20% will be performing better than the middle 60% of your competition, which is exactly what you want.

2. Who Do You Topgrade?

In order to implement this successfully, you need identify those employees who fall in the bottom 20% of underachievers. While this may be obvious in some instances, it’s not always clear which employees should stay and which ones should be replaced.

Here are six characteristics of employees you need to top grade:

#1—They put forth the minimum amount of effort.

Minimum effort does not drive company growth and profitability. Going “above and beyond” is what gets the job done. Somebody who arrives late and leaves early does not display the commitment necessary to help their employer reach its goals for growth.

#2—They’re uncooperative.

When a team effort is needed to complete a project or meet a deadline, an “all hands on deck” mentality should prevail. These employees habitually make themselves scarce during critical situations.

#3—They’re hostile to co-workers and customers.

This type of behavior can be disastrous, both within the organization in terms of company culture and also outside the organization in terms of employer branding.

#4—They make excuses.

The bottom 20% makes excuses to explain away poor performance. In the worst-case scenario, they blame their co-workers, “throwing them under the bus.”

#5—They complain.

Breeding negativity by complaining can be like a cancer in the workplace, especially during high-pressure situations associated with a deadline. Complaining contributes nothing positive; it only brings down the rest of the team.

#6—They do not invest in themselves.

Employees should continually seek out new training and similar opportunities to better themselves and add to their skill set. When they do that, they become more valuable. When they don’t, their stock within the company falls, and ultimately so do their contributions.

3. Identify Employee Skills and Talents

Top grading requires that you hire employees who possess the skills and talents needed to succeed in your organization. By identifying the skills and talents you desire, you will find better talent that suits your business needs now and in the future. This ensures high employee performance, and long-term success within your organization.

Skills that superstar candidates possess are strong work ethic, reliability and dependability, and attention to detail. These qualities help ensure that projects are completed accurately and on schedule, and create a more productive and efficient work environment. Additionally, teamwork is key in a successful grading workforce. Strong communication is also a key indicator. Employees who are able to communicate effectively and understand expectations are more likely to be successful. This also fosters better relationships among coworkers, leading to a more cohesive team.

In addition to identifying soft skills, it’s important to focus on individuals who have expert knowledge and experience in their field. This is because they will be able to provide advanced expertise and contribute to the success of the business. These types of candidates are also committed to growing and developing their skills. This allows businesses to stay abreast of market changes and sustain a high level of output, which are essential for any company.

4. Improves Work Culture

Another benefit of replacing underachievers with top performers is that it improves work culture. Topgrading not only improves work productivity, but also enhance workplace morale.

Underachievers often leave others to pick up the slack, which creates a negative effect on morale. On the other hand, top performers raise the bar for everyone and make work more enjoyable. They also inspire others to do their best. As a result, replacing underachievers with high achievers is essential for creating a positive work culture.

Additionally, hiring the right candidates with the right personalities is key to establishing a great work culture. The candidate should have the ability to fit into the team dynamic and contribute positively to the existing culture. They should also be able to work well with existing team members, so they can all collaborate together effectively. Their hard work may also inspire others to do the same which improves overall quality. All in all, top grading is essential for creating an environment that encourages productivity and morale.

5. Increased Quality, Productivity and Profitability

Businesses need skilled and competent employees to produce more output and save on costs. Replacing underperforming workers with excellent employees benefits not only the quality of your workforce but also your business ROI. Statistics demonstrate that top-graded staff create more efficient, higher quality work which subsequently leads to greater profit margins for businesses.

Highly performing employees are essential for businesses to generate greater productivity, as these workers are typically the top performers in their field and have the skills needed to get the job done efficiently. With these employees on board, companies can reduce costs associated with hiring new employees and use the resources for more suitable needs.

Because of the overall higher quality, companies that practice top grading often find that their customers are more satisfied with the product or service, leading to increased sales and repeat business. In today’s competitive marketplace, businesses must do everything they can to gain an edge. Topgrading is one way to ensure that your company is staffed with the best possible talent, giving you a leg up on the competition.

By topgrading your workforce, you will be able to find skilled talent that will perform better and provide more value to your organization. This will help you make the most of valuable resources and ensure that your workforce is the best it can be. Contact us or check out our services today to get started.


When a Hiring Freeze May Not Be the Right Solution

Hiring freezes can stop a company from spending money on finding and hiring new candidates, but they might be doing your business more harm than good. As a hiring manager or owner, it’s important to consider why you want to implement a hiring freeze, and whether another solution could accomplish the desired—or better—results.

What is a hiring freeze, and why do companies use them?

Hiring freezes are often a reactionary response to financial downturns. Many businesses see their employees as costs or accounting expenses. In turn, they decide not to hire new employees—even if desperately needed—to cut down on their spending. Sometimes management uses this time to decide whether certain positions are necessary, or to restructure that portion of the business to increase overall profitability.

While profit and loss are valid concerns, hiring freezes may not accomplish the goals you hoped. Instead of thinking of employees as costs, think of them as revenue generators: you need them to make money, and if you don’t have enough people to generate income for the business, you won’t be doing your accounts any favors.

Why hiring freezes might not work for you

If you’re considering a hiring freeze, consider these points. Is there another way to accomplish your objectives?

