Co-opitition

In November of last year Jessica Lee wrote a terrific blog entitled, “Come On Recruiters – Let’s Hold Hands! We Can Be Friends!” http://www.fistfuloftalent.com/2009/11/come-on-recruiters-lets-hold-hands-we-can-be-friends.html about interfacing with the competition and how we should embrace each other versus treating each other like the enemy.
It got me thinking about not only the recruiting industry but business in general. In business we need to interface more with other organizations and learn from one another instead of playing everything so close to the vest.

I am a big fan of the Ellen Show and also grew up watching Oprah. Even though their shows have different audiences or objectives they are both in the “talk show” business and in my area on television the same time at 4 pm. In a sense they are competitors. Why do I bring this up?

In December of 2009 Ellen made the cover of O Magazine as only the second person ever after our First Lady. It was Ellen’s New Year’s resolution to pitch Oprah to be on the cover. Of course it was funny to see all the various ways Ellen approached Oprah for the spot. Finally Oprah said yes and they started working together to come up with the cover.

When Ellen went on the Oprah show to release the cover she stated she wanted this to be the best month of sales ever for the magazine (sales figures still have not been released, but I read in one blog post that it was indeed the best sales issue ever). Why would Ellen want to help out a competitor? Because it ends up being a win/win for both parties.

Think about all the opportunities in business we pass up because it involves a competitor. I think we should think about what we can learn from one another.

Most Industry segments earn more than 40% of their revenue through a channel partnership. Software companies do this well with their partner and channel programs earning 60 to 70% of their revenue from this type of relationship. They work with organizations that can broaden their exposure and revenue in areas they would not have access to before without jeopardizing their position in the market.

Personally Twitter has opened the co-opitition door for me this year. I am interfacing with fellow recruiters learning their practices; providing me the ability to better my business and myself. This aspect of Social Media has proved to be a very valuable resource. The next time the competition is at your door, instead of shying away – engage and see where you can make it a win/win for both of you.

Photo credit http://www.TheOprahMag.com

We have Exciting News

 

Wow, I cannot believe it is a new year. Last year just flew by and I am sitting here getting myself ready for the first full week of 2010. As we enter our ninth year of business I am getting excited about the year ahead.

We have some good news! At the end of last year I decided that we needed to expand and bring on another recruiter. In November I was listening to the Bill Boorman show, on blog talk radio. I was introduced to Bill through Twitter @BillBoorman and met him in Toronto this past fall at #recruitfest09. The topic of the show that day was your LinkedIn presence and one of the guests was Stephen Moyer, a senior at Wilkes University, who was graduating in December and WANTED to be a recruiter. I have never heard of a person right out of school that was looking to join our profession.

Then I would see comments Stephen (@stephen_moyer) would make with other peers out on Twitter like Karla Porter (who he was interning for) and the @Animal.

I reached out to Stephen via Twitter and we scheduled conversations and he eventually came to Upstate, NY for a more in-depth interview. I found it a little funny that it only seems to snow here lately when Stephen is in transit from PA.

We are very excited to have Stephen join the Whiting Consulting family as a recruiter; he has an Electrical Engineering background and will be working more of our Technical positions. He has a keen interest in social media which he will further leverage here.

So this leads to our next piece of exciting news in that we are opening an office this year. I live in a college town in Upstate, NY and the office is on our town’s Main Street. This is a great area of town and is in walking distance to the college, which will have a positive impact on our internship program. The office will open mid Feb so for the time being we are in temporary space in the building until the new space is available.

So when you have a few minutes introduce yourself and shoot off an email to Stephen Moyer at smoyer@whitingconsulting.com or out on Twitter @stephen_moyer.

It is amazing how when you leverage your community what it can do for you. Here is to an exciting 2010! We will let you know when the open house will be.

Pictures are worth a Thousand Words

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This has been an exciting and dynamic year for me. I have had the opportunity to meet and work with amazing people. There are not enough words to say thank you – but for me pictures are priceless. So this video is a summary of the wonderful trips  I took to see all my great clients this year. Thank you for all that you do and I wish you all a wonderful and Happy 2010!

