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#IamETStalent – Ryan Lee – Branch Manager

Meet Ryan! His love for the area’s endless options for outdoor recreation, ability to crack a joke on a whim, and the deep personal interest he takes when meeting new people, are just a few things that make him a rock-star member of the ETS team. Check out this video to learn all about why you should get to know Ryan.

What made you want to work at ETS?
ETS has established itself as a leader in the Champlain Valley for staffing, recruiting, and training. When I knew I was interested in potentially entering this industry, I knew I wanted to work for the best.

What’s your favorite part of the Champlain Valley?
I’m someone who LOVES spending time outdoors and being active. The Champlain Valley offers so many options for outdoor activities regardless of the season (i.e. kayaking, camping, running, hiking, skiing, golfing, fishing, etc.)

What was your first impression walking into ETS?
From the very beginning, ETS struck me as a company focused on the future and staying as current and cutting edge as they can be. I think this culture of continuous growth and improvement is lost with a lot of companies in the staffing industry. It’s easier to stick to what’s worked in the past instead of evolve and grow with the times. ETS continually strives to stay on top of trends and technology.

What’s one thing people would never know about you?
I’m a closet musician – my wonderful wife calls me a walking one-man band. My best instrument is probably the guitar.

What’s a superpower you’ve always wanted and how would you use this power?
It would be really cool to be able to teleport. I would travel all over the world and continue to meet new people and experience new things… all while saving a few bucks on airline tickets.

What’s the strangest question you’ve heard in an interview?
When I was in college, I worked for the IT Helpdesk part time. For my interview, I was asked to tell a joke on the spot. It wasn’t necessarily a strange question, but certainly a unique one that I’ll remember for years to come. I had a joke it my back pocket, made the hiring manager laugh, and landed the job.

What’s your favorite restaurant?
I’m a huge fan of local restaurants, but I think my favorite here in Vermont is the Farmhouse. Great food and great craft beer options.

Name something that makes your job feel rewarding.
I love connecting with new people everyday as well as seeing the look on a client or candidate’s face when we’ve found them the perfect match.

What’s one piece of advice you give to potential clients?
Focus on your business. You have enough to worry about when it comes to managing your existing and growing your company. Let us do the heavy lifting by reviewing applications, conducting interviews, and negotiating salaries. By working with us, you can assure growth is never compromised and receives your full attention.


The Workplace of the Future is Here

The future of work is happening, all around you, right now. From the way we work, where we work, to your ultimate “why am I doing this?” work as we know it is changing. The casual observer may be hard-pressed to find smart buildings lining the sidewalks, or Google-esque workplaces in our own offices – however, we need to be cognizant that the initial stage of exponential growth is deceptive. This is the age of “accelerating disruptions”, in which the world around us is no longer transforming linearly, or predictably – but at an exponential rate of change. Think fast – real fast, surprisingly fast.

The bottom-line is this – action needs to be taken today to fully engage with the forces of change in the world of work. Those who don’t, will be left behind.

The future of work is everyone’s industry. Here are 4 ways to gauge where your business stands on the future timeline.

1.) Get Digital
Transforming business, as a whole, not just how we communicate. Becoming a digitally empowered business is a game-changing mindset that must be driven by leadership. Companies are now embracing emerging new cognitive and analytic capabilities – automating processes, measuring performance, accessing detailed data, and engaging better talent.

2.) Offer Flexibility
Flexibility is about productivity, work-life balance and growing with the times. Today’s workforce values flexibility that enable employees to work when – and where – they do their best. Certainly, there’s plenty of trust involved. But it can also give companies access to a talent pool that spans the globe – working from anywhere.

3.) Constant Contact
Connections will make or break your success. Whether your entire team works in the same office or are distributed across the country, engaging employees is critical. The digital workplace (think Slack, HipChat or Teams) makes a virtual space where connection and information is available on demand. For employees, this means access to the communication they need, why they need it, on whichever device they prefer to use.

