We all know the difference between a vocation and a job. One, we pursue out of love, the other out of necessity. But not everyone is fortunate enough to have a “calling.” Some of us are still trying to figure it out. Others are just looking for a job that offers plenty of mental stimulation, job security and opportunities for growth.
For those seeking a career direction in this recession era, why not start by looking at the fastest growing industries. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the fields in which both skilled and semi-skilled workers will be in high demand for the next 20 years are: STEM (science, engineering, math and technology), healthcare, construction, and education.
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Being named to a workplace “Best of” list can be a positive recruiting and retention tool for employers. Earning these accolades can boost employee morale and increase company pride while also providing something that is easily promoted via social media channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, serving as a way to brand the company as a thriving and vibrant place to work.
There are many “Best of” workplace lists. Among the most popular is Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For. Others include Crain’s New York Business Best Places to Work, Working Mother Magazine’s Best Companies for Working Moms, the Dave Thomas Foundation Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces and the Great Place to Work 100 Best Companies to Work For. In addition, there are numerous other local and regional Best of workplace lists, such as the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Top Workplaces in Southeastern Wisconsin.
Last year the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM.org) was named as a Washingtonian’s “50 Great Places to Work.”
Best workplace awards “can be attractive for recruiting and retention purposes as well as employee engagement,” says Lisa Orndorff, manager of employee relations and engagement at the Society for Human Resource Management. “Employees often take pride in knowing that they are part of a “best of” organization.”
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There was a time when it was easy to BS … er, I mean, finesse your way through a job application. All it took was a skillfully written cover letter and resume to, shall we say, exaggerate your qualifications and experience. These days it’s not so easy.
With the Internet at his or her disposal, an employer is able to piece together a much more accurate depiction of your work history, professional network and personality.
And LinkedIn is making it almost unnecessary to submit a resume or cover letter at all. Why bother, when the site can provide a more thorough profile of you? Not only does LinkedIn offer a summary bio and work history, but also professional recommendations, links to portfolios and projects, professional associations, evidence of current activity, and even pictures.
But has the resume and cover letter become obsolete?
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Spring is here and that means it’s job fair season. Job fairs are a great way for job seekers to meet with numerous employers all under one location. But they also provide an opportunity for employers to meet face-to-face with a wide variety of job seekers. Job fairs are more than just a chance to fill hiring needs; they also present an opportunity to promote the company and services, establish the company brand in the community and also, check out the competition and what they are doing, says Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam (officeteam.com).
“Job fairs are a great opportunity for employers to meet a lot of job seekers in one location, especially those from a specific region or industry,” says Hosking. “One thing to keep in mind about job fairs is that you may end up at booth right across from a company you consider a competitor. That’s why it’s so important to really stand out and make a strong impression on job applicants.”
The first impression a job seeker will have is of your booth and setup. This is where you have a chance to promote the company brand and make a good first impression with job seekers.
“You want to make sure that the general impression you’re conveying is one of quality and professionalism,” says Hosking. “That doesn’t mean you have to spend tons of money on elaborate handouts or posters. Just make sure that everything you do with respect to your booth is neat, substantive and well-organized.”
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Rayanne Thorn’s first recruiting job was as an executive recruiter for a health care company, where she was responsible for filling senior level positions.
“We flew candidates in to LAX or Orange County Airport from all over the county for face-to-face interviews,” says Thorn, now Vice President of Product Marketing and Strategy for Technomedia (technomedia.com), an integrated global talent management solutions organization. “Of course, this was an expense that quickly added up when a search became protracted.”
It wasn’t long before Internet-based recruiting aggressively using email and online engagement took over the phone as a better and quicker way to connect with potential candidates, says Thorn. Then, as a result of the Internet explosion, digitally-streamed video conferencing at Fed-Ex centers replaced those frequent flyer miles. But that too became costly and prohibitive as many candidates did not reside near a FedEx video conferencing center.
Thorn vividly remembers that first video interview she conducted. “I was nervous and the candidate was even more nervous,” she says.
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