Why Texas Is Where You Want to Work

texas

Photo courtesy of nbcnews.com.

When it comes to getting ahead in your career, it’s important to make a change – whether it’s moving to a slightly different field of work or transferring to a new city. Moving to another city to advance yourself professionally – especially if you plan on moving without lining up a job –can be intimidating and stressful. But if you find a job in a city that is thriving economically, you’ll be one step ahead of the game.

Right now the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and Austin are prime areas for motivated professionals to relocate because of state’s fiscal health. Texas is one of the fastest growing state in the nation. Every day, approximately 158 people are moving to Austin and about 198 people are moving to DFW. Thanks to the energy boom, growing tech scene, low cost of doing business and growth in population, the Lone Star State is the nation’s second largest state economy. Better yet, the best part about living in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth and the surrounding cities is the cost of living is more affordable than other cosmopolitan cities in the United States.

We’re excited to be recruiting in the DFW area and Austin right now because there are plenty of job opportunities. Our employers in these cities and the surrounding areas are looking for qualified employees to fill a variety of financial positions. If you’re ready to make the jump to a new career working in banking, accounting or finance, take a look at our job postings and reach out to us today.

Erika Boswell

Erika Boswell is Vice President of Recruiting at Financial Professionals, a Dallas-based financial staffing agency. With a background in Marketing and Management, Erika uses her expertise to place prospective job candidates and seasoned talent where they belong in the financial industry.

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Top 3 Apps For Job Seeking

Everybody’s got an iPhone or an Android, which means everyone should get used to apps. Since they’re available for both phones, be sure to have the right apps that can help you find a job while you’re on the go. Here are three that I hope will lead you to the next interview (and maybe even us).

1. Facebook – See if your friends are talking about new opportunities, and don’t forget to follow the businesses you want to pursue. Financial Professionals is on Facebook for this very reason. Don’t forget to look and act professional.

2. Linkedin – Linkedin has a simple app you should check regularly. It’s no secret Linkedin is taking the lead for networking towards the next step.

3. Job Search by Indeed – Get rich input on any job happening in specific cities and markets. The Job Search app also has an alert function that you will find useful if you want to be first to get your resume in.

Download these apps, and you’re one step closer. Hope to see you in our office soon!

Ron Ray

Ron Ray is Owner/Chief Executive Officer of Financial Professionals, a Dallas-based financial staffing agency. Since 1981, Ron has worked with a variety of banks and banking professionals to ensure they are working with the best talent.

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The Reality of Letting an Employee Go

Employers, lets make one thing clear: firing an employee is not a good thing. It starts usually with sub-par performance that affects your business, and ends with a conversation nobody likes to have. However, there is some light to letting an employee go beyond what is best from a business POV.

First off, it’s an action where both parties benefit mutually in the long run. If someone isn’t cut for the specific job, then they could be wasting valuable time in one position, when their true calling could be waiting elsewhere. The result is that you both can move forward into positive directions.

The second? Getting fired happens to the best – just ask Walt Disney, Jerry Seinfeld, Oprah Winfrey, or Soichiro Honda. There are a lot of lessons that come out of the big, scary “fail”, and sometimes it’s all it takes for an individual to rise up in ways they never believed.

One way to prepare for the best future with an employee is to look into job testing. At Financial Professionals, we offer five extremely effective testing packages that range from basic cognitive skills to attitude and commitment. Download samples and white papers for our tests, or get in touch to find out which one works for your financial business.

 

Miki Rose

Miki Rose is the Managing Partner at Financial Professionals, a Dallas-based recruiting agency specializing in financial jobs. Miki leads client relationships and business decisions that position Financial Professionals as a top staffing source for the southern US region.

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Networking for the Job: What a Tech-Savvy New Schooler Should Know

Think of how much easier it is to find the “prime connection” for your dream job. It probably takes less than 5 seconds to search on Linkedin for the “Loan Operations Manager” of XYZ Bank, learn about whom you would be interviewing with, then craft your perfect sales pitch. However, it wasn’t always that way – at one point all you had was a telephone, a phone book, and maybe a lunch spot in mind to meet. You definitely had to try harder. But there were some key things that still carry through the generations.

Knowledge of the Industry. Nothing breaks the ice better than a passion for the job. Show the employer you’re an encyclopedia of knowledge and not afraid to share it. This makes people confident to spend their time hearing you out.

Personal persistence. Back in the day, people got on the phone and called their job leads to touch base and follow up. Today, you can email or message anywhere in the world, but it’s not as personal as a one-on-one conversation. Even our agency, Financial Professionals, encourages a phone call.

People make the decision. The bottom line is that there’s a real human being that will make the decision. Know when to be personable, but also know how to express your wish to be hired and leave it at that. As long as you respect others’ time, you will come out on top.

Erika Boswell

Erika Boswell is Vice President of Recruiting at Financial Professionals, a Dallas-based financial staffing agency. With a background in Marketing and Management, Erika uses her expertise to place prospective job candidates and seasoned talent where they belong in the financial industry.

