Corduroy: Beloved Bear Rocks Early Literacy Program For Families

Corduroy: Beloved Bear Rocks Early Literacy Program For Families

Corduroy, the lovable bear from a series of popular children’s books, will visit the Cumming Library at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 2 for Leap into Literacy: Corduroy ROCKS!, a program designed to help parents and caregivers prepare their preschoolers for success in kindergarten.

Admission to the event is free and will include a light breakfast, Corduroy-themed stories and songs in English and Spanish, a puppet show designed just for preschoolers, and crafts that children of all ages can make.

“Throughout the event, we’ll demonstrate five simple techniques to help young children develop early literacy and language skills. We hope parents and caregivers will see how simple it is to incorporate these ideas into their everyday routines at home,” explains Programming Manager Tracy Walker.

Children and families who stay to meet Corduroy at the end of the event will also get a tour of the children’s section, including bilingual and language learning books and CD read-alongs, as well as computers and tablets with early literacy apps and games.

“Our goal with Leap into Literacy is to help families understand the importance of encouraging early literacy skills starting in infancy. It’s never too early to start reading to and talking with your child and these simple things do so much to support their growing language skills,” explains Programming Manager Tracy Walker.

Leap into Literacy is presented by Forsyth County Public Library, Forsyth County Schools, Georgia Highlands Medical Services, and Literacy Forsyth. Corduroy ROCKS! is the third event to be held in the county since the program began in December 2017 at Georgia Highlands Medical Plaza.

For more information about Leap into Literacy or other similar programs, please visit

Introducing The New Vickery Village Farmers Market

vickery village farmers market

Introducing The New Vickery Village Farmers Market

We are so excited to announce a NEW Farmers Market in Forsyth County! Vickery Village Farmers Market opened on May 17th. This new fabulous Farmers Market is held every Thursday from 10am to 1pm in the Vickery Village Courtyard (5855 South Vickery Street, Cumming, GA 30040) until October 11th. Please note – This event is rain or shine.

{Also, as an added tip from me to you – you will want to go on the early side (closer to 10am) because it possible farmers might sell out of their products.}

  • What: Vickery Village Farmers Market
  • When: Every Thursday from 10am-1pm (May 17 to October 11)
  • Where: Vickery Village Courtyard – 5855 South Vickery Street, Cumming, GA 30040
  • Good To Know: If possible come early for the biggest selection. And stop by the Bramberi Farms booth to pick up your free Vickery Village Farmers Market recyclable shopping tote. Limited to the first 150 customers!

vickery village farmers market

Vickery Village Farmers Market Mission

The mission of the Vickery Village Farmers Market is to provide access to fresh, high quality, locally-produced and healthy food products to the local community. All products offered at the market will be produced by local farmers and vendors and grown or produced using
organic practices to the extent feasible.

The market standard incorporates the principles embodied under the Certified Naturally Grown (CNG) guidelines. Farmers that have received their CNG certification or USDA Organic certification will be given preference as well as those located in Forsyth County and within a 50 mile radius of Vickery Village.

To keep up with upcoming events, check out their facebook page – Vickery Village Farmers Market.

vickery village farmers market

Participating Farmers

If you are anything like me, then you want to know who will be there and what will they be carrying? Below you will find a preliminary list of the farmers that are planned to be there. Also, you should know that this list will continue to grow and as it does, we will add more farmers.

We grow vegetables, herbs and fruits with nutrient density as our goal. We focus on utilizing natural methods of agriculture that establish and build soil.

All of our products are organic and free from toxins and harmful chemicals. Each recipe is hand crafted in our very own kitchen. We ensure that you’ll experience joy from trying our products.

Growing fruits and vegetables for our community using organic practices and sustainable methods.

At Bramberi Farm we are dedicated to the production of Naturally Grown Berries, managing the crops and the entirety of the farm with sustainable agricultural practices.  Our Berry Production Practices have been accepted as Certified Naturally Grown to ensure you get the most wholesome berries on the Market.

