Friday, March 21, 2014

Gamification in HR: Going Beyond the Buzzword

In the recruiting world, it seems there is a lot of discussion about gamification even though gamification is something that’s been around for years. Let’s get this out of the way up front – for almost all companies or organizations, gamification should not be viewed as a solution for attracting candidates (America’s Army is one of a few exceptions). However, gamification can be an effective method of encouraging behavior once you are already interacting with a candidate.

Gamification is one of many problem-solving tools you should consider when approaching a challenge. As a general rule of thumb, any discussion about gamification should first start with questions versus answers – it is only through careful questioning that you can then determine if gamification offers an answer. The first question to ask is not “What should our gamification strategy be,” but instead, “What are our primary challenges from a recruiting standpoint? Are there aspects of gamification that could offer potential benefits that address these challenges?”

For example, many of you have likely read articles on, or even tested out, Marriott’s use of gamification that launched a few years back. Their tactic included the development of an interactive game within their Facebook page allowing players to manage all the behind-the-scenes aspects of running a kitchen within a virtual hotel. [While this game is not currently live, you can view a trailer for it here.] Without knowing the strategic foundation and problem the game aimed to address, it may likely have appeared somewhat elementary. Yet understanding that the target audience was young, international (many having recently moved from a rural environment to an urban one), and lacking the basic knowledge of what happens within a hotel – the simplicity of the game was by design. Marriott needed a way to educate an audience on what working in the hotel kitchen environment was like, and research showed the audience members were using social media channels to discover job opportunities and were also were heavy online gamers. This strategy addressed the questions noted above and was not put into place just to have gamification tactics.

Ultimately, to be successful gamification should never be based on a “wouldn’t it be cool if” idea a client or agency has. Always put your audience first; understand their needs, their behaviors, and their motivations. Then, understand your brand’s recruitment and employee challenges. By doing so you can have the best chance of developing a recruitment strategy that meets your objectives and offers an experience that resonates with your target audience. If this strategy includes some form of gamification, then great!

With that said, while it is critical to first understand your problem before considering gamification techniques, there are certain areas that gamification is often a potentially great strategy for. Because gamification is best used to encourage behavior with an existing audience, the following types of efforts offer great place to focus your initial consideration:

• Internal Employee Engagement

• Onboarding Processes

• Performance/Recognition

• Employee Referral Programs (ERPs)

via Gamification in HR: Going Beyond the Buzzword – RecruitingBlogs.

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Gamification in HR: Going Beyond the Buzzword

Decoding The DNA Of Great Recruiters (Part I)

Guest Blog: Lars Schmidt

I’ve spent the fifteen years in recruiting leadership roles, hiring dozens of recruiters over that time. Some turned out to be exceptional, others never quite lived up to expectations. So, what makes a great recruiter? How do we identify those exceptional talents that will make a difference for our teams and our organizations?

Recruiting has evolved dramatically over the past five years. Recruiters need to have a diverse set of skills to make a real impact. As the job market continues to pick up, the demand for recruiters will continue to rise. It’s hard enough to find good recruiters, but finding great recruiters will be a true test.

Rather than focus on the individual, let’s focus on the traits that make them exceptional – their recruiting DNA. Understanding the qualities great recruiters need to possess in today’s market will help you develop an interview process that can screen and explore these qualities, and make better hiring decisions when building your recruiting team.

Ability To Influence

I’m not referring to self-professed Rockstars and Gurus. That’s not what I want when building a recruiting team. I’m talking about recruiters who work to build tight relationships with all of their constituents, and work hard to build credibility that puts them in a position of authority. Great recruiters have over-developed consultative genes. They understand to be successful they have to have great relationships with their hiring managers, client groups, peers, candidates, and other departments – all of them.


Data fluency and the ability to build a data-based recruitment strategy is the future of recruiting. If having credibility with your executive team is your main event, data is your key to admission. Top recruiters can build data-based talent pool assessments on given roles and markets, and present that data to inform hiring decisions before a requisition is even written. That’s how you become a trusted adviser to your business.


Recruiting is a role like no other. We work with human beings considering weighty life changes every day. We make (and at times break) dreams. Recruiters are the face of your organization, and the vanguard of your employer branding efforts. How they treat your applicants can elevate or tarnish your brand in a single interaction. Great recruiters gets this. They never lose touch with the humanity of recruiting, and treat everyone they engage with the respect s/he deserve.


Exceptional recruiters understand that following the herd isn’t the best way to make an impact. They’re creative, willing to take (calculated) risks. Particularly in the area of Employer Branding where there is no playbook. They see opportunities where others don’t. The above traits enable them to make a compelling case inside their organization to get their ideas green-lit. Some of their ideas will fail, but they’re smart enough that they’ll learn what went wrong and incorporate those learnings into future campaigns.


There are many parallels between recruiting and sales. What trait do most great salespeople possess? Drive. They’re tenacious in their pursuit of new business. They live for the close. Great recruiters do too. Exceptional recruiters possess the motivation to run with little direction. You don’t need to manage them by traditional recruiting metrics. Their results speak for them. They have a hustle honed over years of experience, and an relentless focus on continual improvement.


This trait is a relatively new strain of recruiter DNA. It’s driven by the prevalence of social media, and the evolution that’s taken place around digital recruiting. In competitive hiring markets, recruiters need to be creative and clever with how they market their jobs. Post and pray has gone the way of traditional job boards. Great recruiters can use their marketing skills to develop multi-channel, targeted recruiting strategies that cut through the clutter, reach, and compel candidates to action.


The pace of innovation is accelerating rapidly. Recruiters have new tools at their disposal that didn’t exist only a year ago. Great recruiters keep an eye on these trends, ensuring they can intelligently advocate for that game-changing technology that can make a difference in their company’s hiring efforts.


This trait speaks to the desire to learn. As referenced above the innovation curve is growing at an accelerating pace. I don’t just mean technology. With social media fueling a share economy, there is an abundance of information available that can help your recruiting efforts. Best practices, research, white papers – all just a click away. Exceptional recruiters must be curious and driven to self-educate and regularly tap into this knowledge to grow their own skills (and share what they learn with their team).


My favorite interview question for recruiters – why do you recruit? The answer to this question helps me get a feel for their passion for the field. Why is this important? Recruiting is hard. Hiring Managers are demanding. Candidates you were certain were closed fall out. Projects get derailed. Great recruiters have a passion for their craft that will help them overcome these obstacles. They light up when they talk about successful searches, and it’s contagious. You want recruiters who are passionate about what they do on your team. If they’re in the right role, their passionate representation of your organization will make a difference.

via Decoding The DNA Of Great Recruiters (Part I) | LinkedIn.

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Decoding The DNA Of Great Recruiters (Part I)

Offer Your New Hires Training, Not Free Doughnuts

You might be taking the wrong tack when you’re trying to sell your company to potential employees and retain those already on board.

Employees care little about free perks at a new job and put more weight on other onboarding elements like mentoring opportunities and job training, according to a new survey of more than 1,000 U.S. workers by Lindon, Utah-based human resources software company BambooHR.

The survey found that often-overlooked onboarding processes are actually very important to people when they start new jobs. Three-quarters of those surveyed, for example, said that new-hire orientations are time well spent.

But possibly the most important takeaway from the survey for business owners is that 76 percent of those surveyed agreed on-the-job training is the most important thing a company can provide to get new employees up to speed and starting to contribute. The assignment of an employee “buddy” or “mentor” was cited second-most often in this category.

Once companies bring new hires into the company, it is important that the companies keep them in the loop. Survey respondents who left jobs after less than six months indicated that “review and feedback of early contributions” was very important to their happiness and success. Less than one percent said that “free food and perks” would have been a factor in getting them to stay at a job they left after six months.

