Star Tribune’s 2020 Top Workplace in Minnesota

Star Tribune Names Award Staffing as a 2020 Top 150 Workplace in Minnesota

Bloomington, MN June 28th, 2020— For the 5th year in a row 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 and will also be published in the Star Tribune Top Workplaces special section on Sunday, June 28.

Produced by the same team that compiles the 29-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 76,000 employees at Minnesota public, private and nonprofit organizations.

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

Award Staffing was ranked 32 of 70  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.”

Why Award Staffing as a Top Workplace in Minnesota?

“Of all the national and local awards we receive, this one is the most important because the judges are our employees. We are honored to be included in the list of Top Workplaces.” – Tom Thissen, Owner, and CEO

We continue to hold firm to our signature approach to service – reinforce connections between the people and the places we serve. Our role is to fulfill gainful employment by serving both job seekers and businesses alike. These awards would not be possible without the efforts of our recruiters, our associates, our clients, and every candidate who has walked through our doors.

To qualify for the Star Tribune Top Workplaces, a company must have more than 50 employees in Minnesota. Over 3,000 companies were invited to participate. Rankings were composite scores calculated purely on the basis of employee responses.

Three TED Talks to Inspire Your Job Search

Looking for a job is a trying time. Your patience and your resourcefulness can be tested, to say nothing of your perseverance and your morale. At times you’re going to need different ways to motivate yourself. Most people turn to their friends and family during those times but there are going to be instances where you need to find different ways to light a fire under yourself. TED Talks are a great way to get started on that process. The talks started in 2006 as a way of offering brief lectures on content of varying topics, given by experts and experienced practitioners within different fields. Here are some of our favorite TED Talks related to the job search process.

Jason Shen’s “Looking for a job? Highlight your ability, not your experience”

Many people in the job hunt are not just looking to find a new opportunity – they’re looking to find a different opportunity. This becomes especially relevant if you are interested in changing fields. If you’re transitioning from one industry to another then your actual experience might not be the most relevant part of your job seeker profile. Instead, you need to rebrand yourself and pitch yourself based off of your ability to perform work in the new field rather than your track record in the old field. Shen’s talk touches on all of these points while also noting how the job applicant evaluation process needs to change to incorporate this level of thinking about a person’s potential.

Scott Dinsmore’s “How to find work you love”

Scott Dinsmore’s talk is a humorous foray through his past experience, including some of the worst advice he’s ever gotten, as he discusses how to find a career that has meaning and potential for you. He emphasizes the fact that the vast majority of people don’t enjoy their work, and how you can set yourself apart from the pack. He is a big believer that personal relationships can influence what we do and the paths our careers take, so it’s crucial to be mindful of who you associate with. Dinsmore is a thoughtful and engaging speaker, and his talk can be a real boost.

Carol Fishman Cohen’s “How to get back to work after a career break”

We all know that life is not a straight path or a straight line. Your career can be disrupted or paused for any number of reasons – maybe you need to take care of an ill relative, or you need to go back to school for a while. No matter the reason, your career has hit a delay or a detour. This is completely fine, and Cohen is ready to talk “relaunchers” into how they can hit the ground running if and when they choose to enter the workforce again.

Working on finding a new job is really a job unto itself a lot of the time. The stress and strain are very real, so make sure that you’re taking the time to use resources like these videos if you ever feel the need to recharge your batteries as you hunt your next great opportunity.

Looking for the right position? Let Award Staffing help when you reach out to us today.

Taking Control of Your Relationship With Your Boss

The field of management and authority is closely studied and monitored. There are reams of pages written every year by successful bosses hoping to pass their wisdom on to their fellow managers. Less attention is paid to the critical task of understanding how employees can improve relationships with their bosses, however. This is a mistake because bosses stand to learn just as much from employees as vice versa, and employees can go a long way towards furthering their careers by being proactive and taking control of relationships with their superiors in the workplace. You can really do yourself a favor by working at improving your relationship with your boss by following some simple guidelines and suggestions.

Keep the lines of communication open

An important thing to remember about interacting with your boss is that you want to keep the avenues of communication open at all times. In our digital world, this can be done over email, Slack, texting and other messaging mediums. However, nothing can replace face to face interaction, which we all benefit from. You can take your boss out to lunch or a cup of coffee on a regular basis and do your career a favor. Doing this is a great way to develop an interpersonal relationship that will keep things sailing smoothly at the office. Additionally, communicating on these terms is a way that you can get your goals and hopes across. Your boss will have a better idea of where your aspirations lie and can work with you accordingly from a position of understanding and support.

