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One Last Summer Fling: A Longing Glance Back at August’s Workplace News and Trends

September 1st, 2011 Comments off

Relaxing on the porch in summer with a drinkWell, September’s arrived, in all its changing leaves and apple picking and perky back to school-ness. But while we’re eyeing fall hayrides, relationships, report cards, or menu overhauls, let’s savor the last of the warm summer breezes, sit on the porch swing with a cool drink, and take a moment to enjoy August’s workplace news, trends, and gossip. After all, quite a lot happened in the last month — let’s take a look:

Klout is getting more and more buzz — but when it comes to your recruitment, what kind of impact should Klout have on your decisions (if any)? We took a closer look at the pros and cons. While you trying to improve your real-life clout by rubbing elbows with Michael J. Fox or Tony Hsieh at 2011′s SHRM conference, you just might have missed SHRM’s best presentations. Don’t worry, we’ve got some of them for you here. And hopefully you didn’t miss our monthly #cbjobchat, but if you did, you missed a lot of great exchanges about tough interview questions — not to worry, though, you can catch the next one on Monday, Sept. 12 at 7:00 p.m. CST. Join us!

Speaking of interviewing, we went ahead and created an entire ebook dedicated to the subject, From Q&A to Z: The Hiring Manager’s Complete Interviewing Guide (PDF). It’s free, it’s all for you, it’s all about interviewing... go nuts. And while interview questions can run the gamet from great to horror-inducing, resumes have their fair share of memorable moments, too, from statements about the Moonwalk to deadly animal bites.

While we’re on the subject of deadly things, have you thought about your personal brand as a recruiter — and how not having one may actually be really damaging for your business? If not, it’s a good time to start — there are some really easy ways to get your name out and legitimize you with interested candidates.

As an employer or recruiter, finding new ways to brand your company is essential — and many companies are turning to online video. Did you know it’s the fastest-growing medium for consuming content? All types of companies are investing in video to help them attract better candidates, brand themselves as an employer of choice, and more — you can download our free video, Streaming Talent, (just by answering a few questions) to find out how it can improve your own recruiting.

Shortly before July’s BLS numbers came out, CareerBuilder CEO Matt Ferguson appeared on CNBC’s Squawk Box to discuss job expectations versus job creation; the industry with the biggest skill shortage right now; the area hottest in wage growth, and more. When we did see the BLS numbers, we cringed a little. But then we realized the sky probably isn’t falling, so we hid that Chicken Little costume in the depths of our closets (you know, just in case). With finding quality workers a challenge for many employers, and unemployment still such a big issue, there are two worker groups that bring unique skills to the workplace and shouldn’t be overlooked: veteran employees and older workers.

We found out that while employers do value IQ, many are listening to their hearts (cue Roxette) and favoring emotional intelligence more strongly. But where does emotional intelligence matter most?

Many workers are also listening to their wallets — and finding them filled with empty promises (INFOGRAPHIC). Though the financial situation is improving for many, many workers are still living paycheck to paycheck — but there are still some things (cough Internet cough) they’re hesitant to give up.

 What did we miss? What was your favorite (or most cringe-worthy) August workplace news moment?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Annual Review: 2009’s Top 10 Workplace Trends

December 21st, 2009 Comments off

Countdown_1The year is almost over, which of course means it’s time for a completely unprecedented, unexpected-in-every-way “top 10 of 2009” list…

Here, I give you my list of the 10 biggest trends we saw this year in the world of workforce management.  (Notice anything I missed? Let me know in the comments section below!)

