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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 jasonblais.com. 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

Feb 11, 2009

RFL: SHRM, Employment Branding, and Trade Mixer

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!

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