Anticipate and deliver

One thing that most bosses appreciate in employees is their ability to anticipate and deliver results. A lot goes into this ability, and the communication suggestion outlined above gives you a good starting point. If you’re talking with your boss more often then you’ll of course have a better idea of what they expect and need out of different workflows and projects. Once you’ve started to build this body of knowledge, you’ll be able to start anticipating their needs before they even know they have them. This is one of the ultimate ways to demonstrate value and also can give you a critical responsibility – making sure that your boss is never blindsided by a challenge or a problem. If you can provide that buffer, your skills will be all the more valued by your boss.

Remember, they’re human too

Your boss is a person just like anyone else, and they have the same wants and needs. Building and strengthening a relationship with them is typically a matter of engaging in good listening and communication, as it is in any relationship between two people on a personal or professional level. You can create a candid and trusting level of interaction with your supervisor in such a way that your work will be more meaningful and rewarded. They will have a better understanding of you as a worker, what you want out of your career and how you intend to move forward in life.

Looking for an opportunity to put these skills to use? Let the team at Award Staffing help you find a great position when you contact us today.

Did You Get The Job Or Not? What To Do

It can happen to anyone in the midst of a job hunt—you put your best foot forward on your resume and your application with a company. You had a great phone interview, which led to at least one in-person interview. You knocked that interview out of the park and left the office with a great feeling about where things stood. So, the only thing missing is an offer of employment from the company for your next dream job. There’s one problem—the offer has not come in yet. It can be a frustrating time for anyone, but there’s a number of things that you want to keep in mind when waiting out this part. You know that an offer should be coming, but it’s delayed—there can be a number of reasons for this.

Remember that it’s probably not you

A lot of organizations have a number of tiers to them. These tiers all need to be kept in the loop when an offer to a potential employee is being considered. There can be dozens of reasons for this type of delay. A major company project might have run into challenges and the entire hiring team is focusing on getting that solved before working with you. The person you interviewed with might have taken another offer themselves in the interim. Maybe a dream internal candidate came along, or just an average one—most companies do their due diligence and make sure that they interview interested internal candidates. The point is, you need to keep in mind that these delays might have nothing to do with you whatsoever. Be patient!

Stay on top of the process

Even though a delay might have nothing to do with you, there’s nothing wrong with trying to stay on top of things and seeing what might be going on. You might even reconsider your willingness to take the offer—you should be doing some digging via research and mining your network to see if there might be something problematic about the company’s future. They might have financial issues down the road, or you might learn through your own conversations that this is a sign of things to come. Additionally, you want to ask some questions when you get a hold of the hiring manager. Ask whose decision it was to put the offer on hold, and ask what any timeline looks like for clarity on the situation. You’ll be glad that you got these answers.

An offer on hold can be a frustrating time for anyone. You want to keep perspective on the situation and use the time productively to look more into the company’s standing and situation. In many instances, it can actually be a blessing in disguise. If you decide you still want to pursue next steps, there is nothing wrong at all with getting more clarity on the situation when you speak with your contact and the hiring managers at the company in question. Information is key here, and you want to get as much as you can.

When you’re ready to find your next dream job, Award Staffing can help. Call us today to learn more about our placement services.

How To Maneuvering Job Searching Through COVID-19

Right now times are very uncertain, very stressful and even a bit frightening. The COVID-19 outbreak has not only caused a health crisis but an economic crisis, as well. In a matter of days, millions of people found themselves suddenly out of work. Millions more are weeks or even days away from losing their jobs, and millions more still are left uncertain about whether their companies will last through this crisis.

While the numbers are bleak and you are probably anxious, there is good news. Companies all across the country are hiring right now and many companies still have long-term plans to hire throughout the year. That means that the best thing for you to do right now is to continue your job search, despite your anxiety. Follow these tips to keep your job search on track through COVID-19.

Remember, This is Temporary

While no one can say for sure how long all of this will last, the one thing they can say for certain is that this is all temporary. It will end one day and the economy will open back up. It will be the people who kept their nose to the grindstone and kept looking throughout the downtimes who will rise up the fastest and go the farthest when things get back to something resembling normalcy.

Search Every Day

If you have already lost your job or you are in danger of losing your job, make sure you are doing search-related activities for a few hours every single day. You don’t have to do them for eight hours a day which can be daunting, but you should do a few hours, at least. Then, spend time decompressing with your family, taking a walk outside and looking for silver linings where you can find them.

