Talented Employees Seek Out the Best (Places to Work in Indiana)

Job seekers use many tools for finding employment. And talented employees who know they deserve to work for the best companies around are using the Best Places to Work in Indiana list to enhance their searches.

Using comprehensive employee surveys and employer reports as the determination for inclusion in the list, the Best Places to Work in Indiana program promotes and celebrates the top employers in the state of Indiana.

Our Tom Schuman gives a two-minute look at a few benefits of participating, including how the “Best Places to Work in Indiana” designation can enhance your search for talented employees.

Applications are now being accepted for the 2018 program at www.bestplacestoworkin.com. Don’t wait long; the deadline to apply is Friday, November 17.

Data: Fewer Workers Making Move for New Jobs

iStock_000021218674_LargeThe percentage of job seekers relocating for new positions declined in the first half of 2015, suggesting that as the recovery spreads, individuals are able to find better employment opportunities in their local market.

Over the first two quarters of the year, 10 percent of job seekers moved for new employment, according to the latest job search data from global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. That was down from an average of 15 percent in the last half of 2014. In the first half of 2014, 11.4 percent of job seekers relocated for new positions.

The relocation rate in the last six months of 2014 was the highest since the first half of 2009, when an average of 16.3 percent of job seekers moved in the immediate wake of the recession.

The Challenger relocation rate is based on a quarterly survey of approximately 1,000 job seekers who concluded their search by finding employment, starting a business or retiring.

“The tipping point for relocation is very sensitive. Most people do not want to pick up stakes and move solely for employment. We tend to see relocation surge at the onset of recessions and in the early stages of recovery, as different geographical areas are impacted at different times. However, as recovery spreads and jobs become more available throughout the country, relocation begins to ebb,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Nationally, the unemployment rate stood at 5.3 percent in June. However, there were 183 metropolitan areas below that level as of May, according to the latest available data on state and local employment from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Furthermore, there were 148 metropolitan areas with an unemployment rate below 5.0 percent, at which point the balance of power in the job market shifts away from employers and toward job seekers,” noted Challenger.

“As local job markets improve around the country, there is less incentive to move. Employment alone is not a strong enough factor. There would have to be some other motivation, whether that’s family, health, lifestyle, or cost-of-living,” he added.

Fifth Third’s ‘Reemployment’ Campaign Helps Job Seekers

Fifth Third Bank is taking a rather novel approach to using advertising media with its new effort to leverage those resources to help people find jobs. You can learn more about this effort and see corresponding videos at http://reemploy.53.com. Fifth Third explains:

Fifth Third piloted the first-of-its-kind reemployment program in 2012. The Bank identified mortgage customers who were behind in their payments due to job loss and offered to help them land a new job with NextJob’s comprehensive job search program. The assistance included one-on-one job coaching, NextJob’s proprietary online training program, called the Job Seeker’s Toolkit, and weekly coach-led job club webinars. On average, participants had been out of work for 22 months and were long-term unemployed. After six months, nearly 40 percent had landed jobs. The two companies deployed the full program to mortgage borrowers in 2013 and quickly extended availability of the Job Seeker’s Toolkit to all Fifth Third online customers.

The Bank now launches an unprecedented campaign to showcase three actual job seekers: Katrina Holmes, Elba Pena and Bill Laakkonen to engage the public—customers, friends, family members and community members—to share their stories and help them return sooner to meaningful employment. By visiting 53.com/reemploy, the public can utilize their own social networks to expand the job seekers’ reach, especially with potential employers, in ways that would be otherwise impossible. For every 53 retweets, Fifth Third will fund a job search coaching package for another unemployed person.

The campaign also features Fifth Third customer Randall Jackson, a Chicago resident who actively engaged with the Bank’s reemployment initiative with NextJob. Jackson recently landed a job after being long-term unemployed. Sharing his story via social media will inspire other job seekers, and contribute to the funding of additional job coaching scholarships.

“With this campaign, Fifth Third and Leo Burnett have developed a strikingly creative approach to help our job seekers while engaging the public in a shared mission to impact unemployment,” said John Courtney, CEO of NextJob. “It’s a brilliant way to connect people to their neighbors on one of the most meaningful issues that affects us as a nation.”

During the campaign period, Fifth Third and NextJob are opening up access to the online Job Seeker’s Toolkit to every unemployed job seeker interested in finding their next job. Further, Fifth Third will fund up to 53 one-on-one coaching scholarships for people who apply through NextJob’s application tool. The scholarships will include four months of personalized job search assistance and anyone can apply regardless of whether or not they are a Fifth Third customer.

The campaign will operate from the online hub, 53.com/reemploy, where the candidates’ resumes come to life via short documentary videos and infographics, humanizing and adding dimension to traditional resumes. The campaign also utilizes seeded video and pre-roll as well as flash and rich media banners across high profile websites, networks, and social media, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.

“Helping our customers find reemployment is a perfect illustration of the curiosity of Fifth Third Bank,” said Maria Veltre, senior vice president & chief marketing officer. “Our program evolved from the question of how to help unemployed people keep their homes and led to the answer to even bolder question, ‘how do we get our customers back to work?’ We are extremely proud of our relationship with NextJob, and are eager to help these job seekers—and many more—gain employment from this unique approach to a digital advertising campaign.”

