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Media Jobs Monthly Newsletter

January 13, 2011
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Happy New Year!

I hope you had a wonderful holiday and that you are eager to start making good on all those resolutions. If you haven't written up your list yet, the Fordyce Letter has some good suggestions, covering everything from organization to manners and ethics. (My favorite is No. 6: "I will treat every job-seeker with consideration, realizing that their plight is urgent and that there, but for the grace of God, go I.") I suspect some of your resolutions will involve figuring out how to adapt your recruiting strategy to a (slowly) improving economy. Here's one suggestion: Focus on keeping your top employees happy.

Management adviser Ram Charan says CEOs "do not really put even 15 percent of their time into the people-development equation, and that's far less than needed." One way to make sure you can keep those high performers is to promote from within. Of course, to make it work, you'll need to hire the right people to begin with. Once you do, let them take risks and give added responsibility to the hungriest workers so they have the opportunity to prove themselves.

Maybe one of your resolutions should be not to blindly follow the conventional wisdom. For example, according to new research published in HRE Online, overqualified candidates aren't necessarily the job hoppers they are generally assumed to be. In fact, for certain types of "low-cognitive demand" jobs, such candidates may stay longer and perform better on the job. Another piece of conventional wisdom we may want to rethink is the notion that you don't need to consider referrals from recently departed employees. The former employee knows the duties of a position, and probably just the right person to fulfill them, so don't let your pride get in the way or allow snap judgments to drive your interviews. Lou Adler warns that once you make an initial assumption about a candidate, you're likely to seek out evidence that proves it correct. He advises deliberately going against your instincts, asking "good" candidates tougher questions and "bad" candidates easy ones.

Meanwhile, a CareerBuilder survey reminds us of just how important it is to get all of these decisions right. Two out of three employers report a bad hire has had a negative effect on their business in the past year, and 25 percent say that such misfires have cost them $50,000 or more. But, while you're frantically researching potential hires, keep in mind they may be researching you right back. Candidates are getting savvier when it comes to getting the goods on your company, so better make sure that online record is squeaky clean.

Best of luck for a healthy, prosperous 2011!

Greg Horowitz
Director, Job Board

Six-Figure Employment Growth in December (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
The number of jobs in the economy rose by 103,000 in December, the labor department reported. Adding a hundred thousand new jobs was enough to drop the unemployment rate by 0.4 percent to 9.4. Yet 14.5 million Americans remain jobless.

New Year's Resolutions for Recruiters (The Fordyce Letter)
Making any resolutions this year? It may be mid-January, but it's not too late. Fordyce's list provides a good start, covering everything from organization to manners to ethics.

Message to CEOs: Do More to Keep Your Key Employees (
Key employees will defect in 2011 unless CEOs spend effort to retain them, says management adviser Ram Charan. CEOs "do not really put even 15 percent of their time into the people-development equation, and that's far less than needed," he said. "You will see defections in critical positions."

How to Promote From Within (
Make your company one that promotes leadership and nurtures internal talent, rather than watching the best people head for the door, by hiring right, letting employees take risks, and giving responsibility to the hungriest workers.

A New Argument for Hiring the Overqualified (HRE Online)
Overqualified candidates aren't necessarily job hoppers, new research finds. In fact, so-called "overqualified" candidates may stay longer and perform better on the job. The study applied to jobs with "low cognitive demands" like collecting garbage or washing cars, because (the researchers theorize) the workers preferred to save their mental energy for other pursuits.

Referrals from People Who Just Quit (Fistful of Talent)
Would you take a referral from someone who quit and burned you? If you don't let your pride get the better of your professional judgment, you sure will. The former employee knows what's required of the role and probably knows just the right person -- if you'd only let her talk.

How Snap Judgments Can Hurt (
A reminder that once you've made a snap judgment about a candidate (which you pretty much can't help), you're likely to seek out evidence that proves your initial assumption right. If you don't like a guy in the first five minutes, you'll likely start asking harder interview questions in order to "prove" your opinion. Here are some tips to prevent unintentional bias.

Two in Three Employers Say Bad Hires Hurt (CareerBuilder)
Two out of three employers report a bad hire has had a negative effect on their business in the past year, a new CareerBuilder survey says. And 25 percent say that a bad hire has not just had a bad effect, it's cost them $50,000 or more -- another reminder to pay attention to hires.

At Least You're Not a Podiatrist (
CareerCast ranked its top 200 jobs for 2011 on pay, stress level, job outlook and more, and recruiter came in at #55. That's a little less of a great job than being a museum curator or nuclear engineer, but it's better than, according to CareerCast, being a podiatrist, jeweler or reporter. In fact, being a recruiter is a better gig than almost any media position that made it on the list. That's something to tell your clients and candidates.

What Candidates Are Learning about You Online (
Candidates are getting savvier -- They won't just look up your company with a cursory Google. They're checking social media, meeting with former employees, and even looking through your boss's court records. Better make sure that online record is squeaky clean!

--Compiled by Rachel Kaufman, editor,

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