Hiring Process Archives - Manpower Maine

Tag: Hiring Process

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Ask Manpower: Applying And Not Hearing Back

Ask Manpower:

I have been applying to a bunch of jobs, but it seems like I never hear back. What should I do?

This is a question we hear a lot in our business. Understandably, job seekers find themselves frustrated when they are applying to multiple jobs and not hearing back. If you have found yourself out of work unexpectedly, or if you desperately need to make a job change it is already a stressful time and not hearing back can feel incredibly defeating. While we cannot guarantee that you will hear back from every company you apply to, we do have some tips that will help you get noticed and increase the likelihood of being called back.

Be More Selective About What You Are Applying For

Yes, you want/need a job. And you are likely willing to do just about anything – only, it really isn’t that simple. When an employer is looking to hire, they are looking for people that have both the direct working experience and skills necessary to do the job. The world of work moves at a rapid pace and it leaves little time for training staff. So if you are applying to a ton of jobs, it is likely that you are not being as selective as you should be and carefully applying to positions that are a match for your skills and experience.

When searching for work, be sure to thoroughly read through the job description. Pay close attention to the skills and experience they are looking for. Can you clearly describe to this employer what you bring to the table and how it will help you be successful in this role? If so, great – continue on to the next step. If not, you should probably spend your time looking for another opportunity.

Take the Time to Modify Your Resume for Each Job

As noted above, every ‘good’ job advertisement is going to clearly outline the skills, experience, and qualifications that they are looking for in a candidate. They may use different terms or acronyms to describe what they do. They may call special attention to a certain quality that they are looking for. Before you just send off that same old resume that you have sent to every other employer, take the time to ensure that you are including that information.

The reality is, most employers do not have the time to fully read every resume they get due to having other responsibilities as well as the sheer volume of resumes they get. This means that they are likely scanning through resumes to look for those key attributes that they listed in their job description. From there they will quickly identify a couple people that they are interested in speaking with. The others will likely get placed in the no pile, never to be revisited again.

Double-check Your Contact Information

As simple as this may seem, you would be surprised how often this is an issue. In our line of work, we process hundreds of applications and resumes each month. Common issues we see for contact information are: the wrong/disconnected telephone number, an outdated/out of area address, a less than appropriate email, a lack of voicemail access, and transposed numbers. All of these missteps could quickly move you out of the running for a job that you would be a great fit for.

You also want to be fully aware of the information that can be gathered by simply googling your name. Before you dive right in and start applying for your dream job – make the time to do a simple internet search on yourself and adjust settings on your social profiles if there is any chance that it could negatively impact someone’s perception of you.

Follow Up On Your Application

It is perfectly acceptable to follow up on your application for a job that was advertised within a reasonable time frame. We don’t recommend a high-pressure approach though. All too often employers are eager to get a job out there to start accepting applications, but may not have the immediate capacity to follow up on those applications – so a little patience is encouraged. Most employers we know would be okay with an applicant calling to perform a simple follow up 1 week after they submitted their application.

Again, you should take a soft approach when making this contact whether it be through email or over the phone. Simply say something like, “Good morning (hiring manager’s name), I wanted to take a moment to reach out to make sure that you received my application for your (insert job title). Given my experience and what I read about this position, I am very interested in learning more.” This approach let’s the hiring manager know to look for your resume and demonstrates that you are still interested and engaged in the process.

As you can see, while there are pieces of the hiring process that are out of your control – there are still many things you can control.

About Manpower’s General Application Process

Due to the large number of businesses we work with and the wide variety of skills they are looking for – Manpower offers a general application process. What this means is that you can apply directly to Manpower and one of our recruiters will reach out to talk with you about all the skills and experience you offer in order to consider you for many different jobs we are hiring for.

Get Noticed by The Right People at The Right Time – With Manpower!

Contact one of our staffing experts today!

