Five Reasons Why Team Building Activities Are Important

Five Reasons Why Team Building Activities Are Important

Team building activities are essential for a well-developed and productive team because it’s all about the most important asset of your business – your employees. Even the best product or innovative business plan will struggle without a solid team of great people behind it. Team building exercises enhance comradery, opens communication, encourages teamwork, and builds trust among coworkers.

Here are five reasons to integrate team building exercises are important for a happy and productive company:

  1. Better Communication

Activities that encourage discussion enable open communication among employees as well as between employees and management. An employee that feels comfortable communicating and collaborating with coworkers can be more productive when ideas and second opinions are easier to share.

  1. Networking and Socializing

Team building allows employees from different areas of the company to interact when they may not normally have those opportunities to socialize and build relationships. Building relationships extends beyond personal pleasantries as it can also be a great networking tool, helping employees grow their own personal skills, and creating a web of people they can call on at any point in their career. 

  1. Promotes Creativity

Taking a team outside of their normal work environment and routine can expose them to new experiences and encourage thinking outside of their usual scope. Team building activities can ignite creativity and fresh ideas among coworkers which is a great skill to take back to the workplace.

  1. Encourages Celebration and Team Spirit

Almost every accomplishment is fun to celebrate together, and it encourages people to strive to succeed. This excitement and motivation is great to bring into the workplace to motivate employees, boosting drive to succeed to the next level.

  1. Breaks the Barrier

Team building activities can open doors between employees and between employees and management where there may be a sense of disconnect. In many corporate settings, there can seem to be a gap between leadership and employees, but team building exercises can offer an opportunity for leadership to bond in a different setting and be seen more as a colleague. This can do wonders for a workplace as it enables employees to feel comfortable approaching management and can motivate creativity.

Once you understand the importance of team building exercises, go ahead and make a plan and schedule your team’s next activity. It is an investment in your company’s future that you will not want to miss out on. By focusing on building employee relationships, communication, and trust, companies will find more engaged and productive employees

For ideas on what to do for your team’s next team building event, check back here next week.

To Follow Up After An Interview, Or Not?

To Follow Up After An Interview, Or Not?

You’ve just completed the job interview that you had been preparing for and looking forward to for some time. You’re feeling confident on how you did, then you started thinking about the ever so common question of, “Should I follow up after my interview?” The simple answer is, yes. A professional follow up requires adequate writing and timing. If done properly, a recruiter or hiring manager will be impressed with your communication skills and interest in the position discussed or other positions available. Here we have some steps to ease your way into staying in communication with your interviewer and hopefully landing that job you’ve been working so hard towards.

Step 1: Ask What the Next Step Is – During the Interview

It is your responsibility to ask before you leave the interview when you should expect to hear something back from your interviewer. Then jot down that time frame and be sure to get their contact information before you leave.

Step 2: Send a Thank You Letter

A handwritten thank you letter can really make a big impression on a hiring manager. It shows that you care enough about this opportunity to take the time to write out a note, put a stamp on it and mail it out. If you are unable to write out a handwritten note, an email message will work just fine. The key is to get this letter out as soon as possible after your interview. Make it your goal to get your letter sent within 24 hours of your interview.

Your thank you letter should include of course thanking whomever took the time to meet with you, reiterate your interest in the job and the company, and highlight your relevant skills and experience that make you the ideal candidate.

Step 3: Follow Up Message

After waiting the appropriate amount of time, as discussed in your interview to get a response, you are completely free to send a follow up email. A follow up letter is meant to be short and to the point. This is your opportunity to remind them that you are excited for this opportunity and ask if there is any update or if any decisions have been made. Be specific in your message about when you interviewed and what position or positions you discussed. Again, be sure to thank them for taking the time to meet with you, and let them know you are appreciative of their time and any update they can offer at this time.

Step 4: Prepare Your Follow Up Responses

If you do get a response back but they have no update at this time, that is okay, you know that you have done your part and have shown initiative. When responding, be sure to thank them for an update and ask if they have a time frame on when a decision will be made so you will know when to follow up again. Let them know that you understand these decisions take time, but are still interested in the position.

