Monday, June 29, 2015

There Is Power in a Smile

George Eliot said, “Wear a smile and have friends; wear a scowl and have wrinkles.” Smiling is a very simple way to make a good impression; it can immediately change your outward appearance and therefore how people perceive you. Perception is in the details and no matter how much you care about your employees and their well being, if do not make an effort to show you care, they may never know. 

A simple smile and hello in the morning to your fellow employees can change the course of an entire day. Perhaps Susie in the corner was running late and thought the day was going to be awful and your smile will turn her morning around. Maybe George from down the hall is having trouble getting through an assignment and your smile gives him the push he needs to finish it up.

A smile says, “Hi, I’m happy to be here and I’m glad you are too.” Communications experts estimate that 80 percent of communication is non-verbal, so even if you are saying the right things, you still need to show it as well. Research also shows that even fake smiles will work, so fake it till you make it, folks.

Smiling can improve your mood, improve the mood of those around you, encourage creativity, increase brain activity, decrease stress, make your more approachable, increase your perceived trustworthiness, and a host of other things. Even all these benefits are something to smile about!

In his book How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie said, “A smile costs nothing, but creates so much. It enriches those who receive, without impoverishing those who give. It happens in a flash and the memory sometimes lasts forever.”

As you go about your day, make an effort to smile a few extra times.  Eventually, smiling more will become a habit and you will find yourself much better for it.

Contact Connor | Caitlin at

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Managing Stress to Achieve Your Goals

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by work or school, unable to unwind after a demanding day? Often, this is due to an unhealthy level of stress, making you feel trapped and unable to complete any of your tasks. These levels of stress can cause things like obesity, depression, and decreased cognitive ability.

While too much stress can make you feel overwhelmed, too little stress causes you to feel bored and uninterested. A healthy level of stress motivates you to work productively, allowing you to reach your full potential. The key to being successful is being able to manage your stress and keep it at a healthy level.

There are many ways to help manage stress. Exercise is a great way to beat stress. It is proven to reduce stress hormones and calm your mind. Meditating is also known to relax your mind and body, reducing stress. Eating and sleeping well are also important when it comes to managing stress. Foods rich in vitamin C are known to reduce stress hormones, while a good night’s sleep can help energize you the next day, so you don’t feel so overwhelmed.

If you have any questions, please contact Connor | Caitlin Talent Solutions at

Monday, June 22, 2015

Talent of a Lifetime

Talent is essential to everything a business does. Talent needs nurtured, tended to, and at times even created. Each member of the team brings something different to the table with their individual talents and abilities. When complacency is allowed, the talent plateaus and can even decrease.

Expecting excellence from employees and creating an environment where their talents are valued and sincerely appreciated develops exceptional employees. Having exceptional employees leads to higher output and greater results.

The question then becomes how to insure talent is truly being tended to. A lot of companies have created superior leadership and training programs. These programs allow companies to teach employees company standards and specific operating procedures.

All of this is wonderful, however it is important to consider the negative effects as well. When companies rely too heavily on these programs, they effectively toss talent management to the side. This is the exact opposite thing the programs were intended for, but it is what is happening.

Successful talent management happens daily and involves all levels of employees! When employees are directed to foster talent in each other it creates stronger teams and individuals. Talent management cannot be a once a year, or worse, once a career thing. It is a continuous process of self-improvement and awareness.

Contact Connor | Caitlin with any questions about developing talent in your business at

Friday, June 19, 2015

Expansion With The Help of Social Media

Social media is rapidly changing the ways we do business. It is a great way to expand your business and increase name recognition. A study by the Internet Advertising Bureau UK found that 80% of consumers are more likely to buy from a brand that has a big social media presence.
The key to using social media as a means of expansion is to understand your target audience and what social media sites they use. For example, if your audience is younger, you might consider using Twitter, while you might use Facebook if they are older.

Remember that it takes time to build up a large follower base that will make a difference in your business. Don’t expect instant results and stay with it! Also, respond to feedback. No one wants to follow a page that doesn’t interact with them. This will help you keep your existing followers as you try to gain more.

Most importantly, remember that social media is simply a tool to increase exposure and to connect with your customers, so don’t spend too much time focusing on it! You still need develop products, grow your mailing list and sell your products. Social media shouldn’t replace marketing activities, it should complement them.

If you want more information, please contact Connor|Caitlin Talent Solutions.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

BASF, Making a Difference

In a world where we hear far more about the bad than the good, it is vital to recognize exceptional actions when taken. BASF continues their partnership with the Louisiana Arts & Science Museum to provide a hands-on learning experience for children ages 6 to 12.

BASF The Chemical Company started the partnership four years ago in the company’s continual effort to support science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in the region.  

“BASF encourages an interest in science at an early age,” said Tom Yura, Senior Vice President and Manager of the Geismar BASF site. “Our goal is to have kids interact with the basics of chemistry and the products that surround them daily so that they can explore the connections to chemistry in their world. Through Kids’ Lab we provide hands-on learning that helps today’s students become the innovators and leaders of the future.”

