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Pete Sits Down with Jacksonville SNI Financial Team

Pete Langlois recently sat down with part of Jacksonville’s SNI Financial team to discuss their backgrounds and what led them to SNI, what it’s like being a recruiter, giving back to the community, and how they view themselves as a resource to clients and candidates.

Backgrounds

This week’s guests on Pete the Job Guy included Virginie Mascia, Patricia Wisniewski and Ryan Burrill who have all been with SNI Companies for a varying amount of time.  Virginie has been in this space the longest and has worked in the accounting and finance field for over the last decade. She has her MBA in Management from Jacksonville University and is a seasoned recruiter whose extensive knowledge in the field makes her a trusted resource for clients and candidates alike. Patricia has a background in education and has her Master’s Degree in English. She has been with SNI for a couple of years and brings her experience as a teacher into her current role by offering coaching and guidance to her candidates. Ryan is the newest member of the team and worked as an EMT while in college and after graduation found himself in the non-profit world for the last several years. Wanting to continue making a difference in people’s lives, he turned to recruiting and loves how his newfound career personally impacts other’s lives.

 

Being a Recruiter

With the unemployment rate in Jacksonville hovering around 1.8% for accounting and finance professionals, it’s a candidate’s market with a strong workforce. The team works to get to the core of what people are looking for and what their motivators are. Making a successful job placement is like being a matchmaker and they take their job seriously with finding the perfect match for their clients and candidates.

 

Giving Back to the Community

The team is passionate about volunteering and has worked with various non-profit organizations such as the Humane Society and will be offering their time to the Food Pantry in the near future. In addition, they are always running drives in the office and raising money for various causes. Giving back to their community is a key cornerstone of the office and brings the team closer together when they are working together for a greater cause.

 

Working at SNI and Helping Our Clients and Candidates

Working at SNI is fast paced and there are always lots of moving parts. The team works together and pushes each other to do their best all while having fun. They bring this enthusiasm to their clients and candidates and view their relationships with them as partners and a resource in the market. For their clients they are always asking how they can help and what hiring needs they have.  For their candidates, it’s getting to the root of what they are looking for and helping them find their ideal roles. Doing a successful placement is a win-win for all parties and they take the time to develop strong relationships.

 

If you’d like to listen to the full podcast you can do so on petethejobguy.com or on iTunes by simply searching Pete the Job Guy for this and all of Pete’s other episodes.

Charlie Jimerson Rejoins Pete: Resolutions, Goals, & Goal Setting for Business & Personal Life

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I recently sat down with Charles Jimerson who is not only a good friend but co-founder and managing shareholder of Jimerson & Cobb, P.A. Charles, aka Charlie, served in the U.S. military while simultaneously receiving his undergrad degree. He then went on to get his Juris Doctorate at the University of Florida Levin College of Law and has practiced law since 2006. He is a guy that walks the walk and in 2018 was named by The Business Journals as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Attorneys in Law and Business in the United States. I was so excited to talk to this powerhouse and discuss New Year’s Resolutions, the importance of positivity, and goal setting for your personal and professional life.

Difference Between Resolutions and Goals

While similar in nature, Charlie suggests that instead of just having resolutions you should have a goal with trajectories and clear milestones on how to obtain it and believes that the “power is going to be in the follow through”. Charlie himself has made resolutions every year since he was 15 and is a big fan of creating a business plan every year – specifically business oriented resolutions.

SMART Goals

Charlie recommends that people make SMART goals. If you are unfamiliar with that, it is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.  He believes you are more apt to accomplish your resolutions if you create them this way.

Specific: Set a goal that is measurable and think specifically about what are you trying to achieve. The more specific you are, the more likely you are to get what you want. For example being happier is not a measurable goal however eating vegetables twice a day is.

Measurable: Have milestones along the way. For example if you want to lose 20 pounds in a year that’s 1.6 pounds each month.

Achievable: The goal has to be within reach and something you can actually accomplish so you don’t set yourself up for failure or disappointment.

Relevant:  Think about why you are setting this goal and if it’s relevant to the ultimate destination.

Time bound:  Tie yourself into a specific timeframe and set a deadline that you are constantly working towards.