Hopefully by now you will have had an update, but if not, please have patience. Sometimes these decisions take time or job openings change without notice. Knowing that you did your very best in your interview and have been professional in your follow ups is all you can do.

If you are currently looking for employment or considering changing career paths in the future, apply with All Star Labor & Staffing today. We have professional recruiters that invest the time into meeting with you to find the right type of work for you. Fortunately, we have several job opportunities in a variety of fields available, so one single interview with us opens the doors to all of our positions. To apply, visit our website at www.allstarlabor.com.

All Star Success Stories – Hunter Nelms 

All Star Success Stories – Hunter Nelms 

After five years in prison, Hunter was about to be released when one of our All Star employees visited the correctional facility to talk with the inmates about post release employment opportunities. Hunter met with Lenanne, they discussed work opportunities, and he says all that she asked for in return was for his hard work.

The day he was released, Hunter came directly to our Eugene office and met with the rest of our team. He interviewed with one of our clients the next day and was able to start full time just days later. Since then, he has been hired on permanently in the steel fabrication industry and loves what he does. He has been able to get back on his feet saying, “I firmly believe if it were not for the second chance given to me by All Star Labor & Staffing, I would not be where I am today.”

Recently, Hunter has begun working toward becoming a Youth Drug and Alcohol Counselor. He volunteers his time visiting youth institutions and halfway homes to tell his story, always acknowledging the All Star team for helping him get where he is today.

Thank you Hunter for sharing your story, and being such a delightful employee. You truly bring happiness and pride to our All Star Eugene office!

Six Qualities of a Successful Leader

Whether you’ve been in a managerial role your whole career or have just been placed in a new leadership position, everyone can benefit from a few reminders on what it takes to be a great leader. Being a great leader goes way beyond just your title and short term results. A great leader has the power to teach others and help guide them to their full potential. Empowering and leading them to build a better organization that is viewed as more than just a job. Here are six key leadership qualities that we feel makes a leader great:

Positive Attitude

A positive attitude can be contagious, and when it comes to keeping your workplace moral high, it is vital. A leader that shows enthusiasm and motivation will encourage others to have a positive attitude, which in turn will have a direct impact on the workplace environment and productivity. While it may be difficult to keep a smiling face in every situation at work, stifling personal negativity creates an excellent example for other employees.

Setting the Right Example

As a leader, your team is always watching you and your actions in the workplace and will likely follow suit. Be mindful of your day to day actions: your arrival time, professional attire, handling of stressful situations, and communication. Lead by example, your team is presumably likely to model their behavior off your actions.

Good Communicator

It is a leader’s responsibility to keep their team informed. Without clear communication your team cannot achieve the vision and the strategy to achieve the goal. Being a good communicator also means being aware of how you speak to your employees, so be cognizant of your tone and your body language. Words have the power to motivate and encourage.

Effective and Timely Decision Making

It is imperative that a good leader have the ability and training to make effective and timely decisions. Processing a lot of information and parsing the immediate and long term effects, while developing a strategic plan. Collaborating with your team on certain decisions will be key, but it is the leader’s responsibility to take ownership of any final decisions.

Empathy

Leadership cannot be successful without empathy. Empathy is crucial to understanding individual struggles, and help those you support grow in the good times and bad. Find a way to connect with every individual on your team. This can be done one on one or incorporated into team building time.

Delegation and Empowerment

It is merely impossible to tackle every task by yourself. A good leader should empower their subordinates by delegating tasks appropriately while providing guidance and support along the way. Building up and empowering your team will strengthen your organization, allowing individuals to achieve their full potential. By properly delegating, you won’t overwhelm yourself, and you will allow your team the opportunity to be empowered by greater responsibility.

Tips To Save Money When Living Paycheck To Paycheck

 

Tips To Save Money When Living Paycheck To Paycheck

Saving money. We all have it in the back of our minds as something we should be doing, but it can seem very difficult, especially if you find yourself living to paycheck to paycheck. That unsettling feeling of wondering how you will cover surprise financial expenses can worry you sick, but starting an emergency fund is easier than you’d expect, it just takes a plan and discipline. Here are some strategies to get you started on saving money.

