Everything You Need to Know Before Your Next Video Interview

Everything You Need to Know Before Your Next Video Interview

Video interviews used to be just one tool in a hiring manager or recruiter’s toolbox. Since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, they might have become one of the most important ones. That isn’t going to change any time soon. If you’re looking for a job, give yourself the best chance of success by preparing for your online interview ahead of time.

The most common type of online interview is the video call, where the interviewer uses Zoom, Facetime, Skype or a similar platform to interact with you just like they would during an in-person interview. Some companies also might ask you to make a recorded video of yourself answering a series of questions.

Either way, candidates are sometimes caught off guard by how their stress level skyrockets during a video interview. Something about a camera makes you feel under intense scrutiny, even more “on the spot” than you would be during an in-person interview. Like with any other type of interview, preparation is the key to minimizing nerves and showing yourself at your best.

Preparing Your Video Interview Background

Choose a quiet spot you can completely close off from noise and distractions. Make the background as plain as possible.

With an in-person interview, the person you’re talking to is familiar with the surroundings so they’re not a distraction. However, through video you expose your interviewer to a completely new environment. You don’t want them to be distracted by what’s in the background. Instead, you want them to focus on you and what you bring to the table.

Everything You Need to Know Before Your Next Video Interview

If there’s a lot to look at in the background, their eyes are going to roam all over the screen instead of looking at you. It’s harder to make a strong first impression and harder to keep their attention. Your décor could prevent them from recognizing your skills.

To keep that from happening, seat yourself against a blank wall or other monochromatic backdrop. Then, let in as much natural light as possible and turn on the other lights in the room to ensure your face is brightly lit. Consider placing a lamp on either side of your monitor to minimize dark shadows and harsh lines.

Avoid sitting in front of a window, or you’ll just be a dark silhouette on the screen. Sit in a chair with a straight back, not on the couch or in a recliner. Put your computer or phone with camera on a desk or table instead of holding it on your lap. It’s hard to look enthusiastic while lounging, hunched shoulders or a double chin.

Everything You Need to Know Before Your Next Video Interview

Remove These Distractions

Ask someone else to watch young children during your interview and turn off everything that makes noise. Silence notifications on your phone and computer.

Make sure your cat or dog can’t wander through. Even your goldfish shouldn’t be on camera, he or she is guaranteed to do something to try to steal the limelight. Turn off your overhead fan so shadows won’t flicker and your hair doesn’t blow. Make sure the dishwasher and coffee pot don’t kick in on delay start.

Don’t sit in front of anything with text. You might think your library makes you appear well-read, but it could also have your interviewer trying to read all those titles sideways instead of focus on your answers. Family photos or dishes in the background are visual clutter you can do without.

Take mirrors down temporarily so you don’t have to worry about what they might reflect during your interview. Then pre-adjust your camera so only your face, torso and a small amount of plain background are visible.

What to Wear for a Video Interview

Dress for a video interview in the same type of professional attire as you would for an in-person interview. During your company research, watch for images of employees at work and wear something similar or slightly more formal.

Just like with regular interviews, avoid loud colors and prints. If you wear jewelry, stick to just a few simple pieces. And, just like with in-person interviews, wear pants or a skirt. If you just dress from the waist up, you’re sending yourself the message it isn’t a “real” interview. You also might end up showing your interviewer more of yourself than you intend.

Best Colors to Wear for Online Interviews

Black and navy are almost always a safe bet. It’s also flattering to wear a soft, light colored shirt. White, cream and soft blues and greens can be flattering, but red, yellow and orange don’t always look good on camera.

Video Interview Makeup Tips

If you are interviewing on Zoom, Bluejeans, FaceTime or any other platform, your goal is to highlight what is best about you. If you wear makeup, aim for a natural, healthy look. Evening skin tone and darkening lashes are fine but avoid heavy or dramatic shades in your eye shadow and lipstick.

