The Right Stuff

wendyheadshot2crop

We’ve been hiring recently, adding staff, and I’d like to think we get better at it each time. Finding employees with “the right stuff” is critical but never easy, and you sure have to kiss a lot of frogs.

I hire people brighter than me and then I get out of their way.

~ Lee Iacocca

What gets me about the process…it would be ridiculous to marry someone after a one-hour date, but somehow, in business, we are taught that a one-hour interview of boring questions prepares us for a long-term business relationship. I recently read that most people are so bad at the interview process that it’s better to use assessments only—no interview at all.

We’ve got some great and unusual questions we ask during our interview, but we rely on assessments to validate our initial impressions. The Kolbe Index helps us evaluate fit and keep our team balanced. Tests from Brainbench confirm technical skills. Our HR company, Insperity (formerly Administaff), does a variety of screens before they present candidates to us, and they follow up with thorough background checks and drug screens before hiring. For our most senior hires, we turn to CMA, a local business consulting firm. Their process goes into even further depth, and they can compare candidate profiles with those from our existing team to make sure our candidate is both the “right stuff” and the “right fit.”

A lot of work? Yes, but not as much as correcting a hiring mistake. Learned that one the hard way. A thorough vetting process makes all the difference—no frogs here! Email me at wendy@cioservicesllc.com for our interview questionnaire.

 

wendysig

 

Fresh-Picked Gadget the Withings Activité Pop

Picture1

The Withings Activité Pop is a classy watch on the outside, but on the inside it’s an activity tracker verging on smartwatch. From the smartphone app, you control everything, from the analog dials to your activity goals.

 

Want to see these gadgets in real life? Come visit our “gadget grove” of tech toys you can try out yourself.

 

Juicy Read: Scaling UP

Picture2

Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It and Why the Rest Don’t 

By  Verne Harnish

Scaling Up is the first major revision of business classic Mastering the Rockefeller Habits. In Scaling Up,  Harnish shares practical tools and techniques for building an industry-dominating business. This book is packed with wisdom; a single chapter contains more than most entire books!

 

 

 

Juicy Read: Profit First: A Simple System to Transform Any Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine

Picture2

Profit First: A Simple System to Transform Any Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine

By Mike Michalowicz

A simple yet effective accounting solution that will transform your business from a cash eating monster into a money making machine. This new method is the easiest and smartest way to ensure that in your  business, profits come first.

 

 

Fresh-Picked Gadget the PRIZM

Picture1

Prizm streams music from cloud services such as Deezer, Spotify and SoundCloud. More services  are already in the works. It’s a small, pyramid-shaped device designed to make your home-audio experience as hands-off as humanly possible.

 

Want to see these gadgets in real life? Come visit our “gadget grove” of tech toys you can try out yourself.

 

Luck Is For Leprechauns—Is Your Business Prepared for Future Security Threats?

Picture3If your business hasn’t been the target of malicious intruders or cybercriminals, consider yourself lucky. Hackers are a relentless bunch and they want your gold: information and access they can use to exploit loopholes in your business’s Internet security. The last few years have been hard on companies all across the globe. And these cyber-breaches aren’t going to stop simply because the “damage has been done.” In the US and Canada, reported incidents have affected over 215 million consumers and over 7 million small businesses. And that’s only counting the attacks that authorities have uncovered.

For cybercriminals, there is no end game. All too often, small business owners assume they are outside the firing line and hackers aren’t interested in them. While the media focuses on the big cyber-attacks, there are countless other stories playing out at small businesses everywhere. Cybercriminals are constantly in search of loopholes and weak security. And, unfortunately, small businesses often have the weakest IT security.

Security industry analysts predict that 2015 won’t be much different from 2014 when it comes to cyber-security. There are going to be more data breaches. It’s just a matter of where and when. It’s also a matter of being prepared.

During the month of March, we are offering local businesses a FREE 12-Point Cyber-Security Audit to help uncover loopholes in your company’s online security. At no cost or obligation, our highly trained team of IT pros will come to your office and conduct this comprehensive audit. And after we’re done, we’ll prepare a customized “Report Of Findings” that will reveal specific vulnerabilities and a Prioritized Plan Of Attack for getting any problems addressed fast.

Because of the intense one-on-one time required to deliver these Cyber-Security Audits, we can only extend this offer to the first seven lucky companies who request it.

All you have to do is call our office at 314-414-8400 to request yours today.

 

Stay Connected With Clients

wendyheadshot2cropHave you been on one of our remote support sessions? We’ve been told it’s a little creepy—disconcerting, at least—to watch your mouse move around on the screen by itself. Despite that, we’ve heard overwhelmingly that you love how quickly we can respond when we can get on your computer right away, no drive time required.  We like it too—no more racing all around town to solve the crisis of the day.

However, all this remote work leaves us with a challenge: how do we stay connected with you even though you may not see us in person?

There are many ways we try to keep in touch and stay connected to our clients in this virtual world—through email and phone communication from us any time you open a ticket or as the status of each ticket changes, the critical alerts we send addressing any security issues in the news that may impact your business, and client surveys to get direct feedback along the way. We also have face to face Business Reviews Meetings with each client so we can sit down together. This strategic review ensures that our technology recommendations stay aligned with our clients’ company goals.

We’re also very committed to these newsletters as a way to stay in touch—we hope you enjoy them each month. Let us know if there are any special topics you’d like to hear more about.

Of course nothing beats the personal touch, so please know I’m available to you. If you have something you need to speak with me about, give me a shout any time: my email is wendy@cioservicesllc.com.

wendysig