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John Zappe

John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. Never a recruiter, he instead built online employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. As VP of one large media operation, his employment revenue alone approached $2.5 million. Besides writing for ERE, John consults with digital content operations, focusing on the advertising side. And when he's not doing either, he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility events.

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In-House Recruiting Survey Unveiled This Morning at ERE Conference

by
John Zappe
Apr 23, 2014, 3:47 pm ET

Grade B slideWith a self-assigned grade of B, and an even lower C+ from the hiring managers whose jobs they fill, recruiting leaders from companies large and small heard the news there’s much to do to improve those scores, and that the road is not going to get easier in the year ahead.

Speaking to the opening session of the ERE Recruiting Conference & Expo here in San Diego, ERE’s CEO Ron Mester told the hundreds of talent acquisition leaders in direct language that “You have a lot of work to do to improve … No one should be satisfied with a C+ or a B.” At another point in his hour-long presentation of a broad and extensive ERE survey of recruiters, their leaders, their bosses, CEOs and hiring managers, Mester said it will take a rethinking of the process to get to an A. “Rethink it,” he urged. “Challenge everything that you’re doing today.”

Unveiling some of the findings of the late March survey completed by more than 1,300 during his State of Recruiting presentation, Mester turned a spotlight on the disconnect between what the respondents agree should be the key measures of recruiting’s performance and what recruiting leaders and their teams believe is where the actual emphasis lies. keep reading…

New Video Offers a Documentary-type Look at the World of Staffing

by
John Zappe
Apr 23, 2014, 12:11 am ET

Real World StaffingWhat’s a day in the life of a staffing professional like? If you’re Jenifer Lambert, it begins at the gym at 6 a.m. with a crossfit workout and ends more than 12 hours later at a dinner meeting. In between, she visits with clients, counsels candidates, reviews opportunities, discusses marketing plans, meets with staff, and more.

We know this because Lambert, vice president sales and marketing for Seattle’s Terra Staffing Group, is the star of Real World Staffing, a half-hour “film documentary” that chronicles Lambert’s work day, interspersing it with her own narration about the work she does and the passion she feels for the job.

The video provides a glimpse inside a real staffing firm, to show a side of the industry that previous shows and videos — The Headhuntress for example — didn’t. Lambert’s narration of her commitment to her profession and passion for the work she does may, at first blush, seem Pollyannish. But as the video unfolds, you come to see that there is a genuine satisfaction that derives from the successful matchmaking of employer and candidate. keep reading…

HR Manager: A Top 20 Job; Recruiter? As Good As a Doctor

by
John Zappe
Apr 18, 2014, 12:48 am ET

best worst jobs from careercast-2014For your recruiting entertainment, today’s Roundup opens with a quiz: What do lumberjacks, newspaper reporters, garbage collectors, and flight attendants have in common?

They are among the 10 worst jobs in the U.S., insists CareerCast, operator of a global  network of job boards. The reasons are straightforward: diminishing job prospects, low pay, or high stress levels or danger.  Or a combination of these. All crunched together in some fashion to come up with scores.

At the other extreme, the No. 1 best job for 2014 is mathematician. Good job prospects; average pay of $101,350; not much risk of injury; and, unless you mistake inches for centimeters, not a lot of stress.

Just behind mathematician on the “best jobs” top 10 is university professor. Or, more precisely, “University Professor – Tenured.” Average pay at $68,970 is decent, especially for working only part of the year. But that job security! Can’t beat tenure. keep reading…

‘Actively’ Promoted by Employers, High Deductible Health Plans Gain Ground Among Workers

by
John Zappe
Apr 16, 2014, 5:45 pm ET

employer plans with deductibles percentsThat employers have been shifting the increased cost of health benefits to their employees is hardly news. Now a new study of healthcare use shows just what that means to workers.

According to Medicine Use and Shifting Costs of Healthcare: A Review of the Use of Medicines in the United States in 2013, workers today have deductibles 150 percent higher than just five years ago, while nearly 8 in 10 plans have a general deductible of $1,000 or more.

From zero a decade ago, plans with the highest deductible — and the lowest premiums — now account for 20 percent of worker plans. These high-deductible health plans and HSAs have cut deeply into the HMO offerings that accounted for 45 percent of plans in 2004. Now, HMOs and other plans have a 23.5 percent share. keep reading…

As IT Pay Rises and Students Pursue the ‘Big Names,’ Mid-Size Firms Work Harder to Hire

by
John Zappe
Apr 9, 2014, 5:59 am ET

Starting salaries NACE computer 2014This year, U.S. colleges will graduate somewhere around 124,000 information technology majors.

