Tag Archives: Business and Economy

Investing in innovation in Florida

Investing in innovation

Idle musing, why don’t more big companies do stuff like this?  Looks like some pretty cool stuff happening right here in Florida.

Check out this cool project I ran across based in Jacksonville.  Ignite* Adecco is an incubator/innovation lab project  that is fully funded by the world’s largest staffing firm, Adecco Group.

Here’s how they describe themselves:

We are a division of the Adecco Group formed to embrace and promote a culture of innovation within the company. Ignite* is responsible for identifying and seeding tech product ideas that solve common problems related to the staffing industry. Ignite* is a lean, dynamic group that values forward thinking, creativity, and a passion to change the status quo.

They are moving from a co-working space into new offices, spreading tech knowledge in their community, and hiring staff in Jacksonville.

Ignite* Adecco is seeking an experienced Data Analyst/Scientist to join our fast paced startup incubator. This person will be responsible for analyzing and solving “big data” problems and applying their findings to business solutions.

I also like the looks of Path.to, the site where I found this job posting. Here’s my profile over there.

Cool stuff.

 

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Mind your P’s and Q’s

A Twitter style blog

Employment Exhibition
Employment Exhibition (Photo credit: Modern_Language_Center)

The economy is picking up.  Recent job reports have been positive.   It’s possible that we may see turnover start to pick up as employees begin to think about possibly obtaining new positions.  We might even seen the return of people being promoted.  We’ll probably see people quitting.

Are you prepared for this or still quiescent?

 

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HR gets ready to rock in Ohio

2011 Ohio HR Conference gets ready to rock

Yeah, I’m going to an HR conference again this week.  Laundry is running now so I can pack tomorrow, and board my plane to Detroit on Tuesday morning.  I’m going back to Ohio this week to attend blog speak ROCK the 2011 Ohio HR Conference.

I can’t wait actually.  I have never been to a conference in Ohio, even though I was born in Ohio, and have previously lived and worked in the state.  I love the theme and the tone, and am really looking forward to hanging out with the smart peeps from the Buckeye State.

A quick look at some of the tips for attending the big show will give you a good idea of how the conference theme of “HR Rocks” runs throughout the event:

  • Rock and Roll dress code – With the theme this year of HR Rocks, the Committee is dressing more casually.  You’ll probably see [staff] in jeans and you are more than welcome to be casual with us.
  • It’s a Mosh Pit, not anExhibit Hall for vendors!  Make sure to bring plenty of business cards with you to give out to other attendees as you network, and also to connect with our amazing Resource Partners in the Mosh Pit (Exhibit Hall).
  • Rock and Roll Stars! – Don’t miss our phenomenal pre-conference session with Mark Stelzner talking about Social Media and HR at 10:00am.
  • Encores – Our Encore Sessions will start right after our headliner and you can see the whole schedule here at this link: http://www.ohioshrm.org/hr_conf/program.cfm. You may want to plan your schedule to catch the acts that you’d like to see.
  • I want my MTV, kind of – A really cool event this year is that YOU can be a Rock Star yourself if you and your friends enter our Rock Band (the video game) contest !!  Great prizes and a chance to shine and perform are yours !!!
I’ll be speaking about HR, social and brand stuff.  Drop by and see me.  Say hello. I am there to meet you and network.  And by all means, Rock on HR.
A, O, way to go, Ohio….
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Guest Post: Job Search Tips via @TomTom_HRGuy

 

Job Searching Tips

@TomTom_HRGuy  (check out his blog)

Hey Everyone!


My friends and classmates wanted me to talk about some tips on job searching. When I was trying to do some research on this topic online, I found absolutely no definitive guide to job searching. There are all these little tips like “update your resume” or “Google search your name every day”, but no solid suggestions on getting a decent job for yourself. I’m hoping that this post will be useful to you and your friends who are getting ready to start or restart your careers. So let’s get started, shall we?


Where to find job ads


So you would like to find a job… where do you look? There are so many places to go online like Monster.com, Workopolis.com, and Jobserve.ca where you can upload your resume and basically have employers looking for you while you’re looking for them (neat, eh?). There are so many other job search sites that you can go to, but those three are my favourites. Online job searching sites are great for finding jobs in any city you’d be willing to travel to and not just your current city.


