Five Ways to Speed Up Your Hiring Process

woman in glasses hires man and shakes his hand

Ten days. That’s how fast you, as an employer, have to hire for a position if you want to catch the top talent in your industry. Of course, there is a fine line between making the process streamlined and efficient, and rushing through only to make a bad hire.

Most companies’ hiring process takes 27 days on the low end and up to 90 days on the high end. This is set up through the traditional process of advertising a position, reviewing candidates who fit the description, and then the interview process begins. It’s usually an initial phone interview, followed by one or two in-person interviews, a review internally of final candidates, making an offer, the candidate making a counteroffer, and finally—hiring your ‘perfect’ candidate. Imagine going through all of that only to lose the candidate in their first year, or even worse, find no one to fill the position at all.

Google has begun pivoting towards a faster hiring process.  They realized that after working so hard to optimize the hiring process, they had too many steps in the interview process, and therefore brought the number down to four steps. This includes multiple on-site interviews of a candidate in a single day by different teams back-to-back. Hubspot makes every new hire suggest a way to improve the hiring process. 

Speeding up your interview process will help draw in the best candidates, ease your staff’s burden of carrying the load, and increase your operation’s overall productivity. Here is our countdown of the top five ways you can speed up the process in your business.

5. Pay attention to red flags. You can reduce the numbers of resumes you’re searching through and candidates who might not fit your work culture by following your instincts when it comes to the ‘red flags’. The basic things like showing up late to the interview, dressing inappropriately, talking too much, offering vague or non-responsive answers, coming off as arrogant, combative, or defensive are all signs that your candidate may not be a great fit.

Conversely, it’s good to ignore some outdated flags, like gaps in work history due to COVID or other life circumstances. Right now is also a time to cut candidates some slack about their tenure at previous positions as so many people have moved around in the last couple of years during The Great Resignation. You might be the opportunity they have been looking for! This is especially true in manufacturing where wage increases have been a huge motivating factor for employees to switch jobs, sometimes more than once. 

Another traditional red flag that we now disregard at WSI is the presence of THC in our drug screening process for applicants. Most of our clients in Michigan, where recreational marijuana is legal, have continued to find success in hiring great associates by eliminating THC from the drug screen. However, we will screen for it up request from our clients. And remember, in states like Indiana, where we also operate, marijuana is illegal.

4. Make a plan before there is an opening. One of the sayings we have here at WSI is “Nobody plans to fail.” If you take the time to come up with a comprehensive workforce hiring strategy early, it could drastically cut down on how long your hiring cycle is. Some best practice recommendations include assigning dedicated resources on your HR team to forecast future talent needs and to have a strategy for how you will attract ideal candidates for the open positions. Having excellent screening questions in the applicant tracking system can ease the workload for your hiring manager as well as eliminating candidates who are not a fit.

Just because a candidate doesn’t get the job doesn’t mean you should disregard them. Those candidates are key for creating a talent pipeline for your business. Build a database and continue to market to them to strengthen your brand identity. Staying on their radar means they could be likely candidates again in the future and a pool of talent you can turn to immediately. 

Once you’ve made a hire, take a moment with your team to evaluate your plan of action and see what you can do to simplify the hiring process. 

3. Strengthen your brand identity. Some of the most successful factories and warehouses can fill positions very quickly based on their name and reputation alone. They may not have the highest wages, but their work culture, benefits, and opportunities to grow continually draw a great field of applicants. Reputation matters. Just because someone doesn’t apply for or get hired for a position the first time, doesn’t mean they won’t next time if you continue to show them why you’re an exceptional place to work. 

When you decide who you want to hire, make sure to follow up and let those unsuccessful candidates know. This information provides closure on a role and allows them to return to their job search. Staying in contact with interviewed candidates is so rarely done that, even when you are delivering “bad news”, you are still presenting your company in the best light.

For the employees that get the job, the entire experience from A-Z (hiring to onboarding and onward) needs to be seamless so that employees are excited about working for your company right off the bat. They’re more likely to spread the word about how great it is to work for you. 

2. Utilize your current staff. Who better to fill a role than someone you know who has the soft skills and has shown the ability to learn and grow with your business?  When creating your job descriptions, write a version specifically targeting your current employees, encouraging them to grow within the organization. Be sure your team understands that the search net is being cast far and wide for the best candidates, but they should always apply for positions that they think would be a great fit for them. 

Look to your current staff members as your best source of referrals. Most people tend to hang out with people who are a lot like them. So if you’re comfortable with the demeanor of an employee, chances are you can find similarly motivated and competent associates just by asking around the warehouse or office. It can also be a great way to motivate the staff to ease their own workload by getting someone hired faster. 

Former employees can be a great source to fill jobs as well. Rather than looking only at brand-new candidates, your pool of previous workers may already have the experience and qualifications for the roles you need to fill.

Another way to utilize your current staff is to create a development program. Continually cross-train your staff and offer chances to learn about opportunities outside of their daily responsibilities. 

1. Hire a staffing agency. It is not self-serving to say that hiring a staffing agency can be the fastest way to fill your openings. If you’re an HR manager or hiring executive and haven’t used a staffing agency because you might be concerned with costs, you should realize that any costs are more than offset by the increase in quality candidates and a reduced timeline for hiring. 

WSI has a pool of qualified candidates and is constantly looking for the best in class talent. We work closely with our clients to understand specifics of a role and we accurately portray that to qualified candidates. We do this by sending candidates from our pre-existing talent pool, handling background and drug screens, and utilizing the latest HR software technology to get more qualified applicants.

