Embarking on the dynamic journey through the world of customer service roles is like conducting a symphony of interactions—embracing phone support, digital engagement, and more—all demanding a perfect fusion of skills. However, within the hiring process lies a unique hurdle: effectively conveying the essence of customer service to the hiring manager and the entire company. This is precisely why hiring managers follow a custom process for interviewing and training specialists in various customer care fields.
The ability to define what customer service means to them and handle hypothetical scenarios is a key test. At Abel Personnel, we understand the importance of guiding candidates through this process, offering insights into crafting meaningful and authentic answers to questions like “What does customer service mean to you?”
The Importance of Customer Service Roles
There’s a wide range of customer service roles from phone-based support, help-desk support, account management, support hotlines, and most recently, expanding into digital engagement channels.
Regardless of the specific role, whether you’re a Call Center Agent, a Contact Center Specialist, a Support Center Analyst, or another role under the vast umbrella of customer service, excellent communication skills are required.
Above all, customer service is about creating positive experiences and resolving issues efficiently. It’s not just about dealing with happy customers; it’s about addressing concerns and complaints with care. This is why hiring managers seek candidates who can explain what customer service means to them. Nailing this question is seen as the baseline for hiring managers, who must ensure your idea of customer service aligns with the company’s values and expectations.
Interview Help From Abel Personnel
At Abel Personnel, we recognize the challenges candidates face when navigating the complexities of job interviews. Our team of experienced staffing professionals is committed to providing comprehensive guidance and support to help job seekers excel in their interviews, particularly when it comes to addressing tough customer service-related questions.
We go beyond simply defining customer service; we delve into the nuances of customer care and its alignment with the company’s values and expectations. We encourage candidates to thoroughly research the company’s customer policies and initiatives to demonstrate their understanding of the organization’s approach to customer service.
Our guidance extends to equipping candidates with the tools necessary to showcase their commitment to representing the company effectively and authentically. We help them craft compelling responses that highlight their problem-solving skills, communication prowess, and ability to consistently deliver exceptional customer experiences based upon their own experience and knowledge.
Our approach is centered on empowering candidates to confidently communicate their understanding of customer service and seamlessly integrate it into their responses, giving them the tools to land their dream career.
Additional Tips for Defining Customer Service
- Focus on the customer’s experience. What do you want your interactions with customers to be like?
- Emphasize the importance of problem-solving. How do you approach difficult situations?
- Highlight your communication skills. How do you listen effectively and convey information clearly?
- Share examples of your customer service successes. What are you most proud of in your career?
- By following these tips, you can craft a compelling definition of customer service that will impress hiring managers and help you land your dream job./li>
Guidance is Our Specialty
We advise candidates to provide personal, relatable responses when defining customer service. Examples like “white-glove assistance,” “compassion,” “empathy,” and “going above and beyond” resonate with employers. Sharing real-life experiences showcasing problem-solving skills and successful resolutions helps candidates stand out. Sharing real-life experiences showcasing problem-solving skills and successful resolutions helps candidates stand out. Creating trust between employers and the candidates is key when it comes to navigating the interview process.
Abel Personnel: Your Partner in Customer Service Success
As you prepare to step onto the stage of customer service roles, remember that defining what customer service means to you is your overture—a melody that harmonizes with the hiring manager’s expectations and your future team’s core goals. At Abel Personnel, our mission is to guide you through this symphony of interactions, teaching you not just the notes but the heart and soul of exceptional customer care.
We understand that customer service isn’t a mere transaction; it’s a masterpiece crafted with empathy, problem-solving finesse, and unwavering dedication. Our commitment goes beyond preparing you for interviews; we empower you to weave your experiences into compelling narratives that resonate deeply with potential employers.
With our guidance, you’ll not only articulate your understanding of customer service but embody it, painting a vivid picture of your commitment to delivering unparalleled customer experiences. Trust us to equip you with the tools and confidence needed to find your crescendo—a fulfilling career that resonates with your passion for customer-centric excellence.
In the hustle of management, where new leaders are often thrown into the deep end without any formal training, even those who get some tips find themselves hurdling a number of obstacles. Here’s the real deal — going from Buddy to Boss is more than just being good at the job; it’s about a big shift in skills, viewpoint, and how you deal with employees. Come along as we dive into what every new leader really needs to figure out: how to move from pals to holding staff accountable, finding the right balance, and shifting from doing your own thing to ensuring the whole organization shines. It’s the roadmap from ‘Buddy to Boss,’ where success isn’t just about handling tasks but rocking the art of leading a team.
We have found that 60% of new leaders do not receive any training at all. And even if an organization does provide some training, it often comes too late and lacks a focus on leadership skills that can help a new leader become effective in communication, collaboration, and coaching a team.
All new leaders must acknowledge that everything and everyone is impacted by the way new leaders “lead”.
Oftentimes we find that new leaders struggle with holding others accountable to prevent losing friendship or like-ability. Sometimes new leaders try to change too much too fast and that can be overwhelming for all.
The key point is for everyone to find balance. Abel Personnel recommends time listening to all staff members to find out what the major concerns are from their perspective. In most cases the information provided are changes that a new leader is considering implementing, and now it becomes a change that is supported by all staff members. This approach does not mean that an individual will change everything that is suggested, but it allows a new leader to take into account the things that are concerning to others.
New leaders struggle with the difference between being friendly versus trying to make friends. The right place in relationship balance is to know that staff members will follow new leaders, if they “know,” “like” and “trust” the new leader.
Understanding that relationship expectations, needed skills, and perspective will need to change in order to be a successful new leader.
- Relationships will change because a new leader is now on two teams-team with peers and team with other leaders. The role of a leader is to manage dual responsibilities. Represent the organization to the team as well as represent the team to the organization. Relationships with everyone will not be the same. Relationship conversations are a key tool to deal with the transition from Buddy to Boss. Have a conversation with staff members about how everyone may work best together. New leaders that had a closer relationship in the past with former peers should meet directly with employees and provide new expectations. It is important to establish relationship boundaries as a new leader to make the transition successful.
- The ability to change skills significantly is one of the qualities that a new leader needs. Skills like communication, coaching, collaboration, teamwork, as well as commitment to setting and achieving goals will be necessary to be a successful new leader. A change in perspective will need to occur. It is important for a new leader to understand that managing and leading staff members is most important to an organization, not the routine work that a new leader was previously responsible for completing. It is important for a new leader to balance management, leadership, and assigned work in order to be successful.
In most cases Buddy to Boss goes beyond the nuts and bolts of a specific job. The skills that win the promotion are usually expert technical know-how, good work ethic, great attitude, but these things will not prepare a new leader for all the unexpected challenges managers face. If a new leader has never managed people, dealt with heavy time management issues, administered company policy or never had to deal directly with upper management , then a new leader has been left completely unprepared to succeed.
The journey from being a buddy to becoming a boss is complex, requiring a delicate balance between maintaining relationships and establishing new boundaries. The key takeaway is the importance of finding equilibrium, listening to staff concerns, and adapting leadership styles to foster trust and collaboration. Navigating the transition from individual contributor to leader demands a shift in skills, perspectives, and priorities. Abel Personnel emphasizes that while technical expertise and a positive attitude may secure a promotion, developing effective management and leadership skills is crucial for sustained success. Ultimately, we encourage new leaders to recognize the challenges, embrace change, and invest in their ongoing development to thrive in their roles.
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At Abel Personnel, our mission is not just to find jobs for individuals but to connect them with opportunities that align with their skills, aspirations, and unique backgrounds. Alex Jones, a recent placement, exemplifies the transformative impact our organization has to facilitate a seamless transition from military service to gainful civilian employment opportunities.
Integration through Abel Personnel
“I have worked with [my new company] through Abel Personnel for about 3 months,” Alex shared. This reflects the culmination of a journey that began with the end of his Air Force contract and participation in the My Computer Career Cyber Warrior Skill bridge program. This program not only equipped Alex with essential IT certifications but also provided the skills needed to kickstart a career in the rapidly evolving IT industry.
The Path to the Interview and the First Day on the Job
Alex recounted the pivotal role his Abel Personnel recruiter played in helping him prepare for the interview. “My recruiter was knowledgeable and amazing, she prepared me for the interview, set expectations, provided guidance and got me an amazing offer,” he explained. This intersection of military expertise and civilian opportunities highlights the effectiveness of the mission of Abel Personnel. “The first day on the job was seamless. Melissa Davis and Leah Spangler were incredibly helpful. They made sure I had the correct locations and the right people to get in contact with,” Alex shared.
The Significance of the Job Opportunity
For Alex, this job opportunity goes beyond just a career move. “This job opportunity means the world. I am still relatively new to the IT field, and this role allows me to experience a lot of different aspects. It prepares and assures me I have a bright future in Technology. The team is also very easy to work with!” he expressed. This sentiment underscores the importance of not only finding a job but finding one that aligns with personal growth and professional exploration.
Advice for Job Seekers Considering Abel Personnel
When asked about what advice Alex would give to others thinking of applying for jobs through Abel Personnel, the response was unequivocal. “If someone were applying for jobs through Abel Personnel, I would tell them they are doing the right thing! I have nothing but good things to say about the company and employees that helped me through the process.” This endorsement speaks volumes about the dedication of an Abel Personnel recruiter and their team in guiding Veterans toward fulfilling career paths after dedicated military service.
Military Service and the Transferable Skills
Delving into Alex’s military background, his four years of service in the Air Force specializing in Remotely Piloted Aircraft Maintenance became a foundation for his success. “The biggest things my military training and experience prepared me for were teamwork, troubleshooting, and resourcefulness,” Alex explained. He highlighted the relevance of these skills in his current role as a computer operator, where problem-solving and collaboration are key components. “This translates VERY well into this role as a computer operator, where we are helping users solve their IT-related issues,” he emphasized.
Alex Jones’ journey from the Air Force to the IT field exemplifies the successful collaboration between transitioning military personnel, leading tech companies, and Abel Personnel. The story underscores our commitment to not only finding jobs for veterans but ensuring that those opportunities align with their skills, aspirations, and the unique experiences gained during military service. Alex’s success is a testament to the possibilities that unfold when the right skills meet the right opportunities, and Abel Personnel is proud to play a role in facilitating such transformative journeys.
Ghosted by Job Postings
Unemployment is no fun, regardless of the situation that got you there. First, you have to overcome the shock of why you’re unemployed in the first place. Second, you have to decide what it is you want to do next. You avidly search for a day or two on job sites until you’re exhausted, and next thing you know, you’ve applied to 10, 20, or in my case about 200 jobs over the course of your unemployment. Perhaps you get one of those generic form letters, you know the ones, “thank you for your interest, but…” The frustration sets in quickly, along with a solid dose of disappointment. It’s not uncommon that you jump on the first job you’re offered – only to find yourself back at step one a few months later. Is this something you can relate to? If so, you aren’t alone, my friend. I’m Caleb, and let me tell you a little about my story.
Over the course of more than 6 years, I went through the same “twilight zone.” Job searching ranks right up there with buying a new car or getting a root canal. It’s filled with a lot of anxiety, uncertainty, and a solid dose of hassle. When I began my career, I was one of the quickest rising people in my profession. I had a great situation to start; I had a fantastic mentor and many great resources that others may not have had. The world was my oyster. I even tailored my college experience to match what I was doing and where I wanted to go with it. I had everything I wanted until I experienced burnout and a change was needed. Once again, I found another great opportunity in another field I excelled in, had great resources and everything I could ask for… until financial issues forced that company to make changes and I was laid off.
Laid Off… Again
No one teaches you what to do in those situations or what to expect. What’s the first step? What resources are available? How long does the hiring process take? I went into the process very blindly, not having a game plan, and eventually applying for anything I was qualified for. I didn’t get a single interview for months and rarely even got an email saying I was no longer being considered. I was stunned! Why was this happening? What could I do differently? I was a young, well-educated person with a lot of experience and a great track record. What was I missing? I eventually took the first job I was offered because, and over the course of the next 5 years, I would go through the same wash, rinse, repeat cycle several more times. It felt like a constant loop of Groundhog Day.
Finding Abel Personnel
After many bouts on the hamster wheel, the tides turned and I applied for a position that was offered by Abel Personnel. The rest they say, “is history”! As many people experience at first, I didn’t know that the position I applied for was through a staffing agency. For the first time in years of interviewing, this interview was different! I felt as though the recruiter was legitimately interested in helping me find a position that was the right fit, not just screening me with routine questions and sending me out the door. My initial interview was actually for a different position, but while discussing my experience and qualifications together, she made me aware of an internal position that she thought I’d be a great fit for. For the first time in my job seeking career, someone was truly advocating for me. From there, we pivoted, and I was quickly scheduled for another interview to discuss the other position. She was absolutely right; it was a great fit, and here we are, nearly three months in and thriving.
Recruiters that Advocate for You
If you are seeking your next opportunity, know that Abel Personnel is here to help you find the next career path for you to thrive in. Their recruiters truly want to see you succeed and advocate for you. Many candidates and companies rely on them to advocate for and help them find the best talent to fill roles within their organizations. Check us out and see if your next career move is just a few clicks away!
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As we celebrate Veterans Month, it’s crucial to acknowledge and support our veterans as they transition from their military careers to civilian careers. The skills, dedication, and work ethic developed during military service make veterans highly sought-after candidates in various fields. While this transition may seem challenging, opportunities abound, and many veterans have successfully leveraged their experiences to embark on fulfilling civilian careers. In this blog, we’ll explore some of the diverse career paths available to veterans, including IT jobs, and the role staffing agencies like Abel Personnel can play in helping veterans find their ideal opportunities.
Information Technology (IT) Jobs
The field of Information Technology offers veterans a wealth of opportunities due to the training, clearances, certifications, and discipline honed during their military service. These roles often require problem-solving, adaptability, and the ability to work under pressure, qualities that veterans excel at. Here are three examples of IT jobs that veterans can transition into:
- Cybersecurity Analyst: Veterans excel in this field due to their meticulous training. They can gain certifications like CISSP or CEH, with help from staffing agencies.
- Network Administrator: Veterans with network management experience can transition into this role, using certifications like CCNA or CompTIA Network+ for qualification.
- Computer Operator: Veterans’ teamwork and adaptability skills are assets. Operators learn technical operation, testing and systems components, the Sec+ certification is often necessary and can be facilitated by staffing agencies.
The healthcare industry is a diverse and growing field that offers numerous opportunities for veterans seeking to transition into civilian life. Their training in medical roles within the military can serve as a solid foundation for various healthcare careers, such as:
- Medical Laboratory Technician: Veterans with medical training can become medical laboratory technicians, conducting tests and maintaining equipment. To enter this field, they pursue medical laboratory technology programs and certifications, facilitated by staffing agencies in connecting with healthcare facilities.
- Logistics and Supply Chain Management: Military logistics skills are highly transferable to civilian careers in resource coordination and transportation. Veterans can excel in roles like Supply Chain Manager, utilizing their strategic planning and problem-solving skills, and may pursue relevant certifications like CSCP, with staffing agencies aiding in connecting veterans to supply chain management opportunities.
- Law Enforcement Officer: Many veterans possess skills and qualities such as discipline, leadership, and the ability to handle high-pressure situations, making them excellent candidates for careers in law enforcement. Transitioning veterans can become police officers, sheriff’s deputies, or federal agents, serving their communities and upholding the law.
- Project Manager: Veterans often have strong organizational and leadership skills, making them well-suited for project management roles. They can transition into project manager positions in various industries, overseeing and coordinating projects, ensuring their successful completion on time and within budget. Project management roles are available in fields such as construction, manufacturing, and even in the non-profit sector.
The Role of Staffing Agencies like Abel Personnel
As we celebrate Veterans Month, it’s essential to recognize the abundant transition opportunities available to veterans as they embark on civilian careers. Veterans bring unique qualities, that include discipline, adaptability, leadership, and teamwork, that make them valuable assets to many industries. Staffing agencies like Abel Personnel play a pivotal role in matching candidates with job opportunities that align with their skills, experiences, and career goals with our established networks and partnerships across a wide range of employers and industries. Whether veterans choose to pursue IT jobs, healthcare careers, logistics, or other fields, the skills they’ve acquired during their military service can be leveraged for success in their civilian careers. Staffing agencies like Abel Personnel are here to support veterans on their journey by connecting them with opportunities that align with their backgrounds and aspirations.
Here’s one Veteran’s feedback after his transition with the assistance of Abel Personnel:
“Firstly, I owe a debt of gratitude to an incredible professional, Melissa Davis CPRW, from the remarkable company Abel Personnel. Without her unwavering support and guidance, I wouldn’t be where I am today. She played a pivotal role in helping me transition smoothly from military life to a new chapter in a different state. Melissa and Abel Personnel, thank you for your incredible impact on my journey!” – Chance, AV Engineer
In recent years, an increasing number of workers across the United States have been facing the daunting challenge of soaring housing costs in major metropolitan areas. The pursuit of affordable housing has led many to explore alternative cities, and one destination that has emerged as an attractive option is Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. With its favorable cost of living and charming qualities, Harrisburg is drawing in workers from various corners of the country who are eager to find not only affordable homes but also a high quality of life.
A Respite from Soaring Housing Costs
For many urban dwellers, the dream of homeownership has become increasingly elusive due to the relentless rise in housing prices. As cities like New York, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. experience skyrocketing real estate markets, workers have been seeking refuge in smaller, more affordable cities. Harrisburg, nestled in the heart of Pennsylvania, has become a beacon of hope for these individuals and families.
Cost of Living Advantage
Affordable housing is just one piece of the puzzle. Harrisburg boasts a lower overall cost of living compared to many major cities. Groceries, utilities, transportation, and healthcare expenses are all more budget-friendly, allowing workers to stretch their dollars further and achieve a higher quality of life.
