Job Center Representative Spotlight, Eduardo

Eduardo works diligently in the Job Center each day to help individuals who need assistance with a resume, cover letter, or finding and applying for a job.

“I like that the Goodwill allows me to impact people’s lives in a positive way,” Eduardo passionately states.

Stop in and say hello to Eduardo in our Sioux Falls Job Center located at
3400 S. Norton Avenue Sioux Falls, SD. The hours of the Job Center are
Monday-Thursday from 9:00am to 5:00pm and Friday from 9:00am to 12:00pm.

Three Reasons Why Diversity And Inclusion In The Workplace Is Essential

By Randy Wooden, Director, Professional Center by Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina

Diversity and inclusion in the workplace brings value to the company and you as an individual.

Many of us first think of gender and race when considering diversity; it extends well beyond that to include national origin, age, culture, faith, disabilities, introvert/extrovert and a whole host of other areas.

Today, let’s look at a few ways diversity and inclusion add value.

#1.  A diverse and inclusive work culture can lead to more creativity and innovation. Diversity brings varied experiences – perhaps new and better ways of delivering different products and services, and inclusive teams out-perform their peers in innovation. The status quo might be comfortable, but companies which cannot or won’t adapt to change are destined to fade away.

Today’s economy is far better than that of several years ago. Qualified applicants are fewer and farther between, and diverse hiring gives a company a wider candidate pool.

It builds team morale when employees see their organization inclusively embracing diversity; they feel more comfortable sharing their opinions and experiences.

#2.  A diverse workforce helps a company engage with customers differently. If a company wants to reach a new market, it helps to have team members who know and understand target customers and can customize products or services.

Businesses know consumers want more than a good product at a good price. Today, social awareness, giving back to the community, and reflecting the customer base are reasons some consumers choose to do business with a company and how the business attracts good employees. A company’s commitment to diversity helps the bottom line, so owners and investors value it.

#3.  Diversity and inclusion benefits all of us. Many of us grew up with and have worked with those whose backgrounds and experiences are just like ours.

As we expand our experiences, we meet diverse people with a whole host of different life experiences. It opens our eyes to different ways of thinking and doing things.

Our communities are increasingly diverse. Diversity and inclusion at work move us from tolerance to acceptance to embracing our differences in an ever-changing world.

Questions to Ask During Interviews (pt 3 of 3)

By Randy Wooden

Today I wrap up my three-part blog series on questions you may want to ask an employer during your interview. We have already covered questions dealing with areas like your job duties, why they are hiring, and your training.

This time, we will look at a few other areas, starting with advancement. After all, the position for which you are interviewing might not be your final job. You might want to move up in pay and responsibility at this company or some other employer.

When speaking about advancement, demonstrate your interest in the job at hand while exploring what the future holds. Sometimes the employer will start that dialogue by asking about your goals. If they do not bring it up, it is fine for you to ask.

“I’m excited about this position because (you should be prepared to talk about two to three reasons). And as I learn and achieve, I’d like to continue to be challenged. For someone who does a great job, what are possible future opportunities within the organization?”

While my wording may not suit your style, these ideas can help you get started. Play around with the phrasing so it matches your style. You want them to know you are committed to the present job and will perform it well.

As your interview wraps up, make sure you understand their timeline for the next step in the hiring process. Will it be an offer or perhaps another interview?  If the employer does not volunteer that information, restate your interest in the job and ask them about what happens next. When they give you an approximate timeline, ask whether it is ok to call them if you have not heard from them by then. This helps remove the guesswork about when to follow up.

While the next questions are not critical to knowing whether you can do or want the job, they may have value.

If you have done your homework on the company and see something noteworthy about them in a news story, tell them what you found and ask a question about it.

If you feel comfortable doing so, try asking the interviewer what attracted him or her to the company or what they think gives their company a competitive edge. You could ask about the company’s or the department’s goals. Save the compensation discussion for later.

Be prepared to ask questions; avoid questions that can easily answered with a quick web search.