Hydroponically grown lettuce greens including but not limited to Baby Kale, Cilantro, Bibb Lettuce, Baby Romaine, Spring Mix, Basil & Arugula. 

We bake yeast breads, sweet breads, muffins, cookies, cinnamon rolls, brownies, dips, using all natural or organic ingredients. We mill our most of our grains and some of our products are gluten free.

Cane Creek Farm produces a wide variety of fruits and vegetables throughout the year. With a focus on supplying seasonal produce to local families and restaurants, we offer strawberries and lettuces in the spring; squash, eggplants, and tomatoes in the summer

Leilani’s Gardens grows year round produce from cool weather vegetables to warm season vegetables. We also grow flowers like annuals, perennials, containers, herbs, succulents.

We provide fresh seafood to the Atlanta area and North Georgia Mountains. Straight from the coastal waters to your table! Some of the seafood you might expect to see available is black grouper, bay scallops, clams, catfish, mahi mahi, red snapper and much more!

We carry all kinds of gluten free baked goods that you wouldn’t know are gluten free!

At Great Harvest, we specialize in baking with whole grains including Montana Red, Summer White, Spelt, Rye, Durum and Kamut. Whole grains are a true super food offering the greatest nutritional bang for the bite. And we’re experts at making our whole grain bread taste phenomenal.

Sausage World’s entire menu of handcrafted artisan sausages includes something for everyone. From Argentine Chorizo Criollo to Swedish Korv Potato to Vegan Burger, we have an international flavor to spice up your menu. Endless possibilities begin with Sausage World! Our line of artisan-made products can be used in creating an assortment of gourmet meals. From appetizers to main dishes, Sausage World products deliver the quality and freshness you need to create delicious dishes.

Students Say “Libraries Rock!” With New Summer Reading Prizes

summer reading

Students Say “Libraries Rock!” With New Summer Reading Prizes

Schools and librarians are working hard this month to help students prevent the dreaded “summer slide,” by encouraging them to register for the Summer Reading Fun program at Forsyth County Public Library.

Studies show that reading over the summer can help students retain more of what they learned during the school year and perform better when school starts again in August. A study from Dominican University even suggests that children who participate in summer reading programs have better reading scores by the end of third grade than students who did not participate.

“We even encourage preschoolers who can’t yet read independently to sign up and track the books that parents and caregivers read with them because it helps the child acquire early literacy skills and it sets them up for success when they get to kindergarten,” says Programming Manager Tracy Walker.

Over the last month, the library’s youth services team visited local preschools, elementary schools, and middle schools to lead assembly programs and talk with students about exciting changes to the summer reading program. This year’s summer reading theme is “Libraries ROCK!,” making for some very musical – and often hilarious – stories, skits, and puppet shows.

“Summer Reading in Forsyth has changed dramatically this year and the response we’ve already heard from students, teachers, and even parents, has been wonderful,” says Walker.

Instead of paper-based reading trackers, the library adopted new software that allows patrons to track their reading online. Rather than choosing one book for setting and reaching a summer reading goal, patrons can now earn points to exchange for new books, as well as a variety of other prizes.

“We want to encourage our patrons to read, but our new program also appeals to different learning styles and inspires extended learning in music, art, languages, physical activity, and helping others. These are all things you can do or learn about – for free – at the library,” adds Walker.

Registration for the summer reading program is open now on the library’s website at www.forsythpl.organd patrons of all ages are welcome to sign up, earn points, and win prizes.

When readers in preschool and grades K – 12 reach 100, 250, and 500 points, they can choose from such prizes as a small Frosty from Wendy’s, an action pass from Stars & Strikes, a Laser Quest pass, a new book, or other prizes while supplies last. Upon reaching 500 points, these participants are also entered in random drawings for such grand prizes as an eReader, Horseback Riding Adventures from Gold City Corral, Urban Escape Games passes, or a mountain bike or cruiser bike donated by Zaxby’s.

