What Not to Wear to Your Next Job Interview

What Not to Wear to Your Next Job Interview

Your resume got you in the door, and you’re already thinking about how landing the job will make your life better. The next step is the interview. The person you’re meeting with will be watching everything you say and do to evaluate whether you’re the right fit for the job. If you wear any of the following, the first impression you make might not be what you hope.

Wild and Flashy Attire

When you select your interview attire, stay away from loud colors and wild prints. No cheetah or tropical print, no neon colors, and no large logos or slogans. It’s better to stick with simple and classic.

That goes for accessories as well. Avoid big earrings and chunky necklaces and bracelets. Nothing you wear should jingle when you move.

Don’t put anything flashy on your head. Big hair bows and beanies are distracting. Also, leave your sunglasses and headphones in the car.

Makeup can be wild and flashy too. It’s better to wear light, neutral colors so your interviewer remembers your intelligence, not your eye shadow.

Strong Scents

Don’t wear heavy perfume or cologne. If you’re not sure how scented you are when you apply your favorite fragrance, ask someone you trust or skip it altogether when you go for your interview.

Tight or Baggy Clothes

How your clothes fit matters. If you have to struggle to get into any part of your outfit, choose something else. You’ll look much more professional if you avoid attire that’s form-fitting. Also, stay away from clothing that shows cleavage, your midriff or tattoos and body piercings.

You can go too far in the other direction as well. Baggy pants and oversized tops can make the wearer look sloppy. The interviewer could infer your work might be sloppy too.

Uncomfortable Shoes

Flip flops are too casual, but they aren’t the only type of shoes you should avoid. Choose something simple, professional and basic. You can’t predict how much walking you’ll do before, during and after your interview, so it’s best to avoid new shoes or tall heels. If your feet hurt, it’s harder to focus on the interview.

Anything Transparent

Don’t wear clothing that has material you can see through, no matter how trendy it is. Undergarments should never be visible when you go for an interview. Also, don’t wear clothing that has holes in it.

The best idea when planning interview attire is to research the company you hope to work for. Check their social media pages to see if they have pictures of employees at work, or drive by the parking lot a few days before your interview. See how current workers dress, then choose attire that’s slightly more formal than what you see.

At Brelsford Personnel, we want candidates to have all the tools they need for success. For more on typically acceptable attire, visit our resources page.

How to Mistake-Proof Your Resume

How to Mistake-Proof Your Resume

When you send your resume and cover letter to prospective employers, mistakes and typos could ruin your chances at an interview. You know what you meant to say, so a quick scan isn’t going to reveal the mistakes that will stick out to recruiters and hiring managers. Use these tips to make sure your resume and cover letter don’t contain embarrassing errors.

Always Use Spell and Grammar Check

Most word processing programs automatically check for spelling and grammar, but they don’t make corrections for you. Go back through your document and review where your program marked errors. Word underlines mistakes with a squiggly red line and Google Docs uses solid red.

Grammarly has a free online grammar and spell checker that catches some errors word processing programs don’t. If you’re not creating your document online, you can upload it for a thorough error scan.

Don’t Edit Tired

If you just spent hours creating your resume, take a break. Come back when you’re rested, you’ll be glad you did.

Print for Proofing

You’ll be better able to spot errors on a paper copy than on a screen. Once you print your resume, use your finger to underline one word at a time as you read. The first time through, look at spelling, grammar and punctuation without editing for meaning and data accuracy. Clearly mark changes with a contrasting color pen so you can add them to your electronic copy later. Then read through again for information consistency.

Check for Common Errors

Spell check won’t catch a word used incorrectly. Make sure the subject and verb of every sentence agree with one another. Only place commas where the reader would naturally pause. Use an apostrophe with “its” only when you mean “it is.” Be careful with the commonly confused “affect” and “effect.” You “accept” offers, not “except” them. Most employees work with a manager, not a manger.

Read out Loud

This proofreading trick will catch errors you don’t notice any other way. Read your resume one word at a time at a pace similar to what you would use when speaking. If something doesn’t sound right, stop and fix it, then read it again.

Verify Hyperlinks

If the electronic copy of your resume contains links to articles you’ve written, online reviews from customers or other materials, click them to make sure they go where you intend. You could have typed URLs incorrectly, or pages might have been moved.

Ask for Help

See if a professional acquaintance or mentor will proofread your resume for you. A fresh set of eyes can make all the difference.

For more resume writing tips, see our dynamic library of useful resources. Our blog also offers help with writing a cover letter, preparing for an interview and having a successful first day on the job.

How to Improve Your People Skills At Work

How to Improve Your People Skills At Work

A huge part of how you feel about your job involves the people you work with. Positive work relationships will make you look forward to doing what you do. When the workplace contains undercurrents of tension and dissatisfaction, everyone suffers.

The beginning of a new year is a great time to work on building positive, effective relationships with co-workers and administrators. You may not be able to be friends with everyone but there are always steps you can take to strengthen the work relationships you have while forging new ones.

Evaluate and Improve Soft Skills

Building better relationships doesn’t start with your co-workers and managers. It begins inside when you take an objective look at your soft skills.

