N.J. Small Business Development Centers Earns Environmental Leadership Award

 

By ROI-NJ Staff(New Jersey)

There’s a general perception that sustainability programs can only be implemented by large companies.

Ed Kurocka, the sustainability manager for the New Jersey Small Business Development Centers, is working to change the narrative.

“Small and medium-sized businesses might think that sustainability is only achievable by large companies who have the capacity and resources to develop comprehensive plans and hire dedicated sustainability staff,” Kurocka said. “However, this is a misperception.

“The most successful sustainability strategies often start with simple, low-cost initiatives that even the smallest business can accomplish. There are real opportunities for small businesses to yield significant benefits from the adoption of basic environmental best practices.”

Kurocka and others at the NJSBDC work to show businesses of all sizes how they can be more environmentally friendly. This week, they were honored for their efforts.

The National Steering Committee of Small Business Environmental Assistance Programs & Small Business Ombudsmen recognized the New Jersey Small Business Development Centers and the New Jersey Small Business Registry for leadership in the areas of improving environmental performance, pollution prevention, sustainability and mentoring through collaboration with the NJ SBEAP.

The SBEAP/SBO NSC Awards are the states’ premier awards program for recognizing outstanding environmental leadership among small businesses and small business assistance providers.

These awards recognize small businesses, SBEAP/SBO programs and individuals, trade associations and other business assistance providers who have made significant contributions to protecting the environment.

Kelly Brozyna, NJSBDC network CEO and state director, said the group was thrilled to be honored for promoting sustainability practices.

“Our organization’s comprehensive small business assistance services and initiatives cover a wide range of business management consulting concerning diverse operational strategies so small businesses can grow and succeed,” she said. “This specialized subject matter adds further to NJSBDC’s continuum of services for small businesses in New Jersey.”

Over the past several years, NJSBDC’s Sustainability Program helped facilitate hundreds of small businesses as “Sustainable Business Registry Members.”

Small businesses across New Jersey have taken advantage of this no-cost SBDC service to find ways to integrate environmentally friendly practices into their day-to-day operations.

NJSBDC Chief Operating Officer Deborah Smarth said the organization is happy to play its part.

“NJSDBC’s sustainability expert counselors have worked with business owners to identify ways to increase efficiency through energy conservation, waste reduction, pollution prevention, streamlined procurement and risk management,” she said. “NJSBDC’s national award recognition for its activities is a tribute to the efforts of our sustainability specialty program manager in collaboration with both the U.S. EPA and N.J. Department of Environmental Protection.”

Counting Down to NJ’s 2022 Plastic Carryout Bag and Polystyrene Foam Ban

New Jersey businesses can start preparing now for implementation of a new law, which takes effect May 4, 2022, which ends the use of single-use plastic carryout bags and polystyrene foam food service products at retail stores and food service businesses and replaces them with reusable bags and recyclable products. The use of single-use paper carryout bags will be prohibited at grocery stores greater than 2,500 square feet. Plastic straws will be limited to by-request-only. The New Jersey Business Action Center and the NJ Department of Environmental Protection are working together to help businesses comply with the law. Read the law, a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions (FAQs), an easy-to-read chart explaining how to comply, and many other resources at Business.NJ.gov.
The NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) is responsible for the overall implementation of the law including the adoption of implementing regulations. The NJDEP, along with Municipalities, CEHA and the Department of Health are responsible for enforcement of the law. In coordination with the NJDEP, the New Jersey Business Action Center (NJBAC) is responsible for communicating with all businesses their responsibilities for compliance under the law, and the New Jersey Clean Communities Council (NJCCC) is responsible for developing and implementing a Statewide public information and education program including limited distribution of free reusable bags.

Right Steps for Hiring the Right Person

Smart hiring practices are a foundation of any company’s wellbeing. Whether a company needs to hire its first employee or 51st, the process should be carefully measured by these essential factors.

   1.    Job Description.

The job description is a written announcement of specific experience and/or educational requirements, job responsibilities, and other qualifications as well as position performance expectations/standards that potential applicants must meet to perform the job well. Also, you can include a description of your business, as well as a mission and vision statement. Answer these questions:

  • Who would be an ideal candidate and what competency levels are needed to fill the position?
  • What kind of a personality is best suited for your company atmosphere?

The detailed job description attracts the right people for the job and enables the new employee to possess a good understanding of the expectations and how it will affect his or her performance evaluation. A well-written job description is also part of your company’s lawsuit-fighting arsenal.