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What Makes Pre-Employment Testing Valid?

One of the most frequent questions that we get from potential users of employment tests goes something like this: Are the results of pre-employment intelligence and personality tests better at predicting future behavior on the job than other selection tools, such as resumes, references, and interviews? A recent article in Scientific American MIND addresses this question, and I’d like to share some of the authors’ conclusions. In other words, don’t just take my word for it!

The traditional tools that recruiters and HR professionals use to screen applicants for jobs include:

  • Resumes
  • References
  • Recommendations
  • Work samples
  • Interviews

More importantly, tools also include traditional psychometric tools such as intelligence tests and personality tests. The authors of the article in Scientific American MIND agree, based on their research and review of the professional literature, that the two most successful tools for predicting job performance are intelligence tests and personality tests.

In other words, validated and job-relevant intelligence tests and personality tests are better at predicting successful job performance than all of the above.

The most important things to remember about using intelligence tests and personality tests is that they should be validated and job-relevant. Validated tests have been empirically shown to measure what the author/publisher claims that they measure, and job-relevant tests are ones that measure some ability or aptitude that is required for successful performance (as demonstrated in a job description, for example.)

If you’re an employer in the financial job sector interested in employee testing that is both validated and job-relevant, get in touch with Financial Professionals. You can also find the article, “The Perfect Hire” by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic and Christopher Steinmetz, in Scientific American Mind here.

Kurt Helm

Dr. Kurt Helm is an industrial/organizational psychologist. His firm, Helm and Associates, Inc. has been developing, validating, and marketing pre-employment tests and professional development systems since 1981.

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Are You a ‘Clone-able’ Employee? – Part 3: Team Players

The third personal attribute that I believe is requisite of a ‘clone-able’ employee is having a team player’s perspective and attitude. Within the context of organizational life, it is relatively easy to understand why this particular trait is critical.

A simple definition of ‘organization’ is a group of individuals acting on a shared purpose or set of purposes. This notion of collectively “acting” toward a common goal requires that the individuals involved both understand and accept their respective roles as well as the roles of their associates.  Without this understanding and acceptance, each individual would be left to figure out and act on whatever tasks and behaviors they individually identify; thus, creating chaos, duplication of effort, conflict, and a very ineffective organization. We can look to the science of Biology for an excellent example. Just imagine an ant colony without a common set of signals and directions, and the ants headed off in every direction trying to accomplish some task…obviously not very effective!

Conversely, team players exhibit a common set of behaviors that promotes team effectiveness, and thus organizational effectiveness. Team players make sure they understand what is expected of them and they ask questions if they don’t know. They take time to understand the larger role of their group and when they are able, offer support and assistance to their colleagues where appropriate. In addition to offering support to colleagues, team players acknowledge and celebrate their associates’ successes. Everyone appreciates a pat on the back, and it usually adds something special when it comes from one’s peer group. Furthermore, this kind of recognition promotes a feeling of belonging and cohesiveness among the team members.

In summary, the very definition of “organization” assumes that the group members consciously cooperate and support each other toward the accomplishment of the group and organization goals. Are you a team player? If not, you may want to look at a career in which you can succeed based solely upon your own efforts and accomplishments. Good Luck!

Al Sniadecki

Alan F. Sniadecki is principal and owner of Organizational Effectiveness Services, LLC in Carrollton, Texas. Al is veteran of the Financial Services industry having served over twenty years as the senior executive Human Resources Officer for several Texas based financial institutions prior to establishing his consulting firm. His practice focuses on improving organizational effectiveness in the areas of vision and mission development, strategy development and implementation, human capital management, ethics counsel and leadership coaching.

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Get Your Fill: Job Searching Tips and Wayne Gretsky

I had to offer advice to a friend looking for a new job last week, when a quote caught my eye. It’s goes like this:

Skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it’s been.
-Wayne Gretsky

Skates and sticks aside – when it comes to finding the right job, Gretsky’s words couldn’t be closer to the truth. Sometimes it’s not about holding out for the big “dream” position or financial institution you’ve had your sights on. Truth is, the marketplace is unpredictable, so its best if you feel out every option, and watch to see if your niche is a growing practice for your next employer. This applies to all skill types, from mortgage loan officers to accounting.

Get in line with the goal when your puck gets passed, take a look at Financial Professionals’ current direct hire jobs today.

Ron Ray

Ron Ray is Owner/Chief Executive Officer of Financial Professionals, a Dallas-based financial staffing agency. Since 1981, Ron has worked with a variety of banks and banking professionals to ensure they are working with the best talent.

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Are You a ‘Clone-able’ Employee? – Part 2: Integrity

Why Personal Integrity is Key

After serving in several senior Human Resources roles for over thirty years (both in Fortune 100 organizations as well as fledgling startups), I can state unequivocally that the most critical and valued employee attribute in most organizations is personal integrity. My rationale for this is simple: In the context of organizations where objectives are met and strategies are achieved only through the collective efforts and interactions of people, it is essential that those interactions be conducted with the highest standards of personal integrity.

