Let’s celebrate the longest day of the year with the tallest animals in the world – and help protect them!
For the second year in a row, JobGiraffe will sponsor Brookfield Zoo’s annual World Giraffe Day celebration. Conceived to raise awareness and funds for one of the world’s most impressive creatures, World Giraffe Day reminds us all to Reach Higher and contribute to the protection of our (and their!) environment.
JobGiraffe’s sponsorship of World Giraffe Day Celebration as well as the Brookfield Zoo’s Habitat Africa exhibit has been our most rewarding and meaningful partnership to date. We encourage everyone to visit the zoo for this unique celebration and to see these magnificent animals in person on June 18th.
We are so lucky to introduce the three newest members to our JobGiraffe “herd” – Carlin Federle, Kalynn Dodd and Kevin Beardsley.
Although Carlin comes to us from customer service within a major local firm, this is not her first time in the Recruiting and Staffing industry. Out of college she was a Recruiting Assistant, and today she is very excited to step into a full-time Recruiter’s seat at JobGiraffe. She is ready to help candidates find the job that’s right for them!
Kalynn is a recent graduate from the University of Oklahoma where she double majored in Entrepreneurship and Management. She’s hoping this experience will give her the opportunity to not only meet candidates and help them take the next step in their own career path, but also help clients build their most valuable asset – their staff.
Kevin is a new father looking to make his mark on the Recruiting and Staffing Industry with JobGiraffe. His innate interest in working with people and his extensive customer service experience has led him from a successful career in the Printing Industry to a new role within Recruiting and Staffing. JobGiraffe is proud to give him that opportunity!
We’re so lucky to have all three!
From right to left, Carlin Federle, Kalynn Dodd, Kevin Beardsley and Charles Posner, Senior Recruiting and Staffing Consultant and their trainer!
JobGiraffe values community service, charity and social action as we strive to be both good neighbors and responsible corporate citizens. We actively encourage our employees to volunteer within their communities and to support the causes they believe in. This year we would like to highlight three of our team members for the work they have done and are continuing to do!
Pam – Red Nose Day
Today is Red Nose Day, a day to come together and “fun-raise” to bring attention to childhood poverty and hunger around the globe, culminating in a live 2-hour television event tonight at 8pm Central on NBC. Red Nose Day has now grown into a major pop culture event attracting attention for celebrities such as Neil Patrick Harris and Julia Roberts and partnering with some of America’s most recognizable brands including Walgreens and Coca Cola. This year, our own Pam Wing took the initiative to coordinate our fundraising and social media efforts for Red Nose Day. For more information or to make a donation, please visit rednoseday.org.
Zack – Bike 4 Life
Bike 4 Life is a unique organization that brings together hobbyists and philanthropists in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago. Bike 4 Life is a non-profit bike store that holds regular community outreach events and donates all of its profits to HIV research and awareness. Located at 3603 West Armitage Ave, Bike 4 Life performs repairs and accepts donations in a carefree, friendly and all-volunteer environment. Our own Zackary Wheeler has taken it upon himself to raise awareness for this one of a kind organization. To learn more visit bike4lifechicago.org.
Ben – Lakeside Congregation’s ‘Mitzvah Day’
In the Hebrew language, a mitzvah is a good deed or act of charity. On May 1st, our Communications Director, Ben Horwitz, had the opportunity to coordinate his congregation’s 16th annual Mitzvah Day event. During the course of the day over 100 volunteers were able to revitalize a local park, collect and sort over two carloads of clothing for the homeless and prepare 10,000 individual meals to help feed the world’s most vulnerable families. You can watch some of the highlights from Lakeside Congregation’s 2016 Mitzvah Day here: youtube.com/watch?v=fc0ZCw6UR4Y.
We’ve all heard the adage that “it’s easier to get a job if you have a job.” If you are not
working currently and also feel you are not making real progress by just sending out resumes, finding temporary employment through a reputable staffing agency may be just what you need to jump-start your job search.
There are many good reasons for a job seeker to turn to temporary employment. Possibly you plan to start school (or are still in school) and simply cannot commit to something for the long-term. Maybe you are moving to a different city and need income while you get settled and make new connections. In fact, one of the most common reasons candidates choose temping is that it can be a great way to enter the workforce, especially if you have little to no work experience. It is also a terrific way to learn new skills, gain experience and make valuable connections.
Here are some common objections to pursuing a temporary position, and my responses to them.
Why should I take a position with an end date attached to it?
Temporary jobs aren’t always so temporary. In fact, many times you can keep the position for as long as you want. Also, when working with a staffing agency, you may be able to secure a new temp assignments so that you experience little to no gaps in your employment. There is also the often overlooked fact that temporary jobs can often lead to permanent employment! Employers who are looking for temporary workers are, by definition, in need of more help, so if you can prove yourself to be a valuable asset during the term of your contract, many companies will choose to keep you on permanently. This happens routinely at JobGiraffe.
