Posts

The Changing Identities of Today’s Workforce: #TChat Preview

Originally posted by Matt Charneyone of #TChat’s moderators, on MonsterThinking Blog

Last week’s #TChat asked the question, “Should I Stay Or Should I Go,” and the conversation underscored compelling data that suggests that a mass exodus of talent seems imminent, a trend that threatens to impact employers irrespective of company size or overall headcount.

Employees and job seekers with small business experience and their counterparts from large company backgrounds face a similar career conundrum: what kind of employer is right for me? For an increasingly large percentage of the workforce, that answer comes down to transforming their personal brand into, well, a personal brand.

But what, exactly, does this new class of independent workers call themselves? Terms like consultant, contractor and contingent worker are frequently used interchangeably on resumes and job descriptions alike, but what, exactly, is the difference?

For many of us, what we do forms, in large part, who we are; but what do non-traditional, non-employees, well, call themselves? Are they marketing a small business or a start-up? Are they an entrepreneur or a gun for hire? It even seems looking for a job has increasingly turned into a business development proposition.

Whether building a brand or a bottom line, identity matters. But it’s often lost in today’s increasingly complex world of work. Tonight’s #TChat: “Am I A Temp, A Consultant, An Entrepreneur or a Small Business?” will take a look at the changing identities of today’s workforce – and its repercussions for employers and job seekers alike.

Join the conversation at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT with hosts @meghanmbiro @TalentCulture @kevinwgrossman and @monster_works and let us know what you think about the seismically shifting employment mix – and where you fit in.

For the first time this week, we’re asking a question in advance. So if you can’t wait until 8, let us know, “How Do You Classify Yourself In Today’s Workforce?” You don’t have to vote in advance; will let you submit your answer and we’ll reveal the results live on #TChat!

The Changing Identities of Today’s Workforce: 4.12.11 #TChat Questions and Recommended Reading

Here are tonight’s #TChat questions, along with some recommended reading, to help prepare, and inform, your participation in tonight’s conversation about personal identity and career management in today’s workforce.

Q1 (Poll): How do you classify yourself in today’s workforce? Full-time, part-time, temp – what?

Take The Survey

Q2: Has the latest downturn created more independents and “entrepreneurs”? Why?

Read: The Great Recession’s Effect on Entrepreneurship by Scott Shane (Federal Reserve)

Q3: What challenges are there transitioning from employed to independent or vice versa?

Read: More Jobs Shifting from Full Time to Contract by Larry Buhl

Q4: What’s the difference between a contractor, a temp or a consultant, if any?

Read: 5 Tips for Engaging Contingent Workers by Kevin Sheridan

Q5: What’s behind the rise in companies use in contingent workers and contractors? Good thing? Bad?

Read: From One to Many by Alice Snell

Q6: Do companies have different hiring standards for contingent workers? Should they?

Read: Why Are Hiring Managers Scared of Entrepreneurs? by David Mesicek

Q7: How has technology changed the employment mix? Increased startups?

EMBED: 2011 IT Job Market Report

Q8: So, are job titles now obsolete? How should we rethink careers and the why of work?

Read: If You Think Job Titles Don’t Matter… by Dawn Hrdlica

Visit www.talentculture.com for more great information on #TChat and resources on culture fatigue and how to overcome it!

Our Monster social media team supports the effort behind #TChat and its mission of sharing “ideas to help your business and your career accelerate – the right people, the right ideas, at the right time.”

We’ll be joining the conversation live every Tuesday night as co-hosts with Kevin Grossman and Meghan M. Biro from 8-9 PM E.T. via @monster_works and @MonsterWW. Hope to see you tonight at 8 PM ET for #TChat!

Consider Culture Before Leaving Your Job: #TChat

Originally posted by Matt Charneyone of #TChat’s moderators, on MonsterThinking Blog

A lot of companies, through recruiting advertising, corporate mission statements, employee communications or any other aphorism-friendly medium, proudly proclaim some variation on the theme, “Our people are our greatest assets.”

As the economy slowly rebounds, however, there’s a pretty good paper trail showing that, in fact, many of these assets were treated, essentially, like a cost center, at least when it comes to the old p&l.   Shedding the fixed costs of human capital might make sense on a balance sheet, and has, over the short term, created both shareholder value and historic levels of employee productivity.

For the overwhelming majority of workers, there’s nothing fixed about human capital.  And they’re about to prove it; with the expected mass exodus of talent  in the wake of the rebounding economy, many companies and talent organizations are about to discover, in fact, that “our people are our greatest assets” is more than a corporate catch-phrase.

Because a lot of those assets are about to walk out the door, taking with them, in many cases to competitors, a level of institutional and internal knowledge whose value on the balance sheet might be hard to calculate, but whose bottom  line effect will be felt by many organizations for years to come.

The upcoming seismic spike in employee turnover will look different than any we’ve seen in the past.   A recent Monster.com survey showed that fully 82% of fully employed workers have updated their resumes in the past 6 months, and a whopping 96% of employees with tenures of over 5 years are openly exploring opportunities.

Any recruiter can tell you, candidates with up-to-date resumes and job longevity are pretty much the Holy Grail of talent acquisition.  And the crusade for your organization’s employees is about to begin.

Join #TChat tonight as we discuss what employers and job seekers alike can do to take advantage of this historic confluence of trends that stand poised to redefine the status quo of workforce and talent management.

