31 July, 2011

Employers: Diversify Your Recruitment Team To Access The Entire Talent Pool

"If I knew where to find job applicants who can pass a drug screen and show up for work on time every day I'd hire them all right now" said the owner of a small manufacturing firm.

"I know where you can get job seekers who have been showing up for work on time and passing drug tests for 30 years" I said.

"Where?" asked the factory owner.

"The 50-somethings recently off-loaded by Corporate America" I said.

"Those people don't apply at my company" said the factory owner.

"Oh, yes, they do" I said. "You just don't know about them because the 23-year-olds on the front lines of your recruiting/screening process find a way to eliminate the 50-somethings from further consideration" I said.

Employers: The competition for talent is really a war. What if the sales rep you need is gay or the accountant you need is black or the IT guru you need is "old" or the marketing guru you need is atheist. Can you really afford to discriminate against any class of worker on the basis of age or sex or race or religion or sexual orientation? No, you can't. If you wish to compete for the entire talent pool you have to diversify your recruitment team.


For more on "institutional ageism" see :: http://higginbothamatlarge.blogspot.com/2010/05/institutional-ageism.html
Joseph Higginbotham has 20 year experience as a "headhunter". Joseph Higginbotham's articles about recruitment have appeared in Living Well 50 Plus, Campus Career Counselor and in Business Lexington. Higginbotham was a presenter and promoter at University of Kentucky-hosted "Career Changers and Job Seekers" events. Contact Joseph Higginbotham at (304) 550-6710 or at JosephHigginbotham@gmail.com.

Beside the debt ceiling, what's the hottest topic? JOBS! If James Carville were here he'd say "It's JOBS, stupid." 

Does your club or organization need publicity? Have you considered providing a jobs workshop? I can show you how to publicize your jobs workshop and make it pay for itself. Call Joseph Higginbotham at (304) 550 - 6710 or email me at JosephHigginbotham@gmail.com.

29 July, 2011

Why A Charleston Radio Station Can Profit From "The Law Of The Category" And Give Talk Radio Fans An Alternative To Agnello

West Virginia Radio exec, Mike Buxser's,  recent re-hiring of serial brand-killing, conservative talk show hypocrite, Michael Agnello, gives me a chance to ask a question I've been asking radio station owners and program directors everywhere I go: why would a radio station rather be the 3rd country station or the 4th oldies station or the nobody-ever-heard-of-us rock station in a market the size of Charleston, WV when there's an unclaimed format category they could have all to themselves?

Did these radio people not read Reis and Trout's bestseller, 21 Immutable Laws of Marketing? Law #2 is "the law of the category" which says "if you can't be first in a category, set up a new category you can be first in."

What is that unclaimed category Charleston, WV station owners are failing to claim for themselves? Here it is: talk radio for talk radio fans who can't stand talk radio hypocrite Michael Agnello.

No, this category doesn't exist in other markets. In other markets the new category might have to be "liberal/progressive talk radio" but here in Charleston all you have to do to create a new category is be the only talk station in town where talk radio fans don't have to listen to MIchael Agnello.

I can think of several Charleston stations that could profit from Reis and Trout's Law Of The Category by making a format change.

First, there's WIHY radio at 1110 on the AM dial. WIHY is one of the few stations in the market that isn't owned by West Virginia Radio, Bristol Broadcasting or LM Communications. WIHY is owned by Big River Radio of Blacksburg, VA. WIHY doesn't even show up in some of the ratings books I've seen so their "Classic Rock N Roll" format doesn't seem to be working very well for them in this market. Seems to me  Big River Radio has 4 choices: 1. they could simply turn off the transmitter. 2. they could sell the station. 3. they could double down on a format that isn't working for them in this market and keep doing what they're doing (and probably keep getting the results they've been getting) or they could make a bold format change. I suggest they consider becoming the talk show station for talk show fans who can't stand Michael Agnello.

Then there's LM Communications which owns a cluster of stations in the Charleston area. At least two of LM's stations - at 1300 and 1410 on the AM dial - aren't showing up in the ratings so, clearly, what they're doing isn't working from an audience size standpoint. One of those stations might make money, however, because it's a listener-supported Christian station which means the content providers actually pay the station for the airtime. The content providers, in turn, ask their listeners to support their "ministry". In case you've ever wondered how a radio station with a 1% market share can survive, this is how they do it.