Be Smart, Be Safe

Many employers are making use of video chats for interviews, but some are still holding in-person interviews. If you do go to an employer, make sure to stay 3-6 feet away from other people, do not shake hands, try to avoid touching metal or glass surfaces, wash your hands and use hand sanitizer.

Be Reachable

Now is not the time to screen calls. If an employer can’t reach you, they will move on to someone else. Make sure to check your email multiple times a day and respond to any potential employer’s outreach in less than 24 hours. Keep your phone on you at all times and answer any calls from unknown numbers.

Be Reliable

Even being a few seconds late to a phone or video interview can cost you a job right now. Make sure that you have the date and time correct and test links to video chats at least an hour before the meeting so you can notify the employer if there is a problem. Finally, just as you would arrive early to an interview, sign in or dial in at least 10 minutes early – unless you are instructed otherwise.

Insist on Quiet

If you have a family sharing one space, it can be difficult to find quiet for an interview. Luckily, everyone is in the same boat and employers will certainly understand if a baby cries or a child comes bursting in the room during an interview, but try to find a quiet place to hold the interview so that you can concentrate and put your best foot forward. Send your family on a walk or bike ride, or if you can’t find quiet, sit in your car.

Use Your Downtime Wisely

If you have lost your job, it’s important to keep busy. Being in isolation in addition to being unemployed can be a recipe for depression. Just as you block off time every day to search for jobs, block off time to learn a new skill or hone an existing one. There are myriad free resources online and many formerly-paid programs are being offered for free to help people struggling with the economic impact of COVID-19. Learning something new will not only pass the time in a constructive way, but it will also help you enhance your resume.

Be Visible On Social Media

Social distancing is a great excuse to forego in-person networking for social networking. So get visible on LinkedIn by participating in groups and getting in touch with contacts you haven’t spoken with in a while. This is also a great time to make professional Facebook and Twitter profiles to share industry-related posts and information.

Work With A Staffing Firm

A job search can be incredibly overwhelming at any time, let alone in these uncertain and stressful times. Working with a staffing firm can help ease your stress while also increasing the chances of finding a good job. If you are looking for a job, please browse Award Staffing’s open jobs and apply online today or contact our team to learn more about the ways we can help you get working.

How To Avoid Getting Sick While On The Job

Keeping fit and ready to roll is always a top priority for everybody, and staying healthy at work is a big part of this. No matter your role or your industry you can be proactive about your own health at all times and make sure you’re doing whatever is necessary to keep healthy. All it really takes is some simple steps to accomplish this goal, and you’ll be glad that you did what you could to stay ahead of the curve. We’ve pulled together some of our favorite tips below for staying healthy in the workplace and beyond.

Keep it clean

The easiest way to help stay healthy is to keep everything clean, from your body to your personal items to your workspace. It’s very easy for germs to fester and prosper, especially in damp and warm conditions, and most of what you touch fits the bill for that. Your phone is one of the dirtiest things that you’ll ever touch in a given day. Your keyboard is not far behind the cleanliness department, and your desk and other hard surfaces need to be wiped down regularly. With technology it’s never been easier to stay on top of this—we recommend setting an alarm on your phone or computer to wipe these surfaces down with a disinfecting wipe every day or two, and conduct a deep clean about once a week. You’ll be glad you made this investment in time and effort.

Get some sleep

We are only just beginning to unlock the understanding of the power of sleep. In fact, it’s one of the most popular trends among professional athletes right now. They are paying close attention to their sleep habits and cycles in addition to their customary dedication to training, diet, exercise and activity levels. Sleep is a critical regenerative process and all of us could probably use more of it, truth be told. So think like a pro athlete and understand that the machine that is your body needs more rest. Talking with your doctor about the sleep habits that would suit your body and lifestyle is a good first step.

Wash your hands!

This one sounds the most obvious but it’s the most effective—wash your hands regularly. It’s a good habit to get into, especially after you touch something dirty or before and after you eat. You’ll be staying on top of the germs that regularly regenerate on your skin and helping to prevent the transmission of infections like colds and sore throats—not to mention more serious conditions. Clean hands are one of the best lines of defense that you can have.

Staying healthy is a great way to just feel better on a daily basis. Nobody wants to have that nagging cold they can’t shake—to say nothing of more serious matters. Staying clean is a matter of being vigilant and observant about your habits and making sure you’re being proactive about cleaning and germ control. You’ll be glad that you made the investment in your own wellness.
Ready to find the right job? Award Staffing is here to help when you reach out to us today.

