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Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: New Trends in Human Resources

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Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: New Trends in Human Resources

Human Resources is all around us. It's more than just benefits and personnel issues too, and the field has earned a seat at the table in recent years. After all, once the recession hit, the world realized how important jobs really are to a functioning and thriving economy. As the HR function has grown, here are some new trends and thinking in the space. 

1) Why It's A 'Glorious Time' To Be in HR from Forbes

"Last month employers in the U.S. added 288,000 jobs. It marked the best five month stretch of job creation since 2008 and the U.S. economy has now officially recovered from the job losses of the last great recession. Of course this is great news for everyone. But there’s one tech industry in particular that particularly benefits when more people are working. Those are the companies that make human resources (HR) software."

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Job Hopping: Why A Million Jobs Is a Good Thing

photo Let's face it, no one sails through their work life with grace and ease. We stumble, we fail, we struggle and we learn some pretty great lessons along the way.  For me, those lessons have come from 32 different, paying jobs in 21 years. You heard that right. 32. From orientation leader to cold caller, I wouldn't believe it myself if I hadn't written them all down.* Am I flighty? Do I lack work ethic? Am I a poor performer? Not a bit.

We've been chastising millenials for job hopping and holding too many jobs. We assume the worst--lack of promotions, laziness, perspective--but maybe there's more to it, especially early in your career. What if having a million jobs was a good thing?

For me it was. It deepened my skill sets and ability to understand how diverse groups of people work. I figured out what interested me and what didn't. I didn't understand it then but as an orientation leader at Virginia Tech, I first learned the art of HR and onboarding. I fell in love with the opportunity to welcome people to a new community and help them fit it in.

There were more practical lessons too. I quickly learned the very-valuable lesson of how much money mattered to me. I started working at 13 in hourly jobs. The more I worked, the more I made. But I had to balance the tradeoffs--did I want more cash or more time with my friends? Annoying decisions to make back then. Transformative lessons when I look back now.

But if I thought I worked many jobs, I don't hold a candle to Scott Crawford, the now Director of Career Services at Wabash College in Indiana. Scott's had double the amount of jobs I've had. 64 jobs to be exact from cloth cutter to human trash compactor. And he's nowhere near the end of his career.

You might think Scott the definition of job-hopper, but truth be told, he's been in the same field for over 20 years. And in his current job for eight. However, he's not shy about his job-hopping past. In fact, it might be the reason he's been successful in his field and happy in his job now.

"I think the main thing is that every [workplace] thinks they’re somehow unique or special but they’re usually more similar than they think. After awhile I could tell immediately if (a) I was going to like it/fit in, and (b) if the place was run well or not," says Scott. "I quit one place after 3 days.  I could tell it was going nowhere (really poor training/orientation), and it closed shortly thereafter."

The more experiences you have, the more sure you might be when you finally land. And the more obvious it will be when you don't. I wrote about the job hopping people do in The Right Job, Right Now (St. Martin's Press), and the idea that we overcompensate. We hate our boss in one job, so we look for a better boss. We find that better boss in our new job, but the growth potential we took for granted at the old job is now missing. Not the best strategy in our professional careers. But it is early on.

Having a million jobs early on helps you make key decisions. After working retail, I knew I didn't want a job in fashion. The perks of hospitality are great but the pay isn't. And multiple internships in public relations helped me codify specific skills and understand the reality of the corporate world before I fully committed.

As for Scott, he looked for leadership inspiration:

"One of the best run [places I have worked] was Wichita State University. The President there at the time really created a ‘we’re all in this together’ kind of atmosphere, and communication flowed freely. He moved his office to the bottom floor of the Admin Building from the previous President's suite at the top) right at the front door, with his doors open.  One thing the President said that made a big impression on me 'if you see a piece of trash on the sidewalk, pick it up and throw it away.  Don’t assume someone else will, or that it’s the groundskeeper’s job to do that.  We’re all responsible for how this school is perceived.'  I think about that a lot," he says.

The way we work, our successes now and our engagement in work are a result of where we've been. Forget conference best practices and what's worked for everyone else. Look back to your own experiences to remember what influenced you. What did you like the most and how can you find that and emulate that moving forward? A million jobs means a million lessons, leaders and projects to take the best from.

Just ask Scott: from a broom factory to wrapping gifts to stocking fine china, he's got a lesson from every single, solitary experience.

