Southern Illinois Chili Cook Off

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Gail Lannom

Gail Lannom, Priority Group CEO

The 9th Annual Southern Illinois Chili Cook Off was held at the Marion Elks on November 4th. The outdoor event raised money for several local charities.

Gail Lannom, Priority Group CEO, along with Megan Jones, Professional Group COO, and Lindzey Barger, Business Development, were on the planning committee for the event.

 

Nearly 800 people attended and 32 competitors participated in the Chili Cook Off and Bloody Mary competitions, which had a Game Show theme.

 

The GLITS girls represented Priority Staffing Group for the 9th year in the competition. They won Best Team Theme with Wheel of Fortune.

Glits Girls Glits Girls

 

 

 

 

 

Other activities included a silent auction, raffles, and a bags tournament, all raising money for the selected charities.

megan jones

Megan Jones, Professional Group COO

Up from last year’s $23,000 raised, the event surpassed the $25,000 goal for 2017. The money benefited The Fowler Bonan Foundation Clothes for Kids, The Night’s Shield Children’s Shelter, The Lighthouse Shelter, and the Williamson County Heartland Rotary iPad project for children with learning disabilities.

 

Priority Group is excited to have a part in our community’s events. If you have an event you’re interested in partnering with us in, call (618) 969-8800 to speak to one of our office representatives.

 

To view more photos of the event, visit the official Facebook page for the Southern Illinois Chili Cook Off.

 

 

Interview Tip: What to Wear

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Inappropriate interview attire can cost you the job. But how do you know what’s appropriate to wear? The answer to that question depends on your line of work and the company you’re interviewing at. Answer the following questions to decide how to dress for your next job interview.

 

What job are you applying for?

If you’re applying for a job in a clerical or customer service field, the standard attire is business casual. For men, this means dress slacks, dress shoes, collared shirt and, in some cases, a tie. For women, this means dress pants or a knee length skirt, a modest blouse, heels or flats and professional accessories.

Business Casual Attire

Manufacturing or labor positions, while casual in nature, might still require nicer choices for the interview. If applying for a management role, I recommend the above business casual. For everyone else, jeans or khaki pants with a button up or polo shirt with casual (but clean!) shoes is acceptable.

 

What company are you applying for?

Do your research! The above guidelines should be used as just that – guidelines. For example, I have a client who needs construction workers and general laborers for his company. What I would normally suggest for a similar company doesn’t work best for his applicants. He would like to know that his applicants can get their hands dirty, and a collared shirt won’t tell him that. For this company, I recommend jeans, a t-shirt and work boots. Some research about the company and their current employees can tell you a lot about what you should wear.

Casual Attire

What job do you want?

Rule of thumb: dress for the job you want, not the job you’ve applied for. Are you applying for an entry-level receptionist position, but truly aspire to be in a management role? Dress business professional. Interviewers sometimes connect your appearance to your aspirations. If you wear jeans to an interview, even if it may be appropriate for the job you’re applying for, it might not send the right message to the hiring team. When in doubt, dress a stress up!

Business Professional Attire

How do you get clothes?

Did you answer the above questions and still don’t know what to wear to your interview? The picture guides above can help you make informed decisions about your interview attire, and many appropriate items can be found in thrift and consignment stores at a reasonable cost.

Amelia's Closet logoFor women interviewing in our Tennessee office who don’t think they can afford appropriate interview clothes, we want to help. Our partnership with Amelia’s Closet in Murfreesboro allows us to help unemployed and low-income women prepare for sustainable employment. This non-profit organization prepares women recovering from hardship by providing an interview outfit and interview tips upon referral from a partner agency like Priority Staffing Group. Upon being hired, they provide returning clients with a week’s wardrobe for work.

Ask us for more information by stopping by Priority Group’s Murfreesboro office or calling (615) 295-2127.

Leadership Conference: Live2Lead

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Live2Lead Leadership Conference

Priority Group attended leadership conference, Live2Lead, on October 6th. Our representatives were Gail Lannom, CEO; Megan Jones, Professional Group COO; and Emily Melvin, Account Manager.

