Welcome Fall with an Office Labor Day Party

August 22nd, 2011

For us working adults, summer vacation doesn’t have quite the same meaning it had when we were in school. But you’ll have a hard time finding someone who doesn’t like nice weather, longer days and holiday weekends (and don’t forget family vacations!). Summer is many people’s favorite time of year, and saying goodbye to summer can be bittersweet (and okay, sure, sometimes pretty depressing).

Help your employees transition to fall with a Labor Day party.

The unofficial end of summer coincides with Labor Day (most of us went back to school on the Tuesday or Wednesday after this late-summer holiday). Rather than let your employees sadly grasp the last whiffs of summer, why not end summer with a bang, and welcome fall with open arms? The best way to do it might just be with a Labor Day party.  Not sure where to start? A great Labor Day party should include:

  • Grilling – Nothing says summer like hot dogs and hamburgers (or veggie burgers for our vegetarian friends) on the grill. But don’t stop there. Corn on the cob, veggies, fruit, even pizza, all taste better on the grill. You’ll be surprised how your employees come out of their shells when you fire up a grill.
  • Food, and lots of it – All employees like food. Getting good food at work somehow makes the days seem quicker, and adds a bounce to your step. There’s a strange, positive phenomena associated with food in the workplace. Not quite defined, but it’s there nonetheless. So pick up the burgers, hot dogs and buns. Don’t forget the ketchup and mustard. And while you’re at it, toss in some potato salad, garden salad, fruit salad (salads just scream, “Summer,” don’t they?)…chips, cookies and other desserts. Bring in the food, and expect it to go quickly.
  • Games – Make a real picnic out of your Labor Day party. Bring in Kan Jam (a frisbee game that is incredibly popular across the country), water balloons (we’ll get to this in a moment), squirt guns, and other fun summer toys. And if you don’t have a large enough company backyard (or any backyard) to house these fun summer activities (and did we mention food?), rent a shelter at a local apart and let your employees blow off some steam.

And end-of-summer party is a great way to refresh your team, keep them motivated, and also get them ready for a productive fall. By taking the time to properly bring summer to a close, you’ll reap the rewards of a rested, focused workforce.

Need more workers?
Contact Gage Personnel. We’ll source our extensive network of candidates to find precisely the professionals you need.

 

“Tell Me About Yourself” – What Employers Really Want to Know.

August 15th, 2011

Interviews are stressful. Sometimes confusing. And always important. Yet, when we get into an actual job interview, many job seekers freeze like deer in headlights. Seemingly innocuous questions can inspire panic and fear. And others can set off a tangent the depths of which you never knew you had in you (By the way – in case you didn’t know, any type of tangent in a job interview is bad!).

What about the basics?

In just about every job interview, you’re likely to be asked some form of this question: “Tell me a little bit about yourself.” Do not be alarmed, but…employers don’t necessarily want to know that much about you! Here is the type of information recruiters or hiring managers are seeking when they ask you this popular question:

  1. Will you fit in here? An open-ended question like “Tell me about yourself” can provide an interviewer with an opportunity to gauge whether you’re a good fit for their corporate culture. If you hate “Seinfeld” and their entire team whittles away lunch hours playing “Seinfeld Scene It!,” you might not be the best fit.
  2. Anything but your life story. Remember what we mentioned a few paragraphs up about tangents? This is along those same lines. Your interviewer doesn’t care if you were born at 2:46am, two weeks early, at a small hospital in the rural corners of Wichita (really, they don’t). What they’re really looking for is…
  3. Your accomplishments. Go outside your resume, and describe your accomplishments and contributions at previous employers. “Tell me about yourself” is more like “Tell me how you’ll make an impact here.” Snippets about your personality are a good idea (see Number 1), but try to keep the focus on your accomplishments.
  4. Something relatively short. And please, keep it short. Tangents = bad. Concise, information-filled snippets = good. If you had to ask five or more potential new hires that question, would you rather hire the person who gave a 2-minute answer…or a 20-minute answer (hey, it’s happened).

Searching high and low for job opportunities?
Finding great job opportunities can be hard work. Partner with Gage Personnel, and we’ll search our extensive network of career opportunities to find jobs that are a good fit for your skills, background and goals. Contact us today to get started.

 

Top 3 Job Search Mistakes by College Grads

August 8th, 2011

It’s not an easy time to be a recent graduate entering the job market. Although showing some small signs of growth, the economy is still struggling, and grads are entering an incredibly competitive job market. And experienced professionals are taking entry-level jobs rather than face unemployment, further depleting the jobs available to recent college graduates.

