Wednesday, December 31, 2008
If you think looking for a job and finding a career are the same thing, think again. With the US unemployment rate under 5%, almost anybody can find a job.
The bad news is that many of these jobs are low-paying, come without benefits, or offer little in the way of security.
Finding a career where you have the upper hand takes a little more long-term planning than simply finding a job, but it will be well worth in the long run.
These ten careers--in four major job sectors--are likely to be rewarding because employees in these fields are expected to find themselves in an employee's market.
Healthcare workers are in high demand
For better or worse, you can't fight demographics, and those demographics show that the average American is getting older. Healthcare needs increase with age, so as the baby-boom generation enters retirement, healthcare workers are going to be in more demand than ever.
Personal/Home Health Aide:
As people age, healthcare becomes more of a day-to-day issue, which is why personal/home health aides are in such demand. Health aid training will give you enough background to get started in this field.
"Demand for medical assistance is gradually growing!"
Demand for this occupation is growing, but so is the demand for formal training. You'd want to take some medical assisting courses in school--or even consider a medical assisting degree.
Psychologists are always in demand
Mental Health Counselors/Social Workers:
The psychological aspect of healthcare cannot be overlooked. Consistent with the theme of an aging America, Alzheimer's disease is creating more and more mental health challenges, but there are also conditions such as autism which are becoming more common in the general population.
Psychology programs are offered in many schools, and online psychology degrees are also available.
Programmers in IT sector
The big concern with information technology (IT) has been that some programming and customer support functions have been outsourced overseas. However, certain IT functions are more hands-on, and these are the areas where trained workers remain in demand.
Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts:
Mastery of the computer system makes you indispensable to an organization. This takes a high level of training, so a degree in information technology is a must. Experience plus training is even better, so if you are already working, consider earning an IT degree online.
Computer engineers are always in demand
Computer Software Applications Engineers:
Routine programming can be outsourced, but there will never be any substitute for the ability to create new, value-added applications.
A computer programming degree is a good start, or go online to check out other types of computer science degrees.
Teaching is the best option!
Teaching is another career that is hands-on enough to be immune to outsourcing.
Dedicated teachers are in demand in virtually every part of the country, and with the general population growing, this demand is not going to wane any time soon. You will need a degree in education, and an online teaching degree is one way of meeting this requirement. You'll need teacher's certification as well, so check your state department of education website.
Legal Assitants job is always secure!
The nature of these services is highly-individualized, which is one of the reasons trained professionals are in demand.
These occupations are in demand because they can leverage the time of high-priced lawyers.
There are paralegal schools across the country and online where you can pursue a paralegal degree or legal assisting training.
Auditors job can always be safe!
The heart of the baby boom is entering its peak savings years. Careers in finance can be highly compensated, so an MBA in finance may be well worth the investment. An online finance degree can be a way to give your current career a new boost.
Accountants and Auditors:
These have some of the same characteristics as financial services careers. Training can be found at a variety of accounting schools, or consider an online accounting degree. Specialize in taxes or estate planning or fraud to attract even bigger opportunities.
Be an HR professional
With all the job demand described above, it should be no surprise that this is expected to be the fastest growing segment of the professional and business services sector. Plus, what better way to keep track of evolving employment trends than working as a recruiter or placement specialist? Consider earning a human resource management degree either online or at a traditional school.
As always, check out the relevant accreditation standards for any career training and educational program you choose. As for making that choice, the bottom line is, if you want a job where you'll be in demand, just look at society's trends and follow those trends toward your new career.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
What is a "headhunter" or "recruiter"?
A headhunter is actually a professional placement specialist or executive recruiter. What they do is they get a request, typically from a client company, and the company will say, "We're looking for an executive or a professional who can do XYZ. Please help us find this individual." The executive recruiter at that point will either go into their database of candidates and/or they will actually recruit or headhunt at other companies to find the most appropriate individual or individuals they can introduce to their client company, and hopefully get them placed.
How does a headhunter or recruiter get paid?
Typically a headhunting company will be paid by the client company, and that's always the way that you want to go if you're an applicant. So if you are thinking of using an executive recruiter or headhunting firm to help you with your job hunt, be sure to ask them, "Are you employer paid or are you applicant paid?" And the most reputable headhunting firms are going to be company paid.
What are guidelines for working with a headhunter or recruiter?
With job headhunters and recruiters, the most important thing to remember about working with a headhunter is that they are in the business of sales. Headhunters make their money by every placement that they make. Most reputable executive recruiting companies are the ones who have good relationships with high quality client companies and who are looking to recruit top level people. Therefore it's very, very important when you're interviewing with those types of companies to find out what their track record is and what types of companies they typically work with. Do they have areas of specialization that they place? It is very important because obviously if you're in accounting, you don't want to be recruited to be working with an executive recruiting company who places people in the healthcare field. So you must ask recruiters a lot of questions.
What are guidelines for working with a headhunter or recruiter?
A good head-hunter or executive recruiter is going to spend the time to really get to know you and what your needs, goals and objectives are; not just for the short term, but also for your long term career plans. The last thing that an executive recruiter wants to do is place a candidate with the client company (remember that the client company is the one paying the bill) and then have one or both parties be unhappy after a few months. They are really looking for that long term win-win relationship, between the candidate and the client company. So, if you paint a very honest picture for the recruiter you're working with, he or she can then take that picture of you to the client company and that's going to ensure that long term success for you.
How do I find a headhunter?
With job headhunters and recruiters, the best way to find a really good headhunter is through referral. Find some other people who have worked with a headhunter and get the name of the specific recruiter that they have worked with. Additionally, you can also call around to other employment agencies and find out what types of relationships they might have with executive recruiters. Certainly you can go to the internet but you might not always get an honest picture of who this company is going to be, so your best bet is to contact recruiters armed with a lot of questions. And be sure that those recruiters answer your questions to your satisfaction.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
“When I need a heart by-pass, rest assured that I won’t select my surgeon on the basis of what he charges.”
That’s what an ailing executive recently opined when he was informed by his doctor about his arterial blockage problems.
Why then are corporate executives so tightfisted when dealing with what is so commonly thought of as the “heartbeat” of their companies . . . top-talent?
Companies think very little about paying the often excessive fees charged by their outside accounting and legal firms . . . or even to the gaggle of consultants who promise cost-cutting and streamlining miracles in other areas of operations.
Yet, when faced with brain drains, talent deficiencies or the need to replace one employee with a better one, their thoughts too often turn to parsimony. This K-mart mentality belies and contradicts their stated objectives to “hire the best,” especially at pecking order levels below the “big picture” executive suite inhabitants.
Of course recruiting fees can vary from firm to firm but, when they do, you will almost always find that those on the low side are sure to exclude some very key ingredients of the process, all of which are vital to providing the indispensable services necessary to satisfy the needs of the employer.
So why are recruiters worth what they charge? Just a few of the often unspoken reasons are:
Expertise - Nobody knows the employment marketplace better than a professional recruiter . . . nobody! In-house human resourcers, no matter how effective, view the marketplace through an imperfect or misrepresentative prism and tunnel vision is their occupational hazard.
Just as physicians are cautioned against treating members of their own families, so too is it folly for an in-house H/R professional to believe that they have an undistorted and unbiased picture of the employment landscape. They are vulnerable to the pressures of internal politics and cultural dimensions which do not hinder the outsider.
Street-smart recruiters already know the neighborhood, including the unlisted addresses so often overlooked by the insiders.
Cast a wider net - A professional fisherman will always have more to show than a weekend angler. Recruiters are in the marketplace day in and day out. They know the unfished coves, reefs and inlets that are unknown to others. The job-hunter bookshelves are filled with lore about the “hidden job market.” The same holds true for professional recruiters who have a detailed roadmap to the hidden talent sources which will never be accessed by newspaper ads, alumni associations, applicant databases, job boards or any of the other more familiar sources of people.
There are occasional pearls through these sources (and someone inevitably wins the Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes too) but you have to shuck an awful lot of smelly oysters to find them. Recruiters only give you oysters proven to contain pearls. Your only job is to determine which pearl is the best.
Want to catch what you’re fishing for? Hire a guide!
Cost - There is a misconception among employers that the cost of a hire equals the cost of the ads or Internet postings run to attract the person hired. Nothing could be further from reality.
