Prepare Your References
Currently Browsing: Reference and Education

Janitorial Services In The Minneapolis Area

Which Of The Janitorial Services In Minneapolis Area Will You Hire?

You’ve made the decision to hire one of the companies offering janitorial services in the Minneapolis area. But how much are you going to pay? That’s a good question. As you can imagine, it does depend on the business or office you are going to have cleaned. A lot of factors are in play here, and you have to tell the cleaning service what all you want done. They will provide you with a quote, but let’s look at some of the cost averages to help you out.

Let me start by saying that on the low end, you might pay about $30 per visit. One source even says that the low end can be $20 per visit. You know that would be for an appointment where the janitorial service didn’t do much for you. So let’s look at the average costs so that you can get a more realistic figure in mind.

When it comes to average costs for hiring one of the janitorial services in Minneapolis area, the cost is about $100 to $200 a month. Yet you have to figure in how often the cleaning crew comes out to your place of business. And you have to factor in what all they are going to do for you because that average quote is for basic services only.

Janitorial Services In The Minneapolis Area

Let’s say that you’re going to have the company come out to your place of business daily. The average costs would be around $500 to $700 a month. That average quote is significantly different. Yet it also seems rather reasonable for having a janitorial service come out to your place of business daily. That would mean you don’t have to worry about cleaning a thing.

Now let’s factor in the size of an office. If you have a larger office, the quote can run you a little higher. For example, you might pay anywhere from $800 a month on up to about $2k a month for daily office cleaning visits. That does sound a little more expensive, but you’re talking about the daily cleaning of a large office. Repeating the factors certainly adds perspective to the price.

You might get a per square foot charge on speciality services. That is the typical way things are handled, so keep that in mind. What you need to do now is discuss what you want done. Naturally, you need to find the janitorial service that you want to hire first. Then you can talk everything over and get a quote. Be sure to mention how often you want them to come out to your place of business.

If you have them come out daily, the quote is going to be higher. Yet you know what you want them to do and how often the cleaning needs to be done. Get on the ball trying to find the best janitorial service near you, and then you can delegate the responsibilities. You can see based on the costs that you might be better off hiring a janitorial service vs hiring a janitor directly.


Bounce House Rentals In Orlando

What Are The Benefits Of Bounce House Rentals In Orlando

Renting a bounce house is a lot of fun for so many different reasons. If you are hosting an event there are several benefits to choosing to look into bounce house rentals in Orlando. The following article will share with you the reasons that you should find a reputable inflatable company and rent a bounce house for your event.

First of all, there are many different types of events in which bounce house rentals in Orlando are a great idea. If you are having a birthday party for a special child in your life, you should consider contacting a company that provides inflatables and looking at their selection. Jumping in these bounce houses are fun for children of all ages. Another event that you may want get a bounce house for is a party or other gathering that you are hosting for children, including a church party, a back to school bash, or something similar. When you are getting a lot of children together, there is no doubt that they will have an extreme amount of fun. There are lots of other events, too, that would definitely benefit from renting a bounce house.

bounce house rentals in orlando

Then, you will want to think about how many bounce houses you would like to rent. This will depend on your budget for the event. It will also depend on the number of people that will be at the event that you are hosting. There are bounce houses of various sizes and the size of the inflatable will determine how many people can jump at one time. Also, you will want to consider the amount of space you have for the party that you are having. This can help you, too, as you think about how many bounce houses you would like to rent.

After that, you should find a reputable company that provides inflatable rentals. You can do this by getting recommendations from friends or family members or even the World Wide Web. Once you do this, you can contact the companies that you find to be trustworthy. You should share with them your thoughts and find out if they have the inflatables that you want to use for your event. You can find out more about what they offer, prices of their inflatables and services, and the other things that you want to know. With this information, you are able to decide what will work best for you and your situation and then finalize what you want to rent. After you do this, you can set everything up with the rental company and make the final decisions.

