Tuesday, December 30, 2008
However, nearing the end of a brutal 2008 Wall Street seems to be pointing to a higher open. With so many traders away for the holidays, the market has actually shown small moves in light volume in recent sessions. Investors though are waiting to see the mood of the holidays shoppers and their reluctance to spend to see what their best bets are. The holiday shopping season has been pretty dismal so far and that really has hurt Wall Street because consumer spending accounts for more than two thirds of the US economic activity.
Elsewhere, the government said that it would provide GMAC Financial Services with $5 billion to the funding arm of General Motors Corp. GMAC will receive this as a part of the $700 billion bank rescue plan that will help the company. The Treasury Department is also lending up to $1 billion to General Motors so that it can do a debt for equity swap with GMAC, which seeking to raise additional capital.
So Portland, with the new year fast approaching what are your thoughts on these current events and how they affect you moving forward? Please tell us what you think in the comments below.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
This year the Oregonian compared the prices on 15 different items that that traditionally make up a holiday meal between 2008 and 2003. The US average for a holiday meal in 2003 was $83.01 and in 2008 it is $103.78. That is a nearly a $21 dollar difference in five years! However, the Portland area this year was below average on the inflation of food and good and services. Ultimately though shopper may have a surprisingly lower receipt for their groceries in the Portland area, but they also notice that the prices have gone up.
So Portland, are you braving this winter weather we are having to spend your hard earned money on necessary items such as food, gas, or shelter? Is it harder for you to get out and plan your holiday meal? Let us know in the comments section below.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
However, Yahoo is going through with their holiday party despite the announcement that they will slash 1,500 jobs and their CEO Jerry Yang will step down. Yahoo booked their Christmas party several months back to make sure that they could show appreciation for their employees. Even some companies like Knight Capital Group are going all out for their party.
According to the Chicago-based consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas 77% of the companies polled this year are having Christmas parties which is down from 90% in 2007. So with that being said Portland, what are your office Christmas party plans? Is your company pulling out the all the stops or scaling back? Please let us know in the comments section below.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Action Item #1: Get in Shape
You can’t make much progress in building credibility with management until your own function is in good shape. Recruiters who saw the signs of a recession could have begun trimming the fat in their processes months ago. Get aligned with your management team and cut when they cut, slow down when they slow down, and show them you are aware and responsible.
The last several years of high demand for talent have allowed many recruiting functions to increase their headcounts, add tools and services that are not providing a significant return, and get sloppy in measuring efficiency. This is the time to examine every step in your recruiting process and see where you could be more efficient – in other words do more with fewer resources, less time, or less money. What are you spending on job postings? Could that be reduced? Could you switch to using targeted emails or some other lower cost methods? Where are you spending the majority of your budget? How could you reduce that by 10%? 20%? What can you stop doing that really won’t hurt you?
By prioritizing and cutting, refocusing, and rethinking everything you do, you will end up with a much healthier function. You will better weather the recession and be poised to aggressively deal with the boom that will inevitably come.
Action Item #2: Be Nice
Every act of discourtesy to a candidate will eventually be reflected in how they talk about you to other people. Employment brands are built on small acts – not on the big campaigns or websites. A solid brand is the accumulation of years of good deeds, happy candidates, satisfied managers, and authentic communication. Many candidates will be stressed and perhaps out of a job. They need honest feedback and guidance, if possible, on how they present themselves.
Firms that take the extra time to sit down with a candidate or send them an email and let them know their status, possibilities, and even strengths and weaknesses will reap many benefits in a stronger brand.
Action Item #3: Ruthlessly Focus
Target your marketing and sourcing only on the kinds of people you most need. Cut out or reduce all the resources you spend on marginal activities. For example, you might reduce the use of agencies that recruit volume candidates, stretch out the time to fill less critical positions, or try to use some of the new social networking tools to reach out to certain groups of candidates.
Look at internal hiring and see if there isn’t a way to improve the number of employees who move. Talk to management about increasing that number and decrease external hiring.
The goal should be to attract mostly the types of candidates you need and who are qualified. You can use this slower time to experiment on messaging, screening techniques, and on ways to get fewer but better candidates.
Action Item #4: Use Technology – Experiment!
As always, I harp on using technology whenever you can. Social networking tools can help you create and build relationships with candidates. Most are very inexpensive or free.
Experiment with better, more frequent emails to certain candidates on your shortlist; create a newsletter or blog to give interested potential candidates updates on your organization; and experiment with tools such as twitter, broadlook, or checkster.
Action Item #5: Build Relationships
I am more and more convinced that posting job descriptions is an archaic process. While I have no doubt that the practice will live on for a long time, it is not the best, cheapest, or fastest way to find good people.
Using technology to develop relationships and to communicate regularly with a selected and screened pool of candidates is the key to your real success.