If you’re ready to speed up your hiring process, contact us by clicking here

Don’t miss out on the best possible employees for your operation. Be prepared, have a plan, utilize your current employees, and continue to strengthen your brand identity to all applicants for your positions. The best candidates are looking…but not for very long. 

12 Ways to Stretch Your Fuel Dollar

For many people, getting to work can be the most difficult thing to accomplish each day.  If you don’t have a car, or a consistent ride to work, it can be devastating to your ability to get ahead in life. If you do have your own car, the expense of payments, maintenance, and especially the cost of gas can stretch your already strained budget.

The price of fuel had been increasing before tragic world events and market shortages sent the prices skyrocketing in early March. Prices average about $4.24 per gallon for regular unleaded gas from its record high of $4.33 in early March, and it is still around 70% higher than it was a year ago. Oil is a global commodity, so its price can be affected by many factors including war, supply issues, natural disasters, etc. Experts predict that high gas prices could endure through Labor Day. 

If you find yourself taking fewer trips and worrying about where the gas needle is on the dashboard, take a look at these gas-saving tips we’ve put together to help you stretch your fuel budget each week.  (we won’t even suggest biking!)

1. Oil Change / Maintenance – A well-tuned and well-maintained engine will run more efficiently. This means that it will be able to put out the same power on less fuel. In addition to regular oil changes, keep your spark plugs clean and operating. Worn-out spark plugs can cost you as much as 2 mpg or up to 30% more fuel.

2. Sign Up For Rewards – Many gas station chains have been offering a few cents off per gallon when you sign up for their loyalty program. Even if it’s just a five cents per gallon discount, that can add up to about a couple of dollars discounted on each fillup and reach over a hundred dollars saved each year.

3. Tires – Tires with more air in them are generally more fuel-efficient. Even if your tires are only a little deflated, this can still make your vehicle’s fuel economy numbers drop significantly. When you’re filling your tires, it is better to put in as much air as is allowed by the manufacturer’s specifications and make sure all four tires are evenly inflated. 

4. Travel times – Driving in traffic is very bad for your vehicle’s fuel economy as the engine has to run down and rev up over and over again. This process uses up a lot of fuel. Adjust your travel times to engage in less traffic. Plan on combining trips for kid drop-offs, groceries, errands, and more. Even one less domestic trip per day really adds up. 

5. Drive slower – Driving five to ten miles below the speed limit (or at the speed limit if you have a lead foot) will make a huge impact on your fuel consumption. Use your cruise control to help keep your speed in check. AAA says that cars are their most fuel-efficient between 35-45 miles per hour. When you go over 50 mph, fuel economy is reduced due to aerodynamic drag. This is a hard one to manage, but can be the most beneficial. You’ll get used to it and a bonus is that traffic gets easier when you’re moving slower.

6. Eco-Mode – Does your car have this? Many later model vehicles have an Eco-Mode. These driving modes are designed specifically to increase fuel economy and decrease emissions by running the engine on slightly less fuel. You can save 10% on gas if you’re always driving in the Eco-Mode.

7. Use Gas Apps to find Cheapest Gas – Have you tried using an app like GasBuddy? There are many apps out there that can help you find the cheapest gas in your area. 

8. Rewards Credit Cards – If you have decent enough credit, you can apply for a great rewards-based credit card. Some cards have regular cashback (1 or 2%) on all purchases. Some cards, like this one, have 5% rebates on gas purchases. This could add up to hundreds of dollars saved each year.

9. Cash Instead of a Card – Conversely, many gas stations and merchants already figure the 1-2% credit card fee charged by credit card services into the price of a gallon of gas. Maybe you’ve noticed that there is a different price for paying cash than paying by card? If your filling station has this discount, you may be able to save up to fifteen cents a gallon. Let everyone else pay full price! 

10. Fill Up Early In The Week – According to GasBuddy, filling up on Monday mornings as opposed to Friday evenings could save you as much as $40 a year. While the national average price of gas peaks on Fridays, Saturday is the worst day to fill up in 16 states, while Sunday is the worst day in 12 states. Thursday is the worst day to fill up in Michigan and Indiana.

11. RideShare – You’re not the only one feeling the pinch of gas prices. Your friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers are also feeling the pain. Ask around at work for anyone who may live near you, or go by where you live on their way to work. Offer to take turns driving to save gas money. Your coworker may be delighted to have you help ease the burden of higher gas prices. You might even make a new friend, but remember, driver gets to be the DJ. 

12. Turn off your AC / Lighten the Load – There are several ways to make driving easier on your engine. Turning off the air conditioning and rolling down the windows is an easy way to save on gas. If there’s any extra weight in your car (like sandbags from winter), take it out. Removing 200 pounds can add up to three more miles per gallon.

None of these on their own may have you seeing more green in your wallet. But using them together and consistently will reap benefits. Try incorporating one or two to start off, and add more gas-saving techniques as time goes on. This may seem like a pain at first, but it will become second nature after a little while. When you save gas, you save money and the planet, and you get to stick it to those greedy gas companies.

Is The Great Resignation Over?

Projections for the 2022 unemployment rate are holding steady and experts predict we will be back at pre-pandemic employment levels by midsummer. Better than expected job growth is showing signs the labor market is doing well so far in March. So we’re asking, is “The Great Resignation” over?

You’ve heard that phrase, “The Great Resignation” nonstop for the last year. Anthony Klotz, an organizational psychologist and professor at Texas A&M University, coined the phrase during an interview with Bloomberg last May to describe the wave of people quitting their jobs due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which led many to re-think where, how and why we work. The movement itself was a repudiation of the status quo.

