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.

Engineering Degree? Tips to Help Your Resume Stand Out Throughout Your Job Hunt

January 23rd, 2012

As an engineer, you have the potential of finding more lucrative positions than many other fields. However, the fact is, the United States has not kept up with the overseas competition and that has driven many jobs out of the country. For those graduating with an engineering degree, there are jobs out there, but getting them means, you will have to shine brighter than the competition. That is often the most challenging aspect.

Tips for Resume Boosting for Engineers

The engineering resume needs to communicate skills and abilities properly. While many engineers are good at providing basic information about the jobs they have completed, that may not be enough. Rather, a resume must provide more details and help to display your talents instead. If you do not plan to have a professional write your résumé, there are some tips you can use to get it right.

  • Choose an organized format for the resume. Allow your skill set to shine rather than just your job history. A chronological order may not work for you in this case, but that is okay. Make sure your achievements rank first.
  • Rather than an objective, create a summary that outlines the type of job you are looking for and how your skills and experience play into that. A traditional objective may not provide enough information.
  • You can and should consider adding a project list to the resume. As an engineer, this will help to pinpoint specific examples of how you will benefit their company. Your accomplishments stand out.
  • Use the right buzzwords within the resume. Since most initial screening of applicants is computer based, you will need to ensure your resume contains the right buzzwords those computer programs are looking for through the scan. That way, it lands in human hands. Buzzwords can include the power words and verbs related to your skills and experience.
  • No errors allowed! Ensure you pay attention to the details. As an engineer, it is expected of you to do so.
  • To stand out, be sure you list your accomplishments clearly rather than just outlining your job duties. This draws in the reader and gets them thinking about you in a positive frame of mind.
  • Remember to sell the benefits of your skills, too. How can your skills benefit the company?

For those who have an engineering degree, having a resume that reflects skills and experience is critical. For those still in school or hoping to land that first position, still focus on achievements and your strongest skills. In this very competitive market, these traits make the most impact on the prospective employer. Display how you can be a benefit to the company – and be specific. There is no room for guesswork here. You want to entice them into working with you.

US Manufacturing Accelerates – How This Will Affect Hiring This Year?

January 7th, 2012

The US job market has taken a huge hit in recent years. Even before the recent economic downturn, manufacturing had been fading fast in the US. Manufacturers were leaving the US in favor of lower wages and more favorable taxation and regulation.

Things had begun to shift just prior to the “Great Recession” of 2007. More manufacturers were beginning to move back to the US. The recession definitely slowed the growth of these manufacturing positions. As we are beginning to see signs of light on the other side of the tunnel however, we’re also seeing a distinct rise in the need for new hiring in manufacturing industries.

There are quite a few reasons companies are making the move back to the states. Chief among these reasons are: rising costs for transportation, increasing expenses in production overseas, strong productivity within the US, and a greater understanding of the headaches involved in long supply chains.

This is great news that we should all be over the moon about. The problem is that many questions remain before companies are going to be willing to go out and begin hiring new workers en masse.

Mistrust and Fear are Fading

People still remember feeling the first sting of the recession even as politicians promised that all was well five years ago. Then there was an overnight shift in position and policy. Suddenly the economy was a political proxy that must be fixed immediately.

Five years later, fixes have been slow to arrive. That is why the growth we’re seeing in manufacturing and factory employment is such welcome news in many circles.  Current projections have US factory jobs growing by 1.3 percent this year and an additional 3.1 percent in the following year.

The fact remains that there is a growing demand for trained and skilled labor to accept these new factory jobs and it’s going to have a significant impact on hiring across the board. But not all manufacturing positions require experience. There are many that anyone with a decent head on his or her shoulders can be trained to do. This means that traditionally “white collar” employees are going to begin to turn to manufacturing positions.

Supply and Demand are Trading Places

In other words, for those who deal with human resources, there is likely to be a shift in the job search over the next years. People will gravitate towards careers where jobs are available.

For the past few years there has been a massive surplus of qualified candidates for the few positions that were available. That is about to change. The more growth we see in manufacturing here in the US, the fewer people are going to find themselves out of work for prolonged periods of time.

Human resources and hiring managers have a lot to deal with and haven’t had to actively recruit for quite a while. Companies have been tightening belts, adding hours, and cutting benefits in order to stay in business. Now they are going to have to compete with these manufacturing positions that offer overtime pay for extra hours and attractive benefits packages.

What this really means for business is that the search is back on for the best and brightest among the highly capable fields of job applicants and manufacturing companies are hiring! Find out more by contacting Stark Talent today for many part time and full time jobs in the manufacturing sector!

Photo Credit: think4photop /

Hiring US Citizens vs. Foreign Tech Workers for IT Jobs: Which is Better for You and Your Company…are Your Preferences Legal?

