Say Yes to Continuing Education

In grammar school and high school, we’re taught to get good grades and participate in extra-curricular activities so we can get into our dream colleges. In college, we are once again told to get good grades, encouraged to take on internships, and asked to join clubs- all to help our chances of landing a great job upon graduation. And once we land those jobs, gain experience, and slowly but surely move along in our career paths- then what? Does education and learning just end there because we achieved the “ultimate goal” of getting a job that offers financial security and benefits? Does it just end there?

It shouldn’t. People should be driven and encouraged to do whatever they can to continue to learn. So many people believe that once they receive that diploma or certificate that they’re done. They paid their dues and finally got their careers in check… and that’s that. When I’ve asked people why they aren’t continuing their education and learning, I often got answers such as this:

  • I’m too old to go back to school
  • I’m too busy with work and home-life to take on anything more
  • I don’t have the money
  • I don’t need it
  • I wouldn’t even know where to start
  • I’m too scared to start something new

All are valid reasons and concerns but the reality of it is, skills are becoming outdated, people are being automated out of jobs, and technology is upgrading/advancing so quickly that most of us can’t keep up. The world of work is evolving in some major ways. So, the “ultimate goal” isn’t about landing a job anymore, but more about keeping up.

Like I said earlier, all those reasons are valid but there are ways to work around it. For example:

  • Online school
  • Certificate classes
  • Work training
  • Informal social groups
  • Reading new industry books/blogs in your free time
  • Networking
  • Stretch projects
  • Work shadowing

Education shouldn’t just be a stepping stone or a distant memory- it should be ongoing. The world has so much to offer and we live in an amazing time where we can easily access this. So take advantage of the things that generations before us could not. Become the ultimate asset and more importantly, do it for yourself.

Photo Source

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Human Resources Technology Made for Management

Some managers believe that micromanagement is needed to be able to verify that their employees are productively performing. Some managers believe that doing “walk-throughs” can help create a presence and also help them manage more effectively. Although these methods may have helped managers get a clear picture of how efficient employees were working, there seems to be new technology emerging that actually helps managers manage more effectively. Additionally, this technology helps document work progress more accurately to help Human Resources during performance reviews. This technology is once again helping HR and the business as a whole.

Companies like 4 Spires and Workday are developing useful software and technology to help HR, management, and subordinates to not only be more social, but also more capable. Work management technology helps managers to easily delegate tasks and project needs to employees. This software helps increase communication, shows status updates, and even shows which employees are contributing to what. This helps managers cut down the time that they do walk-throughs and micromanage and allow them to actually spend their time managing.

A company called Rypple has honed into Gen Y needs and created a social-performance management platform. This platform is used for work goals, feedback, and recognition (all which are highly desired by millennials). In addition to this, employees are able to create their own goals and welcome other employees to help them achieve their goals. This allows management to once again see who is involved in the process, be able to provide feedback during one-on-one meetings, and even offer rewards and recognition (much like you would see in gamification).

Not only does this technology help managers ensure everyone is doing their part and staying on target to reaching their assigned projects/goals, but it also helps the Human Resources department when it comes to performance reviews. This technology helps keep accurate documentation of each employee’s performance and contributions throughout the year. This can help HR make informed decisions about an employee’s performance rather than basing it off of potential biased opinions or questionable information.

Simply stated: technology is once again making a huge impact in business. From a HR standpoint, this can make their jobs so much easier when it comes to being compliant and fair to employees.

More reading on this technology:

Work Management Software

Tech News: Salesforce Debuts Rypple (also, Photo Source)

Spotlight on PeopleMatter: Company Culture and HR Technology

A little over a year ago I started realizing that I needed to research deeper when it came to finding an ideal company that offered all (or most) of the things I wanted and valued. I was tired of submitting a resume to the same generic job posting. I hated that unsure feeling I’d get when I would interview with companies. And I really hated when I started a job and was almost instantly disappointed. With all of these thoughts floating through my head, I decided to start my employer search by simply Googling two things I loved: human resources and technology. I clicked on the first company located in Charleston, SC (where I currently reside) and my mouth instantly fell open as PeopleMatter’s webpage loaded on my screen. I was awestruck.

PeopleMatter encompassed HR and technology in a way that I could have never imagined. The technology was practical, efficient, visually appealing, and mobile. It made it easy for busy managers to manage their talent. PeopleMatter’s platform consists of the following SaaS areas:

  • Hire: The Hire platform handles all of the recruiting, tracking, and on-boarding processes from start to finish. It organizes the company’s:  applicant tracking system (ATS) functions; background checks; job assessments; tax credits; I-9s; and on-boarding paperwork and processes.  Being that I’ve worked in HR before, I’m well aware of how frustrating it can be to have multiple logins for several vendors that handle these processes. It was a relief to see that PeopleMatter found a way to take the hassle out of the on-boarding process.
  • Learn: Assigning and tracking employee training has never been easier. This learning management system allows managers to easily select and assign specific training for different job functions. Managers can upload PDFs, videos, and other training material for employees’ review. Managers can use this tool to keep track of an employee’s progress and test scores. Additionally, this system can run reports to show metrics of which training materials seem to be working and which might need to be tweaked.
  • Schedule: Scheduling is a breeze with this platform. Managers can create schedules and effortlessly share it with employees. Employees can even use the free mobile app to view schedules, request time off, and switch shifts on the go. Managers can use this system to ensure that all shifts are covered and to ensure that the company isn’t incurring unnecessary costs by double-scheduling employees. Efficient and effortless.
  • Engage: This area will be coming out soon but will be sure to grab managers’ attention. The tool will be designed to create incentive programs to help motivate and engage employees (every manager’s dream!)

