Talent Storm

The winds of change have started to blow now that the tumult within the economy has somewhat stabilized.  However, don’t misinterpret this stability as a chance to relax if you’re an employer or eagerly rising star employee.  Employers and achievers — welcome to the eye of the storm.  Those “winds of change” will quickly create a change in the climate of employment throughout the country.  With the increase in stability comes less reluctance on the part of employees to begin searching outside the current sphere of employment to find better opportunities.  Of course, with the top talent leaving several key positions to change scenes or discover the entrepreneurial spirit, the competition for top candidates rises to a fever pitch.  In this confusing tempest, finding the best workers or place to work often requires a reach outside of internal hiring and immediate networks.  For truly talented workers to be found, company-employee matches will increasingly be found on a national scale.  The standards for talent that have been relegated to the bare minimum in order to continue operation will be shed in this new climate of migration.  With less risk, companies will ask for more talent from a star employee.  While this talent seeking becomes a focal point for companies, skilled employees also have the benefit of scarcity on their side.  With the relative lack of talent, negotiating for benefits, salary, maybe even a company golf cart, are becoming valid negotiating points.  There’s a sunny outcome in the end, but brace yourselves, the storm is on the way.

Read more:  http://www.ere.net/2012/03/19/the-war-for-talent-is-returning-dont-get-caught-unprepared/



Friday Findings

Take a look at this graphic provided by CNN Money on the employment recovery since the economic crash of 2009.  You might notice the largest growth in manufacturing, professional, and healthcare sectors.  The demand in these sectors has grown greatly, and with a lack of employees to fill these areas, we at Preferred Partners have employers eager to hire valuable candidates in these fields.  We currently have demand for manufacturing managers, skilled engineers, software programmers, and several other positions throughout the country.  If any of these positions carry any interest or if you are interested in how Preferred Partners can advance your career, feel free to give us a call, send us an e-mail, or leave a comment.

courtesy: CNN Money

When You Play with Matches…

Let’s imagine for a minute that your current employment is less than stimulating or unable to compensate according to your skill set.  Luckily, by taking the initiative to remedy this situation, another company with significant potential for growth and, more importantly, a challenge has been in contact to offer a new career with a slightly higher pay raise.  Everything sounds great, and there is no doubt in your mind toward making a switch.  But wait – your current employer has just promised to increase your pay significantly and include additional benefits to retain your services.  What should you choose — The new opportunity or the tempting counteroffer?

Many of our candidates are faced with situations very similar to this one.  The decision is difficult, and often opportunities are lost when candidates settle for familiarity over actualization of potential.  The benefits of staying, although possibly greater in monetary amount, come at a cost.  The higher cost to retain your skills become an increasing liability for your company, and with the prerequisite of higher pay for retention, more time will only give your employer a chance to seek fresh workers that can quickly slip into your position.  Even if replacement for your position isn’t an easily completed task, most likely the next time pay increases are discussed, your salary might remain stagnant compared to you colleagues.

Another reason that a candidate should never consider a counter offer is the bad position it puts them in with their new employer.  If they perceive your employment being driven solely by salary rather than personal interest in the work or belief in the company values, their offer may wither away and place you in a sticky position without a new opportunity ahead or a fall back to rely on for much longer.  Playing with counteroffers as the colloquial phrase goes is like playing with matches.  It might seem harmless, but given the right conditions, your career could go up in flames.


The Life Line of Business

In the recruiting business, phones are essential.  Face to face meetings are great opportunities to meet candidates and employers, but reality has a funny way of leaving less time for travel and meet-ups than would be ideal.  The essential alternative to the time-value problem is of course the phone.  With only a voice to carry through and connect, the process of recruiting is made simpler and more difficult simultaneously.  Some are naturally endowed with the silky smooth voice that sounds so calmingly convincing.  Others are persistent and practice their approach until perfection.  It is the latter of these two that we should learn from to find the best ways to success – not only for recruiters, but also for sales calls, mobile meetings, or even casual calls. 

                An old proverb says:  “Even the most foolish will seem wise with silence.”  We often forget that the phone is a two-way device meant for equal parts talking and listening.  Many times, the listening is the essential piece that kills a deal.  Anyone can “pretend” to listen, but truly hearing what is being said will not only increase rapport and increase sales, but also open the door for some tricks of the phone trade.  Matching tonality has been shown to increase connections between speakers, and practicing this tactic along with unrushed speaking and unnecessary um…like….um’s…  will only increase professional image through the phone and increase chances of making that deal or hiring that potential employee.

More:  http://www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/phone-skills-how-to-give-good-phone.html

Social, Birthdate, Username, and Password?

Today, the barriers between work and home have become much thinner with the pervasive reach of Facebook, twitter, and even the cell phone.  In the past, leaving the cubicle effectively cut off non-personal messages and duties, but with constant communication after hours, the need to effectively manage or separate the personal from the professional is a priority for most employees.  Recently, employers have increasingly utilized personal sites for a more accurate depiction of a candidate.  Some employers have even begun to ask for the usernames and passwords for personal pages on facebook and other forms of social media.  This increasing access to personal information and the implications of taking the office home is a good reminder that once something is on the internet, it can be incredibly difficult to remove.  For most of us, posting pictures from that after party seems innocuous at the time, but without context, those same pictures could be the differentiating factor between you and a new opportunity.