There are also local recruitment firms in your area that you can look up and get into contact with someone. Recruitment firms that I have looked into give you the option of uploading your resume onto their website so that you’re on file next time employers are looking for workers. This approach is a lot slower than the others because you would have to play the waiting game.


As you can probably tell from my other blog posts, I really like LinkedIn and the large amount of job posts they have. Also, if you utilize LinkedIn well enough, you could be involved with online groups and discussions that would help you find even more jobs than what would normally be posted. For more information on LinkedIn just CLICK HERE. While we are on the topic of Social Media, Twitter is another great place to find work. There are so many people you can follow that will tell you when specific jobs open up in your city. For example, I’m in Human Resources and I am currently following @Human__Resource which lets me know when there are new job openings in my area. Just search the job you’d like and your city and there should be quite a few postings listed.


Grab your local newspaper and look in the Classifieds section to see if there is anything there that might interest you. If you never buy the newspaper, at least go onto a couple of your local newspapers’ websites and look into the Classifieds page. You’d be surprised what a quick search on their site can get you. The last thing you could do is either go from business to business handing out your resume to companies you’re interested in working for, or email their Human Resources department your resume for consideration.

Don’t limit yourself

 

Once you find a couple of sources that you feel comfortable with then you need to start applying. I’ve noticed some people trying to get into one company that they want to work for, but when you are pplying for a job you really REALLY want to get… chances are everyone else wants that job too. Don’t limit yourself to only one company or one job opening. Apply for as many jobs that you can find that relate to you.


I don’t want to insult anyone, so let’s say a new graduate from a unnamed university or college wants to apply for a job; unless you have the best of the best grades, A LOT of work experience relevant to your field of study, and great references then at this stage in your career (which is non-existent) you should NOT be picky of what jobs you should apply for. Think of it like a funnel effect: you apply for 20 jobs and out of those 20 jobs 5 call you back for an interview. Out of those 5 interviews, maybe 2 will call you back for the job or a second interview. At the very last stage is when you can start getting selective of where you want to work because you now have more information about the company than you did staring at their job ad.


Nice little hint: The more jobs offered to you at the end of the funnel, the more leverage you have to getting the compensation you think you deserve (although, don’t get too greedy because they can easily drop you like a rock as well). Let’s say Company A has a high compensation package but not the best fit (yes I said fit) for you and Company B has the best fit but pays considerably less than Company A. There is nothing wrong with being transparent with the employer by saying “I love your company and would work for you in a heartbeat, but it just doesn’t compensate as much as Company A does and I need that in this stage in my life”. One of two things will happen: 1) They will say sorry to lose you and hire the next guy or 2) They really want you because you do fit with their company then they might be willing to meet you in the middle (which is better than just taking the job). Now if option 1 happened, either take the higher paying job or turns them down and try again… it’s not set in stone!


Job Advertisements: Minimum Requirements vs. “An Asset”


I love this part because there is so much to look for in job ads. I’ve known some people to get intimidated when looking for work because the companies ask for the world… What?! I need a degree AND 5 years experience? Companies are putting an advertisement for the perfect worker, so you don’t need to be that perfect worker… yet. If you are looking at a reasonable job ad (not CEO, sorry) that says you need a degree and experience then one of those two items is an asset to have, but it is not necessary to have both. If you have the degree then you should apply! If you have the experience but no degree then you should apply! If you don’t have either experience or a degree then I suggest you start looking into getting one of those to help you in the future. Moral of this story is look closely at job ads because they will list off everything that MIGHT help you in this position, but you don’t NEED all of that stuff. It takes 2 seconds to apply for a job, so do it and forget about it until you get a phone call from them! If it is a job you feel you would like then apply for it… and then apply for 20 more!


This is a Patience game… it takes time but never sit still! Always keep looking!

Once you get phone calls back from all these jobs you’ve applied for and you would like some help preparing for interviews then feel free to contact me and I’ll definitely help you out with that. I’ll also have a How to Interview post on here soon.

