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Web 2.0 Isn’t Just a Social Tool

Many of us create a myspace, facebook, or blog account for leisure or networking purposes. While it’s common to be warned about employers scanning your profile on the web for surveillance purposes, companies are also discovering the benefits of being up-to-date with social platforms. Take twitter, a communication board that simply lets friends/family know what you are doing, has now become a hot topic among businesses that want to stay on top of customer support/feedback for products. Forbes mentions the importance of web 2.0 for companies, especially in competitive markets that need to adapt to changing technologies in society. Zappos, an online retail store, has taken full advantage of twitter in building community with customers and branding the company name. If someone twitters a sentence about a poor service or product by a company, it can be investigated from the company right away via tweetscan or other tools that track comments on twitter. It’s no surprise that an online community like mediabistro already has twitter, be sure to check us out!
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Fuel Costs Reduces Employee Travel

gas.JPG The staggering increase to prices at the pump are not only affecting expenses for individual incomes. Businesses are also feeling the negative effects to its operations due to rising gas costs. Although 60% of 804 study respondents reported that rising fuel prices have had little or no impact to attract hourly workers, and 68% had little or no affect on ability to attract non-exempt salaried employees, a study by i4cp, Inc. anticipate concerns about rising costs that will escalate in the next few months. The sales travel industry may be hit the hardest, with 55% of companies deciding to reduce business travel by a large amount. The use of technology such as web conferencing, videoconferencing, and teleconferencing are being used by companies, and flexible options such as telecommuting are being offered in larger companies. If you haven’t done so already, it’s best to start taking steps to educate employees on gas-saving practices in order to be on the same page if and when more drastic measures must be made to accommodate the hike in energy costs in the future.
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Diversity and Leadership Development

diversity3.JPG You may be surprised to hear that many minority employees leave workplaces that have an established diversity program for staff members. The New York Times interviewed Natalie Holder-Winfield, a diversity consultant and author of “Recruiting and Retaining a Diverse Workforce” and her book reveals surprising reflections from minority employees who felt the company’s diversity programs weren’t necessarily providing the type of services that it claims. A good tip for minority job seekers was to check blog posts from employees who work in a company that provide these diversity policies. You’ll find candid posts that may reveal information about a prospective company that you were interested in. And although Winfield left a traditional firm to start her own company with eight other women of color, she still has hope that minorities will have opportunity to excel in traditional institutions. Companies are hiring diversity managers in order to implement an actual program that caters to minorities, this may improve recent results that revealed that no changes were actually taking place in organizations that had these programs.
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Top 10 Interview Blunders

interview1.JPG If you’re in the HR profession, you’ve probably heard or experienced interviews with candidates who made mistakes that were so over the top that it made you wonder, “what were they thinking?” Careerbuilder listed the top 10 blunders from candidates, a list which was compiled from 3,000 hiring managers nationwide. Although some of the mistakes may seem humorous, it’s important to see how detrimental it can be when one does not take the interview process seriously. The results of improper behavior can ultimately take you off the list for a great position. What stuck out more to me in the article was mention of mistakes that hiring managers make themselves when interviewing prospective candidates. Passive job seekers are not necessarily looking for any job that is offered to them. It’s just as important for HR professionals to be equipped with all the answers to questions that are asked in the interview or else they may be the ones to lose a qualified person for the company.
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Are You Getting Paid Enough?

liana3.JPG If you work in a company where employees have various responsibilities aside from his/her usual role, i.e., a marketing assistant also trains new hires, then it may be difficult to determine the amount of compensation for that employee. A recent article from The New York Enterprise Report tackles the troubles that some smaller businesses may be confronted with when providing salary to employees. The article states that provides a tool in which small business owners can create “hybrid” job titles based on specific responsibilities, allowing an employer to plug in different components of a particular job. This is especially useful for those who wear many hats within a company, and now can be fairly compensated for their efforts. What if you are part of a larger corporation? offers a detailed look behind bigger companies as well as useful tips on corporate policies and interview questionnaires.
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Fools get respect and flexibility