#TChat Questions and Recommended Reading (4.5.11)

Whether you’re a recruiter, job seeker, or employer, the ‘perfect storm’ of accelerated attrition and acquisition will change the way you work, and who you work with, and we want to hear from you tonight from  8-9 PM ET.

Here are the questions we’re going to be discussing tonight, along with some recommended reading to help inform, and  inspire, tonight’s #TChat conversation:

Should I Stay Or Should I Go?  Workplace Culture Factors to Consider Before Leaving Your Job

Q1: Almost 90% of workers report being “open” to looking for new jobs.  Why is this number so high?

Read: Another Workplace Survey Shows Workers Are Fed up And Ready to Bolt by John Hollon

Q2: How can employers take advantage of these trends to recruit and hire top talent?

Read: How To Capitalize on the Post-Recession Resume Turnover Tsunami by Jon Picoult

Q3: What factors should employees consider when looking for a new job opportunity?

Read: What To Know Before You Quit by Roberta Matuson

Q4: What can business leaders do to improve retention  rates and morale among top talent?

Read: Rules for Retention: The Big 6 Motivators by Dr. John L. Sullivan

Q5: What’s the difference between an active and a passive candidate, if any?  Does it matter?

Read: The Darwinian Evolution of the Recruiter by Mark McMillian

Q6: What are the most significant factors employees look at when deciding to stay or leave?

Read: The Grass is Not Always Greener by Dr. Caela Farren

Q7: What are some ways employers and companies can help turn the tide?  Or is it too late?

Read: Top 2011 Employee Engagement Trends by Kevin Sheridan

——————-

Visit www.talentculture.com for more great information on #TChat and resources on culture fatigue and how to overcome it!

Our Monster social media team supports the effort behind #TChat and its mission of sharing “ideas to help your business and your career accelerate – the right people, the right ideas, at the right time.”

We’ll be joining the conversation live every Tuesday night as co-hosts with Kevin Grossman and Meghan M. Biro from 8-9 PM E.T. via @monster_works and @MonsterWW.  Hope to see you tonight at 8 PM ET for #TChat!

Live from #TRULondon – Recruiting: Power of Global People Connectivity

I’m at the TruLondon unconference this week, meeting with people from all over the world – from companies and people discussing the social aspects of leadership, recruiting and HR, we’re learning and sharing stories about using the power of social media to make connections with job seekers and recruiting companies.

London is a creative and vibrant city and the TruLondon unconference, hosted by my friend Bill Boorman and their sponsor JobSite is an amazing venue – no powerpoints, lots of Tweeting and more like a long coffee/wine break with friends than a sit-down-take-notes conference. My kind of conference for certain. It is here where innovation has room to breathe and develop into new ideas.

As I listen to Bill and the other conference friends and attendees one fact remains: We’ve been on a career/workplace/media innovation roller coaster these past several months. Job satisfaction started 2010 at 45 percent negative and plunged to 80+ percent negative by December.

The job market tried to pull out of its dive but failed, despite the government’s recent attempts to redefine the meaning of ‘long-term unemployed’. Companies that weren’t hanging by a thread were socking away cash, holding off on hiring and waiting for signals that the nation was on more certain economic footing. All of us here are ready to say ‘done with that’ and are hoping – and talking about -how to make these times truly count for our recruiting clients and social communities.

What has changed that we can take into the next few months with lighter hearts? I looked back at our recent TalentCulture TChat– my new tea-leaves – for cues, and have distilled my thoughts from TRULondon so far as well. Here’s what stood out to me:

  • The influence of social media on the workplace, hiring trends and corporate brands is huge and will continue to grow. Smart employer brands realized they needed to use social media as both a recruitment and retention tool, as well as a way to take the temperature of the workplace and the larger market. Cheers to social media.
  • Innovation is en vogue again. You know I love hearing affirmation of this. It’s early days yet but I predict that workplaces that invested in developing an authentic culture brand and employee experience will start to see the payoff in innovation.
  • Risk is still significant that ‘stuck’ workplaces will lose their star team players, and maybe even the B team as well. By ‘stuck’ I mean the companies lead by the out-of-touch – the people who are afraid to clue into their emotional intelligence, afraid to change and ease up a bit on employees. The change here is that emotional intelligence is on the rise, and companies that invest in building it into the workplace will come out of the gate in better shape than competitors.
  • More companies will go virtual (and we will be recruiting for these skills) as a way to lighten the load on stressed employees, worn down from years of no raises or pay cuts or layoffs. Managing these highly-mobile, virtual workplaces takes a sure hand and a light touch. Finding ways to be successful with mobile, virtual workforces will be a key leadership/recruiting/HR skill. Note: Our next #TChat topic is Managing virtual teams and dispersed global organizations while maintaining workplace culture.  Is it possible?
  • It’s a new world of recruiting indeed, thanks to Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook et al. Today’s recruiters work mainly in 140-character bursts, and resumes are distilled into keywords and links. I’m spending time reviewing innovation in this space and it’s really very cool and exciting. It’s safe to say that LinkedIn remains the most widely utilized sourcing tool for recruiters to date from this list.
  • The notion of leadership is re-emerging. Too many erstwhile leaders have been hunkered down behind closed doors. It’s time to re-invest in building a culture of leadership, one that is inclusive and broad.
  • Culture is the new workplace must-have. Go figure. Cultures of Talent loom large. Authenticity, brand, stickiness, innovation and inspiration must come through in your workplace culture. Connect and humanize your employees with your brand and watch culture bloom.

