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Echo Global Logistics, Inc., a leading provider of technology-enabled transportation and supply chain management services, announced today the appointment of Cheryl Johnson to the post of Senior Vice President of Talent. Ms. Johnson holds more than 16 years of progressive HR industry experience, which includes several executive-level appointments.

Ms. Johnson previously led talent management for retail chain Ulta Cosmetics. Prior to her time with Ulta, Ms. Johnson served as Divisional Vice President of Strategic Talent Management for Sears Holding Company and also spent time as Vice President of Human Resources for Fossil Inc.


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The Four Keys to Being a Trusted Leader

By John Dame, Harvard Business Review Contributor

Self-aggrandizement and even plain old greed has become standard fare in the executive cafeteria. And yet CEOs wonder why their employees and the public exhibit such a high degree of mistrust toward business and business leaders. The truth lies in the way many CEOs talk and behave. 

Real leadership – the kind that inspires people to pull together and collectively achieve something great – can only be exercised when an executive is trusted. And trust arises when someone is seen acting selflessly. This may not sound like news – indeed the centuries-old concept of servant leadership is based on it. But if it also sounds vague and hard to apply to your own leadership setting, let’s break it down further. People in an organization perceive selflessness when a leader concerns him or herself with their safety; performs valuable service for them; and makes personal sacrifice for their benefit.

I still have the watch my grandfather received when he retired after 50+ years working for a trucking company as a staff accountant in western Pennsylvania. I wear it regularly. Today, of course, very few people make it to a ten or even five-year anniversary with a company – why did my grandfather stay 50?  He appreciated the safety of that workplace – and despite what you might want to believe, safety is up to leaders to provide or deny. Safe is not cutting people as soon as there is a dip in the economy.  Safe is not giving raises to a few executives while colleagues languish with small or non-existent increases.  Safe is not producing extraordinary profits while failing to develop a clear career path and development plan for every employee.  What safe is, is a place where people come to work not worried about whether they will have a job tomorrow, where compensation is fair, where employees feel that they have gotten a little bit better at their job every day, where they feel there is opportunity to advance and learn, and where their bosses treat them like they are important contributors to the betterment of the organization.  Safe makes a great company.

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10 best practices to inspire employees

By Bob Burbidge, Genesis HR Solutions Contributor

I have owned my own business for more years than I care to admit (OK, it’s 30). During that time, I have learned a few things when it comes to supporting the efforts of those who continue to show up each day and make our company what it is. Some were successful, and some not so much.  If I could do it all over again, here are the Top Ten Best Practices I would implement.

1.   Create a well managed Human Resource department

Most business owners will tell you that their most important asset is their employees. If that’s true (which it is), I suggest you create a solid structure that protects it. Nothing does that better than a seasoned Human Resource professional to start, and an HR department as your business grows.

2.   Pay your employees well

Clearly, one of the main reasons your employees show up every day is for what they see in their paycheck. Don’t overpay, but pay them well. Understand the salary ranges that are appropriate for their job description and pay your top achievers near the top of the scale. For those who still have something to prove, pay them a bit less to encourage aspirations for something better.

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When Your Boss is Clueless

I recently have written about bosses being addicted to detail, or wasting time by not appreciating the cost of asking a question.

Several people came back to me and asked me to write about the other side of this problem, when you boss stays so high level that they don’t know what’s going on and don’t understand what needs to be done.

These types of bosses are frustrating because they just want things, big things. And when your boss lacks any understanding about what it takes, it’s hard to negotiate a doable plan.

Here are some ideas about how to make conversations with a big picture (clueless) boss go better.

1. Manage the moment

When your boss says to you, Make it so, just say, Will do. That is what this type person needs to hear in the moment.

Resist the need to start explaining what it will take to make it happen.

Because if you say something like, “here are the things we need to consider to make that happen. We need to do this first, learn this, and fix this before we can complete that…”

You may feel like you are going forward.

…but what your boss hears is you stalling, putting up roadblocks, or giving excuses about why you can’t do it.

Solution: Stop explaining.
Give him the, “YES and GO” feedback in the moment.

Then, once you are off on your own you can study the situation, get inputs, break the task down into steps, start solving problems, etc.

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The 15 Best Cities For Job Seekers This Spring

By Jacquelyn Smith, Business Insider Contributor

Last week the U.S. unemployment rate rose slightly to 6.7% in February, up from 6.6% the month prior — but the labor force participation rate remained unchanged at 63% and the economy added 175,000 nonfarm jobs, beating economists’ expectations.


A new survey released today by employment services firm Manpower Group offers more good news.

