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The Road to Thought Leadership

August 30th, 2016

Taking a journey without a specific destination can be an enjoyable experience, but while this works for your summer vacation, it doesn’t sit very well in your professional career. After all, if you don’t have a goal, you never know when you have arrived.

Becoming a Thought Leader – the go-to expert and source of knowledge in your particular industry/field – requires well-thought out specific actions.

Thought Leadership by Definition: According to Trevor Young,

“A thought leader leverages multiple channels to relentlessly drive and facilitate high-level debate and conversation around a particular subject, topic or issue in which they have a strong degree of expertise.”

Choosing to be a thought leader is a wise career move, but it doesn’t just happen. It requires in-depth personal questioning, a specific plan, and dedicated effort.
Questions to consider:
• How do your peers, clients, community, and in some cases – the media, view you professionally?
• How often do others come to you for advice?
• Do the articles, which you post on LinkedIn and various social media platforms trigger multiple responses, ignite conversation, and get reposted?

What can you do to build professional visibility,
increase your influence among colleagues, clients, and community, capture the attention of the media, and even garner speaking engagements?

Don’t give up. Be persistent and diligent. No one becomes a thought leader overnight – it’s a building process. Start with a solid foundation:
• Know yourself – what is your area of expertise?
• Determine what you want your brand to be.
• Establish who your target market is – decipher what information do they want and how they want to get it.
• Develop a plan of action.

Connect by:
• Developing an attitude of service – not selling yourself or your business – in your articles, tweets, podcasts, etc.
• Being consistent – write regular blogs and white papers, create topical discussions, record podcasts, etc. Establish a medium and schedule that fits your audience.
• Sharing the podium – invite other experts to post on your site. Share helpful links to the great works by your colleagues.
• Knowing, understanding, and targeting your audience.
• Being approachable, discoverable, and transparent. People quickly pick up on genuineness.
• Creating an attractive professional website – color, design, and navigation ease and speed play a huge role. Be sure to have your contact information and links above the fold. Develop a responsive design and establish a creative and interactive “call to action.”

Get support. If you have the potential to be a thought leader, then you probably have a full schedule. Don’t try to do it alone
• Seek a coach or mentor.
• Participate in a Mastermind or similar group of colleagues who support each other.
• Be willing to hire someone to help with writing/editing/posting articles.

Thought Leadership rarely “just happens.” Draw a map, plan your journey, and set your focus on your destination. Include a stop at Springborn Staffing. We connect thought leaders and other top talent with top companies in Bangor and Portland, Maine. Contact us today.

Gaining the Most from your Staffing Company

August 23rd, 2016

Many companies have recognized the financial value, as well as the time, risk, and stress-deduction benefit of connecting with a staffing company. Yet, in spite of the increased flexibility, positive results, and consistent ROI, they still aren’t gaining everything they can from their partnership.

So, how can you work with your staffing partner to gain the most benefit?

Ensure that the staffing company you choose – or have chosen – is the best one for you.
• Do they have a reputation for integrity and solid business practices?
• Do they consistently communicate with their clients?
• Do they specialize in your type of business? This is especially crucial if you have a niche market.
• Do they have experience and resources in your industry?
• Are they carrying the proper insurances, including general liability and workers’ compensation insurance?
• Are they on top of legal issues – worker classifications, payroll taxes, etc.?
• Do they conduct appropriate background checks?

Connecting with the right staffing company for your business is only the first step. Promote your business. When you are excited about your company and bring your staffing company on board, electricity happens.

Communicate your needs clearly. Ensure that they know:
• Your company mission and goals.
• Your company culture – including dress codes, hours, and break and lunch policies, as well as after work activities.
• Your current and potential future needs – what you want – and what you do not want
• Specific information for each open position – including pay range, fill date, required qualifications, job description, and other key components.
• Any and all updates/changes as soon as possible.

Let your staffing company do what you contracted them to do – it’s what they do best. While you need to communicate consistently, you also need to trust them to carry out the necessary steps while you do what you do best. Reliable staffing companies will attract, engage, and secure the best candidates. They screen applicants, conduct initial interviews, confirm references, verify the accuracy of information, handle background checks, etc. When they give you the short list, you can trust it. When they send you temp employees to fill a sudden rush, seasonal hiring, special projects, etc. you can trust them.

Finally, maintain a solid relationship with your staffing company.
They are your business partner. Staying connected with one staffing company, long-term pays off.

