12 Days of Christmas Stories – Day 10

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Today would have been my father-in-law’s 64th birthday. He became an angel before I was around.

Today we celebrated Christmas with family & Grandma, his mom.

The day was filled with togetherness, craziness, memories shared, memories made, sweet treats, good eats, and plenty of stories. J

A few more stories to keep us going:

  • Cleo came to us from a shelter, he was homeless, he had no transportation, and he wanted a chance. We meet with a LOT of people every day, week, month, and year. It’s simply not feasible that we will be that connection or next step for everyone we meet with. But we believed in him, we believed his story, we believed he would be different. We partnered with a client that was on the bus line and arranged a meeting. We made sure he was coached and ready to rock his interview – and he did. He was recently hired on at our customer and is in a role where he has benefits and stability! Way to go Cleo!
  • Matt came to us with 25 years of experience at his previous employer! We went back and forth with him about several opportunities when finally, the right position was in front of us. He sent a note:
    • “…I had to write you this thank you note for finding me this job at [Customer]. It is a perfect fit for both of us. They really like me and it is the same for me with them!”
  • Mario worked for us several years ago. He found his way back to us when he was looking for some part time work to make some extra money. We sent him to a customer where he was working 20 hours a week on top of his 40 hour a week job! He had some home remodeling projects he was eager to save for. Within a matter of weeks, he was outpacing some full time employees and we were hearing rave reviews. Then, one day we heard he was accepting full time work with our client and leaving his other job! He said he was loving it so much he couldn’t refuse! So when we called to congratulate him he said, “If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t be here right now so thank you, thank you, and thank you!”

 Sometimes life is crazy.

Sometimes things don’t work out the way we plan them to.

Laugh with the craziness. Roll with the changes. Embrace the good. Look for the good. Spend energy thinking about the highlight reel. Hold on to the memories that will carry you through, and pause to appreciate the small moments – because when you begin to string them together they become significant.

Perhaps that doesn’t come naturally for you, so hang on to your hat because I’ll be back with more for 9 days J

Merry Christmas to you and yours,

Heather

 

12 Days of Christmas Stories – Day 11

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We are 11 days out from Christmas and I’m still just getting started on telling stories and sharing some of the good in this world J

Every day we are inundated with messages, information, news, stories, our own voices and more. Today, Bri shared this quote from Brenè Brown and it has stuck with me:

“You can choose courage or you can choose comfort. You cannot have both”

 I thought about this related to what we do every day – we’re in HR, we’re in the people business! We talk to active and passive job seekers. We talk to friends and family. We talk to people with courage, some without. We talk to people who are comfortable and some who are not. It brought me back to working with Sarah this year…

Sarah was working at the University of MN, and had been in her role for 14 years; she was looking for a change. At that time, we didn’t have a position for her. Months later, we connected with Sarah about an opportunity. There was something special about that connection – it made sense. It felt right. It fit. So we moved forward and she interviewed with our client. No harm in interviewing while still employed, right? The interview was a slam dunk. The customer LOVED her, she LOVED them! The challenge? Her current role was comfortable, she was safe and had been there for 14 years. Imagine being in her seat, working with a staffing agency (who, as an industry I might add – sometimes doesn’t have the best reputation – hey – we’re aware of it!) for a temp-to-hire position. Would you be skeptical? What would your family say? Would you be nervous? Sarah was, and we were there beside her every step of the way. We are humbled and grateful that Sarah put her trust in us to be an advocate for her and with her, and she trusted herself when she took a leap of faith and accepted this new role.  Talk about choosing courage!

We were so proud to recognize her as a Star Performer this year and we’ll forever remember her surprise and her follow up when she said that she felt like her recruiter was an angel sent from above.

Sarah, if you’re reading this – Thank you for choosing courage, and reminding us all that we can do the same. We’re excited to see you next week for our annual appreciation event to remind you how grateful we are for putting your trust in us. You’ll forever be a part of our Vision Family.

Merry Christmas to you and yours,

Heather

 

12 Days of Christmas Stories- Day 12

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I’m Heather, and I’m one of the story lovers here in our Vision Family. Today marks 12 days until Christmas, and I’m ready to share some Merriment with you all once again. I often say that my mom is my super-hero (I did just yesterday, in fact!), and that’s because she is! In 1985, she drafted her first business plan and established Temporary Assets here in Rogers, MN. It’s been 33 years and we’re still having fun, and living and breathing her philosophy that started it all ….”One Person at a Time”

This fall I had the opportunity to listen to Mel Robbins speak and it was definitely a treat. She touched on how we all think of ourselves as unique or special; maybe we have a learning challenge, perhaps we have dietary restrictions, or a special certificate that sets us apart, or if you’re like my sister you have two different color eyes! We’re all so focused on being different that it’s become divisive and instead of coming together, we push ourselves apart. Regardless of where we’re at in life, Mel argues that there is one thing we ALL have in common – we all want to feel like we matter.