Hard skills are the ones you trained for. They’re things like your certifications, degrees, second languages and the number of words per minute you type. Soft skills are harder to measure. Here are a few examples:

  • Leadership
  • Problem solving ability
  • Strong work ethic
  • Strategic thinking
  • Competitiveness
  • Calmness under pressure
  • Compassionate listening

You may not have put them on your resume, but they’re crucial to building strong work relationships. Identify your strengths and weaknesses and look for ways to improve.

Steps for Better Communication Skills

No matter where you are on the communication skills spectrum, there’s room for improvement. You have the power to build better relationships when you make your goals specific and measurable.

Speak positively about your co-workers and administrators. It’s not kissing up, it’s being encouraging. Look for three ways to provide positive feedback every work day. Set a reminder on your phone to note whether you met your goal before you go home.

Ask questions. If you know your co-worker has a skill you’re curious about, give them a chance to share how they learned it. When working as a team, pause and ask other members what they think, and listen to what they say.

Express appreciation. Thank at least one person every day for something they do. Be on the lookout for little things that might normally go unnoticed. When presenting teamwork, let others hear you be appreciative for their individual contributions. Share credit when things go right, but when they don’t, avoid the temptation to place blame.

Avoid gossip like the plague. Office politics kill relationships. If you have a problem with someone, speak to them in private. If the situation doesn’t involve you, don’t add fuel to the fire by passing on information.

Improving work relationships takes consistent effort, but it’s worth it. When you make an intentional effort to pour good into the lives of those around you, it creates a ripple effect that will spread throughout your entire organization.

Still No Job? 3 Tips for Keeping Your Chin Up

Still No Job 3 Tips for Keeping Your Chin Up

The longer a job search drags on, the harder it can get. Bills pile up. That voice of anxiety that was once just a whisper becomes a steady stream of chatter. While it’s tempting to curl up in a ball and have a pity party, that won’t solve the problem. Being proactive can help you stay positive.

Be A Professional Job Hunter

Uncertainty can be devastating to the mind and emotions. If you stay up late because you don’t have anywhere you have to be, you’ll sleep late and feel lethargic. If your job search is sporadic you could end up on an emotional roller coaster, swinging wildly between hope, disappointment and boredom.

Taking charge of your situation begins in the mind. Quit thinking of yourself as a person without a job. Instead, treat your daily job hunt like an actual job.

Plan your day and stick to that plan. Set an alarm and establish a routine. Get dressed in the clothes you would wear going to work. Then spend your time on tasks that will get you closer to your goal.

Research how to make your resume the best it can be. Learn how to write a cover letter that makes employers want to read your resume. Sign up for online training to improve or add skills. Until you find a job, be excellent at looking for one.

Volunteer

When you’re working full time you don’t have much free time on your hands. Use this chance to offer your skills to organizations or people who need them and can’t afford to pay for them or need volunteer help. Volunteering will help you stay positive, and it might help you find a job.

Volunteering connects you with people in your community. You sign up to make a difference and meet others who want to do the same. You’ll find yourself with stronger community ties and a larger social network, which is valuable.

Volunteering provides mental and physical benefits. Being out of work is stressful. A long, drawn-out job search creates feelings of anxiety and sometimes depression. Helping others improves your physical and psychological well-being. A Harvard Health article suggests volunteering could lower blood pressure and provide other health benefits.

Volunteering hones marketable skills. Many opportunities come with training that looks great on your resume. Volunteering will also help you keep current skills sharp while between jobs. Add community and volunteer work to your resume.

Find Help

When you’re looking for a job in the Tyler or Longview area, contact an East Texas staffing firm. At Brelsford Personnel we have decades of experience helping job seekers find the right fit and we have opportunities that aren’t posted anywhere else. We know the Tyler labor market, and for job seekers our services are free. See what jobs we currently have available or submit your resume today.

How to Get Your Employees to Show Up Every Day This Fall

How to Get Your Employees to Show Up Every Day This Fall

Cold and flu season is coming. Employees have probably already started asking off for holiday travel. Sometime in the next few months, you’re probably going to notice you have more staff calling in than usual. You want them to stay home when they’re sick, but you also need them to keep absenteeism to a minimum. There are things you can do to reduce the number of call-ins.

Formalize Your Attendance Policy

Spell out exactly what you expect. Answer the following questions:

  • At what time are employees tardy?
  • What types of absences will you approve? How should employees document them?
  • What is the procedure for requesting an absence?
  • How many absences do you consider excessive?
  • What disciplinary action will you take if they exceed that number?
  • What happens if someone is a “no show”? Are there emergency situations in which you’ll excuse an unscheduled absence or no call?

Put your attendance policy in the handbook, make it a part of new hire orientation and explain it in your next staff meeting.

Promote Wellness

Sometimes well-meaning employees show up when they’re just coming down with a cold or the flu. You disinfect the bathrooms, but what about other surfaces with which employees come into contact? Make antibacterial wipes available and encourage their use on keyboards, desktops and landlines.