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Back to Basics: Digital Communication in the Job Search

With more ways to apply for work now than ever before, it’s no surprise that some job seekers are left wondering about digital etiquette and best practices. If, like most people, you are conducting your job search online, check out Manpower’s tips to help enhance your results and land that next great opportunity:

Keep Your Emails and Messages Professional

Email is such a fast, convenient method of communication, and more and more employers are getting on board with accepting applications via social media as well. While these methods of communication may feel more casual in some ways, it’s important to recognize that all communication with a potential employer should be conducted professionally, regardless of whether it is occurring digitally or not. Avoid the use of emojis, unnecessary abbreviations, and of course, vulgar language. Maintaining a professional tone and ensuring proper spelling and punctuation will bring you one step closer to making a great first impression that leaves the company wanting to know more.

Be Mindful of Document Formats

When applying for work, try to send your resume in PDF format if possible, unless the company has specified a different preferred format. Depending on the word processing software you use, people may or not be able to access the documents you send them. Adobe Reader is standard software for most businesses, so sending a PDF will ensure that your application can be opened. Providing an accessible resume from the get-go will help speed up the process for you, because you won’t have to worry about emailing back and forth to provide alternative formats.

Clean Up (or Secure) Your Social Media Profiles

You have a right to post what you want and talk about what you want on your personal social media profiles – but that doesn’t mean that highly controversial, raunchy, or explicit content doesn’t have the potential to negatively impact your professional reputation or affect a potential employer’s perception of your professionalism. When you are looking for work, it’s a good idea to clean up your profiles to avoid content that you wouldn’t want seen by a supervisor, coworker, or potential employer. If you’d rather not delete the content, simply adjust your privacy settings so that only your friends or people you give permission to can see what you share.

Prioritize Data Security

While advances in technology have enhanced our job search options in many ways, it has also opened us up to increased risk. Scammers may post illegitimate job opportunities or pretend to be a representative of an established company in attempts to phish for your personal data. Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to protect yourself. When evaluating job advertisements that you’re considering applying to, be on the lookout for anything that doesn’t seem right – improper spelling or grammar, unofficial email addresses, or links that don’t appear to be affiliated with the company are common red flags.
Be cautious when responding to individuals that approach you about opportunities you did not apply for, and be sure to do some research and verify their legitimacy before providing any kind of information. If you’re not sure whether an opportunity is legitimate or not, reach out to the company directly using contact information provided on an official website – not the email or phone number provided by the person who reached out to you. Trust your instincts – if something doesn’t feel right or the facts aren’t adding up, do not respond, click suspicious links, or download any unexpected attachments.

When it comes to navigating the world of work – Manpower is here to help! 

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Back to Basics: Cooperation in the Job Search

Every employer wants to hire people that can work well with a team – but how do you demonstrate that you’re a team player before you’ve even got your foot in the door? Showing a potential employer that you possess this quality goes beyond just saying the right things about how you’ve worked with teams in the past – you’ve got to walk the walk by being cooperative throughout the application and interviewing process. Here are a few simple ways you can use cooperation to inspire trust in your ability to thrive with a team:

Follow the Specified Application Process

Applying for the job is your first chance to demonstrate that you are cooperative and able to follow directions, so be sure to seize that opportunity to make a great first impression. Employers often specify how to apply right in their job advertisement – common methods include emailing a resume, applying through the job board the ad is on, or applying through a portal located on the company’s website. Read through the ad carefully and follow the process they’ve asked you to. By doing this, you not only send the message that you’re cooperative and paying attention to detail, but you also help expedite the timely processing of your application by sending it through the preferred channels.

Answer Questions Honestly

Being friendly and cooperative in the interview is one of the best ways to keep the hiring process moving in a positive direction, and being honest is an important way to demonstrate cooperation. For instance, if you have schedule restrictions that interfere with work hours, it’s important to communicate that information as soon as possible. Otherwise, you are not setting yourself or the company up for success, because you are knowingly putting yourself in a situation where you will not be able to fulfill the job’s requirements. Being honest will prevent disappointment and frustration for everyone in the long run, and it may even help you uncover a more suitable opportunity – the company may have other schedules or alternate positions available that better meet your needs. You can’t know for sure until you have that conversation!

Follow Through with Each Step

The need for cooperation doesn’t end after the interview – hopefully you’re just getting started and will soon be part of a mutually beneficial employment partnership!  To keep the hiring process moving in that exciting direction, cooperate with the company by following through with any additional tasks you’re asked to complete. Whether the employer has asked for additional details, arranged for you to complete a physical or drug screen, or requested that you complete required documentation, they’re asking these things of you because they want you on their team, and they need your help to make it happen. You’ve come this far, so don’t give up now!