What say you? Are you expecting more of the same or actively engaged with companies and job seekers bubbling with innovation, workplace culture and passion for doing a great job now? Love to hear your thoughts.

Employment Triad Equates to Acknowledgement & Closure. #TChat Recap

The job transaction is a triad. There is applicant, candidate and employer.

During last night’s #TChat Employer Black Holes and the Candidate Experience, it was question #4 that differentiated and clarified things for me:

Q4: Should the candidate experience apply to applicants?  When does an applicant become a ‘candidate?’

The answer to that is when you’re qualified and you make the “short list.”  Because until that point you’re not qualified, and in today’s market, there’s a lot more of you out there looking for work who aren’t.

Even with the volume of career applicants today, there’s a lot that be done to “humanize” the process and at the very least auto-acknowledge folks thanking them for applying to your job openings.

So I’ll repeat some of what I shared in my post the other day – The Employer/Applicant Transaction: Acknowledgement and Closure.

There’s only one job per multiple applicants/candidates, so what has their experience been with American corporations and SMB and startups alike?

Overall, pretty poorly. I mean, it’s not news to know how poor the applicant/candidate experience is and has been for a long, long time.

Businesses do owe applicants and candidates at least two things regardless of the position level being applied for. That’s it. Two things that I’ve done as an employer over the years:

  1. Acknowledgement – simply that you’ve applied and we acknowledge that. Thank you.

  2. Closure – simply that you are or are not qualified for the position, that you are or are not getting the job, there are or are not other opportunities with us, and we acknowledge all these things in a consistent and timely manner. Thank you.

There were a lot of other nicer sentiments for how employers should treat their applicants/candidates, but it’s still simply these two things.  And you sure better do it with your short list of candidates regardless of industry or position. It’s best practice for your workplace culture brand.

You can read the transcript from last night here, and these were the questions posed to everyone:

  • Q1: Is the applicant ‘black hole’ experience real when applying for a job?  If so, why does it exist?
  • Q2: How does candidate/applicant experience impact employment brand or company culture?
  • Q3: At a minimum, what should job seekers expect from employers to which they apply?
  • Q4: Should the candidate experience apply to applicants?  When does an applicant become a ‘candidate?’
  • Q5: What are some creative ways job seekers can get through the black hole or recruiters can handle the applicant tsunami?
  • Q6: Job seekers: What has your candidate experience been like during your most recent job hunt?
  • Q7: Employers: what are you doing to improve candidate experience?
Thank you everyone for joining us last night!  A special thanks to Matt Charney for helping me steer the ship.
We’ll see you next week where our topic will be:
Managing virtual teams and dispersed global organizations while maintaining workplace culture.  Is it possible?

Employer Black Holes & the Candidate Experience: #TChat Preview

Originally posted by Matt Charneyone of #TChat’s moderators, on MonsterThinking Blog

With the way employers and job seekers alike refer to the “black hole” of online job search, you’d think it’s some sort of industry wide conspiracy, given its endemic proportions.

The candidate experience, writes #TChat co-host Kevin Grossman, is almost always negative or non-existent, regardless of the job title, function or level:

There’s only one job per multiple candidates, so what has their experience been with American corporations and SMB and startups alike?

Overall, pretty crappy. I mean, it’s not news to know how poor the applicant experience is and has been for a long, long time.

Case in point — I recently went through a fairly high-level job search with a well-known firm in the HR marketplace. Considering that they should know better the best practices of recruiting and hiring, I was left with inconsistent acknowledgement and no closure. Still. Even thought I didn’t get the job, of which the other primary candidate definitely had the edge on me, I was led to believe that there were other opportunities.

And then nothing. Crickets chirping in the night.”

Grossman’s experience, and frustration, echoes the experience of countless others, but he points to two of the almost universal expectations candidates have when applying for a position: acknowledgment and closure.

These are pretty reasonable demands, and the fact that most employers aren’t meeting even this basic baseline defies reasonable explanation.  The truth is, employers have gotten pretty good about the acknowledgment part; most applicant tracking systems have been programmed to automatically e-mail a confirmation directly to the job seeker for their records, and it’s sent out the moment they apply to an open requisition.

It’s the closure part organizations seem to be having problems with, to the frustration of candidates and to the detriment of their employment and consumer brands alike.  But the thing is, it’s just as easy to notify applicants that they haven’t been selected via e-mail, instantaneously, as it is to notify them when their application is received.

But no one likes to be the bearer of bad news, least of all recruiters.  Most seem to feel that letting people know they’re no longer under consideration opens a door that they’re trying to close, and that, in effect, no news is good news.  But it’s not.

In fact, for employers and job seekers alike, it’s very bad news indeed.  At Monster, we’re committed to advancing the conversation, and searching for the solution, for an improved candidate experience and to help employers transform the “black hole” into a brand-building talent pipeline.

That’s why we’re excited to be participating in tonight’s #TChat, Workplace Culture Branding – Employer Black Holes and the Candidate Experience. Join @kevinwgrossman @meghanmbiro and @talentculture at 8 PM ET tonight as we tackle this very important issue.

We might not come up with all the answers, but we hope these questions, and these related articles, help inform, inspire and impact your perspective on improving the candidate experience:

#TChat Questions and Recommended Reading: 2.15.11

Q1. Is the applicant ‘black hole’ experience real when applying for a job?  If so, why does it exist?

