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4 tips to avoid discrimination in a job interview

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Are you a recruiter, employer, or manager that needs to interview applicants for a current job opening? If so, here are four tips to ensure you ask non-discriminatory questions and behave impartially when choosing a candidate.

1. Avoid the personal
You should never ask an applicant about their age, ethnicity, family situation, romantic relationship, religion, gender, or sexual orientation in a job interview. However, this doesn’t mean the candidate can’t bring up these topics on their own.

2. Target your questions
Instead of asking the applicant personal questions to gain insight into their abilities, focus on the requirements needed for the job. For example, rather than directly addressing the applicant’s family situation, ask if they’re available to work evenings and weekends.

3. Prepare ahead of time
Write out all your questions in advance. This will prevent you from improvising and accidentally formulating a question that could be interpreted as discriminatory. Carefully choose your words so you’ll get the information you need about each candidate.

4. Be consistent
Make sure you ask each applicant the same questions. For example, you could create a scoring grid to fill out at each interview. This will also give you an overview of the candidates’ answers and help you make the right decision.

Remember, human rights laws prohibit discriminatory employment practices. Make sure you put your best foot forward by avoiding any questions that may come off as prejudiced.

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Business

How to welcome a teleworking employee

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Telecommuting has become increasingly popular in recent years. It allows companies to recruit qualified talent across the globe. If your company is about to welcome a new telecommuting employee, here’s how to do it.

• Talk about the company. Describe the company’s mission, values, and other information to help employees develop a sense of belonging.

• Present your tools. Familiarize the employee with the tools, software, and online platforms the company uses daily.

• Offer mentoring. Ensure the new employees know they have someone they can lean on and contact if they need help. This will help them feel at ease.

• Introduce the team. Set up a video chat to introduce the entire team. You can reserve extra time for the employee to get to know the colleagues they’ll be working with directly.

• Follow up. Ensure new employees receive feedback from their immediate colleagues in the first few weeks to help them adjust. The recruit should feel free to ask questions without fear of judgment.

Are you looking for telecommuting employees to join your team?

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Job Market

Cities work to lure remote tech workers

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Some tech workers are ditching San Francisco and other areas with high living costs and relocating to more affordable areas instead. And many cities are rolling out the red carpet, aiming to attract highly skilled workers, along with the knowledge and tax revenues they bring with them.

Many cities offer relocation bonuses and other perks to entice remote workers. Why should you choose Tulsa over Memphis? Well, for one, Tulsa could pay you $10,000 to move. The cities that are most aggressively courting remote workers have suffered contracting or slow-growing populations. By drawing in new workers, cities hope to grow their tax base and attract high-value industries, such as tech and engineering.

Tulsa is running one of the best-known programs, offering remote workers $10,000 grants and free access to co-working spaces. The local government also coordinates with other organizations to host events and to help newcomers feel welcomed. Since 2018, Tulsa Remote has drawn in over 1,200 remote workers.

Tulsa is far from alone. At least 70 cities and regions have set up similar programs. The Northwest Arkansas Council launched a Life Works Here initiative, also providing $10,000 grants. Tuscon, Arizona, provides $1,500 to cover relocation costs, plus other benefits. Meanwhile, Hamilton, Ohio, is offering STEM workers who relocate $10,000 that can be put towards paying off student loans.

Freelancing website UpWork estimates that 22 percent of the American workforce, over 36 million people, will be working remotely by 2025. An Owl Labs study found that 16 percent of companies are already fully remote globally. Even as offices open back up, the Pew Research Center has found that 61 percent of employees continue to work from home simply because they prefer to do so.

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3 essential qualities for IT professionals

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Whether you already work in information technology (IT) or are just starting your studies, here are three qualities essential to your success.

1. Analytical skills
As an IT employee, you’re often required to solve problems. Consequently, you must enjoy challenging yourself and looking for innovative solutions. You must also be inherently curious to stay updated with the latest technologies in a constantly evolving field.

2. Communication skills
IT specialists must be able to communicate with their colleagues and clients. This means you must be good at conveying your ideas, making yourself understood, and finding the best moments to do so.

3. Organizational skills
If you want to thrive in IT, you must have exceptional organizational skills. Depending on your job, your colleagues may regularly interrupt you and require you to switch gears constantly. Therefore, you must be well organized and able to multi-task to keep up with your workload.

Do you have these qualities? If so, you have everything you need for a long career in this promising field.