Focus on Accentuating Your Positives

Charlie recommended this exercise to help you focus on what you what you are good at: choose 3 things that you’re as skilled or more skilled at than anyone else at your company. Why are you good at these things? How can you get any better? What outside forces get in the way of you getting better? What resources do you need to get better? How would your life and career change if you focused on just these 3 things? After you have written down these things, think about what you can do to reorient your life to focus on those skills. Another good exercise is to list 5 things you hate to do. After you have them written out think about which 1 you can delegate or outsource.

The moral of the story is to focus on what you love and are good at, and for the things you aren’t good at or don’t enjoy, see if someone else can do them for you. You will get so much more energy and work done if you focus on your strengths instead of the things that drain you.

The Power of Positive Thinking

When I asked him what he is going to do differently in 2019 than 2018 he said that in the past he had allowed himself to be influenced by the squeakiest wheel and this year will incorporate a matrix on how he spends his time and makes decisions. He plans to employ a 10/10/10 decision making tool which is where you ask yourself:

  1. How will I feel about it 10 minutes from now?
  2. How about 10 months from now?
  3. How about 10 years from now?

He also wants to be contagiously positive and uplift those around him. The way he plans to accomplish this is by having what he calls “time-outs” throughout his day in which he will take a breath, regroup and gearshift to be more positive.

I hope these tips and exercises help you make 2019 your best year yet! My thanks again to Charlie who gave us some great advice and insight on how to improve your professional and personal life. If you’d like to listen to the full podcast you can do so on petethejobguy.com or on iTunes by simply searching Pete the Job Guy for this and all of my other episodes.

3 Tips You Can Learn from this Successful Local Irrigation Company

You might be thinking,

“My company has NOTHING to do with irrigation, HOW IS THIS GOING TO HELP ME?”

Trust me. This information will help you – whether you run an irrigation company or you do something entirely different. Often times what matters is the person(s) behind the business. Here is how a local irrigation company owner grew a successful local business by listening and adapting to his customers’ needs. 

Scott Hulihan of Hulihan Territory was a recent guest on my radio show, Hard Work-ah with Pete the Job Guy.  Scott shared his advice on how to keep moving forward in the small business world. His secret: adapting. On a past show, I used Blockbuster and Netflix as an example on “…adapting to the customer and their evolving needs.”

If you want to listen to this example from the show, click here.

I was talking about innovation, disruption, and lack of adaptation. Even though customers were showing interest in another way to rent/watch movies, Blockbuster essentially said, “This is what we do. This is the way that people like it. We have to give the people what they want.”

However, it was not what the people wanted… anymore. Do you know what people wanted? They wanted to watch movies in the home, without going down the street to the Blockbuster. The customers wanted to watch movies in the comfort of their own home via streaming with the click of a button. And Netflix, well, they heard their customers’ problems, and they adapted. 

So you might have a business plan with products and services, but if your customers tell you they want a little something different or you’re not currently serving them, you need to adapt to the customer’s needs in order to continue the business, or you will be obsolete to them.

Now, back to Scott Hulihan — during high school, Scott got a job working for his gym teacher, who taught him how to cut grass and install sprinkler systems. After he graduated high school in 1988, he bought his gym teacher’s equipment and continued to serve the same customer base. He learned a lot as a young entrepreneur, and he continues to learn more about his customers’ evolving needs and adapt his business accordingly. He shared this with us:

Be Patient, Stay Consistent, Stay Focus

My advice to any entrepreneur that is first starting out, it doesn’t come overnight. You find yourself working very hard and the days are long, and things can be pretty ‘lean’ initially.  Then you see your friends put their suits on and go to their office jobs that have a steady salary …and when you’re talking about my type of business, installing irrigation systems, you can easily start to think that ‘the grass is greener on the other side.’ So, there’s going to be times you second guess yourself and your decisions.  That is precisely when you have to stay focused.   The straighter you stay, the more focused you are, the quicker you’ll get there.  Also, have a strong support system.  I relied on the advice of my stepdad, and my mom and brother were also an important part of the business.” –Scott Hulihan

Adapt to the Customer’s Needs in Each Season

From the beginning, the company started as purely an irrigation company. Over time, Scott got certified for well-drilling, taught it to his employees, and then added it to his list of services. Scott also decided to add Christmas lights installation to the list after noticing there was a gap in the market for Floridians. Which worked out well, after seeing that irrigation and well-drilling slow down in the colder months.

