Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Boomer... Wiser Worker

There has been a lot written over the last year about the emerging need among employers to tap into older workers as a resource to fill positions that require skilled labor. You do not have to look beyond the Boomer generation to understand this phenomenon. The Boomers, who represent the largest generation, are beginning to exit the workforce. Boomers are folks that were born between 1946 and 1964. They represent the most populous generation in the United State's history. When they begin leaving the workforce in masses, they are going to leave a big void in the workforce, and we are all going to feel it. Even in the face of a recession, it would be wise for employers who have or anticipate having a need for skilled labor to start figuring out how to tap into the Boomer generation. The Boomer generation has greatly influenced our culture and will end up being the generation that redefines what retirement means in America.

Okay, so we know this need is coming. So how can employers begin to tap into this valuable, skilled labor force. First of all you have to know what is important to the folks you are trying to recruit. For Boomers this is increasingly not monetary. Priorities for many of these folks are based on flexible work schedules, quality of life, being able to maintain benefits, etc. Many of these individuals will only want to work part-time. That being said, you can also expect that they will only be working in jobs or fields that they enjoy.

How would you define an older worker? Is it someone 40 or older? Does someone become an older worker at 50? One third of the workforce in America will be 50 or older by 2010. How about 55? Share your feedback with me via a comment. I have read that 50 is the new 40 and that 40 is the new 30. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) protects individuals 40 years of age or older from age discrimination. If the Fed recognizes that age discrimination begins at the age of 40, is that the age by which companies should gauge their older worker recruitment strategies? If 50 is the new 40, maybe Uncle Sam needs to update this bit of legislation.

We at The Employment Guide invite you to check out our newest job board designed for the "Boomer" or "Wiser Worker." Despite the fact that this demographic represents the fastest growing segment of online users, there are only a few other job boards out there as of today that target this valuable audience. We invite you to check out our latest offering which is live for indexing purposes but has yet to officially launch to the masses (that is coming shortly). Be sure to let us know what you think. Thanks!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Can you trust the internet for accurate information? Is the news, blog posts, site statistics, etc., that you access via the internet really accurate? As more and more people turn to the internet as a source of information, I think it is wise as a business to make sure that the information reported in directories or sites reporting analytics are accurate. Decision makers, current customers and your prospects are increasingly leaning on the internet and these kinds of resources to find out more about your business in order to make a decision if they want to do business with you or not. Using our business, here are some good examples of what I would consider the "misinformation" of the "webformation" (I think I just created a new word) aspect of the internet.

Let me give you my definition of my new word: Webformation (somebody call Webster's) is information that is aggregated or posted on websites from resources or from users about a person, organization, object, event, etc., that has no responsibility for the item being reported on and through the process of how it is compiled will always be understood to have a percentage of incorrect or misguiding information. Let's call it 90% accurate. Based on my experience that seems about right.

1. One of our newest products is reported on as being owned by a health care company in Albany, New York.

2. Here is a good example of information that is wrong about the Employment Guide and piece of our business on

3. There is even outdated information about our organization listed on

So whose responsibility is it to make sure this information is accurate and up to date? Does that responsibility fall on the shoulders of those who are monetizing the information or on the business on which they are reporting? In my opinion it makes great sense for you (if you have the time and the resources) to keep an eye on this kind of information about your business so you can keep it updated. Unfortunately for smaller businesses this might not be the case so you might have to look to outside resources to make sure your "webformation" is accurate. This can even be hard for a large organization to keep track of, obviously, given that we need to stay on top of this (falling on my own sword here) and we have internal resources.

So back to my earlier question, whose responsibility is it to make sure this information is accurate? In my opinion, I say follow the money and whoever is monetizing the information on the site is responsible for making sure that the content is up-to-date and accurate. What do you think?

Now, I must end this blog so I can go back to work directing our efforts in updating our organization's "webformation." What a great use of my time!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

212 Degrees

A colleague of mine sent me a link this morning that took me to a video on a site called Just212 that was very inspirational. The point of the site/video is to use the fact that it only takes an increase of one degree in temperature to create boiling water which creates steam that can power a locomotive. That analogy spills over into how you approach your profession, your home life, your existence. You can order the book 212 The Extra Degree, authored by S.L. Parker, from this site. After viewing the video, I am compelled to order his book to read more about the 212 concept. Has anyone already read this book? If so, what did you think?

Do you have room for one additional degree worth of effort in your performance? How the "degree" looks and feels based on your profession could differ greatly, but there is little doubt in the fact that extra effort pays off. The pay off could be in separating your own performance from your peers in order to progress in your profession, it could mean attaining higher commissions or more bonuses, etc.

All too often people use the fact that they have too much on their plates as a way to justify their performance or lack thereof. I frequently ask those folks if they do not want to further advance their career. I ask this question because undoubtedly any advancement will bring the need for additional responsibility, not less, which means more of a demand of one's time. What people often forget is that as they move up in their profession the game speeds up (football players use this analogy to describe what it is like to go from playing college ball to pro ball).

I think using 212 degrees as a way to communicate the fact that a little extra effort goes a long way is right on target. If watching the very creative video doesn't increase your temperature by one additional degree due to getting fired up you might as well be in a professional coma.
In these days of "recession" and "tough times" it will be the individuals, the businesses, the organizations that take the 212 degrees approach that will not only achieve success but will also create separation from the competition. Define what effort and responsibilities you perform on a daily basis that are the most important to your success, and turn up the temperature!

