Monday, 5 December 2011

Recruiting Trends: 4 Methods for Finding the Right Talent Filed Under (Talent Management Matters) by Sherry Fox

When it comes to finding the right talent, today’s organizations have plenty of options. With the increasing popularity of social networking, however, companies are moving away from traditional hiring processes and opting for more technologically driven methods.
Here are four of the more popular recruiting trends and some of the vendors that offer solutions, apps, or services in each of these spaces.
1. Social Media for Recruitment (Social Recruiting)
Because of the sheer volume of information (and traffic) on social media sites, many companies are daunted by the task of having to sift through it, and so have yet to include this platform in their hiring process.
Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter are some of the main social media tools used by today’s forward-thinking organizations. They allow recruiters to target the exact skill sets required for often difficult-to-fill positions.
The amount of traffic that social media sites see is attractive to recruiters and HR executives as a pool of potential candidates—while promoting their company and leveraging relationships that may turn into placements down the road.
Plenty of software vendors have adopted the idea of social networking, providing tools within their talent management or recruiting solutions that allow recruiters to easily find candidates through social networks, friend referrals, and more.
Social recruiting has become the primary focus of many recruiters and staffing firms because, unlike most search engines and job boards, social recruiting strategies promote transparent, two-way communication between an employer and job seeker.
Helps companies position their brands by targeting workers more dynamically than a job board posting allows
Increases candidate response rate
Allows companies to research on all publically posted information of potential candidates
If used improperly can actually tarnish a company’s reputation
Is only as good as the effort a company puts into it
May be more susceptible than traditional techniques to favoring or excluding candidates based on characteristics such as race or religion
Social Recruiting Vendors
Jobvite—Jobvite Source is a social sourcing and candidate relationship management (CRM) application that helps companies find relevant talent through employee referrals, social networks, and the Web.
SelectMinds—SelectMinds social recruiting and community management solutions automate the referral process while leveraging the social connections of a company’s current and former employees.
The Resumator—The Resumator is deeply integrated with social networks, using social recruiting tools that make it easy for companies to broadcast job openings across the social Web.
2. Managed Services: Vendor Management Systems and Recruitment Process Outsourcing
A vendor management system (VMS) is a software program that distributes job requirements to staffing companies, recruiters, consulting companies, and independent consultants. It facilitates the interview and hire process, as well as labor time collection, approval, and payment for both contingent, temporary, and (in some cases) full-time employees. A VMS can be used by recruiters within a staffing firm or by an organization’s recruiting department directly.
Recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) entails services similar to those of VMS providers; however, RPO service providers generally handle the entire recruitment activity process (and since they manage a multitude of recruiters, their procedures are standardized). RPO services can help organizations to negotiate fees and contractual terms, determine and rate employee service providers (vendors), conduct pre-employment verifications, screen résumés, conduct interviews, and more.
Puts recruiting in the hands of the professionals
Streamlines the overall candidate hiring process
Benefits from the knowledge and expertise of consultants with regard to labor compliance regulations
Disconnects HR departments from the hiring process
Requires a well-defined corporate and staffing strategy to succeed
May cost more than an internal recruitment department
VMS and RPO Vendors
Beeline—Beeline’s VMS automates the process of procuring, managing, and analyzing contingent and project-based labor and allows companies to budget, track, and pay time and material and fixed-price milestone payments through consolidated invoicing.
Bond eEmpact—Bond eEmpact provides application tracking, process automation, résumé management, and Outlook integration staffing dashboard for staffing agencies around the globe.
Kenexa—Kenexa’s RPO division uses technology and human ability (through its many experienced consultants) to reach hard-to-find candidates and deliver them on-demand to recruiters.
OneHire—OneHire provides functionality such as applicant tracking and assessments. Its experienced staff can help companies manage a multitude of recruiters as well as help them to consolidate, refine, and define their recruitment processes.
TalentFlow—TalentFlow is a Web-based VMS that helps companies create an open marketplace for staffing services while managing their contingent workforce, materials, and services.
Zoho—Zoho Recruit is an applicant tracking system and recruitment software that helps staffing agencies and recruiting departments track job openings, resumes, candidates, and contacts.
3. Employee Screening and Background Checks
The reference check of the past has evolved into a thorough background check on all job applicants’ criminal history and work records, including current and past employment, performance, attendance, and reasons for leaving a job.
In high-security positions or positions of trust (e.g., in schools, hospitals, airports, or government), employee screening is a must. Depending on the type of position, employee screening and background checks can also include drug or alcohol testing, fingerprint investigation, and credit score. Background checks are also used to investigate potential government employees before granting security clearance.
Helps identify potentially problematic candidate behaviors
Helps reduce employee turnover and related costs
Reduces costs associated with employee theft
Protects employers against potential discrimination lawsuits
May give candidates the impression that a company is overly controlling or paranoid
May be construed as an invasion of personal liberty
Can be expensive in terms of money and time
Must be conducted responsibly or companies risk fines for mishandling personal data
Employee Screening and Background Check Vendors
AccuScreen—AccuScreen provides employment screening background checks, placing emphasis on past performance, employment periods, positions held, salary, rehire eligibility, and reasons for leaving.
HR Plus—HR Plus products include background screening, drug testing, and fingerprinting.
LexisNexis—LexisNexis Employment Screening offers in-depth criminal background checks, drug and alcohol screening, and employment verification.
Social Intelligence—Social Intelligence offers social media screening and investigative services including employment background checks, insurance claims investigations, corporate due diligence, and government services.
TalentWise—TalentWise offerings include background checks, drug testing, US Department of Transportation regulation compliance solutions, driving records, assessments, verifications, credit checks, and international searches.
4. Video (and Virtual) Interviewing
Video and virtual interviewing both provide a simple and unique way for recruiters to interview candidates while helping to build the company brand and cut down on recruiting costs.
Candidates can be interviewed using video-conferencing (similar to Skype). Or recruiters can ask candidates to complete a virtual questionnaire: candidates log in to a personalized interview session online and respond over the phone to the given questions (see Figure 1), and have the opportunity to review their answers before the information is stored for the recruiter.
The video and virtual experience is not for everyone though. Some candidates may be reluctant to be part of an interview where they know they will be videotaped or recorded. And experts acknowledge that video cannot substitute for in-person interaction when it comes to reading candidates or understanding employees’ needs.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

