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

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…

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

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…

We Disclaim any Responsibility for This Post

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 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)

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…

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

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 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…

The Case of the Littering Job Seeker and the Embellished Resume

John Zappe
Feb 28, 2014, 5:13 am ET

Today’s roundup is nothing more than a couple of videos strung together with a thinly disguised attempt to be instructional, mostly to avoid prosecution for intentional infliction of public humiliation.

But I gotta say, the videos were like watching a train wreck. You know it’s a disaster, but you just can’t help watching.

So, with that fair warning, I begin with an item out of St. Louis: keep reading…

Engineers Say Facebook is Dying and Won’t Last the Decade

John Zappe
Feb 21, 2014, 5:43 am ET

Facebook death chartHere’s something you never heard at a recruiting conference: check your best candidate’s blood type before making an offer.

(You were expecting we’d start with the Facebook death thing? That’s what we call a teaser. Patience. It’s coming.)

If it’s B negative, you’ve got a pessimist on your hands. They might be the exactly right person for a job in disaster planning or safety officer; not so much for sales, unless fear of the failure they expect keeps them motivated.

How about an O? In the U.S., blood banks give those donors the top-tier treatment. In Japan, where this blood typing thing is totally out of control, Os are considered curious, generous, sociable, if a bit stubborn and flighty. keep reading…

Love Is in the Air (and HR Is Sniffing It Out)

John Zappe
Feb 14, 2014, 12:07 am ET

Jim and Pam The office weddingIf you need yet another reason to know why everyone outside of HR thinks Catbert is not a fictional character, look no further than this data point: “32 percent of HR professionals say employers have the right to prohibit workplace romance between employees.”

On this, the most romantic day of the year, a full third of HR monitors are poised to swarm the office back stairways and broom closets, and snoop amongst the flower arrangements for evidence of co-worker love. Had Toby been the Evil HR Lady Jim and Pam would never have married. keep reading…

Guess Who’s Going to Quit Sunday Afternoon?

John Zappe
Jan 31, 2014, 5:35 am ET

Go Daddy teaserLast week, Roundup informed you of the “Quit Your Job” app from The Ladders. Who knew then that Go Daddy would up the ante just a week later?

Sunday, around 4:15 p.m. PST / 5:15 p.m. MST (you centralians and right coasters figure out the time yourselves), some gal (this is a Go Daddy production after all) will quit her job before a TV audience that will be somewhat north of 111 million. The teaser video is here. keep reading…

How Much Pizza Must You Eat Before You Use the ‘Quit Your Job’ App?

John Zappe
Jan 24, 2014, 1:54 am ET

Glassdoor logoGlassdoor has its annual list out of the oddest of the oddball interview questions candidates get. Compared to previous years, this year’s list is tamer, less weird. Some of the questions even make a kind of good sense.

For example, Mckinsey & Company, the big, global consulting company, made the list with this: “If you were 80 years old, what would you tell your children?” Reasonable enough for a candidate who might be working on advice for a Fortune 500 company at some point.

Now last year, Clark Construction made the list, asking, ““A penguin walks through that door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?” Google was also there with one of its famous (infamous?) brain teasers: “How many cows in Canada?” keep reading…

Coming Up: Take Your Parents to Work and Get Them to Do It For You Day

John Zappe
Jan 17, 2014, 12:03 am ET

First we had Bring Your Daughter to Work Day. Then the boys wanted equal time so now we have the tongue-stumbling Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.  As the childless Millennials crept into the workforce, they began bringing their dogs to work, which led to Take Your Dog to Work Day.

In the last couple of years, as childless and dog-less Millennials infiltrated America’s workplaces and tried to explain to mom and dad (with whom they were still living) just what they did as a UI architect, someone decided how cool it would be to have a Take Your Parents to Work Day.

But now (and I took the long way ’round the mountain to get here), now we’re hearing reports of the kids bringing mom or dad, or sometimes mom and dad to the job interview. keep reading…

2014′s Coming Post-It Corporate Holacracy

John Zappe
Jan 3, 2014, 12:25 am ET

sticky notesHave you considered remaking your company into a Holacracy using plenty of Post-Its?

This is a task only for the most stout-hearted of HR pros, who should probably have a fully-funded 401(k) before rising at the table they just joined in 2014 to suggest doing away with the table all together.

What, you ask, is a Holacracy? And what does it have to do with Post-Its? keep reading…

Sing all You Want, but Hang Up the Phone First

John Zappe
Dec 27, 2013, 6:31 am ET

Voicemail by errorIf you are one of those unlucky recruiters staffing the office during this hiring interregnum, today’s roundup was written with your entertainment in mind.

Mostly, you can thank GeniusHR for collecting this most amazing list of employee and employer blunders and antics. For some reason, the software vendor chose a fictitious “annual report” as the vehicle for sharing these stories, all of which prove the maxim that no matter how dumb or lame a thing is, someone will do it.

