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Amtrak Redoing Career Site, Analytics, Brand Message, and the Whole Candidate Experience

by
Todd Raphael
Apr 1, 2014, 12:02 am ET

After about a year of work, Amtrak will today relaunch both the front and back ends of its careers website, sprucing up the user experience for candidates, and moving to a new system for recruiters to manage those candidates.

It’s working on better analytics, more visuals, smoother ways of sharing job information on social media, a clearer employer brand, and an easier way for candidates to use the site from a smart phone (heck, those candidates just may be on a train).

Here's the previous version - what you got if you clicked on "careers" from Amtrak's home page.

Here’s the previous version – what you got if you clicked on “careers” from Amtrak’s home page.

Before now, if you went to Amtrak.com and clicked on “careers,” you’d get a landing page that was up side-by-side with the train ticket-buying area (see graphic). If, from there, you clicked on a job search, you’d get a less-than-lovely job search page; there was also a page at careers.amtrak.com that was ripe for revision.

No longer. keep reading…

The 2014 ERE Recruiting Excellence Award Winners

by
Todd Raphael
Mar 19, 2014, 5:07 am ET

ere-awards-logo-2014You saw the list of finalists — a group that, like I said in that post, really all are honorees given how close of a call most every category was, and how many good applications there were that didn’t make the final cut.

Now let’s look at the final winners. Thanks again to the judges.

Best College Recruiting Program 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…

Never Underestimate the Power Of Social Media

by
John Zappe
Mar 4, 2014, 5:56 am ET

Not Kelly BlazekBeing Kelly Blazek has got to be so hard these days. When other Kelly Blazeks have to change their LinkedIn profiles to say they aren’t that Kelly Blazek, you just know things must be nasty for the Kelly who is that Kelly.

The Kelly who is that Kelly and the self-proclaimed “House Mother” of the Cleveland Job Bank became the target of international scorn after her nasty response to a 26-year-old marketing communications hopeful went viral. Besides denying Diana Mekota access to the popular local job bank, Blazek fired off a drippingly sarcastic email calling her “a total stranger who has nothing to offer me.” keep reading…

New Deloitte New Zealand Videos Use Humor to Stand Out in Competitive Market

by
Todd Raphael
Mar 4, 2014, 12:01 am ET

Screen Shot 2014-03-03 at 4.04.08 PMDeloitte New Zealand has been one to watch for some time, whether it’s taking a cue from Miley Cyrus on Facebook, or the 2013 intern and grad campaign.

That last one in particular got such good feedback, according to Deloitte New Zealand Talent Acquisition Manager Laura Wiltshier, that the firm “wanted to try something different but keep momentum building.” keep reading…

Amazon Midway Through Rollout of Careers Site, Game, Recruiter and Candidate Features

by
Todd Raphael
Feb 6, 2014, 12:08 am ET

Amazon is making significant changes to its careers website, changes that are about a year in the making. It’s also launching a short online game, built by TMP, to rev up interest in the new site pages.

Some of these updates are going into effect over the next few days, and other changes are likely coming around the end of Q1.

Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 1.40.45 PM

This is the previous Amazon career site. Notice that if you’re not paying close attention, you might think you’re searching for a job, but you end up searching for an Amazon product … something some at Amazon didn’t think worked too well.

With the previous Amazon career site (at right), a candidate found themselves on pages that felt similar to product pages.

The old site reflected the decentralized nature of Amazon. If a user came in through the Brazil marketplace, they might have a different experience than if they came in through the India marketplace, and that experience could be better or worse than the India marketplace job seeker.

The bottom line: there wasn’t one great, global place to find out about jobs at Amazon. keep reading…

What Meteorologists and HR Professionals Have in Common

by
John Zappe
Jan 30, 2014, 6:09 am ET

Evolv attritionChances are you haven’t thought of the morning weather report as an example of big data at work. But it is.

Pulling together information from ground weather stations, satellites, ocean buoys, and historical records, meteorologists are able to offer a remarkably accurate prediction of what today’s and tomorrow’s weather will be. Even the seven-day forecast has become far more accurate than not, as the amount of data that figures into each prediction has grown over the years.