Americans quit jobs at a record pace during the second half of 2021. About 23% of employees will seek new jobs in 2022, while 9% have already secured a new position, according to a December ResumeBuilder.com poll of 1,250 American workers. Market losses, supply chain issues, high fuel prices, inflation, heartbreaking world affairs, and yes, still Covid-19, mean business growth is stymied for a bit and hiring may slow down sooner than later.

Turnover may be slowing down due to another factor: you. Companies have answered the call to compete for workers by raising wages, improving benefits, and creating a better work culture. Anthony Klotz says this will keep employee turnover from being “completely rampant” in the months ahead.

This chart tells an easy story. Hiring was off the charts last spring, and in the months that followed, separations grew to an all-time high. But separations have leveled off, especially in correlation to hires, in consecutive months as we headed into 2022.

A survey by The Muse points to a statistic that a large majority of those who resigned, are regretting their decision. The survey asked about 2500 workers, who identify as Millenial or Gen-Z, and found that roughly seven in ten workers found their new roles were different from what they expected when they interviewed for their current position.

About one in five job seekers even admitted they would quit within a month if it’s not as expected, and 41% say they would give it between two and six months. Just under half of job seekers — 48% — would actually try to get their old job back, according to the data. Older generations might have stuck with a job a couple of years to avoid seeming unstable, but now 80% of Gen-Z said it’s acceptable to leave a new job before six months if it doesn’t live up to your expectations. The Muse CEO, Kathryn Minshew calls this quick turnaround in a job Shift-Shock.

The above chart breaks down quit rates by age.The gold and blue lines represent Gen-Z. Green is Millenial and Gen-X. The yellow line represents Baby-Boomers. Is it over? Was it hype? No and no. The worst may be behind us, but if 80% of Gen-Z say it’s ok to dump out of a job from the get-go, we might be seeing another surge of The Great Resignation later this year.

Now is the time to keep your employees energized and engaged in your operation. Minshew advises, “Companies need to be more upfront about the reality of their jobs because it could help retain workers who aren’t totally satisfied but could be over time. People are much more likely to accept the good and the bad and to show up as engaged and productive if they have entered the situation with their eyes wide open,” she said.

Some simple ways to keep your new employees engaged:

  • Social Functions
  • Stay Interviews
  • Work Perks
  • Flexibility over their own schedule
  • Improve any toxic-related areas of work culture
  • Evaluate managers who will be dealing with new employees directly

The Society of Human Resource Management suggests employees who experience shift shock are less likely to be engaged or to become high performers. So, ask new employees on a regular basis how they are doing in their new position. Ask, “What’s your favorite and least favorite thing about working here?” Let them be transparent and open. Ask them to keep a work diary if you feel it could give the hiring team some insight as to what the job is versus how it was described to the employee. 

As we return to a version of normal, try to have in-person interviews. It allows potential employees to walk into the building and see what they’re getting into so they get a feel of the energy and culture of your operation. Also, during interviews, don’t let your HR Managers talk only about the upsides of a job. The more transparent you are, the more new employees will be able to deal with adversity and have their expectations managed.

Do not show any resentment for paying higher salaries. Inflation is hard on everyone, and it may seem like you’re paying more for less than you used to get. Employees can see when an employer doesn’t think they’re earning their paycheck. If that happens, they’re likely out the door sooner than later. Give new employees time to acclimate and grow into their roles. 

The numbers show The Great Resignation was real and is winding down. Now is an opportunity to soften the landing for those who participated and prevent a second wave of shift-shock that could happen later in the year. 

Careers In Less Than A Year

If you’re looking for ways to expand your skill set and grow in your manufacturing career, many of WSI’s assignments offer opportunities for growth. From GED courses to career development courses, the more you invest in a company with your time, the more they invest in you.

If you’re looking for new opportunities, there are several jobs and trades you can learn in a very short amount of time. These skills don’t take thousands of dollars and years of study. Most can be accomplished within a year. 

HVAC Technician

Job: HVAC techs install, repair, and maintain heating and cooling units for commercial and home use.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the jobs in this sector will grow by 4% by 2029. In as little as six months, you can complete HVAC training and begin working in this industry. There’s a lot of great benefits to join.

Training: HVAC training is fast, normally taking between 6 months to 1 year to complete a certificate or diploma program. Associate degrees in HVAC technology take a little longer to earn but earning one may get you a higher paying entry level job. HVAC technicians get extensive in-job training, especially when they are at entry-level.

Annual Avg Salary: Ziprecruiter says the average annual pay for an Entry Level HVAC Technician Job in the US is $35,322 a year.

IT Cable Installer

Job: Network cabling specialists set up and repair low-voltage communication systems. They install and service the lines that support Internet, telephone, cable television, security systems, and satellite television services for a building.

Training: There’s a lot of specialized online courses to choose from. This is one of the fastest trades to train for. You can find network cabling programs that are only 24 weeks long.

Annual Avg Salary: Salary.com states that the average hourly wage for a Network Cable Installer in the United States is $27 as of February 25, 2022, but the salary range typically falls between $24 and $32.

Welding

Job:  With your certification or associates degree in welding, you will qualify for a wide variety of welding related jobs in manufacturing, automation, construction, inspection and maintenance industries. 

