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5 Interview Questions You Need To Ask

5 Interview Questions You Need To Ask

In every employment interview, there comes a time when the hiring firm asks, “So, what questions do you have for us?” Aside from questions about job responsibilities, career opportunities, compensation and benefits, the workplace responses to the shifts of the last few years suggest there are 5 other questions you might also want to consider posing:


5 Interview Questions You Need To Ask
  • WHAT ARE THE HYBRID WORK ARRANGEMENTS? Whether or not the firm now has everyone, most or some back in the workplace, they likely have a plan for those who work remotely, or will need to work remotely when exposed to or recovering from COVID. What are the expectations around your communications and performance when working remotely?
  • WHAT ARE THE TECHNOLOGY POLICIES FOR REMOTE AND HYBRID WORK? Part of this question focuses on what hardware and software will be provided to you for use outside the office. The other deals with the ability of employees to buy and use their technology. In either case, security and backup protocols will be important.
  • HOW DOES THE COMPANY HANDLE SICK LEAVE? Significant legislation has recently been passed on this subject. You should be clear on the policies for caring for a sick relative and working remotely when doing so, within those new laws.
  • WHAT ARE EXPECTATIONS ON APPEARANCE? This includes the dress code in the office and in virtual interactions. This will ensure you are appropriately attired for a better first impression, but also tell you a lot about the hiring company’s culture. Included here are both religious garb and required safety protection for hairstyles.
  • HOW DOES THE COMPANY STAND ON MARIJUANA USE AND TESTING? While marijuana is still illegal under federal law (but perhaps for not much longer), its allowed usage for medical only or recreational purposes requires companies to decide how to test for and respond to usage, and to determine what constitutes impairment. Whether or not you use marijuana, those policies offer another window into the corporate culture.


You may feel uncomfortable asking these questions, if only that these may affect the interviewer’s opinion of you (even though they shouldn’t). An Abel Personnel recruiter can greatly assist here, asking the questions for you, even before the interview. Seeking that level of support in your job search? Connect with us at

Sourced from HR Dive, “5 employee handbook sections that may need an overhaul in 2023,” Katie Clarie, November 21, 2022

For more details, click here


Caroline, the head of her company’s staffing function, had met with her Abel Personnel recruiter for lunch in early December every year for the past seven years (at outdoor locations before Covid vaccinations were available). This tradition dates back to Caroline’s predecessor when company policy allowed vendors to take their clients out to lunch. Now everything is “separate checks.” The two women enjoyed having lunch together. It was a great opportunity for Caroline to give her recruiter a heads-up on planned staffing needs for the coming year, and to hear what trends the recruiter was seeing in staffing in Caroline’s company’s industry.

Once Caroline had shared what sets of skills and work experience the recruiter should be on the lookout for after the first of the year, the discussion turned to holiday plans and traditions. They each recounted how many activities that had been canceled due to the pandemic were reinstated for the first time this year, and how many (some thankfully) would not be returning. This discussion naturally turned next to the tradition of New Year’s resolutions.

“You mean ones besides ‘exercise more, spend more time with family, be kinder?’” Caroline joked.

“I was thinking of business-related resolutions, particularly in staffing,” the recruiter replied. “Those types of aspirations that often don’t make it to the company’s business plan, except perhaps how much staff needs to be hired or to improve staff retention.”

Caroline nodded at this, before observing, “As you know, we underperformed in staffing this year, though thanks to you we did better than most of our competitors for the same talent. But you’re right, there are things we could be doing better. I bet you have some ideas?”

For more details, click here


After a very brief phone call with Daniel, the Abel Personnel recruiter was surprised and pleased to receive his resume a short time later via email. The well-constructed accounting of his background was much more detailed than Daniel’s short answers to the recruiter’s prompts over the phone. His presentation of himself as a computer operator was reinforced by a variety of training courses plus nearly 10 years of experience. What stood out most for the recruiter, was that Daniel was a US Navy veteran!

His honorable discharge last year spoke volumes about his drive and character. Aside from that, the recruiter and the entire Abel Personnel team have a strong motivation to help all applicants that served in our country’s armed services. Happily, the company with the opening, for which Daniel was a great fit, also actively sought veterans to employ. This interest was due in part to the position requiring clearances that ex-military most easily met. Daniel was intrigued by the position and thought the company was a good place where he could grow; the company also saw Daniel as a potential long-term team member.

His placement offered two challenges:

  • The position was in Virginia. Abel’s client was based in Central Pennsylvania and had asked Abel to extend its service geography based on years of outstanding results in their business relationship. Daniel was now living in Virginia, near the satellite facility, but most of the Recruiters’ interactions would need to occur over the video, taking a bit longer than if face-to-face meetings were possible by all participants.
  • The extensive background checking. The recruiter had become accustomed to the shock on applicants’ faces when they were first provided the 30+ page application forms plus a list of required attachments required by the hiring company. She had learned to provide these to her candidates in stages over a few weeks so as not to scare them off.

The background paperwork needed to be provided by Daniel had an additional complication. Much of his personal materials (birth certificate, discharge papers, training completion documentation, etc.) was at his parents’ home. As they spoke almost daily, the recruiter began to better understand Daniel’s situation. A falling out between Daniel and his parents occurred several months after Daniel’s military separation when he quit a non-IT civil service job that his parents had recommended him for. This dispute about whether Daniel had acted irresponsibly and disrespectfully had mushroomed to the point that Daniel was locked out of the family home, where he had stored most of those personal items. At the time that Daniel had contacted the Abel recruiter, he was living in his car and showering at a friend’s house, having insufficient income from which to pay rent.

To learn more about Daniel, click here

A Change For 2023

A Change For 2023 A Change For 2023


  • Just got the announcement for our company’s yearend Holiday Party. First time in person since 2019! Feels like the end-of-year cycle is back again.
  • Agreed! The work environment here is more festive and we’re back to the annual planning cycle, preparing for 2023.
  • Which reminds me: Three years ago, you were looking to investigate moving to a new company. Then you shut down your search once the pandemic hit.
  • That’s right. While I am grateful that my company kept me on, much thanks to their PPP grant, I’m still feeling that itch to broaden my career experience and expertise in IT from another angle.
  • That makes sense. And it’s a great time now to get prepared to look once companies can start filling their approved openings for 2023.
  • Well, I was not going to jump into the search until after the new year. And to see what happens if there is a recession.
  • Can I suggest you start your planning now so you can be actively looking come January 1? | I agree that a recession might hurt the job market, but usually only in certain sectors like retail. Your skills and experience could easily land you a place in a more recession-resistant industry.
  • The other reason I’m feeling hesitant to start, is that I haven’t looked for a job in ten years. And this job came through an on-campus recruiter. I’m sure the whole job application process has changed a lot since then.
  • So, how many of your firm’s clients come to you because they don’t want to try to figure out what IT updates they need? They seek expert advice and guidance, right?
  • Does that mean you have a website that you think can help me?
  • No, your career is not something you can go to a website like you would for a restaurant suggestion or to contact a good plumber. The human touch will make all the difference.
  • How do I find such job search help and what will it cost me?
  • My friend used Abel Personnel. They helped her update her resume, figure out what positions she should focus on, and arrange for her to apply for job openings that weren’t already on the internet. And it didn’t cost her a thing. Her new employer paid all the fees.
  • Sweet. How do I get in touch?
  • Go to their website, Good luck!
For more details, click here


Robert and Amy are siblings, proud to admit they are best friends. This surprises many, given that Robert is such a pessimist and Amy is the quintessential optimist. Their recent discussion over lunch about the current state of working from home typifies their opposing views. Amy had heard of a plan for their company to start offering a remote-work perk. For Robert, this was an insidious plan by upper management to achieve more work hours; employees would start work from home at the time they typically started their commute, and log out at the time they typically arrived home. However, Amy had the facts:

“Most people did not convert their commuting hours into working hours,” she offered.

“So, what did they do with this ‘found time?’” Robert wanted to know.

For emphasis, Amy first responded with an exaggerated stretch and yawn, and then replied, “Sleep.”

The studies now underway evaluating what became of the work environment during and now post-COVID, identified over 60 million hours repurposed by Americans not commuting. While younger workers were more apt to use some of this time on leisure activities, and older workers spent more time on domestic chores, all age levels reported having spent more time sleeping than before the pandemic.

“Ah, so that’s why so many people are resisting going back to the office or looking for a hybrid approach,” Robert asserted.

“Also not true,” Amy quickly corrected her sibling. Again, the facts:

  • Only about 15% of employees are still working remotely who had previously been at the workplace full-time.
  • Those with hybrid schedules are about 30% of the former full-time onsite workforce.

“Of course, ‘hybrid’ could mean as little as one day a week of remote work or one day a week at the work site,” Amy concluded.

Next, Robert wanted to know what this meant for companies’ staffing efforts, especially in tight labor markets. To learn Amy’s response and the siblings’ conclusions, click here

10 Reasons You Didn’t Get The Job

You thought the Interview went well. They told you that they’d be in touch “real soon” Still, you didn’t get the job when they eventually got back to you… or you were ghosted. While the causes for this result may vary, here are the top ten reasons you may have been passed over:

10 Reasons You Didn’t Get The Job

An Abel Personnel recruiter can prep for you in advance for an interview that aligns with your qualifications and interests, so none of these reasons will stop you from getting that job! Be in touch at

Sourced from Career Contessa, “Why Can’t I Get a Job? 10 Reasons You’re Not Landing the Job,” Keertana Anadraj, October 18, 2022


  • You fixated on what the job could do for you. Better to talk about what your skills can do for the company
  • Hiring manager feels like you may not stay. Emphasize why you want this job and how it meets your long-term goals.
  • You’re giving non-verbal clues. Work on being comfortable at interviews, make eye contact, give a strong handshake.
  • You didn’t “click.” Practice being authentic, the real you, someone they would definitely find great to work with.
  • You oversharped. Don’t bring up details (and grievances) about your past that do not relate to why you should be hired.
  • You were overqualified. Check job descriptions carefully before applying; if you think you may be overqualified, address this at the interview.
  • You cast your net too wide. Hone in on the position, location and work conditions you want rather than applying for every possibly related opening.
  • The job description was not accurate. Make it clear in your resume and cover letter the job that you are qualified and prepared to do; that will help everyone not waste time.
  • Someone else was more qualified. It happens. Know that you did your best, and there will be other opportunities.
  • You didn’t tell enough stories. Write down a few stories or experiences you can highlight in an interview and practice telling them.
For more details, click here
Veterans, How May We Be of Service?

Veterans, How May We Be of Service?

Veterans Day offers an opportunity to recognize and thank our country’s past and present members of our military. Recognition includes parades, retail discounts, and restaurant freebies (for a list of these, see the link at the bottom of this article), plus “thank you for your service” responses, all to show appreciation for the heroes of our country.

Abel Personnel assists job-seeking veterans and active members who are transitioning out of the military into the civilian work environment, as well as spouses of active military.

Job searching has changed dramatically over recent years with the development and refinement of AI technology and applicant tracking systems (ATAs). The result: 97% of resumes do not reach human eyes. Having a positive mindset is crucial for any job seeker, and knowing how to apply for jobs in the current business environment is key to having your resume seen and then receiving a call for a face-to-face meeting.

You may be asking,

  • How do I identify the skills I have learned in the military as transferable skills in the civilian world?
  • What do I have to offer a company when there isn’t a direct correlation between role titles?

Values such as responsiveness, integrity, communication, accountability, leadership, trust, and ownership are the military cornerstones that align with what many companies are seeking in employees today.

Where should you start? Talk with a staffing recruiter. A knowledgeable recruiter can provide you with insights into which questions to ask yourself to determine the types of roles that would not only be a good fit for your experience but more importantly, for what you enjoy doing.

An Abel Personnel recruiter can assist you with resume writing and the types of resume formats that will best highlight those transferable skills, that utilize the keywords that will get your resume noticed and result in interviews. Our recruiters also work very closely with our client partners, knowing the types of roles they fill; we put your resume into the hands of Human Resources or the hiring managers directly. You are not one of the 97% that a computer program rejects.

All our services to you are free – not just on Veterans Day. We also do the same for military spouses. So, if you are struggling and need some job search assistance, or want to improve your chances of finding a great job fit, reach out to an Abel Personnel recruiter today! And, thank you for your service!

Veterans Day Discount Deals & Meals
To learn more, click here

Gen Z In The Workplace

Gen Z In The Workplace


Born after 1996, Gen Z grew up with technology, the internet, and social media

  • By 2030, Gen Z will make up 30% of the total global workforce.
  • 76% of Gen Z believe that learning is the key to a successful career.

The top 3 reasons GenZ quits a job:

  • Unsatisfactory Salary
  • Burnout and lack of work-life balance
  • Not doing what I’m passionate about
  • 80% of GenZ are seeking organization that better align with their values (compared to < 60%of Millennials).

Jobs that attract Gen Z

  • Corporate Recruiter
  • Marketing Manager
  • Social Media Manager
  • Data Scientist
  • Product Manager
  • IT Specialist
  • Account Coordinator
  • Credit Analyst
  • Project Engineer
  • Business Development Associate
For more details, click here
Who’s Behind the Mask

Who’s Behind the Mask

One thing Marion always loved about Halloween (since her children had become too old to trick-or-treat) was trying to guess who was the person behind that mask in responding to the doorbell. Also baffling were some of the choices that the children made for costumes. It was easy to imagine why the girl who lived down the street smitten with ballet would dress as a ballerina: or the son of her backyard neighbor who shared his dad’s love of the Philadelphia Eagles would dress as their famed quarterback.

The morning afterward, she shared with her colleagues some of the most ingenious costumes she saw the night before as they took turns pouring coffee from the carafe. As she sipped the hot brew, she thought of how her position as a recruiter was very much like that of the person opening the door to screams of, “Trick or Treat!” Just like the children on her doorstep, her candidates would greet her with their “masks” for her to determine who was really behind the presented facade. Was the angel really an angel? Was the person aggressively growling like The Hulk overcome by shyness?

When explaining Abel Personnel’s ‘value proposition’ to prospective clients, this recruiter often emphasizes Abel’s responsibility and expertise to discover who is “behind that mask”. Some of the discovery methods Abel typically employs include:

  • Multiple Screening Stages:
    • Thoroughly reviewing the resume; comprehending not just the roles and duties held, but also identifying any disconnects from one position to the next.
    • Phone screening to identify the employment parameters and goals of the applicant as well as what drew them to the position they applied to.
    • Matching the candidate to a well-seasoned recruiter within the niche of the role best matches the goals of the candidate and their skill set.
    • Conducting extensive interviews with the candidate, exploring and re-exploring the strengths and anything that may be vague or a mixed message throughout the candidates’ responses, keeping in mind the needs and culture of the client’s organization and culture.
    • Administering Skills assessments to identify and verify the candidate’s areas of strength with software, computer skills, or reading comprehension( and much more based on the needs of the roles).
  • Assessment Results: Abel Recruiters evaluate candidates on a 20+ point rating criteria, compiling all of the assessments/screening stages, as well as the top soft skills companies, look for (all housed in the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) as a reference for the recruiting team).
  • Industry Contacts: Being in the recruiting business for over 50 years, Abel Personnel works with many companies and has placed many people who might know the candidate but aren’t listed as a reference. We utilize our network to gain additional insights into the candidate’s performance and work personality.
  • Checking References: This may involve reaching out to the potential hiring company’s competitors who might not be as candid if the hiring company called.
  • Background Checks and Drug Tests: These occur for specific positions with procedures and contracts already in place.
  • Social Media Search: Review what candidates post on various social media platforms, and LinkedIn profiles.

To learn more, click here

Dont Be A Ghost

Dont Be A Ghost


In considering your costume for this Halloween, you may not be planning to be a ghost. Unsurprisingly, the ghost was not in the top ten Halloween costumes for 2022 (Witch was #1). This advice also pertains to your business practices, and particularly your efforts to secure new employment. Abel Personnel suggests you avoid the following “spooky” practices when interacting with an employer or with a staffing firm:

1) Not responding to a request for an interview prompted by your resume. If a better job opportunity emerged while your resume was being considered, just let the caller know. Don’t waste their time trying repeatedly to be in touch with you. That better opportunity may be too good to be true, and you’ll have lost this interview, too.

2) Not completing your job application. Even if you or they decide that the job is not right for you now, that application will stay in their files and may result in their interest in you in the future.

3) Blowing off a first (or second) interview. Such behavior will render you “dead” to the interested company, whose long memory will assure you are never asked in again for an interview.

4) Not responding to a job offer. Many people were involved in preparing and approving that offer, so you will have created a team of detractors that may “haunt” you for your career, as you and they move between companies in your industry.

5) Failing to show up on your first day of work. Maybe you determined that the required commute time was too long, you were better off staying in your current job, or you took another job. Your no-show will be long remembered, and possibly shared among staffing recruiters in your industry in their efforts to lessen their embarrassment by retelling your “horror story.”

6) Abandoning your job. After your employer gets over their worry that you had become too ill to be in contact or “met with foul play,” the stigma of your actions could result in their later refusal to deal with you in your new capacity or to work at all with your new company.

Such ghosting may have a more serious implication: stoking prejudices about whatever minority (race, religion, generation, etc.) that the angered potential employer may attribute to you. While you may not be responsible for their generalizing your behavior, the result is a reinforcement of stereotypes and lost opportunities for others to overcome vague prejudices.

