Real-life advice from a real-life recruiter

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The Basics of Persuasion

Greetings Fellow Followers! It’s no secret that persuasion is a useful tool in the business world, and in everyday life. But actually learning how to persuade is like learning a second language if it’s not your natural forte.

Below you’ll find a few quick basics tips of becoming more persuasive. Because let’s face it, who doesn’t need some handy ways to help you get your coworker to stop leaving their day old tuna sandwiches in the office fridge, or suggestions on how to get your significant other to help you make dinner tomorrow night.



 Persuasion is not Manipulation Manipulation is coercion through force to get someone to do something that is not in their own interest.  Persuasion is the art of getting people to do things that are in their own best interest that also benefit you.

 Persuade the Persuadable – Everyone can be persuaded, given the right timing and context, but not necessarily in the short term.  Political campaigns focus their time and money on a small set of swing voters who decide elections.  The first step of persuasion is always to identify those people that at a given time are persuadable to your point of view and focus your energy and attention on them.

You have to be Interested to be Persuaded  – You can never persuade somebody who’s not interested in what you’re saying.  We are all most interested in ourselves, and spend most of our time thinking about money, love or health.  The first art of persuasion is learning how to consistently talk to people about them; if you do that then you’ll always have their captive attention.

Reciprocity Compels  – When I do something for you, you feel compelled to do something for me.  It is part of our evolutionary DNA to help each other out to survive as a species.  More importantly, you can leverage reciprocity disproportionately in your favor.   By providing small gestures of consideration to others, you can ask for more back in return which others will happily provide


How to make your new team members feel welcomed

Businesses put a lot of time and money into recruiting, screening, interviewing and processing new employees. Discovering the mix of skills and experience and the right personality to fit the job takes time. Unfortunately, the energy often stops after the new employee orientation the first day on the job.

Why is its important to continue to make my employees feel welcomed?

While employers screen a new employee to see if they are going to be successful, new employees are also assessing their decision to take a job as well. The more you do to make new employees feel welcome and integrate into the workplace can help them decide that the job was a right choice. Here are some tips to help make new employees feel welcome.

  • Set up the new employee’s work area with everything that they will need to start working. Stock their desk or work space with office supplies like paper clips and a stapler, pens and whatever else they need the first day on the job.
  • Set up their computer with logins and passwords. Nothing is more frustrating than coming to work and not being able to login and set up your system
  • If possible, order uniforms and other special equipment so it is available within the first week or so. Uniforms give employees an identity and help them feel like part of the team.
  • Order name tags once the offer is accepted, and hand them out the first day at work. This helps other employees get to know the “newbie’s” name and encourages introductions.
  • Post a picture of the new employee in the cafeteria, bulletin board in his/her work area, and on the company’s Intranet, Facebook page, or newsletter.

Remember- Your first impression is your lasting impression.

The Professional Advantage

We’ve all heard how important it is to behave “professionally” in the work place and if you want to get ahead, be taken seriously, and have your boss think of you as an asset to the team –doing things in a professional way is vital, but depending on where you work and the type of job you have, this can take on many different forms.

There are, however, quite a few common traits when it comes to being professional.  And according to the monster career coach-This includes the following:

1.Competence. You’re good at what you do – and you have the skills and knowledge that enable you to do your job well.

2. Reliability. People can depend on you to show up on time, submit your work when it’s supposed to be ready, etc.

3. Honesty. You tell the truth and are upfront about where things stand.

4. Integrity. You are known for your consistent principles.

5. Respect for Others. Treating all people as if they mattered is part of your approach.

6. Self-Upgrading. Rather than letting your skills or knowledge become outdated, you seek out ways of staying current.

7. Being Positive. No one likes a constant pessimist. Having an upbeat attitude and trying to be a problem-solver makes a big difference.

8. Supporting Others. You share the spotlight with colleagues, take time to show others how to do things properly, and lend an ear when necessary.

9. Staying Work-Focused. Not letting your private life needlessly have an impact on your job, and not spending time at work attending to personal matters.

10. Listening Carefully. People want to be heard, so you give people a chance to explain their ideas properly.

Acting like a professional really means doing what it takes to make others think of you as reliable, respectful, and competent, and the more you put into practice the 10 points listed above, the better your chances will be to create a positive reputation for yourself which translates into raises, promotions, chances to work on projects you have an interest in, and the less likelihood of being downsized when layoffs are being considered.

We did it AGAIN… Eat’n Park is named winner for Best Practices!

We did it AGAIN….Eat’n Park is again named winner for Best Practices 2012.

People Report and Black Box Intelligence revealed the winners of their 2012 Best Practices awards which honor restaurant companies for exceptional workplace practices and results.

People Report said honorees were evaluated on their retention of both managers and employees, the diversity of their workforces, compensation practices, community involvement, corporate responsibility and initiatives in sustainable practices.

