Writing Carefully Crafted Job Descriptions for Capable Candidates

Writing Carefully Crafted Job Descriptions for Capable Candidates

If your job description is too broad and general, you might get stuck wading through a deep pool of unqualified applicants. If it’s too specific or uses the wrong terms, you might miss out on the person you need for the job. Here’s how to write a job description that provides a clear job title, describes tasks, sells your company and avoids discrimination.

Start With Research

Don’t just dust off the ad you used last time you had a similar opening, because jobs change over time. First, talk to the managers and team members who will be working with the new hire. After they fill you in on basic responsibilities, ask them what tasks the previous employee excelled at and how that helped your business overall. Find out also where pain points exist or areas of need went unaddressed.

Don’t forget to ask about additional duties they might need the new hire to take on that don’t necessarily go with the rest of the job description. For example, if your receptionist also handled your monthly newsletter, you’ll either need to hire someone who is comfortable with that task or find someone else willing to step into his or her shoes. Make a list of the skills you need and the type of person who will be a good fit.

Write A Clear Job Title

Use clear, straightforward language when you write a job title. Don’t try to be creative, even if you’re looking for someone who thinks outside the box. In other words, if you need someone to provide material for marketing, use the job title “Content Writer,” not “Language Mixologist.” The second choice creates vagueness and confusion.

Sell Through Your Summary

Give candidates a brief summary of what you’re looking for and what you offer. This is your chance to state why they benefit from working for you rather than your competitor. You’ll go into more detail later, but let them know why they don’t want to put off submitting their resume.

Outline Job Responsibilities

This is where your research comes in. Help candidates understand what they can expect to contribute on a regular basis. If, for example, you’re looking for an accounting assistant, a vague job description might say their job is to, “support the accounting department as needed.”
A better description of responsibilities might be like this one Brelsford Personnel developed working with one of our East Texas clients.

Writing Carefully Crafted Job Descriptions for Capable Candidates

Explain Must-Haves

Detail the experience level, certifications, degrees or other qualifications candidates absolutely must have before you’ll consider hiring them. This is a list of the must-haves to go with the responsibilities listed above.

If you have absolute requirements and a wish list, be clear about which is which. If you wouldn’t consider hiring a candidate without XYZ certification, and you’d like them to already know how to use ABC software but you’re willing to train, make sure it’s clear where you’re flexible and what’s absolute.

Detail Benefits

Tell potential employees everything that could be theirs if they win the job. List everything from bonuses to flexible work days.

Call to Action

Help candidates know how to take the next step. For online job descriptions, include a button or link to your application. For print ads, include a call to action that tells candidates how, when and where to apply.

Help With Job Descriptions

Brelsford Personnel finds the right candidate for the job every time. When you work with us, we get to know your company and your needs, then we create job descriptions that help attract the perfect fit. Learn more when you get in touch.

What Personality Tests Reveal About Job Candidates

What Personality Tests Reveal About Job Candidates

Recruiters, employment agencies and HR departments are split over whether or not it’s beneficial to use a personality test to evaluate job candidates. Pre-employment personality testing is designed to evaluate character traits and temperament to find new hires that will be an exact fit for teams and departments. It seems like a solid hiring practice, since when a person’s temperament and interests are suited to a position, he or she stays more engaged.

But what do personality tests really reveal? Are they accurate, and should you be incorporating them in your interview process? What’s the best way to remove the guesswork and hire the right fit for your organization?

Most Important Thing to Know About Personality Testing

Personality testing for work has been around for a long time. Experts continue to publish new research and new test variations regularly appear. What doesn’t seem to change is the data indicating personality testing alone gives some insight, but isn’t enough to evaluate fit.

Researcher Frank Schmidt conducted a meta-analysis of productivity data and selection practices over the past 100 years to identify the correlation between test scores and predicted job performance. His research showed when employers base hiring just on an interview, reference checks and a personality test, often that wasn’t enough to make accurate predictions about job performance.

Personality tests are one hiring tool, but they don’t offer a complete picture. Plus, there are thousands of personality test variations to choose from, and they’re not all created equal. Schmidt found personality testing works best when you choose a test designed for evaluating job candidates and combine it with other types of testing.

Candidates Can Manipulate Data

Do a quick search that includes personality testing for work and you’ll find first page results with tips on how to pass, fake or beat the evaluation in order to get the job. With a little bit of research and practice, candidates can sometimes skew answers so the data shows they’re a better fit than they really are.

