Monthly Archives: August 2011

Three Things

Unless we’ve got loads of cash and can choose exactly how we spend our time, we’re probably spending some time on things that are a bit mundane.  Whether it’s doing laundry, replying to too many emails in a day, or whatever, we can get worn down by tasks not of our choosing.

That’s why one day I was feeling sorry for myself and pondering how I could inject more meaningful activity into my daily routine.  Although I am privileged to be able to exercise creativity through by job in software design, it’s still not the same as creating something Just Because.  So, I was driving down the road wondering when I’d be able to “do what I want”, such as be a pop star and famous author, and complaining to God about emails and laundry, when a voice seemed to whisper to me:  sing, pray, write.

Sing.  Pray.  Write.  Sing, because I love to.  Pray, because it connects me to my life source.  Write, because it exercises my creative energy.

All of these things are things I can do each day.  I can sing to a CD on my way to work.  I can write a quick blog over my lunch hour.  I can pray at any time.  And when I take the small amount of time necessary for doing these things, I feel refreshed, energized, and more engaged in life.

What three things energize you?

Recruitment Lead Generation for Dummies

I was excited to participate in a new blog duel this month with Rita Jackson and Jessica Merrell because I had so much fun the last time around! When Rita recommended the topic “How Valuable is Lead Nurturing Communities for Recruitment?” I was a little apprehensive but thought I’d take a stab at it. Well, take a stab at it I have, and not sure I’ve done much else but learn what not to do.

Since I’ve always participated in recruitment only from the technology side of things, I thought I would jump in by recruiting leads for a hard-to-fill job for one of our applicant tracking system customers. Erin Campbell with Merchandise Mart graciously gave me free reign to recruit for an opening for a Convention Sales Director for Piers 92/94 in New York City.

I was ready to put my technical skills to work. I was confident. I was prepared. And I was clueless.

My first step was to apply google analytics to the job opening. Although I can already report on which web site an applicant came from, I wanted to be able to get detailed reporting about exactly which tweet or facebook post an applicant clicked on to view the job opening.

The next step of my plan was to artfully send tweets about the job opening through twitter, requesting retweets. I mean, people everywhere are looking for jobs, right? I tweeted from my own account and researched twitter accounts that were related to New York City, meeting planning, and sales.

While I was waiting for some of my tweets to make their merry way around twitter world, I went to facebook. I started searching for groups, places, and organizations related to New York jobs, meeting and convention planning, and more. I was very disappointed in what I could find. Most of the groups or places I came across had less than 100 followers. I was only able to find a few groups that allowed others to post to their wall, that had significant users. So I posted to New York City Area Jobs and Jobs in New York, New York. Then I sat back and waited for the applicants.

After 24 hours, I didn’t get one RT (re-tweet), nor any activity from facebook. No, wait, I take that back – 7 people did click on the link to the job posting. None went any further.

Next step – LinkedIn. I plugged the job on my profile in LinkedIn, then searched for groups related to New York and/or CVBs and/or meeting planning. I found a few and was able to add a post under the Jobs tab as a “Career Discussion” for each of the groups. Many of the groups I found, but didn’t use, required that I be a professional meeting planner/ sales director.

I checked the list of applicants in the ATS, and still no new applicants. I was starting to get desperate and sat drumming my fingers on my desk until I thought of something new. That’s when I remembered that one of my good friends lives a NYC and she might know someone who needs a job. So I posted to her facebook wall. Then I posted to my wall. Who knows, someone I know might know someone who knows someone!

My co-worker recommended that I source resumes, so I went to LinkedIn, Google Plus, and just plain google to try to find folks in those industries looking for jobs. After trying a variety of different boolean searches, all I was getting were paid job board sites or people who looked pretty established in their existing jobs. I felt very out of my league as I looked through the information, and really did not have a clue on how to choose who to approach about the job opening.

