Friday, May 28, 2010

Formal Evaluations Get a Positive Report

The performance review might not be something that employers and employees look forward to with excitement, but this type of assessment still prove to be a useful appraisal tool. Ninety-one percent of respondents thought that formal evaluations are valuable in improving job performance, according to a recent OfficeTeam survey of human resource managers.

Their confidence is perhaps testament to the investment they put into this type of measurement. Sixty percent reported that they conduct these performance review meetings once a year, while 18 percent said they conduct reviews at least two to four times a year. Only 5 percent said they never conducted this type of assessment.

OfficeTeam offers tips for making performance reviews successful such as employees asking their managers for a copy of their assessment forms to seek clarification on any points of doubt; making review meetings a two-way conversation between employer and employee, especially in the form of sharing ideas for improvement; having employees showcase their accomplishments both as a reminder to themselves as well as their supervisors; and providing follow through on goals for the sake of accountability and progress.

The survey was based on phone interviews with more than 500 HR managers at companies with 20 or more employees.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Worldwide Jobs in Demand Are Still Skills, Sales, and Techs

Unemployment might have reached record highs within the past year, but global talent shortages still run amok. According to an annual survey from Manpower Inc. that polled 35,000 employees from across 36 countries, 31 percent of employers have difficulty filling key positions within their organization. In addition, the seats for jobs that have been in demand for four years running remain tough to fill.

The top jobs for 2010 are skilled trades, sales representatives, technicians, and engineers, which are exactly the same as in 2009.

“As the global economy slowly recovers, employers will remain focused on maintaining financial flexibility and doing more with less,” says Jeffrey A. Joerres, CEO and chairman of Manpower Inc. “Applying the same mindset to their workforce, employers have gotten more specific about the combination of skill sets that they are looking for, not only seeking technical capabilities in a training jobs, but holding out for the person that possesses the additional qualities above and beyond that will help drive their organization forward. This conundrum is upsetting to the ubiquitous job seeker, who will need to take more responsibility for his/her skills development in order to find ways to remain relevant to the market.”

A copy of the survey, including additional information on the specific job shortages in different global regions, and a whitepaper on how employers can address the talent mismatch are available at Manpower Inc.’s Research Center.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Disks That Flop: Implementation of New Technology Prevented by IT Understaffing

Does your company computer run slower with every passing day? You might just be one of many employees in the same predicament.

Sixty-four percent of chief information officers (CIOs) reported that understaffing in their company’s IT department at least partially interfered with their ability to implement innovative or emerging technologies, according to a survey by Robert Half Technology.

The company offers the following tips for companies that may be facing an IT staffing shortage: asking IT employees to provide workload updates to ensure that their to-do lists are manageable; getting other employees involved and brainstorming creative solutions and workarounds; taking stock of current skills to see if employees have the necessary ones to implement an emerging technology; and finally, considering reinforcements, in the form of cost-effective project professionals and other types of independent contractors.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Corporate Social Responsibility Is Alive and Well: Pepal’s Innovation in India Program

The freshest ideas in corporate social responsibility may come from uniting representatives from both the private and public sectors. At least, that’s what social enterprise Pepal believes. This past March, the organization launched its Innovation in India program, which offers a new take on executive development.

Innovation in India pairs private-sector professionals with senior staff from Indian non-profit organizations over a six month period to help create and execute community projects tackling problems such as HIV/AIDS, children’s health, youth unemployment, and women’s rights.

Partners will also receive joint training from London School of Economics Professor of Innovation and Management, Harry Barkema. This training will focus on two primary goals: how to build economically sustainable and scalable business models that address the needs of specific communities and exploring how building networks with partners (such as multinationals, local companies, NGOs, and governments) can create better business models.

"I expect this to be a life-changing journey for many of our private-sector participants. They will be working on challenging problems in new and often difficult circumstances," says Pepal’s Executive Director, Julie Saunders. She adds that it’s also equally beneficial for non-profit participants.