Manpower asked more than 18,000 employers in the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan areas about their hiring plans for the three-month period ending in June and found that employers in all 50 states plan to increase their payrolls during the second quarter of 2014.

Of the surveyed employers, 19% expect to increase their payrolls and 4% say they’ll decrease their staffing levels. This yields a net increase of 15% that plan to hire — or 13% when seasonally adjusted, which is unchanged from last quarter and up 2% from the second quarter of 2013. 

“Overall, the second-quarter survey results are positive,” says Jorge Perez, senior vice president of Manpower, North America. “We expect measured, stable growth in new hiring for the coming quarter. In fact, employers have reported the same modest hiring pace for three consecutive quarters now.”

Here are the 15 best cities for job seekers this spring, ranked by the net percentage of employers in each city that plan to hire:

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How to Deal With Difficult People

By Molly Triffin, Dailyworth Contributor

At one point in my career, a slightly senior staffer started freezing me out — failing to invite me to key meetings and leaving my name off memos and emails I should have been included on. I eventually concluded that she might be feeling threatened, so I decided the best tactic would be to show her that I didn’t have Machiavellian intentions. 

The next day, I popped by her office and asked if I could get her advice about a story I was having difficulty with. The following week, I asked if I could run some column topics by her before sending them along to our top editor. Each time, I let her know how much I appreciated her help. And, eventually, it worked — instead of seeing me as an adversary, I was a junior editor appealing to her expertise. She gave me great advice, and even became a mentor figure for me.

Like them or not, we spend almost every day with our coworkers (many of us probably see them more than we see our spouses), and it’s key to our career success — not to mention overall well-being — to get along. Read on for creative solutions to handle the worst of the worst.

The Complainer

Not only is it a drag to work with someone who gripes about everything under the sun (their disdain for Mondays, multiple revision requests on their report, your other co-worker’s loud typing), but their pessimism can color your opinions, too. “Negativity can be contagious,” says Julie Jansen, career coach and author of “You Want Me to Work With Who?” When someone’s bad mood rubs off on you, it can actually have a tangible impact on your career: An analysis of numerous studies published in Psychological Bulletin found that people with a positive mindset perform better at work and achieve more success.

How to deal: The best way to dissuade a downer? “Respond to their complaints with something nauseatingly positive,” says Jansen. “It might take three or four times, but after awhile they’ll realize they don’t have a true audience with you and give up.” For example, if she grumbles about a colleague who turns in sloppy work, reply, “Still, Jen is a great speaker. She makes an amazing impression on clients!” If she whines about your boss, try, “It’s incredible that sales have been up every year under her tenure.”

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Vacation time in America: live to work or work to live?

Vacation time in America has practically become a cultural oxymoron. Sharpening both sides of this double-edged sword, Cadillac ran a remarkably tongue-in-cheek commercial during this year’s Super Bowl that continues to run during expensive ad slots like Sunday night’s Academy Awards. Rather than summarize it, just give it a quick watch, and ask yourself: is Cadillac right? Is our seeming workaholic American mentality really the path to great success and happiness? Or are we legitimately mocked by our non-American friends’ proclamations that we foolishly “live to work” instead of “work to live?” Click past the break to watch the video and read more.

According to Forbes (and Wikipedia; and numerous other sources) America is indeed the only “advanced economy” in the world that does not have a statutorily-required paid vacation period per year. Indeed, the very notion of vacation time in America is almost taboo. If somebody even mentions increasing the vacation time in America, they get dirty looks all around.

Compounding this perception is Silicon Valley’s 80- and 100-hour workweek that’s practically become a status icon of dedication and determination. Countless articles heap reams of praise upon college dropouts and determined 30-somethings who still sleep on couches, eat sodium-laden ramen soup, and rely upon an intravenous feed of Red Bull to keep going 14+ hours day after day after day forgetting to eat, sleep, to forsake the gym, and all but forget about sex entirely. Not a pleasant life then, especially considering the abysmally low success rates of startups which, depending on whom you ask, range from below 1% to maybe a few per cent at best.

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How to prepare for a video job interview  

By Neil Amato, CGMA Magazine senior editor

What’s proper attire for a Skype interview?

It’s a serious question these days as more job interviews are conducted via video chat applications such as Skype, Google Hangouts or FaceTime. Such interviews allow a company to narrow the field without paying for candidates’ travel to in-person interviews.

Paul McDonald, senior executive director at staffing firm Robert Half, said video interviews are more serious than an online chat with friends and that job candidates should pay attention to numerous variables, including background noise and the physical backdrop.

“It’s the same as a phone interview: Make sure you’re in a quiet place,” McDonald said. “Make sure you’re not in the coffee shop with people walking behind you and talking. Go someplace where there’s a high-speed connection that you’ve tested.” And choose business attire over the tuxedo T-shirt.

