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Media Jobs Monthly Newsletter

June 9, 2010
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It's time to get real. Non-farm payroll employment did grow this month, but it wasn't genuine because 95 percent of those jobs were part-time jobs working on the Census.

Some recruiters seem to think they can build it (a social network) and Gen Y candidates will come and hang out -- just like Field of Dreams. But let's be honest -- you didn't need to go to the #socialrecruiting summit to figure out that that won't work. This begs the question we've been asking a lot recently: Is social media recruiting all it's cracked up to be? Not quite. We agree with this point of view that we are likely to end up not far from where we began without it. To be fair, here is the counterpoint.

But what truly gets us excited is when someone gets real and tells it like it is. Here is Steve Hannah, CEO of The Onion telling us how he hires people and Kim Martin detailing her career path from head of sales for WE tv in 1999 to the president of the network.

And we get really excited -- I mean really -- when someone says what we have been thinking about so many, no, too many, job descriptions that get posted on sites like mediabistro.com. They suck! Not sure if the editors* of this newsletter will leave that in, but they will let you read what Kris Dunn has to say about writing great job descriptions.

And when you do finally get down to strong candidates with real talent, you might pause and take a pointer from the mother of all reality shows: American Idol. There is something to the dynamics of picking a winner that we all know to be true (all apologies to Taylor Hicks). But don't stop there. Stretch your boundaries and consider what you would do if you had two outstanding candidates for a job. Would you consider hiring them both, as Inder Sidhu, Cisco's senior vice president of strategy and planning for worldwide operations, suggests?

In the end, we have to get back to the reality that the job market is still difficult for lots of people. Take Nick Enlow, 29, whose B.A. in psychology wasn't helping him land a job that would cover his student loan payment. So, to make a statement he put the degree up for sale on eBay for $36,000. No, really.

Bill Conneely,
Director, Strategy

*EDITOR'S NOTE: Thanks for the shout-out, Bill! Your passion for the job market and choice phrasing are too valuable to censor.


U.S. Adds 431,000 Jobs, But 95 Percent Are Census Jobs (BLS)
Non-farm payroll employment grew by 431,000 in May, the biggest increase since before the recession began. However, 411,000 of those jobs, or 95 percent, were temporary, part-time jobs working on the 2010 census. Private sector employment grew by just 41,000 in temporary help services and manufacturing.

A Community Few People Really Want (ERE.net)
So you've built your company's specialized social network. Why aren't candidates jumping into your talent pool? It's hard to get talent to sign up for yet another service, so why not engage them where they already are? That might be on a social network, offline, or a combination of both.

Social Recruiting Not All It's Cracked Up To Be? (Human Resource Executive Online)
Another reminder of how some people can only focus on the negatives of social networking and social recruiting. Watch out for lawyers, employees divulging company secrets, and TMI. But of course amidst all the negativity is a smart point: "My guess is that we will gradually go back to something not that far from where we are now: A few jobs such as those in recruiting and sales where the focus has always been on outside relationships will use social media extensively," but that's it.

The Counterpoint (Rehaul by Lance Haun)
Of course social recruiting tools matter, writes Haun, fresh from the #socialrecruiting summit in Minneapolis last month. But it isn't about amassing huge numbers of followers or broadcasting tons of ads. It's about relationships, being adaptable, and remembering that everyone on Twitter is also a real live person behind the screen.

How the CEO of The Onion Hires (NYTimes.com)
"I have two basic questions in mind: 'Can you do the job, and would I enjoy spending time with you?' I want to know where you came from. I want to know how many children are in your family. I want to know where you fit in and what your role was. I want to know what your mother and your dad did, what influence they had on you. I find that, without overstepping my boundaries, most people like to talk about themselves."

Buying Persona 101: Why You Should Write Job Postings that Don't Suck (The HR Capitalist)
"Why not choose to be different so the 10 percent you want to look, do? Who cares if the other 90 percent don't get it? And believe me, the other 90 percent don't get it. Rewrite your job descriptions to remove all the buzzword crap and try to put a little flair to them, and you'll feel the negative nellies in the background."

What HR Can Learn From American Idol (ERE.net)
"Safe but unexciting choices yield safe but unexciting results. ...If you want to push the envelope and stretch for something better, you need to work on overlooking the flaws and quirks that many highly talented people bring to the table. If you don't, you end up with someone like Taylor Hicks." Stuck Between Two Great Candidates? (Human Capital Institute)
If you've ever lost sleep over an agonizing business decision (like which candidate to hire), remember, you can do both. This approach runs counter to traditional business advice that argues for single-minded focus, but it can work, and it keeps your talent from slipping away.

So What Do You Do, Kim Martin, President of WE tv? (mediabistro.com)
Kim Martin worked her way from head of sales at WE tv in 1999 to the president of the network. She spoke with mediabistro.com about her career path, how she helped to rebrand the network as more than just Bridezillas, and what's next for the company.

Drowning In Student Loan Debt, Man Tries To Sell His B.A. On eBay (MediaJobsDaily)
This is certainly a creative (and unsanctioned) way to pay off your student loans: a man who decided his diploma from Purdue wasn't pulling its weight listed the thing on eBay last month. He could have gotten $36,000 for it -- at least, that's how much it was listed for, with no bids -- but eBay decided the auction was against its Terms of Service and shut the auction down. Too bad.


--Compiled by Rachel Kaufman, editor, MediaJobsDaily.com



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