Posts in Friday Facts
Recruiting Mature Workers Just Got Easier
11123538363_07bb05134a_c.jpg

Did you know that AARP, the huge organization to advance the interests of people as they age in the United States, has launched a job board? Take a look at the new board here.

My trial run on the board revealed that it’s got all of the basic features job seekers expect to see in a job search site. One suggestion I’d make is that if the tool is meant to appeal to recruits who may be looking for flexible scheduling or an alternative work arrangement, maybe more categories are in order beyond full-time and part-time. The options for employers posting and reviewing applicants look useful and appropriate at first glance. But one thing really jumped out at me.

If your organization signs an Employer Pledge, it can earn a 30% discount on job posting packages during the launch period. Standard packages begin at $199, and Enhanced packages, with increased visibility for job postings, start at $399. More information can be found on this page.

According the AARP, the Employer Pledge involves the following:

Working with AARP, participating organizations have signed a pledge that they:

  • Believe in equal opportunity for all workers, regardless of age
  • Believe that 50+ workers should have a level playing field in their ability to compete for and obtain jobs
  • Recognize the value of experienced workers
  • Recruit across diverse age groups and consider all applicants on an equal basis.

Here is the AARP Employer Pledge overview, if you'd like to check it out.

The tagline is “Experience Valued.” As many baby boomers, and soon, Gen Xers join the ranks of age 50+ workers, and organizations look for ways to cut costs by shedding more expensive salaries in favor of early-career professionals, remembering the value of experience is critical. A 2015 AARP Study (analyzed by the Society for Human Resource Management, SHRM) concluded that the value of employing older workers is substantial, while the incremental cost of hiring and retaining them is only 1-2% over earlier career employees.

SHRM and the SHRM Foundation found the aging workforce worthy of a substantial research initiative in 2016. The results and tools for successfully managing an aging workforce are detailed and useful. According to the SHRM Foundation’s Guide to Leveraging the Talents of Mature Employees, the population of younger workers with the skills needed for success in today’s environment is too small to step into the shoes of the aging Baby Boomer generation. As these less experienced workers build their skills and experience, aging workers can take advantage of flexibility in scheduling and role design, if employers are willing to offer it, in order to fill gaps.  SHRM’s suggestions for recruiting mature workers include identifying sources of talent that will include older adults. AARP’s new job board could be a good fit for that need.

Older workers often have wisdom, institutional knowledge, experience and a strong work ethic. Check the data, and be sure you aren’t overestimating the costs, and underestimating the benefits, of recruiting, hiring and retaining them.

Photo credit: tec_estromberg via Foter.com / CC BY

Friday Facts-Personal Branding
personal-branding.jpg

Like many regular working people, I’ve always wanted to have a good reputation at work and in my community and profession. But until I launched my own company, it didn’t really occur to me that I needed to think about what my personal brand is saying about me. In this age of social media and easy and constant flow of information, not thinking about my personal brand really isn’t an option anymore.

But this is me we’re talking about. I’m 0% interested in being perceived as something I’m not. Will my personal brand be something positive, or just a flawed, real thing, like I am? How do people deal with this juxtaposition between putting your best foot forward all the time, and being an actual genuine person?

First of all, what do I need to consider when building a personal brand? Here are some articles I read on Entrepreneur.com:

Three Simple Ways to Make your Personal Brand Stand Out : 1) a professional photo, 2) be discoverable and 3) unique business cards. I think I already had those things covered before I started thinking about personal branding. That can’t be all there is to it, right?

Okay, I’ll try this one-Five Steps to Build your Personal Brand. Five’s got to be better than three simple ways.

  • Understanding and being your authentic self; yes. That resonates (see above).
  • Speaking engagements-okay, that takes a little more work, but I get it. I’ve done lots of presenting and training as part of my work, so I just need to stretch a little to come up with a compelling talk that really provides value and that people might want to hear.
  • Write thought leadership articles and participate in interviews? I guess you could call this little blog “writing” but not sure it passes for “thought leadership.” And the only times I’ve been interviewed have been accidental-I was in the right place at the right time. Guess I’ve got some work to do here.
  • Build your online presence. Yup. I think I get that, but I definitely have a healthy respect for how much work is involved.
  • Remain a student of your industry. Got it. I am super interested in what’s going on in HR-I couldn’t hardly help but consume news, information and analysis about it.

And finally, Nine Reasons your Personal Brand isn’t Resonating. These mostly have to do with you being a bad listener, putting out crappy content, not putting it in the right places and not helping consumers of your content make a connection. Definitely good tips.

So, after I reading all of these articles and seeing, frankly, pretty vanilla advice that didn’t really surprise me, I got out of my HR head and let my mind wander to the first name that springs up when I think of personal branding with no BS. For me, it’s Gary Vaynerchuk. @GaryVee knows how to tell you the straight story with a minimum of words (some NSFW), and convey both the commitment and the opportunity involved in personal branding.

Gary has a style that appeals to me. He just puts it out there, doesn’t sugarcoat the work it takes to be successful, and gives you the tools to try it for yourself. There’s no biz buzzword garbage, just straight advice. I like it! Because I'm a marketing noob, I went for his Udemy class on building a personal brand, because I want it all in one place. But if you’re not ready to pull the trigger, just follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat to get the advice he gives away all the time.