Step back and look for places germs can hide. That candy basket on the breakroom table has been sitting there for months. Employees eat lunch then reach for a piece after touching their faces. The microwave handle, refrigerator door, coffee pot handle and vending machine buttons all need regular disinfection.

Reward Attendance

Think through the most common reasons your employees miss work and use that to incentivize attendance instead. If you know last year employees called in to get their Thanksgiving shopping done without the crowds, reward perfect attendance the rest of the month with a few hours of flex time to be used as needed. Enter employees who stayed healthy all winter in a raffle to win a massage or gym membership on January 1.

Keep Good Records

When someone calls in, document who it was and why. That might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many managers rely on their memory. It seems like Suzy’s chair was often empty, but they’re not sure exactly how many days she actually called in sick, how many she was just late and for which ones she claimed a last minute family emergency.

Documentation helps you spot trends. If you see Suzy calls in every Friday and Monday, you know the problem probably isn’t persistent infection. You’ll also notice those employees who never miss a day and deserve recognition.

Often having a formal plan and a reward system clarifies expectations and encourages attendance. Create yours now for employees that show up every day this fall.

Sources:
https://www.naturalhr.com/blog/reducing-workplace-absenteeism-five-simple-tactics
https://www.masterclassmanagement.com/ManagementCourse-DealingWithAttendance.html

How to Rock Your First Day on the Job

How to Rock Your First Day on the Job

No matter how excited you are about starting your new job, you’re probably also nervous. It’s hard being the new kid, and you want to make a good first impression on the people you’ll be working with for in the foreseeable future. Try these tips to make that first day a success.

The Night Before

Your nerves are already prickly, so use that extra energy to make the next morning go smoothly. You’ll sleep better if you know you’re prepared.

Dress code varies by workplace. Take your clothing cues from the people who sat in on your interview.

Don’t just pick out what you’ll wear, try it on. If you bought something new to make a strong first impression, make sure it looks as professional in your bedroom mirror as you remember it did in the store. Locate the belt, scarf, shoes and jewelry you intended to wear with it.

If you wear brand new shoes you take the chance you’ll be limping by lunchtime. It’s better to select a pair you know will get you through the day with a spring in your step.

Set your alarm for at least half an hour earlier than you will on most days. Aim to arrive much, much earlier than you are required to. At best you’ll be there early, enter relaxed and make a great first impression. If something goes wrong, you’ll still be on time.

When You Arrive

Take a deep breath before you walk in the door and remind yourself no one expects you to learn everyone’s name and master every procedure on the first day. Show your positive attitude and enthusiasm for your new job and the rest will follow.

Nervousness makes people hunch their shoulders, look down and avoid eye contact, none of which looks friendly. Keep your head up and shoulders back as you meet people. Make eye contact and offer a welcoming smile.

Lean in when people are speaking to show you’re actively listening. Offer a handshake when you meet people, then allow your arms to hang at your sides instead of crossing them.

When you meet people, repeat their name back to them to help yourself remember. Say something like, “It’s great to meet you Samantha, how long have you been with XYZ Company?” If their name is unusual, ask how they spell it to help etch it in your memory.

Throughout the Day

Ask questions and seek help when you need it. People understand you’re new and will likely see your questions as eagerness to do a good job. If you attend training, show up with a note taking device and use it. Stay off your cell phone and don’t use your work computer for personal use.

If people invite you to eat lunch with them or attend an after-hours activity, join them! Express appreciation for the invitation, and for other ways people help you your first day.

In the evening, if the company website includes employee photos, review names and faces. Plan as thoroughly for your second day as you did for the first and you’ll find yourself in a positive routine that brings success in all the days to come.

Sources:
https://www.themuse.com/advice/what-you-must-do-the-night-before-starting-a-new-job
https://www.salary.com/articles/first-days-on-the-job-15-ways-to-make-a-great-impression/
https://www.livecareer.com/career/advice/jobs/first-days-working

Looking for Work? Find Out How Low Unemployment Numbers Affect Your Search

Looking for Work? Find Out How Low Unemployment Numbers Affect Your Search

If you’re thinking about finding a new job, now might be the best time to do it. The national July jobs report showed employers added fewer net jobs last month than economists forecast, but unemployment still dipped near an 18-year low.

That means there aren’t as many people looking for jobs, so employers with openings have a reduced number of candidates to choose from and you have less competition for the position you want. Learn how that might affect your job hunt.

Referrals Matter More Than Ever

When unemployment is low, employers need to make every hire count and retain current staff. Recruiting software manufacturer iCIMS wanted to know factors contributing to a good hire, so they conducted surveys and studied data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Their resulting Modern Job Seeker Report found employees who were hired because of a referral were more likely to stay put.

Employers often ask their current employees if they know someone who would be a good fit. They’re more likely to hire based on a referral than on a resume submission because those hires tend to align with current culture and don’t move around.

In the iCIMS report, 70 percent of the employees surveyed were still in the role for which they were hired. If you know someone already employed where you want to work, ask for their help in getting the job.

Higher Wages, More Perks

In July of 2018, wages were at an all-time high with an average of 22.65/hour. A tight labor market and strong demand for goods and services means employers are willing to pay more for top talent.

