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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.

 

If you love your job, don’t read this.

We wouldn’t want to tempt you with our great  new job opportunities 

Thursday
Oct302014

How One Man Found a Job Without Applying at All

By Jessica Holbrook Hernandez, Great Resumes Fast Contributor

Chances are you’ve never heard of Ernie Miller. He’s just a guy who found a job he really loves. What makes him interesting, though, is the way he found it. He didn’t go through the usual channels. He didn’t pound the streets carrying resumes, didn’t network, didn’t search the job boards. He found a job without applying. So, how did he actually end up with meaningful employment?

A Unique Approach

Ernie decided to try an experiment—instead of looking for work, he was going to let work look for him. So he wrote a blog entry in which he listed all the traits he was looking for in a job, and then he linked to the post via Twitter and also on Hacker News. He heard from over 40 companies, not all of which offered work. In fact, he got quite a few responses accusing him essentially of being pretty full of himself. Some responded praising his original approach—but not offering work.

Finally, the experiment paid off. Ernie heard from a Louisville firm, Appriss, which developed a system called VINE, which is designed to let victims of violent offenders know when the offender is due to be released from prison, or if the offender has escaped custody. After years of working for e-commerce startups, Ernie was intrigued by the possibility of working for a company that could actually help save lives, especially since one of his requirements was that he wanted to work for a company that would enable him to make a difference. Ernie’s new job fits the bill in other ways, as well.

The Benefits

Here are Ernie’s other requirements:

  • Above-average compensation
  • Not a contract position
  • Remote-friendly
  • Challenging
  • Opportunities to learn and also to mentor

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Oct292014

When You Tell an Employee That “Family Comes First,” Do You Mean It?

By Dean Debnam is CEO of Workplace Options
  

At this organization, family comes first.”

This phrase is used so commonly by companies recruiting employees that its weight and meaning have almost disappeared. Don’t get me wrong. The words carry the most noble of intentions. But this is one of those claims that’s often uttered and rarely embraced.

In honor of National Work and Family Month, which is being celebrated throughout October, it’s time to take a look at whether we – as business owners – are living up to our end of the bargain. When we tell employees “family comes first,” do our actions really match our words? 

New report on marriage

Recently released information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that for the first time in American history more than half of the adult population is single. More than one in two American adults are not legally attached right now, and 30 percent of the have never married at all.

Does that mean fewer employees have a family life outside the office than ever before? No, it doesn’t.

I didn’t see this report and assume that most of my employees are now going home to an empty apartment. But I will tell you this: my first reaction was to look at my HR policies and make sure they said what I intended for them to say.

Today’s concept of “family” is fluid

Family is an interesting concept. It’s not a word with a finite, concrete definition.

Decades ago, it pretty much meant a man, a woman, a marriage certificate, and probably a few kids. But in 2014, that’s an antiquated idea. Today, families exist in endless variety.

Some involve marriage. Some involve legal guardianship. Some involve a domestic partnership. And some involve none of these things.

As the business community, it’s our responsibility to make sure that the support systems we provide to our employees and their families reflect the times. Even as progressive as we consider ourselves as a nation, the reality is that we live in a world where one-third of the Fortune 500 still don’t extend health care benefits to same-sex couples.

So when we tell employees that our benefits and support structures are family friendly, we need to make sure we’re right.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Oct272014

The Ebola Scare: 10 Workplace Issues HR Should Be Ready For

You might initially think that Ebola is only a medical issue, but corporate leaders, HR, and recruiting professionals should realize that any Ebola-related panic and anxiety will also negatively impact an organization’s employees and candidates.

Take a moment to visualize this possible scenario where during the upcoming flu season employees will irrationally stress, panic, and avoid other employees and customers who appear to be even slightly symptomatic. Envision an HR function that will be bombarded with questions and concerns about sick leave, medical benefits, and a variety of Ebola related issues. 

