Tuesday, December 23, 2008

We Want Housing Pics!

Over the last two weeks, we've been trying something new over on our social network, My CoolWorks. We have actually hosted two on-line chats, one on Yellowstone National Park and one last night on the great state of Alaska. We've been averaging 10 or so folks on the chats who really care about these places, want to learn more about them and invariably we hear suggestions for the employers who hire seasonal staff. So today, my purpose is passing along a request from the tribe.
They want photos of housing!
Think about it this way. When you research hotel rooms on Expedia or pick your favorite travel website, you want to know what the place looks like, what ammenities it has, and how much it will cost. Don't your employees deserve the same information for their sometimes sight unseen plunge to get a job with you across the country? My plea to you.
  • Get a digital camera.
  • Find a photographer.
  • Take a photo of your housing.
  • Post it on your employment website or profile with Cool Works.
It's a simple thing to do, and trust me, your future employees will thank you!

Monday, December 08, 2008

How Can I Attract Candidates?

Inspired by the review of my notes from a webinar about job boards I attended earlier this year hosted by Peter Weddle, a recruiter, HR consultant and business CEO turned author and commentator, I want to share with you his simple formula for a successful job posting. Just last month, I was reminded of his inspiring ways and analytical mind when I saw him speak at the Kennedy Recruiting Conference in Orlando. His session was titled "The Carrot in Recruiting Success," of which he joked that the carrot is the "vegetable of good vision." He was the opening speaker and he hammered home the point that each of us is responsible for our own careers, that we should be the hero of our own stories and not let anyone stand in our way. It was a great talk and a wonderful way to get the conference started, but I digress. Back to job postings.... As always, the name of the game for most people is WIIFM, or "What's in it for me?" They want to know the following things before they'll work for you.
  1. What will they get to learn?
  2. What will they get to do?
  3. Who will they get to meet?
  4. Who will they get to work with?
It is critical to SELL them on why they should work for you. Also, please note that they are not likely to read your entire job posting. Instead, they will scan it, so make it brief and interesting with highlights and bullets. Peter also mentioned a simple formula for the job posting, S-ABC-S, which stands for:
  • Summary
  • Advantages
  • Benefits
  • Capabilities
  • Signoff
I felt great affirmation listening to him speak because this is what I tell my clients all the time. You've got to sell your location first and then follow with the job details and instruct them on how they should apply. Luckily all of the clients on Coolworks.com are in pretty incredible locations, with an amazing amount of recreation and fun things for the employee to do while not working, so why would you leave this out of your job posting? It is a competitive advantage. Use it!

So here is how I envision the S-ABC-S formula in action.

Summary

This paragraph should be all about who you are, what you do and where you are.

Example: Coolworks.com is a job website that helps employers post their seasonal jobs in great places across the U.S. and the world. The company is based at the north entrance to Yellowstone National Park so on your days off a hike or a friendly encounter with some wildlife is just a few steps from your door.

Advantages
  • Advantage #1 - Example: We are the biggest and best at what we do.
  • Advantage #2 - Example: We are a small, intimate resort where being a member of our staff feels more like family.
  • Advantage #3 - What is your competitive advantage?
Benefits
  • You'll get ... a bonus, health benefits, free housing, etc.
  • You'll get ... experience doing a new job, customer service skills, etc.
  • You'll get ... new skills, opportunities for promotions, etc.
Capabilities
  • You need X years of experience.
  • You need Y years of education.
  • You need management skills or name your job requirement.

Signoff

The signoff should include the following.
  • How to Apply
  • Your Website
  • Refer Your Friends Invitation. For example, if this isn't the job for you, please tell your friends that might be interested and qualified.
  • A Thank You

I hope that this is useful. Like I've said before, our job at Cool Works is to help you meet your staffing needs by driving traffic to your job postings and recruiting websites. It is our hope that when we get them there, your message will inspire them to want to work for you.

If you would like to learn more about Peter Weddle, check out his website or pick up his latest book Recognizing Richard Rabbit: A Fable About Being True To Yourself.

Friday, December 05, 2008

A Friday Rant (and Offer of Assistance)

Knowing what should and should not be asked on an application is common sense, right? You don't ask about all of the EEO protected statuses like race, color, age, disability, ethnicity, sex, religion, and national origin. And shouldn't it be obvious not to ask about other personal information like "Do you plan on having children?" (if you're a woman or a man) or "Are you married?" or what about birth order or the direct question of "How old are you?" Ugh. I have seen it all, and frankly, I am disappointed that some employers do not know any better.

It reminds of my time in HR when I attended a Workers Compensation seminar and someone there actually asked if they really needed to have WC insurance. What?! At least the person was there to learn the proper answer to their question. Absolutely, you should have workers compensation insurance.

In this day in age, I would hope that there would be better compliance with the laws because it is impossible to say you can't find the rules now that there are so many HR blogs and websites and government agencies on the web that provide everything you need to know to do it right.

Anyhow, my point today is that as the summer job recruiting season gets going, please feel free to utilize the group of us at CoolWorks.com to help you determine if you're doing it right. This can be anything from "Is my employment advertisement attractive enough to garner any interest?," to "Is my employment application compliant?," to improving your hiring process and job candidate's experience by using our applicant tracking system called Staffing Center, and more. Plus, I would be willing to bet that if we don't know the answer, we probably have a resource that does. We're here to help.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Internships with NYC U.N. Vatican Mission

Two students will soon have the chance of a lifetime to complete a prestigious internship.

Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Permanent Observer of the Holy See at the United Nations, recently announced that two students or recent graduates from St. Thomas - located in St. Paul, Minnesota - will be offered internships next year. The Holy See is the Vatican Mission in New York City.

The interns chosen will act as staff to members of the United Nations Mission, as well as perform responsibilities like monitoring the actions of United Nations bodies and representing the Holy See in different meetings, according to an article by the Bulletin Today.

One internship will take place from Sept. 1, 2009, to the end of December 2009, the period that the Security Council is in session. The other internship will take place from Sept. 1, 2009, to the end of July 2010. Each internship will include room and board at the Vatican Mission and a stipend of $800 per month.

Students interested in either internship may apply, regardless of academic major. However, students must: be a senior, graduate student or recent graduate of St. Thomas; have a strong academic record; have a demonstrated knowledge and interest in international politics, economics or law and be of good moral character and an informed and committed Catholic.

Applications should include a resume and a 500 to 1,000-word letter expressing interest in the position and highlighting qualifications. Each applicant also should arrange for the submission of three letters of recommendation, including at least two from St. Thomas faculty members, and provide academic transcripts.

Those interested must complete an application by Feb. 16, 2009, and mail it to: Dr. Susan Alexander, Mail #AQU 102. The selection process will be completed by a committee of faculty and administrators at the university, and all finalists should expect to be interviewed by the selection committee and Migliore.