It’s not that most candidates are deceptive, they just already have a sense of what employers want to hear. Taking a test alone causes anxiety. If they “pass,” they have a shot at the position. If they “fail,” their hope of a job with your company goes out the window.

Some Personality Tests Aren’t For Hiring

The popular Four Quadrant or 4-Q personality test has been around in some variation since 450 BC. In all that time, it hasn’t changed that much. Today’s candidates choose words from a list that are most and least like their preferences.

Potential candidates who want to make a good impression simply choose the words they think best align with the job description. Plus, 4-Q tests tend to measure “states” or emotions and feelings. Those are subject to change.

Another well-known personality test for work is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, a questionnaire employees complete to reveal how they make choices and interact with others. It offers insight into the type of work candidates like to do, but doesn’t evaluate how proficient they are at anything. Since the answers are open-ended, candidates can reply based on what they think the test administrator wants to hear.

Both types of tests can be useful after hiring to better understand employees and build stronger teams. Employers might use them to better understand communication habits, to plan future staff development or to measure traits important to customer satisfaction. They just aren’t a reliable indicator of whether or not employees are a good fit.

Choosing the Best Personality Assessments

The best personality tests on the market measure traits, not emotions. They include control questions or a lie-detector scale that tips off the administrator candidates might be trying to work the system. Strong personality assessments for hiring allow you to compare scores across candidates and traits. Test vendors can provide data to prove their test is bias-free, in compliance with local and federal guidelines and that it’s reliable and accurate.

Hiring the Right Fit Every Time

Hiring is time-consuming and expensive. Hiring the wrong person is even more so. When you work with Brelsford Personnel, we put decades of hiring expertise to work for you. We match candidate personality and skills with employer requirements and culture for a good fit. Let us know your staffing needs when you get in touch today.

Best and Worst Employee Gifts for 2019

Best and Worst Employee Gifts for 2019

The holidays are here, the year is winding to a close, and it’s time to start thinking about your hard-working employees. They’ve given it their all, and you want to reward them without breaking the bank or giving them something they won’t enjoy.

Employee gifts are a nice gesture meant to convey to your employees that you appreciate them. But sometimes, it can be difficult to find just the right gift, especially when you have a lot of employees and not a lot of time. It doesn’t have to be an expensive gift, just a thoughtful one.

The Dos and Don’ts of Employee Gift-Giving

Don’t give them all the same gift. It can be difficult to find something personal for everyone but giving the same item to all your employees comes across as cold and thoughtless.

Do add a personal touch. When you go out of your way to make the gift personal, then your employees will appreciate the effort. They’ll know you care about them as a person.

Don’t give the same Christmas card. When you print off thirty of the same generic Christmas letters and pass them out to the team, they will feel like you couldn’t take the time to write out a simple note.

Do hand-write a note. Hand-writing a note to give to each of your employees shows that you were thinking of them and that you were willing to take the time to show them.

Worst Gift Examples

A lot of employers make the mistake of giving out merchandise with the company logo on them. T-shirts, coffee mugs, backpacks, you name it, someone has handed it out at the holiday party. Somehow during the holidays, covering everything in the company logo makes it feel like less of a gift and more like self-promotion. It’s no longer, “I appreciate you,” but instead it becomes, “free advertising.” Or worse, you’re re-gifting merchandise left over from the last event or promotion.

Office supplies are another big no-no. You may have good intentions, but your employees don’t need another set of pens or sticky notes. It sends the message, “Happy holidays, now go work more.”

A gift card seems like a good idea, but it isn’t always. You don’t have to shop for your employees, you just give them store credit and they go buy it themselves. But your employees want to feel like they’re worth more than a twenty-dollar piece of plastic. If you’re giving gift cards, personalize the gift, if possible, by learning where each employee likes to shop or eat and purchasing cards from their favorite vendors.

Best Gift Examples

List what you know about employee likes and dislikes, then use that to generate your gift list. One good idea is to buy food or drinks for your employees. Gourmet chocolates, fancy coffee beans, a favorite type of tea, or other items are good examples. You don’t need a large quantity, just seek out things they wouldn’t buy for themselves but would still enjoy.

Consider a scarf for the employee who is always cold at the office. For the dog lover, purchase a subscription to BarkBox or Pooch Perks.