How to Stay Prepared in Case of a Recession

When the Great Recession hit, we spent a lot of time helping job seekers secure their futures during uncertain times. We saw first-hand how workers and families in the Twin Cities were hit hard by the sudden loss of jobs and the need to find new work quickly.

Fortunately, the last few years have seen a good economy, especially in Minnesota. Still, it’s important to remember the lessons we learned last time. Here are some of the things that you can do now to stay prepared in case of another recession.

Grow your savings

The first thing you want to have in place in case of a sudden layoff is a strong emergency fund. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average length of unemployment is 9.3 weeks.

Financial experts suggest having three to six months’ worth of income in your savings. This should help you cover your mortgage/rent, food, utilities, and debt while you search for a new job. The money needs to be liquid, or easily accessible in a bank and not tied up in an investment like a house.

Be prepared for a job search

Most people use the saying “brush up your resume” when they hear about coming layoffs. But it’s a good practice to always keep your resume up to date.

Have a place where you’re tracking important work achievements so that you’re ready to add them to your resume when the time comes. Add new responsibilities or update your job title on LinkedIn as they happen. The last thing you want to do after a layoff is to try to remember what you were doing two years ago.

Keep your friends close

Networking is an important way to find new job opportunities and to receive recommendations. However, working on your network isn’t an activity that’s done only when you need a job. You’ll need to create genuine connections while you’re employed too.

Set a reminder to regularly connect with people in your network. Add coworkers, former coworkers, and classmates on LinkedIn. Send emails to people you haven’t heard from in a while to ask how they’re doing.

Develop new skills

Is there a skill that would make you a stronger candidate if you had to re-enter the job market? Perhaps you would have more opportunities if you had another certification or were fluent in another language.

If there’s something you’ve always wanted to learn, start working on that skill now while you have the support and income of your current job. You may even be able to get your current employer to help cover any costs.

Research staffing agencies

During the stress of a layoff, don’t get frazzled by trying to find new job opportunities and sending out applications to individual employers. Remove some of that stress by having a staffing agency on hand that you can turn to for help.

If you find yourself facing an unexpected job hunt, Award Staffing is here to help. Call us or visit one of our Twin Cities locations to learn more about how we can help you find your future.

3 Ways Job Seekers Can Create Their Own Luck

We hear from a lot of job seekers that it seems as though dream jobs just fall into other people’s laps. A recruiter reaches out at the right time for an amazing opportunity, or someone’s uncle has connections at an awesome company. Some of our job seekers feel like it was simple luck that helped them find their previous job as well.

Here’s what we’ve learned helping thousands of “lucky” people find their future: it wasn’t just luck. In order to accept a killer new job opportunity, you need to be prepared first. Hard work won’t bring you a well-connected uncle or magically open a role, but you can make sure you’re in the best position possible for the next opportunity.

Here are three ways that you can generate some luck for your job search.

Put yourself in the right place at the right time

This isn’t about being in the right place physically, but the right place mentally and emotionally. If you have a vision of what you want your next job to be, you need to get yourself to a place where you will be an ideal candidate. Take an online class or volunteer after work to build skills you may be lacking. Tackle anything in your personal life that may make it difficult to relocate or start new hours. Once you’ve put yourself in a better position to accept a new job, the perfect opportunity will arrive seemingly out of nowhere.

While you’re creating your own luck, you also need to demonstrate that you’re ready for new opportunities. Sharing your information with a staffing agency can make it even easier for “luck” to find you.

Find the magic words

Standing outside of your dream employer’s building yelling, “Open sesame!” definitely won’t get you a job. Instead, you need to find the words that will help you get past the tougher barrier: the hiring manager. Read the job posting closely and use words from the posting in your resume and cover letter to demonstrate how you’re a good fit for the job. Look at the language the company uses on their website. Present yourself in a way that makes it easy for the recruiter or hiring manager to see how you’re a good fit.

The other magic words you need to use are the ones your mother taught you: ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’ Good old-fashioned manners are becoming a lost art. Whomever you speak to during the process will appreciate a kind, polite candidate.

Create your own good luck charm or magical ritual

Rituals are important for helping you feel comfortable before a job interview. On interview day, perform your usual morning routine, allowing plenty of time to eat and prepare for the day. If you have a lucky tie or a lucky bracelet, be sure to wear it to help you feel more confident. Develop a mantra to help you through the job-seeking process, such as, “I’m ready to share my value.” Repeat it to yourself whenever you feel nervous.

Award Staffing is eager to help you find your luck and more importantly, your future. Call us or visit one of our branches today.

