Manufacturing and Social Technology – Effective Use for Industrial Recruiting

February 8th, 2013

Social technology is most often thought of as a business to customer (B2C) aspect of marketing. There’s no doubt that social networking, social interactions and social – everything, is focused on bringing in new customers. That’s a good thing and it works very well. Any business not engaging in social aspects is missing out. Yet, there’s another component to keep in mind here. That is business to business.

How can social technology work in the manufacturing industry or other industries in which the model is business to business?

It’s Not as Easy as You Think

One of the reasons you may be scratching your head and wondering how this could work is because it is a challenge. There’s plenty stacked up against you.

  • The length of the sale cycle is often much longer in the business-to-business model. That makes it harder to get those results in an instant fashion, which is something that social technology encourages.
  • The complexity of the process can be a challenge as well.
  • It’s usually all about the dollar investment, too.

That’s because you are thinking about it in the same light you would the business to customer relationship. You are thinking of it as a way to engage and nurture your relationships with customers and even to close the sale. Yet, when you turn things around, it can work very well from the business-to-business standpoint.

How to Use Social in B2B

This business-to-business model of using social technology is working and some manufacturing companies are finding it to be a very successful way of building sales and business. How does it work?

  • Use it to incorporate collaboration.
  • Use it to make email automation possible.
  • Use it to manage content as well as documents with ease.
  • Use it for business monitoring and listening.
  • Use it to build a knowledge base.

For example, you may want to combine social CRM to project management as well as billing. If you have a smaller business, you can run your operation on this application. It’s important to find and employ the various technologies available that empower business owners like this.

Social technology works to increase the amount of collaboration that takes place between partners and suppliers. You can replace the word “social” with “collaboration” in any supply chain and management instance. It helps to streamline various processes, improving workflow, and makes data flow possible.

Another way in which it is working is by creating new customer portals. These are being used for all aspects, including design, specifications, and delivery. This works in various industries. It helps to streamline the process overall.

The bottom line is, when you turn social technology into a business-to-business viewpoint, you can see exactly how helpful it is. This is also true when it comes to social recruiting that the Stark Talent team are experts in using to find high quality candidates in Texas and Alberta, Canada. It’s not something to overlook the value of  in the manufacturing indu

Tips for Improved Operators with IT Technology

January 30th, 2013

Improving your IT operator’s effectiveness on the job may be easier than you realize. With technology readily available, you may find it easy to get more with less time and effort. There’s no doubt that the industrial floor is changing. Businesses are employing new technologies at a very rapid pace, as they work to increase productivity while also working to maintain strict regulations. Efficiency and visibility in real time is a must, but it is not always that easy to put into place.

Technology Is Everywhere. Operators are using technology in various aspects. It is being used as a collaboration tool. It is being used for analytics, mobility, and visualization.

Consider the Possibilities

How is technology available to help the new generation? Consider the range of possibilities.

  • Mobile clients and location awareness are present. Operators are no longer stuck working in the control room. They can take their interface (whether in the form of a smartphone or a tablet computer) with them.
  • Alarm management, the thorn in the side of any operator, can be effectively managed through technology as well. In fact, in today’s traditional environment, about 75 percent of all alarms are considered noise. Intelligent alarm notifications ensure that the alarm is known about, and that information is delivered about it, but without the noise factor in play.
  • Managing security in the new age is possible too. Infrastructure and manufacturing locations are potential targets for all sorts of threats, including hackers. With the use of technology, operators can create a safer location for everyone at the location as well as for intelligence. Securing data and transfers is a main component of managing the business today.
  • Improving real time operations is a key component to the IT operator’s job. With tools like Real Time Operational Intelligence, it is possible to improve response. It works to bridge the gaps in the various systems in play on the floor. This includes things like analytics, security, and mobility. Integrating these can help to create powerful information in real time.