There are also great resources out there for specific branding challenges. One example is that Lida Citroen at Lida360 specializes in personal branding for transitioning veterans, although her advice works great for the rest of us too. If you want more hands-on help, Lida and her crew can definitely help you find success.

Feel free to tell me what you think of my personal brand. It’s a work in progress.

Visit Solve HR, Inc.

Photo credit: Anne Worner via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

Friday Facts: Self-Improvement Edition
glass-bottles.jpg

Today I am curious about the cottage industry of leadership development and coaching, and all of the nebulous advice I see out in social media telling us all how to have a better career. These are just a few representative articles of the type I see every day:

Ten Unexpected Things that Will Radically Improve Your Life

Nine Things Emotionally Intelligent People Won’t Do

Five Traits of Successful Leaders

Want to Succeed at a Startup? Focus on These Five Qualities

Ten Secrets to Living a Vibrantly Happy, Healthy Life

Surprising Habits of Truly Powerful People

I’ve concluded that we are all starving for this kind of advice, because it’s so ubiquitous in the places where professionals gather, online and in person at conferences. We all are longing for a roadmap to personal and professional success. Wouldn’t it be great if there was an actual way to just follow the directions and do it right?

But this is just one piece of that puzzle. The rest has to be gained through experience, self-awareness, reflection, and, frankly, a willingness to be vulnerable and accept one’s own failures and learn from them. I know how to put on a mask of confidence, capability, understanding and leadership-but if I’m not genuine and trustworthy, you will sniff me out as a fraud and reject whatever it is I have to say, and you certainly won’t want to accept me as a genuine leader.

As much as I love sitting around reading these articles and thinking smugly, “mmmm, hmmm, I knew that,” it takes a lot more work to get to real emotional intelligence, recognition, respect, effective leadership and success than what I will read online or hear from even the most engaging speaker at a conference.

Guess I’ll keep reading, just in case. But I’ll make time to do a little thinking too.

Visit Solve HR, Inc.

Photo credit: Unhindered by Talent via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

Does Running Make You More Successful at Work?

Friday Facts: Running Edition It always feels like summer when it’s time for the BolderBoulder, an incomparable race run every Memorial Day here in Boulder, Colorado.  Flowers bloom, the sun shines, and Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA” starts playing in my head (I always tear up too). Those of you who have run this race and stayed in Folsom Field for the celebration know what I mean:

Bolder Boulder

Since the BolderBoulder is coming, I got to thinking about running and working, working and running. Although I did train for and run my third (and slowest by far) marathon last year while commuting 10 hours per week and working a grueling schedule, it’s better for my training to work from home-my regular mileage is way up. I always figured that running was good for my health (and I know it helps me stay sane), but today, I’m also curious about whether runners are more successful at work, happier or more productive.

Here are the facts:

  1. One 2015 social science research study found that CEO fitness had a positive impact on a firm’s value and profitability. The researchers considered successfully completing a marathon as indicative of fitness. There's more information on the takeaways in this Entrepreneur article, but I found it fascinating that there was a statistical link between the leader's fitness and the company's success.
  2. The “runners’ high” doesn’t just come from endorphins. We are happier and more clearheaded after a run because of a protein released by our brains in response to the physical stress of a tough workout. Turns out this substance has a reparative effect on memory neurons and can act as a mood enhancer. This FastCompany article has those facts and more, with tips for creating and sticking to a habit of regular exercise.
  3. Exercise can improve productivity in all the ways you would expect-by generating greater energy levels and reducing stress. But I find that when I need to plan around runs, I tend to get more work done so I feel good about taking that time away for myself. And it’s certainly true that running can help keep your weight in check, which may reduce the risk of type II diabetes and even cancer. It’s also great weight-bearing exercise that increases bone mass, which can keep osteoporosis at bay. So in short, you may be less likely to have unexpected time away from work, because you’re healthier!

t’s not too late to register for the BolderBoulder 10K. Click here and start your journey to success, happiness and productivity!

Photo credit: andrusdevelopment via Foter.com / CC BY

Friday Facts - Bring Your Dog to Work Edition
My Dog at Work - Kelly Marinelli
Welcome to the inaugural edition of Friday Facts, where I will look into a topic that peaks my interest, and share what I found. Today I’m curious about dogs at work, since so many companies, retail businesses and other places here in Boulder are universally dog-friendly. Here are the facts:
1.   Take Your Dog to Work Day is a thing. This year it takes place on Friday, June 24th. This event began in 1999, created by Pet Sitters International.
2.  A 2015 Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) survey found that eight percent of American workplaces allowed their employees to bring pets to work with them. This increased from five percent in the 2013 survey. An older 2008 survey from the American Pet Products Manufacturers’ Association has that figure even higher, at 17% of workplaces being pet-friendly. 
3.  A study carried out by researchers at the Central Michigan University and described in this Entrepreneur article showed that a team working with a dog alongside them exhibited greater trust, intimacy and team bonding than a dogless team. 
4.  Not surprisingly, a study from the International Journal of Workplace Health Management, mentioned in this slide show from PetMD, found that we have lower stress levels when our animals are with us at work, as opposed to workers who left their pets at home or have no pets at all.
5.  Need some great practical tips on how to create a BYOD (dog, not device) policy for your workplace? This article from CIO.com is a great resource. My favorite tip? Set up a “Rufferee Team” to handle any disputes or complaints.  
Those are the facts!  Enjoy your weekend!
For more information, visit Solve HR, Inc.