As an aside, I do notice that people don’t really keep their LinkedIn taglines updated, at least based on my friends who are unemployed and whose profile still states they work at their previous job. I started out searching for terms like “sales director unemployed” and “sales director job seeker”, and got nothing. Either there is a smarter way to do this, or people need to announce more loudly that they are out looking.

So now, a couple days into my experiment, I have one applicant to show for it. I see 11 total clicks on my link, 3 of which are from LinkedIn, and the rest have no significant source information.

Which brings me to my conclusion… no matter the technical tools, the online communities, and the social media sites, you need to have knowledge and relationships. You need knowledge about where people are gathering; relationships with organizations who might be interested in the types of jobs you’re offering, and relationships with people who know people who want a job in that field, in that location. Social media and online communities are just tools to help communicate among those groups of people. But without the know-how, the tools can be pretty pointless – like throwing a bunch of hammers and nails on the roof and hoping it gets built.

Read the dueling blogs:
Community is for Suckers by Jessica Miller-Merrell
Really? Recruiting Communities Nurturing? Hmmmm by Rita Jackson



15 Years of Running a Race

15 years ago, on a very hot August day, my husband and I tied the knot.  It was a beautiful wedding, more so because of the family and friends who came to support us, than the decorations.  We loved dancing and celebrating with everyone at our reception (we have a lot of crazy family members, but we like it that way).

To be honest, our wedding was one of the high points of our marriage… not because it was “all downhill from there”, but because the wedding represented dreams and hopes that could be – the sky was the limit.

I’ve re-calibrated my dreams since then.  It’s not about what goals I can accomplish, but rather who I attempt to accomplish them with.  I’ve been so thankful to be able to run the race over the last 15 years with my husband at my side.  We may face detours, get stuck in the mud, or run out of energy, but we’re doing it together.

This summer has been a rough one for a few reasons.  First of all, our air conditioning died before the record hot temperatures even began. Heat waves are bad enough with air conditioning, and even worse without (I found out how cranky weather can make me).  Secondly, we’ve had to prop up our business with cash because of the flagging economy, which leaves no money for other things like fixing air conditioning or going on vacation.  I’ve definitely had better summers.

Life just doesn’t make sense if we focus on the tangibles, like money, things, house, job titles, sales figures, and popularity.  We can sink into depression when those are taken away.  When we focus on intangibles like love, faith and hope, it can still be 100 degrees inside the house, and sales figures can be in the tank, and life can still make sense.  Yes, people can also disappoint us, but love,
faith and hope are always found in God, and often found in those around us.

So Kevin, here’s to 15 years of love, faith and hope!  I’m looking forward to many more years of running the race together.

Geek Talk Wrap-Up

myStaffingPro held its first ever Geek Talk on Tuesday, August 4th.  Geek Talk is a conference call/ webinar in which myStaffingPro customers or prospects can chat with the developers behind the software.

From past research, we have found that as many as a third of the requests users have for new features on our software are for features that already exist.  I’ve heard of a study that Microsoft completed for its Office products in which they found the same.  The trick is getting the right features in front of the users who want them, while hiding those features from users who don’t.  This allows for the greatest ease of use for most users, but does pose a communication challenge.

We spend quite a bit of time on continual education and communication with our customers.  Since everyone is inundated with information daily, it is a challenge.  I was excited to learn during our Geek Talk session that at least one of our customers is benefiting from that approach.

“Your system has been really easy for me to train others also.  I like that too.  It’s excellent when you have 50-60 features, but when we started you offered just what we needed,” said one user.  “You have expanded like you have been consistently doing over the years and I think it was an easier transition initially from paper to the system for us … now it’s not that hard for me when I’m training someone on a new feature or new module because it’s just an add-on because they are already familiar with the basics of the system.  So that was a good strategy.”  We are glad to hear that our modular design makes training so easy.  That’s why we designed it that way!

Our next Geek Talk is scheduled for Thursday, September 15th, 2011 at 2 pm.  If you’re interested in being a part of the session, add  comment below, or email me at Jennifer@mystaffingpro.com.