My Headlines


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

Mar 6, 2009

RFL: Job Postings INCREASED in February!

I spent some time this morning pulling some data and analyzing our metrics from February. Though expecting to see a reflection of the economic status, I was very surprised to see actual growth in the number of job postings from Jan to Feb 2009. Trust me, I didn't believe it at first either. I went back and forth, looking over the numbers in various ways from various reports, but it's true. That being said, it doesn't mean the job search will now be easy.

New and recent college grads will need to re-evaluate their career plans. After looking at the data, my suggestion is to find work with a small business or non-profit where you can gain experience quickly, and see tangible results of your work. This market is up, and it makes for a great foundation for the rest of your career. Here are some more highlights from the job data in New England from the leading recruiting resources of JobsInTheUS...

While there's no doubt that this year's wave of college grads will have greater difficulty landing their dream jobs, the current economic situation is providing a new avenue of opportunity for them. In fact, the February data for New England has been very positive, with the number of job postings actually increasing by 30% from January. As has been widely reported, job growth in health care continues, particularly in nursing and medical practice, accounting for nearly 10% of all job postings in January and February 2009.

But what if you don't have a health care related degree? The best companies realize that during such economic times, it's absolutely critical to maintain positive client-facing activities. As such, there will continue to be strength in sales, marketing, and customer support positions. Unfortunately for new college grads, there is heavy competition for these positions, and experience in this sector is generally very important. One exception to that is social media marketing. Because of the nature of social media services, and the lack of costs normally associated with them, businesses are focusing more on developing a presence in this space. There is, and will continue to be, a market for the technically savvy and business oriented. If you're graduating with a marketing degree now, our advice is to read up on an explore the business value of social media. Every business sees the need, but very few have the in-house talent to develop these channels.

Another important trend to notice is the boom in job postings for non-profits. The number of postings for non-profits jumped an amazing 35% since January, representing over 5% of all jobs posted. These jobs, along with social and human services sector opportunities, provide an interesting view of the economy. With the rates of foreclosure and unemployment so high, the need for these services has grown. For new college grads, this may be an excellent opportunity to launch a any field. With non-profits operating normally very thinly, employees often have opportunities to work in various aspects of the organization, providing a unique hands-on experience that is hard to find elsewhere. Additionally, with the federal support coming, the growth and impact of these organizations should be significant, providing great bullet points for your resume and talking points for future interviews.

Here are some of the numbers...

Nonprofit job postings increased 35% from Jan to Feb

Sales, mkt, c/s, social services, medical, nursing represent about 25% of all job postings in new england

Decline in large companies hiring

75% of job postings for companies with fewer than 500 ee's

2/3 of job postings for fewer than 250 ee's

In Feb 74% of jobs were for full time openings

However the number of part time postings increased 25% from Jan to Feb

Nearly 35% more job openings posted in Feb than in Jan

Mar 5, 2009

RFL: Joys of Laryngitis And Other Oddities

After complete laryngitis a couple weeks ago, I've been battling with a raspy halfway voice for two weeks now. That's right, I haven't been able to use my normal voice for just over three weeks now... and YES, IT'S KILLING ME! Finally, confronted with the fear of losing my voice permanently, I visited a doctor. Thankfully no complications. I just have to got two days without talking... simple, right?

Well, I've certainly learned a lesson about communication today, my first complete no talking day. It's true what they say- when you feel that you can't communicate, frustration sets in quickly. As I stepped out for lunch today with my pencil and paper to communicate, I realized quickly how much talking I really do. It was a pleasant surprise to see just how friendly and helpful strangers are, and make me think just how innate our desire to help is.

But I've made my way through one day, hoping to ease into the end of the week by completing some training presentations. Finally going to be delivering a structured LinkedIn training internally, should be fun.

Quick thanks to J. William Tincup, of Starr Tincup, for highlighting me on his blog. Here's a quick excerpt below, click here for the full version:

4 Questions With… Jason Blais
March 5th, 2009

Jason Blais

Twitter || LinkedIn || HRM Today

What’s your personal favorite blog post and why?

“I just found this through Twitter. Every time I start to question the value of microblogging services like this, I am smacked in the face with a truly valuable link to important and relevant info. This blog post goes above and beyond in providing volumes of knowledge in a very clear, well laid out, and quick to scan format.

Either that or a much more personal one that I posted recently. Sometimes it just feels good to put yourself out there and share some pride you work.”

What’s your favorite personal online brand and why?

“Without sounding like a suckup to the host, I think William Tincup has this hands down. I had thought of this before I met him in person recently, and our face to face on served to reinforce my feelings. The cigar-smoking photo he uses consistently, along with the images used on his blog really represent the man. Additionally, I’m always happy to see people with enough self-awareness and internal confidence to be who they are. Great job with your personal brand consistency Mr. Tincup!

Out of all the folks online, who would youl ike to meet in person and why?... continued at

Mar 2, 2009

RFL: 4 Keys to Internal Employment Branding In A Recession

Following up to my previous post, here are 4 keys to success for promoting your employment brand during hiring freezes or staffing reductions. Remember, in consumer markets, the effort you put into advertising and marketing during a downturn will directly affect your ability to capture market share when the economy turns.

The same applies to the labor market. If you want to sustain organizational excellence, you must be able to attract top talent in all positions in your company. You can greatly increase your ability to make good future hires by continuing to develop your employment brand during this recession. Here are 4 simple keys to remember as you go forward:

  1. Whether your business is top-down, bottom-up, or organizationally flat, EMPLOYMENT BRANDING develops from the inside out. During these hard times, it may seem attractive to reduce spending on training, company events, and recognition programs. It will be up to HR professionals to fight to keep these activities in the budget. Further, if you are in a position to do so, now is the time to increase these types of activities.

  2. Communicate, communicate, communicate! There is a great deal of anxiety in virtually every workplace in America right now. Be sure to over-communicate to your managers and to your employees. Go the extra mile to reinforce that communication is a two way street, and arm your front line supervisors with the knowledge and skill to handle employee concerns and questions constructively.

  3. Remember The Law of Seven when announcing layoffs or salary freezes. This law, taught to me by a VC and former VP of National Advertising for BF Goodrich, states that a customer who experiences a negative interaction with your company will tell 7 people about it. Conversely, only one in 7 people will share a positive interaction with others. What does it mean? You have to put in extra effort to generate positive internal messaging even when delivering bad news. If people feel treated fairly, they may pass on just how well you handled things. If they feel treated poorly, they will yell it from the mountaintops.

  4. Utilize Press Release distribution services to reinforce positive employment related events. Consider announcing long-term anniversaries, promotions, completion of trainings, employee events, and internal employee survey results. This is a low cost way to keep your employment brand alive even when you have no job ads to post. It also reinforces the value of your work internally, provided you follow key number two above.
All of these keys are directly related to positive word of mouth campaigns developed by you and carried out by your employees. Remember, the reality of your employment brand is what your workforce says it is, regardless of what you want it to be. The more focus you can put into guiding that internal dialogue, the more long-term brand integrity and brand penetration you'll have.

That's all from now from the Recruiting Front Lines! Next time, I'll share a few keys about external branding during a recession. Please share any thoughts or comments, and remember, if you like what you read here, please pass it on!


Jason Blais on FoxNews

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Wordle: The Recruiting Front Lines

Using Video to Reinforce Employment Brand