Don’t make it harder to find work by committing these mistakes.

Searching for work now that you’ve graduated? Maximize your opportunities for employment by avoiding these top three job search mistakes made by college grads:

  1. Forgetting about networking. Networking is for all professionals, and it’s never too early to start developing your professional network. Make sure you have set up — and are using — LinkedIn and Twitter, the strongest social media sites for networking. Then, look no further than your college alumni office. Alumni organizations can provide a great start for your professional network. Additionally, look for local professional organizations in your field, or young professional networking organizations, where you can expand your professional network.
  2. Unprofessional email addresses or voicemail. That music tone was a great idea when you were in college, but to recruiters and hiring managers, it just makes you look unprofessional. The same goes for your email address. “BieberFan127@email.com” make have been fun for awhile, but it’s not the way to present yourself to prospective employers. Set up a free email account using a form of your name or initials – it will present a much more professional picture.
  3. Unrealistic expectations. It’s important to remember that you’re just starting out in your career. A six-figure income is desirable for most professionals, but it likely isn’t realistic for your first job out of college. And don’t forget the competitive job market you’re in – some experienced professionals are applying for the same jobs as you! Keep your expectations in check and apply only to jobs where you meet  the qualifications. There’s plenty of time to make more money and advance your career – once you’ve demonstrated results for your first employer!

Looking for a career opportunity?
Search our available jobs or contact Gage Personnel to get started. We work with some of the top employers across Berks County, and we’ll find you a great career opportunity to help you reach your goals.

 

Job Fair Announcement

August 8th, 2011

Gage Personnel is recruiting for a national Fortune 500 Company. Positions in a state of the art manufacturing facility include all industrial and technical skill levels.  Pay rates starting at $17.25/hour.  Two year degree post-high school or equivalent training.

Please apply Monday, August 8th 2011 and Tuesday, August 9th, 2011 from 8am to 5pm at our offices:

Gage Personnel
101 N. 7th Avenue
West Reading, PA 19611
610.376.1771

Does your company culture attract great candidates?

August 1st, 2011

While the job market remains fierce, high-quality candidates are always in demand. But are you doing what you can to be a desirable choice for top candidates? Your company culture is an essential component in the decisions made by job seekers. If your culture is lacking, or even worse – toxic, you might have a hard time bringing top talent into your organization.

Make your company more like Google!

Known for its employee perks and positive company culture, most companies could benefit from being a bit more like Google. Here are some unconventional ways to help your corporate culture stand out from the pack:

  • Make lunch fun. And tasty! Yes, you’ll be hard pressed to find an employee who isn’t somewhat motivated (or impressed) by food. A stale vending machine with too many Whatchamacallits doesn’t count. Try having catered lunches once a week (or more, if you can afford it). Or, if budget is a concern, encourage your employees to participate in themed lunches, where each employee brings in a specific dish within an overall theme. At the very least, encourage your employees to take team lunches, where they can blow off steam and get out of the office.
  • Pack some heat (Hold on, we’ll explain!). When you were a child, did you ever play with a Nerf gun? Or even a squirt gun? Pretty addictive, aren’t they? And great ways to blow off some steam. With high tech equipment in most offices, squirt guns aren’t exactly conducive to workplace productivity; however, Nerf guns are reasonably affordable, safe ways to encourage your employees to have a little fun and take a break once in awhile. It is nearly impossible to walk into a place of business, see a Nerf gun on the table (or darts on the floor), and think that it is a bad place to work. Everyone wants to work for a company that has some fun once in awhile. Added benefit: Nerf guns are mess-free (People will pick up the darts themselves in order to shoot them again!).
  • Offer flexible work arrangements. Technology has made it relatively easy for most people to conduct business from their homes. And with cameras standard on most home computers, plus free software like Skype, it’s easier than ever for employees to stay in touch with the office while working from home. Not all employees are most productive from 9 to 5 while working in your office. Offer your employees (where appropriate) an opportunity to work from home one or more days each week, or work some unconventional hours. Whatever keeps them at their most productive (and happy)!

Apply some of these strategies, and you’ll have more luck attracting top candidates to your organization. And if you’re looking for some assessment of your corporate culture, or to make some additions to your staff, contact Gage Personnel. Our team of recruiting and workplace experts will work with you to assess your organizational strengths and needs, and we’ll devise a structured plan to help you achieve your goals.