Respect the Hiring Timeline

When you’re excited about a job opportunity, waiting to hear back from potential employers can be stressful. It’s okay to follow up on the status of your application, but be sure to do so with respect for the hiring timeline laid out by the company. The best way to ensure you’re doing this is to ask at the interview. Both “How soon are you expecting to make a decision?” or “When should I expect to hear back from you regarding your decision?” are perfectly reasonable questions to ask. Then, in the spirit of cooperation and professional courtesy, honor that timeline. Calling or emailing repeatedly, especially before the established time frame is over, will not make the process move any faster – and can even be seen as disrespectful. If the hiring manager stated they wouldn’t be making a decision for another week, follow up once if you haven’t heard back after that one-week period.

Don’t Ghost

We get it – it can be uncomfortable to tell a potential employer that you have decided not to move forward with the hiring process. However, they understand that life happens, and they won’t take it personally. Whether you’ve found a new job, decided to move, or your circumstances have changed and you’re not quite ready or able to start working yet, the best thing you can do to is to be upfront with the employer as soon as possible. Whatever your reason may be, they will appreciate your straightforwardness so that they can move on to other qualified applicants and keep their hiring process moving in a productive direction. Plus, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you haven’t burned any bridges, and can still benefit from open doors of opportunity with that company should you decide to apply again in the future.

Whether you are looking for a new job or your next great employee, Manpower is here to help.

Contact one of our staffing experts today!

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Back to Basics: Communication in the Job Search

Have you ever been in a situation where you’re trying to explain something, but the person you’re talking to just isn’t understanding your message? If so, you understand how frustrating miscommunication can be. Communication is arguably one of the most important soft skills, so it’s no surprise that when it comes to the job search, being able to share information in a clear and concise manner is crucial. Keep reading for some great tips on how to improve your communication with potential employers and enhance your job search success.

Be an active listener.

Communication is a two-way street, so the key to success in any interaction is to not only communicate what you have to say, but also to be committed to hearing and understanding what the other person has to tell you. When you’re looking for work, the employer communicates with you in a number of ways, such as detailing what they’re looking for in their job advertisement, telling you more about their company, and asking for more information about you to uncover whether you’d be a good fit for their team. Listen carefully, provide honest responses, and if you don’t understand something, ask questions to clarify. This will ensure that you’re both on the same page from the very start, and will help you form a solid foundation for what will hopefully become a mutually beneficial employment partnership.

Communicate your value.

One of the most important aspects of communication during the job search is being able to clearly and accurately articulate what you’re looking for and what you bring to the table – mastering this skill will make all the difference in your ability to find (and get hired for) jobs best suited to your skills, experience, and career goals. Before you apply, carefully read through the job description, and make sure your application or resume reflects all the skills and experiences you have that are relevant to fulfilling the job requirements. If you’re contacted for a phone or in-person interview, do a little practice beforehand to get yourself comfortable with talking about your work history and how those experiences have prepared for you for success in this new role. Doing this consistently will increase your chances of success by helping you stand out amongst other applicants!

Be accessible.

The application process can only move forward if you maintain open lines of communication with potential employers – this means being accessible by providing accurate contact information, ensuring your voicemail is set up and able to receive messages, and responding to communications in a timely manner. All too often, employers receive applications that they are excited to follow up on, only to discover that the applicant’s phone number is out of service, or have their email returned as undeliverable. It’s a shame to miss out on a great employment opportunity due to such an easily avoidable error, so when you’re applying for work, take a moment to double check your information and ensure that interested employers have a reliable way to reach you.

Keep it professional.

Job seekers have more options to apply than ever before. In addition to tried & true methods like applying in person or via a job board, those seeking employment now find that they can apply to open positions via social media, or text companies to express their interest. This is a wonderful thing because it opens up a world of new possibilities for companies and job seekers alike, but it is very important to keep professionalism in mind now matter how you choose to apply. Most people have casual relationships with texting and social media, so it might feel natural to abbreviate words, skip punctuation, or use a more informal tone when communicating using those methods. However, whether you’re texting, calling, or messaging a company over Facebook, the person you’re speaking with is evaluating you for potential employment.
Your email address and the name you use on social media are best kept professional and relevant as well – something simple – preferably your real name – is perfect. Also keep in mind that unless you’ve made your profile private, all of its contents (including photos, memes, and posts from your friends) are visible to employers and may impact their perception of your professionalism. Think carefully about what you post publicly – if it’s highly controversial, not safe for work, or otherwise contains information that you wouldn’t want your supervisor to see, you may want to adjust your privacy settings accordingly.

