How to Establish a Thriving Company Culture

By Corey Hastings

Screen Shot 2016-02-24 at 12.43.25 PM

Company culture is vital to an organization’s success – you’ve probably heard it before, maybe you’ve even said it yourself. But as an employer, are you actively focusing on establishing a thriving company culture?

Hiring and retaining dedicated, valuable employees depends on a lot more than a stocked fridge and a nice paycheck. Company culture is defined in many ways. But to truly understand how to create a positive culture, you have to understand the 3 core areas of employee dissatisfaction that can plague the workplace. These areas include:

  1. Lack of Communication
  2. Lack of Employee Recognition
  3. Lack of Training and Development

When an employee sees no upward mobility because they lack proper avenues of communication, they are not recognized for their accomplishments, and their company is not investing in their professional development, they leave. And their behavior is contagious.

So how do you promote positivity and growth on all 3 fronts? We’ve outlined a few tips.

Improving Communication

The Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw once wrote, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” Is your workplace communication a victim of this sentiment? If so, it might be time to reexamine.

Improving your communication process can start with a few simple approaches. One suggestion is to hold on-site communication training and workshops. Bring everyone together to discuss what tactics are working, and what areas could improve. Allowing your employees to participate in the discussion not only shows that you value their opinions, but also allows you to develop new employee-backed communication strategies.

Another way to improve the process is to utilize online communication tools. We suggest looking into messaging services like Slack or Google Chat.

Employee Appreciation

Recognizing your employees for their successes is a vital part of a thriving company culture. If an employee feels like they are valued and appreciated, it boosts morale and productivity, and helps retain your strongest talent.

A simple method for recognizing employees is to thank them for their work in a genuine and respectful way. Don’t over-praise if it’s undeserved, instead focus on offering sincere gratitude for a job well done.

Publicly praising employees is also another great tactic. Start meetings by pointing out successes and wins, and allow others to contribute if they want to share something about a fellow team member.

When a strong performer has wowed you yet again, ask them to mentor inexperienced members of the team. Your trust in their ability to pass along their expertise will resonate.

And never underestimate the value of giving thanks with gifts or perks. Has an extremely long project finally come to a successful conclusion? Take your team to the ball game, or out for a celebratory lunch.

Training and Development

There is no better way to show an employee that you want to invest in their future than by offering training and development.

Implementing programs that allow employees to learn will present potential for advancement, and show that you care about their future as much as the future of the company. Start by offerings mentorship programs or investment in certifications or online courses, and allow your training and development strategies to grow.


Why Recruiters Should Work Directly with Hiring Managers

By Corey Hastings

Screen Shot 2016-02-18 at 2.19.43 PM

The two most important people in a proactive search for hiring the perfect candidates are the hiring manager and front line recruiter.

Experience has shown that the more people between the hiring manager and the recruiter, the less likely it is to fill a position. Hiring managers and recruiters have the unique advantage of noticing a variety of different issues that may arise when hiring. A lack of proper communication between the two hiring parties can lead to a misunderstanding in what the true needs of the position are, which can result in a mishire, or no hire at all.

Here are a few items to consider:

  1. The hiring manager’s needs and wants, in terms of a candidate’s skills and experiences are not all equal and can change over time or on a case-by-case basis.
  1. The source of potential candidates might change and/or might yield new options over time (either geographically or vertically) and brainstorming between the two operatives can uncover new targets.
  1. Most importantly, the way in which a hiring manager will sell their open position to someone that is gainfully employed is very unique based on the opportunity and specific situation (which can also change over time).

The hiring manager’s ability to communicate the subtleties and nuances around each of these issues is paramount.  Almost as important, is the information that the recruiter is gathering from the market and the way that is relayed back to the hiring manager.  The flow of information between creates an air of cooperation, mutual commitment and focus.  The partnership that grows in this type of environment has a very good chance of success.

One tactic that will open the door to a successful hiring manager/recruiter relationship is a simple Q&A when both parties first meet about filling a position. This can act as a clarifying exercise for whatever questions arise about the position, and help establish a positive rapport.

Topics to discuss during this Q&A should include:

  1. The basics of the job description (reporting structure, location, why the job is open, what the company culture is like, etc.).
  1. The value of filling the position.
  1. The required skills for the position.
  1. Additional skills or personality traits the hiring company finds significant.
  1. The company’s general hiring process.
  1. The best way to communicate during the hiring process.

Opening the doors of communication and understanding both the hiring manger and the recruiter’s role will allow for a seamless hiring process.

Are you searching for the perfect candidate? Let SS&C help.

7 Critical Factors for Making a Career Decision

By Corey Hastings

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 3.11.49 PM

When considering your professional future, do you weigh all critical factors that need to be considered when making a major career decision?

Choosing a company simply because they offer the best salary or have the best perks may lead to unhappiness down the line. When making a critical career decision, it can be challenging to make non-emotional changes without full assessment. But as many happily employed people can attest to, it’s imperative for making the right choice.

So how do successful people employ the best tactics as part of an overall career strategy? The answer is the use of a decision tree. Before you make a major career decision, measure and assess each of the 7 factors below to ensure you’ve made the perfect choice.

1. Brand name of the company

Having a reputable brand name, one that candidates and clients alike can trust, is critical for any company looking to hire. And a brand is more than just a company name – it’s the combination of an established and reliable company with a client or consumer’s experience.

Take a look at the company you are assessing: do they come off as reputable online? Have they been responsive and accommodating? Are their company reviews positive? A query into the tone of a company and how they present themselves will give you a good idea of what it’s like to work there.

