Since Geoff Bagg took over as president of the The Bagg Group in 2000, he’s grown the business so that today it encompasses five thriving divisions. He credits the steady expansion to a dedicated staff who share his passionate belief that people who are happy at work make for happier workplaces, happier families and happier communities.
The company logo even boasts of, “ a lot of happy people placed.” The Bagg Group is renowned for caring about the relationship between a person and their work.
With happiness set as a criteria of success, it’s no surprise that Geoff is a sought after speaker on hiring and workplace practices.
But in this Vanity Fair style flash interview, we ask Geoff questions which he’s rarely asked – about himself. And he shares his best tip for what not to do in an interview.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about you?
That I can get anyone hired. It’s who you are, what you have done, what you care about that closes the deal.
What do you think about when you take a break at work?
Going to Russia to fly a fighter MiG-29 to the edge of space and back. I’m working on a timetable when I’ll do that.
What’s your biggest fear?
I don’t like heights
Favourite movie genre?
Uh, rom-coms? No, action films for sure.
What’s an unexpected tip for a happy workplace?
Don’t rush to impose new rules on employees based on a single incident. Here’s an example: Someone wears something inappropriate on a Casual Friday and instead of talking to the individual, a blanket policy is imposed on all. Never undervalue the power of a good conversation.
What’s special about your workplace?
Aside from our terrific teams — our patios, BBQs, community involvement, get-togethers. We create an enjoyable work environment because we believe work should be enjoyable.
What’s one tough thing you have to do everyday as CEO?
Turn down dozens of requests for face-to-face interviews with job-seekers who contact me via LinkedIn. If I didn’t say no, I’d be meeting with people 24/7.
What’s a pet peeve?
People who look for a quick fix or a shortcut to a complex problem.
The number one thing a candidate should not do in an interview?
No matter what, don’t be negative –that’s a major turn-off for any interviewer.
What should a candidate always do?
Be yourself. Be honest. Don’t game out the questions, as in ‘What is your biggest weakness?” I work too hard.” Come on — keep it real.
What do you listen for?
Self-awareness and sincerity.
What’s a key piece of advice for an interviewer?
When someone asks value-questions, like ‘tell me a time when your integrity was challenged,’ appreciate the person who answers candidly.
Place a lot more weight on responses that use real life experiences than ‘textbook’ answers that are fabricated to sound good.
Values are not feel-good words, they’re action words. And not all actions are easy to put into place. A glib story doesn’t tell you anything, but how a person wrestled with a challenge tells you a lot.
What’s a weakness you’ve had to work on?
Keeping things in perspective.
What’s your mantra in the face of a tough meeting?
Starbucks will still open tomorrow morning
What animal would you come back as?
A dog. It’s a great gig –four square meals and a lot of love. I just wouldn’t want to ever be dressed in a goofy dog costume.
If you couldn’t do this job, what would you do?
I love to produce live sound for concerts and events.
What do you want your employees to know about you?
They already know I don’t pretend to have all the answers. The job title of CEO doesn’t mean you don’t still have to keep learning, and figuring things out like everyone else in the workplace – and in life.
If you took off to Mars, what would you want employees to say about you in your absence?
It would be nice if they noticed I was gone and tried to contain their excitement at least until a few weeks after I’d left.
Catch our flash interview with Jackie Chua, head of Bagg Pro. Other Bagg Group divisions are Bagg Technology Resources, Bagg @ Your Service, Bagg Managed Resources, and Turn Key Staffing.