For more details, click here
Quick Quitting

Quick Quitting

Kathy was the managing partner of an IT consulting firm, with a sad tale of the successful hiring and surprising resignations of three systems analysts in less than a year. The Abel Personnel recruiter advised Kathy, “In our industry, we call that ‘quick quitting,’ new hires that resign within one year of their start date. It’s on the rise.”

“Is this related to the COVID pandemic?” Kathy wanted to know.

“Partly,” was the recruiter’s response. “It also dates from well before the pandemic, when labor markets were especially tight.”

Kathy wanted to better understand the causes, and trends that this experienced recruiter had spotted:

  • Too Quick Hires: In the desperation to find staff, companies were hiring based on a single interview, where typically there had been second interviews. Mismatch of job responsibilities with skills and experience were often missed.
  • Virtual Interviews: In efforts to maintain social distance, interviews were being performed online. Both the interviewer nor the candidate were not receiving information about each other that can only be conveyed in face-to-face meetings.
  • Workplace Experience: Similarly, reliance on virtual interviews did not offer the applicant an opportunity to experience the environment in which they’d be working.
  • COVID-related Stress: The special workplace demands due to the pandemic have challenged both frontline and managerial positions.
  • Available Alternatives: In high-demand positions, such as in IT, there is less risk that a “quick quit” will result in a long period of unemployment.

“When we work with hiring companies, you will find we go into unexpected detail in two areas: job responsibilities and corporate culture,” the recruiter continued. “The causes I listed most often result in the employee not fully understanding the responsibilities and expectations of the position or the culture of the workplace in which they will be expected to perform.”

To review the data and the recruiter’s recommendations, click here

That Dreaded Interview Question

That Dreaded Interview Question


Whether you are interviewing for a job at a new company, interviewing for a promotion with your current employer, or having an exit interview, inevitably you will be asked, “Why are you leaving your job?” As much as you’d be tempted to rant about your terrible boss, the lack of opportunity and mentorship and the overall toxic work environment, here are 4 guidelines to politely explain your reasons:

1) Brevity: Keep your explanation short and simple.

2) Gratitude: Generally, express appreciation for the skills you developed and experiences you had at the company or position you are leaving.

3) Future Career: Identify just one thing that made your current position a less-than-perfect fit that you are seeking in your new company or position, as part of your vision for your career.

4) Be Positive!: Negative explanations will not help you get what you want from the interview.

When you choose to work with an Abel Personnel recruiter, you will have the opportunity to talk through and refine your response to this and other difficult questions that are apt to arise in your interview. Remember, an honest explanation can be couched in negative or positive terms, and those positive terms will make the best impression on the prospective employer or keep your bridges intact with the employer you are leaving. To schedule an interview with a recruiter, call Abel Personnel at 217-561-2222 or find us at

For more details, click here


The Accounting Department Manager, Maureen, was sharing with an Abel Personnel recruiter what has become a common predicament in the business world. “We posted the position of staff accountant for four weeks to replace some recent departures and to meet growing demand. The qualified applicants wanted to work from home or have flexible hours; others willing to work a standard 40-hour week needed salaries above our pay scale.”

“In a tight labor market, you’ll need to expect to pay higher salaries… especially for candidates that match the specified skills and qualifications. These candidates tend to be working and will consider making a move that will exceed their current pay. As recruiters, we find that they’re interested in opportunities that will allow them to work from home or hybrid. With that allowance, they sometimes will adjust their pay down slightly if they’re not currently offered remote work. Desired pay rates may come down with a recession, but there’s no certainty if or when a recession will happen,” the recruiter responded.

“I’ve explained that to my management. All they see is the need to control costs and keep our clients happy. Besides, if I pay what the better candidates are wanting, then I’ll be bringing in new employees at higher rates than existing employees with the same or better qualifications. Meanwhile, I have unsatisfied clients who rely on us as their ‘in-house accountants,’ and I’m behind on my revenue budget because I don’t have the staff to invoice.” Her despair was palpable over the video connection.

Maureen paused to organize her thoughts. “Perhaps I should rethink my requirements and be more flexible. My clients won’t be happy if we aren’t on call during regular business hours and can’t stop by, and I may lose some of them, but what other choice do I have to meet cost and revenue budgets?”

“Well, hang on,” the recruiter counseled. “Asking clients to settle for less is a ‘race to the bottom.’ Your client base will shrink to the size that your reduced workforce can handle, or worse. If we accept the needs and wants of your client as a given, I think we can recruit based on whichever these options might be acceptable to you and your management.”

To learn what options the recruiter presented, please click here

What About The Next Pandemic?

What About The Next Pandemic? What About The Next Pandemic?


Maya: How long have you been back in the office? About a month?Abel: Just about. Since Labor Day. How about you?

Maya: Yeah, we had to be back Labor Day Week. I’m feeling pretty comfortable. Still not sure who’s vaccinated or boosted, so doing a lot of first bumps rather than handshakes.

Recruiter: I know what you mean. At some of those all-staff gatherings, a quarter of us still wears masks. Still, it’s good to be back. I enjoy having more access to my boss beyond those awkward weekly check-in calls.

Maya: Well, my company didn’t give us much choice about coming back. I’ve started watching those stories about the rise in flu cases and increased COVID in Europe. It’s unclear if the management team will want to repeat sending most staff to work from home if there is a pandemic flare-up here.

Recruiter: I am concerned about that too. I was pleased to learn that our updated employee manual includes an option to work from home when we are not well or worried about exposure in the office. I need to share a written plan with our boss explaining how I will continue to meet my responsibilities while working from home for short or extended periods.

Maya: Sounds pretty enlightened. Yours is likely not the only firm doing that. Maybe it’s time for me to find a workplace more like yours!

Recruiter: I think it’s a matter of corporate culture. It’s not the kind of thing you’ll find on an internet job posting or a company review site like Glassdoor. When I jumped to this company last year, during the pandemic, company culture was more important to me than salary. Fortunately, my recruiter at Abel Personnel had insights into the company culture. I don’t know how else I’d have found out.

Maya: So I need to ask about corporate culture and salary, benefits, and advancement opportunities. Got it. Abel Personnel? Who should I contact there?

Recruiter: I worked with Marion. She was terrific! You can reach her at 717-561-2222 or through their website

For more details, click here
Visit Abel Personnel Today!

Abel Personnel is open Monday through Friday. Walk-ins are welcome! If you decide to visit an Abel Personnel location, we ask that you please bring along a copy of your resume to be shared with a recruiter as soon as possible. There is always a recruiter on-site, so they are available to speak with you if you have any questions. You may also call an Abel Personnel office to schedule a time to meet with a recruiter. To schedule with our Harrisburg location, call 717-561- 2222. For our Lemoyne office, call 717-761-8111.

Why work with a recruiter? Abel Personnel recruiters meet with each applicant to discuss their work history, skills, desired salary, and more. They will work hard to find a job that is a good fit. They know what their client is looking for in an employee, so they can help you edit your resume to stand out to specific hiring managers. Abel Personnel recruiters can provide skill testing and interview tips as well. They want you to succeed! Read more about what recruiters can do for you here.

Applying with Abel Personnel is easy! Simply visit our job board, select a job, then the Apply Now button to begin your application. When you apply for one of our jobs, you will typically be contacted within 24 hours by the recruiter hiring for that position. You may also fill out a quick application to enter your information into our database. In doing so, the recruiting team will know that you are available to work and would like notifications about matching future job opportunities. Click here to fill out a quick application.

To learn the results, click here



It’s hard to find an economic forecaster that does not predict a recession soon, although many disagree on when, how severe, and for how long. And while it may be dizzying to go from a tight labor market to significant layoffs, you want to be prepared in case the downturn affects your job. Abel Personnel Recommends you take these seven steps in order to be ready.

1. Prepare Your Finances
Know your monthly expenses, cut out unnecessary recurring charges, and start an emergency fund.2. Audit Your Skills
Create lists of both hard and soft skills, identify which are likely to be “recession-proof,” update your technology skills.

3. Create Touchpoints
Stay in contact with your company’s leadership so that you are “in the know,” your efforts are visible, and they know how indispensable you really are.

4. Network For Freelance and GIG Opportunities
Build these relationships as you may need to go this route until companies are hiring full time again.

5. Update your Social Media, Resume, and Cover Letter
You’ll want to be ready to respond to other job opportunities immediately if the need arises. Update your social media (Linkedin) and job history. Your Abel recruiter is available to review your resume.

6. Be in Touch With Your Abel Recruiter
As the first sign of an impending layoff, make contact even before you know if you’ll be affected. Our recruiter can already be making contracts for you, ideally minimizing the downtime between your last job and your next one!

For more details, click here

Prepare for the Great Sign-On

Prepare for the Great Sign-On

The start of the pandemic initiated many changes to our culture, our economy, and especially our job market. You have been aware of the Great Resignation or the Big Quit that’s been sweeping the nation since early 2021, but soon you will hear about (and experience) the Great Sign-On. Have your onboarding queues ready to fill! Many job-seekers were fed up with the jobs they quit or were laid off, and now have their sights set on greater opportunities. Abel Personnel is already hard at work with candidates that want to make the Great Sign-On with your company. Recruiters with Abel have years of experience with candidates that are seeking positions that are a new twist on their old skills.

With the number of employed and unemployed looking for a change, there lies a mutually beneficial solution to your unfilled openings problem. During this ‘Great Sign-On’ period that we are anticipating, working with Abel Personnel you should be prepared to see a significant influx of applicants willing to learn, willing to train, and make career switches that better suit their lifestyles. Many savvy employers understand the advantage of hiring for personality or demeanor rather than direct experience. The ideal candidate may be creative, self-starting, and reliable; qualities like these are often called soft skills. Soft skills are personal attributes that are much harder to teach and can make a candidate an unexpected gem when you are searching for fresh talent. The ideal candidate may not come in the same gift-wrapping that they once did!

Abel Personnel Recruiting Specialist Ruth spent extended time asking one job candidate named Renee about her aspirations and aptitudes before suggesting position openings that might be a great fit. Renee’s answers to Ruth’s questions were key in discovering which available openings Renee would be successful. Here is an example of how our recruiter, Ruth, probed to better understand Renee’s soft skills and preferences

Ruth: “What is your ideal work environment?”
Renee: “Well, I’m pretty adaptable so I’m happy to work with people or by myself.”
Ruth: “Okay, that’s reasonable. Renee, what type of work have you enjoyed at your last jobs?”
Renee: “Most of the positions I liked involved speaking with people over the phone. I really like working with people.”
Ruth: “That’s great to hear! Now, did you have customer service experience at your most recent positions?”
Renee: “Yes! I worked at a customer service counter and I also answered phones for customer service in a different role. Some of my coworkers would come to me if they had someone that was difficult to manage.”
Ruth: “Wonderful! It sounds like you have some experience with conflict resolution as well, then. I think that will be very useful.”

By taking the time to speak with Renee one-on-one about her soft skills, Ruth was able to project just how successful and valuable Renee could be in a variety of positions. Ruth loves building relationships with all of her candidates so that she can help them and you, the client, in a mutually beneficial placement. Renee was ready to make the Great Sign-On before speaking with Ruth, and now Ruth has the perfect role in mind for Renee.

Sourced from:
LinkedIn News, “Laid-off workers finding jobs fast” Cate Chapman, August 30th, 2022.

To learn the results, click here



According to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report, employee take-home pay makes up 69%of total compensation costs.

There are opportunities to increase your overall direct compensation (and indirectly your work/life balance) by focusing on that order 31% of the benefits packages.

Working with an Abel Personnel recruiter is a great way to evaluate and negotiate a compensation package to determine the real value of the offer. The employee benefits to consider can be grouped into three sets of packages:


  • Health
  • Dental
  • Vision
  • Retirement/401k(Matching)
  • Life insurance
  • Disability Insurance
  • Parental leave
  • Profit sharing
  • Vacation leave, Sick leave, Personal leave
  • Stock option and Equity
  • Severance


  • Bereavement leave
  • Flexible Hours or Work from home options
  • Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Bonus Structures
  • Tution Assistance
  • Employee Development Funds
  • Transportation or Parking Allowance


  • In house Mentorship
  • Feedback resources
  • Sabbatical
  • Help with chores(Concierge Services)
  • Employee Recognition
  • Health and Wellness Programs
  • Summer Fridays
  • Home office budget

The economic value of each offered benefit should be determined as well as how each supports your desired lifestyle (for example, not having to commute to work).

Your Abel recruiter can assist in the analysis, plus identify which benefits might be open for negotiation.

Sometime accepting a lower salary with an outstanding benefits package will be a significant increase in quality of life! For more information, call Abel Personnel at 717-561-2222 or visit us at

For more details, click here



James: Last time we talked, you were looking for a new job that would be a longer-term career step, right?
Job Seeker: Good memory! I was tired of jumping to a new firm every year or two to advance and earn better pay.
James: So, how’s the search?
Job Seeker: Good and bad. I’ve seen some interesting opportunities online, companies that would be great to work for. But those positions are all temp-to-hire. Pretty short term.
James: I think you are missing the bigger picture. Temp-to-hire often means they are looking for the type of long-term employee you want to be.
Job Seeker: So why don’t they just make it a direct hire from the start?
James: Fair question. There may be many reasons especially if they intend to start 5 to keep 3 new hires. If they all start out as temps, then the 2 they let go won’t affect their unemployment insurance rate.
Job Seeker: I get that. So, what’s the bigger picture?
James: If they hire you directly, they can still let you go anytime they want, especially during the so-called ‘probationary period.’ Everyone is an employee-at-will in Pennsylvania.
James: Focus instead on what the potential is for you in the job, and if you think it’s the right job, is a good fit, and that you’re likely to make it past any initial evaluation period, then go for it! Don’t worry about what label the job has when you start.
Job Seeker: But how do I know if they are sincere about converting the job to direct and not using that approach with every intention of laying me off once they’re past their ‘busy season?’
James: That’s why it makes sense to use a recruiting agency rather than just relying on the internet. The recruiter will know the hiring company’s intentions. They can’t afford to misguide applicants. Their reputation is at stake.
Job Seeker: Any recruiter you suggest?
James: Call Abel Personnel at 717-561-2222 or visit That’s how I found my job, that went from temp to direct and I’ve been here for 5 years.
Job seeker: Thanks!
For more details, click here


The unusual nature of this request warranted a snap meeting among the recruiters at Abel Personnel. The recruiter who had received the job order for a multitude of customer service representatives (CSRs), presented an opportunity that was both promising and tricky:

  • 50 CSRs Needed: The total need had been 90, but in this tight labor market, only 40 qualified hires had been secured to date. All needed to have full background checks.
  • Regular Business Hours: The call center was open 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, onsite. In a labor market where schedule and location flexibility are often more important than hourly pay rate, this would be a tougher sell.
  • Information Only: These CSRs were only providing responses to potential and current customers’ questions about the products. No sales. No delivery tracking. No handling of complaints.

As the recruiters discussed these openings, a consensus developed that a special type of applicant was needed, someone who thrived on being helpful and did not need the rush of solving a problem or making a sale. The number of candidates needed was hardly unusual; they had successfully handled this quantity many times, sometimes with harder requirements. At Abel, there was never a tactic of filling those seats with warm bodies as quickly as possible and hoping for the best. With a game plan in place, the recruiters started working their applicant databases to find the candidates who had shown just the right attitude in their online interviews with the Abel recruiters.

Within a few days, a stream of well-screened candidates’ resumes began flowing to this client. The client agreed that nearly all were a good fit for the position, and most received offers that were accepted. Start dates were assigned so that training could be done in cohorts with no more than 10 new CSRs starting any week.

Abel’s involvement, however, was hardly finished. There were several activities that still needed to be addressed, that ultimately earned their client’s accolade, “Love your integrity!”

To learn what happened next, click here
Is your resume holding you back

Is your resume holding you back


In preparing your resume, consider the resume as your brochure. It is a marketing tool to present you to a potential employer, and you always want to make a great first impression. Act as if your career depends on it (it does!). Need feedback on your resume? Contact an Abel Personnel recruiter today!


  • Use a single, easily read font; no smaller than 10 pt.
  • Delineate sections with bold headers.
  • Adjust margins to fit resume in 1-2 pages.
  • Have a separate line for each company where you worked, including if the company was acquired or changed its name.


  • List the role(s) held at each company in bold with a brief description to top accomplishments in each role.
  • Use action verbs that best describe achievements in the role you mention.
  • Tailor your accomplishments to align with the job you are apply for.


  • Provide a simple reason for any employment gaps.
  • Don’t list any employment that was less than three months unless it was a plus to the employment story, such as an internship.


  • Check your grammar usage by utilizing tools such as Grammarly.
  • Go through the dates-does the timeline of your work history make sense?
  • Have a friend review your resume and provide feedback.
For more detail on resume holding you back, click here


The pandemic had hit Marla’s company especially hard. The decision was made in March 2020 for all staff to move to entirely from-home operations. While some companies had found new opportunities as the economy pivoted from services to products, Marla’s operations could not quickly realign their business model.

“But we’re back,” Marla reported to her Abel Personnel recruiter. “We were able to find new services for existing clients. Now that we are ready to return to the office, our immediate need is for a full-time receptionist.”

Before responding, the recruiter first needed to update Marla on the changes in recruiting that tracked the other shifts due to the pandemic and its aftermath.

“The last receptionist we placed with you was on an 8:00 to 5:00 schedule. Is that what you had in mind again? Is there any flexibility?” were the first questions the recruiter posed.

“What do you mean by flexibility?” Marla inquired.

