Amybeth Hale – Research Goddess


How To Go Hardcore Wireless
February 26, 2008, 5:00 pm
Filed under: Technology

Since I am mobile this week, working from internet cafes and coffee bars, I thought I’d pay tribute to those establishments who provide free wifi to mobile folks like me 🙂 Hat tip to Christian Anderson of Jobster for the original note with this video on Facebook. My favorite is the shot of Windows 95 – how old school!

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New look to my blog
February 22, 2008, 5:24 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

reset your bookmarks to www.amybethhale.comThanks for visiting the NEW Research Goddess blog! You probably noticed on the old site that I mentioned I’d be moving and changing my look. I will still be updating the content, but I wanted to start pointing traffic here in the meantime. There are a couple reasons I’ve decided to do this: the first one is that my old URL was spiresearch.blogspot.com, and since I’m no longer with SPI (SearchPath International), I thought it was about time I stopped using the name 🙂 Secondly, I want to remain true to the “Research Goddess” name that I came up with when I started blogging (thanks to Jim Stroud for helping me come up with a cool ‘brand’ for myself!), so here we are!

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The Changing Influence of Communications in a Digital Age

I had the pleasure of meeting David Almacy this morning at the Cincinnati PRSA monthly luncheon. David is the VP Digital Strategies US for Waggener Edstrom, as well as one of PRWeek’s Top 40 Under 40 for 2007, and he flew in from Washington DC to do a presentation for the local PRSA chapter. As luck would have it, he was scheduled to be here last week but a freak snowstorm postponed his trip to today. Lucky for me because otherwise, I would have missed this chance! I had noticed David’s Facebook status last week noting that he was rescheduling a Cincinnati trip, so I reached out to see what he would be in town for and was fortunate to be able to attend today. He made a great presentation on ‘The Changing Influence of Communications in a Digital Age’. Based on the upcoming elections, David discussed the importance of PR communications using the internet, social media, and other non-traditional news outlets. He gave a great example of the ‘BarneyCam’ in the White House, where the President’s dog was followed with a camera at Christmastime to showcase the holiday decorations for millions of visitors to view online. The original idea was half jokingly pitched internally among staff, but the word got out and the first video was a hit – laying the groundwork for a White House tradition that has become an annual favorite. The example was the breadth of exposure the video received once some control was let go (i.e. other sites were running the video and not linking to the original on whitehouse.gov). The good lesson here is that letting go of a little control of that media allowed them to reach a broader audience. All in all, the presentation David gave was a great glimpse into the future of our communication methods and the role the internet will play.

You may be wondering at this point what this has to do with research? Well, considering that we do so much of our research online, it’s important to notice the trends of the industries in which we recruit. In addition, the whole idea behind David’s presentation was the influence of online communities on communication methods. So much of our daily communication is done virtually these days. Email, social networks, blogs, twittering, video podcasting, etc. all have had a huge influence in how we reach out to people, whether for personal reasons, work related correspondence, or in our case, to woo someone to an opening we have. By using these tools to our advantage to bring opportunities to the attention of our audiences, we can reach the rapidly expanding online demographic in an appealing manner. I know there are some who question the validity of social networking sites as worthwhile resources for hiring, but I think the best is yet to come, and as they become increasingly popular, I believe they will prove their worth. Just like all new ‘fads’, it will take a couple of years to really show great results, but I believe online communities are playing and will continue to play a huge role in the progression of the practice of recruiting.


The NEW SourceCon website is here!!!
February 15, 2008, 4:07 am
Filed under: SourceCon

To all who have been patiently awaiting its arrival, the new SourceCon website has made its debut! Make sure you check it out – the dates and location of SourceCon 2008 are up, so mark your calendars for this event!

Congrats also go out to Scott Hajer and Dan Harris for naming the new SourceCon newsletter – The Source. Both Dan and Scott submitted the name The Source and they will each be receiving a special prize!

Keep your eyes peeled as the newsletter rolls out VERY SOON!

Make sure you subscribe NOW to The Source RSS feed to get all the articles as they come out, or go directly to the SourceCon website and subscribe via email.



Tomato/Tomatoe
February 13, 2008, 9:01 pm
Filed under: Research, Thoughts

I posted something a few weeks ago about a dilemma a colleague of mine was having regarding the misrepresentation of an individual who was calling in to their company to gather information. The purpose of that post was not to call out all phone sourcers as rusers. The purpose of that post was to draw attention to the practice of blatant misrepresentation of that individual and his actual place of employment. I think we could all agree that this person’s tactics were underhanded and do in fact give a bad name to the practice of good phone sourcing.

