4 Tips to Establish Workplace Credibility

May 13th, 2013


It’s always important to “be professional” at work. But what does that really mean? If you show up on time, get your work done, and dress acceptably, have you done your part? Not fully. There’s more to being professional than going through the motions. Here are the biggest obstacles you’ll face when it comes to saving face at work.

1. Keep the drama to a minimum.

We know that you’re not going to get along with every coworker. You need to accept that fact and move on. Just because you don’t like someone on a personal level does not mean that you can’t have a work relationship with him or her.

2. Keep secrets safe.

If your boss divulges any important information to you – perhaps about a new project or a new hire – keep it to yourself. There’s no need to go on starting rumors or get involved in other peoples’ business. Leave that to your boss.

3. Leave the personal stuff at home.

This includes physical “stuff” and emotional “stuff.” While there’s no problem with sharing information about your personal life at work or displaying a few photos, it’s best to keep it to a minimum. Don’t get too nosy about your coworkers’ lives either unless they willingly share that information. Some people prefer to keep their work life and home life as separate as possible, and you should respect that.

4. Be aware of your personality.

We all have bad habits. What are yours? Do you tend to interrupt people? Are you bad at listening? Do you know that you talk on the phone too loud? Do you always show up five minutes late? Make a concerted effort to tone down those habits and make a change for the better.

Have a tip to share with your fellow job seekers on what you do to stay credible on the job? Comment below.

About ABR 

ABR Employment Services provides employment opportunities to job seekers and staffing solutions to employers throughout Wisconsin and in Winona, MN. ABR provides temporary, try-before-hire and direct hire job opportunities in: customer service, data entry, receptionist, office assistant, administrative assistant, assembly, packaging, machine operator, warehouse, janitorial, CNC, welder, forklift, maintenance, and call center. Connect with us on Facebook or LinkedIn for job seeking tips and advice.

Stuck in a Work Rut? 3 Ways to Re-energize Your Career

May 6th, 2013


There comes a point in everyone’s career where they start to feel…uninspired. Call it ‘being in a rut’ if you will. We know it’s hard to stay positive at work, especially if you aren’t feeling challenged. But even if you love your job, the day-in and day-out responsibilities can get monotonous at times. The solution is one part change, one part inspiration, and one part growth. Here are three ways you can re-energize your career:

1. Sign up for a “just for fun” class.

Have you always been interested in photography? Or woodworking? Or cooking? Enroll in a “just for fun” class that’s completely brand new to you. Even though the curriculum doesn’t directly impact your work skills, it will challenge your mind. With challenge comes creativity. And that inspiration might rub off on your day job as well.

2. Sign up for a career-relevant course.

One way to re-energize your career is to work toward a goal. Be it a promotion or a degree or a skill. Taking a class that supports this goal is one step in the right direction.  Your local community college likely offers courses related to your career goals.

3. Join a professional organization or network within the industry.
Many fields have a professional organization that holds meet-ups and industry events in different cities across the country. If you’re an administrative professional, the International Association of Administrative Professionals is worth checking out.  Or, if you’re a CNC Machinist, LinkedIn’s CNC/Machining/Manufacturing network (they currently have 18,383 members) may be a good resource.

Networking with people in similar positions helps you understand the universal pitfalls and plusses of your career. You might learn of a new tactic or strategy that would work great in your workplace. Or you might just find solace in speaking to other people who understand what it’s like to walk in your shoes. Either way, joining a community can bring more satisfaction and happiness to your day job.

Have a tip to share with your fellow job seekers on what you did to get out of a rut? Comment below.

About ABR
ABR Employment Services provides employment opportunities to job seekers and staffing solutions to employers throughout Wisconsin and in Winona, MN. ABR provides temporary, try-before-hire and direct hire job opportunities in: customer service, data entry, receptionist, office assistant, administrative assistant, assembly, packaging, machine operator, warehouse, janitorial, CNC, welder, forklift, maintenance, and call center. Connect with us on Facebook or LinkedIn for job seeking tips and advice.

What Does Your Social Media Profile Say About You?

April 29th, 2013


Not that long ago, the four steps to apply for a job went something like this:

  • Completed application; check.
  • Sent cover letter; check
  • Attached resume; check
  • Submitted references; check

Today, there’s fifth step; cleaning up your social media profile(s). Jacquelyn Smith, Forbes Staff writer recently published an article on ‘How social media can help (or hurt) you in your job search’. In it, she references a survey that CareerBuilder.com did last year that asked 2,303 hiring managers and human resource staff if, and how, and why they incorporate social media into their hiring process.