Throughout the year I keep my ears tuned for stories and moments of when we’ve done just that – make others feel that they matter. Here are just a few to get us started….

  • Casey came to us in July and we LOVED meeting with him. He did disclose a condition to us that would essentially require him needing some extra time to get trained in before he would be successful. We had multiple interviews with him, very frank and honest conversations together and with the client, and lo and behold, he has been pulling off 50+ hour weeks and THRIVING. Our client LOVES his positive attitude and personality and considers him to be “such a winner” – we do too!
  • An employee recently called us because she was being evicted from her home (under no circumstances she could control) and she couldn’t stay focused at work. We acted quickly and got her a list of resources for her and she said, “thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you have done for me and my family. It means so much to me to know in a moment like this there are people that can help”
  • In September we received a phone call from Jim, who was recently hired on at our client: “I have worked for a lot of staffing agencies in the past but this is the only staffing agency I’m going to actually miss. You have treated me very well and helped so much when my wife was sick you were all so supportive. Please send me texts checking in once in a while just to say hi.”
  • Jackie sits at our front desk in Rogers and interacts with everyone that comes through our Rogers office. In March we were on site at a customer for a Star Performer. While recognizing a current employee, a former employee of ours that was hired on a couple years ago walked up to her and said hello by name. She was honored to have been remembered, and we were proud to hear that he’s still there achieving continued success!
  • Preston took the time out of his Saturday to come to our job fair we hosted this spring. I’ll never forget him that day, wearing a bowtie – he was dressed to impress. We met up again in person for a longer interview face to face, and we met him on campus at his school since he didn’t have a car to meet at our office. He was so grateful and appreciative for us meeting up with him, we knew our time was well spent and invested and it made all the difference.

Merry Christmas to you and yours,

Heather

The Rest of the Story – Final Edition for 2015

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New Year’s Eve is upon us, as is the final edition of these stories.

It was wintertime.

He came into our office wearing a lightweight, brown, leather jacket without insulation. He said he was referred to us by his ESL instructor and he really needed to work. He was from Morocco. If memory serves us correctly, he had just moved here because his best friend, his brother, had passed away and they owned a business together in his home country. He didn’t have work history to prove to us he had the skills he mentioned, he just kept telling us how handy he was. We turned him away, we didn’t have any opportunities. He came back, for a couple of weeks until he finally said, “Please – just give me a chance, anywhere, you won’t be disappointed”

And so, we turned around and told our customer the same thing. He interviewed him and said “He’s not tall enough to even reach the machines – it’s not going to work out” but by this point, we said, “Just give him a chance – let’s see, at least he has the persistence that sets him apart” and so, he got a chance.

He started on 2/8. He blew his supervisor out of the water:

  • “Awesome team player”
  • “He’s eager, and a big sponge”
  • “He’s always picking up others scraps and helping them out – ever since day 1”
  • “He came to ME and took the initiative to ask for a training packet that we give to full time employees – he wanted to work toward being a FT employee before we even hire him so he’s ready when we do!”
  • “He has good representation coming to work every day with a good attitude, smile on his face, always doing more than what is required”

He was promoted to a different department on 5/9

We recognized him as a Star Performer on 5/26

He was hired on perm on 6/10

Since then, he’s been promoted to shift lead and he continues to stay in touch and even turn business our way when the opportunity presents itself. He loves where he works, he loves who he works with, and he loves that he has stability to support his family – and our customer feels the same. Thank you Driss – You are amazing!

It’s funny, the more good you do and positive energy you spread, the more you get back..this is powerful stuff! I love it and I genuinely hope you do too!

Cheers to 2016!

~Heather Farr

The Rest of the Story

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Every story, no matter how big or small is a story worth being told. I wanted to share some special moments from several others that have shared theirs along the way. Thank you for filling up my cup with your stories, and may you never forget the lives that you’ve touched:

Part of an email to Dan:

Your diligence is always appreciated.  You are well suited for your job and of all the staffing consultants I’ve worked with (plenty!) you are well tuned to not only job seekers but also the needs of the positions you fill.  I have and will continue to recommend you in a second.  