office.jpeg No it’s not an error in the title, fools really do get respect and flexibility at this multi-media company in Alexandria, Virginia. The Motley Fool’s benefits are the epitome of a great way to attract qualified candidates to their company. We already know of companies like google which provide great perks to employees, but it’s The Motley Fool’s ability to describe these excellent benefits in their job listings that lure candidates to the site. I often get calls from employers who aren’t receiving a good amount of resumes to their listings, and I notice a common issue with these ads: lack of company information. This can range from description of the actual field the company works in (type of company, clients, past awards, links to projects,etc.), to listing benefits and rewards for employees. Aside from Xbox, yoga, indoor soccer, free parking, pizza day, massage therapy, camping trip, and omelet & waffle day, The Motley Fool also offers flexible work schedule, matching 401K, and a NO vacation policy! Of course not all companies can provide such great benefits to staff members, but the point is to highlight any special compensation packages for employees. Even if a job title may seem like a great fit for a job seeker, it’s just as important to find incentive to join a company and become a full-time member.
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Not feeling too swell? Take the day off!

We’ve all done it, we still come into work even when feeling sluggish or stuffed up from cold medicine. Many of us want to “save” our sick days for dire emergencies or those perfect sunny days in the summer, but the productivity of work from employees under the weather can be negative AND more expensive for the company than frequent absences. It’s called “presenteeism”, and although employees are physically present at the office, the efficiency of work isn’t up to par – not to mention the chance of a contagious virus spreading to other co-workers.
Presenteeism is now associated with workplace-related stress. According to Dr. Ballard from the American Psychological Association, one-third of Americans are living with extreme stress, with 74% of respondents saying work was the main cited source of this stress – 15% above last year’s results. Some large companies like GlaxoSmithKline and PricewaterhouseCoopers provide health assessments and discussion groups to alleviate struggles involved with workplace stress. Although these efforts can definitely help overall performance, taking a day off when necessary doesn’t seem like such a bad option. After all, it IS better off for the company as a whole, isn’t it?
*Image courtesy of Jupiterimages

Hottest Places to Find a Job

pdf.JPG It really is a bear market out there. The news this past weekend strengthened people’s fear of a recession taking place, when JPMorgan purchased Bear Stearns. What was once considered one of the largest global investment and securities firm in the world, has now sold each share for $2 – a year ago it was $170 a share. There is still a lot of trepidation for further losses related to mortgage investments and people are preparing for any negative effects due to this, especially in job cuts. One great piece from ABCNews provides the five hottest places to find a job in America despite the slowing economy. Texas took 3rd and 5th place with booming job growth in Austin and Fort Worth for teaching, construction, and technology. Atlanta, GA and Wichita, KS also made it to the list for jobs in accounting, aircraft/petroleum, and health care, but Salt Lake City, UT was placed as the #1 hottest place to find a job, with many positions in nursing, education, and banking. It doesn’t hurt to be have a backup plan in case there are blows to the economy, especially to those unfortunate ones who might have placed all their eggs in one basket.
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Web 2.0 – New Features for Recruiting

comp.JPG We all know how stressful job hunting can be, settling for any mediocre job doesn’t seem to cut it in the long run. Hiring an individual for a company is not an easy task as well. Although attractive on paper, a candidate may not be the best fit once you meet him in person. A simple search for job titles and criteria does not mean that the position may suit you the best. As popular online sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn started helping recruiters find top talent, there are improved recruiting tools now offered, which can change the way companies hire potential job seekers. Kevin Wheeler from lists the hottest trends for 2008, including interactive websites that allow companies of any size, the chance to build a great recruiting website. Standout Jobs created Reception, a suite of web-based tools to power companies’ online recruiting efforts. A company can showcase its culture and team through videos, blogs, pictures, and other applications. Aside from marketing jobs and company profile, Reception also features an applicant tracking system. Instead of sending a resume to a database, an intimate relationship is built between you and the job seeker.
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A Guide to Layoff Survival

Although America witnessed one of the greatest games in Super Bowl history, it seems like that’s the only thing looking up in our country’s morale. The crisis in the sub-prime mortgage industry as well as a downward trend in the employment index resulted in quite a few layoffs in all sectors of the economy. According to the Monster Employment Index, January Index for Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports and Media Occupations was down 15% vs. January 2007, and down 9% vs. December of 2007. So how do you survive an unexpected job cut and get back on your feet to find employment? provides a guide to layoff survival, from dealing with the job loss to getting back in the game of job hunting, the article breaks down the essentials of turning a tragedy into an opportunity.
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