Regardless of role, personal integrity is the trait that invites human beings to trust each other. Without a culture of trust, there is simply no way of achieving maximum organizational effectiveness because employees end up expending wasted time and energy on activities such as checking ‘what the others are doing’, being careful to over communicate information that should already be known to the key stakeholders, and generally behaving in a “cya” mode. As such, tasks take longer than necessary to complete, projects miss critical milestones and organizational effectiveness is the ultimate victim.

What does personal integrity look like? Well, it manifests itself in several ways. Personal integrity is clear in:

1) The employee who honestly reports hours worked to receive pay.

2) The employee who refuses to participate in office gossip or even worse, harassing behavior toward another employee.

3) The supervisor who doesn’t “play favorites” and manages employees fairly and consistently.

4) The manager who, rather than ignore the problem, addresses the inappropriate behavior of a top producing subordinate because of its detrimental effect on the entire team.

And finally, personal integrity is doing your job to the best of your ability and working to do it even better tomorrow.

In summary, it’s a combination of honesty, reliability, consistency, courage, and an appreciation for the contribution of others. Without it, the true potential for any organization is seriously jeopardized, or as I like to put it, the truly professional organizations “demand it” and the truly professional employees “reflect it”.

 

Al Sniadecki

Alan F. Sniadecki is principal and owner of Organizational Effectiveness Services, LLC in Carrollton, Texas. Al is veteran of the Financial Services industry having served over twenty years as the senior executive Human Resources Officer for several Texas based financial institutions prior to establishing his consulting firm. His practice focuses on improving organizational effectiveness in the areas of vision and mission development, strategy development and implementation, human capital management, ethics counsel and leadership coaching.

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Cybersecurity is No Joke

Intrusive security questions are sparking conversation lately, forcing banks to adopt better methods of protecting information. In the past, many banks did not use steps beyond entering a standard ID and password, but now more advanced features require business account holders to use security keys such as the RSA SecureID token for transfer of funds and transactions.

Banks need to stay on top of the technology curve by seeking innovative and cost-effective ways to protect their customers and their assets. Besides setting up the best infrastructure possible, the easiest solution is to add extra layers of identity authentication. In addition, it’s also important for banks to screen out potentially harmful employees before they leak secure information.  

There are a few things everyone can do to guard off cyber threats. First, keep virus and firewall protection up to date. Second, make passwords difficult and survey online activity for personal information that you may use for passwords — ie: mother’s maiden name, first car, and pet names. Lastly, watch what you share over social networking. Sometimes simply writing it down is the safest bet.

Miki Rose

Miki Rose is the Managing Partner at Financial Professionals, a Dallas-based recruiting agency specializing in financial jobs. Miki leads client relationships and business decisions that position Financial Professionals as a top staffing source for the southern US region.

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Anonymity and Workplace Attitude

Recall the trust fall bonding exercise where a person falls backwards from a platform, expecting to be caught by peers? Now imagine if pent-up hostility meant a person dropped dead-weight to the floor. With the relative anonymity of tech gadgets, internal chat programs, and company portals, companies are experiencing similar incivility with astonishing frequency. Problems arise with:

  1. Inability to fit meaning in too few characters for appropriate context.

  2. Tech gadget multitasking during meetings or discussions.

  3. Unwillingness to engage in phone or face to face interaction.

  4. Calls and texts cluttering workplace with chatter and alerts.

Employees are unable to decipher cues when they cannot put a message into context. They in turn can feel ignored by another employee’s electronic gadget use, feel isolated with lack of interpersonal contact, or get irritated by all the devices alerts. This confusion can result in built-up resentment and the resulting hostility may be displaced on peers or worse yet on customers. Over-reliance on technology can result in difficulty building personal relationships, but proper training and well defined expectations and boundaries can be a key to mitigation:

  1. Publish policies in your workplace on conflict resolution and social networking.

  2. Help employees learn to identify subjective interpretation.

  3. Use pre-employment testing to identify potential problem candidates.

  4. Promote desired company culture and lead by example.

Adding workplace hostility training will outline a company’s expectations and define acceptable employee behavior. Encourage employees to inquire and ask non-confrontational questions to gain better insight when they are unsure of context. When management leads by example and provides tools to foster a culture of respect, employees can improve those skills. Weeding out potential behavior problems in the hiring phase can also help companies build better teams. Probably the best reminder to ensure common courtesy remains a priority on the job is to follow the golden rule: treat others as we wish to be treated.

Erika Boswell

Erika Boswell is Vice President of Recruiting at Financial Professionals, a Dallas-based financial staffing agency. With a background in Marketing and Management, Erika uses her expertise to place prospective job candidates and seasoned talent where they belong in the financial industry.

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