March 2nd was employee appreciation day. The topic should be on every boss’ mind, but if you are only recognizing your employees once a year, you’re way off mark. Research shows that happy employees are more productive (by 31%) and sales and work accuracy see huge boosts. The easiest way to make your employees more happy is to acknowledge all the effort they put in for you.

Make Work More Fun

Companies that focus on their internal culture have the right mindset. Though, it is unrealistic for every company to have an in-house gym and spa. There are real ways to make coming to work more enjoyable for everyone. If departments are separated into teams, have the teams challenge each other to meet big goals on a regular basis. Have regular lunches that are work-free zones so employees can get to know each other and their supervisors. Whatever the size of your team, there are ways to incorporate a fun and energized attitude in the office.

Daily Appreciations

Acknowledge your employees efforts on a regular basis. If someone nails a presentation, make sure they know you think so. If a team member goes above and beyond for a small project, thank them in an email, brief conversation, or post-it left on their desk. Knowing that their work is appreciated helps encourage harder work in the future and makes employees happier to stick around.

Larger Acts of Appreciation

Beyond the small regular acts of appreciation, it’s important to remember to recognize your employees in big ways every now and then. Maybe organize a quarterly outing or celebration. Yearly Christmas parties are often used for this purpose, but maybe you add in a summer picnic so your employees feel important more than once a year.

Encourage Appreciation Amongst Employees

Make it understood that employee appreciation doesn’t just have to come from management. Encourage an atmosphere of peer-to-peer appreciation. One of our favorite ideas is the weekly trophy concept. It looks different in every company but basically it starts out by management rewarding an employee that nailed a complicated project, exemplified a company value, or something along those lines. That person is awarded the weekly trophy (could be any trinket or silly crown). After the initial week, management is hands off and the crowned winner passes the trophy to another employee they want to recognize the next week. Programs like this encourage employees to look out for ways to show their appreciation to each other. Being recognized by your boss is a big deal, but your coworkers making it clear that they love working with you can be an even bigger deal.


Social media has come to penetrate almost every part of our daily lives. When you are looking for a new job opportunity, your online presence can both help and harm you. Few understand just how many recruiters and HR teams rely on social media to clue them in on deciding factors. Companies are placing more emphasis on culture and values now than ever before. Social media profiles of applicants shed light on how a person could help balance or create chaos in a well-kept environment. Let’s make sure your social media habits are not hurting you in your search for the right opportunity.

The Ways Social Media Can Help You

Making connections

LinkedIn was created to be a virtual resume and to be a platform for professional networking. You want to make sure your entire LinkedIn profile is filled out completely so that hiring managers and headhunters can see your work history and goals. It is also important to make connections. Companies want to hire people with a network behind them, it lends to your credibility. Start by adding people you know, coworkers, former classmates, etc. Work your way out to interacting on the posts of people you do not know, especially individuals who work in your industry. Send them a connection invitation and build your profile. These connections can introduce you to opportunities you may not find otherwise.

Researching companies

What companies post on their pages across various platforms says a lot about their culture, goals, current and past projects. You can research companies you are interested in working for through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. The more knowledgeable you are about a company and everything they do, the more impressed an interviewer will be.

After you land an interview, if you are given the name of the interviewer, you can use social media to research them a little too. Do not overdo it and come off as creepy and be careful not to press the like button on a 54 week old post! Make note of their work history and common interests to find subjects to talk about. Making a personal connection to your interviewer is always a good way to start off an interview.

Finding opportunities

Facebook recently introduced their job application system, you can apply for a job directly through your Facebook profile now. It is not commonly used yet, but we may just see this take off (before you apply this way, make sure you edit your work history on Facebook carefully). LinkedIn also allows for applications to be submitted directly on the site and you can even search for jobs on LinkedIn filtering to find specific types of positions. LinkedIn is a great way to look for job opportunities.

If you have a list of companies you want to work for but they are not hiring at the moment, keep an eye on their social media pages. Companies often post when they are looking to hire new employees on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or even Instagram. These posts may not be on their website, so keep your eyes peeled.

