Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Marc Andreesen on the Media and Why You Should Care

Marc Andreesen, co-founder of Netscape, in conversation with Charlie Rose, acclaimed interviewer and broadcaster, talking about the eventual fall of newspapers, the rise of social networks and the use of mobile. It is about an hour, but well worth your time to take a peek at our collective future on the Internet.

You can view the whole transcript here on TechCrunch.

Cool Works' tie to Marc Andreesen is a result of his co-founding, Ning, with Gina Bianchini. Our social network, My CoolWorks, exists because of their platform. You can learn more about them and their reason for creating Ning here.

Thank goodness for the innovators!

Monday, February 23, 2009

A Wee Bit of Compliance

Just a few reminders and things you should be thinking about and doing right now.
  1. Your OSHA Form 300A, i.e. the summary form, should be posted on a wall in a visible place where employees would look for employment forms or other compliance items from now, actually February 1, through April 30. More details here on Forms can be obtained here from OSHA.
  2. A revision to the documents that will be acceptable for Employment Eligibility (Form I-9) have been delayed by the USCIS for 60 days until April 30, 2009. Public comments can be submitted through March 4, 2009. More information can be found on the U.S. Citizens and Immigration Services website. Until then, you should still be verifying your employees eligibility to work with the most current I-9 form. Also, keep this link handy for when they roll out the new form.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Carnevale delle Risorse Umane: 18 February 2009 ~ Jon Ingham's Strategic HCM (Human Capital Management) Blog

Carnevale delle Risorse Umane: 18 February 2009 ~ Jon Ingham's Strategic HCM (Human Capital Management) Blog

A Festive Season? It Depends On Your Perspective

Each month, an HR Carnival is hosted by a blogger / thought leader in the Human Resources / Talent Management / Employment field. Each HR Carnival highlights some of the great minds in this industry and captures the trends at this particular moment in time. Guess what the focus of this one was? You got it - The Recession. All of us had different takes and pieces to the puzzle and I am happy that my post called "Your Employees Are Talking About You" was included.

You can read and get the full Carnevale experience here on Jon Ingham's Strategic HCM Blog.

More so, I'm quite happy that I had the opportunity to meet Jon in person at the Kennedy Recruiting Conference last fall.

I hope you enjoy the Carnival and thanks again to Jon!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Your Employees Are Talking About You

It's true. For good or ill, they talk about you all of the time. And you know what? As much as you might like to believe that all of it is good, you would be wrong a good portion of the time. You may also believe that your marketing message will keep you in their good graces, but it won't. Actions speak louder than words.

If you haven't noticed, people seem to share their opinions with whomever will listen and the Internet along with the 24-hour news cycle keeps all of us informed about everything. Strong voices may sway a fine person from working for you or being a guest at your property. Quiet voices do also get their share of attention. In our experience, savvy job seekers will weigh all of the words before they decide for themselves. But what about the ones that just see one bad review and decide to never check you out? What about those that have a negative experience that stays with them for years that they just can't shake? Is it worth losing a potential employee or guest because you did not think about how you treat / treated your employees or applicants? I hope that the answer to that last question is no.

We at Cool Works pay attention to what these job seekers and employees have to say and we do so for several reasons.

  1. We cannot be everywhere so we listen to what is being said about previous, current or future clients. We want to make sure that the employers we highlight pass muster. As best as we can, we do a gut check to make sure that the employers we feature not only fit our niche of jobs in great places (tm), but also pass the "niece test." Would we send a loved one to work at this place?
  2. We've been at this a while - 13 years - and we have (almost) heard it all. We generally can tell the difference between one person's bad experience and everyone's bad experience. Four out of five of us at Cool Works started our careers in seasonal jobs and our lives are the richer for those experiences. We believe that seasonal and summer jobs change lives and we want everyone to have a good experience.
  3. Lastly, and perhaps the most important, is that our reputation is directly tied to those employers who advertise on our website. If you treat an employee well, we feel great about working with you. If you treat an employee or job seeker poorly, it reflects negatively on us. We're very sensitive about that and very protective of our tribe. The bottom line is that if an employer no longer passes the "niece" test, we'll pull them from our site. We don't like to do it and it's generally messy, but for us, it's not worth sending someone to a place that will only dash their dreams. Please pass our test.

Just so you don't think that it isn't all negative, we so often hear glowing reviews of our employers and awesome stories about how their summer job changed their lives, or that they've made friends that they'll have forever, or that the folks that they worked for were amazing. We LOVE to hear those stories. They truly make our days and keep us motivated to serve our job seekers and help you as our employers find great people. Keep 'em coming.

So how can you get the glowing review by your employees and job seekers?
  • For starters, treat them well.
  • Respond quickly.
  • Respect their time and effort.
  • Remember the Golden Rule.
  • Pay them fairly for work done.
  • Give them a safe place to work and make sure to return them safely to their loved ones at the end of the day.
  • Listen to them.
  • Heed their suggestions.
  • Provide secure and safe housing.
  • Give them an opportunity to speak to you before they share their experience with all of their "friends" on the Internet.
  • Be a GREAT employer!

By treating your people well, you'll have fans galore. You may even have future guests to your resort or ranch or camp or whatever. You never know who someone is or who they know until you spend a little time getting to know them. Be worthy of their good words, because like I said, your employees are talking about you.