Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Last Meal For 2009 – Time For Our Last Supper?

I just read an article about New York City’s Tavern on the Green restaurant… here is the link. Seems that this New Year’s Eve will be the last meal they serve as they close their doors. The economy has gotten to them and now they are bankrupt.

This got me thinking… (don’t roll your eyes, it does actually happen:) if a restaurant icon like this can’t make it through the recent rough economy; we have to count ourselves lucky if we are still standing, right? Especially in the staffing industry… the last 18 months have really hit our industry hard, leaving a wake of death and destruction for employers, employees and agencies alike.

All the economic forecasters are saying that 2010 will be the year we rebound from this recession. I can only hope and pray they are right. But my recruiter’s instinct also tells me that we are close to a rebound. I plan on spending the first quarter preparing for the oncoming wave and anticipate that most companies will use contractors rather than increasing their staff, at least for the first part of the recovery.

So let’s all go out tomorrow night and have our “Last Supper” for 2009 and the recession!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Crowdsourcing - The Wisdom of the Crowd

Just how wise is the crowd anyway? Everyone is talking about crowdsourcing, or using the talent of the crowd, to create solutions and/or content for business. It can also be used on a personal level to put problems out there “into the cloud” and taking the combined opinion of “people in the cloud” to determine the best solution by way of the most popular answer. There are hundreds of social networking websites that can be used for this purpose… Facebook and Twitter are probably the most popular right now.

A great example of this was a recent episode of House where the patient was a high tech software developer who owned a very successful internet company but, of course, had an un-diagnosable disease. (Remember it is House, after all… and no, it was not Lupus! ;)

When the first few attempts of House’s team to diagnose what was the cause of his illness went horribly wrong, he posted his symptoms on the internet and offered a reward to the person with the correct diagnosis. And the correct diagnosis was submitted by one of the people in the crowd… in this case the crowd was pretty wise. (Actually it was House who solved the mystery anonymously since he didn’t have his medical license back yet.)

Sometimes I am so at a loss for a solution that I ask advice from almost anyone I come in contact with… the person on the other end of the phone, the cashier at the store, the neighbor walking their dog, the person in the elevator in our building at work. Almost any opinion is better than not having an answer. Maybe there is something to this Wisdom of the Crowd after all… what do you think?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Home Tweet Home

Very interesting lunch today at the Metroplex Technology Business Council... the subject was "Social Media: New Strategies for the Enterprise" and the speakers were Bob Pearson and Scott Anderson. This was the first time I have ever attended a luncheon where the speakers encouraged the attendees to break out their cell phones… and tweet!

Probably about 10% - 20% of the audience had twitter accounts and were able to send tweets to the MTBC, who then projected them on a screen. It was great fun and an easy way for me (being a visual learner) to pick up some well needed twitter help. (It also helped to feed the narcissist in us to see our comments up on screen for everyone to see;)

You could say that now I’m just twitter-fluent enough to be dangerous. So I’m back at the office working on my FollowFriday and filled with enthusiasm to take my twittering to the next level… we will see how far that goes.

Many thanks to Bob, Scott and all the tweeters at the event! What I came away with was: there are 3 things customers want to do… share ideas, product knowledge and solve problems. The fundamentals haven’t changed… we are still having conversations that lead to business, your customers are in control, they are talking to each other and you should join the conversation, and you should be so compelling to your customers that they seek you out. It’s not about the specific tools… it’s about where the technology is taking us.

To quote Bob Pearson: “the world's greatest OS is the web; not Microsoft.” Tweet you later… @leslie12002

Friday, July 10, 2009

Social Networks – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Do you tweet… holla… shout out… tag photos… give your homies their props? How many websites does it take you to voice a single passing thought? If you have the money honey, I have the time! No, wait... that’s a song! But it is a valid point… how much time do you spend on social networks merely updating your status or pinging your friends? When do you find the time… do you try to sneak a peek during work and hope you won’t get busted?

Personally I love my social networks and enjoy keeping up with people. When a friend from the past finds me on Facebook, I’m happy to catch up with them but guilty of not becoming involved on a deeper level. Unfortunately that is pretty much the end of the correspondence unless it’s reading the one line updates and checking out the new photos they post.