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Business

4 strategies for retaining your employees

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As the job market becomes increasingly competitive, it can be challenging to retain your employees. Here are four strategies to help keep your talent.

1. Focus on communication. Communicate openly with your employees. Listen to their concerns and be open to new ideas. Let them know they’re heard and that you take them seriously.

2. Think about development. Employees often quit because of a lack of advancement opportunities. Therefore, provide training so your employees can develop their potential, avoid boredom and take on new challenges.

3. Offer benefits. Ask your employees what your company could improve and add these to their benefits and perks. For example, you could include group insurance, paid holidays, yoga classes, flexible working hours, and telemedicine.

4. Get out of the office. Create opportunities for your employees to socialize and have fun in a context that doesn’t revolve around work. Use the opportunity to celebrate their successes.

Employee retention also depends on effective recruitment. Therefore, use a specialized agency to start your talent search today.

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Tips for negotiating a salary proposal

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Did you receive a job offer, but the salary is too low? Here are a few tips to help you negotiate a higher salary that matches your skills.

The criteria
Companies tend to set their employees’ salaries based on specific criteria. Among other things, internal equity is typically a factor. This means your salary should be reasonable compared to other team members with the same position and level of seniority. The salary amount may also be based on the company’s budget and urgency to fill the position.

The context
You’re much more likely to negotiate a higher salary if you’re the company’s first choice. If the recruitment process drags on or you feel like you’re one of many candidates on a waiting list, you may be a second or third choice. In this case, asking for a better salary could be futile.

Points to talk about
Some things, such as vacation days and working hours, are difficult to keep secret and can cause dissatisfaction or jealousy among colleagues. Therefore, you should focus on confidential aspects of the job, like your salary and a company computer or cell phone.

Whatever your proposal, end it with an open question like “What do you think?” to get the discussion going.

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Demand for truckers is on the rise

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This year, National Truck Driver Appreciation Week takes place from September 11 to 17, 2022. This event is an opportunity to celebrate truckers and their integral role in delivering goods safely, securely, and on time.

However, demand for truckers has skyrocketed in the past few years, leading to a shortage of qualified personnel. The American Trucking Association (ATA), which represents the trucking industry, estimates that the industry is short 80,000 drivers. That shortage is expected to grow to 160,000 by 2030. The COVID-19 pandemic contributed to this shortfall as many older drivers chose early retirement, and training offered by driving schools was disrupted.

The good news is that the United States government is taking several measures to address these challenges. Initiatives are underway to improve working conditions, and innovative workforce programs are being developed to recruit, train, and retain drivers. Efforts are underway to recruit from underrepresented communities like women, the formerly incarcerated, and service-disabled veterans.

Are you cut out for a career in trucking?

If you want to explore a career as a trucker, you must be sharp-minded and thrive under stressful mental and physical conditions.

The trucking industry is known for its welcoming atmosphere. What’s more, pay has been increasing along with other benefits, making commercial drivers some of the best-paid individuals outside the office.

Trucking is definitely a career to consider if you’re adventurous, hardworking, and always up for a challenge.

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Thank You to our Local Business Participants:

@AHIER

Aders Insurance Agency, Inc (State Farm)

Aire Serv Heating and Air Conditioning

Apple Dumpling Learning Center

Apple House

Auto Care Clinic

Beaver Tree Services

Blake and Co. Hair Spa

Blue Ridge Arts Council

Blue Ridge Education

BNI Shenandoah Valley

C&C's Ice Cream Shop

Christine Binnix - McEnearney Associates

Code Ninjas Front Royal

Cool Techs Heating and Air

Down Home Comfort Bakery

Downtown Market

Dusty's Country Store

Edward Jones-Bret Hrbek

Explore Art & Clay

Family Preservation Services

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Women's Resource Center

Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce

G&M Auto Sales Inc

Garcia & Gavino Family Bakery

Gourmet Delights Gifts & Framing

Green to Ground Electrical

Groups Recover Together

House of Hope

I Want Candy

I'm Just Me Movement

Jen Avery, REALTOR & Jenspiration, LLC

Key Move Properties, LLC

KW Solutions

Legal Services Plans of Northern Shenendoah

Main Street Travel

Makeover Marketing Systems

Marlow Automotive Group

Mary Carnahan Graphic Design

Merchants on Main Street

Mountain Trails

National Media Services

No Doubt Accounting

Northwestern Community Services Board

Ole Timers Antiques

Penny Lane Hair Co.

