The Beginners Guide to Reference Check Questions

Reference check questions, as mundane as they might seem at first glance, can ultimately help you avoid a terrible contract or a bad hire. Taking the time to follow through by asking the right questions is one step toward a better hiring outcome.

It can be hard to know what questions to ask because a lot of it depends on context and experience. In this guide, we walk through the basics of asking good reference questions, the tools you can use to improve your reference checks, and ways to ask better questions regardless of who you’re talking to. Let’s start with the basics.

What Are Reference Check Questions?

Put simply, once a job-seeking candidate hands you a list of professional or personal contacts, you can reach out to those people to ask questions that’ll give you less biased information about that candidate. The better reference questions you ask, the better insight you’re able to gather about your job candidate. This way, you’re able to make the right choice when you’re trying to decide who is the best fit for the job.

The Basics of Reference Check Questions

Once you break down reference questions into a few key components, you’ll be able to run a successful reference check for any potential hire. Here are some considerations to note as you prepare to run reference checks:

Clear Consent

Before you pick up the phone and start contacting anyone, it’s good practice to ensure your potential hire knows you are reaching out to their references.

You can do this in a variety of ways. You can contact the candidate directly by phone or email to let them know you’ll be reaching out to their references within the next few days. Or you can include a spot in your job…

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The Beginners Guide to PTO Policies

Regardless of your business type or industry, everyone needs a break. If employees are working around the clock 52 weeks per year, they’ll suffer from burnout, and the work will suffer along with them.

That’s why companies need to create good paid time off (PTO) policies.

The best PTO policies attract and retain top-level talent while ensuring your staff has an outstanding work-life balance. This keeps everyone happier and more focused when they’re on the job.

What Are PTO Policies?

PTO stands for paid time off.

Rather than having separate categories for vacation, sick time, and other personal needs, PTO groups all time away from work into a single category.

PTO policies offer more flexibility and privacy to employees as well. Instead of accrued sick time going to waste, employees can use that time for a long weekend or personal day at any point throughout the year—as long as it falls within the policy rules.

In short, a company PTO policy defines the rules for how employees can take time off of work.

The Basics of PTO Policies

Before you implement a PTO policy, it’s essential to have a firm grasp of your options. We’ll take a closer look at the core components of PTO policies below.

Types of PTO Policies

Every business is different, so PTO policies will vary across the board. With that said, most PTO policies fall into one of three categories:

  • PTO Banks — PTO banks offer employees a certain amount of paid time off per year that employees can use for any purpose. There’s no difference between a sick day, vacation day, or personal day.
  • Traditional Time Off — Traditional time off policies separate work leave reasons into different categories. For example, companies might offer ten vacation days, six sick days, and four personal…

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How to Create a Job Ad

Creating job ads is a necessary part of running a business, and some owners and managers find the process tricky.

Knowing how to summarize your position and hook in the right talent can be challenging.

Our guide will show you how to create an outstanding job advertisement that will inspire suitable candidates to apply.

The Easy Parts of Creating a Job Ad

At first, creating a job ad might seem like you have a mountain to climb.

You have to focus on the critical parts of the position and compete for top talent in an increasingly competitive job market.

How do you even begin?

The good news is that creating a job ad doesn’t have to be as trying as you think. For instance, you may worry about where you’ll post your job ad in the first place.

There are so many ways to reach potential candidates these days. It becomes far more manageable if you know what you’re doing. Using sites like LinkedIn and Indeed helps you reach a vast pool of talent, and there are others, too.

Not to mention dedicated recruiting software. Recruiting software is an up-to-date and easy way to hire top-level talent. For example, the software helps you post open positions across multiple job boards with the click of a button.

Tools also help schedule interviews for every applicant and take a lot of manual work out of the process.

Whether you’re a small team or a larger company, recruiting software can help. Some of the best software, such as Breezy HR, offers unlimited job listings.

Pricing for Breezy HR starts at $143 per month and goes up to $399 per month on the highest plan. Annual pricing includes two months for free.

We…

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The Complete Guide to Project Management Process

At its core, project management is all about execution. From small projects to large, complex, and everything in between, proper execution comes down to following the right process.

Project managers need to do much more than just remind their teams about deadlines and upcoming meetings—they must have a firm grasp of the entire project life cycle.

This guide will dive into the different phases and processes of a project. It will ultimately help beginners and experienced project managers alike improve their management skills and deliver better results.

What is the Project Management Process?

There are lots of different project management methodologies. But regardless of the method in place, all projects have two things in common—projects are completed in phases and follow an established process through each stage.

According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), there are five project management processes:

  1. Project Initiation
  2. Project Planning
  3. Project Execution
  4. Project Monitoring and Controlling
  5. Project Closing

Understanding these systematic elements as a whole will help project managers determine what must be accomplished before moving to the next stage in the process.