How to Prep Your Technology

If you haven’t used the meeting client, you may need to download it. Here are links for accessing some of the most frequently used video interview tools:

Google Meet doesn’t require a download, just click on the link and follow the prompts to start a meeting. GoToMeeting has a 14 day free trial, but there are a few steps to signing up. Facetime is a feature on iPhones.

Your interviewer will send you a link to find your meeting room when it is time for your actual interview, but it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the software before you get to that point. Ask a friend or family member if they’ll pose as your interviewer and schedule a practice session with them over the technology you’ll use when it’s time for your real online interview.

Testing 1-2

Use a desktop or laptop computer if possible, not a cell phone or tablet. A computer is more stable and will likely have a more reliable internet connection.

Video uses significantly more bandwidth than web browsing. For video conferencing, you need a stable connection of 1-4 Megabits per second. Google will run a free speed test on yours here. During your interview, ask other family members to stay off the Wi-Fi so they’re not using your bandwidth.

If you won’t be connected to power, make sure your device is fully charged. Access your camera, first and make sure you are centered in the middle of the screen.

Content Preparation

Get your mind ready using the interview tips on our resources page. Then schedule that practice video interview with your friend or family member.

Once you’ve established your connection with them, ask them how the background looks on their end, whether or not the sound is clear and how and if you appear on the monitor. Make adjustments as needed.

Provide them with these seven common interview questions and have them pose as the hiring manager. Treat it like the real deal and you’ll uncover areas you can improve and build confidence for your actual interview.

Acing Your Online Interview

If you completed the above steps, you’re ready to make a good impression during your video interview, but there are still challenges ahead. When you meet with someone face to face, it’s often easier to establish rapport than it is when talking through a screen. Before you connect, take a deep breath, relax your shoulders and connect with your most positive, confident self.

Establishing Rapport

Start with a friendly greeting and by thanking them for the opportunity. Sit up straight or lean slightly forward to express attention and interest. Mirror their talking speed, volume and energy levels. If appropriate, nod when they do, and occasionally repeat back to them or paraphrase what they say.

Eye contact matters, and it’s a little tricky to maintain it during a video interview. Because your interviewer appears on your screen, that’s where your eyes go. However, for most people, the camera is located at the top of their screen. If you focus in the middle of the monitor, you appear to be looking down.

Put a sticker behind your camera as a reminder to frequently look at the lens, essentially making eye contact with your interviewer. Don’t be put off if they don’t do the same.

If You Make a Mistake

Sometimes the unexpected happens, and if it was caught on camera mistakes can seem insurmountable. If it happens to you, don’t over-analyze while your interview is still going on or you’ll have a hard time concentrating on the remainder of the meeting. If you made a simple mistake and you can correct it, just explain you may have miscommunicated and you’d like to provide additional information.

If you’ve finished your interview and you fear it’s a make or break blunder, include a concise statement providing correct or omitted information in your follow-up email. If the problem relates to a technology malfunction, follow up with an email request to reschedule.

Wrapping Things Up

It’s common for managers near the close of an interview to ask if you have any questions. Prepare a few that show you’ve been listening during the interview, you did your research and you’re excited about the possibility of a job offer. It’s also a good idea to ask about the next steps in the process.

When it’s clear the interview is over, express your appreciation and sign off. Follow up with a thank you email and any additional information they requested.

Jobs Near Tyler Texas

Your next job might already be posted on our job board. Browse openings or submit your resume online today.

Job Search Emotions – Surviving the Roller Coaster

Job Search Emotions - Surviving the Roller Coaster

Looking for a new job is exhilarating and exhausting, electrifying and draining. Sometimes it takes a while to find the right fit. Every time you fill out an application or submit your resume, your emotions yo-yo from hope to nervousness to frustration to excitement.

If you know what’s normal, it can help you survive the bumps and curves. Let’s look at common job search emotions, and then talk about how to make the ups and downs a little less extreme.

Normal Emotions During a Job Hunt

Whether you’re a 16-year-old applying for your very first job or a seasoned member of the East Texas workforce, these emotions are all completely normal.

