Posting Jobs; Women; Handwriting

From the Employment Management Association conference today in San Diego ….
-CareerBuilder says that job-seekers want to learn the following about jobs they are considering: salary ranges/benefits; information about career advancement; job stability information and growth opportunities; work/life balance information; training opportunities; and the degree to which there is camaraderie at the company.
-Cokie Roberts said this morning that one reason some countries (such as fast-growing Asian countries) went from the third-world to very advanced is that they started educating girls. Not only did girls become prepared to be productive and successful women contributing to economic growth, but there has also been a lowering of pregnancy rates among young girls, helping to break a cycle causing poverty.
-One of the oddest vendors here today is selling an assessment that analzyes people’s appropriateness for jobs based upon their personalities. People’s personalities are determined by … a handwriting test. I mentioned the whole thing to one attendee, who hadn’t yet been to the booth, and she said she has always appreciated my dry sense of humor — though I wasn’t joking (and didn’t know anyone appreciated it). Another attendee I spoke with said he had just gone by the booth and felt that EMA shouldn’t have allowed them in, believing that your run-of-the mill attendee can’t determine scientific assessments from assessments that could be negatively correlated to job performance and may not hold up in court.

"Awful, Yearly Performance Reviews"

Employees aren’t productive when they’re stressed out, but they’re also unproductive when bored, “emotional-intelligence” guru Daniel Goleman said today. The challenge for employers is to find that middle ground.
Goleman was the opening speaker at the EMA (Employment Management Association) conference today in San Diego.
Also from Goleman:
–Says (quoting professor Richard Boyatzis) that people ought not to spend tons of time improving something they’re really bad at. People also ought not to spend tons of time on improving something they’re really good at. They should spent time improving the middle ground.
–Leaders often are skilled at making people laugh.
–Graduate school performance and test scores are horrible predictors of performance in the workplace.
–What distinguishes the most successful coaches: empathy.
–“These awful, yearly performance reviews. I think those are a nightmare.”
–Says some leaders are what he calls “pacesetters” — and that’s bad, he says. They’re top-performers but are impatient and hypercritical.
–Surprised at companies that give people 360-degree evaluations but don’t help people improve in areas that matter.
His “best practices in leadership development”:
1. Ask people what’s important to them.
2. Evaluate people’s strengths and limits.
3. Pick a development goal and make a learning plan.
4. Get someone to help.
5. Practice at every opportunity.

Psychopaths; A Pause That Refreshes

–In an update to us clients, mutual fund company T. Rowe Price says that there were “brief periods of moderation” in the middle of the recent economic expansions of 1982-1990 and 1991-2000. T. Rowe Price says that could happen again. “A pause that refreshes in 2006-2007 should set the stage for renewed vigorous expansion through the end of the decade.”
–Baird analysts say that the ” housing market is showing more definitive signs of slowing. Not only could this slowdown impact the economy from an investment standpoint, but the boom in the housing market in recent years has led to a surge in housing-related employment — a trend that could reverse as housing activity cools. To wit, the construction sector has added 22 percent of the new jobs over the past year despite representing only 5 percent of the total jobs in the economy.”
One professor says that “Disturbingly, many of the traits identified with psychopaths are considered desirable in top executives.”

Bullish on Monster in the U.S. and Europe

While we were watching March Madness:
Barron’s ran a positive story on Monster, saying “we’re bullish … Monster is a potential takeover target, although its 71-year-old CEO and key shareholder, Andrew McKelvey, consistently has said he favors independence … Internet giants Google and Yahoo! could digest Monster, given its $6.4 billion market value.” Barron’s says Monster has room to grow: “in the U.S., only about 25 percent of the $7 billion spent annually on recruitment advertising is directed to the Internet. In Europe, less than 10 percent of recruitment spending is online.”
–More women will sell underwear.
–Unisys “over the next three years, plans to hire 1,000 workers to staff its Chinese outsourcing operations,” according to InfoWorld Daily.
–Royal Canadian Mounted Police recruiters are stepping up their recruiting efforts because of the “highly competitive employment market,” according to one of its lead recruiters. The police are playing up five things to job candidates: the impact they can have on the community; job security; pay and benefits; growth potential; and opportunities to learn specialized skills.

The Freedom Business; Life is Short

The latest:
–William Taylor, Founding Editor of Fast Company and keynoter at today’s ER Expo in San Diego, notes that Southwest Airlines has succeeded because it has branded itself as not a company in the airline industry but one that’s in the “freedom business,” enabling people to see the country.
Life is short, CFOs are saying. Too short to put up with all the stress. Turnover in CFO jobs is up not solely because of burnout but because they’re getting promoted to CEO.
–Great to meet Dart Lindsley last night at the ER Expo in San Diego and to share our very similar views on the recruiting industry. Great to talk to Jennifer Warne (a finalist for the annual ERE award for the best college recruiting program) and her great team at Towers Perrin; Warne’s writing an article about college recruiting for an upcoming issue of ERE’s print publication.