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Organizations used to be able to cook up a successful sales team with a few basic ingredients: a quality product, a compelling compensation plan, a simple training program and effective sales tracking. Not so anymore. Millennials have changed the recipe.

Originally published by: Marc Wayshak

Millennials are the youngest generation in today's workforce. They also differ vastly from those in the generations before them -- and that's especially true when it comes to sales. Millennial salespeople are confident, self-expressive, liberal, upbeat and open to change. They came of age immersed in technology and instant communication. Their expectations, for work and personal life, are sky-high.

It should come as no surprise then that this unique generation has tremendous potential for great results in sales -- but millennials require a new style of management to foster that success.

Here are seven essential tips for effectively managing millennial salespeople:

1. Figure out what really drives them. Millennials are idealists, often focusing more on social impact or personal fulfillment than how much money they make. They also tend to live at home with their parents longer than those of previous generations and put off marriage and child-rearing. As a result, some millennials are less driven by the need for financial stability than  the quest for work-life balance or community contribution. Figure out what really drives your millennial staffers so that you can motivate them effectively.

2. Help them see the clients' perspective. Because millennial salespeople sometimes sell to older clients, they'll need to understand and connect with them. Teach your millennial sales team that 55-year-old prospects won't have the same outlooks or aspirations as 27-year-olds. The baby boomer client might be highly motivated by financial security, say, while a millennial one could be driven by convenience and flexibility. If millennial salespeople fail to understand the perspectives of those from other generations, they will struggle to maintain relationships with some clients and close sales with many prospects.

3. Train, train, train -- and then train some more. Millennials might be overeducated for their entry-level jobs, but you should still provide them with extensive training. Baby boomer parents have instilled millennials with an appreciation for continued education. By offering comprehensive training to new hires, you'll draw top young talent to your organization. Plus, millennials are typically enthusiastic learners who will implement the strategies and techniques they are taught. The more training you provide, the more effective they will be.

4. Focus on what they do -- not when. The idea of a 9-to-5 workday is not just foreign to most millennials; it’s abhorrent. If left to their own devices, these young salespeople might head off to the gym at noon, but that doesn't mean they're not hardworking. They'll likely to stay late at work to finish what they have to do.

Many organizations struggle to manage their millennial salespeople by requiring that they work certain hours. This is unnecessary and harmful to productivity. Millennials are famous for demanding work-life balance. If they sense that their employer lacks an appreciation for work-life equilibrium, their morale may plummet and they might consider other job options.

So instead of setting a rigid work schedule, give your millennial sales team specific daily or weekly sales-activity goals: a certain number of calls, meetings to arrange or events to attend. Then let them work according to the schedule that enables them to be the most productive.

5. Give them lots of feedback. There's a reason why millennials are called Trophy Kids! This generation wants glowing recognition -- and lots of it. Remember that this generation grew up receiving awards and trophies for nearly every endeavor, whether it's taking last place at a Little League tournament or fifth place at a science fair. Capitalize upon this by giving lots of feedback. Knowing that their manager thinks they're doing a great job can be a terrific motivator. Millennials aim high when it comes to work achievement and are exceptionally open to constructive criticism if it will translate to more success, faster.

6. Set their expectations for success. Millennials grew up with instant gratification -- fast food, instant messaging and 24-hour news cycle. As a result, this generation looks for fast results and is likely to get bored quickly. In the workplace this translates into what's known as job-hopping: Millennials might stay at each job for only a few months to a year, leaving for greener pastures if their expectations aren't met in a timely manner. Instead of viewing this negatively, consider that this mind-set can be an asset to your business. Millennial salespeople start every new job with enthusiasm and high hopes. If you can help shape their expectations for the job, you can more consistently retain millennial talent. Set realistic expectations early on for millennial salespeople, and you will lessen the likelihood that they'll leave in the near future.