Adults who reach 500 points can enjoy the prize-winning fun, too. Adult readers will be entered in random drawings for one of several grand prize gift baskets, theater and movie tickets, services from local businesses, and eReaders.

Library leaders have been building relationships with sponsors and soliciting donations since January. Their work is evident in the nearly $30,000 worth of prize donations received from 34 local businesses and book donations from the FCPL Friends & Advocates, the non-profit organization that operates the Friends Bookstores inside the Cumming, Post Road, and Sharon Forks Libraries.

“We’re very fortunate to have a community that believes so strongly in the power of education and the importance of literacy that they’re willing to contribute so generously to the summer reading program. We’re grateful for the support we’ve received from each of our donors and sponsors,” says Walker.

Aside from registering for summer reading, it’s become a tradition for families to begin the summer with with the library’s series of Summer Reading Kick-Off Carnivals.

The Cumming Library’s Carnival will be held at the library on Wednesday, May 30 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and will feature performances from Cameron’s One-Man Circus and balloon art from Once Upon a Fiesta, in addition to kid-friendly carnival games and prizes.

The fun continues on Thursday, May 31 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. as the Hampton Park Library’s Carnival also celebrates the start of summer with circus performances, balloon art, and games.

Once again the Post Road and Sharon Forks Libraries are teaming up to present a Kick-Off Carnival on Friday, June 1 from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Forsyth Conferece Center, 3410 Ronald Reagan Blvd., Cumming. The event will include two family-friendly acrobatic performances by Barely Balanced, plus Mr. Michael from The Learning Groove will appear in concert at 5:00 p.m.

Admission to each of the Summer Reading Kick-Off Carnivals is free and all ages are welcome to attend. Space at the acrobatic and concert performances will be limited and early arrival is recommended.

Following the Kick-Off Carnivals, Forsyth’s libraries will present more than 400 programs before school starts again in August.

“There’s something for patrons of all ages at each of our libraries year round, but especially this summer,” explains Walker. “We’ve got a new summer book club for parents of elementary and middle school students and local celebrity angler Ken Sturdivant is teaching a series of eight classes on fishing in Lake Lanier. We’ve scheduled musical performances and art programs for children and adults, special events just for tweens and teens, plus we’ve gone all-out with the storytimes and science-based programs our young patrons love.”

Walker encourages patrons to pick up a Summer Program Guide for their preferred library branch, or check the library’s online events calendar to sort and view programs by age and location.

For more information or to register for Summer Reading Fun, please

Summer Things To Do In Forsyth County

Events at the Forsyth County libraries are part of our “65 Days of Summer” e-book. Download your copy right here – 65 Days of Summer.

Tips From The Cole Team: Easy Home Updates Potential Buyers will Love

easy home updates

Tips From The Cole Team: Easy Home Updates Potential Buyers will Love

Not only is selling your home a daunting task, but preparing your home to sell is a huge undertaking. However, there are little changes that can make a huge impact on potential buyers, and can even increase the value of your home! Here are a few that you should do right now.

easy home updates

1. Start On The Street

An approachable home can make all the difference! A few things to consider doing at a street level: wash the entire exterior, touch up any paint that has weathered over time, remove any overgrown plants and weeds, mow the lawn, and consider adding hardware such as a door knocker or updated numbers to really add that extra “oomph.”

easy home updates

2. Turn To The Kitchen And Bathrooms

Now is the time to deep clean the areas you may have been avoiding. Repainting adds ambiance and brightens up any room. Not sure what color to pick? Architectural Digest has a list of 10 best bathroom paint colors to help you decide. Adding new tile and changing cabinet hardware can also make a huge impact. This will give these spaces a luxurious, sleek, and modern feel at a low cost! If you have more time on your hands, consider painting your kitchen cabinets. Architectural Digest also provides paint color & design inspiration to take your kitchen “from cookie cutter to high style.”

easy home updates

3. Let There Be Light!

A huge factor for buyers is natural light and ambiance. Deep clean and open up your windows to provide fresh air and light—creating instant space.