"My shortest job was one day. They'd fired the guy that hired me, and forgot he'd [just hired me]. Then, they had no position for me, so they gave me three months severance pay," says Scott.  "Management styles and bosses, however, varied wildly, and I most definitely enjoyed working in more collaborative and participatory atmospheres, with bosses who actually cared about the organization or product/service, not just their own careers."

As for me, I'm still learning, and still counting:

  1. Snack Bar Attendant (1988)
  2. Camp Counselor
  3. Customer Service Associate
  4. Cashier
  5. Head Cashier
  6. Customer Service Manager
  7. Lifeguard
  8. After School Program Leader
  9. Call Center Associate
  10. Public Relations Intern
  11. Public Relations Assistant
  12. Waitress
  13. Retail Salesperson
  14. College Orientation Leader
  15. College Orientation Assistant
  16. Graduate Student Affairs Assistant
  17. Training Coordinator
  18. HR Generalist
  19. Recruiter
  20. Recruiting Manager
  21. Sr. Manager, Member Services
  22. Program Director
  23. Career Coach
  24. Assistant Director, Career Services
  25. Author
  26. MBA Intern
  27. Director, Talent Management
  28. Director, Talent Acquisition
  29. Senior Director, Employer Brand
  30. Consultant
  31. Speaker
  32. Founder (2013)

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Susan LaMotte is the founder of exaqueo, a workforce consultancy that helps startups and high-growth companies build their cultures, employer brands and talent strategies. Contact exaqueo to learn more about how we can help you build a workforce strategy that’s aligned with your company culture and develop an employer brand that will allow your business to scale the right way.

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There's a Better Way to Quit Your Job

Another day, another viral video of a frustrated, tired employee quitting a job in a dramatic fashion.  First there was the chute-sliding JetBlue flight attendant and then the brash marching band incident followed by the forthright op-ed from the ex-Goldman Sachs employee. And now there’s the dancing video producer who’s simply had enough.

In her case she claimed the work environment in Taiwan wasn’t bearable. So why not just move on? Or better yet, look for work opportunities in countries where employment laws and work environments generally tend to be a bit more supportive of work-life balance?

If only we could all vent this way. About everything. 

Public displays of resignation are entertaining and attention-getting. But they won’t take you anywhere except on the 15-minutes-of-fame-train. Look, we’ve all been there. I’ve had bosses throw things at me, yell, and storm out in temper tantrums. But employment is free will. And if you’re quitting anyway (meaning you’re not stuck in the job to feed your family), why behave like a toddler just looking for attention? I’m all for creative and sticking-it-to-the-man when deserved, but no one looks back on a tantrum with pride.

There’s a better way to quit your job if you just can’t take it anymore.

First, assess the situation.

Is your misery project or person related, but you love much about your company and co-workers? See if there’s an opportunity to move departments. It could be that management is well aware of your difficult boss (but she brings in too much business or is too tenured to fire). Not that it makes it right to keep the boss in seat, but without sharing confidential information, management could reward you for just asking for another opportunity internally.

If it’s systematic, then you may want to leave. When the entire founding team is behaving badly, or emulating a model of work-life balance you find deplorable, that’s a sign. And if your health or family life is being affected? That’s a sure sign. But only you can decide–and define–what behavior and cultural attributes are enough to make you quit.

Second, devise a plan and a timeline.

Consider current work you don’t want to leave unfinished and aim to help provide a smooth transition.  For example, you may despise your boss, but you don’t want to leave your reliable co-workers with a difficult situation. Then start laying the ground work (confidentially) with your network to get a sense of how hard it will be to find a new job so you’re financially prepared to be unemployed for a specific period of time. It’s important to know that even if you give two weeks notice, a company could ask you to leave on the spot–always be prepared for this...

Read the rest of this post over on Tech Cocktail.

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This post originally appeared on TechCocktail written by Susan LaMotte, the founder of exaqueo. A workforce consultancy, exaqueo helps startups and high-growth companies build their cultures, employer brands and talent strategies. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you build a workforce that’s aligned with your company culture and develop an employer brand that will allow your business to grow in the right way.

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Talent and HR News Roundup: Understanding Candidates Edition

Screen Shot 2013-09-06 at 3.25.43 PM Remember that Mel Gibson movie where he can foretell what women want? Imagine that power in the workplace. We think we know what job seekers want but we're never really sure.  But understanding candidates might be the next best thing. We can't get supernatural powers in the blink of an eye, but we can pay attention to what candidates are learning.  This week's roundup is a collection of stories to help you understand what candidates are reading and learning. It may give you the insight you need into your hiring strategy!