More than 10,300 people have participated in the program at the museum since its induction. This has allowed children and adults alike to explore chemistry in safe, supervised experiments as well as demonstrations. By exposing young children to science, BASF truly opens the door for new explorations and interests for the children. Additionally, the company is giving back to the community around them in a very positive way.

This is just one example of coatings companies getting involved in their communities to make the world a better place.

Contact Connor | Caitlin at to talk about how your company can give back.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Be a Learner!

Whenever a person is recognized as being successful, people always want to know how they did it. One thing that nearly every successful person will contribute his or her success to, is lifelong learning.

Successful people never stop learning; they learn from every opportunity they can. They’re continuously looking for new opportunities to grow and develop. This allows them to constantly be at the top of their game and know what is going on in their market.

There are tons of ways you can develop lifelong learning habits. Read a book a month, an article a day, or a newspaper every weekend. Go to a conference. Set up a training program at work. Sign up for something you have never done before. The important thing is to set goals for yourself and make sure you are making progress towards them.

Once you have your goals set, decide how you will use your new knowledge and make the most of it. Talk about what you are learning with others. Write about it in a journal, or keep notes in the margins of the book you are reading. Teach others what you have learned. Surround yourself with other lifelong learners that will challenge your ideas and push you to try new things.

If you dedicate yourself to being a lifelong learner, it will impact far more than just your professional life. Lifelong learning can create new friendships, develop new skills and hone existing skills, keep your mind sharp, help you adapt to change, lead to higher levels of self-fulfillment and it can even help make the world a better place. 

If you have any questions about lifelong learning or how you can promote it in your workplace, please contact Connor | Caitlin at

Friday, June 12, 2015

Living in a Fish Bowl

Today if you want to know something about a person, or a company, you simply grab your smartphone and open the web browser along with various social networking sites. Nearly everyone has instant access to information when they want it, how they want it. It really is like being the goldfish inside of the fish bowl.

When I chose this topic to write on I decided to Google myself. While nothing unprofessional came up, there were definitely quite a few embarrassing high school photos with glasses and braces. It is amazing how everything that is put out on the Internet is accessible. EVERYTHING you put out there can be accessed!

What happens when you Google yourself, or your company? Do you like what you see? When people Google your company, is it easy for them to find what they are looking for and what you really want them to see? Can you make improvements to your personal social networking profiles?

When individuals and business live with integrity, they do not have to worry about living in the fish bowl. With everything being transparent, it is nearly impossible to hide anything. Maybe the answer to this is to stop trying to hide things. As an individual or company, if you live beyond reproach then you create for yourself the ability to be constantly transparent.

Anybody can see right into your fish bowl whenever they want to, so ask yourself, what is in my fishbowl?

Contact Connor | Caitlin with any questions about integrity or transparency.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Happiness is the Ultimate Key to Success

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” – Albert Schweitzer

If you want successful employees, you need happy employees. This begs the question, how do you get happy employees?

Hiring people who really want to work for your company is key to employee happiness. By creating a friendly work environment and being great at what you do, your company will attract excellent candidates. 

The best thing to do is simply open the dialogue with employees. If you do not really know what your employees need to be happy,
you cannot provide it. Every workplace is different and every employee is different, but having a common understanding of employees in your workplace will allow you to cater to them, which will create success. Additionally, simply making sure that your employees know that their happiness is important to you will contribute to higher employee morale and better company culture.

There are a lot of great articles about research done by Shawn Achor on happiness contributing to success. A great place to start making employee happiness a priority is checking out this research and sharing it with your employees.

Please contact Connor | Caitlin to talk about the happiness and success of your business.  

Monday, June 8, 2015

Being a Good Employer: Culture

At Connor | Caitlin, we frequently discuss company culture and how candidates can fit into a company. We know that if a candidate is not a good culture fit, it will never work out in the long run for the candidate or the business.

Merriam-Webster defines culture as “a way of thinking, behaving, or working that exists in a place or organization (such as a business).” In our blog about recruiting we discussed being known as a great employer; company culture can make or break the appeal of your company.

When thinking about the culture of your company, there are a few key points to keep in mind. The first of these is defining and living out the company vision and mission. It is important to be clear about what your company expects inside and outside of the work place. Your employees represent your company whether they are on the clock or not. However, if you do not articulate the expectations you cannot hold employees up to them.

Secondly, communicate, communicate, communicate. Communication is vital to success in anything, but if you want to create a great company culture it is definitely essential. It is important to include all levels of employees in conversations about culture and create an open, friendly environment for conversations to take place.

Lastly, team building. When a company takes time to create teams out of its employees, the company shows that it truly cares about the employees and their work environment. Team building also allows employees to come together and communicate expectations and goals.