So when you bring on new hires, don’t worry so much about the perks you can offer them. Instead, focus on the orientation and training processes you have in place.

via Offer Your New Hires Training, Not Free Doughnuts |

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Offer Your New Hires Training, Not Free Doughnuts

Want Your New Employees" Personal Commitment? Take Their Onboarding Personally

You get the employee engagement you deserve. If you don’t engage with them, they won’t engage with you. If all you need is compliance, indirect communication is fine. If you want them to contribute, you’ll need direct communication. If you want them to commit to the cause, you must make an emotional connection with them. This is particularly true at important moments of truth starting with how you onboard them. So, take onboarding personally and make it personal.

Onboarding Survey Findings/Conclusions

BambooHR’s founder and COO Ryan Sanders talked to me about the findings from their new onboarding survey (released March 19, 2014). While the survey highlights several important components of a valuable onboarding program, Sanders told me that the greatest impact is made by combining the components. He and the survey indicate:

  1. The Manager is Critical. More respondents (33%) said their manager had the greatest influence on the effectiveness of their onboarding than did anything else. Sanders suggests this is especially true for the Millennial workforce as their “need for connecting at a personal level” is particularly high.

  1. Invest in On-The-Job Training. 76% of respondents agree that on-the-job training is the most important thing a new employee needs to get up to speed and begin contributing quickly. Of course receiving organized, relevant and well-timed content matters. It’s just that that content is much more valuable if new employees know how to apply it.

  1. Invest Over Time. Sanders is amazed at how many organizations think onboarding should be a one-day or one-week thing. He knows that onboarding effectiveness requires managers, mentors and buddies to be “involved, engaged, providing early feedback, and clear expectations” over an extended time frame.


(Jane Quigley)


Onboarding Practices

Don’t believe what they say. Certainly don’t believe what they say others say. Instead, pay attention to what they do. Sanders took me through Bamboo’s onboarding program. He focused on accommodation, assimilation and acceleration. (Request an executive summary of the book “Onboarding” for definitions and descriptions.)

  • Accommodation. Bamboo’s HR staff makes sure “everything is ready for their new employees when they arrive”. Surprise. Surprise. They use their own software to make this work, including their own accommodation checklist. (Appended at the bottom of this article for your use.)

  • Assimilation. Bamboo’s managers take onboarding personally. It is their responsibility to take their new employees to lunch on day one and to make a “personal connection outside of work”. Not suggesting this is the right approach for every organization, but Bamboo prides itself on its personal relationships.

  • Acceleration. For this, Bamboo invests in on-the-job training on an ongoing basis. They strive to help their new employees absorb a lot of information – at their own speed.

Resulting Engagement

As described in an earlier article, “engagement” is too blunt a description. Compliant employees play it safe, meeting the minimum requirements. Contributing employees collaborate with others and help as they seek belonging and self-esteem. At the highest level are those committed to the organization’s purpose and driven by doing good for others. The only way to get this level of personal commitment from them is for you and your managers to commit to them personally, starting with how you onboard them.


Bamboo HR Onboarding Checklist


  • Logins created for technology platforms

  • Assign permissions for each platform


  • Assign work space

  • Key Card

  • Office supplies

  • Swag


  • Computer set up

  • Software installed

  • Phone/Ext/Headset

  • Monitor(s)

  • Keyboard/mouse


  • Welcome phone call

  • Welcome survey

  • Technology needs survey

  • Introduction email

  • Phone ext in BambooHR directory

  • Office Tour

  • People Tour

  • Culture meeting with HR

  • Benefits

  • Payroll

  • Time card

  • Week 3 meeting with HR


  • BambooHR login

  • Directory Picture

  • Job information

  • W-4

  • I-9

  • Company Policies

  • Benefit enrollment forms


  • Team introductions

  • Expectations and resources

  • Lunch on first day

via Want Your New Employees’ Personal Commitment? Take Their Onboarding Personally – Forbes.

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Want Your New Employees" Personal Commitment? Take Their Onboarding Personally

How To Recruit for Niche Positions [5 Useful Tips]

Sometimes to find the perfect candidate for your open position you have to think small. That’s what niche recruiting is all about. As job boards boom, recruiters are starting to realize that specialization is actually saving time and money. With current unemployment hovering around 8% in the U.S. according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, any open position is going to garner a good number of resumes.

This avalanche of resumes could range the spectrum from qualified to woefully wrong for the position. Niche recruiting can help to cut down on the pre-screening process, since the target is to get more qualified resumes right from the start. You’ll be focusing on candidates that are both the most qualified and the most passionate about their career field.

The following are some niche recruiting tips that will help you sort the best from the rest.

1. Specificity in the job description

Recruiting for a niche position starts with the recruiter, after all. Make sure that you’re being very specific about the job description at hand. List out the qualifications necessary and whatever skills and experience the candidate should possess. Be concise and to-the-point because your niche candidates aren’t just looking for any job that comes along. You’re recruiting people already interested in your career field, so feel free to use specific language and jargon. If they don’t get it, they’re probably not right for the position.

2. Know your job seeker

Recruiting for a niche position means that job seekers will often share attributes. Are they more technically minded or more creative? Knowing information about the typical job seeker in your niche will allow you to tailor the outlets you use to advertise your position. It will also allow you to seek out your ideal candidate in the places they most often visit, both online and off.

3. Get specialized

If you post your job listing on one of the huge job boards, you’re going to get a lot of responses. Some of them will be from great, talented candidates uniquely qualified for the position. However, more will be from candidates with no relevant experience at all. Sorting through these resumes will take a good chunk of time, even if you only spend about 6 seconds apprising a resume. So what’s a better way to let qualified job seekers know about your position?

Getting specialized could be the answer. Take that job listing and share it with a community or network of individuals looking for opportunities in your career field. After all, that’s what networking is for! Sharing your job posting within your networks will help you to find the most qualified candidates. It’s likely you’re not the only one who knows about these communities; motivated, career-minded job hunters have surely already found them. This will help to significantly cut down on the initial weeding out process.

4. Get social

Social media is a great way to connect with niche job seekers. With 66 percent of online adults on one or more social networks, there’s a good chance that great candidates have found their way to social media. Social media also allows for greater self-selection based on interest and career aspirations. Candidates interested in your niche will most likely be following a lot of the same companies and people. They’ll also be reading a lot of the same blogs and attending the same events. Tools like Twitter chats are invaluable resources for finding the plugged-in job seeker. You know the individuals putting time and effort into growing their niche networks will put the same time and effort into your position.

5. Prize creativity

The best job candidates are the ones who can think outside the resume. Job seekers who expand their job hunts in new and creative ways will similarly be able to expand the business of their companies. These professionals are motivated and not hemmed in by rigid thought patterns. Job seekers are finding tons of creative ways to apply for jobs, from infographics to video resumes. For instance, a candidate that sends in a video resume is more likely to be a creative problem solver in the office. Candidates who find ways to work their career niche into innovative applications are showing their passion.

via How To Recruit for Niche Positions [5 Useful Tips].

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How To Recruit for Niche Positions [5 Useful Tips]

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Does Data Drive Good Hiring?

To data or not to data? That is the question when it comes to determining if potential hires would make good employees. The arguments seem to favor it but at least one expert is wondering about its true effectiveness.

SHL, a subsidiary of CEB that specializes in talent measurement, is an enthusiastic backer of the concept. Its 2013 Business Outcomes Study Report supports the use of data when it comes to hiring.

“The case-study-based report reveals that organizations are achieving tangible bottom-line results through a better understanding of the abilities and future potential of their prospective new-hire candidates,” pronounced in a press release.

