In an interesting addendum to the article below, I was speaking with a long-time client last night who told me that all the job postings up in Silicon Valley are not as accurate as one might think in the economic boomlet going on here.
Apparently more hires are being done by headhunters outside the company and internal hires inside. The postings are window dressing to satisfy government requirements and to distract competitors. I can't tell you companies names but he got it verified by insiders at former places where he has worked. I double checked and agree.
Why is all the internal hiring happening? Well it's faster, cheaper and, at least in Silicon Valley, the person has been "test driven". Typically anywhere from 20to 60% new hires are contractors. When an regular hire opening comes up, then the company sources internally from its contractor and consultant pool. That's my best guess on this. The other part of using headhunters for outside, well they control the deal flow so a fire hose of applicants isn't engulfing HR. With so much good talent out there looking, they can cherry pick top candidates with much less hassle than the company's staff can.
Here is an excerpt from Peter Capelli's article. He is using his gut, anecdotal, hunching as well!
HR leaders tend to try to push back against the fetish in their corporations to hire from outside instead of promoting from within. A new study offers some evidence to bolster their case.
My editors always say give away the story early on, so the answer is, "no." But it requires a little more background to make the story interesting.
Probably the most important development in corporate life over the last generation or so has been the decline of lifetime careers and the rise of outside hiring. The situation in many businesses now is that, when there is a vacancy, they automatically think about filling vacancies by looking outside. Internal promotions are something of a rarity.
I don't have any hard evidence for this, but my sense from anecdotes is that the outside hiring trend has been driven by CEOs and other top executives who (a) if they were hired from the outside think that is the way to go for other roles as well or (b) seem to have a "grass is greener" view of external candidates, especially those who come from an admired employer.
read more here
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The following excerpt from the CFO article underscores the need for all job seekers to get beyond the fill in online application,social profiles, and the emailed resume to inculcate themselves into hiring opportunities. The cloud app described below turns any candidate into one of many to be screened, scrutinized and culled from the herd. That process just doesn't get you hired.
I agree with CFO's title but in a different way. For you to get a job, make the resume an afterthought, leave behind paper at the on-site interview. Don't put it between you and an employer. They just might make you fill in a form anyhow.
In a recent survey, more than a quarter of the responding CFOs said they increased accounting staff in the past two years. Indeed, the biggest growth in jobs right now seems to be occurring in the professional- and business-services sector. But chances are the majority of those organizations are still hiring the old-fashioned way: posting openings and sifting through piles of résumés.
Not Esker, a French-based document-automation company that has gone from 220 full-time employees to 280 in the past two years. “I haven’t looked at a résumé in nine months,” says Esker managing director and U.S. chief operating officer Steve Smith, “and I won’t look at résumés anymore.”
Instead, Smith uses Unrabble, a cloud-based, software-as-a-service hiring tool that eliminates all the paper, résumés included. “If a candidate approaches me the old-fashioned way and sends me a résumé, I send the person the link to the tool and tell [him he’s] got to go through this process,” he says. “Within 30 seconds, I can tell if it’s worth my time looking into this person.”
Unrabble is browser-based. Instead of submitting a traditional résumé, candidates fill out an online form, and the hiring company can then sort applications based on qualifications for the position. The Unrabble tool is searchable (job experience and companies can be checked), interactive (candidates can be ranked), and easily shared with any number of people. It also enables users to search a candidate’s Facebook page and Linked-In profile without having to hunt for them on the web.
Smith chose Unrabble over two other tools; one required a software installation, the other lacked desired functionality. He estimates Unrabble has reduced the amount of time Esker spends on hiring by 20% to 30%. The premium service costs $49 a month for 10 open positions; more than that, the price goes up.
“I haven’t run it through an ROI calculator,” Smith says, “and I haven’t calculated the dollar savings. But if you figure just my time alone, and what I’m paid, and the time I’ve saved — it’s more than paid for itself.”
Read the entire article
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These two news stories below from Inc. Magazine and the New York Times underscore the recurring economic themes that I have been blogging and writing about e.g. globalization and new technology.
