Negotiating with Your Employer Post Pandemic


Negotiating with Your Employer Post Pandemic

If you are like many professionals, you’ve been waiting to see how your workplace will adjust to the PPN (Post Pandemic Normal) , if one exists?  

While the economy looks to be turning around, experts say you may have to wait a bit longer for a real salary increase because companies remain cautiously frugal and not sure of the work force options with new acceptable remote options.

One new option that did not exist seamlessly pre-pandemic are remote workers.  But now that remote workers are becoming more the norm.  Companies now can hire from lower cost of living areas of the country or offshore and pay workers less for the same skill set.  So that the logical line “I am more productive from home than the office” might have unanticipated consequences long term.

Do not be discouraged, though. Since firms are also becoming concerned about retaining their best employees. Now might be a good time to negotiate for other things that could make your job easier or sweeten the deal for you.   Like a fixed work from home schedule, better home computer systems, a flexible hourly schedule with meetings attendance optional.

Before you ask for anything; however, think about what would make your job or life better—and consider if those things will be easy for the company to say yes to and continue to maintain a solid work force as more workers return to the office.

When you have your performance review, go over your job description and compare it to what you are already actually doing a lot has change during the past 12-18 months. There might be quite a discrepancy which might merit a promotion or change in hours and compensation.

Ask your manager for a mid-year review to make your case. While many companies froze salaries during the pandemic, several of them added exceptions for promotions.

If it is your life that could use some renegotiation, ask to customize your work schedule with a flexible start time or a few weeks a month of telecommuting. But do not focus exclusively on your needs when you ask. Explain how having a week without a lengthy commute in a quiet home office will help increase your productivity or improve your work. 

And don’t give up if your first request isn’t accepted find out what about your offers don’t work and use to create something that will.  Now is the once in lifetime window of change hopefully you can make it work towards yours and your employer’s advantage.


A steady increase in new orders continues to materialize during the past quarter and we are very optimistic going forward.  Most of our clients are seeing an increase in their businesses and see and opportunity for quick recovery.  This fast-paced recovery should lead to a new increased hiring demands at all levels of the work force.

During the early months of the pandemic many economists were predicting a V shape recover.  We believe they were correct with this projection just did not realize how long and severe the bottom of the V would last.

So going into the third quarter we at Berman Larson Kane see promising signs of employee demand at all levels for the rest of 2021.

Stay healthy and enjoy the new normal that will emerge.  We will all be stronger, healthier, and wiser from our pandemic experiences.

Older Workers Not Looking to Retire Post Pandemic


Older Workers Not Looking to Retire Post Pandemic

If you are an older worker looking to delay retirement, it’s important that you look and act youthful, display enthusiasm for what you do, and exhibit a sense of energy. It’s also very important to be well-liked by superiors and co-workers and to demonstrate that you can still make valuable contributions to your company’s success. Clearly, as an older worker, you need to work at showing your employer that you should remain on the job.

Here from an article published by The Bergen Record are some thoughts and advice for older workers who want to keep working, offered by a leading outplacement consultant:

Look and Act Young — Everyone knows people who are 50 who look and act as if they are 65 and people who are 65 who look and act as if they are 50. So be sure to dress in currently fashionable clothes and show enthusiasm for your work. Also, exhibit a sense of excitement and energy as well — traits that younger individuals do not always show.

Be Likeable — In some cases, workers near retirement or even those with a lot of seniority, begin to detach from their jobs and co-workers. By doing so you are making a big mistake. That’s because being disliked, especially by people in authority, is the single most important reason people are discharged — not for their lack of skills and abilities. You were liked when you were hired and you must consciously work at maintaining that kind of loyalty and rapport with your employer. It will not continue automatically.

Don’t Take Things For Granted — In the workplace, people also fall out of favor by becoming careless or overconfident about themselves. That is when you are most likely to make mistakes that will downgrade you in the eyes of your supervisor. Don’t let it happen. Keep up your good qualities.

Demonstrate Flexibility And Creativity — Talk to your employer about ways you can solve problems and develop ideas to make your employer more money or be more competitive. You want to counteract stereotypes that suggest older workers do not have imagination.

Stress Relevant Experience — Your employer should feel that you can continue in your position and possibly take on new tasks. It’s important to convince your boss that age has nothing to do with learning new concepts and accepting new ways of doing things.

Stay Current And Embrace Technology — When deciding to keep your position, it will be helpful if you are up-to-date on current technology and new applications. Do not appear as if the world has passed you by.