Big Mama or Little Daddy?

Recently, when seeking feedback from a candidate we sent on an interview, we were told: “We like him. We like all five candidates.” That’s great for our client, because they have a full buffet of talent from which to choose. For us, however, we would like the talent that our candidate provides to make them forget the others.

This occurs more frequently than we’d like; our candidates are great, but so too are other candidates. We need something to separate our candidate from the pack, and that is often the candidate’s personal brand. A personal brand is not a logo or color scheme, like we might see from Nike or Pepsi; a personal brand is what impression we make on others when they meet us.

Are we the quiet, sincere type who both calms and attracts others? Are we the aggressive and bold type who commands attention? Most of all, are we memorable?

My friend Jeff Beals is an author and self-marketing guru. Read his latest post on an Omaha brand, Big Mama and see what I’m talking about. http://jeffbeals.wordpress.com/2012/03/16/put-big-mamas-picture-on-the-business-card/

Computer Network Professional

Here’s a quick description of one of the many opportunities we have right now:

An Immediate opening for an Engineer in the Midwest.

Focuses Include:

  • Installation and support of Microsoft servers and desktops,
  • Firewall configuration
  • Exchange servers
  • Configuration/troubleshooting switches and network equipment.

Candidate Qualities:

  • Time management
  • Desire to support users in varied environments

Industry Certifications and Experience are preferred.

Salary is based on experience.

If interested, contact Jamie to get started

Moderate the Madness

I’m old enough to remember workplaces without Internet access. When I completed my first workplace March Madness bracket, it was printed in blue mimeograph ink on the Catholic high school’s copier. One of the math teachers was tasked with utilizing “new” spreadsheet technology to track points. Being able to check scores, monitor games and research bracket selections during worktime wasn’t only impossible, it was unthinkable for professionals who valued their jobs.

Now, between the Internet and mobile phone technology, American professionals can keep tabs on the tournament, while they are supposed to be working. Not only are hours lost, so too is concentration, as employees attempt to divide their attention between activities for which their employer pays and the entertainment the tournament provides. Unfortunately, this isn’t a phenonmenon limited to March, as technology enables employees to conduct personal business and entertainment on company time.

As recruiters, we often field the first call from someone who was unexpectedly terminated. Don’t make that person you, because you just couldn’t resist the urge to check your bracket. Practice respect for your employer and your profession year-round, and you’ll be a much happier and more successful professional than those who don’t.


Good News, Better News, and Best of All…

The good news is that February’s employment numbers were better than expected.  The even greater news is that much of the employment occurred within the professional, leisure, and healthcare fields.  The best news is that if you are living in the Midwest, you are a member of one of the regions with the lowest unemployment rates.

What does this mean for your future career?

For starters, this increase in employment is a great signal that it might be time to further your career, branch out into another focus, or consider a change in company.  For those of you lucky enough to be in the booming fields previously mentioned, it’s definitely the right time to make a move.  Employers are hungry for experience and talent, but many seasoned employees are immobile or reluctant to change employers with the economy still in seemingly dark waters.  Admittedly, there is some risk with any transition, but consider the benefits of early action when your co-workers are still anxiously watching from the sidelines.  Increased demand = Increased pay, benefits, freedom…you name it.  Demand for experienced workers increases your worth and negotiating position considerably.

If you’re ready to take the leap into your successful future career, let Preferred Partners find a perfect fit.

Read USA Today’s article on February employment

Wisdom of the Ants

Throughout every single individual’s life, there are ups and downs, springs forward, falls behind, but throughout the tumult of life, it’s always important to keep perspective, keep moving forward, and forge the path into the future.  With this in mind, we would like to share a  great piece of writing on this life process.


The Ant Philosophy by Jim Rohn

Over the years I’ve been teaching kids about a simple but powerful concept-the ant philosophy. I think everybody should study ants. They have an amazing four-part philosophy, and here is the first part: ants never quit. That’s a good philosophy. If they’re headed somewhere and you try to stop them, they’ll look for another way. They’ll climb over, they’ll climb under, they’ll climb around. They keep looking for another way. What a neat philosophy, to never quit looking for a way to get where you’re supposed to go.


Second, ants think winter all summer. That’s an important perspective. You can’t be so naive as to think summer will last forever. So ants gather their winter food in the middle of summer.


An ancient story says, “Don’t build your house on the sand in the summer.”

Why do we need that advice? Because it is important to think ahead. In the summer, you’ve got to think storm. You’ve got to think rocks as you enjoy the sand and sun.


The third part of the ant philosophy is that ants think summer all winter.

That is so important. During the winter, ants remind themselves, “This won’t last long; we’ll soon be out of here.” And the first warm day, the ants are out. If it turns cold again, they’ll dive back down, but then they come out the first warm day. They can’t wait to get out.


And here’s the last part of the ant philosophy. How much will an ant gather during the summer to prepare for the winter? All he possibly can. What an incredible philosophy, the “all-you-possibly-can” philosophy.


Wow, what a great philosophy to have-the ant philosophy. Never give up, look ahead, stay positive and do all you can.

And if you’re looking to avoid a “harsh winter” by making strides forward to a new career, Preferred Partners, LLC. is here to help.  Give us a call at 402-884-7466 today.