  • • They’re a way to avoid conflict. Generally, people don’t like conflict, and confronting poor performers is uncomfortable for everyone involved. Hiding behind hiring freezes is the equivalent of throwing your hands up in the air and asking, “What can you do? We can’t hire anyone new.”
  • • They make it harder on your employees. If someone quits or is fired during a hiring freeze, their workload doesn’t disappear along with them—your remaining employees will have to take on more in order to keep business at the same level. This breeds frustration and resentment and could lead to additional staff loss.
  • • Freezes send the message that the company is failing. Employees want job security, and many take pride in a company that does well, in part, as a result of their efforts. Hiring freezes give the impression that the company is struggling, with no room for growth, which may cause your top performers to start looking elsewhere.
  • • They lead to rash decisions when they’re over. If your staff has been struggling during a hiring freeze, the stress and frustration could lead them to making rash hiring decisions as soon as it’s over, rather than taking their time to find a truly good fit for the position. They might also need to hire several employees, reducing their ability to focus on individual positions.
  • • You’ll miss out on great talent. If you’re in a hiring freeze, the best talent in your industry won’t bother trying to find out if you might make an exception—they’ll be knocking on your competitor’s door, which puts you and your team at a disadvantage.

If you’re looking for quality talent to support your business, Award Staffing can help you find the right candidates. Reach out to us today to get started.

Use Matchmaking to Find the Perfect Employee

Finding the perfect employee can be like finding the perfect romantic partner. However, instead of finding them once, your job is to find them over and over again. If you’re feeling burned out on candidate search, it may be time to get creative. Don’t worry, there are plenty of fish in the sea! Every day, we match employers with the perfect candidate to help them reach their staffing goals.

Here’s what you can learn from Cupid to help you attract the best candidates.

Meet your candidates where they hang out

When it’s time to find qualified candidates for a job search, you likely have your reliable resources. Whether it’s your favorite staffing agency (we’re blushing!) or an industry jobs list, you’ve learned where you can find reliable candidates. To find your perfect match, consider taking things to the next level with your resources. Connect with the staffing agency on social media to see which job seekers are also on the page. Attend a local networking event or job fair to meet your contacts and potential applicants in real life. If you want to add quality candidates to your network, go to places (online or in-person) where you know they’ll be.

Learn more about their interests

As a hiring manager, you likely have a lot of experience with topics like human resources, business administration or psychology. How much do you know about the industry you work in? While you may not be certified as a heavy equipment operator, you should strive to keep up with the latest in your industry. Join listservs for industry organizations. Make an effort to read the trade magazines in the break room. Research your competitors to understand what they’re doing differently. The better you understand the job and the industry, the better you can talk to potential candidates about their experience, interests and goals.

Present your best foot online

Savvy candidates will look for clues about your company in your job post and will research your company before applying. Make sure they like what they find. Work with a copywriter to create job postings that present your company’s personality, whether it’s traditional, funny or relaxed. Have marketing create web content and/or social media that highlights what employees do and what they like about working at your company. Rewrite the description of your company so that it appeals to qualified job seekers. Don’t let candidates Google you only to find outdated or unhelpful information – or worse, nothing at all.

Hire a matchmaker

Staffing agencies are the matchmakers of the professional world. We listen to what you’re looking for in an employee, then turn to our database of job seekers to find candidates who match. We do the hard work weeding out the less-than-eligible candidates so that you only spend your time with the best applicants.

When you need help finding your perfect match, Award Staffing is here to help. Contact us to learn more about how we help can staff companies like yours.

Why You Should NEVER Skip Background Checks

Background checks can be a tricky subject. Some employers require them, whereas others feel that they can be a breach of trust. When done properly, a background check can serve as a great way to preserve the integrity of your workforce and ensure that the hires you’re making are consistent with the rest of your team and company’s values. Here’s why you shouldn’t skip background checks:

Knowledge is Power

The more you know about the team you’re putting together, the better. While background checks can be a time-consuming process, it’s essential to know who you are hiring exactly and what you should be made aware of in the onboarding process. For example, if a new hire has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, you should know what that was and the circumstances surrounding it, so you can make the best decision for your company as to whether or not that new hire is the right fit.

Skipping Background Checks Can Be Costly

Background checks exist for a reason: to make sure you don’t hire someone who is going to hurt you, your company, your company’s reputation, or your employees. If you don’t do a background check, you could end up hiring someone who has some of those intentions and/or runs your business into the ground. While conducting a background check isn’t cheap, think about the costs associated with hiring a corrupt individual who can do so much more damage on his or her own.

Can Improve the Seriousness of the Applicants

One way you can make background checks efficient for your company is if you tell hires that their hire is contingent on them being able to pass a background check. This improves the seriousness of the applicants for several reasons. First of all, if a person has a big enough concern that s/he wouldn’t pass a background check, s/he likely wouldn’t apply out of fear that s/he would make it to the final interview stage and then not be offered the job.

Second of all, it shows that you take pride in your company and the employees you hire, so they will be much more apt to take the entire interviewing process more seriously and only come to you when they are ready to be a responsible, hard-working employee. Once you see the value in performing background checks, your interview process will run much smoother because your interview process will have a type of pre-qualification process put in place.

If you need help from a staffing agency to make those initial connections with potential employees, contact Award Staffing.



Want to learn more about how Award Staffing can help your organization with your staffing and employment needs? Start by providing our team with a few pieces of information about yourself, and we will take care of the rest.

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