1) How Not To Reject Job Candidates at The Fast Track

"[Don't reject them] by phone. You might think that it’s polite to phone candidates to let them know they didn’t get the job, but resist that impulse and send an email instead. Phone calls put candidates on the spot: They have to react to the rejection while they’re still in the immediate moment of disappointment. It’s awkward. And the call often creates a moment of false hope, which then dissipates when the candidate has to pull it together to be gracious about disappointment seconds later. (Besides, email is better on your side too, since some candidates will try to argue your decision.)"

2) 5 Things You Should Look For in Your First Job at Brazen Careerist

"Early in your career, the most important thing you can do is gain as much experience as possible. Even if you secure a job in your desired field, you won’t be in the same position forever. To advance, it’s important to have a variety of experiences under your belt.  Before you accept a position, consider what kinds of experience you’ll gain. If you’ll be working in publishing, for example, will you be working with the Adobe Creative Suite? Will you also be able to learn new skills such as website design or pagination? No matter what direction your career goes, it never hurts to have skills in multiple areas."

3) 5 Ways to Get More Out of LinkedIn at Time

"This is a great opportunity to let prospective employers see your crowning achievement or even an award you’ve won. It works with a wide range of formats including PDFs, Power Point Presentations, pictures and videos. However, it won’t generate an image of a website or blog. If you want to show that off, you can always take a screenshot of it and upload that."

4) Ten Recruiters Share How to Impress at Glassdoor

"Candidates are getting more and more creative with getting attention.  I’ve been impressed with several candidates recently who have built infographics, videos and even full blown websites to convey their experience!  I’m a sucker for creative people with an awesome design sense.  But, this is not required to get the job.  Not everybody has these skills and we always go for the best person for the job.  As long as you are applying online and convey your experience, passion and goals clearly, you’ll have a fair shot at getting into the adidas Group."

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exaqueo is a human resources consultancy that helps startups and high-growth companies build their cultures, employer brands and talent strategies. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you build a workforce that’s aligned with your company culture and develop an employer brand that will allow your business to scale the right way.

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Talent and HR News Roundup: Understanding Candidates Edition

Screen Shot 2013-09-06 at 3.25.43 PM Remember that Mel Gibson movie where he can foretell what women want? Imagine that power in the workplace. We think we know what job seekers want but we're never really sure.  But understanding candidates might be the next best thing. We can't get supernatural powers in the blink of an eye, but we can pay attention to what candidates are learning.  This week's roundup is a collection of stories to help you understand what candidates are reading and learning. It may give you the insight you need into your hiring strategy!

1) How Not To Reject Job Candidates at The Fast Track

"[Don't reject them] by phone. You might think that it’s polite to phone candidates to let them know they didn’t get the job, but resist that impulse and send an email instead. Phone calls put candidates on the spot: They have to react to the rejection while they’re still in the immediate moment of disappointment. It’s awkward. And the call often creates a moment of false hope, which then dissipates when the candidate has to pull it together to be gracious about disappointment seconds later. (Besides, email is better on your side too, since some candidates will try to argue your decision.)"

2) 5 Things You Should Look For in Your First Job at Brazen Careerist

"Early in your career, the most important thing you can do is gain as much experience as possible. Even if you secure a job in your desired field, you won’t be in the same position forever. To advance, it’s important to have a variety of experiences under your belt.  Before you accept a position, consider what kinds of experience you’ll gain. If you’ll be working in publishing, for example, will you be working with the Adobe Creative Suite? Will you also be able to learn new skills such as website design or pagination? No matter what direction your career goes, it never hurts to have skills in multiple areas."

3) 5 Ways to Get More Out of LinkedIn at Time

"This is a great opportunity to let prospective employers see your crowning achievement or even an award you’ve won. It works with a wide range of formats including PDFs, Power Point Presentations, pictures and videos. However, it won’t generate an image of a website or blog. If you want to show that off, you can always take a screenshot of it and upload that."

4) Ten Recruiters Share How to Impress at Glassdoor

"Candidates are getting more and more creative with getting attention.  I’ve been impressed with several candidates recently who have built infographics, videos and even full blown websites to convey their experience!  I’m a sucker for creative people with an awesome design sense.  But, this is not required to get the job.  Not everybody has these skills and we always go for the best person for the job.  As long as you are applying online and convey your experience, passion and goals clearly, you’ll have a fair shot at getting into the adidas Group."

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exaqueo is a human resources consultancy that helps startups and high-growth companies build their cultures, employer brands and talent strategies. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you build a workforce that’s aligned with your company culture and develop an employer brand that will allow your business to scale the right way.