The Way Social Media Can Hurt You

Not showing you in good light

Social media is a common host to rude, overly personal, vulgar, or sometimes drunken posts by users. Even if your profile is hidden to the public, be careful what you allow on your page. Hidden profiles can be worked around relatively easily and is one post really worth the risk?

Hiring managers and recruiters often search through an applicant’s profiles before making a decision, sometimes before even setting up an interview. This is becoming more commonplace and should be seen as important as keeping your resume up to date. Companies are keeping a closer eye on what their employees are saying online, it reflects on them too.

Be sure not to post negative things about a current or former boss/company. Everyone understands the desire to complain about a horrendous boss (we have all been there), but a public platform is not the place for it. These posts come across whiny and immature to a hiring manager and could lose you an opportunity.

Do not post inappropriate photos or comments and be careful not to use vulgar language. It should be obvious that these posts do not show you in your best light. A good rule of thumb is think about what your stereotypical grandmother would think about what you are posting before you hit send. This will save you a lot of grief.

There are plenty of things to avoid on social media. Keep in mind that private settings are not enough to protect you from being excluded from an opportunity. Here is some more helpful tips about common social media mistakes.

Tips on editing social media profiles

LinkedIn is probably the easiest platform to make quick edits on your profile. Make sure to display all of your relevant work history and include job descriptions. Be careful to edit and check for spelling and grammar issues in the descriptions and titles. This is a bad place for a simple mistake to be found

Facebook allows you to see what someone outside your friend group can see, start there. Delete any pictures that show you in an unprofessional or immature setting (party pictures from college) and edit or delete any inappropriate words. Do not feel like you have to scrub away your personal life from Facebook. Social media is understood to be a platform for personal things, those pictures of Christmas morning are fine. Though, do be concerned with the over-personal sharing. After you have cleaned up anything a non-friend can see, go back over every post, even the ones a friend can see. Facebook changes its privacy setting regularly and sometimes previously hidden things become public, or a recruiter may know a friend of yours. It really is worth it just to clean up your page now.

What about the things people tag me in that show up on my timeline? There are ways around those. For one, you are always given the option to remove a tag on someone else’s post. Or you can simply set up timeline review. It asks you to decide before anything someone else posts is viewable on your timeline. Your friends can still tag you, but it will not be on your timeline for a recruiter to find later.

Instagram and Twitter will require a little more time to clean up. Obviously, delete any inappropriate images or tweets. Instagram lets you change the text of a post if you need to clean up the language or rewrite some oversharing. Twitter on the other hand does not, the guilty tweets will have to be deleted.

This is a lot to keep in mind

Yes, there is a lot to remember about social media. Eventually it will get easier and you will start thinking through things before you hit post. The initial difficulty is cleaning out old posts, especially for those of us that have been online since middle school. This subject is only getting more important and recruiters are using social media more often to screen candidates than most realize. Do not miss your next opportunity for a few likes.


How to keep your team on track during the holidays

Between holidays, family vacations, and parties it is difficult to stay on track during the last two months of the year. It’s even harder to lead a team full of distracted employees, complete those end of the year projects, and set up for the new year. The following are five ways you can help ensure your end of the year is as productive as it can be.

Create “must-do” lists

Some things are going to slide this month, make sure the very important things don’t. Ensure every department knows the things that absolutely have to be done. Setting clear expectations will keep the details from getting blurred or left out.

Set ambitious goals

There’s nothing like a new challenge to get a group of people moving quickly. Pick a goal that seems too hard to reach and name a specific and thrilling prize for completing it. Make the Christmas party drinks on the house or give everyone an extra PTO day. Finding new ways to motivate your team is the fastest way to inject new energy in the group.

Celebrate with your employees

This may seem counter-intuitive but give your team the space to be excited and to celebrate. Don’t be overly harsh in saying “get back to to work” and not allowing the fun attitudes of the season play out in the office. Allow for the potluck lunch and gift exchange, maybe even a few fun intentional distractions. Frame the fun as celebrating all the hard work everyone has done throughout the year. Your team will be thankful of the acknowledgement, they’ll get the celebrating out of their system, and be ready to focus on work.