But PeopleMatter’s sleek and engaging SaaS platform isn’t the only thing that caught my attention, it was also their impressive company culture. After reading about their company culture, I was sure to track their growth and development via social sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. As the year went on, I saw that their company was getting bigger and better in all areas. Employees generally seem to love working here. Some of the reasons why PeopleMatter’s culture rocks:

  • CEO, Nate DaPore, actually takes the time to use social media to tell the world about exciting news going on within the company, his employees, and his clients. To see a CEO of a company that is this openly invested in the business, his people, and his customers… well, there are no words. Judging by what I’ve seen, I’m sure he has an infectious passion that inspires those around him.
  • VP of San Francisco, Mark Deaton, took the time to have a phone call with me. When we ended our conversation, all I could think was, “Wow.” Mark had a management style that moved me. He talked about how he truly cares about his employees and that he has a drive to help them succeed professionally and personally. His conviction was tangible. He believes in his ability to do to good by his employees so much that he actually invited me to connect with some of them to discuss his management style. That level of confidence seems to prove that he follows through with what he says.
  • PeopleMatter involves all their employees in events to support and promote their clients, both new and old. It’s nice to see that everyone is involved in the company’s success and all the pictures seem to show that they’re having a good time.
  • PeopleMatter is random which makes the employees excited to see what’s in store for them each day they come into the office. From firing random cannons, to Mario Kart wars, to randomly doing a cross-country RV road trip- who knows what they’re going to get into next.

I wanted to put a spotlight on this company today because it does have a lot of great qualities to it. The technology is amazing and I can’t wait to see what new platforms and features they come out with in the future. Additionally, their culture is one that I can easily say that people would feel lucky to work for or with them.

Links:

PeopleMatter. 

PeopleMatter Platforms.

PeopleMatter Culture.

Twitter: @PeopleMatterHR

A New Twist on Resumes

Job seekers, are you tired of getting no response to your resume submittal? Recruiters, are you sick of looking at the same resume styles over and over again? Having been in both situations, I can honestly say I am. It’s been quite a dull experience creating my resume or having to review resumes of others. After a while, all resumes seem to blend together and it becomes hard for candidates stand out and differentiate themselves from others. Over the years, it has been beaten into our brains that a professional resume needs to follow a certain format. However, does this still hold true today?

Throughout my research, I have noticed that employers are starting to appreciate people who take a creative approach to their resumes. Candidates are finding ways to customize their resumes to show their industry and job function competency. For example, my friend who is pursuing production in the motion picture industry recently showed me his resume. It was a fun, artistic page that looked like a movie ad. It included his information, education, and links to the projects he had done. In my recruiting days, I had never seen a resume like that. It was actually quite enjoyable.

As I investigated this topic further, I came across the following cases: marketing candidates who created their resume as a brochure; broadcasting candidates who made videos or recordings of “radio hosting” as their resume; and creative writing majors who made their resume into a short story. I found these methods to be imaginative, entertaining, and a good way to display their capabilities. I would have much rather reviewed these resumes than the mundane “chronological” format.

A new extension of people’s “resumes” will be the social media aspect. Recruiters can now review candidates’ “web presence” via social sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Candidates: here is another way you can make yourself shine. Make sure your profiles clearly display your experience and education for the job/industry you’re targeting. Post things that are relevant and display your up-to-date knowledge of an industry’s news. However, please note: if you make your profile pages public to employers, make sure you don’t have anything incriminating on there (i.e. embarrassing party photos, unprofessional e-mail addresses, or taboo “interests and activities”). I’m all about individualism but there has to a certain line you shouldn’t cross, especially while actively finding work.

Job Seekers, I’m in the same boat so I know how tiring it can be to keep fighting for opportunity and not find it. I urge you to take a chance and let your personality show. Find a new way to demonstrate who you are and what you can do. For example, I’m interested and experienced in human resources, technology, and writing. Those are the three industries I’m targeting but it was becoming apparent to me that I had to do something more than submit a resume via job postings…so, I did. In fact, you’re reading the version of my resume. This blog was meant to inspire, open minds, and have people consider different perspectives. I also created this to help motivate people stuck in a rut and hopefully give them ideas on a new tactic. However, this is also my personal resume. This blog will display the following to employers:

• My competency in: writing and blogging; human resources; and social media use.
• I’m up-to-date with human resources and technology trends and news.
• I understand information relevant to the industry well enough to create my own ideas from it.

I think what’s most important about creating your own resume is the fact that you can show employers more of who you are. The original formatted resume shows employers that we can do specific job functions but it doesn’t prove that we truly understand it on a deeper level. It doesn’t illustrate our passion. Sure, my resume might say I have successfully performed data entry but does that mean I want to spend 40 hours a week entering data? Additionally, we’ve created our original resumes to have specific keywords and terms that employers were looking for. If we all conform to what we think employers want to see on our resumes, it’s no wonder why our resumes blend in.

Some employers will appreciate your method and some may not. But that’s the point- finding an employer that appreciates you and vice versa. It’s time to test the waters and take that extra step to stand out against the competition. Most importantly, make sure you have fun while you’re doing it!

Links to read (I apologize, hyperlink function does not work!):
No More Resumes, Say Some Firms- WSJ: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203750404577173031991814896.html

Companies mentioned:
http://www.linkedin.com
http://www.facebook.com
http://www.twitter.com