Should I take a job without health insurance, a pension plan or paid vacation time?
It is true that companies frequently do not offer benefits to temporary employees because, as a temporary worker, you are simply not eligible for them. However, many temporary agencies are beginning to add benefits options for their temp workers, and due to recent changes in the law you may now be eligible for benefits offered through state healthcare exchanges. New options (available through the ACA) make it easier than ever to pick up a health plan in the private market, often at reduced or subsidized cost. As for the ability to add to a pension plan, it’s true you will not participate in one while temping, but by working temp you will still be making contributions to your social security account through payroll taxes (FICA) and you will have the ability to make contributions to an existing (or new) IRA account – and both are just as important to your future as having a defined pension program through an employer. As for not receiving vacation time (this is a very common myth), at JobGiraffe, and many other staffing agencies, you can accrue paid vacation time even as you work in temporary positions.
Won’t a temp job look bad on my resume?
Having temporary work in your background is 100% more beneficial than having unexplained gaps in your work history. Most employers have themselves worked temp at some point in their own career or have used temporary workers in their business. They understand that it is simply a fact of life in today’s labor market. Also, don’t think that just because it’s temp work it’s not a valuable experience. Temp positions are often available because an employer requires a very specific set of skills or expertise at a given moment. Highlighting the accomplishments of your temp position is no less important than highlighting experienced gained through a full-time “permanent” position. Never sell yourself or any of the experience you have accumulated short!
Taking a temporary job also reflects well upon your work ethic and your openness to take on new challenges. The adage that “it’s easier to get a job when you have a job” is still around for a reason. Having large gaps in your work history for no specific reason is considered by most hiring managers – rightly or wrongly – as a big potential red flag.
Hopefully I’ve dispelled some of the myths surrounding temporary employment and also touched on many of the benefits: learning new skills, making connections, achieving specific or tangible goals, etc.
Temporary jobs may not be for everyone, but in my opinion they should be seen as an important tool in your toolbox. If you’re looking for work, or want to change your employment situation, talking to a staffing agency about a temp position is a great way to “create your own good luck” and become a more engaged and proactive job seeker.
by Ben Horwitz, Communications Director, JobGiraffe
On the first Friday of every month we are all reminded of the most well known economic measurements: job creation, unemployment, wage growth, etc. These reports give us a glimpse into the well-being of the US Economy. Buried in these numbers is a wealth of information relevant to everyone, but especially valuable to individuals in the recruiting and staffing community. Today I’d like to introduce you to one of these figures: the “quits rate.” (The quits rate is measured in the monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS Report)
The quits rate is defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as the “number of quits during the entire month as a percent of total employment.” In short, the quits rate measures how many workers voluntarily leave their job in a given time period. Typically, people leave their current position when they are fairly confident that they can find a new or better one. Therefore, a growing quits rate is often an indicator of a strengthening labor market with more choices for workers.
How has the quits rate changed in recent years? Well, it’s growing, which is consistent with a labor market that is slowly but surely gaining strength. At the end of 2015 the national quits rate stood at 2.1%. In 2013 and 2011 it was 1.7% and 1.5% respectively. In 2009, in the depths of the Great Recession, that number stood at a dismal 1.3%. In order to find a quits rate as robust as today’s one would have to back over a decade to 2004, well before the recession.
So why is this important to recruiting and staffing professionals? In short, if the quits rate is high, there are likely to be more highly placeable/employable job seekers on the market, because applicants with recent work experience are often the easiest to place. However, it also means that we must work harder to find candidates the right position, one that goes beyond meeting their most basic requirements, and offers them a chance to feel fulfilled, have opportunities for growth and love what they do. Because if we don’t, the data show that they will be less afraid to walk away from that position and find a new opportunity. Therefore, the high quits rate is something that every recruiting and staffing professional should be aware of, and take into account in their work.
*As a percentage of total separations – including “involuntary” separations (i.e. layoffs and firings) – the numbers are 60% for 2015, 59% for 2013, 49% for 2011 and 41% for 2009, which is consistent with the overall trend towards higher voluntary separation or “quits.”
It is a sure sign that spring has arrived at Brookfield Zoo when the giraffes can be seen outside at Habitat Africa: Savannah.
Potoka, a 2-year-old male, especially enjoyed kicking up his hooves! He was joined by other members of the herd—Arnieta, 10, Jasiri, 11, and Mithra, 26. Watch the video of Potoka Giraffe at https://youtu.be/CebcmJKutaQ
JobGiraffe would like to welcome its three newest team members: Alyssa Williams, Eva Miga and Michele Ortiz! We are very lucky to add these three very dynamic (and very qualified) people to the JobGiraffe “herd.”