How to measure if a degree is worth the debt


Jonathan Wolff

When I started studying economics at school, I was delighted to be handed a textbook called An Introduction to Positive Economics by Richard Lipsey. Fantastic! After all, I didn't want any of that negative stuff.

It was only as a graduate student in philosophy that I realised the contrast to "positive" was not "negative", but "normative". Lipsey was going to tell us how things are, not how things ought to be. Economists are straight talkers, not peddlers of values. But curiously, when economists do tell us how things are, it never looks good.

Thomas Carlyle famously called economics "the dismal science". I saw this in action when on a panel, interviewing health economists. We decided to ask all candidates an amusing "unexpected" question at the end: "Which concept from economics should be better known by the general public?"

Any economist reading this will already know how they all answered: "opportunity cost". In judging whether it is right to spend money in a particular way, you should first think what else you could be doing with it. Could you squeeze out a little more value or enjoyment? Health economics is dominated by considerations of opportunity cost. When the government created a new fund for cancer treatments, for example, economists immediately asked what we would have to give up to pay for it.

Worrying about alternatives foregone is fair enough, but also pretty joyless. Imagine living your life under the shadow of opportunity cost. Any time you want to go to the cinema, you'd have to ask whether there is some other way of getting more out of your time and money. If there is, then you'll make a net loss, even if you'd really enjoy your evening out.

Economics didn't start out trying to spoil our fun. A key idea from Adam Smith is "gains from trade", explained to me at primary school. My teacher told us that when we handed over our shilling for a packet of sweets, we were better off because we would rather have the sweets than the shilling, and the shopkeeper was better off because she would rather have the shilling than the sweets. Trade is a little miracle.

Try as I might – and I did try because even at the age of nine I was pretty argumentative – I couldn't find any major flaw in this reasoning. Of course, you might not like the sweets. Nevertheless, the general case that trade makes both sides better off without harming anyone else seemed to be secure, even if there are exceptions.

The notion of gains from trade should be called "positive economics" and opportunity cost "negative economics". A sensible life is probably to be found somewhere in the middle. Life is too short to fixate on opportunity cost and seek out the best all of the time. Good enough, for most ordinary purposes, is good enough.