However, one of the things that your employees will appreciate most isn’t a material item. Paid time off or leave-early passes are great ideas for inexpensive and appreciated gifts.

This holiday season give your employees something they will feel good about. You’ve all worked hard over the year, now it’s time to enjoy the holidays with your family. For more advice on being an outstanding employer, check out Bad Boss or Motivational Leader – Which One Are You?

4 Holiday Workplace Problems and How to Avoid Them

4 Holiday Workplace Problems and How to Avoid Them

Holidays can be just as stressful as they are happy, both for managers and employees. Planning can help businesses avoid some of the common problems that go along with the season. Let’s jump right into ways to head off some of the most common seasonal problems before they occur.

The Christmas Party

You’ve seen the worst-case scenario in the movies, and you might have experienced it in real life as well. People get caught up in the celebration and forget they’re at a work-related event. Set the tone early and avoid potential problems by planning ahead. Review the employee handbook together and let all staff know the same standards apply at company-sponsored events.

In your invite, mention attire. When you specify business casual or business formal (or even have an ugly sweater party), you’re less likely to have employees show up dressed in after-hours clothing.

If you’re serving alcohol, avoid an open bar, issue drink tickets or hire a bartender you can trust to keep things in check. Serve good food constantly. Make sure you have options for people with food allergies and dietary restrictions.

Be aware not everyone celebrates Christmas. Make your holiday party voluntary and hold it outside of work hours. Let everyone know they’re welcome, but don’t force or require attendance.

Scheduling Conflicts

Another huge problem for employers during the holidays is that everyone wants off at the same time. It’s understandable people want to be with their families during the holidays, and often that means travel. Cold and flu season starts at the same time, further complicating issues.

Employees have lots to do with holiday shopping, entertaining and travel. Prepare to receive more time-off requests than normal. Consider using flex time as a reward, or implementing a rotating schedule for employees who complete tasks early and want to take a morning or afternoon for personal tasks.

Announce your policy for approving absences early, and set a deadline for requests. Some bosses approve based on seniority, others take a first-come-first-served approach.

Decreased Productivity

Your staff has more to do during the holidays, but you still have a business to run. Accept the fact employees are going to be distracted, and then make plans to create fresh energy and engagement.

Consider planning office competitions based around the holidays, with time off or small perks for teams who reach their goals. Boost morale with more flexible holiday hours. Publicly recognize and reward employees who give 100 percent every day of the year.

Not Enough Employees

Sometimes office problems happen because there’s too much work and not enough people to keep up. It’s not too late to hire seasonal or temporary help to get you through the busy 2019 holidays. Contact Brelsford Personnel to find out more.

Rituals That Help You Leave Work Stress at the Office

Rituals That Help You Leave Work Stress at the Office

Does this sound like you? You give 100 percent all day at work, and by the time you leave, you’re mentally exhausted. On your commute, you go back over the day’s events and all the things you meant to get to but didn’t. You stop by the grocery store and shop with the rest of the tired after-work crowd and their hungry, cranky kids and finally make it home.

Your spouse had the same intense kind of day you did, so when you see each other you’re both short-tempered, and sometimes tempers flare. Earlier in the day you meant to cook a healthy meal and exercise, but now your heart just isn’t in it. Half of your mind is still processing work problems, and your evening just makes you more stressed and exhausted.

If that sounds like most nights in your household, consider changing up your after-work routine. Rituals allow you to decompress and leave stress at the office so you can relax while you’re home and reconnect with family instead of turning home into a stressful environment.

Why Establish an After Work Routine

Experts at Psychology Today studied distressed couples and found many arguments aren’t triggered by money or substance abuse, but by the inability to transition from work to home. Someone said or didn’t do the right thing during initial interactions and the disagreement and tension escalated as the evening went on. In contrast, people who had rituals that allowed themselves to transition were much less likely to experience that type of disagreement.

Even if you’re not coming home to family members, it’s beneficial to have transition rituals. When you set clear boundaries between work and personal life, you allow yourself much needed time to recharge. Here are a few suggestions for creating an after-work routine.

Before You Leave Your Desk

Start the transition at work. Take a few minutes to clear away what you completed and won’t need the next day. Write down the tasks you need to work on first thing in the morning, then as you place your note where you’ll see it, mentally picture setting those tasks aside. You’re not going to forget, so there’s no need to worry about them on the way home.