As you can see, when you are looking for great addition to any event you should choose the best Orlando bounce houses. You can do that by using the tips that are shared in this article. No matter what type of gathering you are having, it can be a lot of fun to include a bounce house or two for those you are planning to spend time with.


Prepare Your References

You have a top notch resume, you’ve aced the interview, and now they’ve asked for your references. Not a problem! You hand them your previously prepared list with the pertinent information for your best references. A typical list includes three business and two personal references, but, depending on the company, it could be any combination.

Now you sit back and wait for the job offer, right? Whoa, it’s not time to sit on your laurels yet!

You need to prepare your references at least as well as you prepared for your interview. What does that mean? Here are some tips for preparing your references to represent you well.

The first bit of advice you give your references is this: be honest but brief in answering questions. Tell them that volunteering information, however helpful they think it may be, is a bad idea. More than telling them, actively discourage them!

Here are some examples that may not be received well by a prospective employer.

Your preference shares a personal quality with the caller by saying that you are a great mother (grandmother) and love spending quality time with your children (grandchildren), especially right when they get home from school. An innocent comment, right?

But what if the job they have in mind is a 9-5 job? You won’t be there when the children get home. What effect will that have on your job performance? Has your reference innocently planted a doubt in your new employer’s mind?

Your reference shares that you are a cancer survivor; what a great experience! But what if the employer’s representative has an experience where her friend had a relapse and died. Now she has mixed emotions about your candidacy! Tell them not to share that wonderful news with the potential employer! There must be something else you could suggest they use as an example.

Your previous co-worker shares that you worked lots of overtime to get your job done, thinking he is sharing that you are a hard worker. What if what the new employer hears is that you cannot get your job done in a regular day? You may want to suggest some specific and measurable achievements you would like your references to use.

Here are some typical questions asked of references and suggestions for preparing your references to answer them.

  1. Tell me a little bit about John (insert your name here!).

The best response is for your reference to try to hit on two or three of your most relevant qualities for the position at hand. Help your references understand you; maybe even talk about your good qualities ahead of time. If they’ve heard it, they are more likely to repeat it!

  1. What are John’s strengths?

You want your reference to be specific when answering; give an example with metrics. Help your references know your achievements; give them some examples. Every job has its own requirements; be sure to re-brief every time you use that reference.

  1. What are John’s weaknesses?

Everybody has weaknesses! Tell your references to be honest. But this should be their briefest answer! Again, give them some examples.

  1. Why did John leave the company?

Was it within your control? No need to sugarcoat the answer. Laid off, downsizing, reduction-in-force, etc. are all good answers. If you were fired for cause, perhaps your reference could give an extenuating circumstance. If you were fired for being late too often, what did you learn from that? Do your references know you well enough to address that?

  1. Would you hire John again?

Easy answer! If your previous employer’s budget allowed it, and the position was open and all other parameters made the hiring plausible, would they choose you for their company again? Help your reference say yes!

If the answer is really that you were not a good fit, have them say that in a pleasing way. For example, you are now looking for an opportunity where you are a good fit, could be part of that answer.


Reference Check – Best Practices

Recently a client asked me to provide them with a list of reference check questions as a component of a sales recruiting project. My gut reaction was, “Reference checks? Why bother? All most companies will provide is confirmation of very basic information such a dates of employment.”

It struck me that my impression was based on very old information. After all, I hadn’t conducted any reference checks or researched related best practices for many years. I decided that it was time to take a fresh look at the current state of reference checking and summarize my findings in this article.

What is a Reference Check?

Let’s begin by clarifying what a reference check isn’t:

It isn’t a Background Check, which may include a drug test, a check for criminal records and other data verification.

It isn’t Employment Verification, which confirms dates of employment, salary, title and eligibility for re-hiring (though a thorough reference check may include employment verification).

The best definition I found to explain the purpose of a reference check is this: A Reference Check focuses on checking previous colleagues’ opinions about an individual’s performance.

Why conduct Reference Checks?