4 Tools to Improve Your Project Management Process

The best project managers rely on tools to ensure the project management process runs smoothly. Whether you’re a complete beginner or experienced manager, these are the top tools that you should take into consideration:

#1 — Zoho Projects

Zoho Projects is one of the most powerful and flexible project management tools on the market today. It’s used throughout projects for construction, marketing, software development, education, consulting, testing, real estate, and a wide range of other industries. The software has everything you could possibly need to manage the project life cycle and collaborate with your team, regardless of…

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The Complete Guide to Project Management Resumes – 2021

Creating a resume can be a pain. How can you possibly highlight your entire career and all your skills, experience, qualifications, credentials, and potential on a sheet or two of paper?

According to Glassdoor, the average hiring manager or recruiter spends just six seconds reviewing a resume. That’s right—six seconds!

That’s why learning how to craft the perfect project management resume is an invaluable skill. If you’re having trouble getting interviews or callbacks based on your resume alone, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re a project management beginner or have decades of experience, I’ll teach you how to write a resume that fast-tracks you through the hiring process.

Why You Need a Strong Project Management Resume

The average corporate job listing attracts 250 resumes. But just four to six of those applicants will be called in for an interview, and only one person will land the job.

Your project management resume needs to stand out from the crowd to increase your chances of being within the 2% of applicants who get an interview.

Even if your skills and experience are unmatched and you’re the best possible candidate for the position, it won’t matter if you can’t convey that information properly on a resume. On the flip side, you might be underqualified for certain project management roles. But with the right resume, you’ll stand out against other project managers with more experience than you.

5 Ways to Improve Your Project Management Resume

Whether you’re starting from scratch or just want to touch up your existing resume, these are some of the best ways to stand out to hiring managers and recruiters. These five strategies will take your project management resume to the next level.

#1 — Add Relevant Keywords

In the modern business environment, most…

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WordPress Errors Beginner’s Guide – 2021 Update

In a perfect world, your WordPress site will always run smoothly and never have any problems. But like every webmaster, you’ll quickly discover that the world we live in is far from perfect—WordPress errors are inevitable.

Fortunately, these issues don’t need to be a significant setback or area of concern. There are plenty of WordPress debugging tools and solutions to help with WordPress errors.

As someone who has been operating multiple WordPress sites for years, I’ve had my fair share of experiences with bugs and errors. I created this guide to help you address those issues and solve common WordPress problems as quickly as possible.

What are WordPress Errors?

There are countless potential WordPress errors that any website might experience at one point or another. Generally speaking, these errors can be segmented into three main categories—notices, warnings, and fatal errors.

Notices typically indicate an area for improvement but don’t necessarily mean that something is wrong. Warnings are a bit more serious, and fatal errors indicate that something much more significant and harmful is happening.

Themes, plugins, custom codes, and updates are just a few of the potentially dozens of causes associated with WordPress errors.

5 Tools to Improve WordPress Errors

WordPress has some built-in debugging tools and ways to identify errors. But beyond that, it’s helpful to use other tools and resources to fix WordPress errors. These are the five that I recommend:

#1 — Liquid Web

Liquid Web is an industry leader in the managed web hosting category. They provide VPS hosting, dedicated servers, and cloud servers for websites seeking premium services. With Liquid Web, you’ll get enterprise-grade managed WordPress hosting that’s been modified to accommodate small and mid-sized businesses.

What makes Liquid Web so great compared to…

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The 9 Best Customer Service Software Solutions – 2021 Review

Want to jump straight to the answer? The best customer service software for most people is Hubspot and LiveAgent

Customer service software makes sure your customers are happy and satisfied with your business.

And customers make or break your success.

Happy customers keep coming back and spending more money, while unsatisfied customers will cause significant damage to your reputation.

That’s why customer service must be a priority for every business.

Fortunately, the right customer service software can make this possible. Customer service solutions help ensure fast response times, positive interactions, and happy customers.

The 9 Best Customer Service Software of 2021

  1. HubSpot — Best free customer service software and product bundles
  2. LiveAgent — Best customer service software for live chat support
  3. Monday.com — Best for continually supporting accounts
  4. Freshdesk — Best customer service software if you’re switching from another platform
  5. Gorgias — Best integration with ecommerce platforms
  6. Zoho Desk — Best customer service software for ticketing
  7. Zendesk — Best customer service software with support suite options available
  8. Groove — Best customer service software for small teams and startups
  9. Help Scout — Best customer service software for nonprofits

It’s tough to find a good customer service software. There’s many options available on the market. But some of these tools are significantly better than others.