Employers aren’t just using increased pay to sell themselves to candidates; they’re emphasizing company culture with perks like flexible scheduling and competitive benefits.

Expect Additional Scrutiny

Employers want to fill vacancies quickly, but when the applicant pool is small and getting smaller, they aren’t just looking for bodies. They may ask you to attend more than one interview to make sure you’re the best fit. The whole team might want to evaluate your skills and qualifications before making a final decision.

Industries Adding Most Jobs

Not all industries are hiring at the same rate. When you’re applying for a high-demand position, you have an advantage, but it might be harder to find work in sectors that show signs of a struggle.

According to last month’s report sporting goods, hobby, book and music retailers are losing jobs. Two sectors showing growth are construction and manufacturing.

Even though the housing market has shown a decline in the last three quarters, employers in the construction sector added 19,000 jobs last month across the nation. Manufacturing added 37,000 jobs. Healthcare employment, professional and business services and food services are also up.

Find a Job in East Texas

What East Texas job are you looking for? Brelsford Personnel has employers seeking administrative assistants, customer service representatives, accountants and more. Search our online job postings today.

Sources:
https://www.businessinsider.com/us-housing-slowdown-economy-2018-7
https://www.icims.com/sites/www.icims.com/files/public/hei_assets/Modern-Job-Seeker-Report%20Final.pdf
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/04/business/economy/jobs-report.html
https://www.businessinsider.com/us-jobs-report-july-2018-2018-8
https://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/articles/2018-07-20/how-a-low-unemployment-rate-may-affect-your-job-search

Power Through Your Day With 5 Productivity Tips

Power Through Your Day With 5 Productivity Tips

Do you go to bed at night feeling like you’re wiped out, but you didn’t accomplish everything you needed to? That might be because work days are long and life is stressful, but sometimes a few changes can make all the difference. Try these 5 small changes that make a big difference.

Work in Chunks

It feels like you need to multi-task to get everything done, but that’s like slicing your focus into ineffective slivers. The American Psychological Association found shifting frequently between tasks cuts productivity by as much as 40 percent.

Think about how many times during the day you click over to email or pick up your cell phone because you hear it vibrate. It seems like only a few seconds, but in the course of the day it adds up.

What tasks are you behind on? Where could you stand to be as much as 40 percent more productive? Set aside chunks of time during which you give them your undivided focus.

Don’t just silence your cell and throw it in a drawer, turn it completely off or the vibration will pique your curiosity until you can’t resist checking. Sign out of your email and close the tab so you don’t receive notifications of every incoming message. Whether your chunks are 15 minutes or an hour, you’ll complete more work in that time frame than you would if you were multi-tasking.

Set a Two Minute Timer

Use this strategy to knock out tasks you find yourself dreading or putting off. When you arrive at work, before you leave for lunch or at the end of the day, set a timer. Do it at the same time every day.

Then for two minutes, sprint through your filing, pay those invoices or respond to one or two of the emails you’ve been putting off. When the timer sounds, you’re through with the unpleasant task until the next day.

Use Technology for Good

Turn your morning commute into a productivity booster by using voice-to-text technology to compile your to-do list for the day. Get a jump on meetings by turning them into teleconferences if others are available.

The online tool Rescue Time monitors how you work and lets you know how much time you spend on email, in meetings and browsing online. Rescue Time Lite is available for free and can provide insight into how you currently work.

Beat the Afternoon Slump

In countries like Spain, Greece and Italy, many employees go home for an afternoon rest. If your employer doesn’t offer a siesta after lunch, that can be a tough time of day. Instead of reaching for a coffee or energy drink, get your blood pumping to invigorate your brain with fresh oxygen.

It’s the last thing you’ll want to do when you start to feel sleepy, but leave your desk. Jog up and down the stairs a few times. If you need to communicate regularly with a co-worker, agree to have that meeting on your feet as you walk around the building or circle the parking lot. Health and fitness blog Greatist provides an extensive article on ways to get moving at work if you need more ideas.

Find a Job You Love

The best way to stay productive and focused every day is to work at a job you enjoy. Let’s sit down and talk about your career objectives when you get in touch today.

Sources:
https://www.inc.com/john-rampton/15-ways-to-increase-productivity-at-work.html
https://www.developgoodhabits.com/how-to-be-productive-work/
https://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/more-productive-4-ways-that-really-work.html

Your Ultimate Guide to Attracting the Best East Texas Employees

This article was originally posted as a four-part series. We’ve combined all four posts so East Texas employers can find them all in one place.

Your Ultimate Guide to Attracting the Best East Texas Employees

1. Attract the Best When You Identify Key Characteristics

What happens when you combine low unemployment with retiring baby boomers and technology that allows East Texans access to jobs all over the globe? The challenge to attract top talent becomes intense.

Gallup meta-analysis suggests companies that choose the top 20 percent of candidates when it comes to talent have increased productivity, sales and profitability. They also have a significant decrease in turnover and absences. The productivity gap is huge, and it widens as job complexity increases.

