January 5, 2012   view past issues

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I write a biweekly blog in addition to my newsletter. While this publication focuses on recruiting success, however, the blog is all about career success. About how to build a career that’s powerful enough to increase both the paycheck and the satisfaction you bring home from work. That’s why I call it WorkStrong.

As you know, the world of work has changed dramatically in the U.S. And, that change is permanent. So, once you gain employment, you could just as easily find yourself challenged to stay that way … unless you know and practice the new rules for career security.

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What 11/22/63 Can Teach Recruiters

Stephen King has another best seller out called 11/22/63. It’s a time-travel story about a man who ventures back to that date – the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. His mission is to change the past, to prevent the crime, and thus reshape the world he and we know. It’s a fascinating yarn, but just as important, the truth it reveals about resetting ourselves offers an important lesson for recruiters.

The time traveler is a high school English teacher who befriends an old man with an astonishing secret. He owns a greasy spoon diner that holds a portal to the past. The old man is dying of cancer so he extracts a promise from the teacher. He agrees to travel back in time and avert one of the most shocking crimes of the 20th Century – the murder of a young president and the obliteration of the hope he inspired.

The time travel portal, however, is a fickle passage and deposits the teacher in 1958, over three years before his appointed date with destiny. As he awaits that moment, he prevents a heinous crime he knows will be committed (thanks to his foreknowledge of the past), runs afoul of a bookie because he wins too much (thanks again to his foreknowledge of the past) and meets the love of his life (for which he is totally unprepared because she’s not in his future unless he changes the past). Get it?

Throughout it all, he steadily and stealthily prepares for his assignment. And, it’s that effort which teaches him King’s view of the past. As the author sees it, what’s over and done with cannot be done over. Or, as he says, the past is “obdurate.” It stubbornly refuses to change. The teacher is deeply committed to his mission, but the past conjures up situations and people to keep him from accomplishing his goal.

You’ll have to read the book to see if he succeeds in saving President Kennedy. The nature of the past, however, is an important insight for recruiters. Why? Because undoing some of the events in our past would do some good. While we are obviously innocent of any crime, we have on occasion acted in ways that would benefit from correction. None of us is perfect, so getting a second chance could have a very positive impact.

Revisiting the Past to Undo It

There are, of course, at least two versions of the past for those of us in the field of recruiting. There is our version – the way we see the events that took place – and there is the version of job seekers – their view of what happened, particularly to them.

While we often saw terribly written resumes, totally unqualified applicants and atrociously unprepared interviewees, our applicants saw something else entirely. And, while our view is important and likely the most accurate, it is the view of those candidates that will determine the caliber of our organization’s employment brand and ultimately our success in the War for Talent.

So, what is the prevailing view of applicants? Survey after survey confirms that they believe they have been mistreated and disrespected by employers and recruiters. As they see it, they send in resumes that disappear into a black hole, they are thrown into a process that feels like quicksand, and they are interviewed by hiring managers with the social skills of a brick.

The past they know is discourteous, demoralizing and all too often demeaning. But, it is not obdurate. Memories are malleable. We can change applicants’ view of the past by making the present a more engaging and respectful experience.

How do we accomplish that?

By transforming the static database of electronic records in our applicant tracking system into a dynamic community of people. By devoting the same time and effort we now invest in sourcing strangers on social media sites to building relationships with prospects who have already expressed an interest in employment with our organization.

Many employers and staffing firms now have hundreds of thousands of resumes in computer storage. Unfortunately, getting to that point was probably an unpleasant experience for many of the applicants behind those documents. Their sense of the past, however, can be reset. Not by traveling back in time, but by moving forward in the present with the simple act of paying attention to them on a regular basis and in a helpful and respectful way.

Thanks for reading,


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Be At Your Best With the Best Tools

The best recruiters use the best resources to get the job done. And, when it comes to reaching top talent online, their choice is clear. It’s WEDDLE’s Guides for Recruiting Success. Get yours today!

WEDDLE’s 2011/12 Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet. This is the 10th edition of the Guide the American Staffing Association called the “Zagat” of job boards and social media sites.

WEDDLE’s Guide to Association Web Sites. This book details the recruiting resources and capabilities that are available at the Web-sites of over 3,000 professional and technical associations.

Finding Needles in a Haystack. This one-of-a-kind guide lists over 25,000 keywords and keyword phrases, across 5,400 job and position titles in 28 industries and professions.

You’re Worth It!

Most of us begin a new year with resolutions for self-improvement. We start diets or physical fitness programs. We commit to spending more time with our families or doing something for others.

But what about our careers? Shouldn’t we be taking care of them, as well? We spend one-third of our day on-the-job, so don’t we deserve more than a (shrinking) paycheck?

Absolutely! And the one best way to do that is by reading WEDDLE’s books for career success. They include:

Work Strong: Your Personal Career Fitness System. This book introduces a complete regimen of activities that will help you successfully compete for and hang onto the job of your dreams. Its one-of-a-kind program not only tells you what to do, but how to do it and how often.

Recognizing Richard Rabbit. This fable for adults will entertain and delight you and help you out of the boxes that keep you from becoming the champion inside you. It is a novel and engaging way to recognize the talented person you are meant to be.

The Career Activist Republic. This blockbuster of a book provides a provocative yet positive assessment of the changing world of work in the American economy and describes an innovative strategy that will enable you to avoid the pitfalls and capture the opportunities in this new environment.

Get Your 2011/12 WEDDLE’s Catalog Today

It’s old fashioned and free. That’s right. The 2011/12 WEDDLE’s Catalog is printed in hard copy and doesn’t cost a single penny.

We’ll send the Catalog to you in the mail and cover the cost of old fashioned U.S. postage. All you have to do is email your name, organization (if appropriate), and postal address to Put 2011/12 WEDDLE’s Catalog in the Subject line.

The 2011/12 WEDDLE’s Catalog is short and sweet. It’s just six pages long, but describes our latest books as well as our ever-popular standards from prior years. If you’re looking for a way to give yourself an edge, WEDDLE’s books are all that you need.

Get your 2011/12 WEDDLE’s Catalog today. Or, order one for every member of your team. Just specify how many copies you would like in your email, and we’ll get them off to you.