StartWire awarded 2012 Top HR Product Award for Application Connect

October 8th, 2012 No comments

StartWire is excited to announce that our newly launched product for employers, ApplicationConnect, was chosen as one of the 2012 TOP HR PRODUCTS OF THE YEAR by Human Resource Executive for its unique contribution to the field.  This award recognizes “excellence and innovation in the HR vendor community” and we are honored to be part of such a high performing group.

With Application Connect, StartWire supports the importance of the candidate experience.  Application Connect is a tool devised to encourage businesses to treat applicants like customers.  Applicants can receive status updates on their job applications and have a space to give employers feedback on their experience. This allows businesses to create positive branding practices, which support customer perspective towards their product or service and a better recruiting experience.

As we attend this conference, we will be keeping our ears open for advice from top HR professionals on how to better improve the job search experience for job-seekers!  Thank you to all of your support!

 

StartWire Supports the Candidate Experience

October 8th, 2012 No comments

The StartWire team is off to Chicago on October 8-10 to attend the 15th Annual HR Technology Conference & Expo and support the 2012 Candidate Experience Awards as a sponsor. 

The Candidate Experience Awards encourage businesses to improve the candidate experience.   Searching for a job is a stressful situation and the Talent Board, a non-profit research organization who is behind the CandE Awards, recognizes this.  Their mission is to help employers and candidates have a more effective and humane experience during the recruiting process.  For this goal, StartWire is proud to be a sponsor of the CandE Awards.

The HR Technology Conference explores how technology is bringing about change in HR practices and some new ways of implementing technology to improve HR practices.  Attendees from 27 nations, senior HR executives, the top six most powerful software executives in our world, and HR technology consultants make this one of the most anticipated HR conferences of the year!  More about the HR Tech Expo from their main page.

StartWire’s team is excited to be attending the conference, and proud to be supporting an improved candidate experience. Let’s all keep working to make the job search and hiring process better!

 

5 Easy Ways to Score Your Next Gig from Tucker Robeson

February 29th, 2012 No comments

Last week, we shared an exclusive interview with Tucker Robeson, CEO of CDL Helpers, a company that’s out to solve a $5 billion dollar problem in the trucking industry. (Because 89% of truckers who sign on with large trucking companies don’t stay on for longer than a year — there’s a huge cost of staffing and training. Not to mention safety.)

When we sat down with Tucker, we were wildly impressed not only by what he’s doing with his business — but also by his innovative approach to hiring. A former recruiter who studied entrepreneurship in college, here’s his take on the best ways to score your next job.
 

  1. Get creative with how you approach employers.

    I know it’s tough, because sometimes it means spending more money. I’ve been there. However, there are lots of low budget ways to reach people outside of the box.

    For my last resume, I actually included charts that showed how I spent my time in my past jobs – this helped employers see what I was good at and what I had done in the past.

    Want another way to do this? Interview someone who works in the industry you’d like to work with. Ask them to share their biggest challenges. Then write out examples of times you’ve solved problems similar to those challenges – and share those examples – in your cover letters, in interviews – and in any situation where you talk about why you’d like to work in the job and the industry.

    Tip: An easy way to find out what matters to current employees is to check out employee reviews. Track any job you’ve applied to in StartWire and you’ll see a quick link to that company’s information — as well as salary ranges and interview questions you may be asked. (It’s a free back door to Glassdoor.)
     

  2. Focus on adding value to the company.

    Companies that weren’t planning on hiring will find room for someone they truly believe will add more value to the company than they cost in wages. Don’t think about meeting requirements. Think about, “How am I going to make this company a better company because I am in it?” It will show during interviews and during conversations with network connections.
     

  3. Be friendly – even when asked tough questions.

    Even if you’re asked a challenging question that you feel challenges your credibility, show you can be polite and encourage open, unthreatening dialogue. “I know I’m right doesn’t get offers.”

    One of the questions we love to ask is: “When someone tells you that you are wrong, but you know… you are certain… that you are right, how do you handle it?”

    People that truly love to learn and adapt well to a new job usually show it by answering in ways that are polite and encourage open, unthreatening dialogue. We want to see employees who are open-minded to other opinions. Would you want to work with someone who isn’t?
     

  4. Don’t sign up to do something you know you won’t like.

    You will be terrible at it. Eventually, your dislike for your work will seep into your soul and make your whole life less enjoyable, and everyone will notice.
     

  5. Be open to re-location.

The economy is tough right now, especially for recent grads and people in the 18 to 25 year-old age range. Our entire nation was built on the efforts of a migrant and mobile workforce. The only reason the Midwest exists is because people were willing to move here, away from their families in the cities, and make something happen. I truly believe everyone has the potential to add value to the world in a unique way. Sometimes, it’s just hard to find the right spot, so you have to go find it.
 

Speaking of relocation, are you hiring?
 

Yes, we’re hiring for three spots right now. You can see them on our Careers website.

We don’t do applications, and we don’t have normal interviews. We just want to see a basic resume, and some reasons we should hire you. We ask people to be creative. We like to see candidates who show they can think on their feet.

Basically, if you’re energetic and have demonstrated through basic work history that you can learn and adapt yourself with passion, we can train you to do the rest.

We want to be the Zappos for truck drivers. We’re hiring people to help us listen to truck drivers employed by our clients.We literally start every call by saying, “How can your day be better, and what can I do to make that happen?” One time, I conference called in a divorce attorney for a driver, because he was so stressed about issues with his wife and his divorce. The poor guy didn’t have the time, being stuck out on the road, to look up someone reputable in his home area and get some advice. So, we made it happen. Whatever it takes.