The survey revealed that 37% of employers use social networks to screen potential job candidates. This translates to about two in five companies who browse your social media profiles to evaluate your character and personality. Some even base their hiring decision on what they find.

So, if you’re among the 89% of job seekers that use social networking sites, you’ll want to be careful. Rosemary Haefner, vice president of HR at CareerBuilder recommends, “If you choose to share content publicly on social media, make sure it’s working to your advantage. Take down or secure anything that could potentially be viewed by an employer as unprofessional and share content that highlights your accomplishments and qualifications in a positive way.”

Further, Brad Schepp, co-author of How to Find a Job on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ adds, Make sure any profiles you write are free of typos, the information is coherent and applicable to your industry [or job you’re trying to land], and your photos present you in a favorable light. You can verify the applicability of the information by checking profiles of others in the same field.”

So, you might want to replace that photo of you playing beer pong with something more appropriate and copy and paste your profile to Word and run it through spell check. Remember, your online persona is an extension of your in-person persona. Think about it. If the shoe were on the other foot, would you hire someone like yourself after reading your online profile(s)? If the answer is ‘no’, you’ve got some clean up to do.

About ABR
ABR Employment Services provides employment opportunities to job seekers and staffing solutions to employers throughout Wisconsin and in Winona, MN. ABR provides temporary, try-before-hire and direct hire job opportunities in: customer service, data entry, receptionist, office assistant, administrative assistant, assembly, packaging, machine operator, warehouse, janitorial, CNC, welder, forklift, maintenance, and call center. Connect with us on Facebook or LinkedIn for job seeking tips and advice.

Finding the Right Fit With Values-Based Recruiting

April 17th, 2013

A big challenge facing HR and other hiring managers is finding candidates who are the “right fit” for their respective organizations.

But just what, exactly, is the “right fit”?

For many employers, it means finding a candidate who shares the same belief systems and values as the company, and who meshes with the corporate culture.  To identify this type of individual, these employers often turn to values-based recruiting.

Values-based recruiting goes beyond examining competencies and experience.  It’s about creating a values match by building a model that outlines behaviors associated with corporate values, and then assessing candidates for those behaviors.  The process typically yields hires whose thinking, values and ways of doing business closely match those of the employer.

But what if your company needs a  new direction, fresh business perspective or innovative ideas to re-energize your organization?

In a case like this, the right fit for your organization will be an individual who, by definition, is not a perfect values-based match.  Rather, this candidate should be selected based on a model that outlines behaviors associated with leading your company in a new direction.  To begin this process, your company must first determine new goals, create a list of competencies and values for the available position that will support those goals, and then recruit and select accordingly.

Which type of recruiting is right for your business needs?

ABR Employment Services’ recruiting experts will work with you to determine how to find the right fit for your company’s needs.  Our comprehensive testing modules screen out applicants that do not meet your specific job performance standards, promoting work efficiency and expected results. Our behavioral-based interviews and reference requirements identify the “best of the best,” making our talent the type of people you would normally hire for permanent positions.

In addition, ABR Talent must sign a Performance Pledge, which is a commitment to the following behaviors as portrayed in our Expectations of Excellence:

  • Trustworthy
  • Respectful
  • Responsible
  • Reliable
  • Professional

By signing the Performance Pledge, ABR Talent agree to demonstrate these behaviors in their interactions with ABR, co-workers, supervisors and other company employees.

Contact us today to find out how our Work Ready Talent can create successful hires in your organization.

Ways to Build Up Your Reference Arsenal

April 8th, 2013

Photo by by Joelk75

We live in a world filled with recommendations. User reviews on sites like Yelp point us to the best restaurant in town. Avid travelers help us choose the best hotels by leaving tips on sites like TripAdvisor. Recommendations and endorsements on Linkedin let hiring managers know the skills and expertise we excel at.

When it comes to hiring employees, recommendations – otherwise known as references – act in the same manner. It’s that little nudge a company needs to put you above the other candidates. It might land you an interview. Or a job offer. And most importantly, it instills confidence in you and your work. A great referral is worth more than that person’s weight in gold.

When gathering references only reach out to people who you fully trust, who you’ve established a great rapport with, and who you’ve truly worked with. Although a friend or family member knows you very well, his or her recommendation is not going to hold the same weight as someone who managed you for two years.

Whether you’re leaving a job or just starting a new position, references should always be top of mind. Don’t be afraid to gather the contact information of any important coworkers or managers who are leaving a company before you do. Ask if they’d be willing to refer you in the future (if the time ever arises) or send them a note at a later date. The important thing is that you keep in touch occasionally.

If you don’t have any great references right now, start building up your arsenal. Make meaningful connections. Get to know your manager better. Do great work that won’t go unnoticed. Remember – the key to that next great position could be in the hands of one of these people.