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Talent and HR News Roundup: Understanding Candidates Edition

Screen Shot 2013-09-06 at 3.25.43 PM Remember that Mel Gibson movie where he can foretell what women want? Imagine that power in the workplace. We think we know what job seekers want but we're never really sure.  But understanding candidates might be the next best thing. We can't get supernatural powers in the blink of an eye, but we can pay attention to what candidates are learning.  This week's roundup is a collection of stories to help you understand what candidates are reading and learning. It may give you the insight you need into your hiring strategy!

1) How Not To Reject Job Candidates at The Fast Track

"[Don't reject them] by phone. You might think that it’s polite to phone candidates to let them know they didn’t get the job, but resist that impulse and send an email instead. Phone calls put candidates on the spot: They have to react to the rejection while they’re still in the immediate moment of disappointment. It’s awkward. And the call often creates a moment of false hope, which then dissipates when the candidate has to pull it together to be gracious about disappointment seconds later. (Besides, email is better on your side too, since some candidates will try to argue your decision.)"

2) 5 Things You Should Look For in Your First Job at Brazen Careerist

"Early in your career, the most important thing you can do is gain as much experience as possible. Even if you secure a job in your desired field, you won’t be in the same position forever. To advance, it’s important to have a variety of experiences under your belt.  Before you accept a position, consider what kinds of experience you’ll gain. If you’ll be working in publishing, for example, will you be working with the Adobe Creative Suite? Will you also be able to learn new skills such as website design or pagination? No matter what direction your career goes, it never hurts to have skills in multiple areas."

3) 5 Ways to Get More Out of LinkedIn at Time

"This is a great opportunity to let prospective employers see your crowning achievement or even an award you’ve won. It works with a wide range of formats including PDFs, Power Point Presentations, pictures and videos. However, it won’t generate an image of a website or blog. If you want to show that off, you can always take a screenshot of it and upload that."

4) Ten Recruiters Share How to Impress at Glassdoor

"Candidates are getting more and more creative with getting attention.  I’ve been impressed with several candidates recently who have built infographics, videos and even full blown websites to convey their experience!  I’m a sucker for creative people with an awesome design sense.  But, this is not required to get the job.  Not everybody has these skills and we always go for the best person for the job.  As long as you are applying online and convey your experience, passion and goals clearly, you’ll have a fair shot at getting into the adidas Group."

—-

exaqueo is a human resources consultancy that helps startups and high-growth companies build their cultures, employer brands and talent strategies. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you build a workforce that’s aligned with your company culture and develop an employer brand that will allow your business to scale the right way.

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Cross Post HRExaminer: Lists, Naughty or Nice?

People love a good list.  In HR, we’re obsessed with them. I prefer the kind of list I can check off. But everyone wants to be on top of a good list. But how do we actually use them? I didn't want to do a scathing review of the methodology behind them (though like most, I have my own opinions).  I’m more interested in what people actually learn from them. Jump on over to HRExaminer to read more.

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Solving the Jobs Problem

HR Examiner's John Sumser recently invited me to join the amazing group of folks on the Editorial Advisory Board. I'm thrilled to be in their company and to share my first post: Solving the Jobs Problem the Wrong Way.  If you're in HR and/or recruiting, and you don't know John or HR Examiner, you've been living under the proverbial Internet rock.  John's a legend in the industry and has something amazing to teach each and every time I return to HR Examiner.

Check out my first post and let me know what you think. Here on the Exaqueo blog, I focus on broader talent and brand topics, while over at HR Examiner I'll be diving into more specific recruiting and HR issues. What do you want to hear about and debate? Let me know in the comments below.

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Solving the Jobs Problem

HR Examiner's John Sumser recently invited me to join the amazing group of folks on the Editorial Advisory Board. I'm thrilled to be in their company and to share my first post: Solving the Jobs Problem the Wrong Way.  If you're in HR and/or recruiting, and you don't know John or HR Examiner, you've been living under the proverbial Internet rock.  John's a legend in the industry and has something amazing to teach each and every time I return to HR Examiner.

Check out my first post and let me know what you think. Here on the Exaqueo blog, I focus on broader talent and brand topics, while over at HR Examiner I'll be diving into more specific recruiting and HR issues. What do you want to hear about and debate? Let me know in the comments below.

