Maximizing Minnesota DEED and Other Resources for Your Hiring Needs

On Monday, June 12th, Award Staffing hosted Minnesota Deed’s Tim O’Neil for an afternoon session on how to use Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development online resources in your search for talent and understanding the current market trends. Although MN DEED’s website and Tim’s presentation provided us an exorbitant amount of information, here are some of the top highlights of things you should know.

A question often asked from both the employer and employee is, “How is the job market doing?”  As of April 2017, there has been steady employment growth as the United States added 211,000 jobs and Minnesota added 34,715 jobs with unemployment rates now steady at 3.7%.  With wages up 7.5% over the year, we are seeing labor force participation rates at 69.7% and these rates haven’t been seen since 1981.  In the Twin Cities metro area, there is less than one person seeking employment for each employment opening.

With a tight labor market and the unemployment rate in Minnesota being lower than the national rate, some requirements may need to be reconsidered, including education level.  Almost 2/3 of all current job openings only require a high school diploma or less. Jobs that require a bachelors degree account for only 18% of the job openings available.

Trying to compete with the competition for talent? Are your wages where they should be? In 2014, the median wage  for employees with no education was $11.00.  The median wages for employees with a high school diploma was $13.01.  You may want to check out the Occupational Employment Statistics site (also known as the Minnesota Salary Survey), to find wage estimates for your area. This tool allows you to compare wages that you currently pay to other companies’ pay rates in your area that have similar opportunities.

Although requirements and wages are a couple reasons why employees select certain opportunities over others, employers should educate themselves on other possible influencers.  Influencers may include job vacancy, cost of living, unemployment, demographics and more. Below is a list of resources we find to be extremely helpful in understanding the labor market we are in today. Best of all, these resources are free to access.  Need help understanding the labor market? Want to know how partnering with Award Staffing can help? Contact us.

Top Employment Resources:

Star Tribune names Award Staffing a 2017 Top 150 Workplace

Bloomington, MN June 26th, 2017

Award Staffing has been named one of the Top 150 Workplaces in Minnesota by the Star Tribune. A complete list of those selected is available at StarTribune.com/topworkplaces2017 and will also be published in the Star Tribune Top Workplaces special section on Sunday, June 25.

Produced by the same team that compiles the 26-year-old Star Tribune 100 report of the best-performing public companies in Minnesota, Top Workplaces recognizes the most progressive companies in Minnesota based on employee opinions measuring engagement, organizational health and satisfaction.  The analysis included responses from over 69,000 employees at Minnesota public, private and nonprofit organizations.

The rankings in the Star Tribune Top 150 Workplaces are based on survey information collected by WorkplaceDynamics, an independent company specializing in employee engagement and retention.

Award Staffing was ranked #57 on the small company list.

Star Tribune Publisher Michael J. Klingensmith said, “The companies in the
Star Tribune Top 150 Workplaces deserve high praise for creating the very best work environments in the state of Minnesota. My congratulations to each of these exceptional companies.”

Award Staffing has been proudly serving Minnesota companies and employees for nearly 30 years. Award is a staffing, recruiting and employment leader in Minnesota and takes pride in being a top workplace.   To learn more about Award Staffing, visit www.awardstaffing.com.

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To qualify for the Star Tribune Top Workplaces, a company must have more than 50 employees in Minnesota. Over 2,000 companies were invited to participate. Rankings were composite scores calculated purely on the basis of employee responses.

Foster Teamwork in the Workplace

If you’re an employer, one of the most frustrating things in the world is to hear that your employees are not getting along or working well together. It’s to your benefit to have total team cohesion so you can avoid costly mistakes or missteps. Here’s how you can foster teamwork in your workplace:

Hold Team Meetings

One of the best ways to foster teamwork is to start holding regular team meetings in which you and your team members check in with one another and provide feedback and suggestions. Doing this will allow you to physically connect with your team as opposed to leaving notes for each other on the message board or sending each other e-mails.

Encourage Employees to Help Each Other

As a manager, it’s your job to oversee the day-to-day operations and make sure that your employees are getting along. One easy way to do this is to encourage employees to help each other instead of you or another manager helping them. Once they start helping each other, they will become that much more accustomed to each other’s needs and be able to anticipate them on the fly.

Do Team-Building Activities

Team-building activities are a fun way to foster teamwork in the workplace because they let you break out of the regular team environment to get to know one another. You’ll soon find that when you’re not huddled in the same office or halls every day, you will get to see different aspects of your colleagues’ personalities shine, which will help you like them and get along with them that much more.

If you need to hire more employees who will help contribute to your workplace’s overall teamwork cohesion, contact Award Staffing. We are trained to look for potential recruits who have positive social skills and who are well-versed in the art of communication.

