Amybeth Hale – Research Goddess


Performing Well Through Economic Downturn in PR
June 26, 2008, 8:00 am
Filed under: Networking/Social Media, Public Relations, Recruiting

I loved this article! 🙂 I personally believe that the degree to which you are affected by a “recession” is directly related to how much you dwell upon it, but I digress….article written by Darryl Salerno, It’s Not the Economy, Stupid, outlines some ways to make sure business continues as usual even when faced with an economic slide. Main points from the article:

  • APPROPRIATE CUTBACKS: With 3/4 of all expenses tied up in compensation and rent, scrimping on incidentals like travel, dues & subscriptions, new business, etc. won’t make much of a dent for cutbacks.
  • RECRUIT/RETAIN: The only thing agencies have to sell is the time of their staff; hire/fire decisions should be made on the basis of performance, not profits. AND – if an excellent new hire becomes available, you should jump at the chance to bring him or her on board.
  • BEWARE OF FREE STUFF: Don’t keep your staff “busy” by providing extra services to your existing clients for free; it’s hard to go back when your clients get used to these freebies.
  • RAMP UP NEW BIZ: Never slow down on new business development!

Read the whole article here– the thought processes apply to many business areas well beyond PR, and the author knows a thing or two about business financials and profitability (he’s been CAO/CFO/CEO of some pretty well-known companies!)



Is Social Networking Numbing Our Audience?
June 25, 2008, 8:00 am
Filed under: Networking/Social Media, Recruiting, Research, Thoughts

For those of us who work in the world of recruiting, we have been blessed with numerous new resources for name gathering and communication – the various social networking sites to which we belong. We sing their praises because of the ease with which we can now find people to fill our open positions. All we need to do is search our networks tofind these people, and then leave them a message on the site.

There is, however, a downside to this newfound ease in communication. The InMails, the friend invites, the notes we can leave for people, is it all too easy? What do our prospects think of the influx of recruiter outreach?

I’ve heard from a couple of senior level executives that social network outreach is a daily occurrence for them, numbering up to 5+ notes every day that they receive from recruiters. Others I’ve spoken with say they are contacted on a regular weekly basis, and still others several times each month. What do prospects think of this? Of course there are some who enjoy it; it makes them feel important, special, wanted, valued, however you want to describe it. A lot of folks however describe their feelings toward social network recruiter outreach with indifference, saying that they usually delete the notes before reading them (keep in mind that this is unofficial information – gathered only through conversations I’ve had with people and not in any formal format).

There are those as well who, being networkers themselves, take the time to read a few of the notes received from recruiters and either respond or pass them along to their networks. These are good people to know; however, don’t abuse your relationship with these folks by sending a lot of irrelevant openings to them to pass along. You don’t want to wear out your welcome, after all!

(As an aside to this, how many folks tell you they will pass an opening on to their network, but never do? It’s kind of like the promised prayer to actual prayer ratio isn’t it?)

So, with the increase of ease in reaching out, are we in fact alienating the very audience we desire to reach? Hey, I’m certainly not excluding myself here! As a researcher, my networks have become invaluable tools for me, especially when it comes to contact verification.  But I personally think that, if you rely heavily on this method of contact, it is important to personalize your outreach to people. Make sure they know that you took the time to find out a little about them.

I’d like to encourage discussion of this topic via comment. Please share your thoughts on the matter by leaving a comment on this post. Do you think social networks have jaded our audiences? Do you think social networks have encouraged greater interaction between recruiter and prospect? As well, how do you think you can make yourself stand out in the crowd from all the other boilerplate notes that your prospects are receiving?



Where in the world…?
June 23, 2008, 2:23 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags:

Just a note to let you all know that I may be sporadic in my posts over the next two weeks. I flew from DC to London over the weekend and from London to Prague on Sunday, where I currently will be working for the next week. I am at the Hilton Prague Old Town at the moment with a lovely view of the Powder Tower from my room, and in walking distance from some cute little cafes. Next week I will be working from our London Waggener Edstrom office.