Find Your Reason

If your goal is to start a savings account when money is tight, knowing your reason ‘why’ will help motivate and keep you on the right track. Look at your long term goals: perhaps you want to save up for a new vehicle, down payment on a home, starting a family, or simply having an emergency fund. Establish your reason, write it down, and keep your eye on your goal.

Start Fresh

Hit the reset button on your savings mindset by looking into a new savings account, possibly even with a new bank. This can make it easier to focus on saving money without being tempted to easily move money from savings to checking on a whim. Keep that account separate and only for saving money. To start an initial balance, look around your house or vehicle for spare change, it all can add up quickly.

Investigate Your Spending

Go through all of your expenses and analyze exactly how much you are spending and where. Map out where your money is going each month, including any hidden fees or interest you may be paying without realizing. When it comes to saving money, you will need to take the time to find ways to “make room” in your finances. Once a week, pick a bill and contact that company to find if there are any ways to help you save. For example, contact your car insurance company and ask if they offer a good driver discount or long term member discount. Also, compare auto insurances to see if there is a similar company that is less expensive.

Establish a Plan

Now that you have pinpointed where all of your spending is going, it is time to establish a plan to save, and stick with it.

Write out a budgeting plan, and make it attainable. Set aside each monthly expense, and be prepared for unexpected charges such as vehicle registration. Having a set budget will keep you on track to saving and avoid a spontaneous urge to spend.

Find where you can save on additional expenses. Try removing takeout meals, entertainment and family vacations – these are great categories to start with. You’d be surprised to find yourself not even noticing the cutback as you’re saving.

Now that you know where you can save money and make expense cutbacks, it is time to start setting aside that money and building up a savings account. Even if your savings start out small, you will have a sense of relief knowing you have established an account and you have a goal that you are working toward. Watch with pride your account continues to grow each month.

Apply With All Star Labor & Staffing

We offer many employment opportunities to help assist you in finding the work and income that you need. Whether you’re in the market for a full time job or looking for additional income around your current position, we want to help you succeed by listen to your needs and finding the right type of work that best fits you. Plus, we pay weekly so you won’t find yourself waiting long periods in between paychecks.

Call us today to find out what job opportunities we have available, and be sure to apply at www.allstarlabor.com.

All Star Labor & Staffing Offices:

Portland – 503.619.0811

Salem – 971.209.7130

Albany – 541.791.7928

Eugene – 541.228.9751

Bend – 541.389.1718

How to Find Good Employees During A Labor Shortage?

How to Find Good Employees During A Labor Shortage?

Today’s economy is outstanding right now, which is great in most aspects, but for many business owners, finding qualified staff can be difficult. There are so many businesses currently hiring, and everyone in similar industries are competing over top talent. This can be frustrating if you find yourself short on qualified employees, and especially if you’re missing out on the top candidates. While the economy shows no signs of slowing down, there is hope in adjusting your recruiting strategy to improve your hiring process and get ahead of the employee shortage. Here we have compiled effective strategies for business owners, hiring managers, and recruiters to counter the effects of a candidate short market and ensure that productivity levels remain stable.

 

Partner with All Star Labor & Staffing

Our mission is to simply recruit and provide the highest qualified talent for local businesses. We partner with your business because we want to help you succeed, and having us in your back pocket is not a bad idea. While an employer is always welcome to continue to recruit on their own, there is a sense of relief knowing that we too are recruiting on your behalf. We tailor each of our recruiting efforts toward your specific company’s needs. We follow the same guidelines as your company, but we have a team of skilled and experienced recruiters working to find you the right employees.

 

Look For In House Talent

With the time, money and effort that goes into recruiting a new hire, why not consider hiring in house? Onboarding is complete, they are familiar with your company policies and standards, so it makes sense to start your search there. Allowing additional training and room for advancement is also a great incentive to keep employees happy and retention numbers high.