So if you operate under the philosophy that it’s better to be prepared than surprised, prepare for the possibility that the fear of the Ebola disease alone will result in severe employee stress, turmoil, and lower productivity.

10 Ebola-related issues HR should be ready for

I have written extensively since 9/11 about the need for HR to proactively prepare for disasters. And although no one knows precisely what will happen in the future, I predict that there will be numerous complex employee issues related to Ebola that corporate leaders should immediately begin preparing for. The potential Ebola-related issues that you should prepare for include:

  1. Employees will be distracted from their work – Be ready for a significant portion of your employees to be stressed, anxious, and distracted as a result of this issue. In most firms this may only affect productivity by 5 percent, but in healthcare and all firms where employees frequently interact with the public, expect a much higher employee distraction rate. Proactively addressing Ebola-related employee issues with speed, transparency, and authenticity will become an absolute requirement if you want employees to remain fully focused on their work.
  2. Recruiting issues – Obviously if you are recruiting or transferring people into a geographic area like Dallas that is known to that have Ebola issues, you have to expect some added resistance among prospects and candidates. Transportation firms, building maintenance firms, and obviously hospitals will have to be able to demonstrate to recruits that they have done everything possible to mitigate any dangers to their employees.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Oct242014

Rest Your Way to Success: The Value of Productive Relaxation

By Laura Stack, The Productivity Pro

When I first read that the average American worker left 9.2 vacation days unused in 2012—three more than the year before!—I was shocked, but not surprised. Even in the waning days of the Great Recession, workers were still overstretched. They worried about taking all the time they were owed, lest they be replaced with hungrier workers while gone. Even today, half of us expect to work during vacations, and a third of us eat at our desks.

It might be nice to return to the old days, when office life seemed easier, but I doubt that will happen. The business world is normalizing at a new level, one based on agility, speed, flexibility, and on-the-spot execution. This means that things will never be the same, and we have to adjust to that.

However, that doesn’t mean the change will kill us. In fact, most indicators suggest we have the opportunity to become more creative and productive than ever, just by taking it easier on ourselves. That assumes, of course, you can figure out how to dial it down again, especially if you’ve become an adrenaline/caffeine junkie who feels nervous and useless when not furiously busy.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Oct232014

Why High Performers Really Like Performance Reviews

 

It seems every week some HR blog says employees hate performance evaluation and we should get rid of performance reviews.

I agree that many performance management processes are in dire need of improvement. But as I’ve discussed before, recommendations to eliminate performance evaluations are naïve and misguided.

These recommendations are naïve because if a company pays some people more than others then it evaluates performance, even if it says it doesn’t. Companies that claim to be eliminating performance evaluations are usually just hiding the evaluation process from employees. 

These recommendations are misguided because performance evaluations, assuming they are done well (and admittedly a great many are not done well), are critical to creating a high performance workforce.

What I’ve also come to appreciate through conversations with scores of companies is the claim that “employees hate performance evaluations” is also wrong – at least when applied to high performing employees.

By Dr. Steven Hunt, TLNT Contributor

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Oct222014

Mediating When Communication Breaks Down Between Coworkers

By Dianna Booher, Huffington Post Contributor

When coworkers are caught in conflict, do you know how to re-open the lines of communication without getting trapped in the fallout? Do you care—or do you just stay clear? As a leader, here’s what you can do to help minimize the grumbling, reduce the stress, and resolve the issue:

Avoid taking sides and talking the opposition over to the other viewpoint. Work with both individuals from the very beginning. You may decide to meet with both people together or separately. If you meet with them separately, make sure both understand that what they share with you may not necessarily be withheld from the other person. You may need to use that information to verify and clarify with the other person. If you don’t warn them upfront, they may think you’re “breaking their confidence.”

Interview the bystanders. You can only make sense of someone else’s conflict when armed with unbiased versions of events and circumstances. Casually observe how “innocent bystanders” react to the situation. What do they have to say about the issues? Be careful, of course, that you don’t just collect the data that was passed on to them from the other people directly involved. Just probe for what they’ve observed first-hand. Identify facts, assumptions, and feelings. They all count.