4.) Structure Shake-up
Leadership will be the driving factor as your company looks to surge into the future of the workplace. Not only is the way we work getting disrupted, the actual jobs are too. The future timeline of work is shaking up the way companies manage teams and look at organizational structure. Understanding the types of roles you need to keep your team competitive and innovative in today’s landscape and the future landscape is critical.

Planning for the workplace of the future means striking the right balance between human needs and technology. As a role model with a pulse on the future, leaders will find success adapting to modern business if they are connected, collaborative and digital.


Can your Recruiter Deliver?

You are a reliable, hard worker. You are solving problems for your co-workers, creating value for your bosses and generally reaping the rewards of your hard earned success. People in your life and in your industry are taking notice. You, in short, are a rockstar. Isn’t it time you had a job at a company that valued these qualities?

You are getting noticed by recruiters!

The staffing recruiters have found you and each one promises the moon. You’re ready for the next big thing and you know a professional staffing company can help. How do you know which one is right for you?

Make sure they can deliver on their promises.

At ETS, we’ve found that the most successful candidates actually interview us. That’s right. While we’re trying our best to get to know you, you should be getting to know us to find the best recruiter.

Here are 5 questions you should ask a recruiter:

1.) How long have they been a recruiter at their current staffing agency?
Professional staffing firms tend to have high turnover rates. When you have questions about payroll, benefits or the best pizza joint in town, you want a recruiter that’s sticking around for the long haul and not handing you off to the new kid on the block. At ETS, while we are growing and adding recruiters all the time, our recruiters stick around! Del Rock and Cyndie Lathrem have been recruiters at ETS for 30 and 20 years respectively.

2. Who are their current clients?
Do you recognize any of them? Are you impressed? If not, you should consider moving on to someone who actually recruits for the best companies in town.

3. How is payroll handled?
Getting paid accurately and on time is pretty important in our book, don’t you think? If payroll is handled at the home office in another city or, worse yet, at a 3rd party accounting office, chances are if there are problems, you won’t get an answer quickly. At ETS, our HR and Payroll is handled locally and we have a team of HR experts ready to handle any problems.

4. What is their expertise?
The best recruiters are specialists. The one you want is a specialist in your field.

5. Why are they working at this firm?
Understanding how the recruiting firm treats its internal employees tells you a lot about how they will treat you.

6. What is the average airspeed velocity of a swallow?
Okay, that’s six. You want to make sure the recruiter is paying attention!

Getting those phone calls can be exciting. It means you’ve made it and people want you. But don’t settle for just any recruiter. Find the one that’s right for you, someone who listens, knows your industry, and will stick around. And, when you find the right recruiting partner, the sky’s the limit.

About ETS:

We’re Nothing Without You. You’ve got skills, and we’ve got the hook up. Whether you’re looking for your first job, or you’re a seasoned professional, our recruiters take the time to understand your career vision and develop a strategy to make it a reality. A partner in your career success, we’ll connect you with rewarding careers at companies throughout the Champlain Valley that are making a difference. We know “job” just isn’t a 3 letter word – it’s who you are. Start a relationship with one of our recruiters today and get noticed by the right people. Set up a meeting by calling 518.562.4673, or just stop by!


#IamETStalent – Joe Shoemaker – Professional Recruiter

Meet Joe! His contagious enthusiasm for life, adventure seeking mentality, and innate ability to connect with clients and candidates alike, are just a few things that make him a rock-star member of the ETS team. Check out this video to learn all about why you should get to know Joe.

What was your first impression walking into ETS?
When I first came into ETS, I was actually a candidate looking for a better opportunity. I was hugely impressed with the warm welcome, positive vibes, and the entire atmosphere here at ETS.

Name something that makes your job feel rewarding.
What really makes this job rewarding is the fact that we get to help people better their family situations, and really help our great friends and neighbors here in the North Country identify top talent to be as successful as they can be.