The recruiter then advised Marla that with so many employers offering hybrid working conditions, and the labor market still tight, there was an added challenge in finding someone who wanted to be in the office full time. “In fact, we are seeing fewer calls to replace laid-off receptionists, as most companies are seeing less foot traffic as more clients and vendors have discovered it is more efficient, and now more acceptable, to do most business over the phone or in a video conference,” the recruiter explained.

Marla paused and then started chuckling. “I had to rethink my whole business due to the pandemic; what made me think I wouldn’t need to rethink my whole business again post-pandemic?” she shared.

They briefly discussed how the receptionist position might be split between two people who could be half-time in the office and then half-time at home performing other administrative functions.

“Any good news in this new normal?” Marla wanted to know.

For the recruiter’s response, click here


“Now that we’re hopefully passed ‘The Great Resignation,’ what is this ‘Quietly Quitting’ phenomenon I now need to worry about?” Asked a client of Abel Personnel.

“Besides the cute alliteration, I think we’ve experienced this behavior forever… it’s been rebranded by some managers to explain workplace situations they do want to own,” replied her Abel Personnel recruiter.

They then began to unpack this latest personnel management trend. The typical elements are:

  • Mentally checking out of work, meetings, and correspondence
  • Feeling exhausted from work volume
  • A disengaged employee with a lack of enthusiasm for work
  • Reluctance or refusal to take additional tasks or extra projects
  • Learning the bare minimum effort to make at work, then making that effort

“But aren’t they interested in getting ahead, taking on more responsibility?” the client wanted to know.

“Yes and no,” was the short reply. The long reply identified these factors:

  • Work-Life Balance: Some employees are just not interested in advancing, maybe not now or maybe never, so taking on extra responsibilities and hours upsets their vision of work-life balance. They are willing to accept less pay and opportunities for less stress and more time on evenings and weekends to pursue nonwork interests.
  • Management Practices: Others have legitimate complaints that they are hired at junior level pay to do senior level work. Or, they feel gaslighted into considering themselves lucky to have this job in the face of an upcoming recession.
  • Misaligned Expectations: The hiring manager has not fully explained the expectations of the role, perhaps even downplaying the amount of overtime needed or trial-by-fire required to entice the applicant to accept the offer. The applicant may have overstated their willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done.

Rather than feeling comfortable or safe bringing these concerns to their management, these employees stay quiet and curb their efforts until they quit to take a position that addresses these factors.

The two women agreed that the third factor was likely the one they could most likely influence together. To learn the strategy they chose, click here



Do Your Homework
Find out as much as possible about the company before you apply, or certainly before your interview. Besides looking at their website and Facebook page, check out sites like Glassdoor. You knowledge about them will impress the company and you can be better prepared to ask the tough questions to be sure is a good fit.

Seek a Resume Expert
You may be an expert at your job position, but that doesn’t mean you are an expert in telling your story on a resume. There is help online, there are resume writers for hire. Make sure that the resume gives the best first impression possible, and has all the keywords that will place it on the to-be-interviewed pile.

Get Over the River
Be open to interviewing for a job on the other side of the Susquehanna River from where you live. Quite possibly the job may be remote, hybrid, or actually located on “your side of the river.” Besides, there may be less competition from whose who worry that seven bridges offer too little access.

Find an Inhouse Ally
Ask around to find someone who works in the company with the job posting that sounds perfect for you. Maybe a friend-of-a-friend, someone who is not in the position to make a decision about hiring you that may be willing to tell you about the company, hear about qualifications and ambitions, and then put in a good word.

Entrust a Professional
Use a staffing firm with a long history in this area, who has local knowledge of the best companies to work for which have the company culture you will love… and which to avoid, and is focused on your career rather than filling a slot. And who has a proven record of getting applicants in front of hiring managers. May we suggest Abel Personnel?

For more detail on quality jobs in Harrisburg, click here


Elyse was 12 years into her IT career when she received a promotion to a supervisory position. As the new software applications supervisor, this would be her first opportunity to be involved in the hiring side of staffing. She immediately contacted the Abel Personnel recruiter, who had been servicing Elyse’s company for seven years.

The recruiter had provided Elyse with five highly qualified resumes. With two rounds of interviews completed, and her management’s blessing, Elyse and the company’s HR manager had authorized the Abel recruiter to make an offer. The offer was instantly accepted… and then it was not! The recruiter immediately scheduled a teleconference to explain what happened and identify the next steps.

“This rarely happens to me,” the recruiter started. “I usually can sense from my experience whether a candidate is truly committed to a job. I hear this flip-flop is happening more, especially in IT.”

“Given the high demand for IT staff, I guess this is always a risk, “Elyse responded.

“I’ve seen that a lot,” the Abel recruiter explained. “Their resume is still out there even after they accepted a job and gave notice. Sometimes they may try to renegotiate the compensation package they’ve already accepted!”

“So how do you keep that from happening?” Elyse wanted to know.

“Oh, I am in touch with my candidates almost daily from the moment they accept the job up to 60 days after their start date. That way, I can sense if they are wavering (or they are recruited by another company) and nip-it-in-the-bud.”

Elyse was impressed. She had not realized that offer-and-acceptance wasn’t always straightforward, and she was grateful to have a professional on hand to be sure the deal stayed sealed. After they determined to now make an offer to her second choice candidate, her mood shifted as she shared an experience earlier in her career.

To learn from Elyse’s experience, click here
Would You Hire You?

Would You Hire You?


Through your resume, interview, and follow-up, you need to tell a consistent story about yourself that results in a job offer.
How can you help the prospective employer reach the right answer to the following questions?

How can this person’s work history increase my company’s capabilities and potential?

  • How does your work history relate to the position you want?
  • What was your accomplishment that this company may want you to repeat for them?
  • What special skills do you have or do you need to acquire?

How well will this person present to our clients and others, even if that’s not a regular part of the job?

  • Are you consistently well dressed and well groomed that you always appear to be professional?
  • Are you comfortable with handling the technology and limitations of video conferencing?
  • Are your resume, cover letter and emails polished enough that your prospective employer would be comfortable having you interact directly with those outside the company?

Will this person be assertive, proactive, a team player, show initiative

  • Does your resume identify accomplishments that required those soft skills?
  • Do you have stories ready to relate as an example of how you employed those skills?

Will this person be dependable in the attendance, work hour, and doing what they said they were going to do?

  • Who would you recommend the prospective employer contact for a reference to your having these qualities?
  • Is there anything in your work history you’ll need to explain that may suggest you don’t have those good attributes?
For more detail on Would You Hire You?, click here


When the Abel recruiter arrived at her desk that morning, she saw there was one unheard message on her office phone. She decided the message could wait while she booted up her computer and secured some coffee. Among the new unread messages in the recruiter’s inbox was this one from Tracy:

“I was not sure if you received my phone message that I left this morning; next Friday will be my last day. The cost of gas is just making this commute not viable. I appreciate this opportunity; it is just not working out for me.”

When the recruiter first met Tracy several months previously, she had been working at a department store near her home. Tracy shared at length the indignity of working retail. She then related her life story of earning a degree in accounting, marriage, and a baby within two years of graduation, and single motherhood and the need to find a job that would work with daycare. Tracy did not feel ready to resume her accounting career when she started her retail position. Now, she felt more confident in the working world.

After suggesting some tweaks to her resume, the recruiter lined up a few interviews. Tracy received two offers, the best for her being a temp-to-hire position which was a half-hour commute from her home. After accepting the offer, Tracy had a great first day at work, and the hiring manager was very pleased. Now this, four months later.

Tracy failed to show up for her shift. The hiring manager was immediately informed. They asked the recruiter to find out more information before giving up on Tracy. A conversation with Tracy later that morning revealed that she had accepted another position. It was the very one she had left at the department store, the one she swore she’d never do again. Tracy had calculated that her fuel expenses had risen to 25% of her take-home pay. What remained after her commuting cost was not much more than she earned at the department store, and without the stress of the commute. The new job also did not start until August, when her son started school.

This last fact gave the recruiter an idea. To learn what the recruiter did next, click here




Employee leave their jobs for career development, to improve their work-life balance, because of poor management, for better compensation, and more.

Growth in top industrial fields has increased competition for employees and the shortage of supply chain talent.

There are currently more jobs opening than available people to fill the jobs. This situation exacerbates the supply chain talent gap.

Companies are investing in new supply chain technologies at a fast rate, disrupting traditional supply chain technologies, and creating a gap between available and required skills.

For more detail on 4 REASONS FOR SUPPLY CHAIN TALENT SHORTAGES, click here


At the most recent noontime meeting, Gabi and Alexa, two staffing recruiters, shared their concerns about the probability of an upcoming recession. They agreed that this would likely result in a pivot from too few applicants to too few openings, a dramatic change after so many years of high labor demand. Alexa believed that the current inflationary pressures and thereby dampening consumer demand would ease once Ukrainian War and COVID-induced supply chain issues were resolved.

“I sure hope you’re right,” Gabi responded. “I do wish everyone was as keyed on talent supply chain management as they are on materials and products.”

This different lens on the labor market surprised Alexa. Gabi continued, “I read about all these big manufacturing companies discussing how they need to get closer to their suppliers. They are giving their suppliers a year’s heads up on their material and component needs. I wish my clients would be in touch with me long before they needed a staff addition or replacement yesterday!”

Alexa recounted how one of her most active clients had plans to add six positions over the year but would not give her a confirmed job description or opening until the month before the planned hire date. “Given that some of these positions will take a few months to identify, interview, and vet candidates, wouldn’t it be better to share that hiring plan at the beginning of the year?” she asked.

The colleagues then identified the following opportunities to address talent supply chain issues through partnering with a staffing firm:

  • Share Long Range Hiring Plans
  • Have Processes and Procedures in Place
  • Identify Ongoing Entry Level Needs
  • Address Total Talent Solutions
  • Develop a Labor Market Feedback Mechanism

Alexi shared how her employer, Abel Personnel, was already offering many of these partnering benefits to their client companies. For Abel Personel, doing this has resulted in more well-qualified resumes received. They also report offers aligned to market conditions and applicant needs (resulting in higher acceptance rates) and overall hiring cycles completed by the time required for each opening.

For more detail on these five partnering practices, click here


As she was preparing for her next meeting, Meriam, a business owner, “played back the tape” in her head of her conversation with her Abel Personnel recruiter:

  • Meriam: I’d love to give you the go ahead right now to look to fill this job opening. However, some of my teammates keep saying that we need to work smarter first before we make that leap to add staff.
  • Recruiter: I have to agree with your teammates. Adding staff is a big step, and you should be looking at less expensive alternatives first.
  • Meriam: Okay, but everyone keeps saying that but nothing changes, except we are all falling farther behind in our to-do lists. Any suggestions?
  • Recruiter: Sure. At your next team meeting, start by going around the room (or the screen) and ask everyone to suggest one thing that could be done to minimize time wastage during working hours. Then together pick the top five to try for two weeks.
  • Meriam: Then what happens?
  • Recruiter: Hopefully there will be much more efficient use of time. More likely, there will be some improvement, but this will give your team the sense that, even employing your best ideas, there was not enough waste elimination to put off that last option of adding another team member.

Coincidently, the next daily team meeting was half an hour after that Zoom conversation, and Meriam was primed to give the Abel recruiter’s advice a try. After gaining everyone’s agreement that there was currently too much work for the department to accomplish as it was now staffed and operating, Meriam proposed that each team member offer a suggestion of how to reduce time wastage. She next outlined the process for identifying and implementing the top five suggestions on a pilot basis, and only then approved the new hire requisition if there was not significant efficiency improvement. All agreed that this was a smart approach with real potential time savings.

As the suggestions were made and then later discussed, the somewhat counter-intuitive or surprising, ideas selected for adoption were:

  • Fully utilize our software
  • Schedule fewer team meetings
  • Turn off email notifications
  • Use personal calendars to schedule tasks
  • Do not send out reading material ahead of meetings
To learn more about these suggestions and what Meriam did next, click here.
Planning Your Zoom Interview With Abel Personnel

Planning Your Zoom Interview With Abel Personnel


Dress For Success
Dress professionally as you would for an in-person interview. Wear clothes that are appropriate for your industry and make you feel confident.

Turn Off Distractions
Turn off notifications and silence your phone to eliminate distractions from social media, email, text, or calls.

Use A Computer
If possible, use a laptop or desktop computer. It creates a more stationary view of yourself than holding a phone. But, if you only have a phone, do your best to reduce shaking the camera.

Body Language
Consider your body language throughout the interview. Sit up straight, smile, and look into the camera to make eye contact with the interviewer.

While your interviewer is speaking, keep your focus on the screen to show them that you are paying attention.

To learn about Planning Your Zoom Interview With Abel Personnel, click here


Vera and Paul were both on the videoconference with the Abel Personnel recruiter. They both appeared to being much younger than the early 60’s age as they shared their story:

Vera had been an office manager/bookkeeper for the last 20 years for an architectural firm and Paul was a CPA with the local office of a national accounting firm. Unsurprisingly, they had a detailed financial plan that calculated how much of a cash nest egg and other assets they would need to have in place in order to retire, a plan they updated quarterly. The onset of the Coronavirus offered them an opportunity and an impetus for retiring five years earlier due to a rising stock market, reduced vacation expenses and pandemic stimulus checks that created a balance sheet that met their financial goals.

As their story recounted, the recruiter became reminded of similar applicants in 2008/2009:

  • The stock market values plummeting had severely impacted their nest egg.
  • Inflation was also affecting the expense side of their calculations, as food, medicines and medical insurance were increasing in price, even if they were no longer using as much fuel to commute to work.
  • The likelihood of an upcoming recession would further reduce their assets but may not as quickly slow or reduce prices.

These were not the first people the Abel recruiter had met recently that were rethinking early retirement. The recruiter explained that now was an especially opportune time for both these applicants and the employers looking to hire them:

  • The workplace had changed significantly, and likely permanently, in the last 2½ years. Hybrid offices, flexible conditions and hours were now the norm. They might also not need to commute to work sparing them rising fuel expenses.
  • Their access to Medicare would lower their employer’s benefit costs, making them more attractive candidates.
  • Most importantly, their experience, skills and dependability were in high demand. The fact that each of them could “hit the ground running” with minimal training and orientation was a very attractive proposition to many hiring managers.
Both Vera’s and Paul’s shoulders visibly relaxed as the recruiter completed the analysis for them. To learn what happened next, click here.



  • COMMUNICATION : They express their instructions clearly.
  • ACTIVE LISTENING : Lets their team express themselves. Make an effort to understand their point of view.
  • ORGANIZATION : Creates schedule and informational resources for their team.
  • CRITICAL THINKING : Understand their business and team and makes rational adjustments based on current factors.
  • FOCUS : Uses their knowledge to create a work environment where each member feels comfortable and motivated.
To learn about 5 SKILLS OF AN EFFECTIVE LEADER, click here


The company website announcement congratulated Brandy on her promotion to Accounting Supervisor. For those who know Brandy, her odyssey to this recognition was amazing:Brandy’s original assignment was as a customer service representative for four months. It would end soon, and her Abel Personnel recruiter checked in with the client’s HR director to inquire if any other assignements extended beyond her current one. The HR director indicated that they would like to move Brandy from a temporary to a direct-hire position if Brandy was also willing to continue. Brandy was thrilled, she told the recruiter, even before she heard about the associated increase in pay and the eligibility for full benefits. “I can finally move to my own place!” was the most memorable reaction.

Brandy had been a recent community college dropout when she arrived at Abel Personnel 5 minutes late for her initial interview. Her dress was hardly professional, and she quickly admitted that the only reason she was there was that her mother had decided to charge her rent. The recruiter could see from Brandy’s resume that she had a positive academic and extracurricular record in high school. That and more in-depth questions over the next 40 minutes convinced the recruiter that Brandy had the intelligence, if not the drive right now. A temporary part-time call center customer service representative (CSR) position was available, and that appeared to be a good fit for Brandy. She would be part of a group of 12 people that would report there for training next Monday morning. The group would likely reduce to eight people by the end of the week due to not quickly acquiring the phone skills.

The recruiter had a feeling Brandy would make the first cut. Many years at Abel selecting candidates for immediate temporary work had given this recruiter a unique ability to identify non-traditional candidates that would succeed in certain positions. As predicted, Brandy continued the recruiter’s record by being at the top of the trainee list.

To learn about the next steps on Brandy’s journey, click here.


To learn about GENZ IN THE WORKFORCE, click here
Super Recruiter To The Rescue to fill an IT job in Harrisburg


Super Recruiter To The Rescue to fill an IT job in Harrisburg

Are you Stressed?, Do you need a superhero to fill an IT job?

Don’t worry. Melissa Davis is an IT recruiter at Abel Personnel. Feel free to contact her about any IT-related jobs.

  • 717-761-8111

To learn more detail about the Super Recruiter To The Rescue, click here.



“I may be sending you my resume.”

These were the opening words of my call from Julie earlier this week. In the nearly three years that she had been a recruiting specialist at my client, a fast-growing regional CPA firm, Julie’s contacts usually began with a request for resumes, preferably within a few hours. She had been watching the news about the diminishing prospects for the economy (and workforce). We both had memories of the Great Financial Crisis of 2008, she as an HR intern and me at Abel Personnel, and those were scary days for human resources.