Is your company located in Bangor or Portland, Maine and surrounding area? Consider Springborn Staffing. We help local companies succeed. Offering superior service since 1987, we work with the best employers in the region. Our state of the art technology and greater than 97% successful placement rate has kept us as the vendor of choice for our area. Contact us today and get the most from a relationship with Springborn Staffing.

Outsmart Yourself – It Pays

August 16th, 2016

“The key for us, number one, has always been hiring very smart people.” 
                                                                                                    Bill Gates

Successful companies, leading CEOs aren’t afraid to hire smart people – even when the new hire is “smarter” than the manager hiring them. Or at least, more gifted specifically in the role the new hire will perform. Great CEOs understand that the more qualified each member of the team is; the knowledgeable each person at the round table is; the more successful the company. When it comes to new hires, their goal is to recruit and retain great talent, and then empower them to carry out the company mission.

How do they do it? How do top CEO’s “outsmart” themselves?

They know their talent and are confident in it. By keeping an honest assessment of their personal strengths and weaknesses, they know what kind of talent they need to bring on board.

They have a vision. They see the big picture and hire the right people to make it happen. When you need to travel across the country, you don’t build a plane and fly it yourself – even if your company owns a private jet, you hire a highly-qualified pilot to fly it and a skilled crew to maintain it. Strong leadership isn’t afraid to do what they do best and hire people smarter than themselves to cover the rest.

They build a recruitment network – sometimes finding the best candidate involves seeking counsel from someone with more expertise in a specific area. Self-respect and confidence aren’t hindered by asking for help when it’s needed. The smart leader hires smart help.

They hire for the overall good of the organization. It’s not about who is smarter than someone else – it’s about having the smartest person for each specific position in that position and then respecting individuals across the board.

They create a cultural of appreciation for talent and a willingness to learn. The more they encourage their staff to not only share their personal expertise and knowledge, but also be open to learning from the rest of the team; the greater their engagement, the more passionate their performance, and the more productive their business will be.

Intelligent, gifted, creative people bring immense value to a company – the CEO and his/her hiring manager who put aside personal egos and welcome said talent ignite their business.

At Springborn Staffing, we get “smart.” As Maine’s Leading Staffing Firm – we take great care and pride in our title, providing best in class staffing services to Bangor and Portland companies.  Our veteran staffing consultants and executive recruiters with over 60 years of combined experience is your company’s access to a superior network of smart, high-level, active and passive candidates. Contact us today and let us put the power of our network to work for you.

Securing your Career Future

August 9th, 2016

Whether you are entry-level, high school degree, a double major with an MBA, or a skilled IT specialist who can code in multiple languages, securing your career future does not rest in hard skill, expertise, education, and experience alone. Whether you have a lot behind your name or very little, your soft skills are the foundation that gives it strength. Don’t ignore the obvious – take the time to build these skills/attitudes. Sure, it may take an investment of time and sometimes money, but the ROI is tremendous.

Productivity – work ethic
• Begin by being punctual.
• Do your best – every day.
• Fulfill your responsibility – plus a little.
• If you job finished, don’t wait for another one – ask what you can do.
• If you see a problem – fix it.
• Lend your coworker a helping hand.
• Consider the big picture – the company goals – and take pride in your role.

Build up your problem-solving skills
• Logic quizzes are a great start.
• When you see a problem – even if you are part of the solution, think it over in your mind. Label the problem. Consider available solutions. Choose the one you think works best. Compare your choice with the outcome. Practicing these skills before you need them will help immensely when you do.

Be a goal setter
• Begin by setting daily goals and trying to accomplish them.
• Expand into weekly goals – then monthly.
• Take time to consider five years from now, then ten.
• From daily to long-term goals, establish a purpose and a plan.

People Skills
• Be a team player – listen to the perspective of others and practice finding strength by combining skills and ideas.
• Develop a positive attitude – it builds up others.
• Be willing to be taught. Accept instruction, feedback, constructive criticism – without getting defensive – it’s an opportunity to learn.
• Be adaptable – accept change gracefully.
• If applicable, take a course on management and leadership skills.

Develop your communication skills

• Oral communication – speak in soft tones, use tact, and express your opinions in respectful ways. Toastmasters is a great way to build verbal communication skills.
• Written communication – learn to be a self-editor, consider the meaning of your words before you send them. Proofread for spelling and grammatical errors. Get help if you need it.
• Listening skills – learning to listen is the backbone of effective communication. Repeat what you think someone said to confirm you heard it correctly.

