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:

How to Find Temporary Jobs or Assignments

You may find yourself in need of a temporary job; maybe you’re on a break from school, or maybe you just need to make a little extra cash in a short amount of time. Even though it may seem tough to find a temp job on your own, you do have a few options.

Look on Job Boards.

Job boards are a great way to find temp work because they’re often very clear with the term length, skills required, and any other pertinent information you need to know. Check out the Award Staffing job board to see some of the latest opportunities available.

Use Social Media.

You can use social media in one of two ways to search for temp jobs. First, you can post on your personal social media profiles that you’re looking for a temp job and see if you receive any responses. Second, you can search for temp jobs on the social media profiles of companies for whom you want to work. We recommend you follow Award Staffing’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn profiles to see what may be of interest to you. We post new opportunities daily to our followers.

Ask via Word of Mouth.

Your friends and family may know of great temporary/freelance opportunities, but they need to know you’re looking! If you throw out that you are in need of temp work, you may be surprised at the opportunities your friends and family present to you.

Use a Staffing Agency.

One of the easiest ways in which to find temp work is to use a staffing agency. When you work with a staffing agency, you can tell them the amount of time you want to work and give them your unique skill sets. They have a much wider pool of jobs from which they can look, so your chances of being gainfully employed are much greater if you work with a staffing agency.

If you’re looking for a temporary job, assignment, opportunity or looking to get your foot in the door at a new company, contact Award Staffing. We will be able to match you up with a company that will put your skills, educational background, and talents to good use for the set amount of time you want to work.

Award Cares: Avionte Hope Foundation & Nepal

Award Staffing: Award Cares

On April 25th, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake shook Nepal and left a devastating trail. We soon found out that the earthquake had hit close to home impacting our partner, Avionte Staffing Software, whom have nearly 40 team members in the area of Kathmandu.

As soon as we heard the news, we knew we needed to do something to help our partner and those in Nepal.

Over three days, the Award Staffing team came together and raised money for the Avionte Hope Foundation (AHF) and their efforts in Nepal.

On May 5th, we were very excited to present a check for $4000 to Avionte & their team!  The funds we raised will be used for relief efforts that will directly assist in meeting the basic needs of food, water, clothing, shelter and medical care for those that are suffering in Nepal.

If you would like to hear more about the Avionte Hope Foundation and their efforts in Nepal, please visit their INDIEGOGO site.

Nepal, our thoughts are with you!

– The Award Staffing Team

3 Steps You Should Take After an Interview

Having a job interview for a company you are interested in can be a life-changing event. You are being given the chance to prove yourself as an employee and discuss what skills you can bring to the company. After you have completed your job interview, there are three steps you should take in order to increase your chances of being hired:

Send a Thank You Card.

The most important step to take after an interview is to send a thank you card. This will let the interviewer know you appreciated their time and were interested in learning about the position. The interviewer will be impressed by your manners as well as your thoughtfulness and respect.

Follow Up in One Week.

If you are really interested about the job, but haven’t heard back from your interviewer within a week, it’s time for you to follow up. This can be done via e-mail or over the phone and can be phrased in the following way: “Hi, I’m still very interested in the position I interviewed for with you last Friday. I was wondering when I could expect to hear from you.”

This will remind the interviewer that you are still very interested in the job and let him or her know that you’re persistent and motivated. Plus, you will stand out compared to other interviewees who don’t take the time to follow up and just let the job slip away.

Mentally Prepare Yourself.

After your interview, it’s very important to mentally prepare yourself for all factors that surround this particular job. Are you ready for this kind of commitment? What steps will you need to take to get ready if you are hired quickly? Will you need to speak to your family about the job? Whatever factors you’re dealing with, make sure to sort through them after the interview so you are prepared to give a clear “yes” or “no” answer when your interviewer contacts you.

If you want to be interviewed by great companies for various jobs, contact Award Staffing. We will set you up with interviews for companies that are well suited to your needs. When you are finished interviewing, keep these tips in mind to increase your chances for success.

How to Keep Your Team Meetings Productive

Most companies hold meetings to make sure everybody is informed and performing efficiently. Following these guidelines will help prevent distractions and maximize your meeting’s productivity.

Have an Agenda.

It’s very important to have an agenda during a team meeting in order to stay focused and remain on topic. Too often during team meetings, people can supplement the topic with personal anecdotes or separate stories. By creating an agenda, you’re letting everyone know what ground needs to be covered and you’re ensuring that no important topics are left out of the conversation.

Take Minutes of the Meeting.

