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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 

Wednesday
Oct012014

Job Search Insanity—The One Mistake That Leads to Longer Searches and More Stress

By Jessica Holbrook Hernandez, President/CEO of Great Resumes Fast

I hear the pain and the frustration in job seekers’ voices every day. They’re discouraged from spending countless hours job searching only to end up feeling like they’re just spinning their wheels and going nowhere. Job seekers are becoming disillusioned with job boards and discovering quickly that job boards aren’t the answer they hoped they would be. It seems job seekers aren’t sure where else to turn or what else to do—and this is leading to frustration, desperation, and stress. Well, if you haven’t heard it yet, let me be the first to tell you there IS hope. Your job search doesn’t have to be stressful and depressing—or frustrating and overwhelming.

Although I cannot offer you one magical solution that will fix all of your job search woes—or find you a job in one day after only one hour’s worth of effort (no one can promise that, by the way; and if they do … RUN)—what I can tell you is that with some effort and a diversified job search strategy, your job search can be much less time consuming and a whole lot shorter than the average job search of 6-10 months.

So Where Do Most Job Seekers Go Wrong?

According to this job search study, the average job seeker spends between 5%-20% of his or her time during the week searching for work (given a 40-hour work week, for the sake of some simplified math—that means between 2-8 hours spent job searching). Of the 2-8 hours spent searching, almost ALL of it was on job boards. Up to 96% of job seekers spent their time exclusively online—with only 4% conducting work searches offline. Doing the math for you here … that means, at best, job seekers spend 19.2 minutes PER WEEK using one of the methods I’m about to mention—and at worst, they spend 4.8 minutes per week using these methods. That’s incredible! That means between 5-19 minutes per week of job search time is being spread across all the other search methods—networking, informational interviews, cold calling, direct mail, targeting, etc. It’s no wonder that

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Tuesday
Sep302014

5 steps for having tough conversations

You don’t have to look hard to see that there are tough conversations that need to be had all around you. You may tend to avoid them, which isn’t a good strategy if you’re a leader. You must model the work of a leader, and that includes stepping into uncomfortable dialog with others.

Perhaps someone who reports to you is not working up to their potential, or an individual on your team is disruptive to efforts to move the team forward. Maybe a peer is undermining your efforts or your boss is not supporting you in the way you think she should.

Ignoring these things is not very leader-like. And, similar to that little light on the dashboard of your car that says, “Check engine soon,” things you don’t take action on can become worse. And that’s when you have an even bigger and tougher problem to deal with.

If you’ve been in the workforce long enough, you’ve seen it all. Do you use any of these excuses for avoiding or ignoring tough conversations?

  • The problem will go away if I ignore it.
  • It’s a small thing.
  • I’m afraid that my emotions will get out of hand if I address it.
  • I don’t want to hurt their feelings.
  • I don’t want to make a scene and am concerned about their reaction.

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Monday
Sep292014

13 Red Flags In Your Resume – And How To Fix Them

By Jorg Stegemann, Kennedy Executive Contributor

Did you ever wonder what we external and internal recruiters check when we decide within 5-10 seconds if your resume is of interest to us or not? Which are the red flags in YOUR resume – the reasons you will not make it to the interview?

Here are the 13 most flagrant warning signals we might spot in your CV – and the solution to fix them:

  1. Unexplained gaps: [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”@kennedyexec” suffix=”“]It is OK to have a gap in the resume – if the explanation is good[/inlinetweet]. PROBLEM: If we don’t understand its reason immediately, we will pass on. SOLUTION: This advice is unorthodox but if your last job ended four months ago, add a bullet point on top and call it “language course, move to another city, baby-break, taking care of a sick family member, business analysis to open a restaurant” or whatever. Yes, these are imperfect solutions but they are way better than… writing nothing. Alternative: meaningful executive education. See point 5 for more advice on this
  2. Inconsistency in professional choices: Every career will become flat at one point of time and when you change jobs at fifty, sideward steps are perfectly okay. When you are younger and applying in a fast-paced environment however, it should go upward and demonstrate dynamic evolution. THE PROBLEM: If you have had  the same job three times but in different companies, we might assume that you are not able to do more or lack ambition – and put your application aside (I know of course that the reality is that you can not always freely choose…). THE SOLUTION: Add information on job content if the title does not reflect an evolution. Or indicate that the company was bigger. You learn somethings new in every job. Make sure your resume reflects this

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Friday
Sep262014

How to curse out your boss on Facebook ... and get away with it!

