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Posts Tagged ‘social media’

Do The April Reports of An Increase In Jobs Mean We’re Out of The Woods ?

This past Friday, Labor Secretary Linda Solis delivered an address that gave some hope regarding job creation in the United States.  However, she cautioned that we are not out of the woods just yet.

I decided to do some research on the subject because there is always something more to the story.

The bad news is that The U.S. unemployment rate rose to 9.9 percent last month.  The silver lining is that this was a result of more out-of-work Americans jumping back into the job hunt.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was up from 9.7 percent in March, where the nation’s jobless rate has held since the beginning of the year. The U.S. Department of Labor said the hiring of 66,000 temporary employees for the 2010 Census helped boost the payroll count, but the gains were also widespread among the private sector, with increases of at least 40,000 jobs in manufacturing, leisure and hospitality, and professional and business services.

Since the downturn in the economy, I have kept in close contact with a number of former colleagues in the staffing business.  Up until last month, they all seemed to have similar concerns about the lack of business with their clients in 2010.  The underlying theme was that companies were holding out as long as possible in order to hire less and do more with their current resources.

Based on feedback from their clients and the projects already booked for the coming months.  We are seeing an uptick in industry here in the Twin Cities. This is in conjunction with the previously reported increased number of jobs in various industries.

A colleague that works with me on some web/social media projects recently informed me that he was interviewing for 2 full time openings in the web development field and was planning to leave his current job.  He also informed me that 4 people have left his current group to pursue other opportunities. This will result in the backfilling of those vacated jobs.  As a result of the previous example, this means there will be 7 new jobs being filled in the web development field in the coming weeks.

I am receiving regular calls from LinkedIn connections, HR and recruiting professionals, and former colleagues asking if I can refer the type of resource they are seeking for their openings.

Based on my research and my ongoing networking, it appears that the market is picking up.  Don’t misunderstand me, we’re not out of the woods yet, but a slight uptick is better than a flat line or downturn any day.

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Networking Should Be a You Thing, Not a Me Thing

April 26, 2010 5 comments

I had another blog all set for this week until Friday when I had a string of events happen that made this blog much more important.

Whether we think about it consciously or subconsciously, networking will always be a key to succeeding whether personally or professionally. Professionally you may be trying to meet people who may buy from you, sell to you,  hire you, or be hired by you.  Personally you might meet someone who refers a builder, babysitter, lawyer, etc.

I realized a strange thing recently about networking.  It’s not always about how it furthers my momentum and interests, but rather how it supports the networking of others.  I can give you a number of valid examples that occurred this past Friday.

Friday morning I met my friend and fellow recruiter Joe Brown prior to attending Social Media Breakfast.  On the ride there he asked about candidates I might know for a project he is working to staff.

We arrived at Social Media Breakfast (An extremely popular Social Media networking group) and prior to the start of the event we ran into Cathy Paper (A great communicator who embodies the networking approach outlined in this blog).  Cathy, in turn, invited me to a networking event at her client Morsekode, where I ran into Brian Fisher one of their client managers.  Oddly enough I’ve played hockey with him weekly for the past year and never knew what he did for a living or where he worked .  As it turns out, they have a need for strong web development talent at which point I mentioned another guy we play hockey with as a possibility (I can’t mention his name as he is currently working full-time for another company).  They will be connecting this week.

Of course, when we network, we all look for “what’s in it for me”.  However, being helpful to others will often result in long term gain for the giver as well as the recipient.

When all is said and done, everyone needs the give and take that networking provides.  In my experience, if you are a giver, you will receive. If you are a taker, you may receive initially until people figure you out and then your well will run dry.

Job Boards vs Social Media for Recruiting…Is The Quality and Result Worth The Cost???

Every day I talk to more and more of my counterparts in the recruiting business who are looking for more effective ways to recruit top talent without logging in to a job board like Monster, Career Builder, or Dice.com. When I have discussions with individuals in charge of the Job Board licenses for companies I always ask them the following questions.

1) Do you feel like you are getting the same high quality candidates from the job boards that you have in the past?

2) Do you feel like the thousands of dollars you spend each year on those job boards are worth the investment?

3) Are you using social media tools to recruit, and if so, are you finding as many quality candidates than you have with the job boards?

As we all know, job board licenses are very expensive, with a cost in the thousands of dollars per year.  On the other hand, social media tools like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook are being used to creatively to find candidates and the cost is virtually nil (LinkedIn does have professional licenses that start at $24.95 per month).