This is the 16th year we’ve done Christmas lights. I was looking at a landscape magazine, and out in Utah, areas like that where they get snowed in, the landscape guys can’t do anything else, so they hang Christmas lights.  And I said to myself, “Well, you could do that right here in Jacksonville.  Even though it’s a warmer climate, people still want Christmas lights.”  And so, I started that as a keep-the-guys-busy type of deal and it’s really turned into a super-profitable busy time of year for us.  My customers love it.” –Scott Hulihan

Scott found a way to withstand seasonality by adapting. He:

  • observed the same market in another location (competitive analysis)
  • asked his current customers if they have this need
  • learned the new trade and got really good at it

 

Understanding the Customer’s Needs

To understand the customer’s needs, there needs to be an established relationship. Building a good relationship will not be hard if you already deliver consistent and exceptional service. If you are already delivering a good service, then ask yourself these questions:

  • How can I expand this current relationship, or rather, how can you solve more problems that your customers have? 
  • What will make the current process easier for them?

 

These tips are the difference between a business owner and a successful business owner. Are you applying this tips to your business or considering to start a business? Let me know at Pete@PeteTheJobGuy.com

To listen to the full conversation, click here.

5 Free Solutions to Keep Your Employees Healthy and Focused

Laura Nolan, Health Solutions Executive at Humana, is a strong advocate for bringing a healthy lifestyle into the corporate office environment. We spoke the other day and she spoke passionately about how health solutions can positively affect output for any company AND the community.

Here are the numbers:

  •  Productivity losses linked to absenteeism cost employers $225.8 BILLION (or $1,685 per employee). Source: CDC, International Monetary Fund
  • People going to work when they’re sick (presenteeism) accounts for nearly TWO-THIRDS OF THE TOTAL COSTS of worker illness. Source: Harvard Business Review
  • More than 48 million workers—or 38 percent of the U.S. working population— have no paid sick leave. Source: NHIS, 2008
  • Companies that have exemplary safety, health and environmental programs OUTPERFORMED THE S&P 500 by between 3 and 5 percent. Source: Fabius R, Thayer R, Dixon BA, et al. 2013

And then it hit me:

Why aren’t all companies already doing this? It would save them so much money!

After 16 years with Humana, Laura has to say this to employers:

“…with wellness, each and every employer should consider it. Even if they aren’t, [or if] they don’t have the funds with the budgets to purchase a high tech wellness program for their employees, anything that you can do to think outside of the box [to ensure your employees are treated well.]”

There are BILLIONS — okay, maybe not billions – but a lot of apps out there to help you and your employees on their health journey!

Check out these other articles:

The best 8 Apps for a Calm, Focused Mind by Huffington post

15 tools that will help you stay focused by Product Hunt

 

Personally, I’m old school and if I try to take a break, I try to do it away from tech. So, here are some of the things that are free (or close to free) that can help you through the day.

 

1.     Set up reminders to take a break

“[At Humana,] twice a day I get an email that tells me to be mindful and to take a moment to meditate, to stretch or to do yoga and it’s linked to YouTube videos, so right. They don’t want me sitting and stuck at my desk all day zoning out and becoming less productive because I’m in the zone, so twice a day I get an email.”

 

This takes time, yes, but overall a free alternative and makes you (your company) an ‘accountability partner’ to your employees’ health journeys.

2.     Stretch

Do some chair yoga! This sound intense, but even just not looking at your computer, or stretching forward while sitting down will do your body some good! Our bodies take so much physical strain from sitting. YES, you heard correctly! Or as Laura would say: “Sitting is the new smoking.”

3.     Dance

Now for those who follow me on “the” social media, you know that I don’t waste any time. In the morning, I like to get my blood pumping! Some mornings I spend at The Gym Jax, but in the office, I like to dance…with my office! We usually do the YMCA, we blast the volume, share some laughs.

