December 15, 2003   view past issues

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Feature: Happy Holidays

Every year at this time-as the Holiday season settles in and the end of the year approaches-we at WEDDLE’s pause for a moment to reflect on our blessings. Yes, there’s no denying that the world is a troubled place these days and yes, indeed, it has been a challenging twelve months for those of us in the recruiting and HR professions. Despite all of that, however, there is much for which we can be grateful. Our health, our families and friends, our freedom to live life as we choose, and our opportunity to pursue dreams that reward and fulfill us.

Each of those blessings is a special gift, something to be cherished and enjoyed to the fullest and always thankful for. For me, however, there’s one more reason to be grateful and it, quite frankly, is the simple fact that you are reading these words. I know that you have many other demands on your time, so I and my colleagues are especially appreciative of your interest in our research and publications.

We thank you for taking a little time out in a busy day to read my newsletter, for your patronage of our books, for the friendship you’ve shown me whenever I speak in your local area and for your generosity in telling others about WEDDLE’s newsletter and books. These are special gifts, as well, and we are very grateful for them. So, all of us at WEDDLE’s send all of you and yours our best wishes for a wonderful December and a healthy and fulfilling New Year.

Peter Weddle

Section Two: Site News You Can Use released its latest ranking of recruitment sites based on figures compiled by Alexa, an company. While not everyone agrees with the Alexa approach, month-over-month comparisons can give us some insight into what is happening among job boards and career portals. According to this month’s figures, traffic to general employment sites was down a whopping 75% from the previous month. Does this mean the demise of, and or of smaller general sites such as Best Jobs USA and Of course not. What it does signal, however, is the growing sophistication of recruiters as they shop online for a place to spend their recruitment dollars. In other words, discriminating recruiters now use both the general boards, when these boards offer an advantage (and only then), and the growing array of niche sites that specialize in a certain career field, industry or geographic area. It’s a strategy I call 1 + n: smart recruiters negotiate the best deal they can with the one general purpose board that consistently provides their organization with the best candidate yield and they differentiate themselves from the competition by their knowledge and use of the best niche boards for any specific requirement.

Mellon Human Resources & Investor Services has announced the findings of a Learning Curve Research Study … and they are very sobering. Take a look at the table below which shows the median time to reach full productivity for individuals hired externally.

  • Manager 25 weeks
  • Professional 20 weeks
  • Sales rep 16 weeks
  • Technician 12 weeks
  • Office & clerical personnel 12 weeks
  • How can you cut these long lead times? Give every new hire a personal Home Page on your corporate Web-site the moment they accept your offer. Then, start their in-processing and acculturation during the period prior to their first day of work. This approach will help to fend off counter offers from former employers and other recruiters and get them started on meeting their new associates and learning the ropes. A word of warning, however: do not abuse their enthusiasm by assigning them work before they are actually employed by your organization.

    Society for Human Resource Management conducted a survey of HR professionals to pinpoint the competencies that are essential to success in today’s enterprise. The results follow in order of their priority among respondents:

  • Personal credibility: effective relationship with key people and the ability to deliver results and establish a reliable track record;
  • Business knowledge: understanding the business and industry of your organization;
  • Strategic contribution: ability to contribute to the business at a strategic level (whatever that means-ed.);
  • HR delivery: traditional HR activities in staffing, development, organization structure and performance management; and
  • HR technology: ability to leverage technology for HR practices and deliver value.
  • So, we know what we need to know, but how well do we know it? According to the respondents, there’s an awful lot of room for improvement. The percentage of those rating themselves “very proficient” in these core competencies were:

  • Personal credibility: 74%
  • Business knowledge: 48%
  • Strategic contribution: 26%
  • HR delivery: 63%
  • HR technology: 29%.
  • How can you plus up your own proficiency in these areas? These suggestions may help:

    First, take advantage of the knowledge and expertise within your own organization. Interact with your colleagues by getting out of the office and into the business units, even if it’s only during lunch.

    Second, take advantage of online training and education programs. They’ll not only expand your horizons, but you’ll be modeling the behavior you want to see among other employees.

    And third, read. Business books and books on leadership and management may not always be page-turners, but they can do wonders for your professional development and ability to contribute.

    WEDDLE’s announces the release of the Enterprise Editions of its 2004 Recruiter’s Guide to Employment Web Sites and its 2004 Directory of Employment-Related Internet Sites. These brand new products provide the entire contents of the Guide or Directory on a CD as well as a license authorizing unlimited copying within your organization. Now, you can give these invaluable tools to each and every recruiter in the company and save money in the process! To learn more, visit the WEDDLE’s Catalog by clicking here.

    Section Three: Site Profiles

    Site Insite … how well do you know the Web’s 40,000+ job boards?

    1. If you were recruiting a Santa Claus for your department store in Alexandria, Virginia, where would you have a Grinch-like experience?

  • 2. If you need a reindeer shepherd for your amusement park in Utah, which of the following sites would leave you lost in the wilderness?

  • 3. If you want to hire extra security for your store during that over-heated gift-return period, which of the following sites would help you lock up the best candidate?

  • (answers below)

    Site Spotlite … from the pages of WEDDLE’s 2004 Guides and Directories

    Best Jobs USA

    Winner of 2004 WEDDLE’s User’s Choice Award

    Post full time jobs: Yes

    Post part time/consulting jobs: Part time

    Distribution of jobs: National: USA

    Fee to post a job: $101-200/posting

    Posting period: 365 days

    Can posting be linked to your site: Yes

    Resume database: Yes

    Number of resumes: 235,046

    Source of resumes: Direct from candidates

    Top occupations among resumes: Engineering, Medical, Healthcare

    Other services for employers: Auto notification of resume-job match, Banner advertising

    Answers to Site Insite:

    1., an e-commerce site spreading Holiday cheer

    2., the Web-site of Shepherd College in West Virginia

    3.; all of the other sites deal with IT security.