“These awards are coveted and are not easily given – These are not popularity contests the companies are evaluated on quantitative measures.”-  Joni Thomas Doolin, Founder and chief executive of the People Report.

Our very own Karen Bolden attributes our success to great operating teams back in the field that keep a smile not only on our guests’ faces but on our team members’ faces also. She talks about how we engage our company to challenge our leadership to volunteer and to engage each other.

Engagement and the ultimate cost

 With today’s economy and war-for-talent, turnover alone is something businesses must think about for the future, as it’s directly connected to engagement. Disengagement can be challenging to remedy; also, it costs organizations billions a year in lost productivity alone.

As a leader within my company how can I increase engagement among my employees?

  • PEER-TO-PEER      RECOGNITION – done right! Create  a viral culture of recognition in your business by creating ways for your     employees to give recognition to each other.
  • PERFORMANCE      RECOGNITION– that gets results!  When you give recognition for performance, you inspire your people to reach their full potential. This can be done by providing gifts cards,  free meals, or being open to ways they’d like to be rewarded for their      performance.

SPOT RECOGNITION that’s on the spot!  Create managers’ kits with award certificates, reward coupons,      appreciation cards and more. These are ways to instantly appreciate      employees. It gives them “bragging rights” and also creates an environment  for friendly competition.

Thank you for all you do to keep our guests and team members smiling!

Do Your Homework For Your Interview

In our last discussion, I posed the question of if appearance was all an individual needs to interview well and land the job.  The most appropriate answer to that question is- No, appearance isn’t everything and preparation is also essential in being considered a solid candidate during and after the first interview.

Do your homework before Interviewing

Before you go on a job interview, it’s important to find out as much as you can about the company. Company research is a critical part of interview preparation. It will help you prepare to both answer interview questions and to ask the interviewer questions. You will also be able to find out whether the company and the company culture are a good fit for you.

Is Research really all that important?

Yes, even sports coaches regularly name preparation as the reason their team won a game. Scouting – finding out as much as possible about an opponent prior to a game – is an accepted practice.  This same researching process is necessary for a job seeker to win in the job interview.

Why not wait until the interview to learn about a company?

As a recruiter, and having a candidate participating in an interview only to withdraw because of information you could have obtained beforehand is a waste of time for the employer and you.  One employer told me, “When an applicant shows me they don’t already know the basics of my business, I don’t waste time with them.  I cut the interview short; I don’t want them.” One job seeker who did not do this research told the employer, “What do you mean work weekends? That’s my party time.”- This may seem like an exaggeration but you get the point.

Another reason to do your homework

Knowing the pay scale for the company you’re seeking employment from is important because you can under-sell yourself or price yourself out to the market by not having the information need to properly negotiate. Sometimes you will be given the pay scale information in the classified ad or by your referral source such as the employment office or career service center. Normally, an entry-level job seeker can get information about pay scales of a local business by networking or simply asking a friend who works for the company.

What is the most effective way to research the company I’d like to work?

According to the NY daily news, many people are finding the below recommendations to be the most helpful when scouting a potential employer.

Visit the Company Website -Visit the company web site, review the company mission statement and company history, products and services, management, as well as information about the company culture. The information is usually available in the About Us section of the site.

Use LinkedIn-Company profiles are a good way to find, at glance, more information on a company you’re interested in. You’ll be able see your connections at the company, new hires, promotions, jobs posted, related companies, and company statistics. Take a look at your interviewer’s profile to get insight into their job and their background.

Use Social Media-Check Facebook and Twitter. Become a Fan of the company on Facebook and follow it on Twitter. You’ll find information you may not have found otherwise.

So take time, in advance, to discover as much information as you can about the company. Spend time, as well, tapping into your network to see who you know who can help give you an interview edge over the other candidates.

Got an Interview? Be Prepared!

You worked really hard and finally got that face to face interview. Now, don’t blow it! You worked hard to get the interview, so work hard now to be prepared. Here my top ten list of interviewing faux pas. So Boost Your Interviewing skills.

  1. Being Late – Be on time. The end.
  2. Appearance –You never get a second chance to  make a first impression.
  3. No Questions – Research the company you are  interviewing with. You don’t want to ask a ridiculous question like “What do you produce?” Big mistake      there. But, you want to show that you are engaged and want to work there so have at least two questions.
  4. No Examples – You know some of the questions  the interviewer is going to ask you. Have some well worded answers prepared.  You don’t need to have      them written down, but spend some time rehearsing prior to your interview.  Check out How to Answer 23 of the Most Common Interview Questions.
  5. Bad Mouthing Former  Boss – Even if your last boss was a crazy, maniac, bully don’t bad mouth them in an interview. Don’t make yourself a victim.
  6. No Eye Contact – Look at the interviewer when  answering their questions. Do not stare at them like a crazed goat or talk to their wall or plant.
  7. Being the Walking Dead – If you want the job show that      you do. Be engaged in the interview. Acting and looking like a zombie  won’t get you the job.
  8. Chewing Gum – No drinking, smoking or gum  chewing period. Why even talk about it.
  9. Not Being Realisti  – What job are you applying for? Is the going market salary really a million dollars a year?  Get real. Don’t ask for something everyone knows is impossible.
  10. Not Asking For the Job   – Ask the interviewer how you did. Let them know your really want this job. If you  don’t ask you’ll never receive.

