Category Archives: Staffing Firm

Temporary Staffing: The Shepherd’s Hut of Careers

A daily morning read that never fails to provide a huge amount of insight in a tiny amount of time is Seth Godin’s blog.  A recent entry makes a great case for the value of temporary employment:

Can you live in a shepherd’s hut?shepherd's hut

The best way to plan a house on a vacant piece of land is to move into a tiny shepherd’s hut on a corner of the property. It’s not fancy, and it’s not comfortable, but you can probably stay there for a week or two.

And during that week, you’ll understand more about the land than you ever could in an hour of walking around. You’ll see how the rain falls and the sun shines and the puddles form.

As you’ve probably guessed, you can do that with the job you’re thinking about taking or the project you’re thinking about launching. Show up in the market and make some sales. Take a role as an intern and answer the customer service hotline for a day. Get as close as you can to the real thing, live it, taste it, and then decide how to build your career or your organization.

If the shepherd’s hut feels too uncomfortable, it might not be the land you wanted in the first place.

Working in a temporary job will give you more insight into a company and a position than you ever could in an hour of interviewing.  You’ll see how the work flows and if the people shine and how the culture is formed.  You can see the real thing and then decide if the organization is a place you can build a career and thrive within.

And if the temporary job feels too uncomfortable, it might not be the company you wanted in the first place.

Looking for a “shepherd’s hut” at a top Lehigh Valley company?  Allied’s temporary positions offer the best way to learn about an organization and evaluate the next steps in your career.

3 Tips For Successful Interviews

Looking for a great job in the Lehigh Valley? Part of the process will almost certainly include interviews.  In addition to placing people in career opportunities with some of the leading companies in Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton, Allied provides our candidates a crash course in interview preparation. Here are what we consider our top 3 tips to prepare you for an interview.

Always research the company and the position.

The Internet provides the means for gathering extensive information on a company. Visit the company’s website to read up on their history, their product line, and any current news. Many smaller companies also profile members of their management team. A company website will likely also offer a full description of the available job and may even include general information on the benefits offered. LinkedIn is also a great resource to learn more about the company, as well as the person who will be interviewing you.  By doing your research ahead of time, you will also be better able to formulate intelligent questions during your interview.A job interview

Be courteous to everyone you meet.

We always encourage candidates to be friendly to the first person they meet when they walk in the door of a company. Many interviewers will ask the person at the front desk or at the security desk for a quick first impression. If you were rude, if you were talking on your cell phone, or if you were pacing nervously, they will share that information with the interviewing/hiring manager so it is important to not get off on the wrong foot. Greet everyone with politeness and wish them well when you leave, turn the cell phone off in the car (vibrate isn’t good enough – it needs to be off), and sit calmly while waiting.  Consider your interview starting the moment you arrive at the company.

Even if it seems like common sense, think about it.

Most people look at us oddly when we provide this advice but you would be surprised how often simple common sense errors trip up an otherwise decent interview. Before you walk in the building make sure your sunglasses are off of your head and that your suit jacket lapel isn’t folded under. Make sure you’ve left food and drink in the car (this includes gum and mints). Always take at least three extra copies of your resume in case you meet with more than one person, and ensure those resumes are neat and are free of coffee stains, folds, and pen marks. Make sure you have reference information with you including the person’s full name, phone number, and email address. And most of all make sure you know who to ask for when you arrive!

Despite low unemployment rates, the job market in the Lehigh Valley is always competitive and employers will be considering multiple candidates when hiring.  If you’ve done your research, remember your manners and pay attention to the common sense details, you will absolutely have a leg up on the competition. Rest assured, we’ve seen enough people stumble to know what gets you noticed in a positive way.

Good luck with your search, and be sure to check out Allied’s available jobs regularly.

Summer Staffing

summer popsicles

Summer is right around the corner! Your busy season may be coming, vacations may be looming, and interns may be knocking on your door. This year think about how Allied can help you make summer staffing a breeze.