The Season of Giving

I love the holiday season and all the tradition and the excitement in the air for what’s to come.

One of the events I look forward to most is the holiday sharing program that I volunteer for every year. It is in my hometown and has been run by my family for many years.

We help provide holiday cheer for area families. Each family receives the groceries necessary to cook a wonderful holiday dinner and then we also provide fun presents for the parents and kids. This year there were 37 local families that needed a little extra assistance to experience some additional holiday joy for the season.

The program requires a tremendous amount of coordination, many fun shopping trips to the stores, wrapping lots of gifts and checking the list twice to make sure it’s right.

The town where I grew up is a small country town where everyone knows your name. The people are hardworking, even though the times are tough they are always tremendously generous and we always have a little bit leftover just in case.

On December 20th, was the delivery day of the event. It started out at 8 am with me, my dad and my brother picking up the food at Wegman’s. Two carloads and a storage trailer later we were heading across the valley to unload and sort all the food. This process usually takes about 2 hours. We do it outside so all the food stays cold. It helps working in 20 degree temperatures. It keeps the food cold and the volunteers moving quickly! We then match up the food with the other gifts and toys and get ready for the families to arrive.

Then the fun starts at 10 am when the families come to pick up all the holiday cheer. It fills your heart with such joy to see all the wonderful smiles and seeing the holiday spirit at work.

The best gift you can give someone is a smile: it’s priceless.

Have a wonderful holiday season!

Are you smarter than a 5th Grader?

If any of you have a 5th grader you know that sometimes you feel lost when helping them with their homework, I know I do! I get told by my 5th grader, “where is Dad? He will know the answer”.
Last week, I had the opportunity to attend Career Day at my son’s school. Our son asked me to go, he said, “Mom, I want you to tell people about the Business”. Since I own my on organization, the business is part of everyone’s lives within our family.
I was nervous about going, would the children understand what Recruiting is and what I do? What I love about being a parent is that children constantly surprise you. It was a great morning; I totally enjoyed myself, and was very proud of the students that I spoke with that day.
They asked thought provoking questions, they were concerned about the economy and if people could find jobs. They asked me how it feels to tell someone that they did not get a job. They showed such compassion, which made me pleasantly surprised.
They were aware of social media, what twitter and Facebook were, only one student had their own page, but nearly everyone was aware of how people are using tools to communicate.
When I got home that evening, I asked my son how he thought I did, he goes “Mom, I did not know you were going to do a presentation, pretty cool.”
We forget that children really do understand what is going on around us, and see and understand concepts that we think they do not. They have great thoughts and ideas and I encourage you to speak with your children about what you do. I think you will be surprised by what you learn from them!

Giving Thanks

In the spirit of this week’s holiday I wanted to share the top 10 things I am thankful for:

1. My family, who supports me and gives me unconditional love

2. My children’s smiles, they are priceless to me

3. Friendship, it’s what makes the world go around

4. Being able to do a job that I love

5. Being close to water, it provides me with a great sense of peace

6. Family dinners, I love to sit around the table and learn about everyone’s day

7. Laughter, it’s the best medicine

8. Listening, I learn so much when I practice this skill

9. My clients and candidates, they give me the ability to do what I do

10. My community – both online and off, provides me with so much support and encouragement

Have a wonderful Holiday!

Are You Ready For Some Football?

HiRes
As a full fledged football widow, I hear those words screamed by Hank Williams Jr and my husband every Monday night during the season. Married to a dedicated Buffalo Bills fan, football is religion and our weekend activities are planned around what games are on TV. It’s a phenomenon that I do not really appreciate, and count down the weeks to our freedom. What I do appreciate is the amount of time and energy coaches and the players put forth in preparation for a game from week to week.

If you look at their model it is one we should embrace from a hiring perspective. These coaches and players, week in and week out, review countless hours of game film. They study the competition, know their every move, put together an extensive game plan and communicate it to the whole organization so when they are on the field on game day they know how to execute. They are as proactive as possible to win. Most importantly, they ensure they have their BEST PLAYERS on the field and have a plan to put those players in a position to succeed versus the competition.

