Tag Archives: company

Should Social Media be banned in the workplace?

The debate still rages.   Social Media – Productivity drain or Marketeers dream offering untapped and untold revenues from places as yet unknown?  This debate still polarises opinion as evidenced by a recent survey from McAfee, the Computer Software Anti – Virus Giant.

1000 executives were surveyed from 17 countries.  75% of companies surveyed usual web 2.0 applications for marketing and customer service or for crowd sourcing rather than outsourcing projects or tasks.

Tellingly, countries with high growth economies such as Brazil and India are more likely to view social media as a potential source of revenue.  Could this be that as a rule they are more open to challenging assumptions, to testing the status quo?

Despite the obvious upside evidenced by the survey, more than 50% of those surveyed prohibited Facebook use in company hours.  The larger the company, the more likely the prohibition.  Around 25% of those companies monitored employees social media use for inappropriate behaviour.

What’s the real issue here?  According to the McAfee survey, employers principal concern around web 2.0 applications centre around its use as a platform to deliver malicious software.  More than 70% of those organisations surveyed lost more than $2m as a result.  Whilst clearly an issue, is this not just simply an excuse?  Bottom line, company execs consider employees using social media are slacking off.

I remember being told only 15 years ago by the Managing Partner of a large well-known Law Firm that not everyone in the practice would have a personalised email for fear that important information would be passed to the outside world.  He was also convinced that chargeable time would suffer as employees would be emailing friends to arrange that evenings social activities.

I know employers who have banned mobile phones in the office.  What does that do for talent attraction and employer branding. Do you want to work for an organisation who trusts you and treats you like an adult or one that doesn’t?   On the flip side are you ready to behave responsibly in the work place?

Social media is just the latest  toy on the desktop and its revolutionising the world of work in the same way that the mobile phone and email did.  Management has to work out a way of engaging with it to the best advantage of all involved.  Ignoring it is simply down to a lack of understanding and trust.

In my experience rarely do people come to work to do nothing all day.  If they do and you hired them that’s your fault, you hired the wrong person in the first place.  Trust people, set them objectives, engage them, inspire them, manage them, lead them.  Treat them like grown ups.  If they behave like kids, treat them accordingly and deal with it.  That’s management.  Banning social media says much about the failings of management.  It’s here to stay, take it for what it is, a great tool to reach out in new and exciting ways to customers that five years ago you could only have dreamed off.



Filed under Employee Engagement, Social Media

Let them fall in love first ….. interview tips from a Recruiting Pro (part three)

In our final guest blog of the week, Ann Zaslow-Rethaber, President of leading Search Firm ISC continues her series of interview tips for job seekers.



  • Close the deal- you want to end the interview on a positive note. Be sure to thank the interviewer for their time and let them know how you feel about the job and why you are interested in working for their company. Recap main points of why you are qualified for the job and while it can be intimidating at times, ask them directly in a sincere way if the interviewer sees you as a good fit for the position. If they say no, find out the objection and try to overcome it.

If they say yes, ask for the interviewer’s next steps. Lastly, be sure to get a business card from them as well for a correct address to send the thank you card. You always want to send a thank you note to all the persons you interviewed with.  Remember..if you want the job, ASK FOR IT!! We always half joking tell candidates not to let their hand touch that doorknob to leave until they have an invitation to come back.

  • Have an effective follow up plan- if you do not get the offer, be sure to write follow up thank you letters, thanking everyone that interviewed you for their time, and restating your interest in their company. It is a classy thing to do and something that will definitely separate you from the rest of the interviewees.   If they give you specific reasons on why you were not chosen, work to correct those.
  • Visualize, and it WILL Materialize! For long-range goal planners, I would encourage you to go onto one of the job sites, like www.indeed.com, which compiles all the job postings everywhere on the web, and look up your literal dream job. Look at the requirements and go out there and start building a resume that reflects those requirements.  Also, make a follow up folder and check in with companies that you interviewed with on a monthly basis. It’s always a good idea to create Google alerts for specific companies alerting you to job openings, changes in their company, etc. That gives you a terrific reason to contact them again when you are alerted to new positions opening up, news in the industry that may affect them, etc. You would be surprised at the number of people that end up in their dream job after being turned down initially, but through perseverance and determination, end up in just that job.

A huge thank you to Ann for her tremendous contribution to The Recruiters Little Black Book.  We shall leave week with this poem from Ann, an inspiring and thought provoking piece of prose on the subject of success.