Get Yourself Noticed — Consider this idea: Find out what your supervisor’s favorite civic or charitable activities are and volunteer to work for those organizations. That will bring you into regular contact with the supervisor in a non-job situation, which should increase your visibility and give you additional opportunities to make a favorable impression. Developing some shared experiences off the job will be a definite plus for you.

Make Your Intentions Known – If your employer may be expecting you to end your service with the company soon due to retirement, it’s critical that you advise your superiors that you want to keep working. Your bosses may be interviewing for your replacement, if they have not found one already.

Emphasize Loyalty — When you decide to tell your employer you do not wish to retire, it will be important to outline why they should keep you on. Be sure to demonstrate that you are still committed to your job; employers need to feel that employees are 100 percent dedicated to the company.


We are very pleased to celebrate out 41st anniversary this quarter.  We have witnessed a lot of changes in the staffing business and have done our best to adjust to shifting economic and technology climates.  This past quarter we have implemented an artificial intelligent applicant tracking and CRM that we are already witnessing improvements of service to hiring authorities and jobseekers. 

As president to Berman Larson Kane for 41 years; I continue to be amazed at the hiring process and job seeking skills that lead to a successful hire and career advancement.  Some of the changes over the decades have required pivot adjustments to business processes.  However, the one constant over the years has been a jobseeker who has a love for what they do and an employer who needs it done.  Assisting in that match is the magic of staffing.

Thanks for your support over the decades we all so greatly appreciate it ….Bob Larson, CPC  

Job Seeking Tips After 50

Bob Larson, CPC


Career Report

May  2017

 Feature Story


7 TIPS FOR GETTING HIRED AFTER AGE 50 (Reprint by Popular Request)

Finding a new job can be a lot of work for many, but it can be especially challenging for anyone in their 50s and 60s. And while the unemployment rate for older workers is lower than that of younger workers, once out of work older workers seem to have greater difficulties landing a new position than others. In fact, according to an AARP data analysis cited in a U.S. News & World Report article, the average duration of unemployment for job seekers was 55 weeks as of December 2014, compared with 28.2 weeks for younger workers.

To help older workers in their quest to find a new position, here from the U.S. News & World Report article are seven strategies to consider:

Start your job search right away. Don’t wait until your unemployment runs out to start looking for a new position. “It does seem like prospects are best for the unemployed as soon as they leave their jobs, so it might be a good idea to start job searching in earnest right at the beginning, rather than easing into job searching while on unemployment,” said Joanna Lahey, an associate professor at Texas A&M University, who studies age discrimination. A large gap on your résumé and a growing sense of frustration with the job search process can make it even more difficult to get hired aging.

Work you network. Although there are certainly many modern ways to find jobs online and through social media, having contacts at the company you would like to work for is still one of the best ways to find out about openings and get hired. “The number one way to find a job is through personal contacts,” Lahey pointed out. “You can avoid a lot of implicit discrimination if someone who knows you is willing to vouch for you.”

Reassure a younger manager. Some managers may feel uncomfortable supervising someone who is more experienced than they are. “The big thing to keep in mind is that the person supervising you or making the hiring decision may well be younger than you are, and insecure about supervising someone with more experience,” said Peter Cappelli, a management professor and director of the Center for Human Resources at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. “So it is important to let them know you are OK with the role you’re applying for, that you don’t want their job and that you are expecting to take direction from them.”

Don’t mention your age or the interviewer’s age. You don’t want to call attention to your age by listing jobs you held over 20 years ago on your résumé or mentioning age during the interview process. Equally as important, don’t comment on the age of a younger manager. “Even if the person interviewing you is no older than your children, never make any reference to their age thinly veiled or otherwise,” said Nancy Collamer, a career coach and author of  “Second-Act Careers: 50+ Ways to Profit from Your Passions During Semi-Retirement.”

Shorten your résumé. You don’t need to include every position you have ever held on your résumé. “Don’t make your résumé a history lesson. Highlight your most recent achievements and the new talents you’re acquiring,” Collander said. “In general, you should keep the spotlight on the last 10 years of relevant experience.”

Explain why you’re not overqualified. Having 20 or 30 years of work experience can make you seem overqualified for many positions. “Make sure your cover letter explains why you’re right for the job you’re applying to,” Lahey said. “Explain any gaps or why you’re applying for something for which it seems like you’re overqualified.”

Demonstrate your fluency with technology. Older workers are often perceived as being unable to effectively use technology. Make it clear to potential employers that you are tech-savvy and continuing to keep up with new developments. “I think the single most important thing you can do to overcome age bias is to demonstrate your comfort with technology and social media during the interview process,” Collamer said. “There are lots of different ways to subtly let potential employers know you’re tech-friendly: [For example] include your LinkedIn URL on your résumé, mention an interesting article you found on the employer’s Twitter feed or be a regular contributor to industry-related groups on LinkedIn.”