Many of these skills can be learned and developed simply by practice. Others may require reading a self-help book, and some may get a boost from a community or on-line course. None require a college degree, yet all are crucial pillars to ultimate career success. At Springborn Staffing, we are constantly looking for people from every level of skill who also have these all-important soft skills. We search for people who possess the drive and determination to achieve their goals. Contact us today to see what we can do for your career in Bangor or Portland, Maine.

Revving up your Resume

August 2nd, 2016

Your resume is an ongoing work of art. You don’t drive your car without regular oil changes or replacing the battery, spark plugs, tires, etc. You take care of your car, so it lasts you a long time and doesn’t leave you stranded. Resumes are the same – you need to refresh/update them consistently, so they serve you well in your professional development and long-term career goals.

Tips for Updating Your Resume
• Keep an ongoing file – where you make note of anything that you want to add to your resume – an award, employee bonus, a special accomplishment, class completion, etc.
• Once a month, clean out any deadwood and add whatever is pertinent. For example, perhaps you made note of a project you were leading. If the project is now complete, it’s time to list it as an achievement, “Lead the installation of XYZ software and saved the company $$$.”
• Pay attention to ongoing hot jobs and change the wording of your skills, and achievements to fit. (while remaining accuracy and integrity, of course)
• Rewrite as needed to adjust the length, replace bland descriptions for more enticing script, re-word into current jargon, etc.
• Never end an updating session without proofreading for grammar/spelling errors or typos.
• Complete and annual overhaul – where you make layout and design changes, as well as informational ones. Keeping your resume’s initial appearance attractive is an important part of the process.

Benefits of Updating Your Resume

• Personal value: Updating your resumes reminds you of your professional value and build your confidence in your marketability.
• Reflect current marketability: By keeping track of your accomplishments, continued education and increased responsibilities as they happen, you can present them to align with whatever skills are currently hot. Furthermore, if you update info when it happens, it’s easier to present it accurately
• Be ready when opportunity knocks: People often hear about an open position through their networking grapevine. If you have your resume ready, you greatly increase your chances of getting your foot in the door first – increasing your edge over other candidates.

Seeking a position with a company in Portland or Bangor, Maine? Don’t forget to send your updated resume to Springborn Staffing. We have been helping people since 1987, providing superior opportunities for our associate employees and well as direct placement candidates. Contact us today and discover why Springborn Staffing is one of Maine’s leading staffing companies.

Discover Why Talent Leaves

July 26th, 2016

A stable economy – or at least an economy in recovery – brings nothing but good for businesses, right? Unfortunately, not. While there are many plusses, and we certainly favor it over the recession, there is one little annoying factor that raises its head when the economy is good – the battle for retention. As talented employees feel more secure in the economy, they are much more willing to go job shopping and hopping. A lot of articles share tips on how to retain talent, but maybe it would be better to focus on “why” employees leave and therefore, what not to do.

Top reasons for leaving:

Negative culture: Playing the blame game, tolerating rudeness, gossip, backbiting, playing favorites – you get the picture.

Overboard expectations:
Failing to replace an employee and dumping the extra work on another. Demanding long hours and 24/7 connection. Increasing workload without promotion and forcing employees to choose between work and personal lives.

Feeling undervalued and unappreciated: Lack of recognition, appreciation, and reward for not only the “above and beyond measures” tied to specific projects but also for consistently producing quality work day-to-day.

Lack of trust and empowerment: Being micromanaged. Lack of freedom/authority to make and act on decisions in according with responsibility. Unable to take “ownership” because management is continually second-guessing, overseeing to an extreme.

Lack of connection: Little, if any connection between management and staff. Management viewing employees as consumable rather than an asset. Failure to extend a sense of caring and family to staff.

Poor communication and organization: Lack of coaching and feedback. Changes made without communicating them to employees. Receiving different info from one source than another. Employees don’t know what’s priority or even what’s happening, creating a distraction, confusion, and inefficiency.

Inaccurate job descriptions: Employee accepted a position based on erroneous information – actual position doesn’t fit their skills or interest.

No room to grow: Failure to offer incentives or opportunities for growth. No continuing education, opportunities to develop new skills or advance in responsibilities. Lack of intellectual and creative challenge.

Company fails to keep their word: The better equipment, new system, technological devices are always coming soon, but never arrive. The new promotion or raise is always “about to happen” but never does.