 2.    Vacancy Announcement.

Our contemporary world has many ways to get the word out and find the right person – from the old fashioned to the very modern platforms. Newspaper ads – are a very passé way to find job candidates but there are individuals that go to the newspaper to look for jobs even though newspapers are trying to eliminate their “Help Wanted” sections; word of mouth is old fashioned, but can still work; online recruitment sites – such as ZipRecruiter, Indeed, Glassdoor, CareerBuilder, Monster, and many others are excellent places for eVacancy Announcements; Social Media – LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are equally good tools to help find the right job candidates.

3.    Filter Job Candidates.

Weeding out and screening candidate resumes are very time consuming but at the same time – very important. You need to eliminate anyone who doesn’t meet the requirements in terms of precise experience or/and educational necessities.

4.    Recognize Your Candidates.

This step requires looking into candidates’ work history.

  • Where has the person worked before, what kind of jobs and from what industries do the candidates come?
  • Does she or he have experiences applicable to your business?
  • What are their accomplishments in prior positions?
  • What is the duration of employment at other positions?
  • Is there a pattern of shifting jobs every few months?
  • If significant education is essential for the position – what is the candidate’s educational background?

Examine how the information in a resume is structured and if there are any inaccuracies or mistakes especially if you are looking for someone who will work at a higher level.

5.    The Initial Selection.

To make the hiring process for this position a bit easier, invite each candidate, whose resume looks good, for a five-minute phone interview. These few minutes will give you an opportunity to eliminate candidates who don’t have “must-have” skills for the job. Here are some phone interview questions to ask candidates:

  • Why are you leaving your present role?
  • What made you apply for this position?
  • What is significant to you from a job?
  • How would you illustrate your approach to work?

It’s important to ask the same questions of each candidate and take notations on their answers as it will allow you to note any red flags. A good tip is always listen to your intuition; if something doesn’t feel right about a candidate, it most likely isn’t.

6.    In-person Interviews.

After initial phone interviews you should have a short list of at least five potential candidates and organize the next level interview; have an in-person conversation with them that lasts about 30 minutes. For this step you need to develop a list of questions you will ask all candidates. Please keep in mind that some questions are illegal to ask, such as candidates’ religion, age, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, marital status or number of children.

Ask questions related to their previous professional experience and education (if it is applicable) and request that they review each of their previous jobs and describe their job responsibilities. You may also ask:

  • What one talent makes you the most skilled for this position?
  • What excites you most about this job?
  • What career accomplishments are you most proud of?
  • What were challenges in your career? How did you deal with the situation and what did you learn from it?

Also, ask each of them to say something about themselves that other people may be surprised to know about them. Additionally, ask about hobbies they may have; it’s always good to know. Moreover, it is important to permit the candidates to talk, to express themselves, and allow them to ask you any questions they may have. Don’t forget to take notes about the conversation and record your impressions.

7.    Verify Top-Pick Candidate’s Information.

After the hard work, you have identified the person you believe would be the best fit for the position. Now it’s time to do final checks before making a job offer. It’s crucial to perform a background check (education, employment, criminal records, and motor vehicle and license records), reference checks, and drug tests. Keep in mind that just because something is written down doesn’t automatically mean it’s true. For reference checks, call at least three references – a candidate’s direct supervisors – not friends. Please ask each of them if they would hire the candidate again. Don’t let your feelings drive the conclusion as some persons are better conversationalists than others and many people know how to sell themselves, which sometimes means overstating actual proficiency.

8.    Job Offer.

Before you call your finalist, put together a compensation package which should include the salary and benefits (health, insurance, retirement benefits and other perks you offer). You must mention what the entire benefit package costs the company as this gives the candidate the total cost that the company will be paying to hire her or him. Once you’ve made a conclusion and prepared the compensation package, call your top choice and make an offer. Giving the person a list of reasons why she or he was the top pick will make the person feel good about being selected for the position.

 

Please remember, that there is no perfect method for hiring great employees. However, practicing a thoughtful and careful hiring process for your small business will go a long way towards not hiring today – what could be next week’s problem. This way you will achieve your goals and grow your business. Good luck!

 

 

Right Steps for Hiring the Right Person

Smart hiring practices are a foundation of any company’s wellbeing. Whether a company needs to hire its first employee or 51st, the process should be carefully measured by these essential factors.

1.  Job Description.

The job description is a written announcement of specific experience and/or educational requirements, job responsibilities, and other qualifications as well as position performance expectations/standards that potential applicants must meet to perform the job well. Also, you can include a description of your business, as well as a mission and vision statement. Answer these questions:

  • Who would be an ideal candidate and what competency levels are needed to fill the position?
  • What kind of a personality is best suited for your company atmosphere?

The detailed job description attracts the right people for the job and enables the new employee to possess a good understanding of the expectations and how it will affect his or her performance evaluation. A well-written job description is also part of your company’s lawsuit-fighting arsenal.