People who have been around St. Albans for, say, 45 years or so, may know that radio station WKLC AM at 100 Kanawha Terrace in St. Albans was LM Communications' President, Lynn Martin's, first radio station. LM Communications owns clusters in Lexington, KY - where Martin now lives - and in Charleston, SC.

I think Lynn Martin should consider profiting from Reis and Trout's Law Of The Category by reformatting 1410 as the only Charleston talk radio station that doesn't have Michael Agnello.

I even know where LM Communications' Lynn Martin and Big River Radio's Edward Baker can get their first 3PM radio show to air opposite radio talk show hypocrite and serial brand-killer, Michael Agnello. Former Huntington mayor, Bobby Nelson, is already doing a civil, thinking man's talk from the Kindred Communications studios in downtown Huntington. As a former state senator and former Congressman Ken Hechler staffer, Bobby Nelson already has a fan base in Charleston so it would make sense for an enterprising Charleston station owner to simply license the show from Kindred and simulcast it in the Charleston market. Since Huntington and Charleston are only 50 miles apart and Bobby knows as much about the local politics and news in Charleston as he does about what's going on in Huntington, Bobby could easily adapt his show to the geographical expansion.

There's a new sheriff in town at LM's Charleston, WV cluster, cluster manager, Reggie Jordan. I think this is Jordan's chance to do something bold, something that would give LM a category in which they can be #1. They can't be #1 at rock or country or any of the other categories they compete in. Their situation is tailor-made for the Reis/Trout Law of The Category.

For readers who don't know why I call Michael Agnello a "hypocrite" and a "serial brand-killer", just go to Google and find the Charleston Gazette and Charleston Daily Mail articles about Agnello's numerous arrests for assault, drunk driving and driving on a suspended license. While you're at it, look up articles about how Agnello lost his job as a Charleston pastor when he had an affair with a member of the church staff.

On a recent show, Agnello was calling on the Boone County Board of Education to fire teachers they caught using meth even though this Bible-quoting former preacher has been the recipient and beneficiary of unprecedented grace on the part of West Virginia Radio, WCHS and Mike Buxser.

Perhaps Agnello should read the story of the "Unforgiving Servant" in Matthew 18 before he goes on the air and advocates the career death penalty when he only has a radio career because of the long suffering of his employer who has forgiven him numerous times after numerous arrests.

17 July, 2011

Dave Kravetz: From "Overqualified" Pizza Delivery Man To iHigh.com Linchpin

David Kravetz has a graduate degree in political science and speaks fluent Japanese but when I last wrote about him in a 2008 newspaper column he was the most overqualified pizza delivery person in Lexington, KY. Despite Dave's impressive resume, employers didn't want an "overqualified" 50-something. 

I'm happy to announce that not only has Dave found an employer who looked past his age and saw his value, I'm happy to report that Dave is making us 50-somethings proud.

No, Dave didn't walk straight into a job that paid as well as the job he had at Lexmark before he became a pizza delivery man. In fact, his new job at iHigh.com, a young Lexington company with a why-didn't-I-think-of-that? business plan,  paid less than half his old Lexmark salary but Dave saw the potential to grow along with the company so he worked hard and became a linchpin at iHigh.com. His bosses noticed and promoted and rewarded him accordingly. David is now the Director of Business Development at iHigh.com.

Sometimes its a part-time job, a hobby or a "passion" that makes one candidate a better fit for a job than someone else would be. Dave is succeeding at iHigh.com largely because of one his part-time jobs. You see, Dave was the webmaster and promoter for a semi-famous musician who records and performs under the name Antsy McClain and the skills Dave acquired came in very handy when he went to work for iHigh.com because managing the website and promoting the music for Antsy McClain gave Dave a chance to learn how to drive traffic to a website, a key component of how iHigh.com makes its money. 

I always knew Dave's low-paid work for Antsy McClain would one day become key to Dave's self-reinvention but I just didn't know how. I thought Dave would probably start a business but, instead, Dave got in near the ground floor of a hot new start-up that's going to make its shareholders rich either in an IPO or an acquisition.  