Recognize the successful year

The end of the year is a time that your team expects to be recognized for their work throughout the year. Hold an end of the year dinner, give out bonuses, or buy everyone a turkey for their Christmas dinner. Whatever you decide to do, make a point to acknowledge every team member’s contribution to the company’s success.

Lead by example

This may seem obvious, but it’s important. If you’re seen being sidetracked, how can your team be expected to not follow suit? Strong leadership earns the respect of their team by expecting more of themselves than anyone else.

why should I hire a staffing agency?

Last week, we examined the pros and cons from an employee standpoint: this week, we will discuss the pros and cons of hiring a staffing agency from the employer perspective.

Staffing is expensive! Why should I use a staffing agency to help me find employees?

Locating Talent:

It happens every time; you post a high-skill level job for a mechanical maintenance tech, for example, and within hours, you are flooded with resumes of people who have absolutely no mechanical maintenance experience.  Yet, you still must dig through the haystack if you are going to find the needle, that one-in-a-million candidate will typically be buried under a bunch of candidates with no discernable experience listed on their resumes.  

Once you have narrowed the field a bit, there are some telltale signs that recruiters look for on resumes that can be indicators of problems or success down the road, and those might not be evident to HR staff who are tasked with handling multiple other aspects of employee management and don’t necessarily focus on resume analysis.  For a Staffing Agency, however; that’s precisely what we do all day!  Our recruiters are trained to know what to look for before we even pick up the phone or start typing out an email, and this allows us to be laser-focused on our mission, which is finding the right person for the right job.  Missing potential red flags up front can mean hours spent interviewing and processing a candidate who won’t stay very long, and missing sheer potential up front can mean that your company misses out on a stellar employee that could have positively impacted your bottom line.

It is our ability to analyze things like wording, formatting, content, and a person’s basic ability to follow initial instructions that can spare you from spending an exponential amount of time chasing after the wrong type of candidate for your business, and time is one of your most precious commodities.

Here are some great hiring tips from Forbes, and the author brings up a great point: don’t forget about interns, because with so many schools and colleges in the Greater Tulsa area, this can be a great tool to incorporate into your overall hiring plan for bringing new talent into your organization.

The New Hire Process:

Anyone in HR knows that there are not enough hours in a day, but what we don’t tend to accurately assess is just how many of those hours are spent on the new hire process.  Once you have spent hours weeding through the resumes you receive to narrow down a final candidate pool, you will then spend hours, not only of your time, but of other managers’ and employees’ time interviewing, assessing, meeting and discussing potential candidates.  Then you will spend more time performing background checks, perhaps coordinating drug screens, setting up files and data records, payroll, benefits, etc.  

If the employee you bring onboard stays around for a long time, this process will thankfully be over for that position, however, if you have filled the position with an employee that doesn’t stick around long, get ready to go through this entire process again.  All of those hours spent bringing a new employee on board represent a fair amount of money, and nobody likes to lose money!

Our process is simple and can enable your team to focus more on production and profitability; you can learn more about it here.


At first glance, payroll may not seem like such a big deal; collecting hours, figuring out deductions, calculating taxes, and cutting checks.  Until there are mistakes that need to be corrected, checks to be recut, onerous Health Care reporting regulations with which to comply, and benefits administration.  Just one employee change of address can take up an hour of your time depending on how many various places and ways you have to communicate the new information.  For smaller companies that may not have dedicated HR staff, or their HR staff must juggle multiple hats, it can save a great deal of hassle and working hours to have a staffing company handle your payroll instead.  Compound the year-end payroll duties with other accounting or financial year-end activities you might contend with, and the stress level shoots through the roof!