 

 

 

Job Searching Tips

@TomTom_HRGuy

Hey Everyone!

Description: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ZMg_pYW3ONA/TadtNUwagMI/AAAAAAAAABA/Wx9vdtJptY8/s200/Job+search.jpg

My friends and classmates wanted me to talk about some tips on job searching. When I was trying to do some research on this topic online, I found absolutely no definitive guide to job searching. There are all these little tips like “update your resume” or “Google search your name every day”, but no solid suggestions on getting a decent job for yourself. I’m hoping that this post will be useful to you and your friends who are getting ready to start or restart your careers. So let’s get started, shall we?

Where to find job ads

So you would like to find a job… where do you look? There are so many places to go online like Monster.com, Workopolis.com, and Jobserve.ca where you can upload your resume and basically have employers looking for you while you’re looking for them (neat, eh?). There are so many other job search sites that you can go to, but those three are my favourites. Online job searching sites are great for finding jobs in any city you’d be willing to travel to and not just your current city.

There are also local recruitment firms in your area that you can look up and get into contact with someone. Recruitment firms that I have looked into give you the option of uploading your resume onto their website so that you’re on file next time employers are looking for workers. This approach is a lot slower than the others because you would have to play the waiting game.

As you can probably tell from my other blog posts, I really like LinkedIn and the large amount of job posts they have. Also, if you utilize LinkedIn well enough, you could be involved with online groups and discussions that would help you find even more jobs than what would normally be posted. For more information on LinkedIn just CLICK HERE. While we are on the topic of Social Media, Twitter is another great place to find work. There are so many people you can follow that will tell you when specific jobs open up in your city. For example, I’m in Human Resources and I am currently following @Human__Resource which lets me know when there are new job openings in my area. Just search the job you’d like and your city and there should be quite a few postings listed.

Grab your local newspaper and look in the Classifieds section to see if there is anything there that might interest you. If you never buy the newspaper, at least go onto a couple of your local newspapers’ websites and look into the Classifieds page. You’d be surprised what a quick search on their site can get you. The last thing you could do is either go from business to business handing out your resume to companies you’re interested in working for, or email their Human Resources department your resume for consideration.

Don’t limit yourself

Description: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-HAn3HGevrMg/TaduTuCWEuI/AAAAAAAAABE/AXVHUa5GsYs/s200/jobsearchnewspaper.jpg

Once you find a couple of sources that you feel comfortable with then you need to start applying. I’ve noticed some people trying to get into one company that they want to work for, but when you are applying for a job you really REALLY want to get… chances are everyone else wants that job too. Don’t limit yourself to only one company or one job opening. Apply for as many jobs that you can find that relate to you.

I don’t want to insult anyone, so let’s say a new graduate from a unnamed university or college wants to apply for a job; unless you have the best of the best grades, A LOT of work experience relevant to your field of study, and great references then at this stage in your career (which is non-existent) you should NOT be picky of what jobs you should apply for. Think of it like a funnel effect: you apply for 20 jobs and out of those 20 jobs 5 call you back for an interview. Out of those 5 interviews, maybe 2 will call you back for the job or a second interview. At the very last stage is when you can start getting selective of where you want to work because you now have more information about the company than you did staring at their job ad.

Nice little hint: The more jobs offered to you at the end of the funnel, the more leverage you have to getting the compensation you think you deserve (although, don’t get too greedy because they can easily drop you like a rock as well). Let’s say Company A has a high compensation package but not the best fit (yes I said fit) for you and Company B has the best fit but pays considerably less than Company A. There is nothing wrong with being transparent with the employer by saying “I love your company and would work for you in a heartbeat, but it just doesn’t compensate as much as Company A does and I need that in this stage in my life”. One of two things will happen: 1) They will say sorry to lose you and hire the next guy or 2) They really want you because you do fit with their company then they might be willing to meet you in the middle (which is better than just taking the job). Now if option 1 happened, either take the higher paying job or turns them down and try again… it’s not set in stone!