With this deep understanding of economics, we now turn to the future of undergraduate education. From now on, students will acquire large debts in coming to university, and typically they will start to pay back in their mid-20s and possibly even into their early 50s, depending on how much they earn. In return, they will acquire new skills and knowledge, a qualification to put on their CV, an expanded address book of potential wedding guests, and if they are lucky or subsequently unlucky, have the best three years of their lives.

Writing this column shortly after attending our graduation ceremonies, I'm still convinced that going to university is the right thing for many school leavers, even given the debt they will incur. But I also know that it is not for everyone. At the moment too many school leavers just drift in, and have a thoroughly frustrating three years. Thinking about the opportunity cost of the time and money spent on a degree might well help them to focus. The dismal science, I have to admit, can have its uses.

• Jonathan Wolff is professor of philosophy at University College London. His column appears monthly

Saturday, 17 September 2011

10 Pet Peeves about Your Resume


A recruiter rants about rampant resume ridiculousness.


On the days when I'm reading lots of resumes, I can predict I will spend a lot of my time shaking my head and muttering to myself, "What were you thinking?!"

Sometimes, I'll even admit I actually yell it out in exasperation.

Maybe you think I'm a nitpicker, but far too many resumes are impaired by minor mistakes or missteps which really aren't so minor if they are what keep you from making the short list for an interview.

Here are ten of my pet peeves about resumes:

1. Fancy fonts.

No, your name does not look more interesting in that giant blue Old English script. In fact, I can't read it at all, because my computer doesn't have that font, and so it just created a completely unintelligible mess, which of course reflects on you because your resume is all I have to go on.

Just stick to common fonts like Arial, Tahoma, and Times New Roman unless you're a designer, and even then, no more than two fonts in a resume, please.

2. More than two pages.

I know that some of you are thinking "Are you crazy? How could I possibly fit my many years of important experience on just two pages?!" By editing, that's how.

A resume is not a chronicle of your life. It is a summary of pertinent experience. It's a short story, not a novel, and it's your job to figure how to tell that story in the space you have, and that's two pages.

3. No positioning statement or objective.

Am I supposed to just look at your experience and magically know what kind of job you are aiming for? While what you have done is important, what you want to do next is important, too.

The experience section is about your past, but this new job opportunity is about your future, and it's a wasted opportunity if your resume doesn't clearly indicate the kind of job you are aiming for.

4. Missing or hard-to-find contact information.

Don't put your contact information in miniature letters on the bottom of your resume because you think it looks cool. That's not where I'm going to look for it.

Include your phone, email and LinkedIn profile at the top of the page. Make it easy for people to contact you, not hard.

5. Too-much-information email addresses.

I get resumes all the time from people using the email address from their current job, which makes me question their loyalty and judgment. In many companies, your corporate email account is monitored, so it might even get you fired.

And leave the clever emails off, even if you really are a proudgrandpa or hotdancingqueen For your job search, get an email account that uses your name.

6. Corporate gobbledygook.

The definition of gobbledygook is "wordy and generally unintelligible jargon" and that pretty much nails a large percentage of resumes I get. It's as if people are so freaked out by writing their resume that they forget how to speak English.

Don't try to impress me with acronyms and buzzwords, and don't throw in every number you can think of. Just tell the important parts of the story, straight and simple.

7. Typos or grammatical errors.

I know I'll probably get a comment that it's unfair to eliminate a candidate for a little typo, and maybe even pointing out a typo in this blog. Here's the deal: resumes are too important for you not to care that it's perfect, so instead of arguing, spend that time fixing your resume.

A typo on your resume is like showing up to the interview with a hole in your shirt; you might have a perfectly reasonable explanation, but it doesn't make you look good.

8. Third-person. This one continues to haunt me. As I've said before, it creeps me out when I get a resume written in third person. A resume is not a bio, and saying "Mr. Jackson has 20 years of experience" is just weird and off-putting.

You want people to feel a personal connection to you, not more distance. No third person resumes, please.

9. Eye-straining tiny text or paper-wasting giant text.

Some people think the way to fit more words on the page is to shrink the text down and reduce the margins, but that just makes it impossible to read.

On the other end of the spectrum, I got a resume recently that ran eight pages of large type. When I shrunk it down, it actually all fit comfortably on one page. Both of these are ridiculous extremes.