It cited, as examples, “an electronics retailer found that sales associates who achieved high assessment scores averaged 19 percent more sales per month, translating to more than $70 million in increased sales per year. Additionally, a telecommunications provider found that customer service agents who had high assessment scores handled calls faster, were more likely to meet customer service rating goals and were more likely to be rated top performers overall. The company saved more than $22 million annually through increases in productivity.”

Robert Morgan, SHL President and CEB General Manager, said, “… global executives believe the key to delivering profitable growth is a 20 percent increase in staff productivity. Our findings clearly show that those organizations that leverage talent measurement solutions to recruit, retain, and develop top talent typically meet or exceed their performance and productivity goals.”

He added, “As organizations seek to do more with less, many are looking to talent management solutions including pre-hire and post-hire assessment tests, in order to better understand people’s abilities and potential to perform. Organizations need employees who are flexible, collaborative and able to flourish in increasingly knowledge-based roles if they want to grow.”

Of course there are dissenting opinions. In an earlier post here at, Nick Corcodilos, writing at, said headhunters are relying too much on big data when recruiting personnel and it’s hampering their ability to find the best candidates for the job and keep them in their positions.

He added, “America’s employment system is getting even more automated and algorithmized by applying ‘big data’ to process you. According to [an article] in The Atlantic (“They’re Watching You At Work” by Don Peck), the vice president of recruiting at Xerox Services warns that, ‘We’re getting to the point where some of our hiring managers don’t even want to interview anymore.’ According to the article, ‘they just want to hire the people with the highest scores.’”

Kazim Ladimeji, a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and a frequent contributor to, offers his perspective on the issue. He said, “[B]ig data is currently being used by leading companies to boost their hiring processes, making it, in my opinion, an industry best practice that all HR companies should be looking to adopt. I would even go as far to say that given the insights that big data can offer, it is foolish to ignore it.”

He added, “Admittedly, big data has been center stage for some time amongst the powerful employer brands, but big data should now be center stage in HR across the board. It’s not enough for HR professionals to walk into the boardroom with gut instinct and say, ‘I think this is going to happen, and so I’d like this.’ HR now needs to be saying, ‘Our statistics show this is not working and that this approach is twice as effective; so, I recommend doing this…’”

via Does Data Drive Good Hiring?.

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Does Data Drive Good Hiring?

9 Job Search Trends You Need To Know

Are you one of those people who think a resume is an antiquated job search tool? A relic of the decades when classified newspaper ads and the U.S. mail were a job seeker’s best friends?

If so, I have some good news for you: just as technology has changed so much about the way we communicate and do business these days, it has had a major impact on the way job seekers learn about and apply for new jobs. There are more options for conducting a job search than ever before. And the bad news? Resumes—although certainly doing their fair share of adapting to our current cultural expectations—haven’t been relegated to the history books just yet.

The fact that so much is changing in career management has prompted even seasoned career experts to go to great lengths to make sure they’re on top of job search trends. Just recently, more than 150 career professionals put their heads together to share their observations for the fourth annual Global Career Brainstorming Day sponsored by Career Thought Leaders.

Here are some of the findings from the group, and ways you can take advantage of current career management trends:

1. Make multiple versions

Having a killer resume is a great first step. But to succeed in today’s job market, you may need to tweak your resume into several different versions to work for applicant tracking systems (ATS), online profiles, mobile platforms, email, and maybe even Twitter.

2. Emphasize your brand

In an information-saturated world, you need to stand out. That means focusing on your brand—those unique skills and characteristics that make you an excellent candidate for jobs in your chosen career—in every career communication that you create. And of course, presenting your case in a clear, concise, and compelling way.

3. Go the extra mile

Many candidates are exploring different ways to catch employers’ eyes. Depending on your field, options include short videos, links to projects or published articles, and even websites complete with expanded examples of career success including detailed plans or photos. Give employers something to drool over… in a totally professional way, of course.

4. Boast a bit

Have you received any glowing employee reviews or LinkedIn recommendations? Savvy job seekers are including some of the best comments in their resumes, cover letters, bios, or on various social media.

5. Leverage LinkedIn opportunities

LinkedIn is more than just a place to post the dry details and responsibilities of your job; it is often a first stop for companies looking to hire. Make sure your profile is engaging and personable. And don’t forget the value of groups, which contribute to the conversation may boost your visibility to recruiters or employers.

6. Preserve your reputation

Companies are increasingly turning to online sources to vet prospective employees. Make sure your online presence—from Twitter and Facebook to any public comments on forums and the like—captures your personality and reflects your dedication to your field… not your low opinion of your current boss or your status as a party girl or guy.

7. Explore apps

Apps have been introduced for almost every aspect of the career management process, from finding jobs to posting resumes to networking. Some apps worthy of your attention per the Global Career Brainstorming day findings include Glassdoor, BeKnown, BranchOut, and

8. Conduct smart searches

More and more companies are now posting jobs on their Twitter feed or blogs, so be sure to follow any companies you’re interested in working for. Use your network! And job boards, especially specialized ones, may still be a great place to find technical or lower-level job postings.

9. Practice your video skills

It’s not uncommon for employers to conduct initial screenings via video instead of phone. And don’t be surprised if you’re asked to complete entire interviews over Skype or Facetime. A little preparation will go a long way toward helping you feel and appear comfortable and confident.

In short, the shift toward utilizing technology in the job search process means job seekers will need to be increasingly savvy in order to position themselves as desirable candidates. With these tips, you can start capitalizing on the advantages of social media and online/app tools, while tempting recruiters with clear, compelling, bite-sized morsels of information that leave them wanting more.

via 9 Job Search Trends You Need To Know | CAREEREALISM.

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9 Job Search Trends You Need To Know

Solving Recruiting Challenges With Social Media Solutions That Work

Social recruiting may be the hottest new method of sourcing potential job candidates, but it won’t be effective without a deliberate social recruiting strategy.

With so many social media tools in the recruiter’s toolbox, and new ones emerging almost every day, it can be easy to try everything in a haphazard way.

It can be easy to dive into every new social opportunity that comes along without a clear understanding of what will work for your company, what won’t work and why.

Before you jump into social recruiting just for the sake of social recruiting, it’s important to understand the strategies that have worked for other companies.Before undertaking a social recruiting strategy, determine your goals and the problem you want to solve.

Then consider various strategies that could help solve that problem. For instance, here are some common recruiting challenges and how social recruiting can provide solutions that work:

Challenge: Creating an Authentic Brand. Reading employee feedback is a great way to get a sense of the pros and cons of working at your company, and help you make things better. But that feedback is also contributing to how others view your brand. To make sure this is in accordance with the employer message you’re trying to send, respond to employee feedback publicly so job seekers and your workforce understand how much you appreciate that feedback and want to make your company an even better place to work.

Challenge: Reaching a mobile audience. As workers become increasingly mobile, it is more and more important to be able to reach potential job candidates through their mobile devices. In fact, close to 30 percent of all web traffic comes through mobile devices, according to a Walker Sands Mobile Traffic Report. Companies that don’t have a mobile-friendly web presence and don’t make it easy to search and apply for jobs on a mobile device will lose out on quality candidates. Social recruiting can be used to attract talent through mobile targeting.

Challenge: Increasing candidate quality. Most likely, your current employees know the types of people you want to hire. By utilizing employee networks on social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, you can automatically broadcast position openings to your employees’ friends and acquaintances. Turning every employee into a recruiter can quickly and dramatically increase candidate flow and quality, and it utilizes the power you already have in your social networks.

