This afternoon, I’m booked to participate in a live broadcast on FoxNews’s weekend American News HQ with Julie Banderas. I was contacted by the station after the article on JobAngels ran in the Wall Street Journal this week. Apparently, feel good stories are in fashion! JobAngels started as a single “tweet” on Twitter, and has really gained momentum as people all across the country are volunteering to lend a helping hand. The premise was simple- what a difference it could make if we all could help just one person find a job.
Now, I have to admit, FoxNews might be my last choice of a network to get the word out. In fact, even as they were inviting me on, they gave me this word of support:
Don’t worry, you won’t be on with Bill O’Reilly. No one will be attacking you.
At any rate, if you’re interested in learning more about jobangels, or just interested in a good, old fashioned, feel good story, tune in to foxnews (this may be the only time I utter those words) at 4 this afernoon!
In the last 24 hours, I participated in a board meeting for the Granite State HR Conference, Exhibited at the New Hampshire Lodging and Restaurant Association mixer, attended the monthly Monadnock SHRM meeting, and met with the Director of Organizational Development and Training at The Main Street America Group in Keene, NH, to learn about their employment brand practices. While exhausting, it’s great to get out to so many events in a short time because it truly gives me a vivid snapshot of what’s going on at the Recruiting Front Lines and JobsInNH. Here’s what I’ve learned in the last day:
GSHRC Board Meeting We have been tirelessly focused on building the value within the annual state conference for 2009. The programs we’ve chosen will help all business managers, not just HR professionals, become more valuable to their businesses. We have programs on developing sustainability practices, efficient use of technology, recruiting more effectively, and many more. Having attended these conferences in ME and NH for the past 5 years, I find it very disappointing that many businesses still don’t understand the value of professional development in regard to human capital. During this meeting, however, I was happy to hear we’re off to a tremendous start, and believe the continued buzz we’re creating will lead to a record attendance. I’m very glad to be part of this.
NHLRA Member Mixer JobsInNH was one of 5 or 6 companies on display at the February member mixer held at the Radisson in Nashua. A good turnout of around 60 or so folks, mostly vendors for restaurants and hotels. It was great to connect with the director of NH Businesses for Social Responsibility, and hear how they’re getting their message out.
As an aside, there are some that say that socially responsible companies have an upper hand in recruiting top talent. People are more and more focused on the culture of their environment. The bottom line is this: If you’re not developing socially or environmentally responsible programs at your workplace, start. If you are, be sure to scream it from the top of the mountains to leverage your work into attracting great talent.
It also became apparent through discussions with members and with our JobsInNH Outreach Consultant Caleb Wolfe, that one business segment seems to be doing very well in this economy… at least for now. As all businesses are looking to “do more with less”, they are looking for ways to cut their overhead. This is leading to business for smaller vendors that operate in larger markets. Telecommunications, Internet Service Providers, Insurance Providers, Computer Networking, Consulting, Credit Unions and other businesses that normally compete for the scraps left by large corporations, are beginning to see an increase in business as people bargain hunt and look for local stability.
Monadnock SHRM I attended the monthly meeting and heard a great deal about the oddly named Employee Free Choice Act that has passed through the House in Washington DC, and is being looked at by the Senate. It was an interesting presentation from Mark Broth, and attorney with Devine Millimet. He was outlining the concerns and issues that are built into this act that would do away with private ballots in the process to organize a labor union. I’ll write an entirely separate post on the EFCA, so will refrain from getting too far into it. The meeting was fairly well attended, by the usual group, and provided a great opportunity to connect with HR friends. The Chapter President, Priscilla Brisson (also Director of Human Resources for Monadnock Developmental Services), was gracious enough to let me plug the HR Conference and solicit nominations for the HR Hero Award. No one indicated any hiring or growth from this group.
Meeting with Deb Jansen at Main Street America Deb Jansen volunteered her lunch to meet with me and Caleb to talk about the employment brand that MSA has developed. We are exploring the world of Employment Branding, and Deb happily agreed to share what works for them and give feedback about what we’re promoting. They have a turnover rate below the industry average, have an amazing average tenure, and make concerted efforts to bring people in and make them feel part of something. We discussed the value of presenting your business as a career move, right from the first interview, instead of a place to work. They have done an excellent job in ongoing development and training programs, and regularly review their practices. One thing that really stood out was that their CEO makes an effort to regularly and formally solicit input/feedback/suggestions from employees in a collegial setting. They are doing a great job if internal branding, and are having success spreading their message through word of mouth. Keene is a very small town, after all.
I’ve accepted a new role with JobsInTheUS | JobsInME | JobsInNH | JobsInVT | JobsInRI, as Director of Business Development. As we seek out new programs and initiatives to reinforce our service to job seekers and employers, these types of activities help me understand the needs and wants that are out there. I’m glad to be part of a business that believes in the “feet on the street” philosophy, and supports efforts to build knowledge and expand expertise. In these troubled economic times, a focus on building and growign, even if only in our intelligence and understanding, helps to keep focus and sustain optimism.
That’s how it looks today from the Recruiting Front Lines!
The properties of JobsInTheUS have launched a focused initiative to reinforce strong and lasting connections with the local communities they serve in AL, LA, MA, ME, MS, NH, VT, & RI. Unlike most internet resources, these companies are participatory in local business and trade associations, HR Associations, career centers at colleges, universities, trades schools, and government centers. In addition to this interaction with the business community, the JobsInTheUS.com websites now also provide in-person events to connect great in-state employers with the best local talent. Check out this series of posts with briefs on the recent career fairs hosted by JobsInAL, JobsInNH, JobsInME, and JobsInRI!