Don’t have natural light? You can add fixtures such as floor, table, and ceiling lights. Remember to purchase high quality LED bulbs that are consistent throughout the entire home. Adding mirrors can also be a huge help to amplify the light in any room.

More About the Cole Team:

Cole TeamThe Cole Team, Meriellen Cole Arenz and Stephanie Cole Patterson, is a full-time mother/ daughter led team with over 45 years of experience dedicated to tenaciously protecting their client’s interests. They epitomize integrity, energy, hard work, and creative service in every detail of a real estate transaction. They have earned respect in the North Atlanta community not only for their unparalleled professional track record and high ethical standards but for being an honest, hard working team that does absolutely everything in their power to ensure their client’s success. They have worked in every aspect of the industry representing sellers, buyers, and investors in the residential market. To learn more about this mother/daughter team, watch this video.

Connect with the Cole Team online: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Phone: 770.316.3110

Piney Grove Middle School Students Give Back

G3, Day of Giving, Christmas Lights ETC

Piney Grove Middle School Students Pack Cookies for Troops, Make Jewelry for Africa, in “G3” Event at Christmas Lights, Etc

Piney Grove Middle School students boxed up over 6,000 cookies to ship to U.S. troops overseas at the annual Treat the Troops cookie pack held at the headquarters of Christmas Lights, Etc in conjunction with Piney Grove’s “Grizzly Great Day of Giving,” or G3. Students also prepared beads to be turned into jewelry and sold in support of Just One Africa.

Each year Alpharetta-based online retailer Christmas Lights, Etc opens up its 100,000-square-foot headquarters and distribution facility to students and parent volunteers participating in Piney Grove’s G3, an annual event in which students fan out into the community to perform acts of service.

Since 2013, this has involved Treat the Troops, a nonprofit dedicated to packing and shipping cookies, treats, cards and letters to U.S. troops stationed outside the country. The “Southern Style” (Georgia) chapter of Treat the Troops, headquartered in Cumming, Ga., is the third largest chapter in the United States.

This year for the first time the event also featured students cleaning and preparing beads made from recycled paper, purchased from Maasai women in Kenya, that will be made into jewelry and sold to raise funds for Just One Africa. Headquartered in Alpharetta, Just One Africa is a nonprofit devoted to providing care for orphans and vulnerable children in Kenya. It was co-founded by the parents of a former Piney Grove student.

“We’re so appreciative of Christmas Lights, Etc opening up their facilities to give our students the opportunity to get involved in the work of these wonderful organizations,” said Pam Pajerski, Principal of Piney Grove. “This is such an important lesson for our students to learn: that even one person can make a positive difference in the world, and many people working together can make a big difference.”

Christmas Lights, Etc plans to continue its support of Piney Grove’s Grizzly Great Day of Giving and encourages other local businesses to get involved both with G3 and with Treat the Troops and Just One Africa.

“These organizations do invaluable work in making the lives of people around the world better,” said Chris Miller, Co-Owner of Christmas Lights, Etc. “Whether it’s our troops protecting lives in faraway countries, or vulnerable children in Kenya, the needs are great. We are proud to join with Piney Grove Middle School in supporting the organizations that help meet those needs.”

About Treat The Troops

Treat The Troops ( is a non-profit organization dedicated to letting deployed American military personnel know that people at home are remembering them. Treat the Troops sends home-baked cookies and other comfort items, along with a note of thanks, to the troops via the U.S. Postal Service.

About Just One Africa

Just One Africa ( is a non-profit organization dedicated to caring for orphans and vulnerable children in Kenya by providing access to clean water and by partnering with local leaders to provide sustainable solutions which create hope through care, education, and community development.