7. Ask for their help. One of the best qualities of members of the millennial generation is that they are collaborative, team-oriented workers. This means they're likely to want to help others in the workplace. Once they have shown superior skills in particular areas, invite them to train others. Millennials will likely be strong with technologies such as your customer relationship management system. Let them help veteran salespeople master a technology if they struggle with it.


About the Author:

Marc Wayshak is president of Game Plan Selling. As a sales strategist, he created a system aimed at revolutionizing the way companies approach selling, based upon his experiences as an entrepreneur, All-American athlete and years of research and training. A graduate of the University of Oxford's MBA program and Harvard University, he is the author of Game Plan Selling and Breaking All Barriers.

Published in Workforce Management

In one sense, your company’s hire strategy is complex and meticulous. You draft a comprehensive job description, thoroughly analyze resumes, and conduct in-depth interviews to ensure you hire the right person for the position. On the other hand, some aspects of the hiring process are so simple that a child could provide some insight.

Originally published by: EmployeeScreenIQ Blog by Lauren Conners


Surprisingly, you may have learned more in kindergarten than you knew that can be applicable to the employment background screening process. Take a look at how you can apply these eight lessons from kindergarten to your screening program.

1. Share with others.
In general, employment background checks reveal information about a person’s past employment history and education. They can confirm details presented on a resume, such as dates of employment for a particular employer or when they graduated from college. Any major discrepancies could raise a red flag in respect to a job candidate’s character. Of course, a thorough criminal background check can reveal details about criminal convictions as well.

2. Go to the principal’s office.
Almost everyone got in trouble for something when they were younger. Except when you broke the rules as a kid, it meant a trip to the principal’s office; as an adult, this might mean time in court or serving time. Conducting a comprehensive criminal background check is crucial to the hiring process, especially to determine if your candidate is the right fit for your company.

3. No running in the halls.
How many times did you hear this phrase when you were in school? It wasn’t because teachers didn’t want you to have fun (although it probably seemed that way at the time). It was for safety’s sake. The same goes for those driving just a little too fast or breaking the rules of the road. Checking a job candidate’s motor vehicle record isn’t vital for every employer, but for companies with employees required to drive, this service is key to ensuring not only the safety of employees but others as well.

4. Other classmates can tell you a lot about a person.
Kindergarteners are often willing to tell you everything about a person, and employment background screening procedures can as well (well, almost everything). You’re not likely to uncover everything about a candidate’s past job experience, but a previous employer or maybe even a reference can reveal valuable information before you make a hiring decision.

5. People sometimes fib.
Just as kids can see right through little white lies, a resume verification can tell you whether a candidate is being fully honest about his or her past employment and education. Some information might simply be embellished, such as a job title or salary range. Other job seekers will go all out with lies about working for companies that never existed, misrepresentation about a degree earned, or even graduating from a school they never attended.

6. The past can predict the future.
When kids misbehave, this can be an indicator for future behavior. In the case of discrepancies discovered through background checks, you can confront the candidate for an explanation. If you’re satisfied with the answer, you might still consider him or her for the job. However, problems with a candidate’s past employer can sometimes reveal credibility issues. It’s up to you to decide whether this past blunder is indicative of how the employee will perform in the future.

7. Get to know a person before you trust them.
Kids are taught to avoid strangers and know that they can only trust a person who gets their parents’ OK. Employment background checks are similar in the sense that you need to dig deep into a candidate’s education, employment, and potential criminal past before you’re sure they’re right for a position.

8. It’s wise to look beyond appearances.
“You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover” is a saying we learn at an early age. It’s just as applicable with background checks, as there may be negative information revealed during the process. Rather than rushing to make a judgment, you must look beyond the initial appearance. Give the person a chance to identify errors or explain. You may be willing to overlook certain minor issues.