When it comes to hiring within organizations, I think companies are more on the defensive than the offensive. They are reactive vs. proactive. They do not have a game plan when it comes to hiring. They go out and start recruiting without taking a step back and thinking about what needs to happen.

I encourage my clients to be as proactive as possible when it comes to hiring. Companies will yield a better hire to meet their overall career goals if they have a clear, thought-out game plan. What can we do to be more proactive?

The first step is to put together a hiring plan that can evolve over time. Look 3 to 6 months out at your business plan. Determine if you have the right resources in place to meet your deliverable to your clients. If not, then determine the gaps. Can you move resources around within the company? If not, determine where you need to hire. Once the need is identified, think about what this person needs to accomplish to be successful, talk to people within your organization to make sure you are all on the same page and then put together a complete job description. I know what you’re thinking, but candidates actually read these! This might seem like it will take more time, but will yield significant time and savings when it comes to avoiding hiring the wrong person for the job.

There have been many times when I have been called to help an organization with a hiring need and they do not have this game plan in place, we spend several days or sometimes weeks looking for the wrong candidate or resource. The impacts of this are far-reaching indeed: Hiring the wrong resource, lost productivity, lost revenue, wasted time interviewing the wrong candidates that would not fit the role if hired, etc. I read in a recent study that 59% of the managers surveyed believed that less than half of all candidates they interviewed were qualified for the job (eBullpen, LLC).

So the next time you have a hiring need:
1) Put together a strategy – look at the skills needed, and first determine who in your current talent pool might have those skills.
2) Put together a resources plan for the next 3 to 6 months so you have a funnel of candidates for your upcoming positions and you can be more proactive vs reactive in hiring.
3) Develop a complete job description for the skills that you need, make sure everyone is on board the first time around.
4) Communicate to your company what you are looking for so you can encourage employee referrals and ensure that the interview team knows what to look for when they meet with a candidate.
5) Execute the plan by engaging a person that specializes in hiring so you can target the right resource.

Companies need to remember that people are their best resources. Hiring top performers can increase revenue and productivity by 40 to 67% over an average performer (McKinsey & Co). Having the wrong person in place can jeopardize your ability to maximize your success and reach your goals. Ask yourself: Are You Ready For Some Hiring?

Do you know the Future?

peter grad
One Saturday a couple of weeks ago, my kids and I were driving to an event where community members were being honored for years of volunteering in the community where I grew up, which is located next to the college town where I now live. My parents were some of the people honored, so it was a special time for my family.
While we were driving, out of the blue my son asked, “Mom, let’s talk about the future.” I said sure and asked him what he wanted to know. He asked me if I knew what the future will bring. It was ironic because on the day he asked me these questions, it was graduation day for my town’s college. All of the college students were walking around in their caps and gowns. They all looked so happy, and family pictures were being taken with proud parents grinning from ear to ear.
It made me think about my college graduation day and how little we do know about our future and where our careers and lives will take us.
In my opinion, most of today’s college graduates are unsure about what they really want to do next; they are nervous about the job market and economy, and how they will find a job.
My career in recruiting fell into my lap so to speak; I saw a posting at our school’s career center and applied. I really didn’t know much about recruiting and really wanted to get into sales at the time. This was a co-operative position, which ended up turning into full-time position with the college after I graduated. With that said, I knew, though, that this was not going to be a long-term career for me, and I was really unsure what I truly wanted to do. Then, one of my friends helped me gain a different point of view about recruiting… it is sales. That opened my eyes to a career that I love and a rewarding position where I get to help companies and candidates make the right connections.
What college graduates need to know is that it is okay to not know what the future will hold because no one really does. You mold your future by different choices you make, but you need to be able to handle the ride.
While attending the event honoring people within the area that I live, I listened to stories about all their amazing accomplishments. One person had been a foster parent to over 150 children in over 10 years; another person had driven over 5000 people to area doctor appointments; the true stories went on and on. I don’t think any of these people had any idea that they would do all these great things in their lives; it just happens that these were all unplanned, very wonderful things.
Embrace your future, even if it is unknown. It is yours to create.