This is the growing field of predictive analytics, which, in the case of weather, influences the price of energy on Wall Street, and the supplies a utility lays in, not to mention how you dress for the day ahead.

For years companies have used big (or sometimes little) data to make predictions about everything from the amount of inventory to buy, to the most efficient routing for deliveries, to sales projections for the next quarter and next year. keep reading…

Recruiting Great Talent Is the Core of the Netflix HR Revolution

by
John Zappe
Jan 15, 2014, 5:59 am ET

NetflixHow did Netflix reinvent HR? In one word, “Recruiting.”

“Hire, reward, and tolerate only fully formed adults,” writes Patty McCord in the Harvard Business Review. “The best thing you can do for employees — a perk better than foosball or free sushi — is hire only “A” players to work alongside them. Excellent colleagues trump everything else.”

If you hire the right people, so much of what companies do in the name of human resources becomes, if not superfluous, at least of much less importance. keep reading…

Healthcare Law Helps to Spur More Medical Jobs Growth

by
John Zappe
Jan 13, 2014, 12:05 am ET

Growth in largest healthcare occupationsWhatever you may think of the new Affordable Care Act, it’s already creating new healthcare jobs, and increasing demand for nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

“Nurse practitioners and physician assistants are attractive options because they can do 75 to 85 percent of the work a physician does at 55 to 65 percent of the cost,” says Susan Mesa, president of the Atlanta locum tenens staffing firm Advanced Practice.com.   keep reading…

2013 Ends With Big Jump in Private Sector Jobs

by
John Zappe
Jan 8, 2014, 12:21 pm ET

ADP Dec. 2013 Change by sectorThe New Year is starting on a positive note with HR services firm ADP reporting this morning that December saw more new jobs created than any month since November 2012. All industry sectors contributed to the 238,000 non-farm, private sector jobs added last month.

ADP and its partner Moody Analytics also adjusted upward the job gains for November and October by a combined 35,000. Construction was a powerful driver of the gain, adding 48,000 jobs last month, the most since February 2006. Manufacturing added 19,000 jobs, the second-biggest gain for the sector in more than a year. Even finance and financial activities posted a gain. keep reading…

CareerBuilder Jobs Forecast: Cautious Hiring Ahead

by
John Zappe
Dec 31, 2013, 3:31 am ET

CB job forecast 2014 hiring changeInfluenced by the budget uncertainty in Washington, HR professionals and hiring managers in CareerBuilder’s annual survey of hiring intentions said they expected to increase headcount in 2014, but the numbers and the rate of hire would depend on Congressional action about the debt ceiling.

The budget bill President Obama signed last week resolved only part of the national fiscal uncertainty. The debt ceiling, which is due to come in February, is a different matter. Both parties has so far signaled their intention not to compromise on raising the federal borrowing limit. keep reading…

JobDiva Claims Monster Infringed Its Patents

by
John Zappe
Nov 19, 2013, 4:20 pm ET

jobdiva logoJobDiva, software provider to the staffing industry, has filed a federal suit against Monster Worldwide, claiming the technology behind the company’s popular 6Sense search and matching engine infringes on patents it holds.

Monster logo 2011The complaint alleges “Monster has infringed JobDiva’s patents by incorporating JobDiva’s patented resume search technology into Monster’s products and services.” It goes on to say that Monster did this “despite being informed that JobDiva held patents covering the technology.”

Monster had no immediate comment on the suit, which was just filed Monday. keep reading…

Young Military Vets Still Face Tough Job Struggle

by
John Zappe
Nov 11, 2013, 1:50 am ET

Veterans - from DHS blogToday, as we honor America’s military veterans with parades and speeches and community luncheons, there is one form of recognition veterans value above most others. A job.

Young veterans, those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan — what the government classifies as Gulf War-era II — are struggling the most. For them, finding a job is harder than for other, older veterans. Their 10 percent unemployment rate, 37 percent higher than the population as a whole, tells only part of the story. It only suggests the dimension of a problem that leaves young veterans wondering what happened to the promises their country made to help them reenter civilian life. keep reading…

A San Diego Consultancy Pulled This Site Together for a Couple Hundred Bucks

by
Todd Raphael
Nov 7, 2013, 5:14 am ET

Screen Shot 2013-11-06 at 3.11.18 PMCumming may have only 255 employees, but its new website looks like one built for a company a bit bigger, all for a budget of a couple hundred bucks. You’ll be disappointed if you want slick career-site pizzazz, but not if you’re happy with fairly clear messages, a simple look, and some symbolic art of a tree with fingerprints.