Read: Candidate Experience Isn’t About Pleasing Everyone by Claudia Faust

Q2. How does candidate/applicant experience impact employment brand or company culture?

Read: When Potential New Hires Are Searching for YOU by Emily Bennington

Q3: At a minimum, what should job seekers expect from employers to which they apply?

Read: Candidate Experience and Common Sense by Tim Sackett

Q4: What do employers owe to applicants?

Read: Candidate Experience: A Question of Values by Howard Adamsky

Q5: Should the candidate experience apply to applicants?  When does an applicant become a ‘candidate?’

Read: Candidate vs. Customer Experience by Gerry Crispin

Q6: What are some creative ways job seekers can get through the black hole or recruiters can handle the applicant tsunami?

Read: How to Get An Employer’s Attention in 20 Seconds by Jessica Holbrook Hernandez

Q7: Job seekers: What has your candidate experience been like during your most recent job hunt?

The Employment/Applicant Transaction: Acknowledgment and Closure by Kevin W. Grossman

Q8: Employers: what are you doing to improve candidate experience?

Read: Eliminate the Black Hole by Colin Kingsbury

Visit www.talentculture.com for more great information on #TChat and resources on culture fatigue and how to overcome it!

Our Monster social media team supports the effort behind #TChat and its mission of sharing “ideas to help your business and your career accelerate – the right people, the right ideas, at the right time.”

We’ll be joining the conversation live every Tuesday night as co-hosts with Kevin GrossmanMeghan M. Biro and Steve Levy from 8-9 PM E.T. via @monster_works and @MonsterWW.  Hope to see you tonight at 8 PM ET for #TChat!

Workplace Culture Fatigue: #TChat Preview

Originally posted by Matt Charney, one of #TChat’s moderators, on MonsterThinking Blog

Fortune recently released their annual 100 Best Companies to Work For list, which takes into account such factors as internal mobility, inclusion/diversity, employee training and satisfaction, among a litany of seemingly disparate criteria that, together, comprise what’s often referred to as “Corporate Culture.

It’s no surprise that the companies on Fortune’s list are widely recognized, in best practices publications and in recruitment literature, for having developed distinct and unique corporate cultures designed to attract, develop and retain top talent.  After all, it’s culture that defines the best (and the worst) places to work.

For HR professionals, Recruiters and Executive Leadership, culture is often a top down directive, but its employees on the front lines who truly define a corporate culture and create its impact.  Culture’s a lot like meetings and memos: it’s an inescapable, and inevitable, part of the employee (and candidate) experience.

That’s why “fit” is so important to talent acquisition and development; but what does it take for new employees, their managers, executive leadership and customers to fit in, and thrive, in a unique corporate/workplace culture?

Join the #TChat conversation live every Tuesday night with from 8-9 PM ET, 7-8 PM CT, 6-7 PM MT, and 5-6 PM PT. We also enjoy hearing from our global community and hope you can join from wherever you might be. Let’s explore what companies can do to create, implement and evolve the kind of corporate culture which drives employee satisfaction, engagement and ultimately, bottom line results.

#TChat Questions and Recommended Reading: 1.25.11

Here are the questions we’ll be discussing, along with some background reading, to help prepare and inform the #TChat conversation.  While this isn’t mandatory to get in on tonight’s #TChat action, we suggest checking out these articles by top career advice and talent management thought leaders to explore the possibilities (and pitfalls) of workplace culture:

Q1) In 3 words, describe the culture of your current/recent employer; was it the culture that lured you there or that drove you away?

Read: Personality and Corporate Culture: Where’s A Person To Fit?

Q2) In “Employment Rage”, Howard Adamsky wrote, “Corporate America is not human.” If this is so, does culture really matter?

Read: The New Rules of Engagement (Excerpt from “Employment Rage”)

Q3) What is your definition of “office politics” and how does it impact hiring and retention?

Read: Office Politics: How Well Do You Play the Game?

Q4)  What tools does your company use to assess “fit” during recruiting; how do these “track” to your culture?

Read: Culture Brand: Create Magical Distinction to Attract the Very Best Talent

Q5) What should CEOs be doing to create and lead a culture that generates shareholder value and what is this “value”?

Read: The Cornerstone of An Engaged Workforce Culture

Q6) What should all employees be doing to develop a culture that generates shareholder value?

Read: It’s Not the Stupid Culture; It’s the Culture, Stupid!

Q7) How would you conduct a workplace culture audit? How often should this be repeated?

Read: Practical Ways To Address Employee Engagement

Visit www.talentculture.com for more great information on #TChat and resources on culture fatigue and how to overcome it!

Our Monster social media team supports the effort behind #TChat and its mission of sharing “ideas to help your business and your career accelerate – the right people, the right ideas, at the right time.”

#TChat is brought to you by @TalentCulture, @MeghanMBiro, @KevinWGrossman, @monster_works, and @MonsterWW – They will be joining the #TChat conversation live every Tuesday night with from 8-9 PM ET, 7-8 PM CT, 6-7 PM MT, and 5-6 PM PT Hope to see you tonight at 8 PM ET for #TChat!

The New Old World is the Power of Network: #TChat Recap

This is personal.

As it is for anyone right now looking for work.