Try adding these to the true cost and you’ll see just how cost effective an outside recruiter can be:
Salaries and benefits of the employment/recruiting staffs plus those of the line managers involved in the hiring activity (who are not productive in their normal job pursuits when they’re out recruiting); travel, lodging and entertainment expenses of in-house recruiters; source development costs; overhead expenses including but not limited to telephone, office space, postage, PR literature, applicant database maintenance, reference checking, clerical costs to correspond with the hundreds of unqualified respondents, etc.
Unbiased third party input - Contrary to what some believe, recruiters don’t try to put square pegs into round holes. A recruiter’s stock-in-trade is their integrity and their reputation for finding someone better than a company could have found for themselves.
For a mid to senior-level executive, the average recruiter may develop a “long list” of a hundred or more possibilities. Each must be called and evaluated against the position specifications as well as the personality “fit” with the company and the people with whom they will ultimately work. Once this is winnowed down to the “short list,” an even more intensive interviewing process begins to narrow the search to a panel of finalists for review by the client.
This process is not, as some believe, simply romping through the file cabinets, harvesting from the Monster lookalikes or putting the job opening out to others on the recruiter’s network with crossed fingers that someone good will show up.
It is highly unlikely that a professional recruiter will be plowing new ground with your opening. They deal within spheres of influence far more familiar with your needs than any internal recruiter and, more often than not, view the finalists as people who are competent to solve client problems rather than just fill an open slot in the organizational chart.
Because they want to do business with you again and again, they are looking for (and challenging you to excellence by hiring) the “truly exceptional” rather than the “just satisfactory” so often settled for by in-house hirers.
Confidentiality - Advertising or otherwise publicly proclaiming an opening, aside from its cost and demonstrated ineffectiveness for sensitive senior level openings, often creates anxiety and apprehension among the advertiser’s current employees who wonder why they aren’t being considered or worry about newcomer transition problems. Just as often it alerts competitors to a current weakness or void within the company.
Speed - The recruiting process is always faster through a search professional who is continually tapped into the talent marketplace than one having to start the process from scratch. For every day that a key opening remains unfilled, a company’s other employees must grudgingly do double duty. And this doesn’t factor in the profit opportunities or competitive advantages lost to a company because a position remains unfilled or is done on a part-time basis by others less qualified.
Post-Hire Downtime - Not only is speed an essential part of the professional recruiter’s process, the ability to locate a person who can immediately “hit the ground running” with a minimum of “ramp-up time” saves time after the hire. All too often, a hire selected through less effective sources offering a smaller talent pool requires several months of expensive training and orientation.
Reality - Professional recruiters often recognize and have a duty to inform clients that they may be mistaken as to the type of person sought, the salary required to attract them or the possibilities that the solution might just lie in areas outside the traditional target industries . . . something an internal recruiter is politically disinclined to do. Too many hirers fail to understand that a professional recruiter’s primary function is not necessary to fill a slot but to provide the right candidate to solve a problem.
Negotiation - As Master negotiator Herb Cohen had says that, “negotiation is the analysis of information, time and power to affect behavior . . . the meeting of needs (yours and others’) to make things happen the way you want them to.” As a buffer and informed intermediary, the professional recruiter is better able to blend the needs and wants of both parties to arrive at a mutually beneficial arrangement without the polarizing roadblocks which too frequently materialize in face-to-face dealings.
Prioritizing company resources - It is often amazing to see how much of a company’s revenues are squandered on non-productive perks for existing high-level employees while they penny-pinch on what is every company’s lifeblood . . . talent acquisition.
Club memberships and the like may be fine, but no one with an IQ higher than Forrest Gump’s believes that these expenditures substantially contribute to a company’s profit margin. But one well-placed employee can be the cause of a company’s profits skyrocketing. And the fee for having hired these people pales to insignificance when compared to the contributions they make to the bottom line.
The next time you think a recruiter’s fees are too high, put them in the proper perspective before asking for that Blue Light special or spinning your wheels thrashing about trying to fill vital openings with less effective (but not necessarily less expensive) pedestrian methods. Savvy executives learned long ago that the fee paid to a recruiter is a shrewd strategic investment, not an extraneous expense. They also know that the “best” is far different from the “best available.”
Once you have a handle on these ?closes’ you’ll have a much better chance of turning a prospect into a paying client.
Courtesy: Fordyce Letter
I find this wonderful article (by Paul Hawkinson) and thought to share it with u all.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Headhunters are often thought to be the kind of people who can go out and acquire excellent job candidates for their clients, just at the drop of a hat. We all know it’s not that easy but it is the common perception of people outside the human resource field.
Behind these apparently effortless hiring results are literally years of developing and maintaining relationships with successful professionals. A determination to succeed is a pre-requisite for ongoing recruiting success and true headhunters do not work in the business for a few years and move on.
Most HR people will never work in the headhunting field but there is advantage to be found in looking at the basic skills and techniques that headhunters use, and how internal HR can take advantage of them and apply them in their own work.
It’s All Relationships
The key issue with true headhunters, as opposed to those who just put the title on the bottom right of their business card, is that their relationships with prospective candidates are long-term. Headhunters don’t mine databases for skills, and they have to keep momentum in their candidate relationship over long periods of time. This has to be done without going into any deep relationships until a suitable position has come up.
For this reason true headhunters are likely to be in a relationship with many potential candidates, even when they have no position to offer. This is the part that many recruiters never master.
The reasons for this are quite varied. Internal recruiters are often targeting a job as Human Resources Manager and don’t stay long enough in recruiting to develop any real depth in their relationships. The are often introverts and prefer deep relationships with a small number of people, to what they would she as the shallowness of multiple ‘friends’.
Turnover of recruiters is also high and a network of telecommunications people is quickly lost when the recruiter moves into industrial parts. In a War for Talent market like in our country there is a strong requirement to put ‘bums on seats’ and this precludes a long-term relationship approach.
To my mind only a few people and a few companies in the world have actually achieved a sufficient number of candidate relationships that qualifies them to call themselves Headhunters. They know who they are. Funnily enough, most of them prefer the word Search Consultants, as the expression Headhunter can have negative connotations.
Give To Receive
A cynical view of all this would lead us to believe that headhunters maintain false, shallow relationships that are based on purely selfish motivations.
But reciprocation is one of the tools that I believe is essential to their success. Giving something away is good business because in most cases you can rely on the other person to give back when you need them to. People don’t like to have too much debit on the relationship balance sheet. It’s makes them feel uncomfortable, and that feeling can only be alleviated when the favour is returned.
I’m not a big fan of the ‘Guanxi’ network where you calculate the value of what you are owed, and expect it to be given it’s equivalent in return. These are shallow relationships that just happens to take a long time to work themselves out. True giving is done without the expectation of anything in return.
A good example is social networking, where the ethos is that members are required to give before they receive. Headhunters often have large connections bases on social networking sites and they are an obvious person to choose if you want to connect with someone else. Their inbox will be filled with requests to connect two individuals together.
Their natual tendency might be to refuse these connection requests, but if they think long-term they will oblige, even if it means the loss of a potential search fee. In the long run the obligations they build will be returned in the form of a basic trust, and this trust will eventually result in business relationships that will last a long time. Admittedly, it’s a long chain of causal connections but results will accrue to those who commit to their career, and who tough it out in the beginning.
This is a much different world from that of the internal company recruiter who used to spends his day as a PC-jockey, searching for skills in a Job Portal's search box.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Talent management is a key enabler for organization seeking to improve workforce productivity, bottom-line results and sustained competitive advantage.
The availability of flexible, on-demand talent management suites creates a valuable opportunity to effectively deploy talent management across your business leveraging three critical components: people, process and technology.
By following the steps outlines in this paper, you will not only fast-track your evaluation, selection and implementation of a talent management solution, but also ensure alignment with business goals and outcomes-thereby optimizing the return on your technology investment.
A people strategy is a well-thought-out plan of attack that will help your firm attract, hire, develop, retain and grow your workforce. It consists of five areas: culture marketing; recruitment and selection; orientation and training; communication and feedback; and compensation and benefits. This article is designed to provide a brief overview of each element within a people strategy.
Culture Marketing: Attract the best people
In order to attract the type of people that you need to grow your organization and add value to your open positions, you need to identify the attributes that make your organization unique. Following are a few questions you need to consider.
- Who are your best performers and why do they like working at your firm?
- What attracts candidates to your firm?