Published in Employee Screening
Wednesday, 29 March 2017

25 brainstorming techniques

Caught with a problem you cannot solve? Need new ideas and solutions? The process of brainstorming requires you to think out of the box that is keeping you in the problem. Here is a list of 25 brainstorming techniques you can use to get out of the situation you are in. From this list, you can assess what’s the best method for the issue you are facing and apply it accordingly. 

  1. Time Travel. How would you deal with this if you were in a different time period? 10 years ago? 100 years ago? 1,000 years ago? 10,000 years ago? How about in the future? 10 years later? 100 years later? 1,000 years later? 10,000 years later?
  2. Teleportation: What if you were facing this problem in a different place? Different country? Different geographic region? Different universe? Different plane of existence? How would you handle it?
  3. Attribute change. How would you think about this if you were a different gender? Age? Race? Intellect? Height? Weight? Nationality? Your Sanity? With each attribute change, you become exposed to a new spectrum of thinking you were subconsciously closed off from.
  4. Rolestorming. What would you do if you were someone else? Your parent? Your teacher? Your manager? Your partner? Your best friend? Your enemy? Etc?
  5. Iconic Figures. This is a spinoff of rolestorming. What if you were an iconic figure of the past? Buddha? Jesus? Krishna? Albert Einstein? Thomas Edison? Mother Theresa? Princess Diana? Winston Churchill? Adolf Hitler? How about the present? Barack Obama? Steve Jobs? Bill Gates? Warren Buffet? Steven Spielberg? Etc? How would you think about your situation?
  6. Superpowers.This is another spinoff of rolestorming. What if you suddenly have superpowers? Superman? Spiderman? Wonderwoman? X-Men? The Hulk? One of the Fantastic Four? What would you do?
  7. Gap Filling. Identify your current spot – Point A – and your end goal – Point B. What is the gap that exists between A and B? What are all the things you need to fill up this gap? List them down and find out what it takes to get them.
  8. Group Ideation. Have a group brainstorming session! Get a group of people and start ideating together. More brains are better than one! Let the creative juices flow together!
  9. Mind Map. Great tool to work out as many ideas as you can in hierarchical tree and cluster format. Start off with your goal in the center, branch out into the major sub-topics, continue to branch out into as many sub-sub-topics as needed. Source Forge is a great open-source mindmapping software that I use and highly recommend.
  10. Medici Effect. Medici Effect refers to how ideas in seemingly unrelated topics/fields intersect. Put your goal alongside similar goals in different areas/contexts and identify parallel themes/solutions. For example, if your goal is to be an award winning artist, look at award winning musicians, educators, game developers, computer makers, businessmen, etc. Are there any commonalities that lie among all of them that you can apply to your situation? What worked for each of them that you can adopt?
  11. SWOT Analysis. Do a SWOT of your situation – What are the Strengths? Weaknesses? Opportunities? Threats? The analysis will open you up to ideas you may not be aware before.
  12. Brain Writing.Get a group of people and have them write their ideas on their own sheet of paper. After 10 minutes, rotate the sheets to different people and build off what the others wrote on their paper. Continue until everyone has written on everyone else’s sheet.
  13. Trigger Method. Brainstorm on as many ideas as possible. Then select the best ones and brainstorm on those ideas as ‘triggers’ for more ideas. Repeat until you find the best solution.
  14. Variable Brainstorming. First, identify the variable in the end outcome you look to achieve. For example, if your goal is to achieve X visitors to your website, the variable is # of visitors. Second, list down all the possibilities for that variable. Different variations of visitors are gender/age/race/nationality/occupation/interests/etc. Think about the question with each different variable. For example, for Genre: How can you get more females to your website? How can you get more males to your website? For age: How can you get more teenagers to your website? How can you get more adults to your website? And so on.