Handle the PR. If you can pass on complimentary remarks from one person to the other, do so. If not, you may have to dig into the past to find these gems. “Jerry, Antonio does respect your work. If you recall, last quarter he asked to be assigned to your team on the Bilcox project.” The purpose is to help them recall their past good relationship (if that’s been the case.) Sharing positive remarks adds credence to other things the person says. If someone is willing to confirm the good, chances are they’ll likely be honest—as they see it—about the current problem.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Oct212014

Be open and honest

By Naphtali Hoff, Smartblogs Contributor

“To be persuasive, we must be believable; to be believable, we must be credible; to be credible, we must be truthful.” ~ Edward R. Murrow

One of the hardest talks that I had to give took place right before the beginning of my third year as head of school. It was at the back-to-school full faculty meeting and I needed to clear the air about an issue that was on many people’s minds.

The issue was me. Not that I necessarily did anything so terrible that required addressing. But I knew that our insular, largely veteran faculty was still struggling with the transition from their previous boss and the relatively new style of leadership that I represented. My message was simple and direct. I validated the feelings of those who continued to pine for a bygone era and let them know that I was prepared to do whatever I could to ensure the smoothest pathway forward.

After the talk, a veteran teacher approached me. He thanked me for my words and told me that I had said what needed to be said to acknowledge and validate. It was now time to move on to what we needed to achieve. And we achieved quite a bit that year, perhaps more than my previous two years combined.

The ability to take an honest look at a situation and take the necessary steps to rectify it — even if it means admitting error and/or acknowledging weakness – is crucial for leader effectiveness. Frequently, however, we see just the opposite occur. In many instances, our first response is to deny problems or mistakes or conjure up excuses to justify their occurrence. Nobody wants to appear as foolish or ill-informed. This is particularly true of leaders, who tend to feel that they must always act justifiably or lose credibility.

Fans of the 1970s sitcom “Happy Days” fondly remember the heroics and antics of Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli. Fonzie was the quintessential cool guy, and always seemed to show up at the right time to save Richie and friends from trouble. But even the great Fonzie made mistakes, and when he did, he demonstrated a deep inability to admit his errors. The first two words, “I was,” came out without issue. When he reached the key descriptor, “wrong,” his face became contorted and pained. Try as he might (and he did try), the Fonz simply could not proclaim error. “I was wrrr-rrr-rrr” was as far as it went. Through comic relief, Fonzie exemplified a human weakness that is oftentimes expressed most deeply by those in positions of leadership and perceived strength.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Oct202014

Take this self-test on your readiness to lead

By Wally Bock, Three Star Leadership

Is leadership for you?

The most important thing to figure out is whether you will like the kind of work you will be doing. Being a positional leader means having responsibility for the performance of a group. That’s different work from anything else you’ve done. If you like the work, you’re more likely to be happy and successful. If you don’t, every day will be a struggle. That’s important because, in most organizations, if you choose to be “promoted” there’s no going back. These three questions aren’t about skills. We can teach you skills. What we can’t teach you is aptitude and mindset.

Do you like helping other people succeed?

That’s what leaders should do. If you like doing it, you’re more likely to enjoy a leadership role and to be successful in it. If you don’t enjoy it, being a leader will be hard and frustrating for you. There’s a bonus, too. You’re evaluated based on the performance of the group. Their success is your success, so helping the team and team members succeed is good for you, too.

Are you willing to talk to people about their performance or behavior?

If you’re responsible for the performance of a group, it’s your job to make sure that everyone is pulling their weight. If they’re not, you need to talk to them about the situation and then work out a solution. These conversations can be hard, but they’re easier and more likely to end well if you have the conversation as soon as you notice an issue. If the thought of talking to someone about poor performance paralyzes you, you will probably wait until you screw up your courage. By then the conversation may be harder. The longer you wait, the harder it will get. If you’re willing to talk to others about performance and behavior, you can learn how to increase the odds of a successful outcome. Otherwise, the work of a leader will be very hard for you.