  • Excitement – You’re energized by the possibility of change and ready to go find that great new job.
  • Overwhelmed – When you start to realize how many choices there are and all the work you face finding a new employer, it can feel like too much.
  • Fixation – You apply at one company that seems like a perfect fit, and suddenly all you can think about is working there. You feel like you can’t wait to hear from them and your life just might be over if they don’t offer you the job.
  • Hope – The employer calls you for more information or to request an interview. You see a potential light at the end of the job search tunnel.
  • Frustration – Time goes by and you’re tired of knocking on doors, tired of waiting to hear something, just fed up with the whole process.
  • Impatience – You’ve lost track of how many times you checked your email, voicemail and text messages. It feels like you should have heard something by now.
  • Deliriously happy and relieved – You finally hear you got the job.

Tips for Staying Focused

Just recognizing what you’re feeling is normal will go a long way toward making things easier. Most people connect what they do for work with who they are as an individual, so it’s understandable if you feel unsettled when things are up in the air.

If you’re out of work, treat job hunting as an actual job. Make sure your resume is mistake-proof and accurately showcases your skills. Use your contacts to find openings that might not yet be posted. Apply for more than one position at a time so you have a chance of hearing back from multiple employers.

Recognize when you don’t get the response you hope for, most of the time it isn’t because you aren’t likeable or skilled at what you do. Sometimes organizations promote from within. Other times they’re looking for something specific that wasn’t on your resume. When you stay positive and keep moving forward, eventually you’ll find the right fit.

Work With a Staffing Agency

At Brelsford Personnel, you’re not just a list of qualifications on a piece of paper. Our primary mission is to provide truly personal staffing services. We love what we do for work, and we thrive on helping others find ways to do the same. Search our open positions and see if we can help you find the job of your dreams.

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.

Simple Strategies That Impress All Employers

Simple Strategies That Impress All Employers

You feel like it should have happened already. Every day you show up on time, you do your work, you support company initiatives. It seems like by now you should have received a promotion or a raise. But somehow they keep going to someone else. Your boss is nice, but they don’t really notice you. Here are some simple ways to show administrators that you’re capable of more responsibility and deserving of higher pay.

Go Above and Beyond

Many job descriptions include similar responsibilities: show up at this time, dress this way, do these things, go home. But if you’re doing what everyone else is doing, you aren’t standing out in the eyes of your boss. That’s where going above and beyond can help you.

Don’t just show up on time, try to show up a few minutes early. If you have to stay late, do so cheerfully. The employees that show a willingness to get the job done are going to leave an impression.

Leave your problems at the door when you arrive every day. Do your best to remain positive throughout the day. The employees that complain about everything are the ones that resent extra responsibility, so don’t let your boss put you in that category.

Rise above the rest by asking how you can help. When your boss notices you are taking the extra initiative, they’ll remember when it comes time for a promotion or a raise.

Get to Know Your Boss

As much as it would be nice to say that raises and promotions are 100% performance-based, they usually aren’t. When it comes time for a raise, your boss is going to think of the people they frequently interact with first. If that’s you, you’re in a better position to get that extra responsibility and pay.

Getting to know your boss doesn’t just mean introducing yourself and saying hello when you see them. It’s more about the relationship. Your job is to support your boss and make his or her life easier. Supporting their goals and priorities is a good way to start. Have conversations with your boss about their expectations and your expectations. Learn how they communicate best and use that to improve your relationship. Take a look at Better Listeners Make Better Employees – Here’s How to Get There.

Look to the Future

Communication is the basis of relationship. If you want to succeed, you must communicate. Just like you take time to get to know your boss, let him or her get to know you. Talk to your boss about your future goals.

Demonstrate a long-term interest in not just your boss, but also the company you work for. When you make their goals your own, it shows them that you have the company’s best interests at heart and that you’re ready to take it to the next level.