By Eric Meyer, theemployerhandbook.com contributor

It’s easier than you think. Indeed, a recent decision from the National Labor Relations Board bears this out.

Details after the jump…

* * *

 

Online chatter about work is still chatter about work.

As we’ve discussed here before, the National Labor Relations Act, gives covered employees (that would include not just those in unionized workplaces, but many, many folks in non-union jobs too) the right to discuss the terms and conditions of their jobs (stuff like pay, benefits, crappy bosses, etc.) together. This is called protected concerted activity.

These protected discussions don’t have to be in the workplace. Online speech is covered too.

In Three D, LLC d/b/a Triple Play Sports Bar and Grille and Jillian Sanzone, two employees discovered that they owed more income taxes than they had expected, allegedly due to an employer withholding error. One of the employees discussed this at work with other employees, and some employees complained. In response, the company planned a staff meeting to discuss these concerns.

In the meantime, a former employee wrote on his Facebook page, “Maybe someone should do the owners of Triple Play a favor and buy it from them. They can’t even do the tax paperwork correctly!!! Now I OWE money…Wtf!!!!” This status update elicited a series of responses, including an from employee who called her boss “an asshole.” Another employee “liked” one of the other messages in the thread.

Ultimately, the company learned of the Facebook chatter and fired several employees for disloyalty.

Protected concerted activity is, well, protected.

On these facts, the National Labor Relations Board determined that the employees should not have been fired.

Indeed, even the employer conceded that the employees had engaged in protected concerted activity. However, it argued that the comments were defamatory and disparaging and, therefore, the National Labor Relations Act did not protect them. (We’ve seen this before).

The Board, however, disagreed:

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Thursday
Sep252014

Three of the Most Common Delegation Ah-Ha's

One of the biggest shifts that most rising leaders have to make is the shift from being the go-to person to someone who builds teams of go-to people.  As you take on more and more scope in your leadership role, you can’t continue to operate as the go-to person who acts as if you’re personally responsible for everything that happens. You need to be accountable and own the results but you can’t expect yourself to do everything that leads to the results.

That, of course, means that you need to be really effective at delegation. Unfortunately, a lot of leaders aren’t that good at it.  Too often, they delegate something to a team member and it doesn’t get done well, or on time or at all.  One of the big reasons this happens is because too many leaders take a “one size fits all” approach to delegation. As I’ve written here before, effective delegation needs to be custom-fit to the people involved and the tasks that need to be accomplished.

That might sound like a lot of work, but it doesn’t really have to be. For several years now, I’ve been teaching the executives in our leadership development programs how to use a simple delegation checklist I came up with called TRACK™. Using the TRACK checklist, a leader can come up with a really clear picture on how to custom fit the delegation by considering:

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Wednesday
Sep242014

Julie Myers Wood: Eat Your Sushi, and Expand Your Horizons

This interview with Julie Myers Wood, chief executive of Guidepost Solutions, a security, compliance and risk management firm, was conducted and condensed by Adam Bryant.

Q. Were you in leadership roles or doing entrepreneurial things when you were young?

A. I was always interested in working and earning money. My dad was a small-business owner — he ran an automotive industrial firm — and I grew up helping out with the business. He instilled in us a desire to work. You had to make money and think about doing things to make money in a productive way. I had this spark in me from a young age to try to find a way to create something.

When you were in college, did you have some notion of what you wanted to do for your career?

I always wanted to be a lawyer or a prosecutor. I love to read and to learn things — I was the kind of kid who would read the backs of cereal boxes. But in college, I was not a supermotivated student. I did well on the LSAT, and decided to do law school the right way, and I graduated near the top of my class.

How did you do that?

When I got to law school, I was very aware that I wasn’t the smartest one in the room, but there were a lot of people who thought they were. I decided I could prepare more, be more organized and think more strategically. That worked pretty well for me.

What were some early lessons in your career?