What’s your favorite thing to do in the Champlain Valley?
The thing I enjoy most about the area here when i’m not at work is kiteboarding. The bay right here in Plattsburgh actually has some of the best kiting and fresh water around.

When did your sense of adventure start?
My sense of adventure started out early on in life. It took me into the Coast Guard, I spent five years in Alaska traveling around to uninhabited islands and mountain tops climbing radio towers, to finding my way here in the Adirondacks.

What’s one piece of advice you give to candidates about to interview?
My advice for people who are interviewing is dress to impress. If you’re asking yourself if the clothing you’ve chosen is to formal or not, the chances are it’s probably worth going with.


Time to Hire: Are you Taking Too Long?

In any job market – but perhaps never more than in today’s workforce – top talent can come and go in the blink of an eye. As the workplace evolves and technology advances, you could make the assumption that the majority of companies are nimble and poised to react quickly and efficiently to ensure they win the war for top talent. But this isn’t always the case.

Hiring is one of the most important decisions a company makes, and the risk of making a mistake causes some organizations to draw out the process. But doing so often results in losing top talent, slower productivity, significant revenue loss, a tarnished brand, and a raise in hiring costs. This is why hiring must be equally viewed as both a people decision and a business decision.

To keep your pipeline moving quickly when you need it most, follow these steps to consolidate hiring timelines:

Know What you Need
Having a clear idea of what the new role entails is key to hiring quickly. Is it full-time? Is there anything preventing you from hiring the right candidate now? What objectives should the role achieve? What skills are required? This will give you a much clearer picture of what you’re looking for in a new hire.

Company Alignment
Gather the stakeholders, get everyone’s commitment that hiring is the number one priority, and then set a timeline for the hiring process. Block calendars for interviews, review the job description, and determine who has the final sign off. With your team by your side, it will make it easier to align the process with your company values, a crucial part of hiring if your company’s success relies on its company culture.

Interview Candidates
To speed up the interview process, conduct screening interviews via Skype or FaceTime, consolidate in-person interviews to one day if possible, and get feedback immediately from the candidate and hiring managers to determine interest levels.

Communication is Key
Continue to have open lines of communication throughout the process. Inform candidates when you expect to make a final decision. If there is a delay, call them to give them an updated timeline. Silence can indicate a lack of interest and encourage top talent to pursue other roles.

Formal Offer
Make a verbal offer contingent on satisfactory reference and background checks. Be prepared to negotiate salary and perks, and set the start date.

Partner with ETS
Whether you’re a smaller company with a limited HR staff or a large organization working on hiring multiple positions, the reason for a delayed hiring process is probably largely out of your control. At ETS, our unparalleled resources set the tone for thriving hiring and retention strategies, that save you time and money. Check out our 10 Step Guide for Hiring Success here.

As the saying goes, timing is everything, and for organizations trying to hire it could make the difference between securing top talent and losing out.


No-Fuss Tips for the Passive Job Seeker

How would you describe your job search status? Are you currently employed and open to hearing about new career opportunities, but would rather not devote your time and effort to a full-blown job search? If you’re nodding along and this sounds like you, you’re not alone.

Passive job seekers, like you, currently account for 75% of today’s workforce. With a pulse on the employment market and an open mind, this low-key attention keeps you in the loop and prepared to job hunt at any given time.

Passive job seekers who invest a little time in staying job search ready will save a lot of time (and stress) getting up to speed when they need to job search. Here are five tips for being a passive job seeker:

1. Be an Active LinkedIn User
LinkedIn is today’s virtual resume, and hiring managers actively search the site for possible candidates. To increase the chance of receiving an offer in your inbox, keep your profile active, current and compelling. You can also increase your visibility by adding connections, joining groups, following interesting companies and starting discussions. These are low-effort, high-impact ways to attract the eyes of potential employers on LinkedIn.

2. Like and follow
Don’t stop with LinkedIn. The days when Facebook and Twitter were only used for personal networking are gone. Use these social platforms to follow firms you’d like to work for. Amid product launches and news updates, organizations often post and tweet job opportunities.