I proposed that we first compile a list of what experience has taught us to expect:

  • Whether this economy falls into recession or has a “soft landing,” at least initially there will be a significant drop in filling new and existing openings, AKA a hiring freeze.
  • Reductions-in-force (layoffs) might occur once the strength of the decline in product and service demand can be measured. These cuts most likely will affect those in operations, those in well-paid middle management positions, and specialists in support areas. Those in generalist or multi-specialty positions would be safest.
  • High-talent workers will suddenly lose interest in jumping to a new position in fear of last-in-first-out layoffs at their new employer. Recruiting for any remaining openings may initially be harder.
  • A human resource recruiting specialist may be particularly vulnerable to hiring freezes or layoffs planned.
  • National and state governments will eventually respond by creating programs that require hiring increases. This may initially help staffing firms (like Abel Personnel) for companies that have let go of their in-house recruiting specialists (sorry, Julie).
To learn what proactive strategy was identified, click here
The Recruitment Process

The Recruitment Proccess

The Recruitment Process

Steps for selecting a new employee :-

  • Preparing: Post the job and develop an ideal candidate profile for Job recruitment.
  • Sourcing : Focus on the Candidate’s experience and make selections for interviewing process.
  • Interviewing : Present a candidate to a client for an interview and collect feedback.
  • Offer : Present the job offer to the chosen candidate and being the onboarding process.
  • Keep in touch : Follow up with your candidate to see how they are doing in their new role and meditate on any issues.

To learn more detail about the recruitment process, click here.


IT Recruiter to the rescue

“I’m not sure you can do this one, but would you give it a try?” To Abel Personnel’s top IT recruiter, Melissa, that was a challenge she’d never decline. The opening was for an IT Business Analyst, requiring a background in computer science and accounting/finance. In a generally tight labor market, the prospect of finding suitable candidates offering both these talents is an extra stretch, but not impossible. However, this candidate also needed to regularly travel to meet at sites ranging from Massachusetts to Virginia. That’s coming close to impossible.

This environmental technologies firm made an educated guess that Central Pennsylvania might be the ideal spot to find the right candidate near the middle of that elongated territory. Melissa set to work, looking to please this new client whose steady growth portended more placements in months to come, and a long-term mutually profitable business relationship. Having accumulated a multitude of contacts over many years of professional recruiting, Melissa knew those specialists who might not be actively looking for a new job and posting their resumes on websites, but who would want to be contacted about this unique opportunity. She also had contacts who could refer Melissa to potential candidates who had not yet heard of Melissa or Abel Personnel, but with the right introduction would be open to starting communicating about this job.

This dual expertise is rarely the result of a double major in college or someone already with that job title seeking advancement. More likely, a candidate started in one area and then received training and mentoring to learn how to cover the area, too. Some had both skills but were in a position that was quite different in its pace, and are ready for a career pivot. Once Melissa had gathered the resumes, identified possibilities that might not have occurred to a less trained eye (including the job seeker!), and confirmed interest and availability, she began forwarding resumes attached to her candid evaluations to the firm.

The client’s reaction was almost immediate, “Thank you specifically for all your help in uncovering so many different candidates and presenting them! This is not an easy role and you gave us a lot of different options that helped us clarify what the team wanted.”

Melissa persevered as the process continued and the needs of the client were refined. Three candidates ultimately emerged, and each, in the words of Melissa’s client, “brought something different to the table in terms of experience and expertise.”

As the preferred candidate accepted the position, Melissa was pleased to share the following email with her team at Abel Personnel, “You are amazing and did an amazing job for us! For sure, we will reach out if we have any other needs! Always a pleasure doing business with you!”

For more about I.T. RECRUITER, click here


Devon turned to Abel Personnel after three rounds of identifying candidates online and then having the offer declined. This was an IT opening that he desperately needed to fill, and was ready to entrust a professional recruiter to identify qualified, available, and interested job seekers for consideration to fill the role and allow him to focus more fully on operations.

The recruiter did not disappoint. Of the five resumes provided for his review, three exceed the quality of the candidates to whom Devon had previously offered the position. How could he conduct the interview to be sure the candidate said “yes!” if Devon later chose to offer the position?

The recruiter offered five cautions:

  • Confusing Communication: How a company communicates will be an indication of the company’s culture. If clarity, promptness, and organization are important, this must be evident from the clear, concise, and direct answers given to the interviewee.
  • Judgmental Gossiping: Sharing with the interviewee about the circumstances of the departure of the person who formerly held the position, perhaps a sudden resignation or dismissal, sets a less professional tone.
  • Meeting Brevity: If the interview is too short, it leaves insufficient time for the interviewee to get a feel for the company, and to try to imagine themselves working there. It may also leave an unintended impression that the interviewee is not really being considered.
  • Resume Shorting: Trying to downplay an applicant’s skills or experience creates a sense of mistrust. If looking to challenge an applicant, focus on a process strategy or a technical issue.
  • Downplaying HR: The human resources component should be referenced with respect. HR is typically the guardian of employee rights and corporate culture; downplaying their role sends an inadvertent signal to the interviewee about corporate values.

Devon was grateful for this input. A week later, the Abel recruiter was pleased to share with Devon that all three interviewees who had met him said they would accept the position as fully described if offered when the recruiter performed her debrief with each of them.

To learn more detail about the recruiter’s advice, click here.


The Resume Blackhole
The Resume Blackhole


  • Alex : How goes the new job search?
  • Job Seeker : Submitted my resume on 43 job posting so far and nothing more than an automated, “thanks but no thanks.”
  • Job Seeker : You keep hearing how desperate companies are for new talent; well, you couldn’t prove it by me!
  • Alex : Maybe it’s your resume?
  • Job Seeker : Perhaps. I’ve done several revisions. Even took an online webinar on effective resumes, about highlighting skills, using active language, and focusing on accomplishments.
  • Alex : That could be the problem. The recruiter I know at Abel Personnel tells me that 97% of all resumes submitted are never seen by human eyes.
  • Job Seeker : For real? I knew a lot were being scanned by computers, but I never thought I’d have to guess on what keyword to use in order to be noticed.
  • Alex : Remember, a tight labor market doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of people looking to move up to a better job. Just the opposite! And with it is so easy to confidently apply for jobs, it’s like trying to buy tickets online for the hottest concert of the summer.
  • Job Seeker : I could be doing all the right things with my resume and still be shut out by a computer that’s overloaded with applicants.
  • Alex : Welcome to the new normal. What you really need is to get your resume in front of the hiring manager, preferably with the recommendation of a trusted messenger who can differentiate you from the applicant who also used all the right keywords.
  • Job Seeker : Sounds like the human touch is now even more important in this era of big data.
  • Alex : That’s where the recruiter you connect with can really make a difference. Someone who has already built a business relationship with those hiring managers, whose recommendation is trusted over a computer algorithm.
  • Job Seeker : So, is that recruiter at Abel Personnel you know have those contacts in the IT field? Someone who understands my experience and career path?
  • Alex : Absolutely. Call Melissa at 717-761-8111 or email her at


Hi, my name is Gabriel, I want to share how I achieved my goal to work in Information Technology and maybe help others that are in a similar slump. I always wanted to take my passion and love for IT to a level where I could have a job I enjoyed and also be able to provide financial stability for my family. Early on I pursued a degree in mass communications, broadcasting, and performing arts. I enjoyed communicating and entertaining people and found that talent to be beneficial to my success in positions in retail, sales, and customer service.

I first connected with Abel Personnel in March of 2019 and was assisted by Marion with an administrative assistant role. I did well and worked consistently until May 2021. That May I accepted an Admin Assistant Level 2 position that would allow me to cross-train to provide technical support. I was excited to finally be able to put both passions to work in tandem and gain experience working in IT.

Unfortunately, my excitement was short-lived due to cuts from the pandemic. I soon found myself and my dreams of being an IT professional slipping away. Lacking confidence, extensive IT experience, or education, I began reapplying for administration roles. It just so happens one of those applications would reconnect me with Abel Personnel and as fate would have it, I was talking to their IT Recruiter, Melissa! The IT recruiter and I immediately connected, she was quickly able to spot my passion and dedication to IT and started asking questions, discussing IT positions, and reigniting my passion and employment dreams.

Within a week of reconnecting with Abel, I was interviewing for an IT position. Within a few days, I received the “you got the job” call. I could not believe it, that this was real and happening, that this recruiter who told me she would help me achieve my dream of working in IT really did it, that I really did it! With tears of joy, I graciously accepted the role of Tech Support Analyst. I finally made my break into IT with a salary more than I have ever made. I thank Abel and Melissa for not just the opportunity but for their support and confidence in me when I did not have it in myself. Thanks to you I have my dream job and confidence to believe me and IT were meant to be!

To learn how ME AND IT WERE MEANT TO BE, click here.

4 Reasons Your Resume Was Rejected


4 Reasons Your Resume Was Rejected


  • Too many apps: Your resume was missed because there are too many applicants. Get Your Resume into the hands of the hiring manager.
  • Not Customized: Missing essential keywords can cause problems with an applicant tracking system.
  • Highlights Duties: The resume only mentions tasks and not measurable achievements.
  • Subjective Terms: Consider using active verbs and integrating metrics.

Click here




Situation – Task – Action – Result

What was a challenge you faced at work in the past? What were the circumstances?
In my previous role, an important member of the team quit suddenly in the middle of a major project. We knew we wouldn’t be able to hire and onboard a new team member before the project deadline but this was a major project for a large client, and we didn’t was to lose the account.

What goal were you working towards?
I was tasked with taking over their responsibilities in addition to my own to ensure the project was successful.

What did you do specifically to address the situation?
I worked with my manager to deprioritize some other projects I was working on so that I could dedicate more time and effort to this account. I made myself completely available to the client, including taking calls with them some evenings to ensure they were wholly satisfied.

What was the outcome? What did you learn?
The project was delivered on time and to a high standard. The client was so happy they went on to sign a larger contract with us.

To learn how ride share to rescue, click here.


Wouldn’t we all want to receive an unexpected email like this one in our inbox?

“We have been working with Marion to fill a variety of positions at Dasher. It has been a pleasure working with her as she is responsive and has a great understanding of what Dasher needs. During an interview with a referral, the candidate spoke so highly of Marion and how she described Dasher’s mission. Marion is doing a great job and we just wanted to share. We are so thankful to have a partner who understands us so well and we look forward to continuing to work together.”

Dasher, Inc. has been a client of Abel Personnel for many years. When Crystal joined Dasher about two years ago as Chief Culture and Engagement Officer, her duties included filling administrative and call center positions. She quickly understood the basis for this long association. After a recent successful placement, Crystal summed up her assessment as “Abel understands Dasher.”

In recounting her experience with Abel, Crystal explained that this direct-hire was for a community healthcare worker who would interface with individuals on behalf of insurance companies, a service in which Dasher excels. This particular position required a certain sensitivity to be working directly with expecting and new moms with maternity and postpartum medical care reimbursement; an empathetic personality. This was very much an entry-level position, typical of one that Abel had filled for Dasher before Crystal came on board.

This hiring experience stood out for Crystal, prompting her to send this “Great Work!!!!” email to Deborah Abel, Abel Personnel’s President, in three aspects:

  • Marion Adams, the Abel recruiter, paid close attention and was very responsive in her interactions with Crystal. Marion quickly grasped and understood what the position required from both past knowledge and the special needs that Crystal detailed.
  • The applicant had been well prepared by Marion for the meeting with Crystal. During the interview, the applicant displayed a sincere interest and an unusually deep understanding of Dasher’s unique mission and culture and was able to demonstrate to Crystal why this mission and culture were exactly what the interviewee was seeking.
  • If Crystal had seen the applicant’s resume online, her reaction might have been that a social work background made this applicant overqualified for this position, and would have not pursued this candidate. However, Marion was able to draw out the candidate’s employment goals and the values she was seeking in her next employer. Marion was then able to convince both the candidate and Crystal that this was a great fit for the position, the company, and the person.

Crystal’s interview with this applicant was all Crystal needed to be convinced she did not need to see more resumes and interview others. A non-traditional candidate for a non-traditional company.

For more about CRYSTAL’S STORY, click here


One of Chinesa’s duties at Abel Personnel is to handle phone calls and voicemail messages from those notifying Abel that they will not be in attendance at their assigned company that day. Some of those calling off are short-term temps, while others have long-term assignments, some lasting several years. As Abel Personnel employees, they are required to call the Attendance line before 8:00 AM. Abel’s commitment to its clients is to notify them about any absences or tardiness by 8:00 AM so these clients can plan work distribution for the day.

Chinesa considers herself a “morning person,” so arriving at the office before 8:00 AM, an hour before the doors are unlocked, is no problem. The office is quiet then, great for plowing through this work. She isn’t always the first one in, and the others who are in early, most recruiters, keep to themselves, answering emails and voicemails left after whatever time their day ended yesterday.

With the advent of the pandemic shutdown and later a return to hybrid work, many days Chinesa responds to these phone calls and voice messages at home. This still allows her to complete her client notifications in a timely way. Occasionally she picks up a 6:30 AM call on her cell phone just before she starts her morning workout, greeting a surprised caller who is hoping not to talk with an actual person and to just leave a message. Chinesa can easily guess which of the excuses those callers are giving might not be entirely truthful.
A few years of this responsibility have led Chinesa to identify four types of callers on those early mornings:

  • Apologetically Sick: These callers often struggle not to sound so sick, and are either sorry to be disappointing their assigned company or losing pay for that day.
  • Questionably Sick: Greater effort is made here to sound sick. This is especially true on Monday mornings when Chinesa becomes suspicious that someone either wants to prolong the weekend or is feeling low from a weekend of excess. Often a sick call is offered as an excuse rather than admitting the actual reason for the absence.
  • Family Needs: The person can work, but needs to care for someone else or do something that can only be done during regular business hours. Often, a backup child care plan falls through, or other matters that are unavoidable and unpredictable.
  • Transportation Issues: These are employees who unexpectedly do not have the means to arrive at work. Often this is a car breakdown, their vehicle or one belonging to whoever is giving them a ride. Occasionally the usual public transport does not arrive or is missed. Many of these callers still need a few more months of wage-earning to buy a new or more reliable car. Missing days of work can have adverse consequences for job security and extend the date until they can have consistent transport.

She had their attention now. She explained the data points in the context of the size of the sample survey and the survey date. “Now comes the part when you participate in this discussion,” she advised her audience. “What do you think are the key factors for all these companies’ hiring decisions? What skills are most sought from recent grads when reviewing their resumes?”

To learn how ride share to rescue, click here.

Four-day Workweek Survey


100 employees were surveyed to find out how they feel about a four-day workweek :-

  • Popular choice: The four-day workweek was wildly popular with workers, with 92% wanting their employees to make the shift.
  • Mental Health: 79% of employees surveyed thought a 4-day workweek would improve their mental health.
  • Productivity: 3/4 of workers felt they could complete their work responsibilities in four days instead of five days.
  • Stress: 88% of workers surveyed said a four-day workweek would improve work-life balance.
  • What’s in it for the company?: 82% said it would make them more productive, and it would be the number one thing that would cause them to stay in the company longer.


A staffing recruiter based on the West Coast was recently in town for a family event. She took time away for lunch with a colleague who is a recruiter at Abel Personnel. After catching each other up on their families’ lives, their discussion inevitably went to “talking shop:”

“When folks around here talk about the ‘Great Resignation,’ they act like all those people simply left the workforce.”

“I know what you mean. Over 80% resigned to take new jobs.”

“When I did exit interviews, I was intrigued by the number who decided to be a stay-at-home parent for a while, and those who were choosing early retirement, sometimes as many as five years earlier than planned.”

“But know what? I’m starting to hear from a number of those folks who are now reconsidering the choices they made during those months of lockdown.”

“I hear you. With most offices opening up now, more employment situations moving permanently to hybrid and of course, the domestic or retirement life may not be all they thought it would be, I’ve not been surprised.”

“I hear you. With most offices opening up now, more employment situations moving permanently to hybrid and of course, the domestic or retirement life may not be all they thought it would be, I’ve not been surprised.”

“What was surprising to me is the initial reluctance of some employers to consider recent retirees now looking to return to the workforce. They suddenly seem to forget how difficult it is to find skilled and experienced workers these days. In many cases these applicants are interested in lower pressure positions and at lower pay.”

“So what’s the disconnect?”

“Those employers are looking to fill some of these positions with talent that are seeking a long term career and advancement opportunity.”

“Given the type of skills and experience these returning retirees bring to the workplace, and their lower expectations in terms of salary and advancement, Abel Personnel has begun to actively recruit and promote that talent segment.”

To hear the full conversation, click here.

Job Searching? AbelYou can help!


I attended Abel You because my resume wasn’t getting me any interviews! Melissa suggested I change a few key things. I ended up getting an interview shortly after I submitted my new resume to the hiring manager!

Wow! that is great. I could use some help with my job search, too. How do I attend?

Abel You webinars are available at no cost to you! So go and register today

  • Harrisburg: 717-561-2222
  • Lemoyne: 717-761-8111


In reviewing position requirements for an administrative manager opening with the Abel Personnel recruiter, Meredith unexpectedly hesitated when asked, “Assuming this is a five day a week position?”

Her response finally came, “Funny you should ask that.”

Meredith then explained that her 100+ person company was reconsidering its entire workplace structure as a lessons-learned deep dive from the pandemic experience. “Part of this study is an attempt to retain workers and attract applicants, either as a labor marketplace advantage or to match what some of our competitors for talent are offering.”

The recruiter confirmed that this question was not as arbitrary as it might have sounded, and certainly not one she would have been sure to ask two years ago. She shared the following survey data from Qualtrics with Meredith:

  • The four-day workweek was wildly popular with workers, with 92% wanting their employers to make the shift.
  • Many workers view this option as a means of reducing stress. 79% thought it would improve their mental health, and 88% said it would improve their work-life balance.
  • What’s in it for the company? 82% said it would make them more productive, and it would be the number one thing that would cause them to stay in the company longer.
  • Nearly three-quarters of workers felt that they could complete their work responsibilities in four days, and the same number agreed that they would need to work longer on those days to achieve that parity.
  • Most slightly preferred a workplace with complete flexibility in hours to a four-day work week.