In general, you are going to find only a few of the people you need by posting on Monster or any other job board. The most successful recruiters use their network, ask employees (and others) for referrals, and focus on building communities of potential candidates. This is what agencies and headhunters have been doing for decades and it’s why they have been successful.
Learn from product and service marketing how to do a better job. Watch how some leading organizations are using social media to attract and recruit candidates. Begin to generate candidates from relationships formed online. Make it a rule of thumb that if you are generating hundreds of responses to a job posting, you are doing something terribly wrong.
I guarantee that if you do all five of these things in an organization that is well-managed, you will survive this recession and become an example of how to positively deal with stressful times.
So Portland, tell us what your hiring strategies are or your tips for thriving in this recession. Employers and employees are welcome to post their comments in the section below.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Kulongoski believes that the budget will help Oregon prosper once the recession finally ends. Though this would hurt elderly and low income residents right now if these increases get approved. Ultimately this would mean that seniors and disabled people could lose state paid aides and access to long term care. Low income residents would no longer be eligible for cash assistance in finding a job. This is a plan that Kulongoski sees moving the state of Oregon forward even though it is not involving everyone.
In other northwest news, Washington Mutual is slashing 3,400 jobs in Seattle as the result of the company's banking operations being sold to JP Morgan Chase & Co. None of the 190 branches in the state of Washington will be closed, but with 80% of the jobs in the Seattle market closing for Washington Mutual it does not help the job market situation. Of the 3,400 jobs that are being terminated in Seattle, 1,500 will be eliminated on January 31st. The 1,900 will be be in transition jobs that will disappear on various dates throughout 2009.
So Portland and the Northwest, tell us your thoughts on the new tax proposal or the situation with Washington Mutual in the comments sections below.
Monday, December 1, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
The temporary help industry is also feeling the hurt when they lost around 1,600 jobs in October and accounted for more than half of the 2,800 jobs lost in the professional and business sector. A sector that rarely has that much downturn in one months time. Temp jobs are usually the first to go in these instances due to companies tightening their budgets in critical times.
Even if gas prices are falling the amount of people expected to travel this Thanksgiving will be at a small decline for the first time since 2002. There is an expected decline of people traveling more than 50 miles from there home, roughly about 1.4% or 600,000 travelers less than last year at Thanksgiving. The slight decrease in people traveling this year could be due to the tough economy which is being felt by everyone.
So Portland tell us what you think about the current economic situation with Hewlett Packard and the temporary job market. Also, Portland if you are going anywhere for Turkey Day let us know in the comments below.
So for those of us at Employment Guide, Healthcareerweb, and Wiser Worker, we wish you and your family a happy and safe Thanksgiving.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
According to this article in the Portland Tribune, there are about 134,096 Oregonians without work and nearly every sector of the states economy has shed jobs last month. Some of these losses were more unexpected than others. With the downturn in employment causing such a scare for the future, it has increased number of first time claims for unemployment insurance. According to John Young, a Portland-area unemployment insurance claim manager,
Unemployment insurance is up 27 percent from a year ago and about 60,000 Oregonians are receiving unemployment benefits, with nearly 1,200 exhausting their 26-week benefits every week.With that said here are some FAQs about extended benefits (EB) and Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) from Oregon.gov.
The Employment Guide strives to do its part everyday, as does Wiser Worker and Healthcareerweb. Times are hard these days, so Portland, tell us how you plan on tackling this crisis in the comments section below.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Starbucks is going through the same hard times that Intel is with steep drop in profits during the 4th quarter. The Seattle based company has an optimistic outlook for 2009, but many believe they are still at the mercy of the macroeconomy. Take a look at the article in today's Oregonian that expands on the problem that Starbucks faces going forward. Consumers are concerned about the impending recession that it has hurt our economy not just in coffee but across the board. However, 72% of the people polled say they believe that Obama can turn around our stalling economy.
On a brighter note, oil has dropped for the 17th week and the national average for gasoline is $2.22. With gas prices falling, it has helped many people save a little extra money especially during the holidays. We are the largest consumer of energy in the world and major factor in oil prices. U.S. car sales fell to a 25 year low in October and unemployment rate was at a 14 year high at 6.5%. Governor Ted Kulongoski has purpose a 2 cents per gallon tax increase and higher vehicle fees to help the economy. This plan would basically create more construction jobs and improve transportation in matters such as maintenance and preservation.