Scott Weaver, who manages the four-person talent acquisition team, walked into the marketing department about a year ago with some concerns. keep reading…

Los Angeles Wants Probation Officers — But This Time, They Better Not Be Troublemakers

by
Todd Raphael
Oct 22, 2013, 6:42 am ET

la countyScreen Shot 2013-10-21 at 3.17.21 PMThey’re looking for probation officers here in Los Angeles, but the county doesn’t want to repeat the experience of 2005 to 2008, when many hires didn’t get much of a background check and ended up with DUIs or even battery arrests.

Yes, those were probation officers themselves, getting “very limited to no background checks,” Don Meyer, a Los Angeles County Probation Department assistant chief, tells me. So, now, “we want to fill positions more than anybody but we want to do it the right way.” keep reading…

More Employers to Open Thanksgiving This Year and Even More In 2014

by
John Zappe
Oct 16, 2013, 5:49 am ET

2014 federal holiday surveyNext month, when daylight savings time ends and you set your clocks back, please also adjust your calendar to note that Black Friday now begins at 8 p.m. on Turkey Thursday.

The announcement this week by Macy’s that it will open at 8 Thanksgiving night ends a 155-year tradition by the giant retailer to close its stores on the fourth Thursday of November. Now, Macy’s joins Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart, Sears, and Kmart in opening its doors to shoppers Thanksgiving.

The trend toward earlier and earlier openings on the day after Thanksgiving, for what is the busiest retail shopping day of the year, started with dawn openings, then moved to  pre-dawn, and then to midnight. Deep discounts and loss-leaders brought out crowds of shoppers, who would line up hours in advance. keep reading…

1 Brand: Build an Employer Brand Fortress by Integrating With Your Corporate Brand

by
Jody Ordioni
Oct 4, 2013, 6:16 am ET

Employer branding has been heating up. According to last year’s LinkedIn report on U.S. 2012 recruiting trends, recruiting leaders are fearful their competitors are investing more heavily in employer branding than they are. No surprise. Employer branding done well brings in qualified candidates who are pre-sold with your organization’s mission, vision, and work rewards, making a recruiter’s job much easier. For larger organizations, having a well-articulated employer brand architecture ensures consistency or messaging- where everyone, from employees to recruiters, is singing in one voice.

There is one question that gets asked repeatedly, in every employer branding workshop that we hold.  “But where does our employer brand fit with our corporate brand?” keep reading…

Lawsuit Accuses LinkedIn of Hacking Users and Spamming Their Contacts

by
John Zappe
Sep 22, 2013, 1:32 pm ET

linkedinIn a blog post Saturday, LinkedIn denied charges in a federal lawsuit that it hacked into users’ email accounts collecting addresses of their contacts in order to send them marketing messages.

“Quite simply, this is not true,” writes Blake Lawit, senior director, litigation at LinkedIn.

He was responding to a class action suit filed last week that alleges LinkedIn accessed users’ Gmail, Yahoo, and other email accounts by pretending to be the account owner.  On its website, the  Los Angeles firm of Russ August & Kabat says, “The class action lawsuit charges LinkedIn with violations of federal and state law,” and solicits others to “Tell us your story.”

In the lawsuit, the firm cites numerous examples of posts on LinkedIn’s community site complaining about LinkedIn sending invitations to their contacts without their permission or knowledge. Typical of the cited complaints in the lawsuit is this one, posted in March to LinkedIn’s Help Center: keep reading…

Is it Time to Adopt a Targeted Recruiting Effort Focused on Gay Candidates?

by
Dr. John Sullivan
Aug 12, 2013, 6:45 am ET

Unless you’ve had your head in the sand, you can’t have missed the fact that much of the world has recently become more tolerant of gay men and women. However, despite all this recent societal change, there has been no corresponding change in the corporate recruiting function, which seems unwilling to redesign its programs so that they can effectively recruit from the LGBT community (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender). keep reading…