-Grace works for us currently and has worked 13 positions for us since 2005

An employee hired perm:

I can’t thank you enough for all that you have done, your spirit and confidence has been more than inspiring. I am truly enjoying every day and every opportunity that [Customer] has to offer. The gift card will be a jump start to many glorious days to come. Thanks for thinking of me, Dallas.

 An employee that interviewed with us:

“I’m just looking for an opportunity – of all the agencies- I’ve worked with 8 or something….You’re just very well educated, down to earth & I mean – you can read my mind!! I want you to know I appreciate it.”

From a Customer:

You guys always knock it out of the park with the people you bring to us! We have hired on 4 of the 4 people you have sent us and they are all still here!

 From an employee:

I wanted to express my gratitude for the help I received from Vision Staffing Solutions. I was reluctant to use a staffing agency, but after speaking with April and Miranda I felt very much at ease. They weren’t trying to just push me through the system, they were both very patient with me and asked a lot of good questions to make sure they fully understood my skills and what I was specifically looking for. I am confident that this process will produce a good fit for all involved.

Christmas a few years ago:

An older couple was in the conference room and asked me if Courtney was in this office, so I [Deb] went and got Courtney for her.

When Courtney walked in, she introduced herself and handed Courtney some homemade Christmas cookies and said:

 “I just want to thank you.  When my husband lost his job he was so deflated & lost.  It’s not supposed to be, but it is hard to find a job, start over at our age. Then he met with you, and you made him feel he had Value to give to a company.  You found him this great job and made him feel good about himself again. I don’t know if I can ever thank you enough for that.”

Just a couple warm fuzzies to remember what we do every day!

Cheers to a Merry Christmas,

~Heather Farr

The Rest of the Story…

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As I continue to share stories, I am excited to share this one that came straight from our customer in June 2013…an oldie but a goodie!

I believe you already heard about our night shift temp from Vision Staffing who received the “Star Performer of the Month” (by the way, he has now hired on with us).  Well, what you         probably didn’t hear the “rest of the story” as Paul Harvey would say.

Vision brought over 3 of their staffing personnel yesterday afternoon to present Daniel with his award.  The recipients don’t know that they are receiving the award until the Vision Staff shows up to give it to them – generally – they have no clue. 

We gathered the whole night crew in the break room and the Vision Staff proceeded to present the award to Dan, quoting both Craig and their staff on the positive things they’ve heard about his work, etc. leading up to the award.  Dan was visibly “emotional” about the whole ordeal as I think this may have been something he hadn’t experienced in life before. (They also brought chips and cookies for the whole warehouse staff.)

The rest of the story – Dan rides his bicycle – yes, that’s right – bicycle to work every day.  He figures he’s put close to 1000 miles on his bike since he started with us in February.   Vision was told about Dan having to ride his bicycle to work so as part of the reward that Dan received in addition to his name engraved clock and having his name on the Vision company plaque, was an odometer/computer for his bicycle.  Dan was elated as he related to the Vision staff that he had talked with his wife about always wanting an odometer for his bicycle.  He lives close to a Wal-Mart so he walks there for his groceries, etc. and had looked at odometers there before.

Here’s a man who has taken lemons and turned them into lemonade.  His comment on all the miles he puts on just to get to work and back was that it allows him to be in the best shape he’s ever been in.

After the awards, I talked with Jaclyn from Vision who first interviewed Dan for a position at their staffing agency.  She mentioned how they really didn’t have anything available for him at the time and how Dan pleaded with her and let her know that he would make them proud, he would be a dedicated employee, and that he would work as hard as he could no matter where they placed him.  Jaclyn said there was something about his sincerity that made her want to find him something sooner than later.  He was unemployed and desperate to support himself and family.  As Dan stated to Jaclyn after receiving his award and thanking them for the opportunity, “I’ve come a long way since last time you saw me, I had nothing and now I have a good job” and he thanked everyone for the opportunity – pretty cool stuff!!!

I’d have to say, we’re lucky to have him. 

If you find yourself in the warehouse after 3:30PM, please feel free to congratulate Dan on his “Star” performance!!     

~Kurt: Vision Client

The opportunities we have to make a difference go well beyond ‘just’ securing a job for someone. It’s the little moments, the seemingly repetitive moments in our every days that add up to powerful differences.

Happy Friday everyone!

Heather Farr

The Rest of the Story…

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I really wanted to share this story as it is one near and dear to my heart. I do however, want to respect the privacy of those involved so I kept them nameless.

On April 2nd, 2015 a longtime friend of mine emailed me and said…”My son is interviewing for an internship with your company…I saw your face and started to connect the dots.”