On Thursday, September 18, JobsInRI.com, in partnership with the Northern RI Chamber of Commerce, hosted a successful career fair at the Twin River Gaming Facility in Lincoln. Merchant Card Services, Express Personnel, and AAA of Southern New England sponsored the event, which was heavily advertised on multiple radios station, on area campuses, through local business and trade associations, and by email invitations to job seekers. Unlike other recent events, the more than 600 job seekers who attended were able meet with dozens of employers looking for great employees to fill jobs in Rhode Island. Companies as big as Rite Aid, Raytheon, and Amica exhibited alongside great local businesses such as the Groden Network, Picerne Real Estate Group, and Cranston ARC.
This broad range of high-quality, in-state employers illustrated a brighter side of the Rhode Island economy. In fact, the 32 companies on hand represented hundreds of current openings in the state, and the 2008 JobsInRI Career Fair helped them connect with great local candidates. “We were very excited about the level of the candidates that came through today. In fact, 24 out of the 25 exhibitors that answered our feedback surveys stated that they found potential candidates during the career fair,” said Jason Blais, Field Operations Manager for JobsInTheUS.com and JobsInRI.com. Obviously, the employers were impressed as well. According to Michael Coates, of Clean Water Action, “The turnout at this fair was very impressive. Your organization obviously took a lot of care in advertising this event.”
This Career Fair reinforced JobsInRI.com’s status as the #1 local employment resource in Rhode Island. Currently, there are more in-state, Rhode Island career opportunities posted with JobsInRI.com than anywhere else. In addition to providing the leading resource to find jobs, JobsInRI.com also provides the best value to employers. In September alone, the website, www.JobsInRI.com, received more than 1,000,000 page views.
WERE YOU ABLE TO ATTEND THIS EVENT? DO YOU HAVE ANY THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS EVENT OR CAREER FAIRS IN GENERAL? PLEASE SHARE YOUR COMMENTS WITH US!
Well, it was a productive day for a Friday. Our company is launching a job fair of it’s own in NH in March. We had carefully selected the date, location, time, and focus, and we’re off to a great start. It’s amazing how few good career events there are in NH, compared with ME. This is a great event to showcase how much we can motivate people to get up and out. We are partnering with NHWorks and the Nashua Chamber to promote the event, and I’m pretty sure we’ll get 1,000 job seekers in, averaging 40 years of age, and almost all currently employed.
I’ll also be attending a summer camp career fair in Maine on SUNDAY. I’ll let you know how that one turned out after it’s done.
Today, the recruiting front lines were located in Burlington VT… for me anyhow. VABIR, the Vermont Association of Business Industry and Rehabilitation held an employer recognition breakfast to thank the local businesses who are actively providing employment opportunities and support to VABIR’s clients. Beverly Manitsky, an Education and Outreach Consultant who works with JobsInVT was recognized for her work presenting a workshop on internet job hunting. This presentation included how to find and use relevant key words, how to search by specific industry or location, how to identify legitimate job opportunities, how to set up career agents, and how to create effective e-resumes that can be found in resume databases. Beverly has worked with JobsInVT for a couple years now, and has been providing outreach to job seekers and employers across northern VT, and I am very glad to call her an associate. She represents JobsInVT and JobsInTheUS very well, and her presence on the ground goes a long way to building long term relationships.
For JiVT, the educational seminars are a great way to provide outreach into the community, and help qualified local job seekers better understand how internet job hunting works, and how they can use web-based resources more effectively. You may or may not be surprised by the number of people who are still not comfortable or confident using the web to find jobs. We find this to be common among all types of groups: from professionals in transition who haven’t searched for a job in more than 10 years to college seniors preparing to graduate, blue collar, white collar, no collar- virtually all demographics have some population that still are hesitant to utilize the internet for business or job related activities. With the decline in page counts and increase in costs for newspaper advertising, the recruiting market has made a shift to the internet for advertising, starting in 1996 and outspending print for the first time in 2007. I am glad to work for an organization that understands that with this dramatic and extremely fast transition, comes a need to better prepare both job seekers and employers on how to leverage the power of the web for employment purposes.
Anyhow, I’ll get off my soap box now, and get back to VABIR. This was a very nice breakfast and despite an unexpected blizzard, had a very good turnout. The guest speaker provided a very moving and honest story about how he first got involved with VABIR, and the transformation that he has undergone as a result. I will post more on the speaker soon. Keep your eyes peeled. Below is some info on VABIR, and their mission.
IF you have a positive story about employing people with disabilities through a VABIR program, please add a comment and share your experience.
VABIR’s Business Advisory Council
The VABIR Business Advisory Council (BAC) is a group of businesses which help support the rehabilitation process. The Council provides access to training and jobs that are compatible with the skills and abilities of people with disabilities.
The Council works to improve opportunities for people with disabilities by:
Developing working partnerships between the rehabilitation and business communities.
Encouraging greater understanding and awareness of disability issues.
Assisting VABIR to educate the employing community about the benefits of hiring people with disabilities.
Developing strategies to increase employment outcomes for people with disabilities.
Exchanging ideas and information.
VABIR’s Board of Directors sets policy for the organization and is held accountable to VABIR’s various funding sources.