We gather confidential feedback from our drivers and then share strategies with our clients so that they can help their employees feel more connected to the company and engaged. Truck drivers often feel isolated and cut off from their work just after they make a delivery. Giving a check in, “hey, how are you doing?” call just after the delivery can boost employee morale – and also help companies get valuable information about their clients. Members of our Tactical Management team gather and share this data – those are the primary roles we are hiring for right now.


You can reach Tucker Robeson on Twitter (@tuckrobeson or @CDLHelpers). If you’d like more free tools and strategies for your job search, we encourage you to check out StartWire and send us a tweet — how can we help you in your search?

A $5 Billion Hiring Problem (& What’s Being Done About It!)

February 23rd, 2012 No comments

Finding a new job may not be easy, but sometimes it’s just as hard to be on the other side of the hiring equation. This week, we’re putting the spotlight on the problem by showcasing an industry where employers have a hard time hiring and keeping employees.

We’re talking about the transportation industry – and truckers. Whether you love or hate tractor-trailers on the highway, the trucking industry moves supplies that feed us, clothe us, house us, and cure us when we are sick.

Yet Tucker Robeson, CEO and Co-Founder of CDL Helpers, a company that provides employeeTucker Robesonretention services to the transportation industry, says the system truckers use to hire and retain employees is beyond broken. So broken, there’s an 89% turnover rate of drivers year-to-year in big trucking companies. Can you imagine working for a company where less than one out of ten employees stay for more than a year?

How expensive is this problem to the trucking industry? Robeson says it’s a $5B dollar problem, and he’s created a business to help fix it. A former recruiter, Tucker was born in Winona, MN and graduated from Saint Mary’s University of MN with a degree in Entrepreneurship. He started CDL Helpers to change the way the trucking industry thinks about its work force, and how drivers are treated and supported by their employers. In a nutshell, Tucker’s mission is to make the trucking industry ask “how’s my hiring?” just as frequently as they ask “how’s my driving?”

We sat down with Tucker to get his perspective on how the recruiting process is flawed and how it can be fixed. While today’s process focuses on the trucking industry, the problems faced by companies in this industry are not unique – many industries struggle to find employees and manage their own reputations. Want proof of this? Just ask companies who’ve had their jobs profiled on the TV show Dirty Jobs?

Here’s Tucker’s take on the challenges faced by the trucking industry in hiring, what’s broken and what can be fixed, and how you can feel confident when you’ve found the right company to work for…

This is the first of a two part series, next week we’ll share Tucker’s unique take on job search strategies that work – and learn more about how he hires!

You say that the recruiting process for the trucking industry is fundamentally flawed. How so? What’s the problem – and what are the costs to both the industry and employees?

Recruiting new truckers doesn’t address the real problem the trucking industry faces: Why are people leaving? If I’m running a successful business, and I pay/treat people fairly, shouldn’t they want to stay?

So many trucking companies have had their names poisoned by former employees, recruits, and others that had a bad experience.  Since they weren’t customers, nobody thought to focus on their personal experiences with the company.  However, bad experiences they encounter could ultimately, end up hurting the company in the future.

When I used to recruit drivers, there were some companies I couldn’t pay people to go to, just because they had heard some horror story from another driver at a truck stop about things going sour. Word-of-mouth is incredibly important to drivers as they look for work.

What are common qualities of top employers in your industry? How can job seekers spot companies who have these qualities?

As is the case with many industries, top employers in the trucking industry are hard to recognize because a lot of advertising and recruiting efforts tout great things that don’t always turn out to be true, and there are very few ways to hold the bad companies accountable. So, you can’t always go by advertising.

There’s a huge lack of trust and misinformation in the industry which has left many drivers extremely skeptical or cynical. That’s part of what we are trying to fix. My company, CDL Helpers, partners with trucking companies to address employee issues. Trucking companies hire us to provide support to new hires during their first few months on a job and we have the ability to escalate problems directly to the top if necessary, to make sure their concerns are addressed.

Breaking into the trucking industry can be challenging for prospective drivers, as there are many hiring requirements that are rigid. You have to be in good physical health, hold a strong driving record, and more often than not – have experience.

Other than that, they should look for companies that are easy to communicate with. After 10 business days post-application, if they haven’t heard anything and can’t reach anyone inside, that’s often an indicator of how things will go from then on out.

The best trucking companies to work for are also usually the hardest to get into. They require the most experience, and the cleanest records. Drivers that work for companies that are headquartered or have a main terminal within 30 miles of their domicile seem to do much better. If drivers can’t find a company that’s close enough to home, they should seriously consider either re-locating to another area, or looking into other careers. Their time at home will be better, they won’t have to risk as much of their own personal resources going to orientation, and they will probably have more reliable miles at the company if they live close by.

Stop by StartWire News next week for Tucker’s perspective on great ways to stand out in the applicant pool and get noticed. In the interim — if you haven’t done so already — pop by StartWire and take advantage of our free tools to organize your search.

 

Get Promoted: On Leadership Development Programs – and a Q & A with BoA

January 24th, 2012 No comments

We’ve all heard stories about the traditional American dream – the career path of the man or woman who starts in the mailroom and eventually becomes CEO. But how do you make that happen today – when so many jobs require very specific types of experience in order to be considered. What are the best ways to work your way up inside an organization?

The answer varies: It depends on the type of position you are applying to.

In start-up companies, often people grow into new roles as organizations expand.  In some non-profits, educational institutions, and smaller organizations opportunities to move up may only happen when someone leaves or a department downsizes – thus creating an opportunity for you to have a new role.

Fortunately, a large number of organizations see the value of training employees for new roles and offer in-house leadership and training development programs designed to groom you for a new role.