Challenge: Building relationships with potential candidates. Today’s recruiters need to do more than simply broadcast open positions. They need to cultivate personal relationships and communicate their employer brand to reap the results they want. Social media is made for relationship building, so social recruiting, when carefully planned and initiated, can solve this issue. Recruiters can use their company career blogs, as well as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media to participate in ongoing conversations with job searchers and potential job candidates. Through these relationships, recruiters can learn who the candidates really are, and the candidates learn what their companies are really all about.

Challenge: Streamlining the career application process. Every new recruiting tool needs to seamlessly integrate with existing systems to avoid duplicating data or processes. Social recruiting can offer opportunities to streamline the entire process to make it easier for both recruiter and job applicant. For instance, mobile recruiting can allow candidates to discover and apply for open positions on their phones or other mobile devices. Social recruiting solutions such as prerecorded interviews, available through sites like InterviewStream and Async Interview, allow multiple job candidates to record video responses to a set of questions for a certain job, so recruiters can assess candidates quickly and efficiently and get a more personal candidate experience than a phone interview.

This post originally appeared on the Glassdoor Talent Solutions Blog.

Glassdoor is the world’s most transparent career community that is changing the way people find jobs, and companies recruit top talent. Glassdoor holds a growing database of 6 million company reviews, CEO approval ratings, salary reports, interview reviews and questions, office photos and more. Unlike other jobs sites, all of this information is entirely shared by those who know a company best — the employees.

For employers, Glassdoor offers effective recruiting and employer branding solutions via Glassdoor Talent Solutions. We help more than 1,500 employers promote their employer brand to candidates researching them and advertise their jobs to ideal candidates who may not be aware of them. What differentiates Glassdoor from other recruiting channels is the quality of job candidates we deliver and our influence on candidates’ decisions as they research jobs and companies.

via Solving Recruiting Challenges With Social Media Solutions That Work – Recruiting Daily : Recruiting Daily.

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Solving Recruiting Challenges With Social Media Solutions That Work

Are You Ready to Get Serious About Fixing Your Workplace Culture?

It’s time for leaders in all organizations (non-profit, for-profit, healthcare, government, education, etc.) to get serious about how culture is impacting their performance.

Yes, leaders need to build on that understanding, engage their organizations to harness the incredible power of culture, and strive to make a meaningful impact.

When I personally think about the word culture, I think about “impact.”

Many leaders desire to make a meaningful impact in their organizations, yet no matter how successful they are, culture is always helping and holding them back from maximizing that impact. There are results to deliver, diseases to cure, people to educate, governments to change, and other meaningful improvements leaders desire to make, but most are not leveraging the power of organizational culture.

Why culture is so critically important

This must change and it’s important to give leaders the knowledge to deal with the subject of culture with confidence.

It is a global issue, and surveys continue to highlight the importance of culture and an inability to translate that awareness into results:

  • Some 75 percent of CEO’s see developing an open and collaborative culture as critical to dealing with the complexity of business today (IBM 2012 Global CEO Study).

  • A whopping 96 percent of people believe culture change is needed in their organization in some form, and 51 percent need a major culture overhaul (Booz & Company study).

  • Worldwide, only 13 percent of employees are engaged (Gallup State of the Global Workplace study).

One might expect every CEO to have a sense of urgency to understand their culture as a basis for solving problems, dealing with challenges, avoiding the tragic consequences of bad behavior, driving out fear, and eliminating their own frustrations about managing work in their organization, but this is not the case.

There are two visuals that capture important aspects of the culture change challenge, The Culture Circle and The Culture Curve.

The Culture Circle

This visual and concept is adapted from Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle and his great Ted Talk on Leaders Inspire Action.Culturecircle

There are three rings in The Culture Circle:

  • Execution (Goals, Initiatives & Actions): Many organizations focus their “culture work” on this surface layer. This is no surprise since we are absolutely buried in popular press and over-simplified culture content. Recent headlines include “4 Ways to Fix a Broken Company Culture” and “12 Tips on Creating the Perfect Company Culture.” My favorite is “Affordable Ways to Improve Your Culture” that highlighted a Nerf gun fight example for improving your culture. Some of these concepts may be great actions, initiatives, or events but this surface level, focused on execution, must be clearly connected to supporting the two inner rings of the circle.

  • Strategies & Systems: Some organizations focus on specific strategies or systems to support the culture they want to reinforce, or feel they need, to manage priorities, challenges, or goals. The focus may include specific systems or improvements for reward and recognition, communication, training, hiring, core operating processes for their products / services, and other areas. This focus often falls woefully short of truly building the strategy and supporting systems required to leverage their unique culture and manage change effectively.

  • Culture Core – Purpose & Values: Some organizations do focus on the core or “heart” of their culture, their purpose and values. The purpose ideally captures why they exist and what’s special about how they support that purpose. The values should go beyond one word values and be clarified through stories, definitions, specific expected behaviors, or other approaches. Organizations need a framework of strategies and systems that reinforce, and provide a support structure of habits and routines for these values.

A clear and shared “culture core” is not enough as evidenced by the non-profits, educational institutions, healthcare organizations, faith-based organizations, and others with a “shared purpose” that still struggle to maximize their potential, due to the lack of supporting strategies and operating systems.

When leaders truly understand that all three circles are needed in order to maximize the potential of their organization in supporting their purpose and achieving the results they desire, real transformation can begin.

The Culture Curve and “Tipping Point”

There’s plenty of studies out there about the effectiveness of change efforts and most highlight that the majority of culture change initiatives fail. I don’t want to debate statistics but I believe most initiatives fail because:

  1. Leaders either barely touch the surface of the changes needed to support the areas of The Culture Circle; or,

  2. Their focus is to go deep with major improvements in just one or two areas, resulting in no connection between the big change areas and the results they seek.

The answer is actually found when organizations go shallow in the right areas, while making connections from that work to a major performance priority, goal, or challenge. The organization learns by the coordinated focus on one priority and applies what is learned to other performance priorities, problems, and challenges (but faster and more effectively the next time around).

Unfortunately, most organizations implement various improvements and they never integrate enough of them as part of an overall strategy, to reach the tipping point where momentum builds, results grow, and the work gets easier.Culture Curve

9 steps behind the Culture Curve

While various change models exist, The Culture Curve is based on the following nine steps:

  1. Focus the work on a top performance priority (sales, profit, etc.).

  2. Identify a clear vision for improvement with further support of 1-2 values where current behavior is holding back performance (think frustrations, challenges & inconsistencies).

  3. Define specific expected behaviors you need to see for the 1-2 values.

  4. Clarify strategic priorities (typically 3-5 areas) for the performance priority.

  5. Engage the team to define clear goals for each strategic priority.

  6. Define and visibly share measures for the top performance priority.

  7. Maintain a management system priorities and goals (staff meeting, leadership meeting, etc.).

  8. Manage communication habits and routines.

  9. Build motivation throughout the process.

Nearly all of these areas need to be addressed before results clearly build and momentum grows. A major pitfall for many leaders is to focus on superficial changes, or go deep in a few specific areas, resulting in an inability to build the full support structure needed to make it past the tipping point.

A time for action

Awareness of the power of culture has grown but education on how to harness that power is limited. Leaders at all levels need a sense of urgency in understanding how their culture is supporting their purpose and impacting their results as a basis for action since culture and leadership are two sides of the same coin.

It’s better for this action to be focused on a specific performance priority, problem, or goal, in order to build understanding, and accelerate buy-in that drives results.

It can start with a leader at any level learning more about the culture fundamentals and holding that first meeting with their team to begin addressing the nine (9) areas above in connection to the No. 1 priority in their organization, location, department, or team.

Are you ready to schedule that meeting or to take action in some other way? What impact could leaders have if they are serious about culture and take action with confidence?