A recent Monster+HotJobs poll found that 98% of American workers are “primed and ready” to look for a new job in 2011, their optimism buoyed by a recovering employment and economic picture.  (Read the entire pre-TChat post from @MattCharney at Monster Thinking here. Kudos to Matt and his moderation last night!)

And anecdotally speaking, one of my old background screening clients told me yesterday that business has spiked dramatically the past 3-4 months.  It’s across the board of industry and positions, but it’s primarily churn hiring — a musical chairs if you will — which validates the exodus chanting of late.

Combine that with the folks who have been out of work looking for work and you’ve got one heck of a job hunting mob.

Torches lit, walking arm in arm, resumes spellchecked (well, some spellchecked), outfits dry cleaned and pressed, breath mints in mouths, smart phones in hand ready to taser their respective employees and references alike…

This is the new old world of job hunting and hiring, and its landscape is familiar yet radically stranger than it’s ever been.

Here were the questions from last night’s #TChat:

  • Q1 – Jobseekers: What do you think of when you hear about “old world” job hunting?
  • Q2 – Jobseekers: What is the freshest new idea that you’ve used in your job search and has it worked for you?
  • Q3 – Jobseekers: From your experiences, how would you describe how companies are hiring today?
  • Q4 – Recruiters: What are some of the most egregious “mistakes” jobseekers are making?
  • Q5 – Talent Managers: What can jobseekers and employees do to better manage their careers?
  • Q6 – All – Which matters more to candidates and recruiters: the job or the possibilities of what the job might lead to?

You can read the transcript here from the many fine folk who participated last night.  Lots of great recommendations, many tried and true, and many more that were kind of new.

But for me, new old world is all about the power of “network” — and not just the online connections either.  You have to get on the phone, on the Webcam, and meet in person as much as possible.  This goes for both job seekers and employers.

You must maximize your network investment. Meaning, invest in building one out first. Then pay it forward and pay it back.  We are all informal mentors to each other.

Great question from last night:  Doesn’t anyone do informational interviews anymore?  That’s a great way to network as well.

Here are the top contributors from last night:

  1. @talentculture – 263
  2. @HRMargo – 92
  3. @dawnrasmussen – 91
  4. @meghanmbiro – 86
  5. @jillianwalker – 84
  6. @JeffWaldmanHR – 80
  7. @IanMondrow – 77
  8. @KevinWGrossman – 76
  9. @juliaerickson – 52
  10. @levyrecruits – 46

The greatest single predictor of one’s success and happiness during a time of challenge, every single time, is one’s social support network.

Torches lit, walking arm in arm.  It’s time to light up the business world, kids.



The New (Old) World of Job Hunting & Hiring: #TChat Recommended Reading

Originally posted by Matt Charney, one of #TChat’s moderators, on MonsterThinking Blog

recent Monster+HotJobs poll found that 98% of American workers are “primed and ready” to look for a new job in 2011, their optimism buoyed by a recovering employment and economic picture.

The war for talent is on — and the rules of engagement have changed. Job seekers are mobilizing, and employers are fighting to hire and retain the best employees, in a new and fast-changing landscape.

But what does it take to succeed in this new world of job hunting and hiring?  With the rise of emerging technologies such as mobile job search platforms, more powerful search engines, and the new ubiquity of social media in talent identification and acquisition, it’s clear the tools of the job hunt game have changed.  But have the rules changed?

It’s easier now than ever before for job seekers to position themselves, and their “personal brands,” so employers can find them. Employers can also target and connect with top talent at the speed of the Tweet.  However, the most important elements of the hiring process remain, for all intents and purposes, unchanged.

“Old school” job hunting and hiring hallmarks such as a well formatted traditional resume, a firmly established (offline) professional network and the ability to sell skills and experience in an interviewremain the most important considerations in the job hunt process, and the most powerful tools in the job seekers’ arsenal.

Join #TChat tonight, brought to you by @TalentCulture, @MeghanMBiro, @KevinWGrossman, @monster_works, and @MonsterWW – They will be joining the #TChat conversation live every Tuesday night with from 8-9 PM ET, 7-8 PM CT, 6-7 PM MT, and 5-6 PM PT as we explore what’s changed, what’s stayed the same and how job hunters, and the companies looking to hire them, can not only survive, but thrive, in the new (old) world of job search.

#TChat Recommended Reading: 1.11.11

This background reading isn’t mandatory to get in on tonight’s #TChat action, but we suggest checking out these articles by top career advice and talent management thought leaders and explore the possibilities (and pitfalls) of the evolving world of the job hunt and hiring:

5. How Technology is Changing the Recruiting Landscape by John Rossheim

4. The Rules of the Game Have Changed: Insights into Today’s Jobseekers by Nicole Williams

3. 11 Smart Career Tips for 2011 by Kathryn Ullrich

2. Recruit from the Inside Out: Establish A Relationship with a Talent Acquisition Partnerby Meghan M. Biro

1. Job Searching in a Coffee Shop by Peter Gibbons

Our Monster social media team supports the effort behind #TChat and its mission of sharing “ideas to help your business and your career accelerate – the right people, the right ideas, at the right time.”

Hope to see you tonight @ #TChat!

To read more, please visit www.monsterthinking.com/

Taking Over the World With Social, Mobile & Video Rock Stars

Yes, we want to take over the world.  Our monster end-of-year #TChat show about how social, mobile and video as rock stars impact workplace culture and predictions for 2011 was a rousing success.