- What words would you use to describe your firm? (i.e. entrepreneurial, energetic, professional, team-oriented)
Organizations typically have marketing strategies designed to create demand in the market through creative messages about the unique attributes of their products. However, with the changing and competitive job market beginning to heat up, organizations need to consider developing marketing campaigns to attract talent. Culture Marketing is the process of identifying the distinguishing characteristics that make an organization a great place to work and packaging these in an intriguing and appealing message.
Recruiting and Selection : Find the people
The key to a successful recruitment process is the ability to understand the skills, talents and personality traits needed for your firm. For each hour you spend developing and defining the role and responsibilities of an open position, you reduce your length of time to fill the position by eight days! A well-written and accurate position description can dramatically increase recruitment success as well as improve performance reviews, career development planning and even succession planning.
How creative are you with sourcing candidates? What type of tools do you use to attract candidates? Your goal should be to cultivate an organization of recruiters. Everyone in your organization should have a vested interest in hiring the best and brightest. Many of today's successful firms leverage multiple recruitment tools such as employee referral programs, agency partnerships, college scholarships, electronic job boards and even open houses.
How skilled are your interviewers? Now that you have creatively attracted the best candidates, you cannot afford to lose them. The interviewing step should focus on identifying the skills, knowledge, education, experience and personality of each candidate. Your interviewers should understand the company's culture as well as the specific roles and responsibilities of the position. They should also use this opportunity to sell the unique attributes of your firm. Be sure they make a positive impression on each candidate, even if the applicant is not a fit for the position. Finally, select the candidate that is best suited for the role and focus your efforts on bringing him/her into your organization. An effective recruitment process should measure the quality of new hires, days to fill, cost per hire, and strategic impact to the organization.
Much has been written about the recruitment process over the years. However, the evolving job market forces firms to rethink how they attract, find, and hire talent. My objective is to challenge the status quo and develop and implement recruitment practices that will help you find your next strategic hire.
Orientation and Training: Develop your people
What type of orientation program does your company offer? Did you know that the turnover of employees who have been with the firm one to two years could have been avoided through an effective orientation program? Based on my research, I found that new hires leave after one to two years because they never felt they were a part of the organization.
An effective orientation program will help cultivate employee loyalty as well as increase individual productivity by providing the new employee with the specific tools to help them succeed. An effective people strategy also addresses personal and professional growth. How do you plan to grow your staff and provide opportunity? Your strategy should include a career development process, leadership development tools, as well as succession planning. This section will delve into cost-effective ways to develop your staff and dramatically increase employee commitment while at the same time reduce employee turnover.
Communication and Feedback : Listen to your people
I am not referring to the suggestion box in the break room. Your people strategy should encourage knowledge and information sharing throughout your organization. In addition, communication and feedback programs should solicit ideas and thoughts from your staff that could grow the business and improve productivity as well as provide your staff with an opportunity to make a difference. You pride yourself in hiring the best people; now leverage their skills, talents and abilities beyond their title or position. I will explore effective feedback programs that could replace traditional performance reviews and provide tools that you can use to actively engage your workforce while positively affecting your firm's profitability.
Compensation and Benefits : Reward your people
Compensation administration is often viewed as a necessary evil that all of us have to deal with. However, if approached from a holistic perspective, a compensation and benefit program can attract and retain your best performers. Your people strategy should approach compensation and benefit administration from an employee's point of view. Your staff is interested in receiving a fair market wage and benefits with an opportunity for financial rewards.
As part of your compensation analysis, you should consider base salary or wage, as well as variable compensation such as company bonuses and individual performance. Your analysis should be based on market research, employee performance levels, value to the firm, and individual productivity.
Your benefits should be tailored to your staff's needs and based on market research and employee feedback. Many firms overlook this area of their people strategy and miss an opportunity to add value to an employee's overall life, while also positively influencing the firm's bottom line. With the rising costs of health care, creative benefit programs are beginning to become mainstream and provide the employee with individualized coverage while saving the organization time and money.
As your firm strives to become an employer of choice, you will need to address all areas outlined in this article. By developing a detailed strategy, you will be able to help your firm dramatically improve the way it attracts hires, develops and retains people.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Sanjay Jog, HR head, Pantaloon Retail
“ Recruitment is no problem. The problem is the necessary attitude.”
The cash registers are ringing, but it’s har-dly music to the man behind the counter. The annual entry-level median salary in the sector ranges from Rs 1.5 lakh in the South to Rs 3.11 lakh in the North. If we count out the salaries in the North, the entry-level median salary in the sector is the lowests among all the 12 sectors in the survey. The wide variance between the South and the North can be attributed to the higher number of lifestyle stores in the North where front-end employees need more spit and polish, and, hence, are paid higher.
As in manufacturing, 80 per cent of the employees in retail work on the front-end and get paid low salaries. The sector is considered the last refuge of the unemployed, since a high educational qualification is not a necessary precondition; in fact, most of the employees currently in retail are not graduates.
Recruitment is not a problem for the sector; most of the brands in the sector are well known, so walk-in interviews are the norm. “Recruitment is no problem,” says Sanjay Jog, chief people officer at Pantaloon Retail. “We get enough people. The problem is the attitude which is a necessary thing in a service industry like ours.” Employees require rigorous training, particularly in soft skills, given their poor education and low socio-economic background. This creates some unique problems for the companies. “Most of the employees in the sector come from a lower socio-economic background, and their encounter with consumption economy creates a problem of self-esteem,” says the human resources (HR) head of a large retail group.
Since most companies in the sector are doubling their employee strength every year, training becomes a key HR operation in a company. As retail is a new industry, it is investing a fair amount to provide diplomas and degrees in retail management to its management staff.
For retail, expansion is an opportunity as well as a challenge. Currently, a substantial part of the revenues of the retail chains is coming from the top 10 cities, but they are slowly and steadily moving towards tier II and tier III towns. Here they will face a new challenge of training their employees. Companies also have to recruit employees from the local community, as they want their employees to reflect the language skills of the community being served by the stores.
The sector is generous with its benefits but it does not provide stock options across all levels, nor does it provide leave travel allowance or house rent across the industry.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
One of the most fundamental & initial step in recruitment cycle is “Taking the JOB – REQUIREMENTS”, from HR/or Functional Head. Whether you are an internal Recruiter or outside agency you cant skip this crucial step. For searching and sourcing the most qualified candidates we need to start the process by preparing ourselves by Firstly 'Understanding the Requirements or Job Position'.
I have seen many of the recruiters who found trouble in getting with initial searches in the absence of appropriate knowledge of the major Industry verticals and domains for which recruitment is generally or frequently targeted on.
I am delineating herein brief, giving an idea about them.
Lets understand them one by one:
Information technology (IT), is "the study, design, development, implementation, support or management of computer-based information systems, particularly software applications and computer hardware." IT deals with use of electronic computers and computer software to convert, store, protect, process, transmit and retrieve information, securely.
The term information technology has ballooned to encompass many aspects of computing and technology, and the term is more recognizable than ever before. The information technology umbrella can be quite large, covering many fields. IT professionals perform a variety of duties that range from installing applications to designing complex computer networks and information databases. A few of the duties that IT professionals perform may include data management, networking, engineering computer hardware, database and software design, as well as the management and administration of entire systems.
ICT (Information and Communications Technology).
Java is a programming language originally developed by Sun Microsystems & released in 1995 as a core component of Sun's Java platform. The language derives much of its syntax from C & C++ but has simpler object model & fewer low-level facilities. Java applications are typically compiled to bytecode which can run on any Java virtual machine (JVM) regardless of computer architecture.
The original & reference implementation Java compilers, virtual machines, & class libraries were developed by Sun from 1995. As of May 2007, in compliance with the specifications of the Java Community Process, Sun made available most of their Java technologies as free software under the GNU General Public License. Others have also developed alternative implementations of these Sun technologies, such as the GNU Compiler for Java and GNU Classpath.
Java's design, industry backing & portability have made Java one of the fastest-growing & most widely used programming languages in the modern computing industry.
BI applications are used to analyze performance, projects. AQL - Associative Query Logic, Scorecarding, Business activity monitoring, Business Performance Management & Measurement, Business Planning, Business Process Re-engineering, Competitive Analysis, User/End-user Query and Reporting, Enterprise Management systems, Executive Information Systems (EIS), Supply Chain Management/Demand Chain Management, and Finance and Budgeting tools.Data mining (DM), Data Farming, and Data warehouses; Decision Support Systems (DSS) and Forecasting; Document warehouses & Document Management; Knowledge Management; Mapping, Information visualization, Dashboarding, Management Information Systems (MIS); Geographic Information Systems (GIS); Trend Analysis, (SaaS) Business Intelligence offerings (On Demand), Online analytical processing (OLAP) & multidimensional analysis, Real time business intelligence; Statistics and Technical Data Analysis; Web Mining; Text mining; and Systems intelligence.
