ABR Salutes Our Star Talent

September 30th, 2015


This week ABR is honoring and celebrating our talent by joining staffing companies across the country to celebrate National Staffing Employee Week.

Created by the American Staffing Association, this week long event honors the millions of hard working people employed by staffing firms across the nation. Millions of Americans are employed by staffing firms every business day!

To kick off the week, we surprised employee Brad Lemke with a check for $1,000 at Norlan Inc. Brad works there through ABR as an administrative assistant. He was this month’s Free Rent and a job! talent appreciation sweepstakes winner!

Each ABR location will distribute insulated lunch totes filled with treats as a small gesture of our thanks. We truly appreciate everything you do!




How to Manage the B-Team

September 21st, 2015


Charles Coy, senior director of analyst and community relations at Cornerstone OnDemand reports 74% of workers are average performers who do their job competently. He offers the following three tips for managing the ‘B-Team’; managing average workers.

In mid-August, a New York Times article about Amazon featured heated accounts from former employees describing a workplace that rewards top performers with praise and bonuses, while punishing those who can’t – or won’t – commit to 85-hour work weeks and 24/7 availability.

Amazon is certainly not the only company accused of putting an outsized priority on performance. The term “startup culture” has become code for “fast-paced and long hours,” even among companies that are no longer startups. While this sort of intense drive may be beneficial in the early days of a new venture–when a skeleton crew of entrepreneurial types work tirelessly to get a company off the ground–it’s not always a sustainable way to manage employees over the long term.

The reality is not every employee is either a “high performer” to be swept up the ranks or a “low performer” to be dealt with. Most fall somewhere in the middle–74 percent to be exact; a B-Team composed of average performers who do their jobs competently, and for whom top sales numbers or climbing the ladder aren’t the primary motivation.

So, how can managers lead these “average” workers to success? We talked with Patrick Malone, senior partner at leadership consulting firm The PAR Group, about how to meet the needs of the B-Team in the workplace, while motivating and leading them to success.

Communicate Expectations–on Both Sides

The first step is to acknowledge that your employees have different expectations and aspirations in the workplace. “Too many managers believe that what they value is the same as what the employee values,” Malone says. “You may value your title or more money, but they may value time off with their family.”

That idea is supported by a recent survey from Right Management, which found that only 10 percent of respondents define their success as being a top performer, and that 45 percent rate work-life balance as their top priority.

No employee goes to work planning to be average, Malone explains, but people do have other priorities. “Managers need to have continual conversations to communicate goals and expectations, and tie that into what they are doing,” he says. “You have to find out what your employees value, so you can create incentives around that.”

Provide Continuous Feedback

One place to start having those continual conversations is during employee reviews.

Malone recommends replacing the annual review with ongoing feedback, a recommendation echoed in Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends 2014 report: “Ranking- and ratings-based performance management is damaging employee engagement, alienating high performers, and costing managers valuable time.” Instead, the report proposes continuous coaching and development throughout the year.

“A lot of times employees think they’re doing a good job,” Malone says. “But then the annual review comes around, and it’s not what they expected because they didn’t have a good idea of what they needed to do.” The annual review should be a reaffirmation of everything the employee hears throughout year.

Be Proactive, Not Reactive

One example of innovative thinking around employee management comes from General Electric, which was once notorious for its “rank and yank” policy of firing the bottom 10 percent of performers each year.

The company recently eliminated performance reviews entirely, replacing them with an app called PD@GE (performance development at GE) that allows managers to set a series of goals and employees to request feedback on a day-to-day basis. The new approach encourages an ongoing conversation about what each side needs for the future, rather than looking backward at what was done in the past.

“Business runs on metrics, and there’s no problem with acknowledging that, but it can’t be the only thing driving the company,” Malone says. “Not everybody is an entrepreneur or wants to behave like one. For a company to be successful, you need a variety of smart employees who have skills and aspirations that complement each other.”

Revenge of the Applicant Tracking System ‘Rejects’

September 15th, 2015

get noticed

This Tool Helps Optimize Your Resume for an Applicant Tracking System

A vast majority of large companies use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to search for qualified candidates from large applicant pools. ATS help employers by analyzing resumes, identifying those whose content matches given sets of keywords, and weeding out those who don’t rank highly.