Over 1,500 smarty pants tweets in the hour alone.  A hat tip and a thank you to all of you who did.

Top Contributors included:

  1. @talentculture – 315
  2. @meghanmbiro – 147
  3. @KevinWGrossman – 120
  4. @LevyRecruits – 73
  5. @dawnrasmussen – 67
  6. @jillianwalker – 64
  7. @tedcoine – 57
  8. @DrJanice – 53
  9. @IanMondrow – 50
  10. @EmilieMeck – 47

We referenced social, mobile and video as “rock stars” — even though we meant they are figurative rock stars and wanted to discuss their impact on workplace culture.

But some of the discussion morphed to literal social media rock stars in organizations today, and that’s okay.  In fact, much of the conversation was about how companies could better perform by allowing social to permeate.

And video and mobile are the two dots they’re connected to with dotted lines to us all…

Companies that don’t allow social media are killing their brand ambassadors.

Amen to that.

Here were some of everyone’s 2011 Predictions:

  • Mobile/virtual workforce on the rise. Video conferencing and coworking are where it’s at in 2011.
  • Companies will wake up and develop more inclusive SM policies at work.
  • HR will have to ROCK in 2011 if it wants to remain relevant. It will and the gap between SM and practitioner will shrink.
  • I am expecting that Role-Based Assessment will rock and roll in 2011.
  • Google to buy FB. FB to be Google. Googling your employees now unravels their whole life & danger zone commences.
  • Closer joining up of social networks. less engagment in channels. More use of 3rd party apps.
  • Lines moving between trad. old school ‘work’ continue to get erased as more people stay connected.
  • Companies are going to go to their legal dpt to define ‘privacy’ as lines between work / play get blurred.
  • Increased buy-in & participation from corp. leaders to join the conversation (social media).
  • Traditional workplaces will continue to un-teether and ppl will have to find new creative ways to connect via SM. Hello cloud!
  • More tools will become available to consolidate our SM.
  • Global concerns about privacy will slow personal SMV growth as companies trip over themselves to push out more “relevant” content.
  • Companies incorporate multimedia interviews in their hiring strategy!
  • In 2011 LinkedIn will reveal more strategies that require people to purchase premium memberships.
  • SM for the team – coming soon, because first you have to measure networking quality!

Meghan added at the end:

“My 2010 prediction held true. Workplace Brands = An intricate collection of Personal Brands :-) So much more to talk about!”

So let’s do that next time on Tuesday, January 4, 2011, from 8-9 p.m. ET.  We’re going to continue workplace culture predictions for 2011 and talk more about what they mean!

#TChat wouldn’t be what it was without all of you, so thank you again!  Happiest of Holidays to you all!

Interviewing: #TChat Preview

Our last #TChat before Thanksgiving was all about assessments.

What was resoundingly clear was the fact that face-to-face interviews were preferred when making hiring decisions, as opposed to using assessments from last week’s chatters. We are still weighing the verdict and will simply keep exploring this.

So Meghan and I decided that the in’s and out’s of interviewing would be the topic for the next #TChat tomorrow, 11/30/10, from 8-9 p.m. ET & 7-8 p.m. CT & 6-7 p.m MT & 5-6 p.m. PT. Remember we welcome global input! Join in from wherever you might be

We’ve got a great group of savvy recruiters, careerists, human resource folk, fascinating leaders, media mavens and hiring managers in our greater TalentCulture community, so we look forward to a festively raucous Twitter discussion on the subject.

Because most “hiring” professionals don’t know know how to objectively interview very well at all.  I would argue that some of the worst hiring decisions are made via interviews.  Yep, I said it.  So bring it.  Plus, most job applicants don’t prepare, at all, for their interviews.

Just ask a few of our resident career experts, Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter and Chris Perry and others….We love this stuff.

We’ll also throw in a shout or two for emotional intelligence (our first #TChat topic) and how that plays a role in interviewing today.

Wherever you stand on interviews and interviewing, there are best practices to follow and we hope to unravel those mysteries in our next #TChat.

Use your favorite Twitter client of choice to follow the lively #TChat hashtag or use to TweetChat and log in with your Twitter handle.

We’ll see you there!  Come subjectively unprepared.  You know, like for an interview.

Closing the Deal: Interviews as Influential Sales Conversations

It is no secret managers, human resource professionals and recruiters often receive stacks and stacks of resumes for each available position and that their main objective is to slash those to a manageable pile for interviews. In other words, disqualifying candidates is their first objective, in order to manage the overwhelming number of resume submissions.

What I want to encourage job seekers to realize is that once your resume HAS reached the short-stack, your opportunity for further qualifying yourself and closing the job deal skyrockets. So rather than feeling at the mercy of what sometimes feels like a merciless job interview process, once you have inched your way past the excruciating screening, exploit the opportunity!

In the worst-case scenario, an interview is a stress environment where the interviewer assumes and maintains charge, relentlessly hammering the candidate with questions with nary an opportunity for the interviewing job seeker to interject his value. However, in many cases, a consultative sales environment ensues, and the job seeker who is prepared for a more proactive, collaborative conversation gains an advantage.

Preparing oneself for this conversational process is necessary to ensure you are equipped with the right words to influence, connect, cajole and even disarm the hiring decision-maker and influence them that YOU are the best-fit candidate.

In a recent exchange on Twitter, Mike Haberman (@MikeHaberman) said,

“The consultative sales call approach works for both parties in the interview, but may be interchangeable based on interest.”

