6 Ways to Streamline Your Hiring Process

Vacant positions and bad hires can have a detrimental impact on businesses, both financially and operationally. Not only do they result in wasted time and resources spent on recruiting and onboarding, but they also contribute to decreased productivity and increased pressure on existing employees. Additionally, the cost of open positions increases the longer they go unfilled which impacts your bottom line.

To mitigate these challenges, it is crucial to streamline the hiring process and prioritize identifying high-quality candidates. Making prompt decisions is key, as the longer the decision-making process takes, the greater the risk of losing the interest of potential candidates.

By optimizing your hiring practices, you can minimize the negative impact of vacancies and bad hires, ensuring that your business remains efficient, productive, and successful.

Here are 6 ways to make your process more efficient and effective, resulting in happier candidates and stronger hires:

1. Build A Talent Pipeline

Building a talent pipeline is a proactive and strategic approach to recruitment. It involves identifying potential candidates and nurturing relationships with them in anticipation of future vacancies. This can be particularly valuable for roles that your company frequently hires for or for roles that require unique, specific skills. By engaging with potential candidates ahead of time, you’re not only saving precious time in the hiring process when a position becomes available but also ensuring that the candidates have a positive impression of your company and its culture. The most effective talent pipelines are built on clear communication and are often formed through channels that have previously proven successful in attracting the right talent. This could include social media networks, job fairs, community job boards etc. Getting in front of your audience is crucial to quickly fill an open position.

2. Accurate Job Descriptions

One of the main causes of delays in the hiring process is confusion about roles and responsibilities. Make sure everyone involved in the process knows exactly what they are responsible for and what the timeline looks like. This includes HR, hiring managers, and interviewers. By setting clear expectations from the start, you’ll be able to avoid confusion and ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal.

Providing accurate job descriptions is the cornerstone of a successful hiring process. Clear and detailed descriptions give potential candidates a realistic overview of what a position entails, including the responsibilities, necessary skills, and the expected performance outcomes. By explicitly highlighting keywords, pertinent details, and the salary range, employers attract candidates who are genuinely interested and capable of performing the job. This minimizes the likelihood of hiring mismatches and, consequently, reduces employee turnover rates. Thus, investing time and effort into crafting precise job descriptions can contribute to a more efficient hiring process and ultimately lead to higher quality hires.

3. Succinct Interview Process

An organized interview process is a linchpin to streamlining your hiring timeline. By setting a standard structure, you ensure consistency and fairness, reducing time spent on decision-making. A clear time frame not only keeps everyone involved on the same page but also reduces unnecessary delays. Preparing key questions ahead of time helps to evaluate candidates effectively and efficiently, focusing on the skills and traits most relevant to the job. Resulting in a smooth, prompt process, precluding drawn-out hiring periods and allowing you to secure the top talent swiftly. Remember the better you communicate, the faster you can make a decision. Once you decide, don’t waste time making an offer.

4. Focus on Candidate Experience

In today’s competitive job market, candidate experience is more important than ever. Make sure that every touchpoint with your company is positive, from the initial application through the final offer. Respond to candidates promptly, provide regular updates on the status of their application, and be transparent about the timeline. By treating candidates with respect and courtesy, you’ll not only keep them engaged, but you’ll also create a positive impression of your company that can help with retention in the future.

5. Applicant Screening

In the hiring process, applicant screening is a crucial step to ensure that you focus on high-quality candidates and filter out those with undesirable habits. This process begins with a meticulous review of resumes and applications to identify candidates possessing the required skills and qualifications. Once the pool is narrowed down, phone interviews can be an effective tool for further screening. They provide a chance to gain a deeper understanding of the candidate’s communication skills, enthusiasm for the role, and overall fit for the company culture. By streamlining this process, you can save valuable time, ensure a higher quality of hires, and ultimately contribute to your organization’s success.

6. Don’t Compromise on Quality

While it’s important to move quickly through the hiring process, you should never compromise on quality. Rushing to fill a position can lead to a subpar hire, which can be costly in the long run. Make sure you’re taking the time to find the right candidate for the job, even if it means extending the timeline slightly. In the end, you’ll be glad you did.

The impact of a bad hire stretches beyond just financial consequences. When a company makes an erroneous hiring decision, it not only wastes time and resources spent on recruitment and training, but it can also adversely affect the productivity and morale of existing team members. As they may have to compensate for the underperformance of the bad hire, their own productivity might decrease, causing a domino effect of inefficiencies. Furthermore, if the bad hire has client-facing responsibilities, their lack of skills or poor attitude could lead to a loss of revenue. In a worst-case scenario, the company may have to let the employee go, incurring severance costs and restarting the hiring process, thus perpetuating a financially and emotionally draining cycle.

In conclusion, a diligent and thoughtful hiring process is crucial to ensure the quality of your hires. By crafting accurate job descriptions, refining your interview process, focusing on candidate experience, and carrying out comprehensive applicant screening, you can build a robust talent pipeline. While it may be tempting to expedite the hiring process to fill vacancies quickly, remember that compromising on quality can have long-term adverse effects on your team’s morale, productivity, and eventually, the company’s bottom line. By staying patient and meticulous, you ensure the new hire will not only add value but also align with your company’s vision and culture, thereby fostering a conducive environment for growth and success. For more insights on staffing solutions check out our services.

Effects of Legalized Marijuana in Minnesota Workplaces

Earlier this month, Gov. Tim Walz signed House File 100 into law legalizing the possession and use of marijuana for adults in Minnesota. Those 21 and older in the state are allowed to process, use, transport, and home grow cannabis for personal use, according to the Minnesota Office of Cannabis Management.

What does this mean for employers and job seekers?

While the new law does allow for some personal freedom, it is not without limitations. Business owners need to respect employee rights while ensuring a safe and compliant workplace. Employees need to abide by their employer’s drug policy or face serious consequences that affect their employment.

In summary, while marijuana use is no longer a criminal act in Minnesota, it can still have significant implications for employment. It’s crucial for both employers and job seekers to understand these nuances of employment law in this new era of legalized marijuana.

Here are 3 ways the law affects your workplace:

1. Adjustment to Drug Policies

This significant change in legislation calls for a corresponding update in workplace drug policies. Company leadership should review and revise their existing guidelines to reflect the new reality of legalized marijuana.

The revised policy should clearly define the parameters surrounding marijuana use in the workplace and establish a standard for appropriate employee behavior. Marijuana use is prohibited on the employer’s premises, during work hours, and while operating equipment and machinery, as mandated by the law. Additionally, businesses are not obligated to permit drug use by employees in the workplace. It is crucial that employees understand these limitations despite cannabis being legal at home. Having a written drug policy in place ensures that everyone is aware of the expectations. By implementing these measures employers can develop a comprehensive drug policy that prioritizes safety, productivity, and a thriving work environment.

2. Prohibits Pre-Screening

In compliance with the law, employers should be aware that screening or testing applicants prior to employment is now generally prohibited, with a few exceptions. Individuals in federal or safety-sensitive positions may still be subject to testing. Furthermore, it is crucial to note that certain cannabis products are now deemed “lawful consumable products”. So, employers are prohibited from making hiring decisions based on an individual’s use or possession of these products outside of work hours. This change aims to ensure that potential candidates are not unjustly discriminated against for engaging in legal activities on their own time.

3. Reasonable Suspicion Testing

While pre-employment screening for cannabis is not allowed according to the new legislation, employers are within their rights to conduct drug tests based on reasonable suspicion. Reasonable suspicion testing may come into play if there is evidence an employee has violated written drug policies provided by the employer. This could involve working under the influence, causing a personal injury, or instigating a workplace accident. Some signs that an individual is under the influence of marijuana are: impaired physical or mental function, altered appearance, unusual behavior, or even a noticeable odor.

It is important to emphasize that testing should not be done “on an arbitrary or capricious basis.” Instead, it should be carried out following a clearly defined policy that outlines the consequences for a positive result or refusal to undergo testing. Employers should consider implementing drug testing policies that guide supervisors on the appropriate circumstances and methods for conducting reasonable suspicion tests.

This balance between individual rights and workplace safety is key to navigating this new landscape of legalized marijuana within the context of employment law. As always, communication and education around these policies are crucial to maintaining a healthy, respectful workplace environment.

Need Help Navigating the New Landscape?

Understanding and implementing changes in legislation can be challenging, especially when it comes to employment law. Don’t navigate these uncharted waters alone. Our team of experts is here to assist you in revising your policies and practices to ensure they align with Minnesota’s new marijuana laws. We’ll help you create a safe, compliant, and inclusive workplace environment that respects individual rights while prioritizing productivity and safety. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help your business adapt to this new landscape.

Award Staffing Named Best Staffing Agency in MN

Work is an integral part of our lives and it should not be reduced to a mundane routine or stress-filled activity. That’s why we are committed to connecting great people and businesses through meaningful work. Recently, our efforts have been recognized by StarTribune’s Minnesota’s Best contest, where we’ve been named the 2023 “Best Staffing Agency” in the state. This recognition, conferred by our community, is a testament to our unwavering dedication and commitment to providing top-notch staffing solutions.