When You’re Really Stuck

Sometimes you hit a dead end because there’s no possibility for growth within your organization. If that’s the case, you might need to look somewhere else, and Brelsford Personnel can help. If you’re looking for a better position, we place qualified employees in some of the most sought-after jobs all over East Texas. Take a look at our job postings today.

Managing the Workload When You’re Short-Staffed

Managing the Workload When You’re Short-Staffed

Sometimes you just have to make it through a few days or weeks because employees are sick or on vacation. Other times, you’re short team members for a longer time frame, and it causes issues.

Maybe one of your top producers gets put on bed rest, followed by a long maternity leave, or you lost a highly trained employee and you’re unable to find a replacement. There are several steps you can take to manage the workload so you can still provide the same goods and services.

Identify Essentials

When you have more tasks to complete than employees to complete them and you’re looking at a long-term situation, something has to give. Your staff can put in extra hours for a time, but if they’re overworked for months, you’ll have more problems. They’ll burn out and resent you, the quality of what you offer will suffer and you probably still won’t get everything done.

Identify critical tasks and ones you can temporarily put on the back burner. For each employee doing double duty, try and take something off their list so they have less to juggle.

Talk With Your Team

Employees and team members will be more motivated if they know their contribution is meaningful. Have a frank conversation about the fact that you’re short-staffed. Let them know what you’re going to do about the situation and what, specifically you need from them.

Then, ask for each member’s help in sharing the load. Emphasize teamwork and let them know how important each person’s effort is to reaching business goals.

Outsource and Automate

Put technology to work to shorten the list of tasks for which your staff is responsible. Consider using a virtual phone assistant to manage calls and other interactions. Use productivity tools like Trello or Monday to streamline workflows and collaborate on projects.

If there are small projects you can outsource, technology helps there too. Find a freelancer places like Fiverr or Upwork to fill in for that missing staff member one small project at a time. Or, let Brelsford Personnel find the perfect temp candidate to work until your employee returns.

Be Empathetic and Appreciative

When you ask your team to give extra and they do, thank them sincerely. Track successes and celebrate them with public recognition, a hand-written thank you note, a financial bonus or a meaningful gift of some kind.

Employees will get tired, stressed and frustrated if you’re short-staffed for long. Let them know you recognize you’re asking a lot, and that the job is tough.

Keep Crunch Times Brief

Almost every business has times they’re shorthanded and everyone just has to do the best they can. However, that shouldn’t be the norm. Employees will be more motivated if they know the situation is temporary.

Brelsford Personnel offers personnel-direct hire, temp-to-hire, temporary and contract staff to quality Texas companies. We can match your business with highly qualified candidates whether your needs are short or long term. Contact us to find out more today.

Summer Jobs in East Texas

Summer Jobs in East Texas

Some people think summer is just about hot days at the lake, leisure and vacation. Others view the season as an opportunity to make extra income. Teachers have a few months to supplement their salary with seasonal work. High school and college students can take advantage of time away from the books. Retirees may choose to work a few months to pocket additional income.

Sometimes Tyler seasonal employment even provides an opportunity that lasts into fall. These summer jobs are available now in East Texas.

Food Server

Restaurants often experience a traffic surge during summertime. The days are longer, schedules are packed with summer activities and no one wants to heat up the kitchen. Food server jobs provide summer income. They also help workers develop customer service skills, multitasking abilities, situational awareness and active listening.

Back of house food service employees prepare dishes and clean up after. Front of house employees interact with diners. Small restaurants might ask staff to do a little bit of everything. Look for area restaurants with a “Now Hiring” sign in the window, but also think outside the box. Places like Christus Trinity Mother Francis and Tyler Junior College also frequently advertise a need for food service workers in their cafeterias.

