Archive by Author | Jim Mikula

Job Seekers Who Have a “Learning Attitude” Are More Likely to Succeed

A new study by researchers from Lehigh University and the University of Missouri found one of the attributes in job seekers most likely to lead to success in their search is an attitude focused on learning.

The study found job seekers who have a “natural disposition to learn from every situation in life” are likely to be more successful in getting their dream job and achieving some of their major career goals.

To conduct the study, the researchers focused in on 120 college seniors who were hunting for jobs. Subjects in the study who were identified as having a strong “learning goal orientation” (LGO) reacted to failures in the job hunt by searching much more intensely, whereas people with low LGO decreased their intensity. Interestingly, the same was true even when the job search was going well.

This indicates that people with high LGO respond and deal with stress better than other people, and are more likely to push forward and learn from their experiences in the job search, both positive and negative.

Fortunately, there are ways job seekers can learn to improve their learning attitude. The researchers behind the study say job seekers should spend some time every day reflecting on their successes and failures and what they have learned from the process rather than getting caught up in the emotional highs and lows.

It’s just one more study that shows that while attitude may not be everything when it comes to the job search, it certainly plays a major role!

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The Demands on Suppliers – Q & A with Cameron Smith

cameron-smithWal-Mart Stores, the world’s largest retailer, is known for having a lot of clout with its suppliers, whether it’s dictating products or squeezing costs. That’s why an increasing number, from big names like Kellogg to startups, have set up offices over the past two decades in Northwest Arkansas to be near the discounter. That valuable face time offers a competitive advantage over rivals. On the front lines is Cameron Smith, who runs the leading recruiting firm, bearing his name that hires executives for the vendors. Since opening his firm in 1994 in Rogers, Arkansas, near Wal-Mart’s headquarters in Bentonville, Smith has seen the demands for more analytical skills amid the shift to online shopping. The mix of suppliers, who now number more than 1,500, in the area are more varied too.

How has the community of suppliers changed? So many offices are still opening here because nothing beats the synergy that results when an entire satellite team rallies around one common vision or objective – you are constantly problem-solving with your customer. The companies with the largest teams are P&G, Kraft, Unilever, Kimberly-Clark and Kellogg. But it’s no longer just the big guys who drive office space these days. With pushes like the Made in the U.S.A. campaigns alive and well at Wal-Mart, all supplier team sizes mix together now. An entire tech business park has emerged. Major tech organizations like Salesforce.com, Microsoft, Oracle, IBM etc. have circled their wagons around Wal-Mart.

How has social media affected the type of jobs you recruit for? In order to reach and influence the customer wherever she may be, companies must make sense of vast amounts of data. Our clients require leaders who can tell a story with data and use those insights to create action plans. We still fill many of the same jobs that we have always recruited for, but those roles have changed. It is now customary for people in sales roles to combine sales skills with a strong analytical background. Category management used to be the most analytically demanding role on supplier teams. Now, shopper-insights managers and market-research managers are the next level of category management. We are seeing more shopper-insights managers, where these roles were few and far between five years ago. There is still a talent shortage for these advanced skills.

How should suppliers cater to millennials? Suppliers need to be well-versed in e-commerce and the digital marketplace. Digital cannot be a tacked on strategy. Supplier teams risk becoming dinosaurs if they lean too heavily on packaging and display ads to deliver their message. They need to become skilled at social listening to learn what’s being said about their brand, their product, and their category


Interviewed by Anne D’Innocenzio.
Answers edited for clarity and length.

Tips for Recruiting Millennials to Your Team

With Millennials beginning to flood the job market, it’s become important for employers to know how to attract them to their teams. Millennials as a generation are characterized as being more tech savvy, optimistic, confident and connected than any previous generation. However, for people of older generations, they can be hard to relate to because they aren’t attracted by the same sorts of perks and they communicate in different ways.

So what exactly is it that Millennials are looking for out of an employer? Here are a few examples:

  • A work/life balance, which allows them to pursue other interests outside of work. Millennials are not nearly as attached to their work or careers as previous generations. Approximately 50 percent of Millennials believe flexibility is more important than pay (at least to an extent).
  • A strong, positive company culture that gives them an opportunity to make a difference with their work. About 88 percent prefer a collaborative workplace culture to a competitive one.
  • A strong career path that allows them to constantly be moving forward rather than staying stagnant.

Therefore, employers need to be able to tap into these characteristics if they’re going to want to hire the best up-and-coming employees. To create a strong impression with Millennials, make sure you have an updated website, maintain an engaging online social presence, stay on top of new technologies and do what you can to provide growth opportunities and flexibility in your workplace.