 

Adjust Your Hiring Criteria

Several years ago, businesses could be picky about new hires and wait long periods until the exact candidate came along. Unfortunately for many companies, they are not in that hiring position currently. It may be time to take a step back and prioritize your requirements and maybe consider making some exceptions. Perhaps consider a candidate that has the right aptitude and personality for your position even if they lack a certain work experience. With the right training, you can quickly get them up to speed, and you can offer a lower wage initially until they have reached the ideal level of experience.

 

Up Your Employee Referral Program

What better way to promote your talent search than by word of mouth? Let your current employees spread the news and invite their friends, family and associates through your doors. Current placed employees are already familiar with what experience, skills, work ethic, and attitude it takes to succeed with your company. Most likely a current employee will not refer someone that they feel is not qualified as they are sticking their neck out and vouching for this person as being a trustworthy employee. If your company is receiving very few referrals from your program, or you don’t already have one in place, we suggest establishing a program that uses these resources.

 

Make Sure You Have Great Managers

It doesn’t matter how much time and effort you put into finding the highest qualified candidate if you have a toxic manager on your team. Managers have a direct impact on the happiness and retention of your employees, and it is your responsibility to take notice if you there is a decrease in retention and productivity in a certain area. If you have found yourself continually filling positions in a certain area, consider management and leadership training, or one on one trainings to get your sub-par manager up to speed. It is much easier and cost effect to improve your current team as opposed to hiring new management. If your situation does not improve, do not hesitate to make changes.

 

If you are one of the many businesses currently hiring, but not seeing the results that you would like, please contact us today and let us help find you the right employees you need and keep your business operating smoothly.

 

All Star Labor & Staffing Offices:

Portland – 503.619.0811

Salem – 971.209.7130

Albany – 541.791.7928

Eugene – 541.228.9751

Bend – 541.389.1718

All Star Labor & Staffing Success Stories – Benjamin Clemens

All Star Labor & Staffing Success Stories – Benjamin Clemens

Working at All Star, we see hundreds of employees come through our doors weekly and everyone has a different story to tell. Everyone has a different background and reason for utilizing our services and that is why we sit down with each and every one to get to know them better and find the best fit for them. It is all too common though that through our thorough interviewing process that we get to know our employees well and become moved by their stories. We want to share some of those stories with you as we are simply proud of what they have been able to achieve by hard work and perseverance.

Benjamin Clemens was referred into our Salem office by Chad Tucker at Worksource Oregon and was immediately welcomed in by our Account Manager, Julie. Benjamin says that his initial experience with us was, “Beyond words.” He was struggling at the time, so much that he was living out of his car and was about to lose that. He says that despite his struggles, the Salem team just loved him and had faith in him. Within a couple of days he had interviewed for a two different jobs and on Thursday of that week, he was offered a full time job. That was over a month ago and he is still there and doing great. He works in firewood production where he also drives forklift.

Since Benjamin started working with us he says that he feels like he is a contributor now. Not only has his perspective changed, but so has his financial situation. Since starting, he has purchased a new truck and is also close to getting his own place!

Julie from our Salem office had the pleasure of working with Benjamin and helped in get established with his new job. She says, “He has and continues to be a joy to work with and know. He comes in on Fridays to pick up his check and is always full of life and excited to share his work success with us.” She adds, “When Benjamin walked through our doors in early August he was visibly shaken and seemed rather defeated and literally in a matter of two weeks, Ben had a sense of happiness about him. He exemplifies hope.”

Thank you to both Ben and our Salem office for sharing this moving story, and a huge congratulations to Ben on your success in both the workplace and life.

Is Your Company Ready For The Holiday Rush?

Is Your Company Ready For The Holiday Rush?

It’s that time of year again… the weather has gotten colder, Halloween has passed, you’re noticing all the holiday décor up in retail stores and if you’re like many companies, you’re gearing up for the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. If you are one of these businesses, you’ve probably already started planning for these big events and sales coming. But, have you scheduled out your staffing needs and planned for unforeseeable changes such as vacation time, unplanned call-offs, or leave without notice? Don’t panic, there is still time, and we are here to help!