2.  Vacancy Announcement.

Our contemporary world has many ways to get the word out and find the right person – from the old fashioned to the very modern platforms. Newspaper ads – are a very passé way to find job candidates but there are individuals that go to the newspaper to look for jobs even though newspapers are trying to eliminate their “Help Wanted” sections; word of mouth is old fashioned, but can still work; online recruitment sites – such as ZipRecruiter, Indeed, Glassdoor, CareerBuilder, Monster, and many others are excellent places for eVacancy Announcements; Social Media – LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are equally good tools to help find the right job candidates.

3.   Filter Job Candidates.

Weeding out and screening candidate resumes are very time consuming but at the same time – very important. You need to eliminate anyone who doesn’t meet the requirements in terms of precise experience or/and educational necessities.

4.  Recognize Your Candidates.

This step requires looking into candidates’ work history.

  • Where has the person worked before, what kind of jobs and from what industries do the candidates come?
  • Does she or he have experiences applicable to your business?
  • What are their accomplishments in prior positions?
  • What is the duration of employment at other positions?
  • Is there a pattern of shifting jobs every few months?
  • If significant education is essential for the position – what is the candidate’s educational background?

Examine how the information in a resume is structured and if there are any inaccuracies or mistakes especially if you are looking for someone who will work at a higher level.

5.  The Initial Selection.

To make the hiring process for this position a bit easier, invite each candidate, whose resume looks good, for a five-minute phone interview. These few minutes will give you an opportunity to eliminate candidates who don’t have “must-have” skills for the job. Here are some phone interview questions to ask candidates:

  • Why are you leaving your present role?
  • What made you apply for this position?
  • What is significant to you from a job?
  • How would you illustrate your approach to work?

It’s important to ask the same questions of each candidate and take notations on their answers as it will allow you to note any red flags. A good tip is always listen to your intuition; if something doesn’t feel right about a candidate, it most likely isn’t.

6.  In-person Interviews.

After initial phone interviews you should have a short list of at least five potential candidates and organize the next level interview; have an in-person conversation with them that lasts about 30 minutes. For this step you need to develop a list of questions you will ask all candidates. Please keep in mind that some questions are illegal to ask, such as candidates’ religion, age, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, marital status or number of children.

Ask questions related to their previous professional experience and education (if it is applicable) and request that they review each of their previous jobs and describe their job responsibilities. You may also ask:

  • What one talent makes you the most skilled for this position?
  • What excites you most about this job?
  • What career accomplishments are you most proud of?
  • What were challenges in your career? How did you deal with the situation and what did you learn from it?

Also, ask each of them to say something about themselves that other people may be surprised to know about them. Additionally, ask about hobbies they may have; it’s always good to know. Moreover, it is important to permit the candidates to talk, to express themselves, and allow them to ask you any questions they may have. Don’t forget to take notes about the conversation and record your impressions.

7.  Verify Top-Pick Candidate’s Information.

After the hard work, you have identified the person you believe would be the best fit for the position. Now it’s time to do final checks before making a job offer. It’s crucial to perform a background check (education, employment, criminal records, and motor vehicle and license records), reference checks, and drug tests. Keep in mind that just because something is written down doesn’t automatically mean it’s true. For reference checks, call at least three references – a candidate’s direct supervisors – not friends. Please ask each of them if they would hire the candidate again. Don’t let your feelings drive the conclusion as some persons are better conversationalists than others and many people know how to sell themselves, which sometimes means overstating actual proficiency.

8.  Job Offer.

Before you call your finalist, put together a compensation package which should include the salary and benefits (health, insurance, retirement benefits and other perks you offer). You must mention what the entire benefit package costs the company as this gives the candidate the total cost that the company will be paying to hire her or him. Once you’ve made a conclusion and prepared the compensation package, call your top choice and make an offer. Giving the person a list of reasons why she or he was the top pick will make the person feel good about being selected for the position.

 

Please remember, that there is no perfect method for hiring great employees. However, practicing a thoughtful and careful hiring process for your small business will go a long way towards not hiring today – what could be next week’s problem. This way you will achieve your goals and grow your business. Good luck!


Featured Article:

 

The Here-To-Stay Workplace Trends HR Shouldn’t Fear

 

There are plenty of articles circulating about 2018 human resources trends. But I don’t view these trends as prognostications. They’re already here. What we will see in the coming years is more of an upswell.

For all of these trends, HR professionals need to be the ones to say, “How can I make this work in my organization? How do I sell it to top management? How do I break down the walls of ‘We’ve always done it this way?’”

The concepts below are all cutting-edge thoughts and ideas happening in the workplace. But they don’t have to be found just in companies like Apple, Amazon or Google. You can implement these concepts in any type of business because they’re about people management, not a specific industry.

Here are three areas HR can embrace to make their companies better.