A Time for “Giving” Thanks

thanksgiving_blessings_featurePhoto courtesy of Gospel Rescue Mission

And a Time for Thanks – “Giving”

How many of you have too much stuff in your closets? Come on, raise your hands.

I know that I’m guilty! I can be a “clothes collector”, and at times, reluctant (or just lazy) to clean out my closets.  Hey, just because I have not worm that short in 2 years, does not mean that it’s not a perfectly good shirt, right?  I might wear it again….someday.

My intentions have always been in the right place.  Over the years, I have donated my clothing many times, particularly at the holiday season.  I know that I have too much clothes, and I know that someone (less fortunate than me) would be very happy to have them.  However, somewhere along the way I got lazy, and it has been a while since I “shared” my clothing.

This Sunday morning, I set my alarm early, and drove with a car stuffed full with clothes, to the Gospel Rescue Mission (Washington, DC) – a homeless shelter for men.  I should tell you the reason why I chose to the Gospel Rescue Mission. I did not select the “Mission” for any religious reason. It was for the purpose of putting my clothes to good use. They don’t plan to sell my clothes (for what I believe would be a small fraction of what they are worth), they will USE my clothes to clothe the homeless! I left the mission with a warm and fuzzy feeling,  not because I now have cleaner closets, but because I know that I did some good.

I don’t mean to sound sanctimonious, because I know that many give and give again, but just a few days before Thanksgiving, I was reminded of the true meaning of the holiday. I gave, and they were thankful…and so was I. Personally, I know that I should be “thankful” more often. I have everything I need and more than enough to give away.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

For more information on the Gospel Mission Rescue – http://www.missiondc.org 202-745-7118

Respect for Valor

Veteran’s Day 2014

Honoring our veterans, and all servicemen/servicewomen, at home and abroad.

The Concert for Valor is being held in Washington, DC on Tuesday, November 11, 2014. The Concert for Valor was created to bring artists and celebrities together to honor the courage and sacrifices of retired veterans, active military personnel and their supportive families.

To show your support, please visit http://www.theconcertforvalor.com/ and follow the “support” tab.

Happy Veteran’s Day!

Wall with flowers

Fall in Love with Autumn in Washington, DC

As Bob Dylan once sang, The Leaves They Are a Changin’.  OK, so that’s not right.  Bob D. didn’t really sing that, but fall is in the air, and the leaves really are changing.  Take advantage now, before the trees all shed their leaves for winter.  Here are just a few ideas to enjoy fall’s splendor in and around the Washington, DC area.

I’m sure nobody has forgotten about Skyline Drive, but remember to leave early.  Traffic is sure to be jam-packed this weekend.   For those of you who would rather avoid the schlep and the traffic, here are a few ideas closer to home.

Take a walk, run or bike ride in Rock Creek Park.  See the animals at the National Zoo and visit the bears and other animals before they hibernate for winter.  Check out the grounds and the National Capitol Columns at the National Arboretum (read these wonderful reviews from Trip Advisor – http://bit.ly/12ikfON).  It’s surely one of Washington’s best kept secrets.

U.S. National Arboretum

If sports is more your style, fall is the time when basketball and hockey season begin.  Both the Washington Capitals, and their star, Alex Ovechkin, and the Washington Wizards with John Wall, play at the Verizon Center in downtown, DC.  While the NFL season is half over, there is still plenty of time to go see the Washington Redskins, or venture 40 miles to the north to go see the neighboring Baltimore Ravens.

For those of you who prefer amateur sports, you won’t find a more awe-inspiring event than watching over 30,000 runners compete in the 39th running of the Marine Corps Marathon.   This year’s event is this Sunday, October 26th.  Be sure to take metro, as driving through the district and parts of Northern Virginia may prove very difficult this Sunday.