Side note: A great way to learn about your future prospects for advancement inside a company is to track jobs you’ve applied to within StartWire – click on the Details tab for any job, and you’ll see a live link to Glassdoor.com, a site which provides you with employee reviews on organizational culture, salary, and even interview questions you may be asked.


This week, we talk to Shavit Bar-Nahum, a Leadership Development Executive at Bank of America. Read on for information on Bank of America’s approach to leadership development – and tips on what to look for when you look at your next job. (Note, you can see current openings at Bank of Americahere or follow them on Twitter.)

In her role, Shavit is responsible for talent management, leadership development, organizational design, performance management, assessment design, and executive assessment and coaching.  Prior to the bank, Shavit worked as a Senior Consultant at Personnel Decisions International, where she partnered with global organizations to maximize their success by improving the quality and strength of their leaders. Shavit earned her M.A. in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University and her B.A. in Religion and Philosophy from Rhodes College in Memphis, TN.  

Bank of America is ranked #9 on the 2011 Fortune 500. You have over 290,000 global employees. In your position as a Senior Vice President of Leadership Development, how do you work with individuals and groups?

In my role as a Leadership Development executive, I partner with both leaders and their teams to better assess the performance and potential of their team and to manage their talent and organization in alignment with their business priorities.  I am very lucky in that I get to do 1:1 coaching with senior executives, but I also get to do team interventions and strategic planning sessions with groups of people.

Do you have events and programs that make the bank feel like a community as opposed to a city of employees?

With so many people in so many locations, it is difficult to maintain a true sense of community across the bank.  However, our identity as an organization stems from our corporate values which establish a culture of trust, teamwork, opportunity, and inclusion.  We also leverage various forms of communication to help us sustain a sense of team through our global intranet sight, Global Town Hall meetings that are broadcast around the world, community volunteer events that allow for people from across different parts of the bank to come together, and a global recognition program that promotes employee engagement and satisfaction.
 

Bank of America sets a goal of helping employees meet their personal and professional goals. How do Leadership development programs help employees achieve that? Can you give me an example of employees who’ve started out at the entry-level and progressed to senior positions?

At Bank of America, both the individual and the organization are accountable for development and career opportunities.  Employees have a broad set of e-learning programs at their disposal through a learning portal, an online internal resume profile tool, internal job posting sites, and different training opportunities they are encouraged to leverage to define their career goals.  Along the same line, the organization frequently assesses the skills and capabilities of employees, develops programs that address group level skills gaps, and bi-annual LOB talent planning discussions that create new opportunities for employees around the globe.  I currently work with someone who started their career processing checks in an accounting function 25 years ago and currently works overseas, running a global operations function.
 

What if I want to work as a leader of a leadership development training program? What makes a great HR candidate and employee in a financial services firm?

For anyone in HR to be successful in financial services, they have to not only understand the business, they have to approach all of their work as a true and trusted business partner.   This means that they need to understand the people and talent implications of the business strategies and the market conditions, but they also need to develop a people strategy that can be and is flawlessly executed.  It is not enough to have “good ideas” or talk about a “people process,” they need to be able to demonstrate how that process adds value to the people in the room and can take the business forward.
 

Inside organizations, there’s a common perception that referral to a leadership development program is a sign that that you’re not getting a good performance review and need to improve? True or not true?

That couldn’t be farther from the truth at Bank of America – in fact, when you get an invitation to attend one of the coveted enterprise leadership programs, it is an indication that you have been recognized for your performance and are being invested in for your potential.  Our leadership development programs aim to enhance leadership versatility, enterprise mindset and strategic thinking.  We look at development needs from a more holistic perspective, and use individual 360 to help individuals gain insight into their strengths and opportunities.  We also look at group results to create programs that develop a wide range of skills needed to drive the business priorities. 
 

What are good questions to ask – during an interview at any company – about career progression and leadership development opportunities?

I always like to ask, “How do you manage your career at this company?  What are the opportunities you take advantage of that the company offers its employees?”
 

Use it now—actionable—advice for job seekers:

Take a true inventory of your values, career goals and skills – but be really honest about your strengths and development areas.  If you have big gaps between what you want to do and the skills you will need to have to do it, put a plan in place to help you solve for those gaps.  No one knows you and what you want better than you.  (p.s. – if you want to be really honest with yourself, think back to the piece of feedback you once got that you disagreed with the most, and see if you can now acknowledge that some of it may have really been true, this will test your maturity and readiness to take the next step forward in your career.)

Insider Q & A: Julie Motta on How and Why to Work at Whirlpool

November 21st, 2011 No comments


Julie Motta is a Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition for Whirlpool Corporation, where she is involved in activities around predictive assessment, employer branding, vendor management and recruitment process optimization.  She has held roles in both the recruiting and generalist space at Whirlpool and ExxonMobil and has a passion around connecting employees and external candidates to the right development and career opportunities.

Whirlpool is the largest manufacturer of home appliances in the world, with over 70,000 employees globally and more than 70 manufacturing and research facilities. You recently won recognition for having a great “candidate experience” and for treating job applicants well. How does a big company create personal relationships with job applicants?
 

This can be a challenge for any organization.  We’ve found that having a well-defined and centralized process that focuses on the candidate needs to be in place to successfully create a positive experience.  Ours is called The Exceptional Candidate Experience (ECE). The ECE is fully embedded in our candidate process and is a key part of the work our talent acquisition team – otherwise known as corporate recruiting – manages on a daily basis.

