October 2011 Archives

Friday October 21, 2011

The Minimum Effective Dose

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In many of my recent private coaching sessions, I've been discussing the concept of the "minimum effective dose". This refers to the idea that it's important to know the least amount of effort that is required in order to produce a specific result. It's not about cutting corners, it's about understanding a problem or goal and prescribing the right solution.

So for example, let's say that you were a man and wanted to increase the size of your chest from 41" to 44" through a strength training program. If the minimum effective dose for creating a 44" chest was that you'd need to do 250 pushups per day, then it would be a waste of time to do 500 pushups per day. The "trigger" for getting you the result you wanted would be 250 pushups per day.

So in terms of recruiting and owning a business, we want to think in terms of the same simple prescriptions. Things do not generally translate into crystal clear dosages for our business but we can come up with general guidelines that make the process of recruiting less complex and more repeatable. In my work with owners and recruiters I find that they are generally feeling overworked, overwhelmed and scattered between competing demands. They are craving simplicity and systems that they can rely on.

With that in mind, I thought I'd share with you what I consider to be the simplest and most important goal that any recruiter can set for himself in terms of affecting production. This goal is simple to understand but not always easy to achieve. However, if it's achieved even seventy percent of the time, it would put you in the top five percent of all recruiters in terms of billings.

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Tuesday October 18, 2011

How to Describe Yourself in an Interview

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There you are dressed your best and being interviewed for the job of your dreams and the dreaded question gets asked, "Describe yourself for me." This question is almost always asked by prospective employers and almost always answered with a resounding uuuuuh... Knowing how to describe yourself in an interview can mean the difference of landing your dream job or going back to the want ads.

It helps if you come to grips with the fact that this question will be asked and you prepare for it ahead of time, but be careful that you don't some off sounding like you memorized a script the night before. When getting ready to describe yourself in an interview you should consider the following:

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Tuesday October 11, 2011

Staffing Jobs Up in September, Says BLS

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Seasonally adjusted employment data, released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, indicated that staffing firms added 19,400 new jobs (0.9%) from August to September. In a year-to-year comparison, temporary help employment for the month was 8.4% higher than September 2010.

BLS logo.jpg "While job seekers are still facing some very strong headwinds, it's encouraging to see that job growth is continuing across several key sectors," says Richard Wahlquist, president and chief executive officer of the American Staffing Association. "However, until we see more robust and sustained economic growth in the U.S. and globally, businesses will continue to put a high premium on flexibility and will be hesitant to add significant numbers of permanent workers."

Nonseasonally adjusted BLS data, which estimate the actual number of jobs in the economy, indicated that the staffing industry added jobs, with temporary help firms employing approximately 56,500 additional people (2.5%) from August to September. On a year-to-year basis, there were 7.8% more staffing employees in September compared with the same month in 2010. The ASA Staffing Index, which also is not seasonally adjusted and therefore is comparable to the nonadjusted employment figures reported by BLS, indicated a 3.4% increase in staffing payrolls sequentially (from August to September); in a year-to-year comparison, the index shows staffing employment is 1.2% lower than in September 2010.

BLS also provides employment estimates for search and placement firms, but those are nonseasonal only, and reports lag one month. Friday, BLS reported that search and placement employment in August was up 0.2% from July, totaling 255,100 for the month. In a year-to-year comparison, August employment was up 5.7% from the same month in 2010, continuing the trend of year-to-year employment growth in search and placement that began in February 2010. Since then, search and placement firms have added 32,400 jobs.

U.S. nonfarm payroll employment increased by 103,000 jobs in September, largely bolstered by the return of 45,000 telecommunications workers following a strike in August. Since April, on average, 72,000 jobs have been added to the economy each month--compared with the average of 161,000 jobs added monthly during the prior seven months.

In September, new jobs were mostly concentrated in professional services, health care, and construction. Government employment continued to decline. The overall unemployment rate remained at 9.1%.