A data warehouse is the main repository of an organization's historical data, its corporate memory. It contains the raw material for management's decision support system. The critical factor leading to the use of a data warehouse is that a data analyst can perform complex queries and analysis, such as data mining, on the information without slowing down the operational systems.
While operational systems are optimized for simplicity and speed of modification through heavy use of database normalization and an entity-relationship model, the data warehouse is optimized for reporting and analysis (online analytical processing, or OLAP). Frequently data in data warehouses are heavily denormalised, summarised or stored in a dimension-based model.
The simplest definition of Analytics is "the science of analysis". In reality, the word "Analytics" has not been properly defined by the professional community and may mean different things to different people. A simple and practical definition, however, would be how an entity(i.e., business) arrives at the most optimal or realistic decision from a variety of available options, based on existing data. Business managers may choose to make decisions based on past experiences or rule of thumb, or there might be other qualitative aspects to decision making; but unless there is data involved in the process, it would be considered beyond the purview of analytics. Another definition could be that Analytics is a field of study / profession that has applications in any field (business / social / poiltical / home) where data is available.
Software testing is the process used to measure the quality of developed computer software. Usually, quality is constrained to such topics as correctness, completeness, security, but can also include more technical requirements as described under the ISO standard ISO 9126, such as capability, reliability, efficiency, portability, maintainability, compatibility, and usability. Testing is a process of technical investigation, performed on behalf of stakeholders, that is intended to reveal quality-related information about product with respect to context in which it is intended to operate. This includes,the process of executing a program or application with the intent of finding errors. Quality is not an absolute; it is value to some person. With that in mind, testing can never completely establish the correctness of arbitrary computer software; testing furnishes a criticism or comparison that compares the state and behaviour of the product against a specification.
Enerprise Resource Planning (ERP)
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems integrate (or attempt to integrate) all data and processes of an organization into a unified system. A typical ERP system will use multiple components of computer software and hardware to achieve the integration. A key ingredient of most ERP systems is the use of a unified database to store data for the various system modules.
Examples of modules in an ERP which formerly would have been stand-alone applications include: Manufacturing, Supply Chain, Financials, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Human Resources, Warehouse Management and Decision Support System.
A database administrator (DBA) is a person who is responsible for the environmental aspects of a database. In general, these include:
Recoverability - Creating and testing Backups
Integrity - Verifying or helping to verify data integrity
Security - Defining and/or implementing access controls to the data
Availability - Ensuring maximum uptime
Performance - Ensuring maximum performance given budgetary constraints
Development and testing support - Helping programmers and engineers to efficiently utilize the database.
The role of a database administrator has changed according to the technology of database management systems (DBMSs) as well as the needs of the owners of the databases. For example, although logical and physical database design are traditionally the duties of a database analyst or database designer, a DBA may be tasked to perform those duties.
Technical writing is a subset of technical communication, is used in fields as diverse as computer hardware and software, chemistry, the aerospace industry, robotics, finance, consumer electronics, and biotechnology.
Technical writing (aka Information Development or Technical Documentation or Technical Publications) exists to communicate and disseminate useful information. Technical communications are created and distributed by most employees in service organizations today, especially by professional staff and management. Writing well is difficult and time-consuming, and writing in a technical way and about technical subjects compounds the difficulties. To be useful, information must be understood and acted upon. Fortunately, tools and techniques are available to make writing more accessible and easy to understand.
Computer networking is the engineering discipline concerned with communication between computer systems or devices. Networking, routers, routing protocols, and networking over the public Internet have their specifications defined in documents called RFCs. Computer networking is sometimes considered a sub-discipline of telecommunications, computer science, information technology and/or computer engineering. Computer networks rely heavily upon the theoretical and practical application of these scientific and engineering disciplines.
A computer network is any set of computers or devices connected to each other with the ability to exchange data. Examples of networks are:
local area network (LAN), which is usually a small network constrained to a small geographic area.
wide area network (WAN) that is usually a larger network that covers a large geographic area.
wireless LANs and WANs (WLAN & WWAN) is the wireless equivalent of the LAN and WAN.
Sales are the activities involved in providing products or services in return for money or other compensation. It is an act of completion of a commercial activity.
The "deal is closed", means the customer has consented to the proposed product or service by making full or partial payment (as in case of installments) to the seller.
Academically, selling is thought of as a part of marketing, however, the two disciplines are completely different. Sales often forms a separate grouping in a corporate structure, employing separate specialist operatives known as salespersons (singular: salesperson). Sales is considered by many to be a sort of persuading "art". Contrary to popular belief, the methodological approach of selling refers to a systematic process of repetitive and measurable milestones, by which a salesperson relates his offering of a product of service in return enabling the buyer to achieve his goal in an economic way.
Marketing is a social process which satisfies consumers' wants. 4 Ps of Marketing are:
Product: The product aspects of marketing deal with the specifications of the actual goods or services, and how it relates to the end-user's needs and wants.
Pricing: This refers to the process of setting a price for a product, including discounts. The price need not be monetary - it can simply be what is exchanged for the product or services.
Promotion: This includes advertising, sales promotion, publicity, and personal selling, and refers to the various methods of promoting the product, brand, or company.
Placement or distribution refers to how the product gets to the customer; for example, point of sale placement or retailing. This fourth P has also sometimes been called Place, referring to the channel by which a product or services is sold (e.g. online vs. retail), which geographic region or industry, to which segment (young adults, families, business people), etc.
Advertising is paid, one-way communication through a medium in which the sponsor is identified and the message is controlled by the sponsor. Variations include publicity, public relations, etc.. Every major medium is used to deliver these messages, including: television, radio, movies, magazines, newspapers, video games, the Internet (see Internet advertising), and billboards.
Advertisements can also be seen on the seats of grocery carts, on the walls of an airport walkway, on the sides of buses, heard in telephone hold messages and in-store public address systems. Advertisements are usually placed anywhere an audience can easily and/or frequently access visuals and/or audio.
Media may refer to various aspects:
Recording media, devices used to store information
Print media, communications delivered via paper or canvas
Electronic media, communications delivered via electronic or electromechanical energy
Multimedia, communications that incorporate multiple forms of information content and processing
Digital media, electronic media used to store, transmit, and receive digitized information
Mass media, all means of mass communication
Broadcast media, communications delivered over mass electronic communication networks
News media, mass media focused on communicating news
Media meshing, the act of combining multiple independent pieces of communication media to enrich an information consumer's experience
New media, media that can only be created or used with the aid of modern computer processing power
Media for advertising, also media-buying, or the choosing and buying of TV airtime, radio airtime, newspaper etc space, for advertising.
Management comprises directing and controlling a group of one or more people or entities for the purpose of coordinating and harmonizing that group towards accomplishing a goal. Management often encompasses the deployment and manipulation of human resources, financial resources, technological resources, and natural resources. Management can also refer to the person or people who perform the act(s) of management.
The verb manage comes from the Italian maneggiare (to handle — especially a horse), which in turn derives from the Latin manus (hand). The French word mesnagement (later ménagement) influenced the development in meaning of the English word management in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Management has to do with power by position, whereas leadership involves power by influence.
Frenchman Henri Fayol considers management to consist of five functions:
Finance studies and addresses the ways in which individuals, businesses, and organizations raise, allocate, and use monetary resources over time, taking into account the risks entailed in their projects. The term "finance" may thus incorporate any of the following:
The study of money and other assets;
The management and control of those assets;
Profiling and managing project risks;
The science of managing money;
As a verb, "to finance" is to provide funds for business or for an individual's large purchases (car, home, etc.).
The activity of finance is the application of a set of techniques that individuals and organizations (entities) use to manage their money, particularly the differences between income and expenditure and the risks of their investments.
Accountancy (profession) or accounting (methodology) is the measurement, statement or provision of assurance about financial information primarily used by managers, investors, tax authorities and other decision makers to make resource allocation decisions within companies, organizations, and public agencies. The terms derive from the use of financial accounts.