Quality of Life
Harrisburg offers more than just affordability; it provides a high quality of life for residents. Nestled along the picturesque Susquehanna River, the city boasts scenic beauty, a thriving arts and culture scene, and a rich historical heritage. Residents can enjoy outdoor activities, cultural events, and a diverse culinary scene without the stress of big-city congestion.
Accessible Job Market
While housing affordability is a key factor, the decision to relocate often hinges on job opportunities. Harrisburg is not just a haven for housing; it also offers a growing job market in various industries, including healthcare, education, technology, and government. The city’s strategic location, with easy access to major highways and transportation hubs, makes it an
Unfortunately, many small businesses or start-ups don’t have the resources to execute a nation-wide candidate search. That’s where we come in. Abel Personnel specializes in connecting companies in Central Pennsylvania with specialists nationwide who are open to relocating to the area. With a deep understanding of the local job market, an extensive network, and a wide range of recruiting tools, Abel Personnel can efficiently identify and recruit top-tier talent from across the country. By leveraging our local knowledge and nationwide reach, Abel Personnel bridges the gap between businesses in Central PA and highly qualified professionals, ultimately helping companies thrive by accessing the best talent available.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is emerging as a prime destination for workers seeking refuge from the relentless rise in housing costs in major metropolitan areas. With its affordable housing market, lower cost of living, and high quality of life, Harrisburg offers a promising future for those looking to establish roots in a welcoming and affordable community. Abel Personnel is a local business that has been proudly serving Harrisburg’s clients since 1969. With our specialized recruiting resources and nation-wide talent pool, we can attract the best and brightest candidates to your business.
For more resources on supporting workforce relocation, visit the Harrisburg Regional Chamber’s page:
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Recently, an Abel recruiter got a call from a distressed hiring manager. He had an excellent role to fill at his accounting firm and couldn’t understand why he was experiencing more “ghosts” than actual applicants. After reviewing several great resumes, he reached out to schedule interviews, very excited at the prospects. Despite calls and texts to stay in touch with the candidates in the days leading up to the interviews, the two candidates did not show up. No call, no text- just ghosted. This behavior was detrimental in more than one way. A lot of time was spent waiting for ghosts to arrive at interviews that never happened. The hiring manager was also starting to experience FOMO (fear of missing out) on the applicants he could have been interviewing instead!
His company was new to using staffing agencies and didn’t know what to expect, but he sure was hoping ghosting wasn’t a part of it. The Abel recruiter assured him that ghosting was bound to happen occasionally, however there is a lot that Abel Personnel can do to limit how much they have to experience it. Our candidates need to go through a variety of steps. Their follow through indicates whether there is serious interest in pursuing a position or not.
“We coach our candidates on best practices so they can be the most successful.” The recruiter explained. “The candidate won’t be considered for future assignments with both Abel or any client companies if we experience ghosting at the time of their interview; Our extensive network allows us to draw from candidates that have demonstrated their dependability and accountability.”
Opportunities can come from any open door; this is why we suggest to never ‘burn a bridge’, even if you are not offered the job or decide you wish to withdraw your application. 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||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.|
|3||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.|
|4||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.”|
|5||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. Be courteous; give notice if you are offered another opportunity.|
Ultimately, the hiring manager was excited to see a future of less ghosting with the help of Abel Personnel’s advice and extensive network. Before they ended the call, the Abel recruiter joked, “And Abel Personnel can guide you through the tricks and treats even beyond the spooky season!”
As you ponder your Halloween costume for this year, you might not find yourself gravitating toward the classic ghost attire. It’s hardly a shocker that in 2022, ghost costumes didn’t make it to the coveted top ten spot on the Halloween costume list (that title was firmly claimed by witches).
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Halloween, the time of year when we celebrate the art of disguise, when we don masks to become someone or something else entirely. But in the world of staffing and recruitment, the masks we wear are not made of latex or plastic; they’re woven from the details on our resumes and the impressions we give in interviews.
The Abel Personnel Recruiter sat with her new client to discuss her staffing frustrations, especially where it related to feeling like her candidates were wearing a mask. The hiring manager had recently made a few hires, where the person who came to work seemed to have a completely different work ethic and skill set than the person she interviewed. She wondered how she could find great candidates among the skeletons, werewolves, and witches (oh my!).
Nodding sympathetically, the recruiter assured the hiring manager that she understood her concerns and had a comprehensive process in place to uncover the true potential of candidates, “With a thorough screening and assessment process, we pride ourselves in our ability to unmask the hidden talents that job seekers bring to the table.”
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.
“We understand that the job market can be a maze of masks, where appearances can be deceiving,” the recruiter joked, “but in our business, it’s always Halloween.” With a playful wink and a Halloween-inspired spirit, they shared the commitment to “unmasking” candidates, delving beyond the masks.
Through thorough assessments and an extensive network of industry contacts, Abel Personnel ensures candidates are a genuine “treat” for the positions they seek. As they continued their conversation in the coffee shop, the manager felt a renewed sense of hope that, with Abel Personnel’s help, the right candidates would be unveiled and unmasked for their true capabilities she’s looking for.
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The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) took effect on June 27, 2023 and applies to employers with 15 or more employees. The purpose of the PWFA is to fill in the pregnancy protection gaps that remain despite the numerous existing laws. The PWFA requires employers to consider employee and applicant accommodation requests related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions the same way it has considered requests for accommodation related to disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The PWFA does not replace federal, state, or local laws that are more protective of workers affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.
However, the employee does not need to have a disability as defined by the ADA in order to be eligible for an accommodation under the PWFA. The PWFA introduces the concept of “known limitations” associated with pregnancy and childbirth and requires reasonable accommodations for such limitations. Workers with normal, uncomplicated pregnancies, for example, may experience pregnancy-related limitations that are covered under the PWFA. The term “known limitations” means physical or mental conditions related to, affected by, or arising out of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions that the employee or employee’s representative has communicated to the employer whether or not such conditions meet the definition of disability.
Reasonable accommodations are changes to the work environment or the way things are usually done at work. Examples:
- The ability to sit or drink water, and/or have food or water at the workstation
- Utilize a closer parking spot
- Work flexible hours, or possibly work remotely
- Receive appropriately sized uniforms and safety apparel
- Take additional break time to use the bathroom, eat, and rest
- Take leave or time off to recover from childbirth
- Be excused from strenuous activities and/or activities that involve exposure to chemicals not safe for pregnancy.
An employer can not deny a job or other employment opportunities to a qualified employee or applicant based on the person’s need for reasonable accommodations, also an employer can not require an employee to take leave if another reasonable accommodation can be provided that would let the employee keep working.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has provided extensive information on their website for employers and workplaces to clearly define the new law. To learn more, please visit the link below:
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is issuing a proposed rule to implement the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. Comments regarding this proposal must be received by the Commission on or before October 10, 2023.
Abel Personnel recommends that you continue to follow us on this topic as we monitor all updates. As covered employers navigate these new accommodation requirements, Abel Personnel can assist with all aspects of preparing for and maintaining compliance under the new law.
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IT Jobs are HOT, HOT, HOT!
Fall is in the air with cool breezes and the comforting scent of Pumpkin Spice, but at Abel Personnel it is HOT, HOT, HOT with IT roles and placements! Abel Recruiters are filling IT positions more quickly than the falling leaves are reaching the ground.
Abel Personnel is based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, however, we fill IT roles across Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and Michigan. Don’t just take our word for it – take it from Cody, a recent Veteran who transitioned out of the military into an Audio/Visual Engineer role with a highly recognized IT employer: “I owe a debt of gratitude to an incredible professional, Melissa Davis CPRW, from the remarkable company Abel Personnel. Without her unwavering support and guidance, I wouldn’t be where I am today. She played a pivotal role in helping me transition smoothly from military life to a new chapter in a different state. Melissa and Abel Personnel, thank you for your incredible impact on my journey!”
IT Jobs You Can Get Through Abel Personnel
What types of IT roles does Abel Personnel fill? A better question may be “What types of IT roles don’t we fill?” We’ve placed job seekers in Network Administration (Techs, Net Engineers, and Admins), LAN-WLAN, Telecommunications Infrastructure, Tech Support (helpdesk, field techs, desktop support, computer operators), IT Management and IT Project Management, Software Engineers, SQL, Web, and App Development roles…the list goes on and on.
Does your company need an IT role filled?
Does your company have an IT role that has been a challenge to fill? Reach out to Abel Personnel! We have qualified candidates who are waiting for their next career opportunity. Maybe you have an urgent IT need to complete a corporate project. Abel Personnel works on a contingency basis; we are paid when we place a qualified candidate that you have interviewed and selected to onboard.
Your Abel Personnel Recruiter
Are you a passive job seeker, thinking about making a move because there are no growth opportunities with your current employer? Reach out and speak with one of Abel’s IT Recruiters. All it takes to start is a quick chat to discuss your career goals (no time off of work to go to a job fair or endless unresponsive applications through online job boards). While you’re working, our IT recruiters are hustling to find the best job that matches your preferences. And since we’re paid by the client, there’s no fee to job seekers for our services.
So relax by the bonfire and enjoy your s’mores, let the warming feeling from the burning logs also be a reminder of Abel Personnel, HOT, working on your behalf.
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Most people imagine a career trajectory that only goes up, up, and up before you reach the age of retirement; this hustle-culture ideal is beginning to change as work-life balance moves to the top of the priority list for both new and seasoned workers. AARP is now referring to this phenomenon as a search for meaningful employment, largely brought on by extensive burnout people experience, with a majority between the ages of 40-49.
It’s not uncommon for workers who are older, unemployed, overstressed, balancing family commitments, or simply tired of working too hard to seek a lower-level position. The problem is that when you interview for a job, the hiring manager is going to try to determine if you are simply overqualified or are willing to downgrade your career. For many, overqualified resumes never see the top of the hiring manager’s desk. Luckily, recruiters have a way around this with their extensive and direct connections with hiring businesses.
For those seeking greater overall satisfaction, a downgrade just might be the upgrade they’re looking for! In fact, AARP’s study determined that even a job change that brought in lower pay and fewer benefits resulted in lower levels of stress, more flexibility, and the satisfaction workers are looking for. Interviewers are interested in uncovering if you view a lower-level position as a temporary situation or if you are looking to work at this level long-term. They may also want to confirm that you’re aware that the salary will be lower at this level and that the responsibilities will not be as high-level as in previous roles.
Before talking to your Abel recruiter, think about why you want to take on the new job and prepare yourself to answer questions about why you’re looking to make a change. First, make a list of the most appealing activities associated with your target job. Then, think of examples of when you carried out similar tasks and applied similar skills in the past, noting what you enjoyed about these aspects of the job. Don’t be afraid to speak candidly with your Abel recruiter. It’s important to be transparent and honest while explaining your needs for a change; use phrases that define your reasoning, such as saying, “I’m looking for a less intensive role with little-to-no travel required.” This provides context for your Abel Recruiter to showcase your goals and intentions to the hiring manager.
Your recruiter will help prepare you to answer interview questions in a manner that will convince the interviewer that the position is right for you. You need to build your case, and the more reasons you have for wanting a lower-level job, the better your chances are for actually getting hired!
Whatever your supporting reasons might be, the key will be to pair these statements with the main reason that explains your passion for your target position. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself in search of a career downgrade for that work-life balance upgrade sooner than you think! Your Abel Personnel recruiter is just one call away to guide you through every part of your career.
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In today’s competitive job market, standing out from the crowd and maximizing your workplace potential has become more important than ever. While a college degree may be a good option for many people, it’s not the only thing that can help you succeed in rapidly evolving industries. Employers are constantly seeking candidates who can demonstrate a willingness to adapt and grow. By investing time and effort into improving your skills, you showcase your commitment to professional development and your enthusiasm for staying at the forefront of your industry.
Upskilling is a unique approach to gaining new skills aside from a traditional college education; these skills can elevate a candidate’s capabilities beyond the confines of a traditional bachelor’s degree. It’s about taking the initiative to stay relevant and valuable in an ever-changing professional landscape. Fortunately, the means to upskill have never been more accessible, with numerous courses available at local colleges or online platforms. One of the most significant benefits of upskilling is its versatility. Unlike the time and financial commitment required for a full degree program, individual courses can be tailored to suit specific career goals. Whether you’re seeking to improve your expertise in coding, digital marketing, project management, or any other field, there are courses available to match your needs.
Enrolling in a course at a local institution allows for fast-paced learning focused on specific skills. Whether or not the course provides a certificate after completion, you can list this experience on your resume as additional training and education. You can benefit from the flexibility and diversity of online classes, or the networking opportunities gained through in-person learning for potential job opportunities. Perhaps you excel in your current role but lack expertise in a particular area that is becoming increasingly crucial in your field. Taking a targeted course can give you the confidence and competence to take on new challenges and responsibilities, making you a more valuable asset to your employer.
Upskilling is also an excellent way to make a career transition. If you’ve been eyeing a different role or industry, but your current qualifications are holding you back, a strategic course can equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge to make that switch. This adaptability and willingness to learn new things can impress hiring managers and set you apart from other candidates with more conventional qualifications.
Whether you choose to take a course at a local college or explore online platforms, the benefits of upskilling are far-reaching. It provides an opportunity to gain specialized skills, demonstrate continuous learning, and stay ahead in today’s fast-paced professional world. So, why wait? It’s a great way to take on necessary, and sometimes unique, skills to show the capability of a candidate that is usually assumed of a bachelor’s degree. Take that step towards unlocking your full workplace potential and embrace the world of possibilities that upskilling has to offer.
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A longtime client company was recently in touch about a new service that they needed which they hoped Abel Personnel could provide. Prior to that phone call, this 30-person company had relied on Abel to fill occasional new and replacement openings with direct hires, as well as to provide temporary workers to fill in for employees out on PTO or during crunch times when additional hands were sought. The new need?
“We have a staffing growth requirement that our HR and Accounting Departments do not have the capacity to handle.”
A few clarifying questions later, and the requirement was understood to be the fast expansion of their local 24/7 call center to now serve the Mid-Atlantic region. This would be staffed by about 100 people, to be brought on in classes of 10 each week over three months. Abel would provide 14 pre-qualified trainees each week, with the expectation that about 4 would drop out during that first week due to personal reasons. There would also likely be more turnover in this job category than the client had previously experienced. The client already knew that Abel would have no trouble scaling their services to this client, even in a tight labor market.
“What will be different,” the client went on to explain, “is that we would also like these employees to be working for you, including your company handling payroll, benefits tailored to this group, performance issues and reviews along with the hiring and firing.”
How It’s Done
This was not a new requirement for Abel, the client was first assured. Abel Personnel already successfully provides these solutions for many clients. Some of these arrangements were structured in order to meet RFP requirements to subcontract significant costs to a Women-Owned Business (WBE), a designation that Abel was awarded in 2013. For most of these situations, the process was very similar to a direct hire:
- These employees were hired through the same skills and qualification assessments, interview, and reference check process based on direction by the client company. However, they were Abel Personnel employees, and received their paychecks directly from Abel. Abel also complies with and handles the federal, state, worker’s compensation, and unemployment deductions.
- These employees can receive the benefits identified by the client company, including possibly PTO benefits, insurance benefits, 401K, reimbursements, etc.
- As Abel employees, any personnel action, such as a performance review and discipline, would is done through the Abel account manager and HR representative assigned to the client company.
- The client company can reclassify employees from Abel to become direct hires based on an agreement similar to temp-to-hire.
Starting out in this process, some current call center employees could be transferred to Abel Personnel. It was also the client’s option whether or not to let their staff know who were their direct hires and who were technically Abel employees.
Transitioning to Temp-to-Hire
The client was pleased with how simple and fluid this process was. This reaction created an opening to introduce another employment process some client companies were accessing as a contingency strategy: temp-to-hire. This approach has most new company employees start out as a temp working for Abel. This status continues for pre-determined number of hours, about the same period that some companies call the “training period.” Once those hours have been met, the company could have the employee become a direct hire or continue on as temp. They can also request Abel to excuse an employee at any time.
“This is especially smart when there are a relatively large number of workers being hired, allowing the client and the employee to determine culture and role compatibility through the initial period, such as new service ramp-up,” the client was advised. This is an opportunity to quickly secure new staff with Abel’s Recruiting team matching their skills and qualifications, and conducting the screenings and interviews. Having a new worker start as a temp and knowing there is an opportunity for direct hire gives both the company and worker a chance to better know each other before that transition is offered. This reduces bad hire risk, and immediately accesses Abel’s pipeline of prequalified candidates.
The client’s final concern was whether, given an option, a worker might choose a direct hire with one company rather than a temp-to-direct situation with another company.
“That’s always a risk, but less so with these rising generations and the employment market,” the client was counseled. “We often advise these applicants that for those first few months, they are ‘being reviewed’ no matter whether they are a direct hire or a temp through Abel. Most of these candidates are more focused on the opportunity to advance their career, learn new skills, gain experience and work in a company culture that is the right fit for them. They accept the temp-to-hire position believing they have the skills and work ethic to become direct employees fairly quickly.”
The conversation continued until the client felt comfortable with the options to present to senior management, along with a recommendation.
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This morning’s job applicant appeared on the Abel Personnel recruiter’s screen three minutes before the scheduled interview start time. Always a good sign of a serious candidate! However, her response to the recruiter’s “Good Morning!” was a surprise:
“Wow, an actual person on the other screen!”
Today’s Job Hunting Frustrations
An unusual way to start an interview, but the recruiter elected to encourage her to explain. The interviewee then related how lately she had experienced virtual interviews that consisted of her being recorded answering questions that appeared on the screen. No human contact, no visual clues to set her at ease, to encourage her to be more specific or give examples, or to drill down on a particular job challenge.