Why a Job in the Skilled Trades May Be Right for You

One thing we hear a lot from the companies we work with is that they need skilled laborers to fill their open jobs. We love helping skilled laborers find their future at these companies, but we also love encouraging our job seekers to develop their own skills to meet demand.

Perhaps no one ever asked you whether you’d be interested in going to school to learn a trade. Maybe no one in your family worked in a trade. Or maybe you feel you don’t fit the image of a typical tradesman – or tradeswoman.

Whatever the case, it’s always a good time to learn a skilled trade. Whether you’re deciding what to do once school is over or you’re looking to make a career change, these reasons might convince you to consider a job in the skilled trades.

Skilled labor is in demand

Minnesota is currently experiencing a skilled labor shortage. Companies are eager to pay for the specialized knowledge that comes with learning a trade. If you complete an apprenticeship and/or a trade program, you’ll be in a good spot to receive one of these great jobs. Being in high demand will put you in control of working where you want.

Skilled laborers receive good benefits

Because skilled workers are in such high demand, you are more likely to receive a competitive salary and benefits. The longer you work, the more valuable you’ll be to your company. In the Twin Cities, an entry-level construction worker can earn at least $16 an hour, while an experienced electrician could earn $38 an hour.

You can get paid to learn

Unlike a four-year college program, you can actually get paid while you learn a trade. If you’re in an apprenticeship, your employer will pay you for the time you spend working. Most of your education will be on-the-job training, with some time spent in the classroom. Because your employer is investing in your education, they’ll likely have a job waiting for you once you complete the program.

Technology is creating exciting new opportunities

Technology and automation sound scary, but they aren’t threats to your job. Instead, technology is changing the way that skilled workers perform their jobs. Skilled workers apply their knowledge to help operate and manage equipment and systems. Technology and robotics are also making the workplace safer. While strength was once a requirement for performing most labor tasks, many workers can apply for skilled trade jobs and not have to worry about heavy lifting.

Skilled laborers love their jobs

Skilled laborers often report high job satisfaction. Two out of every three workers report loving their jobs. In addition to great benefits and job stability, skilled laborers regularly experience new opportunities. While the work can be challenging physically and mentally, tradespeople report that they enjoy the challenge. They also appreciate working as a team to solve a problem.

Are you looking for skilled industrial jobs in Minneapolis? Award Staffing is here to help you find your future. Browse our current job opportunities.

5 Books to Prepare You for Your Job Search

At Award Staffing, we’re always reading up on the latest information to help our job seekers perform their best. We’re thrilled when job seekers ask us for resources that they can use to help them in their job search.

Below is a list of some of our favorite books that we’re currently reading – plus some a few books we’ve been recommending for years.

1. “What Color is Your Parachute? 2019: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers” by Richard N. Bolles

Every career center and list of books for job seekers includes this classic work. Author Richard N. Bolles helps you determine what color your parachute is – or rather what type of person you are – and which types of careers and work environments would be best for you. Whether you’re a new graduate or are making a mid-career change, this book contains practical tips to help you determine and then get your dream job.

2. “Knock ‘em Dead: The Ultimate Job Search Guide” by Martin Yate, CPC

Martin Yate’s Knock ‘em Dead series has helped millions of people find new jobs. For more than 30 years the advice in this book has helped readers develop their resumes, network and crush it at job interviews. The latest edition, updated in 2017, includes new ways to help with your job search, such as using social media.

3. “Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges” by Amy Cuddy

If you’ve wanted to know how to improve your body language during an interview, you may have seen Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk about “power poses.” Cuddy talks about how sitting or standing a certain way can help you to both have more confidence and to appear more confident. In her book “Presence,” she talks more about how you can approach challenges like a job interview with excitement instead of anxiety.

4. “Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service” by The Disney Institute

The Disney brand is known for going above and beyond to give their customers a magical experience. The Disney Institute has put the knowledge from their business training programs into this book to help others learn more about providing excellent service. If you’re looking for a career in hospitality or customer service, Disney is an excellent model for how to treat every interaction.

5. “Never Eat Alone and Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time” by Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz

One of the best ways to grow your career is through your network. The most successful people know how to build relationships that they can use to get ahead in business and in life. The book includes tips on how to connect with people both in-person and online to help you grow your network.

If you’re looking to boost your knowledge about your industry, the job search process or even yourself, consider buying or checking out one of these books from the local library.

Want more reading suggestions? We’re happy to share! Give us a call or visit us at one of our Award Staffing locations in the Twin Cities.