September 29, 2012

Why Issue 52 is the last one!

Hello Everyone!

Well it has arrived!  Issue number 52 was released!  What a ride the last year has been!  To put this year in perspective - here are some stats for you.

Career Development Connections has:

  • posted 688 Job Postings  on the website and in the weekly newsletter
  • an average of 13 new job openings a week were posted- some weeks had as many as 30 new job postings!
  • an average of 9 different employers received exposure to their jobs each week   
  • a variety of educational providers were able to market their learning opportunities  
  • 52 Newsletters were sent to over 500 people per week
  • unprecedented open and click rates on the newsletter were achieved

When I started Career Development Connections, I wrote a blog post "The Why Behind Career Development Connections". This post gives you some insight into the history of this service. 

Basically, when I started Career Development Connections, it was because I saw that the industry needed support and I wanted to help.  This time last year the industry was in chaos and the need was clear - the people working in the industry needed somewhere to turn to help them see where the work was going to be.  It is hard to serve clients and do your own job search at the same time!  At the same time, I always believed this service would only be relevant for a year or so because the industry would naturally sort itself out.  That year is up and the industry is starting to right itself and while the jobs available are still sorting themselves out, the contracts are awarded and who is providing service in each community is clear.  As a result, the need for Career Development Connections is lessening and unfortunately, the costs, both personally and professionally, to continue the services are rising.  What a lot of people don't know is that I have dedicated over 300 hours of my personal time, usually on my Sunday afternoons, to updating the website and publishing the newsletter for the last year.  While this has been a labour of love, it has also taken a toll.

So, after much soul searching and business planning, I have decided to wind down the services of Career Development Connections.  I will be updating the website only when jobs are shared with me until December 31, 2012.  The newsletter will be published sporadically over the next few months until I wrap everything up by the end of the year.

In closing, I would like to thank everyone who has expressed their appreciation for this service.  Whenever I have felt like I wasn't sure if there was a point to all of this, I would get an email from someone saying "Thank You" and that would make all the difference.  This decision to stop doing what I know is appreciated by so many is not easy, and I hope everyone understands!

I look forward to staying in touch with you.  I am continuing my consulting company, Engaged HR, and I look forward to serving the industry through that company in the months and years to come as it continues to grow.  Many of you are also subscribers to my Engaged HR newsletter and I intend to publish that newsletter a lot more often!

Thanks to all of you for subscribing and best wishes to you all!

August 23, 2012

The Simplicity of Engagement

 On Wednesday, September 5th, 2012 I have the honour of speaking at the yoUnlimited Women's Downtown Learn and Network Lunch at the Union Club in Victoria, BC.  I am super excited and also nervous as the people who have spoken at previous lunches are amazing!  So the pressure is on!

I am speaking on a topic I love so the words will flow and the ideas will be present - or at least that is what I am counting on! :-)  My topic is The Simplicity of Engagement and you have to come to lunch to hear all about it - but I will leave you with these teasers.

mindless work = mindless effort
Recognition goes a LONG way

Everyone wants to be Significant

Engage Yourself = Engaged Your Staff

I am looking forward to being in a room filled with amazing women all taking stock of where their personal engagement lies and how they can share that with their families, their friends and in their workplaces!

See you there!

August 21, 2012

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Back in September 2011 I blogged about recognition programs and used as an example.

Well Kiva is at it again and they are providing a Free $25 loan for anyone who wants to try them out.  Amazing.  Free money to give to someone to build their business.  It is so cool.

So, here you go. Click here and Give a loan. Try it out. It feels amazing!  You get to give, and it costs you nothing.  And after you experience that sense of having made a difference, do it again, and again and again.  Because it is the gift that keeps on giving.  Carolyne Taylor of yoUnlimited does a great job of showing you just how this works.