Have other tips to share on what you did to get a reference? Comment below.

Talent Testimonial

April 1st, 2013

I would highly recommend using ABR Employment Services to help anyone with their job placement needs.  I was looking for employment and reached out to them and received a temporary assignment within days and then was hired on full-time with my temporary company within 1 month.  I am so happy and really am enjoying my new career.

My experience with ABR was very thorough and professional.  When doing a phone screen with them we went over all of my work preferences and then from there had an interview to go over my work/school experience and my interests for my future career further.  They found a job that they thought would be a great match for me and they were great at doing so.  They were so wonderful with following up with me and touching base with me while on my temporary assignment.

The whole team has been so wonderful to work with, they are such a great team.  I would definitely reach out and use them for any employment issues or career changes in my future.

Kara Volz

What has your experience been like working with ABR? Share your experience below.

Four Goal Setting Tips for Career Growth

April 1st, 2013


Some companies conduct mandatory annual check-ins or quarterly career goal assessments. Whether you can count on sitting in one these meetings with your manager or not, it has to be said: goal setting is integral for career success. And the same strategies can be applied to your job search. Here’s how you can begin outlining career goals that will help you succeed:

Step 1: Write it down.

Sit down and really think about what you want to accomplish in the next six months, the next year, and the next 5 years. Is it a promotion? A career change? A new life skill? You must be able to communicate your dreams and aspirations before you can achieve them.

Step 2: Break it down.

If you want a promotion, how will you get there? By taking on a new project? By showing off your leadership skills? Write down three small steps you can take now to help you achieve each goal later.

Step 3: Set deadlines.

Force yourself to complete those three small steps within a certain time period. For example, “I want to take on a new project by the end of June.” Be realistic with yourself, but also push yourself a bit. This deadline is motivation.

Step 4: Revisit your goals. Often.

At the end of each week, or each month, revisit that original document. Review the progress you’ve made and analyze what steps you can take to continue moving forward.

Bonus Step: Share your goals with a spouse, friend, or coworker. Sometimes knowing that someone else is watching you is that little kick in the rear you need to succeed.

Do you have tip to offer about what goal setting tactic worked for you? Share it below and connect with us on Facebook or LinkedIn for more job seeking tips and advice.

When You Don’t Like Your Coworker

February 25th, 2013


It may be one of the biggest obstacles in life – working closely with someone whom you don’t get along with. It may be a coworker, a supervisor, or a boss. Unfortunately, you can’t just turn the other cheek. You have to address the situation, adapt to it, and make it work. Here are some rules for forging relationship with people you – plain and simple – don’t like:

 1. Keep it to yourself.

There’s no need to create drama at work by gossiping behind someone’s back. It will make things extremely complicated and potentially irreparable if they find out.

2. Break it down.

People might not mesh well at work for many reasons including different communication styles, different work ethics, or general annoyances. Find what exactly is bugging you about this person.

3. Disregard the little stuff.

If you don’t like that your coworker talks about herself too much, talks on the phone too loudly, or smacks her gum, you might be out of luck. Your best bet is to approach your supervisor and ask her to send out a general memo asking everyone to be respectful and considerate of other people’s time and space.

 4. Make an adjustment.

If you realize that the two of you have different communication styles, try to adapt. Approach your coworker with information in a new way that’s more fitting to her style. Write it down if she’s forgetful. Speak more gently if she’s defensive.

 5. Take it face-to-face.

If you have different work ethics, try addressing the situation politely. If your coworker’s late arrivals are placing extra work on your back, try saying, “This morning I had to cover for you until you arrived, and it’s really putting added stress in my day.” Then wait for the apologies to flow.

If the problem persists after you’ve followed these five steps, you may need to take it to a supervisor for guidance. But keep a level head and know that change doesn’t happen overnight.

Why HR Professionals Need to Participate in Social Media

May 2nd, 2011

Still on the fence about using social media?  Consider these statistics from the recent Cone Business in Social Media Study:

  • 93 percent of Americans believe that a company should have a presence on social media sites.
  • 85 percent believe that these companies should use social media to interact with consumers.
  • 60 percent of Americans regularly interact with companies on social media sites.

The truth is, social media can help expand your business network, enhance your career, recruit employees and more.

According to HR expert Susan M. Heathfield, About.com Guide, HR professionals need to participate in social media for career success – and she should know.  She is a management and organization development consultant who specializes in human resources issues and in management development to create forward-thinking workplaces.  Susan is also a professional facilitator, speaker, trainer and writer.