I’ll share two of the more stunningly incredible complaints — anonymized to protect the guilty — that GeniusHR includes in its top 10 list: keep reading…

Are You Wasting Your Time Sourcing Top Talent?

John Zappe
Dec 20, 2013, 6:25 am ET

In this week’s roundup I address the issue of succession planning. Please pay attention, There will be a pop quiz. (Or not.)

As a talent acquisition professional (“recruiter” is so yesterday), your role in succession planning and workforce management is indirect, even if it falls on your shoulders to only source and present candidates who are the absolute best at doing the job for which you have a req.

Stick with me here for a minute as we walk through this hiring and succession moraine to reach the point where you will agree that the best plan is to fill promotions purely at random, while discovering that you and your colleagues are the only ones in the organization hiring people who must convince you they actually can do the available job. keep reading…

Order Big, Be Large, and Raise Your Status at Work

John Zappe
Dec 13, 2013, 7:59 am ET

LinkedIn buzzword recruiter listIf hard work and being a team player hasn’t done the trick for you, there’s another, simpler way to raise your status: order large pizzas and venti coffees.

Researchers studying the relationship between cultural influences and food choices a few years ago found people associate bigger with greater social status. You know the drill; bigger house, bigger car, and, it seems, super-sized food choices.

Now why is a two-year-old study suddenly popping up? Because Andrew O’Connell, who authors the Daily Stat blog at the Harvard Business Review, mentioned it in a post on Quartz and seeing it made me think of all the other studies and surveys I’ve dismissed but now want to tell you about. keep reading…

Plumbing the Issue of Robotic Recruiters

John Zappe
Nov 15, 2013, 9:39 am ET

toilet for robotsAs every regular reader (Hi mom!) of my Roundup column knows, robot recruiters are coming.

Tech junkies already know that in all the bigger shops in the free world robots do most of the heavy recruitment lifting. We call these robots ATS or talent acquisition technology, but they’re bots.

What I’m talking about here are the other kind of bots, the ones like the lovable WALL-E or C-3PO. These are the ones on their way into HR offices of the not-too-far-off future. Every week these bots get smarter and more recruiter-like. (More than a few pissed-off candidates have responded to bot-generated messages in language that would get this Roundup an “R” rating.) keep reading…

Techies Are Tracking Your Email. Are You on Their List?

John Zappe
Nov 1, 2013, 6:08 am ET

recruiter spam trackerOne reason sourcing tech talent is such a challenge is that, let me put this delicately, too many of the most talented developers and engineers don’t like recruiters.

They really don’t like you. They blog about you in the most unflattering terms; suck is one I’m allowed to use. And they’re watching you. is one place they track the emails you send them. And right now, the leader on the tech graph of infamy is Nicholas Meyler. keep reading…

The New Customer Service: Sue the Rude

John Zappe
Oct 25, 2013, 6:45 am ET

NatalieGrantHermsPoor customer experience and air travel go together like poor customer service and banking. The only difference between today’s unhappy customer and last century’s is that social media has enabled the customer to tell the world.

So it’s no surprise that gospel singer-songwriter Natalie Grant-Herms took to Twitter and Facebook when a Southwest operations agent refused to allow her and her children to board when and how she wanted. keep reading…

Oil and Pregnancy Don’t Mix, But Apples and Berries Do

John Zappe
Oct 18, 2013, 6:33 am ET

apple blackberryMaybe not so much for apples and oranges, but BlackBerrys and Apples do indeed mix.

Within days of last month’s announcement of 4,500 upcoming layoffs by the sinking ship that was once BlackBerry, Apple threw a “career event” in a hotel a few minutes from the firm’s Canadian headquarters.

Sifting through the LinkedIn profiles of the mobile device maker’s engineering and operations professionals, Apple sent out personal invitations. The pitch: keep reading…

Now Tweet This (#Tweet, #Twitter, #roundup)

John Zappe
Oct 4, 2013, 4:02 am ET

I just had my 1,000th conversation about Twitter at a recruiting (#recruiting)  conference (#conference) and it went the way of 990 of them. Just like this:

“We’ve been doing social media (#social media, #networking, #social) for a long time (#time). We have a Facebook page. We’re on LinkedIn. We have a blog and we post all our jobs on Twitter.”

Twitter (#lovetotweet) has taken its place as one of the triple crowns of recruiting (#recruiting, #triplecrown,#racing): Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter.

No wonder Twitter is ready to IPO (#TwitterIPO).

Pushing all your jobs out on a Twitter feed is not social media (#spoilsport, #tiltingatwindmills, #whocares, #toomuchworktodoanythingelse). But pushing out all your jobs to your Facebook page (#Facebook, #page, #pushing, #pushyknowitall) isn’t much better.

Twitter is a broadcast medium (#broadcast, #TV, #medium, #spiritworld) that gets treated as if there was only one channel (#channel, #toomuchworktodoanythingelse). And those hashtags (#hashtags). Have you ever searched a hashtag (#hashtag, #search, #ever)? Nearly useless (#useless, #whocares).

And now, it’s not just me (#me). keep reading…