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We have moved to Wordpress! Posted by Jason Links to this post The Recruiting Front Lines has evolved. At the beginning of the year, I changed jobs within my company, moving away from Outreach and Education, and into my new role as Director of Business Development. While I remain closely involved with our field activity, I am now more focused on strategic partnerships, social media, and the world of internet recruitment resources. As I have made this change, the focus of my blog content has also changed. Recently, I began to feel that many of the ideas I had for blog posts would not fit within the framework of The Recruiting Front Lines. This was a cause of some frustration, as I felt that I was either misrepresenting my content with the title of my blog, or that I was stifling my writing because I felt it didn't fit. To rectify this situation, I have created a new blog home, now on WordPress. I am still ironing out the wrinkles, but feel that it is far enough along that I can move all my past content, and begin posting all new content, at the new address. I would like to formally welcome everyone to come check out my new home at I can't wait to hear what you think! Best Regards, and Thank you for your time and attention over the past 18 months. Jason

Aug 22, 2008

Looking for USEFUL Resume Advice

I was recently speaking with a friend and colleague who works for a professional coaching/career development firm. She was sharing a story about how after all the meetings and processes and advice shared with one client, this person went on to gain employment in a new field- the field of her passion. What struck me about this story was that the client came back to my friend after the successful job offer, and stated that the resume tips she shared and the questions she asked were worth the cost of the entire program.

The reason I share this story is that I am constantly encountering job seekers who have been through "resume makeover" workshops, yet still have quite unsatisfactory resumes or results to show for it. As a hiring manager, what I'm looking for in a resume- in fact the keys that I use to identify quality resumes and applicants- are often ignored completely by these resume workshops, or even worse, the advice given is quite contrary.

I know that my friend and colleague is sharing quality advice, having worked with her in the job seeker milieu before. But I am still left feeling that the advice being given to job seekers is often out of date, out of touch, or out of control. Tips from the 80's don't work.

If you are offering similar advice on resumes (or as a job seeker, are getting the same advice) that was being offered a decade or more ago, you're out of date.

If the advice is being given by someone who has never actually had a hiring manager position, and been in charge of sorting though dozens or more resumes, than the advice is truly out of touch.

If the advice takes more than 15 or 20 minutes to explain thoroughly and clearly, and goes into minutia about too many details and speaks too much about philosophy or idealism when formulating a resume, the advice is likely out of control (if i keep coming up with new things to tell you about your resume, you'll have to keep paying me, right?).

Whether your giving or receiving advice, be sure to ask yourself those questions:
1. has this advice been updated in the last few years?
2. is the advice coming from hiring managers who regularly review resumes?
3. does this advice seem pragmatic and functional? or is it more of tips regarding resume philosophy?

Good luck and happy hunting!

Aug 20, 2008

Effective Brands: The Basics

Effective Brands

WHAT Does a Body Good?
You're in Good Hands with WHICH COMPANY?
Like a Good Neighbor WHICH COMPANY is There?
WHAT are Forever?

Each of the examples above speaks to a simple and effective consumer brand. They have a distinct message that can be conveyed in very short statements, and through marketing, they have impacted the way we feel about their products.

When an employer can establish, communicate, and reinforce an effective employment brand, they will realize an increased stream of applicants better suited to their work environment, which in turn leads to an increase in employee retention. Later on, we'll address some of the key factors that influence an employee's decision to stay with an employer.

A brand can generally be defined as the sum of all characteristics and distinguishable features associated with a good or service – its unique personality. Brands are comprised of logos, images, slogans, and features of the good or service, along with all the supporting communication and promotion of these items. Simply put, a consumer brand should be built around the customer experience; therefore, an employment brand needs to be built around your employee's experience.

Identifying Your Unique Employment Brand

Establishing an effective brand in the consumer market requires a company to understand what drives consumer behavior. Likewise, in order to establish an effective employment brand, a company must understand what drives employee behavior.

One essential and oft-ignored necessity of branding is identifying the current reality of your situation, not what you wish your situation was. If the branding is not absolutely true and consistent with your business today, it will not be effective and will not last. In fact, a false brand will have negative effects, and cause resentment among your current employees. For example, you can't promote excellent opportunities for advancement if you don't make a regular practice of promoting from within.

There are many ways to identify your current reality, so you'll want to find out what works best for your company. Check out our future posts for more info on how to assess what makes your organization unique within your market.

Aug 18, 2008

Finding GREAT 1099 Contractors

It has been my distinct privilege for the past 3 years to manage a program
that relies heavily on outside contractors. I came to realize early on
that finding great 1099 contractors was a significantly different matter
from recruiting employees. There are many challenges facing this task
that may not come up in daily employee searches.

Here's just a few that I encounter:

-How do you find trustworthy and reliable contractors with the specific
skill sets you need?

-When you're working within a budget for your program, how do you
negotiate a fair contract, which attracts good candidates, but also keeps
you in your budget?

-How do you balance the equation in the previous question (what is the
weight of the budget vs. the quality of the contractor).

-What can you offer aside from the contract fee, i.e. why would they want
to choose to work with you with their limited time?

-How do you ensure quality control?

All these were issues I was first faced with more than 3 years ago, as I
started a program using outsourced marketing and training professionals to
support our company's growth. What I've found is that with a little
creative ingenuity, and real human understanding, these issues aren't
nearly as scary or difficult to solve as you'd think.

Here's some very simple suggestions for anyone looking for 1099 contractors:

1. FIRST contact your friends and business associates (internal and
external), and let them know the skill set and requirements you're looking
for. This is a great way to make a first pass at finding good, reliable

2. Identify the skill sets you need, write them down, and think about what
kind of work that person is doing now. (could that skill set include a
high school teacher, an architect, a electrical engineer, an admissions
counselor?) Many great 1099 contractors aren't working as 1099's
currently. Market your needs to part timers or semi-retired professionals
in the fields you've identified. You'll be AMAZED at the gems you can
find that have been looking for an opportunity to work independently, but
were afraid to take that first step.

3. Promote what makes your business or job special. Contractors are
people, after all, and people like to feel good about what they do.
Remember, while you can't provide "traditional" benefits to contractors,
your business may provide a wealth of other non-traditional benefits that
will draw the right people to your business. Are you an industry leader?
Do you do good for the community? Are you in a cutting edge field? Are
there perks that are available? Don't get down about not being able to
offer benes. 1099 contractors understand it, so don't dwell. Instead,
take the unique approach of selling those non-traditional benefits.

4. Maintain quality control by maintaining communication with your
contractors. Stay in touch, and remember that you are the client. If you
aren't satisfied with the quality of the work presented, don't be shy. Be
confident and professional. Communicate your expectations, and give
contractors the opportunity to upgrade their work.

Jason Blais on FoxNews

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Wordle: The Recruiting Front Lines

Using Video to Reinforce Employment Brand