The recruiters goal is to the find ideal candidate for each of their openings. In today’s economically challenging times, our clients are utilizing more and more vendors as a way to find the best candidates as well as promoting rate competition among these vendors.  This puts an even bigger emphasis on recruiting costs as well as speed to market.  In addition,  many successful and well networked candidates never post a resume on a job board.

However,  in my experience over the past 2 years, none of the candidates I’ve dealt with are without a profile on one or multiple social media sites.

Gautam Ghosh one of India’s leading bloggers and commentators on Career, Work, HR and business issues wrote an interesting blog recently about recruiting and social media.

The job boards definitely serve a purpose today and have been extremely beneficial to my success throughout my career.  However, times are changing and social media recruiting accents what our industry has always known;  relationships are the key to successful job placement.

Check out our poll: What is your best resource for recruiting candidates?

Will Your Social Media Activity Affect Your Ability To Land Your Next Job Or…

Will Your Social Media Activity Affect Your Ability To Land Your Next Job Or Keep Your Current One???

Good, bad, or indifferent, Social Media is here to stay.  For many of us in the areas of Recruiting and Human Resources, Social Media can be a blessing and a curse for our candidates, employees, and friends.

Every day we learn more and more about how to search Social Media more efficiently and effectively.  Most of us in the recruiting world use it to find qualified candidates or to network.  However,  more and more it is being used by hiring managers, current managers, and those who decide whether we get promoted, demoted, laid-off, or dismissed to credit or discredit us.

In a poll conducted by Career Builder in January of this year they reported, “CareerBuilder also revealed that every 2 in about 5 employers did admit that they found some content on a prospective employee’s social network profile that discouraged them to actually employ them.”

A couple of months ago I had lunch with an HR Manager who had to dismiss an employee due to poor Social Media decisions.  This employee was informed that their department was being downsized in the coming month or so and most of the jobs were being rehired out of town.  This employee proceeded to post that information on a Social Media site; grateful that their job was safe unlike the rest of the people in their department.  As you can imagine, this caused an HR nightmare.  The about- to-be-downsized,  less fortunate employees began to cause quite a stir.  Many of them were vital to the upcoming transition and they started to jump ship and cause drama knowing they were not in the future plans of the company.  Needless to say, the employee that leaked the information was dismissed due to violation of the company Social Media policy and as a result, the company needed to replace that role and train a new employee in a key position.   Thich ultimately cost them financially and affected the productivity of the department and company.

Another more positive occurrence where Social Media had an effect on the hiring process occurred when I received a call from a hiring manager I did not know.  They were referred to me by someone I knew,  who was acquainted with a candidate they were considering.  I was not given as a reference for that person, but rather as someone who knew them from a character standpoint.  They saw that I was connected first level to them on LinkedIn and in turn they used it to reach out to me.  The questions they asked had nothing to do with business, rather my assessment of the kindness of this individual.  In this case, I knew this person through their involvement in volunteer work and other opportunities to give back to the community which I briefly shared.  This person did get the job they were interviewing for and this was one time Social Media payed off for a candidate.

The last example came through on our Twitter account in the past.  I will preface this tweet example by saying that these the words of someone else. These are words I find offensive, regardless of who uses them.

“Find me a job EXPLETIVE EXPLETIVE.”  (The expletives are incredibly offensive)

These words actually came from someone wanting my help finding a job.  Also, this is someone I’ve never met who must not understand that this information can be accessed by anyone who knows how to do a tweet search.

So remember, the next time you or your employees post an update, a picture, a tweet,  etc. on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, or the many other sites. It is something you can never erase once it’s posted (even if you go out and delete it).

Are you prepared for the findings of perspective employers, clients, and friends?

The Jobs Guy Becomes The Jobs Guys!

February 17, 2010 Leave a comment

First off I want to thank all the people who have been following, retweeting and mentioning  TheJobsGuy on #FF.  I was especially grateful for the outpouring of support I received when posted “TheJobsGuy Gets a Pink Slip” back in June.  A lot has changed since then.

For starters, I am working again, Whaa Hooo!!  I am working in search engine marketing for Mosquito Interactive.  We help clients get their products and services ranked and found on Google and other search engines and build effective landing pages that capture leads, sell products/services or both.  I love my new gig and one cool feature is I work from my home which works perfect for my lifestyle.  I can only wish the same good fortune to all of you who are currently looking for your next gig.