Most of them (61 percent) will head straight into the workforce, where the average starting salary for these new grads averages $59,000. Those with masters and PhDs, and those in high-demand specialties like security, will earn much more.

Where they want to work is not much of a surprise: Google, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook top the list of their ideal employers, according to a Universum survey.

Besides having the advantage of an internationally known brand — of the 100 employers on Universum’s list, not one can be considered even a mid-sized company — the biggest employers have been scouting colleges for months; a few began nurturing their future candidates when the kids were still in high school. Now, with graduation looming, these employers have largely completed filling their incoming IT class of 2014.

Competing with the big name firms is not easy, agree Chris Jenkins and Lindsay Kulla. “It’s always tough competing with the Facebooks, Google, Amazons,” says Jenkins, who is senior recruiting manager for kCura, a young Chicago software firm that serves the legal industry. keep reading…

March Report: NewJobs=192k; New Workers=500k; Unemployment=6.7%

by
John Zappe
Apr 4, 2014, 9:45 am ET

Econ Indicators March 2014U.S. job growth in March was somewhat lower than predicted as employers added 192,000 jobs during the month. The unemployment rate remained at 6.7 percent due largely to the half-million workers who rejoined the labor force.

This morning’s report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also upped the initial numbers for January and February, adding 37,000 more jobs. With the revisions, monthly job growth during the first quarter of the year averaged 177,700 new jobs versus 206,000 for the first quarter last year.

Analysts were expecting a March gain of about 200,000 jobs, but the various surveys of economists showed a wide range of individual estimates. (The business news services survey analysts prior to the release of the monthly government report, and then average their estimate to produce a consensus result.) How much of the decline in job growth from last year is due to the unusually bad weather is a subject of debate among economists. keep reading…

If You Want Empathy, Talk to Your Dog, Not Your Manager

by
John Zappe
Apr 4, 2014, 5:19 am ET

giraffe empathyEmpathy is not a skill recruiters and hiring managers include on job descriptions, which explains why it’s in short supply among American managers.

How do we know this? Because the leadership coaching and outplacement firm Lee Hecht Harrison did a survey asking workers about their manager’s empathy. “How would you rate your manager’s ability to demonstrate empathy for employee situations?” was the question. Virtually non-existent, was the answer of 52 percent of the respondents.

“Empathy isn’t a weakness, but fundamental to good management,” says Kristen Leverone, senior vice president for LHH’s Global Talent Development Practice. keep reading…

Time for Job Offers to Be as Exciting as College Admissions

by
John Zappe
Apr 3, 2014, 5:05 am ET

college acceptance videoJust like a job finalist waiting for a decision, college-bound teenagers have been watching the mailbox for the telltale thick envelope that means “Yes.” Thin ones are usually bad news.

Some schools email their decision. Last week, the Ivies simultaneously released their decision online at 5 p.m. EDT Thursday. Other schools send confetti, or links to an acceptance video.

None, though, were more creative than the University of Southern California’s brand new Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology, and the Business of Innovation. The accepted applicants each received a personal video with congratulations from Iovine and Young, better known as the hip-hop artist Dr. Dre. Iovine, Dre’s longtime associate, is a successful and well known music producer. keep reading…

Strong ADP Report Shows 191k New March Jobs

by
John Zappe
Apr 2, 2014, 12:04 pm ET

ADP March 2014The jobs picture brightened considerably in March, as 191,000 new workers were added to private sector payrolls, according to ADP’s National Employment Report.

The HR services firm, which processes payrolls for some 24 million U.S. workers, reported gains in all broad industry categories with the job growth spread almost evenly among employers ranging from the smallest (under 50 employees up by 38,000) to the largest (over 1,000 up by 53,000). keep reading…

Pigeon Wi-Fi, Emojified Email, Speedier Typing: April Fool’s From the Big Brands

by
John Zappe
Apr 1, 2014, 12:28 pm ET

pigeon wi-fiAlready tired of the same old April Fool’s gags that get pulled in the office every year? Then get inspired by the pranking from some of the world’s best known brands, rounded up by the folks at Pocket-lint.

BMW, Google, Domino’s and Samsung have all weighed in this April 1st with videos and products, some of which we wish were real, and others which almost could be believable. (Into that latter category falls Samsung’s plan to outfit pigeons with wi-fi routers. Not as weird as it first seems when you consider Google is flying blimps over cities for that same purpose.) keep reading…

We Disclaim any Responsibility for This Post

by
John Zappe
Mar 28, 2014, 12:01 am ET

contract lawyer adBefore you read this week’s Roundup, please pardon the legal fine print, which I will dispose of forthwith.