Philip Vaught Real Estate Management

Phoenix Project

Reaching Out Now

Rotary Club of Warren County

Royal Blends Nutrition

Royal Cinemas

Royal Examiner

Royal Family Bowling Center

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Oak Computers

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Spice

Ruby Yoga

Salvation Army

Samuels Public Library

SaVida Health

Skyline Insurance

St. Luke Community Clinic

Studio Verde

The Institute for Association & Nonprofit Research

The Studio-A Place for Learning

The Valley Today - The River 95.3

The Vine and Leaf

Valley Chorale

Vetbuilder.com

Warren Charge (Bennett's Chapel, Limeton, Asbury)

Warren Coalition

Warren County Democratic Committee

Warren County Department of Social Services

Warrior Psychotherapy Services, PLLC

WCPS Work-Based Learning

What Matters & Beth Medved Waller, Inc Real Estate

White Picket Fence

Woodward House on Manor Grade

King Cartoons

Front Royal
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Upcoming Events

Oct
5
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Oct 5 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
Oct
8
Sat
11:00 am Fall Farm Days: Life on the Farm @ Sky Meadows State Park
Fall Farm Days: Life on the Farm @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 8 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Fall Farm Days: Life on the Farm @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Come back to the family farm at Sky Meadows. Explore the park’s sustainable farming practices, visit the barred plymouth rock hens, learn about our cattle operation in partnership with the Department of Corrections’[...]
11:00 am The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 8 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. The forge is fired up and the blacksmiths are hard at work in the Historic Area. Members of the Blacksmith Guild of the Potomac have set up shop and are ready to show[...]
Oct
9
Sun
10:30 am Bethel Life Revival 2022 @ Bethel Assembly of God
Bethel Life Revival 2022 @ Bethel Assembly of God
Oct 9 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Bethel Life Revival 2022 @ Bethel Assembly of God
Please join us on October 9th at 10:30am and October 10th-12th at 6:30pm nightly for a special series of services with Johan Bruwer. Johan is from Bloemfontein, South Africa, and will deliver a very inspiring[...]
11:00 am Fall Farm Days: Life on the Farm @ Sky Meadows State Park
Fall Farm Days: Life on the Farm @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 9 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Fall Farm Days: Life on the Farm @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Come back to the family farm at Sky Meadows. Explore the park’s sustainable farming practices, visit the barred plymouth rock hens, learn about our cattle operation in partnership with the Department of Corrections’[...]
11:00 am The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 9 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. The forge is fired up and the blacksmiths are hard at work in the Historic Area. Members of the Blacksmith Guild of the Potomac have set up shop and are ready to show[...]
Oct
10
Mon
11:00 am Fall Farm Days: Life on the Farm @ Sky Meadows State Park
Fall Farm Days: Life on the Farm @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 10 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Fall Farm Days: Life on the Farm @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Come back to the family farm at Sky Meadows. Explore the park’s sustainable farming practices, visit the barred plymouth rock hens, learn about our cattle operation in partnership with the Department of Corrections’[...]
6:30 pm Bethel Life Revival 2022 @ Bethel Assembly of God
Bethel Life Revival 2022 @ Bethel Assembly of God
Oct 10 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Bethel Life Revival 2022 @ Bethel Assembly of God
Please join us on October 9th at 10:30am and October 10th-12th at 6:30pm nightly for a special series of services with Johan Bruwer. Johan is from Bloemfontein, South Africa, and will deliver a very inspiring[...]
Oct
11
Tue
6:30 pm Bethel Life Revival 2022 @ Bethel Assembly of God
Bethel Life Revival 2022 @ Bethel Assembly of God
Oct 11 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Bethel Life Revival 2022 @ Bethel Assembly of God
Please join us on October 9th at 10:30am and October 10th-12th at 6:30pm nightly for a special series of services with Johan Bruwer. Johan is from Bloemfontein, South Africa, and will deliver a very inspiring[...]
Oct
12
Wed
6:30 pm Bethel Life Revival 2022 @ Bethel Assembly of God
Bethel Life Revival 2022 @ Bethel Assembly of God
Oct 12 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Bethel Life Revival 2022 @ Bethel Assembly of God
Please join us on October 9th at 10:30am and October 10th-12th at 6:30pm nightly for a special series of services with Johan Bruwer. Johan is from Bloemfontein, South Africa, and will deliver a very inspiring[...]