What I wrote about Dave in my 2008 newspaper column is still true of the other Daves who have recently been rightsized and downsized and offshored out of their old jobs: "Dave is on sale. There's a bull market in Dave. You can hire Dave and others like him if you'll just strike the word "over-qualified" from your vocabulary. Jump the wood rail fence and shake a job application at the raging bulls." 

Experience is on sale in America. Buy and hold.

Incidentally, Dave got his great new job with help from a social co-signer who, in this case, was his wife, Julie. As my regular readers know, even a terrific employee like Dave seldom gets the job without help from an insider.

Competence gets a job seeker into a game that relationships win. 
Learn how to turn your relationships into social co-signers in my February 28 thru March 5 posts.

11 July, 2011

A Job Search Fact Job Seekers Can Use To Network Their Way To Their Next Boss

Not once have I placed a candidate who the paying client couldn't have found on their own just by using their existing network of employees, colleagues, vendors, clients and other professional contacts.

Let's backward-engineer that fact. Not once have I placed a candidate with a paying client who couldn't have networked his or her way to that job on their own. In every case where I've been paid a ridiculous fee for "finding" an executive, a sales rep, a marketing guru, an architect, an engineer, a nurse, a respiratory therapist, a pharmacist or other professional, that successful candidate was already socially and professionally networked to the hiring client and could have networked themselves to the job had they simply worked their existing networks.

If you haven't been living under a rock and you have any work experience at all you probably already know somebody who can introduce you to your next boss.

I've just divulged a fact that other headhunters don't want you to know.

There are two major reasons employers pay ridiculous headhunting fees instead of just becoming their own headhunters: (1) laziness and (2) total cluelessness about how to use their existing networks of employees, clients, vendors and other professional contacts. At a recent trade show I was approached by a man I didn't know who wanted me to find him a selling branch manager in Carbondale, IL. Since I didn't know the man and perform search work by referral only, I declined the search but offered to show him how to do the search himself. I promised him that I could sit down with him and show him how to fill this job himself by using Linkedin. Free. He didn't want to do it himself and asked me again if I would do the search for him.

Invariably, when I "find" the candidate my client wants to hire, I do so by networking with people who could have introduced the client to that candidate if only the client had asked.

Most of what headhunters do is simple networking.  Employers and job seekers can use that fact to become their own headhunters and network their way to solving their problem.

Read my February 28 thru March 5 posts on how to get a "social co-signer" to introduce you to your next boss.

For more on how to network your way to your next job, read my February 28 thru March 5 posts.

09 July, 2011

Job Seeking For Recent College Grads

Lately I've been hearing from recent college grads who find themselves looking for their first "real" job in a market where they feel like a stranger - their own hometowns. Their last hometown employment was five years ago and didn't provide them with the kind of professional networking opportunities they need now. It's hard to grip and grin down at the Rotary club breakfast when you're the one cooking or serving the Rotary club breakfast.

When it comes to job search, there's nothing worse than being a stranger.

Hometown strangers need to get out of the stranger category and into the friend-of-a-friend or introduced-by-a-friend category. This is going to involve doing a lot of interviewing but not the kind where you send a resume to a stranger and hope the stranger invites you in for an interview. No, the interviewing I'm talking about is the kind where you talk to every active working professional you know - people whose professional networks are current - and ask them who they know who might be in a position to hire you.

Start with your old college town. Perhaps you did an internship or some part-time work in college. Who did you meet? Get out a legal pad and make a list of the professionals you met in your college town and then start calling them asking who they know in your hometown. Those professionals belong to associations or sit on boards or do business with people in your current market. Start calling them and asking them who they know in your current market.

You can waste time playing the low-percentage game of sending resumes to strangers or you can play the high percentage game of moving out of the stranger category and into the recommended-by-a-friend or friend-of-a-friend category. It's a fact of human nature that people will not hire or do business with a stranger if a satisfactory non-stranger is available. You don't have to be the hiring manager's best buddy to get the job but you do have to move from the stranger category into the non-stranger category. Your college town contacts can do that for you. Make that list of your college town contacts, tell them where you are now, and ask them who they know in your current town.