Emma Grad

New York New York

nycLast week I was in NYC visiting clients and attending a branding meeting. I try to make it down to the city a couple times a year to connect with everyone. So I started my journey the day after NYC experienced a “snow day” for the first time in YEARS! I was so nervous that my plane was not going to take off on time from Rochester. To my surprise, my flight was 30 minutes early which allowed me to get to the hotel before my day of meetings began.
I have to say, my husband is on a great roll picking hotels lately. I had a wonderful hotel on Lexington and 34th Street. My room was bigger than many NYC apartments, complete with a small kitchen. I started the trip off by having a wonderful lunch with a PR firm. We were celebrating 5 years of working together. Boy, time flies when you are having fun! I was able to catch up with the folks that I placed there – which is always so nice. I was not quick enough though to get a group photo before they were all on the phone again! I love the upbeat atmosphere at this company, they have a great space with a tremendous amount of light that just makes you want to stay and work there!
Then I had a meeting with the organization about branding for our company. I was amazed at what we put together within an hour. It was nice to see an organization at work and what goes into putting a PR plan in place – stay tuned to our new branding efforts.
Then I was off downtown to meet with a software client of mine. It was wonderful to see all my friends, and talk about what is facing them within the marketplace. It was great to brainstorm about issues that employees and companies are facing and what information people want to hear. We agreed that more positive information needs to be shared in the world right now. Then back uptown to a great coffee shop. In all, I probably visited 8 coffee shops throughout the city during my week. This place is smaller than my office, but had a wonderful bakery and great cup cakes. I took the strawberry one! I had a wonderful conversation with a VP of Technology at a PR company, we have known each other since 2006, but this is the first time we met in person. It was great to have an opportunity to put a face to the name and we had a great walk back to 34th Street even though the wind was howling at 30 miles an hour and it was 10 below. We had a great conversation on how to leverage social media within the business space. Then back to the hotel for a good night’s rest.
Wednesday was a full day. I woke up tan from the wind the previous day. I was very excited to learn that there would be no wind that day. I do not think I could survive another day of that extreme weather. Even though I live in Upstate, I do not walk anywhere; everything is by car, and I have the heater on 80! I started the day off meeting the Director of Marketing for a software organization. She is a person that I have had the opportunity to work with many times. She is always full of energy and has a positive outlook. It was great hearing her perspective. Then off downtown again to meet up with a VP of Implementation for another software company. We talked about how to continue to provide quality service to clients in these economic times. Then……..a little shopping. I have to confess I cannot go to NYC and not shop!
After lunch I visited another software organization. It was great seeing their new space, very modern with a lot of exposed brick. I had a delightful time at a wonderful Cafe where all the food looked lovely, and met with a client of mine of 6 years. She is one of my best sales people and I am forever grateful. I also met with the Director of Marketing too, and learned how to leverage Twitter and social media – which is definitely a trend in conversations from all my clients. Back to the hotel for a meeting and a drink and looked forward to settling in for the night……..wait! I haven’t even logged in to check email yet!
Thursday was my last day, it was a beautiful, almost spring day and my appointment was on Wall Street. My drive to the financial district by the river was lovely. The sun shimmered on the water, making the light in my incredibly herky-jerky cab dance. I tend to get car sick, so riding in the back seat of a cab is not one of my favorite things! It was my final meeting for the day, a new company, but a contact I have been working with for 5 years. It was a great company, you could really feel the energy within the organization which is so great to see and feel. Plus, the view from their office was breathtaking. If I worked there I wouldn’t get any work done. I would be too busy watching the world go by on the water.
From my meeting with different organizations in different industries, a couple of themes came out of our conversations. First is that every dollar counts right now. People are looking at ways to develop new sales opportunities and leverage social media to help them promote their organizations. I also realized that in this time of uncertainty, people are still looking for the positive. We must continue to do this, and rely on the innovation that has always made us great.

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