She had their attention now. She explained the data points in the context of the size of the sample survey and the survey date. “Now comes the part when you participate in this discussion,” she advised her audience. “What do you think are the key factors for all these companies’ hiring decisions? What skills are most sought from recent grads when reviewing their resumes?”

Meredith was impressed. She wanted to know if the survey identified any downsides cited by the workers. To learn how the recruiter answered, click here.


“I loved my job every day.”

Looking back on a 34 year career working at Three Mile Island, Cyndee adds, “And I have Abel Personnel to thank for changing my life!”

Marrying shortly after high school graduation, Cyndee worked in human resources at both the city and state levels until childcare responsibilities, including caring for a deaf son, required she best stay home in 1978. Seven years later and newly single, Cyndee was desperate to return to the workforce. She did not have a college education and in that short period of time desktops were now home to personal computers. When she had left to stay at home, her employer had just purchased a Wang minicomputer for the entire office to share.

Her initial contact at Abel Personnel led to two opportunities in Human Resources. Cyndee was passed over on the first opportunity in favor of another candidate, but the second opportunity was equally promising. “Then I got the call that the candidate at the first opportunity had decided not to take the job. They wanted me! And I was at Three Mile Island until I retired in 2019.”

Looking back on her career, Cyndee remains grateful all these years later for Abel Personnel’s efforts to secure her the position despite her rusty skills. Abel saw her as having great potential to be an outstanding employee, a perception confirmed by the longevity of her placement. This gratitude extends to the salary that she was able to achieve on that first position, providing a nice lifestyle in support of her children as a single mom. An added benefit, which Abel is perhaps less responsible, was meeting her husband of 30+ years who was a fellow employee at Three Mile Island.

For more about Cyndee’s story, click here


Danielle, Jessica, Alice, and Trudy had met in an evening MBA program and immediately clicked at program orientation. They stayed in touch afterward and would meet together for dinner regularly. That was until COVID. Now, they finally met face-to-face for the first time in two years. It was also the first time they realized that none of them were in the same job that they had each held 18 months ago:

  • The Great Resignation: Danielle had been an IT project manager when most of her company’s offices closed. Deemed an “essential employee,” she was directed to continue working on site. After a year of 50-hour weeks, “I confess I was a little burned out.” One afternoon Danielle just walked into her boss’s office and gave notice. She and her husband have enough funds to support themselves for several months. Alice, a manager at a staffing agency (Abel Personnel), will be ready with placement when Danielle is anxious to return./li>
  • The Great Sabbatical: When Jessica could see that her commitment to her job was waning, she negotiated a sabbatical, a gap year with her boss. Her husband did the same at his employment, and the two took off for a year to experience many of the US National Parks, “a very socially distant endeavor.” Jessica explained to her friends that she was “borrowing a year from my retirement. When I’m 65 years old, I may not be able to do this degree of strenuous hiking and camping. So maybe I’ll now retire at 66 instead of 65.” If resuming her position didn’t work out, Jessica will be in touch with Alice!
  • The Great Upgrade: Alice’s story was a twist on the same mid-career rethinking of her peers. When the opportunity to be promoted into a supervisory slot was held by an unexpected early retiree, she was excluded from consideration. Alice then found several staffing firms anxious to offer her a position as a supervisor with a better compensation package. Abel’s approach to handling their recruiters Alice was sure would mean better compensation overall, and a supervisory opportunity when Alice understood enough about the company. Had there been no COVID and a senior employee’s early retirement, “I never would have thought to look elsewhere. Pretty funny coming from someone in the staffing business, right?”
  • The Great Untethering: As a remote worker and single parent with two children less than six, Trudy had been the most nervous about caring for them, and scheduling intermittent daycare when her mom was unavailable. By August 2020, Trudy had decided to become a “gig worker.” Alice had been helpful in this endeavor, securing remote temp accounting assignments for Trudy as part of Abel’s “Total Talent Solutions.” Trudy continues to be “untethered” even though her children are back full time in daycare, loving the variety, appreciation, and freedom.

She had their attention now. She explained the data points in the context of the size of the sample survey and the survey date. “Now comes the part when you participate in this discussion,” she advised her audience. “What do you think are the key factors for all these companies’ hiring decisions? What skills are most sought from recent grads when reviewing their resumes?”

For more on the stories of these four representative women, click here.



Creative Workplace Attract And Retain Employees
Fostering creativity and innovation in the workplace increase employee happiness, loyalty, and positive word of mouth about the company.

Creativity Allows For Better Problem Solving
A creative workplace can give employees the ability to come up with a unique solution to challenges. It promotes outside-of-the-box thinking.

Creativity Reduces Workplace Stress
Did you know? Creativity induces a positive health effect in people. Benefits include a reduction in cortisol levels.

Creativity Increases Employee Motivation
Creativity in the workplace provides employees with more ownership of their job duties and responsibilities.

Creativity Builds Better Teamwork
Creativity in workplace culture instills a strong sense of belonging and promotes collaboration.

Check out the complete article for more details.



The staffing recruiter watched as her audience entered the lecture hall and found seats. She was assured by the college placement director that she would have a full house, as attendance was mandatory. “For those of you who are seniors, you are so lucky to be graduating in 2022,” she began, hoping to quickly grab their attention away from their phones. “While you may not have had the on-campus, in-person college experience you expected when you first matriculated, I have not seen a better time to be entering the job market in my twelve years as a recruiter!”

Her first slide identified the following data for US Mid -Atlantic States:

  • Overall, the majority of employers rate the job market as “very good;” last year the rating was “fair.”
  • All industries are rating their jobs market as “good” or better.
  • 68% of employers plan to increase college grad hiring from the Class of 22 over last year.
  • Two-thirds of the employers will be hiring soon-to-be graduates and undergraduate summer interns in the fall rather than in the spring.
  • Almost three-quarters of companies plan to increase starting salaries for new grads.
  • 36% of employers plan to hire those with associate’s degrees, the highest in 7 years.
  • 62% of employers plan to offer signing bonuses to college graduates, the highest in 8 years.

She had their attention now. She explained the data points in the context of the size of the sample survey and the survey date. “Now comes the part when you participate in this discussion,” she advised her audience. “What do you think are the key factors for all these companies’ hiring decisions? What skills are most sought from recent grads when reviewing their resumes?”


My name is Sherry, and I wanted to share my story of working with Abel Personnel. This is not at all to brag about my success but to possibly help other middle-aged job seekers and professionals overcome career obstacles that are very real for us.

Last year I was at a stagnant place in my life and career. I continued to go to a job where I no longer felt valued. I had been doing the same tasks for years with little challenge and little room to grow, and I didn’t feel appreciated for my work. My husband and I had become empty nesters, and maybe because of the pandemic too, I was at a very low place in my life, both personally and professionally. With the advice of loved ones, I began applying to jobs, trying to get noticed in the professional space. Days turned to weeks and weeks to months, and I continued applying with no luck. My lack of progress left me defeated, feeling little hope for success. By this time just about everyone in my inner circle knew how I was feeling and suggested professional help in my job search. I made a call that changed everything.

As I sat nervously listening to the ring, I was greeted by a kind, understanding voice. “Thank you for calling Abel Personnel, Danene speaking. How can I help you?” Feeling a little embarrassed, I reluctantly shared my story and struggles in searching for a new job. I was assured I had nothing to be embarrassed about, which let me know I likely wasn’t the only desperate job seeker she would speak to that day. My call was immediately transferred to a recruiter. I think I can say her name, as Melissa now wears many hats in my life—recruiter, career coach, mentor, and friend. Throughout our extensive conversations, she helped revise and update my resume, created a career plan, and provided a path to opportunity. Most importantly, this relationship restored my confidence in my professional abilities and worth.

Abel Personnel Does Tech


  • Alex : How’d it go when you called about that Tech Support Analyst position you saw posted?
  • Job Seeker : Pretty great! I’m waiting to hear about a time for my virtual interview.
  • Alex : I’m sure you will be terrific. What kind of company posted the ad?
  • Job Seeker : Actually, it was a staffing firm, Abel Personnel.
  • Alex : Heard of them. They’re local. A friend of mine got a call center supervisor job through them. I had no idea they had tech jobs.
  • Job Seeker : Yah. I was told it’s their fastest-growing division
  • Alex : Wow so you knew about them already?
  • Job Seeker : Someone I worked with last year told me she got her new help desk position through Abel. She said it was a smooth experience, so when I found out that the opening was with Abel, I gave them a chance.
  • Alex : Makes sense. What kind of Tech position?
  • Job Seeker : When I last checked out their postings, here is what I saw: Software Engikneer , Web Developer, Software Developer, Network Administrator, Database Admin, and Tech Support.
  • Alex : Some of those sound like a match for me. Who do I contact?
  • Job Seeker : Melissa is the go-to person on tech. Her number is 717-761-8111 or email her at Drop my name if you want to.
  • Alex : Well, good luck with the interview. I hope you get the job.
  • Job Seeker : I’m hopeful. And with you as one of my references, how can I miss it?

Check out the complete article for more details.


The conversations at the gatherings I’ve attended lately inevitably turn to how business is faring for each of us. Many of the questions I receive about the staffing business are about supply (available qualified candidates who aren’t satisfied to be on unemployment) and demand (job orders with reasonable compensation expectations). Some inquiries are focused on how well my firm can compete with all the options now on social media.

Some at these parties have tried to draw a parallel with the travel agency industry, which has solidly moved away from the small agencies in strip malls toward online services. I usually command everyone’s attention when I pronounce, “With travel itineraries, you’re talking thousands of dollars; with employment, you’re talking hundreds of thousands of dollars.” Depending on the crowd and my mood, I may even question what each person might be willing to spend over the internet after a 45-minute in-person inspection (in my business, known as the interview).

My point to my inquiring friends is that our repeat clients from the largest local employers understand that hiring the right person not only involves an upcoming investment of salary, hopefully for several years, but the likely impact on their revenue and profits for years to come. This type of commitment demands both expertise and significant time investment. The expertise in identifying and screening candidates may not equate easily to brain surgery, but it takes a practiced eye to determine what a candidate is really about and what potential exists. There is an adage: some candidates have great resumes and lousy skills; others have lousy resumes but great skills.

Figuring which candidates are better (or worse) than their resume is a talent derived only from experience.



The recruiter receiving the call on Friday afternoon was immediately pleased that there was a potential new client on the line. When she asked, “How did you hear about Abel Personnel?” she was told that this professional association’s human resources manager, Beverly, had checked with a few of her colleagues in related businesses, and “the Abel name kept coming up.”

What followed was an in-depth conversation for the recruiter to learn and understand Beverly’s association, their work environment, and their compensation and benefits program. Early in their conversation, Beverly advised the recruiter that detailed requirements for the position would be provided to the recruiter by Claire, the hiring manager. When the phone call between the recruiter Beverly was about to conclude, Beverly remarked that she was amazed by the time the recruiter had invested in learning about the association, before even addressing the specific staffing need.

Beverly had informed the recruiter that Claire was fairly new to her management role and had accepted some strong initiatives for 2022. When the recruiter had the scheduled video call with Claire on Monday morning, she discovered Claire was focused on a very niche candidate with specific experience.


After reviewing in detail the required skills and those experience preferences, they were able to identify the candidate’s necessary soft skills:

  • Initiative: Hit-the-ground-running.
  • Independent Worker: Wouldn’t have a lot of one-on-one time.
  • Organized and Strong Communication Skills: Responsible for a lot of projects.
  • Self-Motivated: Needs swift results.
Claire expressed some concern about whether the recruiter would be able to find someone in this tight labor market with both the hard and soft skills needed. The recruiter offered a confident smile in response to this worry. To learn the results of the placement.



Among the many inquiries that Ruth received on a posting for an administrative assistant was the resume with an upbeat cover letter from an applicant named Nina. Nina interviewed well with Ruth, although her score on the typing test was subpar.

Keyboarding skills were among the requirements for the position, but it had been unclear to Ruth how much typing would be involved on the job. All of Nina’s positive attributes and work history could not overcome this deficiency. She was heartbroken not to be invited for an interview for what she anticipated would be a “dream job” at this stage of her working career.

There was some good news. The company was sufficiently impressed with her credentials to ask if Nina would be willing to be considered for a position in the mailroom, almost as good an entry point to work for this well-respected company. “When one door closes, another opens,” Nina responded to Ruth’s presentation of this alternative opportunity. But only a few days later, the company pulled that job order, with regrets that they could not find a place to bring Nina on board.


Nina was undeterred. Requiring just a few minutes to move past this latest disappointment, she started strategizing with her advocate, Ruth, on what other opportunities Abel Personnel had for which Nina might qualify. For a few weeks, if Nina had not heard from Ruth after several days, Nina would check-in. This continued until Nina switched the question from “what opportunities do you have for me?” to “what can I do to be considered for the positions I want?”

To learn about Ruth’s response and Nina’s job placement.



If the position you applied for is not a good fit, Abel likely has several other openings that better match.

Abel recruiters offer career counseling, advice on resumes and interviewing, and act as your agent with the hiring managers for the position you want.

You always receive return phone calls, texts, or emails, keeping you up-to-date on responses to your resumes, interview scheduling, hiring decisions, and compensation negotiations.

While you are awaiting placement in the full-time job you are seeking, there are temporary positions available to make sure you have a steady income. These can be full or part-time, and some may actually lead to a direct hire!

You are never charged a fee for any placement or other services. All costs are directly paid to Abel by the hiring company, with no financial risk to you.

Check out the complete article for more details.


“We have a methodical method for hiring to be sure we only onboard the right people.” That was how my new client, Chloe, introduced her company’s approach to recruiting. I listened as she went on to review a list of about a dozen attributes they were seeking for the supervisory opening for which they wanted to “try out Abel Personnel.”

I then asked, “So why did you approach us for this particular opening?”

Chloe then related the sad history of their recent attempts to fill the position themselves. It included the following:

  • Once they had gone through the resumes, the three top candidates had already accepted other positions.
  • When there was a callback for a second interview, the potential candidates had accepted positions or ghosted her company.
  • Applicants who had posted resumes on the internet had recently accepted jobs but had not modified their postings yet.


  • Some who submitted resumes already had offers in hand but were open to looking at other options (or perhaps trying to initiate a bidding war for their talents).

I then pivoted our conversation to a discussion of what has been dubbed “The Great Resignation.” What is sometimes missing in these reports are that workers are not all quitting to take early retirement or a year off (dubbed “The Great Sabbatical”). Most are moving to new positions, recognizing that many planned job hops to advance careers were put on hold during the pre-vaccine pandemic and can now be pursued. Upon completing my overview of the job market of the past twelve months, I emphasized, “Right now in hiring, time is of the essence!”

When Chloe indicated she understood my message, I concluded, “When you consider the attributes you look for in a new employee, we need to narrow this list down to the absolute essentials, what cannot be trained or gained from experience at your company.”
Our next step was to devise a process that would shrink the time from resume receipt to hiring offer. To view the timeline we developed and my reaction to Chloe’s “No Hire” list.



The job order was for a website application developer with Angular 10 experience. When Brittany, the IT position recruiting specialist at Abel Personnel, accepted the assignment, she knew this would not be easy. For Edward, her HR contact at the company, this was just another position for which past experience indicated was best entrusted to a recruiting specialist rather than just posted on Indeed. It was not much different from the administrator, customer service, and warehouse positions he needed to fill for his company. For Brittany, this would require an entirely different approach!

When Brittany met with her fellow recruiters, often they shared anecdotes about the near-daily contacts they’d each now receive from certain candidates. Hiring managers were also more persistent than they had been about three years ago. Someone noted at a recent staff meeting about a posting by one applicant on social media accusing a recruiter of ghosting. Someone’s reply had been, “If I had to respond to every message from an applicant, I’d never be making contacts with hiring managers.”

In IT recruiting, Brittany had found she was more likely to be ghosted by applicants than the opposite. With firms hiring IT staff sometimes by the dozens, the challenge was to have a posting noticed by potential candidates. And just as hiring managers might reject a resume that wasn’t a perfect fit, IT candidates would often not consider a job that didn’t exactly match their skills or in a company that didn’t offer the experience opportunity that the applicant thought would be the right next step in their career. Incentives such as unlimited personal time and free medical coverage would still not garner interest.

For the opening that Edward had provided, Brittany needed to take a more empathetic approach.

5 Steps to a New Job Through Abel Personnel


Upload your resume to our website or directly to Be sure to include your phone number and what type of positions you are seeking.

Speak candidly with your assigned recruiter about your experience, skills, and ambitions. You may be asked to take a skills test. A great time to ask for career counseling!

Be patient as your resume is presented to prospective employers for positions that fit your credentials and aspirations. Many of these positions are unpublished.

Coordinate with your recruiter to schedule and present at a series of virtual and in-person interviews with interested companies. Your recruiter has prepared you well for these in advance.

Work with your recruiter to develop a response to the Job offer(s), that meets your needs as well as those of your new employer!

Check out the complete article for more details.



With no clear career direction, Ashley was fortunate that she had family support that would allow her to try on different jobs and travel internationally after graduating college. Multiyear assignments in customer service best supported this lifestyle, ultimately leading to supervisory positions. When Ashley was ready for more than an evenings-and-weekends-free lifestyle, she began to focus on selecting a career path that would sustain her interest and reward her greater commitment.