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Solving the Jobs Problem

HR Examiner's John Sumser recently invited me to join the amazing group of folks on the Editorial Advisory Board. I'm thrilled to be in their company and to share my first post: Solving the Jobs Problem the Wrong Way.  If you're in HR and/or recruiting, and you don't know John or HR Examiner, you've been living under the proverbial Internet rock.  John's a legend in the industry and has something amazing to teach each and every time I return to HR Examiner.

Check out my first post and let me know what you think. Here on the Exaqueo blog, I focus on broader talent and brand topics, while over at HR Examiner I'll be diving into more specific recruiting and HR issues. What do you want to hear about and debate? Let me know in the comments below.

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#DearCongress Lessons

Twitter is exploding with the hashtag #DearCongress, partly fueled by @WashingtonPost, by Obama's speech on Monday and his suggestion to contact Congress and by general American outrage.   I rarely talk about politics publicly (I think it's a personal topic), but this isn't about the politics. We hired our leaders to do a job and they're not performing. So what can we learn for our own jobs?Here's my tweet: "Dear [Congress], If I acted the way you did @ work, I'd be fired from every job I ever had/have. You have jobs, be grateful & do them."   Here are seven bi-partisan reasons they'd be fired if they worked in the real world. Please note: this post is not intended to spur a debate on what we should do about the debt ceiling, or to pick a side. The examples here are from things BOTH parties have done.  So what can we learn from their mistakes and apply to our careers?

1) Walking away is dumb.

Can you imagine a meeting where you get so pissed off you walk up and leave?  And I don't mean with your spouse, I mean at work.  Storming or stomping out of a meeting just shows you're not mature enough to handle the pressure that comes with high-level talks or negotiations.  No CEO has ever been lauded for taking his/her toys and going home.

2) Multiple, competing plans never work.

Imagine if you were in a project meeting working with your team on a plan.  Then, a team member stands up and says "This sucks, so me and Jimmy have worked out our own plan instead. Let's scrap the team's and go with ours." As a leader, my first thought would be "why are they doing this on their own time?"  If  a plan isn't working, you vocalize that in the group and work on solutions together, or, you decide as a team to break out the group to solve particular, deadlocked issues.  You won't win any friends at work by pissing people off to become the hero.

3) "I like you better than her" polling is a recipe for disaster.

Do you ever poll colleagues or clients to see who likes which piece of work better?  And if you do, do you put names to it?  For example, would you ever say in a meeting, or follow-up to a meeting with a poll that asks: "choose whose idea you like better, mine or Maria's."  Nope, I didn't think so. Forcing people to choose sides with a person and not what pieces of the idea they like and why is antithetical to progress and coalitions.

4) Spinning words to make you look better won't.

Americans are not stupid. We know both Rebulicans and Democrats have agreed upon lingo for how they'll talk in public.  If they didn't, the comedy gods wouldn't be able to show the repeat clips of every pundit using the same spinned terms.  My favorite so far is the use of "job creators" in replace of wealthy.  When you try to be overly political in the spin doctor sense, it's just bad PR. People will see through it, make fun of it, and lose trust in you as a leader and spokesperson.

5) Thinking you're the target demographic.

As good marketers have to remember, they are rarely members of their own target markets.  There's a reason toy companies convene focus groups of kiddos. Yes, elected officials are supposed to represent their constiuencies but the average member of Congress has healthcare that's so much better than the average American. Their salaries are above average. So why the closed door sessions? Private plan building? When in doubt, go to your market. And the market is screaming "get this done and focus on jobs." Please.

6) Crying foul.

 There are few things more sad than a bride left at the altar. Part of you feels sorry for her and part of you thinks "how do you get all the way to the altar and it not work?"  In business though, it's less sad.  Instead it feels whiney and pathetic. When you blame someone for leaving you in a time of business need, it sounds like a blame game. Instead ask why they left and focus on what you're doing to reconcile the union.

7) Stop with the fake positivity.
 
If I hear one more political soundbyte "I'm confident we'll get there." I might drive the ten minutes from my house to the Capitol and start knocking down doors.  The fake positivity does no one any good.  If you kep promising a solution in the workplace or telling your boss "don't worry, we'll make it," you're really screwing yourself.  Great leaders know the importance of being realistic. You can still offer hope, but also educate on what the plans B, C and D are to inspire confidence.  Or you can be like Congress, offer 12 plan As and instill zero confidence.
 
While my hope is that by reading this you're reminded that certain tactics will fall flat in the workplace, I also hope it serves as some career advice for our esteemed members of Congress.  They'll need it when they're all fired in November.

 

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