We make concentrated efforts to ensure our candidates are informed and engaged throughout each stage of the process.  Each candidate works with a centralized contact from interview to offer. We also provide customized community tours of the area where our global headquarters facilities resides in Benton Harbor, Michigan, along with a gift of our branded products when candidates visit us onsite.  It is very important for us to ensure that candidates have all of the information they need before deciding Whirlpool is the place for them – it has to be a fit both ways.

Our recruitment process is built on the principle that every potential candidate for employment is also a potential customer – and it’s important that we treat them that way. In fact, we regularly measure the level of satisfaction candidates have with their onsite visit – whether or not they were hired. 
 

What do you want job seekers to know about working at Whirlpool?

We just celebrated our 100th anniversary this year. One of the most attractive features of Whirlpool is that the core values the company was founded on are still the foundation of our organization today: Integrity, teamwork, respect, diversity and inclusion, and a spirit of winning.  

We are a global company offering vast career opportunities and consumer solutions across the world, yet the work environment still feels like that of a smaller organization.  Our culture drives a natural focus on collaboration, ownership and accountability, a respect for individual diverse thinking, and a continuous energy around personal development.  In fact, we’ve recently been recognized as one of the top-10 Global Companies for Leaders as part of a study released by Aon Hewitt, the RBL Group and FORTUNE Magazine.   In addition, our diversity networks and our strong focus on social responsibility through efforts like Habitat for Humanity, Cook for the Cure, United Way, Whirlpool Foundation (to name a few) help to develop a strong internal community as well. 


What types of jobs are you hiring for right now? Where are they located?

Our openings span across various functions – from engineering and product development to procurement, sales, customer relations, marketing and corporate functions like IT and finance. The majority of our U.S. positions are located around our global headquarters and technology centers on the shores of Lake Michigan, with additional opportunities available at our various US plant locations.  You can review our open jobs at http://www.whirlpoolcareers.com.


Whirlpool has offices all over the world and markets products in about 170 countries across the globe.  How should U.S. applicants who are applying for U.S. based jobs acknowledge the international nature of the company? Do you have any tips on skills that candidates should emphasize when applying to a multi-national corporation?

While some roles have more of a global nature than others, it is important to understand the impact each function and region has on the organization as a whole.  Whirlpool is truly global in every sense of the word.   It is not unheard of to have employees who sit in the US report up to leaders sitting in other countries, or vice versa.  It is very common to have meetings with people from various regions, all working on the same initiative.  The ability to effectively communicate with and drive clear actions among these cross-regional teams is crucial.  

We look for a broad cultural mindset specifically when we hire for jobs with a global focus. In addition, we look for respect for diversity, communication skills, the ability to build relationships across regions and functions, as well as the ability to drive initiatives beyond your own team or region.   These skillsets become increasingly important as we continue to expand our presence across the globe.


What makes a great Whirlpool candidate and employee?

A great Whirlpool candidate has a desire to learn, will bring new thinking to the table while absorbing input from others and have a history of achieving surprising results.  They will have successfully initiated and executed meaningful changes and have a passion for building and being surrounded by strong teams.    

We look for individuals who have a collaborative style and what we call a “humble confidence.” Can you listen to and build on the ideas of others yet respectfully advocate for your own ideas, too?

Above all, you need to be able to build and manage relationships and exhibit unquestioned integrity. Our core values have deliberately been placed at the top of our leadership model. Respect for diverse thinking and backgrounds is required and you need to be able to consistently challenge the status quo in a way that will help us to win in the marketplace.


What’s the best way to connect with Whirlpool employees and recruiters? Do you have any pet peeves – or things job seekers should not do to contact you?

Start out by applying to our careers site online. Our recruiters review our candidate database regularly and can match you to positions you may not have reviewed. You are more than welcome to email a recruiter with your resume, but make sure that you also apply online.  If you include a cover letter, it is best to keep it short.  Recruiters review a lot of resumes every day – these letters should be reserved for highlighting any critical information that isn’t on the resume.

While we don’t have too many pet peeves, don’t be a “serial applicant” and apply for every job regardless of whether you are qualified. Carefully select the roles that best match your skillsets and experience…and apply for those versus applying for everything. This shows that you have put thought into what role you can perform most effectively and how you can best apply your skillsets.
 

Are there any questions I haven’t asked that I should be asking? What’s the question, and what’s your answer?
 

What’s so exciting about working in the appliance industry? 

There’s an old perception that the appliance industry is a sea of white boxes. If you head to your local retailer, you’ll see that this is far from accurate.  The appliance industry has demonstrated a huge amount of movement and innovation over the years. Look at washers and dryers – if you see where we started in 1911 or even 1970 to where we are now, dramatic changes have been made in their features, functioning, and aesthetics.   In addition, we are always working on ways to reduce energy usage, save time, and shrink our ecological footprint.   Our people are empowered and expected to think outside of the box….and to contribute to progressive work processes that generate new ideas, products and services.  As a result, we are able to deliver real value to our consumers in ways never before seen in our industry

We work with products that we also experience on the consumer end, so our people have a lot of passion for what they do.  We don’t consider ourselves to just be designing, manufacturing and selling appliances – our products, technology and services are providing consumer solutions that help make everyday life easier.  With these continued advancements, there’s not a more exciting time to be a part of our organization.


Use it now—actionable—advice for job seekers:

Your resume is the often your first introduction to an organization.  Outside of proofreading it and making it concise, it is also important to make it results focused.  Many resumes read like a job description – the candidates who stand out to me are those who are able to share the results they’ve achieved and changes they’ve driven within the context of their job.

Research the organization you’re speaking with and be prepared to ask informed questions and offer information around how you can add value.  The interview should be a two-way conversation – you should be assessing the company’s fit for you as much as the interviewer is assessing your fit for the company.