If it’s possible, designate a person to take minutes of the meeting. This will ensure that the purpose of the meeting isn’t lost in the midst of discussion and conversing.  You will be able to go back and look at any major decisions or discussions that were talked about during the meeting.

Allow for Questions and Comments at the End.

If you want to keep your team meeting productive, designate a time for questions and comments at the end of the meeting. This will allow your meeting to have a natural flow without interruption. Furthermore, the questions and comments at the end of the meeting will be more focused and to the point.

Cover Employee Well-Being/Safety.

Getting sidetracked with internal issues can quickly disintegrate a meeting. At the beginning of each meeting, address employee safety and well-being. When employees fell valued and listened to, they will focus on the correct agenda.

Team meetings are a great way to reconnect, get feedback, and improve as a company. In order to make sure you accomplish your order of business, they need to be as productive as possible. If you want more employees to add to your team meetings, contact Award Staffing and they will help you find employees that are a great match for your company.

How to Write a Resumé

If you have started applying for jobs, you may have noticed that most companies will ask for your resume. As a potential employee, having a well-organized resume increases your chances of being hired. Here are some tips regarding how to write a resume:

Define Your Objective.

Before you start writing your resume, you need to define your objective. Is this resume for a specific job, or is this resume a generalized job-searching tool? Once you are clear with the objective, you will be able to more specifically tailor the content you place on your resume to fit your exact needs.


Education should be at the top of your resume. The highest level of education you have completed should be listed first, and any subsequent education experiences should be listed underneath that.

Recent Job Experiences:

When you’re detailing your most recent job experiences, they should be listed in chronological order. In general, it’s a good idea to include job experiences that are related to the field for which you are applying. This will show recruiters that you are a good fit for that specific position.

Job-Relevant Skills:

If you have any specific skills such as woodworking or you being able to type quickly, you want to make sure you list those skills on your resume. Your skills are what set different candidates apart, so you want to list as many relevant skills as possible.

Soft Skills:

List your soft skills also, and include examples of how your used those skills in previous jobs. Examples of soft skills include a strong work ethic, positive attitude, good communication skills, time management abilities, problem-solving skills, acting as a team player, self-confidence, ability to accept and learn from criticism, flexibility, and working well under pressure. If your interviewer is trying to decide between two candidates and you have more soft skills than the other candidate does, you will always have an advantage.

Format it Correctly.

A resume should be no longer than one – two pages. Margins should be a minimum of one inch on each side. Include your name, address, and phone number on your resume so your interviewer can call you back for a second interview or a job offer.

Once you have your completed resume, you can use it as a tool to help you find the right job for you. If you want to expedite the process, contact Award Staffing; tell them you recently completed your resume and are looking for a job. They will work quickly to match you up with a reputable company well suited for you needs.

What You Should Know About a Candidate in the Final Interview

Hiring a new candidate for your company is no easy feat. You need to make sure the candidate fits in with the company and that you’re helping advance the candidate’s career goals. Initially, you were determining whether the candidate is well qualified and capable of the job, but in the final interview, you are assessing if this particular candidate is a smart hire for your company. There are several key factors you should know about a candidate to ensure you are making the best hire for your company:

If He/She Has Interviewed Other Places

If the candidate has been interviewing at other places and still seems very interested in your job, you can rest assured that your candidate is a serious contender. If your candidate hasn’t interviewed at too many other places, however, this might indicate that your candidate still has some work and exploration to do in terms of company size, goals, and culture.

Minimum Salary/Wage Expectations

If your maximum salary cap isn’t in line with the candidate’s minimum salary expectations, there isn’t a successful match. If the candidate feels like you aren’t offering a solid base pay, he/she is always going to be looking elsewhere for a higher-paying job. Be honest and upfront about what you are willing to pay, and hopefully you will meet at a number that is comfortable for both you and the candidate.

Commute Issue

If you’re looking to make a long-term hire, commuting is definitely an issue that needs to be addressed. Some candidates might assure you that a long commute is no problem. That might be true initially, but a long commute can drain a good employee’s energy really quickly. Your employee will either have reduced productivity at work or will always be searching for a job that is closer to home.

Know The Candidate’s Goals

As an employer, it’s your job to know the candidate’s professional goals and be honest regarding whether or not you can help those goals to be achieved. If your candidate’s goals can realistically be fulfilled within the position, discuss the ways and means of making it happen if they are hired. Smooth communication on these types of issues is a strong indicator of an excellent potential hire.

If you want to hire a high-quality candidate but need some extra help, contact Award Staffing. We will conduct interviews and match you up with an employee that will further your company goals and be a smart long-term investment.