Job Advertisements: Minimum Requirements vs. “An Asset”

I love this part because there is so much to look for in job ads. I’ve known some people to get intimidated when looking for work because the companies ask for the world… What?! I need a degree AND 5 years experience? Companies are putting an advertisement for the perfect worker, so you don’t need to be that perfect worker… yet. If you are looking at a reasonable job ad (not CEO, sorry) that says you need a degree and experience then one of those two items is an asset to have, but it is not necessary to have both. If you have the degree then you should apply! If you have the experience but no degree then you should apply! If you don’t have either experience or a degree then I suggest you start looking into getting one of those to help you in the future. Moral of this story is look closely at job ads because they will list off everything that MIGHT help you in this position, but you don’t NEED all of that stuff. It takes 2 seconds to apply for a job, so do it and forget about it until you get a phone call from them! If it is a job you feel you would like then apply for it… and then apply for 20 more!

This is a Patience game… it takes time but never sit still! Always keep looking!

Once you get phone calls back from all these jobs you’ve applied for and you would like some help preparing for interviews then feel free to contact me and I’ll definitely help you out with that. I’ll also have a How to Interview post on here soon.

 

 

 

Description: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-mlI5OBv6NZg/TadvqdPNlpI/AAAAAAAAABI/ymEv1FerrOo/s320/funny-ads-here.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

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I’ve been everywhere, man!

I really hate public speaking. It would be a b...
Image by marctonysmith via Flickr

I am not turning my back on this blog!

I haven’t been writing much lately on the blog lately.  I have been busy, but not spending much time here.  I have been doing some writing in other places.  If you want to find some of that stuff, here is where to look.

Writing gigs

I am being featured twice a month on Recruiting Tools.  I wrote about recruiting super powers a few days ago, and have something new coming up over there on Monday as well.

I also just started contributing  HR material as part of the  team for Ragan’s HR Communicator site.   This is a site that features a lot of useful content for Human Resources executives, largely tips and strategies on creating great places to work.  You should take a look, and subscribe!

I have something new coming up on Women of HR the first week of November.  I will also be the featured contributor that week, answering questions about why I write on a blog dedicated to the Women of the human resources profession.   I will save most of the details for that week, but I already answered that question on HR Happy Hour a couple of weeks ago.    I was wearing a button that said “Ask me about the Women of HR”, (thanks, Lyn Hoyt!) and one of the conference attendees did just that.  I answered very concisely, telling her:  “I am one!”  There is great stuff going on over there.  I highly recommend you take a look.

Speaking Gigs

I have been doing a lot more public speaking this year, and even though I won’t make a single major human resources event during the fall 2010 conference season.  I gave a talk about social media and protecting your brand to a group of HR professionals in Los Angeles last week, and I have a couple of other things coming up soon.  More on that next week, I have to get packing.

Oh, did I forget to tell you about that?  I am moving.  More on that later too!

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“Old Skool” Talent Acquisition: not your father’s social recruiting

Over There with Felix Wetzel

From Drop Box

This guest post is from Felix Wetzel.   It is both thought provoking, and possibly controversial.  Please read what he has to say, consider it, and leave your thoughts in the comments.    Special thanks to Bill Boorman for helping me get some great articles lined up for “Over There”, including this one.

Social Media is useless for talent acquisition

Let me make a prediction here: For most companies social media will never play a big part in their quest to attract talent. It’s too time-consuming, too fragmented and – in comparison to more traditional methods – it lacks goal orientation: lost revenue through unfilled positions is always more important than cost per hire.

Now granted, social media can bring down the cost per hire as there’s no recruitment fee attached to it, but here we are talking about delayed productivity and revenue generation.

Social media might work for big, sexy consumer brands such as Apple, Google, EA etc but didn’t they already attract lots of applications before social media, via their website? I suspect that HR people just love having a Facebook fanpage as they can update it independently of IT and don’t need to adhere to stringent security policies that forbids, for example, deep linking etc.

But for most companies (big and small) it isn’t working. At Jobsite, we track the behaviour and usage of job seekers and recruiters on a quarterly basis and our latest findings show that between August 08 and May 10 the usage of social media as a recruitment channel for business has halved from 18% to 9%. Instead of investing in their own social media campaign, companies are better off in focusing on their core business and core strength and instead give job boards (or as I prefer to call them recruitment retailers) the task to find and attract suitable candidates.