Ashley began this quest by deeply questioning her friends and new acquaintances about their jobs. A long talk with a relative at a family reunion convinced her that a career in marketing would tap into both her creative skills and her love of meeting new people and experiencing new places. This profession was also not too far a pivot from her established employment record in customer service.

Responding to position postings on internet sites soon revealed three surprise impediments to her search:

  • Not the Job: The posted position title was not accurate as to what the job entailed. One company that responded to her resume submission for a marketing coordinator opening was seeking someone to do door-to-door sales!
  • Earnings Hype: Descriptions of the opportunities might highlight earning potential but not describe the efforts required or the likelihood of achieving that level of compensation.
  • No Job Yet: These postings were a resume collecting activity for positions that might be filled if a prospective contract was secured or product demand increased.

Out of the 60 positions for which Ashley requested and filled out applications, the only calls and emails she received back were from other customer service companies looking for restaurant managers and retail managers, which was the type of work Ashley hoped to escape. Enlisting the aid of staffing agencies provided similar results, with the added experience of being ghosted after the first phone interview with the recruiter or after an initial interview with the hiring company.

Happily, Ashley’s experience was very different with her Abel Personnel recruiter.

Hannah’s Story

Hannah had done almost everything right for a successful transition from college to the workforce. Months before earning her business degree, she began applying for entry-level positions in HR. This effort provided two surprises about the “real world:”

  • Many of the “entry-level” positions required 3 – 5 years of experience, and
  • several companies and their recruiters frequently “ghosted” her.

This ghosting took two forms: either there was no response at all, or more infuriatingly, an enthusiastic outreach by the company was followed by total silence, with no acknowledgment of her follow-up emails or phone calls.

Now fully graduated, Hannah needed income to cover her expenses. An offer from a regional retail store solved that concern. After several months of seeking a job in the profession for which she studied, Hannah needed a break from this exhausting and demoralizing process.

Three months later, she was ready to start applying again. Her new strategy had two thrusts:


  • Obtaining a remote volunteer position doing human resources administration for a nonprofit startup. It required about 15 hours a week above the full-time commitment to the retailer.
  • Expanded her applications to include administrative assistant positions to gain corporate office experience.

The response was more heartening, and phone interviews led to in-person interviews. Unfortunately, the ghosting continued. Hannah often would not receive a response after the interview (or multiple interviews)―not even a “thank you for your time and interest…”
Occasionally, the prospective employer would fail to show up for the interview. In Hannah’s experience, it was rare to get an explicit rejection after an interview.
Hannah’s luck was about to change! To discover what happened next and the lessons to be learned, click here.



A recent client visit offered a unique opportunity to address staffing from a strategic perspective. Within a few minutes, my client, Ilene, pivoted our conversation by confiding, “We are not going to meet our 2022 staff targets unless we completely rethink our staffing approach.”

There were ordinarily three types of positions at Ilene’s company:

  • Full Time
  • Part-Time
  • Temporary

In recent decades, we developed a few hybrids of the above based on the evolving workforce:

  • Full-Time Temporary: The staff are legally full-time employees of my recruiting firm, but assigned to the client with no fixed end date. As we are a woman-owned company, this approach provides an additional advantage for some clients.
  • Temp-to-Perm: The employee is on our payroll for 3 to 6 months. If they are successful as a temp, they are then switched to our client’s payroll.

After we reviewed these classifications, Ilene explained, “It’s become much more complicated than that! With the pandemic coupled with the resulting labor shortage, we won’t fill all our openings if we predetermine a job’s classification.”

When I pressed her to explain further, she described the following new situations:

  • The Disincentive of Temporary Work: Those with full-time positions are understandably reluctant to accept a temporary or a temp-to-perm position. This may be a function of needing health insurance.
  • Work Location: There are now candidates that want to work full-time from home, part-time from home, and part-time in the office, and/or need the flexibility to switch between those locations.
  • Employment Mix: Ilene’s company needs to keep a percentage of its workforce as temporary to allow quick offloading of staff due to contract loss or a sudden economic downturn.

I then introduced Ilene to the concept of “Total Talent Solutions.” Rather than individually considering every position to be filled, their entire recruitment process could be outsourced to Abel Personnel. We could tailor each opening to the needs of the candidates within parameters set by the hiring managers and within the percentage of temporary staff. The flexibility gained will also decrease labor costs.


As I was reacting to the set of resumés provided by our company’s recruiter at Abel Personnel, she reminded me, “Some people have unexciting resumés and are great potential employees;  others have amazing resumés without the performance to back it up.”  We were looking for a management trainee with about 10 years of solid experience.

The resume I was about to reject was for an applicant named Kirk.  He had only made it partway through college, followed by a few years of unskilled positions.  Currently, he had over ten years of career progress that offered him some supervisory responsibility.  However, between the unskilled positions and his current continuous experience, there was a nearly two-year gap.  My recruiter discreetly said that Kirk had “gone off the rails,” but he had been stellar ever since.  While I trusted my recruiter to be honest with me, interviewing Kirk may not be critical given the other attractive resumés I was now considering.  Together, my recruiter and I picked what appeared to be the top three matches for interviews, setting aside Kirk’s resume.



About an hour after the third interview was completed, my recruiter called me seeking my feedback and direction on the next steps.  None of the interviewees was a slam-dunk for me, but at least two of them would likely work out with some coaching or classes to address the current shortcomings.  Then my recruiter became very serious and said, “I’m hesitant to bring up Kirk again to you, but I think you’ll find that he’s a better match than any of the three candidates you’ve just interviewed.  Based on my strongest recommendation, do us both a favor and give him an hour of your time.”

I agreed to meet Kirk in two days, after which I had to move ahead with one of the candidates I had just interviewed.



A reach out last month from Samantha was a jolting reminder that I had not connected with her since the pandemic began. “Sam” was one of my first applicants when I became a staff recruiter at Abel Personnel. Residing in the same city and being in a similar demographic, I frequently run into Sam at business networking events or favorite dining establishments. This connection has grown as Sam is in touch with me when she needs career advice even though she’s very satisfied with her current employer.


The phone call started this way, “I think I’m flunking my emotional intelligence exam; what can I do to bring up my score?” Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and manage emotions effectively. In the past several years, hiring managers have more often asked me about a candidate’s “EQ” (emotional quotient) before agreeing to have me schedule an interview.


As I started extracting more information, the picture emerged: Sam’s talent for reading body language and picking up voice tone and nonverbal clues made her especially effective at her job. Those skills dissipated once most of her interactions were over the phone or on Zoom. At the same time, Sam was feeling more anxious about all the work and home issues emerging from the pandemic. She caught herself being a little too caustic in some of her interactions and shooting off some emails that she later regretted. Sam’s apologies afterward were met with understanding, but Sam was frustrated by her behavior. “This is not who I am,” she insisted.

I identified the following tactics that might increase her “score:”

  • Be Face-to-Face: While most real-time connections need to be virtual, try to promote video conferencing. That includes insisting or cajoling those present to show their face.
  • Check-In Intermittently: No longer able to walk around an office, causal encounters aren’t happening. A simple video call with those with whom you’d typically stop and chat is a good replacement.
  • Unemotional Emails Only: The best employment of emotional intelligence relies on steady feedback between participants. Email does not offer that immediate feedback, so be careful not to include any emotion in these.
  • Commute Replacement: While few miss the daily work commute, building in time before work and just after work for mental processing can increase emotional intelligence. This could be as simple as working out or going for a walk or reading a chapter of a novel.
  • Support Group: Gather a diverse group of your friends and/or out-of-company colleagues to act as each other’s sounding boards as you hone the social skills required for virtual and hybrid working environments.

While some local businesses had record revenues in 2021, others had to shed staff owing to the drop in demand or patronage for goods or services.  A client whose human resource manager, Kathy, contacted us just after the New Year reported that they were able to break even and retain most staff, in part due to a resurgent fourth quarter.  With their expectation that demand would continue to grow in 2022, there were several positions they needed to fill to meet that demand.

The list of new openings varied from call center staff to system analysts to front-line supervisors.  We first confirmed with Kathy that her company had been operating on a hybrid office system since the first days of the pandemic, with no immediate plans now to return everyone to the office full time.   Although the IT Department had revised all systems to allow secure voice and data systems access for all from anywhere, there was no decision yet about maintaining the hybrid model once the pandemic would end.





We then reviewed the position requirements in detail.  We sorted them by which had to be full-time at the office, which would be hybrid, and which would be all remote.  Kathy indicated which jobs might offer the flexibility to be on-site or remote.  For some positions that Kathy thought could be remote, we discussed whether it was realistic for someone new to that job type could learn and perform in the job position without nearby mentorship and supervision.  We marked those positions as “in-office or remote DOE (depending on experience).”

Then came the hardest part:  determining how effectively each applicant could likely work at a remote worksite (usually from home), apart from what worksite location the applicant preferred.  Not everyone is cut out for working from home.  We developed three lists of questions with Kathy, covering the applicants’ remote work experience, tech-savviness, and remote workspace conditions.  To view these lists, click here.



One of our client companies recently approached Abel Personnel for input on the subject of Paid Time Off (PTO). This topic just came up at a senior staff meeting when the discussion turned to how to revise their benefits package to retain existing employees. While there was some skepticism that the company’s approach to vacation, sick and personal time would cause an employee to jump elsewhere, or to not choose to accept an offer to join this company, everyone recognized that being competitive and enlightened in the compensation, benefits and other human resource policies was the right way to do business. After acknowledging that many of our applicants did find a PTO package especially attractive, I then asked this client what type of PTO package was being considered. When my question was answered with a question about what types of packages were available, I realized I needed to further our conversation by starting with the basics.


First, I explained that PTO packages typically covered vacation, sick and personal time. For example, a starting employee may receive 2 weeks of vacation, 3 sick days, and 2 personal days, totaling 15 days. Some PTO packages would replace all those with a “PTO Days” pool, to be used in any way that the employee saw fit without oversight. Some advantages of this system are:

  • Employees are not tempted to be untruthful about being sick when they need a day off for “mental health” or a personal need they’d prefer not to disclose to their employer.
  • There are no awkward discussions as to whether a request for personal time meets the written company policy’s definition.
  • Employees are given the agency to act as adults in determining how to meet the work-life balance. This flexibility can be especially appreciated now when school children can be sent home on short notice due to possible coronavirus exposure.

For more information about the advantages and disadvantages of PTO click here.



Judith has been an ally for over a decade, ever since I placed her at the company where she’s since risen to the position of human resources manager. She will contact my company when she has an opening to fill, but also to tap my mind on what she calls “the view from the other side.” Her questions will go beyond staffing issues, including what I’ve been seeing in the marketplace on benefits and personnel policies. A recent call from Judith concerned the latter.

“I’ve just had another out-of-the-blue resignation,” she reported. “She’s an engineering supervisor who’s been here over 7 years. Management has been on me to beef up employee retention efforts. With our government contracts, we are under a lot of pressure to show greater diversity, particularly in professional and management ranks.”
After sharing with Judith that I’ve heard an increasing number of similar reports lately, I informed her of the hard data: 1-in-4 women are now considering quitting their jobs to stay home; the quit rate for women is about 1% greater than for men.
“Why is this ‘Great Resignation’ happening more with women?” Judith wanted to know.


The surveys indicate the following:

  • School Uncertainty: Occasional class quarantines due to COVID exposure or contraction by classmates result in a sudden switch to remote learning that requires adult presence and involvement.
  • Virus Exposure: Returning to the workplace adds family exposure risk from those who remain unvaccinated and break-through contractions by those vaccinated.
  • Advancement Opportunities:  A woman might fear that her opportunity to advance her position will be affected by her ongoing lack of impromptu face-to-face access to senior management.
  • Workplace Microaggressions: The recent advent of the Me Too and Black Lives Matter movements have resulted in greater consciousness about subtle sexual and racial prejudices that women, particularly women of color, regularly face.
  • Diminished Financial Pressure:  Both men and women have benefitted from the pandemic-related government’s subsidies, stock market value increases, and reduced opportunities to spend money (particularly on vacations) that have provided a financial cushion to afford to take some time off between jobs.

“That’s maybe what’s going on with my recent resignation,” Judith replied. I then suggested some strategies that might further differentiate Judith’s company and retain employees, particularly women employees, at this strange convergence of a pandemic and a hot labor market.


Marianne appeared visibly unsure of herself at the start of our Zoom call. A mutual friend had connected us, as so often happens in my long time in the staffing business. Marianne desperately needed career advice now that her firm was asking her to return to their office, hence our phone call. After the typical pleasantries, I asked Marianne how the COVID pandemic experience was progressing for her.

“It’s making me rethink everything!” she quickly responded. Marianne related her family’s experience: Her company had sent her to work from home in March 2020, just about the time the schools switched to online learning. Since then, her company had been great in supporting her and giving her the flexibility she needed. When the vaccine first became available, there was finally talk of everyone going back to work and school. Still, once her vice president asked her whether she was prepared to come back to the office, Marianne realized she wasn’t at all ready for the following reasons:

  • School Uncertainty: Occasional class quarantines and the possibility of remote learning.
  • Virus Exposure: Family exposure risk from those who remain unvaccinated and break-through contractions by those vaccinated.
  • Advancement Opportunities: Marianne fears that her opportunities to advance her position will be affected by her ongoing lack of impromptu face-to-face access to senior management.

Marianne reflected that if she can’t “have it all,” she would choose her family over her career. Many of the women in her network had been sharing similar thoughts. I informed her that 1-in-4 women are now considering quitting their jobs to stay home, and the quit rate for women is about 1% greater than for men. After first suggesting she raise these concerns with her employer to determine if her needs could be accommodated without curtailing her advancement, I next developed a list with Marianne of requirements she would seek from an “ideal employer” relative to the flexibility and opportunities she sought.



Both Abel Personnel’s clients and applicants confide to us that the job interview can be one of the most stressful parts of the job placement process. Hiring supervisors need to quickly confirm facts, gain an overall impression, give an even better impression, and try not to run afoul of any discrimination laws. The applicants want to make an equally great impression, sound thoughtful in answering whatever questions are tossed at them, and not make any mistake that dooms their candidacy. All this in as little as thirty minutes!

We believe that interviews can be highly productive, maybe even fun, with proper preparation, like any other endeavor. Aside from the hiring supervisor carefully reading the resume and checking online resources, and the applicant fully parsing the company’s website, the focus is on the questions and answers that each of them will share. Doing the homework will minimize any surprises for either participant.

First, what not to ask:
  • Any information already on the resume or the website, although drilling down on any items to find out “why” should be done, if only to acknowledge that you’ve done that homework.
  • Salary and company benefits; will be addressed in follow-up contacts if both parties want to pursue the opportunity further.
  • Anything that might pop up on a background check; follow-up items, sometimes better covered with the hiring supervisor by the Abel Personnel recruiter.
  • Hiring and job search schedules are typically follow-up questions, best handled by the recruiter, although in some cases can be used in the interview to indicate a sense of urgency by either party.

Read about the top five interview questions here.


Working from home during the pandemic, or being unemployed at home, offers individuals more time to reflect on their life during moments of less activity during the day and evenings. According to a recent article by McKinsey & Company, seventy percent of employees said that their sense of purpose is defined by their work, and over sixty percent indicated that they wanted to get more purpose from their work. Digging deeper into the data, those who are finding no connection or not enough connection between their work and their purpose in life are 50% of the staff and frontline supervisors.

The implications of the “purpose in life” gap – whether no connection or just some connection – can be seen in the wave of resignations now occurring among those frontline staff and supervisors. Given time to reflect, they realize that what they are doing for a job is not having the positive impact on the world as they had once envisioned, why they pursued this career in the first place.

The good news is that most successful firms have identified a means to make that positive impact.

This is exemplified by their middle and upper management’s beliefs and their ability to alter their company’s direction to make sure the work aligns with their purpose in life. These companies do not lack a compelling purpose to make the world a better place, they are poorly communicating that purpose.


To support your retention of employees in these times by supporting their need for sense of purpose, McKinsey’s experience suggests the following tactics:

  • Clearly communicate a compelling mission and vision.
  • Link individual jobs to accomplishing the mission.
  • Provide occasional assignments that directly connect to purpose.
  • Seek to link the individual’s purpose with the company’s purpose.

For recommendations on how to implement each of these actions, click here.

Career Reset In 3 Steps

A recent survey indicated that 48% of American workers said that the pandemic has made them rethink the type of job and career they want in the future, and 53% of American workers said they would retrain for a career in a different field or industry if they had the opportunity.










When asked to list the top issues that led them to re-evaluate their career path, their response was:

    • Compensation (50%)
    • Work/life balance (38%)
    • Limited growth opportunities (34%)
    • Being tired of working on the same projects (24%)
    • Not feeling challenged professionally (23%).

The survey found that nearly 1 in 4 workers (24%) reported that they are planning to look for a new job once the pandemic is over.
You may have similar aspirations to shift your career direction. Waiting until the pandemic is over might not be the best strategy, given ongoing uncertainties. How to go from the job/industry you’re in now to the one you want? You need to apply a systematic approach:

Deborah and Joyce Celebrate 10 Years at Abel Personnel


Deborah Robinson (left) and Joyce Simms (right) of Abel Personnel


Deborah Robinson submitted an application with Abel Personnel in the summer of 2011. She had recently relocated to the Harrisburg area after holding key positions at Indiana University and at the New York City Health Department, which included Interim Director of Recruitment and Staffing, and Human Resources Special Assistant to the Assistant Commissioner.