Nelson Mandela said that “education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” Awareness of the power of culture is clearly growing but we need far more education and action.


via Are You Ready to Get Serious About Fixing Your Workplace Culture?.

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Are You Ready to Get Serious About Fixing Your Workplace Culture?

The 3 Minute Hire

Let’s look at how 95% of people are hired. Besides a little variability, almost every person, at some point in their career, has been hired in this manner. Interview someone for an hour. If you like them, you make them an offer. Sound about right? Sure you might actually add some other steps, like phone screening first, a second one hour interview with someone else, but your reality is, it’s an hour interview, and the decision is made!

We’ve taken the one hour interview and expanded it with science. We add pre-employment screens, cognitive testing, background screens, personality profiles, etc. But, we still go back to the one hour interview. “Well, Tim tested off the charts, all the data says, he will be a rock star, but I didn’t connect with him in the one hour interview. I don’t want to hire him.” We allow our hiring managers to do this, often.

A much better way to hire would be to have the actual candidate work with you for like four to six weeks, before you actually hire them. An extended job tryout. Pay them to come interview with you for 4 weeks. That would actually be a better way. It would probably limit your options for candidates. It would leave you with people who are unemployed, the under-employed, those working consultant or temporary type of jobs, or those people who love your brand so much they would be willing to risk it all to prove to you, that they are the one you really want.

Or, you can continue on the one hour interview platform. But take away all the other stuff. In fact, take away the one hour, and just do an initial impression interview. It might take about 3 minutes. “Initially I really liked Tim! Let’s do this.” You would virtually get the same exact candidate as you do with your one hour process. But you would save so much time, effort and resources. Your hiring quality and retention would almost remain unchanged. That would be the second way.

1. Extended Job Tryout Hire

2. 3 Minute First Impression Hire

Reality is, most would be more willing to do the 3 minute First Impression hires than the Extended Job Tryout hires, even though one leads to actual better hires, and the other does exactly what you have now. We fear that changing to something we view as ‘radical’ will be worse than what we have. Even though, we know it won’t. So, we keep doing what we do. Scheduling one hour interviews and hiring those people who we ‘felt’ the best connection with.

If I was you, I’d go with the 3 minute interview. It’s simple. It’s the same. Your hiring managers will actually like the new process.

via The 3 Minute Hire « The Tim Sackett Project.

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The 3 Minute Hire

15 Rules for Negotiating a Job Offer

Job-offer negotiations are rarely easy. Consider three typical scenarios:

You’re in a third-round interview for a job at a company you like, but a firm you admire even more just invited you in. Suddenly the first hiring manager cuts to the chase: “As you know, we’re considering many candidates. We like you, and we hope the feeling is mutual. If we make you a competitive offer, will you accept it?”

You’ve received an offer for a job you’ll enjoy, but the salary is lower than you think you deserve. You ask your potential boss whether she has any flexibility. “We typically don’t hire people with your background, and we have a different culture here,” she responds. “This job isn’t just about the money. Are you saying you won’t take it unless we increase the pay?”

You’ve been working happily at your company for three years, but a recruiter has been calling, insisting that you could earn much more elsewhere. You don’t want to quit, but you expect to be compensated fairly, so you’d like to ask for a raise. Unfortunately, budgets are tight, and your boss doesn’t react well when people try to leverage outside offers. What do you do?

Each of these situations is difficult in its own way—and emblematic of how complex job negotiations can be. At many companies, compensation increasingly comes in the form of stock, options, and bonuses linked to both personal and group performance. In MBA recruitment, more companies are using “exploding” offers or sliding-scale signing bonuses based on when a candidate accepts the job, complicating attempts to compare offers. With executive mobility on the rise, people vying for similar positions often have vastly different backgrounds, strengths, and salary histories, making it hard for employers to set benchmarks or create standard packages.

In some industries a weak labor market has also left candidates with fewer options and less leverage, and employers better positioned to dictate terms. Those who are unemployed, or whose current job seems shaky, have seen their bargaining power further reduced.

But job market complexity creates opportunities for people who can skillfully negotiate the terms and conditions of employment. After all, negotiation matters most when there is a broad range of possible outcomes.

As a professor who studies and teaches the subject, I frequently advise current and former students on navigating this terrain. For several years I have been offering a presentation on the topic to current students. (To see a video of this talk, go to Every situation is unique, but some strategies, tactics, and principles can help you address many of the issues people face in negotiating with employers. Here are 15 rules to guide you in these discussions.

The RulesDon’t underestimate the importance of likability. This sounds basic, but it’s crucial: People are going to fight for you only if they like you. Anything you do in a negotiation that makes you less likable reduces the chances that the other side will work to get you a better offer. This is about more than being polite; it’s about managing some inevitable tensions in negotiation, such as asking for what you deserve without seeming greedy, pointing out deficiencies in the offer without seeming petty, and being persistent without being a nuisance. Negotiators can typically avoid these pitfalls by evaluating (for example, in practice interviews with friends) how others are likely to perceive their approach.

Help them understand why you deserve what you’re requesting. It’s not enough for them to like you. They also have to believe you’re worth the offer you want. Never let your proposal speak for itself—always tell the story that goes with it. Don’t just state your desire (a 15% higher salary, say, or permission to work from home one day a week); explain precisely why it’s justified (the reasons you deserve more money than others they may have hired, or that your children come home from school early on Fridays). If you have no justification for a demand, it may be unwise to make it. Again, keep in mind the inherent tension between being likable and explaining why you deserve more: Suggesting that you’re especially valuable can make you sound arrogant if you haven’t thought through how best to communicate the message.

Make it clear they can get you. People won’t want to expend political or social capital to get approval for a strong or improved offer if they suspect that at the end of the day, you’re still going to say, “No, thanks.” Who wants to be the stalking horse for another company? If you intend to negotiate for a better package, make it clear that you’re serious about working for this employer. Sometimes you get people to want you by explaining that everybody wants you. But the more strongly you play that hand, the more they may think that they’re not going to get you anyway, so why bother jumping through hoops? If you’re planning to mention all the options you have as leverage, you should balance that by saying why—or under what conditions—you would be happy to forgo those options and accept an offer.

Understand the person across the table. Companies don’t negotiate; people do. And before you can influence the person sitting opposite you, you have to understand her. What are her interests and individual concerns? For example, negotiating with a prospective boss is very different from negotiating with an HR representative. You can perhaps afford to pepper the latter with questions regarding details of the offer, but you don’t want to annoy someone who may become your manager with seemingly petty demands. On the flip side, HR may be responsible for hiring 10 people and therefore reluctant to break precedent, whereas the boss, who will benefit more directly from your joining the company, may go to bat for you with a special request.

Understand their constraints. They may like you. They may think you deserve everything you want. But they still may not give it to you. Why? Because they may have certain ironclad constraints, such as salary caps, that no amount of negotiation can loosen. Your job is to figure out where they’re flexible and where they’re not. If, for example, you’re talking to a large company that’s hiring 20 similar people at the same time, it probably can’t give you a higher salary than everyone else. But it may be flexible on start dates, vacation time, and signing bonuses. On the other hand, if you’re negotiating with a smaller company that has never hired someone in your role, there may be room to adjust the initial salary offer or job title but not other things. The better you understand the constraints, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to propose options that solve both sides’ problems.

