Recruitment Tips, Employer Trends, and Hiring Insights from CareerBuilder

Monthly Archives: September 2011

Managing the Unmanageable author Anne Loehr

Problem Employees: Worth Saving? Author Talks ‘Managing the Unmanageable’

Anne Loehr is a nationally recognized management coach and author of the award-winning book, A Manager’s Guide to Coaching: Simple and Effective Ways to Get the Best of Your Employees. I recently spoke with Loehr about her new book, Managing the Unmanageable: How to Motivate Even the Most Unruly Employee, a collaboration with workplace communications expert Jezra Kaye. She discussed some key takeaways from the book, including how to identify when an employee is worth holding on to and when it’s time to walk away.

How do you define an “unmanageable employee”?
We call an unmanageable employee (UE) an employee who exhibits constant, repeated, unproductive behavior. Everyone has a bad day, a bad week, sometimes even a bad month, depending on what’s going on in their life. But we’re talking about someone who’s constantly, repeatedly – on a fairly long-term basis – unproductive. This book is about helping managers uncover what they need to put UEs back on track.

The majority of organizational challenges are because the goals, the roles, and the processes are not clear. So people will say, for example, “Gosh, Mary’s driving me crazy, do something about Mary.” And I’ll go in, and I’ll do some work and then I’ll say, “Well, you know what? It’s not actually Mary – it’s never Mary – it’s Mary’s behavior that’s not working, for one. Two, she’s doing this because she actually thinks it’s her job, and you think that’s your job, and that’s the problem there.”

Do you find this happening a lot more now, with the economy and people taking on bigger workloads now, or is that always how it’s been?
I think that’s always how it’s been. You’re right – we have a lot of downsizing, a lot of reorganizing. Also what’s contributing to this is you’ve got a lot more virtual teams. So you’ve kind of lost that face-to-face feeling, which I’m not saying is a bad thing at all, but it’s just harder to have those kind of conversations to say, “What’s going on?” and it’s harder for a manager to spot a challenging, unmanageable employee until maybe it’s too late.

What makes managing the unmanageable different from other management books?

By in Benefits, Employee Wellness, Retention, Talent Management

Coffee At Work? It’s a Tasty Pick-Me-Up for Many Workers’ Careers

Many workers aren’t just enjoying the taste of coffee (as I am right this minute) — they’re using it to give their careers a jolt. From better networking, to rubbing elbows, to improved performance, a cup of Joe’s helping many workers make connections — and career strides. Workers are particular about their coffee fixings; some like it black, others with cream and sugar; and still others with another unique combination altogether. Whatever their blend of choice, they’re guzzling it down: 28 percent drink three or more cups a day, and scientists, education administrators, and marketing/public relations professionals, as well as nine other professions, adamantly say they’re less productive without it.

Let’s take a closer look:

Coffee at Work: It's a Tasty Pick-Me-Up for Many Workers' Careers

You can also download the full infographic here. What’s your coffee drink of choice — and when have you needed coffee most at work?

By in Infographics, Insights & Trends, Survey Results, Talent Management

Using New Media to Recruit

New Media Calls for New Recruiting Strategy | Free Webcast

Do you realize…

…one in two job seekers want to find and engage with companies in social?
…80 percent of companies use social media to recruit?
…12 percent of job searches are done via mobile devices?
…54 percent of job seekers are more likely to apply to your job at your company after they follow you on social media?

Yesterday, CareerBuilder’s Vice President of Corporate Marketing and Branding, Jamie Womack, along with CareerBuilder Area Vice President Andrew Streiter discussed these very findings in the featured webcast, Going Social: How to Leverage Social Media In Your Recruitment Strategy.

In addition to these findings, they also gave practical tips for employers on the best ways to leverage emerging media to strengthen employment branding and recruiting efforts, including…

…the latest tools, trends and techniques for attracting top talent
…what emerging media are and what they mean for your business
…how to integrate emerging media into your current recruitment strategy

Missed the webcast? Download it now at

Keep the conversation going – use #CBGoSocial on Twitter…

During the webcast, participants were urged to join in the conversation by following and posting the hashtag #cbgosocial on Twitter! Visit Twitter and search #cbgosocial and put in your own two cents!

Related articles:

By in Candidate Sourcing, Mobile, Retention, Social Media, Talent Acquisition, Talent Management, Video, Webinars


Survey: What Employers Get Right – and Wrong – About Social Media

New surveys released through three of CareerBuilder’s niche sites – MiracleWorkers (which caters to healthcare workers), WorkinRetail (serving the retail industry) and Sologig (focused on contract and freelance positions) – reveal the information workers value most on an organization’s social media pages – and what social media moves they despise.

