Welcome back to #WeAreGreenKey, where we shine a spotlight on our powerhouse recruiting team.   

Recently, we got the opportunity to chat with Richard Egloff, Director of Architecture, Engineering, and Construction at Green Key.

How did you first get started in recruiting and what do you find the most rewarding about your work? 

I first got started in recruiting due to looking for a career change after working at a corporate car rental company for about five years. I found my way to recruiting through a friend who had transitioned to recruiting and posted about open roles. What I find the most rewarding about my work is being able to help someone learn how to leverage their skills to find the best opportunities for themselves and their families.  

What are common challenges candidates face in the hiring process for AEC positions, and how can they best prepare? 

I think candidates are not aware how active the market is and clients are hiring very specific positions. I think candidates are staying put due to this. Recruiting in the AEC industry is becoming more of a relationship driven industry and more clients than ever are using recruiters to help produce talent. I also think candidates don’t know how their skills transfer from client to client, project type to project type.  We try to prepare them based on what their goals, skills and interests are and how we can find the best opportunities for their hard and soft skills. 

What industry trends are you currently seeing? 

I think candidates are starting to check out what’s out there, hiring slows down in the fourth quarter but speeds up quickly in the first quarter. A lot of projects become awarded at the start of the year, you see a lot of proposals being presented and accepted so you see a big hiring movement in Q1- Q2 every year.  

What advice would you give to someone who is working on taking themselves from a good recruiter to an exceptional recruiter? 

The staffing industry can be harsh, but it always pays you back in the long run. So, I would day, stay the course and continue to be dedicated, and patient.  

What goals do you and your team have set for the new year? 

We’ve grown to a team of thirty in just two and a half years, so we’re aiming to flatten out the leadership curve, continue to focus on long term goals as a team and remember that recruiting is relational and not transactional. 2024 is going to be a big year for us. We are aiming to have top producers not just for now but for the future. 

What’s your favorite holiday tradition? 

Being able to gather with family and friends to reflect on the year, what we’re grateful for, and appreciate our loved ones. 

Productivity Is a System Problem

Productivity is about systems, not people, says the Harvard Business Review.

Sure, there are hacks and techniques each of us can use to filter out the noise, but in the end, writes Daniel Markovitz, “The most effective antidote to low productivity and inefficiency must be implemented at the system level, not the individual level.”

productivity workers stopwatch efficiency - blog.jpg

“94% of most problems and possibilities for improvement belong to the system, not the individual,” he says, citing the case made by W. Edwards Deming in his book Out of the Crisis. “I would argue that most productivity improvements belong there as well.”

This is a particularly telling point for human resources professionals who are often tasked with providing training on time management. Markovitz says there’s nothing wrong with teaching techniques like Pomodoro, Inbox Zero or one of the many others. What’s necessary is to also address system inefficiencies.

That’s where he focuses his article, offering what he calls “four countermeasures.”

Tier your huddles

Whether you call them stand-ups, check-ins or huddles, Markovitz shows us how to use these meetings to avoid the inefficiency of “scattershot emails about a variety of problems.” Instead of kicking problems up the hierarchy, address problems at the lowest possible level. Problems that can’t be resolved at the staff huddle are the ones, and the only ones, to escalate to the next level huddle.

Make work visible

Because so much of office work is done by individuals working alone, it becomes invisible. Implementing a physical or virtual task board where every task is represented along with who is handling it not only makes a more equitable distribution of work, it also eliminates status check emails and the need to cover that topic in meetings.

Markovitz suggests making downtime equally as visible. Instituting “predictable time off” allows workers to know when someone is unavailable and react accordingly.

Define the “bat signal”

Pointing out that Batman knew flashing the symbol of a bat in the sky meant a crisis, Markovitz suggests companies adopt something similar to indicate when an issue is a real emergency.

“With no agreement on what communication channel to use, workers are forced to check all digital messaging platforms to ensure that nothing slips through the cracks. That’s toxic to productivity. Companies can make work easier for people if they specified channels for urgent and non-urgent issues.”

Align responsibility with authority

“If an employee is responsible for an outcome, they should have the authority to make the necessary decisions without being forced into an endless string of emails, meetings, or presentations,” writes Markovitz.

“The pursuit of individual productivity is healthy and worthwhile,” he agrees, though the value is limited because of all the pulls and tugs by others.

“To make a real impact on performance, you have to work at the system level.”

Photo by Carl Heyerdahl | Image by Gerd Altmann


Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help

Why is asking for help so hard?

Some people seem to do it naturally; others become a pest because they’re always asking for help when they should know how to do it themselves. But, as research and studies show, the majority of us hesitate to ask for help when we really need it. We wait until we have no choice and the problem has become so much larger.

Yet, people are surprisingly willing to help. Studies tell us that people are 48% more willing than expected to help complete strangers.

Asking for help has proven benefits, writes Wayne Baker, Ph.D., is a professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, and author of All You Have to Do Is Ask. In an article for SHRM, Baker lists several including contributing to the success of new hires, relieving stress, better job performance and contributing to innovation and creativity.

In light of all that, why don’t more of us ask our co-workers for help? Baker says there are 8 main reasons:

  1. We underestimate other’s willingness to help. We fear being rejected.
  2. An ingrained sense we need to solve our own problems.
  3. The social costs of asking for help; being perceived by others as weak or incompetent.
  4. The work culture is such that it actually is unsafe to admit you need help.
  5. The organizational structure makes it difficult to know whom to turn to for help.
  6. We’re not clear what help we need or how to ask for it.
  7. We worry we haven’t earned the privilege — built up the “credits” — to ask.
  8. We don’t want to appear selfish.