Is intelligence important to today’s operator? It most definitely is. Not only is the industrial floor now churning out products with fewer people, but added restrictions and limitations mean more for those people to think about and handle during the workday. When technology is added to the game, though, things change. It becomes more possible than ever to effectively manage the floor.

Finding the right technologies to fit your business is a critical step in maintaining your business operations. By providing operators with tools like smartphones and tablets, they can literally take business with them and handle it all on the go. So, too it’s important to make sure your company hires the best operators who are comfortable using this technology. This improves productivity, reduces risk factors, and makes the operator’s job easier to do overall.

Enjoy our previous posts on the topic of technology in the workplace.

To Cloud or Not to Cloud – The Pros and Cons for Business

Advice for Managing Your Corporate Data


Underrated Traits of Great Leaders

December 28th, 2012

Leaders around the world are known for their ability to inspire and motivate others to be their best. Every day, there are leaders in your company who demonstrate skills worthy of recognition, but whom go unnoticed. Some of the most productive people in your organization have leadership skills that are underrated, but all so important to your success. Let’s look at some of these traits.

Top 5 Underrated Traits That Leaders Have

They know how to communicate well. Have you ever noticed that leaders have a unique way of relating to many people from diverse backgrounds? This is because they know how to communicate both verbally and non-verbally to better understand others. Keen communication is something that all future leaders can develop for success in any assignment.

They accept responsibility. Perhaps what makes a leader is the willingness to take responsibility for one’s work and the performance of others. Not only do leaders often do this unnoticed, but it’s often taken for granted by others. To be a leader who takes responsibility means having confidence in your abilities to make ethical decisions.

They are willing to go the extra mile. Many leaders are willing to go over and above what they are expected to do. This is because leaders love to make customers happy, and they like to surprise others with their abilities. A good leader is able to see what needs to be done in an objective way, and then come up with a plan to carry it out to exceed expectations.

They pick up the slack for others. Leaders are often called to work on projects or handle difficult tasks that are too much for their counterparts. This means that leaders are able to think outside the box and handle a variety of thing that they may not be familiar with – but they do this with courage. Picking up the slack for others is something that leaders do because it’s for the overall good of the organization.

They don’t ask for recognition or praise. If you think about it, when is the last time your manager asked for any personal recognition for a job well done? A leader has the self-confidence to not require constant feedback and praise. Instead, leaders get the job done for personal satisfaction.

To be a leader, one must develop the above leadership skills and continually grow in a career path. A good way to do this is to take on new assignments through a staffing agency like Stark Talent for contract jobs in management and executive level work. Over time, you’ll have the experience you need to rise to the top in your career.

Increase Efficiencies in Your Global Supply Chain – Changing the Game Plan with Staffing

December 14th, 2012

As a whole, the industrial business scene is still anticipating what may be an even tougher economic year ahead. While some areas of manufacturing are experiencing limited growth, there are a number that are trying to find ways to cut costs with streamlined global chain management.

From inventory and vendor management to work processes and quality assurance, there are many ways to increase efficiency in a manufacturing setting. Yet, the most important aspect of your supply chain management is how well you handle your people aspect of the business. Having a solid staffing strategy in place, with a quality manufacturing staffing agency, can propel your business towards success.

Staffing is the Critical Cog in the Supply Chain Management Wheel

For a long time, lean manufacturing was a primary way that many businesses stayed ahead of the competition in Texas and Alberta, Canada. While this method helps to increase quality and production levels, it can also diminish human beings to being simply another resource to use for financial gain. Employees who work in these types of manufacturing centers generally experience high levels of stress and burn out over time, which can cost companies in turnover and repeat recruitment efforts.

Valuing your human resources and offering rewarding assignments is a step towards a better approach to supply chain management. By working with your people, instead of being overly demanding, you can build a stronger team of dedicated manufacturing pros who will work hard for your company. This factor alone increases your productivity and quality levels.