Allied has a network of new and returning college students that can help you:

  • Meet peak production times by supplementing your staff
  • Ensure shipping deadlines are met by covering staff vacations
  • Complete projects you’ve saved for later
  • Cover your front desk during vacations

Do you already supplement your staff with the use of interns? Consider payrolling. Allied can: 

  • Screen, on-board, and pay the interns you’ve recruited  
  • Handle employee paperwork and payroll processing 

For more information or suggestions on how you would benefit most fully from our summer offerings, contact us.  We can help you get the most out of your summer help. 

2017 Resume Refresh

imgresAs 2016 winds down, it’s a great time to reflect on the past year and gear up for 2017.  It is also the perfect time to give your resume a refresh.  If it has been a while since you updated it there may be significant changes in your skills and experience that aren’t reflected.  Here are a few tips to help guide you through the process.

Review the past year.  Have you completed any significant projects?  Do you have any added responsibilities?  What new skills have you acquired?  Looking through your calendar for the past year is an easy way to remember your accomplishments.  If you received a performance review take a look at that also, as it should include some details that might need to be added to your resume.

imagesUpdate your keywords.  Strategically using keywords throughout your resume is essential to ensure that employers find you, and also that your resume makes it through the automated resume screening tools that many companies utilize.  Your objective or summary statement at the beginning is an easy place to include keywords, and it’s also an easy area to edit when applying for specific positions.

Consider a redesign.  While you are editing the content of your resume you should also think about updating the style.  A new format might allow you to better highlight some of your recent achievements, or it can help your resume stand out in a crowd of others.  Be careful not to overdo, however;  keep it professional and remember that sometimes less is more.

Get an objective opinion.  Ask a friend or colleague to look at your resume and give you their honest feedback.  It can be helpful to seek the opinion of both a person who knows you well and also of someone who doesn’t know you very well.  Comparing the feedback of both can help make sure that you’ve crafted a resume that speaks to who you are and what you’ve accomplished.

Need an objective resume review?  Talk to one of the staffing professionals here at Allied.  Working with a staffing firm is the perfect way to begin a job search and we would love to help you with your 2017 resume refresh!

Congratulations, You Graduated! Now What?

Congratulations to the graduates of 2016! You’ve finally completed your studies and all that cramming – now it is on to the “real” world. As many of you are finding, it can often be much more challenging than school was, especially when it comes to finding a job.
graduate
Each year, Allied successfully places numerous recent grads in positions at many leading Lehigh Valley companies. These positions can be short term (1 day, 1 week, etc.) or they can be long term (1 month+). Both provide a great advantage to you.

Short-term jobs provide the flexibility to interview for jobs in your field or outside of the area without the commitment of a full-time job. Long-term positions allow you to expand on and build your skills, which in turn enhances your resume.
Additionally, you may find that the position you thought was just a way to make money until you secured your dream job is actually satisfying and provides a challenging opportunity for growth. 

Of course, you can’t overlook our temp to hire opportunities either. If you have a clear picture of your interests or career goals, we may be able to help you find a great opening. Companies often don’t post every job they have on their website; they rely on us to recruit for them. Working with a staffing company allows you access to the jobs you’d never find on your own, and can often be the best way to get into a full-time role at a top company.

Graduates often wait until August or September to contact us because they see a staffing company as a last resort. Instead, make Allied one of your first contacts, especially if you want to have an edge on the competition.

Why Apply With A Staffing Firm?

Allied scrabbleHave you ever experienced the frustration that comes with job searching? Sending out dozens of resumes, scouring the internet, going to interview after interview without ever getting a second call. It can be overwhelming and discouraging. Our recruiters meet many candidates who’ve had these experiences before hearing about the opportunities available through Allied. Working with a staffing firm can offer job seekers many benefits, especially when it comes to finding jobs that can’t be found elsewhere. Staffing firms have the unique advantage of offering opportunities job seekers would not be able to find on their own. Here are a few examples why a position might only be available through a staffing company.

