Amybeth Hale – Research Goddess

A Beautiful Mind
September 28, 2007, 6:25 pm
Filed under: Research

Some days, I really feel like John Nash….rifling through news, magazines (online, of course) and networks trying to find the spy code hidden amongst all the words 🙂

Anyone else ever have days like this?


LinkedIn Is Allowing Photos Now
September 27, 2007, 11:07 pm
Filed under: Networking/Social Media

Thanks go out to my new co-worker and fellow researcher, Bob Cooper, for the heads-up on this one!

Apparently, LinkedIn is now going to start allowing its users to upload their photos to their profiles.

“LinkedIn Corp. has long resisted photos, seeing itself as a site for professional networking and job-seeking and desiring to set itself apart from social-oriented hangouts like News Corp.’s MySpace and Facebook…But Adam Nash, LinkedIn’s senior director of products, said photos remain one of the most requested features, and the site will start allowing them this Friday — with limits.”

Read the rest here!’s Bloggers Against Abuse – Mercy Ministries
September 27, 2007, 6:22 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

When Jim brought this campaign to my attention, I immediately decided that I wanted to participate. I could not think of a better charitable cause that addresses abuse than Mercy Ministries. Mercy Ministries is a cause I have gladly supported for the past five years, and I am excited to share a little information about what they do today:

Since 1983, Mercy Ministries has served thousands of young women from all over the world with varied cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. Young women who come to Mercy Ministries are often facing a combination of difficult circumstances such as:

  • Abuse
  • Self-Harm
  • Depression
  • Addictions
  • Unplanned Pregnancy
  • Eating Disorders

Many of these girls have sought treatment before with unsuccessful long-term results. Residents are in the program an average of six months and Mercy’s services reflect their diverse needs. The residents are young women who want to change and move beyond their difficult circumstances, yet have never found a source for help before Mercy Ministries. Young women who have graduated from the Mercy Ministries program are truly transformed. They are found in universities, corporations, ministries, the mission field, and raising families. Mercy Ministries’ goal is to have each young woman not only complete the program but also discover the purpose for her life and bring value to her community as a productive citizen.

Mercy Ministries currently has three facilities in the United States: Nashville, TN has 40 beds, Monroe, LA has 20 beds and St. Louis, Missouri has 30 beds, and plans are underway for a 40 bed home in Sacramento, California.

The girls and young women who come to Mercy Ministries are people not unlike some that you probably know. Here are some testimonies of some of the young women who have graduated from Mercy Ministries:

From a woman’s perspective, abuse is something that can scar you for life. With organizations like Mercy Ministries, these women can be given hope that they can trust and love once again. They are given the chance to start over again with a clean slate, and the graduates go on to make good lives for themselves, many of them coming back to work or volunteer at one of the homes.
I would encourage anyone reading about Mercy Ministries here to consider making an investment in this tremendous cause. One of the best things about this organization is that it takes 10% of the donations that are graciously given to it and in turn sows that amount into other charities. So any money that you donate to Mercy Ministries touches multiple causes.
Here is a link to make a donation to Mercy Ministries. Please put ‘referred from’ in the comment box. Also, if you know a young woman who could benefit from one of the programs, please take a look at the application for admission.

Thank you for reading this post today, and I encourage you to look around the blogosphere for some of the other participants today in the Call To End Abuse!

Camping With Suzy
September 25, 2007, 5:40 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Suzy’s been talked about a lot recently, and she is a fabulous researcher. However, her awesome-ness goes way beyond just research, as I found out after spending the weekend with her in the mountains!

I’d never been to the West Coast of the US until joining Waggener Edstrom earlier this month. I knew my friend Suzy lived somewhere in Oregon, however I didn’t know that she was a good 3 hours from where I’d be! So coming back to Portland again, we were finally able to connect when I went camping with her and her husband Ron last weekend in the Cascade Mountains.

For anyone who is like me and thought that all of Oregon was luscious evergreen, I was surprised to hear that our campground was considered high desert. Apparently, on the east side of the mountain range, there is very little rain and therefore the climate is more desert-like. Driving out there, I passed absolutely beautiful evergreens, crystal clear lakes, and postcard-esque landscapes that just simply took my breath away. When I reached Bend, I noticed the sharp contrast with the desert-like landscape from what I’d just driven through, even though at nearly 4,000 ft. above sea-level, you can see various mountain ranges all around you in Bend. What a cute town – the downtown area is how I would picture Aspen, CO to be.