High Quality Screening Can Reduce Employee Risk and Turnover

When you’re looking for new candidates for your company, you’ll always want to pick candidates that will reduce employee risk and turnover in the workplace. Conducting proper screening of your candidates is essential. Consider these suggestions

Verify Skills.

One of the biggest contributors to employee risk is when the employee doesn’t possess the correct skillset for the job. Using simple challenge tests can ensure that the employee has the specific skillset the job requires, not just the general skills. This will reduce the risk of incompetent or bored employees

Perform a Background Check.

Performing a background check on job candidates is a great way to reduce employee risk. Potential candidates aren’t always going to tell you everything about them, especially if they are desperate for employment. If you conduct a background check, you can verify that nothing incredibly serious or dangerous has happened regarding that particular employee. You will be able to rest assured that your other employees will feel safe when working in conjunction with this employee.

Hire Candidates with Realistic Expectations.

One of the biggest factors surrounding employee turnover is when the candidate has unrealistic expectations about the job. For example, if a candidate thinks he or she will be handling the administrative desk but is really handling the storage and packaging of boxes, disillusionment will follow. Make sure your candidate knows the expectations and limitations of the job in the interview.

Hire Candidates Who Have Needs Met By The Job.

If your candidate doesn’t have needs that are met through your job, he or she will be a higher risk of contributing to employee turnover. This means that your candidate’s skillset needs to match up with the skillset that the job is offering. You should not seek a candidate who is overqualified, but rather you should seek a candidate who is perfectly qualified for the job.

When you’re hiring new employees, you absolutely want to make sure you minimize employee turnover and risk. If you do a high quality screening for your potential candidates and ask certain questions, you will be able to greatly minimize the risk of acquiring these candidates. If you want help performing a high quality screening for your potential candidates, contact Award Staffing. We use screening to present to you the best candidates for your needs and requirements.

How to Train Temporary Employees Correctly to Prevent Accidents

Award Staffing - Safety FirstWhen you hire a new temp employee, there’s always a risk that he or she will cause an accident in the workplace due to lack of experience. Correctly training your temp employees, by educating them and exposing them to the work environment, will help prevent accidents. Here are some ways you can facilitate this training:

Educate Your Employees on Company Policies.

As an employer, you have a responsibility to inform your employees of the company policies. Many times, accidents can be avoided if employees strictly adhere to the company policies. Company policies such as safety guidelines, time regulations, and skill set requirements should be discussed in order to minimize risk.

Assign Responsibility to Your Employees.

When you assign more responsibility to your temp employees, you are making them feel like they are part of the team. The temp employee will most likely display more care, precision, and accuracy because he/she will feel more responsible for certain actions. On the other hand,  be careful not to assign more than they can accomplish while maintaining adequate

Do a Walk-Through and Provide Examples of Safety Hazards.

Before your temp employees start working, conduct a walk-through of the work environment. When you’re doing the walk-through with the new employees, you should be pointing out and providing examples of safety hazards. When your new temp employees are out in the workforce, they will have a visual reminder of what to look out for and be aware of on a daily basis.

Assert Your Behavior Expectations.

One of the most effective ways to train temp employees in accident prevention is to assert your behavior expectations. Clearly state rules – like no horseplay and practical jokes – and then actively enforce compliance. Accidents are much less likely to happen than if you don’t address your company’s behavior expectations.

Accidents in the workplace can easily be avoided with careful planning and risk management. It can be trickier to enforce the same safety policies with temp employees, but it can be done through education and risk avoidance. If you have a good plan for training temp employees regarding workplace accidents, give Award Staffing a call.

Award Staffing to Open Maplewood Location on June 23rd

Award Staffing, Minnesota Staffing Company, Staffing, Recruiting, Employment Agency, Maplewood, MN, MinnesotaWe are very excited to announce that Award Staffing will be opening a new recruiting office in Maplewood, MN on June 23rd.   Please join us at our new location during our Grand Opening week to tour our new facility, meet our Maplewood team members, and enter to win Award Staffing Swag!

Award’s new Maplewood office is located at 3035 White Bear Ave. Suite #8, Maplewood, MN 55109 with business hours of 8:00AM – 5:00PM, Monday – Friday.

You can contact the Award Staffing Maplewood team by phone at 612-260-1000 or via email at

Award Staffing offers staffing services through our four specialized divisions with Award Commercial Services (ACS), Award Hospitality Services (AHS), Award Professional Services (APS) & Award Retail Services (ARS) and our 5 locations conveniently located throughout the Twin Cities metro area.  With specialized staffing in the light industrial, clerical, merchandising, hospitality, technical and scientific industries, Award Staffing is able to provide high quality services and top talent to our  clients while also providing excellent placement services for our employees.