Virus Proof Your Workplace in 4 Steps

Virus Proof Your Workplace in 4 Steps

The news is full of unsettling information about Coronavirus spread, and that’s likely to escalate in the next few weeks. But the truth is, there are almost always germs floating around, and no one wants to risk getting sick.

Bosses and managers can emphasize good habits and show workers they care about their overall well-being by prioritizing good health. Protect against both bacterial infections and viruses in the workplace when you follow these steps.

Educate Everyone

It’s okay for them to think of you as the company germophobe if it leads to better health. At your next meeting, spend a few minutes giving a refresher course on how microscopic organisms like bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa spread. Then explain how regular, thorough hand washing kills them.

Most germs, including Coronavirus, spread through moisture droplets that pass from person to person. Sneezes, coughs, saliva, even breath can transfer infection. Since with many illnesses, hosts can be asymptomatic and still contagious, employees should be proactive about guarding themselves and their co-workers from the risk of infection.

Supply Germ Fighting Products

It doesn’t do any good to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze if after you do, you touch doorknobs, light switches and shared computers. It’s better to catch those germs in a tissue, but employees don’t always have much warning before a coughing or sneezing fit. Help them out when you stock up on tissues and place them where they’re easy to reach.

Place hand sanitizer right next to the tissues. Grab a squirt now and then yourself to subtly encourage others to do the same.

Pass out packets of sanitizing wipes so staff can disinfect their personal workspaces. If employees eat lunch in a breakroom or other shared area, leave a tub of wipes there as well.

Encourage Sick Staff to Stay Home

Some employees don’t call in when they aren’t feeling well because they’re afraid it will reflect negatively on their performance. Others feel like they need to “tough it up” and power through, so they take medication to mask symptoms and report to work as usual.

However, it’s better for everyone if sick employees stay home. They’ll get well faster and won’t risk infecting their co-workers. Make sure your team knows you encourage them to take time off if they get sick.

Make Disinfecting Easier

Virus and bacteria-laden droplets can stay infectious for hours, even sometimes days after they land on surfaces. Disinfectant kills them, but if your workplace is cluttered, they have plenty of places to lurk in the mess.

Consider requiring employees to clear their desks at the end of the day and to not leave personal items in shared work areas. That will make it easier for your cleaning crew to thoroughly disinfect.

When everyone works together, germs don’t have a chance to spread. You significantly reduce everyone’s risk of getting sick at the office.

5 Signs Your Job Interview Went Well

5 Signs Your Job Interview Went Well

You were exhilarated when you walked out the door, but almost as soon as you got in the car, you started replaying the interview in your head. Now you’ve been over and over the questions and answers, looking for clues you might receive a job offer soon.

Often, the way an interviewer responds gives hints into which way they’re leaning. They may still be considering other qualified applicants, but these are signs the interviewer thinks you might be the one they’re looking for.

The Interview Was Long

If you went in expecting to spend 30 minutes answering the standard interview questions and came out two hours later, that’s an extremely positive sign. If the recruiter or hiring manager spent a lot of their time with you, they think your resume, experience and personality indicate you might have what it takes. They’re trying to get to know you better so they can feel good about making an offer.

Your Interviewer Introduced You to the Team

In a similar way, if you were scheduled to meet with one person and during the interview things changed, that’s a good sign. They might say, “Hey, if you have a few extra minutes, I’d like you to meet Sam, Frank and Sherry,” then introduce you to other members of management or of the team you’d be working with.

It’s even better if they give you additional information about those other people. If they say, “Frank likes football too,” or, “Sherry won the graphic artist competition last year,” they’re trying to get you to connect with them, and them with you.

You Connected With the Interviewer

If you felt like there was an immediate rapport with your interviewer, that’s a sign your interview went well. You might have discovered you have things in common. They might have gone off script and stopped asking traditional questions and started asking detailed questions about your previous job experience.

Or, they might have indicated their positive response with body language – leaning toward you, nodding to show they’re interested, making good eye contact and staying engaged with your answers.