 

Insider Q & A: Steve Bonomo on How Adidas Hires – and How to Score a Job

November 14th, 2011 No comments

Steve Bonomo is the Head of Global Talent Acquisition for Adidas; he’s also a sports enthusiast, a recruiting nut, and a man living his dream job who started preparing for his job when he first startedout on the little league field 30 years ago. A graduate of San Jose State University with a BS in Psychology, Steve worked for a search firm before working for TaylorMade Golf, one of Adidas’ primary brands, in San Diego. For the past six years he’s worked in Herzogenaurach, Germany where he serves as the Global Head of Talent Acquisition for Adidas.

Adidas is one of the largest sporting brands and manufacturers of sporting goods in the world. You produce products for multiple sports — Football, Running, Training, and Basketball – are you looking for well-rounded candidates to join your recruiting team? Or do you focus more on specific areas of expertise?

When I got out here six years ago, I was given the opportunity to build a recruiting team. I wanted to do something a little bit different from the traditional approach to corporate recruiting where the focus is often on the number of jobs you have open. I wanted to build a recruiting operation where there was also a focus on the candidate.

We began hiring people with a recruiting agency background because they were accustomed to being paid on based on their ability to develop relationships with both job candidates and the company that hired them to fill a vacancy. After all, to fill a job you want to make sure that the candidate is a fit for the job and that the organization is a good fit for the candidate.

My brother says, “The secret to being successful is to follow up and do what you say you are going to do.” In recruiting, you have to have people who have relationship skills, and who follow up.

The other thing that is important – when we hire for all jobs and brands within the adidas Group – we look for passion for our brands, our products or a love of sports. If you don’t love what we do, you don’t get everything you can out of working for the organization.

We’ve also found that we are a lot more successful hiring people who have grown up playing team sports, as opposed to people who have grown up working in individual roles because when you are working in – and with – a team you can accomplish great things.

What do you want job seekers to know about working at Adidas?

It all goes back to our value proposition: Adidas is a place where you have the opportunity to shape the future of sport through the work that you do each day. The founder of adidas, Adi Dossler, was focused on improving the true performance of athlete. He wanted to help people run a little faster, jump higher better. Our founder was all about helping people achieve what they want to achieve through sport.

If you do your job really well within the Group, you are going to be able to contribute to the betterment of that sport. That runs true for all jobs. You can truly impact the game of sport. Just like TaylorMade founder Gary Adams did when he introduced metal woods golf clubs into golf.

What types of jobs are you hiring for right now? Where are they located?

We have over 625 openings right now worldwide in 75 locations – not including store retail.  Our biggest areas are in the United States in three major locations in Carlsbad, CA (TaylorMade), Canton, Massachusetts (Reebok), and Portland, Oregon (Adidas). We also have 2500 retail stores around the world, which will soon represent  50% of our overall business.

Jobs at Adidas
run across functions from ecommerce, customization (personalization), interactive products (like miCoach). We almost always have open positions in marketing and design, as well as infrastructure positions like IT, HR, and corporate finance – I probably have 75 openings there now.

We’re having a great year in terms of earnings. Everybody had been in some way impacted by the recession but we were still able to continue to grow as a company.

Given that the adidas Group is a global company, how should U.S. applicants who are applying for U.S. based jobs acknowledge the international nature of the company? Do you have any tips on skills that candidates should emphasize when applying to a multi-national corporation?

You should absolutely show that you understand what it means to work at a global company.

It’s absolutely important to think globally if you’re thinking about growth potential. It opens a lot more doors. It is a lot easier to think about career progression if you are working with a company that has more than one office. We have 75 different nationalities working here at our headquarters in Germany.  It’s not uncommon working at our headquarters that you will be in a meeting with 5 people from 5 different countries.

There aren’t that many companies around the world where you have a realistic opportunity to work in most major locations around the globe. You have an opportunity to do that here. I joined the company in 2002 and had no idea I would ever be living in another country.

What makes a great adidas Group candidate and employee?

If we’re looking at for what I hire for into recruiting, I think you have to have the mindset of wanting to talk to people. You also need to be very organized.

For general positions, we are looking for people who are attracted to the brand combined with an area of expertise that fills a need here. Loving sports definitely helps. We have tennis courts, basketball courts, football fields, etc. So If you don’t like it, you are not going to get the most out of your location. However, we also offer a great environment, fun people and lots to do even if you aren’t playing sports regularly.

What’s the best way I can prepare for an interview within the adidas Group?

I can tell what you shouldn’t do. Don’t come in wearing the product of our competitors.

You should know who our competitors are; Puma was actually founded by Adi Dassler’s brother! Know your area of the business well and be able to think in innovative ways. We are looking for people who have a knowledge of our brand and who understand where we want to go.

If I am interviewing a person for a role, I want to hear how they have been innovative, and I want to see how they can work in culturally diverse situations. You have to be open minded and able to step back and understand how your cultural background influences your initial reactions to things. You have to be able to look at issues and events from different perspectives, and you have to be truly passionate about doing that.

Are there any questions I haven’t asked that I should be asking? What’s the question, and what’s your answer?

What is the adidas Group?

We are so often referred to as Adidas. The group is actually a collection of brands that have many similarities – Reebok, TaylorMade, Adidas, CCM (Hockey), Rockport, Ashworth and Adidas Golf. The founders of all of these companies have similar stories; the CEOs grew up in the industry and have lived through so much in the field.  We are successful because of the collection of the brands that we have today – and our common goal of helping athletes perform better.

