Employer Resource: Chipotle Study Guide

chipotle logl

A number of employment programs have placed clients in jobs at Chipotle.  Click here for a great study guide for Chipotle job interview preparation.  (It’s in an online slideshare format)

The guide provides very useful detail about Chipotle corporate values, job descriptions, the interview process and the experience of employees who have been promoted far above the entry level position that got them in the door.

How You Could Use It

  • Develop an interview practice and training session to prepare a group of clients qualified to apply.
  • Provide it directly to clients with the appropriate English language skills for Chipotle interview preparation or to see useful resume and job description examples.
  • If you don’t already have a connection at Chipotle, use this information to plan your initial pitch to establish a relationship with a hiring decision maker.

Thanks to Stephen Allen, Refugee Employment Team Supervisor with IRC in Phoenix, AZ, who posted this via LinkedIn.



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A Training Tool for Stronger Job Retention

Asking Questions

Being comfortable asking questions is a critical skill for our clients to develop for lots of reasons.  Job retention is one of the most important.

Consider using this quote to frame a discussion about several US cultural assumptions and workplace values that most clients won’t understand if we don’t explain.

In the US, typical new hire training is less formal and more learner-centered than many clients expect.  In our culture, new employees are expected to ask questions that guide their own learning, especially during the first few months on the job.   Some of the related workplace concepts you could explain include SELF MOTIVATED, LEARNER-CENTERED and INITIATIVE.

Our clients are bombarded with so much information as they begin their lives in the US.  The best way to help them learn and internalize the most important concepts is by giving them the information more than once and in more than one setting.

Think about how you can build their ability to ask questions in intake, job readiness class and one-on-one coaching sessions.  Model behaviors yourself.  Help them relate new information to what they already know.  Provide opportunities to practice.  Describe in detail what clients can expect when they start a new job.


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Job Leads to Explore Now

Wheres Spring snowmanOn the East Coast we’re still waiting for spring, but it’s not too early to think about summer from a job development perspective. 

Many businesses have different work volumes during the summer.   This can mean an increase in job openings or dramatically reduced work hours for clients. 

Think about the following possibilities as you build employer relationships in advance of a hiring season or help clients identify strategies to deal with reduced work hours and family income. 

Summer vacations can mean openings at holiday destination hotels and in tourism-related businesses.  If the heat discourages summer visitors, it can have the opposite affect. 

The end of the school year will create turnover in student jobs like fast food or other parttime opportunities.    

University service jobs (like cafeteria or dormitory workers) can shut down all together for the summer.  Hiring managers also plan and schedule now for fall start-ups, so this can also be the best time to get a jump on fall opportunties. 

Growing and harvest seasons differ with climate, but summer can be a great time to find opportunities for clients to work outdoors in an agricultural environment that will be comfortingly familiar to many.


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E-Verify and Work Authorization Checks: Deepen Employer Relationships and Advocate for Clients


Images of valid EADs which you can also find through the links included in this article

Even though our clients are work authorized, they often get tangled in E-Verify details.  Lack of familiarity with this system and our client’s legal status on the part of employers can delay or even deny them jobs we work hard to help them secure.

Providing timely assistance is a much-appreciated service to employers.  The problem is most often a lack of knowledge.  In the less common case of intentional discrimination, advocating for client rights is an important and satisfying part of our jobs.

A recent email from the Department of Justice listserv offers so many great resources for clients, employers and you that we’re included it here.


Beginning February 27, 2014, the E-Verify webinar on Employee Rights will now be offered in Spanish! This webinar will help Spanish speakers understand and teach others about employee rights during the employment eligibility verification process.

USCIS and the DOJ Civil Rights Division, Office of Special Counsel (OSC) for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices are co-presenters of this free live webinar, which has been offered to the public in English since November 2012. USCIS and OSC subject matter experts will discuss what workers need to know about:

  • Employee rights in the Form I-9 and E-Verify processes
  • Employer responsibilities
  • How to resolve and understand the Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC) Further Action Notice
  • Self Check, a tool for job seekers

Spanish speaking worker advocates, workers, and job seekers are encouraged to attend. Pre-registration is not required. Just add the date and time to your calendar. Click here to join one of the following dates:

  • Thursday,      February 27, 2014 at 11:30 AM EST.
  • Tuesday,      March 25, 2014 at 2:00 PM EST.