More than 500 workers nationwide in each of the above industries participated. Take a look at the results, and use them to inform your own social media recruitment efforts:

Fifty-three percent of healthcare workers who use social media are interested in seeing information on company social media pages, according to the survey from

What employers should post…

  • Job listings on company pages (wanted by 40 percent of healthcare workers)
  • Fact sheets or Q&A about the company (26 percent)
  • Career paths within the organization (26 percent)
  • Employee testimonials (22 percent)
  • Something that conveys fun about working for the organization (19 percent)

…and what they should avoid:

  • Company communication reads like an ad (a peeve for 35 percent of healthcare workers)
  • Failure to respond to submitted questions (33 percent)
  • Failure to regularly post information on social media or blog entries (23 percent)
  • Filtering or removing social media comments (20 percent)

Fifty percent of retail workers who use social media are interested in seeing information on company social media pages, according to the survey from

What employers should post…

  • Job listings on company pages (wanted by 33 percent of retail workers)
  • Facts sheets or Q&A about the company (27 percent)
  • Career paths within the organization (27 percent)
  • Employee testimonials (18 percent)
  • Something that conveys fun about working for the organization (18 percent)
  • Pictures of company events (13 percent)
  • Videos of a day on the job (13 percent)
  • Video of new products and services (13 percent)

…and what they should avoid:

  • Company communication reads like an ad (a peeve for 43 percent of retail workers)
  • Failure to respond to submitted questions (38 percent)
  • Filtering or removing social media comments (27 percent)
  • Failure to regularly post information on social media or blog entries (24 percent)

Information Technology
Fifty-one percent of IT workers who use social media are interested in seeing information on company social media pages, according to a new survey from

What employers should post…

  • Job listings on company pages (wanted by 39 percent of IT workers)
  • Fact sheets or Q&A about the company (32 percent)
  • Career paths within the organization (24 percent)
  • Something that conveys fun about working for the organization (21 percent)
  • Video of new products and services (17 percent)
  • Employee testimonials (16 percent)

…and what they should avoid

  • Company communication reads like an ad (a peeve for 53 percent of healthcare workers)
    • Failure to respond to submitted questions (32 percent)
    • Inconsistency in company messaging in different social media venues (26 percent)
    • Failure to regularly post information or blog entries (25 percent)

Employers must lead the social media path

By in Candidate Sourcing, Insights & Trends, Social Media, Survey Results, Talent Acquisition


Missoni for Target: Applying Retail Marketing Tactics to Your Recruitment Strategy

Earlier this month, Target retail stores and its online site were overrun with activity from customers desperate to own a piece of squiggle-patterned luxury at a bargain price. On Sept. 13, famed Italian house Missoni launched a line exclusively for Target, and everybody wanted in. The Internet traffic caused Target’s website to crash, and the Missoni line was essentially sold out in a few hours. If you visit the website today, you will see most items are listed as “out of stock.”

It’s interesting that even in today’s economy, when many people are tightening their purse strings and have less disposable income, they still turned out in droves to spend on this collection, which, while affordable, is not comprised of necessities. People are even taking advantage of the craze by reselling the items on eBay at outrageous prices!

The consumer enthusiasm was (and still is) certainly driven by hype and Missoni itself, but Target did a lot to ensure that the line would be well-received. Though they made some mistakes , there are still nuggets of information to be mined from this situation – namely, building excitement without creating disappointment. How can you apply the good pieces of Target’s tactics to your recruitment strategy?

By in Talent Acquisition

Navy recruits

Recruitment Lessons, Straight from the Navy Recruiting Command

Navy recruits“Diversity is included in everything we do – it’s a critical part of our mission. It’s so ingrained in what we do that we don’t even really see it.”

These were some of the words spoken by Cmdr. Brent Phillips, Director of Marketing and Advertising for the Navy Recruiting Command, on day two of the recent ERE Expo in Hollywood, FL. During his “The Navy’s Record Year” keynote, Cmdr. Phillips discussed many facets of the Navy’s recruitment successes and challenges — many of which translate not only to the entire military, but to employers in general. Below are some highlights about the Navy’s specific recruiting challenges, growth/success metrics, and tips that may inspire other employers or recruiters:

What’s it like to work for the Navy? A workplace snapshot

  • 284 ships in commission
  • 3700+ operational aircraft
  • Personnel deployed: 52, 585
  • Then (1992): 550,000 active duty; 406 ships
  • Now (2011): 328,266 active duty, 203,796 Navy civilians, 102,080 reserves
  • Navy recruiting command: Hiring 45,000 people a year, consisting of 42,079 enlisted, 3,989 officers, and 4,220 NROTC applications
  • Hiring 45,000 people/year

Should be easy to reach their goals with such a great brand, right? Not so fast. “Lots of people have reservations about recruiting for the Navy,” said Phillips. The reasons are widespread, but many stem from either physical concerns, fear (war and high-risk situations often pop into people’s minds) and cultural elements. Some of the most common concerns include those offered from the audience: “I hate push-ups; “I can’t swim” (the point, as Phillips jokes, is to stay on the ship, not to fall off of it); “I’m going to have to cut my hair”; and “Where will I work, geographically? I have to leave home.”