This is not a passing phenomena but rather a sea change in how, where, and what the next generation does with their careers.
If they can't make it here then they will go elsewhere, anywhere, everywhere there is opportunity. This pattern will follow them as they mature in their careers. They will continue to follow opportunities across borders.
And if the corporate entities are hiring fewer people and driving existing employees harder, then it is a good idea to take an entrepreneurial path and work hard for yourself. Not surprisingly, the two combine where entrepreneurship has a global reach and the upcoming generations under 50 are driving their own destinies worldwide.
New Grads Seek Startup Opportunities reads the story from Inc Magazine: Several new programs are trying to expand entrepreneurship opportunities and training for recent college graduates. In a tight job market, recent college graduates are finding more opportunities to tap into their inner entrepreneur, according to USA Today. Even with corporations planning to hire 10% more college grads this year than last, a Pew Research Center report found that just over half of 18- to 24-year-olds had employment, the paper reports. That’s the lowest rate since 1948.
As a result, more new grads are looking at business plan competitions and start-up initiatives. A nonprofit organization called Venture for America—modeled after the better-known Teach for America—recruited about 45 college graduates to work with small start-ups in lower-cost cities for two years, starting in June. The group’s big goal: to create 100,000 jobs by 2025.
Many US Immigrant Children Seek American Dream Abroad according to this NY Times article. The story goes on to say: In growing numbers, experts say, highly educated children of immigrants to the United States are uprooting themselves and moving to their ancestral countries. They are embracing homelands that their parents once spurned but that are now economic powers........Enterprising Americans have always sought opportunities abroad. But this new wave underscores the evolving nature of global migration, and the challenges to American economic supremacy and competitiveness.
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It is so addictive when surfing around the Internet to identify and click on interesting bits of information, articles, news stories with the little Pinterest Pin It button and post an image and link to one of my Pinterest boards.
Pinterest is a visually, discriminating version of Delicious.com, and Stumbleupon. I pick out a relevant image on the article's page, tag it and attach a brief comment/opinion of my own. I use the image to attract your attention to the information and the article.
I know that's not exactly what Pinterest intended but it works. Most people put up a collage of clothes, artwork, jewelry, photos, fashion, food, travel, movies and music images. You know, lifestyle.
Just look at the Pinterest category list. There is no category for business, the economy, globalization, philosophy, history, politics, careers and jobs, or any of my board titles. Pinterest has self-created its own limitations because it focuses on the image as an end unto itself rather than the means, conduit and connection to an even greater end... the source of the image and attached link.
I connected my Facebook profile to Pinterest so that all my pins post to FB. I have had, in just two days, several people comment and repin a number of pins. Now that is cool because nobody comments on my blog posts, except for the occasional spamer.
Check out my Pinterest boards on Career Tools, Global Economy, Working Wisdom and Culture.
You may get addicted too!
What to do with QR Codes?
By creating your own QR Codes (called "qurifying") you can make whatever you want more interactive.
- Put one on your business card, on flyers for a party or poster to promote your products or services.
- Or use them to help sorting your books or CD's, put them on your keys or tools so you know what they are for.
(from the Qurify website)
So I put this code on my screwdriver and I always know what it's for? Ok, I am having fun. But these QR codes are pretty cool and Qurify has probably the simplest site to use to make codes for use by the executive, professional, solopreneur and small business owner.
What am I talking about?
QR or Quick Response code is a bar code that can be read by an app in your iPhone, Droid or my Blackberry. Putting the code on any real life object enables it to transmit whatever information is embedded in the code. Typically most services limit you to a certain number of characters to embed in a QR code. Qurify said 255 characters but some QR codes hold up to 7000 characters.The code above has my business card information embedded in it. I used all but 37 characters of the 255.
What do you do with them?