Determine your needs

Ask your permanent staff to pencil in their holiday leave requests now if they have not already, but let them know there will be no guarantee. You want to grant your permanent staff their hard earned vacation time, but you still also need to ensure that you have enough experienced employees to cover vital shifts.

Offer incentives

We understand that keeping your regular full-time employees on during the busy rush of the holiday season is a priority when it comes to planning your staffing needs so we suggest offering incentives. This may be a little tricky as so many would rather be spending this time with their loved ones but you will need to emphasize the importance of their role in the company’s success. As an incentive, you can try offering higher pay during this time, or time off after the holiday season. Also, you can try ordering in some kind of food or snacks to have on hand for those employees working during holiday time.

Partner with All Star Labor & Staffing

Hiring temporary employees may be a great option for your company and can save you a lot of headache that comes with staffing during the busy season. Our team of recruiters understand the urgency and importance of finding quality employees to fit your company’s needs. We will sit down with you to carefully listen to your staffing needs and determine the skills, experience, and attitude needed for an employee to be successful while working with your business. Plus the nice option with working with us is there is no commitment. You can utilize an employees for just one day, a week, a month, or longer if you choose.

There is still time to get ahead of the holiday rush when it comes to keeping your company well-staffed, and All Star Labor & Staffing is here to help you with any or all of your needs to keep your business running smoothly. Please feel free to contact us today to discuss possible staffing needs.

All Star Labor & Staffing offices:

 

Portland – 503.619.0811

Salem – 971.209.7130

Albany – 541.791.7928

Eugene – 541.228.9751

 

How to Ace Common Interview Questions

Everyone knows that the key to a successful interview is being prepared, so why not prepare yourself for some of the interview questions that may be coming your way? This can help put your mind at ease, and avoid struggling to come up with an answer during an interview. Here we have compiled a handful of common questions that cover your history, your skills, and your future.

How to Ace Common Interview Questions

“Tell me about yourself.”

This is probably one of the most common questions you may be asked in an interview, as it typically is a good icebreaker and introduction/summary of your skills and what you are looking for. It’s important to keep it professional and talk about your work history and explain how and why you are currently looking for employment.

Tips:

  • Keep it limited to your professional life. Summarize your work history from the beginning.
  • If you have lengthy work history, keep it relevant to the job at hand that you are interviewing for.
  • If you have limited work history, try using other experiences to showcase your skills.

“Why do you want this job?”

Interviewers are wanting someone that is passionate about their work, so you should prepare a good response for this question. Research the company and fully read the job descriptions, then pick a few key points that really attracted you to this job or company.

Tips:

  • Pick a couple points in the job description that you relate to the most and give examples on how you can excel at them.
  • If you know the company you are applying for, do your research on them as well and list a couple key points as to why you would be a good fit.

“What are your greatest strengths?”

Interviewers are looking for honesty and self-awareness with this questions. Focus on something relevant and accurate, not just something you think they want to hear. Don’t feel awkward answering this question, this is an opportunity to toot your own horn.

Tips:

  • Avoid a cheesy answers, such as, “I’m too dedicated to my work.”
  • Focus on a skill crucial to the job at hand. For example, for a customer service related job, try using “relationship builder” instead of “people skills.”

“What do you consider to be your weaknesses?”

Typically when being asked this question, it’s not to identify any red flags, but a gauge self-awareness and identify self-improvements.

Tips:

  • Avoid using a strength as a weakness. Such as, “I am too hard of a worker.”
  • Use non-essential skills for this position, such as, “My public speaking needs improvement.”
  • Keep it brief and try not to dwell on the questions too long.

“Why did you leave your last job?”

This question is intended to gauge your relationship with your current or past job. Avoid talking negatively about your former employer, this can leave many interviewers feeling hesitant of hiring you, especially if you blame failures on others.

Tips:

  • Reference your past jobs as opportunities to gain new experience and learn new skills.
  • Try to focus on what new opportunities you’re looking for in your future role.