If you have any questions about company culture, please contact Connor | Caitlin. 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Prim and Proper, Being Polite in the Workplace

Many people would be surprised at just how far being polite can further you in your career. If you are able to obtain characteristics such as being charismatic, able to share intuitive ideas, and being generous, then you will stand out in the superlative way. Aside from having those traits, there are several gestures you can make to express courtesy toward your colleagues.

Next time you’re at a work party or benefit, begin introducing people you know as if you were privileged to do so. This will show the utmost respect to your co-workers. In another sense, when someone is being introduced to you it’s important to address them by the name they told you. This means that you should not shorten their name or call them by a nickname seeing as that would be considered unprofessional and too friendly. 

Also, when first meeting someone, a polite individual will wait until the other person determines the nonsexual touch guidelines, unless it’s a handshake. It’s critical to make sure the person you are being introduced to feels comfortable at all times.

Social media has become quite a significant tool in today’s society, which sometimes can turn out to be negative.  It’s extremely significant to always keep your personal social media sites objective and professional. In addition to social media, one should never gossip over the Internet or in person. It’s often difficult to resist the inside scoop about a particular person or event, but the civil way to go about this would be to simply ignore it.

However, something a polite individual should never ignore is the elephant in the room. For instance, if a colleague’s family member passed away it would be considerate to briefly express your condolences. Most prominently, when being polite you should never push your opinions or judge someone. 

Always try to keep an open mind when it comes to specific subject matters or people. Remember, polite people never stop being polite, and once you are you will begin to see that your colleagues will think more highly of you.

Contact Connor | Caitlin Talent Solutions at for more information. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Finding a purple squirrel, part 2.

In the first installment  of this post,which can be read here, the top five things a company should know about recruiting were discussed. Today we will tell you the next five.

1.)    Be known as a great employer! If you want candidates to want to work for your company, you need to give them a reason to work for you. By creating a great work environment and company culture, you will establish your company as one that people want to work for. It is impossible to attract the highest quality candidates if no one wants to work for you.

2.)    Check references. This one should really go without saying, but many employers do not consistently check references. When you contact the references a candidate provides, you get to hear about the candidate from another perspective and learn more about them. The more you know about a candidate before you hire them, the better prepared you can be to meet their needs and create success for both parties.

3.)    Write GREAT job descriptions. The more information you can give about a job, the better-prepared candidates can be to tell you about experiences relevant to what you are looking for. If the job description is vague, you end up with applications from people who are not qualified and not at all what you are looking for. While poor applicants will never be fully eliminated, having specific job descriptions can help decrease the number you will have to go through. 

4.)    Quality > Quantity. In the last post, we told you to improve your candidate pool. That does not mean expand your pool. It is perfectly okay to only have a handful of candidates rather than an entire stack. You are looking to hire the best person for the job, so you need quality candidates instead of a large quantity. That being said, if you have a large number of qualified candidates, you should certainly look at them all.

5.)    Remember, they’re looking too. A lot of attention is focused on what you should look for in a candidate, but it is vital to remember that candidates are looking at the company as well. In the technological era we live in, access to information is at an all time high. Your company needs to make sure that potential candidates can find good, reliable information on the business.

Connor|Caitlin would be thrilled to help you with your recruiting needs. Contact us with any questions or items you need assistance with.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Finding a Purple Squirrel; find a squirrel, then dye it purple!

Thanks to the reliance on technology and a plethora of great programs, recruiting has changed a lot. However, there are still many “rules” of recruiting that will probably never change. Today’s post is part one of a two-part blog on how you can be the best at recruiting.

1.)    The Golden Rule (“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”) is a universally known term, but in recruiting, business, and probably life in general, the Platinum Rule created by Dr. Tony Alessandra needs to be employed. The Platinum Rule is “Treat others the way they want to be treated.” The Platinum Rule requires that you know what a person wants and you provide it for them. It takes other’s feelings and thoughts and puts them ahead of your own.

2.)    Know what you want, what you need, and what you cannot live without. Once you know all of that, prioritize it. If you need a purple squirrel, you are not going to find one. You will have to settle for a squirrel and dye it purple. This analogy means that you can find a candidate with the qualities you cannot live without, then you can teach the candidate about what you need and want.

3.)    Improve your candidate pool. If you are not looking at the best candidates, you certainly will not be able to hire them. You already know you want to hire the best candidate out there, so it is vital to do everything you can to get that candidate into your hiring pool.

4.)    Hire for strengths. No matter what the position is, there will nearly always be multiple duties. The important thing is to figure out with the most important duty of a position is and find a candidate with the strengths to fulfill that duty better than anyone else could.

5.)    Hire the sure thing. Sometimes there is a rush to fill a position, and when it is a very important role the rush is understandable. However, rushing to fill an empty post can lead to hiring the wrong person. This is a huge headache because not only will the job not be done the way you need or want it to, but you will end up right back where you started: the beginning of the hiring process.

Connor|Caitlin would be thrilled to help you with your recruiting needs. Contact us with any questions or items you need assistance with.