What is Live2Lead?

Live2Lead was a full-day leadership and personal growth event hosted live in Atlanta. The event is an annual leadership gathering developed by The John Maxwell Company. For almost a decade, Live2Lead has shared leadership and personal growth principles to a live audience and over 300 simulcast locations around the world.

Attendees learn from renowned leadership experts from a variety of industries, gain new perspectives on relevant topics and get practical tools to take home with them.

Conference speakers included John Maxwell, Dave Ramsey, Warrick Dunn, and Cheryl Bachelder.

John C. MaxwellDave RamseyWarrick DunnCheryl Bachelder

The Southern Illinois simulcast was hosted by the Marion Chamber of Commerce in the John A Logan College auditorium.  At the end of the conference, an interactive group discussion on the topics led by Russell Williams, the John Maxwell Company leader in Southern Illinois.

 

The presenting sponsor of Live2Lead – Southern Illinois: Heartland Regional Medical Center

Additional sponsors: The Southern Illinoisan, AISIN, Watermark Auto Group, Legence Bank, Priority Staffing Group, Harness Digital Marketing, WSIU Public Broadcasting, Walker’s Bluff and John A. Logan College.

HR TN Conference

TN HR Conference 2017

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HR Tennessee 2017

Priority Group’s Heather Goines-Evans, COO, and Chris Nichols, Business Development, attended the HR Tennessee Conference and Exposition, hosted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) from October 1 – 4. Being members of the Middle Tennessee chapter, MT|SHRM, Priority Group was happy to participate in this educational conference in Nashville.

 

MT|SHRM is celebrating their 50th anniversary in 2017, and had the opportunity to host this event, which was the largest TN state conference ever. Over 1,500 HR colleagues, exhibitors, guests and sponsors attended this year’s event.

 

With 78 sessions and workshops in six focus tracks (Business Management & Strategy; Talent Management; Compensation; Benefits; Legal; HR Technology), the conference offered many learning opportunities for Priority Group, so that we can continue to develop our organization in a way that helps our clients and communities.

“Attending this conference gave us the knowledge to deliver more practical solutions to our organization and stay on top of the latest HR developments,” Heather said.

 

The conference opened on Monday with a keynote delivered by Peyton Manning titled Business Lessons from the Gridiron. Other speakers included Dr. Michael Burcham, CEO of Narus Health; and John Daniel, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for First Horizon National Corp.

“The keynotes were really informative,” Chris said. “Peyton Manning did a great job making the connection between managing a football team versus an organization.  Michael Burcham was outstanding as well in discussing How to Think Like a CEO.”

 

The conference as a whole was a great event for Priority Group. We are excited to attend the conference again next year so we can continually develop our Human Resources knowledge.

For questions concerning our business or to learn how we can help you with HR related issues, please email us or call a representative at any of our offices listed below.

Marion, IL – (618) 969-8800 | Vandalia, IL – (618) 283-9533 | Murfreesboro, TN – (615) 295-2127

 

 

How to tell the Difference

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We’ve all been there – the dreaded phone calls from sales professionals at [insert industry here].

It doesn’t matter who they are or where they’re calling from; they’re all the same, right?

Well…no. And we want to tell you why not.

Building Relationships

Chris Nichols, Priority Group’s Director of Business Development makes a point to not be a sales person. The reason is pretty straightforward – a sales professional’s job is to make a deal, sign a contract or get the sale. The job of a business development professional is different, more personal.

More so, in the Staffing and Recruiting industry, developing personal relationships is one of the most important parts of our jobs. “The staffing industry is unique,” Chris says. “Many times companies have been through years of under-performance and retention woes before looking into staffing. They typically make a few phone calls, hope to get pricing and once they get a quote they like, they sign up. The likelihood that the relationship lasts longer than 6 to 12 months isn’t very high. To be successful, it requires a two-way partnership approach. Success will not occur without teamwork.”