Bob Larson, President BLK will be a featured speaker at the NAPS convention in Denver Co. in September .  His talk titled “Talent Acquisition Lessons Learned on the Yoga Matt”.  Bob will share his combined 40 years in talent acquisition with his 20 years experience  on the yoga mat.  “Many of the lessons I’ve learned on the Yoga mat like listening closely, present moment awareness and beginners mind are so relevant to our recruiting profession” say Bob.

As the summer vacation season approaches we continue to see an increase in direct hire orders with the competition for top talent more competitive and salaries beginning to rise rapidly.  We all at BLK thank you for your business and thank you for allowing the honor of staffing for your organizations.



IT Auditor Bergen County NJ


Our Client is seeking an individual interested in becoming a Senior Information Technology Auditor in the Audit Department at Corporate Headquarters.  To qualify for this position you should have:

1)            A Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting, Finance, Business Administration or Information Technology.

2)            One or more of the following certifications:

Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)

Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)

Certified in the Governance of Enterprise IT (CGEIT)

Certified in Risk & Information Systems Control (CRISC)

3)            A minimum of 10 years of progressive experience in the areas of operational, financial, information technology, business audit, internal control assessments, and or FDICIA/Sarbanes-Oxley 404 evaluation and testing.

4)            Proficiency in computer operating systems, FISERV financial applications, general office, electronic workpapers, technical GRC audits and data extraction and interrogation.

5)            Minimum of 4 years supervisory and management experience with accountability for staff performance and delivery.



Location: Bergen County

SUMMARY: Supports the mission, vision and values by providing independent, objective assurance and consulting activity designed to add value and improve s operations.  The Information Technology Auditor helps accomplish our objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control and governance processes.


  1. Performs IT audit, supervises staff where applicable, and reviews work papers with scopes including:

Information Security and Management Controls (Information Security; Governance and GLBA; Operations)

Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Planning (Business Impact Analysis and Risk Assessment; Business Continuity Planning; Risk Monitoring and Testing; Test Planning; Testing Strategies; Board and Senior Management Oversight; Encryption)

Physical Security and Control over the Environment (User Equipment Security; Physical Security; Environmental Controls and Monitoring)

Logical Access

Internet Banking (Board and Management Oversight; Risk Management; Information Security; Administrative Oversight and Monitoring)

Mobile Banking (Mobile Banking Policies and Procedures; Risk Management; Information Security Controls; Mobile Banking Vendor Reviews; Monitoring; Mobile Deposit Capture)

Cyber Security

Model Validations where applicable

Monitors audits to determine if significant IT projects are on time, within budget and in compliance with relevant methodologies.

  1. Assists the Chief Internal Auditor in the design, scheduling and execution of the risk-based Annual Audit Plan. Ensures overall quality, consistency, risk management and adherence to department and professional standards, particularly the International Professional Practices Framework as articulated by the Institute of Internal auditors. Evaluates, review results, synthesizes findings, drafts special reports and coordinates with appropriate business and compliance teams to follow up on the status of management actions.
  2. Develops and maintains productive client, staff, management and executive relationships through individual contacts and group meetings. Is a key influencer of operational efficiency and well controlled change management.
  3. Plans and executes audits of network security and new IT systems and applications

Administer and execute FDICIA / COSO  project management, including executing:

Cyclical FDICIA / COSO  reviews

Scheduled Roll forward

Remediation efforts

Quarter end reporting.

  1. Serves as a mentor in coaching staff on the evaluation of the design and effectiveness of internal process and financial controls.
  2. Develops, monitors, and modifies Audit Programs and tools to ensure that procedures are current, efficient, effective and reflective of current business conditions and risk trends.
  3. Performs additional special projects (investigations, risk assessments, etc.) as directed by the Chief Internal Auditor.
  4. Extracts data using specialized audit software to support operational audits.
  5. Performs quality assurance reviews on audit reports for peers and assigned staff.
  6. Supports external auditors and regulators in the conduct and completion of examinations. Performs other job related duties as assigned.

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Hardware Engineer Full Benefits Parsippany NJ

Hardware Engineer


Performs research and analysis related to the design, development, and implementation of hardware for mobile audio/video products. Designs circuits, circuit boards, devices and systems. Develops test plans, performs stress and performance tests on a variety of hardware devices including circuit boards, wiring and completed products.