When looking to entertain the kids, what better place than the Boo at the Zoo.  Find details and tickets – http://nationalzoo.si.edu/ActivitiesAndEvents/Celebrations/Boo/.

boo-logo-square

More kid-friendly ideas include pumpkin patcheshttp://dc.about.com/od/childrensactivities/a/pumpkinpatches.htm and corn mazeshttp://dc.about.com/od/hoildaysseasonalevents/a/CornMazes.htm.

As November turns a bit colder, you might search for the indoors and great photography at DC Photo Week http://www.fotodc.org/ .  This year’s event is being held November 8th-16th.

Last but not least, no list of fall activities would be complete without mentioning Halloween.  As always, there are a cornucopia of events.  If you need a few ideas to help get you going, you can find them here – http://dc.about.com/od/fallfestivalsandevents/a/HalloweenAdults.htm.

So get out and enjoy.  Wishing you and yours a wonderful fall!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

awareness-month-breast-cancer-awareness-25363830-302-441

How many people reading this have personally been affected by the loss of a loved one to Breast Cancer? Who has lost a mother, wife, sister or good friend? Perhaps an aunt, cousin, neighbor, co-worker or acquaintance, and it seems virtually impossible not know someone who lost their battle to Breast Cancer.  Hopefully you know a few “lucky ones” who are in remission, or as we like to appropriately call them, “survivors”.

According to statistics, 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lifetime. Breast cancer is currently the 2nd most common kind of cancer in women, after skin cancer (so please be careful in the sun too!).

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a chance to raise awareness about the importance of screening and the early detection of breast cancer.  The good news is that many women can survive breast cancer if it’s found and treated early.

More information can be found at http://healthfinder.gov/NHO/OctoberToolkit.aspx and http://www.cancer.org/healthy/morewaysacshelpsyoustaywell/breastcancer

It is time to put an end to breast cancer!

pink

Reprinted (with edits) for October 2014

This member chose to be shown as anonymous

Like many business professionals, I utilize LinkedIn as a networking resource.  If you use LinkedIn, you may have noticed that you can see people who have looked at your profile.  I don’t utilize that feature all that often, but I recently noticed that 3 of the last 10 people who looked at my profile had no name or picture (I am not claiming that is the norm or average).  LinkedIn states, “this person chose to be shown as anonymous.”  That’s a fairly large percentage of people who had interest in seeing my profile, but didn’t want me to know who they were.

anonymous

Perhaps readers can give me some insight into this.  Personally, I don’t understand why anyone would want to remain anonymous.  Could it be a competitor checking out my profile?  Perhaps I have an ex-girlfriend who decided to stalk me?  Perhaps those individuals wanted to remain anonymous due to concerns over their internet privacy.  Wait…that doesn’t make sense!  LinkedIn should be an I see you, you can see me forum.  Anyone with privacy concerns should certainly not be checking out any other profiles, least of all anonymously.

“This member chose to be shown as anonymous.” 

This member chose to be shown as anonymous

Don’t be this person!

LinkedIn can be a valuable business tool, particularly to those in sales and marketing, and certainly for job seekers.  They allow you to create a personal profile that can look different from your company website or your resume.  If you remain “anonymous” you remain unknown.  What good can that do?

LinkedIn is a professional network, so it works best when people introduce themselves with a well-written bio and a reasonably professional looking photo.  Please be yourself and not just some anonymous surfer dude.  And for goodness sake, please don’t scare people into thinking that they have an anonymous stalker.

V

So, unless your name is Guy Fawkes, or you starred in V for Vendetta, please don’t be anonymous.  Please be the real you!

 

 

 

An open reply to “Lipstick on Pigs”

Having recently read a posting on LinkedIn entitled - Too Many Recruiters Put Lipstick On A Pig- by Jon Bartos -  http://linkd.in/Ug8fch , I felt a need to post my “open reply”.  Perhaps I should let it go, but this article really gets my goat!