If some of these top reason why good talent keeps leaving are striking an uncomfortable chord, it’s time to take action. Money talks, of course, but it rarely stands alone. There are many aspects to people and therefore, many ways to engage and retain talent in your company.

Springborn is here to help by connecting companies in Bangor and Portland, Maine with the right talent in the first place. Contact us today – we will help you connect with talent and make the

Success at the New Job (and the old one)

July 19th, 2016

You’re hired. It’s a new job in a new company. It’s both scary and exciting. Success in this position will be a great career move. Here are 18 tips from Springborn Staffing to help you do just that!

Strictly Personal Stuff
1. Be on time and alert – every day.
2. Take care of yourself. Eat right. Sleep enough. Get exercise. You will perform better.
3. Dress according to your position.
4. Update your LinkedIn Profile

Connecting with CoWorkers
5. Know your company – know the history – know the management – know your coworkers. It makes a difference.
6. Accept invitations. Be proactive about the “bonding” process.
7. Treat everyone with respect – yes – everyone. Ask people how they want to be addressed – it’s respectful and appreciated.
8. Pay attention to the social order among staff – by being observant, you can quickly learn the rules of the game and the best maneuvers.
9. Take time to understand the roles and expectations of each person who was involved in your interview – they were there for a reason, and you need to know what it is.
10. Be nice in the process and you will build friends, rather than create conflict.

Professional Performance
11. Prove yourself – you were hired because of what you said you could do – now do it.
12. Ask for help – in a way that indicates your knowledge and that you are motivated to do the job well.
13. Regardless of how it was done at your previous job – this is the new job – learn their way of doing things.
14. Take initiative – if something needs to be done and you are capable – -make the time to do it. Of course, keep your time and accomplishments aligned with the company priorities.
15. Do the documenting – nobody else wants the job – they’ll remember that you did it – you will learn a lot if you skim while you document.
16. Be dependable – Build up a sense of trustworthiness by your actions, by keeping your word, by delivering.
17. Be a leader – in attitude and actions – even at entry-level.
18. Work hard – that’s why you are getting paid.

If you follow these guidelines – you will succeed – we guarantee it. Need help connecting to a new job? Springborn Staffing specializes in recognizing talent – hard skills, soft skills, attitudes – everything that matters. We match that talent with great companies. Contact us today, connect with a new position, and learn more about succeeding in your career.

Attractive Leadership

July 12th, 2016

If you desire to be a leader – professionally and personally, it’s essential to understand the keys that open the door to leadership. What are the tenets of leadership? What are the character traits, communication skills, personality styles, etc. that set an individual apart and mark him/her as a leader?

True leadership:

Does not eliminate uncertainty or discomfort: True leaders are not people who are never afraid of the future or unsure of whether they are making the right decision. Rather, they face their fear and move forward, making the best decision they can with the information they have – and if it goes south, they recognize the issue and move on to plan B.

Takes the long view: True leaders consider the immediate consequence, of course, but they also look beyond to the potential long-term results of their actions.
Confronts the impossible: True leaders hit the wall, like everyone else, but they find a new way to climb it, bore an opening through it, or even tear it down.

Expects to make sacrifices: True leadership does not mean it all goes your way – it often requires personal sacrifice. True leaders are willing to give of themselves to help those they are leading succeed.

Perseveres: True leaders don’t give up. They stay behind the wheel until they reach the destination.
Communicates: True leaders pay attention to their voice tones, inflections, body language, etc. They invite your passion and participation by their voice, but it doesn’t stop here. They stand behind their words – walking the talk, delivering the promise.

Shares: True leaders are genuine, honest, and real. They don’t hide in an office – they get in the trenches with the people they are leading. They aren’t afraid to make mistakes or to acknowledge them, recognizing that leadership is determined by response to mistakes rather than freedom from mistakes.
Respects others: True leaders respect people – from the homeless to the person at the “top.” They extend a genuine caring and interest in the lives of those they lead and those they might lead.

Respects one’s self: True leaders take care of him/herself. They take care of their physical self, as well as their emotions. Whether it’s making wise eating choices, getting sufficient rest, or making time for mental mindfulness, they recognize that to share strength, they first have to build it.

In the end, leading isn’t as much about acquired skills as it is about the inward person. Bethany was a cashier in a fast food restaurant. She had a high school education and made minimum wage. But she connected with people. She knew all her “regulars”, and many of them shared bits and pieces of their lives as Bethany filled their orders. A local business owner was duly impressed, and when he needed to fill a position in his own business, he contacted Bethany. It was a significant step forward and upward for Bethany and all because of the leadership qualities she exhibited.