Financial accounting is one branch of accounting and historically has involved processes by which financial information about a business is recorded, classified, summarized, interpreted, and communicated; for public companies, this information is generally publicly-accessible. By contrast management accounting information is used within an organization and is usually confidential and accessible only to a small group, mostly decision-makers. Tax Accounting is the accounting needed to comply with jurisdictional tax regulations.
Practitioners of accountancy are known as accountants.
The most general definition of an audit is an evaluation of a person, organization, system, process, project or product. Audits are performed to ascertain the validity and reliability of information, and also provide an assessment of a system's internal control. Auditing is therefore a part of some quality control certifications such as ISO 9001. The goal of an audit is to express an opinion on the person/organization/system etc. under evaluation based on work done on a test basis. Due to practical constraints, an audit seeks to provide only reasonable assurance that the statements are free from material error. Hence, random sampling is often adopted in audits. In the case of financial audits, a set of financial statements are said to be true and fair when they are free of material misstatements - a concept influenced by both quantitative and qualitative factors.
Legal / Law
Law is a system of social rules usually enforced through a set of structured institutions. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus ticket to trading swaptions on a derivatives market. Property law defines rights and obligations related to buying, selling, or renting real property such as homes and buildings. Trust law applies to assets held for investment, such as pension funds. Tort law allows claims for compensation when someone or their property is harmed. If the harm is criminalised in a penal code, criminal law offers means by which the state prosecutes and punishes the perpetrator. Constitutional law provides a framework for creating laws, protecting people's human rights, and electing political representatives, while administrative law allows ordinary citizens to challenge the way governments exercise power. International law regulates affairs between sovereign nation-states in everything from trade to the environment to military action.
International trade is the exchange of goods and services across international boundaries or territories. In most countries, it represents a significant share of GDP. While international trade has been present throughout much of history its economic, social, and political importance has been on the rise in recent centuries. Industrialization, advanced transportation, globalization, multinational corporations, and outsourcing are all having a major impact. Increasing international trade is basic to globalization".
International trade is also a branch of economics, which, together with international finance, forms the larger branch of international economics.
Manufacturing is the use of tools and labor to make things for use or sale. The term may refer to a vast range of human activity, from handicraft to high tech, but is most commonly applied to industrial production, in which raw materials are transformed into finished goods on a large scale.
Manufacturing takes place under all types of economic systems. In a capitalist economy, manufacturing is usually directed toward the mass production of products for sale to consumers at a profit. In a collectivist economy, manufacturing is more frequently directed by a state agency to supply perceived needs. In modern economies, manufacturing occurs under some degree of government regulation.
Modern manufacturing includes all intermediate processes required for the production and integration of a product's components. Some industries, such as semiconductor and steel manufacturers use the term fabrication instead. The manufacturing sector is closely connected with engineering and industrial design.
In microeconomics, production is the act of making things, in particular the act of making products that will be traded or sold commercially. Production decisions concentrate on what goods to produce, how to produce them, the costs of producing them, and optimizing the mix of resource inputs used in their production. This production information can then be combined with market information (like demand and marginal revenue) to determine the quantity of products to produce and the optimum 'pricing'
A supply chain, logistics network, or supply network is a coordinated system of organizations, people, activities, information and resources involved in moving a product or service in physical or virtual manner from supplier to customer. Supply chain activities transform raw materials and components into a finished product that is delivered to the end customer. Today, the ever increasing technical complexity of the distribution of standard consumer goods, combined with the ever increasing size and depth of the global market has meant that the link between consumer and vendor is usually only the final link in a long and complex chain or network of exchanges.
This supply chain begins with the extraction of raw material and includes several production links, for instance; component construction, assembly and merging before moving onto several layers of storage facilities of ever decreasing size and ever more remote geographical locations, and finally reaching the consumer.
Engineering is the applied science of acquiring and applying knowledge to design, analysis, and/or construction of works for practical purposes. One who practices engineering is called an engineer, and those licensed to do so have formal designations such as Professional Engineer, Chartered Engineer or Incorporated Engineer. The broad discipline of engineering encompasses a range of specialised subdisciplines that focus on the issues associated with developing a specific kind of product, or using a specific type of technology.
Engineering, much like science, is a broad discipline which is often broken down into several sub-disciplines.
Pharmacy / Pharmaceutical
Pharmacy is the health profession that links the health sciences with the chemical sciences, and it is charged with ensuring the safe use of medication. The scope of pharmacy practice includes more traditional roles such as compounding and dispensing medications on the orders of physicians, and it also includes more modern services related to patient care, including clinical services, reviewing medications for safety and efficacy, and providing drug information. Pharmacists, therefore, are experts on drug therapy and are the primary health professionals who optimize medication use to provide patients with positive health outcomes.
A pharmaceutical company, or drug company, is a commercial business whose focus is to research, develop, market and/or distribute drugs, most commonly in the context of healthcare. They can deal in generic and/or brand medications. They are subject to a variety of laws and regulations regarding the patenting, testing and marketing of drugs.
Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)
Business process outsourcing (BPO) is the contracting of a specific business task, such as payroll, to a third-party service provider. Usually, BPO is implemented as a cost-saving measure for tasks that a company requires but does not depend upon to maintain its position in the marketplace. BPO is often divided into two categories: back office outsourcing, which includes internal business functions such as billing or purchasing, and front office outsourcing, which includes customer-related services such as marketing or tech support.
Information technology enabled services, or ITES, is a form of outsourced service which has emerged due to involvement of IT in various fields such as banking and finance, telecommunications, insurance, etc. Some of the examples of ITES are medical transcription, back-office accounting, insurance claim, credit card processing and many more.
Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO)
Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) is a form of business process outsourcing (BPO) where an employer outsources or transfers all or part of its recruitment activities to an external service provider.
RPO may involve the outsourcing of all or just part of recruitment functions and process. The external service provider may serve as a virtual recruiting department by providing a complete package of skills, tools, technologies and activities. The RPO service provider is "the" source for in-scope recruitment activity.
On the other hand, occasional recruitment support, for example temporary, contingency and executive search services is more analagous to out-tasking, co-sourcing or just sourcing. In this example the service provider is "a" source for certain types of recruitment activity.differentiating between RPO and other types of staffing.
Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO)
Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) is the industry in which in-house legal departments or organisations outsource legal work from areas where it is costly to perform, such as the United States or Europe to areas where it can be performed at a significantly decreased cost, primarily India. Legal Process Outsourcing is a high end industry that has been growing rapidly in the recent years.
Legal Process Outsourcing covers the following services in general:
Document Drafting like standard contracts, agreements, letters to the clients, patent applications etc.
Legal Billing activities like preparation of invoices, collation of time sheets etc.
Intellectual Property research--substantive and administrative
Administrative and secretarial activities like following up with clients, etc.
The work is done by experienced paralegals and attorneys using industry standard databases like Lexisnexis and Westlaw.
Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO)
Knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) is a form of outsourcing, including legal process outsourcing. These are both high-value-added forms of business process outsourcing (BPO). KPO firms provide domain-based processes and business expertise, rather than just process expertise, and actually make many low level business decisions - typically those that are easily undone if they conflict with higher-level business plans.
Telecommunication is the transmission of signals over a distance for the purpose of communication. In modern times, this process typically involves the sending of electromagnetic waves by electronic transmitters, but in earlier times telecommunication may have involved the use of smoke signals, drums or semaphore or heliograph. Today, telecommunication is widespread and devices that assist the process, such as the television, radio and telephone, are common in many parts of the world. There are also many networks that connect these devices, including computer networks, public telephone networks, radio networks and television networks. Computer communication across the Internet is one of many examples of telecommunication.
Retailing consists of the sale of goods or merchandise, from a fixed location such as a department store or kiosk, in small or individual lots for direct consumption by the purchaser. Retailing may include subordinated services, such as delivery. Purchasers may be individuals or businesses. In commerce, a retailer buys goods or products in large quantities from manufacturers or importers, either directly or through a wholesaler, and then sells smaller quantities to the end-user. Retail establishments are often called shops or stores. Retailers are at the end of the supply chain. Manufacturing marketers see the process of retailing as a necessary part of their overall distribution strategy.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
The following are some learnings around how to make your sourcing more effective, especially if varying levels of experience exist within the team.
