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Media Jobs Monthly Newsletter

September 8, 2010
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When is rising unemployment a good sign for the economy? When the government is hiring less, and more people are re-entering the labor force. This month's employment figures are a good example. Employment will be a bumpy ride as the economy recovers, but it shouldn't shake our confidence.

When it comes to securing full-time employees, we all know it's rarely easy. Here are five common problem areas and ways to avoid them. Yet even if you do land that perfect new employee, how could they reject you? Well, it happens, but you can learn from it and get back on track. Unfortunately, even outsourcing has its challenges. The long-held strategy can be perfect for small businesses and individuals looking to avoid the commitment of hiring full-timers, but be careful. It is still an uneven proposition at best, as this brief example and this perspective point out.

Maybe these recruiting mishaps could be avoided simply by surfing through a candidate's Twitter posting history. After you track it down, here's what you can glean from it. While you're checking out potential talent online, better make sure your own profile photo is appropriate just in case a candidate is researching your company, as well. Remember, no body shots.

Once the right candidates do join your company, another problem might await: Where do they sit -- in cubicles or on an open floor plan? Your choice could impact productivity…and privacy. Having just gotten my kids off to another school year (smoothly I might add!), I can certainly attest to how much thought goes into seating arrangements. And is your company aware that there is a market for fake expense report receipts? What will they think of next?!

At some point most of our careers go up, and down. So it's always refreshing to hear real stories from real people like Tavis Smiley, author and talk show host. His best piece of advice for enduring rough times: "There is no standing still."

Bill Conneely,
Director, Strategy

P.S. If it's been bumpy in your world of late, we want to hear about it. Mediabistro has more than 400 professionals on contract who lead workshops and seminars on every conceivable media topic. We'd love to help set up a training or workshop for your staff to help smooth the way to a happier work place. Click here for more information.

Total Employment Falls By 54,000, But Private Hiring Trends Up (BLS)
Government hiring fell by 121,000 as census workers finished their assignments, private employment rose by a modest 67,000, and the unemployment rate rose significantly to 9.6 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. The Bureau also revised its job loss estimates for June and July, "giving back" 123,000 jobs over the two months. Industries making big hiring gains in August included health care (+28,000), temporary help (+17,000), and construction (+19,000).

What You Get From a $14/Hour Overseas Brickwork Worker (
Need to outsource some work for your company? Brickwork India and other such companies provide virtual assistant services from developing nations where the cost of living is less, so your company's expenses are lowered too. But as CNNMoney contributing writer Marcia Turner found out, sometimes you get what you pay for.

Freelance Nation (
Entrepreneur also tackles the outsourcing issue, since 90 percent of U.S. companies outsource at least some part of their work. But doing it right is, of course, not easy: "Outsourcing exposes your intellectual property, trade secrets and customer information. It places your corporate memory and business functions in the hands of outsiders. And -- if it's managed incorrectly--it can trigger a nightmare of investigations and costly penalties from the IRS, Department of Labor and other government agencies, all of which are increasing their oversight."

Five Things Recruiters Should Stop Doing (
Some of the recruiter sins on this list: working outside the ATS, and letting the hiring manager dictate the interview schedule. Are you guilty of these? Here are some easy fixes to streamline your work, make better hiring decisions, and lead to a better candidate experience.

Getting To the Bottom of the Rejected Offer (The Fordyce Letter)
"You love them. They love you. What's wrong?" Why did a "perfect" candidate reject your offer? Sometimes, it's not your fault. One time, a candidate verbally accepted a job offer on Friday and won the lottery the next day. The offer was rescinded on Monday. Not much you can do about that. Sometimes it boils down to miscommunication. Read about it at The Fordyce Letter.

It Matters How You Sit (Human Resource Executive Online)
Certain seating plans can improve how a team functions, a new study reports. But seating workers in circular or open-floor-plan arrangements -- both great for collaboration and teamwork -- sacrifices privacy. "You want people to have enough privacy in order not to feel like they're under someone's watch," says researcher Brian Gunia.

Recruiting Using Twitter History (Shally Steckerl)
What can you learn from someone's old Tweets? They might name their coworkers or managers, for example, or even the favorite lunch place for people who work at your target's employer. Shally Steckerl explains how to get at historical Twitter data and what to do with it.

The Five Types of Awful Linkedin Photos (
You've seen these before during your searches. Do you really want to hire a candidate who used Photoshop to emboss his face in gold? Or one who uses a World of Warcraft avatar instead of her real face? Thought not.

This Exists: Fake Receipts Let You Fudge Expense Reports (MediaJobsDaily)
Are your employees coming back from business trips with suspicious receipts? Did you know there's actually a service that will print fake receipts for a small fee? They're "for novelty use only," the site claims, but then it undermines its credibility by reminding visitors that most expense reports go unchallenged. Can you believe this is happening? To those other guys, of course, not at your company.

So What Do You Do, Tavis Smiley, Author and Talk Show Host? (
Tavis Smiley might be getting praise now for his work at PBS, but even he has endured setbacks in his career. The veteran broadcaster discusses the backlash he faced for challenging then-Senator Barack Obama and why getting fired from BET was the best thing that ever happened to him.

--Compiled by Rachel Kaufman, co-editor,

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