This recognition is a testament to our core values, pursuit of excellence, and dedication to making a positive impact on our clients, job seekers, and communities. We take this recognition very seriously, and we’ll continue to work with passion and purpose to help our job seekers and clients redefine work.

Winning this award is more than just an accolade for us. It demonstrates our commitment to excellence, providing purposeful and fulfilling employment to job seekers, and creating lasting partnerships with our clients. Our focus at Award Staffing has always been to make people’s lives better by connecting them through meaningful work. Achieving this victory means that our clients and job seekers trust us to deliver on our promises.

Our team provides top-tier services to our customers by comprehending their distinct needs, formulating beneficial solutions, and offering continual support as they navigate the dynamic world of work. Driven by our core values of teamwork, working hard, having fun and being nice, our team tirelessly works to transform the employment experience from mundane to meaningful. This ethos permeates every level of our organization, ensuring an uncompromising standard of excellence in all we do.

We are sincerely grateful to our clients, candidates, and partners who placed their trust in us and contributed significantly to this achievement. As we celebrate this milestone, we reaffirm our commitment to maintaining the highest standards of service, striving for success in all we do. Thank you for being part of our journey!

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to collaborate with Minnesota’s Best Staffing Agency! Browse through our range of services to see how we can help your business reach new heights through our tailored staffing solutions. Let’s redefine work together and embark on a journey towards success.

Decoding Job Postings: What Your Job Postings Say About Your Business

In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, a seismic shift has occurred in the job market, as employees around the world have raised their voices, clamoring for more than just a paycheck. This resounding chorus of dissatisfaction has given rise to two striking phenomena: “The Great Resignation” and “Quiet Quitting.” The once silent discontent has reached a crescendo, demanding change and pushing companies to reevaluate their approach to talent acquisition and retention.

Interestingly, amidst this evolving landscape, a new trend has emerged. Young professionals, often dubbed the “millennial” and “Gen Z” generations, are redefining what they prioritize in their professional lives. No longer solely motivated by the allure of high salaries and prestigious titles, they seek something more profound—a sense of control over their time, autonomy in their work, and a greater alignment between their personal values and their employer’s mission.

As hiring professionals, it is our responsibility to navigate these uncharted waters with finesse, understanding the profound impact that job postings can have on attracting top talent. Job descriptions have transcended their traditional role as mere informational tools; they have become powerful glimpses into an organization’s culture, values, and work environment. In this era of transparency and heightened employee expectations, job seekers meticulously scrutinize each word, sentence, and phrase, searching for clues that can either compel them to apply or send them running in the opposite direction.

To thrive in this new era of talent acquisition, we must recognize the pitfalls that lie in crafting job descriptions and avoid inadvertently repelling the very candidates we hope to attract. It is not enough to merely state the requirements and responsibilities of a position; we must understand the underlying messages and impressions that our words convey. Every phrase carries weight, every choice of vocabulary shapes perceptions, and every omission can speak volumes.

In this blog, we will delve into the phrases and expressions that have become red flags for job seekers, capable of sending potential applicants fleeing from our doors. We will explore the pitfalls of outdated terminology, the unintentional messages they convey, and the need for a more nuanced approach to capturing the attention and interest of the talent we seek. Together, we will unravel the mysteries of effective job postings that resonate with candidates and align with the evolving expectations of a new generation of professionals.

Phrases Can Scare Away Job Applicants

In today’s competitive job market, attracting and retaining top talent is a paramount concern for companies across industries. Job seekers are no longer content with simply securing a paycheck; they crave meaningful work experiences that align with their values and offer a healthy work-life balance. Job descriptions play a crucial role in shaping the perception of our organizations while capturing the attention and interest of potential candidates.

However, crafting job postings that strike the right balance between enticing and informative is no easy task. Job seekers have become more discerning than ever before, meticulously examining every word and phrase in search of red flags that signal potential pitfalls in the work environment. It is imperative that we navigate this challenge with finesse, understanding the impact that certain phrases can have on deterring highly qualified applicants.

A recent survey conducted by payroll processor Paychex Inc. delved into the preferences of U.S. adults who actively sought new job opportunities within the past year. The survey sought to identify phrases that had the potential to dissuade job seekers from applying. One common red flag in this survey is the use of phrases that hint at potential overwork. In a world where burnout is a growing concern, job seekers are increasingly cautious about organizations that may demand excessive time and energy. While it is important to create an exciting and vibrant work environment, it is equally vital to assure candidates that their well-being and work-life balance will be respected.

Notably, the findings revealed several phrases that topped the list of turn-offs for prospective candidates. These phrases included “Like a family,” “Self-starter,” “Willing to wear many hats,” “Must handle stress well,” and “Fast-paced.” The survey shed light on the evolving expectations of job seekers and emphasized the importance of carefully selecting language that resonates positively with prospective candidates.

Let us embark on this journey of discovery, exploring what not to say in job descriptions, and learning how to create engaging and compelling narratives that entice the best and brightest to join our ranks. Together, we can build organizations that cultivate meaningful work experiences and foster the growth and success of both employees and the company as a whole.

1. “Like a family”

In recent years, the phrase “like a family” has become increasingly prevalent in job postings, with its usage quadrupling according to data from Indeed.com. While the intention behind this phrase may be to convey a sense of camaraderie and support within the organization, its implications can be far more nuanced and potentially off-putting to job seekers. In this blog, we will explore the hidden dangers associated with using the “like a family” analogy in job descriptions, shedding light on how it can be misinterpreted and inadvertently deter top talent from applying.

At first glance, describing a company as “like a family” may seem endearing and inviting. However, upon closer examination, this phrase can be read as a code for potential workplace issues that job seekers are keen to avoid. Some individuals argue that likening a workplace to a family can imply a tolerance for verbal abuse or a lack of clear boundaries within the organization. Job seekers may be wary of environments where the lines between personal and professional life become blurred, potentially infringing upon their personal well-being and work-life balance.

Additionally, job postings that boast about perks such as free meals and on-site entertainment alongside the “like a family” phrase can inadvertently signal that employees are expected to go above and beyond their regular working hours. This can create an atmosphere where employees feel compelled to stay late, sacrificing their personal time for the sake of the “family.” Such implications can dissuade candidates from seeking a healthy work-life integration and may push them to pursue opportunities where their personal lives are respected.

While families can be sources of love, support, and unity, they can also be riddled with dysfunctionality and blurred boundaries. This parallel can raise concerns among job seekers, especially those who value clear roles, expectations, and a healthy separation between their personal and professional lives. The “like a family” analogy may inadvertently imply a lack of structure, undefined responsibilities, and the potential for a challenging work environment.

Instead, consider highlighting aspects of your company culture that foster collaboration, support, and inclusivity without suggesting an all-encompassing family dynamic. Emphasize the importance of a healthy work-life balance, well-defined boundaries, and professional growth opportunities to demonstrate that your organization values the well-being and individuality of its employees.

2. “Self-starter”

In today’s dynamic job market, the term “self-starter” has become a common buzzword in job postings, seemingly praising individuals who take initiative and require minimal direction. While the intention behind highlighting a candidate’s self-starting abilities may be to attract proactive and motivated individuals, it can inadvertently send the message that the organization lacks proper guidance and support systems. Job seekers might interpret this as an indication that they will be left to figure things out on their own without the necessary resources and guidance to succeed.

Moreover, the term “self-starter” may unintentionally exclude individuals who thrive in collaborative environments or those who prefer a structured and well-defined role. By solely emphasizing the need for self-motivation, you might inadvertently discourage potential candidates who excel in team settings or require clear direction and feedback to perform at their best.

To create more inclusive job postings, it is important to strike a balance between acknowledging the value of self-motivation and highlighting the organization’s commitment to support and mentorship. Instead of solely focusing on self-starting abilities, employers can emphasize qualities such as initiative, proactivity, and the ability to work independently within a collaborative and supportive framework. By emphasizing the availability of resources, mentorship programs, and opportunities for professional development can help candidates understand that while self-motivation is valued, they will also receive the necessary guidance and support to thrive within the organization.

3. “Willing to wear many hats”

The phrase “willing to wear many hats” has become a popular descriptor, often used to convey the expectation of versatility and adaptability in potential candidates. On the surface, “willing to wear many hats” may appear as a positive attribute, suggesting that candidates should be open to taking on diverse tasks and responsibilities within the organization. It implies a level of flexibility and a willingness to step outside one’s defined role. However, it is essential to examine the potential consequences of relying heavily on this phrase in job descriptions.

By emphasizing the need for candidates to wear many hats, there is a risk of creating unrealistic expectations and work overload. Job seekers may interpret this phrase as an indication that the organization lacks clear role definitions and may require employees to constantly juggle multiple responsibilities without proper support or resources. This can lead to burnout and a lack of work-life balance, deterring qualified candidates who prioritize structure and clarity in their professional lives.