Understanding the fit: You may be reading this and go "no kidding", but the reality is this step is commonly skipped over in the process. Understanding the fit has to do with a solid working knowledge of the industry, the business group supported and how the role fits into what that leader is trying to accomplish. Where this usually breaks down is in one of the following areas:
If the sourcer is working through the recruiter, there is an expectation that the recruiter will ask all of the right questions when meeting with the hiring manager.
If the sourcer/ recruiter meets with the hiring manager and there is a lack of preparation coming into the meeting. This includes the sourcer / recruiter not presenting industry knowledge and using the meeting time to validate assumptions around expectations.
If the Recruiter is the Sourcer, the focus is more on the skills, versus the business goals the hiring manager is trying to accomplish. As a result, the recruiter finds the right skilled person, but the applications of the skills are misaligned.
Solutions: The key is planning, planning and communication. Assume nothing and talk about everything. Wikipedia.org can be a super tool when seeking to understand an industry, a position, a skill set. Interestingly enough, wikipedia if leveraged appropriately provides some good data points that can be used during a hiring manager discussion.
Secondly, have all of your recruiters / sourcers go in prepared to a hiring manager discussion. Again you might say no kidding, but 9 times out of 10 it does not happen, unless it is an Executive Search. Prepared means one or more of the following: Understand the industry; Have a prior discussion with the HR Gen of that business unit to understand any nuances that may positively / negatively impact the search efforts; Look on Linkedin, Spoke and your own ATS system to bring some profiles to calibrate against. People are visual, if you give them something to look at and respond to, you are more likely to get closer to the desired outcome at the very beginning of the search effort.
Duplication of Effort: Recruiters workloads are not getting any lighter, so therefore it is easy for individuals to go to the path of least resistance. However this path, especially if multiple people or vendors are assisting can be costly and unproductive. At SourceCon, Rob McIntosh presented a sourcing channel checklist. He broke this checklist into roles and activities. I took this channel sheet back to my organization, as well as peers, and began to ask questions, here is what I found:
Recruiting and sourcing teams that do not work from a plan perform duplicate work efforts. This lack of planning typically results in overlap when searching resume databases, contacting the same resources or networking through the various social networking sites
Continue to manage from the plan. Use the plan as a management tool to understand how the recruiting team is using each of the sources.
Don't pay sourcing vendors to do the same work performed internally. Face it, recruiters like the job boards. If you are using a resume mining and screening vendor, so do they. Pick one..
Not all sources generate results, so stop using the source and move on. Time is not a commodity in the recruiting business. Leverage your ATS data to begin understanding how your organization fills a particular type of role best and build from there.
Solutions: I truly believe that duplication of effort is something that requires constant monitoring. Now with that being said, I would also recommend the following:
Create the channel plan.
Create a channel plan that supports the sourcing strategy. A high volume, low complexity, localized plan will look very different from a high complexity, low volume, national search. Know what it takes to execute both and build a quick project plan to maximize time and resources.
Keyword Sets: Create sets of keywords that can also be divided by channel.
Manage to the sourcing plan. Conduct a review with the team on their activities and the results generated. Immediately seize activities on sources that are not generating the desired results and get the team to move on.
Prioritization: Not all sources generate results. Not all of the easiest sources will generate the results for the position that is being searched for. The concept of What source will generate the best results first requires sourcing knowledge, industry experience and reviewing the metrics to better understand what works inside your organization Activity for activity sake, still does not result in a hire. This only causes ill will, especially if there is segmentation between the recruiters and the sourcing team.
High Volume / Low Complexity: These are processing related sourcing plans. This requires activities that may leverage recruitment marketing, resume mining, job posting, radio advertisement, creative employee referral campaigns and drip market efforts leveraging contacts within the ATS. This plan may require the assistance of a resume mining vendor, an experienced sourcer/ recruiter as well as some good recruiting administrators. Each have there own role in getting the desired outcome accomplished. Know what works to execute a plan.
Low Volume / High Complexity: These are more strategic sourcing plans. This will include market research, competitive intelligence, employee referrals, cold calling and industry networking. Depending upon the type of role will determine which of these activities goes first.
The reality is, prioritization of a sourcing strategy may require someone who can serve as the organization's sourcing strategist. This person must be able to turn around a project execution plan quickly and articulate clear directions to multiple stakeholders in the process. This person must be a data jockey, who can pull reports from the ATS and leverage data to identify those activities which have a higher possibility of generating results first and baking this into the plan.
Friday, March 14, 2008
- Consistently fills most jobs on time, often with top people. Responsible –
Recruiters must be able to hit their numbers. This means consistently filling all of the reqs assigned to them month-after-month. If the backlog is increasing you have a problem. You can’t be passive.
# 2: Knows the Job
- Has solid understand of real job needs. Confident. Gets clarification –
Good recruiters must know the job, and not rely on the Job Description. Recruiters need to know what the person holding the job needs to do to be considered successful. Otherwise, you’re just guessing and box checking.
# 3: Finds best active candidate
- Strong with basic systems and uses a variety of other good techniques –
Recruiters must be able to find the best active candidates quickly. This means writing great ads, knowing what boards to use, and using all of the latest searching tools to mine through resumes quickly and accurately.
# 4: Finds best less active and passive candidates
- Always obtained good candidates through referrals. Assertive –
If you’re only sourcing candidates, you’re not really a recruiter. Recruiters must be able to build instant networks of top people and convince them to consider your jobs even when they say “no”.
# 5: Manages the process
- Can manage multiple assignments using a variety of tools. Well organized –
Recruiters have too much to do and things always go wrong. Managing all of these issues is a critical skill. Hiring one person is tough enough. Keeping everything moving while staying on top of it all is the essence of an exceptional recruiter.
# 6: Knows the market
- Quite knowledgeable about industry, trends and employment issues –
Recruiters must be on top of all of the issues in their area of expertise. This means knowing compensation ranges, the best places to find top people, and what’s happening in their industry. This is how you convince candidates and clients you’re an expert.
# 7: Influences the hiring decision
- Adds much value. Understands candidates and job needs. Respected –
Recruiters must exert influence on their hiring manager clients at every stage. This means haggling about job requirements, candidate competency, and how to negotiate offers. The best recruiters are involved at each step in the hiring process and push their candidates forward despite differences.
# 8: Influences candidates throughout process
- Provides good advice and is seen by candidate as advocate. Influences –
The best people always have other opportunities. Keeping them involved and interested in your job is the core of recruiting. This means knowing the job and presenting a persuasive case as to why offers should be accepted even if they don’t meet salary expectations.
# 9: Conducts professional and accurate interview
- Uses multiple tools to assess. Solid skills. Pretty accurate. Input valued –
Recruiters must be thorough and competent assessors of talent. This means knowing what questions to ask, interpreting the results correctly, and defending your candidate to the hiring team. You know you’re at the top of your game when you lead panel interviews and the debriefing session.
# 10: Works with the team
- Works well with team to improve process. Takes initiative to help others –
Forget the Lone Ranger stuff. In a corporate environment recruiters must work with a wide variety of people, some not so great. Influencing their decisions and keeping the process moving forward is what teamwork and cooperation is all about.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Your brain needs exercise just like a muscle. If you use it often and in the right ways, you will become a more skilled thinker and increase your ability to focus. But if you never use your brain, or abuse it with harmful chemicals, your ability to think and learn will deteriorate.
Here are 5 simple ways anyone can squeeze a bit more productivity out of the old gray matter.
1. Minimize Television Watching - This is a hard sell. People love vegetating in front of the television, myself included more often than I’d like. The problem is watching television doesn’t use your mental capacity OR allow it to recharge. It’s like having the energy sapped out of a muscle without the health benefits of exercise.
Don’t you feel drained after a couple hours of TV? Your eyes are sore and tired from being focused on the light box for so long. You don’t even have the energy to read a book.
When you feel like relaxing, try reading a book instead. If you’re too tired, listen to some music. When you’re with your friends or family, leave the tube off and have a conversation. All of these things use your mind more than television and allow you to relax.
2. Exercise - I used to think that I’d learn more by not exercising and using the time to read a book instead. But I realized that time spent exercising always leads to greater learning because it improves productivity during the time afterwards. Using your body clears your head and creates a wave of energy. Afterwards, you feel invigorated and can concentrate more easily.
3. Read Challenging Books - Many people like to read popular suspense fiction, but generally these books aren’t mentally stimulating. If you want to improve your thinking and writing ability you should read books that make you focus. Reading a classic novel can change your view of the world and will make you think in more precise, elegant English. Don’t be afraid to look up a word if you don’t know it, and don’t be afraid of dense passages. Take your time, re-read when necessary, and you’ll soon grow accustomed to the author’s style.