Barracuda Staffing, Inc. has been recognized by Inc as one of the 5000 fastest growing companies in the US!  We do this by living our core values every day:

One: We aggressively pursue the perfect fit for all

Something truly special happens when the ideal candidate is matched up with just the right company. So, we aggressively hunt for the best fit for clients and candidates alike. Make no mistake, this is matchmaking, and we always look relentlessly to create the best partnership.

Two: We are highly adaptive to market changes

The only constant is change, and it’s only accelerating in the highly dynamic 21st-century marketplace. That’s why we constantly adapt our methods and services accordingly, not merely to stay up to speed, but always stay one step ahead.

Three: We never stop looking for new opportunities

Innovation rarely just shows up at your door, which is why we approach every day with hyper-vigilance toward new ways of doing things. We carefully monitor and study cultural and economic trends to capitalize upon them in the best ways possible.

Four: We pledge to be the best value in the industry

An ambitious promise, yes, but one we are absolutely committed to. We stress operational efficiency across every department and discipline within our company, delivering the highest level of services at the best value possible.

Five: We want our clients to absolutely love working with us

We love what we do, the lives we help change, and the companies we help grow. We want our passion and appreciation to be contagious. In an era when work-life balance and job satisfaction are more important to everyone than ever, we want working with us to be as great a pleasure as possible. Spread the love. Feel the joy. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.

One of the most compelling reasons to seek out the help of a trusted staffing agency is if you have empty, idle workstations, and not enough time to get those positions filled.  This represents lost sales for your business, and potential loss in productivity for the existing workers that may feel overwhelmed and frustrated while they try to pick up the slack.  Contracting with a staffing agency is almost like having your own dedicated Hiring Manager working directly for you, except you don’t need to provide that Hiring Manager with an office, vacation time, or a Keurig machine; we’ve got it covered!

Barracuda Staffing, Inc. cares about your success: check back next week for more tips on increasing your satisfaction in the workplace, and remember that one of the best qualities to display in your career is one of Continuous Improvement!  If you are looking for a new place to spread your wings and grow into a leader in your department, we invite you to browse our current openings in Tulsa and surrounding areas, call to talk to a Recruiter, or simply Submit your resume online today!

Whether you are just starting your job search, or you need to start tomorrowApply Now and let us help you find your new job!

We’ve got jobs, inspiration, information, and we’re even good for a laugh! Check us out on FacebookLinkedInInstagram, or Twitter!

why work with staffing agency

This week, we will discuss the pros and cons of working with a staffing agency from an Employee perspective; next week, we will discuss the pros and cons from an Employer standpoint.

Why should I use a staffing agency to help me find a job?

Most people who have used a staffing agency to find work have had an unpleasant experience at some point – I’ve had several of them myself!  Many of the problems a person can have with a staffing agency boil down to uncommunicated expectations, so let’s review some potential problems to avoid and then explore the many benefits of working with a trusted staffing agency.

“I’ll take anything, I just need a job…”  This is a phrase we dread hearing, because it means people are not communicating their future needs to us, and we are never going to make them happy in the long term because they are so desperate to start “anything”.  I recently spoke with a young woman who called up to see if we had any temporary event jobs because she just wanted “anything” and was desperate for a paycheck; when I asked her what she really wanted to be doing 2 years down the road, I found out she had been certified for medical coding and had paralegal training and I exclaimed, “Why didn’t you say so?” When you are so desperate for a paycheck that you put yourself into a job you will hate, you ensure that you will leave that job soon, which keeps you in a perpetual job search, earning very little, and looking like a job-hopper on your resume, which in turn prevents you from getting a good job.  See how that spiral of stagnation works?  Job-hopping keeps you job-hopping.  We want to place you in the right job, a job you’ll want to stay with to develop your skills and sense of self-worth.  Don’t just communicate your current situation to a recruiter, let them know what you want to be doing in two years, and what you need to feel successful…then, be as patient as possible!