That makes sense, but employers wonder how to secure that top 20 percent. The first step isn’t creating a job posting; it’s looking at the characteristics of your current top performers.

Key Traits of Top Performers

As soon as you read “top performers,” names probably came to mind. You already know the people at your company who unerringly accomplish more than anyone else. They seem to always make the right decisions, never require hand-holding and encourage others to do the same.

Every position requires a different skill set, and when you’re hiring there are non-negotiable qualifications, certifications and degrees for each. That’s what your employees do.

What we’re talking about here is what your top performers are. When you look at the people whose names popped into your head, you will probably find they share these characteristics:

  • They’re consistent. Top performers consider quality their chief priority every time. They don’t quit because the clock says they can leave. For each task, they seem to have a timeline in their heads for what must be accomplished to deliver superior results, and they always deliver. You can depend on their character as much as their competence.

 

  • They thrive when challenged. They are willing to take on the toughest assignments because they feel like they can make a difference. They don’t wait for opportunities, they create them. They have the ability to see the big picture for each project, zoom in to understand and solve for every detail, then reframe to evaluate progress.

 

  • They rely on facts and data, not emotion. They are always looking to expand their knowledge base. They research for work, but they are constantly learning in other areas of their lives as well. While they listen to their instincts in decision making, they also ask probing questions, look at industry best practices and analyze data.

 

  • They are comfortable with both teamwork and leadership. They have a confident, positive attitude that makes them an asset to any team. Other team members tend to look to them for advice and encouragement. They are comfortable giving and getting feedback. They don’t get defensive when receiving criticism because they see their weaknesses as areas for improvement. They praise others for a job well done and see success as a group effort.

 

  • They feel company goals align with their personal goals. They recognize that as they help their organization succeed, they’ll have more opportunities for advancement and professional growth. They feel they have a personal stake in helping meet organizational goals that creates a relentless drive.

Your Ultimate Guide to Attracting the Best East Texas Employees

What Top Performers Want from You

Right now you’re probably thinking, “That sounds accurate of my top employees, but people like them are hard to find.” Hiring managers often express frustration saying when they interviewed job candidates, the applicant seemed great, but once hired he or she didn’t perform as expected.

Some performance predictors are role-specific. The characteristics that make a good loan officer don’t necessarily make a good insurance adjuster.

However, just like high quality candidates share a set of characteristics, there are ways they respond to interview questions that indicates their mindset across a range of roles.

  • Excellent candidates are attracted to companies with similar beliefs and values. They are well qualified for the role, and they say they want the job because it fits what matters to them and what they are best at. In contrast, lower quality candidates say they want the job because it offers the pay, hours or benefits they’re looking for. These things matter to top candidates, but they’re not what excites them most about the position.

 

  • Top performers want challenge and opportunity. When you ask potential employees what they enjoy most about their work, they talk about being able to make a difference in peoples’ lives or solve challenges no one else could. Interviewees who aren’t as likely to be top performers might say they enjoyed positive interaction with their co-workers, appreciated their schedule or felt supported by management. Again, top performers appreciate those things, but they thrive when they have a mission.

 

  • The best candidates want growth. When you ask what their dream job looks like, they mention the importance of ongoing professional development or opportunities for advancement. Less qualified candidates think more in terms of high income, reduced stress or a position of authority.

 

  • Top candidates apply at top companies. They do their research. That doesn’t mean they only apply to large corporations. They’re also interested in small business that shows innovative thinking and strong brand values. When interviewed, they are able to tell what company strengths make them feel it would be a great place to work.

Where Can You Find Top East Texas Employees?

At Brelsford Personnel, we recognize the process of recruiting, interviewing and hiring top performers is time consuming and expensive. A bad hire is even worse. We evaluate each resume and conduct one-on-one interviews to find the best fit for each position no matter how long that takes. We have many years of experience that allows us to spot those top performers and place them in roles where they thrive. Get in touch to find out more about our process and access the best East Texas job candidates today.

2. Attract the Best By Developing Your Employee Value Proposition

Your Ultimate Guide to Attracting the Best East Texas Employees

Why would a highly talented person choose to work for your company? Ed Michaels asked the question in his 2001 book The War for Talent, and the question is still relevant today. The labor market is tight, so it’s hard to find the best East Texas employees and just as hard to keep them.

Your customers have lots of choices. So do the people who apply at your company. You invest in developing your brand image and personality for consumers. Creating your Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is similar to that process, but it’s aimed at employees instead of customers.

Do You Need an EVP?

As the name implies, an Employee Value Proposition states the value employees receive when they work for you. When some of us were just starting out, a steady paycheck was compensation enough, but hiring has changed.

The best East Texas employees are in high demand, and they’re choosy about where they work. A strong EVP provides these benefits:

It sets you apart from your competitors. Just like branding clarifies how you are unique, your EVP makes it apparent how working for your organization is different from working for other companies in the same industry. If there’s not something that makes you stand out, all employees have for comparison are job responsibilities and salary. If you don’t pay more and your competitor does, there’s no incentive to choose your company. A strong EVP clearly communicates what else you offer.