Training: Welding training ranges between 7 months and 2 years of hands-on instruction, depending on the program you choose. Usually there are no prerequisites and you’ll be in demand upon graduation. Grand Rapids Community College has a program that provides all the training and certifications you need to get started and at low cost. There are many more just like in this program in close proximity to most cities. 

Annual Avg Salary: According to Salary.com, the average Welder I salary in the United States is $42,996 as of February 25, 2022, but the range typically falls between $38,185 and $49,422. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession.

Forklift

Job: If you’re looking for a quick skill to add to give you more opportunities in manufacturing, getting your forklift certification is quick, cost effective, and will have you ready to move whatever needs to be moved on the floor in no time. 

Training: You can earn your forklift operator certification by taking an OSHA-approved course either in person or online. Many people choose to attend training in person through a vocational school or a local company. These low cost courses include classroom work, a written test and hands-on training and evaluation.

Annual Avg Salary: The average salary for a forklift operator is $16.31 per hour in Michigan and $5,250 overtime per year. That works out to about $40,000 a year.

Automotive Technology

Job: With an automotive technical certificate, students can prepare for employment as an automotive service technician in various settings such as automobile dealerships, independent service facilities, franchised repair facilities, and specialty shops. 

Training: Here’s a one-year program for example, offered by Southwestern Michigan College. 

You’ll train to be a certified, full-service mechanic with an automotive degree or certificate. 

Annual Avg Salary: Automotive dealerships usually have a very robust benefits package in addition to rising pay. The average annual hourly wage was $24 an hour for entry level technicians. And of course, you’ll be invested in constantly for updated training by your employer. 

CDL Truck Driver

Job: CDL truck drivers are the lifeblood of the economy. Companies are working with legislatures to ease the burden on truckers. Perhaps even paying them by the hour instead of the mile.

Training: If you’re willing to take a full-time training course that runs 5 days a week, you can obtain your license and be ready for a trucking job in as few as 3-6 weeks. The duration of your CDL program is not measured in days, but rather by hours of training. So the pace may differ depending on class schedules, and your own. You can get an CDL at age 18, but companies won’t hire you until you’re 21 and able to cross state lines and carry all types of cargo. Here’s a list of steps to take to obtain your professional CDL license. 

Annual Average Salary: The average hourly wage for a Truck Driver – Heavy in the United States is $22 according to salary.com, but the range typically falls between $20 and $26.

If you’re on assignment with us, our first suggestion if you’re simply looking to add more money to your check is to ask your supervisor what skills would be needed to advance your career, and does the company offer that opportunity? We love to watch our clients grow with dedicated associates that are a great fit. We also love to see our associates grow and find the careers and opportunities that help them thrive and that they are passionate about. Remember, you’re a year or less away from a whole new trade and a bigger paycheck. In this hot job market, it’s your skills and dependability that set you apart. Good luck!

Why You Should Make Every Day Employee Appreciation Day

Employee Appreciation Day was the brainchild of Bob Nelson, one of Recognition Professionals International’s founding board members. Nelson collaborated with his publishing company, Workman Publishing, to make the holiday appear prominently on workplace calendars starting in 1995. This occasion gives employers and HR Managers a great opportunity to salute and recognize valuable contributions to the team.

Whenever the conversation comes up about Employee Appreciation Day, which is the first Friday of March, someone always says, “Everyday should be Employee Appreciation Day!” It’s a great sentiment, but that’s not an appreciation day, that’s a culture change in your workplace.

With the need to attract and retain talent to meet growing demand, a personal attachment to your employees is critical to culture change. If you’re planning to create a special moment for your employees this year, take this time to condition yourself and your business that you don’t need just one day to do it. Appreciating your employees every day year round is the first step to creating a workplace culture that people want to be a part of.

Some simple ideas that can go along way:

Saying Thank You

The first step in moving beyond just one appreciation day for your staff includes the need to embed recognition into your company culture. Adding recognition for your employee efforts takes the least amount of effort and goes a very long way. Tell someone different everyday how you appreciate their efforts for the company. Not everyone likes to be appreciated the same way. Be sure to ask the person how they like to be recognized. If you want to reward your employees with something other than recognition, we had some non monetary ideas last year during the holidays that employees love.

Make Fridays Special

Friday. It’s the best day of the workweek. Tap into the energy and positivity of your workforce by enhancing their already well-earned mood.

  • Giving employees a few extra minutes of a break.
  • Having donuts or other food catered for a shift once a quarter.
  • Staff Football Pick Em Contests (seasonal)
  • Other special employee perks (but not Hawaiian Shirt Day)

Video Message

Take a few minutes a week to record a video from leadership. These messages are universally well-received and have high engagement rates. It is also a useful communication tool with a personal touch.

Educate Them

A 2021 study conducted by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute (MI) predicts that 2.1 million manufacturing positions will go unfulfilled by 2030. These empty positions could cost the U.S. a loss of about $1 trillion in GDP.

Source: LinkedIn Learning

Millennials will make up three-quarters of the workforce by 2025. Fifty-six percent of managers say they would take a career enhancement course if it were recommended by their employer. The problem is time. Employees want to learn, they just don’t have the time. The good news is over 90% of companies offer online learning. Millennials look at a job as an opportunity to grown and learn. Take hold of that passion and use it to fill the oncoming skills gap headed to manufacturing. Educate them on the job.

Inclusivity

Employees bring their best each day when they can be their authentic selves while on the job. This means creating a culture of acceptance among your employees, and giving special attention to employees who step up to support efforts to include everyone. Eliminate harassment and bullying if it exists in your workplace. Inclusivity and diversity are among the most sought after qualities in a position amongst millennials and Gen-Z.