Getting to the root of your manufacturing human resources takes a look at your current staff strengths and skills. You’ll want to identify your staff who has the right skills to lead others. You’ll also want to take time to identify any skill gaps that may exist, which will help you in your employee development processes and staffing needs.

Working with a respected manufacturing staffing agency, like Stark Talent, puts you in better control of your supply chain management with a ready supply of skilled staffers. You can also gain access to employees who are carefully screened and authorized to work immediately. Additionally, you will have more flexibility in your staffing as your business ebbs and flows. This alone can help you to maintain costs and production in the manufacturing sector – that can help your business stay strong.

The Power of Social Networking in Business

December 7th, 2012

We live in an ever increasing networked world, with social media leading the way to more open communication. Besides being a place where individuals spend time chatting it up and sharing photos with their friends, social networks have become a go-to source of business networking and lead generation. Practically every business today has some level of social media presence, yet few too many understand the unique power that their social networks can provide.

Here are some recent facts to ponder on the power of social networking in the business world:

  • 43% of small businesses spend 6 or more hours per week on social media marketing (Source: VerticalResponse)
  • 58% of businesses that have used social media marketing for over 3 years reported an increase in sales over that period.  (Source: Social Media Today)
  • 90% of all businesses are on Facebook; 43% are on Twitter (Source: VerticalResponse)
  • 2 out of 3 Twitter uses report that this social network influences their purchase decisions. (Source: Media Bistro)
  • There are 1.2 billion Facebook users worldwide, with all demographics represented. (Source: Statistic Brain)

Obviously, there are some major advantages of using social networking in the business world. From sales lead generation and branding to recruiting and corporate culture building, any business can harness the power of social networks. Here are some tips for achieving this.

Create a consistent brand across all social networks. Your brand is the first thing that people see and it’s the image you present to the world. Make your brand count and make sure it’s the same no matter how many networks you participate in.

Post to all networks simultaneously using a social management tool. Its one thing to set up social media accounts; it’s another to manage them. Make efficient use of your time with a social media management tool or service.

Get to know your networks by showing interest in followers. How much do you know about the people who are your “friends” on your social networks? Take time out of your week to send a few personal messages to newcomers, comment on new posts, and give other people praise.

Connect with networks by adding interesting content regularly. Your networks will only grow if you add valuable content to them every week. Post links to interesting articles, your company promotions or blog posts, and make insightful comments.

Use social media as a recruiting resource with online job fairs. Social recruiting is leading many companies in terms of their staffing needs. Combine your efforts by working with your preferred staffing partner to host online job fairs and provide hiring support.

Stark Talent has the resources your business needs to be successful with recruiting in Texas and Calgary Alberta. By working directly with you as you brand your company to be a top business to work for, the experienced and friendly recruiters at Stark Talent can find skilled contract employees who will help your business grow.





Lean vs. Six Sigma. Why Information Technology Needs It?

November 23rd, 2012

When it comes to streamlining business in the Information Technology industry, there is still some debate between using Lean vs. Six Sigma systems. With each system, there are obvious pros and cons, yet each has their own values that can apply to specific situations. Lean IT methods may work better than Six Sigma quality assurance systems during resource challenged situations, for example.

However, there are some in the IT field who are not sure if either method is beneficial at all. In this post, we will look at the defining aspects of Lean vs. Six Sigma IT systems and see why they are needed to be successful.

Lean Systems

Used as a tool to streamline production processes, lean methodology is focused on reducing waste. This includes avoiding the waste of money and materials, time, and personnel when a project is underway. If a project is to be profitable, it must reduce as much waste as possible.

Lean methodology can help to avoid unnecessary steps in the product lifecycle; therefore it is very helpful in terms of an agile project management strategy. Yet, sometimes Lean systems can make it difficult to obtain the funds needed to make changes, if the methodology is followed too strictly. In IT there needs to be planning, but there also needs to be some flexibility.