Camp Counselor

Summer day camps provide childcare and activities for kids when the school year is no longer in swing. East Texas has several, and they all need camp counselors and childcare workers. A camp counselor job allows workers to mentor kids and spend the summer in a fast-paced, high-energy environment. You’ll hone transferrable skills like communication, leadership and conflict resolution. Here are a few of the summer camps hiring counselors in East Texas:

Retail Store Jobs

Area retailers are always looking for good employees, whether it’s seasonal or otherwise. If you’re looking for a Tyler summer job hiring now, here are a few of the roles you might want to consider.

  • Cashier – Use the store’s point-of-sale system to check customers out. You’ll need a positive attitude, solid math skills and good interpersonal communication abilities.

  • Stock clerk – If you excel at keeping things neat and organized and have strong attention to detail, apply for a summer job as a stock clerk. Your store will rely on you to keep shelves full, put back scattered merchandise and track inventory.

  • Merchandiser – Merchandisers set up product displays strategically to draw attention to featured products and sales. Workers need strong design and organizational skills.

  • Retail associate – These workers answer questions, help customers find what they’re looking for and act as a general store ambassador.

Look for summer retail jobs at places like Dillards, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, Best Buy and as well as smaller retail stores.

Summer Internships

High school and college students can use the summer break to learn skills that could help them land a more professional role later. Some summer internships are on a volunteer basis, but many of them are paid. If you’re a student, visit your school’s career center to find local opportunities in your chosen field. It also doesn’t hurt to make a dream list and go directly to company websites.

Summer is also a good time for job shadowing, where an individual works alongside professionals to gain knowledge in a particular field. Financial corporations, legal firms, manufacturing facilities, medical institutions and other industries sometimes offer job-shadowing for qualified candidates. Observers or interns get an inside look at what it’s like to work for one particular employer and gather firsthand information on must-have skills.

Positions Available Now

At Brelsford Personnel, we match East Texas job seekers with top area employers. Here are just a few of the positions we’re hiring for now. (They are not summer jobs.)

View other available positions when you visit our job board today.

Should Your Business Care About Workplace Ergonomics?

Should Your Business Care About Workplace Ergonomics?

In our experience, employers are always interested in happier, healthier, more productive staff. Some businesses are focusing on workplace ergonomics to help workers be more efficient and comfortable. An ergonomic workplace might also reduce the risk of job-related injury if your employees perform repetitive tasks.

What is Ergonomics?

Ergonomics is a process that involves designing environments and tools around the people who use them. In the past, products like office chairs and keyboards had a traditional, cost-effective design. However, sometimes non-ergonomic environments caused workers to hold their bodies in an unnatural position for hours. As they do, muscles and joints fatigue, and over time can become damaged.

When employers prioritize workplace ergonomics, they evaluate how workers move and make adjustments to remove strain. More comfortable employees feel less fatigue and muscles, joints, tendons and nerves are protected.

Ergonomics Benefits

As you can probably imagine, an ergonomic workplace costs money. So what are the advantages?

  • Prevent costly injuries – Musculoskeletal disorders develop over time or all at once because of overload. If it happens because of work-related activity, you’ll need to pay for that employee’s care. While they recover, you’re also out a member of your team. Ergonomics could reduce absenteeism, allow staff to work pain-free and save you from worker’s compensation claims.
  • Boost productivity – People work better when they feel good. Productivity declines when they fatigue. When you design a job to require less exertion and contortion, efficiency improves.
  • Show employees you care – Donuts in the breakroom are nice, but they probably won’t make a difference if employees receive a better offer from your competitor. What does make a difference is when your staff members know you studied how to make their lives better, then you put money into making changes. Workplace ergonomics could improve morale and employee retention.

What Businesses Need Workplace Ergonomics

The workers most likely to develop a repetitive strain injury are those who do the same task over and over, people with jobs that require forceful exertions or jobs where the worker has to repeatedly keep their body in an unnatural position. For example, a dental hygienist spends the day leaning over patients to clean teeth. Construction workers use power tools that require force and transmit vibration. Manufacturing employees perform the same tasks over and over, which places them at risk.