And while you are at it, buy gift cards, spread the joy! Give someone in your life the opportunity to make a difference.  And of course I am always advocating for employee recognition - so give one to an employee who has made a difference in your company, and let them make a difference in someone else's company.  How cool is that?? 

Want to engage employees so that they feel like they are significant?  Now is your chance!

August 13, 2012

Time to go Social! Impact 99 Road Trip!

I don't know about you but I have spent the last year trying to get a handle on the use of social media for business.  It used to just be able the Big 3 - Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIN. They all have a purpose and they are all completely mainstream now.  They have gone beyond the basics of connecting with old high school friends and posting pictures of my cats.  They are defining the nature of business and of work under the term Social Workplace.

So, the big question is now how to implement "social business tools" and make them worthwhile to my business and to my value as an HR professional. Not to mention, how to do I use with my employees, my clients, my customers?  This article from BCHRMA People Talk by Christine McLeod offers insight into the Digital IQ and Social Business.  I am also half way through the book, the Digital Workplace, by Paul Miller and it is shedding all kinds of light on the reality of knowledge work happening wherever, whenever, regardless of face time with your employees.  Fascinating stuff!

I have found that the best way to absorb all this new learning is to immerse myself in it for a short period of time and then to practice, practice and practice!  So, I was thrilled to learn about Impact 99 - HR Summit 2012.  This is an event that will allow for all kinds of powerful learning about going social in the workplace.

Impact 99 is a unique one-day experience that helps HR and business leaders move from thought to action as they get educated on social workplaces, HR innovation and business thought leadership.

Engaged HR is proud to be a community sponsor of Impact99- HR Summit. As an exclusive business event directly impacting BC businesses and igniting more social workplaces in Canada, I would like to extend my personal invitation to Vancouver Island innovative HR leaders to join Engaged HR October 2nd in Vancouver. We would be delighted to have you join a community of forward-thinking HR& Business minds on Vancouver Island!

As a Community Sponsor to this event, I see value in everything this event offers - from interaction with social media, to building my understanding of how other thought leaders are implementing, to finding like-minded people to join the conversation. It all has value!

So, I want you to join me!  Come to Impact 99 in Vancouver on October 2nd and let's learn together!  And for those of you in the Victoria area, let's come together each month and support each other in our learning!  We all go to conferences that are great in the moment but it is tough to sustain the learning after that.  Coming together to share, to learn and to re-ignite our thinking will make this social business stuff stick!

As a community sponsor, I have access to VIP ticket pricing nearly 66% of the regular registration price, and VIP hotel pricing as well. Email me for more registration information and great deals on this event and we can discuss our Impact 99 Road Trip!

Take action and let's go Social!

June 28, 2012

Recruiter's Rant

I have been reviewing a lot of resumes lately as I have been actively recruiting a number of professional positions in the Victoria area.
One of the things that drives me crazy as a recruiter is when I receive an email with a resume and a cover letter in different word documents. So here is my tip!
When sending in a resume and cover letter by email, if you want both to be read - send in ONE document.  Cover letter followed by resume.  And here is why:
  • Saves time. I have one document to open, read and possibly print.
  • I don't get to choose to read only one of your documents - I have to read or at least scan the cover letter to get to the resume.  Sometimes if I get two documents I pick one and if it doesn't grab me I don't bother to read the other.  All that work was put into it and it wasn't even opened!
  • Documents don't get separated. If I am saving your document onto my hard drive, I can easily save together.  (oh - 2nd tip - name your documents in a professional way so that I don't have to rename it with your name on it)
  • Makes it easy to forward. If I am attaching your materials to send to another party, sending one document is more organized and easier to send.
And if you really want to look good?  Don't send in Word with a chance of the formatting changing - send in a PDF. You can make a PDF right in Word - it is easy peasy and shows effort!
Every recruiter is different and may not agree with me but that is this Recruiter's Rant!

June 03, 2012

Building Your Employer Brand

I notice that lots of agencies have produced new websites associated with the WorkBC program.  There are some awesome new websites out there now and as a result the industry has taken a big leap forward with its online presence!  Congratulations and great work!