Be prepared for tough questions. Many job candidates have been hit with difficult questions they were hoping not to face: Do you have any other offers? If we make you an offer tomorrow, will you say yes? Are we your top choice? If you’re unprepared, you might say something inelegantly evasive or, worse, untrue. My advice is to never lie in a negotiation. It frequently comes back to harm you, but even if it doesn’t, it’s unethical. The other risk is that, faced with a tough question, you may try too hard to please and end up losing leverage. The point is this: You need to prepare for questions and issues that would put you on the defensive, make you feel uncomfortable, or expose your weaknesses. Your goal is to answer honestly without looking like an unattractive candidate—and without giving up too much bargaining power. If you have thought in advance about how to answer difficult questions, you probably won’t forfeit one of those objectives.

Focus on the questioner’s intent, not on the question. If, despite your preparation, someone comes at you from an angle you didn’t expect, remember this simple rule: It’s not the question that matters but the questioner’s intent. Often the question is challenging but the questioner’s intent is benign. An employer who asks whether you would immediately accept an offer tomorrow may simply be interested in knowing if you are genuinely excited about the job, not trying to box you into a corner. A question about whether you have other offers may be designed not to expose your weak alternatives but simply to learn what type of job search you’re conducting and whether this company has a chance of getting you. If you don’t like the question, don’t assume the worst. Rather, answer in a way that addresses what you think is the intent, or ask for a clarification of the problem the interviewer is trying to solve. If you engage in a genuine conversation about what he’s after, and show a willingness to help him resolve whatever issue he has, both of you will be better off.

Consider the whole deal. Sadly, to many people, “negotiating a job offer” and “negotiating a salary” are synonymous. But much of your satisfaction from the job will come from other factors you can negotiate—perhaps even more easily than salary. Don’t get fixated on money. Focus on the value of the entire deal: responsibilities, location, travel, flexibility in work hours, opportunities for growth and promotion, perks, support for continued education, and so forth. Think not just about how you’re willing to be rewarded but also when. You may decide to chart a course that pays less handsomely now but will put you in a stronger position later.

Negotiate multiple issues simultaneously, not serially. If someone makes you an offer and you’re legitimately concerned about parts of it, you’re usually better off proposing all your changes at once. Don’t say, “The salary is a bit low. Could you do something about it?” and then, once she’s worked on it, come back with “Thanks. Now here are two other things I’d like…” If you ask for only one thing initially, she may assume that getting it will make you ready to accept the offer (or at least to make a decision). If you keep saying “and one more thing…,” she is unlikely to remain in a generous or understanding mood. Furthermore, if you have more than one request, don’t simply mention all the things you want—A, B, C, and D; also signal the relative importance of each to you. Otherwise, she may pick the two things you value least, because they’re pretty easy to give you, and feel she’s met you halfway. Then you’ll have an offer that’s not much better and a negotiating partner who thinks her job is done.

Don’t negotiate just to negotiate. Resist the temptation to prove that you are a great negotiator. MBA students who have just taken a class on negotiation are plagued by this problem: They go bargaining berserk the first chance they get, which is with a prospective employer. My advice: If something is important to you, absolutely negotiate. But don’t haggle over every little thing. Fighting to get just a bit more can rub people the wrong way—and can limit your ability to negotiate with the company later in your career, when it may matter more.

Think through the timing of offers. At the beginning of a job hunt, you often want to get at least one offer in order to feel secure. This is especially true for people finishing a degree program, when everyone is interviewing and some are celebrating early victories. Ironically, getting an early offer can be problematic: Once a company has made an offer, it will expect an answer reasonably soon. If you want to consider multiple jobs, it’s useful to have all your offers arrive close together. So don’t be afraid to slow down the process with one potential employer or to speed it up with another, in order to have all your options laid out at one time. This, too, is a balancing act: If you pull back too much—or push too hard—a company may lose interest and hire someone else. But there are subtle ways to solve such problems. For example, if you want to delay an offer, you might ask for a later second- or third-round interview.

Avoid, ignore, or downplay ultimatums of any kind. People don’t like being told “Do this or else.” So avoid giving ultimatums. Sometimes we do so inadvertently—we’re just trying to show strength, or we’re frustrated, and it comes off the wrong way. Your counterpart may do the same. My personal approach when at the receiving end of an ultimatum is to simply ignore it, because at some point the person who gave it might realize that it could scuttle the deal and will want to take it back. He can do that much more easily without losing face if it’s never been discussed. If someone tells you, “We’ll never do this,” don’t dwell on it or make her repeat it. Instead you might say, “I can see how that might be difficult, given where we are today. Perhaps we can talk about X, Y, and Z.” Pretend the ultimatum was never given and keep her from becoming wedded to it. If it’s real, she’ll make that clear over time.

Remember, they’re not out to get you. Tough salary negotiations or long delays in the confirmation of a formal offer can make it seem that potential employers have it in for you. But if you’re far enough along in the process, these people like you and want to continue liking you. Unwillingness to move on a particular issue may simply reflect constraints that you don’t fully appreciate. A delay in getting an offer letter may just mean that you’re not the only concern the hiring manager has in life. Stay in touch, but be patient. And if you can’t be patient, don’t call up in frustration or anger; better to start by asking for a clarification on timing and whether there’s anything you can do to help move things along.

Stay at the table. Remember: What’s not negotiable today may be negotiable tomorrow. Over time, interests and constraints change. When someone says no, what he’s saying is “No—given how I see the world today.” A month later that same person may be able to do something he couldn’t do before, whether it’s extending an offer deadline or increasing your salary. Suppose a potential boss denies your request to work from home on Fridays. Maybe that’s because he has no flexibility on the issue. But it’s also possible that you haven’t yet built up the trust required to make him feel comfortable with that arrangement. Six months in, you’ll probably be in a better position to persuade him that you’ll work conscientiously away from the office. Be willing to continue the conversation and to encourage others to revisit issues that were left unaddressed or unresolved.

Maintain a sense of perspective. This is the final and most important point. You can negotiate like a pro and still lose out if the negotiation you’re in is the wrong one. Ultimately, your satisfaction hinges less on getting the negotiation right and more on getting the job right. Experience and research demonstrate that the industry and function in which you choose to work, your career trajectory, and the day-to-day influences on you (such as bosses and coworkers) can be vastly more important to satisfaction than the particulars of an offer. These guidelines should help you negotiate effectively and get the offer you deserve, but they should come into play only after a thoughtful, holistic job hunt designed to ensure that the path you’re choosing will lead you where you want to go.

via 15 Rules for Negotiating a Job Offer – Harvard Business Review.

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15 Rules for Negotiating a Job Offer

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Evolution of Recruitment Analytics

The late William Edwards Deming, who was a renowned American statistician, professor, author, lecturer, and consultant, is credited with the phrase, “In God we trust, all others bring data.” Without data and analytics it’s impossible to accurately forecast what your organization’s recruitment strategy should look like, let alone make directional decisions about capital investments or branding.

Today’s applicant tracking systems (ATS) and candidate relationship management (CRM) systems can contain as many as 2,500 data points about each prospective candidate or applicant, and there are as many if not more data points about how the individual came to be an applicant in the first place, so recruitment departments have no shortage of data to analyze. Yet organizations are still struggling with recruitment analytics because often they don’t know which questions to ask, which data points are the most relevant, and the difference between data analysis and predictive analytics.

In order to understand how to best make progress in this area, it is important to align your desired outcome with the most relevant business activities. For example, if you are looking to develop predictive analytics then traditional reporting won’t help, and if you are looking to understand historical data points then extensive data reporting is probably overkill.

recruitment analytics


recruitment analytics

Once organizations align and settle in on their desired outcomes, asking the right business questions will help to frame what is being measured, what should be analyzed, and what kind of predictive analytics can help to provide the organization a competitive advantage

Analytics can be structured as historical, relational, and predictive, and while not all-inclusive, they can measure satisfaction, workforce productivity, sourcing, and recruiter performance. Each area in itself can have dozens of measurement points so it is critical for people to analyze what is important and let machines analyze the superset of information, which could be too onerous for people to analyze using traditional tools and techniques.