The primary reason is past performance is one of the strongest predictors of future performance. If you can gather accurate and balanced information (that addresses both positives and negatives) from a job candidate’s past employers, you can dramatically increase your chances of avoiding hiring mistakes and hire people who will perform well.

What challenges are involved in conducting Reference Checks?

Here are some of the key challenges:

Not enough quality references

It can be hard to reach them

It can be hard to get valid data

Time and cost

Most people don’t find doing this kind of work to be a lot of fun

What are key characteristics of a good Reference Source?

When conducting reference checks, you want to speak with individuals who have been in a position to observe the performance of your job candidate. This includes people who have worked with or for the candidate or have supervised the candidate. It does NOT include family members or friends.

Other important parameters to consider are:

Length of relationship

Freshness of relationship

Nature of relationship

Closeness of relationship

Is providing Reference Check information Legally Risky?

Although legal challenges may arise from the reference checking process, they are usually the result of poor practices such as discussing prohibited topics.

According to the 2004 Reference and Background Checking Survey Report compiled by the Society of HR Management, just 2% of companies are sued for reference-based defamation. It is important to note that the standards applied to reference-based defamation suits are the same as those applied to libel suits – the plaintiff needs to prove not just harm, but also malicious and dishonest intent. This is a very high bar.

When you think about it, there can also be risk in providing positive information. If you make positive comments about a candidate and the prospective employer hires the candidate, and the candidate performs poorly, that employer could sue you for not disclosing complete information.


Tips on When Employment Reference Checks Make Sense

I recently read an interesting article Dr. John Sullivan posted on ERE.Net. The article, entitled “What’s Wrong with Reference Checks, Part One,” says in essence that reference checks tend to suck. His take on employment reference checks may be a little harsh but not entirely inaccurate. But then, like most things, the devil is in the details.

Dr. Sullivan lists certain potential discrepancies concerning reference checks and how they can be problematic or not return worthwhile information. Unlike criminal records searches, which just about every employer uses as part of their employment screening program, reference checks are not so absolute as a criminal records background check. There are gray areas and as Dr. Sullivan contests, the reference checks are subject to biases. Unlike criminal background checks, references are subjective.

For the most part, no one provides you with a bad reference. The reference usually views the employment candidate in a favorable light. However, I would also venture there are some dramatic exceptions. I remember one time where when asked about the candidate’s departure, the reference responded, “Because nobody around here could stand him.” If nothing else, the candidate either chooses that reference in desperation or is a bad judge of character. But I digress.

But assuming that the reference will be partial toward the candidate, there is a fair amount of information you can learn from a reference check. In our experience, it seems the higher you go on the ladder, the more specific and the more useful the reference information. I find that C level and executive level business people are the most articulate in describing skill sets, relationships, performance assessment than references on the lower echelon. They seem better acquainted with the drill and better understanding just what the reference researcher is looking for.

I also find that references on the upper job levels are quicker to get back to you than those in the lower employment positions. When you call a senior executive, and they know that you are calling on a reference, they are more apt to take your call or get back to you quickly than someone on a more junior level. They understand the heavy competition in the job market, especially at their levels, and they will move to help out a friend or associate. This may be akin to the old saying, “if you want something done correctly, asks a busy person.”

For certain clients I will personally conduct references for the more significant employment positions. I am more familiar with these people and know what to ask and how best to feel my way through their answers to discern the truth from their desire to get a buddy hired. I also interview references for creative. Having worked in advertising and show business, I understand these spaces and what is required in skill sets and disposition. In knowing what are client is looking or, I can direct questions to certain qualities–is the writer good with dialog and character? Is the artist fluent with digital media, print, whatever?

On the other hand, the most painful experience is dealing with the semi-articulate, usually junior staff, which may yield very little useful information. And then there is the academics candidates use as references. With younger job recruits, sometimes they will list their professors with whom they had taken classes or had been their mentors. Frankly, listening to some of the professors can be a painful experience. With academics, not only is the reference often less than hoped for, but too often the professor can take forever to spit out what most can express rather quickly. No wonder I used to cut a good number of my college classes.