Reflections from the Fordyce Forum
June 18, 2008, 8:00 am
Filed under: Education, Recruiting, Research, Thoughts | Tags:

I had a great time attending the Fordyce Forum in Las Vegas! As I mentioned in my post shortly after I arrived, the city itself was intimidating for me as a conservative Midwest gal. But I enjoyed my time there. I have stayed in touch with a former candidate (lesson there J) who lives just outside of the city, and as we have become friends outside of our professional relationship, she invited me to hang out while I was in town. We went to the Red Rock Canyon about 30 minutes outside of Vegas and went rock climbing. She also treated me to Mama Mia at Mandalay Bay – what an awesome friend!

 

The conference itself was an experience! I ran into people left and right that I hadn’t seen in awhile, that I hadn’t expected to see there, and who I’d met through social networks but never in person. I posted about running into Julia and Lisa, but I also had the pleasure of seeing both my former employers, Jon Bartos and Tom Johnston, at the conference. In addition, I got to meet some new Twitter pals – Nick Jimenez and Mike O’Brien of Climber.com. I also got to meet the crew from ERE who’d been so awesome about making arrangements for the conference – you guys did an incredible job!

 

As far as the content goes, I personally was quite impressed with the presentations. I attended Shally Steckerl’s pre-conference workshop on applying today’s technology to find A+ candidates.  His presentation was a thorough overview of internet research – from “this is a search engine” to how to use Boolean search strings to find online resumes. I found it interesting that a question came from the crowd asking why we would need to search the Internet, as all resumes can be found through online resume databases like Monster and CareerBuilder. I believe this lack of knowledge only further solidifies the need for dedicated research AS WELL AS good research training in order for those of us in the recruiting industry to have a good grasp at the vast amounts of information out there, and how to scale it.

 

I was particularly impressed with Jeff Skrentny’s keynote on Thursday morning. Admittedly, I didn’t know who Jeff was before the conference, but I am glad that I got to meet him! He brought so many good nuggets forth on how to be successful, and even though his presentation was geared toward the recruiting profession, I know that everything he talked about could be applied in our everyday lives. A couple of my favorite bullet points from his talk on the 9 lessons he learned in his best year ever:

 

  • Don’t let email interrupt your day (makes me think of Pavlov’s Dog)
  • Build a structured calendar – 55 minute power sessions regularly scheduled into your day
  • Exercising regularly helped him achieve his best year to date
  • Regularly attend training sessions and get educated

As well, Jon Bartos’ keynote on Friday was also very informative. Jon talked about the generational differences between the Baby Boomers, Gen X’ers, and Gen Y’ers (or millennials) and how it all fits into recruiting as well as retention.  Jon shared an interesting perspective of mentorship, that Baby Boomers would make good mentors to Gen Y’ers, because the millennials see them as a sort of grandparent figure and someone who is to be respected. He said that the Baby Boomers could teach them professionally, while the millennials could teach the Baby Boomers about technology. A good trade-off! Jon’s presentation was devoted to how each generation must be approached differently in the interview and hiring process, as well as in work environment and retention. He did a very nice job covering this from all angles and there are plenty of lessons in his presentation that can also be brought back for client education as well.

 

I sat in on several presentations over the week – Doug Beabout, Mark Berger, Joe Pelayo, and I wish I’d been able to sit in on more! I heard that Stacy Ethun’s presentation on learning from hearing things that you don’t want to hear was great. There’s just a good lesson in that – I think some of the best lessons learned are the ones we know we need to hear but it hurts to hear them. And I have to say, I was surprised yet pleased with something that Doug Beabout said: he said that if he had to choose between firing a researcher and firing a recruiter, he would fire the recruiter first! I think that speaks volumes about the value that research brings to the whole recruitment process, and it’s great to know that our peers are starting to see this.