Big Data has ushered in the possibility of making recruitment departments more strategic, and effective at the same time, by granting access to data previously unobtainable. As a result, recruitment analytics have evolved beyond traditional information such as source of hire or time to fill a vacancy, time to source candidates. Today’s recruitment analytics platforms can get much deeper and broader to enable you to strategically target geographies, even specific neighborhoods or competitor office buildings, to attract top talent. You can also know which social media channels are most effective for filling specific roles, and even the best day to Tweet your jobs.

Beyond recruitment analytics is an area called predictive analytics, which uses sophisticated algorithms supported by machine learning to help organizations predict future outcomes. For example, organizations can predict which sourcing channel will provide top talent; they can match ideal candidates to open positions; they can know which candidates to target first based on their job-seeking behavior; or even predict ideal times to contact potential candidates with a new job offer enabling better workforce planning.

The recruitment industry has made great strides towards fostering development of strategic and predictive recruitment analytics, and underlying technology that can animate static data into actionable plans. The next decade promises to be an exciting time to be in the field of recruitment, as the rate of technology innovation is making the recruitment function within organizations smarter than ever before.

via Evolution of Recruitment Analytics | SmartRecruiters Blog.

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Evolution of Recruitment Analytics

Seeking A Job In Cloud-Based Software Development?

With annual growth rates approaching 100 percent, cloud-based software development in areas like Human Resources (HR) is a job-seeker’s dream. To find out what it takes to get hired for the most rewarding developer positions, I spoke with industry experts who shared specific strategies that make candidates stand out. This is part one of a two-part series.

Know the business. In an uncertain environment with limited budgets, connecting the technology with quick business wins is a must-have. Demonstrate your ability to add a layer of industry and company-specific functionality that delivers fast, incremental business value. Walk into interviews with examples of how you have or might solve business problems using cloud computing.

“Cloud developers have to show they can put themselves in the shoes of the end-user by getting to the last mile,” says industry analyst Josh Greenbaum, principal of Enterprise cloud-based software development Applications Consulting. “Having that skill set says that you’re not only able to code, but you also understand what your coding will look like from an end-user perspective. The really hard part of software-as-a-service is not the software side but the service side.”

Greta Roberts, CEO of Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Talent Analytics Corporation agrees, noting that, “There’s an immediate rush to get the technology skills which are important. But hiring managers are also looking for a higher level ability to connect the cloud with what the company is trying to accomplish. What’s the return-on-investment?”

Understanding the customer, whether internal or external, is fundamental. “Developers need a full awareness of everything—objectives, strategies, and processes that support customer responsibilities,” says Paul Belliveau, HR consultant.

Exhibit a strategic understanding of how cloud impacts the business. Developers of cloud-based software have to consider how the organization will run it. That’s because technology companies selling software in the cloud are on the hook to ensure high-performance immediately.

“In the on-premise world, the customer generally pays the operational cost for inefficient and poor quality code. In most cases the customer has to address poor performance themselves. In the cloud model, the total cost of ownership has a direct impact on the bottom line of the IT vendor. To make sure their company is profitable and can scale, it’s up to developers to make sure that the code runs efficiently and is easy to support,” says Thomas Otter, Vice President of Product Management at SuccessFactors, an SAP company.

Gain an understanding of platforms and integration, as well as virtualization. Software developers need to be multi-lingual so they’re conversant in fast-changing technologies.

As an example, Greenbaum says that, “Amazon Web Services is a great platform that epitomizes what’s happening to software this century. Developers also have to know about virtualization—that’s essential for anyone developing next generation software-as-a-service offerings.”

Companies are also increasingly relying on developers with the right skills to navigate integration. “Cloud is an essential part of every organization’s infrastructure but companies haven’t figured it all out yet,” says Roberts. “For example, cloud removes line-of-business silos to integrate data. This means organizations need help dealing with the resultant loss of control over data and security issues. They need a data integration strategy so departments can take full advantage of the data in a secure way.”

Integration is also important in the context of the platform. “Organizations want one foundational platform for connected applications that are aligned with corporate objectives in the long run. Integration skills are crucial because interfaces don’t cut it anymore,” says Belliveau.

As cloud revolutionizes the entire technology stack from basic infrastructure requirements to applications, it’s not enough to know how to build cloud software. Developers have to build technology with a strategic purpose that’s based on the specific needs of the customer.

via Seeking A Job In Cloud-Based Software Development?.

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Seeking A Job In Cloud-Based Software Development?

Why Online is the Future of Job Interviewing [INFOGRAPHIC]

Job interviews are daunting enough, but now more and more are moving online and using video. This infographic by iMeet explains why online is the future of job interviewing.


  • Since 2011, the use of video interviews has risen by 49%.

  • 66% of candidates prefer to use video during the interview process.

  • Communication is conveyed by the human face (55%), tone of voice (33%) and words (7%).



via Why Online is the Future of Job Interviewing [INFOGRAPHIC].

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Why Online is the Future of Job Interviewing [INFOGRAPHIC]

New Study: Treadmill Desks Boost Productivity

If you use a treadmill desk, will it make you better at your job? Sales of the $4,500 set-ups are on the rise, but until now there has been scant evidence that they increase productivity. Avner Ben-Ner, a professor at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, has published a yearlong study in the science and medical journal PLOS ONE, showing that the desks boost job performance. Other studies have already established that they’re good for workers’ long-term health. “We know that being cramped and still isn’t good for anybody,” he says.

That’s also the view of Dr. James Levine, an endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix who has been a longtime advocate of the need for office workers to get out of their chairs. Levine approached Ben-Ner to do the productivity study in part because Ben-Ner himself works at a standing desk and when he’s in his home office, punctuates his day with vigorous 10- or 20-minute workouts on a treadmill. A former marathoner, Ben-Ner, 63, says he finds his routine invigorating rather than exhausting.

Through Levine and a colleague, Ben-Ner connected with Educational Credit Management Corporation, a student loan company in a St. Paul suburb that agreed to invite its 400 sedentary workers to participate in the study. The company bought 40 Walkstation treadmill desks from Steelcase, the office furniture supplier, and then asked for volunteers. (Levine collaborated with Steelcase in the past on its Walkstation design; the first desks came out in 2007.)

Forty-three workers (including three alternates) stepped forward and Ben-Nur tracked them for a year, with half the group starting in June 2008 and the rest joining in December. Ben-Ner found that workers’ productivity dropped at first while they got the hang of typing and using a mouse while walking. The treadmill doesn’t move too fast. Its maximum speed is two miles per hour. But it’s still a change from sitting totally still.

Within four to six months, workers had become accustomed to their new routines and the three performance metrics that Ben-Ner measured, quality of work, quantity of work and the quality of exchanges with colleagues, all steadily improved, according to a weekly survey the workers filled out. The surveys measured performance on a 10-point scale. Walkers scored their productivity at the end of the study as increasing by 0.69. Supervisors also filled out weekly surveys that rated both treadmill users and those who sat at traditional desks. By the end of the year, study participants scored a point higher when the treadmill desk was in their office than when it was not

The results are striking because previous studies haven’t shown a productivity boost. A 2009 study showed that treadmill desk users suffered a loss of as much as 10% in the ability to perform fine motor skills like typing and mouse-clicking and they also did worse on solving math problems. Also, though a slew of studies have documented weight loss and other health benefits, accidents can happen. A story last year in The Wall Street Journal reported that Toyota North America had given permission to workers to bring in their own treadmill desks, but employee enthusiasm waned after a woman took a spill. The Journal story also reported on an online forum for desk treadmill workers, some of whom complained of Achilles tendon injuries and electric shocks from the static build-up in the machines, though manufacturers say those problems can be fixed by using a rubber base and building up slowly to full-time walking.

