Tom Sweeney

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Posts Tagged ‘CareerBuilder’

$13 an Hour? 500 Sign Up, 1 Wins a Job

Posted by sweens on October 22, 2009

By Michael Luo
Published: October 21, 2009
BURNS HARBOR, Ind. — As soon as the job opening was posted on the afternoon of Friday, July 10, the deluge began.

C.R. Engliand, a nationwide trucking company, needed an administrative assistant for its bustling driver training school here. Responsibilities included data entry, assembling paperwork and making copies.

It was a bona-fide opening at a decent wage, making it the rarest of commodities here in northwest Indiana, where steel industry layoffs have helped drive unemployment to about 10 percent.

When Stacey Ross, C. R. England’s head of corporate recruiting, arrived at her desk at the company’s Salt Lake City headquarters the next Monday, she found about 300 applications in the company’s e-mail inbox. And the fax machine had spit out an inch-and-a-half thick stack of résumés before running out of paper. By the time she pulled the posting off Careerbuilder.com later in the day, she guessed nearly 500 people had applied for the $13-an-hour job. “It was just shocking,” she said. “I had never seen anything so big.”

Ms. Ross had only a limited amount of time to sort through the résumés. While C. R. England has not been immune to the downturn, it has added significantly to its stable of drivers and continued to hire office staff members to support them. Ms. Ross was also trying to fill more than two dozen other positions.

The 34-year-old recruiter decided the fairest approach was simply to start at the beginning, reviewing résumés in the order in which they came in. When she found a desirable candidate, she called to ask a few preliminary questions, before forwarding the name along to Chris Kelsey, the school’s director. When he had a big enough pool to evaluate, she would stop. Anyone she did not get to was simply out of luck.

She dropped significantly overqualified candidates right away, reasoning that they would leave when the economy improved. Among them was a former I.B.M. business analyst with 18 years experience; a former director of human resources; and someone with a master’s degree and 12 years at Deloitte & Touche, the accounting firm.

Over the course of four days, Ms. Ross forwarded 61 résumés to Mr. Kelsey, while rejecting 210 others. The remainder never even got a look. Many were, in fact, never uploaded to the company’s internal system because there were too many.

Just before the advertisement was removed, a standard one-page résumé arrived from Tiffany Block, 28, who lived in nearby Portage and had lost her job four months earlier as an accounts receivable manager at a building company when it closed its Indiana office.

Someone she knew had applied for the job and had said so on Facebook. Ms. Block went to the company’s Web site and filed an application online, which many others had not. By doing do, her application went directly into the company’s system. She was hardly optimistic, since she had not had an interview in months.

Ms. Ross, however, passed it on the next day to Mr. Kelsey.

Attendance at Mr. Kelsey’s school has surged during the recession. Mr. Kelsey, 33, had just promoted one of his three administrative assistants, who handle the paperwork needed for drivers to hit the road. He needed a replacement quickly.

The overwhelming response astonished him. He asked Cheree Seawood, one of his current assistants, to go through the résumés and help pick out several to interview. To make the task easier, he decided they should be even more rigorous in ruling out anyone who appeared even slightly overqualified. Mr. Kelsey, an ardent New England Patriots fan, compared his personnel strategy to the team’s everyman approach.

“We like to get the fair and middling talent that will work for the wages and groom them from within,” he said.

In other words, he said, he did not want the former bank branch manager Ms. Ross had sent, or the woman who had once owned a trucking company, or even the former legal secretary.

He also realized that in this climate he could afford to be extra picky and require trucking industry experience.

The company eventually settled on eight people to interview, inviting in the first two just five days after the job was posted.

In the past, Mr. Kelsey had mostly ad-libbed interviews, but this time he asked his company’s human resources department for help. They sent him a list of 13 questions, as well as an eight-page packet with 128 questions grouped under 50 “competencies.” He decided he would ask them all.

At the end of each hourlong interview, he and Ms. Seawood each jotted down a rating for each applicant and then compared them.

Invariably, the candidates’ job search travails came up. One woman who lost her job had started working as a waitress and confessed she had come directly from her job on the overnight shift.