I was working at a law firm, and a colleague went to work for Ken Starr when he was independent counsel down in Arkansas. This was before Monica Lewinsky. I said to them, “If they ever need somebody else to write motions or do whatever, just let me know because I would love to be a part of it.”  I ultimately joined them, but it was very hard for me to say to someone, “Hey, I’m interested in this opportunity.” 

Why?

Well, it felt a little aggressive, but that’s how I got the opportunity. They never would have thought of me if I had not been willing to raise my hand. I’ve tried to take that lesson with me: How can I show, in an appropriate way, that I might be a good candidate for an opportunity?

Do you find that a lot of people don’t do that?

I think a lot of women don’t do that. And it is hard. It’s definitely against my nature.  You think that if you’re good enough, they’re going to realize that. But they’re not always going to realize that, and there are other people at the table who are raising their hands.  So I’ve really tried to say to other women: “A job has opened up. This could be a good opportunity for you.” 

I also worked briefly in personnel at the White House. I noticed that a lot of men would come to see me who were very inexperienced, but they were convinced they should be the next secretary of defense. Very rarely would a woman do that. They would come in hesitantly. You would almost have to seek them out to push them into bigger jobs. 

You worked in a lot of jobs in Washington over your career, including as head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Lessons you learned from watching other leaders over those years?

I saw a lot of people who had really distinguished careers and were catapulted into new management challenges for only 18 months or two years. Some were extraordinary, and some were terrible. I learned more from watching them than from any book I’ve ever read.

What was the key for people who were successful?

They were able to identify and focus on core things. When you go into an agency or a company, there are a million things you could fix. But you can’t fix everything, so you make a decision about your priorities, and then you act on them. 

Other leadership lessons for you?

It’s really struck home how much people want to be noticed in their organization, at whatever level they are. Sometimes just basic communication — things that seem so obvious — can make a huge difference. When I was at Treasury, I prepared testimony for Ken Dam, the deputy secretary at the time.  I also helped brief him, and afterward I got the greatest note about doing an awesome job helping him. The power of recognition can really motivate people. I wanted to work for him. I wanted to make sure he got absolutely everything he needed and everything was taken care of.

Does your background as a prosecutor help in your current role as C.E.O.?

It does. You think about things critically, and you’re able to ask a lot of the right questions. I also read everything that comes in front of me and try to understand it deeply enough to go beyond what’s on the page.

How do you hire?

I ask people about their past jobs — what they did, what they liked about them, and what they learned from them. I also ask what they know about our company and what they think we should do differently. A lot of people just don’t do that basic work before an interview. It’s stunning to me.

 I’m always looking for that sense of passion, urgency and commitment. Have you succeeded in an environment where you’re very independent?  How have you pulled yourself up in some way?

What advice do you give to college students?

One thing I always say is “eat the sushi.” When I had just graduated from college, I went with my mom to Japan. We had a wonderful time, but I refused to eat the sushi. Later, when I moved to New York, I tried some sushi and loved it. The point is to be willing to try things that are unfamiliar.

Twice a week, Adam Bryant, NY Times Contributor, talks with top executives about the challenges of leading and managing.

Tuesday
Sep232014

10 More Good Reasons You Should Hire Overqualified Candidates

Yesterday, I listed 10 Good Reasons You Should Be Hiring Overqualified Candidates. Today, I’ll list 10 more good reasons for you.

The 20 different reasons or benefits associated with hiring overqualified candidates are separated into three categories: 1) recruiting/ business impacts; 2) reasons to be suspicious of qualifications; and 3) actions to mitigate potential problems.

Recruiting and business impacts

11. They may be a self-motivated professional – If you are hiring a professional who is overqualified, it is highly likely that their professionalism and self-pride will drive them to perform and excel, regardless of what job they are currently in. 

12. Avoid serious legal issues –There are no legal justifications for using “overqualified” as a rejection factor. In addition, because having excess qualifications are often directly correlated with age, refusing to hire the overqualified candidate can create serious EEOC issues. And since older individuals are highly likely to complain, litigate, and also serve on juries, I don’t recommend refusing to hire the overqualified without hard data supporting the fact that they have a low probability of on-the-job success. Any legal issues are likely to be compounded if you don’t specifically state that in your position description that one of the qualifications for the position is not being “overqualified.”

