First-Time Managers

Stepping Into the Role of a First-Time Manager (link is gone) is a quick read article with practical advice for employees making their foray into management. My first foray into management left me with many bruises as I did not follow one of the suggestions in this article. I attempted to change many things in a short amount of time. My approach led to some significant changes but it triggered many management meetings with the other departments. Let’s just say those were quite candid meetings. Much of our focus is on hiring, but we have another side to our business where we assess existing teams. In some ways, this work… Read More

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Average Work Time Wasted by State

Not kidding. Salary.com has a listing of time wasted at work broken out by all 50 states. I’m not sure what to make of it, but I did find this fact interesting: 4. Wisconsin 2.8 hrs avg wasted salary wasted: $23.8 billion 33. Minnesota 1.9 hrs avg wasted salary wasted: $11.8 billion I will reserve comment since we have customers in Wisconsin.

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Telecommuting Part 2 – Businesses Slow to Act

From a recent SHRM survey and article titled “Businesses slow to help employees at the gas pump” (membership required): of 380 companies surveyed from April 25th to May 1st of this year, few companies are actively moving to assist their employees with rising gas prices. In fact, 86% indicated that they were doing nothing. Here is a break down of the top initiatives for those companies reaching out: 20% are increasing the mileage limit 8% are offering public transportation discounts, up from 7% in 2005 8.4% organize carpools, up from 5.3% in 2005 7.1% offer telecommuting, up from 4.4% in 2005 As you can see, only a small percentage of… Read More

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An Opportunity-Limiting Move

What If Employers Want You to Take a Personality Test? is a stretch of an article from monster.com. Surely it is written to generations X and Y and falls under the category “Work/Life Balance.” (see our new article released this week regarding this topic). The author advocates a position of questioning the assessment process to the point of respectfully declining to take the test. In all fairness to the author, he does state that theoretically a candidate could decline but that approach is not realistically a strong position for getting the job. First off, “personality test” is a fat phrase – it can encompass a broad array of assessments. This… Read More

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“Stress” Interview Questions

The online training continues with the CareerJournal.com article Don’t Let Tough Questions Sabotage Your Interview. The author refers to these questions as “stress questions” which is a fair description. The article is a long read so I have compiled the 10 example questions they use: Could you tell me a little about yourself? Why did you leave your previous employer, or why are you leaving your present job? What are your greatest strengths? What are your weaknesses? What type of salary do you have in mind? What do you like most and least about your present job? Are you applying for any other jobs? Why should we hire you? Where… Read More

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Interview Tips – Part 3

The online training of candidates continues. This time, monster.com offers up Interview Prep Tips which provides a general overview of strategy for a successful interview (from the candidate’s side). If you follow the link for Closing the Interview you will end up here. This complementary article is excellent advice for sales candidates to close an interview strongly. One approach we value is found in bullet #4: Ask about the next step in the process. It’s important for you to know the next step so you can follow up. Ask for the decision date. Sound advice…and you would be shocked how infrequently this question occurs among sales candidates.

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Telecommuting – The New Benefit

Many progressive companies have been offering telecommuting options for years. Now, the concept is becoming more en vogue thanks to rising gas prices. However, another factor has played just as important a role in this transformation – broadband internet in the home. Here is a quick read article from the Wall Street Journal online that lists the cities most prepared for higher gas prices (and, by default, telecommuting). If your company offers telecommuting options or simply has strong IT capabilities (VPN, Blackberries, etc.), you should be promoting it in your employment activities. Do not underestimate this benefit amongst the younger generation. It is a question we see earlier in the… Read More

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Article Released – Hiring Adjustments for Generations X & Y

Hiring Adjustments for Generations X & Y covers the changes we are seeing in the hiring process based on the up-and-coming generations. The main points in this article flow from our firsthand experience in the hiring process – especially over the past 2 years. An excerpt: “Gen X and Y candidates are looking for a “skills path.” They desire to understand what skills are needed to be successful in the position today. The long-term incentive is to understand what skills they will personally develop or acquire within the company. They prefer a horizontal management structure and respond to personal skill development. Titles are out. Responsibilities are in.”

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“Fat and Skinny Words”

Part of a salesperson’s role is building rapport with a prospect – it is a vital skill. A salesperson needs to match a prospect’s communication style since people naturally tend to relate to those they perceive to be similar to themselves. This older article from eyesonsales.com from Patricia Fripp, entitled Fat and Skinny Words: Levels of Abstraction throws an important concept into the rapport-building mix. Not only do salespeople need to adjust their communication style to match the prospect, but also their level of abstraction to match the organization level with whom they are communicating. The author explains her point by using the simple analogy of an automobile. If a… Read More

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Passive Candidates

Will Passive Job Seekers Apply to Your Job? from CareerBuilder reads as an infomercial, but there are some usable data points in the first few paragraphs. Active vs. passive candidates is a subject that merits more discussion. The changing landscape of the 21st century is moving all candidates towards the active status. Job search agents, online boards, networking groups – all tools that make it simple for the most passive of candidates to be categorized as “active” in some vain. You might say that active categorizes someone who wants to make a change. True, but I’ve read articles that state 67% of today’s employees keep an eye on other employment… Read More

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