3. Build a Career Network
Industry events offer good ways to get exposure and professional development. Attend conferences, seminars, workshops and networking events, and mingle with the speakers and attendees afterwards. You don’t have to spend a lot of time networking, but do take the time to add connections to your network on a regular basis. The bigger your network, the more opportunities you’ll have access to.

4. Update your Resume
Have an updated resume ready to go. In preparation for that dream job that may come your way, keep your resume and cover letter up to date. If an opening at a company strikes your fancy, you’re fully prepared to quickly tailor your documents, upload your files and click send.

5. Work with a recruiter
For the passive job candidate, an ETS recruiter can be an invaluable resource, because they can practically run a search for you. Many companies work exclusively with ETS to conduct “quiet” searches on their behalf. Our recruiters have access to many opportunities which are not known to the general public and can notify you right away when an open position fits your career vision.

If you’re a passive job seeker, you don’t have to dedicate a lot of time searching for an ideal position. These tips can help you become more successful and make your next exciting career move a smooth one — all with minimal effort.


How to Train your New Hire the Right Way

Are your employees worth more than a cup of coffee? Of course they are! But the sad fact is, most companies spend more money on coffee than training. These days, employee training is about more than teaching someone how to perform a specific task. Today, employee training is about affecting long term impact on productivity, retention and company culture, while giving your employees the tools they need to develop into the creative, ambitious workers you desire.

If you don’t invest the time now, your new hire can’t grow into a productive member of your team. Check out our tips to properly train your new employee.

1.) Test Drive the Process
You know what is expected of the new employee in their position, so why not test drive the training process yourself. A trail run is the perfect way to gauge how well expectations are being conveyed through your training program. After going through it yourself, be sure to identify and fill any gaps, or polish up any points that need clarification.

2.) Make Connections
Make introductions a little less overwhelming and a little more strategic by putting together a list of key contacts along with their name, title, and role with the company. Then, make training a team effort by bringing in these managers and peers, who have valuable and diverse input, to provide your new hire with a strong, broad foundation of your organization’s values, vision and culture. After you have helped to kick-start the process of building relationships, expose new employees to activities that will foster personal growth. Schedule regular group lunches, or ask your team to go to outside networking events. All of these events are used to help the individual grow into the position instead of having someone simply tell them what to do.

*Tour Tip: It’s standard for a new employee to get a tour on the first day, where the typical highlights include the restrooms and the cafeteria. But it’s also important to show a newbie the lesser-known locations – the HR office, the security office, and, of course, where to find that coffee you spend so much on. Work with your colleagues to create a shortlist of places worth a visit, and include them as part of your introductions.

3.) Incorporate Different Methods
People learn in different ways. By segmenting your training and employing a combination of approaches, you will give your new employee more ways to help fully understand this critical information. Provide explanations and demonstrations, but give your new employee ample opportunity to learn by doing. Don’t forget to pull together a list of go-to resources for them to explore. Things like annual reports, the company website, and any recent marketing materials. These are all valuable tools to help someone get acclimated before they start.

4.) Make it Real
Don’t expect your new hire to grasp everything all at once. Most people are not capable of hearing detailed instructions once, and then implementing it immediately. Until your new employee has actually gotten their hands dirty, know you cannot expect much. After the training, give employees a task that actually requires them to use what they’ve just learned. Not only will this help them cement the learning and get the most out of follow-up training (as they will be able to relate it to their own experience), it will also show you exactly where they still need work. Be prepared to re-visit your training sessions again (and again), as it will create familiarity which is key to absorption.

5.) Be Available
A critical part of any training program is to have patience and be available. The learning curve is frustrating, and mistakes will happen. Make yourself available a few times a day to check in, and encourage them to ask questions. Exhibiting patience and understanding will help your new employee quickly develop the trust and confidence they need to thrive. The more comfortable you can make your employee feel in their new environment, the faster they’ll feel like a part of the team – and the faster they can start really diving into their work.