About Christmas Lights, Etc

Christmas Lights, Etc ( is the most shopped online Christmas lights store in America. Founded in 2000, Christmas Lights, Etc features thousands of quality lights, trees, greenery and decor. Christmas Lights, Etc is a three-time INC. 5000 company, an ENERGY STAR partner, and a supplier of residential and commercial Christmas lighting, Christmas decor and Christmas trees.

Things To Do Forsyth County {Weekend Edition}

things to do forsyth county

Things to Do Forsyth County This Weekend – May 25 – 28, 2018

Happy LONG weekend, friends! Today I have a round-up of the best things to do this weekend in and near Forsyth County. I have included Monday since it’s a holiday. We hope that our list of the weekend things to do Forsyth County makes your weekend fun & you check out a local business that you didn’t know existed! And just in case it is raining all weekend, you’ll need this – Indoor Fun for Families

Have a great one! -Rachael

QUICK REMINDER – if you have an event or activity coming up, make sure you add it to our calendar. You can do that by clicking here.





Click here for all the Calendar information.

Kids Eat Free

  • Take a break from cooking this weekend and go out to eat where the Kids Eat Free

Don’t Miss these Posts:

  • Summer Guide & E-Book: Download your FREE copy of our ultimate summer bucket list and guide to summer in Forsyth County.
  • 2018 Summer Camp Guide: Looking for a summer camp, we have them organized by the week of summer just for you!
  • 2018 Vacation Bible School Guide: Looking to send your kids to vacation bible school, we have them organized by the week just for you!
  • 2018 Outdoor Movies Schedule: Everyone loves the outdoor movies at Vickey Village. Get these dates on your calendar!
  • Interested in fun & cheap local entertainment? Goldstar’s 20 POP! promotion started on Wednesday, May 23rd, in which you can get $20 tickets to theater, concerts, comedy and more! Buy today and you can take an additional $5.00 OFF your purchase using this promo code: TWENTYPOP
    Here are the redemption instructions: Enter TWENTYPOP in the ‘Gift Certificate’ field in checkout and select ‘Apply’. The $5 value will be added to your purchase.

No matter what you do this weekend, we hope you enjoy it & have a safe one!

The Impact Of Occupational Therapy And Cerebral Palsy

The Impact Of Occupational Therapy And Cerebral Palsy

As the month of April begins to draw to a close, I can’t help but feel a certain responsibility to shed light on something that has been a part of my life since I was an infant—occupational therapy. Because I am a teenage girl living with Cerebral Palsy, I have endured quite a few doctors appointments, surgeries, and therapy sessions, but I have to admit that my time doing occupational therapy has been one of the most rewarding of the bunch.

Occupational therapy, according to, is a form of therapy in which patients are encouraged to engage in vocational tasks or expressive activities, as art or dance, usually in a social setting; however, to me, it is so much more. It is getting to know one of the most incredible people in the world, someone I have been in contact with for all of my life, and someone who I know will always have my best interest at heart: my occupational therapist. It is being forced to do such grueling tasks that, by the end of a session, I feel as if my body wants to give up on me. It is being faced with the harsh reality that I am not as independent as I think I am and working through the proper steps to get me to where I need to be. For me and so many others, occupational therapy is learning, growing, struggling, and succeeding until you feel as if you are ready to finally spread your wings and fly and then doing it all over again.So, this month, I want to personally thank a group of people who make not only my life, but also the lives of millions of others, better because of occupational therapy.

Thank you to all of the incredible occupational therapists—past, present, and future. Congratulations! You made it through all those grueling years of school, and now, you’re here, making the world a better place. You all have hearts that are bigger than anyone could possibly imagine, and we are all so lucky to have the opportunity to grow up around you or watch you change lives. The way that you love us, your patients, or the way that you love what you do is truly inspiring, and we couldn’t ask for anyone better to spend our time with. Thank you for all those times you’ve forced us to tie our shoes, make our own food, button up clothes, or live our own lives: we have grown because of it. Overall, thank you for making us better people and shaping our lives from the very beginning (for some of us, at least); we couldn’t accomplish what we do now without you.