If this is the first time you’re hearing of Employee Appreciation Day, now is a good time to learn about how you can celebrate your employees and their contributions to your operation. If your culture needs improvement, take this special day to start a new habit of recognizing great work and celebrating those who give so much to your operation. Then, keep the effort going year round. And next year, the first Friday of March won’t take you by surprise.

Building Your Best Resume For The Future

WSI never requires a resume for an application for employment. Our online application process is very simple to use. But, if you’re looking to build a resume to highlight your qualifications and experience to go for that dream job you’ve always wanted, we’ve put together some tips and information to help you navigate through building a resume. A customized up-to-date resume will let potential employers know what you can do specifically for them. The purpose of a well crafted resume is to get the job interview. 

Our internal numbers here at WSI show that about half of our associates have a resume. Of that 50%, our hiring managers report that almost 80% of them are out of date. Again, this doesn’t hinder anyone from getting an interview for a position they’re qualified for. Taking a couple of hours and updating your resume is like having an ace in the hole for when you need it. 

Some people say, “If I’m applying online, I just have to input my resume line-by-line anyway.” Yes, some jobs on Indeed.com will take you to an employer’s website where you’ll have to input all the information by hand. This can be infuriating! Thankfully, WSI’s job page has just five fields, and that’s it.

Other openings could have software that scans your resume and fills in the blanks for you. Then there are jobs where you can attach your resume and write a cover letter and push “APPLY NOW” and that’s the end of it. But what happens to your application after you push send?

Applicant Tracking Software

Writing a good resume means making sure your resume has key words and phrases that you see in the job description. Most employers will use software that sorts and ranks resumes based on qualifications set up by the hiring manager. So, it’s important to make tiny changes to every resume you send to match the job description and requirements. It could be the difference whether or not you’re called for an interview. If there are other candidates who’s keywords are a better match, they will rank higher for the job. Here’s an example of a job opening we have for a position here at WSI, with some keywords highlighted.

Notice how many times “communication” was mentioned? Account Management was also mentioned a couple of times in the job description.  These keywords are the skills and talents the employer is looking for. So customize your resume to work in some words and terms you see in the job description. 

If you want to see how well your resume stacks up against a job description, use this Simulator. It will scan your resume and the job description you copy over and see how well your resume stacks up against the system. 

Best Practices for Creating Resumes

Make sure your headline lets the employer know you meet the requirements of the job description. A summary is how you benefited your previous employer.  For example, if you worked at a restaurant, you might highlight your customer service experience. A solid headline and summary example would be: 

Headline: Customer success professional with 2+ years experience delighting clients in the retail industry.

Summary: Experienced in resolving client concerns via chat, email and phone; routinely recognized by management and peers for assertive and enthusiastic spirit. Excited to continue my career in eCommerce.

Keep your formatting simple. 

Be aware that the software may struggle to read and parse the correct information from your resume and misplace your skills and details that you want to put front and center. Don’t use headers, columns, or footers when you create the document. 

Here’s the rundown for sections on your resume:

  • Name and contact information
  • Summary or objective
  • Professional history (Company name | Dates of tenure |Description of role and achievements)
  • Education
  • Skills
  • Optional (Awards & Achievements, Hobbies & Interests)

This template is an example Indeed uses for simple formatting.

Be sure to use simple, professional fonts such as Arial, Calibri or Georgia at a 10–12 point font size. In short, keep formatting simple. Make sure each section is labeled clearly: 

  • Work History
  • Work Experience
  • Experience
  • Professional History
  • Professional Experience

Be Honest With Your Skills, Experience, and Education

Aside from creative job titles, if you mash together job ad keywords and your experience in an attempt to make yourself look more impressive, it could very likely backfire. It’s best to be honest with your skills and not embellish your previous roles. Employers want to see how you contributed to the company. When you write your resume, make every effort to highlight these employer benefits.

HR managers are notoriously detail-oriented creatures who do a lot more background work than they are given credit for. If you say you hold a bachelors degree and you don’t, or were a manager at your last job, and you weren’t…that’s going to raise some serious red flags about who you are as a candidate.

If you were a cashier at your last job, say you were a cashier/customer service specialist. No need to over-fancy a title as an attempt to stand out. Being honest, like in any relationship, is the best foundation for success. 

Finish Your Efforts With a Well-Crafted Cover Letter

Nothing personalizes your resume like a well crafted cover letter. The key to writing effective cover letters is to succinctly communicate how your professional experience fits the needs of the role and culture of the company. A great cover letter shows the employer you are interested in the job. Some studies are showing that the cover letter isn’t necessary anymore. But employers are still looking for it as part of your application package. 

  • Don’t use a generic letter. 
  • Be sure to include the employer’s name, and the position. If you can call to ask who might be in charge of hiring for the position, put their name on the cover letter.
  • Your first paragraph should highlight why you are the specific candidate for the job.

Remember, WSI does not require a resume for application. Even if you’re happy in your current role, it’s always good housekeeping to make sure your resume is up-to-date. You’ll want to make it as readily available as possible if you stumble across that position you’ve always dreamed about. If you don’t have a resume, it’s time to put one together so you don’t miss out on great opportunities. If you don’t have access to a computer to craft a resume, start with your local library. You’ll find many librarians are eager to help you navigate how to use the computer. Below is a list of resources you can use to help you in the process. Good luck out there!