“I am then left wondering afterwards whether the video is even watched by a person or goes through some AI filtering program. Sometimes I receive a thanks-but-no-thanks note within two hours of the interview, or even after submitting a resume on-line or one of those complicated, confusing and time consuming applications; I’m pretty sure no human was ever part of the screening process.
One-way Interviews and being Screened Out by an Artificial Intelligence Algorithm were only two of the frustrations that the applicant had endured in her three month search. The recruiter pursued this saga of the job search, both as a way to gauge how the applicant communicates information, and as a cautionary tale of how not to treat applicants. The other sources of job search annoyances:
- Ghosting: No response to submitted resumes, or then no response to detailed applications, or no response after interviews. This practice can include participating in several interviews and then never hearing back from the employer, even after reaching out to follow up.
- Unrealistic Pay for Required Qualifications: Sometimes there is a disconnect between the job qualifications and responsibilities with the job pay, or the job responsibilities and pay align but the qualifications far exceed what doing the job will require. This can include gaslighting – trying to convince the candidate that their qualifications are not worthy of a higher level job and/or salary. Generally, the low pay offered is not in line with skills and experience. In other cases, the pay advertised in the posting is downgraded during the interview process.
- There is No Job: Companies post jobs (“ghost jobs”) in order to look like they’re growing to both stockholders and concerned employees. They might be gathering resumes now for an opening that might occur in a few months in order to later reduce the recruitment period. Sometimes there is a favored internal candidate but policy requires looking outside of the company, too. This going-through-the-motions can include a long, drawn-out interview process only to hear that the company decided to hire within or there was a sudden hiring freeze.
- Job Posting Scam: Scammers are seeking personal information to use or sell. They play on the desperation of the job seekers for regular or better employment. This can include fake one-way interviews and hire letters. The tipoff is when they ask for social security numbers or bank account numbers for direct deposit of paychecks.
Reducing Job Search Stress
The Abel recruiter had previously heard of most of these job search experiences. Before discussing the opening that prompted this interview, the recruiter assured the applicant of Abel’s approach:
- There is a Job: Abel works with known client companies to verify that there is an opening now. If the opening is dependent on a contract award or renewal, the recruiter will seek to determine this and advise the applicant.
- The Job Qualifications and Pay are Realistic: The recruiter will want to first understand what the job responsibilities entail, why certain skills and experience are being sought in the new hire, and what the pay range will be. Many companies have not had to fill certain positions for several years, and are often unaware of how a tight labor market and inflation have increased salary expectations.
- Resume Refinement and Interview Prep: The recruiter will make general recommendations on how to make a resume more attractive to the companies with the type of position that is sought, including what keywords to include that hiring managers (and AI) might be seeking to attract consideration. Similarly, the recruiter can suggest what interview questions to expect and give advice about how to phrase the answers to be clear and concise.
- No Ghosting:The applicant will receive updates on progress directly from the recruiter. This will include the feedback received from applications and interviews.
What the recruiter could not ease was the length of the process from the first response to her application to the start date. Efforts to involve more of the work team in the interview and selection process is adding weeks until an offer decision is made. With the ease of one- way interviews, more interviews can occur which take more time. Ironically, this decision delay is due in part to the applicants’ “spray and pray” approach, resulting in twice as many resume submissions to review for some job openings than occurred just 18 months ago. Many HR departments also dropped their staffing functions when they had to cut back during the pandemic, which now requires department managers to oversee recruitment for their openings. These managers usually do not have the training to do that, or the time in addition to their usual responsibilities. When Abel recruiters are brought in to do the staff recruiting, they have become adept in developing a sense of urgency, a fear in losing the top candidate by not producing an offer fast enough.
The recruiter finished these assurances and caveats with a bottom line, “We only get paid by the hiring company if you get the job. So, we’re highly motivated to find qualified applicants that fit attractive openings. We can’t afford to waste our time any more than you can.”
This personal approach from the Abel recruiter convinced the applicant that she, at last, had found the right approach to finding a new position in today’s job market. She’d rather spend her time refining her resume, as the recruiter suggested, or practicing answers to the types of interview questions she was advised to expect. That was definitely smarter than trying to respond to 20+ job postings a week.
- Sourced from : Time Magazine, “You’re Not Imagining It—Job Hunting Is Getting Worse, “ Alana Semuels, June 14, 2023. https://time.com/6287012/why-finding-job-is-difficult/
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Brandy called her Abel Personnel recruiter within 5 minutes of receiving her manager’s approval to make an employment offer for the senior accountant position. She was hooked on that candidate within 5 minutes of the interview start; the other interviews felt more like “going through the motions.” This was her top candidate! However, within an hour, Brandy heard back from the recruiter that the top candidate had just accepted another offer.
Brandy was devastated. Not only had this lost candidate been a great find, but Brandy had shared her enthusiasm for the candidate with the management team, who would also be disappointed. The recruiter gave Brandy a minute to collect herself, and then encouraged her to regroup.
- “So, is there a backup plan?” Brandy asked. The recruiter knew which of the other interviewees had ranked second and third in Brandy’s evaluation and had immediately emailed them to verify their availability just before sitting down to formulate a new plan with Brandy.
“Are either of those two candidates still a good fit?” The recruiter asked. “What was it about the preferred candidate that set them apart from the others? We could also take a step back to reconsider the job description and qualifications?”
When Brandy did not give a ready answer to these questions, the recruiter pivoted to exploring how Abel could provide a temporary worker to fill the opening as a bridge to the direct hire. There were a few recent retirees that the recruiter had already interviewed for temp positions who had been senior accountants in a similar position. Likely one of them could start the following Monday. Brandy embraced this strategy, and those resumes were in her inbox before the phone call ended.
Abel Personnel’s temporary employee performed well over the four weeks needed to identify another top candidate, despite having different strengths and weaknesses than the lost candidate. Brandy was grateful for her recruiter’s support in this tough situation, and she did NOT want to lose her next top candidate. She asked the recruiter how she could avoid this situation with the new candidate search.
Avoiding the Loss
The recruiter offered the following guidance:
- Maintain a Sense of Urgency:In any labor market, the great fit, new-hire is a scarce find. When you find that right person, be ready to move immediately, even if it is the first resume or interviewee. Alert your management and anyone else who will need to approve the offer that you will need their swift response in order to achieve the best outcome for the organization. Time is of the essence!
- Address Post-Hire Hurdles:When making the offer, be clear to both the recruiter as well as the candidate about any conditions, such as background checks, clearances and drug tests. If these are surprises, it might discourage your candidate enough to be tempted by a later counteroffer from their current employer or another company. If possible, be ready to discuss scheduling these conditions as soon as the offer is accepted. Act quickly; top candidates often have multiple offers on the table. If you identify a strong candidate, make the offer promptly. Delaying the process increases the risk of them accepting another offer.
- Communicate Effectively:Keep your recruiter informed throughout the hiring process. Provide regular updates on the status of the candidates you’ve received and the timelines. Promptly respond to their emails and phone calls. There could be some vital information you need or they need in order to gain a successful hire.
- Engage the New Hire:Once the offer has been accepted, the hiring process is far from over. Likely, your top candidate has attracted the attention of others looking to hire who will be willing to offer the candidate a better package. To avoid a no-win bidding war, immediately make the new hire feel welcome– already a member of the team. Suggest the new hire come in immediately to go through the paperwork, even if the official start date is weeks away. Give one or two of the new hire’s soon-to-be colleagues, or even upper management, reasons to engage with them, also. Perhaps you could ask their office neighbor to schedule lunch with them for the first or second day of work. Ask the administrative assistant to call and find out how they like their name to appear on their new name plate; others can contact them about business cards and email signatures.
- Have a Backup Plan in Place:All these best practices still might not bring in your top candidate. Anticipate the possibility of the offer being rejected, and have a plan in place of the steps you’ll take if the top candidate turns you down. Communicate that plan to your management team so that everyone knows how you will be mitigating this risk. You might turn to your second-best candidate or reconsider the job description and qualification requirements, while an Abel Personnel temporary employee fills in.
Brandy’s recruiter would also be undertaking each of those activities. Taking the necessary steps to engage the ideal candidate is as essential to the hiring process as finding and vetting qualified candidates. In fact, every new hire had her attention for about 90 days after the start date, just to make sure everything in the onboarding process was proceeding smoothly. With the guidance from her Abel recruiter, Brandy was better prepared to act quickly the next time she identified her top candidate or change course when the candidate’s plans inevitably change.
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Heidi had mixed emotions as she put newly purchased school clothes in the closets. At the end of the last school year, her youngest-child walked himself to the bus stop. Last evening, once their children were all in bed, her husband had called this “the end of the era.” He was referring to the 14 years since their first child was born and she had happily quit the working world to become a “full-time Mom.” Now, their baby would not even let them accompany them to the bus stop. Like his older siblings, their youngest was now committed to after school activities each afternoon, so she would be alone in the house each day until just before dinner time.
Heidi’s friends with slightly older children had loads of advice on how to embrace this opportunity. Yoga classes, volunteering, gardening, new hobbies or sports interests. The recommendation she found most helpful was from Stacey, a neighbor who reported to her about how much the working world had changed in those years since just before Covid.
Stacey continued, “Late July, early August is the best time to look for a job that starts when your children return to school. There are many openings for jobs beginning in September. Now is exactly the right time to explore some opportunities. Employers are interviewing NOW for those September hires.”
Stacey shared that Abel Personnel helped her find a remote position. The great thing about the position was helping senior citizens obtain low cost prescriptions, all while working from home. The work was rewarding and the project ran several months. When the position was drawing to a close, Stacey was asked to become a permanent employee with full benefits. She decided against the permanent role, but she plans to return next year to work on the same project.
Stacey shared the phone number of a recruiter at Abel Personnel that had guided her. “I think you will really like Barbara, she listens to your interests and concerns.”
Heidi wasn’t ready to commit yet to how she would transition her daytime hours, and wanted to stay open to all possibilities. She was also a bit skeptical about how much the workplace had evolved over those intervening years.
The First Surprise – Interview Choices
Her first surprise was that she was not immediately told that she needed to come to the Abel office for an in-person interview. The Abel receptionist offered several available times for a video interview with a recruiter. The interview could either be during the day or in the evening. When Heidi admitted, with some embarrassment, that she did not have a video conferencing account, the receptionist emailed her a link to download the free connection. Within 10 minutes the initial interview was set.
Two days later, the Abel recruiter, Barbara, asked all the questions that Heidi anticipated: training, experience, positions sought, desired compensation. There were also queries Heidi did not recall being posed when she had last looked for a job. What hours would she prefer to work? Would she prefer to work from an office, from home or in a hybrid situation? How many hours per week? Set schedule or flexible hours? The recruiter’s approach made Heidi feel like a valuable player rather than an out-of-touch mom.
After understanding Heidi’s preferences, the recruiter asked Heidi if she had updated her resume. “I’m still not sure that I want to go back to work,” Heidi reiterated. “That is completely your decision,” the recruiter assured Heidi, “Keep me posted if your needs change.” She could explore this option and then decide not to pursue work, or perhaps not to pursue a position through Abel. There was no obligation and no fee. If she did secure a position through Abel, there would still be no fee to Heidi. With that verified, the recruiter provided Heidi with some guidelines and suggestions of how to update her resume from the early 2000s to the 2020s.
Six weeks later – About to start a Remote Job
Heidi had decided to explore work. She and Barbara had discussed a few options, and the one which appealed to her most was helping an association with their annual conference. Most of the work could be done remotely but there were periodic visits to the local office, and of course, she would help out during the conference. The project would last a few months. Now, she and Barbara met for coffee, the first time they actually met face-to-face. They discussed her first two weeks of work and how it fit in with her schedule and family.
Six months later – A permanent job
Heidi thoroughly enjoyed the stimulation of working, plus having a paycheck to ease her family’s tight budget. Remote work enabled her to wear a very casual wardrobe, although she dressed more professionally if she went to the office, and of course at the conference. Heidi’s work ethic and skills had been recognized by the association. They offered her a permanent job on a hybrid schedule. The temporary project had been a good trial for Heidi and the association. Neither party had planned this outcome, but it made great sense when the initial project concluded.
The following spring, when a woman from her church was echoing the lament of her youngest having reached a new level of independence, Heidi was pleased to make the same referral to the Abel recruiter who had helped set this new pathway.
Are you interested in starting a job in September? APPLY NOW –
The REMOTE job Stacey worked is interviewing NOW. To find out more.
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The resignation was totally unexpected. There were no signs of any job dissatisfaction at the last performance review, and the significant salary boost seemed welcomed. Carrie had to smile as she held the letter in her hand as her soon-to-be-ex-employee left her office at 4:00 PM on that Friday afternoon.
“He chose not to have to worry all weekend about giving his notice on Monday, but he sure put a damper on my weekend,” Carrie thought.
Her six years as a supervisor taught Carrie that almost all resignations should just be accepted gracefully. Trying to convince someone not to resign – whether or not they had another job lined up – by offering a big raise or even a promotion rarely resulted in keeping the employee. If the employee did elect to stay, they were almost always out the door within six months for all the same underlying reasons they had decided to move on in the first place.
A Sense of Urgency
Experience also taught Carrie that she needed to move quickly. After notifying HR of the resignation and discussing it with her manager, an initial plan for transition came to light.
- Ideally, she would want to validate the position’s requirements and responsibilities before posting the position. Again, there was no time to waste. There were likely a limited number of available replacement candidates.
- She needed to access a pool of candidates now actively looking. Even if she caught someone’s interest with a posting this weekend, they may take a week to develop and submit their resume and cover letter, thereby further delaying filling the position.
Calling the Recruiter
For that last reason, her next call was to her Abel Personnel recruiter. Her inspiration for calling Abel Personnel:
- Staffing firms and recruiters specialize in talent acquisition and have extensive networks or candidates. They are well-connected within their respective industries and can tap into their pool of qualified candidates quickly. This saves Carrie time and effort in searching for a suitable replacement.
- Many top-performing candidates are not actively looking for new opportunities but might be open to considering the right offer. Abel recruiters reach out to these passive candidates and present Carrie’s opportunity.
- Since Carrie already had a full plate and was preparing to go out on vacation, she was relieved to have her recruiter screen resumes, conduct interviews, and assess candidates’ skills and qualifications to the specifications needed for the role. Streamlining the hiring process would ensure that only the most suitable candidates would be presented to her.
- Not only would this save Carrie time, but it would also save her company money in advertising on multiple online job boards – allowing her to focus on her core duties.
- Carrie’s Abel Recruiter had assisted her with placements in the past. They spent some time reconnecting and discussing the recruiter’s questions about salary, benefits, culture, and values which provided Carrie with the confidence that the candidate search would be tailored to her needs.
- The recruiter had taken the time to really understand Carrie’s company and its culture. The pressure to fill this position would be understood. The recruiter would be a great sounding board on how certain applicants might fit in, and could give potential candidates insights into the opportunities that existed within Carrie’s company beyond what was presented in the job description.
- The recruiter also had a unique understanding of the candidate environment in the Harrisburg, PA area. How likely would Carrie find a good candidate quickly? What requirements might be changed from “required” to “preferred” to increase the candidate pool? The recruiter would immediately have a list of possible candidates from the company’s database that could be scheduled for interviews next week.
- By the time Carrie finished her call with the recruiter, it was well after 5:00 PM. The recruiter had given her hope that they might be through first interviews toward the end of the coming week. However, the recruiter’s cautionary advice prompted Carrie to compose one more email to her manager before heading home to unwind:
- “The unexpected resignation is now being addressed with our outside recruiter from Abel Personnel. I may start seeing resumes as early as Monday. However, I have been advised that this position is a “hot job” in this labor market. Most candidates looking for this type of opening have multiple interviews lined up quickly… and offers. We need to be prepared to provide a proposal to a candidate within 24 hours of the interview. As the saying goes, ‘she who hesitates is lost.’ Let’s confer on Monday about what we must do to be proactive and produce a quick turnaround on an offer.”
With their every confidence in Abel Personnel’s advice, and a plan already in motion, Carrie spent less time worrying about the hiring process over the weekend.
Satisfaction at any company, industry, or location
My name is Theo. A random conversation with a stranger shaped the course of my life. My first job out of high school was as a cashier at the local zoo. I greeted visitors, accepted payments for tickets and gave people directions to the restrooms.
One day on my lunch break, I saw someone I didn’t recognize in the lunchroom. I introduced myself between bites and asked her if she was new. She said that she didn’t technically work for the zoo – that she worked for an accounting firm –and that the zoo was one of the firm’s clients. She was working on-site to audit the zoo’s financial records, which is a requirement for most non-profit organizations. I asked her what being an accountant was like. She said that her favorite thing about her job is that she can work anywhere: some weeks her clients are in high-rises downtown, and this week she’s on assignment at a zoo! Every organization needs someone to keep track of their finances. A few weeks later I enrolled as an accounting major at our local community college.
While I was taking accounting courses, I applied for a job as a receptionist at a local accounting firm. The owner of the firm called me after seeing my resume and said that he thought it was fascinating that I was working at the zoo and wanted to be an accountant. After chatting for several minutes, he said that he didn’t think that the receptionist position was the right role for me, but he wanted to take me on as an intern. In my internship, I learned how to use various types of accounting software, office equipment, and performed a lot of data entry. I reviewed clients’ records, performed account reconciliations, and assembled tax returns. While I enjoyed the job and the people I worked with very much, I had an emergency medical situation, and had to leave my job and live with family in another state.
The good news was, with some coursework under my belt and the experience I had working at the accounting firm, I was better equipped when I approached my local staffing firm, Abel Personnel. When I was back on my feet, my recruiter let me know that, although there were no immediate openings for accounting roles, there was other work available that I could do until a more appropriate role for me became available. So for a few months, I worked a job that I didn’t particularly like, but the recruiter checked in with me every week to encourage me and assure me that an accounting role would come along soon.