Occupational therapy, as you can probably tell by now, is not an easy job to hold. It will not always be easy, and it will not always be fun, but I’m telling you from the perspective of a long-time patient, it is so worth it. The impact you make is priceless, and I can’t even begin to express my gratitude for all of the times you could have given up, but didn’t. You are truly an amazing group of people.

So, in the future, I would like to encourage you all to keep smiling, keep encouraging, keep laughing, keep dancing, and keep changing the lives of your patients. Some of my memories from OT have been the best times of my 18 years, and I so desperately want that experience for someone else. Be the people that begin those amazing memories.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for all you do, have done, and will do.

Happy Occupational Therapy Month! All the love from a girl who has been greatly impacted and changed by her OT, Morgan Champion

Morgan Champion is an ambitious North Forsyth High School senior who believes in the power of serving others, reaching for her dreams, and having a positive attitude—no matter her circumstances. Besides writing for “Cumming Local,” Morgan enjoys volunteering at her church, at the Forsyth County Peer Court, and at various clubs and organizations throughout her school.

To read more about Morgan and our other contributing writers, click here

Summer Day-Ventures at Pinot’s Palette

Summer Day-Ventures at Pinot’s Palette

How does 3 hours of screen-free creativity where children can explore the artist within and learn new painting techniques in a pressure-free environment sound? I’d say it sounds pretty fabulous to me! Pinot’s Palette Summer Day-Ventures are designed for children 5-11 years old, though siblings are very welcome to join in the fun as we create a painting, craft project and play games based on the theme of the day. They plan a craft and games based on same/similar themes to challenge the campers to keep thinking creatively. There’s a theme for every week and a new painting each day. All art supplies provided. You are welcome to sign up for a day, two days or three days!

This year they have also added an Early Bird Special for signing up for an entire set of sessions. If you signup before May 15th using the Early Bird links listed in the registration section, you get a substantial discount over 3 sessions!

Weekly Themes & Dates:

Multi-Day Discount

For 2 day signups, please use Discount Code SUMCJC218 to get $5 off per session. for 3-day signups, please use Discount Code SUMCJC318 to get $7 off per session. These codes are NOT stackable with early bird pricing. They are intended for use when signing up for individual sessions.

Have questions? Please contact our studio (770.783.1783 or anytime!

Pinot’s Palette opened for business on May 6, 2009. Our first location was a cozy, local studio in the Montrose neighborhood of Houston, TX. Being a new concept, we started small, with the hopes of hosting a wine and painting class three nights a week.

Before long, word spread, and now we have paint and sip franchise locations from coast to coast and internationally.

Together, we’ve created over one million paintings with our customers. And while we haven’t counted the corks, our guests have enjoyed plenty of wine with friends along the way.

We love being your go-to spot to relax, unwind and let loose. From date nights to birthdays and bachelorette parties, our paint parties are a unique way to celebrate all of life’s special moments – even if the occasion is just called “Friday.”

Connect with Pinot’s Palette Online: Website | Facebook

Local Artist Teams With Stipe Studio To Present “Word Power”

Local Artist Teams With Stipe Studio To Present “Word Power”

Local acting studio, Stipe Studio, located in Vickery Village, has teamed up with Marlene Dickinson, a Georgia resident, performing artist and writer of “Word Power” to present this musical on stage for the first time. Forsyth residents and others will have the opportunity to see this show performed live this weekend at Vickery Village.

Friday, April 27 at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Saturday, April 28 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., Stipe Studio students will perform “Word Power” at the Phase Shop at Vickery Village. “Word Power” is a faith-based musical on the power of our words. This brand-new production packs a great message through song, dance and storytelling.