Some of these are real concerns, and Phillips acknowledges that they are a barrier the Navy deals with all the time. He went on to address other challenges the Navy faces both internally and externally.

Some of the Navy’s current recruitment challenges:

  • Complex Mission: The Navy has what they call a “FIT” standard for talent — they need the right person, doing the right job, at the right time. In the old days, Phillips said, you took a test to determine that you were morally and physically qualified, and then you were “in,” your job was chosen, and you were sent to it.Now, they have “gotten away from sending a general product downrange,” as he calls it, and it’s top-notch quality being sent off to boot camp. When you go to boot camp, you know what you will be doing after, and you’ve had all the security, financial, and background checks already done and the physical screenings taken care of. But this FIT element, Phillips added, is like finding a blade of grass in a haystack, it results in frustration on part of applicants and recruiters, and it can be a strain on the most valuable resource — time.
  • A shrinking population of qualified and interested youth: Phillips asked audience members for a show of hands as to how many of their family members were in the military. Overall, he got about 50 percent raised hands; fewer, he said, than he would have gotten years ago. It used to be that entire families would consider the military as line of work — that 70 percent in that same audience would have raised their hands. Interest and military participation as a family tradition has dwindled, and with it a portion of the Navy’s target market.In addition, the skill sets for which the Navy is recruiting are intense; 98 percent of nuclear power plants, for instance, are run by Navy-trained officers — and this requires finding a very technically astute individual. Not easy to find, especially when two-thirds of the market (17- to 24-year-old males) isn’t even qualified to join the Navy.
  • Navy Awareness lags all other services: In many ways, Phillips said, the Navy is invisible to America. You can’t get on naval bases without an escort in most cases, if there’s even one near you — which makes it difficult for people to penetrate the barriers and get to know what the organization is really like. In addition, they have their own language of sorts — they use particular words for things that the general public isn’t necessarily familiar with, and they’re an insular, close-knit community. Kind of like an exclusive club, really — but this rep doesn’t do much for raising awareness.
  • Resource reductions and the changing economy pose a moderate risk in the near term: Marketing for complex jobs is difficult, Phillips pointed out. The Department of Defense has taken a $26 billion reduction, so trying to make decisions on whether to spend money on recruiting or equipment needs can prove to be quite challenging.
  • There’s a high demand for professional skill sets in the private sector: The Navy also struggles with people relatively immune to unemployment — people with very specific skill sets and an advanced level of education, like doctors, chaplains, and dentists. With a shortage of Roman Catholic priests in the U.S. and many parishes in need of them, for example, it’s hard for the Navy to justify taking them away — and it can cause quite a dilemma.
  • A sense of identity and awareness among the public: The Navy has suffered from the lack of a clear identity and awareness among the broader American public. News reporters and the public at large believe the Navy is manned by generals and soldiers, and they don’t know what service actually entails or what kind of impact the Navy has on their daily lives. Without this foundation, it’s difficult for the general public to support Naval efforts. This hurts when it comes to getting the right people in the door. There is currently a 7 percent female interest in the Navy, compared to an 18 percent male interest in the Navy. There’s a steady decline for female interest, though the Navy has more and more jobs opening for females — it’s a problem of perception versus reality. Not only does the Navy want more female recruits — it needs them. They’re about to onboard their first female submariners, which is huge.

How the Navy has overcome some of its biggest challenges:

By in Diversity in the Workplace, Government, Retention, Staffing & Recruiting, Talent Acquisition, Talent Management


CareerBuilder CDO Talks Job Creation, Clinton Global Initiative

Today, CareerBuilder announced its commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting in New York, which brings together leaders from all over the world to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. The commitment is part of CareerBuilder’s ongoing effort to educate job seekers on where to find opportunities and put Americans back to work.

Hope Gurion, CareerBuilder’s Chief Development Officer, is going to be at the annual meeting this week to speak on behalf of CareerBuilder. She recently answered a few questions for me about the mission and history of the CGI, CareerBuilder’s involvement in the initiative and what she hopes all of us can gain from this meeting.

By in Economy, Insights & Trends


How NOT to Break Bad News to Employees: Lessons from Netflix’s CEO

This morning, Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings issued an apology on the company’s blog for failing to show “respect and humility in the way we announced the separation of DVD and streaming, and the price changes.”