One area that is often forgotten, or perhaps put to the bottom of the pile, is the Careers page on your website.  Many websites don’t have one because they feel that they don’t often have jobs to post so what is the point.  Well, the point is, this is an excellent place for you to promote yourself as a great place to work! And why would you want to do that you ask?

Here are 5 good reasons to have a great Careers page on your website!

5.   Talk about yourself! Let customers or clients know what kind of organization you are – and that includes the way you are as a place to work!  Having an area on your website that talks about what kind of employer you are, the kind of culture you have and the kind of people that work at your agency tells clients what to expect when they walk through the door.  They will want to be a part of that action just by being a client!

4.   Market your jobs! You may not have a job available today but you will at some point so having a place on your website where you can market that opportunity is critical to your online presence.  This is also a no-cost way to get the word out that you have a job opening.

3.   Speak directly to candidates! Give potential candidates a sense of whether they would fit in your agency before they apply.  Get your candidates to do the work for you by screening themselves out if they don’t think they would belong in your environment. Be clear about what you offer as an employer and they will know whether it is for them or not.

2.    Provide current employees with a place to brag! Career pages that show current employees (especially on video – hint hint) talking about how great it is to work for you is a wonderful testimonial for coming to work for you! This is also a chance for your employees to share their experiences and to generate their own feelings of pride for being a part of the organization.

And the number 1 reason to have a Careers page on your website....

Build your brand!  Employers who are known for who they are and what they are like to work with are the Employers who attract the best talent.   If no one can find your job, you won’t attract the best candidates. 

And don’t you want the best of the best to come and work for you?

What action can you take today to start building your Careers page?

May 27, 2012

Is Any Job a Good Job?

As many of you have been reading, there is a lot of press lately about the changes to the Employment Insurance Act.

Here are a few links to some of the news reports.  

What do you think of the changes? What role do you think the Career Development industry should be playing in addressing these kinds of government overhauls?

Have your say on the Engaged HR blog - let's start a dialogue on this hot topic!

May 20, 2012

You Ready to Ride?

Bike to Work Week 2012 is just around the corner – May 28 to June 3, 2012 – and this event is a great way to build healthy activities into your workplace.  This is a great opportunity for you or your Healthy Workplace Committee if you have one, to set up various events and contests to support building a healthy team. 

Here are some ideas for how to incorporate Bike to Work Week into your company:
  1. Set up a bike locking area so that people don’t have to worry about the safety of their bikes.  Keep this in place all year to support and encourage the bike riding option for transportation.
  2. Register a team with the Bike to Work Week Society so that your company and your employees are a part of the excitement of the annual event.
  3. Initiate a “how far did you ride” contest between riders – keep track of daily kms ridden by each employee and award a prize for the person who rides the most kms during Bike to Work Week.
  4. If you have enough riders, set up a local Cycling Shop in the parking lot one morning the week before Bike to Work Week and provide Employees with free bike tune ups.  Or, make arrangements for the employees to receive free or discounted tune ups when they take their bikes to the local Cycling Shop.
  5. To encourage your bikers, have healthy breakfast options waiting for them during the week, like oatmeal, protein bars, and juice in the fridge.  Let them know that you notice that they are making healthy choices by biking to work.
  6. Take a photo of all of your bikers and their bikes and post it on your company Facebook page and/or website to show the team spirit you have in the office.  Don’t forget to take a photo of the winner who rode the most kms in the week as well – celebrate their commitment!
Finding something that your employees are excited about is important, and sometimes setting the example for things like biking to work can be important as well.  Check out Accent Inn’s President & CEO Mandy Farmer and her example of how to bike to meetings!

Having fun with employees and encouraging their good health can go hand in hand and will make a difference to your overall employee engagement. 

What can you do to make Bike to Work Week a reality in your company?