Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Power of Talent Management
When I scanned Google News for workplace training and development, two of the top five articles focused on "safeguarding and developing talent" and "engaging and retaining Millennials." Managing talent has never been more important.

During these tough economic times, people are your most valuable asset. The difference between competing businesses comes down to people, their performance, and their service to customers. Cost savings may be front and center on the minds of business executives, but cutting corners on employee development may be fatal to a company's future success.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Resume Versus Interview

Even if you found a potential employee with the perfect resume, it’s still too early to relax. The job interview could quickly damage her image in your eyes, especially if your expectations were already high from what you read on paper.

Seventy-two percent of senior executives reported that it is common for job candidates with strong resumes not to pass muster in the interview, according to a survey by Robert Half International, a staffing services firm specializing in accounting and finance.

"In making crucial hiring decisions, nothing replaces in-person interaction to ensure the candidate has the requisite technical qualifications and the soft skills that will likely make him or her a good fit with the organization,” says Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International.

Robert Half International offers several tips for employers to avoid running into this common hiring pitfall including networking, creating finely tuned job ads with strategic placement, narrowing the initial candidate pool with a phone interview, bringing in workers on a temporary basis, or using specialized recruiters.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

SMS Your Way to Success!

Those Twitter skills may do more than broaden your professional network; they could land you your next job.

Teimlo, a British mobile phone content provider, has a position open for a new marketer, but here’s the catch. The company is only accepting job applications via text message—160 characters or fewer. All applicants who make the shortlist will be texted back.

The announcement on their website reads, “If you are qualified, sassy, good with words, dynamite at events, Adobe compatible, have working knowledge of mobile and social media, and are a determined multi-tasker and networker we want to hear from you.”

Those who make the cut will be invited to send in their CVs and eventually, may be lucky enough to land a face-to-face interview.

Though only Britain-based candidates are allowed to apply, the gimmick does offer a glimpse of a future where everybody has a tagline for his own unique personal brand.

What would yours be?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Workplace Readiness

Just as the Obama administration pledged to provide $12 billion to community colleges this week and focused a light on the training and skills workers will need for the jobs of tomorrow, a new report shows that U.S. employers continue to struggle with an ill-prepared workforce, finding new hires lack crucial basic and applied skills. For the most part, employer-sponsored readiness training is not successfully correcting these deficiencies, according to the report, The Ill-Prepared U.S. Workforce: Exploring the Challenges of Employer-Provided Workforce Readiness Training, produced by Corporate Voices for Working Families, the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD), The Conference Board, and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

“In any economy, having a knowledgeable, skilled workforce is critical for organizations to grow and be successful,” said Tony Bingham, ASTD President and CEO. “As the skills gap widens among new entrants to the workforce, it's clear that all stakeholders –employers, education, and the public workforce system – must collaborate to effectively prepare workers to be successful on the job.”

This topic is crucial if laid off individuals are going to find new jobs, spark the economic recovery, and compete in a challenging global business climate.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Bonding Together Through Hardship

Work relationships, sometimes fraught with tension in times of stress, seem to be holding up well despite the recession.

Eighty-seven percent of respondents reported they have a “very good” or “good” relationship with their supervisors, according to a recent survey released by Accountemps, a staffing service for finance professionals. That number jumps to 95 percent when respondents were asked of their relationships with other co-workers.

When compared with the same survey distributed in 2005, the numbers were surprisingly consistent at 87 percent for “very good” or “good” relationship with supervisors and 91 percent for “very good” or “very good” relationships with co-workers.

“Workers who enjoy interacting with each other not only make the office more pleasant, but also produce better work,” says Max Messer, chairman of Accountemps.

Do you think the economic downturn is actually strengthening office relationships, or rather, are employees afraid to report the truth in these risky times?

In shades of gray, the truth may lie somewhere in between.
The Working Lives of Men

Yes, men are racing home to be with the kids in higher numbers than before.

Guess that whole work/life balance is starting to sink in. According to a recent survey by Accenture, 68 percent of men said it’s important for them to be available to their families when needed, compared with 49 percent of women.

The survey focused on attitudes about vacations and work/life priorities. Another surprise is that men are now more likely than women to take advantage of working from home. The breakdown was 91 percent of men versus 75 percent of women.

Once they go on vacation however, it’s back to work. Men are more likely to be tethered to email or calls from colleagues. The whole concept of separating work from vacation is still cloudy. Ninety-four percent of men said they work on vacation. Whether that means completing quarterly financial reports or simply browsing company emails, the survey did not make clear.

What has changed in the past generation as everyone with an iPhone or Blackberry knows, is that you no longer have to be in the office from sunup until sundown to get work done or schmooze a client. There’s only a slight gap between men (52 percent) and women (44 percent) who participate in conference calls while away from the office.

Really, both men and women need to get one thing straight when on vacation: go back to the beach.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Surviving a Corporate Meltdown

ASTD's monthly online publication, Learning Executives Briefing, talked with Ed Cohen,
head of Satyam’s learning organization, about the role his Satyam Learning World team played in first communicating the crisis, then helping the workforce to deal with its unexpected ramifications.

Corporate crises are all over the news, but the tale of Satyam Computer Services and its corrupt CEO sent shivers through the IT world. Read how the company’s learning organization dealt with the unenviable task of communicating with a workforce that had no real experience with job loss or the loss of respect and status. Read about it here.