Heathfield’s About.com article “10 Reasons Social Media Should Rock Your World” details the rationale behind making social media time investment mandatory for every HR professional:

  1. Stay in touch with colleagues and friends. Social media makes it easier than ever to re-connect with former colleagues, classmates, teachers and other professional contacts.
  2. Make it easy for others to find you. Maintain both individual and company profiles to make it simple and convenient for customers, employees and candidates to reach you.
  3. Find potential job candidates. For example, you can e-mail social media contacts with job requirements and ask them for referrals.
  4. Investigate potential career opportunities. If you’re interested in finding a new job, social media sites like LinkedIn can be invaluable in your search.  You can use the site to network, garner recommendations and learn about new job openings.
  5. Establish your online brand. You can use social media to promote your career progress by establishing an online presence that defines who you are professionally and what you want to be known for accomplishing.
  6. Join groups that share your professional interests. As a group member you can give and get information about recommended reading, industry trade shows or other professional meetings/events.
  7. Develop social connections. Sites like Facebook are rapidly gaining mature professional members.  Unlike LinkedIn, Facebook is ideally suited to having fun and developing social contacts over time.  A word of caution:  carefully manage your Privacy Settings and critically examine content – before you post or upload – to make sure it’s compatible with your professional image.
  8. Provide a space in which users of your products/services can interact with you. Use social media to expand your customers’ opportunities to discuss their wants and needs – with you or with other customers.
  9. Build community around your products or services. The people who are the “face” of your company should leverage social media opportunities to build relationships with consumers.  Forums and blogs on your company website (and within your HR Intranet), as well as fan pages, can help you build this sense of community.
  10. Finally your company, in addition to individual employees, should establish a company presence on major social media sites to stay in step with the changing interests and needs of consumers.  The Internet has opened up worldwide communication.  Why not use its social media components to make you and your company more successful?

ABR Employment – Leveraging Social Media for Recruiting Success

ABR Employment Services posts available on-time (temporary), contract and direct hire jobs on Facebook and Twitter.  We leverage social media including LinkedIn to locate talented, experienced and hard-working individuals for Wisconsin employers like you.  How are you using social media in your job?  We’d love to know.  Leave your comments below.

Tips for Effective Employee Onboarding

November 22nd, 2010

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

When you hear this saying, you may envision a nervous job seeker, compulsively straightening his suit and repeating his 30-second “personal sales pitch” before an interview.  But quite honestly, the saying is just as relevant for the hiring company.  Why?

When you mainstream and orient a new hire, you set the tone for his work experience with your organization.  The more positive that initial experience, the more welcome and prepared the individual will feel in his new position.  This will, in turn, give him the confidence and resources to quickly begin making a positive impact within your company (which is why you hired this person in the first place, right?).

So make a commitment to create a great first impression on your new hire by implementing a thorough and effective onboarding process.  Use these tips to make him feel welcomed, valued and prepared to hit the ground running:

  • Welcome a new employee with a letter.  Before the individual’s first day, send a friendly and informative letter to welcome him and review his first day’s schedule, helpful tips for parking, to whom he should report, etc.  Alternately, you can post new employee schedules, materials, benefits forms and a FAQ on your company Intranet, and make it accessible from a link in a welcome e-mail.
  • Prepare a corporate “family tree.”  Familiarize new hires with your company’s “who’s who.”  You can make photos, names and job titles available on your company’s Intranet, or maintain a simple bulletin board with the same info to facilitate the getting-to-know-you process.
  • Pre-orient existing staff members.  Provide employees with your new employee’s résumé and job description before he starts.  Advise each team member to conduct a meeting with the new hire in which he shares a description of his own position, reviews the ways their roles interact and covers how they might work together in the future.
  • Approach the process from the employee’s point of view.  The onboarding process can be complex and overwhelming for your new hire.  To keep your new team member feeling valued, try to create orientation procedures that make the process fun, interesting and as painless as possible.
  • Provide and review a written plan of employee objectives and responsibilities.  This step will eliminate confusion about job functions and will open the floor to discuss concerns or new opportunities.
  • Give the new employee your undivided attention.  Be careful not to let e-mails, phone calls, or other employees distract you during orientation sessions, because this sends the unintended message that the new hire is not worth your time – a real morale-killer.
  • Make day one personal.  Prioritize interpersonal relationships with key colleagues as soon as your new employee starts.  Make sure you welcome the whole person – not just a set of job functions – from the outset, and you’ll be sure to make a great first impression.

ABR Employment Services works to make new employee transitions as successful and simple as possible.  Our stringent screening process ensures that the candidates we refer (whether on-time or direct) have the skills, experience and traits necessary to integrate seamlessly with your existing workforce.  Contact us today to learn more about our staffing solutions for Wisconsin employers.