Our Partners

Our goal at Priority Group is not to make sales, its to help you grow your business. When your company enters into a relationship with ours, we give 100% to make sure your company is getting our best in terms of communication, transparency, perseverance and whatever else we can do to help you reach your goals, not ours. But by helping your business, it benefits us too. That’s why our partnerships are meaningful.

“Our most successful partnerships over the last seven years have developed when patience and planning prevailed,” Chris explains. “We have found that by sitting down with our clients two to four times prior to kicking off the hiring process, and then following-up often and early in the relationship, our biggest dividends have been earned.”

Chris adds that “the getting-to-know each other phase is the most vital in staffing and recruiting success.” Our job is to bring quality candidates to the client’s office or facility. By getting to know our client, their culture and what they look for in employees, we’re able to satisfy their needs tenfold.

“Relationships require trust. Trust doesn’t happen with one phone call or a lunch. It takes multiple meetings where walls can be torn down and the entities aren’t afraid to share their weaknesses with one another,” Chris tells. “It is also the ability to make a call two months into the partnership and say, “This isn’t working, what can we do to fix it?”

The Difference

All parts of our Business Development process revolve around people. All parts of the sales process revolve around money. And while there is a time and place for transactions and money, Priority Group doesn’t want the sale to be the focus. Just like our name says, your success is our priority – we stand behind that.

To talk to a Priority Group representative about a future partnership, contact any of our locations listed below.

Marion – (618) 969-8800 | Vandalia – (618) 283-9533 | Murfreesboro – (615) 295-2127

 

 

Temporary employees

Temporary Staffing

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Challenge Accepted!

Priority Staffing Group has a trained staff with over 50 years combined job experience in the staffing industry. We fill your needs, including temporary jobs, direct hires and temp-to-hire positions.

While we are probably known for our temp-to-hire contracts, we also service many temporary placements including event service, security, manual labor, maintenance, clerical and more.

A question we’re asked often is How do you find employees to work temporary jobs?

Brandy, Placement Specialist

Brandy Clarida, Placement Specialist

The answer isn’t as simple as one thing, but it has a lot to do with one person on our staff. Brandy Clarida, Placement Specialist, has worked tirelessly to fill over 100 temporary jobs in the last year at Priority Staffing Group.

She has filled jobs for athletic events, concerts, weddings, company picnics, festivals and general labor like railroad flaggers.

Priority Group’s other Placement Specialists help find employees, but keeping it all organized is a huge task she takes on. “When people back out last minute or venues change the start times the morning of the event, it’s a lot of work to keep track of it all,” says Heather Goines-Evans, Priority Group’s Vice President.

Brandy has faced many challenges in this staffing endeavor. “I think the number one challenge is finding applicants that are dependable,” she says.

Many applicants available to work temporary jobs have other daily obligations and tend to call out or not show up on the day of the event. Brandy adds that “it is very hard to have a 100% success rate; there will always be No Call – No Show’s, but I’ve come to learn that’s just human nature.”

Brandy filling temp jobs

Brandy, working hard to fill temp jobs

Emily Melvin, Placement Specialist, says Brandy is always working to build and maintain a pool of good temp worker employees who she can call at a moment’s notice for weekend, same day or next day jobs.  “She is great at thinking on her feet and being relentless in her pursuit of meeting the client’s needs.”

Priority Group uses a variety of methods to reach our temporary candidates. Brandy has gone to the local community colleges and set up a table to recruit.  “The first time I did this, I gained a lot of employees.  I would say I had 15 temporary employees by doing this job fair that stayed with us for several months.”

Extra advertisement, like advertising on the sign in front of the office and partnering with community businesses, has been helpful as well. “The local news station does a Job Squad segment once a week and we give them a few of our jobs we are recruiting for,” Brandy says. “Word of mouth also; we have found some of our employees by our current employees referring them to us.”

Emily knows this can be a very tough job because you get a lot of people who decline the offer after you’ve scouted and offered positions. “When you have spoken with 25-50 people or more, that amount of rejection can start to weigh on you, but Brandy always takes it in stride and doesn’t get discouraged.”