2. Breadth of their customer base

 When assessing a company, always be sure to look into their customer base. Do they work with or have partnerships with other reputable companies? Are their customers satisfied with the work they have provided? Testimonials are a great way to understand whom a company’s customers are and if they’re happy, so be sure to research or simply reach out and ask for client feedback.

3. Breadth of their products and/or services

Does this prospective employee offer a full scope of services in industries that not only suit you currently but for your future prospects? When choosing your next company remember that you’re not just making the right decision for now but down the line as well. Finding the employer that offers not only a deluge of services but also ones that innovate means that over the years you will be in the best position to grow professionally and turn your self into an A-Player. Plus, growth within this new company means less job-hunting in the future.

4. How they treat their vendors, clients & employees

In the same way that you can tell the measure of a person by how they treat their friends and pets, you can tell a lot about a future employer by how they manage its workers.

Do the research: online searches, peer recommendations, even cold call their past and current vendors. Every piece of information brings you one step closer to making the right choice. Only after piecing together the puzzle can you ask the important question, “Can I see myself working for a company like this?”

5. Quality of the people

It’s no surprise that a critical career decision factor is the quality of the people you may potentially be working with. It’s vital to reflect on the types of people you’ve already had conversations or interviews with – have they demonstrated professionalism and displayed qualities you find yourself attracted to?

Another way to assess the quality of people working for a company is to check out sites like Linkedin or Glassdoor. Look for positive reviews of employees, and learn as much as you can about the type of people you’ll potentially be collaborating with.

6. Challenge of the role

While you may be extremely qualified for a position, will you be challenged? When interviewing and deciding on a potential new career, ask yourself if the work will keep you stimulated and driven. If you take a position you’re overqualified for, you may find yourself in a monotonous situation that can lead to unhappiness in the workplace.

7. Financial Package

Finally, ask yourself –  can you imagine making a career change strictly for finance reasons without having the first 6 items in place? If you’ve weighed all above factors positively, then it’s time to talk money.

Before weighing the options, dedicate time to sit down and prioritize what kind of benefits not only work now but also down the line as your new career grows. Is the offered salary desirable, and are the benefits right for you and your family? Also remember that you do not have to accept the first offer a company makes. Don’t think of it as a negotiation, but as a conversation. There may be compromises, but there should be compensations as well.


Achieving the A-Player Mentality

By Corey Hastings

Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 4.50.08 PM

Are you on the hunt for a new job, or recently decided to take your career to the next level?

While you may think you are a dependable candidate with a strong track record, having the necessary traits to prove you’re the best one for the job means achieving the ‘A-Player Mentality.’

Employers know the value of hiring an A-Player; they are the top employees in their industry, are innovative self-starters, and help to build a successful and dynamic workplace. By becoming an A-Player, you’ll not only land the perfect job, you’ll mature into a well-respected and sought-after employee.

To achieve the A-Player mentality, become a candidate who possesses the following traits.

Positive Attitude

Having a positive attitude is one of the most important attributes of an A-Player. Your attitude is a form of expression and identification. A positive employee will quickly be recognized as a leader who can turn a difficult situation into a new opportunity.

Positivity breeds positivity. By displaying a positive attitude, you increase the productivity and mood of your workplace as a whole. A positive atmosphere makes for happy employees who feel less stressed and more empowered to work harder.

Team Player

Having a positive mental attitude is the first step in being a great team player. Companies thrive on teamwork. By tapping into your co-workers creative energy, you can accomplish more in less time. Recognizing and collaborating with the strengths of those around you not only benefits the company, but helps you in your day-to-day tasks.

If someone has a different method for getting things done, understand and allow for those differences. The best teams thrive on appreciating each other’s contributions, and the best employees lead the way for positive collaboration.

Strong References

A major red flag for any hiring manager is the lack of references or positive recommendations from peers and past employees. A key indicator that you’re the best candidate for the job is having a reference who can reaffirm your past accomplishments and successes. Becoming an A-Player means cultivating positive work relationships that you are proud to share in future interviews.

Continues to Educate

A-Players are driven. While the office day may end, their thirst for knowledge and their quest to educate themselves isn’t checked at the door.

A-Players are constantly reading up on new insight into their industry while continuing formal education with industry specific certifications or higher education degrees. This ambition allows A-Players to be visible and admired, often recognized by winning awards, inside their company and amongst their community.

What extra-curricular knowledge are you seeking within your industry? Continuing to educate yourself in as many ways as possible will prove you’re a dedicated and invaluable employee.

Track Record of Quantitative Achievements

Aside from awards, A-Players are often recognized for their proven track record of achievements. Because of their drive, they are always striving to produce reliable and tangible work that doesn’t go unnoticed.

While you may have some successful team accomplishments under your belt, have you ever spearheaded a project? Taking the reigns on an idea not only shows leadership, but allows your name to be highlighted and recognized. Publishing white papers or applying for a patent are also good ways to showcase your skills.

Great Communication Skills

Effective communication is one of the most important skills to master inside the workplace and out. Communication is vital to all relationships including bosses, co-workers, and clients.

Are you able to say what you mean in a clear and concise way? Being able to properly communicate demonstrates an innate confidence in your job. Communication also helps with planning and coordination, allowing your company to function as smoothly as possible.

Mentors and Coaches

Being a great communicator also allows others to develop a trust in your abilities and know-how. When you become a trustworthy source, others start to turn to you for guidance. A-Players are often mentors, and never turn their back on an employee in need.


Do you know your company’s technology inside and out? If you’re in sales, do you understand your customer base and what their needs are?

A hands on employee who knows the mechanics of what makes a company run is better suited to cultivate a dynamic workplace.

Have you achieved the A-Player mentality? Submit your resume to SS&C today.