Don’t overshare.

Another way to ensure that you communicate in a professional manner is to avoid oversharing.  Providing too much personal or unrelated information can be distracting and even unprofessional in an interview or conversation with a possible employer, and has the potential to steer an otherwise great interview in a bad direction. While you do want to make a genuine connection with your interviewer, remember that there is a difference between building professional rapport and making a personal friend. If you find yourself sharing too much, bring the conversation back to the job and what you bring to the table – that way, you can keep your interviewer’s attention on what makes you a great fit for the job.

Be mindful of body language.

Communication isn’t just what you say, it’s how you say it. Your posture, eye contact, facial expressions, and overall attentiveness to the other person can speak volumes, so being mindful of these things in your professional interactions can help you make a great impression on employers. If you’re not sure how your body language comes across, ask a trusted friend to do a short ‘mock interview’ with you and provide honest feedback. Positive, appropriate body language – like sitting up straight, maintaining natural eye contact, not fidgeting with your phone or other objects, and avoiding eye rolling or other disrespectful gestures – will help you communicate that you are professional, respectful, interested in the job, and engaged in the hiring process.

Whether you are looking for a new job or your next great employee, Manpower is here to help.

Contact one of our staffing experts today!

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Back to Basics: Dependability in the Job Search

Dependability is a trait that all companies look for in potential employees. Why? Think about it – if you need to hire someone to do something for you, like fixing wiring in your home, will your first choice be an electrician who came with excellent recommendations, or one with a history of showing up late and doing poor quality work? It is likely that you will choose the one who seems to be the most dependable and qualified, because the safety of your home and your need for electricity depends upon it.
It’s no different when companies are hiring; they too have an important job that needs to get done, and they need to be able to count on whomever they entrust it to, because the future of their business and the success of their team depends on it. You can have a dazzling personality and great professional experience, but if a hiring manager has doubts about whether you can be depended on to consistently show up and consistently perform your job to the best of your ability, they may decide that employing you would not result in a stable, successful partnership.
Don’t leave your job search success to chance – follow these simple tips to inspire confidence in your dependability:


One great way to put your best foot forward AND ease your pre-interview jitters is to prepare for your interview. Carefully read through the job advertisement and do some research on the company – their website is a great place to start. This research will help you with the second phase of your interview preparation: practicing discussing your work history and answering common interview questions. Being knowledgeable about the job and the company will help you develop a greater understanding of what they are looking for, so as you’re answering their questions, you can ensure that you discuss your most relevant experience, skills, and traits. Practicing some of these responses beforehand will help you feel more confident and ready to communicate why you’re the best person for the job.
If you’ve been asked to bring a resume, transcript, or any other additional materials with you, print them out in advance and put them somewhere you will see them before you leave for the interview so that you won’t forget them.

Show Up on Time, Focused, and Ready.

Setting the expectation that people can count on you is important, especially in the early stages of the hiring process – hiring managers don’t have much information about you at that point, so their observations of your behavior during the process play a significant role in their decision making. So show up on time, be ready to talk about your work history, and focus your attention on your interviewer. Plan on shutting your phone off upon arrival to your interview and checking any personal issues at the door. This will help you minimize distractions so you can be fully engaged and make the best first impression possible.

Follow Through with Agreed Upon Tasks in a Timely Manner.

If the company requests that you take additional steps after the interview, such as providing additional information or completing assessments, that’s a good sign – it means they’re interested in you and want to know more! But don’t get too comfortable yet; be sure to follow through with these tasks in a timely manner. Think of it like completing your first work assignment – would you approach that with the mindset of ‘I’ll get to it when I get to it’? Of course not! You’d prioritize it to show that it’s important to you, that you can rise to the challenge, and you can be counted on when it matters most. Now is the time to show them all of those desirable qualities and establish yourself as a reliable and dependable worker.