  • Project Needs: Many of our customers contact us for project needs. They could have a permanent employee out on leave, or they have a large order they need extra help with. These can last anywhere from a few days to a few months. These positions can give candidates a great “foot in the door” opportunity. Consider it a working interview – if the position lasts longer or if a permanent job opens up, you’ve already proven you can do the job and are an asset to the company. If your situation allows, be open to project positions through a staffing firm. You never know where they could lead.
  • Lack of Resources: Some small companies contact Allied when their HR department doesn’t have the capacity to recruit the right candidates. Sometimes they are understaffedor don’t have the time needed to search for and interview candidates
  • Contracts: Larger companies often sign exclusive contracts for certain positions, meaning the only way to get these jobs with their company is through Allied. Openings won’t be posted on job sites or their website – all candidates must be submitted through the staffing company.
  • Leave it to the Experts: Staffing firms are staffing experts. Allied has trained and certified recruiters that can search for and interview candidates faster and more thoroughly than most HR departments can. Companies recognize this and utilize staffing firms to find great employees.
  • Marketing: Recruiters may present a resume to a company where they think the candidate would be a good fit, even if there is not an opening. Allied does this on a weekly basis. If we think you would be perfect for Company XYZ but don’t have an opening for them right now, we’ll still call them about you – with your permission. It’s surprising how often a company that is not hiring will make a position available based on our recommendation.
  • Confidential Searches: Companies running confidential searches keep their posting off the typical go-to sources. The job won’t be on CareerBuilder, Indeed or the company website. Often a company does this when they are replacing a current employee and they need to be discreet.

Job searching is a full-time job. It’s frustrating at times but with hard work and resourcefulness, you can succeed. Take advantage of every opportunity you can, including applying with a staffing firm. Allied Personnel Services offers job seekers some great advantages: resume and interview tips, foot-in-the-door opportunities and access to jobs you didn’t even know were out there!

Resume Mistakes To Avoid

resumeWhile technology and the internet have dramatically changed the way we search for jobs, one thing still remains constant: the resume. Even if you are conducting your job search entirely online, your resume is still a necessary component in the process. You may have updated it to include all of your career accomplishments, training,awards and certifications, but there are also several things you need to make sure that it doesn’t include.

• Leave overly personal information off your resume:  no social security numbers, marital status, family blogs, pictures, or information unrelated to your skills and work experience.

• References and salary requirements should not be included on your resume. If an employer requests this information, references should be presented on a separate page and salary requirements can be included in a cover letter.

• Limit the use of jargon or specific industry terms unless they are directly relevant to the position for which you are applying.

• Limit your use of bolding, italics and underlining – too much of these can clutter the content. Use a standard font like Arial, Calibri or Times New Roman and use that font consistently throughout all documents.

• Your resume should be free of all spelling and grammatical errors. Always have someone read your resume before sending it. Attention to detail can very easily put your resume on the top of the pile; failure to fix errors quickly moves you to the bottom.

• Present yourself accurately at all times. Never lie. Companies have the time and resources to verify your background information including education and employment history.

If you haven’t done it recently, ask a friend or colleague review your resume. Get their honest feedback and make improvements. You can also get constructive feedback on your resume from a staffing service. At Allied we always provide our candidates with tips and advice to help them improve their resumes and their chances of landing the job.

“Behind The List” with Allied Personnel Services

Source: Lehigh Valley Business

The job market in the Greater Lehigh Valley has steadily grown since the Great Recession of 2008.

More employers are hiring, and the unemployment rate has been dropping, which are building a stronger local economy.

There are agencies throughout the region designed to help employers find staff and to help jobseekers find positions in the workforce relevant to their experience and needs.

Here to answer this week’s “Behind the List” questions is Susan Larkin, vice president of Allied Personnel Services Inc. in Allentown.

Lehigh Valley Business: How long has Allied Personnel Services Inc. been operating in the Greater Lehigh Valley and what are its primary services?