Sure enough, Abel Personnel placed me in the accounting department at an international company. My role was a temp-to-hire accounts receivable cash applications clerk. My job was to process check payments that our business customers sent directly to us, to apply electronic payments received by our bank, and to make calls to customers who were late on their payments. Sometimes I would have to pull records showing that our customers placed an order, the document indicating that we filled the order, and the proof of delivery, which showed they had received the order. I always found it exciting that international visitors would tour our facility regularly. I enjoyed hearing them speak in different languages, and the gifts they would bring from their country.
In every accounting role that I’ve had, I’ve felt an incredible amount of satisfaction at the end of the period when all of the accounts are reconciled, cash drawers are balanced, and books are closed. It’s a fresh start. Just like the auditor I had met in the lunchroom at the zoo had said, you can take accounting skills to any company, and use them in virtually any location; this makes staffing firms particularly conducive to placing accounting candidates at various companies. If you have accounting skills or are in need of a skilled accounting professional, your first call should be to Abel Personnel!
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Carlos was in a tough spot, so he explained this no-win situation to his friend:
- Looking for a New Job While Employed:It’s hard to find the hours required to compile a resume, line up references, respond to job postings, research companies and prepare for an interview, in addition to all of your other non-work responsibilities. It is difficult to make phone calls and attend interviews during the day, while maintaining discretion and tact with your current employer.
- Looking for a Job While Unemployed:If you quit your job (or lose it) before starting your new job search, you can make “finding a new job” your full-time job. However, somehow prospective employers value you less because you are unemployed even though you have the same skills and experience you had when employed just a few weeks before! Meanwhile, you no longer have the income and possibly the benefits for the duration you’re unemployed.
The friend, having been out in the business world several years longer than Carlos, nodded in understanding. After assuring Carlos that this was a too common dilemma, he recommended the following steps to handle looking for a new job while employed in the most business-like and professional manner:
|1||Address Your Current Situation:: Before giving up on your present position, consider what changes would need to be made to entice you to stay. Then present these to your employer. Sometimes this is a matter of asking for a raise and/or promotion. Other times it may be an intra-company transfer. Basically, at this point you have nothing to lose; you’ve pretty much already decided to leave. You may be surprised at the positive response you receive. Of course, if you don’t ask, the answer is always “no”.|
|2||Prepare to Start Your New Job Search: This is the “aim” part of “ready-aim-fire.” First, begin assembling your resume and thinking about what kind of position and company would be the next best step in your career. At the same time, envision how you will continue at your present job without appearing to slack off as you step out for interviews and site visits with prospective employers. Your current employer will be a reference one day, so don’t burn your bridges. The ideal situation is to be up front with your employer (not all employers are ideal) that you need to explore other job options now that they have declined your pitch for a job modification, and you will need flex time around interviews.|
|3||Seek Professional Assistance: Carlos’ friend recommended that he reach out to Abel Personnel. The recruiters there will do the research and make the contacts you need while you are attending to work and life. Abel provides the flexibility to communicate with their team during or after working hours. They will save you time determining the particulars of the job that is open and how good the fit might be between you and the possible employer. You will still need to work around attending interviews, but those interviews are an important step in making the impressions that earn you the job. Besides accessing expert advice for your job hunt and available opportunities, there is never a charge to the applicant when a placement occurs.|
|4||Try to End Your Present Job Well: Once you have accepted a new position, try to offer a transition period that meets the needs of your soon-to-be ex-employer. This might keep you from starting full-time as quickly as you and your new employer prefer, but the new employer hopefully will respect you for wanting to do right by your past employer. Also, your ex-employer may want to seek to hire you back in a few years (the “boomerang effect”) or your former boss may turn up at a company that employs you both later in your career. Do not do anything to endanger your new job.|
This advice felt right to Carlos. He suddenly felt less stressed and recognized that the suggested handling of the present employer would be the way he would want his staff to be courteous to him. However, he proceeded in a different order:
- Initially, he sketched out what kind of position would be the next best step in his career.
- He then met with his supervisor to discuss how that next step could be created now at his present company.
- While he waited for his supervisor and upper management to respond, he proceeded to contact Abel Personnel so as to not lose any time if his current company could not respond favorably.
Carlos reported to his friend that he no longer dreaded going to work, having been open and honest with his boss about his discouragement. He also liked the feeling that he was being proactive in forwarding his career. And if the company did come through with an offer worth staying for, Carlos now had a trusted contact at Abel Personnel for the next time he was ready to make a move.
The hiring manager was especially impressed by three of the candidates that his Abel Personnel recruiter had offered to him. Within just a few days of issuing the job order, he had received several resumes. From these he had selected five to interview over the next three days. Of the top three, each candidate was a very good fit, and each had some strengths that others lacked. Jenn was clearly the strongest candidate, having the most experience in the open position for similar companies before recently relocating to the Harrisburg area. The hiring manager anticipated that Jenn would bring along some best practices that would make his company more efficient and state-of-the-industry in its processes.
“The biggest concern, of course, is that Jenn does not have a college degree, while the other two candidates have college degrees” the manager explained to the recruiter.
“Ah, the paper ceiling!” the recruiter responded.
From the manager’s inquisitive look, the recruiter gathered that the manager was unfamiliar with that term. She then explained that the “paper” referred to was the degree that half of all members of the workforce lacked. Despite having good skills and experience, this missing qualification was stalling their careers, and preventing prospective employers from benefiting from their talent. She then identified some of those types of candidates that had skills and experience but were overlooked for the absence of a degree:
- Military Service Veterans
- Community College Students
- Workforce Training Participants
- Certificate Programs Students
- On-the-job Learning employees
- Employees who immediately entered the workforce on high school
These workers are referred to as STARs (Skilled Through Alternate Routes). There are currently 70 million of them in the U.S. Not having a college degree also subjects them to exclusion from alumni networks, to degree screens and algorithm biases, and to false stereotypes and misperceptions. This qualification omission is too often assumed to mean “low skilled” when appraising job candidates of color.
Contribution-Based Hiring Decisions
The current labor shortage is prompting companies to certainly consider alternative types of candidates for job openings. However, there is also a reevaluation underway of the true importance of a degree.
Pennsylvania is among several states that recently eliminated a four year degree requirement for most state jobs (92% or 65,000 jobs). The state will be reviewing skills and experience to qualify candidates for open positions. Other states that have gone this route include Maryland, Colorado and Utah. Alaska and Georgia are examining this approach as well.
There is a vision to transform the U.S. to have a labor market where “if you can do the job, you can get the job.” This may be a relief to those being routed by their guidance counselors and parents to higher education immediately after high school in order to achieve the highest earning potential. Some of the recent grads may not yet be ready or might never be right to go to college to obtain the skills they need to succeed in their callings. A college degree still is essential for many professions and can result in a well rounded future worker. As one organization quipped, “College is a wonderful bridge to opportunity for millions, but it should never be a drawbridge excluding anyone who doesn’t cross it from (having) thriving careers.”
The Abel recruiter commented that the value of a college degree should not be discounted. It takes hard work, persistence and dedication to complete a college education. In addition, the college experience is broadening, exposing students to varied subjects, ideas, and challenging their critical thinking. “I often find that the college degree assumes greater importance when comparing job candidates with limited experience. Once a person has a strong track record of employment for ten years, the work experience assumes greater significance.”
The manager then reflected on his own biases in the hiring process. It was easier to pick a candidate based on a checklist of qualifications and experience in an effort to be objective and complete the hire quickly. Much harder to look at the whole person, and to envision how she would add to the capacity of the company and ultimately strengthen the bottom line. That took both insight and caring, as the Abel recruiter had already demonstrated by the caliber of the candidates she had presented. Finally, he recalled many instances in his career that a very bright and capable person, who in high school would be labeled “college-bound,” through the misfortune of circumstances did not have the opportunity to complete a college degree.
“Jenn is the one we want to hire,” he told the recruiter. “My colleagues may be at first resistant due to their cultural prejudices, but I know I can make the case based on her demonstrated ability to do this work and all that I am confident she will bring to our company.”
It was then that the recruiter revealed that Jenn really wanted this job, too. She was eager to give her two week notice, and then would be ready to start immediately thereafter.
- Opportunity @ Work, “Tear the Paper Ceiling.”
- PA Press Release: Governor Shapiro leads the nation on eliminating college degree requirements expanding job opportunities
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Lucy had been out of the workforce for 24 years, raising her family. When her youngest left for college, Lucy’s friends urged her to return to work to fill her days with meaningful activities. She had done well in college, and although her training in occupational therapy was out-of-date, there were a variety of clerical positions in which she knew she could succeed. At one of those friends’ recommendations, she met with a recruiter at Abel Personnel to begin her job search. Lucy was amazed at how much the job market had changed since she graduated college! She recalled permanent positions for long term employment, and temp jobs for short term assignments; now there were so many options:
|1||Direct Hire No longer called a “permanent” placement (is anything permanent?), this is the traditional job hire. A recruiter will help facilitate the interview process. When hired, the candidate becomes an employee of the hiring company.|
|2||Temp-to-Hire This position is intended to be long-term. For a specified period the new hire is actually the employee of the staffing firm. The temp period can range from 3 to 6 months, typically. Once the term has been successfully completed, the employee then transitions to the company as their employee.|
|3||Long-Term Contract Temp For a variety of reasons, it is advantageous for the hiring company to want the new hire to be the employee of the staffing and recruiting firm. There may not be any difference in the experience of this new hire than the direct hires, except for performance reviews and any personnel actions. Others in the company may not even know this colleague is actually not a direct employee.|
|4||Short-Term Temp These are short-term assignments with an identified end date. Sometimes as short as a day, to fill in for someone who is out, or a few months to perhaps cover workload upticks due to seasonal demand. The status can become long-term temp or temp-to-hire as circumstances change (depending on the temporary worker’s performance).|
Any of these positions can also be full time, part time or on call. Full time suggests 35-40 hours per week, but that may be 5 days or 4 days. On call is as needed, think substitute teacher or being available during identified workload peaks. In some cases the work hours are entirely flexible; an agreed number of hours over the pay period as long as work responsibilities are completed on time.
What did not surprise Lucy was the variety of positions and that some could be either onsite, remote or hybrid; she had been following these trends in the news. What surprised Lucy was that all of the recruiting services and placements were free of charge to every candidate working with Abel Personnel. After discussing all these options with the Abel recruiter, Lucy indicated which scenario would work best for her new work-life balance while meeting her employment goals. With that, the recruiter set in motion inquiries to find the right job for Lucy.
“A small part of Peter’s job as the Assistant Manager of the Accounting Department was coordinating staff vacations. All staff vacation requests needed to be submitted by the end of May. By mid-June he was expected to produce a calendar that indicated when each person was on vacation over the summer. Of course, this was more complicated than just recording each person’s plans. Compiling a vacation calendar also entailed:”
- Assuring Critical Task Coverage: Confirming, per policy, both accounts receivable employees cannot be gone the same week, nor a department’s manager and assistant manager. Payroll clerks may not be absent on pay dates.
- Scheduling Temp Coverage: Having a cut-off date for communicating vacation requests is helpful. Certain administrative positions require that someone be there to answer the phones, schedule meetings, or assist in assembling reports. Abel Personnel has been the go-to source for providing short-term vacation coverage for these types of roles.
- Identifying Back-ups:Each person on a vacation of 2 or more days needs to identify who will receive their phone calls in their absence. These assignments had to be backchecked to confirm the designated person also was not on vacation. He had to also confirm that out-of-office email responses were in place as well as changed to the recorded voicemail message.
- Enforcing Policy: At one time, this was a matter of confirming that the days off did not exceed available paid vacation days. Lately, some staff scheduled unpaid vacation days (sometimes leaving a department shorthanded, having to hire a temporary employee), or forgoing vacations (despite “use-it-or-lose-it”) in order to gain favor as an uber-committed employee. Company policy required everyone to take at least one full week of (paid) vacation, so those who did not submit a vacation request also need to be contacted.
This effort resulted in an online calendar accessible to all in the company; processes continued despite absences or were planned around the absences of critical staff on certain projects.
During the pandemic, when 90% of the staff worked remotely, there had been a shift in this task. Coverage for reception and onsite security were not an issue. Many of the vacations were staycations, with staff willing to “come back” from their vacations early as needed. With the mandate in early 2023 to have most employees return onsite, Peter discovered there were new challenges:
- Onsite Coverage Depth: Can an employee who works remotely cover for an onsite employee with in-person client-facing responsibilities? Does the remote employee need to be onsite that week?
- Virtual Temp Coverage: For those positions where a short term temp coverage was needed, can a remote temp perform the required duties without in-person supervision, whether or not the person on vacation was onsite or remote?
- Hybrid Vacations: This was a new phenomenon from the pandemic. An off-site employee books a beach home for two weeks, being there one week on vacation and one week as a remote employee. Now that this employee is based onsite; is this still an option?
As Peter raised these concerns at a weekly HR Department meeting, there were a few chuckles. These were added to the list of needed policy manual changes that were the unexpected consequences of the pandemic. Later, his contact at Abel Personnel assured him that she also was hearing of these new concerns from her client companies, and was already screening temps for both onsite and virtual positions.
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If you’ve ever worked in a customer service position, you know that it can be very rewarding and takes a special personality and skill set to handle the challenges. Those who have the ability to make it look easy are admired for their positive outlook and high tolerance to cope with the demands. Here are some additional skills that translate well to customer service, particularly in a call center environment:
- Experience on a CRM-type system and ability to navigate a Windows environment.
- Typing and alphanumeric data entry capabilities, includes knowledge of QWERTY keyboards and having the ability to hit the correct keys quickly and without looking; accuracy is key.
- Microsoft Office program competencies, such as Outlook, Word, and Excel.
Coolness in a Fast-Paced Environment
- Similar to the experience of working in a retail environment where there is a line of customers waiting to be assisted – a call center environment has patrons waiting to be assisted, except there isn’t a physical line. It is a queue of phone calls waiting on hold to be answered. Keeping focused and on-task; working with the caller quickly and efficiently; then moving on to the next call– while keeping your cool and offering the same enthusiasm you had for the first customer– are skills that hiring managers look for in job-seeking candidates.
Professional Telephone Etiquette
- Call Center Customer Service Agents are polite, patient, and respectful at all times, especially if the caller is angry and rude. Avoid using terms that may be too familiar or slang based and never use profanity!
Customer Service Orientation
- Active Listening – fully focusing on the caller and demonstrating that you have heard what the caller said with your helpful, confident, and on-point response.
- Genuine Empathy – connecting emotionally builds trust with the caller by taking the time (and patience) to understand the customer’s needs.
- Communication skills
- Positive language focuses on the “good” versus something that may be perceived as a negative i.e. “Thank you for your patience” instead of “Sorry for your wait”, or “My pleasure” as a response to customers’ thank you instead of “No problem.”
- Summarize the main points of the conversation to clarify the caller’s situation, ensuring that you’re on the right track to resolution and, ultimately, customer satisfaction.
- Speaking clearly and slowly ensures the caller’s comprehension.
- Bilingual skills are an asset to the company and those callers needing assistance.
- The ability to take ownership of the call, handling an escalated situation to resolution without passing the caller onto a manager, cutting down on additional time or the risk of a dropped call.
Knowledge of Processes
- Most companies have a minimum level of competency for skills that they look for when hiring a job seeker, allowing their training program to focus on the computer system, their products, and standards expectations.
- The saying goes, “Variety is the spice of life”. A call center customer service role offers that variety as no two callers are the same, and often no two circumstances are the same. The ability to adjust your response and resolution to the caller’s needs is vital to the success of the role.
- Another saying goes, “The one constant is change”. Being able to adjust to changes in policy, product, and standards is common in just about any position.
Most call center environments also offer growth opportunities. As a call center customer service representative, you can be promoted to a Lead Agent role and eventually become a supervisor or trainer. The company may also have opportunities within the organization in other departments such as Information Technology (IT), accounting, or fulfillment (just to name a few).
If you’re interested in a position that challenges you, isn’t just a job, and will put you on a career path of steady employment, Abel Personnel partners with many onsite call centers in Harrisburg, PA and Baltimore, MD. Our expert recruiters will assist you with your resume and interviews so you can convey the skills and capabilities that make you a great Call Center Customer Service Representative candidate. To apply for a Call Center Customer Service Representative position (or any of our other positions), go to our job board at https://www.abelpersonnel.com/job-board/ and apply today. One of our helpful Talent Sourcers or a Recruiter will reach out to you with more information and the next step to your new job.
In recent discussions with human resources directors, our business development specialist was asked for updates on the four day workweek. They wanted to know what types of applicants are seeking this option and what companies, i.e., their competitors, are offering this. Given Abel’s wide contacts with both applicants and client companies over a wide range of industries, there were many updates:
First, Which 4 Day Workweek?
- Most employers assume that this would be a substitution of 4 ten hour days for 5 eight hour days. However, that is not always the premise. Some workers are seeking a reduction in both work days and total hours. The current 40 hour a week model is only about a century old. The argument for further reduction rests on massive productivity advances since then. A March 2023 Newsweek survey found that, while 71% of American workers favored a 4 day workweek, 83% felt they could accomplish their current workload in 32 hours. Indeed, the PA State Legislature is considering a bill to offer tax incentives to companies that move to a 32 hour week.
Is This Just a Tight Labor Market Gimmick?
- In the last few years, many HR directors have shifted to offering the option for a four day workweek along with remote work and other flexible arrangements. First, this was done during the COVID-19 pandemic to limit in-person work. Later, this was a benefit to attract applicants for hard-to-fill openings. With some sort of economic downturn predicted for 2023 or 2024, will there finally be more applicants than jobs, so such flexibility will no longer be needed? Offering special and unique benefits will always be a means to attract the highest talent. Perhaps proposing a mid-range salary to top talent with that flexibility might be a successful strategy to attract (and retain) staff. Still, the strong demand for certain positions will be unaffected by a recession that affects some industries but not others.