Factors to Consider When Deciding Whether to Accept a Job Offer

Deciding whether to accept or reject a job offer is a major life decision that one should never make lightly. It’s easy to get swept up in the emotional aspect of the decision, but there are a number of logical factors you need to take into account as well.

Your decision might very well hinge on how you would answer the following questions:

  • Does the job seem like one you would truly enjoy and be good at?
  • Do you believe there are legitimate opportunities for growth and learning new skills in the job?
  • Will the company allow you to continue your growth you had achieved in your previous positions?
  • Will you be able to achieve your goals in the new position, both short-term and long-term?
  • Do you think you will get along with your supervisor and/or coworkers?
  • Are the salary and benefits fair and enough to give you the ability to provide for yourself and your family?
  • Is the commute reasonable?
  • Is the job in a stable company?
  • Will the new position help you to improve your resume?
  • Will any aspects of the job force you to compromise too much in terms of what you’re looking for in your career?

If you find yourself answering “no” to too many of these questions, the job might not be for you, despite the initial jolt of excitement you might have received upon being offered it.

Even if you have been unemployed for some time, you don’t necessarily want to jump into a position that is completely wrong for you and would either set you back in your career or your personal life. Consider these factors carefully when you decide whether accepting your next job offer is the right decision for you.

How Do You Look on Paper?

When people write their resume, they tend to focus only on the content. And while it’s true that the content is extremely important in convincing potential employers of your competency, the appearance of the resume is just as important.

The reality is most hiring and HR managers don’t have the time to read through every resume they get in great detail, especially if they have numerous openings going on with many applicants for each position. They have to make a judgment call within only a few seconds as to whether they even want to continue looking. The way your resume looks could be the difference between whether you yourself get a closer look or get put into the rejection pile. It’s the paper version of a first impression, and first impressions are incredibly strong.

Consider some of the following questions before you send in your resume to a potential employer:

  • At first glance, does your resume look appealing, neat and have a professional appearance?
  • Did you use an appropriate margin width for your resume?
  • Do you use a consistent, readable font throughout the whole page?
  • Do you use bold, italics and underlines to help break up and organize your resume?
  • Does the spacing between each section look appropriate?
  • Is it easy to quickly scan over your resume and still get the most important information?

Taking all of this into account will help you ensure your resume looks professional and draws the attention of potential employers. It will make for an inviting document that wants the interviewer to get to know you better.

Majority of Hires Never Report Looking for a Job

Every month there are millions of people who are looking for new jobs, even if they already have one. About ten percent of all of these job searchers swill switch employers in the next month. However, the majority of these people never report that they were looking for a new job. Therefore, it’s reasonable to conclude that instead of these workers actively seeking the jobs, the jobs actually found them.

This information came from analyzing job search and employment transition rates over the past 20 years. On average, it’s estimated that about 4.3 percent of people with jobs were actively searching for a new job. Recent college grads, at a rate of 9.6 percent, were more likely to be searching for new jobs while employed compared to people age 45 or older (2.3 percent).

The really interesting statistics, however, are about hiring probability. While research suggests people who search for jobs are more likely to find a new position, employed people who did not search for a new job made up about 25.7 percent of all new hires, compared to 7.4 percent for employed people who were actively searching.  Therefore, 77.6 percent of all employed people who changed employers were not actively looking for a new position. This is because there are so many more people who do not actively search than those who do.

So what does this mean? It would seem that a lot of these people are being attracted to new positions by corporate recruiters, by a friend alerting them to an opening or other similar tactics.  Bottom line is…recruiters are an important ally in helping companies find that hard to find, passive candidate who might not be actively looking on the job boards.

Happiness Means Being Able to Let Go

Let’s take a look at another key point from Tim Hoch’s Thought Catalog article “10 Ways You’re Making Your Life Harder Than It Has To Be.”

Point number nine is “you can’t/won’t let go.” This is a problem we all have at some point. Perhaps we feel someone wronged us, and we can’t forgive them for it. Maybe we feel shattered because of a failed relationship. Perhaps we have lost something or someone.

However, just like any other challenges we face in our lives, these have the opportunity to be defining moments for us. The way we respond to these moments gives us a chance to grow and better ourselves in new, exciting ways. If we close ourselves off and refuse to let go, we’re never going to move on emotionally and find the happiness we deserve.

While we can never completely forget the struggles we go through, we are able to manage them and learn from them. “Letting go” isn’t about forgetting, anyway — it is about forgiveness.  Forgiving someone is difficult because it goes against our nature.  Simply put…if you don’t choose to forgive, you become enslaved to the very person who you feel hurt you.

Consider what is preventing you from “letting go” of the baggage in your life, and what you can do to turn that around to find joy.