  • Highly motivated individual, willing to go the extra mile.
  • Comfortable multi tasking, performs a variety of complicated tasks.
  • Responsible for design, development, implementation, and analysis of a range of technical products and systems.
  • Performs evaluations relating to potential projects.
  • Analyses and recommends design improvements during development process, recommends changes to existing designs to improve quality of products and/or procedures.
  • Uses experience and judgment to plan and accomplish goals.
  • A high degree of creativity is expected.
  • Provide product support to internal departments as well as occasional direct customer contact.


  • Experience with analog and digital video camera design.
  • Experience with digital video hardware, transport systems and compression hardware.
  • Experience designing and troubleshooting DC power supplies.
  • Schematic capture, PCB layout and board design (Altium experience is preferred).
  • Proficiency with both Analog and Digital circuit design.
  • Generate required drawings and documentation for testing, manufacturing, product specification etc.
  • Performs Design Verification testing, assure product quality by developing and executing test plans prior to release
  • A good understanding of packaging techniques.
  • Thorough understanding of the manufacturing process.
  • Must possess strong troubleshooting logic and problem solving skills.
  • Proficiency with programmable logic and FPGA design.
  • Experience designing embedded products.
  • Microcontroller design and firmware (Microchip preferred).
  • Highly organized, strong attention to detail.
  • Excellent communication skills (written and verbal), ability to clearly and effectively summarize and present results and conclusions.
  • Experience with Microsoft Office products required.
  • Familiarity with RF, and techniques used to mitigate EMI.
  • Participates in the creation of project plans and project cost estimations.
  • Candidate will have designed and successfully released at least 5 products to production.
  • Ability to work well in a fast-paced environment.



  • Bachelors or Masters of Science in Electrical Engineering.



  • 4 to 6 years of experience in the field or in a related area.


  • Lab testing and failure analysis
  • Experience using electrical test equipment, Scopes, Meters, Analyzers etc.
  • Component substitution or replacement
  • Working knowledge of wired and wireless networks.
  • Familiarity with WiFi, Bluetooth, ZigBee is a plus.
  • Familiarity with TCP/IP is a plus.
  • Familiarity with Linux is a plus.

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EHS Manager Lodi, NJ

TITLE      Manager, Environment, Health and Safety


Will handle all day to day aspects of the company’s Health, Safety, Environmental programs


Ongoing responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:

  • Driving a safety oriented culture in conjunction with the safety committee
  • Develop and implement corporate safety standards including development of a strategic plan to obtain management and employee commitment to safe operations.
  • Write and distribute all safety communications, including a safety manual, orientation programs.
  • Create and implement safety training modules. Establish procedures for safety training, emergency preparedness and evacuation plan and fire prevention.
  • Ensure compliance with OSHA ergonomic standard. Participate in training employees and management.
  • Ensure compliance with federal, state, and local environmental and safety regulations.
  • Responsible for EPA compliance to include obtaining and maintaining all environment permits and auditing the plant facility.
  • Establishing and maintaining written Health, Safety & Environmental (HSE) programs.
  • Acts as advisor to environmental, health, and safety requirements related to any capital projects for Scientific Design.
  • Conduct safety and environmental audits.
  • Advise management on local, national and international laws regulating

Comply with federal, state and local reporting requirements.


Minimum of five years experience in an EHS or related function

Experience in Chemical industry is strongly preferred.

Good verbal and written communication skills.

Basic computer skills.


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Sales Support Professional Parsippany NJ

Sales Support Professional

Contact to Hire


This position is responsible for supporting all aspects of the sales process and sales team.  This is a fast paced, multi-task oriented position.  Accuracy and the ability to change directions quickly are essential to success.  Must be very comfortable learning new computer software and have strong Excel, Power Point, Word and Outlook skills.

You will be responsible for using your creative marketing skills to organize power point presentations, assist with pricing models and research potential clients.

Ideal candidate will have an BA degree in business/sales and  1-3+yrs of working experience in a marketing environment.

This is a wonderful opportunity to use your marketing talents with excellent opportunity for advancement.

Resumes to:

Node Developer Parsippany, NJ

Job Title: Developer  Programmer Analyst Node Developer

Client has an opening for a Developer to join our team to develop and maintain a variety of client/server

and web-based applications. You must be an experienced, goal-orientated, self-motivated team player

with the ability to work well in a small group. We value professionals that are mature, disciplined,

creative problem-solvers with a focus on results.