  15. Niche. This is the next level of variable brainstorming method. From the variations of the variable you have listed, mix and match them in different ways and brainstorm against those niches. For example, using the example in #14, how can you get more male teenagers to your website? (Gender & Age) How can you get more American female adults to your website? (Nationality, Gender & Age)
  16. Challenger. List down all the assumptions in your situation and challenge them. For example, your goal is to brainstorm on a list of ideas for your romance novel which you want to get published. There are several assumptions you are operating in here. #1: Genre to write: Romance. Why must it be that romance? Can it be a different genre? Another assumption is for a novel. #2: Length of the story: Novel. Why must it be a novel? Can it be a short story? A series of books? #3: Medium: Book. Why must be it a book? Can it be an ebook? Mp3? Video? And so on.
  17. Escape Thinking. This is a variation of Challenger method. Look at the assumptions behind the goal you are trying to achieve, then flip that assumption around and look at your goal from that new angle. For example, you want to earn more income from selling books. Your assumption may be ‘People buy books for themselves’. Flip the assumption around such that ‘People do NOT buy books for reading’. What will this lead to? You may end up with people buy books as gifts, for collection purposes, etc. Another assumption may be ‘People read books’. The flip side of this assumption may be people look at books (drawings). Escaping from these assumptions will bring you to a different realm of thought on how to achieve your goal.
  18. Reverse Thinking. Think about what everyone will typically do in your situation. Then do the opposite.
  19. Counteraction Busting. What counteracting forces are you facing in your scenario? For example, if you want to increase traffic to your website, two counteracting forces may be the number of ads you put and the pageviews of your site. The more ads you put, the more users will likely be annoyed and surf away. What can you do such that the counteraction no longer exists or the counteraction is no longer an issue? Some solutions may be 1) Get ads that are closely related to the theme of your site 2) Get contextual ads that are part of your content rather than separate, and so on.
  20. Resource Availability. What if money, time, people, supplies are not issues at all? What if you can ask for whatever you want and have it happen? What will you do?
  21. Drivers Analysis. What are the forces that help drive you forward in your situation? What are the forces that are acting against you? Think about how you can magnify the former and reduce/eliminate the latter.
  22. Exaggeration. Exaggerate your goal and see how you will deal with it now. Enlarge it: What if it is 10 times its current size? 100 times? 1000 times? Shrink it: What if it is 1/10 its current size? 1/100? 1/1000? Multiply it: What if you have 10 of these goals now? 100? 1000?
  23. Get Random Input. Get a random stimuli and try to see how you can fit it into your situation. Get a random word/image from a dictionary/webpage/book/magazine/newspaper/TV/etc, a random object from your room/house/workplace/neighborhood/etc and so on.
  24. Meditation. Focus on your key question such as ‘How can I solve XX problem?’ or ‘How can I achieve XX goal?’ and meditate on it in a quiet place. Have a pen and paper in front of you so you can write immediately whatever comes to mind. Do this for 30 minutes or as long as it takes.
  25. Write a list of 101 ideas. Open your word processor and write a laundry list of at least 101 ideas to deal with your situation. Go wild and write whatever you can think of without restricting yourself. Do not stop until you have at least 101
Published in Resource Center

