Common Interview Mistakes

March 28, 2016

Guest Blog By: David Romano, DKI Ventures, LLC

Twenty-nine percent of candidates declined a job offer because of the interview process. Yes, that means that at least 29 percent of the time interviewers make such a poor impression that qualified candidates would rather stay unemployed than work for them. We’re all busy, so finding the time to prepare to conduct a job interview can be tough. But, if you spend a little bit of time getting prepared, you’ll add a lot more value to the hiring process and make better decisions.

Here are the 6 most common mistakes made every day by hiring managers, with some simple steps you can take to avoid them.

Fail to define a clear picture of the job requirements

If you don’t see a target clearly, chances are that you will miss it. Do you have a clear picture in your mind of the performance you want to see from the position you are filling? Are you and the other people interviewing candidates in agreement on what you are looking for in the person you hire? Make sure to get everyone involved in the hiring process together in a room. Agree on the priorities of the job and the kind of accomplishments that make a candidate a top contender. You would be surprised at how rarely this happens in some companies

Fail to create a scorecard for the interview

Before the first interview takes place, create an interview scorecard that lists the key accomplishments and skills you want in the person you hire. You might have 7 criteria (sales skills, organizational skills, leadership abilities, etc.) for which each interviewer scores the candidate from 1-5. This helps you to grade every candidate objectively against criteria that are important for the job.

Fail to ask open-ended, accomplishment oriented questions

If you had to walk into an interview right now with zero preparation, could you ask good interview questions and learn everything necessary to make a judgment about the candidate? Unless you are professional interviewer who hires hundreds of candidates a year, the answer is likely no.  Having open-ending, probing questions prepared in advance is paramount to a good interview.   Of course, with more preparation you can ask more focused questions.  But open-ended follow-up questions allow the candidate to describe what he or she has accomplished in life and the opportunity to provide details that prove their expertise

Fail to listen

When you conduct an interview, what percentage of time do you spend talking?  In most interviews, if the percentage exceeds 25 percent, you’re talking too much.  Here’s how to fix that problem:

In most interview situations, you should be asking questions, listening, asking a follow up question, listening, and then repeating the process.  Stop “telling,” and start asking and listening during the interview process.  Your hiring decisions will improve.

Fail to do a post-game debrief

Optimally, you should have multiple people interview a candidate.  If you don’t, you should.  You get the most value from having multiple people interview a candidate.  Immediately after everyone has interviewed the candidate, or as quickly as possible thereafter, do a post-game debriefing to discuss your impressions.  You’ll be amazed at what other people catch that you miss, and vice versa.

Take way too long to make a decision

Three rounds of interviews, a working interview, and three weeks to get through the interview process does not appeal to candidates.  Unless this is a highly sought after job or the candidate is extremely desperate, you will lose a large majority of qualified employees due to your laborious procedure.  Offers need to be prepared and presented by the second interview, and the hiring process should not take more than four days.

Survey says: Conducting effective employee reviews

March 22, 2016

Guest Blog by David Romano, Benchmarkinc Founder

In a recent study published in Forbes magazine, 57% of CEOs/company owners believe their staffs are “regularly recognized” for their hard work and contributions. Employees who agree? Nine percent. While 61% of employees say they would welcome immediate, on-the-spot feedback from bosses and peers about how they’re doing, only 24% say they actually receive it. This is pretty scary when considering Generation X and millennials are two groups that demand constant feedback and recognition to drive maximum performance.

Many managers think reviews can be time-consuming and cumbersome. But there is no logical reason why they couldn’t track and report the same information in real time instead of once every 12 months.

Fifty-six percent of flooring companies reported they conduct formal reviews. However, they do so only once a year. A far more productive way of giving feedback is having “coaching conversations” every day. One of the reasons flooring retailers only conduct annual reviews is because they feel they create the opportunity for employees to stick their hands out and ask for more money—a conversation that many do their best to avoid. However, when done right, the more common words you hear are “thank you” instead of “pay me.”