November 22nd, 2011

As the technology world continues to burst with new opportunities, creating millions of career opportunities in the coming years, technology based companies everywhere are scrambling for suitable IT candidates. While the preference of hiring US citizens or foreign tech workers is based on many factors, it is now a matter of legal debate due to an H1-B employment bill in the Senate currently that may seriously change the way companies must approach recruitment and hiring of IT staff. This bill has now been signed into law by President Obama under the Financial Stability Plan.

In fact, several prominent IT firms have come under fire based on allegations that they misrepresent the number of available US candidates in favor of hiring foreign workers – a practice that has long gone on under the radar because foreign workers traditionally don’t command the wages that US Information Technology specialists do. From small development companies to large powerhouses in IT, the use of foreign workers is the preference of many in an effort to keep project costs down and increase profitability.

However, this entire practice can backfire as companies may be inadvertently not offering enough assignments to US workers, who still number in the many thousands. With close to 10% of the US adult workforce currently unemployed, the pressure is on for IT companies to show preference to native candidates, then foreign workers. The H1-B Senate bill makes it illegal to hire more than half your workforce as foreigners if you have more than 50 employees.

Additionally, as an employer you are required to advertise job openings for 30 days on the Department of Labor’s web site before making H-1B visa applications, giving American workers ample time to apply and be considered first. Jobs cannot be advertised strictly for foreign workers – there must be complete equality for all candidates regardless of nationality under EEOC guidelines.

How does your company stack up and do you follow the “rules” when it comes to offering IT assignments in a non-discriminatory way? If you are unsure, then it’s generally a good idea to seek legal counsel from a trusted employment attorney to review your current hiring practices in terms of this new law. Alternatively,  you can stay out of “hot water” by contracting with a quality IT staffing agency like Stark Talent that maintains all the laws as they pertain to hiring technology workers. This can give you peace of mind that you are a fair and legal employer.


What Ex-military Can Bring to Executive Positions and Your Business

November 15th, 2011

While it’s true that being a member of the military can create a positive shift in terms of attitude and pride in ones’ personal life, it’s also common for ex-military people to achieve things far beyond their civilian counterparts in terms of a career. This can lead to greater levels of success at all levels of a career, but most notably in executive careers. Consider Lieutenant General William G. Pagonis, a Gulf War veteran, who from 1993 to 2004 was the executive VP of supply chain management for Sears Roebuck & Company. During that time, Pagonis used his Army experience to turn this company around financially—no easy task since Wal-Mart came on the scene and put a serious dent in the entire wholesale consumer goods market.

Then there’s the inspiring story of retired Army Colonel Rudy Burwell who became the executive VP for Crisis Communications and Litigation PR for the award-winning Hellerman Baretz Communications in September of 2011, a role that utilizes over 20 years of his experience in the military as a communications leader. It’s clear that there are many valid reasons why an ex-military person is the preferred candidate for many executive level civilian assignments.

The skills, values and ethics of military personnel are unparalleled in terms of what’s available with many candidates, so employers generally appreciate these qualities as they pertain to the workforce. Here are some reasons why ex-military candidates are highly prized among recruiters, and what they can bring to your business.

Rules are Meant to be Followed – The key thing you will notice with an ex-military candidate is that he or she understands why there are rules and why it’s important to follow them to the letter in most situations. When seeking an executive level employee, it’s important to choose someone who has a full comprehension of these rules as they come down from above, and that they will be enforced in subordinates in a fair and reasonable manner.

Take Charge and Inspire Others – While it’s true that ex-military can take orders from superiors, they are also prone to lead by example. This “take charge” attitude and the way ex-military candidates handle duties often inspires others to be their best on the job. The military teaches people to become the leaders of their own lives, as well as how to lead others through setting the bar high. This quality is what helps ex-military personnel be great executive team members.

Highly Adaptable Problem Solvers – If there’s one thing that most ex-military personnel have down well is the ability to adapt to the unexpected and roll with things to solve problems efficiently. Military people don’t sit around waiting for others to take the helm. Instead, they step up and ask to be included in problem solving initiatives and in making positive change when the job calls for it.

Handle Stress and Tasks Well – Being an executive leader is highly stressful, and not many people are suited for this aspect of civilian work. However, those who have been in the military, even for a short period of time, have effectively learned how to best manage stress and use it for good. They focus on tasks and prioritize well, meaning they don’t allow things to get out of control before taking action. These qualities are what make ex-military candidates desirable for executive level duties.

Fortunately, there are many excellent executive career options available to ex-military or military vets. The United States government has instituted many incentives and provided special guidance for businesses who would like to hire military veterans and their spouses—in order to encourage employers to tap into this valuable resource.

For more information about hiring ex-military and military veterans for your executive level openings, be sure to contact Stark Talent today.


What Will the New 1099 Consultant Regulations Mean for Your Business?