Sometimes truly brilliant things are hidden in plain sight.

Published in Just for Fun

To Keep the Weight Off, Keep Tracking Your Diet


NEW ORLEANS — Keeping track of the foods you eat is an important strategy for weight loss, but continuing to monitor what you eat is also important to prevent regaining that weight. Now, a new study finds that stopping food tracking is linked to regaining weight.

In order to prevent re-gaining weight, people should make an effort four months after starting a diet to refocus on food tracking, according to the study, presented here Sunday (Nov. 13) at the American Heart Association's annual meeting called the Scientific Sessions.

The researchers found that people tended to stop dietary monitoring after about four months, and that this was followed by regaining weight, said Qianheng Ma, a public health researcher at the University of Pittsburgh and the lead author of the study. 

The effects of food tracking, or "dietary self-monitoring," on weight loss have been well-studied, and the technique is a key component of what researchers call the "standard behavioral treatment" for people who want to lose weight and keep it off, Ma told Live Science. This type of treatment is the most effective non-medical approach to weight loss, according to the study.

In the study, the researchers looked at data from 137 people who had participated in a one-year weight loss intervention called EMPOWER. The majority of the people in the study were white women. The participants were, on average, 51 years old and had a BMI of 34.1. (People with a BMI of 30 or higher are generally considered obese.) The people in the study were asked to weigh themselves regularly with a digital scale that uploaded data in real time and to monitor their diet using a smartphone app.

Although everyone in the study initially lost weight, nearly three-quarters of the people in the study ultimately regained some of that weight. In addition, 62 percent of the participants stopped tracking what they were eating at some point during the study.

The researchers found that a greater percentage of the people who regained weight had stopped tracking what they ate, compared with those who were able to maintain their weight. 

The average time that people tracked their diet before they stopped was 126 days — in other words, they were about four months into their diet when they stopped, Ma told Live Science. It's unclear why food tracking stopped at this point, she added.

People did not begin gaining weight immediately after they stopped tracking what they ate, the researchers noted. Rather, people started to gain weight, on average, about two months after they stopped tracking their food, the study found.

Now that the researchers have identified the point at which people tend to stop tracking their food, they intend to study whether strategically reminding people to keep tracking will help them to keep the weight off, Ma said.

The new findings have not been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Originally published on Live Science.


Published in Alpha Cares
Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Carlie C., Administrative

Location in Onset, MA -

Have you been searching for an adaptable, computer-savvy administrator to fulfill all of your clerical needs? Our final candidate might be the perfect addition to your team! Carlie’s past experience as a Customer Service Representative and Administrative Assistant has provided her with the skills necessary to succeed in a variety of environments. Personable and detail-oriented, Carlie is eager to find the perfect company with which she can grow. Carlie is proficient in Microsoft Office, Access, and SQL, and her enthusiasm to learn makes her an excellent candidate for any administrative or general office position.

Published in Featured Candidates
Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Matthieu E., Warehouse Associate

Location in New Bedford, MA -

Are you looking for a go-to general laborer or warehouse associate? Matt’s prior work in construction and retail make him a great candidate! His experience maintaining end-of-day reporting and paperwork, moving and handling heavy materials, and working well in a team-based environment prove he is well-versed in being a flexible and reliable worker. If you are looking for a strong team player with prior leadership experience, Matt might be the perfect fit for your company!

Published in Featured Candidates
Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Srey S., Office Manager

Location in Lakeville, MA -

This dependable, experienced professional truly exemplifies an ideal administrative candidate. Srey has worked in a variety of Administrative, CSR, and Medical roles – her vast range of experience has allowed her to develop strong skills with data entry, reporting, scheduling, answering and screening calls, QuickBooks, Microsoft Office, and more! If you and your company are seeking a high-level administrator or office manager, take a closer look at Srey’s resume. Her proactive attitude and ability to handle multiple priorities would make her an asset to any team.

Published in Featured Candidates
Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Laurie H., Senior Manager

Location in Taunton, MA -

If your team is seeking an outstanding leader with almost 20 years of experience, look no further than our first candidate! Laurie’s continuous growth and success with her prior positions demonstrates her capabilities as both a manager and business professional. Her wealth of experience will make her an incomparable asset to any company, and her focus on providing excellent customer service has been a driving force throughout her career as a team leader and manager. Laurie is sure to exceed your expectations!

Published in Featured Candidates

Good vs. Bad Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are an important part of your diet, but that doesn't mean you're free to load up on cakes and cookies to get your daily amount. Here, we explain the difference between good and bad carbohydrates.

By Diana Rodriguez

Medically Reviewed by Lindsey Marcellin, MD, MPH


Carbohydrates are an important part of a healthy diet, but there's much discussion about the good and bad carbohydrates.

So how do you know which is which? The answer is both simple — and complex.