Check out this sweet video of us in action. AND YOU’LL LOVE THIS: I did the #inMyFeelingsChallenge, check it.

Are you in Jax? Check out some classes at The Gym Jax here or listen to our other podcast episode about The Gym Jax, here.

4.     Walk it Out

Bring your phone, don’t bring your phone, whatever you choose, just set a timer to 5 minutes and see how far you can walk away from your desk! Whatever you do, the point is to get those legs moving and your brain a break from going 100MPH all morning/afternoon.

5.     Play a Game

Get your office involved, too! Arren was telling me about her college job: she worked at the Dean of Students office and at 2:55pm every day the entire office gathered and would play a game. The games would range from doing icebreakers, light team building activities, and or just being in the room together silent and listening to classical music – just something unrelated to work!

So there they are, 5 free, easy solutions to get your employees happy, healthy, and more productive.

Keep workin’ hard my friends!

 

 

To listen to the full conversation, click here.

Four Things You Didn’t Know that Recruiters Do For You

1. Guide you before, through, and after the interview process

Patricia: So, what’s really important for them to do is I try to provide as much information about the company and about the job description and they need to do their homework. Everybody’s got to do their homework. I can’t do it for them. So, when I mean homework, it’s more like going to the website of the company, figuring out information about the company. Who’s the president? How long has the company been? You know, what’s their mission says and then not only that, but the expectations of the job.

Patricia: So, we would give tips on what to mention or what questions to ask. A little bit of a mock interview. [For example,] what would you like, what are some questions that you’ve thought of to ask the company afterwards? Because when an a company interviews you, a lot of times at the end they’ll say, ‘so do you have any questions for us?’ Your answer should always be yes, here are a few good ones, you know, and because they want to know that you’re invested in that, you’ve thought about it. So, I like to ask them, ‘what would you ask them?’

I actually had one person say, ‘oh, well I went online, I went online, and, and notice that you had a couple of bad reviews. What are some things that you as a company are going to do to improve your reviews online?’

I said, ’that is not a question. [laughs] So, I’m so glad that I asked you what you’re going to ask them.’

So, that it’s important for us to know what they’re going in. I don’t want anybody going rogue, you know, and asking some crazy thing.

Recruiters are your professional coaches. They give you professional tips on any and everything you need to know so that you land the job (and keep it)! They are your help before, during, and after the interview process.

Recruiters can typically help with your resume. They understand the company so they know how to make your resume more appealing to the company and they know how to highlight your strengths. Recruiters can naturally prepare you for interviews through practicing difficult to answer questions and through encouragement.

Also, our recruiters at SNI Companies go the extra mile and ensure to deliver in small ways like:

  • calling before and after the interview
  • sending reminders of the time and location of the interview as well as
  • how to dress
  • what to say
  • reminding you to write/send a thank you note.

These are all small things that you don’t have to stress about so you can focus on landing the job!

Going even further, even after you land the job, our recruiters can still help you. They can assist with orientation, questions you may have (but are not confident to ask to your employer). They are still there to assist you.

2. Help you identify our value to the company and market yourself

Patricia: Knowing how are you going to sell yourself to that company because hey, you know, not everybody’s in sales, but when you’re looking for a job, you’re in sales, let’s be real. So, you have to be able to identify with that, what you’re going for and how to market yourself. So, doing that homework, quote unquote, research on the company is, is very important.

I like to call research, “due diligence.” This is a law term but it can be applied to this situation; it means: “reasonable steps taken by a person in order to satisfy a legal requirement, especially in buying or selling something.”

Due diligence is required. Conducting this due diligence at the level companies are expecting will give you the answer on how to market yourself to the company. Understanding the background, the goals, the needs, the problems/pains of the company will propel you above the other candidates. This knowledge and your skills will form your value which is answering how you will fill the gap between their problems/pains and their goals.

3. Bargain your salary for you

Kumi:  I always, actually, advised the candidates never to discuss money in an interview. And also I always let them know like that’s what I’m here for. You don’t ever have to talk about money. That’s my job… one of the things that we’re able to do is, we would not have them go to that interview or be put in that process with that knowing the ballpark of what the range is for the position offering.