10. Writing "RESUME" at the top and "References on Request" at the bottom.

Don't be silly. We know it's a resume, and we know that if you want the job, you'll have to provide some references when we ask for them, so don't waste your valuable resume real estate stating the obvious.

In general, if people would just use their head when creating their resume, these could all be avoided. And if I've hit anything here that reminds you of your resume, awesome. Make some changes, and you just might find yourself getting called for more interviews, and that's the big payoff.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Tea Time Studio

Another example of the many usages of tea time in the web.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Things related with Tea Time - Comics

Image from Tea Time Comics.

It is unbelievable how many things you can find in Internet about Tea Time. Here is a different way to see the common word; teapots, cups, mugs etc. Also, you can find comics! take a look.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Strange Laws

In Texas, it's against the law for anyone to have a pair of pliers in his or her possession.

In Philadelphia, you can't put pretzels in bags based on an Act of 1760.

Alaska law says that you can't look at a moose from an airplane.

In Corpus Christie, Texas, it is illegal to raise alligators in your home.

In Miami, it is forbidden to imitate an animal.

It is against the law to mispronounce the name of the State of Arkansas in that State.

In Illinois, the law is that a car must be driven with the steering wheel.

California law prohibits a woman from driving a car while dressed in a housecoat.

In Memphis, Tennessee, a woman is not to drive a car unless a man warns approaching motorists or pedestrians by walking in front of the car that is being driven.

In Tennessee, it is against the law to drive a car while sleeping.

In New York, it is against the law for a blind person to drive an automobile.

In West Virginia, only babies can ride in a baby carriage.

In Georgia, it is against the law to slap a man on the back or front.

A barber is not to advertise prices in the State of Georgia.

In Louisiana, a bill was introduced years ago in the State House of Representatives that fixed a ceiling on haircuts for bald men of 25 cents.

In Oklahoma, no baseball team can hit the ball over the fence or out of a ballpark.

In Rochester, Michigan, the law is that anyone bathing in public must have the bathing suit inspected by a police officer !

In Kentucky, it's the law that a person must take a bath once a year.

In Utah, birds have the right of way on any public highway.

In Ohio, one must have a license to keep a bear.

In Tennessee, a law exists which prohibits the sale of bologna (sandwich meat) on Sunday.

In Virginia, the Code of 1930 has a statute which prohibits corrupt practices or bribery by any person other than political candidates.

In Providence, Rhode Island, it is against the law to jump off a bridge.

In the State of Kansas, you're not allowed to drive a buffalo through a street.

In Florida, it is against the law to put livestock on a school bus.

In New Jersey, cabbage can't be sold on Sunday.

In Galveston, Texas, it is illegal to have a camel run loose in the street!

In North Carolina, it is against the law for dogs and cats to fight.

In Singapore, it is illegal to chew gum.

In Cleveland, Ohio, it is unlawful to leave chewing gum in public places.

In Virginia, chickens cannot lay eggs before 8:00 a.m., and must be done before 4:00 p.m.

In New York, it is against the law for children to pick up or collect cigarette and cigar butts.

In Massachusetts, it is against the law to put tomatos in clam chowder.

In Washington State, you can't carry a concealed weapon that is over 6 feet in length.

In San Francisco, there is an ordinance, which bans the picking up and throwing of used confetti.

In Kentucky, it is illegal for a merchant to force a person into his place of business for the purpose of making a sale.

It is against the law in Connecticut for a man to write love letters to a girl whose mother or father has forbidden the relationship.

In Michigan, married couples must live together or be imprisoned.

In the state of Colorado, a pet cat, if loose, must have a tail-light !

In Phoenix, Arizona, you can't walk through a hotel lobby with spurs on.

In California, a law created in 1925 makes it illegal to wiggle while dancing.

In Utah, daylight must be visible between dancing couples.

In Michigan, it is against the law for a lady to lift her skirt more than 6 inches while walking through a mud puddle.

In North Carolina, it is against the law for a rabbit to race down the street.

In Georgia, it's against the law to spread a false rumor.

In West Virginia, one can't cook sauerkraut or cabbage due to the odors and the offence is subject to imprisonment.

In Missouri, a man must have a permit to shave.

The law states that more than 3000 sheep cannot be herded down Hollywood Blvd. at any one time.

In Texas, it is still a "hanging offense" to steal cattle.

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