“Make sure you’d dress like you would for an interview,” he said. “Make sure you’re well-groomed. Make sure you’re looking into the camera.”

McDonald said he learned plenty after his first video meeting: “I thought I was looking at the camera, and I was looking at the screen. Afterward, a colleague said, ‘It looked like you weren’t maintaining eye contact.’ ”

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5 Things Employers Need to Know About the Fair Credit Reporting Act

It’s not easy to keep up with the legal trends in employment background screening.

One of those trends is the recent wave of lawsuits being filed against employers for violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

The FCRA is a federal consumer protection statute that regulates the screening process. It’s not a new law, but the explosion of litigation and the increased scrutiny of employment background checks is new, and should be on every employer’s radar. 

Investing in preventive Fair Credit Reporting Act compliance measures can really pay off, since recent settlements are costing employers millions of dollars. As a starting point, check out the top five things employers should know about the FCRA.

1. Beware the FCRA class action lawsuit

Fair Credit Reporting Act actions have typically been brought by individuals who miss out on a job opportunity due to a problem through their background check.

It doesn’t help that the slow economic recovery from the Great Recession has certainly increased the competition for available jobs. When job applicants are turned down, they are looking more closely at the background check that eliminated them.

While not the norm, there has always been a steady flow of claims brought by individual applicants questioning the results of employment background checks. However, the class action lawsuit is becoming increasingly more common. If a claimant can demonstrate that she represents a “class” of litigants who have all been similarly disqualified based on a FCRA violation, employers quickly find that they are defending claims against thousands of applicants at once.

An unprecedented wave of FCRA class action claims have been filed over the past 18 months, a trend facilitated by an enthusiastic trial bar. One reason for this trend is simple — and you probably already guessed it — money.

The FCRA is a perfect vehicle for class action litigation — a successful claim can recover statutory damages between $100 and $1000 per violation, attorney’s fees, punitive damages and costs as well as actual damages. The bigger the class, the more lucrative the claim. Larger companies have been the obvious targets, but smaller employers are also at risk.

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Logistics hot spots: Georgia

By Mark Solomon, DCVelocity Contributor

Every industry has its “bible,” a trade publication that wields major clout among the sector’s practitioners. Within the big money and politically driven world of corporate real estate and regional economic development, arguably the bible is Site Selection magazine.

So when the publication ranked Georgia as the state with the best business climate in 2013, it was more than a “sit-up-and-take-notice” moment. It was a validation of years of promotion and investment designed to make the state the country’s best place to work, live, and move goods to market.

Mark Arend, the magazine’s editor-in-chief, said half of the ranking is based on a survey of site selectors who were asked to choose the top 10 states in terms of attractive business climates. The survey’s methodology, Arend said, does not include logistics-specific criteria. “States’ logistics assets might have figured into how [site selectors] ranked states, but we can’t quantify that,” he said.

Still, quality of transportation infrastructure is the second most important criterion in site selection decisions, trailing only the skills of the local workforce, according to the magazine. That plays right into Georgia’s strengths. For all the elements that make the Peach State attractive—a pro-business government, reasonable living and business costs, a temperate climate, and a topography bracketed by mountains to the west and in the center, and a seacoast on the east—perhaps no quality elevates it to the top rung in site selectors’ eyes as its logistics capabilities.

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A Simple Time Management Tactic that Separates Winners from Everyone Else

Back in college, I did my share of partying.  Can’t remember a party I missed.  

And when it came to studying, I thought the only effective way was to carve out big blocks of time and study all at once… 4 hours here, 2½ hours there.  So if I had only a few short minutes, I’d rather goof off than study.  

But I had a fraternity brother who was pre-med, taking all the hardest chemistry, physics, math, and anatomy courses… was in the university marching band for four years (first chair clarinet player) that took tons of time for practice… had a girlfriend he was always with… never scrimped on his officer duties in the fraternity… and through all that, still pulled off straight As.  

Oh, and did I mention, he also never missed a party.  

What did this guy have that I didn’t?  Or maybe a better question… what was he doing that I wasn’t?  

One October football Saturday at 9:15 am, I found out.  As I walked by his room, there he sat on the edge of his bed, decked out in his marching band outfit ready for pre-game practice (kickoff at 1:00), head buried in a biology course book.  

With alumni arriving by the minute, gorgeous girlfriends swirling the halls, and ear-splitting music blaring from every room in the house, I asked why — and how — he was studying on a football Saturday morning.  

He smiled and said words that ring in my head still today:  “I’ve got 8 or 9 minutes before I have to leave and wanted to catch a few paragraphs.”  

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