Alyssa is a graduate from the University of Kentucky where she studied Strategic Communication and Psychology. She is excited about joining the team, and is anxious to learn everything possible about the recruiting and staffing industry while building relationships within our unique JobGiraffe family. She loves animals, and was so thrilled to feed our giraffe friends Mithra, Arnietta, Jaseri and Potoka at Brookfield Zoo in her first week on the job!
Eva comes from a well-established background in banking management. Having recently graduated from Dominican University with a degree in Business Administration, Eva joined JobGiraffe in order to take the next step in her career. She has always enjoyed working with people, and can’t wait to help job seekers advance their careers by finding the perfect job for them. She also loves to travel! Her goal is visit one new country every year for the rest of her life in order to meet new people and experience new cultures.
Michele is an experienced office administrator and mother of two who is currently working towards her degree in Business Administration. Because she has experience with JobGiraffe as both a candidate and client, she jumped at the chance to join our team and further advance her management skills. She hopes to use her unique life experiences to help candidates along their career path. She’s also a competitive Latin dancer, but loves nothing more than hanging at home and playing games with her family.
We are so lucky to add these three outstanding individuals to our herd!
Now that we have covered the five things that every recruiter will want to know about you, it’s time to talk about what you should be asking them!
As a job seeker, you’ve probably already encountered a dozen articles on what questions you should be asking prospective employers, but do you know the questions you should be asking recruiters? The obvious difference between a hiring manager and a recruiter is that, between the two of them, only the hiring manager is looking to hire you directly. But that difference entirely changes the game.
Here are the five questions you should be asking every recruiter you meet or speak with:
Question One: Do you ever charge a fee to job seekers?
First off, if the recruiter says there is any type of fee – or any cost to you at all – RUN! The best way to know if a recruiting and staffing agency is really on your side is to look at how they are paid. If a recruiting and staffing firm’s goal is to match the right person with the right job, then they should only receive a fee (from the client!) and only once that match has been made. And, some type of free trial period should be included for the benefit of both the hiring company and the new employee. Our incentive as recruiters should always be to match candidates to jobs in a way that produces a good outcome for both our client and the job seeker.
Question Two: Will I be considered for positions other than the one I applied for?
Most recruiting and staffing agencies have a large number of open positions that they are looking to fill at any given time – many of which may never be publicly advertised. Recruiting consultants can use their knowledge of clients, open positions, the local job market and the job search process to guide you towards a position that fits your skills and experience. Your recruiter should always fully investigate the position you originally applied to, but you should also be prepared to be introduced to other clients and new opportunities.
Keep your options open and consider all positions that are available. No matter how much you thought the original position you applied for is the right match for you, there may be even better opportunities available to you through the recruiter’s network of local or regional clients.
Question Three: What will this process look like moving forward?
Since interviewing with a Recruiting and Staffing agency is different from interviewing with a company looking to hire, you should always know what the next steps will be. You should ask your recruiter how and when they plan to contact you; how will they share information pertaining to employers with you; what research will you need to perform; what to prepare and/or bring with on interviews; and how you should organize the process if your recruiter secures multiple job interviews for you.
It is also fair to ask your recruiting consultant how long they think the process might take. It is not unusual for members of the JobGiraffe staff to work with a single candidate for several weeks and even months. The more you and your recruiting consultant can work as a team, the better your chances are of finding the right job.
Question Four: Should I continue to look for positions on my own?
Sometimes a job search takes longer than we’d like. In fact, if you have decided to work with a recruiting and staffing agency, your recruiting consultant may already have discussed this with you. Recruiting Consultants should be your advocate first and foremost; therefore, they should never stand in your way of finding the right job. If you wish, you should continue to search for positions on your own and work in tandem with your recruiter. If you secure an offer on your own, let them know immediately.
Question Five: How will I know when I’ve found the right position?
Hopefully, you will have had a chance to meet with various types of firms and investigate multiple positions. You may even have received an offer to accept a position – or two. If you have received one or more offers, choosing the right position may require some thought. Your recruiting consultant will assist you in organizing the pros and cons of each offer, noting such factors as type of position, industry, potential for learning and growth, travel times and ease of commute, and a full breakdown of the benefits and compensation package. Salary alone should not be the deciding factor as to which position you accept. In some cases, perhaps none of the offers should be accepted, and you should simply continue your search!