Additionally, the phrase “willing to wear many hats” can unintentionally undervalue specialized skills and expertise. Candidates with deep knowledge and proficiency in a particular area may feel that their unique contributions are not adequately recognized or valued within an organization that heavily emphasizes generalist capabilities. This can result in talented individuals seeking opportunities elsewhere, where their specific expertise is valued and utilized to its fullest extent. Instead of solely focusing on the need to wear many hats, it is crucial to emphasize the value of both versatility and specialization within the organization. This can be achieved by clearly defining roles and responsibilities while also highlighting opportunities for growth, collaboration, and the utilization of specialized skills.

4. “Fast-paced” and “Must handle stress well”

In the realm of job postings, two phrases that often make an appearance are “fast-paced” and “must handle stress well.” While these phrases may be intended to portray an exciting and challenging work environment, it is crucial for hiring professionals to consider the deeper implications and potential drawbacks associated with their usage.

The phrase “fast-paced” can be interpreted as an indication of an energetic and dynamic workplace, where tasks and projects move swiftly. However, it is important to recognize that a relentless emphasis on speed can create a high-pressure environment that may lead to burnout and decreased employee well-being. Job seekers who prioritize work-life balance and a more measured pace may perceive a “fast-paced” environment as one that sacrifices their personal lives and mental well-being.

Similarly, the phrase “must handle stress well” implies that the job entails significant levels of pressure and demands resilience in the face of challenges. While resilience is undoubtedly a valuable quality, emphasizing stress handling as a prerequisite for a role can discourage candidates who prefer a supportive and balanced work environment. It may attract individuals who thrive under constant pressure, but it could also deter highly skilled candidates who seek a healthier work-life integration and prefer environments that prioritize employee well-being.

To create more appealing and inclusive job postings it is essential to provide a comprehensive overview of the work environment by acknowledging both the challenges and the support systems in place. Highlighting opportunities for growth, mentoring, and resources that enable employees to effectively manage their workload can demonstrate that the organization values the well-being and professional development of its team members. Emphasizing a supportive and collaborative work culture, where stress is managed through open communication and teamwork, can attract candidates who thrive in environments that prioritize both productivity and employee well-being. Instead of focusing on the pace and stress levels of the role, it is better to highlight the organization’s commitment to work-life balance, flexibility, and employee support programs. By promoting a more holistic view of the work environment, you can attract diverse candidates who value both professional growth and personal well-being.


Navigating these challenges requires a thoughtful and deliberate approach to job postings. As hiring professionals, we must carefully consider the language they use and the messages they convey. It is crucial to be honest and transparent about the demands of the role while simultaneously assuring candidates of the organization’s commitment to work-life balance, employee well-being, and a supportive work culture.

By striking the right balance, we can craft job descriptions that not only attract top talent but also serve as authentic reflections of our organizations through two distinct characteristics – honesty and transparency. Honesty is the foundation of effective job postings. Clearly articulating the demands and expectations of a role helps set realistic expectations for candidates, reducing the risk of mismatched hires. However, honesty should not overshadow the need to highlight the organization’s commitment to work-life balance, employee well-being, and a supportive work culture. On the other hand, transparency is key in assuring candidates that while the role may come with its challenges, the organization is dedicated to creating an environment where employees can thrive. By emphasizing initiatives such as flexible work arrangements, professional development opportunities, and employee support programs, we demonstrate our commitment to fostering a healthy work-life integration.

By weaving honesty and transparency into our job postings, we can create a compelling narrative that attracts not only qualified candidates but also individuals who align with our organizational values and aspirations. This approach builds trust from the very beginning, setting the stage for meaningful connections between candidates and our organizations. Furthermore, job seekers today are more discerning than ever. They actively seek out companies that prioritize work-life balance, mental well-being, and a supportive work culture. By openly addressing these aspects in our job descriptions, we not only attract talent but also differentiate ourselves as an employer of choice in a competitive market.

Ultimately, our goal is not just to fill positions but to attract individuals who will thrive and contribute to the growth and success of our organization. A thoughtful and deliberate approach to job postings is an ongoing process. It requires us to continuously evaluate our language, consider the potential impact of phrases that can deter candidates, and adapt our approach to meet the evolving needs and expectations of job seekers. Through this process, we have an opportunity to reshape the way we communicate our organization’s values, goals, and culture. By placing honesty and transparency at the forefront of our job postings, we create a solid foundation for building relationships with potential candidates. We inspire trust, set clear expectations, and invite individuals who are genuinely excited about the opportunities and challenges our organization offers. Together, let us seize the power of words and create job descriptions that resonate, inspire, and ignite the imaginations of talented individuals who will shape the future of our organization. Check out our services today to see how we can help.

Summer Safety Update

As we all know, the weather in Minnesota can be highly unpredictable, with the summertime being no exception. In the industrial space, one of the main concerns this time of year is employee heat-related safety. Heat stress is a genuine concern for workers and can cause severe illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke if not prevented. Due to the nature of this concern, you can download heat stress safety documents below to help inform employees of the potential risks associated with working in extreme temperatures.

5 Simple Tips to Keep Your Contingent Workforce Safe

Every employee deserves to work in a safe and healthy environment in the light industrial industry. Workplace safety is essential to prevent accidents and injuries, which can have severe consequences for both employees and businesses alike. Unsafe practices can lead to expensive workers’ comp claims which negatively impact your productivity and profits. As your team is your biggest asset, protecting them should be your #1 priority.

Here are 5 tips to keep your workforce safe:

1. Conduct Training on Safe Operating Procedures

One of the first things that employers can do to protect their employees is by providing thorough training on safe operating procedures. This includes training on how to operate machinery safely, how to handle hazardous materials, and how to lift heavy objects without causing injuries. Employees should be aware of the potential risks and dangers that they face in their work environment. Therefore, employers must educate their workforce on how to prevent accidents and injuries.

2. Provide Appropriate Protective Gear

Wearing the appropriate protective gear is crucial in the light industrial industry. Employers should provide their employees with personal protective equipment (PPE) such as hard hats, safety glasses, work gloves, and earplugs while on the floor. Team leads should make sure that everyone’s PPE fits properly and is comfortable to wear. When employees wear the appropriate protective gear for their work environment, they can minimize their exposure to potential hazards and reduce the risk of accidents and injuries.

3. Be Prepared For Accidents

Slips, trips, and falls are among the most common workplace accidents. Reduce the risk of such accidents by keeping your work environment clean and tidy. This includes cleaning up spills immediately, removing tripping hazards such as loose cables, and ensuring that passageways are clear. Additionally, employers can install anti-slip mats, handrails, and non-slip stair treads to further prevent these types of incidents.

4. Schedule Regular Breaks

Employees who work long hours without taking regular breaks are more likely to suffer from fatigue, which can increase the risk of accidents and injuries. Employers should encourage their employees to take short breaks throughout the day to rest and relax. This is especially important during the summer months when heat stress is more common. Make sure staff are stretching before and during shifts, drinking enough water, and wearing loose comfortable clothing. Taking breaks helps employees to recharge and stay alert. Moreover, taking regular breaks can reduce the risk of strain injuries caused by repetitive tasks.

5. Adhere to Accurate Reporting Processes

When it comes to workplace safety, employers need to adhere to accurate reporting processes. This includes documenting any safety concerns or hazards that may arise in the workplace. Make sure training is also provided to employees on how to report incidents. Encourage them to voice any safety concerns they have to promote a safe work environment. By taking the time to accurately report these issues, you can ensure everyone is doing their best to prevent any potential accidents or injuries from occurring. Additionally, having a well-documented record of safety issues will help employers identify areas where improvements need to be made and take corrective action as needed.

Partner With Us

Workplace safety should be a top priority for every employer, especially in the light industrial industry. By providing training on safe operating procedures, wearing protective gear, preparing for accidents, scheduling regular breaks, and documenting safety concerns, employers can significantly reduce the risk of accidents and injuries. Investing in workplace safety helps to create a safer work environment for all, resulting in improved productivity and overall job satisfaction. At Award Staffing, our experts are highly knowledgeable in workplace safety. Enlist our services to better protect your team and bottom line. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you keep your contingent workforce safe.

Award Staffing Named #3 Top Workplace by StarTribune

We are thrilled to announce that we have been named the #3 Top Workplace in the small business category by the prestigious Star Tribune’s Top 200 Workplaces!

This recognition is especially meaningful to us because it celebrates our team’s commitment to creating an exceptional workplace that prioritizes connections, collaboration, and community through compassion and mutual respect.

As a people-centric company, we believe that our success starts with our team. Our organization is powered by a group of extraordinary individuals who bring their unique talents, diverse perspectives, and genuine care for one another to work every day. We are beyond grateful for our employee’s hard work and dedication which has made our workplace a truly special and thriving environment. We could not have achieved this honor without them.

“I am incredibly humbled and grateful for this recognition. Our team’s dedication and passion have truly made our workplace a shining example of what makes work meaningful. This accomplishment is a testament to the incredible culture we’ve fostered, where everyone’s contributions are valued and celebrated. Together, we have built something remarkable, and I couldn’t be prouder to lead such an exceptional team.” – Tom Thissen, Owner and President

We are proud to say that our team members are passionate about their work as they share a common goal of making a positive impact on people’s lives. Through this, they have found deep meaning in their work. We are so grateful they have truly embraced our shared values of teamwork, working hard, being nice, and having fun each day.