Don’t Ghost.

Maybe you found a different job, maybe you’re no longer interested, or maybe life circumstances changed and pursuing this opportunity no longer makes sense for your situation. It’s okay to change your mind, but whatever the reason, be respectful by promptly notifying the employer. This not only helps prevent wasted time and effort on their part, but also helps you preserve your reputation with that company. You never know when another job with that organization might become available, and if you’ve proven yourself undependable by disappearing on the hiring manager, it’s likely that door of opportunity will be closed to you.

Communicate in Advance.

Make sure you are communicating important information in a timely manner so that both you and the employer are on the same page throughout the process. For instance, if you’ve accepted a job interview, but your circumstances change and the schedule that was advertised will no longer work for you, contact the employer to discuss those changes prior to the interview. Maybe they’ll have another shift or job opening they could consider you for, maybe they won’t – either way, they will appreciate that they can count on your honesty, and you’ll both be better off knowing where things stand before investing more valuable time and energy.
Similarly, if you have concerns about the job or work environment, don’t just keep them to yourself and hope for the best – discuss them during the interview so that you can get more information and make an educated decision about your employment. This will help you prevent entering jobs or work environments that aren’t a good fit for you, enabling you to focus your search on jobs you can thrive in.

Whether you are looking for a new job or your next great employee, Manpower is here to help.

Contact one of our staffing experts today!

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Back to Basics: Appropriate Behavior in the Job Search

It’s amazing how putting a group of different personalities in one space can create such a vibrant and diverse work environment. Different people bring with them new approaches, strengths, and ideas – and employers understand that these things lead to a more well-rounded team as well as improved business results. If everyone was the same, not only would that be boring, but lack of diversity in thought would likely stagnate progress. An important thing to keep in mind, however, is that no matter how different we all are, there is a minimum standard of acceptable behavior that we must adhere to in the world of work – and employers are paying attention to how you conduct yourself in interviews to make sure you can meet that standard. To keep your behavior in check, be mindful of these simple tips when you head to your next interview:

Show Up on Time to Your Interviews

This tip never goes out of style, and following it is imperative to job search success. When you set an appointment for an interview, the person you’re meeting with has carved out that time especially for you. If for any reason you are running late, cannot keep the appointment, or are no longer interested in the job, it is common courtesy to notify the employer as soon as you can before the appointment. Life happens and things come up – but failing to take the simple step of notifying your interviewer shows a lack of respect for the employer’s time and hiring efforts, and demonstrates that you’re either not taking your job search seriously, or you lack reliability. Reliability is a core trait that employers look for in potential employees, so it is vital that you take the steps needed to show that you have it.  Nobody likes to be brushed off or stood up – or hire people that they can’t count on.

Don’t Bring Uninvited Guests

We all like a cheering section, but when arriving for an interview, don’t bring an entourage. If you need the assistance of an authorized support person, that is one thing – but bringing your significant other or friends could negatively impact your candidacy. An interview is a professional occasion and should be treated as such; uninvited guests could be a distraction that draws your interviewer’s attention away from where it should be – on you and all the things that make you the right person for the job. It may also cause the hiring manager to question how seriously you are looking for work, and that is not a concern you want to raise when you’re trying to build a relationship with a potential employer. In addition to interviewing independently, make sure you are following up on your applications independently as well – having someone take this step for you, once again, raises concerns about your level of engagement in the process – and employers can’t discuss that information with anyone but the applicant anyway.

Turn Off Your Cell Phone the Moment You Arrive

Just as you deserve the undivided attention of your interviewer, they deserve your undivided attention as well. To minimize distractions and avoid disrespectful behavior like checking your phone – or worse – taking a call during your interview, turn off your cell the moment you arrive at the interview location. We’ve all become so dependent on our phones that checking it is often like a reflex – sometimes we’re scrolling through our feeds before we even realize it.  So even if you put yours on silent with the best of intentions, you’re taking a chance. It’s best to just remove that temptation altogether. The hiring manager will appreciate your attentiveness, and your focus will help you nail those interview questions!