I arrived on Friday night and Ron was preparing some beef kabobs – yum! Those who know me well know how much I appreciate a good home-cooked meal since most of my meals come from either a box or a can. Suzy showed me a scrapbook of some of the things she’s done throughout her life, and in that scrapbook were photos of her with some pretty famous people, not the least of who were Sting, Aaron Neville, and Janet Jackson. I feel so boring compared to the things she has experienced, and it was cool to get to know some of the former lives of Suzy before she became an internet researcher.

Saturday Suzy and I had breakfast at one of her favorite local cafés and then we packed up my car and headed up to Lava Lake. The temperature was about 70 when we left and it stayed that way until the sun started to go down, and it got cold really quick. We set up camp, and Ron put some Cornish game hens and red potatoes on the campfire for dinner. We bundled up for a freezing night – I think the temperature may have actually dipped below freezing at some point during the night.

I have to say that Suzy’s husband, Ron, is so entertaining! He is quite the Renaissance man – he builds tables, hikes, bikes, whittles wood, cooks, and sets up a nice campsite. He and Suzy are just adorable together.

When I left on Sunday, Suzy encouraged me to take a different route home and go right past Mt. Hood and I was very pleased that I did so! I got the opportunity to see one of the tallest mountains in North America looming right in front of me. I will admit that my heart beat faster as I was driving through the valleys in Mt. Hood National Forest. I kept trying to find pull-off points on the road to get a good shot of Mt. Hood but there simply were none available. Majestic is the only word that comes to mind when I try to explain what it looked like.

Suzy and I really didn’t have a schedule for our trip. In all honesty, some might find what we did to be rather dull, but it was great for me. We ate campfire-cooked meals, toasted marshmallows (OK, that was almost all just me), and just sat around talking about all kinds of stuff. I was so pleased to be able to get to know my research colleague on a more personal level. I value all of the relationships I have formed with my research, sourcing, and recruiting colleagues, but I think it’s extra special when you have the opportunity to get to know someone on a deeper level than just work.

I think Suzy and I would both agree that one of the best parts of the weekend was just being able to leave the computers and cell phones behind and completely unplug from our “normal lives”. There’s nothing like peeing in the woods and smelling like a smoky campfire to refresh and renew 🙂 Enjoy the slideshow of some of the things we got to experience last weekend!

New Position: Week One
September 24, 2007, 5:13 am
Filed under: Research

I am in my hotel room in Portland, OR. I just took a (much needed) bath and shower after a weekend in the DIRT (more on that later!), and I am reflecting back on this week, post-SourceCon and also my first week with Waggener Edstrom Worldwide.

Public relations is relatively new to me, so first order of business was flying out to Seattle on Tuesday evening for account training on Wednesday. I learned a ton about the PR industry which will be quite helpful! As a researcher, it is imperative that you understand the industries in which you are searching. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, it doesn’t really matter what you do to find it. I think the Cheshire Cat said something to that effect to Alice in Alice in Wonderland….
“Which road should I take?” she asked the cat.
“Where do you want to get to?” the cat asked helpfully.
“I don’t know,” admitted Alice.
“Then,” advised the cat, “any road will take you there.”

Having basically one industry in which to search is going to be wonderful. I have always firmly believed in specialization for researchers, NOT JUST recruiters. Researchers who are stretched too thin by having to search in lots of industries cannot be expected to be effective in their efforts. It’s like trying to put your two hands into 5 buckets of water simultaneously – it can’t be done.

Thursday I spent the day in Seattle learning about some of the practice areas in which I will be researching. I also started getting to know the best ways in which to work with the staffing and HR folks I am connected to. As a researcher, I think it is essential to develop good relationships with the people who you will be supporting. Learn how to best communicate with each other, and make sure you communicate often. As a recruiter, not communicating with your researcher means that they may be searching in a direction that will not get you the best results possible, so do it often. And if you are a researcher supporting a recruiter who has some challenges communicating with you, take the matter into your own hands and forge those lines of correspondence yourself. The door swings both ways!

Thursday evening, I flew back to Portland where I will be until the end of September. After work on Friday, I threw some clothes into my rental car and drove east to Bend, OR to spend the weekend with my research buddy Suzy Tonini! She invited me to her home and she and her husband Ron took me camping up at Lava Lake in the Cascade Mountains.

Next week will be more acclimation to the staffing team in Portland and getting some goals set. I will be able to return to Cincinnati at the end of the month with lots of tangibles to dig my heels in and get going with my new position. Even though I have enjoyed all the new information I have learned and the new friends I have made over the last 3 weeks, I am looking forward to going home next weekend.