On the Way to Your Car

Transitioning rituals are intentional. At work, interactions revolve around the jobs that need to be done. Reward or punishment is tied to performance. At home, every person has value, regardless of their performance. You have a different type of to-do list, but interactions should provide affection and support. When you go home you’re not just changing physical locations, you’re shifting your mindset.

As you cross the parking lot to your vehicle, take a deep breath and let it out slowly. Picture exhaling the day’s stress like a cloud of black smoke, then let it float away.

During Your Commute

As you start your car, take a minute for gratitude. Mentally list three things about your home life for which you are thankful.

As you drive, be intentional about letting go of stress. Now isn’t the time to catch up on the news. Instead, play music that improves your state of mind. For some people that might mean upbeat, happy tunes. Others unwind with relaxing music. If you need a dose of positivity, consider a comedy monologue.

Entering Your Home

A lot of people feel rushed at work, then when they get home they rush to cook dinner, help with homework, get kids bathed and off to bed, then knock out tasks for the next day. When you enter your home, take a brief pause and be both mentally and physically still.

Before you walk through the door, recognize what’s inside is part of the reason you go to work every day. Your family, your pets, your friends and your hobbies give meaning to your life. If other people live with you, seek them out, and make your first interactions positive ones.

Taking Care of Yourself

When you make your weekly grocery run, stock up on easy-to-grab healthy snacks. Eat one while you take a few minutes to unwind. Nourish your body before you’re starving and you won’t be as tempted to have Waitr bring you pizza. After you grab a snack, spend time doing your favorite physical activity to work stress and tension out of your muscles and blast your brain cells with endorphins.

Finding a Job You Love

If your job is making it difficult for you to enjoy the rest of your life, maybe it’s time for a change. Check out our online job postings to see if one might be a fit for you.

Be Sure You’re Hired With These Simple Steps

Be Sure You’re Hired With These Simple Steps

The job interview is the best place to present yourself as a capable employee, but how do you land one in the first place? Sometimes you feel like you’re sending resumes and job applications into the void. Give yourself the best chance of getting a meeting with decision makers by following these steps.

Don’t Apply for Every Posting

Sometimes people think if they blast out their resume to every possibility, eventually someone will respond. That’s not the best use of your time and effort. What works better is to make a super-concentrated list and focus on the options that offer the best fit. Take a two-pronged approach.

First, list the companies or types of employer for which you would most like to work. Before you focus your energy and effort on getting them to hire you, you want to know if they’re a match for your long-term goals and career expectations.

Second, identify which of those companies have job postings that match your strengths. You should read the description and say “That’s me!” If you say, “well, that’s at least partly true,” go on to the next job description.

Research, Research, Research

Get in the door by learning everything there is to know about the companies at which you’re applying. Research helps you identify contacts within the company, gives you a better sense of company culture and helps you tailor your cover letter and resume to catch the right manager’s eye.

Look at their website, comb through social media accounts and read what other sources have to say about their products and services. Know how they’re active in the community and what the media has to say about them. As you’re preparing your application materials, note the following:

  • What the company does and why they do it
  • What duties the job you’re applying for includes
  • Who uses the company’s products and services
  • Who are the people in leadership and what is their history with the organization
  • What’s their hiring process

Use Your Contacts

When you’re researching, you might uncover contacts you didn’t realize you had within the organization you want to hire you. If it’s someone you’re close to, give them a call, explain your interest in the job and be specific about your skills and qualifications. If they give you a referral, be sure to follow up with a thank you.

You also might find connections within your professional organizations, alumni association or LinkedIn groups. If you email a request for help give yourself the best chance of success with a clear, concise subject line, thoughtful body text that outlines your qualifications and possibly a link to a pdf of your resume.

Tailor Your Cover Letter and Resume

Use your cover letter and resume to highlight how you fit the job description. For your objective, opt for a targeted section that includes the company name. Hone your qualifications summary by removing statements that don’t match up with the job requirements and being specific about the skills you have that do. Go through your employment history and include language that puts related work experience front and center.

When you’ve finished with your resume, do the same thing with your cover letter. Use the job description and what you know about the company to show how you’re the perfect fit.

Try a Fresh Approach

It’s great so much information is available online, but sometimes you just want to interact with actual Northeast Texans who can help you with your career goals. At Brelsford Personnel, our staff has more than 35 years combined experience with staffing, and we’re trusted by some of the best employers in the area. Find out more about our fresh approach or view our open positions to get started.