The new study shows that given a few months, workers master the fine motor challenges and perform better than their sedentary colleagues.

As for worker health, using the same data set in the productivity study, Ben-Ner, Levine and five other professors published an April 2013 article in the journal Obesity, showing that study participants lost as much as eight pounds over the course of a year. Ben-Ner points out that weight-bearing and increasing circulation can also prevent osteoporosis, diabetes and vascular disease, with obvious benefits to employers, given how costly those maladies can be to treat. “You can wipe out the cost of the fanciest treadmill in half a year of treatment,” he points out.

What does this research mean for the future of the workplace? Ben-Ner predicts that companies will realize that it’s healthy and productive to keep their workers moving, and may even elect to install moving floors underneath desks, so they don’t have to buy individual treadmills. He also points to a paper by Carlson School of Management colleague Joan Meyers-Levy who found that high ceilings can make workers more creative, and to research showing that exposure to natural light improves workplace performance by enhancing workers’ sleep (those with office windows slept 46 minutes more per night than those who had no windows).

Will we all soon walk through our days on moving floors in high-ceilinged rooms bathed in natural light? “Companies and individuals are shortsighted,” Ben-Ner concedes. “If we can make a buck today, we will give up two bucks next year, whether it makes sense or not.” But in his mind, it makes infinitely more sense to give treadmill desks a try. “The benefits are clear.”

via New Study: Treadmill Desks Boost Productivity – Forbes.

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New Study: Treadmill Desks Boost Productivity

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

34 Tips for Your Next Job Interview

Next time you go to a job interview – try to remember some of these tips! have collected 34 of the most important in the infographic below.


  • 38% of people don’t smile during a job interview – this is a mistake!

  • First impressions are 55% decided by the way you dress, act and walk through the door.

  • Don’t try to be all things needed – no-one’s perfect!


via 34 Tips You Must Remember for Your Next Job Interview.

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34 Tips for Your Next Job Interview

LinkedIn Job Seeker Premium Accounts: Waste of Money or Fast Lane to Success

Linkedin have offered premium accounts to the greater public for some time now. These have been popular with salespeople and others for years. Congratulations to all the job seekers out there, the time has cometh for to get your credit cards out.

Pay for LinkedIn, surely not?

Have LinkedIn gone nasty and exploiting the people that need it most? Not really, they will still allow you to use it for free so upgrading is optional.

There is definitely an online trend to charge for services at the moment. LinkedIn are hopping on the same band wagon as The Ladders, CareerBuilder and other platforms aimed at job seekers. They have all noticed that there is no great shortage of cash out there, however definitely a shortage of jobs. This could very well be due to layoffs.

As long as the value you are getting from a paid account outweighs the cost, it could be worth considering paying a little to speed up your job search.

Why get it?

First off, you and your profile will be bumped up to the top of the pile when applying for a particular job. This is very much like a sponsored link on Google, your name will come up highlighted in the applicants list which is likely to get you some attention from the hiring manager (along with the other paying applicants of course).

You will also be able to send InMails straight to employers that aren’t in your network. This is particularly useful when you don’t have any contacts in common and it’s impossible to obtain emails for direct contact outside of LinkedIn.

On top of that, there’s the Profile Organizer feature which lets you track the contact you have with others, save favorites and even add your own notes to others profiles. A good old spreadsheet can probably do the same but this one is automated for you.

Finally, there are some webinars with Lindsey Pollak that act as video tutorials on how to use the new functions and how to search for jobs on Linkedin in general. Lindsey definitely knows her stuff so this could be useful.

What’s the dollar?

Your brand new and shiny job seeker premium account comes in three versions; basic, job seeker and job seeker plus.

As you can tell from the image, they vary a bit on price, the only difference in service is the amount of ammunition you will have for each feature.

Basic: With this option you get five folders in your Profile Organizer and you get 100 profiles in your search results. You get 10 introductions to inside sources at companies.

Job Seeker: Here we get five InMails which you can use to contact any employer inside or outside your network. Your search results expand to 250 profiles, you get 10 folders for your Profile Organizer and you get 15 insider introductions.

Job Seeker Plus: The top of the line deal lets you send 10 InMails, 25 folders in your Profile Organizer and your search results of hiring mangers go up to 500 profiles.

Is it really worth it?

If you use LinkedIn daily and have hit a wall where you have run out of InMails, can’t seem to get yourself organized enough and think insider introductions will help you – go ahead and try it. As long as you get useful incremental results, stick with it until you get that new job. This is assuming that you have the money to spend, check your budget and ideally cut back on something else instead.

Personally I was never convinced of the ‘regular’ premium accounts, I can live through not having 500 people coming up in my search results (the more precise search, the better anyway). I don’t really see the need for InMails as I tend to get the proper emails of people, more often than not you can guess it.

I think it’s a shame there are no free trials for the job seeker premium account but I can understand why. Job seekers are not long-term customers for any business, as soon as they get a new job they no longer need the service. LinkedIn have decided to milk it from day one which is probably the right decision from a business perspective.

via LinkedIn Job Seeker Premium Accounts: Waste of Money or Fast Lane to Success.

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LinkedIn Job Seeker Premium Accounts: Waste of Money or Fast Lane to Success

Inexpensive Corporate Culture Activities

Even companies that have big budgets know the value in a personal, inexpensive cultural activity. Some of the best corporate culture activities to improve culture can be done on a boot strapping budget. Unsure of what to do, what you will need, and how much time it will take? Just take a play out of these companies corporate culture playbook. Here are some inexpensive ways to pep up your team.

Vision Boards at LinkedIn. What you will need: About an hour depending on how large of a group you have, old magazines, glue, scissors, and poster board. Have your team spend about 15 minutes cutting out images/words. About 20 or so images, depending on your board size. Then, give them 10 minutes to organize the images on the board. Next, have everyone (if they’re comfortable) hold up their board and have the team “analyze” it for about 3-5 minutes. You can have the person take notes on the feedback. It’s pretty cool stuff! You can also circle back and update everyone to see what has transpired since creating the boards.

Learning Day at Mindvalley. What you will need: A set time frame, a Subject Matter Expert (SME) from your team willing to volunteer their time, and possibly some snacks and beverages. Mindvalley uses the 1st Friday of the month as a Learning Day. They use the entire day, but it’s not mandatory. Someone from their team presents on a topic they are passionate about. Turn the reigns over to the SME, let them plan the talk, and don’t forget to be prepared to learn something new! This helps the team grow, that person grow, plus who doesn’t feel inspired after walking out of a great discussion given by someone who is passionate? Mindvalley understands that in order for the company to grow, they must grow their people.

We:30 at Red Door Interactive. What you will need: About an hour, some questions, and your camera. Red Door Interactive has great values: inspire, share, evolve, exceed, and be 100% jerk-free. We:30 is their way of celebrating the person on the team who exemplifies these values. Have your team submit monthly nominations. Choose a winner. Have the winner give 7-10 interesting facts about themselves that they are comfortable sharing. Then, take their photo and their responses to post on your social media pages. It makes for a fun approach to social media, plus allows the person to be the company celebrity for that week.

Also, if you are a busy HR rep that needs some help planning these corporate culture activities, here’s an awesome culture calendar from SmallBox to help you get to planning. They brag that their culture is “Better than Beer”, so you know they must be doing something right! Got any other inexpensive corporate culture activities? Holla!!

via Inexpensive Corporate Culture Activities – HR Culture Club.

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Inexpensive Corporate Culture Activities