Now I understand you have a business to run and customers to service, meaning constant formal feedback can be impossible. However, one-minute praises and reprimands, in addition to frequent formal reviews, will help. Think about a football team. During a game the coach and the quarterback are in constant communication. What if they only talked once a year?

According to data gathered from a substantiated survey conducted by Benchmarkinc in which several hundred flooring business owners participated over a three year period ending in 2013, those flooring companies that completed annual employee reviews experienced:

  •     5.2% greater sales productivity
  •     4.8% greater employee productivity
  •     19% higher sales volume than those who do not conduct annual employee reviews

For those of you that would like more detail on how to conduct effective reviews, consider the following:

Avoid being too vague

The 10-minute performance review really doesn’t work. Reviews can only work when you use specific examples that will improve an employee’s job performance.

Prepare

Employers need to spend time preparing for a performance review in order for it to be effective. If you have 10 employees that you need to give reviews to, spread them out based on hire dates and don’t wait until the end of the year. Throughout their work life, keep notes on specific instances of both good and bad performances and job habits.

Follow up

As part of the review, you should be setting goals for the coming year. Performance reviews only work if there is follow-up throughout the entire year and not just for an hour (or less) once a year.

Use employee self-reviews

Self-reviews are helpful because they give employees a way to reflect on their own performance. These reviews will become discussions on how you both feel about his/her performance.

To learn more, visit David Romano’s page.

Prepare for Tornado Season

March 16, 2016

By: Chelsea Haley, DKI Ventures, LLC

March generally begins tornado season, yet this varies by region, as described in DKI’s blog, “When Is Tornado Season” which also shows which states are most affected by tornadoes.

Are you prepared?

Tornadoes can strike quickly with little to no warning. Always be prepared before it’s too late.

  1. Put together an emergency kit and form a communications plan with your employees. Be prepared to take shelter immediately if you see any signs of danger.
  2. Listen to the radio and television newscasts for the latest weather reports and information.
  3. Look for the following signs:
  • Dark, often greenish sky
  • Large hail
  • A large, dark, low-lying cloud (particularly if rotating)
  • Loud roar, similar to a freight train

Know the facts:

  • Tornadoes may appear nearly transparent until dust and debris are picked up or a cloud forms in the funnel.
  • Tornadoes have been known to move in any direction.
  • Tornadoes may vary from stationary speeds up to 70 mph (the average forward speed is 30 mph).
  • Supercell thunderstorms are the best predictors of tornado activity.
  • The difference between a tornado watch and warning.

Doug Lynn Joins DKI as New Director of Business Development

March 15, 2016 – DKI, North America’s largest disaster restoration contracting organization, today announced its most recent hire, Director of Business Development Doug Lynn.

Lynn is a franchise development professional with a solid 22 years of experience in the franchise industry and multiple sales organizations. For 13 of those years, he was a senior director of franchise development at GMAC Homdlynne Services and HSF Affiliates LLC. Through his experience, Lynn has built interpersonal and relationship development skills, which helps him bring to DKI an extensive knowledge of opportunities in the industry’s marketplace.

Lynn studied business at Towson University and has numerous professional accomplishments and awards. He currently resides in Cocoa Beach, Fla., where he enjoys cycling along the beach and other outdoor activities with his two children.

“We are lucky to have Doug on board with us at DKI, and believe he will be a solid player to help build our network,” said DKI CEO Dan Cassara.

About DKI
DKI, headquartered in Chicago, is the largest disaster restoration contracting organization in North America. DKI Franchise Member companies provide full service restoration to their customers: emergency response, water damage mitigation, fire and contents cleaning, mold remediation, complete reconstruction and much more, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. DKI returns damaged property to its pre-loss condition quickly and efficiently, delivering complete satisfaction to our consumer, insurance, and corporate customers. For more information about DKI, visit our website at www.dkiservices.com.