How to Answer Interview Questions Like a STAR

How to Answer Interview Questions Like a STAR

We all know that feeling of anxiety that builds up in your stomach before something big happens. We’ve felt the knots that make you feel like you want to pass out, or the fluttering that begs you just to get it over with. Interviews bring out the nerves in almost everyone.

And no wonder, the stakes are high. If you aren’t able to articulate your strengths, you could see your hopes for a better job, more income, less stress and more professional satisfaction go right down the drain. If you’re successful you could land the career you’ve been dreaming about. Calm your anxiety and focus your energy using the STAR method.

What is the STAR Method?

The STAR method is a formula for answering behavioral interview questions in a way that clearly demonstrates your qualifications for the position. It allows you to tell a story that equally answers the question and shows off your skills.

Many employers ask behavioral interview questions to discover how you reacted in past situations. They usually begin with something like, “Tell me about a time when…”

Interviewers ask these questions to get an insight into the type of employee you are, so they can establish whether they wish to hire you. These questions can be overwhelming, but the STAR method gives a framework you can use to answer them.

  • Situation – The first step to delivering a clear and concise answer to behavioral interview questions is to set the stage. Establish a context for the situation by giving the interviewer a little background information. Basically, describe the scene in just a few words or sentences.
  • Task – Next, describe your role and the obstacle you faced. Were you in charge of a project? In a management position?
  • Action – Explain how you overcame the conflict. Try to focus on how you specifically solved the problem, not on those around you. “I did this” rather than “we did this.”
  • Result – What was the outcome and how did it benefit the organization? If you have specific examples, this would be the time to use them. Say something like, “Sales went up by 10%” or “The cost of labor went down by 10%.”

Acing Your Interview

If you have a clear plan for answering interview questions, fear and anxiety have less room in your life. You can speak with confidence. But how do you apply the STAR method?

Prepare for the interview ahead of time by thinking of past experiences that exemplify the values listed in the job description. If you have several solid examples that you have already thought of, then you will be prepared for the interview. If you’re worried about the questions your interviewer might ask, check out How Would You Answer These 7 Common Interview Questions? Practicing your responses to these questions may help you succeed when it comes time for your interview.

Brelsford Personnel has plenty of positions to fill. If you’re ready to put the STAR method to the test, be sure to check out our online postings.

Bad Boss or Motivational Leader – Which One Are You?

Bad Boss or Motivational Leader – Which One Are You?

Do you want to know the real reason good employees quit? In the State of the American Workplace report, Gallup CEO John Clifton said, “The single biggest decision you make…is who you name as manager. When you name the wrong person manager, nothing fixes that decision. Not compensation, not benefits, nothing.” So how do you make sure you’re getting that vital part right?

If you’re a manager, your responsibilities boil down to hiring the right people, then keeping them engaged. When administrators rely on their position to keep employees on task, that’s positionship, not leadership. If people do what you tell them to just because you’re the boss and you say so and they’re trying to avoid disciplinary action, they start to feel resentment and apathy.

Most people don’t think of themselves as a bad boss. Usually, they’re just very busy and trying to get things done. The difference is as much about how you think as what you do. Which of the following most describes how you operate in common workplace situations?

Planning

Poor managers primarily focus on what’s right in front of them. They feel like they’re always putting out fires, so they have time for little else. They know the next project, deadline or challenge is looming ahead, but they reason they’ll deal with that when they have to, today has enough trouble of its own.

Leaders tend to think long-term by default. Even when they’re solving today’s problems, they’re thinking how they can do so in a way that reaches future goals.

Workflow and Processes

Poor managers measure efficiency on each task in isolation, hyper-focusing on one process or system. Employees complain they micro-manage because they want to control how staff completes every step. They equate success with getting the job done, then quickly moving on to the next.

Good leaders work on hiring, supporting and nurturing the most talented people and helping them identify creative solutions and effective processes. They know one person can’t force several to be consistently creative and productive, but teams can be inspired to do so on their own steam. Consistent growth is as important as getting things done.

Raises

Poor managers think pay is motivation. There’s some truth to that – most people show up every day instead of relaxing at home because they have to pay the bills, and everyone likes a raise. But employees don’t stay motivated and engaged just because they get a check with pay in line with their skills and experience. It’s possible to make piles of money and still hate your job.