And don't just ask them if you can "use their name". Using the name of a friend or professional contact is good but what's even better is to ask your professional contacts to send an email or make a call to someone they know in your current town.

People won't hire or do business with strangers if there is a satisfactory non-stranger available. The fact that you've sent hundreds of resumes and still don't have a job confirms my assertion that you're playing a low-percentage game. Increase your odds. Don't be a stranger. Become a non-stranger by getting somebody you already know to intervene on your behalf.

And don't assume that your hometown friends and relatives have already done all they can to help you. Interview each of them. Tell them what you did in college - both academics and employment - and ask them who they know that they'd be willing to introduce you to. Ask them to arrange a lunch meeting or coffee at Starbucks. This conversation will jog their memories and make them think of people they wouldn't have thought of as important contacts until you show up with a legal pad and started asking them who they know.

What you've been doing isn't working. Try my way.

I'd rather spend one day networking with friends of friends than a month sending resumes to strangers.

Don't be a stranger. Make the list. Conduct the interviews. Get your professional contacts from your old college town involved in your job search. Get your hometown friends and relatives to introduce you to people they know who may be able to hire you.

I'd rather spend one day interviewing friends and relatives than spend a week sending resumes to strangers. The odds of success are far greater.
Older job seekers with years of work experience should look at my February 28 thru March 5 posts about working with headhunters, getting a "social co-signer" and more.

06 July, 2011

Job Seeker Tip: Don't Be A Stranger (And How Not To Be)

As my regular readers know, a job seeker with a great resume is no match for a job seeker with the right relationships. Competence gets job seekers into a game that relationships win. Every few minutes an employer passes over better-qualified candidates to hire someone they know, someone they like, or someone who was recommended to them by a "social co-signer".

Though helpful, it's not necessary to be a friend of the employer but it is necessary to move out of the stranger category. Why? Here's a fundamental fact of human nature: people don't like to do business with strangers. Employers don't like to hire strangers.

If you are a friend of a friend,  you're no longer a stranger.

My younger job seeking readers - many of them recent college grads seeking their first jobs - have a hard time understanding this fact of human nature and how to exploit it. They think that if they had the highest GPA from the most prestigious school they should get the job.

It only works that way when there's not a non-stranger in the candidate pool. Non-strangers with "B" averages get the jobs over 4.0 candidates all the time.

People won't do business with a stranger if there is a non-stranger available who can provide a reasonably good product or service.

People won't hire strangers if there is a reasonably competent non-stranger available.

Get out of the stranger category and move into the non-stranger category.

Every good salesman knows that his odds of getting the new account greatly increase if he is introduced to the decision maker by a mutual friend (the social co-signer).

Don't let your stubborn refusal to believe in the irrationality of human beings stand in the way of getting the job. Instead of sending resumes to strangers - a low-percentage game - get your social co-signers to introduce you to somebody who can hire you.

Two candidates apply for the same job. One is a stranger, the other is a non-stranger. The stranger has the stronger resume, better experience and glowing references from other strangers.

The non-stranger is introduced to the hiring manager by their mutual friend.

Hiring managers and HR managers will never tell you  this but, in most cases, the non-stranger gets the job.

Stop sending resumes to strangers. Get introduced to your next boss by a social co-signer.

For more info on social co-signers, read my Feb. 28 to March 5 posts.
Anonymous and pseudonymous comments will not be approved for publication.

Forget Your Resume, Send Your Rap Sheet To Mike Buxser At West Virginia Radio Corp

Michael Agnello is returning to WCHS radio 580.

Former conservative radio talk show hosts who damaged their stations' brands by driving drunk, driving on a suspended, being arrested for assaulting their girlfriends or having affairs with women at churches they pastored should send their rap sheets to :

Mike Buxser
West Virginia Radio
1111 Virginia Street East
Charleston, WV 25301

See the story at  :: http://wvgazette.com/News/201106301029

For more on returning conservative talk show hypocrite, Google search terms "Michael Agnello" plus "South Central Regional Jail", "cash-only bond", "suspended license", "revoked license", "arrested", "affair with another minister".