As such, when you are afforded the opportunity to perform in this consultative role, be prepared to maximize every word, every communication nuance.  Moreover, in some instances, with an unprepared or inexperienced interviewer, you may even be in the driver’s seat, steering the conversation. In any of these instances, you must be equipped with an arsenal of easily retrievable, memorable scripts and talk points.

A few tips to prepare for and act upon this opportunity:

1. First, realize that being consultative means that before proffering your solution to what ails your client (the hiring manager, the human resource pro, the recruiter), you must be equipped with ample research and a few smart questions.

2. Though sometimes a job interview situation may arise without much advance notice, performing a laser-strike study of the target company and/or target hiring manager for which you will be working is needed to position yourself apart from the pack of interviewees. Even with a fairly short preparation window, you can, and must, investigate.

3. Dip your research ladle into the endless well of Internet resources:

  • Hoovers.com: to search people and companies (limited “free” information); e.g., for company information, you’ll find address, phone numbers, rankings in FT Global, Fortune 500 and S&P 500.
  • ZoomInfo.com: a business information search engine that provides company search, people search and job search. It constructs profiles on people and companies.
  • Manta.com: the largest free source of information on small companies. This is a very cool site that has key information on over 60M companies, allowing you to drill down by industry, by location, by size, etc., and then find a profile (address, phone, website, company contacts) as well as reports; map; and web results (i.e., they do a Google search for you, providing a quick snapshot of search results!).
  • Forbes.com: home page for information on the world’s business leaders and includes nine editorial channels on business, technology, markets, personal finance, entrepreneurs, leadership, ForbesLife, opinions and lists.
  • Business articles at Bizjournals.com or Wall Street Journal (online.wsj.com).
  • LinkedIn: Follow companies and read their profiles and goings-on.

4. Prepare your challenge-action-results (CAR) stories that align with the target company’s pain points. Consider how you have solved problems related to the types of problems this company is and will be facing.  Write those stories out (note: if you’ve already navigated the introspective resume writing process, which involves ferreting out the most critical stories and areas of value you offer your target audience, then use your resume as a launch-pad.

  • Beyond the challenge, action and result, describe the strategic impact of the initiative. Outside feathering your career cap, how did the result reverberate into the company’s greater goals? Some call this answering the “So what?” by adding relevance to your achievement.
  • Consider what leadership or other problem-solving and solution-building talent you leveraged to move through this C-A-R. Write those out. For example, negotiation and influence, analysis, forecasting future market needs, etc.

5. Prepare responses to some of the most typical interview questions. Here are a few to get you started:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What is the greatest value you can bring to us?
  • How long do you intend to stay?
  • Why do you want to leave your present position?
  • What is the most stressful situation you have experienced at work within the past year, and how did you handle it?
  • What would your current (or past) employer say about your work?

6. And here’s where the consultative process really takes flight: YOU get to ask THEM questions, not only to display your interest in the company, but also to garner information by which you can further wrap your value proposition around their needs. Further, as your mind intuitively weaves your story to align with their responses, you are drawing upon the research notes you discovered during the company research prep phase (step 3) and weaving that information into the interview fabric. And as they respond to your questions, you also have a chance to knit in your C-A-R stories (step 4) to fortify that you can meet their impending needs. A sampling of questions YOU may ask THEM:

  • What are the greatest challenges you’re facing in your industry?
  • Is your industry/business growing?
  • What main factors do you attribute to your growth?
  • What do you attribute to the success of your company?
  • What makes you better than your nearest competitor?
  • Can you tell my why this position is open?

7. AFTER the interview is an opportunity to mine for gold. Think: What went well at the interview, what didn’t go so well, and what areas were left untapped? Address those in a sales letter that not only expresses appreciation for the interview (the “thank-you”), but also squarely addresses and overcomes potential weaknesses that were spotted and/or bridges gaps in presenting your value that you simply did not have time to address during the interview.

8. Moreover, after you have undergone a second (and perhaps, third, fourth) interview, with key influencers in senior management, executives or board members, consider writing a powerful influence letter. In this sales market document, headline your message with, “Why I should by Hired by ABC Company” and then assertively, confidently and passionately sell your VALUE to them. At this point, your humility should be set aside, and you should be laser focused on closing the deal.

Bottom Line: Interviewing is a consultative sales call and sometimes requires multiple contacts and conversations to “close” the sale. As humans, though we don’t always want to be “sold,” per se, we want to be convinced that we are making the right buying decision. It is YOUR job as the job candidate to influence the hiring management that THEY would be making the BEST decision for them, for their department and for their company by investing in YOUR talent.

Recruitfest! Join Us. The Future of Talent Starts Here

I’m very excited TalentCulture is a corporate sponsor for this event Thursday, Oct 7th. Look forward to seeing everyone. We will also be present at the TweetUp – Here is today’s guest post from Eric Winegardner, Vice President, Client Adoption, Monster Worldwide.

This week promises to be the highlight of my year.  In just two days, nearly a year’s worth of brainstorming and planning will come to fruition and illustrate the possibilities when two organizations partner around a common desire of moving the Recruiting industry forward.  Of course, I am talking about Recruitfest!

I had the opportunity to attend RecruitFest! in-person last year in Toronto. I had skipped the inaugural event the year before and to this day consider it a professional miss.  What I experienced over those two days was a truly unique, transformative recruiting event that I knew I wanted to be a part of- and quite honestly wanted Monster to be involved in.  The first day had not even wrapped, and the wheels of partnership were in motion.