Don’t Try to Argue Your Way into a Job

You’ll never argue your way into a job – in fact, being belligerent or argumentative in the interview is a great way to ensure that you are not given consideration for that job or any other within the company. Soft skills like communication and teamwork are very important in nearly every work environment, so if you cannot express disagreement or difference in opinion tactfully and respectfully within the interview, it doesn’t build any faith in your ability to do so on the job. To preserve your credibility with the employer and keep the hiring process moving in a positive direction, always be respectful and mindful of manners – including what you say and the tone in which you say it.

Whether you are looking for a new job or your next great employee, Manpower is here to help.

Contact one of our staffing experts today!

personal accountability
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Back to Basics: Leveraging Personal Accountability in Your Job Search

personal accountabilityPersonal accountability isn’t just about owning up to mistakes; it’s also about recognizing that you are in control of your actions, behavior, and attitude – and then taking the next best step to move forward in a productive manner. Recognizing this will serve you well and help you succeed in many areas of life, and your job search is no exception. By holding yourself accountable in your search for work and taking ownership of the factors within your control, you can greatly increase your chances of landing a job that is well-suited to your skills. Plus, it will help increase your confidence by reminding you that you have the power to influence your career and your future. Here are some simple personal accountability tips to keep in mind during your job search:

Apply to Jobs That You Are Reasonably Qualified For

It’s a great idea to be on the lookout for opportunities to learn new things, hone your skills, or apply transferable skills in a new way that can help you take your career to the next level – stretching yourself helps you grow! Having said that, there is a difference between trying to stretch your skills into a new position and applying to a job for which you are simply not qualified.  Part of being personally accountable in your job search is understanding that not every opportunity out there is going to be the right one for you. If a job description states that a highly specialized degree and numerous years of experience are required, but you have neither, applying to that job may not the best use of your time or energy – and could send the message to the employer that you either didn’t read the job description or you don’t understand what you’re applying to. So be sure to take a little time and care when looking for and applying to jobs – your next opportunity is out there, and a focused approach will help you find it even faster.

Never Lie on an Application

Hiring managers don’t expect you to be perfect. Everyone makes mistakes, and while they can be embarrassing to talk about, what separates good candidates from truly great ones is the ability to acknowledge past mistakes and demonstrate that they’re committed to not making them again. You might be tempted to brush your recent termination or period of job-hopping under the rug, but it’s important not to lie or misrepresent yourself in any way. Keep in mind that people respect and enjoy being around those that are accountable for their actions, and are more likely to forgive past wrongs if you take ownership of them and communicate your plan for not repeating the same behaviors in the future. As you communicate this information to a potential employer, try to stick to the facts and avoid excessive storytelling. After all, an interview is a professional setting and should be treated as such.

Be Prepared

Preparing for interviews is another important way to hold yourself personally accountable for your job search. This preparation doesn’t have to be scary – in fact, in can be quite empowering to recognize that you are a decision maker in the interview as well. So, as a decision maker, you need to gather data to help you determine if the job is a good fit for you. What does the company do? What does the job entail? What kind of environment will you be working in? Doing a little research beforehand will not only impress your interviewer and help show that you’re taking the process seriously, it will also help you ask good questions so that you can make an informed decision about whether this is the right opportunity for you.

Have a Good Attitude

Have you ever heard the expression “you’ll catch more bees with honey than you will with vinegar”? It’s true. Being positive and respectful can go a long way in your job search. Being unemployed or making a transition in your career can be a stressful time filled with anticipation and uncertainty, but as frustrating as it may be at times, be mindful about not taking that frustration out on others. Most companies would rather hire someone who is pleasant and professional, even if they have slightly less experience, than a candidate who meets all the requirements but is rude or disrespectful.

Follow Through

Being personally accountable in the job search also means being consistent with follow-up steps. You must ensure you’re accessible by providing accurate contact information, setting up your voicemail, and checking your email periodically. If a potential employer reaches out to you, follow up in a timely manner, even if it’s only to say that you’re no longer available or interested. Ghosting employers can reflect negatively on you, and following up is a simple but powerful way to demonstrate your respect for a hiring manager’s time and effort – so don’t just fall off the radar.

Whether you are looking for a new job or your next great employee, Manpower is here to help.

Contact one of our staffing experts today!