Use it now—actionable—advice for job seekers:

Understand that whenever you are applying to an organization that is highly desirable, people tend to get discouraged if they don’t get the first job they go for. We may get 400 or 500 applicants for one job. There could be 10 top people in the field. If you are passionate about the organization continue to look at the organization.

The first time I applied for a recruiter job with Taylor Made – I came in third. Then four years later, I’m leading global recruiting.

Michael Jordan got cut from his high school varsity team and ended up becoming one of the best players of all time. You shouldn’t discourage easily. I find that the lessons I learned on the playing field have guided me to this point in his career: Hard work pays off, you accomplishes far more working with teammates, and a good coach is critical to deliver successful end results!

Insider Q & A: Stacy Van Meter on How to Get a Deluxe Job (& Why You Should Chat Up Recruiters)

November 7th, 2011 No comments

Stacy Van Meter is a Senior Manager of Social Marketing/Employment Brand for Deluxe. Prior toStacy Van MeterDeluxe, she was a recruiter for 3M.  She started her career as the Director of eCommerce for United Healthcare and is very passionate about digital marketing and technology.

In addition to being one of the largest producers of checks in the U.S., Deluxe has offices in 33 U.S. locations as well as offices in Canada. Is there one place to find all of your employment opportunities?

Deluxe has more than three million small business customers and is a marketing provider for small businesses and financial institutions. As a marketing provider, we provide everything from web hosting to email marketing and logos for small businesses. We also do checks and forms:  A core part of our business for over 100 years.

You can see all of our jobs at jobs.deluxe.com.

What do you want job seekers to know about working at Deluxe?

Deluxe is a company in transformation. Our culture today is one of excitement but also one of ambiguity. People have an opportunity to make an impact fast. There are certain kinds of candidates that would be turned on by that. We are looking for people with passion and curiosity. We are looking for people who can trod that unpaved road, who can figure it out. It’s important to us that we find people who are a good fit with our culture.

Applying for a job is a hard process. At Deluxe we are going the extra mile to be approachable, honest, and open – and to help our job seekers with that process. We have a promise to stop referring to candidates for employers as candidates and refer to them as customers. Our promise is to treat you with respect and dignity.

Because if we do that right, we are turning our customers and prospective employees into advocates. Happy candidates will share information – even if they don’t get the job. Every time a customer sends an email to a recruiter saying, “I really appreciate your help in my job search. Even though I didn’t get the job, I appreciate the time you took with me,” we hold onto that email. We get hundreds of these responses.

What types of jobs are you hiring for right now?

We are hiring across the board. Five or six years ago we hired for a lot of jobs in print production. Now we hire for more digital jobs – analytics, ecommerce, and marketing. We also have interactive jobs and roles in ecommerce. We hire for finance jobs, operations and HR roles.

We also hire many people for call center jobs. We typically hire about 1,200 new employees a year.

What makes a great Deluxe candidate and employee?

Someone who is excited by change. Someone who wants to have that impact fast. Bottom line: We want to see passion and curiosity to figure things out. Because we are a company experiencing exciting transformation, our employees get a chance to help shape the future here at Deluxe.

What’s the best way I can prepare for an interview at Deluxe?

One of the most beneficial things you can do as a candidate is do your research. Know the company. Learn about the people. The culture. What the company does. Become knowledgeable. Check out Facebook, Twitter, and sentiment sites like Glassdoor.com to find out what others are saying.

Are there any questions I haven’t asked that I should be asking? What’s the question, and what’s your answer?

How should I follow up?

Get online. If you engage with organizations today on social media, you will get a little bit of a bump. You will receive extra attention. All of those avenues of social media engagement can help. This is a new world for employers so we are being extraordinarily careful to engage a little bit better, and to give more feedback.

Use it now—actionable—advice for job seekers:

Check out Deluxe. Connect with us on social media – and get to know us online. Get to know not just employers – but also employees. We want our employees to be engaged in the process, too.

Insider Q & A: PNNL’s Rob Dromgoole on How to Get a Job at a National Lab

November 1st, 2011 No comments

If you’ve recently marveled at new airport security techniques, you’ve seen the results of work started at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), a Research and Development facility.



We sat down with Rob Dromgoole, Director of Recruiting for the National Security Directorate & Director of Recruiting Technology at PNNL. Dromgoole is responsible for creating and implementing recruiting strategy for a 1,200 employee, $650-million business focusing on R&D related to nuclear non-proliferation and counter-terrorism, but he calls himself a matchmaker. “I think recruiting is the best job in the world because I get paid to help people achieve their life aspirations. While I often have to close doors when a job isn’t the right fit for someone, I’m often able to find the right place for them later when another job comes open. And that’s fun.”



We sat down and talked to him about how he hires, what he looks for, and tips for getting a job at a national lab.

Tell me about the work environment at PNNL?



Almost all the research conducted at PNNL is collaborative in nature. We’re working on hard problems, which require a collective effort.  Scientists and engineers work together to solve problems for our clients.  It is not uncommon to have collections of physicists, electrical engineers, mechanical engineers and biologists, all working on applied solutions.  Explosives detection and some of the work we’ve done in national security is one example that reflects that. Our flat organizational structure helps to promote that collaboration. There are only about 4-5 layers of management for the average individual engineer or scientist to our CEO.



PNNL is part of the Department of Energy’s Office of Science but managed and operated by Battelle, the world’s largest independent R & D organization. Given your overlap between both public and private sectors, should applicants submit a Federal resume to you – or a private one?