The Pros and Cons of Hiring Seasonal Staff

When you’re about to head into a busy season, and you’re in charge of staffing for your company, it’s time for the big decision: do you overload your current employees with extra responsibilities, or do you hire seasonal staff to help out with the workload? Before you make a decision, there are pros and cons of hiring seasonal staff that you should take into account:

Pros

  • Increased Productivity
    One of the biggest positive aspects of hiring seasonal staff is that after the onslaught of training, you will have increased productivity. Therefore, if you have a busy season coming up, you may want to get the training done several weeks ahead of time, so your new employees are ready to work when everything gets busy.
  • Employee Vetting
    One lesser-known benefit of hiring seasonal staff is that you can use it to vet longer-term employees. Hiring short-term staff is the perfect way to test out particular employees, especially if you’re not yet ready to make a full-time commitment.

Potential Cons and How to Beat Them

  • Training Costs
    Every time you onboard a new employee, you’re may incur training costs to make sure they’re up to speed with your company’s rules, regulations, and protocol. Adding seasonal staff to your workforce could potentially reduce productivity at first until all the new employees are trained. Connecting with a quality staffing agency who supplies well-trained candidates who learn quickly will ensure that the ultimate productivity and performance is worth any temporary loss of action.
  • Lack of Familiarity
    Your seasonal staff will need to take the time to familiarize the new employees with the position and overall job details. You will need to account for this in the training schedule, but once again, a little effort in the beginning will reap big results in the end. Furthermore, it’s an opportunity for current staff members to expand their leadership skills.

If you are interested in hiring seasonal staff, contact Award Staffing. We can help you identify exactly how many staff members you need, for how long, and in what position/role. We will be able to pre-vet candidates for you so that you’re only meeting with the most qualified candidates by the time they reach the interview process.

 

Foster Teamwork in Your Workplace

If you’re an employer, one of the most frustrating things in the world is to hear that your employees are not getting along or working well together. It’s to your benefit to have total team cohesion so you can avoid costly mistakes or missteps. Here’s how you can foster teamwork in your workplace:

Hold Team Meetings

One of the best ways to foster teamwork is to start holding regular team meetings in which you and your team members check in with one another and provide feedback and suggestions. Doing this will allow you to physically connect with your team as opposed to leaving notes for each other on the message board or sending each other e-mails.

Encourage Employees to Help Each Other

As a manager, it’s your job to oversee the day-to-day operations and make sure that your employees are getting along. One easy way to do this is to encourage employees to help each other instead of you or another manager helping them. Once they start helping each other, they will become that much more accustomed to each other’s needs and be able to anticipate them on the fly.

Do Team-Building Activities

Team-building activities are a fun way to foster teamwork in the workplace because they let you break out of the regular team environment to get to know one another. You’ll soon find that when you’re not huddled in the same office or halls every day, you will get to see different aspects of your colleagues’ personalities shine, which will help you like them and get along with them that much more.

If you need to hire more employees who will help contribute to your workplace’s overall teamwork cohesion, contact Award Staffing. We are trained to look for potential recruits who have positive social skills and who are well-versed in the art of communication.

How to Hire an Effective Manager

Hiring a manager is different than hiring a regular employee in the sense that they will have more responsibility, will need to manage other employees, and will report directly to you. Here’s how to hire an effective manager: 

Look for Someone with a Proven Record. 

When hiring or promoting a manager, you need to look for someone who has repeatedly proven themselves. This means seeking out someone who has had multiple opportunities to do the wrong thing, but has instead chosen the right path. For example, seek out an employee who repeatedly is on-time, shows great work ethic, and makes moral decisions within the realm of your business.

Look for Someone Who Has Great Colleague Relationships.

A manager will need to be respected by their colleagues and peers, so it’s important that they have great colleague relationships. To assess this, you can ask their colleagues anonymously what they think about that particular employee, or you can simply assess for yourself through the act of observation to see whether or not they have great colleague relationships.

Look for Someone Who Knows How to Assert Themselves.

An effective manager will need to know how to assert himself/herself to fulfill responsibilities. To assess this, watch your employees to see who naturally takes charge in a situation of conflict or concern. The person who rises to the top in terms of leadership and taking charge is the person whom you should most readily consider promoting to being a manager instead of an employee.

If you’re looking to hire an effective manager but don’t know where to start, contact Award Staffing. We can help you find employees who would not only be a great fit for your company, but who would also be a great fit to be a manager. We will look out for a specific set of skills to ensure that your new hire can accomplish this successfully.