Our strong team culture is essential to our continued success, which is why we continue to make our workplace the very best it can be. We continuously evaluate our processes and policies to ensure that they align with our values and benefit our employees, candidates, and clients. We plan to use this recognition as an opportunity to continue improving our workplace and creating meaningful experiences for everyone.

As we celebrate this milestone, we honor our team’s dedication and commitment to our organization’s mission and values. It is an honor to be recognized by the StarTribune and to share this achievement with our community which has supported us throughout our 35 years.

5 Emerging Trends to Attract Candidates in 2023

Finding the right talent has always been important, but it is even more crucial in a tightening labor market affecting the Twin Cities. While we have seen some slack return to the U.S labor market, Minnesota is among 39 states experiencing increased labor market tightness compared to pre pandemic levels according to recent LinkedIn data.

Due to this uncertain economic outlook, local businesses are finding increased competition to attract a select pool of candidates to fill positions quickly. It is imperative that hiring managers revamp their recruiting strategy to attract the right candidates and set them themselves apart from the competition. Doing so will prepare them for the future and ensure success.

Here are 5 trends that candidates are looking for in their job search.

1. Remote/Hybrid Opportunities

The Minnesota job market is facing a tight labor supply, making it increasingly difficult for hiring managers and HR professionals to attract job seekers. To effectively compete in this changing landscape, employers must be willing to adapt their recruiting strategies to meet the demands of job seekers. One such demand that has become more prominent over the past year is increased interest in remote and hybrid opportunities. With many people having already experienced working from home during the pandemic, there’s now an expectation of flexible work arrangements as part of any new position they consider.

Gen Z in particular tends to gravitate towards hybrid over remote positions. During the pandemic they were forced into remote opportunities and are perhaps not eager to return to that solace. Hybrid work offers them both in-person connection and remote flexibility. By taking these needs into account when crafting recruitment plans, organizations can ensure they’re best positioned to draw top talent even during times of low labor availability.

2. Candidate Engagement

Attracting job seekers in a tight labor market can be challenging, but there are strategies that when implemented correctly can help employers stand out from the competition. One of these strategies is incorporating candidate engagement into your recruiting process. Candidate engagement involves actively engaging with potential candidates throughout the recruitment process by providing timely feedback and updates on their applications or inquiries. This strategy not only helps to keep top talent interested but also ensures that the application process is short and sweet for everyone involved. With unemployment rates at historic lows across Minnesota, it’s essential for hiring managers and HR professionals to make sure they have an effective candidate engagement strategy in place if they want to attract quality job seekers.

3. Comprehensive Benefits Package

In today’s competitive job market, businesses need to be creative to attract the best candidates. With the cost of goods and services rising, many potential job seekers are looking for higher pay to offset these costs. However, not all businesses can afford this, which is why leveraging a comprehensive benefits package is key for attracting job seekers. By offering things like PTO, mental health and wellness services, as well as Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), employers can create an attractive package that will draw in quality candidates while also helping them feel secure in their new position. Such an approach not only helps you draw in top talent but also shows job seekers that you value their well-being. Additionally, offering generous benefits can help with retention rates as people will be more likely to stay if they know their employer cares for them beyond salary alone.

4. Future Career Path Development

Candidates want to know that there is room for growth and advancement in the companies they work for. When advertising job openings, emphasize the career development and professional growth opportunities that come with the job. Encourage current employees to give testimonials about their experiences with professional growth and how working for your company has helped them. This helps to establish your company as a place where people can grow and develop their careers.

5. Focus on Company Culture

More and more job seekers are looking for work that aligns with their values and goals. Local businesses can fulfill this need by advertising their company culture in their job openings. This shows candidates what is it like to work there which promotes a sense of transparency. By showcasing the core values and mission of your organization, you’re better able to attract job seekers who align with those values and have a greater chance of becoming successful long-term.


At Award Staffing we strive to provide our clients with the most up to date market data to inform your business decisions. Contact us or view our services to see how we can help you succeed!

5 Reasons Why Prioritizing Skills is Crucial in Your Recruitment Efforts

In today’s job market, employers are struggling to find qualified individuals amongst an influx of applicants due to increased search intensity. Skills-based hiring is just one of many strategies that can help you stay ahead of the curve and maximize your recruitment efforts. By deploying efficient hiring practices you can quickly find the talent you need for your team.

Skills-based hiring focuses on the specific skills and abilities of an individual rather than their educational background or past working experience. Ultimately, this asses candidates’ potential to learn and adapt rather than their formal qualifications.

This shift in hiring strategy has benefits for both job seekers and employers. Job seekers can demonstrate they have the required skills to be successful in a role and shift the focus away from credentials or titles. Similarly, employers can identify candidates with transferable abilities and greater potential by evaluating skills rather than solely relying on credentials. This allows them to create more accurate job descriptions that target their exact requirements while streamlining their hiring process. Ultimately, adopting a skills-based approach to hiring is crucial in the current job market and can lead to more successful hires and overall business success.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss 5 reasons why implementing a skills-based hiring approach is a must in your recruitment strategy.

1. Streamlines Your Recruiting Process

Amongst tightening market conditions in today’s economy, job seekers have increased search intensity by 26% in the U.S compared to last year. Consequently, businesses have to spend extra time screening applicants to find those that are the best fit for their company’s culture and job requirements. The skills-first approach makes the hiring process faster as it identifies key skills candidates need to be successful. This results in highly skilled candidates that are a great fit for your company’s culture and goals.

Skills-based hiring is essential for businesses to better understand their talent needs and identify the right people with the right skills for each role. This approach is especially important in a tightening job market as it enables employers to be more efficient and effective in their recruitment process, reducing time wasted on inaccurate hires. By adopting skills-based hiring into their recruiting processes, businesses can quickly identify qualified candidates who have the skills they need.

2. Expands Your Candidate Pool for Maximum Efficiency

In today’s competitive labor market, widening the hiring pool is more important than ever before. Hiring managers need to find the best talent to drive their business forward, and that means looking beyond traditional sources of recruitment.

One of the significant benefits of a skills-first hiring approach is that it can expand a company’s labor pool and attract a more diverse range of candidates. When employers prioritize skills over traditional qualifications, they open up opportunities for individuals who may not have had access to formal education or who have pursued non-traditional career paths.

According to recent LinkedIn data, “talent pools expand 10x when using a skills-first approach.” This includes greater women representation, younger worker participation, and more workers without bachelor’s degrees. Ultimately, the skills-first talent strategy not only helps you access untapped talent but also results in diverse candidates than previous methods.

3. Maximizes Job Fit & Satisfaction

Skills-based hiring helps to ensure that candidates have the specific competencies required for the job, leading to better job fit. When employees are a good match for their roles, they perform better and are more productive. This is because they have the necessary skills and experience to complete their tasks effectively, reducing the need for extensive training or supervision.

When employees are a good fit for their roles, they are also more likely to feel satisfied and engaged in their work. They may feel more confident in their abilities, leading to higher job satisfaction, increased motivation, and a sense of purpose in their work. This, in turn, can lead to lower turnover rates, as employees are more likely to stay with an organization where they feel valued and engaged.

Overall, better job fit is a critical factor in employee success and retention. Skills-based hiring helps to ensure that employees have the necessary skills and experience to succeed in their roles, leading to improved performance, job satisfaction, and retention rates.

4. Presents Opportunity for Upskilling

Skills-based hiring presents a significant business opportunity for companies to upskill their workforce and address skill gaps. By prioritizing skills over traditional qualifications during the recruitment process, businesses can identify areas where their current employees may need more training or development. This can be especially beneficial for roles that require specific technical skills or knowledge. Additionally, by hiring individuals based on skills, companies can attract top talent who possess the necessary expertise to fill existing gaps.

Upskilling can also be a way to replace underperforming employees with skilled talent, thereby improving results and productivity. As a bonus, investing in employee training and development can lead to greater job satisfaction, higher retention rates, and a culture of continuous improvement. Ultimately, by embracing a skills-based approach to hiring, companies can ensure they have the right talent in place to meet current and future demands while fostering a culture of learning and growth.


At Award Staffing, we understand the importance of skills-based hiring and are dedicated to helping employers find the perfect fit for each role. Our team of experienced recruiters is always on hand to help employers source the best candidates for their open positions. With our skills-based approach, employers can be confident that they are getting the most qualified and dedicated professionals for their teams. Contact us to learn more about our services today!

The Great Rebalance

Over the course of the last 5-years, we have experienced a whirlwind in Twin Cities when it comes to hiring. From 2017 through 2019, we started to experience this concept of “unemployeement,” that’s correct, unemployeement is not unemployment. “Unemployeement” or shortage of workers is based on the German word “Arbeiterlosigkeit,” coined by Stepstone CEO Sebastian Dettmers. The lead-up to the COVID-19 Pandemic was filled with record-low unemployment rates of the low 3% and historical labor force participation rates, which, for those who are reading this and were in positions of hiring during that time, was difficult. It was difficult to find the right talent, it was difficult to know what wages were fair, and all in all, it felt like a “war for talent” at times.