Heather says Brandy does a great job servicing our clients with those true “temp” needs. “She does a great job communicating with the employees – they work multiple events for her. She’s really built quite the event staff pool for us over the last year.”

Staffing for temp events is something you must stay on top of, Brandy says. “If I interview an applicant that I think would be good, I will mention this type of work to them even if we don’t have an immediate need and place them on back up so I can call them when we do need event staff.”

Brandy has a Master’s degree in Social Work that allows her to really connect with our employees. “I think our customer service and the way we treat our applicants helps. They see how we treat people and how we do business, so they tell their friends and word gets around.”

She gets regular temporary workers because of this and some she can even find permanent jobs for.

“Two years ago, we staffed for a very large local venue where they needed 15 to 20 staff each night to work the concerts.  It was a lot of work and a lot went into setting up the employees, but I did heavy recruiting for this and filled it,” Brandy tells.  “We had good reviews from the client on how our employees did.  I later went on to place some of them in permanent positions elsewhere.”

So, while Priority Group contracts many temp-to-hire positions, we also have a fantastic resource for filling strictly temp work as well. Don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for Brandy or any of our other wonderful recruiters!

Contact us by email or call one of our offices below to find out what services we can provide to you.

Marion – 618-969-8800 | Vandalia – 618-283-9533 | Murfreesboro – 615-295-2127

Priority Group Bocce Event

Endure Athletics logo

Endure Athletics Partnership

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Priority Staffing Group is now partnering with one of Murfreesboro’s well-known non-profits, Endure AthleticsChris Nichols, Tennessee’s Director of Business Development & Operations, was recently added to the non-profit’s Board of Directors.

Endure Athletics Non-Profit Logo

Chris decided to join the Board of Directors because of the mission of this non-profit organization. “Sports made me who I am.  It gave me lifelong friends and taught me the value of hard work.  Partnering with Endure Athletics to help make an impact in the lives of Murfreesboro youth is an incredible opportunity.”

 

He also adds that “Joel and Jeannie started Endure Athletics with the mindset that they were looking to break the cycle of poverty.  I can’t think of a better purpose than using sports to give these great kids a hand up in their life journey.”

 

Endure Athletics was formed in 2015 by Joel Bigelow and his wife Jeannie to serve the homeless youth of Murfreesboro.  The organization provides a fee-free, safe, structured and encouraging environment to participate in fitness, athletics, literacy and Christ-Centered mentorship.  Using sports as a catalyst, Endure Athletics is able to connect with the children and begin a relationship. These relationships have a powerful positive effect on each child’s personal, academic and spiritual well-being, which includes prayer & devotional time.

 

Each week, Endure Athletics utilizes their Saturday Fitness & Fun program to provide homemade breakfast to their youth while using the positive benefits such as team-building, conflict resolution and physical activity to increase each child’s confidence and feeling of acceptance.

Throughout the year, Endure Athletics takes the youth on trips to Nashville Sounds games at First Tennessee Park, Middle Tennessee State athletic events, Nashville Predators practices and to visit the Tennessee Titans training camp.

 

Additionally, Endure provides an after-school program aided by MTSU graduate students and retired Rutherford County teachers to assist the youth with school work and class projects. “We personally believe that changing generational poverty can end at the university,” Joel said.

 

Chris Nichols, Non-profit board of directors

To learn more about the mission and vision of Endure Athletics, visit their website.

 

If you are interested in learning how to sponsor a child or making a capital gift to Endure Athletics, contact Chris Nichols at Chris@PriorityStaffingGroup.com.

Risk Management Tips

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How to Manage Risk

Priority Staffing Group sent two representatives to the Risk Control Workshop in Denver, Colorado this month.

Kara Metzger and Ally Farlow spent three  days studying up on risk management procedures and workers’ compensation laws. They learned new tips on how to help both our business and our clients’ businesses.

So, does your company have a plan for when work-related accidents happens?

There are some simple steps that your company can take to create a safe work environment. And when an accident does occur, you should know your employees will have the best care possible.