Good leaders know employees need more than that. They’re motivated to do their best when they’re challenged, supported and cared for. They offer other incentives besides money, so they get better results.

Workplace Relationships

Employees describe poor managers as always busy, hard to have a conversation with, distracted and impatient. When staff members approach them with a need or request, they’re preoccupied, and they dismiss themselves as quickly as possible. When employees hold a different opinion on how something should be done, they might quickly shut them down.

On the other hand, when employees feel like leaders are interested in them and in working with them to find solutions. Leaders are more social. They don’t just think in terms of meeting work goals; they try to help employees meet personal and professional goals along the way. They cultivate talent and creativity instead of feeling threatened by it.

Employee Motivation

Poor managers rely on financial reward and the fear of punishment as motivation. If workers do a good job, they get raises or bonuses on a set schedule. If they don’t, they receive critical evaluations, write-ups or whatever else their organization uses for discipline.

Good leaders have more tools available, because they know how to motivate individually. Some employees appreciate public recognition, others would rather work behind the scenes and receive extra paid time off.

Hire Strong Leaders

Strong leaders are hard to find. At Brelsford Personnel, we’ve been placing executives and administrators since 1988. Check out our online positions or get in touch today.

TACC Celebrates Community Achievement at Annual Event

TACC Celebrates Community Achievement at Annual Event

For many East Texans there are months left in the year, but not for the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce (TACC). Their fiscal year ends on September 30, so their year just came to a close. They celebrated with an annual event recognizing Chamber accomplishments and presenting awards to community members.

I Choose Tyler

The event was held at Harvey Convention Center and catered by Stanley’s and Roast Social Kitchen. The banquet’s theme was “I Choose Tyler,” and that message resonated throughout the evening. “A lot of people come to Tyler for a specific reason,” Henry Bell, TACC’s Chief Operating Officer said, “And they end up staying because it’s just such a great place.”

Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce’s mission is to encourage an environment where businesses can thrive and to enhance both economic well-being and quality of life in the area. Over 2,500 businesses, organizations and individuals make up the association. Amazingly, it is the fourth largest Chamber in the state of Texas.

This Year’s Highlights

The Chamber of Commerce is made up of subcommittees that enhance different aspects of community life and business development. They’re responsible for why so many people do choose Tyler for their place to live and do business.

Big things happened this past year because of each committee member’s commitment to making Tyler even better. Skip Ogle, Chairman of the Board for 2018-2019, introduced a video highlighting accomplishments like these:

  • The Aviation Committee celebrated the completion of Runway 422 at Tyler Pounds Regional Airport, part of ongoing improvements to that side of the facility. On July 2, Frontier Airlines started offering nonstop flights to Denver, connecting Tyler to a second transportation hub.
  • The Energy Committee offered the 2019 Energy Summit of Northeast Texas, bringing key industry experts to Tyler. They also continued to stimulate area job growth by establishing the Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (FAME) chapter. This partnership encourages apprenticeships between area businesses and educational institutions.
  • The Surface Transportation Committee worked to improve the transportation infrastructure around Tyler alongside NetRMA, the Texas Department of Transportation, Smith County and the City of Tyler. Work is ongoing in places like Old Jacksonville, Loop 49, Rhones Quarter Road and Paluxy.
  • The Business Development Council hosted multiple expos to support Tyler area businesses. Their program “School is Cool” provided supplies and services for thousands of students before classes started this year.
  • The Business Education Council focused efforts connecting local businesses and the area economy. The program matched city and local business leaders with Tyler ISD high school seniors to work together to ensure senior success.
  • Visit Tyler reported last year visitors spent $386 million in Tyler. The 2019 Azalea Trail alone had an economic impact of almost $1.9 million.

Business of the Year Awards

The Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce presents the Business of the Year Award to local organizations that support TACC’s mission to enhance the business environment, economic well-being and quality of life for the Tyler area. Cooperative Teacher’s Credit Union received the Small Business of the Year Award because of their heart for giving, community involvement and support for the Chamber Education Committee.

Mewbourne Oil Company received the 2018-2019 Large Business of the Year Award. TACC commended the organization’s high standards in hiring and its support of local events.

TACC Award Winners

The Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce presented several awards at the evening event. Bob Garrett, an East Texas real estate developer and president of Fair Oil Company of Texas received the T.B. Butler Award, an award Butler Publishing Company has presented to outstanding leaders since 1929. Friends and associates describe Garrett as a man of his word, who can handle any challenge and do so with integrity.