There’s something about the RecruitFest! brand that attracts the best and brightest minds from our industry.  Some credit the casual environment where people can participate in the conversations that matter to them.  Others say it is the design of the agenda that encourages speakers to lead conversations around topics rarely discussed, but critical to moving our profession forward.  I think it is a combination of the two- great people having passionate conversations about the possibilities inherent to the evolving world of work.

While this year’s RecruitFest! agenda is a bit more structured, it is still built around voicing opinions (however controversial) and exploring possibilities with the objective of transforming the conversation from theory into practice.   Our collective goal for the day is that everyone walk out (or log off) of RecruitFest! excited about being a part of this amazing community and reminded that what we do is perhaps one of the most noble professions on the planet: finding great jobs for great people.

Most importantly, we want you to have an experience that changes the way you think about recruiting and makes you a stronger, better informed professional equipped to serve the people who really matter: your clients and your candidates.

The Recruitfest! agenda is designed to tackle the business of recruiting holistically. We know that it’s not all about sourcing, or interviewing, or compensation, or benefits or any of the hundreds of tactical responsibilities involved in placing the right candidate in the right job.  It’s about how all of those elements can work together to position you and your talent organization as strategic business partners.

This year, we’ve selected a group of world-class leaders to steer the conversation.  Just check out this line-up!  Some are familiar names, others will be.  They all have one thing in common, wicked-smart and passionate about the business! What’s cool is we’ve grouped them together to facilitate conversations about topics that while they may be experts in require examining perspectives that they- and you- might not have thought of before or even entirely embraced.

More interestingly, the track leaders will be joining the audience of recruiting professionals at the event for the duration, participating in and adding to the dialogue as peers, not “influencers” or “thought leaders.”  That means that you get to hear from some of the most influential minds working in talent today, talking about the topics that really matter, in a completely spontaneous, unscripted, and unrehearsed format.  More importantly, they want to hear what you think.

The biggest learning opportunities and most valuable takeaways at RecruitFest! happen in real time. That’s because the conversation informs the content, instead of the other way around.  And that’s where you come in.

I truly believe that the best ideas and the brightest minds in recruiting don’t necessarily spend their time publishing blogs, joining me on the conference circuit or even sharing their insights and ideas with others in the recruiting community.  Why? You’re too busy recruiting!

October 7 is the day that all changes.  That’s because RecruitFest! has redesigned the un-conference experience it introduced to the recruiting space.  We will be utilizing cutting-edge tools and technologies to create a true “un-conference” experience whether you’re in Boston, Baltimore or Beijing.  You don’t just get to watch the stream at your desk, you get to participate in the conversation! The Recrutifest! virtual experience will allow you to converse with other participants, ask questions of the presenters and in-studio attendees, and evolve the conversation- all from the convenience and comfort of your own desk.

I encourage you to check out the schedule, speaker bios and session descriptions and start thinking now about how you can lend your voice to shaping the success of RecruitFest!  Register for the FREE virtual event today, and join during every available moment you have on Thursday!

As the emcee of the event, it’s my job not only to introduce our amazing speakers and awesome topics, but to keep the dialogue flowing.  That means it’s my responsibility (and my promise) to show no preference to any attendee because of how they are hearing and seeing the conference.  I don’t care where you are.  I care what you think.  And it’s not every day that a recruiter hears that.

 

5 Ways to Tell if Your Internship is Legal, Regardless of Pay

Just because your internship is paid, doesn’t make it a good program. And, just because your internship is unpaid doesn’t make it an illegal, brand-damaging blight on the company.

Instead, when evaluating an internship opportunity, take pay out of the equation (I’m serious!) and investigate the presence of these five factors:

Mentorship: If you are the “public relations intern,” for example, you’d better be supervised by someone who actually knows about public relations. In addition, this person should devote the time to being your sounding board — and be genuinely interested in your future enough to answer all of your questions, or put you in touch with someone who can.

Learning: You should be learning something new every day – and completing real projects. I always recommend interns keep an informal journal of their experiences – mostly so you don’t forget what you’ve accomplished to add to your résumé later. Set up a meeting with your supervisor once or twice a month to go over your journal to make sure you’re both still on the same page.

Another way to ensure learning throughout your internship is to set goals at the very beginning against which you can measure at the end. You might want to ask about this during the interview process.

Networking: Especially if the organization can’t offer you a job at the end of your internship, it’s important to provide you with access to people who might. Along similar lines, make sure you have at least one sit-down with senior leaders within the organization sometime before your internship ends.

Work Samples: This depends on the field and confidentiality rules of the company, but if you can swing it, make sure you walk away with not only accomplishment stories, but also physical proof of what you’ve done while interning for the organization.

Recognition: Throughout the internship, outstanding interns should be recognized for their hard work. If you came up with a great idea – particularly if the organization goes on to use the idea – other people in the company should know about it! And, at the end of the internship, ask your supervisor if s/he would be willing to serve as a reference. In fact, during the interview process, ask about the company’s overall reference policy — and your supervisor’s personal policy.

Although I laid out the specifics for a few the above, every single point can be asked about during the interview process — before you start your internship. It’s important you to enter every internship with your eyes wide open to what you’ll be experiencing, regardless of pay.

Click HERE to view more articles by me.