But Mr. Kelsey resolved to keep his personal sympathies at bay. “If you start judging applicants on want or need, eventually that want, or need, will go away when they get the job and their financial situation stabilizes,” he said. “Then you’re left with whatever skills they have.”

Before Ms. Seawood called Ms. Block to schedule an interview, she had been getting increasingly depressed.

“I felt like, I’m 28 years old, and I don’t have a job,” she said. “What am I doing with myself?”

But Mr. Kelsey was immediately impressed when she came in on the second day of interviews. Dressed in a conservative business suit, Ms. Block patiently answered all of the 100-plus questions. Mr. Kelsey liked that she remained consistent in her answers and showed independence.

Afterward, Mr. Kelsey gave Ms. Block a 9; Ms. Seawood rated her at a point lower.

The next week, however, Ms. Seawood gravitated to a different candidate. The woman had just had nose surgery and came in wearing a protective mask. Besides her qualifications, the fact she had not tried to postpone impressed Ms. Seawood.

But when Mr. Kelsey invited the woman back, the interview was a disaster. She grew visibly irritated amid his battery of questions.

Mr. Kelsey immediately called Ms. Block to ask if she could come in for a second interview.

Was an hour from now too soon?

Momentarily panicked, Ms. Block quickly assented.

Mr. Kelsey marched through many of his questions again. Then, trying to gauge her ability to be assertive among truck drivers, he added a new hypothetical: if she were in the stands at a baseball game and a foul ball came her way, would she stand up to try to catch it, or wait in her seat and hope it fell her way?

The other finalist had said she would wait. But Ms. Block said immediately that she would jump up to grab it.

Mr. Kelsey decided he had found his hire.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/22/us/22hire.html?_r=1&hpw

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Annual Study From Robert Half International and CareerBuilder Provides Preview of Post-Recession Job Market

Posted by sweens on September 2, 2009

Key Findings:

 In the next 12 months, more than half of employers polled plan to hire full-time employees, four in 10 will hire contract, temporary or project workers, and four in 10 will hire part-time employees.
– Technology, customer service and sales are the top three areas in which employers expect to add jobs first once the economy rebounds.
– The average time to fill open positions, depending on the job level, is 4.5 to 14.4 weeks, the same time range as last year.
– Despite an abundant labour pool, six in 10 employers are willing to negotiate with qualified candidates for higher compensation.
– Four in 10 employers expect the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to create jobs in their organizations over the next two years.
– More than half of employees polled plan to make a career change or go back to school when the economy recovers.
– Forty percent of hiring managers said that when the economy improves, giving pay raises will be their primary method for retaining top performers.

TORONTO, Aug. 27 /CNW/
– The economy has posed many challenges for businesses – including the need to make sure they are prepared for the upturn. According to a new U.S. survey, managers are planning to hire a combination of workers to support both long- and short-term initiatives. Fifty-three per cent of employers expect to hire full-time employees over the next 12 months while 40 per cent will hire contract, temporary or project professionals and 39 per cent will add part-time employees.

Now in its fifth year, The Employment Dynamics and Growth Expectations (EDGE) Report provides an overview of the current employment situation, as well as a glimpse of the future hiring landscape. The report offers information on what types of professionals employers will be looking for when economic conditions improve and the strategies businesses plan to implement to recruit and retain talent. The EDGE Report is based on an annual survey by Robert Half International, the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm, and CareerBuilder, the global leader in human capital solutions. More than 500 U.S. hiring managers and 500 workers participated in the study, which was conducted by International Communications Research from April 30 to May 31, 2009.

 “Companies already are identifying the key skill sets they will need in new hires to take advantage of the opportunities presented by improving economic conditions,” said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International. “Firms that cut staffing levels too deeply may need to do significant rebuilding once the recovery takes hold.”

Where Jobs Will Be Added First
Customer-facing roles are indispensable in good times and bad. In the current economy, hiring managers consider customer service the function most critical to their organization’s success, followed by sales, marketing/creative and technology. Public relations/communications, business development and accounting/finance round out the list.

Looking ahead, respondents cited technology, customer service and sales as the departments that will add positions first. Marketing/creative, business development, human resources and accounting/finance also were cited.