Then in March 2020, the world was hit with a whole new issue of worldwide uncertainty. The pandemic resulted in a drastic shift in the Twin Cities job market, where companies had to furlough or lay off their employees suddenly, where unemployment rates were akin to that of the Great Recession. Then fast-forward a few months from the national stay-at-home orders, we were met with the whiplash of ultra-low unemployment coupled with a 50-year low participation rate of working-aged individuals. Then, the war for talent broke out again but with more dire circumstances.

The “unemployeement” of 2019 had not completely been realized until the post-COVID-19 outbreak. The pandemic ultimately accelerated the path we were already on in the Twin Cities labor market. The pandemic has served as an agent of change, setting the stage for what could be the next 3-years of hiring. Companies now had to compete over a much smaller labor force while also having to fulfill record high demand for goods and commodities. Businesses had to find ways to compete for talent, resulting in increased wages, signing bonuses, and more, which has been fully realized through inflation.

The Twin Cities job market has been in flux for the last 5 years, but it is one that is full of opportunities. The pandemic has only served to accelerate the already existing trends, and businesses must be prepared for whatever comes next to find success in their hiring. As we all cautiously lead into 2023, the coined phrase “The Great Rebalance” of hiring has begun. What we have known as an employee market for the better part of the last two years is subtly shifting to where employers have some control. And we use the phrase “employers have some control” advantageously because the challenges are the same but different, which we will discuss throughout the course of this article.

The key takeaway is that while still challenging, the Twin Cities job market has become much more fluid in a post-pandemic world. Employers must be prepared to adapt and change to succeed in their hiring endeavors, no matter what comes next. The war for talent is still on, and those who are prepared will find success. It is mission-critical that businesses know how to position themselves to stay ahead of the competition when it comes to talent. With the right strategy and information, businesses can ensure that they are on their way to becoming employers of choice in the Twin Cities job market.

What Will The Future of Hiring Look Like?

We are going to methodically back into current hiring trends along with things you can do from a recruiting perspective by starting with a deep look into the overall future of hiring. This is an easier way for us to show our “math” on how we got from point A to point B. We believe this perspective will ring true for the long term and in the near months to come.


This is how we come back to our earlier phrase, “employers have some control,” with the keyword being “some,” in the future of hiring in the Twin Cities. If you are unfamiliar with the word “Sansdemic,” it is a word coined for the new normal that has developed in today’s job market. The word simply means “without people” or “without enough people.” The Sansdemic reflects the combination of pre-pandemic, pandemic, and post-pandemic trends that employers now face. To put it even more simply, there are more open jobs than there are people to fill them—or people who are willing to fill them.

As we talked about in the introduction, Sansdemic was a path that we were already not just locally but globally, and the Pandemic kicked it into overdrive. There are three parts to this cycle that have quietly been forming for decades but are now being put into full swing. They are; lower birth rates, increased retirements, and a significant decline in the labor force participation rate.

1. Low Birth Rates

The first part of the cycle is lower birth rates. Since the explosion of the births of the baby boomers in the mid-1940s to early 1960s, birth rates have been steadily declining. This is a trend that has been seen not just in the US but also in most developed countries. The average number of baby boomers born was 4.3 per woman, but now that number is hovering around 1.6 per woman in the US, with most other developed nations following suit.

The trend of low birth rates can occur for various reasons, such as decreased fertility rates, changes in societal attitudes toward having children, economic factors, or a shift towards urbanization and smaller living spaces. As a result of fewer people being born, fewer people are entering the workforce and available to be hired.

2. More Retirements

The second part of the cycle is an increase in the retirement rate. The consequence of having lower birth rates is met head-on with an increase in the retirement rate. Baby boomers are now retiring at a faster rate than what is being replaced by younger generations. The rate of retirement has increased from under 10% in the 1990s to around 15-17% today and is projected to continue to rise. This means that for every one person that is entering the workforce, there are 1.5-1.7 people leaving it.

What complicates the issue even further is that the retirement age has been steadily increasing since the mid-1980s, meaning that more people are staying in the workforce longer. This is great news for employers who will be able to benefit from their experience and knowledge, but it also means that those jobs will be filled for longer, potentially limiting the amount of new talent that can enter the workforce.

3. Decline in Laborforce Participation

The last part of this cycle is a significant decline in labor force participation. This means that fewer people are actively seeking or participating in the job market. This can happen for a variety of reasons, such as an inability to find work that matches their skill set, students opting out of the workforce to pursue higher education, or people taking a break from work to care for family members.

An unforeseen consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic was the significant impact on labor force participation. Many workers have left the workforce due to health concerns or caregiving responsibilities, particularly women and men ages 24-34, who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. This fascinating shift in labor dynamics has been influenced by a growing trend amongst young men, who opt to stay with their parents without a college degree and do not prioritize formal employment. Adding to this intriguing landscape is the emergence of the gig economy, where individuals combine multiple short-term, contractual jobs to earn a living. This innovative employment structure often eliminates the desire for many to return to conventional full-time positions, creating an ever-evolving labor market.

Becoming a Culture of Choice

As the three parts of this cycle come together, employers are facing an increasingly difficult task of finding the right people to fill their open roles. To move beyond the cycle of low birth rates, increased retirements, and declining labor force participation, employers must focus on becoming a culture of choice. This means creating an attractive workplace for job seekers.

Creating an environment where your organization is considered a “Culture of Choice” extends far beyond competitive salaries and attractive job postings; it is deeply rooted in cultivating a culture that demonstrates genuine appreciation and respect for its employees. As experts in the field of workplace dynamics, we understand that becoming a culture of choice requires conscious efforts to foster a positive work atmosphere where employees feel valued, inspired, and connected to the organization’s mission. Establishing such a culture bolsters employee loyalty and productivity and naturally attracts top talent, enabling your business to thrive and continue its upward trajectory.

We see successful businesses effectively position themselves as an employer of choice by cultivating a culture of inclusivity, transparency, and open communication, where employers can express genuine respect and appreciation for their team members. This results in improved collaboration, innovation, and company growth. Businesses can effectively leverage each team member’s unique talents and experiences by fostering a workplace where diverse perspectives and ideas are valued. Open dialogue empowers employees to feel respected, appreciated, and motivated to contribute meaningfully to their organization’s objectives.

By fostering a culture where employers acknowledge and appreciate the contributions of each team member, they facilitate an ambiance of trust, camaraderie, and profound loyalty. These qualities equip businesses to navigate volatile market scenarios with agility and resilience while capitalizing on emerging opportunities. Ultimately, employers that prioritize becoming an employer of choice are better positioned to attract and retain the best talent, reduce turnover costs, and increase overall productivity.

Recruitment Versus Hiring

As the hiring market continues to evolve along with the labor force dynamics, employers must be mindful of the distinction between recruitment and hiring. Recruiting and hiring are two terms often used interchangeably, but they actually refer to different aspects of finding and selecting new employees for a job.

Recruiting refers to the process of identifying and attracting potential job candidates to apply for a position within an organization. This can involve various methods such as headhunting, employee referrals, networking, and using recruitment agencies. The goal of recruiting is to create a pool of qualified candidates who are interested in the job and are willing to undergo the hiring process.

Hiring, on the other hand, refers to the process of selecting the best candidate from the pool of applicants generated during the recruiting process. This involves reviewing resumes, conducting interviews, and assessing the candidates’ qualifications, skills, and suitability for the job. The goal of hiring is to choose the most qualified candidate who will meet the organization’s needs and contribute to its success.

In today’s rapidly changing business climate, the hiring landscape has shifted to what is known as a Sansdemic world – where businesses must constantly adapt and innovate to remain competitive in the new normal. Employers must embrace forward-thinking talent acquisition strategies to optimize their processes and ensure they attract and retain the best candidates in the market. Gone are the day of waiting for people to apply for a job posting. Employers must take a proactive approach to meet their talent needs. The employees you want are not actively looking for jobs. The business’s approach needs to go far beyond paying the most and having the most Indeed job postings; it will be about adopting a recruiting approach that involves targeting candidates and actively engaging with them through diverse methods such as employee referral programs, digital recruiting strategies, and even creating online communities to build relationships.

What’s Happening in the Twin Cities Talent Market?

Alright, we can put away our crystal ball as we took a significant look into the future of hiring and some of its associated hurdles. But what’s currently happening in the Twin Cities talent market?

This is where we are starting to see what we call “The Great Rebalance,” where local businesses now have somewhat of an upper hand in the hiring process, an advantage that has been quite elusive in recent years. Indeed, the keyword here is ‘some’ latitude, but it’s a tectonic shift nonetheless. Twin Cities employers are subtly regaining control and overcoming hiring challenges.

Employers recognize the value of hiring the right people with a range of skills and experiences for their business as opposed to hiring just anyone. There’s a growing realization that it is essential to invest in quality talent acquisition and retention strategies, embrace diversity and inclusion as part of their culture, to amplify their recruitment processes.

While the talent market is still highly competitive, hiring decisions are becoming increasingly important; there are a few local trends that we are seeing in the Twin Cities hiring Market.