So, Who’s Actually Offering 4 Days Workweeks?
- Among major companies, the most well-known are Panasonic and Toshiba. Panasonic’s Japanese corporate office determined that implementing 4 day/40 hour weeks was the most effective. Microsoft’s Japan operation reduced the workweek to 4 days/32 hours (a 20% reduction) and productivity jumped 40%. Locally, a few other major companies have moved to a 4 day workweek for almost all employees. As examined in Abel’s blog article of May 3, 2022 entitled, Is the Four Day Workweek the Next Workplace Trend? the most labor-competitive companies are continually working to identify which positions perform as well or better than 4 days/40 hours, and which employees do well in that type of schedule, as well as other flexible arrangements. Certainly, staggered shifts, additional staffing support or other creative scheduling solutions would be required to offer a 4 day workweek to employees in customer service assembly or warehouse roles.
As technology improves, especially artificial intelligence (AI), job needs will also evolve toward improving efficiency and productivity along with job satisfaction and morale. Companies will continue to seek the right level of flexibility that still maintains the desired corporate culture. Abel Personnel will continue to guide its client firms on both the staffing trends within their industry as well as what each generation of applicants values in the workplace.
- Newsweek, “America is Ready for the 4-Day Workweek,” Giulia Carbonaro, March 17, 2023
- Indeed, “Is a 4-Day Workweek the Future? These 10 Companies Think So,” Nikki Carter, March 16, 2023
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Past discussions between the Human Resources Manager and their Abel Personnel representative, Addeline, occasionally focused on the true cost of hiring, and why an outside recruiter may be most cost-effective. Addeline’s reasoning for using a staffing and recruiting firm such as Abel Personnel typically touched on six areas:
Cost of Hiring
|1||In-house Recruiter Salary & Benefits:Typically, the in-house recruiter either has no openings to fill or is inundated with personnel requisitions (feast or famine). In the former case, there is not a demonstrated full-time need for an internal recruiter. In the latter case, the capacity of a single recruiter might further delay the number of days to have multiple positions filled (see below).|
|2||Access to Applicant Database:Abel’s database already has numerous candidates for a wide range of positions. A single in-house recruiter would likely not have built that resource. Online resources are an option for both in-house and third party recruiters, but there is also a pool of applicants that do not engage with social media for job searches, preferring to have a trusted recruiter “keep them in mind.” The outside recruiter has also identified current applicants that would not be a good fit based on previous screening, information the in-house recruiter would not have.|
|3||Associated Costs: The cost of preparing and posting openings, and fees to job listing services can be considerable. Creating a job posting that attracts the right candidates, posting the position, reviewing resumes including those who do not quality are time and energy consuming. The postings may not even produce results consuming time and money.|
|4||Lost Revenue: Often the most overlooked expense, the difference between the two approaches in how many days required to fill the position, means that the revenue from that position is lost and/or that others covering for the opening are not doing their own job well and are subject to burnout. There is an impact on productivity and an emotional strain. The depth of resources of an outside recruiter will almost always result in a quicker hire.|
|5||Lost Management Time: If there is no in-house recruiter, managers may need to screen all resumes, schedule interviews and generally be the in-house recruiter, diverting attention from other managerial duties.|
|6||No cost until a hire is made: The hiring company does not have any cost, if Abel does not provide a candidate they want to hire. The sourcing, posting, resume reviewing, initial interviews are completed by Abel. The firm only looks at select, screened candidates who fit the company, the location and the pay range. Significant time, energy and money are saved.|
More information about calculating the standard cost per hire can be found here. Benchmark estimates of the cost of recruiting range up to 3x annual salary. This calculation depends in part on how many hours are devoted by how many people doing interviews, direct cost to bring the applicant in for an interview, screening, etc.
Cost of a Bad Hire
This time, Addeline offered a different consideration: what is the cost of a bad hire? She then suggested the following hard and soft cost impacts:
|1||Lost Hiring Costs:Often the expenses to make the hire must be written off. The second choice for the position may be no longer available once the first choice proves unworthy. A new search and the associated costs begin.|
|2||Lost Onboarding and Training Costs: This process is likely completed before a bad fit is identified.|
|3||Impact on Staff Morale: An embarrassing hire leaves staff wondering why the hire occurred and frustrated to go back to covering the opening.|
|4||Impact on Clients and Vendors: Having introduced the new hire to those contacts, a communication is needed to notify that the new hire did not work out.|
|5||Further Lost Revenue: The number of days until the position is finally filled has been extended.|
Addeline then added that the placement fees include a replacement hire should an initia hire not be successful.
Looking at this flip side of hiring, the HR manager had to agree that engaging a staffing and recruiting firm, with its deep resources and experience, had a higher likelihood of finding the right person sooner, reducing hiring process expenses, and, in the possible case of a bad hire, recovering the placement fee expense.
- SHRM, “The Real Costs of Recruitment,” Katie Navarra, April 11, 2022
- AIHR, “Cost per Hire: Definition, Formula, and Calculation,” Erik van Vulpen
The adults at the neighborhood’s annual Memorial Day Cookout reminisced about how, as school children, Memorial Day was the final countdown to the end of the academic year. Whether this meant camp, summer jobs, family vacations, or just free time, it almost always involved many days of being home and sleeping late. Now, as parents, summertime creates more stress, especially in households where both parents work. What to do with the kids home from school?
This is not a summer-only problem, of course. Children become sick and need to stay home from school. If a willing relative can’t be found, one spouse would be required to stay home. One couple reports that they switch off at noon. Single parents have even fewer options. During the COVID pandemic, there was greater leeway, and often one, if not both, parent(s) were already working from home. Either way, this schedule juggling was mostly short-term. More than 10 weeks of summer is a scale above caring for a child with a 24-hour virus. Parents, particularly those with young, school-aged children, quickly develop a sick child coverage routine. What was needed, one parent proposed, was a summerlong childcare routine.
By the end of the event, the following ideas surfaced:
- Summer Daycare or Extended Hour Camp: Some parents had access to and could afford such coverage that approximated the school day hours. However, the additional cost was more than other parents had in their budgets. One single mother shared that she had received a scholarship from the church that ran her children’s daycare. An older couple shared that their parents had helped with the additional cost of daycare in the summer for a few years, until their oldest son reached an age where he could supervise the younger ones.
- Summer Help: High school students, college students, and perhaps some teachers who are on summer break might be a good resource. Also, sharing a summer sitter with close friend(s) and/or alternating homes, is a way to split the cost and minimize the kids’ summer boredom that may creep in. Keep in mind that they, too, might have multiple-week vacation plans. Also, teenagers may be less reliable and less dependent on the job for income and may lose interest. A backup plan and a backup to the backup plan may be needed.
- Work from Home: Some employers may be amenable to allowing a trusted employee to switch to remote work for the summer. Many workers proved they could work effectively from home, often while their children were also doing remote learning, so this might be an easier sell post-pandemic.
- Hybrid Schedule: This might involve couples developing complementary schedules for days at the worksite and days at home. In cases where summer help cannot commit to five full days a week, this could cover those “uncovered” days.
- Summer Schedule: In certain job roles, there may be an opportunity to change schedules to work four 10-hour days, three 12-hour days, or odd shifts to supplement the availability of summer help or a working spouse. Where there is job flexibility and personal resources, schedules can be cut back over the summer to fewer hours.
The cookout attendees also agreed that whatever single or combination of strategies are selected, it was vital to keep the employer informed of the situation and the proposed approach(es). Managers and supervisors might well empathize with the situation, perhaps having had summers with school children, too. Better to be open about the need for some schedule irregularity than have management concerned that there might be a more nefarious problem.
As they said their goodbyes, one woman quipped, “I do love summer, but still, I can’t wait to see you all at the Labor Day Picnic!”
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Paula was the first to admit that she might have done a better job preparing to transition to the working world compared to her graduating class. Her college education was solid and her professors had connected her to some great summer internships. However, she never really connected with the university’s placement department. With all the senior year activities plus finishing her finals, Paula never found time to attend those classes and sit with a counsellor. Her roommate was graduating with a degree in Accounting, so her path forward was “preordained.” Paula’s degree in Communications helped her develop many great skills, but not a clear career path.
In speaking with a family friend who had recently retired, Paula received the following advice:
|1||Don’t Panic! You have valuable skills and experiences that many companies will be thrilled to bring on board for you to contribute to their success.|
|2||Develop a Pristine Resume: Likely none of your experiences, especially those afterschool high school jobs, will be impressive just plainly listed on your resume. The skills you picked up and what you learned from each job experience is what will attract a potential employer. Write down these skills and experiences in as much detail as you can remember to provide context for these experiences. Then create a resume that conveys all that you offer.|
|3||Prepare an Elevator Pitch: This summary should be clearly based on the research you’ve done on the company. In a few short, simple and concise sentences, It should:
|4||Live the Person You Want to Be: Start dressing, grooming, and acting like the person you see yourself in the job you envision. That way you will look comfortable in your own skin by the time you arrive at your first interview, as someone the interviewer can envision in the job that is open. Just as college was an opportunity to reinvent yourself a bit, transitioning to the world of work offers the same chance to tweak yourself again.|
|5||Seek Professional Support: Just because you were successful at schoolwork, and will likely be equally accomplished as a hard worker, you shouldn’t assume you have been endowed with the skills required to find the job that is the right fit. A professional recruiter is a free resource available that knows how to find that job, and with the skills and experience to prepare you to succeed in the process of developing an attention-demanding resume and excelling at interviews. The recruiter also has access to companies and job openings that neither your college placement service nor online job boards know about. You will have a coach and an advocate through the hiring process and beyond.|
After ticking off these five steps, the mentor suggested that Abel Personnel would be the right professional recruiting resource if Paula was intending to remain in Central Pennsylvania. Paula made the call, and arrived at her first meeting with the recruiter with the results of the first 4 steps. The recruiter was impressed, suggesting Paula’s preparation would shorten the placement process by weeks. The interviews with interested employers began the next week.
Even in a high-demand profession such as Engineering, the job search for a new position can pose a challenge or be “downright miserable” as one job seeker recently described it. The upside of this industry is that labor demand allows you to take charge of your career path. The downside is that you’re so busy with projects, workloads, and personal commitments, it can be challenging to be disciplined to make the time to comprehensively conduct your job search.
The average employee looks to make a move in their career every four years. As you start to notice the itch for wanting more or something different, it’s important to know what change you’re looking to pursue. Knowing your “why” is critical, whether it’s salary, type of role, company and culture, or a stable career progression.. This sharper focus will assist in pointing you in the right direction to follow your passion.
While still employed, it’s best to be discreet about your job search. Posting your resume to online job boards, tagging on LinkedIn, mentioning it to a coworker (tell one person and the next thing you know, it’s front page news) or networking within your industry can lead to awkwardness or worse with your current employer. Even using your boss or coworkers as references should only be done after explaining your need for discretion . Don’t give notice until you have been officially offered and accepted the new job.
Working with Abel Personnel can provide you with a more confidential and less time-consuming job search solution! At Abel Personnel, our recruiters make themselves available during and outside of regular business hours to discuss your goals and preferences. They will assist you in creating a strong resume and can present you to hiring managers as a “confidential candidate.” The recruiters can also give you feedback from potential employers that will help you fine-tune your interviewing skills or your job search strategy.
Abel Personnel works with employers in the Central Pennsylvania area filling positions for Engineers, CAD Designers, Civil Engineers, Project Engineers, Engineering Technicians, and more. If you are looking to follow your interests in the Engineering Industry, we help outstanding candidates find the next step in their career journey. Our recruiting services are free to job seekers. Please contact us through our website at abelpersonnel.com/job-board/ or call us at 717-761-8111 to speak with a recruiter.
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Marion Adams, Director of Recruiting at Abel Personnel, recently announced that Danene Magaro is being promoted to the position of recruiter after two years as a staffing assistant. In her new position, Danene will work closely with both client companies and candidates to achieve the right fit of job requirements and qualifications. Her tenure at Abel plus over 26 years of professional experience in marketing and communications design offer a wide range of involvement with many different types of companies and their needs; These include advertising, manufacturing and pharmaceutical sales. Her longtime focus on helping clients establish new businesses will offer a unique understanding to her clients who are expanding or starting up new ventures.
Danene holds a BA degree from Kutztown University with previous studies at Elizabethtown College. She leads volunteer efforts at her church, and spends the balance of her leisure time hiking, painting and running. Danene lives in the South Central Pennsylvania area with her husband and two Shelties.
In recent years, real wage growth (after considering inflation) has slowed down in the United States. Economists and analysts attribute this to a variety of factors, including low productivity growth, demographic shifts, and global competition. This has also had an impact on the economy and interest rates, which in turn affect hiring as companies struggle to attract candidates to fill their staffing needs. Connecting with a staffing and recruiting firm such as Abel Personnel, a WBE business based in Harrisburg, is an essential strategy in uncertain economic conditions.
Recent data from 2021 and 2022 shows that the U.S. economy is still grappling with the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the economy saw a growth of 6.7% in 2021, many industries are still struggling to recover. One year later, wages only grew 4.2% in 2022 according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). The administrative, IT, and other sectors impacted by the pandemic are experiencing slower growth rates. The retail industry continues to be hit hard as well. Due to these challenges, companies have been hesitant to increase wages and have resorted to cost-cutting measures to stay competitive. Despite the positive growth in 2021, the economic recovery remains fragile. As a result, companies across all industries are proceeding with caution as they navigate the ongoing uncertainties of the pandemic.
Interest rates have also been a major factor in the current economic climate. The Federal Reserve has raised rates several times in the past twelve months, which has made borrowing more expensive for businesses. This has led to a decrease in investment and has made it harder for companies to expand and hire new employees.
Slow real wage growth and economic uncertainty have made it more difficult for companies to find the right candidates to fill their staffing needs. This has led to increased competition for talent, with companies may feel the need to offer more attractive benefits packages and higher salaries to attract top talent. To navigate this challenging environment, companies must be proactive in finding a staffing agency to help with their hiring strategies. Staffing agencies focus on building relationships with potential candidates and have access to a large database of locally qualified candidates, making it easier for companies to find the right employees for their staffing needs. With their expertise and industry knowledge, staffing agencies can help companies remain competitive by providing access to top talent, even during challenging times.
Moreover, staffing agencies offer a range of benefits beyond just providing access to a pool of candidates. They can help businesses streamline the hiring process, assist with employee relations, and manage payroll and benefits. These services can significantly reduce the burden on businesses and allow them to focus on other critical aspects of their operations.
In conclusion, the current economic climate has made it challenging for companies to find the right employees to fill their staffing needs. However, by partnering with a staffing agency, businesses can gain access to a large pool of qualified candidates and other valuable services that can help them remain competitive. With their industry knowledge and expertise, staffing agencies can help businesses navigate the current hiring landscape and find top talent, regardless of economic conditions. Although outsourcing staffing services may seem contradictory during a time when businesses are cutting costs, the data indicates that the time and resources that a staffing agency saves their clients is incredibly valuable.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2020). Employment Situation Summary.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. (2020). Federal Funds Rate – 62 Year Historical Chart.
“2021 Economic Outlook: Economic Growth to Accelerate with Continued Policy Support,”
Congressional Budget Office
“2021 US IT Salary Survey: COVID-19 Impacts IT Pros’ Jobs and Pay,” Information Week
“Administrative Services Market Global Report 2021: COVID-19 Impact and Recovery to 2030,”
Research and Markets
“2021 US Retail Industry Outlook: Accelerated Transformation in a Post-Pandemic World,” Deloitte
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Seana Steiner has joined Abel Personnel as a Recruiter. In this role, she will undertake staffing efforts for clients as well as supporting and guiding candidates. She brings a unique skill set to the table with her education in Psychology plus a Master of Business Administration (MBA). Seana’s three years of military experience as a combat medic provides an invaluable perspective and resource for both candidates and clients through demonstrated servant leadership, tactful personal engagement, and a special level of empathy.
Prior to Joining Abel Personnel, Seana had over four years of experience working as a patient advocate and with student veteran recruitment and retention, skills that transfer well to her new position. During Seana’s downtime, she undertakes volunteer work and enjoys singing and creating music, painting landscape portraits, or doing DIY projects in her home. She owes much of her motivation and success to her beautiful daughter Braylee, and her two lovable felines; Rosie and Nacho Man.
“One of my very best hiring decisions ever” declares Debby Abel, President of Abel Personnel. “Barbara was a candidate with our company seeking employment. We presented her to a client, who did us a great favor and didn’t select her. Our recruiter working with Barbara commented that she might be a good fit for our Marketing Director opening. I met with Barbara, and instantly realized she would be a great asset for Abel. I am so happy that 20 years later we are still working together.”
Barbara grew in the Abel organization and ultimately transitioned to recruiting. She teamed with Barbara Isaacman, who mentored her development. The two soon became known as the “Barbaras.” Together they provided a high level of continuity and responsiveness to their joint clients and candidates; if one of them was tied up or out of the office when a client or candidate called, the other was typically able to take the call with a full background on the opening and candidate status. Barbara now models this same teamwork with a developing recruiter at Abel Personnel.
Over the course of those 20 years, Abel Personnel recruiter Barbara Karr has interviewed and placed thousands of candidates and filled the needs of client companies, large and small. Things have changed in those two decades: the power of computers, the growth of job boards, the evolutions of job duties, and remote work options. What remains constant is the need for true human connection and relationships. Barbara’s frank discussions with both candidates and clients through an open expression of caring continues to be her hallmark.