Deborah was seeking part-time employment and thought she would enjoy holding a variety of short-term positions. Noting Deborah’s excellent background, including senior human resources roles, Abel Personnel never really gave her the opportunity to experience multiple roles with different firms. We decided the Deborah was a keeper. Since that time, Deborah has held many different roles with Abel Personnel, in a way offering her the variety of situations she originally sought. As anticipated, she excels at whatever she does. Deborah’s hard work, good judgement and excellent counsel have proven our good judgment in 2011!


Joyce Simms celebrated her 10th anniversary with Abel Personnel this month as an administrator focusing on HR matters. However, Joyce’s connection with Abel started about 43 years ago. Joyce was a promising new applicant at Abel Personnel in 1978. She was referred to and hired by our client, the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA).

Joyce advanced her career in the PHEAA organization, retiring 25 years later in 2003 as Human Resources Director. Both Frank Abel and Debby Abel, the immediate past and current presidents of Abel Personnel, attended her retirement party! Six months after retirement Joyce was ready to come back to work, but now on a part-time basis. Just after she notified us of her availability, we had an opportunity for a part-time HR person with Associated Cardiology where Joyce first worked as a temp and then became permanent. In 2011, the practice needed Joyce to work full-time, but she preferred part-time employment. Joyce returned to Abel Personnel seeking a new placement, and this time Joyce was hired to work internally at Abel Personnel. Ten years later, we continue to appreciate her contribution to the success of our agency, and our strong connection with Joyce Simms which began so many years ago.


In September, Abel Personnel commented on the scope as well as the opportunities of the Great Resignation, the unprecedented drop in the US workforce from April to August 2021.  Updated numbers for the phenomenon indicate:

  • 20 million U.S. workers left their jobs between April and August this year, according to the latest federal BLS data. That’s 60% higher than resignations during the same period last year, and the highest rate of resignations since 2000.
  • Both July and August 2021 set records for the number of workers who quit.
  • Nearly 7 percent of employees in the “accommodations and food services” sector left their job in August.



A second wave of resignations is now upon us.  Those still most likely to quit in the next several months:

  • Experienced Mid-Career Employees:
    ncluded here are those with 5-15 years’ experience in the company, the ones most expected to have a long career with the company.  The rate of resignation was about 55% higher than in 2020 for the same period.  Relative to age, those between 30 and 50 years old have resigned at least 38% more than the number last year.  These are not job-hopping twenty-somethings, early career builders looking for quick raises and promotions, or those seeking early retirement.  These are the cadre that holds significant corporate knowledge and expertise, the team leaders and mentors, who were going to be the next generation of senior leadership in your company.  They are leaving due to burn-out, increased compensation and better work-life balance, including remote work opportunities.  Costs to replace such employees can be up to twice their annual salary, plus the time to replace and the effect on morale.
  • Women:
    The growth in the resignation rate for women (55.4%) was significantly higher than men (47.2%).  Research from
    McKinsey found that one in four women considered downshifting their careers or leaving the workforce entirely.  This is further dampening efforts to increase corporate diversity and the documented benefits that companies with more women, especially more women in leadership,perform better.
  • High Talent:
    The pandemic has resulted in a growth of entrepreneurship and business formation after many decades of steady decline in numbers.  As many workers were taking time during shutdowns to decide whether to change employment, take a break or permanently leave the workforce, others were able finally to give consideration to starting the enterprise they had been daydreaming about.
  • Low Wages:
    Wages for low-income workers are rising at their fastest rate since the Great Recession.  The hiring battle for lower skill positions has now overcome the fights to raise the minimum wage to a living wage.  The last two years have lowered concerns about the social safety net, allowing employees who are living hand-to-mouth to move to a better situation as long as labor demand is so high.

Since Pennsylvania’s legalization in 2016, over 633,000 patients and caregivers have signed up for purchase of medical marijuana through a doctor’s prescription. Some significant percentage of those patients are part of the active workforce right now. There may be some program participants at your workplace or among the applicants for open positions. How you maneuver in this new world is complicated in part upon a tug of war between the laws of the state and the laws of the federal government, which does not recognize legal use of medicinal marijuana.

Legal analysts suggest the key factors for your dealing with medical marijuana in the workplace are disclosure and impairment:

Disclosure: While employees and applicants are under no obligation to volunteer their prescribed medications, as an employer you have a legal right to ask if they are using prescribed medical marijuana. However, Pennsylvania law says that employers can’t “discharge, threaten, refuse to hire, or otherwise discriminate or retaliate against” patients’ “compensation, terms, conditions, location or privileges” solely based on their status as registered medical marijuana users. Without knowing their medical marijuana status, should an employee or perspective hire be subjected to a drug test, random or scheduled, the initial finding of THC in a person’s system could generate an awkward situation, even if it cannot result in firing or refusal to hire. It may also increase the possibility the confidential medical condition is exposed beyond these with a need-to-know. If an employee or applicant volunteers or discloses use of prescribed medical marijuana to you when asked, it is sometimes advised to first focus on the disability (e.g., cancer, epilepsy) and then how the use of medical marijuana is needed to manage the condition during the work day.


    • Chemicals requiring a permit issued by the state or federal government.
    • High-voltage electricity.
    • Any other public utility.
    • Work performed “at heights or in confined spaces” (such as mining).
    • Tasks that the employer deems “life-threatening,” to a worker personally or to any other employees.
    • Duties that could “result in a public health or safety risk.”

In an early September article, Abel Personnel asked Will Job Seekers Return in Droves Soon? This question was of course referring to the federal payments of an additional $300/week of unemployment compensation that were set to expire the week of September 6. Many pundits had posited that these federal subsidies had the effect of making it more financially prudent not to work. The combination of state and federal unemployment benefits plus the cost savings from forgoing commuting, lunches, business attire and, of course, daycare, created a powerful incentive to not work.

The results?

Very few unemployed suddenly sought or took positions once the subsidy ended. In its October 23 analysis, the Associated Press uncovered the following data:

  • Overall, there has been no significant influx of job seekers.
  • There was no difference in the total workforce (those who have a job plus those who are seeking a job) between those states that cut the subsidy and those that did not. America’s overall workforce actually shrank in September.
  • Higher proportion of women are leaving the workplace.
  • Record number of people are leaving for new jobs, many spurred by the prospect of higher pay elsewhere.

So why did unemployed not return to the workforce?

AP found a variety of reasons:

  • Job seekers did not have the skills that local employers required.
  • Positions were unavailable that required the skills and experience those applicants had. Laid off factory workers could not easily transition to another job category.
  • Fear of exposure to COVID-19.
  • No childcare available.
  • The three stimulus checks plus the overall decrease in discretionary consumer spending created enough financial cushion to continue staying home for now.
  • Families decided that they could “get by” during this pandemic on one salary, and the loss of living standard was more than offset by the satisfaction of being home to care for family.

Through our Abel Personnel blogs, we’ve recommended how to construct your resume and explained how your resume leads to your interview; however, it’s the interview that results in the job offer.
We also provided some initial insights on how to prepare for the interview. Digging deeper, let’s address behavioral interview questions and how you can build a tool box that will illustrate your soft skills in the best light.

Soft Skills

Okay, so what are soft skills?

Your resume best captures your hard skills.  Hard skills can be taught and are technical skills.  They relate to job experience and expertise, degrees and certifications.  Soft skills, however, are learned through life experiences or ingrained in your nature.  Employers seek to identify your soft skills through behavioral interview questions, to better understand who you are as an employee.

Why are soft skills important?

According to Oxbridge Academy, soft skills are more important than ever for five key reasons:

  • Hard skills are useless without soft skills to back up their task-related knowledge.
  • Soft skills are more difficult to learn and therefore more valuable.
  • Today’s workplaces are collaborative, relying heavily on soft skills to get things done.
  • Soft skills such as empathy and a sense of humor improve the customer experience.
  • The future of work lies in soft skills; these human characteristics can’t be replicated or replaced by automation or artificial intelligence (AI).


Perhaps you’ve had this experience:  you had an interview, you felt it went great, and then you were completely mystified when you weren’t selected for the position.  What you might have missed is an understanding of what hiring managers are looking for in the selection process.  There are several steps involved in the preparation process, and addressing each step is critical to assure you truly will have a great interview and a stronger likelihood of being selected for your next career move.

Reading through a job posting, you think “I can do this job, just give me a chance.”  Yet, your application and resume submission only generate a “thank you for applying” email response.  Hiring managers are looking for ability and suitability.  Nearly every Abel Recruiter can recall a candidate who had a strong desire and motivation for a position but didn’t illustrate the skills and qualifications in their previous work history or training.(for more on resumes that lead to interviews, click here).

Step One:  Orientation Research

You know you have the skills to do the job based on the posting (I recommend that you keep the job post handy to refer to as you prepare for the interview.)  Beyond your ability, suitability means that you have an understanding of the industry, the terminology, how to do business, and why things need to be done the way they’re done.  If this would be a new industry for you, do your research.  Go on LinkedIn and look up people who currently hold the role, read through their profile and posts.  Another good online resource is the Occupational Outlook Handbook to obtain detailed information about the role and the industry.  These are just two resources.  You’ll find so much by exploring YouTube and following industry influencers.

Two important foundational thoughts to keep in mind as you prepare yourself for interviews:

  • Every role exists to solve a problem.
  • Every company wants to make money.

For recommendations on how to implement each of these actions, click here.


ALWAYS REMEMBER: The primary purpose of a successful resume is to win an interview.

Melissa Davis is the Information Technology Recruiter at Abel Personnel, as well as a successful Certified Professional Resume Writer. From her experience, it is important that you know exactly what a company is looking for. Put yourself in the employers’ shoes and ask, “Who would make the perfect candidate?” Once you can answer that as best as possible, determine what it is about your background and who you are that makes you best suited for the job. Crafting an effective resume means convincing your potential employer that you are “just what the doctor ordered.” This is the first C of the 5 C’s of Resume Writing.

Prepare a convincing and clean resume that will put you in the best light possible. Be clear about the direction you wish to take and back up your statements with concise, clear, consistent facts about yourself.

The 5 C’s of Resume Writing
  • Convincing
  • Concise
  • Clear
  • Consistent
  • Clean


You areconsidering applying for a job through one of the online job sites, and realize the posting is from Abel Personnel, a staffing firm. You hesitate, unsure of how Abel Personnel (and other staffing firms) can support your job search, and perhaps whether to consider a temp job. Below are the answers to many of the questions we regularly receive.

Q. What is the purpose of Abel Personnel?

A. Simply put:

  • You, a job seeker, are looking for work.
  • An employer, Abel’s client, is looking for workers.
  • Abel Personnel is the link between both parties.
Q. What does Abel Personnel do for job seekers?

A. Abel does everything possible to match you, the job seeker, to the right job and get you started with the employer. We guide you through the application process (phone screening, interview with a recruiter, identify your employment goals and strengths, assessments, etc.) and if all goes well, you, the job seeker becomes an active Abel Personnel candidate, ready to be considered for any of the many positions Abel has open to fill.

What else does Abel Personnel do for their job seekers?

  • Provides guidance related to their career goals and ambitions (including transitioning to new career paths).
  • Offers resume assistance.
  • Suggests interview tips.
  • Places your resume in the hands of HR or the hiring manager, so no more wondering if your resume has been seen.
  • Acts as your advocate AND we have relationships with these employers. We help to explain your work history, employment goals or career ambitions, what makes you a strong fit, and any circumstances typically not addressed on a resume.
  • Advises those looking to transition into clerical/administrative roles from other industries/positions in their work history.

At Abel Personnel, we’re accustomed to the unhappy tales of valued employees suddenly submitting a letter of resignation without any prior indication of dissatisfaction or interest in moving on. Replacing such employees can be an arduous, time consuming and costly task, beyond the process of posting the job, receiving resumes, arranging interviews, checking references and negotiating an offer. Even with Abel Personnel assigned the burden of most of those tasks, there is your time investment to address the morale dip when the news is shared, temporarily assigning job duties to others until a replacement is on board, notifying clients and vendors of the new temporary contact, training the replacement, and introducing the replacement to staff, clients and vendors. Your time spent in the transition might be better invested beforehand in actions that might mitigate the reasons for a departure.

In our experience, there are six actions that can reduce the risk of unexpected staff departures:

  • Provide an Amazing Onboarding Experience.
  • Reinforce a Culture of Caring
  • Recognize Achievements
  • Be Transparent
  • Be Approachable
  • Acknowledge the Reality of Job Changes

For recommendations on how to implement each of these actions, click here.

Employees will continue to change jobs despite their company’s best efforts a staff retention: families relocate, opportunities for advancement await openings to occur, a different work experience is sought. The key is to retain those employees who really want to stay by addressing misunderstandings and unintended consequences that unexpectedly prompts them to consider leaving. And if they do leave, be sure they have a great offboarding experience, too. Don’t burn any bridges: they may be interested in returning someday and may also be sending their colleagues your way based on how well they were treated.



Your applicant (of course placed through Abel Personnel) has accepted your offer. You are both pleased and relieved. Your applicant hopefully is as ecstatic as those football players when their names are announced at the NFL Draft on TV. After all that effort, you want to make sure that your new hire first shows up on the start date, has a smooth acclimation to your company and stays ecstatic, at least until the inevitable first time an expectation of your newest employee is not met (perhaps signaling the end of the honeymoon period).

We recommend three sets of actions that can render dividends beyond the first weeks of the employment period:

Secure the Deal

In hot labor markets, there is sometimes as little as a 50% probability that a person who accepts the job appears on the scheduled start date. Remember, this person may have posted resumes and had job interviews with numerous potential employers, some of whom may finally present an offer after yours was accepted. Your new employee already gave notice at their current firm, so switching new employers might seem a no-risk financial plus. How to counter this? Start with integrating the new hire into your culture within 48 hours of acceptance:

  • A personal note from their immediate supervisor, and perhaps their new team, welcoming the new hire on board, stating how much they are looking forward to the new hire’s contribution and possibly identifying specific tasks that are awaiting the new hire’s involvement.
  • Send a gift card for a celebratory dinner. A small price to “seal the deal.”
  • Provide the new hire with a list of available office supplies, field supplies (if appropriate) and software, all of which will be at the new hire’s workstation on the first day.
  • Ask the new hire’s shirt and hat size so there will also be company swag waiting at the workstation.
  • Provide a robust onboarding time schedule a few days in advance of the start date.

In 2019, Texas A&M’s Anthony Klotz foresaw a “Great Resignation,” a significant number of US workers voluntarily quitting their jobs. A recent article in Inc. Magazine by Phillip Kane asserts that this prediction has come to pass in 2021, by presenting the following statistics:

  • In May, June and July of 2021, 11.5 million US workers quit their jobs.
  • One survey of over 30,000 workers found that 41 percent are considering quitting (54 percent for of Gen-Z).
  • A Gallop poll found that 48 percent are now actively searching for a new opportunity.
  • A third survey counted 38 percent are planning to change positions in the next 6 months.

We saw these numbers before, some as high as 70% employed-and-wanting-to-jump, during the Great Recession of 2008-10, but at that time there was pent-up desire to move to advance careers but waiting to leap until the risk of being last-in-first-out dissipated. The reasons for this turnover are different now. While the thought of 38%-48% of your workforce actively looking to leave is a scary proposition for any business or institution, there are opportunities here to make changes that will both retain existing valued staff and attract talented workers as they exit your competitors’ shops.



Many of Abel Personnel’s clients are expressing considerable confusion and frustration over what they can ask job candidates (as well as their employees) about their COVID-19 vaccination status. Those who are questioned (whether “pro-” and “anti-vax”) may respond, “you can’t ask that because of HIPAA,” or “I can’t disclose that because of HIPAA.”

HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) is a federal privacy law originally enacted in 1996. With its since added Privacy Rule, HIPAA only applies to the transmission of patient information by specific health-related entities, such as insurance providers, health-care clearinghouses, health-care providers and their business associates. For all other types of businesses and institutions, HIPAA does not apply. There are other state and federal confidentiality laws that may require employers and schools to protect privacy. There are also state laws in effect, being considered or under court review that might limit inquiries of vaccination status; consult legal counsel for current status in your area. Also, HIPPA is a about sharing PHI, not about having PHI.

Generally, it is OK to ask about vaccination status. It can affect the health and wellbeing of your company’s employees.

Also note that, according to Allen Smith, JD, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has clarified that asking employees whether they have received the COVID-19 vaccine is not a disability-related inquiry under the ADA.