For those who haven’t heard, Netflix recently announced it was going to start charging its streaming and DVD-by-mail services separately (now, the latter service will be named Qwikster). Now, Netflix customers who want only DVDs or only streaming can pay less for the one service, but will end up paying more if they want to keep both.

Not surprisingly, the veiled attempt to charge customers more while pretending that they’re charging them less made for some unhappy customers. To add insult to injury, most customers didn’t even get the news directly from Netflix itself, but through stories leaked on various blogs and news sites. (I myself didn’t get so much as an email to make me aware of this change, and had to find out through Twitter.) To say the company lacked respect and humility is an understatement: Netflix had no regard for their customers whatsoever in this situation. As a result, the company will – and already has – lost a great deal of customers and business from the ordeal.

Now, as Hastings desperately attempts damage control, not only do businesses have the opportunity to learn from about what not to do when it comes to customer service, but leaders could also apply these lessons to handling bad news- and correcting mistakes – with their employees.

5 Do’s and Don’ts for Communicating Bad News – and Righting Wrongs

  • DO: Own up to Your Mistakes. “I messed up. I owe everyone an explanation,” begins Captain Obvious’ Hastings’ blog post. Well done: straight and to the point. Some leaders frown on admitting wrong, but in Netflix’s case, the admission was necessary. So overwhelming was the backlash from customers, that for Hastings to do anything less than apologize would be an even bigger insult – and more fuel for unhappy customers’ fire. Sometimes, all customers want is to know they’re being heard, and Netflix finally took the time to acknowledge their customers’ feelings. And while many will see Hastings’ post as too little, too late, it’s at least start in a long way to winning back customers.

By in Candidate Sourcing, Retention, Social Media, Talent Acquisition, Talent Management, Video

Matthew Kelly author photo (jacket)

The Myth of the Work-Life Balance

More than two decades and countless discussions after the term “work-life balance” entered the workforce lexicon, we don’t seem to be any closer to figuring out how to achieve it. Author Matthew Kelly believes he knows why.

“The question has always been framed in the wrong way,” Kelly told me in a phone interview last week. “The term itself is fatally flawed.”

He says the term implies that work and life should be separate, when in reality, they are intertwined. “Most people spend the majority of their lives working. So when you tell them their work isn’t a part of their life, they don’t respond very well to that.”

In fact, prior to the early 1990s, when Fortune 500 companies started addressing the topic in their employee surveys, Kelly believes employees didn’t give much thought to having a work-life balance at all. After interviewing more than 3,000 people as research for the book, Kelly and his colleagues found the same holds true today: workers don’t truly care about balance at all. What they want is satisfaction in both areas of their lives – personal and professional – at the same time.

An internationally renowned speaker and business consultant, Kelly has built a career around a core principle he developed as a first-year business school student: “becoming the best versions of ourselves.” Today, as president of Floyd Consulting, Kelly helps organizations and people become the best versions of themselves on a daily basis.

In his new book, Off Balance: Getting Beyond the Work-Life Balance Myth to Personal and Professional Satisfaction, Kelly refocuses this core principle to help others become the most satisfied versions of themselves. When I spoke to Kelly last week, he discussed how employers could use the insights from his book to tap into their employees’ needs and create a more satisfied – and more productive – workforce.

By in Retention, Talent Management

Your employees: Working from home or “working” from home?

One in five Americans who work from home spend one hour or less working, according to new CareerBuilder survey.

(See the full infographic.)

It’s a debate as old as time: Is working from home an efficient alternative to the traditional office job or a productivity killer?

Thanks to the results of a new CareerBuilder survey on telecommuting, the debate…well, continues. According to the survey of nearly 5,300 employees nationwide, of those Americans who telecommute at least part of the time…

  • 17 percent spend one hour or less per day on work
  • 35 percent say they work eight or more hours per day (up from 18 percent who said the same in 2007)
  • 40 percent work between four and seven hours per day

Thanks to the mass adoption of smart phones and advanced network technologies, Americans are able to work from home on a more regular basis than they were four years ago. Ten percent telecommute at least once a week – up from eight percent in 2007.

“The autonomy of working from home can be very rewarding so long as it doesn’t diminish productivity,” says Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. In order to ensure telecommuters are staying productive, managers should be clear about expectations and establish daily objectives, Haefner advises.

Telecommuters are largely split as to whether time spent at home or at the office is more conducive to high-quality work.

  • 37 percent of workers say they are more productive at the office
  • 29 percent report they are more productive at home
  • 34 percent say they are equally productive at home and the office.

What’s keeping workers distracted?

By in Survey Results

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