Susan Larkin: Allied opened in 1984. Our client companies look to us for innovative workforce solutions to allow them to achieve their business objectives, and employees look to us for career opportunities, flexible work schedules or the chance to gain new skills.

We have three staffing divisions — office and professional, technical and light industrial. This business diversity and our partnerships with the top Lehigh Valley companies position our employees for success and are key factors in Allied’s long-term growth and achievement.

LVB: What have been some of the biggest challenges and opportunities that you’ve encountered throughout your years in business?

Larkin: Over the past 30 years, we have witnessed the evolution of the Lehigh Valley’s workforce from a blue-collar, industrial driven economy to a more diverse marketplace, where entry-level workers may work beside skilled tradespeople as well as degreed professionals.

As the face of the workforce changed, it became a challenge to convince all of these groups that staffing companies represented a viable and strong resource for their careers. Additionally, companies viewed contingent workers simply as a commodity.

By sharing our expertise, we have been able to show job-seekers the value a staffing firm can bring to their career, and teach companies that temporary employees are a critical asset and can be an integral part of their business strategy.

Most recently, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has been a big challenge but also a tremendous opportunity. With the mandate for large employers to offer affordable health insurance that meets minimum value, it was a challenge to build a complete benefits package for all of our full-time temporary employees.

By making the welfare of our temporary employees a top priority, we were able to create a comprehensive and competitive plan. Offering fully-compliant benefits has created opportunities as well, allowing us to create unique staffing programs for our clients and to contribute to their business goals.

LVB: Have you seen steady growth in job placements since the economy starting bouncing back?

Larkin: The staffing industry is unique because our business is a leading indicator for the state of the overall economy. We generally feel the impact of a recession earlier than other industries, but we also see recovery sooner.

This most recent recession differed from previous ones because companies cut staff more drastically than typical and also were slower to respond as there was much uncertainty about the recovery.

Now that confidence in the economy has been restored, the demand for talent is huge. We are seeing growth across all sectors and have increased our internal staff in order to effectively meet the growing demands for our services.

We expect the labor market to continue to tighten as the unemployment rate drops and job seekers receive multiple offers.

LVB: How does Allied Personnel Services Inc. directly stimulate the local economy?

Larkin: As one of the 50 largest employers in the Lehigh Valley, Allied provides employment opportunities for thousands of people each year.

One of the most rewarding aspects of the staffing business is seeing our employees succeed and move into career roles with our clients.

We are experts in the local labor market, and the long-term partnerships we have with our client companies help them achieve business success and contribute to the overall economy.

LVB: What does the future look like for Allied Personnel Services Inc. on a local level?

Larkin: The future of employment will continue to evolve as both employees and companies seek increased flexibility and innovation in the contingent work arena. As we have done in the past, Allied will adapt to meet those demands, adding programs and services that enhance the employment experience for all of our customers.

Strong community involvement is a long-standing, core value of Allied, and we will continue this commitment through leadership roles and corporate support for organizations such as Communities in Schools, Lehigh Valley Workforce Development Board, Valley Youth House, Third Street Alliance for Women and Children, Humble Hearts for Hope, Musikfest, Lilly’s Hope, March of Dimes, Boys & Girls Club of Allentown and the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Our passionate staff is committed to maintaining our position as the leading staffing resource in the Lehigh Valley, and we are looking forward to an even brighter future.

Why Apply with a Staffing Firm?

Have you ever experienced the frustration that comes with job searching? Sending out dozens of resumes, scouring the internet, going to interview after interview without ever getting a second call. It can be overwhelming and discouraging. As a recruiter in the staffing industry, I’ve met many candidates who’ve had these experiences before hearing about the opportunities available through staffing firms. Working with a staffing firm can offer job seekers many benefits, especially when it comes to finding jobs that can’t be found elsewhere. Staffing firms have the unique advantage of offering opportunities job seekers would not be able to find on their own. Here are a few examples why a position might only be available through a staffing firm. Continue reading