If it’s okay to ask about vaccination status, should you? Relative to inquiring this of job applicants, we recommend the following:

  • Determine your company’s policies on requiring vaccinations as well as options for those who won’t or can’t (for religious or medical reasons) be vaccinated, or won’t disclose their vaccination status (treat them as unvaccinated). These policies must be consistent with business necessity, such as the health and safety of the workforce. These requirements may be position-specific, workstation-specific and/or jobsite specific, and should be incorporated in affected job descriptions. Many companies are requiring vaccinations (with exemptions for religious and medical reasons) and requiring the unvaccinated to present regular negative test results.
  • If a vaccination is required, identify how soon it must be received and how soon after the first (or second) shot the employee can start the vaccinated protocol (e.g., not requiring to be masked ) if you have different procedures for vaccinated employees. Usually, 2 weeks to have the first shot is ample notification and 2 weeks after the first shot to be considered “vaccinated.” New hires may be told they cannot report to work until they meet the vaccination requirements. Identify the repercussions for “not getting around to” receiving the second shot.
  • You may want to list vaccination requirements as a condition of employment in job postings, and accommodations considered for those who cannot be vaccinated for medical or religious reasons. Note that you should not have different vaccination requirements for new hires than for current employees. This could lead to questions of job hiring discrimination.
  • If you have a multiple interview process, you may want to postpone the question until a second interview. Otherwise, this can be covered later along with background and reference checking if there is mutual interest in pursuing an employment discussion.
  • Do not ask if an applicant has ever contracted COVID-19; that may be an ADA violation (long COVID). You can ask them if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, employing the same daily screening protocol used with current employees.
  • When you do ask about the vaccination status of a potential hire (and of current employees), you should have company-approved answers to the following questions: Why do you need to know? Will it affect my being hired (or raises and promotions) if I decline to answer? What will happen if I refuse to be vaccinated? How do vaccination (and related) requirements pertain to the job?
  • Do not probe why a person has NOT been vaccinated during the hiring process. Such questions may violate ADA or lead to claims of discrimination in hiring unrelated to vaccination status. If the reason for not being vaccinated needs to be known, this can be asked after the person is hired.
  • For claims of vaccination, ask for either proof of vaccination or written certification by the potential hire (or employee) that they are vaccinated that includes their understanding that if they are being untruthful, they are subject to disciplinary action including employment termination.
  • Records of vaccination status should be treated as confidential medical information

These recommendations are based on our review of expert guidelines, best practices and experience. Of course, these approaches are subject to change as our understanding increases of COVID-19 and its variants. The referenced legal ramifications also suggest ongoing involvement of legal counsel.

Check out the complete article for more details.

Will job seekers return in droves soon?


Federal Unemployment payments of an additional $300/week of unemployment compensation are set to expire the week of September 6. Currently there is no expectation that this federally-funded benefit will be extended. There is speculation that this benefit resulted in a significant number of potential job applicants choosing to stay on unemployment as a more financially advantageous choice. While the additional $300/week may be enough to make unemployment payments competitive with a paycheck, saving the cost of commuting, lunches, business attire and, of course, daycare, the argument may have merit.

With the benefit set to expire, will that be enough to “force” those collecting enhanced unemployment insurance back to work? One way to answer that question is to examine the data of the two dozen states that elected to end this benefit prior to September 6, some as early June 12. The results are surprising.

As reported by CNBC on July 22, “Census Bureau data suggests recipients didn’t rush to find jobs in the weeks following the first batch of state withdrawals, according to Arindrajit Dube, an economics professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.” For the states that cut benefits in June, benefits fell by 2.2% translating to a 60% reduction in unemployment rolls. However, the report continues in noting that for those states “the share of adults with a job fell by 1.4 percentage points over the same period, according to Dube. (Employment rose by 0.2 percentage points in states that didn’t end the pandemic benefits.)”

The conclusion is that, so far, there does not appear to be a correlation in increase in job seekers with loss of this benefit. There may be other factors that slowed an uptick in applicants, fear of COVID-19 and perhaps an effect from wanting to stay on vacation (or even on staycation), without benefits, through the end of the summer. A few more months of data will provide better insight on the labor force impact of lost unemployment benefits.

Therefore, to what can we attribute the coexistence of a large number of job openings and large labor pool seeking jobs? Juliana Kaplan writing for “Insider” cites a study released by Morgan Stanley in early August, identifying three factors:

  • School closures are probably playing a role: Referencing a Federal Reserve analysis, Morgan Stanley’s economists “found that more people did not participate in the labor force because of caregiving responsibilities during the pandemic.” Childcare was specifically identified. There may also be some uncertainty among unemployed parents of school-age children about whether schools will be re-opening in person or virtually, with or without mandatory masking, and how each of those conditions might change, that may be impacting a segment of the workforce from committing yet to return to fulltime employment.
  • A mismatch between the industries hiring and the workers seeking jobs: The article focuses on “the uneven recovery among different industries, with job openings in some industries outpacing the number of workers who were initially laid off. That’s true of manufacturing and professional services.” This mismatch of needed and available skills and qualifications extends to a mismatch of opportunities and expectations. Expectations range from hourly wages (too low to garner interest by those who meet the qualifications) to job flexibility (hours and ability to work remote).
  • People moved during the pandemic — but many jobs didn’t: The “substantial population outflows” from urban areas left jobs unfilled in those cities, but not finding comparable jobs in the rural and fringe urban areas to which many moved. This imbalance will continue until the job opportunities move out of the cities, or there is a full return to the city jobs either as resumption of residence or acceptance of a (once presumed safe again) longer public transit commute. Morgan Stanley noted that a similar dislocation occurred after the 2008 financial crisis.

If waiting out the federal unemployment benefit expiration will not be the cure-all for the labor shortage, the Morgen Stanley analysis offers clues on how to proactively attract applicants to suddenly hard-to-fill positions:

  • Support efforts to increase available childcare. This may range from offering subsidized places at local childcare facilities for company employees, to taking an active roll in assuring the schools meet or exceed safely recommendations amid the pandemic uncertainty.
  • Add flexibility to job conditions, including hours and worksites.
  • Review local wage conditions to assure compensation offered conforms to the market.
  • Consider relocating jobs to where the skills are (and less costly office space rentals), or adapt conditions to allow more positions to be remote.

Your Abel Personnel recruiter can assist you with many of these adaptations to the labor market.

Check out the complete article for more details.

workplace vaccine

Recently private and public employers announced they are requiring that all onsite employees be vaccinated. Well-known companies such as Disney, Walmart, Google, Facebook and Tyson Foods have mandated that all or some of their employees adhere to this requirement (the largest exceptions being retail locations or conditions of union agreements). In the public sphere, certain federal agencies are issuing vaccination requirements. A recent US Supreme Court pronouncement upheld the right of the University of Indiana to insist that all students, faculty and staff on campus be vaccinated. Most of these requirements do have religious and medical exceptions.

Check out the complete article for more details.

Abel Personnel is pleased to announce the expansion of our recruiting services with the addition of Melissa Davis, an experienced IT Recruiter. Melissa has over 20 years of experience, including 15 years in management and 5 years in placement in the IT field. This background benefits our clients in two ways:

First, you will be assured of an immediate understanding of your specified IT staffing requirements, whether direct hire or contract. Melissa is expert at sourcing and evaluating IT candidates, maintaining relationships with talent and vetting the right people for your positions. She is motived to quickly source and present the right people for you.

Second, Melissa’s tenure in management grounds her in the roles of hiring supervisor, personnel engagement and employee retention. She has been where many of our clients are today, tasked with bringing on board talent and expertise in a tight labor market. Melissa is able to look beyond the skills and experience you seek, to assess how a candidate can contribute to your team.

Most importantly, Melissa brings a level of passion and professionalism to her position at Abel Personnel, as your trusted partner in sourcing, retention and building a staffing relationship.

It’s hard to believe it is August, and schools will be opening in a matter of weeks (if not days). With children returning to classrooms, the COVID virus and its Delta variant have new opportunities to spread. Each of us can help slow the spread of COVID and the hospitalizations and deaths it brings.

If finally obtaining the vaccine was not on your summer to-do list, I urge you to do so now for the sake of those schoolchildren. We are about to thrust a generation into closed rooms, with or without masks, greatly increasing the possibility that they will come in contact and become sick from COVID-19.

Check out the complete article for more details.

Sad Weeks At Abel Personnel

“The past weeks have been difficult ones for Abel Personnel. We have experienced two significant losses. On December 28, my father and our company founder, Franklin Abel passed away and only two weeks later on January 14, Cynthia Stoltzfus, Executive Recruiter, passed away.”

Frank Abel

My father, Frank Abel, started our company in 1969. He and my mother set the standards for our company – the sense of fairness, the sense of treating all the way we would want to be treated, and setting the business ethics and values.

I learned much about the business from him, and he learned about technology from me. My father pushed me out of my comfort zone in marketing, but mostly he taught me how to treat employees, how to make sure the smallest suppliers get paid the fastest, how small things can make an enormous difference in the lives of others, and how to be forthright in business relationships, and do what is best for all parties in the long run.

My father had a true interest and concern for people. Whether they were employees where he delivered paychecks or a person sitting next to him in a waiting area, he would start a conversation with a complete stranger. He asked questions about their lives and they immediately sensed his genuine interest and warmth. Many days in the office, I would marvel at seeing my dad, and thinking how fortunate it was, that I could work with him every day.

He had retired, but continued to serve on our Board of Directors. He always provided sage advice, and was a warm, caring presence for staff when he visited the office. We had been planning a celebration of our 50th anniversary and are deeply saddened that he will not be there to join us. My dad and our family were very lucky in the quality of his life for 92 years.

Cynthia Stoltzfus

Cynthia Stoltzfus, started as my friend. I met her many years ago when she was in the banking industry, and always thought she would be excellent in our business. Eventually, she was offered an opportunity with a Lancaster based Recruiting firm, and found she was a natural recruiter. She had a talent for it, and loved the work. It was an expression of her personality to help companies and people find each other. She returned to banking for a bit, and then our company had the opportunity to have her on our team.

She was very talented and capable as an Executive Recruiter. She enjoyed her work and cared deeply about her candidates and clients. She was a born recruiter and knew how to search and identify highly capable candidates, how to prepare them for presentations and interviews. With her business clients, she was thorough, responsive and caring. Cynthia displayed her high level of dedication and integrity in all her work. We had hoped Cynthia could recover and return from her leave. Shock and heartbreak are the words which describe the impact of her passing on our team.

These losses cut deeply, but the depth of our sadness is a measure of the richness of the relationship with those we have lost. We are truly grateful for the presence in our lives.

Debby Sign
Thousands more joined the work force in April, says state

Written by Ben Allen, WITF General Assignment Reporter | Jun 8, 2015 3:50 AM

Recruitment Agency Harrisburg PA

(Harrisburg) — In all but one area of the midstate, more people either started working or looking for work in April, according to the latest state estimates. But the trend for the unemployment rate across the region was not as consistent.

From the Harrisburg – Carlisle area to the small labor market of Juniata to the micropolitan area of Selinsgrove and areas in-between, the state estimates more people joined the labor force in April.

The highest growth came in the largest areas – 2,700 in Harrisburg – Carlisle, and 3,100 in Lancaster.

Check out the complete article for more details.

Abel Personnel to Offer Employee Health Insurance Plans starting in 2015!

Starting at the beginning of 2015, Abel Personnel will offer insurance plans to temporary employees. We hope this will prove helpful to you as our employee.  We REQUIRE every employee to complete the enrollment forms whether you choose to accept or decline the plans.   See deadlines and our first dates for informational meetings below,


MEC Plan- Minimum Essential Coverage Plan:
  • Prevention and wellness services.
  • Meets your requirement under the ACA- Affordable Care Act (avoids tax penalty).
  • Coverage includes: immunizations, flu shots, HPV shots, well visits, mammograms, contraception, and more.


Fixed Indemnity/Limited Medical:
  • Covers medical care for illness: inpatient, outpatient, prescription.
  • Does not help you comply with the ACA (does not avoid tax penalty).
  • It is not comprehensive coverage.
  • You may terminate this plan at any time.
  • You can get coverage from the Federal Health Exchange while on this plan.


Abel will also be offering dental and vision coverage plan options.
December 5th, 2014 for MEC January 1st coverage.
December 31st, 2014 for MEC February 1st coverage.
**Deductions will be made in the month prior to the start of MEC services.

IMPORTANT- If you already have health coverage and are not interested in signing up, you will still need to complete a form stating that you are declining coverage. 

If you have any questions, please call 717.561.2222 or email

Abel Personnel sponsors William Close & The Earth Harp Collective concert!

Written by Ben Allen, WITF General Assignment Reporter | Jun 8, 2015 3:50 AM

Please join us for in March for this amazing concert.

Sunday March 15, 2015 * The Forum Auditorium * 3:15 pm

Tickets available Enter promo code Abel for a $5 discount.

William Close-Poster
Abel Personnel celebrates 45 years!

A message from Debby Abel.

Staffing Agency in Lemoyne PA

Mother and daughter – 1st and 2nd generation of Abel Personnel at our 45 year celebration.

In 1990, I joined the firm and it was certainly a time of growth and change for Abel Personnel. We brought computers, applicant tracking, and business software to the firm. Along with email and cell phones.

Our firm has changed over time, but the core values established in the firm by my parents still guide us today. Establish strong working relationships with clients and candidates, listen and really hear what they are looking for, look for untapped potential in candidates who have a strong work ethic, be honest and realistic.

All our staff, past and present, are highly professional, dedicated staff who apply solid judgment as they work each day. They are committed to finding solid employees who will succeed long term for our clients. We have never considered filling a round hole with a square peg. We kiss a lot of frogs so that our customers don’t have to meet them. The work is interesting, fun, and challenging and sometimes frustrating.

Our team is committed to personal service, and I’m so proud of their good efforts. I’ve been very fortunate to work with an exceptionally talented group of professionals.

We have partners who we value; our attorneys, accountants, payroll/IT services, and unemployment consultants. Many of these relationships go back to 1979 – ADP and 1982 – Heiss Gibbons, and Len and Charles Berman who supplied our initial office furniture including a desk with a five year lifespan that we still have today.

We also have been fortunate to work with very special people at top employers in Central PA. We have many loyal customers who work with us year after year, and we are so grateful to work with each of you.

We feel good about sending employees to your workplace, where they are well treated. Thank you for continued support. We hope our relationships continue for many years to come.

Finally, I am grateful for my family. I couldn’t do what I have done without my wonderful husband Josh. Josh is a strong support and an excellent advisor. Our children and grandson are a great source of joy and pride. Finally, I am so grateful to my parents who had the foresight to start this business 45 years ago. They created a wonderful company based upon solid values, a place where employees could feel good about working and a place that served candidates and customers with solid judgment, personal service, with respect and consideration.

Teacher Staffing Agency in Harrisburg PA

Debby and husband Josh at the 45th anniversary celebration.

“Thank you all for being a part of our 45 years of success!”

- Debby Abel

View our celebration photos on Facebook. For a look back over the past 45 years, watch the anniversary slideshow

WBE National Certification

WBENC’s national standard of certification implemented by the Women’s Business Enterprise Council of PA-DE-NJ is a meticulous process, including an in-depth review of the business and site inspection. The certification process is designed to confirm the business is at least 51% owned, operated, and controlled by a woman or women.

By including women-owned businesses among their vendors, corporations and government agencies demonstrate their commitment to fostering diversity and the continued development of their supplier/vendor diversity programs.

About WBENC The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council is the nations’ largest third party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women in the United States. WBENC is a resource for the more than 700 U.S. companies and government agencies that rely on WBENC’s certification as an integral part of their supplier diversity programs.

WBE National Council in Harrisburg PA
Governor Ed Rendell Recognizes Abel Personnel for Hiring Achievements

HERSHEY, Pa., May 20, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Nine employers and training providers received the Governor’s Achievement Award for outstanding hiring and workforce development success. Rendell administration officials and representatives of state workforce development agencies personally recognized them for their accomplishments.

The awards were presented today at the 26th annual Pennsylvania Partners Employment, Training & Education Conference, held at the Hershey Lodge & Convention Center. The awards are jointly sponsored by state workforce development agencies – the departments of Labor & Industry, Aging, Education and Public Welfare – and Pennsylvania Partners to recognize exceptional employers and training providers who promote outstanding hiring practices and workforce development practices.

“Nearly seven out of 10 workers age 45 to 74 say they plan to work in some capacity in retirement,” said Secretary of Aging John Michael Hall. “Many like their work and enjoy being productive and useful. It may be a stereotype – but I believe it’s true – that many older workers bring discipline and a sense of pride that is key to success on the job.”

The awards also salute individuals and former cash assistance recipients for overcoming personal barriers to achieve professional success.

“Employers need a workforce with the skill and training necessary to excel in the knowledge-based workplace,” said Department of Labor & Industry acting Deputy Secretary for Workforce Development Robert Garraty. “The employers we honor today exemplify the kind of outstanding partnership that’s possible among businesses, the PA CareerLink® network and the states local workforce investment boards.”

“Employers are coming to understand the enormous contribution individuals with disabilities can make in the workplace,” said Department of Labor & Industry Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Director William Gannon. “By working closely with employers, tailoring assistive technologies to meet individuals’ and employers’ needs, we’re able to help everyone involved be more productive, successful and independent.”

“Pennsylvania Career and Technical Centers provide real life training that helps students obtain satisfying job placement after high school,” acting Education Secretary Thomas E. Gluck said. “The working relationship between Career and Technical Centers and the surrounding communities ensures that the training meets the workforce demands of the region – this type of partnership should be applauded.”

“The employers we are honoring today have shown a commitment to helping Pennsylvanians achieve jobs skills and the self-sufficiency that those skills foster,” said Department of Public Welfare Secretary Harriet Dichter. “Through their efforts, they are helping us build Pennsylvania’s businesses, communities and families.”

Pennsylvania Partners, an association of workforce development professionals in each of the commonwealth’s 22 workforce investment areas, sponsors this annual event that attracts more than 1,200 private and public job-training experts from across Pennsylvania.

For more information about individual winners, visit

Business Women in Pennsylvania

We are very proud of our company president, Deborah Abel, who was chosen as one of Pennsylvania’s Best 50 Women in Business for 2009. The award is a program of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and honors women who share a commitment to business growth, professional excellence, and to their community.

Debby joined the family business in 1990 as the Marketing Manager. Within ten years she became President of the agency.  Her goals as the company leader are to maintain high quality standards of excellence and integrity.

Abel Personnel is committed to and practices the policies set forth in the Equal Employment Opportunity Act.