Manufacturing and Warehousing

The Twin Cities is truly its own microcosm of the larger national job market. Over 2022, many industries experienced an unfathomable uptick in demand, leading to record-setting unemployment rates and a robust hiring boom.

The two industries that were benefactors of this surge in demand were Manufacturing and Warehousing. The demand for manufacturing and warehousing talent over the last few years is due to the ongoing shift in consumer spending patterns. With more consumers buying online, the demand for these specialized skills has increased significantly, creating a surge in job openings.

This resulted in employers being forced to be more open-minded about the type of skills and experience they were looking for in candidates. Employers began looking for candidates with the right attitude and aptitude to fulfill these roles, even if they lacked some of the specific technical skills.

At times we were experiencing upwards of 3 job openings for every unemployed candidate. With the Federal Reserve imposing a tapering of rate hikes over the last 9 months, many employers are taking a more strategic and thoughtful approach to hiring. As we come to a close to Q1, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary that there are about 1.9 open industrial jobs for every unemployed worker.

As the Twin Cities manufacturing and warehousing market is starting to stabilize, we are starting to witness some key trends in each of these respective industries;

Key Warehousing Trends

The pandemic has undeniably had a transformative impact on various industries, with warehousing employment emerging as a particularly dynamic sector. During the initial stages of pandemic recovery, warehousing took the lead in the labor market, boasting substantial job creation that made a lasting impression. This can be attributed to rapid shifts in consumer demand incited by the changing landscape of the global economy.

As we cautiously ease our way into 2023, we are starting to feel the influence exerted by the Federal Reserve. As we move forward, we have observed a tapering of hiring rate hikes, causing warehousing hiring to either remain stable or experience a slight contraction. Consequently, although it seems that warehousing employment may have reached its zenith in 2022, it is unlikely to see the historic gains made in 2020 through 2022 anytime soon.

Key Manufacturing Trends

Hiring professionals in the manufacturing sector has been through a lot since the pandemic. Labor demand has nearly doubled where it was two years before must feel like whiplash, where it was mission-critical to keep up with production demand. This ultimately forced businesses to make hiring decisions with candidates that didn’t quite meet the standards they would have normally set.

Unlike warehousing, the manufacturing sector is minutely softening; we are still seeing a flurry of activity, with manufacturers adapting to changing consumer demand. We are seeing a strategic shift in hiring manufacturing talent across the board, where it is no longer about needing 5 individuals with the same skillset but rather finding 2 talented individuals that can bring a unique combination of aptitude and technical skill. As we round off the first quarter, we anticipate that this trend will continue throughout 2023 and beyond.

Overall, the Twin Cities job market continues to exhibit signs of strength and resilience as we move into 2023. Despite some slowdown in hiring in certain sectors, there is still a significant amount of opportunity for job seekers with the right skills and qualifications. With the Federal Reserve making decisions to keep the market stable, there is some stability for employers in the near future. Job seekers who are prepared with the right skills and qualifications will make the most of this opportunity, while employers must also remain vigilant in their recruitment efforts to ensure they are hiring the right candidates to help their businesses succeed.

The Cold, Hard Consequences of Job Hopping

Ah, remember those delightful days of sifting through countless resumes only to find candidates with the dizzying job-hopping history of a 100-meter hurdler? Fear not, for it seems the era of the reluctant hire may be drawing to a close! That’s right, no longer must you fret over whether the constant changing of jobs was due to a thirst for adventure, sheer indecisiveness, or a latent fugitive on the run. As educational and humorous as those discussions were, the job market is evolving, and trends indicate a more stable and committed workforce is on the horizon. So breathe a sigh of relief, and get ready actually to form a long-lasting rapport with your team!

With the economy and job growth slowing down, employers now have the leverage to demand more from their employees. They increasingly expect a candidate to have a more consistent work history and to stay with a single employer. Job hopping has become less desirable, as employers are now more likely to hire someone who demonstrates commitment, loyalty, and stability.

This shift in hiring preferences is particularly noticeable with millennials, who are often seen to have high job-hopping tendencies, where they have been chasing the almighty dollar. This means that chronic job hoppers are likely to face more serious consequences in the job market, while those who have shown stability with one or two employers will be rewarded.

We are seeing that our clients in the manufacturing sector have taken notice of such trends, and many are now more mindful about constructing roles for employees that offer long-term career growth opportunities. This means that job seekers need to look at their careers with more foresight and develop a long-term plan before taking any job. The upshot means that job seekers need to be prepared to show employers the skills they possess and their ability to commit to a role long-term.

This shift is a sign that the job market is maturing, and employers are becoming more astute in their hiring practices. Those who can demonstrate commitment and loyalty to their employers and possess the aptitude and technical skills for the role will be rewarded in the job search. As a result, this will allow businesses to cultivate a “culture of choice” that fosters innovation, collaboration, and success.

Wage Growth Leveling Off

For several years, the manufacturing and warehousing sectors have experienced a remarkable period of expansion, with a consistent increase in the demand for labor leading to significant wage growth. From 2019 to the end of 2022, the average growth in wages for an entry-level position was just under 12%. Historically the average wage growth over a three-year span is much lower, between 5-7%. Another way to look at this was that in 2019, an average entry-level warehouse worker was paid between $14 and $15 per hour. By the end of 2022, that same candidate was commanding between $19 to $20 per hour to perform those same job duties.

The incessant wage surge within these industries reflects the urgent need for workers in the face of consumer demands and the sheer shortage of workers, aka the Sandemic. However, recent trends indicate that this rapid ascent may be reaching a plateau, primarily due to inflation and curbed demand for any ordinary candidate. Now, with the Federal Reserve hitting the breaks on inflation and employers being more cautious in their hiring practices, which is ultimately resulting in a leveling off of wage growth. This slower growth is giving employers more control over their cost management, which means job seekers may find fewer opportunities within the wage ranges they believe they are qualified for.

Employers must constantly be vigilant in their recruitment strategies to secure the most talented and devoted candidates for their organization. A competitive salary is essential but not the sole factor ensuring a harmonious and successful employment relationship. In addition to financial compensation, organizations must consider the intangible aspects of the employment experience that contribute to an employee’s loyalty and dedication. Factors such as organizational culture, work-life balance, and overall job satisfaction play a pivotal role in attracting and retaining top talent. A workplace that fosters collaboration, promotes mutual respect, and values individual growth will more likely appeal to skilled professionals, ultimately leading to a more committed and productive workforce.

What Does This Mean for Recruiting and Hiring?

As we talked about what the future holds and what we are currently experiencing, we hope you can start to get a feel for the “some” control businesses are gaining back in the hiring market. With that said, according to all available data, it looks like candidates will continue to have the advantage for years to come. This is largely due to a greater number of job openings than job seekers available to fill those roles.

Ultimately, employers need to provide job seekers with meaningful and rewarding employment experiences to attract the best talent. Companies should also invest in their recruitment strategies and tools to find, hire, and retain the right people. Employers can create an environment that attracts the most talented and dedicated professionals by developing a comprehensive strategy that includes strategic compensation, attractive benefits packages, and a culture of choice. This not only helps to create and maintain a motivated, successful workforce but also encourages employees to stay with the organization for an extended period of time.

Employers can create more effective recruitment and hiring strategies by understanding current and future job market trends. While wages may have plateaued, employee engagement and satisfaction should remain paramount within an organization. With the right approach, employers can secure top talent and create a dedicated workforce that will propel them to success.

While it may feel okay to become complacent with an approach to hiring in uncertain times, it is important to remember that job seekers are still in control of the market balance. Employers must remain vigilant in their efforts to attract and retain the best talent to ensure long-term success. We have four key hiring recommendations that can aid any organization in hiring the right people and creating a successful team:

  1. Hire for the Future, Not for Today
  2. Experiment with Headhunting
  3. Upgrading Your Existing Talent
  4. Always Be Improving Communication

1. Hire for the Future, Not for Today

In the midst of overwhelming uncertainty in the financial markets, it can seem inconceivable to shift our focus away from present concerns and start planning for the future. However, as counterintuitive as it may appear, turbulent times present a unique opportunity for companies to reassess and prioritize their talent acquisition strategies for long-term success.

By looking beyond immediate challenges and anticipating future needs, organizations can attract and retain the right talent to navigate the evolving landscape, adapt to unexpected changes, and ultimately thrive in the face of adversity. Therefore, even in times of uncertainty, it is imperative to prioritize strategic hiring decisions and invest proactively in building a strong foundation for the future success of your business.

Hiring for the future is important because it ensures that a company has the right talent in place to achieve its long-term goals and remain competitive in an ever-changing business environment. Here are a few reasons why it is important to hire for the future, not just for today:

Business Needs Are Continuously Evolving

Businesses are constantly evolving, and the skills and expertise needed to succeed today may not be the same as those needed in the future. Hiring for the future means looking beyond current business needs and anticipating future needs to ensure that the company has the right talent in place to address those needs. This level of foresight can serve as a pivotal change in safeguarding long-term growth and success, as it enables companies to make strategic moves and assemble a workforce suitable for forthcoming exigencies. Thus, to effectively steer through the labyrinth of the ever-changing market, businesses must prioritize anticipatory measures and adopt a proactive approach towards securing the human capital necessary for navigating a rapidly evolving market.