More Resume Building Resources

Indeed Resume Builder

Resume Writing Tips 

Monster.com resume Evaluator

Writing a Great Cover Letter

Top 10 Resume Mistakes

Making Day One The ‘Best Day Ever’

Temporary associates sound off on their job placements and how they are treated differently.

The American Staffing Association says that there are more than 3 million temporary and contract workers working for staffing companies in America during an average week and  17 million during a typical year.

Both sides of the employer-employee relationship can feel trepidation about one another. Both sides go in hoping they are a good fit for one another. The early days of an associates assignment are crucial in reducing your turnover, and engaging them to strive to be hired-in for full time employment. 

Pulling back the curtain here at WSI, some of the common complaints we receive from our associates is that they were treated poorly by supervisors, didn’t feel like they received adequate training, didn’t have a voice in the operations and issues that arose during their shift, or felt like they are treated differently because they are on a temporary assignment.

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Maya Angelou

How does this negatively impact your business? 

Many associate workers have long felt that they’re treated as second-class citizens in some workplaces. Your business has a responsibility to everyone who comes to work for you each day, whether they are full-time employees or temporary workers. Morale and employee relations problems can arise when you have temps working alongside permanent employees for months, doing the same work and putting in the same hours, but not receiving the same benefits afforded their permanent employee coworkers. Your regular employees might look down on those working as temporary associates as “outsiders,” or simply not talk to them or mix with them at lunch or office functions.

If an associate worker on assignment has negative feelings about their workplace early in their assignment, what are the chances they see the assignment through? How much desire will they have to become a full-time employee in your operation? What are the long-term effects to your culture and reputation when new employees have a negative experience working for you?

Get Into Their Heads-In a Good Way!

The psychological aspect of managing employees is habitually lost on large scale employers. Making an associate feel like part of the team improves their output. Acknowledgement of their issues, ideas, and concerns helps validate them as an employee and makes them feel pride in being a part of your operation.

Easy ways to do this include remembering their name right off the bat, asking top-level questions about the employee (where they grew up, family at home, etc) and what they like. How can you prepare them for a terrific first day? Who’s going to show them around and who are you asking to have lunch with them to make them feel welcome from the start? An associate who feels seen and that their new employer is making a small effort to treat them like the ‘family company’ everyone always boasts about in their job descriptions will make you stand out from this being ‘just another job.’

Keep Them Safe

Studies show that the frequency and severity rates of on-the-job injuries are significantly higher with temporary workers. Never assume an associate is fully prepared to work unsupervised until you have taken the time to see that they can safely perform their work tasks. It’s not just the dangers of the job. Many employees are going to be eager to prove themselves and could open themselves up to injury or harm moving too fast or without caution. With potential legal liability, it is best practice to ensure that all workers undergo a basic orientation safety training as well as issues such as discrimination and harassment.

Show Them the Way

Most of WSI’s clients love to hire hard-working, dependable associates as full-time employees usually well before the minimum hours-worked threshold is even met for the assignment. Supervisors and team leaders can be on the front lines not only to train workers on temporary assignment, but to also motivate and coach them to get to the finish line and become full-time employees.

If a temporary associate can see the way forward, feels that they’re already part of your team, and their concerns and ideas are validated by their supervisors, why would they not give your company their loyalty and best effort? Coach your staff to treat temp workers as equals, and you’ll likely see your requests for temporary assignment workers drop sharply over the long run because you’ve hired them all to your team.

Spotlight on Black Business – Huey D’s Goodies

To honor Black History Month, WSI is shining a spotlight on a locally-owned black business. We’re proud to introduce to you Huey D’s Goodies, led by CEO Demargeo White. From humble roots, Demargeo is working hard to achieve his dream. We had a chance to sit down and ask Demargeo some questions about his start, his cheesecakes, and the struggle the black small business owners face.

How Did Huey D’s Goodies get started and where does the name come from?

What influenced me to start Huey D’s I was in the food industry for ten years working under chefs, and feeling like I wasn’t getting the recognition I deserved. So, when I moved back home from Grand Rapids, I ended up doing my own thing. I started off doing meal prep, desserts, and catering private dinners. But I found myself getting spread real real thin and buying a bunch of stuff I didn’t need. So I sat down with my wife, and said I wanted to do something different. The reason I chose cheesecakes is because I was terrible at it. The name Huey D’s Goodies come from our son, Houston.  Before he was born, my wife named him Houston, and his nickname is Huey, and his middle name is Deandre. I chose ‘Goodies” because I didn’t want to put myself in a box. I’ve been in the food industry for the last twelve years and as the company grows, we’re going to be introducing more products.

You said you were terrible at Cheesecakes at first. Somehow that’s improved because your speciality now are those famous scrumptious cheesecakes. What makes a great cheesecake? 

What makes the perfect cheesecake? It starts with love. If you’re not cooking with love, then why are you cooking? One of my top sellers is Strawberry Crunch, a fan favorite. Cookies and Cream, Turtle… I think the Superman is making its way to the top. You can’t get that flavor here, locally. I did my research and the closest you can get a Superman Cheesecake is Detroit. So, me doing it here, I am saving you two hours drive. You can get it right here in town.

What do you hope people take away from Black History Month?

What I hope people take away from Black History Month is that our black excellence goes beyond slavery and goes beyond Black History Month. No shade to the people who came before us. We had black entrepreneurs to this day who are creating history. We bring more to the table than basketball and hip hop music. Our excellence goes way beyond that.

What are some of the other black-owned businesses in the area people should know about?