To quote Mr. Bartos, he felt that “90% of the recruiters he has worked with in 25 years in the business are focused on making a commission check and not in helping him”.  He suggested that 90% of recruiters “put lipstick on pigs”.   All I can say is…

hogwash

Surely you get the idea…he implied that 90% of recruiters try to present an inferior candidate, dress them up nicely and attempt to sell them for me than they are worth. I find this assumption to be highly exaggerated and very far from the truth! Naturally, there are bad eggs in any industry, but to imply that 90% of recruiters put “lipstick on pigs” is a completely false statement, based neither in merit or fact.

So, how do clients and candidates find the good recruiters, and not, ahem, the “lipstick” recruiters? Here are some things you should look for –

Being a good recruiter simply means having the ability to provide people with the right skills, attitudes and initiatives, who will make a valuable contribution to an organization.

Professional recruiters excel at developing strong relationships – with both their clients and candidates. Clients and candidates alike should look for recruiters who take the time to truly understand both their immediate needs and their long-term goals.   A good recruiter will get to know their candidates well, to gain an understanding that goes far beyond their resume.

Person-to-Person-to-Person (recruiter/candidate/client) interaction is as important as ever in building strong relationships. A strong recruiter should be able to clearly articulate how they and their candidate can add value to your team.

recruiter

A professional recruiter responds flexibly to problems and challenges.  A well-trained, professional recruiter asks excellent questions. They possess incredible listening skills.  A professional recruiter is, most of all, ethical, reliable and responsible – they would never consider putting lipstick on a pig.

Always remember that your recruiter is your ally, not your adversary. They serve to help you find the best candidate. They are not a competitor to your Human Resources team, they should be considered a valuable part of your HR team!

Yoga Style Staffing – What a flexible workforce can do for you

 

 

Yoga Work

Staffing companies are to human resources departments as yoga is to your body. The goal is to be flexible and fit!

According to the American Staffing Association, U.S. companies rely on staffing services to provide temporary jobs “in the millions”. Three million people are employed by staffing companies every week, and eleven million temporary and contract employees are hired by U.S. staffing firms over the course of a year. (source: http://www.americanstaffing.net/statistics/facts.cfm)

Clearly Staffing Services provide true value. Here are 10 great reasons for using a staffing service:

1. Fill ASAP needs – Helping out clients when they find themselves shorthanded at the last minute.
2. Improve morale and relieve stress – Bringing in additional help when your staff is overworked will help improve morale and relieve potential burnout or stress.
3. Screening, testing and reference checking – Staffing services take specific and necessary steps to ensure that clients receive capable and qualified staff.
4. Compliance – Staffing services protect you by following all proper hiring procedures and legal requirements, including I-9 verification and (following) EEO policies.
5. Build relationships – By getting to know clients and their individual needs, staffing companies are able to find the “perfect” fit.
6. Try before you buy options – When taking advantage of temp-to-hire opportunities, clients can see if candidates are a good fit, prior to making a qualifying job offer.
7. Avoid Unemployment Claims – Since the temporary employee is an employee of the staffing service, there are no unemployment issues if their services are no longer needed by the client. This helps reduces costs and the anxieties associated with “letting people go”.
8. Specialization – Staffing services often have specialty areas. By focusing on their core strengths and expertise, staffing services can find candidates that clients are often unable to find via their own resources.
9. Familiar faces – Many temporary employees are requested back for future assignments, providing value as a proven resource; someone who is familiar with the client’s environment and the duties of the assignment.
10. Flexibility – Temporary staffing provides flexibility by allowing clients to scale their workforce when adding staff due to vacancies, business peaks and large projects. Conversely, clients who rely on temporary staff can decrease staff during slow periods and periods of economic uncertainty.

Yoga Work 2

 

4 Staff, LLC is a full service staffing company that provides highly qualified personnel for Temporary, Temp-to-Hire and Direct Hire positions. Established in 2006 by two individuals with over 50 years of combined staffing industry experience in the Washington, DC metro area.

Give us a call: (202)347-1044
Visit our website: http://www.4staffllc.com
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