Ignore for a moment your education, skills, and experience and evaluate your leadership qualities. As you grow in other directions, focus on these attributes and watch for areas where change is needed. Weaving leadership into your professional and personal definition will ensure growth.

Bring your leadership qualities to Springborn Staffing. We specialize in connecting leadership with top companies and organizations in Bangor and Portland, Maine. Contact us today.

Take a Vacation – Now

July 5th, 2016

Interview the working world and you will discover that, despite the long-term benefits of taking a vacation, more than half of earned paid vacation time is remaining unused. In fact, this unwillingness to rest and restore may very well be a core pillar in the stress-level of America. Whether people are workaholic, believe the office will fall apart without them, are trying to look good for the boss, or simply think they can’t afford to indulge in vacation, the result is the same. Failure to take regular time for rest and leisure is a sure-fire path to burnout and many stress-related illnesses, including insomnia, digestive issues, chronic headaches, and muscle tension, as well as a higher risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Even if you manage to override the health issues, skipping vacation actually reduces creativity and productivity while increasing work errors.

The truth is, vacations:
• Refresh and rejuvenize
• Inspire increased creativity
• Improve life perspective
• Builds better relationships – personally and professionally
• Increases sense of well-being

All of these benefits – and there are more – should be enough of a reason to take a vacation, but for those of you who need a bit more prompting, here are some signs that you had better sign-up for vacation before today is over!

You need a vacation if:
• You arrive at work looking like a mug shot.
• You have lost connection with your family – and can’t even remember the last child’s event which you attended.
• You enjoy your work less each day and yet your life revolves around it.
• Small things become big things – you know you’re over-reacting, but . . .
• You find yourself making too many mistakes, forgetting too many important details, eating too little, drinking too much – the common denominator here is the word “too.”

Choose vacation – you need it, your relationships need it, your professional life needs it.
Visit us at Springborn Staffing. We match talent with companies in Bangor and Portland, Maine, creating mutually beneficial relationships, which include vacation time. Contact us today.

Building your Business

June 28th, 2016

From start-ups to solidly-established companies, building and growing your business remains a top priority. So, what can your company do to enhance growth for the remaining half of 2016? Here are four tips for success.

Establish, build, enhance your brand. Generate a brand that invites new customers and keeps the old – a brand that inspires the tried and true word-of-mouth advertising. Create a “branding” team – use temporary talent to step in and free up your current top talent for creating, revising, launching your brand.
• Quit worrying about limits – expand your boundaries.
• Rejuvenate old ideas and create new ones, but don’t skip the fundamentals.
• Post consistently, delivering value – not advertisements.
• Respond immediately to comments – especially problems and complaints.
• Get the most out of analytics.
• Engage customers across multiple social platforms. According to Spredfast, “Instagram delivers brands 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook, and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter. Not only does Instagram have the potential to garner brands higher engagement, but it offers a unique opportunity to connect with customers. From visual storytelling with user-generated content to creative 15-second videos, it’s unarguable that Instagram is a serious hot spot for audience engagement.”
• Focus on building customer relationships – offer value, play games, reward loyalty.

Make Technology your Friend. New technologies continually appear on the market. Learn to evaluate which ones support your industry best and use them. Millennials may be tech-savvy, but Gen-Z cut their teeth on it – when the average 18-month old can manipulate an I-phone, there is no excuse for a business to drag their techy feet.
• Define an IT Strategy – include resources for research and development
• Attend tech tradeshows and recognize the value of data
• Hire new talent

Do what you know and do it better, but don’t be afraid to expand into new markets. Pursue your passion.
• Give yourself the gift of time by outsourcing – a reputable staffing firm can supply qualified employees to cover responsibilities and give you time to focus on new markets/clients/products.
• Gain the advantage of multiple fresh insights – hire diversity.
• Challenge company leaders to grow – send them to conferences, encourage their participation in online courses.

Partner with a staffing firm. Your employees are your business. A staffing agency connects you with reliable, talented staff so you can focus on growing your business. Choose an agency that fits your company – one that:
• Specializes in your industry.
• Shares your philosophies on what makes a great candidate.
• Has a proven record.

Springborn Staffing specializes in helping Bangor and Portland, Maine businesses prosper. We care – we listen – we act. We are your source and support for a growing business. Contact us today.