Creating a Competitive Advantage

Hiring for the future can give a company a competitive advantage. By identifying and hiring individuals with skills and expertise that are in high demand or emerging, a company can position itself to lead the way in its industry and stay ahead of the competition. This forward-thinking approach can help an organization differentiate itself from its competitors, making it more attractive to potential employees and customers.


The concept of cost-effectiveness plays a crucial role in today’s highly competitive and dynamic business landscape. Investing in hiring practices that focus on the future can significantly contribute to an organization’s cost-effectiveness in the long run. By strategically recruiting professionals with diverse skills and expertise, companies are better equipped to adapt to ever-changing market demands and evolving industry trends.

This approach not only streamlines a business’s operations and increases its agility but also minimizes the constant need to recruit new talent when fresh skill sets are required. In turn, this cost-effective hiring strategy fosters a more sustainable and resilient workforce poised to tackle future challenges and drive the company towards long-term success.

Increased Employee Retention

Organizations can enhance their employee retention rates by committing to a forward-thinking approach in their recruitment and development strategies. By investing in the growth and development of their employees, employers can create a sense of loyalty and satisfaction among their staff members. This ultimately results in longstanding employee relationships that benefit the individuals and contribute to the organization’s overall success. In essence, fostering an atmosphere where individuals believe that their professional ambitions are aligned with their company’s long-term vision is an effective way to reinforce employee retention and continuity.

No matter how uncomfortable it may feel to assess your talent acquisition strategy in the face of uncertainty, ensuring that your company has the right people in place for long-term success is essential. By investing time and resources into hiring for the future, organizations can create a competitive edge and remain successful even during turbulent times.

The best way to approach recruitment and hiring in uncertain times is by focusing on creating the right environment for your employees and investing in the development of their skills. By understanding your business needs and hiring people with the potential to become future leaders, you can create a sustainable competitive edge that will keep your company thriving even in times of change.

Remember, although it is essential to have an effective hiring strategy in place during uncertain times, it is also important to be flexible and open to change when needed. By taking a proactive approach to talent acquisition and focusing on the future, you can ensure that your company will remain successful in the long run.

2. Experiment with Headhunting

As we look at the potential of a recession, it will, without a doubt, increase the unemployment rate in Minnesota. As we write this article, the state’s unemployment rate is hovering around 2.8%, an uptick from 1.7% in Q3 of 2022. Nonetheless, this is still one of the lowest in the country. Looking back at 2018 and 2019, the Twin Cities metro area saw about a 3.7% unemployment rate with, at times, left the caliber of talent to be desired. Even if unemployment potentially hits the high 3% to low 4% marks, we are still going to experience a competitive landscape.

Why? Because in most scenarios, the individuals that are sitting on the proverbial sideline should beckon the question, “Why” due to what the overarching data tells us. Unemployment isn’t the answer or the only factor to consider when it comes to recruiting and hiring top talent. So, we strongly suggest that organizations experiment with different hiring channels; one specific option is headhunting.

If you’re not familiar with headhunting, headhunting is a strategic approach employed by organizations to attract top-notch talent in today’s competitive job market. With more than one in three recently hired Americans asserting that a potential employer approached them, it’s clear that this method is crucial for businesses seeking exceptional candidates. Rather than hoping that the perfect candidate will stumble upon your job posting, headhunting takes a proactive stance by actively searching for skilled professionals, contacting them directly, and inviting them to consider a position within your organization.

The power of headhunting lies in its targeted and intimate approach, allowing employers to truly understand and appreciate the value of potential employees while actively marketing their company as a desirable workplace. It demonstrates a commitment to excellence and a dedication to fostering growth within the organization, making it a leading method for acquiring top talent in today’s increasingly competitive job market.

However, headhunting can also be a complex and time-consuming process, as it requires extensive research and outreach to potential candidates. Establishing connections and fostering relationships with prospective talents requires a significant investment of time and effort that a business may not be willing to make on its own and may leverage an employment agency to help with this task. The key with headhunting is you are actively recruiting someone away from a job they are potentially not considering leaving. This means your value proposition needs to be strong and resilient: a winning combination of salary, benefits, opportunity, and company culture.

The good news is that headhunting, when done right, can be a great way to acquire hard-to-find candidates and create a competitive edge even during any market constraints. By taking a proactive approach in recruiting and focusing on the future, you can ensure that your company will remain successful in the long run.

3. Upgrading Your Existing Talent

Talent upgrading is a strategic recruiting and hiring approach involving identifying and replacing underperforming employees with higher-quality candidates. It is a proactive process that focuses on continuously improving an organization’s talent quality.

The methodology for talent upgrading requires employers to identify recurring issues, predict future needs, and develop a proactive plan to replace problem employees. The process of talent upgrading typically involves the following steps:

 Identify underperforming employees:

The first step in talent upgrading is identifying employees who are not meeting expectations or underperforming in their roles.

Assess the current talent pool:

The next step is to assess the current talent pool within the organization and determine what skills and experience are needed to improve performance.

Recruit higher-quality candidates:

Once the organization’s needs have been identified, the focus shifts to recruiting higher-quality candidates with the skills and experience needed to fill the gaps.

Back in 2020, in the thick of the pandemic, this was one of our most significant recommendations. We understand that it may feel counterintuitive to replace existing employees. However, it is a necessary process to ensure success and foster a high-performing team. Most importantly, it allows you to continue to work towards becoming a culture of choice where you can attract and retain the best possible talent regardless of the market circumstance. There are several reasons why we recommend talent upgrading:

Improves overall performance:

Hiring higher-quality candidates can improve the organization’s overall performance. This can lead to increased productivity, higher levels of customer satisfaction, and improved financial results.

Enhances innovation:

Higher-quality talent can bring new ideas, perspectives, and approaches to the organization, which can drive innovation and help the organization stay ahead of the competition.

Reduces turnover:

Hiring higher-quality talent can also help to reduce turnover, as these individuals are more likely to be engaged, motivated, and committed to the organization.

Increases organizational capacity:

When organizations hire higher-quality talent, they increase their capacity to achieve their goals. This can help the organization to grow, expand, and take on new challenges.

Enhances employer brand:

Hiring higher-quality talent can also enhance the organization’s employer brand. This can help attract more high-quality candidates in the future and improve the organization’s reputation in the industry.

Overall, talent upgrading is key in recruiting because it helps organizations build a strong, talented workforce that can drive their success. By investing in talent upgrading, organizations can improve their overall performance, enhance innovation, reduce turnover, increase organizational capacity, and enhance their employer brand.

4. Always Be Improving Communication

The job market is constantly evolving, and hiring processes have become much more efficient in recent years. The latest data released by ZipRecruiter, a leading online employment marketplace, is a key piece of evidence supporting this fact. According to their findings, an astounding 90% of job candidates receive a response from their prospective employer within 2 to 3 days of submitting their application, while applicants expect communication within 24 hours. This means that employers must have the ability to react quickly and efficiently.

This indicates a significant shift in the dynamics of hiring, with employers now needing to prioritize a swift and decisive approach to filling available positions. This rapid turnaround time is crucial for job seekers and employers, as it allows both parties to align their goals and expectations more effectively and strengthens the overall quality and satisfaction within the job market.

As such, employers should always strive to be improving their communication with job candidates. Here are our four top recommendations on how any business that is hiring can improve its communication with potential hires:

Utilize technology

The ever-evolving landscape of technology has opened up new avenues to simplify and enhance communication with job applicants throughout the hiring process. Adopting smart tools like applicant tracking systems (ATS) can significantly improve the efficiency of managing various modes of communication, including emails, texts, and calls. Automating these processes allows businesses to stay organized, save valuable time, and provide prospective candidates with a seamless, professional experience. This helps build a positive brand image and ensures that the company remains agile in capturing the best talent in today’s fast-paced job market.

Furthermore, implementing ATS empowers human resource professionals to focus on more strategic aspects while providing them the convenience of accessing key information about candidates with ease. By integrating technology into the hiring process, businesses can reinvent their approach to recruitment and communication, paving the way for a truly productive and successful work environment.

Personalize your communication

In the fast-paced world of job hunting, it’s easy for job seekers to feel like they are merely a number in an endless queue of applicants. To make your candidates feel valued and stand out from the competition, it’s essential to personalize your communication. By tailoring your messages, offering thoughtful feedback, and addressing their unique skills and experiences, you can significantly increase your response rate and foster a positive hiring experience. Moreover, building a meaningful connection with potential employees helps you assess their fit within your organization and paves the way for a successful and lasting professional relationship.

Follow up promptly

There is a vast difference between the talent you want and the talent you don’t want to work for your organization. The talent you do want is getting scooped up faster than you could ever imagine. A statistic from Indeed indicated that a highly qualified candidate will hear from a potential employer within 12 to 24 hours or less. The overarching message is to make sure you are responding to inquiries in a timely manner. This is important for job seekers and employers, as it allows parties to align their goals and expectations more effectively.