Secondly, TheJobsGuy’s audience has continued to grow and flourish and more and more people are reaching out to me for help.  Now that I have a full time gig I’ve been working nights and weekends to try and keep up with demands of  TheJobsGuy and my growing network of job seekers, HR professionals and recruiters.  To that point I have been fortunate enough to come into contact with a number of fantastic, like minded people, two of whom will be joining me at TheJobsGuy, hence we will be calling ourselves “TheJobsGuys”.  Imagine that!

So with that said, I would like to introduce Mike Finley and Steve Feinberg.  Mike is a social media expert focusing on using blogging and Facebook to find jobs or recruit employees.  Steve has a 10 year track record as a professional recruiter and is a true expert at using LinkedIn to find the right candidate in a short period of time, something I’m sure all recruiters will want to know more about if you are not seriously leveraging LinkedIn now.

Between the three of us we hope to be timely in our responses to your questions, comments or concerns and provide a steady stream of relevant content, and valuable training & consulting on how to use social media in your job search or recruiting efforts.

Thanks again for all your support and we “TheJobsGuys” look forward to helping you through your job search or recruiting challenges  and getting America working again!

Social Media Without the Social

I’ve been noticing a number of corporate Facebook pages lately which suggests that they are entering the world of social media.  That is until I noticed that the last update posted to the page was months ago! With all due respect people, social media does not mean you set up a Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn account and then doing nothing.  The word social implies interaction so if you really want to use social media to help promote your companies brand, products, services and career opportunities, pay attention to your audience and provide a steady stream of relevant content. By steady stream I mean at least once a week and once a day will make you more valuable to your audience as long as your updates, tweets and posts remain relevant!

Smart companies are using a combination of automated updates and human updates and most of your followers can tell the difference.  If your company is not willing to invest the time to be social and provide a consistent stream of good content, just accept the fact that social media is not for your company at this time and move on!

Feel free to post your comments!

Brand – Employment Brand: What’s the Difference?

I made a post a few weeks back regarding my opinion of the idea of employment branding.  I want to take a moment and expand on this topic as I’m still not sure how clear it is to most people and I think I can clear it up.

First let’s clearly define “brand”.  Brand can be defined as a bank account the balance of which consists of the net of deposits and withdrawals. Every time someone in your target market has a positive experience with your product, service or company, that is a deposit.  Every time someone in your target market has a negative experience with your product, service or company, that is a withdrawal.  Your brand is dynamic /fluid and occurs at both a micro and macro level meaning it is in the minds of both each individual you are trying to reach (or not which is a net 0) and also in the collective mind of the masses.  The larger the balance in your brand bank account, the greater the strength of your brand.  When things go wrong with regards to your product, service or company and executives respond poorly, that can equate to a major withdrawal that can seriously weaken your brand.  When customer service is slow to respond to a common and growing customer complaint, this trend of tiny withdrawals can turn into serious brand erosion.

Now  let’s cover the difference between the two; your brand is what consumers say about your product, service or company and the value of your brand is expressed in how often consumers choose your brand over your competitions.

Your employment brand is driven by what your employees say about working at your company and is expressed in many ways including how they refer to their job or company in the social networks or by looking for a job in another company.  The only thing worse than a a good employee who quits and leaves your company is when a marginal employee quits but doesn’t leave.

With sites like www.glassdoor.com and social media sites like FaceBook, LinkedIn, and Twitter employees now have a number a places to anonymously voice their comments, concerns or compliments.  Each time an employee refers positively to their employment experience, that’s a deposit in your employment brand bank account.  Every time an employee posts a negative comment on Glass Door or one of the many social media sites, that is a withdrawal.

The first step to managing your employment brand is to make sure you have a great place to work.  Survey your employees if you’re not sure what this means. The key to managing your employment brand outside of your company is to provide your employees with many social media outlets and tools to share their positive experiences.  Whether this is a fan page on FaceBook or a group on LinkedIn or something else it is important to open up the channel.

Secondly, companies need to monitor the chatter and the good news is there are many ways to automate this monitoring like www.search.twitter.com or Google alerts for your company name.  Both of these tools provide RSS feeds so it is easy to turn on your computer everyday and see if people are making deposits or withdrawals into your bank account.

And finally, leaders need to understand transparency and be willing to respond to comments, concerns and complaints in a respectful responsible manner.  If your company is smart enough to develop and participate in social media channels, (by the way, you’re employees are doing so with or without you), but fails to respond to member feedback, especially when it is negative, this can turn into a serious withdrawal.

I totally agree with the importance of employment branding although I’m still skeptical that any amount of advertising and promotion can create one where it didn’t exists before.  I just want company leaders to clearly understand where it comes from and what they can do about it.

In my humble opinion.