Bootstrapper’s Top 100 HR Bloggers
September 20, 2007, 2:12 am
Filed under: Blogging

At this moment, I am in Seattle getting my account training for my new position at Waggener Edstrom Worldwide. While I was training today, I received an email from Rich McIver, a known SEO and social media advocate, letting me know that I was listed amongst the top 100 HR bloggers in a list that was published today on the Bootstrapper blog. What an honor! While I do not believe that the list includes ALL of the most excellent resources, looking at some of the other blogs listed I feel I am in some very good company. The caption beside my listing reads, “This fun to read blog is a great resource for connecting you with other HR sites and blogs across the Web.” Aw, thank you! I am glad my rants are viewed as “fun to read”!

Check out the whole list here for yourself!

SourceCon, Portland, Seattle, and a Bunch of Other Stuff
September 17, 2007, 4:28 pm
Filed under: SourceCon, Thoughts

Well, SourceCon has ended, and I have a serious hangover. Not from all the drinking of course since I don’t drink alcohol, but from all the knowledge! For those of you who were not there, I’m sorry to say this but you will be kicking yourself for the next year until SourceCon 2008 rolls around. If you didn’t go this year, make sure that you get your ticket EARLY and go next year. With all the information that was bestowed upon us over the course of two days, I would venture to guess that the knowledge would be worth at least $20,000 – easily. The amount of talent that was present was mind-blowing.

I will not go into a bulleted list of who spoke and how incredible their talks were, but I will mention three individuals who I feel have become fast friends of mine and who represent the future of Internet research – Suzy Tonini, Jeremy Langhans, and Mike Notaro – the three challenge winners. Mike won the Grand Master challenge and a great new laptop courtesy of Donato Diorio and Broadlook Technologies, so I’ll also take this opportunity to congratulate him.

I’m sure that all of us who were in attendance will be writing and talking about this event over the next several weeks. I would have to say that my biggest takeaway from the conference was the networking that was done. With the size of the group in attendance, I would say that I got to meet about 75% of them. My favorite moments were the intimate one-on-ones or small group conversations that were had, the ideas that were shared in those moments, and the new friendships that were formed. For a great number of us, this was the first time that we were actually able to connect live. We may have conversed over the phone or through emails for several years but never met in person.

I had the great pleasure of having a couple of meals with some people whose work I have followed for awhile, including the tremendous lady who brought us all together for the event, Leslie O’Connor. None of this would have happened had it not been for her, and for that I am truly grateful. Leslie’s not one for a lot of accolades, as she admitted, but I can’t help but give her some props at this time. She put on a fantastic event and I am certainly looking forward to next year’s event. I cannot stress enough that if you missed out this year, do whatever it takes to get there next year.

These last few weeks for me have brought about a lot of change. Not only do I think I got smarter last week, but I am also moving in some different directions career-wise. As you might have noticed, for the past three or so weeks my blog has been a little sparse in postings. There is good cause for this, and that reason came out publicly at SourceCon. This coming week, I will be starting a new position with Waggener Edstrom Worldwide as a Sourcing Strategist. W/E is a Pacific-Northwest based public relations agency, and I will be assisting the People Services team with research strategy and passive candidate generation. I am very excited about this new role as it is a relatively new position within the company, so I am going to be helping to define my own function. I will be joined by a phenomenal recruiter/sourcer named Kristin whom I referred to in an earlier post, and together we will be building this research/sourcing function.

While I am sad to leave the franchise owners I have been supporting at SearchPath for the past thirteen months, this was a very good move for me career-wise. I will be given the opportunity to do work internationally with our global offices in London, Paris, Munich, Brussels, Singapore, Beijing, and Hong Kong. I have already had the pleasure of meeting our staffing partners from a few of these locations and I am looking forward to collaborating with them to drive the research function.

It has been a whirlwind month for me! I have been home for about four total days in the month of September so far. I moved into a new place at the end of August and flew out to Portland for a global meeting not two days later, came home for a couple of days and took off for SourceCon, and I am leaving once again on Tuesday for Seattle and then Portland for a week and a half. My new place has not been unpacked, and I don’t even have my bedroom furniture yet so all of my clothes are lying around on the floor at the moment! However, with all of these positive events that have happened this month, I certainly cannot complain, and I am anxious to start implementing the things that I learned in Atlanta at my new position with Waggener!

To all the folks I had the pleasure of meeting in Atlanta, I am honored to have finally met you. I was flattered by everyone who came up to me and told me they were a fan of my blog. I will continue to do my best to bring good information and insight to our growing community. I certainly hope to see all of you again at the next SourceCon!