Just don’t take my word for it. Check out these 10 Unusual Interview Mistakes and 6 that are ALL too Common.

Imagine That – Bosses CAN Increase Your Happiness @ Work!

I recently came across an article, online, that talked about how your very own boss can help make you happier at your job.  In a nutshell, the article was about job seekers, who were surveyed, and ways that they felt that their bosses could help them achieve higher job satisfaction.  The most common issues were identified and the author of the article provided tips on who to approach the issue with your boss.

 I’ve been fortunate to have some pretty awesome bosses here at Eat’n Park whom have helped make me incredibly happy doing my job.  I’m not just saying that because they are reading this post either (Hi Jana!  Hi Kim!) – I’m making the statement because I mean it.

Before joining Eat’n Park, I also had some not so awesome bosses.  However, I learned just as much from them as I did my awesome bosses.  All of my experiences, good and bad, helped shape me into the manager that I wanted to be.

The article that I read got me thinking – I’ve had a pretty good career with Eat’n Park so far – are the tips that the author provides realistic?  The following issues and tips are the ones that jumped out at me the most:

Issue:  Career Advancement
How to Approach Your Boss:  When it comes to career advancement, let your boss know that you want to acquire more skills through internal or external training.  Research courses that will help your improve in your role or allow you to have more flexibility in moving up the corporate ladder.  Typically, a company has money allotted for employee training, so it never hurts to ask.
(Thompson, How Your Boss Can Help You Be Happier at Your Job).
Crystal Says:  This tip is very realistic.  For example, Eat’n Park provides training classes to it’s team members to help make them more effective and more educated when it comes to duties related with their position.  You name it – we most likely have a training class for it.  I’ve taken advantage of as many of the training classes as possible and it, for sure, has helped me advance my career.  If there is a specific skill that you are looking to enhance or a specific skill that you are looking to learn?  ASK your boss to teach it to you or point you in the direction of the person who can.  It never hurts to take on additional job responsibilities to enhance your current skill set or to build it.  You never know when opportunity may knock – so why not be ready for it.

Issue:  Lack of Respect for Your Position
How to Approach Your Boss:  Sometimes a boss, especially one who was never in your position, may not understand what you do or may think you can’t handle your tasks without supervision.  To avoid a micromanager, be proactive in looping him in at every step along the way.  Also be transparent about your tasks, and share your hurdles or successes so he is fully aware of the value you bring to the organization.
(Thompson, How Your Boss Can Help You Be Happier at Your Job).
Crystal Says:  I find this also to be very realistic.  In addition to the above tip – I also learned very early on, during manager training with my Training General Manager, that ‘I don’t know’ is not an acceptable answer.  Yes.  There will be times where you really DON’T know the answer, but there are a lot better ways to say it.  “I’m uncertain why X occurred, but let me look into it and I will follow up with you immediately.”  Saying ‘I don’t know’ constantly can make it seem like you have no idea what’s going on around you and it can even make it appear that you don’t even really care.  That can also attribute to lack of respect given to you.  You don’t always need to know all of the answers, but you do need to know where to find them when someone asks.

Issue: You Boss Doesn’t Trust You or Let You Do Your Job Your Way
How to Approach Your Boss:  If you have ideas on how you can be more effective or efficient at you job, present them to your boss.  In most cases, you do have a choice in how to do your job, but unless you share your ideas with you boss, chances are he will have you do things his way.  Meet to discuss what your manager’s expectations are and if success can still be achieved through your methods.  Or consider meeting him halfway.  By showing your boss that you can be successful doing things your way, your boss will become more trusting of your capabilities.
(Thompson, How Your Boss Can Help You Be Happier at Your Job).
Crystal Says:  Again, I find this to be very realistic advice, and good advice at that.  I would like to add that if you do try things your way, and they don’t work out or cause a problem, OWN. IT.  Take accountability for whatever happened and fix the problem right away.  Then, brainstorm with your boss about what went right, what didn’t and how a similar situation can be avoided in the future.  Chances are – your boss has some experience… and with experience comes a little bit of wisdom.  Your boss is a great resource to have.

Until next time…


Thompson, J.  (2012).  How Your Boss Can Help You Be Happier at Your Job [Blog Post].  Retrieved from How Your Boss Can Help You Be Happier at Your Job