StethoscopePre-Employment Physicals

  • Pre-employment physicals are a risk management tool used to screen individuals for risk factors that may limit their ability to perform a job safely and effectively.
  • Functional testing before starting work can prove essential function capability, limiting the risk of injuries associated with certain jobs.

Pre-Employment TrainingSafety Training

  • Try to stop the accident from happening in the beginning! You can do this by implementing training videos to make sure that your employees know what kind of work hazards they will be around and how to deal with them properly.
  • Make sure that you hold regular training sessions to keep employees up to date on new rules and regulations and remind them of the correct safety procedures.

Safety Sign

Visual Warnings

  • Have all the appropriate signs posted regarding workplace rules and safety.
  • Make sure all signs are up-to-date and in a heavily trafficked area so all employees can see.

Emergency Plan

Employment Physical

  • Make sure your company has a plan of action when an employee is hurt on the job. Find out what level of care is needed and get the employee taken care of as quickly as possible.
  • Have a designated urgent care set up to send employees so that the process is simple for everyone.
  • Make sure to document all the details of the accident by taking notes and photographs. You should have a standard accident report and witnesses to back everything up. There should always be a signature from the supervisor that was on duty when the accident occurred.

Check mark

An additional tip to help improve safety in the workplace:

  • Have a safety committee. Get together once a month and go over ways to improve workplace safety.

 

Priority Group wants to help our clients establish a safe and prepared work environment. For additional information on our services and how we can help you as a client, email us or call any of our office locations.

Priority Group Staff Photo

Employee Appreciation Weekend

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Priority Group’s three partners, Heather Goines-Evans, Gail Lannom, and Carlos Tanner, extended an invitation to the staff and their families for an Annual Employee Appreciation Weekend!

 

Heather said they offered this event to all three offices and their families because “Priority Group’s success is a direct result of [employees’] hard work, determination and dedication to our vision.”  The company also has several new additions to our team this year and wanted to welcome “your family to our family.”

 

Emily Melvin, Placement Specialist & Heather Goines-Evans, COO

The weekend started on Friday July 28th when Priority Staffing Group closed the office early, rented the Marion Pool for a family pool party and had a cookout in the park. The event was open to all employees and their families.

“I honestly liked the whole weekend and loved that a family included portion was a part of the event,” says Emily Melvin, Placement Specialist in the Marion office.

 

The fun continued the next day when the adults loaded up the Redneck Party Bus to tour a few of Southern Illinois’ best wineries. A twist was also added to the day in the form of a Hawaiian theme. Flower patterns and hula skirts took over the day as everyone enjoyed the company of their Priority Group family.

 

Gail Lannom, PSG Partner

Lindzey Barger, Business Development & Gail Lannom, CEO

“The ‘Redneck’ bus was so funny,” said Gail. “The Southern Illinois wineries are so beautiful, and the music we heard was great too!”

 

The event didn’t focus on the day-to-day operations of business – just some off-the-clock personal time with the rest of the staff. “Sometimes in the hectic days at the office we can forget how fun our co-workers are and how awesome a team we have,” says Emily Melvin. “Fun events help us to realize great positive qualities about our team members and Priority as a whole.”

 

Priority Group believes that appreciated employees will do their best work. Each year, the Staff Appreciation weekend allows our separate offices to come together, socialize and get to know people we wouldn’t otherwise meet. “We have been able to do a company appreciation day every year and I always look forward to this event,” said Gail.

 

2017 Back to School Drive

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Priority Group is hosting a Back to School Drive for The Night’s Shield Children’s Shelter in West Frankfort, Illinois.

The shelter is a private, non-profit organization that provides a 24-hour emergency shelter for abused, neglected and/or abandoned children for the entire state.  The Night’s Shield accepts both male and female children from ages newborn to 18 years. The children are provided food, clothing, medical care, education, and weekly activities.

All donations can be dropped off at Priority Staffing Group’s Marion location from July 24th to August 9th during business hours. Please contact Robyn with any questions about the school drive.