To decide if your business could benefit from workplace ergonomics, watch how your employees move and work. Identify potential problems, then brainstorm solutions. The fix doesn’t always involve buying a product. Sometimes you can simply adjust chairs and table heights or cross-train employees so they rotate instead of repeat.

Brelsford Personnel is all about helping employers and job seekers find the right fit. Search our online job postings or get in touch today.

Small Texas Metros, Big Texas Growth

Small Texas Metros, Big Texas Growth

Texas is huge and extremely diverse in terms of population and industry. Some areas thrive because of location and resources, but there’s more to metropolitan growth than that. The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas recently released a report comparing key metropolitan areas with populations below 800,000. Our Tyler-Longview metro stands out as a driver of the area economy. The Bank’s full 75-page report is available online, but we’ll summarize key findings below.

Smaller Metros Critical to Expansion

You can’t really compare the Tyler-Longview area to cities like Houston or Dallas. It’s more comparable to metropolitan areas like Amarillo, Beaumont-Port Arthur and Lubbock. Smaller metropolitan areas like these are an activity hub for their region.

The Tyler-Longview area is made up of smaller towns or communities like Whitehouse, Kilgore, Jacksonville and Palestine. Residents of those smaller communities travel inward for jobs, shopping, dining and healthcare because Tyler and Longview provide all of the above. Their investment in Tyler and Longview economies drives further growth.

Small Communities, Strong Personalities

Smaller metros develop unique strengths and characteristics. For example, Amarillo is isolated by geography from the rest of the state, so it developed a self-reliant, independent-spirited economy that started with ranching and developed into industry. Now, CNX Pantex is the nation’s largest facility for building and dismantling nuclear weapons, and the Wildorado Wind Ranch generates electricity for more than 50,000 households.

The Tyler-Longview area has a distinctly different flavor. It’s nestled in the Piney Woods, with area growth kickstarted by the discovery of the East Texas Oil Field. The Tyler-Longview metro area still has a strong energy and mining sector and a health services cluster vital to growth. The energy sector provides 8.2 percent of area jobs, and healthcare employs more than 34,000.

Higher Pay for Outlying Communities

Smaller metro areas provide opportunities for the communities that surround them. People who live around Tyler are close to education opportunities at UT Tyler and TJC, and with a degree comes greater earnings capacity. Longview offers LeTourneau University for area residents looking to develop specialized skills.

As graduates find work in the community, those skills make the area stronger. They take proficiencies and earnings back to their small communities, benefitting a wider geographic area.

At Brelsford Personnel, we’re proud to live and work in the heart of East Texas. If you’re an employer searching for highly qualified staff or an East Texan looking for work, we can help. Find out more about our customer-centric approach or search our online job postings today.

Growth Trends in Tyler and Longview

They may seem like a small corner of a large state, but Tyler and Longview are an important part of the state and national economy. Together, both metropolitan areas had a population of 445,208 at the end of 2017. The area is “a manufacturing hub with an energy underpinning,” according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Let’s look at what makes the area a place where healthcare, retail and manufacturing thrive.

A Little East Texas History

Geographically Tyler and Longview are 40 miles apart, but they’re stitched together by the smaller communities in between. They’re also connected by industry overlap.

Both started out as agricultural communities. In 1870, Longview town founder Ossamus Hitch Methvin sold 100 acres for a dollar to the Southern Pacific Railroad so they’d build their line through his part of town. The next year Longview became the first town in Gregg County, and the Railroad brought growth to the entire region.

In Tyler, fruit orchards thrived until 1900, when disease wiped out over a million fruit trees. Tyler farmers started growing roses, and in less than two decades, provided most of the nation’s supply.

Then, in 1930 prospectors discovered a gigantic oil field around Kilgore. The enormous quantities of “black gold” extracted from the East Texas Oil Field were crucial to the Allied effort in World War II and led to what was, at the time, the world’s largest oil field and pipeline.

The region’s oil led to Tyler’s metal and fabricating industry growth. In Longview, the state’s largest chemical complex developed, along with a brewery and other industrial plants.