They Try to Sell You The Job

One sign a job offer might be on the way is when your interviewer spends a lot of time explaining the benefits of the job you’re applying for. When they talk up the great bonuses people received last quarter, how the company offers unique amenities or where they go for the company retreat every year, they’re hoping you’ll consider accepting their offer.

The Interviewer Talks About Next Steps

It’s always a positive sign when the interviewer plans for the next stages of the process. They might ask how much notice you need to give at your current position or how soon you could start. It’s also a plus if they say you’ll hear from them within a specific time frame.

The next step in applying for jobs available through Brelsford Personnel is to submit your resume. Browse our job postings to get started.

How to Know if Job Hopping is Hurting Your Opportunities

How to Know if Job Hopping is Hurting Your Opportunities

Nobody ever sets out to bounce around between employers, sometimes life just works out that way. If you’ve made a few job changes and you have a reasonable explanation, it might not hurt, but if it’s a pattern, it can be a red flag to employers.

So how do you know if recent job changes are keeping you from finding a better job? How much change is too much? Is there anything you can do if you’ve made several moves in the recent past? Read on to find answers.

How Much is Too Much?

Last year the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the results of a national longitudinal survey that sheds some light on averages. They looked at people born between 1957 and 1964, individuals who have had plenty of time to experience job movement. On average, they held 12.3 jobs after they turned 18. They were employed 78 percent of the time. When they were working, 75 percent of their jobs ended in fewer than five years.

In contrast, people born in the 1980s had worked at an average of six jobs by the time they reached their 26th birthday. People are changing jobs more frequently than they did in the past, especially younger workers.

Some movement is expected. Employers aren’t looking as much at your overall number of jobs as the time you’ve spent at each one. When employers see you’ve had multiple jobs and you’ve been at each of them for a year or less, that’s when job hopping becomes a problem.

How Long Should You Stay at a Job?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics published averages for that too. In a 2018 survey, median employee tenure was 4.3 years. Most of the time, older workers stayed longer in one position (an average of 10 years for those between 55 and 64), and younger workers moved sooner (workers between 25 and 34 changed at about 2.8 years). It’s not a problem if you quit one job soon after your hire date, what concerns employers is when quitting becomes a pattern.

It could hurt your chances of getting a new position if you quit before your one year anniversary unless you have a good reason. Employers will understand if you had to move when your spouse got transferred or if your company shut down, but if you changed frequently because you were bored or you didn’t like your co-workers, they could feel you’re not going to stick around at their company either.

What You Can Do at Your Next Interview

If you’re looking for a new job because you feel like your current situation isn’t working for you, take a hard look at what you don’t like now and what you want for your future. If you’re looking for a company with more advancement opportunities, better technology, a more flexible schedule or some other benefits, only apply with employers who offer what you’re looking for. Then don’t turn in your notice with your current boss until you’ve found a job that will be a long term fit.

Ask questions at your next interview to learn about the benefits, opportunities and culture of the company you’re considering. Let your interviewer lead, but look for signs you could be happy working there long-term. If you jump into a new role just thinking short-term, you might find yourself unhappy again in a few months, but with a little patience and research, you could end up on a rewarding career path.

Brelsford Personnel has positions with the opportunity for long-term career growth, and we take the time to talk with candidates about their career objectives. On our website you’ll find resume writing tips, dress code guidelines for the job search and interview tips to help you land a job you’ll be happy with for years to come.

East Texas Jobs for High School Graduates

East Texas Jobs for High School Graduates

It’s exciting and frightening to graduate high school. The future is up to you, and there are critical decisions ahead. We’ve made a list of job ideas for East Texas high school graduates to help you start planning what comes next.

East Texas Jobs for College Bound Grads

One of the great things about living in the Tyler area is the higher education opportunities available. If you plan to attend college classes at UT Tyler or Tyler Junior College for the fall of 2020, you’ll need work that fits your school schedule. Flexibility is a priority, because your class schedule will change from one semester to the next.

For most students, that means nine-to-five, full-time employment won’t work. Work study or student assistant jobs are available through TJC and UT Tyler for students who have completed a FAFSA and demonstrate financial need. If you qualify, work study jobs offer flexible hours and a chance to earn experience and references that will help once you finish your degree.