Look at them as an interactive bridge between the digital universe and the bricks and mortar world. Put in the QR code information from a v-card, business card, links to Facebook, Linkedin, YouTube, eBook, a resume, and your website. Apply the code to a piece of paper, a card, a flyer, a tee shirt, a book to enable the coder reader to receive extended information about you online or any topic or site you want to send them to..
Is it worth adding to your business card, resume, and other documents?
Sure, why not? You have nothing to lose and much to gain with the increased visibility. I think the best use would be to build a great website and use the QR code on the back of your business card to get networking contacts to the website's landing page. That would be the best brand message delivery compared to sending code readers to linkedin or other template-driven apps and sites. You could offer a special deal on an ebook you have written and use the code to send users to an Amazon.com page to buy it. The applications are endless. Just think of it as the simple little wireless connector between the world and the interweb.
In my universe there is nothing better than leading the pack compared to following the herd when it comes to new and wonderful technology gadgets. QR codes are easy to create, and the uses are limited only by your creativity, strategic vision, and brilliant imagination.
Start with your business card as code.
Companies may be hiring more now in some sectors as the economy continues to recover but they are still running lean. People inside of organizations, happy to be employed, are working hard...very hard indeed just to keep their situation.
I delivered a webinar today to UCLA entitled Digital You. It was about using three key online tools that combined together would give any executive or professional an edge in the competition to be seen and heard.
Someone reminded me that five years ago I was passionate about being on Linkedin.com and now I was telling people to move on to other sites and tools. They asked, "Why was that?" I explained using the analogy of the Red Queen in Through the Looking Glass telling Alice as they were running that in order to get anywhere they had to run twice as fast.
Technology is like that. What's new today will be used by everybody in 4 years or less. Everybody (reaching for 200M) is on Linkedin.com now and that's a good thing for networking but not for personal branding. Linkedin is a template-based site as is VisualCV and they have you fill in their blanks. You end up looking just like everybody else. I described it as an online MBA resume book. Good people look at it but you can get lost in the shuffle. You are running, so to speak, to stay in the same place.
Using new tools like personal profiles (flavors.me, about.me/pattiwilson ), personal presentations (sliderocket.com) and personal pages using website builders gets you moving twice as fast as others vying with you for visibility, eye-balls, and market share online. I personally use Weebly but there are others that are great too ( here is Wikipedia's list of top website builders).
Is this more work? Sure. Do you want your career to continue until you retire? Then run twice as fast to get somewhere and keep doing it. The good of all this is that once it is in place the only maintenance you do is blogging or updating when you change positions, write articles, are interviewed by Wall Street Journal or other notable events worth capturing ongoing.
There is a downside. One person asked at the end if this required that you have a very clear, defined, well-positioned brand, value proposition and career target. Yes, it does and that's is the most difficult part actually. Once you have clearly defined yourself the content, images, and look all falls into place. My mentor, Richard Bolles author of What Color is Your Parachute said, in describing this process, "this is the hard part. This is where you have to think, people"... and run faster.
The tendency to hire people we know is deeply embedded into our DNA. Man (and woman) has a tribal orientation inculcated into his system since the Pleistocene cave dwellers.
Tribes working cooperatively have been integrally to commerce from the surf system of the feudal middle ages, and the guilds of the Renaissance to modern day.
Fortunately our comfort with the size and number of our tribes has grown significantly beyond our nomadic/agrarian roots. Our DNA instinctual drive for belonging to the group is embedded in business processes today. In Reid Hoffman's new book, The Startup of You, he makes the point that our opportunities and business success comes from our networks e.g. tribes.
Networking inside or outside organizations requires meeting people you don't know and being able to talk about yourself and find out about them. I have executive clients with minimal footprint on Linkedin expect the perfect job posting to magically appear. Building a network is not learned behavior. Growing and advancing within a big company depends on who knows you and who gets to know and like you. Those whose networking fluency is weak or not a style fit for their company culture rail against the corporate "politics" they face when they should be getting better at networking.