When the pace of hiring begins to accelerate, entry- and staff-level workers can expect to benefit the most in terms of new opportunities. Thirty-two per cent of hiring managers plan to hire staff-level professionals, while 28 per cent will hire entry-level workers. Companies may be looking to restore positions affected by layoffs or hiring freezes while continuing to rely on existing staff to occupy leadership positions.

Because companies are operating with fewer resources, hiring managers further appreciate the value of team members who can wear many hats. Asked to identify the most valuable characteristics in an ideal new hire, employers cited multitasking, initiative and creative problem-solving.

Continued Challenges in Recruitment and the Impact on Compensation
Despite high unemployment rates across the United States and an expanded pool of available talent, employers continue to report difficulty locating skilled professionals for open positions. Employers said that, on average, 44 per cent of resumes they receive are from unqualified candidates. Forty-seven per cent of hiring managers cited underqualified applicants as their most common hiring challenge, followed by the reluctance of qualified candidates to leave secure positions (22 per cent).

As they lay the groundwork for growth in their organizations, employers are open to paying more for hard-to-find talent. Sixty-one per cent of hiring managers said their companies are willing to negotiate higher compensation for qualified candidates.

What employers are unwilling to do is accelerate the hiring process. The average time it takes to recruit a new full-time employee is the same range as this time last year: 4.5 to 14.4 weeks. In addition to spending time reviewing and screening out a high volume of resumes from unqualified applicants, employers also are more carefully evaluating those job candidates who are invited for interviews in order to avoid costly hiring mistakes.

Holding on to Talent: Money Talks
“As businesses look to the future, they also have to consider how tough decisions made during the financial crisis have impacted job satisfaction and loyalty of their current staff members,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder. “Fifty-five per cent of workers plan to make a career change, seek out new employers or go back to school once the economic recovery is underway. In addition to competitive pay and benefits, showing a committed investment in the professional development of employees will play a key part in retaining critical talent.”

Nearly half of workers polled (49 per cent) said that after the economy improves, the most effective way to keep them on board will be pay increases. In fact, 28 per cent plan to ask for a raise. Employers seem amenable, with 40 per cent stating that increasing pay will be their primary method for retaining top performers.

Another 20 per cent of employees said they hope for better benefits and perks once the economy turns around. The top perks workers expect are technology upgrades, followed by tuition reimbursement or subsidized training.

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted by International Communications Research on behalf of Robert Half International and CareerBuilder among more than 500 employers (employed full-time; have employees who work for them if self-employed; involvement in hiring decisions) and more than 500 employees (employed full-time; not self-employed; no involvement in hiring decisions) ages 18 and over within the United States between April 30 and May 31, 2009.

About Robert Half International
Founded in 1948, Robert Half International (NYSE: RHI) is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm, with more than 360 offices worldwide. The company’s professional staffing divisions include Accountemps(R), Robert Half(R) Finance & Accounting and Robert Half(R) Management Resources, for temporary, full-time and senior-level project professionals, respectively, in the fields of accounting and finance; OfficeTeam(R), for highly skilled office and administrative support professionals; Robert Half(R) Technology, for information technology professionals; Robert Half(R) Legal, for project and full-time staffing of lawyers, paralegals and legal support personnel; and The Creative Group(R), for creative, advertising, marketing, web and public relations professionals. For more information about the specialized staffing and recruitment divisions of Robert Half International, visit www.rhi.com.

About CareerBuilder
CareerBuilder is the global leader in human capital solutions, helping companies target and attract their most important asset – their people. Its online career site, CareerBuilder.com, is the largest in the United States with more than 23 million unique visitors, 1 million jobs and 32 million resumes. CareerBuilder works with the world’s top employers, providing resources for everything from employment branding and data analysis to talent acquisition. More than 9,000 websites, including 140 newspapers and broadband portals such as MSN and AOL, feature CareerBuilder’s proprietary job search technology on their career sites. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI), Tribune Company, The McClatchy Company (NYSE:MNI) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit www.careerbuilder.com.

Available online at – http://www.backbonemag.com/Press_Release/Items/press_release_08310903.asp

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