If you prefer to work off campus, there are a wide range of job choices for college students near Tyler. Food service is a popular choice because afternoon and evening hours work well with the typical morning class schedule, and tips at Tyler restaurants can be pretty good. Driving for a ridesharing app can be an evening and weekend money-maker if you’re over 21. Area vendors are almost always looking to hire retail associates. It’s also a good idea to check Brelsford Personnel’s online job postings to see if we have temp positions that match your qualifications.

Jobs That Don’t Require a Degree

Many skilled trades are beginning to experience shortages as Baby Boomers age out of the work force, and that could mean opportunity for East Texas high school grads. Manpower Group found that for the seventh consecutive year, skilled trades roles were the hardest to fill. Electricians, welders, mechanics, plumbers and other occupations that require specific hands-on abilities are in demand, so qualified applicants won’t have trouble finding a job.

Tyler high school students can get a head start on a profitable, satisfying career in one of these fields while they’re still in high school at the Tyler ISD Career and Technology Center. Courses offer hands-on training, and many end in an endorsement or the knowledge they need to test for certification. That means students can enter the workforce in their desired field right after graduation. If you’re still in high school, check out the Programs of Study Guide for a wide range of choices like these:

  • Automotive Collision and Repair
  • Cosmetology
  • Culinary Arts
  • Digital Communications
  • Emergency Services
  • HVAC and Sheet Metal
  • Welding

If you’re graduating in May and you didn’t choose one of these as a career path, you still have options. TJC offers degree and certificate programs in healthcare, computer science, criminal justice, healthcare administration and more.

When You’re Not Ready to Choose a Career

Students are under a lot of pressure to choose a career that will allow them to reach their potential, use their talents, make them feel fulfilled and hopefully earn a high salary. But what if you’re about to graduate and you’re not sure what you want to do?

If you always intended to go to college, you’re just not ready to pick a major, go ahead and enroll. The first few semesters are typically general education, so you’ll have more time to choose a career while you knock out the basics.

If college isn’t for you, look for work in a field of interest. You’ll get valuable job experience while you see if that field is a good fit and decide whether or not to pursue further training in that area.

Brelsford Personnel matches qualified candidates with top Texas employers in direct hire, temp-to-hire, temporary and contract staff positions. Like our Facebook page to keep up with East Texas employment news and positions available through our staffing agency.

Change In the Wind at the 2020 Energy Summit of Northeast Texas

Change In the Wind at the 2020 Energy Summit of Northeast Texas

Mark your calendars now for the 10th annual Energy Summit of Northeast Texas on March 24. In the past decade, this event sponsored by the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce Energy Committee has become the most well-attended and recognized regional energy conference. Here’s what you need to know about this year’s event.

What’s Changing in Texas Energy

This year’s theme is Texas Energy Matters: The Changing Face of Texas Energy. The conference has always offered the latest insights on oil and gas. Now for the first year ever, part of the focus of the Energy Summit of Northeast Texas will be on renewable energy. Consider these statistics:

  • Texas ranks number one in the nation for installed wind capacity and number of wind turbines.
  • Texas, Kansas, Iowa and Oklahoma, just four states, account for 52 percent of the nation’s wind electricity generation. Of that, Texas generates more than 25 percent.
  • The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts by 2050, renewables will provide almost half the world’s electricity, with wind energy making up nearly 35 percent of that total.

Oil and gas won’t be going away anytime soon, but the mix of energy sources is changing. There’s so much room for growth in terms of renewable energy. It’s an exciting topic Energy Summit speakers will explore in-depth.

Why 10 Years of Energy Summits

The Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce Energy Committee has sponsored the Energy Summit of Northeast Texas 10 years in a row to raise awareness about the industry in general and to highlight its connection with jobs in Northeast Texas.

“Most people relate to the energy industry only when they are filling their car up with gas,” said Gates Brelsford, Chairperson for the event. “But it’s one of the most important industries in Northeast Texas. Not just in Tyler but in Longview, Kilgore, Gladewater and the surrounding areas.” As much as one in six area jobs are tied to the Texas oil and gas industry.