To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived; this is to have succeeded.” ….. The Success Poem, attributed to Bessie Lefkowitz, an American housewife who won a poem contest in 1934



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Filed under Hiring, interview

Let them fall in love first …… interview tips from a recruiting pro (part one)

I just googled “interview tips”.  The response was 56.2 million search results!

Clearly there are countless views and opinions as to how best to approach an interview.  Whilst interview success cannot be guaranteed there are basic fundamentals that can and should be applied without exception that can massively improve your chances of success.

As always from The Recruiters Little Black Book there is little by way of startling revelation.  The best advice is always simple and easy to action.

This week we will be running a series of guest blogs on Interview Tips.  I am delighted to welcome to The Recruiters Little Black Book Ann Zaslow – Rethaber, President of ISC http://www.iscjobs.com one of the United States most reputable search firms.


Ann’s wealth of knowledge and experience has proved of huge value to an enormous range of job seekers over more than 14 years as a Recruiter and Business Owner.  Join us over the course of the week and experience this great advice for yourself.

Let them fall in love FIRST, before you tell them what kind of ring you need!

Interview hints from a recruiting pro …the Do’s, the Don’ts, and the Don’t Even Think About It’s!

As a job seeker, it can be exciting yet daunting when you get a call from one of the companies on the top of your list to set up a job interview with you.  In many cases, how you prepare and conduct your first interview, will determine whether or not you close the deal and get the job.

Where to start you ask? How about approaching it as a first date –where instead of getting a second date, you get that second interview, which can then lead to a final job offer.

Here are some basic steps to improving your interviewing skills to land that job you desire:

  • Do your homework –just as you would want to do a casual background check on someone you are about to date, a company background check is that and so much more. Start by reviewing their website on the Internet to find out the main headquarters, regional offices and the names of key company representatives.  Research recent news on the company and get general information about the industry if you haven’t done so already.
  • Check out other resources–Hoovers (www.Hoovers.com) can be a terrific source of information, not only on the company itself but it can also give you industry trends and other information. Also visit Linked In (www.linkedin.com) and look up current and past employees –that can be a fantastic place to try to connect with someone who may be able to give you the ‘inside scoop’ on corporate culture, etc.
  • Dress the part and be prepared –Wear appropriate business attire and always remember, it’s ALWAYS better to be a little over dressed than too casual. No one has ever been accused of being over dressed for an interview, as long as that attire is professional. Also, be sure to turn your cell phone off and bring a pad of paper and pen to take good notes. You can also have a copy of the job description discreetly in your notepad for reference. By studying their job description and requirements beforehand, you can make a point of emphasizing your skills that you want to highlight during your interview, matching to those mandatory requirements. You should do your best to have that job description and requirements virtually memorized prior to your interview.

Join us tomorrow for further insight and great advice from Ann Zaslow-Rethaber, President of ISC.



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Be prepared! The secret to interview success.

In my last post I talked about the importance of researching the person conducting the interview.  This time its the company I want to focus on.

The first place to start is the company website.  Look at all the pages but specifically look at the language they use on the site.  What phrases or terms are consistent throughout?  These are the internal messages prevalent throughout the company, the buzzwords, the chatter, the noise that permeates all corporations.

List them.  Make sure you understand them, if you are unclear use the words as a premise for an interview question.  If nothing else, it will evidence to the interviewer the fact that you have done your research and taken an interest in the company.

How you can weave these key words throughout your response to interview questions.  Interview success is like success in sales.  Know your customer, mirror their language.  People feel comfortable talking with people they understand and importantly understand them.  Talking the same language triggers a familiarity that will stand you in good stead throughout the process.

Know products, customers, new technologies, innovation, key people, where they have come from and what people are saying about them online.  If you have time, why not consider conducting your own market research with a little mystery shopping?  Telling for example a Sales Director or Managing Director that you have been to one of their stores and (politely and respectfully) making constructive suggestions as to what you think can be improved will be viewed positively even if they don’t agree with your views.  The point is you put yourself out and went that extra mile to try and understand your customer.

Review the news pages of the site.  What are they doing that’s making the press?  Review blogs, google them, what are people saying about them on Facebook, Twitter?  What issues are they facing and how are they addressing them?  This can again prove a great basis for interview questions.

Research the industry, not just the company.  Who are the major competitors?  What are they doing that your prospective employer isn’t?  Why (?) might be a great question to be asking at interview.   What issues is the industry facing and how is your prospective employer addressing them?

Remember getting the job you really want has the power to fundamentally change your life.  This is your sales pitch.  Take it seriously and prepare for it.


Filed under Careers, interview