Six Sigma Methods

While Six Sigma goals are similar to Lean, in that it reduces waste of materials and time, it takes things to a higher level. Six Sigma focuses on producing quality work in addition to completing projects on time and under budget. By eliminating defects in workmanship, Six Sigma can easily be applied to IT in that there is less need for maintenance and support for problem-free use once a product has been delivered.

Additionally, Six Sigma can support the ongoing improvement of existing products and services in the IT world. From production and design to support and management of customer service initiatives, Six Sigma applies to all areas of the IT industry. By updating and improving IT products and services, the Six Sigma methodology can boost a business’s value in the eyes of consumers and vendors alike.

Business Advantage of Six Sigma and Lean Technologies

In today’s business world, information technology and the management of information must be handled with care and efficiency. Therefore using time-tested Lean and Six Sigma principles can help to make your business more effective over time.

Consider the ways in which Lean and Six Sigma can also handle your staffing and training needs. By using the Six Sigma and Lean concepts, a company can monitor the quality of new hires, productivity levels, and profitability more clearly. In addition, a staffing agency, like Stark Talent, can work within these methodologies to provide high level candidates for leadership assignments within your business.

Make Your Job Postings Searchable

March 7th, 2012

More people are turning to the Internet for the job search process. While you might think that this fact would make the job of executive recruiters much easier, it also presents a few unique challenges. One of the biggest challenges to consider is getting the attention of your target audience: in this case the job seekers.

How do you do it?

Carving out your little corner of the World Wide Web isn’t always easy. Right now things are finally starting to pick up and companies are just beginning to start the hiring process after a fairly long (four-year) drought. Unfortunately, there are a lot of recruiters out there competing for the attention of the same high-quality recruits you want to work with.

This means that you need to make sure your listings or ads are the ones that job seekers are finding. The way to do this is through a process called search engine optimization or SEO. What that means is that you need to “optimize” your listings so that they get noticed by the search engines.

But, here’s the kicker: a lot of other recruiters are trying to optimize the same major keywords that people are using while searching for jobs. There are only 10 spots on Google’s front page and that’s where you ideally want your job listing displayed.

Keep these tips in mind as you make your listings get the attention they deserve. They will help you create listings that get attention from search engines. More importantly, they are the same terms that job seekers are searching.

Use Full Job Titles in Your Ads

The more specific you are about the exact title and/or description of the job that’s available, the better your chances to fall near the top of the search results for that term will be.

For instance, you might find thousands of jobs on any given day for a “senior developer”. If you get more specific in your search terms and place an ad for a “senior Python developer” you’ll have fewer competing ads to contend with. You can take it a step further and use the term “senior Python developer Django framework” to weed out even more of the competition.

Place Ads that are Location Specific

Using the location where the job is available accomplishes many things. First, it capitalizes on the fact that many people do include states, cities, and even areas of cities, to help them refine their job searches. You definitely want your ads to be found by people who are looking for jobs in the area.

Second, it gets rid of competitive job listings halfway across the counter or in other countries. This means that your ad will be more likely to be found by the people who are interested in the job you have available – especially those who are searching locally because you’ve tailored the ad to target the location of the company.

These are just two small ways you can use keyword and phrases to assist you in your executive recruiting endeavors. Use them well and find new ways to make your listings as unique as possible so that your ads will be found by the right job candidates time and time again.

Stark’s Doug Douglas to be featured speaker for

December 21st, 2011

From Angry Birds to Hog Heaven Virtual Conference – January 17, 2012
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Central

Stark’s Doug Douglas will be continuing as a featured speaker and subject matter expert for’s Virtual Conferences in 2012. On January 17, Doug will be leading “From Angry Birds to Hog Heaven,” a session that looks at how an organization’s recruiting efforts impact corporate branding initiatives. RPO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing) engagements can help organizations focus on streamlining application processes, provide feedback throughout the application/interview process, and other process improvements that give the job seeker a more favorable opinion of the hiring company. In a fight for the best talent, the biggest and most recognizable company doesn’t always win. You’ll find out how your organization (whether big or small) can win!