The impact of Texas energy spreads far beyond Northeast Texas. “We’re literally changing the future of countries” says Todd Staples, President of the Texas Oil and Gas Association and one of the event’s speakers, “because we are making affordable, reliable, clean-burning energy available for them.”

Who Will Be Speaking

At the Northeast Texas Energy Summit, this list of current speakers (to date) will address the significant changes and adaptations happening now in the industry:

  • Wayne Christian – Chair of the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC). This state agency regulates the oil and gas industry, industry safety and surface mining. Because of RCC’s influence on oil and natural gas pricing and supply, it might be one of the most important regulatory entities in the United States.
  • Brent Bennett, Ph.D. – Energy Storage Consultant for the Texas Public Policy Foundation. The challenge when it comes to renewable energy involves storing harvested wind and solar energy and putting it into the grid. This Texas native shares his expert knowledge in utility-scale energy storage systems.
  • The Honorable Jason Isaac – This four-time State Representative is now Senior Manager and Distinguished Fellow of Life: Powered at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. He’ll speak on the topic of Raising America’s Energy IQ.
  • BP Strategic Planning Group – A representative will share with attendees The Impact of Renewables on Global Energy Demand.

Who Should Plan to Attend

The 2020 Northeast Texas Energy Summit is for anyone who has an interest in developments in the energy industry. Last year’s event had more than 450 attendees and speakers integral to the industry, with similar numbers expected this year. Event participants weren’t just from oil and gas companies, they were a broad mix of representatives from accounting firms, banks, government agencies, law firms and other business entities.

Sponsorship opportunities are still available and are a way to help raise awareness of top energy industry issues while getting your name in front of a large audience. The Conference takes place in the Green Acres Baptist Church Crosswalk Conference Center on March 24 from 10:30 to 2:00. For more information or to secure tickets, call the Tyler Chamber of Commerce at (903)592-1661.

Common Sense Rules for Texting Job Candidates

Common Sense Rules for Texting Job Candidates

Sometimes text messaging can be the most effective way to get answers when evaluating prospective employees. It seems like people are more likely to respond quickly, which speeds up the hiring process. However, it’s also a more informal form of communication, so things can get sticky if you’re not careful. Your early communication sets the tone for how you’ll interact if you offer candidates the job, so it pays to keep things professional.

Permission is Easier than Forgiveness

You may have heard it’s easier to ask forgiveness than permission, but in this case that isn’t true. Before you text job candidates, make sure they’re okay with it. Your goal is engagement, and some people just don’t like texting.

It’s okay to ask via text message. Use the candidate’s name in the initial message so if you’re texting multiple candidates at once you can keep conversations straight. Send a brief message that tells your name and job title. Ask if text messaging is a good way to get in touch or if they prefer another method. Much of the time you’ll receive a positive response and know it’s okay to continue communicating via text. If you don’t hear back, double-check the number, then assume text isn’t an acceptable way to reach them.

Keep it Simple

Text is okay for short statements and simple questions. Handle everything else via email, phone call or in person. It’s fine to text interview appointments or request additional documentation, it’s not okay to negotiate salary or talk about things that aren’t job-related.

If you start composing a text and realize it contains more than a few sentences, the topic is too complicated for messaging. Or, if you find yourself going back and forth several times with the candidate, stop and schedule a phone call or meeting.

Stay Professional

Text messages are easy to send from anywhere, so sometimes recruiters get a little too relaxed. Just because you’re texting from the coffee shop doesn’t mean your tone or grammar should be similar to what you use with friends and family members. Here are a few basic rules for staying professional.

  • Only text during business hours. In your first text conversation, it’s a good idea to let candidates know what hours you’re available by text message and to assure them you’ll respect their after-hours time as well.
  • Don’t send or ask for information that should be privacy protected or might indicate discrimination.
  • Check your spelling and punctuation. Don’t use slang, emojis or text abbreviations. Your tone should be the same as you would use for work email or in-person exchanges at the office.
  • Don’t group text candidates.
  • Reply promptly to messages you receive and end conversations when you’ve reached your goal.

Hiring Made Easier

Finding the right job candidates is challenging, but you don’t have to do it alone. Brelsford Personnel handles every step of recruiting, evaluating and interviewing so you don’t have to. Contact us today to learn more about our personal approach.