Additionally, people desperate to take “anything” might initially take a job that doesn’t pay enough for their needs, or is too far of a commute, or is a new shift to which they just cannot adjust.  First, don’t take a job that puts you at a disadvantage simply because you expect to get a raise in the future; tomorrow is never given, so set yourself up for success today rather than ensuring you will be leaving in a few months looking for better pay, continuing the “stagnating spiral”.  You may indeed get a raise if you bring your A-game to the table every day, but that should be the icing on the cake that builds forward momentum in your career.  At Barracuda Staffing, we take rate of pay, commute distance, and several other factors into account before we make an offer to place you at a new company, because everybody loses when we place people in the wrong situation.

Above all, understand that once you do get a position, the amount of effort you put in from there makes all the difference for your career.  If you truly want to earn more and become a long-term team member at a great company, you must bring a positive attitude and willingness to learn to work every day.  Just listen to Hoang Phan’s story – he started out job-hopping, ended up loading beverage trucks, but thanks to a paid apprenticeship program look where he is now!  Find out more about various government training programs here and remember that learning is the most important way to secure a strong future.

“Staffing companies take advantage of workers and don’t pay them what they are worth”

This is a common objection I hear, and it is the result of both a misunderstanding of how some staffing agencies work, and uncommunicated expectations.  Let’s look at both issues below:

If a company needs to hire a machinist, they know they need to offer a starting salary that will attract the kind of employee they need, and this is the salary that we promote to the potential employee, or “contractor”.  The contractor gets paid the offered wage, and we charge the company a fee in addition to the wage earned.  Nothing is taken from the Contractor’s earnings, however, it is not uncommon for companies to evaluate employees during an introductory period by offering a “starting wage” that will later be adjusted once the company has determined the true level of the employee’s expertise.  This practice can sometimes be misconstrued as a staffing agency paying a contractor less than normal, when really what is occurring is a company is offering a reduced rate of pay during an introductory evaluation period.  This should all be clearly communicated to you by your recruiter before you accept the position.

While other staffing agencies may operate differently from Barracuda Staffing, Howstuffworks offers a comprehensive article about How Employment Agencies Work.

Some companies may have a longer evaluation period than 90 days, and in rare cases, some companies may never hire people on permanently because they have contracted the staffing agency to handle the payroll and benefits administration, rather than hiring additional staff to do so themselves.  Again, this should all be clearly communicated to you, and likewise, you should clearly communicate your expectations up front in terms of how long you are willing to be evaluated and remain on a staffing agency’s payroll.

Now that we’ve addressed some of the potential pitfalls, let’s talk about the benefits!

  • We know the company culture; if you need a fast-paced job so you don’t get bored, or you need a slow-paced job so you don’t get overwhelmed, we know where you will be a good fit.  This kind of information is not always evident in a company’s job posting.
  • We know what else is available; if you see a job online and think you would be a perfect fit, chances are good we know of three to five other jobs that might be even better for you!
  • We can give you tips and pointers that will make all the difference in your career; many companies get flooded with resumes when they hire on their own.  They don’t have the time to give you feedback, they are simply looking to eliminate people from consideration to narrow down the candidate pool to a manageable amount of people to contact.  Additionally, they only know what their particular company is looking for in a candidate.  We know what multiple companies are looking for, and what would make you a fit at one company vs. another, and since all we do is look at resumes and interview candidates, we can give you vital feedback that others may not have the time or expertise to provide.
  • We have the connections; many people say, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”, and sometimes getting a job simply takes making the right connections and being in the right place at the right time.  
  • We have a proven track record; check out our Google Reviews or our Facebook Reviews to see why people like to work with us!

Barracuda Staffing, Inc. cares about your success: check back next week for more tips on increasing your satisfaction in the workplace, and remember that one of the best qualities to display in your career is one of Continuous Improvement!  If you are looking for a new place to spread your wings and grow into a leader in your department, we invite you to browse our current openings in Tulsa and surrounding areas, call to talk to a Recruiter, or simply Submit your resume online today!

Whether you are just starting your job search, or you need to start tomorrowApply Now and let us help you find your new job!
We’ve got jobs, inspiration, information, and we’re even good for a laugh! Check us out on FacebookLinkedInInstagram, or Twitter!