Starting a new position is stressful for anyone, but as a manager, you can make the transition a whole lot smoother. Take the time to help your new employee feel welcome and comfortable and support them as they learn the ropes of their new position. Remember: the more time you are able to invest in the beginning, the faster you’ll have a rockstar team member – and the better off you’ll start your relationship with them. As the roles of HR continue to increase, you may find yourself seeking assistance to address these ever changing responsibilities. As a proud partner of the North Country HR Consortium, ETS is here to help. This membership organization is a “one-stop shop”, bringing together experts from all facets of HR – legal, staffing and recruitment, EAS, training, compliance and more to help meet the needs of local businesses. For more information on new employee training or how to become a member of the North Country HR Consortium, visit


#IamETStalent – Phyllis Clookey – Payroll/HR Manager

Meet Phyllis Clookey! Our Payroll/HR Manager here at ETS. Phyllis is the go-to source when candidates have questions about benefits or payroll, and when clients have any questions about HR. Her appreciation for the area combined with her passion for helping people, sets the tone for an employee oriented, high-performance work culture.

Tell us about your role at ETS.
Here at ETS, I work in the HR Department. I help our employees, both internal and contract, with benefits and payroll. I also strive to be a resource for any of our clients needs or concerns.

What was your first impression walking into ETS?
The employees were pleasant and happy to assist with any questions I had.

What’s one thing people would never know about you?
I grew up in the rural town of Fort Covington on a farm and I am one of 13 children.

Now that you live in the Champlain Valley, what’s your favorite part of our area?
It’s large enough to have a variety of things to do and small enough to feel safe.

What’s your favorite restaurant?
Livingood’s Restaurant and Brewery in Peru, NY.

Name something that makes your job feel rewarding.
I enjoy working with people and being able to help them or have the information to give them on where to turn for assistance.   


The Graduate’s Guide to Getting Hired

As a soon-to-be college graduate, there is plenty of reason for excitement and optimism. The economy is recovering, and companies are heavily investing in their workforces. But for many graduates, the opportunities ahead may seem both endless and elusive, making it incredibly challenging to identify and build a successful career path.     

So how do you land not just any job, but the right job? How do you start a meaningful career where you’ll be engaged, challenged and valued? At ETS, our recruiters take the time to understand your career vision and develop a strategy to make it a reality. Not only will they be a partner in your ongoing career success, they will also give you confidential advice and guidance throughout the process.

Whether you’re putting your cap and gown on in a few months, graduated last year, or frankly, are just sick of your parents asking what’s new on the career front, take a look at some of our recruiters top tips on positioning yourself to land a job straight out of college.

Hone your Message
Prepare for the job search like you would for a test. Make sure to modernize your resume, head into interviews prepared with questions that show you’re actively interested in the organization and knowledgeable about the industry, and be sure to clean up your online persona. Every person is a brand, and it’s important to understand how you want to be perceived. From there you can come up with a strategic plan to create your brand and make sure your arsenal of job search tools reinforce that.

Start Early
It’s never too early to start the job search process. The students who spend time researching career options will be well ahead of their peers in the long run. Make the most of your senior year by attending career fairs, proactively investigate career opportunities, and growing your network.

Have Reasonable Expectations
Find the balance between quantity and quality in the job search. It’s hard to stick out from the pack of other applicants when you’re trying to be all things to all people, and apply to “as many jobs as you can in a day.” Not to mention you can’t properly research and follow up with hundreds of job applications. Instead, invest the time to target a few key opportunities and roles. It can be incredibly frustrating not to find immediate success right out of college, but the hiring picture is ever changing, and jobs open up all the time. Spend some time researching companies to better understand how your skills and background might make a good fit for a given job, and get an idea of how you’d fit into a company culture.