 

  1. Social Media Specialists made their way to corporate America. Recognizing the value in using social media as both a branding and recruiting tool, companies like Comcast, General Motors and JetBlue Airways,  began hiring professionals specifically for the sake of managing and monitoring their social media sites.  (Even Britney Spears got in on the action.) 
  2. Internships made a comeback…in various forms. In the tightened economy, internship positions became more competitive among job seekers– as well as an attractive alternative for employers looking for cheap labor and a way to “test” new employees before hiring them full-time. One position that stood out was Pizza Hut’s “Twintern,” an intern responsible for posting updates on – and monitoring – the company’s Twitter account. The experiment turned out to be a success on both ends – come fall, Pizza Hut offered the twintern a full-time position. Similarly, 2009 also saw the rise of virtual internships made possible through improving technology and the growth of social media, and enabling employers to expand their pool of candidates while saving money on office overhead. 
  3. Older workers were forced to rethink retirement. Nearly 60 percent of workers aged 65 and older reported that they were postponing retirement due to financial strains, according to a March 2009 CareerBuilder survey. While employers may be worried over how they will manage this aging workforce, multigenerational workforces are actually an asset to employers; they simply need to be “proactive in devising new strategies to harness and harmonize the multigenerational workforce,” advises BusinessWeek’s Roselyn Feinsod.
  4.  “Qwittered” entered the American lexicon…joining the prestigious ranks “Facebook fired.” Stories abounded this year of employees getting reprimanded for posting inappropriate comments or – as we saw in this year’s most infamous case - videos on online social media sites. Even celebrities were not immune to this trend, as ESPN’s Sports Guy recently found out.  What can we learn from these stories? For one thing, having a well-thought out and clearly stated social media policy in place can eliminate these sorts of incidents. Make sure employees are aware of the policy and that what they say can be grounds for punishment. (For tips on creating a social media policy, check out Sharlyn Lauby’s excellent post on 10 Must-Haves for Your Social Media Policy)
  5. Medical cost-cutting efforts got more creative. As health care costs soared, businesses began looking for ways to reduce medical coverage expenses with a new sense of urgency. Whole Foods, for instance, began offering workers incentives for losing weight and improving their overall health to ultimately reduce medical coverage costs; while other employers started expanding their employee assistance program offerings to include counseling – a less expensive alternative to therapy obtained through company medical coverage… Then of course there were those companies making the case for legalizing medical marijuana, saying the move could save them money on drug costs.
  6. Thursday became the new Friday. Taking a cue from Utah’s institution of a four-day workweek for state workers, employers nationwide began to follow suit – hoping to generate the same benefits Utah saw as a result of its experiment.  Not only did the state successfully reduce energy and help workers save money on commuting costs, as it had hoped, but workers took fewer sick days and state services improved, as well. 
  7. Women made workplace history. As layoffs hit men at a disproportionate rate, the ratio of women to men in the workforce evened out. As of September, women held half of the nation’s jobs – for the first time in our nation’s history.
  8. Sex at the office became a hot(ter?) topic: While sex in the workplace is nothing new, the debate – both in the media and at the water cooler – over if and when it’s ever okay reignited after David Letterman admitted to having an affair with a “Late Night” staffer – and gained even more steam when two other, high profile sex-in-the-workplace stories surfaced soon after. (Regardless of where you stand on the issue, it’s always good to have a refresher on the rules regarding sex in the workplace.) 
  9. Year-end bonuses, gifts and holiday parties disappeared. No surprises here: Fewer businesses planned office parties this year – whether due to budget concerns, or out of mindfulness of the hardships clients and employees’ families are experiencing. In the spirit of the season, however, some employers are organizing company-wide charitable events as an alternative. As is the case with holiday parties, the economy is also preventing many businesses from offering the typical year-end gifts or grant bonuses…but that doesn’t mean they’re not trying to appease their employees and clients with alternative gifts, such as car washes, choice parking spots and complimentary breakfasts.  
  10. Office personal space became scarcer. In efforts to trim costs and boost productivity, many employers nationwide began reducing per-employee office space – from removing cubicle walls to create open floor plans, to eliminating assigned workspaces for employees who spend a lot of time away from their desks. Despite employers’ good intentions, however, some employees are finding that the closer quarters disrupt their work flow and increase tensions, according to the Wall Street Journal. (The lesson? Know your audience: While some people may thrive in tighter quarters, it can be distracting to others. Help your employees by giving them the option to work remotely or make sure you arrange the office in a way that maximizes the available space.)

What trends did you notice popping up this year? (And what do you anticipate we’ll see more or less of in 2010?)