Position Responsibilities:

* Design, develop, test, debug and document programs that meet user needs and specifications

* Deliver high-quality systems and meet project deadlines

* Maintain and improve existing programs

* Gather, organize and manage information/requirements from users and various levels of


* Assist with ad-hoc reporting and special requests

* Work on a variety of projects (multi-task)

* Ability to quickly learn and work on new technologies

Must Have:

* .Net development – C#, ASP.Net, Visual Studio

*  SQL Server – TSQL, design

*Troubleshooting – debugging, problem solving

Forward Resume to: along with desired salary

.NET Software Developer Rahway, NJ

.NET Software Developer Contract-to-Hire

For a logistics client located in Rahway, NJ area  is seeking a strong software programmer to join the information technology team to develop and maintain data processing applications and integrate with a 3rd party TMS package. Our primary application platforms utilize MS SQL Server 2008 R2, C#, MVC, MSMQ, web services, and VBA for legacy applications.


– Minimum 5+ years of experience in the analysis, design, implementation and support of large complex applications (Winforms, WPF, or MVC applications in C#).

– Strong knowledge of programming in T-SQL and LINQ.

– Ability to work independently and in conjunction with a team of developers.

– Ability to handle multiple projects and tasks, prioritize and organize effectively while paying attention to detail and accuracy.

– Preference will be shown toward candidates with experience developing applications using MSMQ and web services.

– Excellent analytical and communication skills (verbal and written).

– Relevant masters level degree preferred; B.S. in Computer Science

– Prior experience with transportation and logistics applications a plus

We welcome applicants seeking either a consultant role or full time employment.

forward resumes to: along with salary expectations.







Bob Larson, CPC
Bob Larson, CPC

Job seekers tend to spend all of their time preparing answers for interviews, but the questions they ask can be as revealing to hiring managers, who may see questions as a measure of candidate engagement and interest, according to an article in The Wall Street Journal.

Take for example the experience of Shawn Batka. By his second interview for a director position at Turtle Wax, a car-care product company based in Willowbrook, Ill., he felt that he’d been able to check all of the boxes for the job. He impressed the interviewer with his supply-chain management experience and examples of how he’d streamlined operations and cut costs at past jobs. But he felt that he needed to do more to clinch the job.

So following the advice of the recruiter that had headhunted him, he mentioned his own personal interest in cars and started asking questions that were based on his own regular usage of several Turtle Wax products, the article pointed out.

“They asked me if I was a passionate user or a casual user. And the way I answered the questions and what I asked in return, it really helped me to connect with them by showing that I could speak intelligently about the product,” said Batka, who was invited for a third interview and eventually hired as director of strategic supply. He has since hired employees who have expressed the same enthusiasm for the company’s products that he did.

Here according to The Wall Street Journal article are other thoughts and suggestions on the topic of asking questions during an interview:

  •  Don’t wait until the end of the interview to ask about the job and what the employer is looking for in a candidate, said career expert Penelope Trunk. “If you ask them at the end of the interview, it’s too late. You already pitched yourself to the company without knowing what they want.” Being more proactive with questions also allows you to weave them into the natural flow of the interview conversation.
  •  One of the most important but overlooked questions to ask is about what communication style is used in the office, said recruiter Melissa Sconyers, who pointed out that this will show how well you can work with your boss and co-workers.
  • Ask questions that show that you have a genuine personal interest in the company and its products. Most job candidates don’t or may try to fake it, said Batka, who can tell when job candidates are disingenuous. “If someone went to stores that carried our products and asked about the way products are merchandised or asked about a wax they use on their car, that could be the differentiator between two candidates with similar job experience.” he added. But don’t go too off topic with chitchat since you don’t want to hijack the interview.
  • Ask the boss about what his or her employees like best about working for them and what they like the least. Even guarded responses can reveal how managers perceive their relationship with employees and give you a sense of his or her disposition. “Usually, in a good answer, the latter is the same as the former. For instance, it’s a fast-paced environment, which is attractive to some people and off-putting to others,” Sconyers told the newspaper. A bad answer would be having a bad temper. You can later ask for a walk through the office to see how employees actually act around the boss and vice versa.
  • Don’t leave any doubt about your qualifications, said Tim Honn, president of Fortis Recruiting Solutions in Lisle, Ill., who recommended that all job hunters ask: “Do you have any concerns about my ability to do this job? If you do, I’d like to address them right now.” This gives you a chance to bolster any perceived weaknesses, he added. Follow that up with “what’s the next step in the process?” to show that you’re confident enough with your answers that you expect to move forward.
  •  Don’t bring up salary and benefits and don’t waste the interviewer’s time with basic questions you can find on the company website. You want to show you’re interested enough to have done your due diligence, said Batka, who recalled a candidate he interviewed while at “On top of asking questions that showed he wasn’t familiar with other brands under PepsiCo like Frito-Lay, he’d also brought in a bottle of Dasani water into the interview, which is a Coke product,” Batka said. Not surprisingly, “he didn’t get the job.”