Back to basics

These findings are mirrored in the recruitment agency world: A large UK agency has discovered that most placements are being made by the consultants who spend most time on the phone and least placements are being made by the consultants who spend hours on social media listening and engaging. As Scott Stratten tweeted: “Listening and engagement isn’t a campaign.”

It’s good to see how recruitment agencies are transforming: One of the Top 5 agencies is going old skool, every consultant only deals with 150 candidates, but has to meet each one face to face and really understand their needs. Now that’s what candidates love! It also ensures the likelihood of candidate and recruiter being on the same wavelength and therefore working successfully together. Everybody’s a winner.

Cultural matching, or more precisely cultural mismatching, is the single biggest factor of candidates not settling in a job. At Jobsite, we ran research and it showed that £2.5billion per year is lost because of cultural mismatching.

Social media = a cultural checking tool

Now, that’s the natural fit for social media in the recruitment value chain: cultural matching (or for want of a better word “background checking”). And it isn’t a one way process: candidates have as much right and responsibility to check the company and social media gives incredibly simple access to employees. Not necessarily to interact but to find out what they say about their employer. By looking at what kind of people work for the company, what attitudes they display and what values they hold also reveals a lot about whether you would be happy there (as a side note: What a great way of assessing the “brand-fit” of current employees). So expect candidates to get pickier. Obviously this can also be reversed and recruiters can check the attitudes and cultural match of candidates before hiring. That’s the real power of social media and invaluable for the decision making process.

Implicit opt-ins

But this for me leads to an ethical dilemma. I believe that somebody’s private life is their private life and as long as it doesn’t affect their performance negatively, I don’t really care what they do in their free time (unless obviously it’s illegal and harmful to others). So ethically, I am opposed to all the dark arts of the sourcers, I am opposed to befriending an individual on Facebook for these reasons, I am bewildered by people wanting to share everything with everybody and I am absolutely delighted that Steve Boese’s students see Facebook as a private area that is shared only with friends. This shows maturity, caution and most importantly a holistic approach to life – there’s no difference between real world and virtual world, therefore hardwired behaviors are being mapped across to create a compartmentalized and healthy world. So where do you draw the line?

I think it’s fair game to look at everything that is publicly available via a simple Google search and if it brings up their Twitter handle, I’ll also look at that to get a better understanding of the person. But it’s ultimately up to the candidate what he wants to share. Opt-in is not only a prerequisite for email and sms, but also implicit for social media. At Jobsite we give candidates the option to include their Twitter handle and Linkedin profile. They are all self-determined adults, so let’s leave rights and responsibility where it belongs, with the individual.

Put the individual at the heart of your organization

We are all in a massive learning curve about social media and mobile, but one thing is already clear: The individual, and in our case the job seeker, will become more and more empowered. We -as an industry – repeat it over and over again. Now let’s behave and act accordingly: Instead of putting social media or mobile at the heart of the organization, let’s put the job seeker at the heart of it – that will completely change concepts such as talent pools and talent exchange, it requires us to rethink ATS integrations and how social media channels really aid the recruitment process, but most importantly it will reinforce respect for the individual and his private sphere and therefore create trust and candidate driven connectivity.

Let’s just remember: Nobody owns the individual but the individual. It’s not about owning the individual; it’s about knowing the individual for the individual’s benefit, for the creation of a life simplifying and life enhancing service.

Biography

Felix Wetzel is the Group Marketing Director for Jobsite and author of the ‘People, Brands, & Random Thoughts‘ blog. For Felix, it’s all about people, brands, sports & politics. His motto is “fortune favors the bold!”

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Delivering Happiness to the workplace

At the Zappos Call Center
Image by tpeek via Flickr

Deliver Happiness

Yesterday, on my 5 hour flight from Tampa to San Diego to attend the  2010 SHRM Conference, I read an advance copy of  “Delivering Happiness: a path to profits, passion and purpose” by the CEO of Zappos.com, Tony HSeih.

Here is my short take on the book.