So Portland tell us what you think about our situation here locally or nationally in the comment section below.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
It appears that more and more retirees are trying to re-enter the job market with this economic downturn that we are experiencing. However, it is easier today that it used to be for those who are in or near retirement. The Oregonian and Business week have compiled a list of mature worker job boards. It just so happens that Wiser Worker is listed there as apart of the ever expanding list of job boards. Here is the description:
-- WiserWorker.com enables baby boomers and older workers to search for job listings by keyword or location and provides career articles and resources plus listings of local job fairs across the country.With longer lifespans and the desire to remain productive in today's society the older workforce definitely need to make ends meet when social security is not enough. If this trend of mature workers entering the workforce continues they will account for 6.1% of the labor force by 2016. That will be almost twice what they accounted for in 2006, which was 3.6%. To read more interesting facts about the older workforce check out this article in the Oregonian.
Tell us what you think Portland. How is the job hunt for those re-entering the labor force? Let us know in the comments below.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
The job fair was a success with great attendance from both job seekers and employers. Thanks for all those who attended and especially a big thanks to KGW on a job well done. Portland let us know if saw the piece and tell us what you thought.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Either way, it's something we have all experienced. Take a look at this website for tips on job fair success or see our version from the Veteran's Transition Guide to the right of the blog. Quintessential Careers is a website that takes a look at job fair resources and has multiple links to help prepare for job fairs.
Employment Expo has more details on the Portland Job Fair including other job fairs that are going on in the Northwest. It has a list of clients that will be on hand at the job fair. So for those of you who are interested in who is going to be there you can better prepare.
So if you're in the Portland area, click here for more details on the job fair on October 28th from 10am-3pm. Let us know if you are coming to the job fair in the comments section below. Hope to see you there!
Monday, October 20, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
This plan comes in just after the announcement of the sale of Wachovia and Washington Mutual. The selling of Wachovia to Wells Fargo probably will not hurt the Portland area as much as the selling of WaMu to JPMorgan Chase. Washington Mutual is a Seattle based company and probably had quite a few people still banking with them. Wells Fargo, another Northwest based bank out of San Francisco has stayed steady during rocky times and never got too wild. So for those of you trying to decide on what bank to invest your money in, you should definitely choose one that is very steady in today's economy.
The financial crisis has also effected those looking to retire earlier. Pensions in the last 15 months have lost an estimated $2 trillion. Those who nearing retirement are realizing that they must work longer just to afford retiring. A new AARP study shows that 1 in 5 workers over the age of 45 have stopped putting money into their 401(k), IRA, and other retirement savings accounts in the past year. Also it shows that 1 in 4 are working longer hours. Wiser Worker has weighed in on this and determined the value of $2 trillion. With the necessity of staying in the workforce longer, here is where you can do your part.
So what do you think Portland about what is going on in the banking industry? Or the prolonged retirement for those that have been ready to retire, but just can't? Tell us what you think in the comments below.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
This years slogan is definitely a good way to approach customer service: One Team One Goal. This is a totally simplified thought on coming together and working towards achieving one goal with customer service. Check out some of the activities you can do that are built around the theme One Team One Goal.
Check out a list of how you and your office can celebrate Customer Service week. These are fun filled activities that you can incorporate into your daily routine this week. These do not even have to just be this week, but can be viewed as good team building functions moving forward.
The Employment Guide and Wiser Worker are ready to celebrate this week. Also take a look at the Customer Service Week website, they definitely knew what colors to pick for their website. Take a look at the latest Customer Service Positions in Portland by clicking here.
To all of those in the Customer Service industry in Portland and the Northwest, we thank you for your hard work!
Monday, October 6, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
With the summer coming to a close and employers doing the most downsizing in six years, the job market does not seem to have a whole lot of hope right now. Even those looking towards retirement have just as big of problems to deal with. On top of that it does not help with the stock market crashing. Things are looking very down right now for our economy. So it is time to look forward to what the future may hold in
The unemployment rate in Portland however is exactly the same as the national average in the United States.So the labor cuts and the economic downturn did not appear to affect Portland worse than any company in general. In fact there are cities that have it worse than we do. And those looking towards retirement are doing more and more web surfing and social networking. This means that they are keeping up and surpassing generational trends that may have held them back. After the stock market crashed yesterday things rebounded and are headed in the right direction.
Life always seems to have a series of checks and balances that when one door closes another opens. So don't always feel that life is out to get you and keep you down in these tough times. Just keep pushing forward and look to the future.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
If you are a recent graduate or an employer that is looking to hire young professionals in the Northwest, then this is your year! Forbes.com recently listed 5 Northwest cities in their top 40 list. Here is what Forbes had to say about
In the two measures of graduates and companies,
And the 4 other Northwest cities:
The good news for Sacramento was that it ranked 15th in its ability to attract and hold graduates from our basket of elite schools, suggesting that the Central Valley city is on young professionals' radar. However, none of our 400 best big companies and 200 best small companies call
The total number of our tracked graduates and highly rated companies in San Francisco was second only to New York, except that San Francisco is a small fraction of its East Coast rival's size. Adjusted for its population,