So come on… chime in… am I the only superficial social networker out there?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Friday, May 22, 2009

Video Resumes

The vote is still out on the advantages of having and sending video resumes. I have read many articles on this subject and the decision is pretty much split right down the middle as to whether they offer a real benefit as opposed to a traditional resume. I have diligently completed a Visual CV as well as profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. I am socially networked and totally Googleable… do I really need another web presence to drive people to find/contact/reach me?

Inquiring minds like mine want to know… what are the benefits of having a video resume? As a consummate and intrepid recruiter, I have decided to put one together. (Go ahead, laugh if you must.) The content and format is decided and the video camera has been borrowed. Filming has begun! Help has been elicited from my daughter and my more technically savvy, Gen Y friends for editing, music, etc. I am extremely excited and curious as to how this project will turn out while keeping an open mind as to the infinite possible results. Stay tuned for updates… same bat time, same bat channel.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Purple Squirrel Candidates

Most recruiters know that a Purple Squirrel is a very rare, highly sought after, almost extinct species of candidate. In other words, the hire that requires very specific knowledge and qualifications and will most likely take longer, more efforts, and harder negotiations to recruit.

It seems that at least half of my clients are actually looking for Purple Squirrels now. With the economy problems and companies being cautious with hiring, these searches are becoming more and more the rule rather than the exception.

I was talking to a client yesterday regarding a Purple Squirrel search and why the 2 Purple Squirrels submitted were not moving forward. We had 100% of the requirements, the certifications, the industry experience and technical knowledge... now the requirements have been amended to limit us to candidates within a 50 mile radius of their zip code. Looks like this Purple Squirrel has just sprouted pink polka dots as a wardrobe requirement... wonder if they will consider a cutting edge, fashion conscious squirrel with lime green spots?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Job Descriptions – Easy Guidelines to Write and Reply

If you are going to write a job description for your company, the best bet is to keep it simple and to the point. Define what the company requires and expects for a person to successfully perform that particular job within your company. There are 3 main sections for a job description; Overview, Requirements and Qualifications.

The overview is the section where the company tells about the “big picture” role of the job within that particular company. In a job posting, this is the place where the company incorporates all the wonderful things about why someone would want to come to work there.

Next follows the Requirements or Duties section… this section outlines the day-to-day duties of the position. It also includes what the person in that position will be responsible for fulfilling for the company both short term and long term.

Qualifications or Experience is the section that defines the specific educational, years of experience, qualifications, certifications and career level for the position. It would also include any physical requirements or travel percentage necessary to perform the job.

If you are a job seeker applying to a job posting for a company, a good rule of thumb would be to incorporate how you have met those specific requirements within your resume. If you are using a generic resume to apply for multiple jobs, then you should always attach a cover letter or email stating where and when you have met those requirements successfully. This will get the attention of the recruiter or hiring manager who is really only interested in how you fit for that particular position. It may take a little more time but will be more effective and productive in the long run.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Building Your Referral Network

It really is all about who you know in this world… especially if you are looking for a job! You could be the best in your professional area (maybe even a Rockstar;) but if you don’t have the connections to get you in front of the right people, you will never be able to advance your career. I would venture a guess that if you asked most people how they got their jobs; almost everyone would say it was in some way through a referral, connection, introduction, etc. Personally, I have only gotten one job in over 20 years that was not through a referral. And every recruiter will tell you that the best candidates come from personal referrals.

So, how do you go about building a network of people who could help you? First of all, put together a list of people you know in various industries that you are interested in pursuing. Fill out a LinkedIn profile (completely please) and start inviting them to join your network. Research companies where you want to work and find employees who currently work there… contact them directly for insights on the company; what openings do they have now or possibly in the near future, who is over the particular department or group where you want to work, what is the culture like there, what makes them successful, etc. Then follow up on the leads and referrals they give you... ask for some time to meet with them and be respectful of that time.

Don’t forget to get out and beat the streets… join networking groups and go to the lunches, meetings and seminars for leads and talk to people who might be able to help you. When you do this you will also be able to help other people get what they want as well. Be a referral for someone else! Besides making you feel better, helping others will also come back around later and help you. People remember those who help them and are happy to return the favor. Use you time wisely, volunteer to be on a board, make sure you are Google-able, and become a Subject Matter Expert at something… at least one thing in your chosen profession. Make it easy for recruiters like me to find you!