There has been a lot of talk lately about ‘rusing’ – the “art” of bending the truth to get someone’s contact information at a company. OK – that might not be a fair definition, so let’s check out some actual dictionary definitions of a ruse:
“a deceptive maneuver (especially to avoid capture)” – WordNet
“a trick, stratagem, or artifice” – Dictionary.com unabridged
“a crafty stratagem; a subterfuge.” – American Heritage Dictionary
“a clever trick or plan” – Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary (Beta Version)

So now that that’s out of the way, I want to address some of the comments I’ve seen and heard regarding this method of sourcing.

Several people alluded to the idea that this practice is a matter of one’s moral compass. I ask this of all you who have children: do your children think that lying is wrong? If so, who teaches them that? Probably you, right? I am not here to point fingers at ANYone on this topic. I’m human just like you, and yeah I’ve lied. I have lied to my parents about being out with a boyfriend, to my teachers about not having homework done, to my music teacher about practicing my oboe, etc. You get the point. Anyone who says they don’t ever lie, just did 🙂 But I wanted to put this into perspective here – where along the way did it become OK for us to lie? When I worked in an office I had a quote up on my cube that reminded me, “The right to do something doesn’t mean doing it is right”. We all have the right to lie (for the most part, unless you are under oath!), but that doesn’t mean that doing it is right.

Others say “business is business” or “the company that hired me doesn’t seem to care”. I beg to differ – with all the strategic partnerships that companies form, there is legitimate concern of the credibility of those a company will partner with. We are judged on the company we keep. Whether that judgment is right or not is irrelevant, because we all do it. Companies are becoming more conscious about this perception, and I’ll bet that if the search firm they hired was caught, fined, and/or publically reprimanded for unethical or illegal business practices, they would either seriously rethink, or completely stop doing business with that search firm.

For the record, I do absolutely no phone sourcing. I do all of my outreach via email. I am upfront and honest about who I am, what company I represent, and what my intentions are when I contact people. I kind of have to be, because I work for a public relations company! If you have any questions about this, you can talk to my boss or any of the people I have contacted regarding new opportunities. Any of them would be more than happy to share their experience of interaction with me.

Call it what you want, it’s still a lie. I don’t participate in it, neither do lots of others, but ultimately you have to make your own choice as to whether you want to do it or not. Judgment is not being passed on anyone here, but I urge you to just think about these things. There is a ripple effect to everything we say and do. Let’s all go back to being excellent at what we do!



How to Work Smarter
February 5, 2008, 6:37 am
Filed under: Article Reviews

My new friend Scott Williamson over at Career Waymark wrote a neat post today titled “Work Smarter: Emphasize Strengths, Don’t Fix Weaknesses“. Very interesting take on how to be most productive in your job function. He says “so many people think they can do or get better at their job by trying to fix weaknesses and this is where they usually end up failing. Mostly because they’re trying to get better at something they don’t have an aptitude for or really enjoy.” This can be both a good and a bad thing. Some people would argue that you’ll never improve at your weak areas if you just ignore them; that you must persevere through some activities that you don’t like in order to be well rounded. Others (like me) would say that if you have an area of weakness in which one of your coworkers excels, then focus on what you each do best and you’ll have great team productivity.

Some would say that not working on your weaknesses is like favoring one arm or leg over the other when working out. But this is making the assumption that you, yourself, are the entire body. If you put this in more of a team perspective, each person could be considered a different part of the body, and by allowing each person to capitalize on their individual strengths you improve the overall strength of the body and thus create a balance of ‘muscle power’.

Personally, I think it’s good to at least have an understanding of different areas in your industry or job function so that you can respect the skill it takes to be good in this area or that. That doesn’t mean you have to become an expert at everything – just have enough knowledge of what it takes to be great so that you can appreciate those who have a deep interest in and work towards excellence in that area. That makes it easier to understand your team and work best together when you can capitalize on the different strengths.

Enjoy the article!



"I know you’re a busy man…."
February 4, 2008, 3:39 pm
Filed under: Networking/Social Media

The following LinkedIn connection request I received recently is an example for the argument of responsible networking, because last time I checked, I was a female! 🙂

“Amybeth Hale,

I know you are a busy man but I was just browsing your profile and want to get linked with you. My name is xxx and I’m with ABC.

ABC is propelled by a team of efficient & committed individuals having acquired their professional acumen from IIT’s and Harvard’s, and have been offering IT services at relatively low effective cost with high development quality with an established on-time/on-budget delivery Guarantee.

Thanks in Advance,
xxx
Vice President, ABC Software
[email address removed]”

I’m not even sure what the purpose of this note is? It’s not asking for my expertise, or offering me a career opportunity at least from what I can gather? This is what I meant in an earlier post by taking the time to read the profile of the person you’re reaching out to 🙂 I mean come on, I even have a photo up on my LinkedIn profile, and I think I look like a girl!