Because this week’s post deals with lawyers, who like venomous spiders, ill-tempered rattlesnakes, and dark, lonely alleyways, are all to be avoided, we hereby disclaim any intent to injure, defraud, defame, dispossess, (add your favorite legal disclaimers here) any organization, institution, business or person living or dead.

Now, to our story: It seems in Richmond, Virginia a certain contract attorney working for a staffing firm there got frustrated and decided to go public, posting an amusing (if you aren’t the staffing firm or a contract lawyer) help wanted ad on Craigslist.

The ad has been deleted from the site, but not before AbovetheLaw.com got a copy and posted highlights, beginning with the obligatory “We are currently seeking” part. And what is that was being sought? “Licensed attorneys for upcoming projects that will likely never materialize.” keep reading…

Everyone Loves Jeff (Due to Rounding)

by
John Zappe
Mar 21, 2014, 3:01 am ET

Mirror, mirror on the door,

Who’s the CEO all adore?

Jeff Weiner,

says Glassdoor.

And he scores a perfect 100, the only perfect CEO on this year’s edition of Glassdoor’s list of the top corporate leaders with the best reviews. And maybe the only CEO ever with a perfect Glassdoor rating. keep reading…

Why Are You Losing Talent? Because They Don’t Know You Care (and You May Not)

by
John Zappe
Mar 19, 2014, 12:02 am ET

Why quit linkedin surveyWith the rate of voluntary quits in the U.S. approaching pre-recession levels — 22.8 percent in 2013 — it’s no surprise that in a survey last year HR professionals and talent acquisition leaders identified retention and its twin “internal mobility” as one of the five top trends.

Nearly 40 percent of the 553 U.S. recruiting leaders who took part in LinkedIn’s global recruiting survey last year said they are increasing their internal hiring volume. Globally, the percentage was even higher.

“Internal candidates are typically higher quality; plus their skills, performance, and cultural fit are known,” LinkedIn’s Leela Srinivasan told SHRM in a report the society did on the survey. The report observed that 51 percent of the talent leaders acknowledged a “need to increase candidate awareness of relevant in-house opportunities.”

Now, just a few months shy of a year later, comes a new LinkedIn survey of workers who changed jobs. And what they told LinkedIn is that the No. 1 reason they left was the opportunity for career advancement.

Shockingly, 75 percent of the U.S. workers were unaware of their previous employer’s internal mobility program. We can’t tell if awareness would have made a difference, but the statistic does point up a very significant disconnect between what workers know and what HR thinks they know. keep reading…

Bullhorn’s S Release: Built for Speed and Ease of Use

by
John Zappe
Mar 18, 2014, 7:00 am ET

Bullhorn logoA year and some months after acquiring the popular MaxHire and Sendouts, Bullhorn is releasing its overhauled ATS, incorporating some of their best features while fixing one of the biggest complaints with its own SaaS system. Bullhorn now runs on MACs, as well as on PCs and mobile devices.

The new S Release announced today is not an integration of its late 2012 acquisitions of the two software providers. Their systems will continue to be offered and supported. But Andrew Hally, Bullhorn’s VP of  of product and marketing, expects that when MaxHire and Sendouts users see what S Release can do, they’ll switch.

The two most significant changes — besides fixing the Mac compatibility problem of prior Bullhorn ATS versions — are speed of performance and ease of use. The system is now so fast that the announcement of its release says it is three times faster than any prior version. keep reading…

Our Survey of Surveys You Can Use to Scam Bar Bets on Monday

by
John Zappe
Mar 14, 2014, 6:10 am ET

St. paddy's dataHere’s a little known,and utterly unreliable fact about HR: 11.15 surveys of HR professionals and others who kind of slip in there are distributed on average every week.

On average .56 make it into posts on ERE. I calculated all this by Googling “surveys”  on ERE.net for the last year, dividing by 52, then multiplying by 20, which I guess is about the number of survey announcements my colleague Todd Raphael and I get each week.

Some of these are interesting. A few are even important.

This week, Roundup brings you a collection of surveys. You decide which category each belongs in.

First up is a survey from IIC Partners, the global executive search firm, which discovered that 80 percent of senior executives think they are almost irreplaceable. Now that’s not exactly the point of the survey, or how IIC put it, but it is one way of looking at the results. keep reading…

An Office ‘Fit’ Shakespeare Would Love

by
John Zappe
Mar 13, 2014, 5:57 am ET
Addison temp Andy Planck portrays Trevor Graydon, performing in Thoroughly Modern Millie.