Some of the other black-owned businesses here in Kalamazoo? I’m going to be biased, because I’m in the food industry. There’s Pop’s Gut, Twine Urban Winery, Jarell McKinney, he does an awesome seafood boil. One of my associates, Sayber Cloud, she’s from Muskegon. She does meal prep, home-cooked meals for families. There’s a lot of hidden talent here in Kalamazoo if you know about it.

What are some of the struggles of owning a black-owned business that people might now be aware of?

Some of the challenges of being a black business owner: we don’t have access to a lot of resources like funding, grants, mentorship. That’s the area we don’t have access to. I tell people, you have to get out here and network and ask questions to access those resources. That’s the best advice I can give to black entrepreneurs. Network, get out and ask questions.

You’re known for giving back to the community. What are some organizations Huey D’s Goodies partners with?

Some of the organizations Huey D’s work around town like Men of Purpose, which I’m actually a chairman of. We pretty much focus on mentoring young black men in the community to help them from boyhood to adulthood. Another non-profit we work with is Mothers of Hope. Whenever I have goodies to donate, I call up one of the members and ask if they mind taking them.  Also Young Kings and Queens as well. I try to do my best giving back because I want to set an example for the rest of the community. Just because you’re a business owner, in a certain position, you don’t’ ever want to look down on the little people. Never forget where you come from. I always want to give back.

If you could go back to the beginning just a few years back, what advice would you give yourself?

If I could go back in time and give myself advice in the beginning: definitely do your research.  I kind of hopped in head-first. I took off pretty fast and crashed just as fast. As the months went on, I did my research, met with people, networked. I learned a lot along the way. But if I could go back, I’d say research. Look for, try to tap into some grants early on. It took me about a year early on to get my hands on some grants. 

How do people find your delicious cheesecakes?

If you’re looking to order a cheesecake from us, you can find us at our website, https://hueydsgoodies.net/, also on Facebook. The Harding’s on 9th and Stadium in Kalamazoo sells our cheesecakes by the slice. You can download our app and order in the Google Play Store and order within minutes!

Everything Great (And Not So Great) About Third Shift

What can you get done while the world is sleeping?

Third shift isn’t for everyone. Even if you are a night owl who thrives on the night shift, it’s not meant to be for life. Most people never think about working the third shift. Seventy-five percent of the world starts their workday between 6am and 10am every day.

For many, it’s just unnatural, sleeping while the world buzzes, and working while the world sleeps. But for millions of Americans, there are quite a few reasons why people choose the graveyard shift: emotional and financial benefits, privacy, less traffic, and more focus just to name a few. But there are also certain health issues you should monitor as you work through the wee hours of the morning. Let’s take a dive into what happens on the graveyard shift.

THIRD SHIFT STATISTICS

An estimated three million Americans now work third shift – between 11 pm and 7 am. An additional four million employees go to work during the evening shift, and even more work floating or erratic schedules that include night work. One in five employees in the U.S. works nonstandard hours, like evening, night, or rotating shifts.

IN DEMAND JOBS

Ziprecruiter says that their number of postings for jobs that require overnight shifts was almost fourteen times higher than was average before the pandemic hit. Clearing the backlog of supply chain issues and meeting growing consumer consumption demand has fueled the need for overnight workers. 

WHO WORKS THIRD SHIFT?

The rate of night work is still highest among blue-collar workers, particularly service workers (including those in security, food services, manufacturing, and cleaning services), with 6.5% of the 11 million service employees working night shifts and 10.8% working evening shifts.

BENEFITS OF THIRD SHIFT

  • A higher salary: Many companies offer shift differential, or more pay, for working hours outside of the first shift. WSI is not an exception, as most of our clients offer $1-2 more per hour to work overnights. It adds up quickly. $16 extra dollars per day over a 52-week calendar year is more than $4000 in extra salary.
  • You can grow your career faster: Most third shifts operate with a smaller staff than the first or second shift. This means you’ll have more opportunities to cross-train on jobs, gain new responsibilities, explore different areas of the business, be exposed to various projects and ultimately make yourself a more well-rounded employee. Overnight employees tend to be less micro-managed as well.
  • A better work-life balance: Working overnights allows you to be able to make those doctor visits or other errands or appointments that can only be done during the hours of 9am to 5pm. It gives some parents who share the load with child-care a chance to sleep while their kids are at school. Many parents are able to put their kids on the bus each morning, sleep during the day, pick up kids and have dinner with them each evening and even tuck them in before heading off to work for the night. 
  • The option to go to school during the day.  This is the ultimate in discipline and time management. Many third-shifters find working overnight and going to school during the day is the perfect way to work their way through college. Third shift allows in-person classroom attendance and a chance to grow your skills or develop them for a new career path. How you get your homework done, we have no idea!
  • Privacy – It’s no surprise that some on the third shift aren’t the biggest fans of other people. You’ll find some who get anxious around large groups of people that typically work the earlier shifts. Working overnight gives you a chance to increase your productivity without stress or distraction. Less people means more focus on the task-at-hand, less meetings, and best of all, a faster commute!

WHY PEOPLE WORK THIRD SHIFT

DANGERS OF WORKING THIRD SHIFT

Circadian rhythms are physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a 24-hour cycle. A Circadian disruption, a disturbance of biological timing, is believed to be a cause of many health issues for people who work the third shift for multiple years. 

In a recent National Toxicology Program report, it was concluded that there is “high confidence” that persistent night shift work that results in circadian disruption can cause human cancer. Chronic sleep loss has also been shown to be a contributor of high blood pressure, heart disease, and strokes.