What to Bring to a Job Interview

When you’re going on job interviews, there are several things you need to bring with you to help ensure a successful interviewing experience.

Resume. 

Your interviewer will often ask you for a copy of your resume (even if you sent one earlier) Bring several copies with you in case there is more than one person sitting in the room with your interviewer. Make sure to print out your resume on quality neutral-toned paper so it can stand out from the crowd. 

References.

Have copies of your references on hand, so you can easily hand it over to your interviewer. The less work your interviewer has to do on your behalf, the better chances you have of getting the job.

Notepad and Pen.

You may not need it, but it’s important to be prepared. Appearing over prepared as opposed to being underprepared is always a plus. 

Folder.

Don’t have your papers and pen floating around loose in your hands, bag, or pocket. Make sure you bring a nicely-organized folder and keep your belongings inside of it. Your interviewer will likely take note of your organization and will be impressed. 

Water.

You never know when you’re going to need to cough, clear your throat, or sneeze. It’s important to bring water so you can remain hydrated and have a solution in case any of these uncomfortable situations arise during your interview.

If you need help finding jobs, contact Award Staffing. We will be able to help you line up interviews for jobs that are a good fit for your personality, work experience, and future career goals.

How to Find Great Employees in a Skills-Gap Market

It can be tough to find great employees in general; this is especially amplified when in a skills-gap market. There are a few specific strategies you can use, however, to help you succeed.

Use Social Media.

Social media is a great way to find candidates in a skills-gap market. The networking effect extends your reach to candidates. Make sure you post a dedicated job posting with lots of details about the duties, salary, and location, so you sort out the serious applicants from the non-serious applicants. 

Word-of-Mouth.

Similar to social media, word-of-mouth is a great way to extend your company’s reach.   When using word-of-mouth, however, it’s very important that you talk to the correct people. When needing a new employee, get the word out with your current employees or other respected professionals in your industry.

Hire a Staffing Agency.

The best way to find new employees in a skills-gap market is to hire a staffing agency. Staffing agencies have large databases of reputable recruits who are willing to start work at a moment’s notice. They also maintain a consistent database.

If you’re looking to hire new employees but don’t know where to start, contact Award Staffing. We will be able to help you find the right employees for your unique business needs. We will also be able to help you find employees who are willing to commit to your company long-term as opposed to a short-term opportunity.

Start Looking for Summer Internships Now

Though it may seem early to do so, it’s a good idea to start looking for summer internships now. It may take you a while to find one, but there’s more than one reason to search now instead of later.

Beat the Competition

Most people won’t apply for summer internships until right about the time when college semesters end for the summer. By applying early, you will be beating the competition because you’ll be putting yourself out there earlier for hiring managers. We’ve all heard the saying about the early bird catching the worm, and it rings particularly true in this circumstance.

Plan Your Schedule

If you wait to apply for summer internships, you’ll have to wait to hear back, which means that your summer will effectively be in limbo. By applying now, you’ll hopefully secure your internship sooner, which means that you will be able to plan out your schedule. This can be helpful if you want to schedule any vacations or get another job in addition to your internship.

Have More Choice

The earlier you start looking, the more choices you will have. Some internships may have special deadlines, and some internships might fill up as soon as they’ve found their one or two summer interns. By applying as early as possible, you’re ensuring that you have as many choices as possible and can work to find a perfect fit for you.

If you need help securing a summer internship, contact Award Staffing. We can help you find an internship that will ultimately advance your career goals and direct you on the right path. We can also help you find an internship that is a good fit for your current schedule and specific skills.

Why You Should Prioritize Candidate Referrals

Hiring can be a tricky, expensive process that can either have great results or disastrous results for your company. Whenever possible, try to prioritize candidate referrals over any other type of applicant – here’s why.

Rely on Other People’s Experiences

The great thing about relying on candidate referrals is that other people have already done the pre-vetting for you. When someone is referred to you, that person is putting their reputation on the line for doing so. This increases your chance of securing a high-quality candidate.

Accurate Character References  

When someone is referred, you can rest easy knowing that their character references are more accurate. It’s one thing for a candidate to refer to himself or herself as being responsible and timely; it’s another thing for a former employer to confirm that an employee actually is responsible and timely.

Less Costly to Do So

It’s expensive to hire candidates, especially if they don’t work out for your company in the long run. When someone is referred to you, it’s safer to assume that they are looking for a long-term position and will be a “good hire.” By eliminating individuals who are only looking for short-term gain, you will ultimately find yourself saving money.

If you’re looking to hire reputable employees for your company, contact Award Staffing. We will refer candidates who have excellent references that we have personally hand-verified for you. We will make sure that the candidate who joins your team is nothing short of what you are seeking.