A private resume or CV is fine.  Battelle – the world’s largest independent scientific research and technology development organization – has operated PNNL for DOE and its predecessors since 1965. Today, approximately 4,900 are employed at PNNL; our business volume is more than $1.1 billion. Our Richland, Washington campus includes unique laboratories and specialized equipment as well as the William R. Wiley Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, a DOE Office of Science national scientific user facility. In addition to the Richland campus, we operate a marine research facility in Sequim, Washington and satellite offices.


Most candidates apply with a standard resume or CV depending on the job. It’s okay to submit a 25 page CV for a science or engineering centric role that includes academic research publications. We expect to see publications on a CV.   However, a standard resume is acceptable for non-research centric roles.



What are you most proud of in terms of your work environment and working at PNNL?



People want to be here. The average tenure of a PNNL employee is 14+ years. That doesn’t happen at most companies today. We have a number of employees who are over 70 years old who continue to choose to work here.  As a result of this culture where people want to make a difference, it makes recruiting for the organization something I’m proud of.  

The collective passion and focus around our mission make PNNL a special organization in my opinion. 

I work with hiring managers who really believe in their mission and the research.

For example, our airport screening technologies were initially developed by PNNL   It’ s exciting to see how technologies developed at PNNL are used in different fields.   Another more recent example is our lab was the first in the U.S. to detect Fukushima radiation: http://www.pnnl.gov/nationalsecurity/highlights/index.stm#Fukushima




Tell me about one of your most recent hires. What stood out to you, and why did you make them an offer?



One hire that comes to mind is a Chief Scientist focusing on Nuclear Fuels research.  He’s one of the top nuclear scientists in the world. He’s doing research on ways to more efficiently design nuclear fuel so nuclear power plants can run more efficiently. He’s one of the best scientists in his field. He was living in San Diego and moved here to make a bigger impact in the nuclear industry, and potentially change the way nuclear engineering works across the globe through his research. The less often a power plant has to shut down to re-fuel, the longer it can operate and provide electricity to America. He’ll have real impact through his work here, and he’s already making a difference.



A more entry-level hire was a Post-Doctorate student who recently converted to a full-time position focusing in Analytical Chemistry. This student initially heard about our research in analytical chemistry while studying in South Florida. He wanted the opportunity to conduct research with scientists who are considered the best in the world in this space. As a result, this person who is single, could have continued to work and live in Miami and enjoy that lifestyle. However, he chose to move to Tri-Cities, WA and work at PNNL.    

That says something about our organization in my opinion.

 Another recent hire was an unemployed former Marine who’d gotten a battlefield promotion in Afghanistan. Our unemployment office and veteran’s office referred her to us, and we hired her. She’s doing a great job.  Her leadership qualities and initiative were an exact match for the position we considered her for.



Any “never do” tips for individuals applying to work at government agencies? For example, if you are applying for jobs with security clearance requirements, is it prudent to share your experience in the process on social networks?



Don’t apply with a sloppy resume; the little things can ruin your chances at securing an interview.

 People will hear it’s all about networking but at the end of the day unless someone applies for the role during the window the position is posted – you cannot secure an offer.  I know the process can take time, but unless you apply, you cannot get hired.

 Don’t contact people here about jobs unless you’ve applied for the job. Apply for jobs as you see them. You need to apply before the closing date for the job to get full consideration. 

I highly encourage networking and using your referrals, but you have to apply to get hired. Apply first, and then use your referrals to network. A strategy that has you applying and networking both increases your chances.



What’s the one thing people don’t know about working at PNNL that you wish they knew?



We offer robust relocation benefits for all exempt level jobs. Often, people have concerns that they don’t want to move because of the expense.  However, due to our benefits, we do not want the cost to be a barrier to applying for a great research opportunity.



We offer fantastic back end benefits that account for approximately 36% of the average employees pay. Included in that suite of benefits is a generous 401k match and a pension.

Tri-Cities, Washington is a great place to live. Watch this YouTube video: 

we would love to relocate more scientists and engineers here.



Are there any questions I haven’t asked that I should be asking? What’s the question, and what’s your answer?



What is it that PNNL does again?



What if you could discover dark matter … curb U.S. dependence on foreign fuel … cleanup an oil spill … or save the world from acts of violence before they happen – all by making a vital scientific discovery today? Better yet, what if you could improve humanity for generations to come by finding and nurturing the scientists who will discover a myriad of ways to improve the world around us? Would you?

We are.

 At Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, we are dedicated to addressing the most intractable problems in energy, the environment and national security. Located in Richland, Washington, PNNL is one among ten U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratories managed by DOE’s Office of Science.

We strengthen the U.S. foundation for innovation, and we help find solutions for not only DOE, but for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the National Nuclear Security Administration, other government agencies, universities and industry. Unlike others, our multidisciplinary scientific teams are brought together to address their problems.  More specifically, at PNNL we


* provide the facilities, unique scientific equipment, and world-renowned scientists and engineers to strengthen U.S. scientific foundations for fundamental research and innovation

* prevent and counter acts of terrorism through applied research in information analysis, cyber security, and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction

* increase U.S. energy capacity and reduce dependence on imported oil through research of hydrogen and biomass-based fuels
  
* reduce the effects of energy generation and use on the environment.



What’s often overlooked in applications?



Paying attention to details. Make sure your LinkedIn profile and resume are typo-free and align with your resume. Pay attention to the little stuff, because employers will pay attention to that, too.



Use it now actionable—advice for job seekers:



Spend some time on the front end – before you apply – and design and figure out your interests and long-term career goals. What sells hiring managers are candidates who can clearly articulate and explain their interests and long-term career goals.



The candidates who get the offers are the ones who really show a passion in the mission of what you are doing. The candidate who shows their interest aligns with the job often is the one who gets hired – even if they have less experience or education than the other candidates at times.  