Once you get used to reading challenging books, I think you’ll find that you aren’t tempted to go back to page-turners. The challenge of learning new ideas is far more exciting than any tacky suspense-thriller.
4. Early to Bed, Early to Rise - Nothing makes it harder to concentrate than sleep deprivation. You’ll be most rejuvenated if you go to bed early and don’t sleep more than 8 hours. If you stay up late and compensate by sleeping late, you’ll wake up lethargic and have trouble focusing. In my experience the early morning hours are the most tranquil and productive. Waking up early gives you more productive hours and maximizes your mental acuity all day.
If you have the opportunity, take 10-20 minute naps when you are hit with a wave of drowsiness. Anything longer will make you lethargic, but a short nap will refresh you.
5. Take Time to Reflect - Often our lives get so hectic that we become overwhelmed without even realizing it. It becomes difficult to concentrate because nagging thoughts keep interrupting. Spending some time alone in reflection gives you a chance organize your thoughts and prioritize your responsibilities. Afterwards, you’ll have a better understanding of what’s important and what isn’t. The unimportant stuff won’t bother you anymore and your mind will feel less encumbered.
I’m not saying you need to sit on the floor cross-legged and chant ‘ommm’. Anything that allows a bit of prolonged solitude will do. One of my personal favorites is taking a solitary walk. Someone famous said, “All the best ideas occur while walking.” I think he was on to something. Experiment to find the activity that works best for you.
Conclusion - I hope you aren’t disappointed that none of the techniques I’ve proposed are revolutionary. But simple, unexciting answers are often the most valid. The challenge is having the will to adhere to them. If you succeed in following these 5 tips, you’ll be rewarded with increased mental acuity and retention of knowledge.
by John Wesley
Self confidence is the difference between feeling unstoppable and feeling scared out of your wits. Your perception of yourself has an enormous impact on how others perceive you. Perception is reality — the more self confidence you have, the more likely it is you’ll succeed.
Although many of the factors affecting self confidence are beyond your control, there are a number of things you can consciously do to build self confidence. By using these 10 strategies you can get the mental edge you need to reach your potential.
Build Self Confidence
1. Dress SharpAlthough clothes don’t make the man, they certainly affect the way he feels about himself. No one is more conscious of your physical appearance than you are. When you don’t look good, it changes the way you carry yourself and interact with other people. Use this to your advantage by taking care of your personal appearance. In most cases, significant improvements can be made by bathing and shaving frequently, wearing clean clothes, and being cognizant of the latest styles.
This doesn’t mean you need to spend a lot on clothes. One great rule to follow is “spend twice as much, buy half as much”. Rather than buying a bunch of cheap clothes, buy half as many select, high quality items. In long run this decreases spending because expensive clothes wear out less easily and stay in style longer than cheap clothes. Buying less also helps reduce the clutter in your closet.
2. Walk Faster - One of the easiest ways to tell how a person feels about herself is to examine her walk. Is it slow? tired? painful? Or is it energetic and purposeful? People with confidence walk quickly. They have places to go, people to see, and important work to do. Even if you aren’t in a hurry, you can increase your self confidence by putting some pep in your step. Walking 25% faster will make to you look and feel more important.
3. Good Posture - Similarly, the way a person carries herself tells a story. People with slumped shoulders and lethargic movements display a lack of self confidence. They aren’t enthusiastic about what they’re doing and they don’t consider themselves important. By practicing good posture, you’ll automatically feel more confident. Stand up straight, keep your head up, and make eye contact. You’ll make a positive impression on others and instantly feel more alert and empowered.
4. Personal Commercial - One of the best ways to build confidence is listening to a motivational speech. Unfortunately, opportunities to listen to a great speaker are few and far between. You can fill this need by creating a personal commercial. Write a 30-60 second speech that highlights your strengths and goals. Then recite it in front of the mirror aloud (or inside your head if you prefer) whenever you need a confidence boost.
5. Gratitude - When you focus too much on what you want, the mind creates reasons why you can’t have it. This leads you to dwell on your weaknesses. The best way to avoid this is consciously focusing on gratitude. Set aside time each day to mentally list everything you have to be grateful for. Recall your past successes, unique skills, loving relationships, and positive momentum. You’ll be amazed how much you have going for you and motivated to take that next step towards success.
6. Compliment other people - When we think negatively about ourselves, we often project that feeling on to others in the form of insults and gossip. To break this cycle of negativity, get in the habit of praising other people. Refuse to engage in backstabbing gossip and make an effort to compliment those around you. In the process, you’ll become well liked and build self confidence. By looking for the best in others, you indirectly bring out the best in yourself.
7. Sit in the front row - In schools, offices, and public assemblies around the world, people constantly strive to sit at the back of the room. Most people prefer the back because they’re afraid of being noticed. This reflects a lack of self confidence. By deciding to sit in the front row, you can get over this irrational fear and build your self confidence. You’ll also be more visible to the important people talking from the front of the room.
8. Speak up - During group discussions many people never speak up because they’re afraid that people will judge them for saying something stupid. This fear isn’t really justified. Generally, people are much more accepting than we imagine. In fact most people are dealing with the exact same fears. By making an effort to speak up at least once in every group discussion, you’ll become a better public speaker, more confident in your own thoughts, and recognized as a leader by your peers.
9. Work out - Along the same lines as personal appearance, physical fitness has a huge effect on self confidence. If you’re out of shape, you’ll feel insecure, unattractive, and less energetic. By working out, you improve your physcial appearance, energize yourself, and accomplish something positive. Having the discipline to work out not only makes you feel better, it creates positive momentum that you can build on the rest of the day.
10. Focus on contribution - Too often we get caught up in our own desires. We focus too much on ourselves and not enough on the needs of other people. If you stop thinking about yourself and concentrate on the contribution you’re making to the rest of the world, you won’t worry as much about you own flaws. This will increase self confidence and allow you to contribute with maximum efficiency. The more you contribute to the world the more you’ll be rewarded with personal success and recognition.
As a recruiter I have seen plenty of great creative agencies in a bind searching for top-notch talent, and not being able to keep them. What gives??????
The issue might be in the entrance interviews where all the bells and whistles are released. Potential employees know there is more than just a list of prestigious awards, a fun culture, and great accounts. Many candidates really are smart enough to look beyond the first 6 months, and want to know what an advertising agency can offer them down the road.
Among the most important aspects is that of great leadership, which will in-turn produce great leaders. Candidates want a great mentor who can discuss their career path in complete honesty and with genuine interest. As it turns out, the quality of leadership at any company, both within the advertising industry and beyond is a make or break quality for candidates.
Don’t shy away from long-term goals and take a potential employee as seriously as they are taking you. Respect is a two way street and its much easier to keep candidates than it is to continuously cycle through them.
The best talent comes down to three essential ingredients: competence, commitment and contribution. Organizations must strive to cultivate all of these elements in their employees,for it anyone of them goes missing, the talent equation falls apart.
We know it matters. Some go to war for it. Professional sports teams draft for it. Actors audition to show they have it. Others consider it the ultimate solution and try to manage it. Agents contract for it. Some are innately endowed with it, while others strive diligently to develop it. We all want it.
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Day-in and day-out we are constantly interviewing candidates and gaging their fit for new opportunities while trying to fully understand their qualifications and what they want in a new position. But that’s not all we need to know. In a recent article, seasoned recruiter, consultant and writer, Howard Adamsky, discloses ten key areas that every recruiter should fully investigate before presenting a candidate to a hiring manager. In recruiting, more is better… the more information you have to offer the hiring manager, the more value you add to the overall hiring process. Enjoy!
10 Things Recruiters Should Know About Every Candidate They Interview
Interviewing candidates and gauging their fit for a culture and position is one of the most indispensable tasks a recruiter performs. The more a recruiter knows about a candidate, the better equipped they are to add value to the hiring process. That's why getting to know the candidate and understand what they are looking for, along with overall qualifications, is so critical.
But there is more about candidates you should uncover if you want to do the best possible job of providing information (read: value) to hiring managers. Below are ten points in key areas that all recruiters should investigate for each candidate they interview — before they present the candidate to the hiring manager.