“Why are you the best person for this position?”

If you’ve reached this question, this is a good thing as it means they are usually interested in moving forward with you. While it may seem a little forward, you should be ready and excited for this question. This is the time for you to cover three basic items: you can successfully do the work, you can deliver results, and you are a good fit for this company. If you have time, feel free to highlight a couple of your skills or accomplishments that make you the better candidate.

“Describe your dream job.”

An interviewer is asking this question not to get the response of, “This job,” but to find out what you’re passionate about and see what your career goals are. They want to find out if you truly would be happy in a certain position.

Tips:

  • Give a general job description instead of a job title.
  • Tailor your response to a certain job you are interviewing for.
  • Use this question to go into more detail about what you’re looking for. So instead of saying that you’re looking for customer service work, you could explain how helping people and being able to change their day makes you happy.

There are many other common interview questions out there, so do some research and start preparing your answers incase those questions may come up in your next interview. This can eliminate so much additional and unneeded stress from the interview process.

If you have not applied with us already, please feel free to use our online application at www.allstarlabor.com then call to schedule your interview. If you have previously interviewed with us but feel you now need a refresh, that’s great! Give us a call and we’ll get that scheduled.

All Star offices:

Portland 503-619.0811

Salem 971-209-7130

Albany 541-791-7928

Eugene 541-228-9751

Bend 541-389-1718

Tips for Getting Back Into the Workforce after Long-Term Unemployment

With Oregon’s unemployment rate at a historical low rate, many people are able to find work that were not able to before. If you are one of these individuals, you may be having some mixed feeling about getting back into the workforce, and that’s completely normal. A common feeling right now may be anxiety, but there is no need to worry yourself, now is a better time than ever to get back in the saddle. To help guide you through this transitioning phase, we have put together a list of tips to ease you back in.

Tips for Getting Back Into the Workforce after Long-Term Unemployment

Apply with All Star Labor & Staffing

Going through all the online job boards and filling out endless applications can be very tiring, but if you apply with All Star, you won’t just be applying for one job, you’ll be applying for ALL of our jobs! We understand gaps in work history and we are always willing to work around that and find you employment that you want.

Dust off your resume

Yes, your employment gaps will show up on your applications and resume, but you just need to be prepared to explain your situation. You can adjust your resume to avoid those gaps being the first thing someone sees by doing a career summary resume to highlight your top qualifications. This will draw attention to your selling points and downplay your work history.  We also always suggest having a cover letter to be included with your resume. This is a great tool to utilize a couple sentences to explain your unemployment until you get an opportunity to interview.

Get back into a work schedule routine

While you’re away from a regimented work schedule, you tend to go more with the flow in regards to your daily schedule, but that will all change when you start working again. Prior to starting your new job, it is a good idea to get into the habit of getting on a schedule again so you can find how everything will fit into your day. Once you are offered a position, find out the hours and start working your day around it, such as, wake up times, meals, workouts, knowing when to drop off kids, etc.

Limit your outside obligations

If you’ve been unemployed for a long period of time you may be amazed at how exhausting being in the workforce again may be. This goes for both physically and mentally as your head may be spinning with trying to learn so much and remember everything. This will get much easier and your body will get adjusted, but for the first couple weeks, it may be best to pare down on workweek activities before or after work. Allow yourself to get adjusted.

Be humble 

Once you start your new job, it’s best to not over stress yourself right from the get go. It’s okay to be the rookie in your new role. Set realistic goals for yourself and don’t feel pressured to learn it all in your first week. Get comfortable in your role, observe your colleagues and adapt to the flow of your environment.

Get to know your coworkers

Having someone to talk to will make this transition so much easier on you, and you may even make a new friend in the process. Be friendly and introduce yourself to everyone you meet. Having a friendly coworker can alleviate a lot of the stress that comes with starting a new job and they are great for answering all the many questions that come along with a new work environment.

No matter the duration of your unemployment, if you are physically and mentally ready to return to work, you can do this! Apply today with us and let us help get your back into the workforce. www.AllStarLabor.com