Tuckey Restoration Hosts Microbial Risk Course

March 15, 2016 – tuckeyTuckey Restoration, a member company of DKI, North America’s largest disaster restoration contracting organization, hosted a Microbial Risk Management course on March 1, 2016 at its corporate headquarters at 170 Stover Drive.

The CEC approved course was open to those involved in the structural restoration industry, and included over 25 property and casualty insurance agents, environmental professionals, and facility managers from the health care, education and non-profit sectors.

Ken Larsen CR, WLS, CSDS, director of education for the Restoration Leadership Institute, taught the course, addressing the protocol and responsible approach to microbial contamination. Participants learned strategies to measure and control risk caused by bacteria commonly found in sewage backups.

Larsen currently delivers IICRC WRT, ASD, and CDS certificate courses and the RIA Certified Restorer (CR) certification, specializing in property damage restoration. He gives corporate and technical consulting related to all aspects of structural restoration.

 

About Tuckey Restoration, Inc.

Tuckey Restoration provides emergency clean up, remediation, restoration, and reconstruction services after fire, water, or storm damage, as well general construction services. The company also offers industry-recognized expertise on air quality issues involving mold remediation, as well as concept development, project design services, facility maintenance, historic preservation, and new construction. You can learn more about Tuckey Restoration at www.tuckey.com.

About DKI
DKI, headquartered in Chicago, is the largest disaster restoration contracting organization in North America. DKI Franchise Member companies provide full service restoration to their customers: emergency response, water damage mitigation, fire and contents cleaning, mold remediation, complete reconstruction and much more, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. DKI returns damaged property to its pre-loss condition quickly and efficiently, delivering complete satisfaction to our consumer, insurance, and corporate customers. For more information about DKI, visit our website at www.dkiservices.com.

J.C. Restoration Helps Pack Over 30,000 Feed My Starving Children Meals for Children in Haiti

March 11, 2016 – DKI, North America’s largest disaster restoration contracting organization, today announced one of its member companies, J.C. Restoration, Inc. (JCR) of Rolling Meadows, IL, helped package over 30,000 scientifically formulated meals for children in Haiti, through Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) on Monday, March 7, 2016.

Six of JCR’s employees volunteered about two hours of their timeJCPR in the afternoon to meet up at the FMSC Schaumburg, IL facility. Together, with other community volunteers, they completed 141 boxes of meals, which is equivalent to 30,456 meals.

“FMSC is a wonderful organization dedicated to helping young children in less fortunate areas of the world get the food and nutrition they need.  JCR is humbled to take part in this initiative and hopes that our volunteering helps in some small way,” said one of JCR’s volunteers, Candace Johnson, marketing director.

JCR will also be running a FMSC MobilePack event on June 3, 2016 at their campus at 3200 Squibb Avenue, Rolling Meadows, IL. The team at JCR, along with hundreds of community volunteers, will prepare 100,000 of these life-saving meals for malnourished children around the world.

To support this MobilePack donations may be made immediately to help cover meal costs or you may volunteer to package food at the event. Volunteer registration will be available six weeks prior to the event. To learn more, visit www.jcr24.com or www.fmsc.org/MobilePack.


About J.C. Restoration
J.C. Restoration is one of the fastest growing independent restoration companies in the Midwest. Since 1982, JCR has been successfully restoring damaged properties in the greater Chicagoland area for thousands of home and business owners. JCR offers complete emergency mitigation and restoration services for properties affected by water, fire, smoke, storms, and mold. Emergency Response Teams are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week– with vehicles fully stocked and ready for immediate dispatch. To learn more about J.C. Restoration, please call 800.956.8844 or visit www.jcr24.com.

About Feed My Starving Children

Founded in 1987 as a Christian non-profit, Feed My Starving Children tackles world hunger by sending volunteer-packed, nutritious meals to 70 countries, where they’re used to operate orphanages, schools, clinics and feeding programs to break the cycle of poverty. The Minnesota-based charity spends 92 percent of total donations directly on feeding the hungry, and has earned the highest four-star rating from Charity Navigator for ten consecutive years. To learn more, visit www.fmsc.org.