After researching and testing dozens of customer service solutions, I’ve narrowed down the top eight for you to consider.

As we continue you through this guide, I’ll give you an in-depth review of each one below. You’ll learn about the top features, benefits, use cases, pricing, and more.

Best Customer Service Software Reviews

#1 – HubSpot – The Best Free Customer…

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2021’s 6 Best WordPress Directory Plugins

Want to jump straight to the answer? We suggest WP GeoDirectory or Directories Pro for the best WordPress directory plugin. 

The Internet is full of directories.

In fact, your website might already be listed on some directories right now.

Directories like Yelp help consumers find a restaurant or service in their area. While a directory like Angie’s List connects people with contractors for things like electrical work, landscaping, and plumbing.

Both of these websites are very different—and they are both directories.

There’s a good chance you can find a way to implement a directory on your website. Law firms use website directories to list their lawyers and employees. Real estate companies have directories for their listings as well as their agents. A retail chain probably has an online directory for its store locations.

If you’re using WordPress, adding a directory to your website is simple. You just need to install a plugin.

The 6 Best WordPress Directory Plugins

Below are my in-depth reviews of the six best WordPress directory plugins:

GeoDirectory

GeoDirectoryGeoDirectory

GeoDirectory has one of my favorite search interfaces, allowing you to create a massive global directory on your website.

This is a great option for those of you who are looking for a free WordPress directory plugin as well.

They make it easy for website visitors to find exactly what they’re looking for without sacrificing the look and visual appeal of your website.

This plugin offers a front-end form that allows other businesses and users to submit listings, so scaling your directory is limitless.

When someone searches for a business on your website, the listings are displayed by proximity, so users can see the closest and most relevant…

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WordPress Shortcodes Beginner’s Guide – 2021 Update

Shortcodes are a powerful tool to help simplify the coding experience as you’re building pages and creating content on your WordPress website. These are especially useful for WordPress beginners but even experienced WordPress users leverage shortcodes to simplify the coding experience.

Rather than spending a ton of time and effort writing intricate lines of code, inserting a single shortcode can accomplish your goal in a much easier way.

Shortcodes ultimately eliminate complex scripts on WordPress sites. The possibilities with shortcodes are virtually endless, from creating in-depth page layouts to embedding interactive content on your site.

This guide will cover the basics that every WordPress beginner needs to know about shortcodes.

What are WordPress Shortcodes?

Shortcodes can best be described as coding shortcuts, hence the name. WordPress shortcodes use bracket strings on the backend of your site to create something and change the elements on the frontend of your page.

A shortcode makes it easy for webmasters to add content to their sites without any coding knowledge. It’s as simple as copying a piece of code and pasting it into your page editor.

WordPress shortcodes can be added to specific pages, posts, widgets, plugins, or even an entire theme.

5 Tools to Improve WordPress Shortcodes

The best way to manage shortcodes as a beginner is by using third-party tools. These will make your life even easier, especially if you don’t have a background in coding.

#1 — Shortcodes Ultimate

Shortcodes Ultimate is one of my favorite WordPress shortcodes tools on the market today. I’m not the only one who loves this resource—the tool has over 11 million downloads and 800,000+ active installations.

It’s perfect for WordPress users who want to save time and be more productive when writing…

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The 8 Best Conference Call Services – 2021 Review

Want to jump straight to the answer? The best conference call service for most people is definitely Nextiva, RingCentral, or GoToMeeting.

A good conference call services allows you to connect with the folks you want, when you want, and how you want.

It doesn’t matter if you need to hop on a quick call with your boss to discuss a client, or if you need to host a 100 person webinar over video — you need the right platform to do it all.

And in the age of the global pandemic and the rise of remote work, they’re more important than ever.

No matter your budget, you’ll find the right solution on this list.

I’ll show you the best conference call services on the market today, as well as my methodology for how to rank them.

The Best Conference Call Services

These eight options are a clear cut above the rest:

  1. Nextiva — Best Conference Call Audio Quality
  2. RingCentral — Best Video and Phone Conference Call Combo
  3. GoToMeeting— Best for Upgrading (or Creating) Your Conference Room
  4. ClickMeeting — Best Tools for Webinars and Presentations
  5. Phone.com — Cheapest Options for Routine Small Conference Calls
  6. Zoom— Best for Large Teams
  7. Google Hangouts — Easiest to Set Up and Invite
  8. Webex — Best for Team Collaboration

But which is right for your business? I’ve reviewed each service in detail below to help you compare them.

1. Nextiva — Best Conference Call Audio Quality

  • Rock-solid reliability
  • Carrier-grade data centers
  • Voice & video conferencing
  • 24/7 support

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VoIP calling providers often promise crystal-clear HD voice and audio, but VoIP can be susceptible to…

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