See our flyer for more information. Please share this announcement with everyone who may be interested! Click here to see the schedule of other E-Verify and Form I-9 webinars. More information and resources are available on www.dhs.gov/E-Verify and www.uscis.gov/E-Verify/Espanol.


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Deepen Employer Relationships Around Daylight Savings Time

Alarm ClockProviding translated signage about Daylight Savings Time is a great excuse to communicate with lots of employers and provides a valuable customer service they’ll remember and appreciate.

Read more for the steps to take and access free, translated signage when you sign up for Higher’s blog feed at http://higheradvantage.org/blog/

Daylight Savings Time begins on Sunday, 03/09.  You have 3 weeks to implement a strategy that will deepen employer relationships and help clients.  Go for it!

WHY:  Maintaining contact with employers gets harder to do when the new hires are settled and there are no immediate job openings to fill. You need to keep limited resources focused on finding jobs for clients who need them now.  You want to keep in touch so employers don’t forget to contact you when they need to hire again.


  1. Compile a list of employers to include. Consider adding a few prospects, as well as all of the companies who already employ clients.
  2. Draft correspondence.  Say thank you.  Keep it brief.  Think about adding no more than 2 additional points.  Maybe provide a save the date for World Refugee Day celebrations.
  3. Sign up for Higher’s Blog and we’ll send you the signage. We’ve translated it into Arabic, Burmese, French, Spanish and Swahili.  We’ll also include the English language template in case you want to add other languages.  The signs are provided as word documents so you can add your agency logo if you want.
  4. Provide the signs early in the week of March 3:  If you send an email, don’t forget your email signature with contact information.  If you deliver hard copies, consider tapping into volunteer resources or visiting yourself, especially for the most important employers on your list.




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Tis the Season: Three Easy Ideas to Show Employer Appreciation

photo 6Job developers dream about employer appreciation events or award ceremonies.  Those approaches take significant resources and lots of advance planning.

Take advantage of holiday traditions and consider one of these three easy ways to thank employers and deepen their connection to your mission.  At the same time, you can begin gaining experience to help you build up to a larger event in the future.

  1.  Send a holiday email.  Keep it simple and just say thanks and happy holidays.  If you want to get more creative, imbed a picture of your team, agency holiday decorations or clients celebrating the season.  (I still remember an email I received a couple of years ago with a photo of a group of clients and teachers at an ESL class wearing Santa hats and their own traditional clothing.)
  2. Mail cards signed by everyone on your team.  If your agency sends cards, you could link with that process.  You can buy your own holiday cards or use plain paper and sign with holiday colored markers.  It’s likely that your card will be displayed for others to see, so include a visible logo.
  3. For a few of your best employers, consider a personal delivery of holiday treats.  You can bake them yourselves or consider asking volunteers to contribute them.  This requires more resources, so you might want to consider it only for a handful of employers.  Everyone on your team could help with deliveries to make it even easier.
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Tis the Season: The Employer Perspective on Seasonal Hiring

After our recent post about seasonal job development strategies , I saw a post from HireRight.com that outlines the challenges employers face around seasonal hiring.  It provides great selling points for us when talking to employers about how we can help them access a broad talent pool ready to move quickly as they have seasonal openings to fill.  If anyone has special success with seasonal hiring opportunities, please let Higher know!


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Response to a Reader About Retention Rate Statistics

Matt Gruel PhotoA post on October 9 provided a list of questions to help you generate new employer ideas, including this one:

 “What are unemployment and retention rates in key industries in your area?”