We stumbled upon a tool called ‘Jobscan‘ that gives job seekers an instant analysis of how well their resume is tailored for a particular job, along with how it can be even better optimized for an applicant tracking system. Give it a try (the first 5 scans are free) and let us know what you think.

Then, register for our free upcoming webinar on ABR JobConnect, Is Your LinkedIn Profile Replacing Your Resume? on Thursday, September 24th at 1:00 pm. If you have a LinkedIn profile, you’ll want to make sure to include keywords to help recruiters find you.



HR Insights Magazine – Fall 2015 Issue

September 8th, 2015


Happy 1 Year Anniversary to ABR’s HR Insights Magazine. We sincerely hope you have found this publication of value. During our second year, we look forward to sharing information and trends that have the potential to change your business.

In this issue, Tom McGuire suggests that hiring managers adopt a new perspective. Instead of thinking of top candidates only as possible employees, companies should think of them as investors who want to achieve the best returns possible for their own human capital.

Two authors explore some of the hiring options available to companies. In “Build, Buy, or Borrow? Determining Your Talent Strategy Game Plan,” Linda Brenner rightly points out that “organizations must recognize that
intentionally structuring their workforces to optimize the mix of employees and contingent labor will benefit both financial investors and human capital investors.”

And in “How Career Reentry Programs Are Tackling the Corporate Gender Gap One Hire at a Time,” Charles Coy highlights how the burgeoning use of reentry programs and “returnships” improves organizations’ chances of finding top talent.

Amid all the Internet noise these days, though, it can be difficult for good candidates to find the companies that are looking for them. Fortunately, Sharlyn Lauby can help: in “Everything HR Needs to Know about SEO,” she presents analysis from an SEO expert on why SEO is important to HR—and how HR can leverage it to attract better hires.

And of course, once you identify the people you want and bring them on board, you want them to stay with your organization. To that end it’s key to provide appropriate compensation. But what’s the best way to determine who gets what? For a long time, most companies have relied on performance ratings to accomplish this. Today, however, organizations are starting to ditch those ratings, and in “Performance Management without Performance Ratings,” Noma Bruton explains why.

Our business is built on our clients. And our clients’ businesses are built on their people. To that end, we at ABR Employment Services take very seriously our responsibility to help you find and retain the right people for your organization. If you’d like to discuss your current staffing needs with us—or start drawing up blueprints for your
future needs and goals—please let us know!

SIA Ranks ABR a Fastest Growing US Staffing Firm

September 4th, 2015

SIA logo

ABR Employment Services (ABR) has been ranked by Staffing Industry Analysts as one of the Fastest Growing US Staffing Firms. From 2010 to 2014, ABR grew at a compound annual growth rate of 20.6%.

To be considered for the 2015 list, US staffing firms had to have reported at least $1 million in revenue from 2010 to 2014 and have a compound annual revenue growth of 15%. This year’s list included 102 staffing firms.

“With so many outstanding companies on the list, it is a great honor to be recognized as one of the fastest growing staffing firms in the nation” said Jim McNett, CEO of ABR Employment Services. “By delivering intelligent workforce staffing solutions that enable our clients to better manage hiring and leverage staffing for competitive advantage, we have been able to grow at an industry-leading rate. All of this would not be possible without our incredibly talented and committed employees throughout our network of 14 offices.”

About ABR Employment Services: Founded in 1987, ABR Employment Services provides administrative, call center, light industrial and skilled industrial employment opportunities to job seekers and staffing solutions to companies throughout Wisconsin and in Winona, MN.  ABR is a consecutive recipient of Inavero’s Best of Staffing Award for providing remarkable service quality to talent and clients and recognized by Staffing Industry Analysts as a Fastest-Growing US Staffing Firm.

August Free Rent and a job! Winner, Brandan Prechel

September 4th, 2015

Congratulations to Brandan Prechel, the August winner of ABR’s monthly Free Rent and a job! employee sweepstakes!

Brandan had a big day on September 1. Not only did he receive a check for $1,000, he also got hired on permanently at Maratech where he works as a machine operator. The month before, he welcomed a new baby into the world!

Watch the check presentation.