“I want to use art to get people to think about topics we should stop and reflect on. Using our words responsibly is an example of just being a kind human. Our words – both good and bad – can stick to people for years to come, so I thought a musical on this theme would impact children and adults in a good way – a way that we can consider what exactly we are leaving with people using our spoken words.” – Marlene Dickinson

Dickinson and Stipe Studio are presenting this show at a time when words are so easily thrown around – on social media, emails and spoken communication. Every day, people are impacted by the use of someone else’s words, whether it be negative or positive. It’s an important lesson for all to learn that words have the power to help or harm. With the “Word Power” musical, Stipe Studios is hoping to empower kids both in the show and all those in the audience to pay attention to the words coming out of their “mouths.”

The upbeat 45-minute musical comedy will be performed at The Phase Shop, 5756 North South Vickery Street, Cumming, GA 30040, Friday, April 27 and Saturday, April 28. For tickets and more information, visit

Purchase your tickets by clicking here

5 Ways to Improve Your Hiring Process

5 Ways to Improve Your Hiring Process

Are your recruitment efforts falling a bit flat? Are you looking to positively impact your hiring outcomes? It may be time to improve your process in place. Many employers or hiring managers are the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants type, but the best company’s know in their heart of hearts how critical the hiring process is to a business’s success. If you need a couple pointers on how to implement better practices and policies during your next recruitment period, keep reading for our top five suggestions:

  1. Update your careers page

Before your recruitment starts, take the time to update your Careers page on your company website. Remember that candidates are likely to be as curious about your company as you are about them, and they’ll probably enter your business name into a search query. Hopefully they can read through some good reviews on Glassdoor, after which point they’ll scope out your site. It should be informative, listing information such as departments and titles therein, but it should also be genuine and user-friendly. Add images or videos from company events as well as employee quotes or stories which encapsulate your businesses culture.

  1. Start with the job description

To prevent expensive employee turnover, you need to start by bringing the right people through the door in the first place. This is easier to accomplish if you write a stellar job description to draw in the best candidates. Don’t make it too long-winded or overfilling with detail; your potential employee may feel overwhelmed. You do want to note the specific day-to-day tasks he or she will be expected to perform, the skills that are required, and the qualifications necessary to be considered for the role.

Focus on what your company can offer the candidate, such as benefits or an incredible work environment, in order to attract the best batch. Use your job description to express your company’s culture, values and mission statement as reflected in videos, photos, blogs and on social media.

  1. Screen potential applicants ahead of time

Within your job description, mention that your company policy institutes pre-employment background checks during the hiring process. Screening your potential employees is critical; you never know if someone might be lying about who they say they are what criminal history they could be hiding. If you’re among the many employers who find themselves wondering “How long does it take for a background check?”, you might be surprised to learn that you can get results back almost instantaneously in some cases. Even if you wait until after the interview to screen an applicant, be sure to mention the background check in the job post; those who won’t give their permission need not apply.

  1. Try to save time

Once applicants begin submitting their resumes and you identify people worth interviewing, consider saving both of your times by requesting a phone interview during the first phase of the hiring process. Over the phone, you can ask the candidate a few simple questions to see if they have the basic knowledge required for the job while saving yourself the time of a formal meeting.

In the interest of time, feel free to ask your candidate for a sample of their work so you can ensure their performance meets your satisfaction before they come in for an interview.

  1. Implement a panel

After vetting an applicant over the phone, it’s time to invite them in for a formal interview. If you’re not already doing so, implement a panel and get more people involved in the hiring process. It’s important to weigh in multiple thoughts and opinions regarding candidates in order to see how the team perceives the personalities of the people who might be joining them. A panel interview system makes sure everyone is onboard with the hiring decision, and can better protect against workplace strife down the road.

After the panel interview, be sure to keep all candidates in the loop throughout the remainder of the hiring process. Set reminders to follow up with anyone you’ve screened or interviewed—even those who have been disqualified. Keep in mind that if a candidate has a bad experience, they could write a negative reviewabout your company online. However, by refining and sharpening your current hiring process, you’ll see your recruitment efforts go much further.