So mid-summer this year, I had lunch with my friend. She sat across from me and told me a story of her son and how he had his life planned out – “he was in the military and received top recognition. I mean, he was going places Heather and all of his school was paid for! Then there was a hiccup, a misunderstanding, and it derailed everything he had worked for. I was devastated. He wasn’t. He said he’d figure something out. I tried thinking of everything I could do to ‘clear it up’ and ‘fix it’ for him and he told me to stop. Then he worked hard to find opportunities that he’d be interested in and in that time he found Vision and this internship. Heather, I’ve always thought you were absolutely crazy to do what you do (though I never wanted to tell you that) and I never understood the value or purpose you talked about and I only looked at the Staffing Industry one sided. I was so wrong. My son’s life is forever changed in the direction he belongs and it’s because he was given this opportunity. I’m embarrassed to admit it took me this long to ‘get it’ and I just want you all to know how truly grateful I am”

Her son, our employee, worked as an intern this past summer at a fortune 200 company and did a fantastic job!  He attends Gustavus Adolphus University and his only prior work experience was concrete/pavement work

Our recruiter Dan recruited him, qualified him, and pushed for him to get the position and continued to follow up and support him through his entire summer all the way until the final presentation when he was blown away.

Thank you Dan, for ‘connecting the dots’ for my friend. One person at a time, can make a powerful difference.

Now you know The Rest of the Story

~Written by Heather Farr~

The Rest of the Story…

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I had to share another..this is a supervisor at one of our clients who we placed there, here is what he had to say…

“I’m forever grateful to April – she found me this job you know. I had been talking with her on and off for a long time. I was unemployed for almost a year you know. I told her I didn’t have any printing experience and she said, ‘just go down there and talk to them, OK?’ and I did and it was good but then she called me a week later and said ‘You’re meeting with  the owner tomorrow’ and I said, ‘well I can’t, I have an interview tomorrow’ and she said, ‘No, you need to figure out how to meet with him tomorrow’ and so, I just did what she told me to do and I met with him. I called her and told her it went fine but I don’t think it’s going to turn into anything and she laughed and said, ‘well, I’m writing up an offer letter right now so it is something’ and then she told me I had to start on July 1st or something and I said ‘what the heck am I going to do for 2 days before the holiday?!’ and so, well, I started and I basically hung out for two days with the the owner and now look – here I am. This is the best job. Very stressful but very fun. When I hit 90 days everyone came out and gave me a round of applause and congratulated me. This is a family show around here, I really enjoy it and it’s been a helluva ride!”

What a great placement, he sat telling me about all of the transformations that have happened since he started and the difference he’s been able to make in the culture – we talk about “Fit” often, and this is a GREAT success story of finding the right “Fit”!

Happy Happy Friday!

Heather Farr,  Managing Partner – Story Lover

 

The Rest of the Story…

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I was inspired by Christmas Wish on the radio and Mom’s favorite Paul Harvey, so I decided every Friday this month – I’m going to share a story. Anyone who knows me well, surely knows that I LOVE stories and I’m basically a professional story seeker (ha! ha!) Today’s story is twofold, this is part I…

Dan (a recruiter) was being super helpful and talked with an employee and passed along the note that he wishes to get a raise. So I started emailing his supervisor…then decided that I’d learn more CALLING him. SO I did, and boy did I learn a lot. I had to share it..this is what happened:

The employee started with this customer on 11/21/2014 on a short term assignment doing packaging. He’s also has worked some short term stuff for us and interviewed several places without getting the job. He is a shy guy, a quiet fellow, found his way to us through Indeed, looking for $12/hr, needing the bus line, and after interviewing with us, we thought he was a GREAT REP! So he was placed at a client of ours on short terms jobs in hopes to land a long term position soon. He always returned to our client without missing a beat whenever they needed him.

Today, I checked in on his performance again, to which his supervisor said:

“He’s doing great – He is dynamite! in fact I’d like to get him hired! He’s stepped up to the plate. He has leadership qualities – you can’t even imagine. During this last 6 weeks of working 7 days a week, 12-14 hour days, I saw it come out in him. He’s dynamite! Stays on task, you can put him in with a group of people and he’ll lead the pack, he’s tremendous! I don’t know why I didn’t see it  before. He’s really stepped up to the plate, I am really impressed by it. He has really opened up my eyes. People get their switches turned on at different times. Maybe it was confidence, I don’t know. That’s what you like to see in people you like to see people succeed!”

 I’d like to introduce you to who I’m talking about – HE is just one of our RockStaR employees we get to work with every day. HE feels the difference in what we do, and HE is Willie G!

Now YOU know, the REST of the story :)!

Happy Friday!

Heather Farr, Managing Partner & Story Lover! 

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