How Recruiting Agencies Work

Monster.com founder Jeff Taylor was recently quoted: “Pumping your resume full of keywords is a little dishonest.” Another pioneer in on-line screening mentioned that a class action discrimination suit was filed against resume screening for not searching on alternative words that may be used to describe the same experience.

Have we ever considered that how paper resumes or job applications are sorted may cause adverse impact? The Contrast The resume paradigm assumes the candidate presented his/her information in a manner that was usable/valuable to the company.

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From India to Brazil, a world of ways to get in shape

To perform in business (or for that matter, in ANY job) you need to get or stay in shape, both physically and mentally, Instead of the same old stuff, I thought I’d infuse some international culture into the fitness education/product grab bag:

Sarina Jain says she introduced Indian dance to the U.S. fitness industry and proudly recounts how she is, or has been, called the “Indian Jane Fonda.” Her new video, “Masala Bhangra Workout, Vol. 4” ($19.95) is, like Fonda’s early workout tapes, mostly a straightforward exercise.

The strengthening and stretching workout, however, is sandwiched between a warm-up and cool-down that highlights Indian folk dance movements.

Bhangra is the most popular of the community dances from the villages of Punjab, India, and is linked to the importance of the wheat harvest. With that in mind, Jain’s video workout is accompanied by a traditional drumbeat.

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Hiring-How to Assess A Candidate’s Fitness

Finding candidates with the right ‘fit’ is increasingly important to companies. In a recent Recruiters World poll, recruiters ranked fit as the #1 quality companies look for in a new hire — this above skills, credentials, and overall intelligence. Though fit is clearly an important characteristic, it is also very difficult to measure.

Having assisted clients from a variety of industries, Pat Hanna has established a strong reputation for providing personalized services to match unique client needs. So why is fit so important? Hiring candidates that ‘fit’ simply makes good business sense.

Employees that do not fit stand to diminish a company’s return on human capital. Ill-suited candidates can cause disruptions, leading to stress in the workplace and ultimately jeopardizing company performance. Compare this to the potential rewards of building a dynamic, cohesive team that shares common values and a common vision. Groups with natural synergy work better together and produce more.

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Online Screening of Job Applicants

Continuing to use the resume as the primary source of information for matching people with jobs is like hammering away at a square peg that has been shoved in a round hole. If you keep hammering hard enough you may meet with some success, but if you stop hammering for a minute and really look at what you are doing, you’ll realize that using a different tool to get the peg to fit will work a lot better.

This article is the first in a three part series devoted to the discussion of online screening as a better tool for matching people with jobs. The purpose of this article is to provide information on the basics of online screening.

Good hiring practices require comparing all applicants using the same information (for example using a simple career quiz like this one) and that this information be based only on characteristics that are important for success at the job in question.

Installments two and three will provide a more detailed discussion of scientific screening, as well as tips for those who are considering adding some form of screening to their online hiring process.

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The Power of Social Networking for Business

Often in business meetings I’m being asked why social networking websites have rapidly increased in popularity and how social networking can help businesses. Here are a few reasons:

Social networking websites are, for the most part, easy to use and they also make it easier to meet new people online although the majority are free to use, many websites require that you register with them. This registration will not only allow you to create your own profile or a link to your website, but it will also allow you to contact other networking members.

Before you start communicating you need to develop your online profile or profile page.  One of the most important things to include in your online website is your picture and your name. Most of the social networks are well optimized for search engines such as Google and Bing, therefore it’s useful to add your full name.

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Our Digital Lives

I’m constantly surprised when my luddite friends and family exhibit techie knowledge or show up with techie gadgets.

The other evening, while at a get-together supper in a restaurant, one of them pulled out, albeit last year’s iPod touch, bought on sale now that the new iPod has been announced. She said she was looking for free Wi-Fi. I didn’t even know she knew what Wi-Fi was. My luddite husband didn’t know what Wi-Fi was until this summer, when we went looking for it while holiday, in the car with my MacBook open on my lap.

My friend said she bought the iPod touch for use next spring when they go to Chile. Not just for playing music but for quick access to the web for email, directions to hotels, restaurants, shopping, places of interest and for other touristy advice. Continue reading “Our Digital Lives”

Does Working Hard Make Sense?

There is a very wide misconception out there that if you join a particular company or business opportunity, you are guaranteed financial glory and a life of luxury.

Their compensation plan is awesome, their training is top notch and their products “actually do what it’s meant to so you gotta buy it!” Yeah, I’m sure we’ve all heard that before… So do I, last weekend I check all them out and learn that I should have an MBA degree, I check all about  MBA, Online MBA, and MBA with no GMAT, I was overwhelmed but hear me out.

I’m sure some of you who are reading this have gone to the company event training and listened to the successful people on stage saying why their company is the best in the industry. They go on about how easy it was to get to where they are because they “worked hard”, were “consistent” and “did everything their lineup told them to do”…

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How Recruiting Software Evaluates Job Candidates

Although Jane thinks this is science fiction, software exists to perform all of these tasks. And employers are beginning to use it. You tell Jane this, and briefly describe several examples that you have read about. Resume evaluation.

Many in the federal HR community are familiar with Resumix, originally as a standalone product and in recent years as part of Hiring Gateway. Resumix uses a database of skill descriptions to match the skills in a job announcement with the same skills in an applicant’s resume.

Most users are aware that selecting the right words is the key strategy for both employer and applicant alike. Some employers worry that applicants can “fake” higher qualifications by clever use of keywords.

Others coach some or all applicants in how to use keywords to best effect. Many remain unsure if the faking, the coaching or even the resume evaluation is effective. Essay scoring. Essay scoring by computer has a long history.

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What’s wrong with Resumes

Resumes can place emphasis on the wrong data for screening. As such, candidate pools get reduced using inappropriate, yet conveniently available data. This makes for an easy query, but not necessarily an effective approach to finding the best candidates.

Resumes have made life difficult: Two Examples: Company A. This company had historically received 500 unsolicited resumes through the mail each year. After putting an “e-mail your resume here” button on their website, they received about 5,000 unsolicited resumes the next year. No changes were made in recruitment advertising.

The unintended consequences of this were resume spam, increased candidate expectations for communication, data storage, and retrieval challenges, and having to create a labor-intensive, manual process to sift through mass numbers of resumes. Company B: This company’s applicant tracking systems (ATS) database averages 1,200 resumes per opening/hire.

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Resume Volume: Can You Handle It?

Lately, I have been meeting corporate recruiters whose sourcing strategy has been shaped by negative conditioning. Sheer volumes of responses have conditioned them to avoid exposure for their job positions.

These recruiters have retreated from the major national-brand job board, and are beginning to shrink back even from posting to the corporate website. But is narrowing candidate sourcing venues the right response?

Does that best serve the recruiters’ goals? What forces have converged to create the sheer volume of resumes?

The demographics of the current and future workforce, use of the Internet, unemployment, and turnover rates have all contributed to the ease of, and the motivation for, jobseekers to apply online.

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