HOW TO SURVIVE THIRD SHIFT

Prioritize Sleep: On average, third shift workers get 45 minutes less sleep than their 1st and 2nd shift peers. Make a focused effort to go to bed at the same time each day and to get a full seven to eight hours of sleep per night  day.

Get Your Family on Board: Make sure members of your family know when you’re sleeping, and when you’re awake. Post a schedule or calendar where they can see it. Make sure you find time each day to share a meal with your family as well, as it will fulfill your emotional needs to have connections.

Maintain a routine: Consistency is key to success working third shift. Rotating between day and night shifts could be problematic for your sleep schedule. You should strive to wake up, leave, work, eat, hit the gym, get home and relax at the same time each day. 

Consistent meal schedule: Take your meals at the same time each day. It’s important to have the energy to get through an unconventional schedule. Avoid the cliché of living off of nicotine and caffeine. Stay hydrated with water, mix in plenty of veggies into your diet, and keep the caffeine and sugar to a manageable level. 

Hit The Gym Everyday: The number one way to manage any stress on your body from the third shift is to work out several days a week. Scheduling some gym or fitness time each day will keep you social, healthy, and trim. Many gyms have classes starting as early as 5 am. Working out after your shift may not seem appealing, but it’s a great way to unwind from the day, release anxiety, and you’ll sleep like a champ.

Third shift can be a lifestyle. The extra pay and daytime availability are terrific perks. Take good care of yourself, maintain a strict regimen, and be pushing to find an exit at some point to avoid sacrificing your health.

How Long Until I Get My Tax Refund?

This year could be more complicated than others when filing your taxes.

Tax time is intimidating to a lot of people. The dread of owing the IRS money looms on a lot of taxpayers minds. But, if you’re a middle-class worker (especially with dependents), tax time should be a time where you are eager to file your return and get a sweet refund check from Uncle Sam. Last year, 167 million tax returns were filed, with 122 returns entitled to a tax-refund. In 2021, the average refund was just under $2800. How soon will you get that refund this year? It will depend on several factors.

Taxpayers with income of less than $75,000 are projected to have, on average, no tax liability after deductions and credits when they file their returns this spring. They also will get money back from the IRS, according to recent estimates from the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation.

While having a zero tax bill is not a new phenomenon, it may be more pronounced this year due to a variety of temporary tax code changes, said Elaine Maag, principal research associate in the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center.

W-2s

The first thing you’ll need is your W-2s. A 2015 law requires employers to make sure that they have W-2’s out to employees by January 31st or risk facing fines from the IRS. WSI delivered electronic W-2’s to all of our associates on January 24th. Paper copies were mailed. The first day the IRS will start taking income tax returns in 2022 is January 26th , 17 days earlier than last year If you had other income sources from last year, like driving for Lyft or DoorDash, you’ll need a 1099 showing that income. Any receipts from health coverage, unemployment compensation, and a copy of last year’s tax return will also help you speed up your tax return.

Tax Credits

Taxpayers should first focus on three tax credits:  – the child tax credit,  – the earned income tax credit,  – and the dependent care tax credit. Each is refundable, meaning you get money back if the credit exceeds your taxes owed.

Filing your taxes from 2021 could be a bit more complicated this year, in part thanks to the Child Tax Credit and stimulus payments that most Americans received last year. President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan delivered $1,400 checks last March and the Child Tax Credit delivered $250 – $300 a month per child for six months. If parents want to 

Before You File

The IRS advises to not start your tax return until you’re ready. Have all your W-2’s and any other necessary paperwork ready. Incomplete or inaccurate filings will delay your tax refund. For instance, errors like math problems or incorrectly stating how much you received from the advanced Child Tax Credit payments could get your tax return flagged, leading to delays of weeks or even months. Here’s an easy way to get your phone to scan paper documents for uploading.

The IRS is sending letters this month to taxpayers who received the third federal stimulus check in 2021, as well as the advanced Child Tax Credit payments. These letters will inform each taxpayer what they received through these programs in 2021 — they are important documents to hold onto because you’ll want to refer to those amounts when filling out your tax return. 

File Electronically For Speedy Refund

Filing electronically and having your refund direct-deposited is the fastest way to get your money. Remember, the labor crunch is hitting everywhere—from restaurants all the way to the federal government. Some people who filed last year are still waiting on their returns to be processed. As of December 23, the agency had 6 million unprocessed individual returns. But tax experts say that you can get that refund in an average of 21 days if you e-file. 

If you’re ready, you can use an online tax service to help you file. The IRS Free File Program is a public-private partnership between the IRS and many tax preparation and filing software industry leaders who provide their brand-name products for free. This service is for incomes of $73,000 a year or less. To partner with a tax-service provider, set this up through the IRS website. TurboTax left the IRS program last year, but you can still use them to file for free if your return is simple. (TurboTax defines “simple” as “Form 1040 only.”) These cover W-2 income, limited interest and dividend income, the standard deduction, the earned income and child tax credits, and student loan deduction. 

Need help?

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) is a program that offers free tax help from IRS-certified volunteers. VITA services are available to people who generally earn $58,000 per year or less. They also offer free tax help to people with disabilities and people who speak limited English. Use the VITA site locator to find a site near you. Check with your local site for dates and times you can get help with your taxes. You can also check with your financial institution and ask if they offer a discount for tax preparation services.

None of this is professional tax advice; just some notes of how to be the most efficient and cost-conscious when filing your tax return, if you’re entitled to one. If you have significant tax questions, seek the help of a professional tax advisor. The deadline to file your tax return is April 18th, 2022.