The key ingredient is passion for what you do, aligned with our research interests.

Be able to speak with confidence and clarity about what you want, and why a job is right for you. Getting others to vouch for you – and referrals – are also helpful.



Finally, don’t give up. Don’t forget that there are five million U.S. jobs that are unfulfilled, and we have 103 of them right now – reach out!

Insider Q & A: How to Land a Job at Herman Miller

October 24th, 2011 No comments

Maxine Gray, M.S., is the Candidate Experience and Social Media Program Manager at Herman Miller, Inc. In this capacity, Gray works to make sure that all candidates who apply to Herman Millerhave a good experience – regardless of whether or not they are selected for employment. In addition to her work at Herman Miller, Gray is an Advisory Council Member for the Grand Rapids Community Foundation and President of BL?END, a networking organization for young professionals that promotes diversity and inclusion.

We sat down with Maxine to talk about hiring and the candidate experience at Herman Miller.

You’ve gotten a lot of good press about being a great place to work: Herman Miller recently was one of six companies to receive the “Employer of Choice” triple crown – from Fortune 100’s “Best Companies to Work For” and “Most Admired” lists to Fast Company’s “Fast 50” list of Innovative Companies.

What do you want candidates to know about the process of applying to work at Herman Miller?

The first step in the process is to visit our website hermanmiller.com, you can see and read a lot about what it’s like to work here. (Check out our videos on how you can join us!)  

The best way to get started is to create an online profile – even before you apply for a job. When you create a profile, we can see what you do and what you’re interested in. We will also notify you via email when something comes up that matches your interests.
What types of jobs are you hiring for right now?

We have over 50 jobs open, ranging from engineering and design, to sales, marketing and finance – and everything in between. We typically have engineering, sales and marketing positions open at any given time, and while many of our jobs are located in or near our Western Michigan Headquarters, we also hire for roles based across the U.S. and globally.

As a company, you do a lot with product design. Does it help if candidates have a knowledge of – and interest – in good design principles before applying to Herman Miller?

It definitely helps. Our long history of design and product design speaks to our approach to the market and into the industry. We have careers that require little to no design experience, and some that are extremely design oriented. What is most helpful is that people are open to learning about design and have a passion for good design. At our very core, we are a design company; however, the willingness to learn is more important than current knowledge/background of design for the vast majority of our career opportunities.

How can a candidate demonstrate their interest in – and proficiency with – design principles as a candidate?

For design-related positions, we look for candidates with a strong portfolio. If you have a background in commercial design, you should have an online portfolio that demonstrates your proficiencies and shows your potential for success in the role you are applying for at Herman Miller.

Do job seekers ever make faulty assumptions about applying for work at Herman Miller? Share an assumption – and a reality.

Assumption: If you get turned down for one job at Herman Miller you won’t be eligible for others.

Reality: If you get turned down for one job, it doesn’t mean you won’t be a fit for another job.

Reapply if you see a more appropriate job. Fit is a big deal at Herman Miller: We want to make sure that a job is the right fit not only for a specific job team, but that it will be a mutually beneficial relationship for you!

We try to build a relationship with candidates throughout the process. We have ongoing relationships with many candidates.  Setting up an online profile is the best way to stay on our radar. If we have a profile for you, we are able to find that in a search and you can set up job alerts so that you receive information about new opportunities. This is a great way to stay in touch.

Could you tell me about a recent hire? How did they apply and why did you hire them?

One of the candidates we recently hired had a great knowledge of product design, sales and management, but her deep knowledge was in specific areas that we weren’t going to utilize in the original job she applied for – she would have died of boredom. We turned her down for two or three roles for which she wasn’t a fit, but she remained willing and interested in learning about new opportunities. She was excited and passionate about Herman Miller; we knew we wanted to have her on the team. We kept an eye out for her, and stayed in touch.  We hired her when a role became available that would really leverage her passion and expertise for products.

As a company, we are very careful to make sure that people fit in with the culture and that are going work well. Our interviewing process is extensive; we want to know that candidates will work well not just with their direct team but also colleagues across the organization.

How do you find great employees? Do you use social networks and other methods for recruiting?

We find people through a variety of efforts from college and career fairs to industry events, referrals (internal and external), networking and community relations. It’s also helpful when people reach out to us. Connect with us and get in touch on Twitter, Facebook or check out our YouTube channel. We love it when people tweet us or send jobs that look interesting to friends.

Are there any questions I haven’t asked that I should be asking? What’s the question, and what’s your answer?

What makes Herman Miller unique?

The ability to come into a company and make impact on day one. We have a highly collaborative company across platforms. The commitment to developing our existing talent is really huge here. Our training programs are excellent, from bricks and mortar training to internal trainings. We give you education options from the beginning so you can come in and make an immediate contribution. In fact, one new hire found a book on his desk about social media the very first day he started – his manager thought it might be helpful!

We are a global company with a global presence, but we are also focused on the local community. While our home offices are in Zeeland and Holland, Michigan, we have offices from San Francisco and New York to London, India, and Asia. If employees are interested, Herman Miller gives you a chance to work globally and to expand your experience and see more diverse things.

Use it now—actionable—advice for job seekers

Develop your list of top companies you are interested in and be able to speak about why you are interested in them. Do your research, understand the company, know where you can add value and move the company forward.

Resumes have to be able to tell a succinct story. Show us you’ve done something in the past but you also want to be able to do something in the future. The resume can be a very powerful tool.

When you are interviewing for a company, make sure you are interviewing the company as well. For example, even if you don’t have deep knowledge about design, innovation and furniture at Herman Miller, you should still know – and articulate – how you can add value.

 

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