 

I received good feedback for my presentation as well. Those of you who know me will understand when I say that I feel I could have done better, but it’s the audience feedback that counts the most. I spoke about things to consider when you are thinking about hiring a researcher – how personality characteristics play a big part, knowing what functions you want performed by a researcher before you begin interviewing, and also some thoughts on how to help a researcher be successful once they are on board. I am happy that several people came to me afterward and mentioned that the information I shared was helpful! Just in personal reflection, I had sort of talked myself into being nervous so the next time I do something like this, I’ll make sure NOT to do that J While talking in front of crowds is not the most comfortable place for me to be, I do love what I do and I want to do whatever I can to help educate people on the research function and the benefit it brings to an organization.

 

Make sure you check out the post event tab on the Fordyce Forum website – many of the PPTs from the presentations are available to view there, as well as some video snippets from the presenters. And keep an eye out for the next Fordyce Forum as well – I was pleased and honored to be invited to participate in this one, and the next one is sure to be even better.



XtremeRecruiting video
June 16, 2008, 11:33 pm
Filed under: Recruiting, Research

I had the pleasure of speaking with Bill Vick of “Big Biller” and “XtremeRecruiting.tv” fame. Bill put the video of our talk up in a few locations, including the Fordyce Letter and XtremeRecruiting.tv. Check it out!

Amybeth Hale - Research Goddess



Blogging
June 13, 2008, 2:40 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized



Aid to South Africa
June 10, 2008, 10:52 pm
Filed under: Networking/Social Media | Tags:

Many of you have visited the page on my blog called GO Mamelodi. If you haven’t, please check it out – I’ve put up a lot of information on this aid trip I’m going on in November to help build homes, plant vegetable gardens, set up a technology lab, and just simply bring love and compassion to a hurting community.

Tonight we had the first of several information meetings on what our trip will entail. We also received information on where donations may be received to help fund our trips. Each of the participants must raise $3000 to cover our trip expenses. I’ve already put in some money myself to help fund my own trip, and I will be putting on some events over the course of the summer to help raise some money.

I’ve been on aid trips in the past, and one thing I’ve discovered is that lots of people, though they cannot physically participate, find a great deal of joy in assisting those who have chosen to. I truly believe in this, because I too sponsor others who are off doing good things all over the world. I think it’s great to allow as many people as possible to be part of a greater cause like this, because it feels good to know that you’re contributing in some manner.

I’ve already received commitments for donations of supplies as well. Thanks especially to Frank Keppler of Brew City Brand for offering to donate some clothing from his business – besides money, things like computers, telephones, other office equipment, clothing, books, and medical supplies can all be used and are welcomed donations!

When I was at the Fordyce Forum last week in Las Vegas, I had the pleasure of meeting some ladies from South Africa. I told them that I was going to be visiting their country in November to do some aid work, and Carilyn Oxley from Fusion Consulting very graciously offered to donate some old computers to our efforts. The power of networking can lead to so many good things, and I am very appreciative of their generosity!

That being said, I am excited to leverage my skills as a professional networker to gain interest and support for this project from you my fellow professional networkers. Let’s see how much good we can do by using our relationship-building skills to bring some much needed aid to those who are less fortunate!

I am asking for your financial support as well as any donations of technology and/or supplies you’d like to give. If you would like to give individually, or you’d like to make a corporate donation, I am happy to accept what ever you can assist with.

To make a financial donation, simply click on this link – GO Mamelodi donation –  and type ‘Hale’ in to the donate field. Or, you can type in my participant ID number, which is 1-39874. Then just follow the instructions to make a donation. Or, if you’d prefer to write a check, please email me and I’ll provide you with the address to send a check to.

If you’d like to donate a computer, clothes, supplies, etc. please email me and I will put you in touch with the folks who are managing the logistics of our trip.

Let’s put our extensive networks to work for a good cause! Please feel free to pass this information along to anyone you’d like.

Small things, done with great love, can change the world.