An EVP improves retention rates. When you articulate brand values and goals, you attract candidates who support them. Those employees are more likely to be engaged and motivated and less likely to look elsewhere for employment.

The employees you hire strengthen your brand. When they care about the things that matter to your business and embody key organizational traits, they exhibit brand values at every point of consumer contact.

Your Ultimate Guide to Attracting the Best East Texas Employees

Creating Your EVP

Decision-makers start by asking why the employees they’re looking for would want to apply, what would help them do their best, and what the company offers that motivates them to stay. Find answers by following these steps.

Step 1 – Identify Objectives

Decide what you want to accomplish through your EVP. Some of the most common reasons companies take the time to develop one is to attract and hire the right candidates, to improve engagement among current employees and reward top performers, to reinvigorate disengaged teams or to accomplish more with longer tenures and fewer hires.

Step 2 – Gather Information

Review employee engagement data, retention metrics and any other statistics you already have. Your best insight will come from talking to current and former employees. They’re the people who understand the best and worst aspects of working for your company. Create surveys, focus groups and exit interviews that ask questions like the following:

  • Why did you first apply to work here? Were your job expectations met? Please elaborate.

 

  • What tangible benefits we offer are most valuable in keeping you here?

 

  • What intangible benefits mean the most?

 

  • How would you describe working here to someone who was thinking about submitting their resume?

 

  • For former employees, why did you choose to leave?

Identify your most productive employees and seek to understand what attracts them and why they stay. Use those benefits as part of your workforce planning strategy so your EVP attracts more of the same type of individual.

Prospective employees can offer an outside viewpoint into how your company is perceived to job seekers. Ask what their awareness is of your company’s culture, benefits, growth opportunities and job satisfaction and how they came to that awareness.

Step 3 – Analyze Results

Sift through the data to look for patterns. Are there benefits you offer that don’t seem to matter as much as you thought they would? Are some perks more important than others? In what areas does your company receive negative feedback? Identify ways you can provide benefits that delight employees and differentiate you from rivals.

Step 4 – Draft Your EVP

Take that research and create a simple statement that outlines your brand’s commitment to employees and what they will experience. It should be inspirational while offering a realistic view of what it’s like to work for your organization.

Spell out how your company is making a difference in your industry. Align it with your principles and culture. Then test your EVP with employee focus groups to see how it resonates.

Step 5 – Promote Your EVP

Once it’s created and tested, communicate your EVP through company emails, post it on your website, integrate it into job postings and hang it where employees can see it. Discuss it with new employees during onboarding and review it when people are promoted.

Step 6 – Regularly Reevaluate

Set a timeline for assessing the extent to which your EVP is making a difference in hiring and retention. Go back to your original objectives and see how well you’re doing.

Compare data like employee turnover rates and absenteeism after you implement your EVP to what it was before you had one. Continue to collect feedback from employees about their job satisfaction, what incentives matter most and whether they feel part of a diverse, high-performance culture.

Always Hire the Best

Brelsford Personnel successfully provides high performance employees to businesses in metro Tyler and Longview because we don’t just think in terms of filling a vacancy. We get to know each of the organizations we’re privileged to work with.

When we search our candidate database and prepare a job posting, we look at more than just qualifications, skills and educational experience. Our goal is to provide employees who are a good fit for the company culture and make sure our candidates are in a role that suits them best.

Instead of worrying about finding the best employees or dealing with the consequences of a bad hire, put our expertise to work. Find out more when you get in touch today.

3. Hire Strong Employees When You Build a Strong Corporate Culture

Your Ultimate Guide to Attracting the Best East Texas Employees

Is company culture just a buzzword, or does it make a difference in employee recruitment, performance and retention? Harvard Business Review says company culture “picks up where the employee handbook leaves off.” Entrepreneur.com defines it as “a blend of the values, beliefs, taboos, symbols, rituals and myths all companies develop over time.”

Your corporate culture is an essential part of developing your brand’s identity and values. A strong company culture attracts the best East Texas employees and keeps them engaged. It decides how staff responds when the boss is out of the room or the challenge they face takes an unexpected turn.

Corporate Culture Studies

When savvy business owners consider investing time, energy and other resources, they seek data that indicates they’ll see a return on that investment. Here are some numbers.

  • A Columbia University study analyzed the relationship between job satisfaction and employee turnover and found employees who ranked their company culture as high left only 13.9 percent of the time. Offices with a poor company culture had a turnover rate up to 48.4 percent.

 

  • Company culture makes employees happier and more productive. One study by the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick discovered happy workers are 12 percent more productive than average, while unhappy employees are 10 percent less productive. People work harder when they’re happy.

 

  • When researchers in a Duke’s Fuqua School of Business study talked to 1,800 CEOs and CFOs, 92 percent of them said improving their firm’s culture would increase their company’s value. They linked ineffective culture with high turnover, unethical behavior and poor quarterly earnings.

What Makes a Strong Corporate Culture?

Corporate culture is about more than just pleasant lighting, free snacks and mentioning birthdays at staff meetings.