Addison temp Andy Planck portrays Trevor Graydon, performing in Thoroughly Modern Millie.

At the Addison Group, when the job orders come in for office temps, sourcing candidates takes on the look of a casting call.

Since 2010, when the Chicago-based national staffing firm first discovered actors make great admins, Addison now actively courts the community, counting over 100 performers and theatrical workers in its database. Today, says Ed Kavanagh, president of Addison’s administrative division, 25-35 percent of the contract placements come from the theatrical community.

They are mostly actors and actresses. Some, though, are acting coaches, a few are writers, and others may work behind the scenes while hoping to land a role. What they have in common is their ability to fit into so many different environments.

“Typically, actors are very comfortable in different roles,” Kavanagh says. Many have improv experience, which requires them to respond to situations and people with no prior planning. “Actors, actresses really do a good job reading people and they fit in very well. They are very adaptable.”

Temping also fits their lifestyle. It gives them the flexibility to make it to tryouts and casting calls, while still having a source of income. Should they land a role, they can they can cut back on their temp work.

Addison recruiters have learned over the years how to work with the theatrical community. “We really work hard behind the scenes,” says Kavanagh, to properly vet the candidates and work with their schedules. keep reading…

Job Boards, Recruiters Are Top Source of Job News for IT Engineers

by
John Zappe
Mar 11, 2014, 9:00 am ET

Glassdoor_RecruitSoftwareEngineersNot having any luck reaching out to software engineers? Here’s some advice from Glassdoor: Keep trying.

Seventy percent of engineers say recruiters are one of the most common ways they hear about new opportunities. Friends, social media, former co-workers — nothing ranks higher than recruiters for new job information, with the very narrow exception of job boards. But with only 71 percent giving them the edge, it’s a statistical dead heat. And, when you consider how accessible and ubiquitous the posting sites are, recruiters must be doing something right.

What they most value in a recruiter is transparency. By far the largest share (81 percent) of the respondents to Glassdoor’s survey of some 1,400 employed software engineers said they most value recruiters who tell them the pros and cons of different companies. Recruiters who fudge even a little run the risk of a turndown should the candidate discover the company isn’t quite as it was portrayed. Nearly every engineer in the survey — 97 percent — said they read the online reviews before they accept a job offer. keep reading…

Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day by Hosting an SAT Test

by
John Zappe
Mar 7, 2014, 11:29 am ET

SAT sample testYou didn’t forget, did you? Forget that today is Employee Appreciation Day? Or forget what your high school SAT scores were?

First things first, which, for our more-or-less weekly roundup columns means that we begin with the weird, the odd, and the stuff you just gotta shake your head at. In this case, that’s the SATs.

Now, just as the company behind the Scholastic Aptitude Tests is overhauling the test, and saying it’s barely relevant, employers are starting to ask candidates for their SAT scores. It would be one thing — an odd thing, considering the test is taken in high school — if the candidates were upcoming or recent college grads. But The Wall Street Journal says mid-career people are being asked for their scores. keep reading…

February Jobs Report: Better Than Expected; Not as Good as Last Year

by
John Zappe
Mar 7, 2014, 9:40 am ET

February 2014 econ indicatorsLess crippled than economists predicted by the nasty weather that gripped much of the nation last month, the U.S.Department of Labor reported this morning the economy improved hiring in February, adding 175,000 new jobs. That was 25,000 more jobs than the average of analyst estimates.

In this touch-and-go recovery, gains higher than expected are good news. But the numbers over the last three months are anemic compared to last year’s average 190,000 new monthly jobs. February 2013, unencumbered by bitter weather, saw 280,000 new jobs. keep reading…

Weather Blamed Again for Weak Job Showing

by
John Zappe
Mar 5, 2014, 12:47 pm ET

ADP Feb 2014 sector changes Mother Nature is again being blamed for slow job growth, following this morning’s release of new job estimates that are among the lowest in months.

ADP’s National Employment Report says the economy added a meager 139,000 new private sector jobs in February, well below the 155,000 to 160,000 consensus estimates of labor analysts.

The report, which included annual revisions to previous ADPs reports, adjusted January’s private sector numbers to 127,000 from an initial 175,000.

Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, said, “February was another soft month for the job market. Employment was weak across a number of industries. Bad winter weather, especially in mid-month, weighed on payrolls. Job growth is expected to improve with warmer temperatures.” keep reading…