How to Help New Employees Feel Welcome

How to Help New Employees Feel Welcome

As an employer with a new hire, you spent time and resources recruiting, interviewing and hiring that staff member. You’re hopeful you made the right choice, but there have been times in the past things didn’t go as planned and the new hire didn’t stick around.

That may be due to what happened when the new employee reported to work. During the first days of employment, they are evaluating you just as much as you’re evaluating them. A third of the time something goes wrong, with 33 percent of new hires quitting in the first 90 days.

It takes courage to get through the first few weeks in a new position because the unknown can feel awkward and frustrating. The expectations, the technology and the people all come with a learning curve. New hires hope to make a good first impression, and you can do the same by offering a friendly welcome.

Welcome Employees Before They Start

Of the new hires that quit, a large percentage hit the door because the job wasn’t what they expected. One way to keep that from happening in your workplace is to make sure employees understand what you’re about to require from them. Double-check to see if your job posting fits the actual responsibilities and that your new hire is qualified to fulfill them.

You can make a positive first impression before new staff reports for duty by being the first to reach out. Send a brief personal note via email congratulating them on being the top pick and stating you’re looking forward to working with them. Include information on how to get in touch if they have questions before their start date. If your company is active on social media, send them a link to your feed and invite them to participate.

When you reach out, you can also send first-day paperwork so they can complete it digitally. Doing so allows them to fill out forms from the comfort of their own home instead of having to do it with paper and pencil on their first day.

If possible, send them an outline of what they can expect when they report for duty. If you’re scheduling an orientation or safety training, let them know ahead of time. Explain your employee parking system if you have one.

Positive First Day Impressions

You want a productive employee, and your new hire wants to know exactly what he or she is supposed to be doing. Have a plan in place that meets both your needs to eliminate the uncertainty and awkwardness that makes onboarding hard on everyone.

Prepare their workstation before they arrive. If the last person to sit at that desk left things behind, clear them away. Make sure the phone and computer are hooked up and you have login information for systems they’ll need to access.

Assign each new-hire a mentor. Greet them as soon as they walk in the door and introduce them to that person. Then have their mentor provide a tour. Even if your office is small, show them where to find the coffee pot, the restroom, the coat closet etc. Explain office quirks like how to work the recalcitrant copy machine or what to do when the vending machine goes on the fritz. Then offer on the job training starting with simple tasks. Allow them to gradually settle in and develop confidence.

Welcoming Employees Beyond Day One

Day two might be even more challenging for new hires. Initial training is out of the way and the new has already started to wear off, but it’s too soon to have built relationships or become comfortable with their role and responsibilities.

Make sure their mentor continues to show them the ropes. As their supervisor, check in on them to see how they’re doing and ask if they have any questions. Listen if they have concerns. Over time, your effort will turn what could be an uncomfortable interaction into a positive experience.

Brelsford Personnel helps East Texas employers with everything from recruiting to onboarding. Find out more about our services here.

5 Must-Have Resume Sections (And 3 Optional Ones)

5 Must-Have Resume Sections (And 3 Optional Ones)

What are your career goals in 2020? A well-written resume can help you reach them. It’s a critical document in every job search, and for some people that’s intimidating. That’s why we’ve created an easy-to-follow template that will work for almost any position. Here are the basic sections every resume needs, along with many of the optional categories that can help get your foot in the door.

Always Include These Resume Sections

Make your resume visually appealing and simple to understand so employers can see what you offer at a glance. Use easy-to-read font, high-quality paper and consistent formatting. Here’s what every resume should include.

The Header

The top section of your resume should include your full name and all of your contact information. Use large letters for your name, then list your name, phone number, cell phone number and email address. Including your physical address or social media handles is optional. Avoid using your current work email address on a resume, and make sure the email address you do provide makes a good first impression.

Summary/Objective

In this section, briefly communicate what you’re looking for and why you’re the best pick. Start with an objective statement that includes the job title you’re applying for. Then state two or three of your top qualifications or most relevant skills. Conclude by letting the employer know what they stand to gain by choosing you.