About DKI
DKI, headquartered in Chicago, is the largest disaster restoration contracting organization in North America. DKI Franchise Member companies provide full service restoration to their customers: emergency response, water damage mitigation, fire and contents cleaning, mold remediation, complete reconstruction and much more, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. DKI returns damaged property to its pre-loss condition quickly and efficiently, delivering complete satisfaction to our consumer, insurance, and corporate customers. For more information about DKI, visit its website at www.dkiservices.com

All Pro Receives Lifetime DIAMOND Award

March 10, 2016 – DKI, North America’s largest disaster restoration contracting organization, today announced that one of its members, Owner Tom Avezzano of All Pro Cleaning & Restoration Services of Elmsford, NY, was honored with the Lifetime DIAMOND Award, presented at the Insights Property Restoration Conference and Trade Show’s Dinner and Awards Banquet on Monday, February 22, 2016.

The Lifetime DIAMOND Award was a new recognition presented at the Insights Awards Banquet this year. DKI’s affiliate, DIAMOND Property Loss Solutions, chose to award this prestigious honor to one DIAMOND servicDIAMONDAwarde provider who stands out for exhibiting exemplary performance every year.

“It is incredibly humbling to receive any award from DKI in front of so many outstanding contractors, who I look up to and have learned so much from,” said Avezzano.


About All Pro Cleaning & Restoration

Established in 1987, All Pro is a one-stop-shop for all your restoration needs. As a fully insured and certified restoration company with over 25 years of experience in the industry, All Pro specializes in both commercial and residential properties. When disaster strikes, All Pro is waiting 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. For more information, visit www.allprorestoration.com.

About DKI
DKI, headquartered in Chicago, is the largest disaster restoration contracting organization in North America. DKI franchise member companies provide full service restoration to their customers: emergency response, water damage mitigation, fire and contents cleaning, mold remediation, complete reconstruction and much more, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. DKI returns damaged property to its pre-loss condition quickly and efficiently, delivering complete satisfaction to our consumer, insurance, and corporate customers. For more information about DKI, visit its website at www.dkiservices.com.

About DIAMOND Property Loss Solutions
DIAMOND Property Loss Solutions is a state-of-the-art service provider management solution, providing  sophisticated property loss management solutions to insurance companies and end users 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Offering customized, managed repair programs to the insurance and commercial industry, DIAMOND Property Loss Solutions strives on customer service and quality work to ensure customer retention and cost savings. To learn more, visit www.diamondpls.com.

About Insights
Insights, “The Business of Restoration,” began in 1996 as a small trade show produced by DKI, comprised of the finest contractors in the industry. It was initially a chance for DKI franchise companies to meet each other and check out the equipment, rentals and other services available in the industry. It is now one of the industry’s largest and highest caliber conferences, featuring some of the most beneficial training courses, world-class speakers, incredible networking opportunities, and the most extensive trade

K-tech Kleening Receives Jefferson Award Recognizing Multiple Philanthropic Efforts

March 8, 2016 – DKI, North America’s largest disaster restoration contracting organization, today announced that one of its member companies in Weston, Wis., K-tech Kleening Systems Owner Craig Kersemeier has been recognized with a Jefferson Award for his numerous K-TechPRpiccharity efforts.

The Jefferson Award is a prestigious national recognition which honors community and public volunteerism in America.

K-tech Charities, launched in 2006, has raised over $750,000 for families in need, breast cancer patients and various scholarships. From its holiday food baskets to its annual Pink Ribbon Open charity golf tournament, K-tech enjoys giving back.

Kersemeier considers himself an organizer, asking business leaders, friends, company employees, and others within the community to volunteer their time or money for these causes.

“Don’t ever sell yourself short and say you’re just one person; you can’t make a difference. You’re wrong. If you have a group of people together, you’re pretty powerful,” said Kersemeier.

He continued to speak of feeling an accomplishment of being involved with something so positive. “I was part of something, part of something that made a difference.”