The W.C. Windsor Award goes to Tyler’s most outstanding person under the age of 40. This year’s recipient was Lindsey Shaver Harrison, director of sales for medical device company NanoVibronix. Harrison founded flippingtyler.com, is a board member of the Children’s Advocacy Center, serves as public relations chair of the Cattle Baron’s Committee and has been involved in several volunteer organizations.

Volunteer of the Year Award

Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce also presented our own Gates Brelsford with the Volunteer of the Year Award. Gates has been the Team Lead for the Energy Summit of Northeast Texas for several years. The March 2019 Energy Summit had a record of 450 attendees and 35 sponsors. The Energy Summit exists to bring top industry experts to East Texas and focuses on:

  • Job creation in Northeast Texas
  • New investment in energy resources
  • Educating the general public about the benefits of the energy industry

For more on this year’s energy summit, see our 2019 Energy Summit of Northeast Texas Recap.

Live Love Tyler

The Chamber welcomed June Cheatham as the 2019-2020 Chair of the Board. She challenged attendees to ponder what it means to live in Tyler, to love Tyler and to live out your love on a daily basis. “To love Tyler is to love its people,” she said, “To commit to its people…which each of you do on a daily basis as you either own, operate or work for entities that provide jobs and stability for the people of Tyler.”

At Brelsford Personnel, that’s a commitment we take seriously. We feel privileged to be part of the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce and our community. We look forward to serving area residents and members of the business community in the year ahead.

The (Previously) Unwritten Rules of Office Messaging Etiquette

The (Previously) Unwritten Rules of Office Messaging Etiquette

Real-time messaging applications have become extremely popular in the workplace. As you use any tool more frequently, there’s a greater possibility of making mistakes.

It’s so easy to just type out a message to your boss or co-workers and send it without considering the consequences. Save yourself from embarrassment by following these simple rules.

Don’t Flood the Feed

It is annoying to receive multiple messages from the same impatient sender when you step away from your phone for a minute. It is just as annoying (if not more so) when it happens at work.

If your coworker isn’t responding at first, don’t keep prodding them. They will answer you when they have a moment, and will appreciate you giving them time to respond.

Don’t Overuse Emojis

Emojis shouldn’t be part of every message. It’s okay to use one occasionally, but your coworkers don’t want to see forty laughing emojis when you think something is funny. One has just the same effect.

If someone has done something great, then emojis can give expression to your enthusiasm. When you use emojis judiciously, and thoughtfully they enhance your communication. However, using them for everything is unprofessional and not effective.

Emojis are like salt. Adding them to your conversation in moderation makes it flavorful, while overdoing it leaves a bad taste.

Punctuation and All Caps

One exclamation point or question mark will do. Also, as with most online communication, if you use all caps it’s as if you’re yelling.

Don’t Forget You Can Still Email

If you have large attachments or huge blocks of information you need to pass along, put it into an email instead or a text. When you clog the feed with huge verbal chunks, people can’t keep up with all the details.

Carefully crafted email allows for important information to be more appropriately organized. Readers can easily find the information later when they need to remember what the sender said.

Be Aware

  • Don’t use swear words – It isn’t uncommon for people to use curse words in their texting. With your friends and family, it may not be a big deal. At work, you should avoid even acronyms that stand for swear words. Mainstream phrases and abbreviations that are funny outside of work don’t always seem that way in professional conversation.
  • Use caution with slang and acronyms – Stick with plain English and standard grammar unless you’re positive the receiver will understand what you’re sending and the language nuances behind it.
  • Remember everyone can see it – Your coworkers and your bosses can see the conversation, so don’t share personal information about yourself or others. Avoid gossip and refrain from criticizing your coworkers.
  • Tailor your speech – Be aware of who you are speaking to. If you’re talking to your coworkers, it’s usually okay to be a bit more casual than you would be if you were talking to your boss. Don’t let the form of communication take away from your level of respect.

Every Bit Counts

Everything you say to your boss and coworkers can be recorded by office messaging applications, so keep that in mind when you communicate over text. Apps can be a tool that helps you work more efficiently, or they could waste time and damage your professional image.

Don’t let your instant messaging take away from the hard work you put in. Be your most professional self when you’re on the job and save more relaxed communication for after hours.