Let’s say you are an inside sales representative. If you average 25 sales calls each day and average one sale per day and increase your daily calls by five per day you could increase your total number of sales by one additional sale per week. Here at Employment Guide Media this small increase in activity could mean as much as an additional $5,000 or much more in annual income.

This reminds me of an exercise I used to conduct with my team when I was a local manager leading our efforts at the St. Louis Employment Guide. Together we would conduct an income check-up that would in essence be a backwards math exercise that would take our great sales team (they are great!) through the process of understanding what they would need to commit to in order to hit their personal financial goals. We found this to be a great way to create a game plan for each member of the team, because each individual had different levels of expectations and goals related to their personal incomes, like wanting to purchase a new car, or buy their first house, etc. I was impressed with how clear everyone's personal goals were that were tied to their finances. You might find this exercise of great benefit to you personally or to your team. It was always clear through these kinds of exercises that effort created opportunity and increased opportunity led to obtainment of personal goals.

Take your effort to 212 degrees verses 211 degrees and see if it makes a difference in some aspect of your life. Where can you apply this practice and make the biggest difference? At work? At home? Give it a shot. What do any of us have to lose by putting forth a greater effort and being the best that we can possibly be at everything that we do? Let's be difference makers!

I have also added a video that I found on You Tube that also promotes the 212 philosophy.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


There have been a lot of headlines in the news of late about the condition of our economy, the fact that we are in a recession, or are on the verge of one, companies laying off workers, hiring freezes, etc. How you lead a business through these kinds of conditions is going to determine the ability for your business to ultimately be successful in the future, or not. One of the immediate moves of a business in a recessionary period is to cut expenses. This is obviously smart and for most businesses is an ongoing practice even in the good times. I was recently emailed a good newsletter distributed by The Recruiter's Digest and written by Bill Radin that I feel outlines some pretty good steps to take, and although they are referring to the recruiting industry, their recommendations can apply across all industries and leadership positions. Here is a copy of the article and a link for you to view it on Mr. Radin's site which also offers other resources and tools for folks in the recruitment industry.

Learning from Past Recessions by Bill Radin (Source: Recruiter's Digest April 2008 newsletter) If you've never experienced a recession, here are 10 things you should know:

1. Jobs that made you rich in good times can make you poor in a recession. This is especially true with mid-level positions, in which duplications in skill sets or job titles exist within a single company.
2. You may need to switch from a "delivery" business model to a "value-added" model. If your business depends on delivering mass quantities of average-quality candidates or you do little to add value, you'll find it harder to compete.
3. Some job markets and desk specialties will be spared. Case in point: After 9/11, when job cuts were rampant across the board, certain job markets, such as defense contracting, construction and legal services, actually thrived. If you can identify the markets left standing, they can be your lifeline.
4. The greater the supply of "active" candidates, the more valuable "passive" candidates become. Since layoffs flood the job boards with unemployed or marginal candidates, you'll need to brush up on your cold calling skills and find creative ways to source top-flight candidates who are currently employed.
5. Employers are more cost conscious. As a result, you can expect more pressure to reduce your fees, and for hiring cycles to slow to a crawl. And as more recruiters fight over fewer jobs, you'll need to tighten up your "ownership" rights to candidates; otherwise you'll fight more frequent battles over who gets paid.
6. Candidate marketing will become more common. Most employers will throw out the rule book if you bring to their attention a candidate who can make an immediate, positive impact. If the candidate has enough sizzle, employers will find a way to make the hire, even if they have to create a special position.
7. Your time management becomes more critical. With fewer positions to work on, you'll need to be highly selective about which assignments will give you the greatest return on your investment of time.
8. Weaknesses in your selling skills are more exposed. Recessions leave little margin for error. The better you are at qualifying, closing, handling objections and making presentations, the more efficient you'll be with respect to converting activities into income.
9. A recession is the best time to be in the recruiting business. I know this sounds counter intuitive. But look at it this way: When times get tough, the weaker recruiters will wash out with the tide. If you can weather the storm and find ways to gain market share and build your reputation, you'll be positioned to grow as the market recovers.
10. Cash flow is everything. Learn to control your spending or make cuts in your budget. Otherwise, you might end up working with your back to the wall.No doubt about it: A recession is a buzz kill. But it can also be a great teacher, because it humbles you and makes you more aware of your weaknesses. If you can stick it out and learn from your mistakes, you'll make tons of hay when the sun shines again, and you'll be more immune to future downturns.

Very compelling!

Now back to my opinions...

If I were to add to the list of ten items above, my contribution would be to increase your level of activities and focus on what has the most obvious link to driving your business. Are sales activities the best driver of your business? Is it association involvement? Maybe even attending trade shows? Find what works best, clear your schedule of all other time consumers and focus on what is going to allow you to build your business. The businesses and leaders that are going to emerge on the other side of the current economic conditions on top of their industries are going to take some calculated risks to gain market share and increase their customer counts. This will be successfully accomplished by being wise with where their organizations focus resources and by taking necessary risks to grow their market share and ultimately their business.

What activities are the most important to your business? Are you investing all of your time focusing on this most important aspect of your business?