Archive for November, 2010
She said this in her presentation for the recently concluded online conference “The Career Summit“, and, in all fairness, she was talking directly to job seekers about how to land a job over the holidays. While I am sure there were a lot of groans emitted or expletives shouted when she said this (many think landlines are duplicative and expensive), I think she was right on. Recruiters and hiring managers want to be able to talk to job seekers over the phone without losing the connection or listening to traffic sounds in the background. I have been on a conference call where one of the attendees was walking on a busy city street while talking on a cell phone, huffing and puffing as well as cutting in and out. How much value did he add to that conversation?
Which is another problem that Laurie mentioned: professional conversations need professional attention. People don’t want to talk to someone who has screaming babies or barking dogs in the background.
So, if you want to have a serious phone conversation with me, make an appointment. Really.
Why? Because I own 4 dogs, and those 4 dogs sometimes often bark when I would prefer they didn’t. When one barks, they all bark. Dogs, in general, have the mental acuity of a 3 year old child, which means they are most disruptive when they know I am on the phone. Just like toddlers. When they start barking, I absolutely cannot hear anyone speaking to me, even on my landline.
I try to make appointments to talk to everyone I seriously want to hear, if the conversation is going to last more than a minute or two. This way I can isolate the dogs so that I won’t hear them if they start barking, and neither can my conversational partner. If I am forced to make an appointment when I am only available by cell phone, I make sure I stay in one quiet spot where the cell service is strong and there will be no interruptions.
It takes a little planning (and maintaining a landline adds expense), but the results are well worth it. Not just for job seekers, but for networking, conferencing, and catching up with old friends.
Send me an email – my address is all over the Web – and set up a time to have a great conversation without interruption. I welcome it.
What do you think? Are landlines a waste of your precious resources? Do you hate listening to screaming children in the background of your phone call? Is making an appointment to have a serious phone conversation overkill
I have been attending an online conference called The Career Summit 2010, which is about finding, seeking, or keeping a job. In the session titled “Job Search 2.0″, Anita Bruzzeze was discussing what employers were demanding in this new market; they expect huge amounts of flexibility from the job candidate, wanting them to perform multiple functions and across disciplines. She commented that “you would have to be Batman to fill some of these jobs.”
As someone who has been reading job postings for over two years, that comment really hit home. Consider this recent CareerBuilder.com job post for an HR Director at a community college in metro Detroit:
So to be an HR Director at a community college you need – or someone thinks you need – to be a lawyer (“preferred”) with significant experience in collective bargaining and considerable experience in HR planning and development, and at least 5 years of HR supervisory experience with all these things – at a community college. Don’t forget the benefits administration and ability to manage integrated software systems.
It’s particularly frustrating for job seekers to be confronted with these pie-in-the-sky requirements when CEOs of companies, such as Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina, and Rick Snyder, feel that they can become state governors or senators without any specific qualifications and no elective position experience at all. They use the term “career politicians” to mock those that have dedicated their careers to elective positions, and claim that their business savvy somehow automatically qualifies them to step into a position that requires coalition building and consensus establishment. I would like them to submit a comprehensive statement – like the requirement in the job post above – of their experience with and approach to passing effective legislation that will solve the problems of our states and country.
What do you think? Are we asking too much of our potential employees and not enough of our elected officials?
(My thanks to Scott Bragg for inspiring this blog post.)
I will step up my efforts with SHRM, local and national, to improve the HR community and help increase collaboration among members.
Sounds a little like a scout pledge, doesn’t it?
This was one of the goals I articulated last year for the Creative Chaos Consultant‘s “Put Up Or Shut Up” challenge (more on that challenge coming soon). So, during fall conference season, it was reasonably imperative for me to attend my state SHRM conference. Wasn’t it?
In making my fall conference plans, I discovered that Ohio‘s state SHRM was being held in Sandusky, Ohio, which is actually a tiny bit closer to my home than Grand Rapids, Michigan, site of the Michigan SHRM conference. I could easily and cheaply travel by car to attend either – but attending both was not in my budget or interest. Looking at the sessions offered became the deal maker. Here were two of my actual choices, one from Michigan and one from Ohio:
Employer CONTROL versus USING social media? Should I learn how to help HR grow up and move forward, or listen to tired practitioners cling to archaic and outdated concepts? Michigan’s choices all seemed to encompass the latter. I chose Ohio, and I was treated to informative, innovative, and thoughtful sessions. As Steve Browne, Program Director for the 2010 Ohio Conference said at the beginning of one session, “if you are here just to get re-certification credits, let me ask you one question: WHY?”
I want so much to support my local and state organization, but not at the expense of my personal development. Next year, I’ll be going back to Ohio.
If you had a choice, which SHRM state or local would you choose to invest in?