Strong corporate culture has a mission or vision. TED has a two-word mission statement that says the community’s purpose is to “spread ideas.” Coca Cola says their mission is “to refresh the world in mind, body and spirit.” Your vision or mission guides employee decision making and spills into interactions with customers, vendors and stakeholders.

Strong culture has clearly articulated values. Personal values dictate how people live their lives. Company values define how employees and stakeholders act in business and in the community. Values might include a commitment to innovation, environmental sustainability, compassion, honesty, dependability or a spirit of adventure.

Staff communicates with respect. People feel comfortable bringing up new ways of doing things. Managers offer feedback constructively and encourage each team member to be their best. There’s an open door communication policy with a clearly defined process for resolving conflict.

New hires fit. When people spend most of their day together, they are united if they share the same mission and values. Your employees bring your company culture to life.

In the book Built to Last, James Collins and Jerry Porras studied 18 companies over six years to try and identify cultural attributes of top ranking US companies. Each company had different beliefs and values, so a strong culture wasn’t tied specifically to prioritizing idealism, courage or self-improvement.

What they all had in common was that they prioritized hiring, managing and training employees based on their vision and values. They had a clear system for making sure each new hire was a cultural fit.

Company Culture and Hiring

The people you hire represent your company even when they’re not working. They talk about their job when they’re sitting on the patio at Fresh. During the day they post memes to social media that indicate how they feel about their jobs and their co-workers. When they’re at church or the gym, who they are either aligns or contrasts with what your business values.

Finding the right fit isn’t just about retention and productivity. It’s about what’s best for each candidate. When people are in an environment that suits their beliefs and values, they grow and thrive. When they’re not, they feel dissatisfied and unengaged.

Know how your values impact job duties for each role. Reference them in your job posting and design interview questions that relate directly to those values. Build them into your onboarding process. Regularly communicate them at every level of your organization.

Molding Your Corporate Culture

Shape your current culture by doing the following:

  • Look at your current mission statement and identify the key values that will form the foundation of your company culture.
  • Interview staff to see where you stand. Inc. provides a 15-question true or false quiz to evaluate corporate culture with advantages and pitfalls for some of the most common types, or you can develop your own. If weaknesses emerge, state what you want to change and how you plan to do so.
  • Seek employee input on the values you’ve identified.
  • Communicate cultural values and goals. Put them in your handbook, in the breakroom and in the company newsletter.
  • Encourage everyone to drink the Kool-Aid. If management and staff worked together to find what you’re passionate about, everyone should be a believer. If you can’t practice what you preach, don’t preach it.
  • Prioritize ownership. Let each individual know how they contribute to the big picture.
  • Regularly express gratitude. Thank people in public and in private for the ways they demonstrate company values. Take time for thanksgiving during celebrations and times of conflict or stress.

Solid company culture turns individuals into teams. It attracts employees who love their jobs and keeps them engaged.

Hire a Cultural Fit Every Time

At Brelsford Personnel, our goal is to make a positive difference for the people we serve. Since 1988 we’ve successfully placed candidates with top Texas companies because we study our clients.

We seek to start each relationship with employers by making a site visit so we understand your organization’s personality, leadership style and mission. We screen candidates for both skill and personality to match employers and staff. Experience the Brelsford difference when you get in touch today.

4. Hire the Best East Texas Employees by Attracting Top Millennial Talent

Your Ultimate Guide to Attracting the Best East Texas Employees

There’s always a difference between the mindset and work habits of different generations. At many companies, Baby Boomers are in leadership roles and seeking to attract, hire and manage millennials, a population segment with vastly different work habits and expectations. Attracting top millennial professionals starts with understanding what motivates them.

Millennial Statistics

A person who became a young adult during the 21st century is a Millennial. Most researchers say this group was born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s, with some demographers arguing for a little earlier or later. The oldest Millennials are in their late 30s, while the youngest are still teenagers.

Pew Research found Millennials became the largest generation in America’s workforce in 2016. Last year there were 56 million of them looking for a job or actively employed. By 2020, they will make up half the country’s workforce and 75 percent in 2025.

What Millennials are Looking For

Attract top Millennial talent by first understanding what they want. Deloitte questioned more than 10,000 individuals in 32 countries to generate their seventh annual report on Millennial business motivation, ethics, workplace optimism and concerns.

They found diversity and flexibility are the key to attracting loyal millennials.

While Millennials recognize profits are necessary, they don’t think that should be an organization’s main goal. They feel corporations should put a premium on the following:

  • Changing society for the good
  • Protecting the environment
  • Creating jobs that improve people’s lives
  • Stimulating both diversity and inclusion at work
  • Encouraging innovation

Millennials want to work where they can grow and have a future. Ninety-one percent of them say they want rapid career progression. They expect employers to have clear policies on how to earn bonuses, raises and promotions.

In the Deloitte study, two-thirds of Millennials say they will probably have left their current employer by 2020. Many of them cite poor leadership development as their reason for leaving.

Millennials grew up with technology, and they want to use it at work. They embrace Industry 4.0, which uses big data, powerful analytics, automation and the Internet of Things.