To learn more about the Jefferson Awards Foundation or to nominate someone you believe to be deserving of this honor, please visit www.jeffersonawards.org.

About K-tech Kleening

Headquartered in Weston, WI, K-tech has been serving Central and Northern Wisconsin customers since 1975. It still thrives today as a 2nd-generation family-owned business with superior commercial and residential cleaning and restoration solution services. Through its K-tech Charities division, conceptualized in 2006, K-tech prides itself in giving back to the community in which it serves. For more information, visit its website at www.k-techkleening.com.

About DKI
DKI, headquartered in Chicago, is the largest disaster restoration contracting organization in North America. DKI Franchise Member companies provide full service restoration to their customers: emergency response, water damage mitigation, fire and contents cleaning, mold remediation, complete reconstruction and much more, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. DKI returns damaged property to its pre-loss condition quickly and efficiently, delivering complete satisfaction to our consumer, insurance, and corporate customers. For more information about DKI, visit its website at www.dkiservices.com.

Spring Forward with a Safety Check: Daylight Saving Time, Sunday March 13

March 8, 2016

By: Chelsea Haley, DKI Ventures, LLC

Daylight Saving Time is this Sunday, March 13. Use this time to not only set your clocks forward one hour, but to check your smoke detectors and emergency supplies.

  1. Check the batteries in your smoke detectors.

This should be done twice a year, so as a good reminder, each time you set your clocks back, test your smoke detectors.

  1. Update your emergency kits.
  • Replenish any supplies you may be low on.
  • Replace the batteries in your flashlights, radios, etc.
  • Update your employee emergency contact information.
  • Update your emergency plans, if need be.

The DKI Commercial Solutions Team is Growing

March 7, 2016 – DKI, North America’s largest disaster restoration contracting organization, today announced its newest addition, National Account Director (NAD) David Holland to its Commercial Solutions division.

David comes to DKI with over 22 years of disaster restoration business development experience at the executive level. As a former national account manager with ServiceMaster Corporate for 14 years, he handled new and existing preferred vendor insurance accounts, such as State Farm, Farmers, MetLife, and others for their franchise network. He also owned and operated his own disaster restoration franchise for six years, as well as, worked in the savings, loan and banking industry for 12 years.

In the last three years, DKI Commercial Solutions (DKICS) has grown from a simple two-man team, into a team of ten bright and committed individuals. Prior to on-boarding David, DKICS added another solid member, Bryn Lopes, who quickly adapted to the DKI environment and transitioned from franchise sales into a national sales director within the commercial division.

Bryn brings to DKI 17 years of home building and remodeling industry knowledge and experience from working in residential painting, framing, drywall, roofing, etc. at a young age, to starting his own painting company, which grew into commercial construction and tenant improvements. From there, Bryn worked for INSTAR, where he helped develop a multi-family and commercial construction sector as well as a national disaster recovery program called Triage.

Each of DKICS’ employees have more than proven their ability to hold strong as a team and develop new, successful business strategies while working a 365-day-a-year demanding job.

“Our focus has been on building a team that fits DKI’s core values with a passion to operate as a team,” said DKICS Vice President of Operations Bill Robinson.

Robinson continued, “We have seen great growth and success over the last few years, and we continue to aspire to be better and stronger. We’re dedicated team players, but without the dedication and support of our incredible network of members, contractors, DKI staff and sponsors, we would not have these successes.”

To learn more about DKICS, visit www.dkicommercial.com.


 

About DKI
DKI, headquartered in Chicago, is the largest disaster restoration contracting organization in North America. DKI franchise member companies provide full service restoration to their customers: emergency response, water damage mitigation, fire and contents cleaning, mold remediation, complete reconstruction and much more, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. DKI returns damaged residential and commercial properties to their pre-loss conditions quickly and efficiently, delivering complete satisfaction to our consumer, insurance and corporate customers. For more information about DKI, visit our website at www.dkiservices.com.