Photo courtesy of Oregon Business magazine
Photo courtesy of Oregon Business magazine

Our fifth consecutive year on Oregon Business magazine’s list, Ruby is one of the top ten Best Large Companies to Work for in Oregon! Oregon Business compiled the list based on surveys from 11,186 employees representing 248 companies statewide. This is the first time Ruby joined the large business category, and we were honored that our staff ranked us among the likes of Levi Strauss & Co. and Umpqua Bank.

We also wanted to take a moment to thank our clients. We look forward to connecting with you and your callers every day, and working with you is an essential part of why Ruby is such a great place to come to work!

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Dress for Success Oregon "Fast Track" series
Dress for Success Oregon “Fast Track” series Beaverton mentor and graduates

Dress for Success Oregon’s programs help many local women gain economic independence, and it’s an organization close to our hearts at Ruby. When we heard they were looking to help make their services more accessible to those outside the Portland metro area, we knew we wanted to help! In January, we were happy to host a group of six clients at our Beaverton location for DFS’s “Fast Track” series, featuring intensive job search workshops.

In this five-week series, Dress for Success clients learned important job skills, improved their resume and cover letter writing, and developed strong interview skills. By holding this job preparation program in Beaverton, Dress for Success Oregon will be able to help even more local women get jobs. Congrats to these “Fast Track” graduates!

Dress for Success Oregon "Fast Track" series
More Dress for Success Oregon “Fast Track” grads!

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How to find lifelong employees.

Reading time:

When Walt Bettinger, Charles Schwab CEO, conducts an interview, he likes to do lunch;  not at all out of the ordinary when filling a high level, leadership position. This isn’t just any old lunch, however. He watches how the candidate treats the server when their order gets mixed up. He pays attention to what kind of tip they leave. He’s looking for their character, because Walt knows that how a person handles an uneven power dynamic is telling of the type of leader they’ll be. Anyone can prepare for an interview, but using creative ways to let people show who they really are is a great way to immediately recognize a good (or bad) fit for your business.

Aren’t quite sure what you’re looking for in a new hire? Your company mission is a great place to start! Identify your purpose and look for others who have the same values. For example, Ruby’s mission is to preserve and perpetuate meaningful human connections in a virtual world, and years ago we decided to only bring in people who identify with these ideas in a very personal way. To find them, instead of predictable, traditional interviews, we conduct “sit-withs.”

A sit-with is a visit where a potential new hire tours our office, observes a receptionist, and chats with their potential trainer (we call them “Rubyinators,” of course). We look specifically for their ability to connect with the various Ruby staff members they meet that day, and if even one person doesn’t feel it’s a good fit, we don’t move forward with the hiring process. Someone might give great answers to the interview questions, but connecting with a bunch of strangers is hard for an individual who doesn’t have a natural inclination for it. The way we see it, Ruby can teach someone the skills to be an efficient receptionist, but we can’t teach them to find fulfillment in helping and connecting with their fellow human beings.

Employees stay longer at a companies where they are empowered to practice what they believe in. In fact, in 2013 Ruby experienced a 17% turnover rate, which is practically unheard of in an industry where rates over 100% are common. We’ve found that when you identify candidates who have values that align with your mission, you can build a truly remarkable team.

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Any email you send — even a brief one — is an opportunity to make a connection. The addition of a few thoughtful words can brighten your email recipient’s day, start a friendly dialogue, and make your messages stand out. Remember, there’s a human on the other end of that thread! Try these three tips to enrich your everyday correspondence:

Go with what you know. Did you learn anything about your correspondent the last time you chatted or exchanged emails? Think back to recent conversations, and show your interest by adding a friendly question:

Did you end up taking that vacation to Alaska? I’d love to hear about it!

Learn something new. If you’re writing to someone for the first time, or just don’t know much about your correspondent, basic questions are great. “How are you?” can fall a little flat, so shoot for something a bit more specific like “How is your Thursday going?” or “Do you have any weekend plans?”

Better yet, do a little research to learn something about your correspondent, their business, or their town, and engage on that:

I read your blog post about opening your new office. Congratulations! How are you enjoying the new space?

Sharing a little personal information can help encourage a response:

I understand Michigan’s been getting quite a bit of snow this year. How has the winter been treating you? It’s snowing here today. That’s a rarity for us!

Turn common courtesy into conversation. Pleasantries like “Have a nice weekend!” may not be intended to create meaningful connections, but they can be a jumping-off point for just that. When replying to messages, make the most of these opportunities:

Thank you so much, Kelly! I did have a great weekend — I went on a beautiful hike in the Columbia River Gorge. What did you get up to?

How do you connect with others though email? We’d love to hear from you!

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Missed connections translate to lost revenue. With Ruby, you have a partner in gaining and retaining customers. Plus, we’re so confident you’ll love our service, we offer a 21 day money-back guarantee*.

*Ruby is delighted to offer a money-back guarantee to first time users of both our virtual receptionist service and our chat service. To cancel your service and obtain a full refund for the canceled service (less any multi-service discount), please notify us of the service you wish to cancel either within 21 days of your purchase of that service or before your usage exceeds 500 receptionist minutes/50 billable chats, as applicable, whichever occurs sooner. Some restrictions may apply.