Good vs. Bad Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates, often referred to as “carbs,” are your body's primary energy source, and they're a crucial part of any healthy diet. Carbs should never be avoided, but it is important to understand that not all carbs are alike.

Carbohydrates can be either simple (nicknamed "bad") or complex (nicknamed "good") based on their chemical makeup and what your body does with them.

Complex carbohydrates, like whole grains and legumes, contain longer chains of sugar molecules; these usually take more time for the body to break down and use. This, in turn, provides you with a more even amount of energy, according to Sandra Meyerowitz, MPH, RD, a nutritionist and owner of Nutrition Works in Louisville, Ky.

Simple carbohydrates are composed of simple-to-digest, basic sugars with little real value for your body. The higher in sugar and lower in fiber, the worse the carbohydrate is for you — remember those leading indicators when trying to figure out if a carbohydrate is good or bad.


Fruits and vegetables are actually simple carbohydrates — still composed of basic sugars, although they are drastically different from other foods in the category, like cookies and cakes. The fiber in fruits and vegetables changes the way that the body processes their sugars and slows down their digestion, making them a bit more like complex carbohydrates.


Simple carbohydrates to limit in your diet include:



Artificial syrups


White rice, white bread, and white pasta

Potatoes (which are technically a complex carb, but act more like simple carbs in the body)

Pastries and desserts

Meyerowitz says that you can enjoy simple carbohydrates on occasion, you just don't want them to be your primary sources of carbs. And within the simple carb category, there are better choices — a baked potato, white rice, and regular pasta — than others — chips, cakes, pies, and cookies.


The Detail on Complex Carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates are considered "good" because of the longer series of sugars that make them up and take the body more time to break down. They generally have a lower glycemic load, which means that you will get lower amounts of sugars released at a more consistent rate — instead of peaks and valleys —to keep you going throughout the day.


Picking complex carbohydrates over simple carbohydrates is a matter of making some simple substitutions when it comes to your meals. "Have brown rice instead of white rice, have whole-wheat pasta instead of plain white pasta," says Meyerowitz.


To know if a packaged food is made of simple or complex carbohydrates, look at the label. "Read the box so you know what exactly you're getting. If the first ingredient is whole-wheat flour or whole-oat flower, it's likely going to be a complex carbohydrate,” says Meyerowitz. "And if there's fiber there, it's probably more complex in nature."


The Glycemic Load Factor

Describing carbs as being either simple or complex is one way to classify them, but nutritionists and dietitians now use another concept to guide people in making decisions about the carbs they choose to eat.

The glycemic index of a food basically tells you how quickly and how high your blood sugar will rise after eating the carbohydrate contained in that food, as compared to eating pure sugar. Lower glycemic index foods are healthier for your body, and you will tend to feel full longer after eating them. Most, but not all, complex carbs fall into the low glycemic index category.

It is easy to find lists of food classified by their glycemic index. You can see the difference between the glycemic index of some simple and complex carbohydrates in these examples:

White rice, 64

Brown rice, 55

White spaghetti, 44

Whole wheat spaghetti, 37

Corn flakes, 81

100 percent bran (whole grain) cereal, 38

To take this approach one step farther, you want to look at the glycemic load of a food. The glycemic load takes into account not only its glycemic index, but also the amount of carbohydrate in the food. A food can contain carbs that have a high glycemic index, but if there is only a tiny amount of that carb in the food, it won’t really have much of an impact. An example of a food with a high glycemic index but a low glycemic load is watermelon, which of course tastes sweet, but is mostly water.


The bottom line: Just be sensible about the carbs you choose. Skip low-nutrient dessert, consider the levels of sugar and fiber in carbs, and focus on healthy whole grains, fruits, and veggies to get the energy your body needs every day.



Originally Published by:

By Diana Rodriguez

Medically Reviewed by Lindsey Marcellin, MD, MPH

Published in Alpha Cares
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