Two placements that exemplify her approach and typify the standards set by Abel Personnel:
- Joellyn was a great candidate who was placed temp-to-direct with a fortune 500 company in 2009. Seven years later, Barbara was contacted by Joellyn when she sought a career change. Once again, Barbara found a great opportunity that was just right for Joellyn and for the client company. Joellyn and her employer are both happy seven years later and counting.
- Brian was a young man with great potential, and he excelled when placed in a temporary position with a major central PA employer. He was about to be hired directly but a company policy changed and a mistake he made prior to this employment prevented that from happening. Brian moved on to some jobs that offered little hope for advancement. Barbara kept in touch with Brian and ultimately found a client had just the right opening for him. The client offered upward mobility and great benefits! Barbara was able to help her client visualize what a unique contribution Brian could make, to look past a youthful mistake. He has been there since 2015!
Barbara has a talent for matching clients with both current applicants and well-remembered past candidates, such as Brian, who are not actively looking but are open to unusual opportunities. However, Barbara’s achievements rest more on the key questions that she asks both clients and candidates that help them realize what are really the essential qualities they are looking for. She has made a difference in the success of Abel’s employer clients and the lives of Abel’s candidates by assisting them with advice, guidance and real opportunities. Abel Personnel and Barbara’s clients and candidates are indebted to her for this work.
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Although Abel Personnel was not always a woman-owned business, women played key roles in the company from its early days.
Different Pay and Fee Scales for Men and Women
Abel acquired Hallmark Personnel, founded in 1962, after its establishment in 1969. Since then, there have been significant changes in equality in the workforce. Different pay and fee scales for men and women were evident from Hallmark’s 1962 Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s Staffing License. This document indicated that there were “women’s jobs” and “men’s jobs,” and separate employment counselors for each. Men’s wages ran from $25.00 to $200.00 per week, while women’s wages started at $25.00 per week and maxed at $100.00 per week. Placement fees for women were lower than fees for men. This license still hangs in Abel’s offices as a reminder of the progress made. Visitors often remark how unbelievable it is that these guidelines were in place not so long ago.
To Keep up with Staffing Trends, Abel Girl is Established
To keep up with staffing trends, Abel Personnel launched “Abel Girl” in 1977, with a nod to Kelly Girl which had been established in 1957, as a temporary placement division. At the time, Abel primarily did permanent placement staffing. This division was created to place employees in temporary roles which made them easy to locate and connect with when permanent opportunities became available. The late Ruth Kline was instrumental in building this division as she went door-to-door visiting downtown businesses in Harrisburg to find clients in need of temporary staff. Within two years, this was rebranded as Abel Temps, as the “girl” got a makeover with the times and became a woman and also as many candidates were men.
Talented Women were the Core of Abel’s Growth Over the Next Several Decades
Dorothy (Dottie) Abel became a full partner in the firm with husband Frank Abel upon the retirement of an original partner. Although she intended to assist for just a short time during this transition, she ended up staying in her role as a placement counselor until her retirement in 1987 after 18 years of helping take the business to new levels. Joan K. Lewis, a significant hire as Director of Temporary Staffing who became Vice President of Operations, and Barbara K. Isaacman, a Placement Counselor who was promoted to Vice President of Recruiting, were critical members of the Abel operation, growing and enhancing the young firm’s reputation for service, competence, and dedication to their clients. Joan began her role with Abel in 1969 and retired 42 years later in 2011 after connecting thousands of candidates with jobs in the Central PA area. She has been described by those who worked with her as dynamic, caring, and thoughtful and helped elevate Abel’s position in the staffing industry with her hard work and dedication. Barbara Isaacman joined the Abel team in 1979 and was featured on the Montell Williams show in 1998 after helping a woman who had recently left a domestic abuse situation find a rewarding position in Harrisburg. Barbara was a guest at Abel’s holiday party every year, sharing her great stories about the many placements she had made over the years until her passing in 2018. To hear Babrara’s daughter-in-law speak about her, click here: www.abelpersonnel.com/abel-story-cindy-isaacman/
Women Continue to Help Propel the Company into the Future
Fast forward to the 1990s. Debby Abel (daughter of Frank and Dottie), joined the firm as Marketing Director. By 2000, Debby’s increasing stock ownership and assumption of day-to-day management of the company allowed application for the Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) designation. www.wbenc.org. WBENC was founded in 1997 to develop a nationwide standard for women-owned business certification. Since then, the organization has grown to become the largest third-party certifier of businesses owned, controlled, and operated by women in the United States and a leading advocate for women-owned businesses in corporate and government supply chains. This proved very helpful to Abel’s clients who were seeking or holding government contracts.
The WBE designation goes beyond that benefit. Nearly the entire next generation management team of Abel Personnel are women, including the company’s current leadership, President and CEO, Debby Abel Jasie Garlin, Director of Operations, Marion Adams, Director of Recruitment and Client Engagement, and Business Manager, Irene Partenheimer. Jasie, Marion, and Irene have each been with the company for more than 10 years and have been incredibly impactful in their respective roles. They are supported by a cadre of other women who are strong, intelligent, capable, problem solvers, out of the box thinkers, forthright…no shrinking violets. Each was handpicked by Debby for top qualities including strength, commitment, dedication to client service, and leadership potential.
In addition to the company’s internal staff, there are many notable women who have been excellent additions to Abel’s client teams. Of the top 20 tenured employees Abel has on assignment, 19 of them are women. Wendy S. and Debra K. have been in their positions since 2006 and are true assets to the companies they are assigned to.
The recruiting team at Abel Personnel is able to make these enduring placements by viewing each candidate as a whole person, not only their skills and work history, but their overall capabilities and potential. Likewise, they look at their employer clients as partners whose needs are not just those that check particular skill boxes, but for employees who meet their stated needs and enhance their organization. This has resulted in consistent placement success, whether or not the client had any interest in Abel’s WBE certification.
As a woman-owned business enterprise, Abel Personnel seeks to exemplify how diversity leads to excellence in the workplace. Abel is proud of this certification and to have a team of talented women who work hard every day to provide the best staffing services to clients and candidates. Abel Personnel understands the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and strives to create an environment that fosters these values.
As a military veteran, you may feel overwhelmed when making the transition to civilian life. You may not be sure how to convey the many valuable skills and qualities you possess that make you an ideal candidate for careers in the information technology (IT) field. This industry requires individuals who are disciplined, adaptable and possess excellent problem-solving abilities, all of which are characteristics that military veterans often have in abundance.
Abel Personnel’s IT clients frequently identify the following attributes that they believe make veterans ideal for their position openings:
- Special Clearances: Many veterans are discharged from the military with special clearances. These clearances are necessary for individuals who handle sensitive
information, and the ability to obtain and maintain these clearances demonstrates a level of trustworthiness and reliability that can be extremely valuable in the tech industry. In many cases, veterans may already have the necessary clearance level required for certain IT roles, which can save companies time and money in the onboarding and training process; these veterans can perform on Day One.
- Transferable Technical Skills: Military training often includes courses on computer networking, cybersecurity,communication, and other technical skills, which can provide veterans with a strong foundation for pursuing a career in technology.
- System Familiarity and Quick Adaptation: Veterans are accustomed to working with a variety of technologies and are adept at learning new systems quickly. This is crucial in an industry that is constantly evolving.
- Ability to Work Under Pressure: The military is a high-stress environment that requires individuals to stay calm and focused in challenging situations. This ability translates well to the tech industry, where employees are often required to meet tight deadlines while solving complex problems.
- Teaming Skills: Veterans are also skilled at working in a team environment and are accustomed to collaborating with others to achieve a common goal, a common approach in IT.
Overall, being a military veteran means you likely already possess a wealth of skills and qualities that make you an excellent candidate for IT and related tech jobs. Your experience in the military has likely prepared you for the fast-paced, high-intensity environment of the tech industry, and with your technical skills and quick learning you will be a valuable asset to many companies. With your unique skill set , you will be well-suited for a wide range of IT roles, from cybersecurity to software development, and can make a significant contribution to any team. Just remember some companies offer Veterans preference. Your civilian career can be just as successful as your military career in meeting your needs, managing your expectations and setting and achieving goals, only now the military is not managing or setting them for you.We thank you for your service and are here to offer ours.We thank you for your service and are here to offer ours Contact a recruiter at Abel Personnel or visit our job board today to learn more about the IT careers awaiting you.
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Mitigating Bias in Artificial Intelligence Staffing Software
Artificial Intelligence has very recently begun to trend as a great new time saving tool yielding comparable results of mere experienced humans. As interest in AI has grown, Abel Personnel
took a deeper dive into what this technology offers the staffing and recruiting process, and how it might still fall short of the advertised panacea in quickly identifying the best fit for a position opening. The results suggest that AI is another available tool but whose limitations must be recognised in making hiring decisions:
Predictive technology and artificial intelligence are now involved in multiple steps of the hiring process, particularly when using online job boards. While it may seem that using a computer
program to screen resumes would eliminate human bias, giving equally qualified applicants an equal opportunity to be seen, that isn’t always the case. What hiring managers and applicants
alike should understand is that the algorithms that online job boards and social media use to suggest jobs and candidates are only as objective as the data used to program them.
historical data regarding hiring trends is based on the outcomes of inherently biased decisions; therefore, hiring algorithms are designed to replicate the outcomes that humans typically decide. Predictive technology has the potential to amplify bias in presenting applicants to hiring managers, as well as suggesting jobs to job-seekers. In a study conducted by Harvard,
Northwestern University, and USC, 75% of targeted employment ads on Facebook for low-paying positions such as taxi drivers were shown to Black viewers, and 85% of employment ads for grocery store cashiers were targeted to female viewers. According to Harvard Business Review, “[Algorithms] can replicate institutional and historical biases, amplifying disadvantages lurking in data points like university attendance or performance evaluation scores.”
Large companies often develop their own programs that use artificial intelligence to screen resumes. Many of these programs have been scrapped or redeveloped because they were proven to be biased. According to Rutgers, Amazon’s former candidate sourcing algorithm identified “masculine language” and learned that using those specific words on a resume was more desirable to hiring managers than the actual job qualifications. The result was that the program presented an exponentially increasing number of male candidates to the hiring managers, regardless of their qualifications. According to Quartz, an audit of a different company’s resume screening program “…found that the algorithm found two factors to be most indicative of job performance: their name was Jared, and whether they played high school lacrosse.”
While this can seem discouraging to hiring managers and candidates alike, programs can be revised and even rewritten when hiring inequity is detected. According to MIT Technology Review, “…some of the world’s largest job search sites—including CareerBuilder, Zip Recruiter, and Monster—are taking very different approaches to addressing bias on their own platforms.” However, they go on to say “Since these platforms don’t disclose exactly how their systems work, though, it’s hard for job seekers to know how effective any of these measures are at actually preventing discrimination.”
The good news is that there are champions for correcting these flaws. Jamison Rotz, founder of Nearly Human, an AI development company focused on ethical programming, has watched big tech companies misuse personal data and ignore faulty algorithms that foster race, gender, economic, and age biases. According to The Founder Beat, “He’s on a mission to help steer a world ever more immersed in AI tech toward building with integrity and ethical guardrails.” Jameson also notes that the big, online job boards use AI bots to apply for jobs on behalf of candidates, which is why hiring managers who rely solely on those platforms for recruiting will spend countless hours flipping through resumes of unqualified “applicants” and reaching out to candidates who aren’t interested in their positions.
AI can also be misused by candidates to develop resumes in the same way it is employed to write term papers. AI can scan the job opening description and identify the keywords and qualifications that will attract the resume review algorithm, perhaps fudging some of education and employment facts to better align with the requirements.
At Abel Personnel, we mitigate these issues for our candidates as well as our business clients. Although our recruiters are equipped with tools that contain components of artificial intelligence, personal attention to both our clients and candidates helps us achieve the best matching of people with positions. Each candidate is personally interviewed, taking time to
really understand their goals, interests and skills. Our business clients are only introduced to interested, qualified candidates.
Kayt McDonald has joined Abel Personnel as the Executive Assistant to Debby Abel, President of Abel Personnel. In her new role, Kayt will undertake special assignments for Abel’s executive
team to assure a high level of service and responsiveness to the needs of the staffing and recruiting firm’s clients. Kayt has recently spearheaded activities to enhance employee engagement, health and wellness, and social media awareness of our client job openings.
Kayt joins the Abel Personnel team after 10 years as a Vision Therapist and Optometrist professional in the local medical community . She also brings 6 years of experience in project coordination as well as healthcare administration in providing exceptional patient care and customer service to south-central Pennsylvania. Kayt is currently completing her Bachelor of Arts degree at Southern New Hampshire University.
In addition to her full-time roles, Kayt is an active member of Harrisburg Young Professionals and Young Professionals of Color as an expression of her passion to engage and give back to the community in which she lives, works, and plays.
Kayt and her partner live in the Harrisburg area with their cat. Kayt enjoys travelling, attending the Harrisburg Symphony and the PA Renaissance Faire, meditation, entertaining, and spending time with loved ones.
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Are you feeling stuck in your current job and looking for a career change? It can be overwhelming to navigate the job market on your own, but have no fear – a staffing agency such as Abel Personnel can make it happen!
Here are 10 good reasons to consider using a staffing agency to plan your career change:
- Expertise: Staffing agencies have expert recruiters who are knowledgeable about the job market, industry trends, and the skills that employers are looking for.
- Access to hidden jobs: Many companies use staffing agencies to fill their open positions that are not advertised publicly.
- Tailored job search: Staffing agencies can help you find job opportunities that match your skills, experience, and career goals.
- Career guidance: Staffing agencies can provide guidance on job search strategies, career advancement, and professional development.
- Job market insights: Staffing agencies can provide insights into the current job market and help you stay up-to-date on industry trends and changes.
- Networking opportunities: Staffing agencies have extensive networks of employers and those who can connect you with potential employers and job opportunities.
- Time-saving: Job searching can be time-consuming and overwhelming, but staffing agencies can save you time by doing the job search for you.
- Resume and cover letter assistance: Staffing agencies can provide guidance on how to improve your resume and cover letter to make them stand out to potential employers.
- Interview coaching: Staffing agencies can provide coaching to help you prepare for interviews and make a great impression on potential employers.
- Free services: Staffing agencies offer their services for free to job seekers, as they are paid by the employers who hire their candidates.
In addition to these 10 reasons, using a staffing agency can also provide a sense of support and encouragement during the job search process. Career changes can be daunting, but with the help of a staffing agency recruiter you can have an expert on your sideto help you find your dream job.
MARION ADAMS: CELEBRATES 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY
HER MOTTO: “EVERY INTERACTION MUST BE POSITIVE”
Marion Adams occasionally counsels a job applicant to consider a position in an entirely new industry. As she explains how their skills and experience are a great match for this unexpected opportunity, Marion can reflect back on joining Abel Personnel as a recruiter ten years ago. With over 20 years of previous marketing, client relations, and management experience in a variety of industries, working in staffing at first did not seem an obvious fit.
As Abel Personnel President, Debby Abel, recounts Marion’s career journey since then, “In her 10 years at Abel Personnel, Marion has made important contributions. She began as a recruiter and over the years demonstrated excellence in working with candidates and clients. Marion develops strong relationships with her company clients to understand their organizations, their cultures, and their personnel needs. Similarly, Marion enhances Abel’s Recruiting and Business Development, bringing new approaches, and training to our organization. Even with many technical innovations, Marion remains committed to the essentials of the human, person-to-person connections which makes all the difference.”
Marion revels in each day’s variety of new challenges, new opportunities, new types of positions, and new companies and applicants. Whether it is a retired Hershey Company food engineer thrilled to join a food industry start-up, or placing a recent graduate in their first role, Marion relishes challenges and making great matches. It is crucial to her that each candidate better understand what they must learn or experience to become the right fit for the job they’re pursuing.
Each client must also have a better understanding of how they might consider the unfilled position differently to attract the talent they crave. Every interaction must be positive.
Marion’s demonstrated caring about creating a deep understanding of her candidates and clients and how to help both of them succeed, resulted in a recent client accolade, “Marion you are amazing!”
Her success in recruiting plus her leadership within the recruiting cadre was confirmed by her promotion in 2021 to be Director of Recruitment and Client Relations at Abel Personnel.
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The virtual interview between Priscilla and the Abel recruiter reached an awkward silence. Priscilla’s face on screen was troubled and lost in thought. This reaction was to the question, “Do you need or want to work entirely remote, hybrid, or in an office?”
The type of accounting position that Priscilla was seeking could be successfully filled by someone in any of those conditions. Indeed, Abel Personnel had some openings where the employers had specific office attendance requirements in mind, and other positions in which clients were flexible on workplace location for the candidate who was the right fit. But what did Priscilla want or need?
“I’m not sure,” Priscilla finally offered. “Yes, I’d love to work from home with occasional visits to the office as needed, but is that the best move to advance my career?”
The recruiter was the one now silent in thought. This was not a new question for her. The key was to offer an answer that did not pressure her applicant to agree to work on-site full or part-time, only to be unhappy a few months into the new position.
“That seems to be the big post-pandemic question,” the recruiter first acknowledged. “And of course, there is no right answer for every position, every person, or every company. So, let’s start with some survey results, okay?”
The recruiter then offered the following data from the end of 2022:
- 48% of workers report they are working completely in-person, 28% are working on a hybrid schedule, and 24% are fully remote.
- 51% of female employees said they work fully on-site, compared with 44% of men.
- Employed parents of children under the age of 18 were more likely to work a hybrid schedule (33% vs. 24%), while the majority of those without school-age children work on site full-time (51% vs. 43%).
Next, the recruiter presented a survey of worker attitudes:
- 46% feel pressured to work during their time-off.
- 44% would be willing to take a pay cut if it meant they had greater freedom to work remotely.