No matter the outcome, or whether or not the offer was secured on your own or with a recruiter’s client, a good recruiter will help you to sort it all out and make the best choice. Should you accept and start a position that was not presented by your recruiter, always keep the lines of communication open, because you never know when you may need their help again. A good relationship between a candidate and recruiter can work in your favor throughout your career!
by Ben Horwitz, Communications Director, JobGiraffe
As a job seeker, working with a recruiting and staffing professional can be a rewarding and enlightening experience. Recruiters can give you access to a wealth of jobs that are never posted publicly, while at the same time help guide you to the right position. Recruiters, in this sense, are your advocate or coach. Because of this, interviewing with a recruiter is not the same experience as interviewing with a potential employer. You aren’t trying to get your foot in the door of an organization, you are supplying the consultant with the information they need to go to bat for you by marketing you to their clients.
Here are the top five things that every recruiter will want to know about you
One: Tell me about your education. All of it.
Sometimes you’re an Accounting major looking for an accounting job. However, you never know when your familiarity with Classical Portuguese Literature is going to come in handy. You may have applied to a position that, on the surface, has little to do with your major, but a good consultant knows that every area of education comes with its own unique set of skills. History major? A consultant can talk about your research skills and attention to detail. Philosophy? Your analytical skills and ability to think outside the box. Econ? You’ve probably got some pretty decent math skills.
The point is, consultants know jobs, and they know what skills, traits and experiences are necessary to a particular role. Even if you never received a degree, your education has armed you with skills, knowledge and experience that our clients will want to know about.
Two: What are your skills and experience?
Every company does things a little bit differently, so be sure to tell your recruiter all the unique softwares, systems, certifications and experiences you have accumulated. These pieces of information form the bedrock of what companies are looking for in new hires. Also, since recruiting and staffing professionals frequently work to fill more than one open position at a given time, they can use your skills and experiences to “shop” you around to their clients. Who knows…they may know the exact company looking for your exact set of skills for a project or position.
Three: What’s your work history? More so, what’s your story?
When it comes to recruiters, you’re the product – and every good salesman needs to know what they are selling. Aside from your education, skills and experience, a good recruiter will want to know a bit of your story. In short, what makes you you? This will help them find you a company where you would be a good cultural fit, explain any prolonged absences from the workforce (due to school, family emergency or whatever!), and find you a position with a company that will not only advance your career, but also share your values.
Four: Why did you leave your previous positions? How are your references?
Chances are there is a reason you are looking for a new job. Things happen, and that’s ok! But be sure never to lie or “massage” your resume to make it look like you have more experience than you actually do. If we think we know the right position and company for you, it’s much better if we have a complete, accurate picture of your work history. That way we know what to highlight and what to smooth over or explain to a client. If there are past employers you think will give you a glowing reference, tell us, even if that person comes from outside the industry you are looking to move in to. We want you to get hired (it’s how we get paid), so think of us like a partner, not an obstacle or gatekeeper.
Five: What are you looking for in your next position? In your career??
Culture, values, hours, salary, benefits, location, room for growth? All of these play a role in your job search. We need to know your priorities so that we can send you to the right client. Many recruiting and staffing agencies even include a “refund period” on their candidates, so if you walk away from the job after one week, we have to find someone new for our client and a new opportunity for you. It’s simply not enough for us to find you any job; we need to find you the right job. One way to do that is by learning from your past decisions.
We know jobs and we know our clients. What we need to learn more about is you!
Tune in next week to learn the top five questions that you should be asking every recruiter.
As we wrap up our internship here at JobGiraffe and all part ways to go back to school, we have been reflecting on our greatest accomplishments and have come up with five important takeaways…
1. You can always count on change
As mentioned in our previous blog post, after planning two major events for JobGiraffe, we learned first-hand how true of a statement this really is. We realized that even though change may be inevitable, change also presents great opportunity to improve upon our ideas and challenge ourselves to be better than we were before.
2. Seven minds are better than one
Through our entire internship experience, we learned quickly that we as individuals have our own specific strengths, but our ideas truly came to life when we worked as one unit. Collaborating our thoughts and ideas for World Giraffe Day helped us turn it into an event we are all proud of. This also made preparation for World Giraffe Night go much smoother leading up to the event.
3. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst
Throughout our time with JobGiraffe we faced many challenges at times and had to figure out ways to work around the road blocks thrown our way.
This led us to be more prepared and strategic with our plans.
4. Shift your perspective
As students we have all been on the job hunting side of career fairs. We were able to experience the other side when all of us attended a career fair as representatives of JobGiraffe. This gave us a look at how people present themselves and what we should change about the way we present ourselves in the future.
5. Reach Higher!
This phrase means a lot to this company and is the epitome of what JobGiraffe is all about. All of the JobGiraffe offices strive for success and even welcome competition. As interns we came into this summer hoping to “Reach Higher” but in hindsight, we realize we did not fully grasp what it really meant. Twelve weeks later each of us can clearly see our growth as individuals, success as a team and the impact we made on the JobGiraffe organization – we did, in fact, Reach Higher!