Why is networking so hard? As much as we like to belong, we are hardwired in our DNA for a adrenal reaction of flight or fight that gives us a wariness, if not fear, of the new, the unknown, and change. Networking requires all of the above: we must change our behavior and reach out to unknown people to grow connections. It is an interesting DNA dynamic, we have move past our wariness of meeting new people in order to satisfy our drives to belong to a group (tribe).
I agree with Reid, that anyone who develops fluency in networking will up their success quotient in their careers because doors are opened by people you know.
The easiest first thing to do to grow your network is use Linkedin, Viadeo, and Xing to invite people to connect with you. It is a great start on instantly building your a base of hundreds if not thousands of contacts. The next easiest step is to start attending events: professional associations, conferences, trade shows and alumni groups to meet people.
Younger, thinner, more interesting looking is the new oatmeal look. After 136 years, the Quaker Oats guy logo has been updated to appeal to a new generation of young adults as well as appeal to age-phobic baby boomers. If you compare the two logos, yes the one on the right is the new one, the new one shows an updated font style too that is a brighter white and not "old timey" looking.
According to the Time Magazine article, Quaker Oats owner PepsiCo introduced the changes in an effort to make the brand “fresh and innovative,” which might take a bit of doing, given that their product is a dessicated cereal grain.
You may not be going on 136 years old, but when it comes to staying viable in the global talent marketplace, well then consider an update of your personal brand.
How do you do that? Well it is less the wording in your content which focuses more on branding/rebranding. Rebranding positions you to move into new fields, business sectors, and industries. A brand refresh is gives your current brand a younger, more vibrant, newer, fresher appearance. That is more about image and look. At the warp speed of business and the Internet, a professional look evolves much more rapidly.
Digital Documents in 2012 look different from those in 1998
Well, theoretically they should look different but some professionals are still using resume formats and layouts since before the faxed resume. Resumes, websites, blogs, or social profiles are built now to look great on a screen as that's where they are read. In fact, if you go to the Way Back Machine (Internet Archive) and check out early Linkedin, Amazon, blogs sites, you will see how different and dated they look now.
The fonts now must take into consideration how well a font renders online and on a screen. Just look at the different in readability between the two Quaker Oats logos. Modern sans-serif fonts look younger and fresher. Serif fonts like Palatino render better onscreen than the traditional Times Roman, making for a crisper, fresher look. The layout and design of all documents are moving to a lighter, more open look. Just look at the new Google Blogger with dynamic, open blog that is image focused versus the blog you are reading now.
The older you are, the younger your photo style
Most executives use their photos provided by their company's PR department on Linkedin and for other business requirements. If you are over 50 and not working in government and financial services, this is not a good idea. More stable, traditional business sectors like seeing their executives in suits and business attire as does consulting services. There is a reason for the slang referring to "the suits".
Using photos taken outdoors, in natural light, preferably in business casual will create an image of health, vitality and youth as well. Business formal creates age aura. If you have substantial career credentials and achievements, then you don't need to look the part as well.
Take the photo one step further and be in dressy sports on a wind swept beach with a Golden Retriever. Lacking ocean, use a park and a poodle, or ski slopes, etc. Just don't look too much like you're into extreme sports. Remember how the category "interests" was put at the bottom of your resume and you got to list things like: biking, skiing, marathon running, etc etc? Well, one well done photos creates the better impression of you without the ubiquitous laundry list.
Update your look, wardrobe, and appearance
There is age discrimination and it is subtle, unconscious, and hard to prove when practiced in hiring and firing. In a media marketing driven, consumption based culture, we are manipulated by the image and look of products which are presented with an emphasis on sex, power, fun,and excitement. Yes, we like functional too, but we get sucked in by looks first. Think how many people wear those ergonomically uncomfortable, auditorially poor, and, basically, cheesy Apple iPod earbuds because they look cool and recognizable in white.
A style makeover may not be annually necessary but every five years it is mandatory. This includes product: skin care, hair care, and body maintenance. There is a reason sites like Dermatologistrx is thriving online, and why both men and women no longer consider facial peels and lifts optional. It is not about looking younger which may be hard to archieve, especially after a certain age, but looking fresher, more vibrant and vital.