- 40% are worried about layoffs at their company in the next six months.
That last statistic, worry about layoffs, might be the most telling. When labor was scarce, companies were more open to accepting new hires on the employee’s terms. As the possibility of recession looms in certain industries, those employers might choose to layoff staff whose remote work does not appear to meet the company’s ideal, despite individual performance.
Priscilla nodded at this, but the recruiter knew these numbers were not offering the direction sought. The facts of life for employment now offered were more qualitative than quantitative:
- Advancement: Employees on-site have a higher probability to be promoted because they are observed performing their job more often and interact more often with their bosses and senior managers who will have input on promotions.
- Tap Someone on the Shoulder: In-office work allows for the opportunity to seek quick advice on a question or process from someone nearby in a way that might not occur by phone call, messaging, email, or video.
- Random Interactions: These hallway or “watercooler” conversations often pass along information that might not have otherwise happened to the interacting employees. “Running into you, it now occurs to me that I have some information that might benefit you”, or maybe”You are the person who could assist our team with this problem…”
- The Hybrid Non-Solution: Scheduling some employees to be back some days of the week can be a disappointing compromise. A half-empty office lacks the vibrancy that is achieved when the team is together in one place. It can feel like the day after a big layoff.
The recruiter finished her presentation by noting that those companies that have data, or perhaps a gut feeling that having everyone back in the office would be most productive, were now introducing office experiences that just could not be achieved at home. These might be as routine as speakers or hands-on activities that occurred pre-pandemic. Some have offered additional enrichment through book clubs or interest clubs. Post-pandemic flexibility then focuses on adjusting the in-office work schedule to meet individual employees’ needs rather than rigid start and end times, the same for all five days a week.
Priscilla’s eyes widened at the last description. “What I really loved about the jobs when I worked from home was having more flexibility in balancing my work schedule with my life schedule. And I agree that the comradery of an office is always better than what you achieve online. If I could find that in a position now, I would be open to wherever my employer wants me to work.”
With that direction, the recruiter shared her screen, displaying three job descriptions offering the desired flexibility.
- American Staffing Association Workforce Monitor, “Remote Versus In-Office,” January 19, 2023.
You’ve decided to add new roles to your staff to address a growing workload! Creating and hiring for new positions in a company can be a complex and time-consuming process. Working with a staffing agency can make it easier. Abel Personnel’s recruiters have a plethora of experience that will prove to be invaluable to hiring managers. Here are a few ways in which companies can utilize staffing agencies when hiring for new positions:
- Identify Staffing Needs: The first step in hiring to increase headcount is to assess the company’s staffing needs. A staffing agency can work with the company to determine the skills and experience needed, the number of new hires, and job descriptions for the new positions. These job descriptions often are sourced from similar placements in other companies.
- Source and Recruit Candidates: Once the staffing needs have been identified, a staffing agency can begin sourcing and recruiting candidates. This may involve posting job listings, reaching out to potential hires directly from their database, and working with the staffing agency’s recruiter.
- Screen and Interview Candidates: Staffing agencies will handle the initial screening and interviewing of candidates, saving the company time and resources. This may involve conducting phone or video interviews, or hosting in-person interviews at the staffing agency’s offices.
- Onboard and Train New Hires: Once a candidate has been selected, the staffing agency can handle the onboarding and training process, ensuring that the new hire is properly integrated into the company and has the tools and resources they need to succeed in their role.
Overall, working with a staffing agency can be a cost-effective way for companies to streamline the hiring process for new positions, saving time and resources, and ensuring they find the best
possible candidates. It’s a big decision to add new positions within your staff, and Abel Personnel can be your trusted partner in securing those rockstar candidates.
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“Shift-shock” is a common phenomenon that occurs when an employee undertakes a new role that they then perceive as a poor fit. The feeling of disappointment and dissatisfaction can be overwhelming, and it is crucial to take a professional approach and specific steps to deal with this situation to avoid burning any bridges. Many employees may not be aware that some companies and agencies will be hesitant to work with them in the future if the situation is not resolved professionally.
The first step to dealing with shift shock is to take some time to evaluate the job and the company; your first negative impression may be premature after a few weeks of better understanding your new employer. Consider what it is about the job that you dislike and whether or not there are any aspects that offset those disappointments. Do the pluses exceed the minuses? Another important step is to talk to your colleagues and manager. They may be able to provide you with some insight into the company culture and whether or not there are any opportunities for growth and development. You may find that your concerns can be easily addressed.
If there are no redeeming qualities about the job, it may be best to start looking for a new position. Call your recruiter as soon as possible. Whatever aspects are concerning you, this will be excellent feedback to provide to your recruiter. Without this vital piece of the puzzle, your recruiter may unknowingly attempt to offer you a position that doesn’t address your current concerns. Inform them of your dissatisfaction with the job and express your specific concerns. This is a great time to let them know you have thought this over thoroughly. They will be able to offer you some guidance in your current situation or assistance in finding a more suitable position. It’s always best to be as honest as possible because your recruiter wants the same thing that you do: a mutually beneficial placement! Depending on if you’re a temp worker and how long you’ve been in your new role, you will want to make your decision about this role before you are offered permanent status with the company. With your feedback, future placements will become more geared toward your career goals and needs.
It is also essential to take care of yourself during this difficult time. Make sure that you are getting enough rest and exercise, and try to maintain a positive attitude. This will help you to stay focused and motivated as you navigate the challenges of your new job. Seek support from friends and family. They can provide you with a sounding board for your thoughts and feelings, and may be able to offer you some guidance and support as you deal with shift shock.
All in all, dealing with shift shock can be a difficult and challenging experience, but by taking the steps outlined above, you can begin to navigate this difficult period and find a more suitable position that aligns with your goals and values. Remember to be open and honest with your recruiter and your colleagues, and to take care of yourself both physically and mentally. With time and effort, you will be able to find a new role that you enjoy and that aligns with your career aspirations.
The advent of online job recruitment was mistaken as formidable competition to staffing and recruiting firms. The theory was that client companies and organizations would bypass such agencies and find great fits on the web, and candidates would successfully search for new jobs with the same ease they now book cheap airline flights and discounted vacation stays. For the clients and candidates at Abel Personnel, the reality is quite different:
- Cost Barrier: For those looking to fill job openings, the online option comes with a heavy upfront cost plus no guarantee. In most cases, you post what you want and you pay the fees regardless of how many qualified applicants, if any, you receive. If you hire through this process and the applicant does not work out, there is no refund of the posting costs. At a personnel firm, you only pay a fee once the person is hired, and there is usually a prorated refund if the placement in rare cases is not successful.
- Attracting Qualified Candidates: SEO – search engine optimization – has become a familiar term for those launching websites to attract customers or donors. The same principle applies to job opening postings. What is the right amount of specificity to attract rather than dissuade qualified candidates? What software program familiarity is a must. How important is a degree? What keywords will draw interest in the position? Your posting might inadvertently include yellow and red flags to the candidates that you most want to attract. Creating an online job posting requires significant experience and skill to be effective and worth the cost of the posting.
- Attracting Career Opportunities: The challenge for applicants is similar. How to respond to posted openings to receive enquiries that are a good fit for your skills and experience, and a culture in which you will thrive. What terms should be in your resume and cover letter that will move your application past the algorithm designed to reject unqualified applicants? This is especially daunting for non-traditional candidates.
- Wading Through Responses: The onslaught of internet responses far exceeds the results of newspaper classified ads. Often the person who must process the (virtual) pile of resumes has little spare time to fully consider each resume or the skills to catch the missing employment date gaps or colleges “attended” rather than “degreed.” In this tight labor market, applicants face a similar challenge to find the great fit rather than wasting time with the firms needing warm bodies or external applicants to interview before settling on the inside candidate. Researching each interested firm is another burden for someone already working with a very full after work life as well.
- Opportunities and Candidates Not on the Internet: By some estimates, as much as 40% of all openings are never posted on line or in print media. Some companies do not have specific postings, but their outside recruiters know which types of qualifications they are ready to hire. Many great candidates are not actively looking but are open to new positions coming from trusted sources. How to access these if the search is limited to online?
For Marion Adams, Director of Recruiting at Abel Personnel, online placement services are just another tool available to her for matching job openings with the right candidate. Abel pays for the postings on several job boards up front (the cost is built into their fee on successful placements) plus other social media, and has the skills to develop a posting that yields results. Marion and her staff expertly filter the results, directly contact the submitter for clarifications, and do some checking before contacting their client or candidate. Plus, they have access to that 40% of people who do not use the internet in applicant and job searches. Together these yield the most cost effective approach to fitting the right applicant to the right job.
Finding the right staffing agency will save your company time and money. Abel Personnel has over 50 years of experience finding candidates to meet your company’s unique needs.
When Abel’s client, Michelle, a senior manager at a local call center, checked out the content of an online posting that Abel had for her job order, she was impressed by how the description mirrored Conduent’s needs. Michelle immediately emailed her reaction, “Marion, you are amazing!”
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Effective managers delegate responsibility in order to plan, collaborate, and monitor the work of their employees. As experts in all aspects of the hiring process, staffing agencies can be a
valuable external resource for managers, offering a range of services and support – empowering managers to focus on accomplishing the goals of the organisation. Here are a few ways in which staffing agencies can help:
- Finding the right talent: Staffing agencies specialise in finding and recruiting top talent and can take on the time-consuming task of sourcing and interviewing candidates for open positions. Agencies can also administer skills testing to confirm the candidate is as proficient in hard skills as their resume claims, and they can check references.
- Offering flexible staffing solutions: Staffing agencies can allow managers to bring on temporary or contract workers as needed, rather than having to commit to hiring direct employees. This can be especially helpful during busy seasonal periods or when there are specific skills or expertise needed for a limited duration project.
- Providing ongoing support: Staffing agencies identify training and development opportunities for their placements and assistance with performance management. This
can help managers ensure that their team is performing at their best.
- Handling administrative tasks: Staffing agencies support onboarding, handle payroll/benefits administration, and administer performance reviews and disciplinary
actions for contract employees. This can relieve pressure on internal staff during high growth periods or temporary headcount spikes.
Overall, staffing agencies can be a valuable partner for managers, offering support and expertise to help them succeed in their roles while building strong, productive teams. This can save managers valuable time and allow them to focus on other priorities.
Finding the right staffing agency will save your company time and money. Abel Personnel has over 50 years of experience finding candidates to meet your company’s unique needs.
This month Abel Personnel is pleased to welcome Alonzo Hankerson as Human Resources Director. In addition to his internal roles within Abel, Alonzo will provide insight to Abel’s clients to enhance recruiting and retention.
Alonzo joins the Abel Personnel team after serving most recently as Chief Human Resources Director for a Harrisburg area company. He brings over 15 years of experience and expertise in human resource operations, employee relations, recruiting, as well as financial and accounting management. His background includes working for businesses in the areas of professional services, property management, and industrial corporations.
In addition to his full-time roles, Alonzo has been a dedicated coach and mentor for several youth wrestling programs in Central PA. He is a graduate of Harrisburg Area’s Community Leadership Series. Alonzo holds an associate’s degree in accounting as well as HRCI-PHR Certification.
Alonzo and his fiancée live in the York Area and have three wonderful boys. Alonzo enjoys travelling, health and wellness, watching football and wrestling, as well as spending time with family and friends.
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Your first job was perhaps through the school’s placement office. The next jobs maybe came through networking or online. Now it’s time to be serious about finding a career-advancing job; use professional resources rather than do-it-yourself. In order to find the right position, a staffing agency is your professional resource. Six things you need to know first:
|1||High Reward: A staffing recruiter is only paid if the placement is made. Repeat business from hiring companies is only earned by placing candidates like you that meet or exceed expectations. The recruiter is highly motivated to place you at the right company that is the right fit for you at the optimum pay.|
|2||Low Risk: There is no cost to you if you are placed or not placed. You do not need to accept the hiring company interviews offered. Initial inquiries on your behalf can be anonymous. No one you don’t want to know will ever know you are looking for a new job.|
|3||Deep Local Industry Knowledge: The recruiter knows almost all the local companies that have positions for which you might qualify, who is hiring and who is not, where you’d be a good fit, where the corporate culture might not be right for you, who has great benefits, who can provide career paths, and what those positions should typically be paying. That’s a lot of inside information!|
|4||Access to Unpublicized Jobs: These positions are not being advertised, are not on recruiting websites, and sometimes not even on the hiring company’s own website “careers” tab. The company is conducting a confidential search, has sought a professional recruiter, and does not want to go through an inbox full of resumes.|
|5||Direct Access to Hiring Managers: The recruiter is in direct contact with both the human resources gatekeeper and the hiring manager. Your resume will not be set aside by a program algorithm looking for keywords; it will go directly to the person you need to meet that will decide who to hire.|
|6||You have a Coach and an Advocate: Your recruiter will suggest changes to your resume, give you a background on companies that you won’t find on their website, prepare you for your interview, and help you find the right way to handle tough interview questions. After the interview, they will be reminding the hiring manager of all the reasons you should receive an offer and help you negotiate a compensation package.|
Next step: Call Abel Personnel at 717-761-8111 or 717-561-2222 and get serious about advancing your career!
“You know when you have a great applicant that’s perfect for one of your clients but not for their job opening?”
Two recruiters are sitting at a small table on an outside patio. It’s a rare winter day that’s just warm enough, along with a gas heater, to enjoy meeting outside. Although from different staffing firms, they had frequently collaborated when they had openings outside their areas of specialty. Trading stories, each was careful never to name the companies or applicants involved.
“Yes, you’d like to say, ‘just hire her and you’ll find a place for her to fit in and never regret it,’” her colleague responds.
The Staffing Story
Leaning forward as if to be sure she’d not be overheard, the first recruiter begins to tell of a recent situation she has in mind. “My applicant, let’s call him Justin, was just such a candidate. He had the skills, smarts, and would be a fit at this Harrisburg-based IT company that emphasized working from the workplace. No problems with that. Only, the open computer operator position was paying below his expectations and required fewer skills and experience than he offered. Clearly overqualified, he was about to pass on interviewing for the position until he heard which company had the opening. Then his mindset was, ‘let’s go for it!’”
“Often, I tell applicants to take a chance on positions like that. Sometimes a company will upgrade the position when they see what you could contribute; And if they don’t upgrade and still offer you the position, you can always turn it down. There’s no obligation to accept,” her coffee break companion adds.
“And that’s more-or-less what happened.”
The interview went very well. Before Justin had reached home, the recruiter had already received the job offer for him. However, it was the same position as advertised, and the same salary level. The hiring manager was hopeful that Justin would accept and quickly grow from that position, but realized this opportunity might not be that compelling. Indeed, Justin did turn down the offer, with respectful apologies.
The Second Chance
After the server had refreshed her coffee, the recruiter continues, “Several weeks later I heard from Justin again. He now regretted declining the computer operator position and was wondering if it was still open. I had been able to fill that position, I told him, but now had a system admin position I needed to fill for that company, that was more aligned with his skills and career advancement, and of course paid better. Only, would the company agree to interview Justin again after he had rejected their first offer?”
The other recruiter chimes in, “I know with some companies, that once you either reject an offer or quit, they will never consider you again.”
“I know those companies, too,” the recruiter agrees. “Anyway, I went to bat for Justin. I had other good applicants for that position, but none of them were as great a fit. I was also impressed that Justin had circled back to me, admitting that he might have been too quick to decline the first offer. I used that point to convince the hiring manager to give Justin a second chance.”
“And of course, he was hired, right?” the second recruiter inquires.
“Happy to report that 6 months later both the company and my candidate are very happy.” She then opens her purse and removes a laminated card with these words on it:
- “Even though I let you down the first time, still you gave me a second chance. I have no words to show you how grateful I am. Thank you for taking a chance on me!”
“I preserved this note and keep it with me to remind me about why I do this work. By the way, the note came with a gift certificate to this coffee shop, so today’s refreshments are courtesy of Justin.”
At this the recruiters clink their coffee cups in appreciation of Justin and the importance of second chances.
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Perhaps a generation ago, the Abel recruiter would receive a response of, “we pay depending on experience – DOE.” This typical reply was reminiscent of her first experience with a car salesman who initially wanted to know what she had budgeted to pay for a car even before discussing features and models. Times have changed.
In the case of her most recent salary range inquiry to a potential new client accounting firm, there seemed to be a presumption from this question that the salary was the most important job attribute to the recruiter’s applicants; required experience and skills plus job responsibilities and work environment were secondary. Or, if the salary range was not revealed up front, some applicants (typically women and persons of color) might ask for a starting salary below the budgeted range.
What Has Changed
In addressing the “old school response” today, the recruiter was quick to identify what has changed in the current labor environment:
- Losing Underpaid Workers: “Paying to market” is one approach to assuring your new (and existing) employees are not lured away by a competitor willing to pay them more.
- Wage Rate Inflation: This has resulted in new employees starting at salaries that do not correlate with existing and trained employees in the company, potentially giving rise to dissatisfaction by existing staff. Be assured, existing staff will find out.
- The Job Market Remains Tight: A well-qualified applicant seeking a new position can quickly identify the best opportunities by first eliminating those postings whose salaries are not competitive. Companies that do not demonstrate a “culture of transparency” can also be dropped from consideration by in-demand workers.
- More Available Data Online: Websites such as Glass door have emerged that aggregate data on actual salaries paid and readily provide it to job seekers (and to the recruiters and companies looking to place them in positions).
- Legislative Efforts Addressing Wage Disparity: An increasing number of states and cities are implementing “salary transparency” laws, requiring those salary ranges to be shared by companies above a certain number of employees. These initiatives include Colorado, California, Maryland, Washington, Rhode Island, and New York City. Legislation is pending in New York, Massachusetts, and South Carolina. The motivation is an effort to thwart ongoing disparities of pay to those women, people of color relative, handicapped, and LGBTQ+ workers to their white male colleagues offering similar experience, skills and job responsibilities – to close the “wage gap.”