Education Section

This resume block is pretty straightforward. Start with your highest completed degree and work backward. If you earned a college degree, you don’t need to list your high school diploma.

Include the type of degree you earned, your major and minor, and the name of the school from which you received your degree. If you received academic honors, list those as well.

List licenses and certifications in much the same way. State the name of your certification, the institution from which you received it, the date you became licensed or certified and applicable location information. For example, if you’re only licensed or certified in a certain state or region, clarify where you can use that education or qualification.

Work Experience

Again, start with your most recent job experience and work backward. Include this information for each entry:

  • Employer name
  • Your job title
  • Dates employed
  • Job tasks and responsibilities

Under each employer, highlight your achievements using data wherever possible. If you increased sales by 15 percent, reduced marketing costs by $3,000 a year or saved 100 man-hours every month, let that hard evidence speak in your favor.

Skills

Employers are looking for candidates who already possess the skills the position requires. They’re looking for abilities like problem solving, teamwork, organization, flexibility and strong time management. Evaluate your strengths and make a list, then revisit the skills section of your resume every time you apply for a job.

Look at the skills each employer lists on the job description. If you have those skills, make sure they’re on your list.

Optional Resume Sections

Almost all employers are looking for the above information on your resume. You also might want to include the following optional sections:

  • Awards
  • Volunteer work
  • Professional associations

How do you know whether or not you should include optional sections? Ask yourself how each relates to the position. Your first place award at the state chili cook-off doesn’t make you a more attractive candidate at a CPA firm, but it definitely counts if you’re applying to be the kitchen manager at a local restaurant. If you’re applying for a social worker position, your volunteer experience at that children’s summer camp says something about your heart.

When your hobbies or professional associations show you’re more qualified, connected or passionate, include them on your resume. If they aren’t connected to the position for which you’re applying, leave them off.

More Job Resources

If you’re looking for East Texas jobs, we want to help. Find more resume tips in our online resources or browse our available positions today.

Finding Bilingual Jobs Near Tyler Tx

Finding Bilingual Jobs Near Tyler Tx

If you speak more than one language, you have a powerful skill that automatically makes you more qualified to fill certain positions. Communication is the building block for business, education and public service. Bilingual employees are highly valued in almost every field because without their skills, some interactions become frustrating or impossible.

As the world gets more connected, the demand for multi-lingual employees will only continue to rise. If you speak more than one language, East Texas employers need you to fill bilingual jobs throughout the area.

3 Major Advantages of Hiring Bilingual Employees

When job candidates speak a second language, it can be the deciding factor in the hiring process. There are bilingual jobs in almost every field. Whether you’re hiring a bank teller, teacher, paramedic, customer service representative, salesperson or other role, candidates are an asset to your company if they can communicate with people who struggle understanding and speaking English.

  • Bilingualism makes companies more competitive. They can reach more people than a monolingual business.
  • Hiring bilingual employees communicates the organization cares about demographic groups for whom English is less understandable than their native language.
  • Hiring multi-lingual employees allows businesses to be increasingly global. Bilingual employees don’t just know another culture’s vocabulary, they often know its customs and etiquette.

Bilingual Benefits for Job Hunters

If you speak a second language, make sure it’s on your resume. Being bilingual is a highly sought after skill which will give you a better overall chance of landing the job.

Plus, bilingual jobs pay better. AOL Finance suggests bilingual employees make between five and 20 percent more than employees that otherwise have the same skills and serve in the same capacity.

Being bilingual creates opportunities. For some jobs, you might get to travel to help meet your employer’s needs. For others, being the go-to person when your boss needs a translator makes you the person they think of first when a better position becomes available.

Most Common Languages Spoken in Texas

What languages make you the most in demand? Texas has a diverse ethnic composition. As of 2017, more than 16 percent of the population was born outside of the U.S. The most common foreign languages are as follows:

  • Spanish – 7,726,208 speakers
  • Vietnamese – 225,079 speakers
  • Chinese (including Mandarin and Cantonese) – 161,502 speakers

Bilingual Employees Needed

If you speak another language, here at Brelsford Personnel we recognize the high value of your language skills. Submit your resume for one of our open positions to start the hiring process today.