The Quaker Oats guy looks thinner, healthier, and a bit younger and you should too!
Is it fear and loathing? Being a creature of habit and learned behaviors? A lack of imagination? Or do we just tend to just take the path of least resistance?
All of the above, depending on the individual.
What qualifies as low hanging fruit when it comes to job opportunities?
We are creatures of habit and learned behaviors so if you got recruited out of college and search people "placed" you in all your jobs, then we assume the past predicts the future. It doesn't in career advancement. As we climb to the top, there are fewer jobs and the competition is fierce. We don't just get "placed" as easily. And as we age, there is younger, less expensive talent competing for the same opportunities. Your business sector may become commoditized and there is no room to grown professionally.
We don't realize that the best fruit can be harder to find, be at the top of the tree or hidden under leaves and branches.
Often our mentors, bosses and colleagues can be our undoing. They may as they move on bring you with them but that may not be the best option for you. I have seen professionals in a beleaguered companies and business units actively solicit their colleagues to join them. Did misery need company? Did they want to be rescued from their drowning struggles? Were you misled or did you just not even expend the effort to find out about the mess you were getting into?
When we buy fruit at a stand or market it is often green and unripe, or bruised in the picking.
Today, the savvy professional, especially if not having conducted a search in the past 5 years, must:
Despite four years since the global crash and 9+ since Linkedin was born, many executives and professionals haven't grasped the full impact of a reset economy and the Internet on a job hunt.
Here are some the most common ill conceived notions that I hear:
1. Being on Linkedin will bring job opportunities to you.
There is a common belief that if you build your profile, then the recruiters will flock to you. Well, most likely, your Linkedin profile will give you a boost on Google ranking in a name search.
Solution: The big value of Linkedin is the access you get to networking in 50 groups and 50 subgroups. Rather than waiting to be found, build your Linkedin connections into thousands for ongoing leverage.
2. I customize my resume for every position and opening.
Good luck with this one because they will all have to synch your one Linkedin profile. For that matter, all your profiles on Viadeo, Xing, Linkedin, Orkut, etc should all deliver the same message about you.
Solution: Focus your search target on one or two overlapping business domains. Gear all your branding and positioning of yourself around those sectors.
3. The search firms don't get back to me or they have nothing for me.
Search firms more than ever are working to find the perfect fit for their client companies. Given that their business is down by more than half since the crash, the demand of top talent continues to exceed supply. Unless you exactly fit their requirements, you will find no opportunities forthcoming from them.
Solution: Using search consultants and headhunters as a source of information about market trends and companies hiring would provide more fruitful results.
4. My continued outreach to my network is wearing out my welcome with them.
Don't use up your direct network by continuous asking for introductions to job openings. When those turn up empty, or as dead ends... and they mostly do... then your network is exhausted.
Solution: Double or triple your network by using your existing connections for introductions into their network. This grows a relevant source of contacts in your field without much effort.
5. My employer will suspect that I am looking if I am highly visible on the Internet.
I am still surprised by how much that concerns people when millions are on social networks now. Just do an advanced people search on Linkedin by your company and competitors. You will find more than you expect.
Solution: Get on the Internet with gusto because you only have to do it once. Put up profiles. Build a website and blog. Become visibly well branded and be done with it. Once you are on it, that becomes old news.
6. Since I am not willing to relocate, I am looking only at local employers.
The market place for talent is now global and your competition can come from anywhere thanks in part to the Internet and to the willingness of professionals outside the USA to seek opportunities anywhere.
Solution: Search globally and work locally. You cannot determine who or where your next employer will be. You can negotiate the details like location when they make an offer.
7. I don't need to be visible online as my job is secure and I am happy in my current situation.
Nowadays all marketing is online. Look at every Superbowl ad for its references to product websites. Professional advancement, and career promotion are done equally outside your organization as within.
Solution: The professional status you build for yourself outside your company reflects positively on you and your organization. Making a name for yourself is most easily done online.
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