Flipping the Concern
When the prospective hiring company was still not yet ready to discuss salary ranges for the openings it was looking to fill, the Abel recruiter offered the advantages of salary disclosure:
- Benchmarking Salary Ranges: The recruiter was well versed on actual salaries being paid to new hires in the area based on placements made through her firm. The hiring company could use that information to establish the salary for an opening, as well as identify existing staff that might be significantly underpaid.
- Setting Applicant Expectations: This same local area salary data would be shared with potential applicants in presenting job openings, to confirm their salary expectations were reasonable for the market and for the position being considered.
- Avoiding Out-of-Range Applicant Interviews: Many second interviews have been cut short when the discussion of salary expectations is finally broached and a wide misalignment is revealed. The company would be assured that the recruiter would not present anyone whose expectations exceeded the budget.
- Legislative Compliance: As this salary transparency requirement trend accelerates and becomes the norm, employers will need to become more comfortable with sharing salary ranges. Even if this openness does not come to the hiring company’s state, they may need to conform if the applicant is from a state that requires it or will be working remotely from such a state. As multi state companies increase transparency, their local competition will need to follow suit.
- Wage Transparency, Not Control: Identifying the salary range for an opening does not suggest whether the salary offered will be at the top or bottom of the range. Offering in the range is not required based on subjective judgment of qualifications. The hiring company remains able to offer an Accountant I position to an under qualified applicant for an Accountant II position, at a lower salary.
Hearing these opportunities, the hiring manager expressed his thankfulness, as his company’s core expertise was accounting and not recruiting accountants. That was clearly Abel Personnel’s expertise. He then provided the recruiter with the salary ranges.
- CNBC Make It, “Here are all the new salary transparency laws going into effect in 2023,” Jennifer Liu, December 29, 2023
- Nonprofit Alliance, “Salary Transparency 2022 Overview”
- BBC Worklife, “The US push for pay transparency,” Josie Cox, September 29, 2022
The Accounting Department Manager, Maureen, shared with an Abel Personnel recruiter a common predicament in the business world. “We posted the position of staff accountant for four weeks. We
need to replace some recent departures plus meet growing demand. Those applicants that were qualified wanted to work from home or flexible hours. Those that were willing to work a standard 40-hour week needed salaries above our pay scale.”
The Tight Market Pay Rate Dilemma
“In a tight labor market, you need to expect to pay higher salaries. Desired pay rates may come down with a recession. However, 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 we pay what the better candidates are requiring, then I’ll be bringing in new employees at higher rates than existing employees. Some of those current staff have the same or better qualifications. Meanwhile, I have unsatisfied clients who rely on us as their ‘inhouse accountants.’ Plus, I’m behind on my revenue budget because I don’t have the staff to bill out.” Her despair was palpable over the video connection.
The recruiter had been busily keyboarding as Maureen was presenting her concerns. When there was a pause, the recruiter shared her screen:
- Position requires 5-7 years of experience, 8 hours per day availability, regular in-office and client office meetings of significant duration.
- Qualified candidates want more flexibility or higher salary (or both).
- Higher salaries will result in payroll budget overrun.
- Higher salaries will result in salary disparities that could affect morale and require existing salary adjustments (see #3 above).
- Positions left open result in unhappy clients, unable to serve new clients.
- Positions left open result in missing revenue budget.
“You nailed it,” replied Maureen. “Perhaps I should rethink my requirements and be more flexible. My clients won’t be happy if we aren’t on call during all regular business hours and can’t stop by. I may lose some of them. What other choice do I have to meet cost and revenue budgets?”
A Better Approach to Staffing
“Not so fast,” 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. We need to accept the needs and wants of your client as a given. I do think we can recruit based on which of these options might be acceptable to you and your management.”
This was the next screen the Abel recruiter shared:
- Reorganize into teams. Each client would be assigned a team of two. The team members could flex as long as full coverage of the week and needed office visits could occur. Teams could even have part time staff, but only if this arrangement does not increase cost to clients. This would also allow knowledgeable coverage when one team member was on vacation or otherwise out.
- Determine what salaries could be paid to new staff, and adjusted for existing staff. This would be done in a way that would still allow full coverage of existing and new client needs. This will meet or exceed revenue goals and still yield an acceptable margin of profit.
- Add new staff as a contingent workforce through Abel Personnel. As economic conditions become clearer, some positions could be made direct and salaries adjusted per Option B. Otherwise, some contingent staff could be released.
Maureen was intrigued, but needed to run some numbers and discuss these options with her senior management.
The Abel recruiter emailed Maureen copies of the two slides that had been shared, adding a word of caution, “If the candidates you have seen are requiring higher salaries or more flexibility than you are delivering to your existing staff, then there is a risk that your competitors are going to contact your staff and offer these higher salaries and benefits. This is what I’ve been seeing in current accounting staff recruiting. Sometimes we need to realize that a high profit experience is coming to an end for a while. We cannot always see high profits regardless of changing economic conditions.”
“Funny, that sounds like advice my firm gives to our clients!” Maureen chuckled. “Sometimes you need a vendor partner to help you discover what you already know.”
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The software customisation company was thrilled with their newest hire. The company COO chose to call their Abel Personnel recruiter to thank her directly for her efforts in making this key addition possible. The COO characterised this hire as “strategic,” a position that needed the right person to assure the company’s ongoing growth in market share. The COO confided that the process from authorising the search to position acceptance had required about eight months, including the company’s six month effort to identify candidates using web-based services before coming to Abel.
The recruiter, grateful for the praise, confessed that her efforts to locate hard-to-find talent had become easier in the last few months because of three factors:
- High-Tech Staff Reductions: The announced layoffs, plus anticipation of more workforce reductions coming, increased the number of high talent individuals with highly specialised qualifications into the job market. A number of these she had placed in their jobs several years ago were returning to her as a trusted advocate.
- Great Resignation Returnees: Those who had left the workforce at the start of the COVID pandemic, either as early retirees or to stay home with children attending virtual classes, have decided that they now really want to work, to go back to an office after three years. In some cases, the government subsidies have run out. For others, their vaccinations have made them less fearful of an office environment.
- Great Resignation Remorse: There are others who used the pandemic and accompanying high labour demand to switch jobs and even careers. Two to three years later, they find that the switch was not the better opportunity or lifestyle they thought that they wanted. For some, that time period is also what they normally expect to elapse before moving on to advance their careers.
Through this presentation, the COO asked many questions, including specific position inquiries. He then scheduled a video conference with the Abel recruiter and his HR manager two weeks later. By that time, he committed to updating the company’s strategic human resources plan, to present a list of positions with unique background requirements that the company needed to fill in the next year or two to achieve their strategic business plan. The recruiter complimented the COO on his understanding that acquiring high talent was a long game, akin to securing high revenue clients. The time investment, with the right person representing the company, had a higher probability of yielding a better return than a quick hire over the internet.
Is it time to start considering strategic hires as high talent has suddenly become available? Be in touch with Abel Personnel at 717-561-2222 or at abelpersonnel.com.
You feel or have been told you do not have the skills to be in office administrative work, such as office clerk, customer service, receptionist. So, you feel stuck in:
- Retail, food service or warehouse work.
- Working odd shifts, resulting in no time for family or a social life.
- Waiting to start a career with growing opportunity.
Chances are that your existing skills and experience are highly transferable to an office environment. You just may need some help to see this and help possible employers visualize how you can make this transition. Staffing agencies like Abel Personnel have knowledgeable recruiters that can help you identify your shining attributes.
Ready for that career transition? First, you need to invest some time in these 5 steps:
- Evaluate What You Offer: What skills and experience have you developed in your previous jobs that could be relevant to an administrative role? These might include customer service, problem-solving, time-management, and communication. Make a list of your skills and think of examples that will showcase them to potential employers.
- Research Potential Job Titles and Industries: Conduct an online search of potential job titles and industries that might be a good fit for you. Look for positions that align with your interests and goals, and consider industries where your skills may be in high demand.
- Update Your Resume and Cover Letter: Make sure these are both up to date and tailored to the administrative roles you’re targeting. Use industry-specific language to describe your skills and experience, and highlight any relevant education or training you have.
- Network and Seek Out Opportunities: Talk to your friends and family letting them know that you are looking for work in a different environment. Ask them if they know of anyone who you can reach out to in order to get more information about the opportunity.
- Consider Internships or Volunteer Work: If you need to brush up on your computer and MSOffice program skills (Word, Excel, etc.), consider seeking out internships or volunteer work to gain experience and make connections in the field. These can be a great way to build your skills and demonstrate your commitment to a new career path.
Your recruiter at Abel will help you determine which of your skills to focus on and how to work towards your goal. Give Abel Personnel a call at 717-561-2222 or visit us on the web at abelpersonnel.com.
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The start of a new year is a natural time for many people to reflect on their careers and consider making a change. Many potential employers also now are looking to fill newly approved openings. Six tips and some questions to answer before starting your job search:
Overall, the start of a new year is a great time to consider making a change in your career. With some reflection, preparation, persistence and guidance, you can find that new career in the new year. Abel Personnel has just what you need!
NEW YEAR, NEW CAREER: 6 JOB SEARCH TIPS
- Reflect on Your Goals & Priorities. Think about what you want out of your career and what you’re looking for in a new job. What are your long-term goals? What are your values and priorities? What opportunities do you want in your next job?
- Update Your Resume & Cover Letter. Are your resume and cover letter up to date? Do they highlight your skills, experience, and accomplishments? Is there a professional resume writer or career coach you could approach for additional guidance?
- Network to Seek Out Prospects. Networking is a key part of any job search. The start of the year is a great time to reach out to connections and let them know you’re looking for new opportunities. Attend industry events, join professional associations, and networking online!
- Be Open to New Opportunities. Don’t be too narrowly focused on one particular type of job or industry. Are you exploring new opportunities and considering positions that may be outside your comfort zone? Do you have skills and experiences that would transfer well to other industries?
- Stay Positive & Persistent. Finding a new job can be a challenging process, and it’s important to stay positive and persistent. Are you allowing yourself to become discouraged while applying for positions and networking? Are you embracing the opportunity to learn about other companies and industries?
- Work with Abel Personnel. Pursuing a new job and perhaps a new career direction does not need to be a DIY effort. Are you aware that there are experts in identifying the job opportunities that align with your career goals and priorities? May we suggest Abel Personnel?
At the start of the new year, Addeline Alaniz Edwards assumed the position of Business Development Specialist at Abel Personnel. In her new role, Addeline will become a key contact for companies and organizations of all sizes to provide them with temporary, temp-to-hire, or direct hire staffing solutions. Her mission will be to introduce new client partners to Abel’s wide range of staffing services, and ultimately to connect them with the Abel recruiter who specializes in the types of positions to be filled.
Addeline joins the Abel Personnel team after serving as the Executive Director of the Rotary Club of Harrisburg for four years, and a 10+ year career in banking and accounting. This included regional member service coordinator for New Cumberland Federal Credit Union.
In addition to her full-time roles, Addeline has been a dedicated Rotarian since 2012. She has volunteered as a public image consultant for the Rotary Club of Baltimore, facilitated Rotary Mid-Atlantic President-Elect Training Seminars, has been a featured speaker to Rotary clubs around the world, and has had her writing published in Rotary Magazine. Addeline is a graduate of Rotary Leadership Institute, Judge/Bradley Leadership School and Leadership Harrisburg Area’s Community Leadership Series.
Locally, Addeline is a member and two-time Past President of the Harrisburg Keystone Rotary Club. She is a multiple Paul Harris Fellow and enjoys coordinating fundraising efforts such as the 0.5K and the Polar Plunge for her club. Other local volunteer activities include serving on the Supervisory Committee for Americhoice Federal Credit Union. Most recently in 2021, Addeline was honored as one of Central Penn Business Journal’s Forty under 40.
Addeline and her husband Josh live in Camp Hill with their three children. Addeline enjoys music, dancing, kayaking on the Susquehanna River and lounging by the patio campfire with a cold beer.
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Jay asked, “you’re worried that if you tell your supervisor after you start the new job, you’ll probably get the same reaction as your acquaintance did?”
“I hadn’t thought about it,” Steve replied, “but I have a few long weekends scheduled. There is my usual spring fishing trip with my old frat brothers and a destination wedding where I’m a groomsman. I have plenty of vacation time to cover this at my current job, and I already have my supervisor’s approval for most of these absences. I’d like to move on from this job, but can I do that and keep these plans? And if I tell an interviewer about this, I’ll sound like someone who always seems absent and not just a guy with a good work-life balance.”
Jay considered Steve’s concerns. He responded, “the recruiter I used at Abel Personnel called this ‘undersharing’. Like the opposite of oversharing, when you say too much about your outside-of-work life or your past experiences that aren’t relevant to your qualifications or how you would uniquely contribute to the agency’s success.”
Steve responded, “maybe if I present these in a way that makes me appear to be an interesting person that is well-rounded and perhaps even fun to work with, that might be a positive thing.”
“Something like that,” Jay replied.
“But what if there are things I feel uncomfortable discussing or may make the interviewer feel awkward, like medical stuff, or worried that I might trigger an EEOC concern?” Steve worried.
“Ah, that’s where having a savvy recruiter comes in to help you. They can guide you on what you should probably not share, what you should share as part of the interview process, and what the recruiter can share before the offer is made to avoid any discomfort between you and the recruiter. That way, if there are any deal breakers, we can address them long before any hiring commitments are made. The recruiter can also work out how you can keep those planned days off, even if it’s an advance on future allowed days off. I think most bosses of new hires dislike surprises about previously planned vacations or medical procedures. Rather than requiring perfect attendance in the first six months of work!” Jay encouraged.
Steve was impressed with Jay’s response and found Abel Personnel’s website on Google.
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The search for the software customization specialist proceeded for several weeks without a single candidate proposed as interview-worthy. The Abel Personnel recruiter suggested that the IT Firm’s HR Manager and the recruiter have a virtual huddle to review their approach before continuing.
“I’m not surprised you weren’t immediately successful,” the HR Manager began. “We weren’t being inundated with resumes when we had tried finding qualified applicants on our own.”
“Oh, finding well-qualified candidates has not been the problem. We’ve spoken with several who we knew were passively looking for a new opportunity. Many felt enthused about the software you handle and your reputation for the team you’ve put together. Your compensation, benefits, and career opportunity were also meeting their expectations. Those haven’t been the problem,” the recruiter reported.
Hearing that surprised the HR Manager, who now wondered if their software customization process was no longer cutting edge or if they were missing something the talent market now wanted. In a way, the HR Manager was right about both these concerns.
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 abelpersonnel.com.
Sourced from HR Dive, “5 employee handbook sections that may need an overhaul in 2023,” Katie Clarie, November 21, 2022
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?”
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
- 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, abelpersonnel.com. Good luck!
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
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:
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 www.abelpersonnel.com.
Sourced from Career Contessa, “Why Can’t I Get a Job? 10 Reasons You’re Not Landing the Job,” Keertana Anadraj, October 18, 2022
10 REASONS YOU DIDN’T GET THE JOB
- 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.
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 https://veteran.com/veterans-day-discounts-sales-deals-free-meals/#local-veterans-day-free-meals
To learn more, click here
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
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.
- Multiple Screening Stages:
To learn more, click here
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.
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
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 abelpersonnel.com.
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?
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 abelpersonnel.com
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.
ARE YOU PREPARED FOR A (POSSIBLE) RECESSION?
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
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
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.
LinkedIn News, “Laid-off workers finding jobs fast” Cate Chapman, August 30th, 2022.
3 TYPES OF EMPLOYEE BENEFITS TO LOOK FOR IN A NEW JOB
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:
- Life insurance
- Disability Insurance
- Parental leave
- Profit sharing
- Vacation leave, Sick leave, Personal leave
- Stock option and Equity
- 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
- 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 abelpersonnel.com
TEMP-TO-HIRE: THE BIG PICTURE
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 abelpersonnel.com. That’s how I found my job, that went from temp to direct and I’ve been here for 5 years.
Job seeker: Thanks!
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!”
5 TIPS FOR FINDING QUALITY JOBS IN HARRISBURG
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.
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.
“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.
5 TIPS FOR FINDING QUALITY JOBS IN HARRISBURG
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?
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.
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?
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.
4 REASONS FOR SUPPLY CHAIN TALENT SHORTAGES
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.
INSUFFICIENT TALENT TO MEET DEMAND
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
5 SKILLS OF AN EFFECTIVE LEADER
- 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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
“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!”
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
- 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 email@example.com
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
- 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.
STAR METHOD TO ANSWER INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
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.
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? ABEL YOU 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.
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.
5 BENEFITS OF CREATIVITY IN THE WORKPLACE
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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?
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.
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.
5 REASONS TO ADVANCE YOUR CAREER THROUGH ABEL PERSONNEL
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.
NO GHOST POLICY
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!
THERE IS NEVER A FEE FOR THE CANDIDATE
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.
“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
SUBMIT YOUR RESUME
Upload your resume to our website or directly to email@example.com. 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!
RECRUITER DISTRIBUTES YOUR RESUME
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.
NEGOTIATE YOUR POSITION ACCEPTANCE
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!
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 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
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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, 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.
Thousands more joined the work force in April, says state
Written by Ben Allen, WITF General Assignment Reporter | Jun 8, 2015 3:50 AM
(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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 www.earthharpharrisburg.com. Enter promo code Abel for a $5 discount.
Abel Personnel celebrates 45 years!
A message from Debby Abel.
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.
Debby and husband Josh at the 45th anniversary celebration.
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.
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 www.paworkforce.state.pa.us.
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.