Are you willing to make a decision and live with it?

If you’re responsible for the performance of a group, a lot of bucks stop with you. If you have trouble making decisions, every decision will make your job uncomfortable. If you’re willing to make the decisions appropriate for your job, you can learn how to make better decisions, but you can’t learn to be willing to decide.

Why these questions matter

If you’re responsible for the performance of a group, these questions are about the work, the things you have to do every day. Forget about the salary and the benefits and the prestige and the perks. If you enjoy the work, you’ve got a shot at being a great leader.

Friday
Oct172014

The Crappy Job Badge of Honor

By Tim Sackett, The Tim Sackett Project

As some of you may have realized from recent posts (Wanted: People Who Aren’t Stupid), I’ve been interviewing candidates recently for the position of Technical Recruiter working for my company HRU. I love interviewing because each time I interview I think I’ve discovered a better way to do it, or something new I should be looking for, and this most recent round of interviews is no different.  Like most HR/Talent Pros I’m always interested in quality work/co-op/internship experience – let’s face it, it’s been drilled into us – past performance/actions will predict future performance/actions.  So, we tend to get excited over seeing a candidate that has experience from a great company or competitor – we’re intrigued to know how the other side lives and our inquisitive nature begs us to dig in.

What I’ve found over the past 20 years of interviewing is that while I love talking to people that worked at really great companies – I hire more people that have worked at really bad companies.  You see, while you learn some really good stuff working for great companies – I think people actually learn more working for really crappy companies!  Working at a really great companies gives you an opportunity to work in “Utopia” – you get to see how things are suppose to work, how people are suppose to work together, how it a perfect world it all fits together.  The reality is – we don’t work Utopia (at least the majority of us) we work in organizations that are less than perfect, and some of us actually work in down right horrible companies. Those who work in horrible companies and survive – tend to better hires – they have battle scars and street smarts.

So, why everyone wants to get out of really bad companies (and I don’t blame them) there is actually a few things you learn from those experiences:

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Oct162014

4 Simple Resume Tweaks That Will Rock Your Results

By Mindy Thomas, All Business Experts Contributor

Everywhere you look these days there are articles, blogs, and online resources with tips and tricks to improve your resume. How in the world can you determine  what advice to trust – and, more important, what advice actually works?

Even for a resume writer like myself, it’s challenging to keep up. But, that’s what I love about working in this industry. We are always learning how to boost our clients’ success at landing a job interview. Attending seminars and conferences, in addition to, networking with recruiters are some of the ways professional resume writers hone their skills and keep relevant on the latest career-related techniques.

Following are a couple of ways to help you perfect your resume results:

  • Generally speaking, allow one page of resume for every ten years. I know it’s hard to fit it all in, but the resume is an overview of your career. Many job seekers continue to create a biography with every blessed detail of every position they ever held. This is definitely not a good game plan. More importantly, this overkill strategy of writing a “thesis” for a resume, instead of an overview of your background, simply does not work. In fact, it’s one of the major reasons why job hunters receive zilch responses to their resume.
  • If you want to really rock your results, pay close attention to the job posting and position requirements. I cannot emphasize this enough. Read that job posting line by line, word by word. It’s sort of like reading a recipe. Look closely at every word that’s on the posting and analyze the specific needs for the role. Just last night, my daughter (who is not a college grad) sent me a posting and said, “Mom, they say in the posting that they prefer a college grad but it’s not a requirement.”  See where I’m going? I think what is also an essential element is reading between the lines to determine what other skills might be advantageous. The absolute mission of your resume is to land you an interview, so make sure you don’t go overboard with an excessive number of pages or too much detail. Your resume is not a biography, so don’t overload your reader. Think and write succinctly.

Click to read more ...