Matt Gruel, Employment Coordinator with World Relief Tri Cities in Richland, WA (pictured at left) is the first reader to ask a question about a blog post.  Matt asked,

 “How do I go about finding out the unemployment and (especially) retention rates in key industries in my area?  I’m hesitant to ask one of my employers directly since I think it’s something they wouldn’t want outsiders to know.”

Here are answers from a number of sources:

Employer Advice

First, we checked with a few employers who have hired refugees and partnered with refugee employment programs.   Erica Wolff, Director of Human Resources, Training, Safety & Security at the Intercontinental Stephen F. Austin hotel says,

 “I don’t think it is a problem at all to ask for turnover information if it is used as a measuring tool for placement services.” 

Other employers agree and add that this is very common information to track for management purposes.  If an employer has dedicated HR staff, they are most likely to have the information.  It might be broken out by a few key positions or by hourly/salaried staff.   Even if specific figures are unavailable, asking an employer directly might yield other valuable information or other sources for the data.

Higher’s Webinar Archive

In May 2013, we hosted a webinar about how to use statistics and data in job development.  It includes specific instructions for using Occupational Employment Statistics to target growth industries.  You can review slides on our website.

Where Else to Look for Information:

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey.  http://www.bls.gov/jlt/
  • Trade associations or other industry groups.  (e.g. Hotel HR Associations, Unions, Chambers of Commerce)
  • County, City and State Government.  (e.g. Workforce Development Offices, Research and Planning Departments, Business Support Units trying to attract industry and investment)
  • Business Journals and Newspapers.

It’s great to get proof that Higher’s blog is being read.  We want to avoid spouting advice that isn’t useful, just for the sake of making a blog post.  So, thanks, Matt, for reading and for keeping us honest.


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Top Five Employers Hiring Now in 25 Major Metro Areas

Scraper genericForbes lists the top five employers hiring now in 25 major metropolitan areas.  Reference this information when reaching out to those employers.  Hiring managers will likely feel somewhat overwhelmed with large volume hires.  Offer to make it easier with prescreened, work-authorized candidates ready to interview at their convenience.  The cities are:

  • Atlanta, GA
  • Boston, MA
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Chicago, IL
  • Cleveland/Akron, OH
  • Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX
  • Denver, CO
  • Detroit, MI
  • Houston, TX
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, FL
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
  • New York, NY
  • Orlando, FL
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Portland, OR
  • Raleigh/Durham, NC
  • Sacramento, CA
  • San Francisco Bay Area, CA
  • Seattle/Tacoma, WA
  • St Louis, MO
  • Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL
  • Washington, DC






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Seasonal Hiring by the Numbers: Positions, Industries and Major Employers

Holiday Shopping BagiStock_000015475220XSmallNow is the time to help clients get seasonal jobs.  Primarily part-time, seasonal jobs can help clients build US work history, confidence and relevant experience.  They can also transition into full time jobs.

Despite slower holiday sales forecasts, retailers are still planning on hiring temporary seasonal staff to help man their stores during the shopping season.

CareerBuilder’s annual survey finds 39% of retail hiring managers will bring on additional temporary workers this year, with 51% planning to pay these workers at least $10 an hour, or more. The hiring number is up from 36% in 2012 and 29% in 2011.

Even better news is that many of these positions could become full time. Nearly half (49%) of U.S. employers who are hiring seasonal workers plan to transition some into full-time, permanent staff. This is up ten percentage points over last year and indicative of a growing trend where employers are test-driving candidates before committing to a long-term hire,” says Brent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder North America, in a release.

The majority of job openings will stem from the retail sector, but employers in information technology (18%), leisure and hospitality (16%) and financial services (16%) also plan to hire seasonal staff.

Popular positions that companies will be hiring for include customer service (33%), shipping and delivery (18%), inventory management (17%), administrative and clerical (15%), non-retail sales (12%), marketing (9%) and accounting and finance work (6%).

These major retailers all report plans to hire between 17 ,ooo and 77,000 seasonal workers this year:  Walmart, Kohl’s, Toys R Us, Target, Gamestop, Amazon and J.C. Penney.

Read the entire article from which this data was excerpted.


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