By not placing a high level of urgency on communication, a business inadvertently sends a negative message to potential candidates, signaling a lack of seriousness in the hiring process. This perception hinders a company’s ability to attract top talent and ultimately impacts the growth and performance of the organization. Therefore, timely and clear communication throughout the recruitment process inspires confidence in prospective employees and illustrates a company’s genuine commitment to building a strong and cohesive workforce. In essence, making communication, a priority reflects a business’s foresight and dedication to achieving long-term success.

Provide thoughtful feedback

The art of providing thoughtful feedback plays a crucial role in fostering a positive and constructive atmosphere during the hiring process. By engaging in open and honest communication, employers and job seekers alike can gain valuable insights into each other’s perspectives and requirements, promoting mutual understanding and trust. This exchange of information paves the way for clarifying and fine-tuning expectations, allowing both parties to align their goals and build a robust working relationship.

In addition, demonstrating a commitment to proactive feedback can enhance one’s reputation as a professional, fostering a culture of continuous improvement and growth that benefits the entire organization. In essence, thoughtful feedback catalyzes a transparent and efficient hiring process, ultimately paving the way for professional success and satisfaction for both the candidate and the employer.

Overall, to ensure a successful hiring process employers need to maintain open and consistent communication with job candidates. This means keeping them up-to-date on their application status, providing feedback on their qualifications and performance during interviews, and responding to any questions or concerns they may have throughout the process. Doing so helps to build trust and strengthens relationships between employers and job seekers, creating a desirable workplace where both parties can thrive.

What About a Recession?

We couldn’t write a 6,000-word article without talking about the “R” word. We are not currently in a recession, but the medium-term outlook is still cloudy in the next 12-18 months. While underlying inflation is high, and unless it comes down sufficiently to make the Federal Reserve happy, the Fed may tip the economy into recession. On the plus side, the resilience and robustness of the US labor market means the economy can absorb more Fed rate hikes than we previously thought; on the minus side, extra resilience and robustness may mean extra rate hikes! It might just take longer to get to low inflation, whether via recession or not.

The Twin Cities job market has seen its ups and downs over the past few years, but businesses can still find success in their hiring efforts by understanding the local trends and using proactive strategies for recruitment. Employers who take the time to invest in quality talent acquisition, embrace diversity and inclusion initiatives, understand technology advances, optimize communication practices, and plan for long-term success will come out ahead.

The challenge is to be proactive in the face of a changing economic landscape and focus on creating an environment that attracts and retains top talent. With the right combination of planning, strategy, and communication; businesses can make the most of their recruitment efforts and build successful teams for years to come.

Award Staffing can help your business create a competitive advantage in the Twin Cities job market by taking proactive steps to ensure they have access to top talent. Investing in quality talent acquisition, embracing diversity and inclusion initiatives, understanding technology advances, optimizing communication practices, and planning for long-term success are all essential components of we can aid to help you create a successful hiring strategy. Contact Award Staffing today, and let us help you find the right people to meet your business needs.

Astounding Differences From CNC Operators to CNC Machinists: 3 Ways to Improve Recruiting Tactics

CNC Operators and CNC Machinists are two distinct roles in the skilled manufacturing industry, each requiring their own set of skills and experience. CNC Operators have a basic understanding of CNC machine operations, while CNC Machinists possess a degree of knowledge and experience with CNC programming.

Having a clear understanding of these roles can save your business from costly mistakes and help ensure quality products are produced efficiently. We’ll also cover some recruiting strategies to entice these professionals to your organization. Employers need to recruit the right individuals with the desired skill sets or experience in order to support long-term growth.

In this blog post we will explain exactly what sets apart a CNC Operator from a CNC machinist so you can make smart decisions when recruiting individuals for either role.

1. CNC Operators

Among the multitude of roles within the manufacturing industry, CNC Machine Operators hold a crucial position that directly impacts the overall efficiency and productivity of the operation. Tasked with managing highly sophisticated and automated machinery, these professionals are responsible for ensuring that the equipment is running smoothly and performing at an optimum level. Their expertise in operating, maintaining, and troubleshooting machinery becomes the defining factor in maintaining the quality of the products being manufactured.

A CNC Machine Operator is a skilled technician responsible for operating CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machines. They are responsible for loading raw materials into the CNC machine, performing maintenance and cleaning on the equipment, running machines and troubleshooting any mechanical issues that arise during operation. CNC Machine Operators must be able to read blueprints and part drawings, as well as set up and operate machine tools such as drilling, milling, and grinding.

The ideal CNC Operator candidate should have a minimum of 6 months to 2 years of experience in operating CNC machines. This is often a skilled position with room to advance to a CNC Machinist role. They should be highly skilled, demonstrate mechanical aptitude, and have strong mathematic skills. The best candidate for this position has exposure, and passion for growth.

2. CNC Machinist 2

The CNC Machinist holds a vital role in the manufacturing industry, as their expertise and skills are key to producing high-quality, accurate products. These Machinists shoulder the responsibility of programming, setting up, and operating CNC machines with precision and efficiency. To ensure parts meet specifications, they read and interpret complex blueprints, engineering drawings, and work instructions. By continuously honing their skills and staying current on industry trends, CNC Machinists play a significant role in shaping the future of modern manufacturing.

The CNC Machinists 2 is a step up from the CNC Machine Operators, requiring more knowledge and experience in loading and testing the program as well as Setups. They possess a strong understanding of CNC programming, machine setup, tool selection, and quality control processes. It should be noted that CNC Machinist 2’s are not writing the G-code programming but should know enough to select the correct pre-loaded programs. A successful CNC Machinist should have at least 2 to 4 years of experience in CNC Machine programming, Setup, and G-code programs.

Recruiting the CNC Machinist 2 with the right skill set is essential to your team’s success and efficiency. This individual should possess strong leadership and effective management skills as they may be required to supervise CNC Operators. CNC Machinists 2’s must also have excellent problem-solving, communication, and mathematic skills, as they will be responsible for troubleshooting CNC programming issues.

3. CNC Machinist 3

Generally, a Machinist’s job requires them to fabricate, modify, or repair mechanical objects. Therefore, they must have a strong knowledge of mechanics, mathematics, metallic properties, and machining. The CNC Machinist 3 is the most highly skilled position and requires mastery of writing the program and setup. This person is the one who takes a blueprint and figures out how to make the part. This involves picking out tools, determining the speeds and fees, and programming CNC Machines in G-Code Programming. Essentially, they are responsible for building the software and selecting the tools to make precision parts. A minimum of 4 years of experience is generally required for this role.

This individual is experienced and knowledgeable in tool making and die maintenance with CNC operation and CNC programming. The CNC Machinist 3 also takes on leadership responsibilities such as supervising and managing CNC Operators.

4. Recruiting for CNC Personnel

Successfully recruiting CNC Operators and Machinists requires an expert understanding of the unique skills and qualifications these professionals possess. To start, it’s essential to develop a detailed and accurate job description that highlights key responsibilities and requirements such as certifications, experience, and technical proficiency. But that’s just the basics. There is much more to developing a successful recruiting strategy:

1. Develop an Attractive Environment

The key to attracting and retaining quality candidates is not just a competitive salary, but rather creating a workplace that employees actively choose to be a part of. Establishing such an environment requires a conscious effort to build an atmosphere that prioritizes respect, recognition, and connection with the company’s mission. Doing so will foster loyalty, leading to increased productivity and a greater sense of job satisfaction that keeps employees happy and engaged. By doing so candidates of the highest caliber are more likely to be attracted to your organization over others.

2. Prioritize Candidate Engagement

Once you’ve attracted potential candidates, it’s crucial to implement an engagement strategy. 24hr response time is a must to keep candidates engaged. Research conducted by SHRM suggests that companies who respond to job applications within 24 hours are 12x more likely to engage with candidates who they consider to be the most qualified. Additionally, job seekers are 3x more likely to respond when they receive a prompt follow-up. As such, employers need to demonstrate that they value each candidate’s time and effort.

3. Invest in Training

Finally, employers should consider offering training and continuing education opportunities to CNC personnel as they are key components in showing support for their team’s long-term growth and career goals. This will enable the organization to build a highly capable workforce who have the necessary skill set to achieve greater efficiency and productivity.

Therefore, recruiting the right individual with the necessary skills and experience for your team is essential to success. Carefully reviewing job descriptions, establishing a desirable atmosphere, and providing effective training opportunities are all key components to attracting and retaining CNC professionals. When carefully crafted, these recruitment strategies will ensure the formation of a skilled and productive team of CNC professionals.


In summary, CNC Operators and CNC Machinists both perform important duties responsible for the production of high-precision parts. The Operator largely focuses on setting up and controlling specific processes. On the other hand, the Machinist requires a higher level of skill and specialization in areas such as G-code Programming and operations management. Recruitment efforts should focus on a professional well-versed in industry trends and technologies as well as able to demonstrate solid decision-making skills. Finally, staying current with safety protocols is essential for keeping these highly technical staff members safe as they work with expensive machinery. This illustrates why understanding the difference between these two roles is so important for ensuring your business runs efficiently.

If you are looking for help recruiting CNC professionals, contact our team or check out our services. We will gladly help you find the right individual, or help you decide on the right role for your needs.