Top East Texas Employers

The area continues to experience steady growth, but some industries stand out. Health services employs more East Texans than any other industry, with more than 34,000 employees. In Tyler, UT Health Center (formerly ETMC) and Christus Trinity Mother Frances provide jobs for over 6,700. Longview’s Christus Good Shepherd Medical Center employs 2,500.

Brookshire Grocery Company calls Tyler Texas home. Tyler also has a Target Distribution Center. In Longview, there’s a Neiman Marcus service center, and Dollar General is building a regional distribution hub.

Technology improvements made it profitable to extract natural gas through hydraulic fracturing and directional drilling in East Texas counties. Energy and mining is still an active sector, providing area residents with jobs that pay 60 percent above average for the area. Machinery manufacturing and fabricated metal manufacturing also supply a significant portion of area jobs.

East Texas vs. the State

Compared to state averages, the Tyler-Longview area is ahead in some areas and behind in others. Area population is older. Twelve percent of the state’s population is 65 or older, but in East Texas, 15.5 percent of residents have blown out 65 candles.

A smaller portion of East Texas is between 25 and 54 years of age. Retirees are moving in because of mild weather and excellent healthcare, with some younger people drifting to larger cities for a more urban lifestyle.

East Texas opportunities in healthcare, manufacturing, construction, retail and energy mean workers don’t have to complete a college degree to find a good job. In the area, 22.4 percent of those over 25 have a four-year degree, compared to 28.9 percent across the state. Fewer residents have a college degree, but the number of high school graduates is higher than state average.

East Texas is rich in opportunity, and employers are looking for workers at all skill levels. Some of those jobs are at Brelsford Personnel. Check out our online postings to find your next job today.

Best News on Unemployment in 50 Years

Best News on Unemployment in 50 Years

The unemployment rate affects everyone. Whether you’re looking for work or not, overall joblessness indicates economic health. In a thriving economy, unemployment is low. After a recession starts, layoffs start, and the job situation doesn’t improve until the economy is healthy again.

The unemployment rate conveys what other combined indicators are showing. If you’re in retail, it tells how many people have paychecks for buying. If you’re looking for work, unemployment numbers tell you how much competition you have.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the U.S. Department of Labor gathers data and provides statistics on things like inflation, workplace injuries and unemployment. This past month, their news release on unemployment painted the brightest jobs picture America has seen in half a century.

Unemployment By the Numbers

Unemployment declined by 0.2 in April to reach 3.6 percent. That’s the lowest unemployment rate since December 1969. Employers added 263,000 jobs, a number higher than expected. Plus, the road ahead looks positive. “The job market is holding firm,” said Mark Zandy, chief economist for Moody Analytics. “as businesses work hard to fill open positions.”

All Categories See Improvement

There are fewer Americans out of work, and that spans across demographics. Unemployment fell for people with disabilities and veterans. It also dropped for those with only a high school degree. Unemployment for Hispanics is at its lowest point since 1973. For women, it hasn’t been this low since 1953.

Low unemployment creates opportunities, so minorities and people just starting their careers can get their foot in the door. It also improves gender balance, since women are more likely to find work in male-dominated industries.

Industries With Biggest Gains

Some of the most noteworthy job gains were in professional and business services, construction, health care and social assistance. Professional and business services employers added 76,000 more jobs alone. Of those, many were administrative, support services and computer systems design.

Construction jobs growth is another indicator of a strong economy. Employers in that sector added 33,000 jobs last month. Healthcare grew by 27,000 last month and by 404,000 in the last year.

Wages Keep Climbing

Fewer Americans are out of work, and the ones who get a paycheck are earning more. Average hourly wages for all employees went up six cents just in April. The current average hourly wage is $27.77, up 3.2 percent in the past year.

Find Your Dream Job

Unemployment numbers are low in East Texas, and top employers are looking for you. Check out our online job postings, then fill out an application to experience our fresh approach.