The first part, which is the growth and development of Tony is pretty boring.   Not that his story isn’t kind of cool,  it is just not what I wanted to read about in terms of workplace culture, business, or the unique story of Zappos.  This stuff takes up the first third of the book.   It is quick, but mundane reading.

The balkance of the book, focusing on building businesses, risktaking, investing, and developing a unique success story is fascinating.   The information Tiny Hsieh shares is really powerful stuff and well worth the time it takes to read.

My favorite line from the book is a question asked by a Zappos employee on an internal communcation board:  “Do Vegans eat animal crackers?”

It reflects the whole wack world that is Zappos.  check it out!

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Networking: It’s a small world after all

Disney - Small World Taj Mahal
Image by Express Monorail via Flickr

Relationships matter, even those you don’t know about

You never know who you know that knows someone you might know!

While I know it to be true,  I m still always surprised at what a small world we actually live in, especially with the advent of social media.

Last Friday, my wife Kyle called and left me a voice mail while I was in a meeting.  It went something like, “I have good news to share, and a funny story to tell you, but since you weren’t there now, I will tell you when you get home.”  For those of you who don’t know Kyle, this is typical of her – in that she would make me wait in anticipation to hear both good news AND a funny story.

I am going to throw my wife a free plug here.  It probably wouldn’t do me much good to charge her for ad space or promotional fees.   Anyway, my very capable partner Kyle Sipple is a home-based freelance web worker, specializing in helping companies update their web presence. She is especially good with micro-sites, and managing out-sourced contractors working on web projects.  You can see her LinkedIn profile here.

The good news is that she had been on an interview and Friday, and it looks like she picked up a project assignment from that 1.5 hour interview.  The funny story, about an hour into the interview, the  interviewer for Kyle’s prospective project assignment suddenly asks her, out of the blue, “Hey, are you married to Michael VanDervort?”   After sputtering a bit, Kyle admitted that she was, and asked the guy how he knew that.   It turns out that he had been looking at her LinkedIn page, and upon seeing my name there, realized that Kyle and I were husband and wife.  I can’t disclose the name of the fan of  Human Race Horses who did this, since to do so would reveal information on their project, but if you read this, you know who you are!

She found this very amusing, but she isn’t crazy about the idea that possibly she is getting this assignment because of this blog.  Don’t worry honey, I know for a fact it is your business acumen and professional skills that get you all of your work!

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HR Carnival to aid Haiti: Do a little research!

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI - JANUARY 14: The  Medec...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

What can we do to help right now in Haiti?

On January 27th, I will be featuring a special edition of the HR Carnival intended to provide assistance in Haiti.  You can help.   I am not asking for your money this time, just that you do a little research.    Details can be found below.  Chris Brogan has agreed to help out.  Can I count on you?

Here is a challenge for human resources professionals who blog or who are web savvy.

Let’s use the HR Carnival format to help focus donations to the most immediate needs in Haiti.

It may sound crazy, but here is how we could make that happen.

  1. Select a charity that is soliciting donations for aid in Haiti
  2. Apply your HR and social media skills by doing a “back ground check” on that organization.  Here is a great place to start your research.
  3. Write up your findings, positive or negative, and post them on your blog no later than January 26th.
  4. Send me your links, and I will aggregate them into a special HR Car­nival for Haiti here on January 27th.  Send the link information to me at michael.vandervort@gmail.com

If you don’t want to do some investigation and recommendation, profile a charity  anyway, or share your thoughts on what else people can do to aid the situation in Haiti.

Personally, I am going to do a profile of Doctors without Borders.

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Global Warming is a lie!

Frozen Flakes
Image by orvaratli via Flickr

Florida is a frozen hell!

It is positively freaking cold in Florida this week.

That is difficult for yankees like me who moved from the Great White North to escape the frozen tundra.  I mean, I don’t even own an ice scraper.  What the hell am I supposed to do when I find frost on  my windshield.   I suppose I could finally put my maxed out and overly interest inflated credit cards to work in some functional capacity once again.

Anyway, this is what it looked like when I got up yesterday morning to begin my two hour drive to Orlando for a planning meeting of the HR Florida Conference Committee.

All I can say is, it sucked!   How are you dealing with the cold where you live?

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