Asking questions allows you to know more about the position while demonstrating you have researched the company and given thought to the position.  It allows you to catch your breath from answering questions.

Good luck!

A Quick Behind-the-Scenes View of Recruiting


By Randy Wooden

I’m often asked questions about recruiters and the staffing industry, so I thought I’d take a few minutes to explain some of the various terms associated with them.

The generic term “recruiter” applies to a person who typically has first contact with you. They may work within a corporation, recruiting only positions for that company.  These are “in house” or “internal” recruiters. You may see their job title as “talent acquisition specialist” or “recruiter.” They often conduct the initial interview and then pass the top candidates on to a hiring manager for further discussion.

Recruiters could be employed by a staffing or recruiting firm. These are external recruiters or “headhunters.” They work to fill openings with any number of client corporations. Their role is to conduct the initial interview/screening and then pass qualified applicants on to the client company for further interviewing.

Let’s turn to how recruiting firms operate. In no case does the job seeker pay anything. For permanent placements – positions where the employee is a direct hire and immediately becomes employed (and paid) by the hiring company – there are two methods of payment, contingency and retainer.

Contingency searches typically occur from the manager level on down. The employer will usually allow several firms to work simultaneously on filling the opening. The search firm only makes a commission if  their candidate gets hired.

Retained searches typically occur at higher levels within an organization. An employer will retain the services of one search firm, typically paying a portion of the anticipated fee up front, another portion upon hire, and a final portion after the new hire has been on board for a short time.

If it helps you to understand better, think of how someone might hire an attorney. If you’ve been in an accident, most attorneys taking your case will work on a contingency basis. You only pay them if you win the case.

On the other hand, a corporation or an individual might hire an attorney on retainer. A lump sum is paid up front with the client and attorney settling up any remaining monies owed once the attorney’s work is complete.

The third way a staffing company is paid is by invoicing the employer based on the hours a person works. This arrangement, as you might expect, typically occurs with hourly workers where there is no direct hire. The worker is actually employed by the staffing company but shows up for work at the client corporation.

The client corporation and staffing company often have an arrangement whereby the client corporation can hire the worker after a certain number of hours have been worked. This allows the client to try the employee before they hire them. We’re seeing more of this arrangement than ever before.

I hope you now have a better understanding of the recruiting business. It serves a valuable role in helping corporations hire folks. Make recruiters aware of who you are and what skills you possess.  Good luck!

Good Questions to Ask During Your Interviews (Part 2 of 3)


By Randy Wooden

Interviewing is an exchange of information. It is not enough to answer employer’s questions; top job candidates come up with good questions of their own. Today we’ll explore more of them in part two of this three-part blog series.

If they do not volunteer this information early in the conversation, consider asking why the position is open. Wait until about halfway through the interview to ask. Their response could take different paths.

They could say the position is newly-created. When a job is newly created, multiple people may have had input during that job’s formation. Try to understand what’s expected from each of those other employees.

They could say the last person was promoted. That’s great news! It shows they promote from within. That being the case, they may promote from within to fill this opening, too. You can ask how long the person who was in the position had been in the job before being promoted.

They could indicate the person who was in the position is no longer with the organization. Unless they volunteer more information, you don’t know whether or not they left on their own. You could ask some key areas they would like to see changed or improved in performance.

Training is another area to explore. If they do not share information about professional development and training, be sure to ask about it after you understand the job duties.

Lastly, let’s talk about how you would inquire about overtime, weekend work, shift work, and other schedule-related questions. Asking, “is there weekend work,” or, “is overtime required,” implies you would prefer to not work weekends or overtime. Rather than asking bluntly, you can ask them to talk you through a typical day or typical work week. This gives them the opportunity share information about scheduling. If they do not fully clarify, you can ask a follow up question to get more information. Tell them you are willing to work the needed schedule (if you are) and just want to understand what’s expected.

Next time, I will wrap up this series with more questions to help you determine whether the job is the one for you. Good luck!