Doug has led previous virtual conferences with – the most recent being “RPO – Without Raising Your Debt Ceiling.” This session focused on the basics of RPO and what benefits an organization might see if going to this type of engagement. This was the #1 rated session for all Virtual Conferences with the largest number of pre-registrations recorded and superior evaluation marks following the presentation.

Register now for this free virtual conference, and invite other HR leaders to join as well. > Virtual Conferences > RPO > From Angry Birds to Hog Heaven

RPO: The Seven Step Program

July 11th, 2011

RPO – Enlighten Me

Recruitment Process Outsourcing.

This phrase burst onto the recruiting scene in the past 10 years or so, but the concept of it has been around for much longer. RPO is when a company will
outsource all or part of their recruitment needs to another company who specializes in locating, qualifying, and delivering candidates for the hiring company to consider. RPO packages can vary from one engagement to another. One engagement could outsource every position to the RPO provider, while another could work only with a division or geographic region or skill set.

A solid RPO provider should have a variety of tools in their chest to accommodate a customized solution to the company’s needs: sourcing, screening, testing/assessments, pre-hire screenings (background, drug, MVR, reference, employment, etc.), offer negotiations, onboarding assistance, recruiting technologies and metrics, even interview training for managers.

Seven Steps to Success

The benefits of a RPO engagement to an organization will vary based on uniqueness of each company and its current situation, but there are seven results of successful RPO engagements that typically are present regardless of the company:

  1. Reduced attrition levels
  2. Reduced costs per hire
  3. Reduced time to fill
  4. EEO compliance standards met
  5. Quality of hires increased
  6. Standardized recruitment process established – ultimately improving the company brand
  7. Accurate metrics to help measure success

RPO Cha-Ching

RPO, on average, saves companies 50% when compared to contingency search fees. Even if a company is not using contingency recruiters, cost saving opportunities are still present. The RPO provider should be well established in various industries and know where to find more qualified candidates. When you combine this with the recruiting expertise, stellar processes, technologies, RPO providers should simply perform better.

Even if you don’t use contingency recruiters, there are other significant costs associated with the search for a new employee that most companies do not track:

  • Job postings costs
  • Recruiter costs
  • Lost productivity costs
  • Training costs
  • Pre-hire Screening costs
  • Hiring manager lost productivity because of interviews
  • Trainee doing a role instead of a veteran
  • Lost sales opportunities dues to being understaffed
  • Mistake costs (new employee vs experienced)
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Lowered employee morale

One thing is for certain, it costs you far more than a job posting on Craigslist or Monster for every opening your company experiences!

RPO Improves You Brand

In the hiring process, your company is not the only ones involved in the evaluation process – candidates are evaluating you too. It only hurts your company when a candidate applies for a position only to never hear from anyone inside your organization. It hurts when timely feedback is not provided after a phone interview. It hurts when they take the time to prepare for an interview, only to wait for weeks to hear if they were selected.

RPO providers should be building into their processes opportunities for the candidates to be reassured and valued. When your company values them enough to keep them posted through this stressful time in their life – IT POWERS YOUR BRAND!

Selecting a RPO Provider

There are many options out there for you to choose from. Here are some things that I would suggest you look for when deciding who will serve your company:

  • Do they have a track record of success? Can they easily share stories of dramatic situations where their RPO made a difference?
  • Will they customize a solution to your unique needs? Many of the larger RPO companies come in and say, “Here’s our offering.” and you have to adjust to their model. Look for a provider who wants to hear more about you, understand your challenges, understand what is working well, and then comes back with something that addresses everything.
  • Who will you interact with? You need to feel good about your point of contact and the team involved in delivery. What is their track record? How do the personalities mesh? Can you count on them to do what they say they will do? Will you be getting a partner or a vendor?