They also want training. Only 36 percent say they feel their organization is helping them prepare for technology of the future. They also want help developing soft skills like confidence, critical thinking and creativity.

Offer Millennials These Benefits

Employers compete for highly qualified candidates in every age group. Attract Millennials when you offer these benefits.

  • Career development – Provide training programs and team building opportunities. Offer skill-specific training, but also provide opportunities to develop interpersonal skills, critical thinking, creativity and responsible online behavior.

 

  • Positive social interaction – Younger employees want to interact. Encourage a monthly brown bag lunch to mix departments and management levels. Volunteer together, have a summer cook-off or send teams to one of the area’s escape rooms. Put Millennials in charge of planning.

 

  • Flexible scheduling – Instead of sick or vacation time, offer flex time employees can use as needed. You can still require employees to work traditional hours and request schedule changes, but provide them with a set number of hours to “spend” as they please. Other flexible scheduling options include a compressed work week, split shifts or scheduling that allows employees to complete work on nights and weekends.

 

  • Emotional and physical health support – Show employees you care with subsidized gym memberships, group participation in East Texas cycling and running events and free mental health support.

Retain Top Millennial Talent

Going back to the Deloitte study, two thirds of all Millennials say they’ll probably quit their current job by 2020 and one in four says they plan to quit this year. Mentally tally how many people work for you who are younger than 40. What if a quarter of them quit?

You lose everything you invested in recruiting, onboarding and training them. You have to start over, and it will take time before their replacement finds their stride within your organization.

Millennials Quit for Better Offers

A Forbes article says often Millennials leave even when they like their job because they were offered a better opportunity. Keep that from happening by giving them opportunities to grow and advance within your company. Spell out what it takes to get a raise so they know when they can expect increased pay.

People Relocate

People of every generation relocate when their spouse has a job change or a family member needs long-term care. If it’s mutually beneficial, offer telecommuting to keep employees who transfer to another area.

Millennials Go Back to School

Sometimes members of this group feel dissatisfied with their current career path and think they can’t advance without more formal education. Consider offering scholarships for employees who want schooling to advance their careers, but also provide training and opportunity inside the workplace.

Brelsford Has an Extensive Candidate Database

Brelsford Personnel provides East Texas employers with professional, top-performing employees. We’ll find the right fit for your job vacancy, and we tailor our services to fit both your needs and budget. Get in touch to hire the best East Texas employees every time.

Blog posting from Content by Missy exclusively for Brelsford Personnel

Addressing Gaps in Your Employment History

Addressing Gaps in Your Employment History

Expect the Question

If there are gaps in your employment history, the interviewer is going to ask why. It helps to be prepared so you can offer a professional, honest answer no matter what the reason for the gap.

Overall Strategies

In our article on interview tips, we suggest practicing common interview questions before you go. If you have gaps in your resume, it’s going to come up. Here’s how to handle all the tough questions you might face:

  • Be honest. If you feel like the reason for your unemployment doesn’t show you in the best light, you might be tempted to misrepresent the facts. Employers are looking for people with honesty and integrity. It’s better to hear what happened from you than through a background or reference check.

 

  • Focus on the positive. Don’t criticize your old boss or complain about how hard it was to care for your sick family member. Instead state what you learned from the experience and how it relates to the position you’re applying for.

 

  • Keep it brief. Explain the gap, then move on.

Gaps for Personal Reasons

Sometimes you had to take time to care for your family members or for yourself.

Do create a brief statement that tells what happened. Sometimes it helps to put it on paper.

Do identify one way the experience makes you more prepared for the job. For example, if you spent several months caring for your aging family member, explain how it helped you develop soft skills like a positive attitude and problem solving.

Do emphasize how you’re ready to return to work. State how your values and work ethic align with those of the organization.

Don’t talk for more than a few sentences about the situation. The interviewer wants to know the reason for the gap, but they don’t need to know all the details.

If You Were Fired

Even if you feel embarrassed by the reason you were fired, be honest, positive and brief.

Do honestly answer why you were fired. They’re most likely going to check with your previous boss. A simple, straightforward answer is best.

Do tell what you learned from the experience. For example, if you lost your job for repeatedly being late, explain how since then you’ve developed better time management skills.

Don’t trash your former boss or co-workers. Keep the focus on how your experience makes you suited for the new position.

If You Took Time for Education or Travel

These are the easiest gaps to explain. If you went back to school, let your interviewer know what degrees or certifications you gained from that education. If you traveled, explain how it taught you how to interact with a diverse range of people or to appreciate other cultures. Then let them know how you’re now ready to focus on your career.

Search Jobs in East Texas

Brelsford Personnel offers direct hire, temp-to-hire, temporary and contract placement. Search our online job postings to see current jobs in East Texas.

Sources:
https://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/articles/2018-05-23/mind-the-gap-how-to-explain-gaps-on-your-resume
https://www.themuse.com/advice/explain-resume-gap-interview-right-way
https://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/07/6-mistakes-to-avoid-when-explaining-a-resume-gap.html
https://www.careerbuilder.com/advice/explaining-unemployment-in-the-job-interview

Content by Missy for Brelsford Personnel