Why you should be suspicious about most qualifications

13. Most jobs specifications are inaccurate anyway – Most jobs specifications are not scientifically determined. That’s because jobs themselves are now changing rapidly. As a result, many job descriptions are highly inaccurate. Simple analysis will often reveal that many of your current top-performing workers have less, more, or a different set of qualifications than those found in the position description. So don’t make hiring decisions based on qualifications where “having them” or “not having them” may have little impact with on-the-job performance.

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Monday
Sep222014

10 Good Reasons You Should Be Hiring Overqualified Candidates

Imagine being assigned a physician and then purposely rejecting them solely because they were “overqualified” for your medical situation. Well that’s exactly what happens when hiring managers reject candidates who have “too many” qualifications.

There is simply no excuse in this new era of data-based recruiting to adhere to this old wives’ tales” in hiring. I have written in the past about the cost of rejecting “job jumpers” and in this article, I will focus on the false assumption that hiring candidates who are “overqualified” will result in frustrated employees who will quickly quit.

There is simply no data to prove any of the negative assumptions that are often made about overqualified prospects or candidates. 

No proven performance issues in being overqualified

It may initially seem difficult for most firms to prove or disprove the value of rejecting overqualified candidates simply because they were never hired and therefore the firm has no performance or turnover data on them. However, firms can calculate the average performance and retention of the few new hires who slipped through with excess qualifications and compare it to the performance level of your average hires.

Another alternative is to rely on academic studies, including a significant one from Erdogan & Bauer at Portland State University that concluded that the overqualified, if hired, get higher performance appraisal ratings and perform better than average hires. And if these new hires are empowered as employees, they do not have lower job satisfaction, lower intentions to remain, or higher voluntary turnover.

There is also no credible public or corporate evidence that overqualified candidates get bored, are less motivated, are absent more, or have any unique team or performance problems. There are, however, many positive reasons why recruiters and hiring managers should hire those who are perceived to be overqualified.

The Top 10 of these positive reasons are listed below. I’ll list 10 more top reasons tomorrow.

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Friday
Sep192014

5 ways to be a leader who gets it

To some, being a leader is just a job. But to others, it’s a choice, a calling even, to inspire others to engage, perform, and achieve. The women and men who make this choice are skilled in a number of areas that bring out the best in everyone and everything. They’re leaders who get it.

Their secret sauce? They’ve chosen to:

1. Be well-mannered mavericks who know when to go with the flow and when to go against it. Leaders who get it have the insight and courage to buck the status quo when it’s gone awry and are willing to assume the personal risk involved in doing so. “Business courage is not so much a visionary leader’s inborn characteristic as a skill acquired through decision-making processes that improve with practice,” notes University of Southern California professor Kathleen Reardon.

2. Be kind. These folks have closed the book on the view of leaders as flinty heroes who unsmilingly save the day and double the bottom line. Leaders who get it bring some heart to their work. They treat people as ends, not means. They care for themselves, their teams, organizations, community, family, and whatever else they hold near and dear, and are secure enough to show that they care. Bill Taylor, a co-founder of Fast Company, advises businesses to encourage their people “to embrace technology, get great at business analytics, and otherwise ramp up the efficiency of everything they do. But just make sure all their efficiency doesn’t come at the expense of their humanity.”

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Thursday
Sep182014

60 Plus Interview Questions People Said Were Their Favorites

A recent contest for people to submit their favorite interview questions yielded the interesting, the odd, the useful, the insightful, and the obscene.

They included such questions as: “What is your favorite palindrome?” and “Why did America stop selling War Bonds?”

And, there are some I can’t publish without washing my own mouth out with soap. 

A contest about questions

The contest, put on by VoiceGlance, ran in a 10-week period from May into July. Most of the answers came in via LinkedIn groups, and were sent in by HR managers, recruiters, and some job seekers in the U.S., India, China, Nepal, Malta, the UK, and Canada.

Here are the questions turned in, and at the end of this post, some of the questions the judge — me — selected as winners.

(I generally tried to pick questions that were related to actual success on the job. Suffice it say, I didn’t pick any questions about your favorite barnyard animal, and I didn’t pick the one about “what does family mean to you?”)

The questions submitted

Give an example of a situation where you had a conflict with a coworker, and how did you handle it?
How would you define servant leadership?

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