Communicate Effectively
Graduates can stand out in this aspect by speaking clearly about their relevant work experience and applicable skills, extracurricular activities, and why they think they would be a good fit for the position. Most graduates think of a job in terms of its job description, but the reality of work can differ significantly. Regardless of the field you choose, make sure to understand what roles will actually be like after you secure the job. The best way to gain this insight is to identify individuals with job titles that interest you (resist the urge to pick senior people – selecting people at or close to entry level jobs will give you a much more realistic sense of the position) and ask if they would be open to a quick conversation. Focus on asking questions about what their average day looks like, these questions will give you a real sense for what it’s like to actually do a given job.

Don’t Rely on your Degree
In many industries, experience and skills are for more important than the subject listed on your diploma. As you finish college and begin your job search, continue to build upon the skills you have obtained during your schooling. Set the stage to become a lifelong learner, and take on new activities to keep yourself challenged.

Don’t Forget your Manners
Never underestimate the power of being polite. Simple courtesy will put you above the vast majority of applicants. Whether that’s sending a thank you note after a job interview or treating everyone you interact with as though they are your interviewer. You have to demonstrate that you are someone that team members would enjoy working with. So be nice and gracious to everyone you meet: It will pay off for many years to come.

There is no better time than the present to start pursuing your career path. Be confident in the fact that you’ve got skills, and know that ETS has the hookup. There are a ton of great companies looking for people with skills like yours. How do we know? Well, because we work with them. Start a relationship with one of our recruiters today and get noticed by the right people.


Pathways and Partnerships: AIME Update

Advanced, modern manufacturing is rapidly expanding in the Champlain Valley, and ETS is honored to partner with CV-Tec, and Clinton Community College to provide this crucial pathway to individuals seeking to begin a successful career in manufacturing. Since 2009, AIME (Assembling Industry: Manufacturing and Education) has been preparing and training individuals throughout the North Country for new opportunities in manufacturing that offer meaningful, engaging and rewarding roles. The next session will continue to build upon this momentum.

As the local manufacturing industry continues to flourish and grow, it is imperative that our community partnerships and pathways into the industry grow with it. With the help of local industry feedback, the AIME training program curriculum has improved in exciting ways. Most notable is the addition of 2 modules of the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) assessment and certification program. Additionally, the bulk of the technical training will take place at the new Institute for Advanced Manufacturing (IAM) at Clinton Community College.

The 8 week training course, slated to begin September 18, will focus on developing hard and soft skills and include:

  • Facility Tours
  • OSHA 10 Certification
  • National Work Readiness Credential
  • NEW integration of MSSC Safety*
  • NEW integration of MSSC Manufacturing Processes & Production*
  • Hands-on Projects
  • Employment Seminar

* MSSC (Manufacturing Skill Standards Council) is an industry-led, training, assessment and certification system focused on the core skills and knowledge needed by the nation’s front-line production and material handling workers. The nationwide MSSC System, based upon industry-defined and federally-endorsed standards, offers both entry-level and incumbent workers the opportunity to demonstrate that they have acquired the skills increasingly needed in the technology-intensive jobs of the 21st century. As an added bonus, with the integration of MSSC courses students will be eligible to receive college credit should they wish to continue their education at Clinton Community College in the future.

The AIME employment seminar offers manufacturers throughout the region a unique opportunity to connect with graduates of the AIME program who have proven themselves to be dedicated and have gained the skills to flourish in a career in manufacturing. As we prepare for the fall session, we are currently accepting requests from manufacturers who wish to be included in the Facility Tour portion and/or the Employment Seminar.

Facility Tour: Give participants an inspiring behind the scenes look at your technologies in action, and an overview of the opportunities that exist.

Employment Seminar: At the conclusion of the course, be the first to interview one-on-one with these skilled and dedicated individuals.

Interested in getting involved with AIME, or looking for more information? Contact Deborah Cleary (518.562.4673) at ETS today!

ETS will have AIME info sessions throughout the summer for interested students.

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