5 Important Skills Job Seekers Should Master

Ragan takes a look at a few key skills that recent grads, interns and anyone searching for a job should focus one if he/she hopes to be employable:

1. Hone your telephone etiquette.

Thanks to the texting takeover, phone manners have become exceptionally rare. “Hey, girl” may be appropriate for your personal calls (actually, it still probably isn’t), but if you answer the phone like that at work, prepare to be embarrassed and/or chewed out.

Listen to the way your co-workers answer the phone. Do they provide their name? (“This is Meredith.”) Or do they use a more generic greeting? (“Ragan Communications—how may I help you?”) Have a pen and paper next to your phone at all times so you can take messages. Make sure you know your office phone number so you know what to say when someone asks for your contact information. Learn how to transfer, dial out of the building, etc. This may sound ridiculous, and that’s exactly why this is so important. Do you really want to be known as “The Intern Who Can’t Answer The Phone?”

2. Learn to multitask.

Maybe you’re a whiz at juggling research papers, midterms, and group projects, but multitasking at work is a different beast. You might like to spend three hours perfecting an article, but you also need to answer emails, schedule interviews, meet with co-workers and research potential story ideas—all before noon.

Before you start work each day, make a “to-do” list. What’s the first thing you need to do when you arrive at 9 a.m.? What’s the second (and so forth)? If you aren’t given a deadline for a particular story, ask your boss when they’d like to see your first draft. You may be hesitant to seek help (we’re all vying for the Omniscient Intern award), but better you should ask than drop the ball and cause everyone to fall behind.

3. Wordiness is not rewarded.

You might’ve gotten brownie points for using “panjandrum” in your college essay, but you can be sure it won’t make it past the first round of revisions. When writing for the Web, flowery language is not your friend. Concise, simple, and clear writing is. When writing copy, ask yourself, “Would the average reader have to look this up?” If the answer is yes, pick a different word or phrase. You’re not going to sound stupid if you swap “barmecidal” with “fake”; on the contrary, you’ll avoid the risk of sounding like a snob.

4. Bye-bye, body paragraph.

Your English professor might have encouraged (or demanded) a carefully crafted argument of five to seven sentences, but that technique is no good when writing for the Web. Eye Tracking Studies have shown that readers not only avoid long paragraphs, they’ll even skip the end of the article if you don’t keep them engaged.

Be concise. Get to the point.

5. Thought your grammar school days were behind you? You’re dead wrong.

Still not sure when to use “your” versus “you’re”? Stop what you’re doing, and take out your notebook (hint, hint). Including these mistakes in your writing samples (or worse, on your résumé) practically begs an editor not to hire you.

Learn when to use ellipses, semicolons, and em dashes. Know the difference between “affect” and “effect.” Editors know what they’re looking for, and their expectations are high. (See what I did there?) Your AP Style book should be within reach at all times. Not only will it help you become a grammar guru, it will guarantee instant admiration from your editor.

Getting LinkedIn: 39 Million Users and Counting

The Star-Telegram (Fort Worth, Texas) recently featured advice from human resource professionals about how job seekers and those looking to network should use LinkedIn. Seems as though many are finding it useful, albeit with different opinions on how to use it:

LinkedIn users know that they can significantly expand their reach by joining groups, which has triggered debate among users and the site over the potential for so-called serial invitations.

LinkedIn users, of course, know that the site takes issue with inviting people you don’t know and "trust."

"Let’s say you’re connected to someone that you met once at a conference and don’t ever really intend doing business with them," said Krista Canfield, a LinkedIn spokeswoman. "Your network update feed, which shows who’s connecting to who in your network, what questions your connections are asking, etc., will include this person’s updates now too. If you’re connected to 20 or 100 connections like that, then that’s even more useless update feeds that you’ll receive."

By contrast, she said, "if the 100 people you’re connected to are old co-workers, former employees, potential clients, etc., then that feed is a gold mine.  . . . If an old co-worker switches jobs and lands at a company that you’d love to work with, well then now you know that you have an inside edge at that potential client/partner."

Others don’t necessarily see it that way.

"I think the idea is to not be sending random notes to people," said Elena Radeva, a UT-Arlington employment supervisor and M.B.A. graduate, who is working on her Ph.D. and researching how companies use social-networking sites to choose employees.

Radeva said she doesn’t see anything wrong using LinkedIn to reach out to casual professional acquaintances. She and other experts recommend personalizing invitations to remind acquaintances of the link.

O’Malley said he sees no value to vast personal LinkedIn networks that contain large numbers of connections the user doesn’t know.

"There are people who have thousands of connections, and to me, that’s a waste of time," says O’Malley, who has 1,200 first-level connections and estimates that he would know 800 of them if he ran into them on the street. "The rest have been to my classes, read my blog, been to my seminars."

If you’re on LinkedIn, I encourage you to join the Indiana Chamber group(s) and get involved in — or initiate — discussions on issues important to you. We have a general Indiana Chamber group for public policy and business topics, and a Human Resources group that will feature discussions on relevant HR topics and products.