November 7th, 2011

In 2010, the new 1099 regulations came out for businesses that use contractors to perform work. Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which was part of Obama’s healthcare reform bill, all organizations are required to file a 1099 form for contractors who sell, use or buy $600 or more in services or products annually. This includes all companies, both private and public, as well as non-profit organizations, and state and local governments who use IT contractors and consultants.

Overall, this law has put a strain on the already tedious accounting processes that must be managed by organizations in order to comply with the 1099 rules. There has been a surge in the use of accounting technology and software to both track and process contractors. But for many companies, the 1099 ruling have deeper implications about how we will do business in general and how to keep up with regulations as they pertain to contract work.

As early as 2010, experts were warning that the 1099 law would put an undue strain on company accounting departments, multiplying the amount of paperwork by five-fold. However, by the end of the year, many companies were already turning to automated systems and outsourced accounting services to handle this need.

Now it would make some assume that this would increase the need for accounting personnel. In many cases, this was true as it had the effect of taking some accounting functions out of the hands of individuals and into the capable hands of national accounting companies – at a substantial cost. However, in other cases, the vast majority of these new accounting burdens were left on the shoulders of small accounting departments who had no choice but to start utilizing an accounting software solution to keep up.

This is especially true when it comes to the small business sector, which is still the single-most largest growth factor in the economy to date. Small business owners had to adjust their accounting procedures in order to comply with the 1099 law, which also forced them to turn to accounting software and outsourced accounting companies for help. It also made many limit their use of contractors, which may have had a larger impact on staffing and contract agencies in the past year.

The good news is that on the eve of tax day 2011, President Obama repealed the 1099 law, after it was discovered how damaging it was to the small business sector. In April of 2011, the law was full repealed, which saved tens of thousands of small business owners and landlords from having to fill out 1099’s. Under the Comprehensive 1099 Taxpayer Protection and Repayment of Exchange Subsidy Overpayments Act of 2011, small businesses and landlords were no longer required to issue 1099’s for purchases made or rental payments made after December 31, 2011.

For all businesses, however, a 1099 form must be completed for anyone who contracts with any service provider in the amount of $600 annually or more. This means any contract service, including employment services, must be issued a 1099 form at the end of the tax year. For more information on how the 1099 law applies to your business and the contractors you work with, including IT contractors, be sure to visit the Internal Revenue Service page here.

Tips for Surviving the Executive Leadership Shortage

October 23rd, 2011

Career trend experts have been predicting the shortage of executive leadership candidates for quite some time. A 2008 talent survey conducted by Aon indicated that as much as 60% of all companies are dealing with a lack of leadership candidates, which is significantly impacting their productivity. Almost 31% of these companies expect a lack of leadership talent to adversely affect their performance in the next decade, most likely as a result of an aging workforce and a large number of unskilled unemployed workers in the USA. In 2009 alone, American companies spent nearly $12 billion on leadership training and development programs, which amounts to almost a quarter of their training budgets.

However, are we keeping up with the demands of the workforce in terms of executive leadership needs in 2011 and beyond? In the USA alone, some 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 daily, making them eligible for Social Security benefits. This means many of these capable folks are stepping down from key leadership roles in order to enjoy their golden years – with no one to replace them. Oftentimes, small and mid-size companies do not adequately prepare for such transitions, which can lead to chaos and miss-managed organizations. We hear about cases of unworthy CEO’s and CFO’s in the news every week.

There are a few ways to offset these shortages, by implementing a plan to develop the next generation of leaders. Here are some suggestions from the well-respected Annie E. Casey Foundation that can help make leadership transitions a success.

Place value on the ideas of young executives. Chances are you have some brilliant minds among your younger staff members. Along with recognizing the achievements of your senior execs, take the time to encourage new ideas and innovations from your younger executives. In this way, your leadership can embrace the contributions of all your executive staff as one cohesive effort to reach company objectives.

Blend the new with the old. Encourage your seasoned executives to work as teams with younger executives in order to foster an intergenerational environment. This allows all to share their perspectives on issues, solve problems, and come up with better solutions to previously tired problems. Use this to identify key problem solvers to assign to higher-level projects.

Evaluate your current decision-making model. Consider if your younger executives are getting “shot down” by senior executives when it comes to critical decisions. This can and will discourage rookie executives from sharing their ideas and leaves them frustrated and looking for other opportunities.

Promote work-life balance. Today’s generation of executives value family and personal time, unlike the values of past generations who placed a higher value on work time. Help all your employees develop a better balance between work duties and personal responsibilities, to keep future leaders engaged and on board for the long term.

Partner with an executive recruiting firm. An effective method of keeping up with the demands of a shrinking workforce is by contracting with a quality executive recruiting company like Stark Talent. You can be connected with a wide range of pre-screened executive talents, to fill key assignments on demand.

Want more tips for maintaining the right mix of executive staff members? Be sure to visit Stark Talent for more great ideas and resources designed to help you stay successful!