Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Pay-For-Perfomance Job Fairs

Innovation is the fuel that propels organizational success. The exploration and execution of new ideas and ways of approaching business is what sets an organization apart from its peers and allows for expansion into new business ventures. This can be done through such means as vertical integration, acquisition or development. I would describe innovation as being successful when it puts an organization on track to expand the customer base while also putting it in a better position to get deeper into the customer value chain.

Recent innovation here at The Employment Guide has included the introduction of a pay-for-performance (PFP) job fair business model. Some would call this approach to a traditional, established business model as "risky." Is there risk? Of course, there is always risk in being the first to try something new. With rapidly changing marketing strategies, vendors with budgetary confinements who want to augment the job fair process, and attendees who are better informed, computer literate and eager to maximize their time at job fairs, this is not the time for job fair companies to “rest on their laurels.” Just because a business model was successful a year ago, does not mean it will succeed in today’s market. Wisdom dictates innovation, innovation means change, and change can be tough. It only comes through an educational process. For us to undertake such a bold new approach to one of our legacy products, we had to get a good understanding and come to an acceptance of just how great the risk could be. Once we balanced the perceived risk against the upside for our customers, we decided to move forward with testing this new model.

With this said, is the mainstream model of doing business in the job fair arena completely broken? I do not personally think so; in fact many businesses, including The Employment Guide, will continue to hold these types of events and be successful. The testing of a PFP model is a proactive way for our organization to gain valuable knowledge of how this important piece of our business can change. In my opinion (and from the outstanding results we received from our first venture), PFP is going to become an increasingly popular business model. I do not think it makes good business sense to not constantly explore new ways of doing business. Just because previous methods of doing business were successful that does not mean that an improved way of meeting your customers’ needs is not just right around the corner.

We do have plans for additional PFP job fairs. The third quarter will include multiple events of this kind spread out across the United States. This job fair business model put significant pressure on the business to deliver results. As a business leader, I like to take our customers’ well-being into consideration and walk a mile in their shoes before implementing any new way of conducting business. With regards to our PFP job fair that we tested in Houston and the results we delivered to our customers, these shoes fit nicely!

There is a great book on innovation that I recommend titled "A Technique for Producing Ideas", authored by James Webb Young that I like to read to spur new ways of approaching our business. It is a quick read and the kind of book you take to lunch three or four times a year to get the creative juices flowing.

Once again, congratulations and special thanks to our Houston Employment Guide team who did a tremendous job and who had responsibility for the toughest part of this plan, the execution. I would also like to thank all of the job seekers and employers who participated in the event and who all contributed to its success.

Posted by Jeff Littlejohn at Tuesday, July 29, 2008 0 comments
Labels: Employment Guide, Jeff Littlejohn, job fair, pay for performance, recruitment advertising, Recruiting and Hiring

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Will To Win

As a person who enjoys playing and watching tennis, I cannot pass up the opportunity to comment on the men's Wimbledon championship match that took place this past Sunday between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Many have stated that this was not only the greatest Wimbledon championship match ever played, but quite possibly the greatest tennis match in the history of the game.

As a tennis fan, I was glued to the television with great anticipation of watching what was going to be a fantastic rematch of the last two years' championship match in which Federer kept true to form with what were great wins over Nadal. I could have never guessed the treat that we were all in store for with a five-set thriller ending in a 9-7 fifth set with Nadal knocking off the five-time reigning Wimbledon champ Federer. This was a clash of two incredible champions, both of whom possess an incredible will to win. Critical point after critical point, emotional highs and emotional lows, it was exhausting to watch, so I can only imagine the physical and emotional drain on the players!

So what place does this entry have on my blog? It provides a perfect metaphor for what it all comes down to in the business world when you are in a highly competitive atmosphere and have to find ways to continuously differentiate your business from the competition. You have to have the drive, desire and passion to reach a goal just like a Wimbledon champion. The drive, passion and determination demonstrated by both Federer and Nadal in the championship match of Wimbledon is representative of the level of performance a true difference maker or emerging industry leader will need to succeed in today's turbulent market.

Just imagine performing at extremely high levels of performance over an extended period of time. Then picture your entire organization performing at the highest levels of productivity. This mixture will put your organization in a great position to become a world-class organization, just like Federer and Nadal are world-class champions. The key is to make decisions and take actions that will put your company in a position to excel. Just like a great athlete who trains, selects equipment, hires a coach, practices, eats healthy, etc., you have to select the right mixtures of resources to create a champion caliber organization.

At the end of the championship match, Nadal prevailed becoming the only player to win both the French Open (which is played on clay courts) and Wimbledon (which is played on grass courts) since Bjorn Borg did it back in 1980. The grueling battle that lasted more than seven hours, two rain delays and ended just before play would be suspended due to lack of daylight left tennis fans exhausted and looking forward to the US Open in hopes of another rematch.

"Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome." -Arthur Robert Ashe, Jr. (7/10/43 – 2/6/93) prominent tennis player and humanitarian and author of his memoir Days of Grace. Arthur Ashe won three Grand Slam titles and became the first African American ever selected to the US Davis Cup team, and he remains the only African American player ever to win the men's singles at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, or Australian Open.