Complete compensation details. Understand exactly how the candidate's current compensation program is structured. This means more than the candidate's base salary; the base salary is just part of the overall package. Be sure that you ask about bonuses; if, how and when they are paid out, stock options or grants that have been awarded. Compile a complete list of benefits and how they are structured (e.g. PPO vs. HMO; there is a difference) and know when the candidate is up for his or her next review, because this can alter cash compensation.
Type of commute. Commute is a quality-of-life issue and discussing it is important. A ten-minute commute against traffic is very different than taking the car to a train and having to walk five blocks to the new organization. If the commute to your organization is worse for the candidate than it is in his or her existing job, bring it up and see how the candidate responds. If the commute is better, use it as a selling point. By all means, be sure that you understand the candidate's current commute and how they feel about the new one.
The "what they want vs. what they have" differential. Most candidates do not change jobs just for the sake of changing jobs. They change jobs because there are certain things missing in their current position that they believe can be satisfied by the position your organization is offering. This disparity is called the "position differential" and it is the fundamental reason a person changes jobs. Know what this position differential is and you will be able to know if you have what the candidate is looking for. If so, you will be able to develop an intelligent capture strategy when it comes time to close.
How they work best. Some candidates work best if left alone, while others work best as part of a team. It is your job to know enough about the organization's philosophy and the way the hiring manager works to see if the candidate will either mesh or grind. Beware of recommending hiring a candidate who does not fit into the current scheme, because, at times, style can be just as important as substance.
Overall strengths and weaknesses. Be sure to get some understanding of the candidate's strong points and the candidate's limitations. All of us have strengths and weaknesses (even John Sullivan has weaknesses, but he won't tell me what they are). Our role is to identify them and be able to present them to the hiring manager. Hint: Ask what functions the candidate does not enjoy performing. We are seldom good at things we don't like.
What they want in a new position. Everyone wants something. Find out what the candidate wants in a new position. Be sure to do whatever is necessary to get this information. Feel free to pick away during the interviewing process with open-ended questions until you have all of your questions answered. It is difficult to determine whether a given hiring situation has a good chance of working out if you do not know what the candidate is looking for in a new position.
Is the candidate interviewing elsewhere? This is big; I don't like surprises and neither do hiring managers. I always ask the candidate what else they have for activity. If the candidate has three other companies they are considering and two offers are arriving in the mail tomorrow, this is absolute need-to-know information. If the hiring manager wants to make an offer, it's time to advise them as to what the competition looks like and move this deal onto the express lane, fast.
What it will take to close the deal. This is a first cousin of #6 above but it is more specific and flavored with a "closing the deal" mentality. #6 relates to what the candidate wants in a new position, but this one quantifies that want. For example, if the candidate wants more money, this is where you will assess how much it will take to close the deal. As another example, while #6 will let you know that the candidate wants to work on different types of projects, this one will tell you exactly what types of projects those are.
Can the candidate do the job? Even though, as the recruiter, you might not be able to determine if this is the perfect candidate, you should exit the interview with an opinion as to whether or not the candidate can perform the functions of the position. Furthermore, that opinion must be based upon information that was unveiled during the interviewing process and not just a gut feeling. It has to be based upon what the candidate has successfully accomplished and how that aligns with the needs of the current position. If you can't offer a solid opinion on this one, you need to dig deeper until you have a solid case for why the candidate can or cannot do the job.
Will the candidate fit into the culture? Predicting the future is tricky business, but someone has to take a shot at evaluating a candidate's chance for success. Not everyone that is capable of doing the job will have a successful run at the company, because culture does play a role in candidate success. For example, the culture of a buttoned-down insurance company in Boston is very different than the garage culture of a software startup in the valley. If you have a reason to believe that the person is the wrong DNA for an organization, it is imperative that you raise the issue.
There are few things hiring managers value more than solid candidate feedback based upon a well-executed interview. Convey this information to the hiring manager and take one more step towards becoming a world-class recruiter.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Video: The Recruiters Lounge
Hi Friends, I found this video of Jim Stroud taking Interview of AK Menon, A Recruitment connoisseur & advisor, sharing his joyful experience & journey with recruitment in india, Blogging, and talk of growth options here..
You will surely enjoy this..
Recpro - I am a learner.
Monday, March 10, 2008
Some of the most effective tools for finding a job via the internet are literally at your fingertips. With just a few clicks of the mouse, you are connected to a gold mine of possibilities. Visiting websites that offer networking opportunities is just one of the great benefits of online job searches.
There are many websites that can enhance your efforts to secure that perfect job. Professional associations are a great way to find out what’s going on in your particular profession and to establish relationships with people who can potentially lead to future employment for you. Establishing yourself as an expert in these online discussions and interactions with professionals enhances your profile.
Private agencies are high utilizers of the internet when it comes to filling open positions. Visiting the website of specific cities or governmental agencies leads to a ‘careers section’, listing open jobs, job descriptions, and skills required for certain job listings. Salary information is usually included with these postings.
Websites of recruitment firms/consultancies are also great way to identify potential jobs in a specific geographic location. They also offer advice and opportunities to enhance your resume or update your skills through continuing education, either online or in person. Accessing websites for such Recruitment & Talent Management Solutions provider will offer you with creative ways to repackage yourself.
Visiting community associations and organizations online is a great way to learn more about the employment opportunities and outlook of a city. These sites often include forums, chat rooms, and discussion groups where you can learn a lot about the local economy and employment outlook. They also sometimes include a web of links to other sites with job postings. Here sites like www.orkut.com, www.ibibo.com, www.recruit.net, www.freshersworld.com, www.chetanas.com can also help you.
Finding a job via the internet can be an overwhelming experience, but when you focus on the sites that support you in your job search, you’ll find that online job seekers have a definite advantage. Your online job search is a gold mine waiting to be mined.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Shared by: Abhinav Mishra
Steve Jobs is one of the most successful entrepreneurs of our generation. His success story is legendary. Put up for adoption at an early age, dropped out of college after 6 months, slept on friends’ floors, returned coke bottles for 5 cent deposits to buy food, then went on to start Apple Computers and Pixar Animation Studios.
Steve Jobs' 12 Rules of Success
1. Do what you love to do. Find your true passion. Do what you love to do a make a difference! The only way to do great work is to love what you do.
2. Be different. Think different. "Better be a pirate than to join the navy."
3. Do your best. Do your best at every job. No sleep! Success generates more success. So be hungry for it. Hire good people with passion for excellence.
4. Make SWOT analysis. As soon as you join/start a company, make a list of strengths and weaknesses of yourself and your company on a piece of paper. Don't hesitate in throwing bad apples out of the company.
5. Be entrepreneurial. Look for the next big thing. Find a set of ideas that need to be quickly and decisively acted upon and jump through that window. Sometimes the first step is the hardest one. Just take it! Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.
6. Start small, think big. Don't worry about too many things at once. Take a handful of simple things to begin with, and then progress to more complex ones. Think about not just tomorrow, but the future. "I want to put a ding in the universe,” reveal Steve Jobs his dream.
7. Strive to become a market leader. Own and control the primary technology in everything you do. If there's a better technology available, use it no matter if anyone else is not using it. Be the first, and make it an industry standard.
8. Focus on the outcome. People judge you by your performance, so focus on the outcome. Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected. Advertise. If they don't know it, they won't buy your product. Pay attention to design. "We made the buttons on the screen look so good you'll want to lick them." "Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
9. Ask for feedback. Ask for feedback from people with diverse backgrounds. Each one will tell you one useful thing. If you're at the top of the chain, sometimes people won't give you honest feedback because they're afraid. In this case, disguise yourself, or get feedback from other sources. Focus on those who will use your product – listen to your customers first.
10. Innovate. Innovation distinguishes a leader from a follower. Delegate, let other top executives do 50% of your routine work to be able to spend 50% your time on the new stuff. Say no to 1,000 things to make sure you don't get on the wrong track or try to do too much. Concentrate on really important creations and radical innovation. Hire people who want to make the best things in the world. You need a very product-oriented culture, even in a technology company. Lots of companies have tons of great engineers and smart people. But ultimately, there needs to be some gravitational force that pulls it all together.
11. Learn from failures. Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.
12. Learn continually. There's always "one more thing" to learn! Cross-pollinate ideas with others both within and outside your company. Learn from customers, competitors and partners. If you partner with someone whom you don't like, learn to like them – praise them and benefit from them. Learn to criticize your enemies openly, but honestly.