Job Search Advice

Last week I put up the following on Linked In:
My son is a sophomore in college, and is currently looking for his first professional job as an intern. He has some good summer experience, but this is the first time he is going through the professional job search process.

What I’ve realized while watching him is something I’ve known for a long time: Our kids do not always have the appropriate skills to look for that first professional job. Being around his parents (both in the business world), he has picked up some of the process – have a solid, easy-to-read, one page resume; search online for internship opportunities, and do a lot of research on a company prior to any interview. He struggles, however, with follow-up emails (“I feel like I’m bugging people”), writing letters when he is more used to texting (just the facts in a few words), and asking professors for help. I think it is safe to say that his struggles are shared by many going through this process.

So in the context of helping my son, and your child(ren) too, what are the three things you would tell someone on how to look for that first professional job? Feel free to share your ideas on resume construction, researching opportunities, networking, interviewing, follow-ups, and other important topics.

I’ll gather this information and share…thanks!

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Are Your Meetings Effective?

NPR ran a segment last week on meetings. They stated that “The average American office worker spends more than nine hours of every week preparing for, or attending, project update meetings, according to the results of a survey released last week by the software firm Clarizen and Harris Poll. That’s up nearly 14 percent from the last survey four years ago.”

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360 Assessments: Reviewing Open-Ended Responses

Every once in a while, clients ask: Can we review the open-ended responses in case we feel that some are inappropriate and need to be deleted?

My response is that in our years of deploying assessments, we have never had to delete inappropriate comments.

Amazing, right?

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Considerations for Rating Changes

Clients ask me how often should 360s be done on a person.

I think the best answer is somewhere between 12 – 18 months.  This gives enough time for the participant (the person being rated) to figure out their action plan, make behavioral changes, and have the people they work with see some sustained changes.  Less than 12 months can be frustrating for both the participant and the raters (the participant may be working hard on their action plan, but it’s too soon for raters to see sustained change), and if you wait much over 2 years, it’s hard to see this as a process and not an event.

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Performance Review Story on NPR

On my way to work on Tuesday, I listened to an interesting NPR segment on Performance Reviews (and how they aren’t working for many organizations).   With so many companies entrenched in continuing the performance review process, we believe that the performance review can focus on goal setting and attainment, while a 360 degree feedback component (at a time other than the performance review) can help elicit a conversation about an employee’s strengths and development needs.  A primary key to a successful 360 process is in understanding what co-workers, managers and peers value about an employee, and what areas of concentration will help the employee become more effective.  These themes resonate with employees more than just a top-down assessment reviewing numbers that are either high or low.

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360 Feedback Programs in Organizations – 2014

Each summer, SurveyConnect sends out a survey to our clients, business associates, and LinkedIn connections to gather information that we think would be of interest to these groups (and ourselves).  In previous years, we have built a business reading list and collected data about what competencies are most important to organizations (and how they self-rated their current effectiveness in these competencies).

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Competency Benchmark Survey Results

When we work with clients on their 360s and employee surveys, we typically discuss how to collect feedback on the competencies that will help their organization grow and succeed.

Over time, we have gathered a lot of anecdotal information on common competencies that cross organization lines.  It seems that no matter what industry you are in, no matter how big your organization is, and no matter where you are located, leaders who effectively demonstrate certain competencies like Communication, Integrity and Managing People will help move an organization forward. Continue reading

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Introduction to a 360-Degree Report

Once someone has gone through the 360 degree feedback process, it is helpful for them to have an introduction on how to review their report.  There are some general concepts that we can share that work with all types of assessment objectives, competencies, questions, and response scales. Continue reading

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Should I track survey respondents? Part 2

One of the discussions that I have with many clients is whether or not to use usernames and passwords to track employee and customer survey respondents.   On the last blog I talked about the overview thinking when deploying an internal or external survey.  This time, I’d like to discuss a few of the most common online tracking mechanisms commonly used in survey deployment? Continue reading

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Should I track survey respondents? Part 1

One of the discussions that I have with many clients is whether or not to use usernames and passwords to track employee and customer survey respondents.  A lot of thought goes into this decision, so I thought I’d share some of our thinking. Continue reading

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