Mcfrank & Williams

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Month: August, 2013

You can hire your “generalists” when you have the right information to inspire a talent attraction strategy

Workforce Locator™ provides cost-of-living, and standard-of-living comparisons by MSA, county, industry, occupation and other key variables. To develop effective talent attraction and retention strategies, it’s vital to learn where you stand in relation to your competitors.

As the following article reports:

> Kathleen Thomassen, senior professional of human resources, said that when companies are hiring, they are increasingly looking for candidates who are “generalists,” able to fill multiple roles as needed by the company.

> As hard as it might be to believe in the current job market, employees are walking away from jobs and job offers and holding out for the perfect fit, a job that will allow them to fulfill personal, professional and financial goals, Thomassen said.


Stagnant hiring, the return of raises, and recruiting generalists among current workforce trends

By Jennifer Lade
Bulletin correspondent
July 19, 2013 4:51 PM

With unemployment rates still high, most people consider the current economic climate an employer’s market. But that doesn’t mean it is easy for employers to find and retain talent.

Flatlined hiring, small salary increases and creative ways to attract and retain talent are just some of the trends local experts are seeing when it comes to workforce development.

According to a 2013 forecast on, hiring is stagnant, and that holds true for the SouthCoast region as well, said Bill Brennan, principal of the Stratagem Group, a Norwell-based consulting firm focused on human resources and labor relations.

“Hiring hasn’t come back,” he said, citing a Massachusetts unemployment rate of about 6.6 percent, which does not include the underemployed or those who have stopped looking for jobs, which he believes adds significantly to the count.

Concerns about health care costs and regulations have made employers shy about adding new employees, said Brennan. Nearly all companies have seen their health insurance costs increase by double digit percentages each year, an expense that can add an additional cost of 18 to 20 percent over an employee’s base salary.

And although the Obama administration recently announced that the employer mandate to offer health insurance to full-time employees has been postponed until 2015, many employers are confused about what is expected of them — and how much it will cost.

Meanwhile, Brennan added, salary increases have been holding steady just above inflation at around 2.5 to 3 percent, though it varies by industry.

“There were a lot of years when companies were not giving you increases at all,” so these modest increases are a good sign, Brennan said.

But to make up for small raises, “there’s attraction and retention strategies when you’re talking about staffing and hiring. Smaller employers are being more creative.”

One trend is for companies to offer a lower base salary and performance incentives for predetermined pay increases, Brennan said. These incentives are sometimes coupled with six-month, rather than annual reviews, to give both employer and employee a trial period of sorts.

Kathleen Thomassen, senior professional of human resources, said that when companies are hiring, they are increasingly looking for candidates who are “generalists,” able to fill multiple roles as needed by the company. This is especially true for entrepreneurs, startups and retail service businesses, where there is potential for the needs of the business to change, and with it, for an employee to wear a different hat. However, certain industries still need candidates with specific skills — in manufacturing, for example, where a job description is solid.

“Employers are still looking for the cream of the crop,” “‰Thomassen said. Generalists, however, are “hard to come by because applicants are looking for the best fit for themselves.”

As hard as it might be to believe in the current job market, employees are walking away from jobs and job offers and holding out for the perfect fit, a job that will allow them to fulfill personal, professional and financial goals, Thomassen said.

“It’s a growing trend,” she said, especially when it comes to professionals and management-level candidates.

Anne Broholm, CEO of Ahead, the New Bedford-based apparel, headwear and golf accessories company, agreed that generalists are needed in her industry.

“We’ve placed a much higher priority on cross training our team, certainly,” she said. “We’re constantly moving people around,” so it is important they are able to do different jobs.

Broholm became CEO in May 2012, and one of her first acts was the hiring of a human resources manager, Rachel Gordon, who came on board last July. The addition of an HR manager was a move to stay competitive and remain a desirable employer for their workers, Broholm said.

“We want to make sure that we manage them in a consistent manner and a fair manner,” she said, adding that she has seen improved morale in the past year.

The HR manager will also offer training to other managers at the company to make them more effective. This type of coaching is becoming more common in the workplace.

“More and more companies are hiring internal coaches,” said Karen Atwell, a certified professional coach who was president-elect of the International Coaching Federation’s New England Chapter last year. She added that some companies train internal people to be coaches in order to coach managers without the $15,000 to $20,000 per employee price tag of an external coach.

Job applicants can also hire their own professional coaches to give them an edge, but there are other strategies as well.

“One way for people to enter the workforce, especially if you’re on the younger end, is to start as a temp,” Brennan said. “It’s a great way to get your foot in the door. You’re viewed by the employer, and as the employee you get to view what the workplace is like.”

“If you have the work ethic and the communication down, I’m firmly confident you’ll be successful.”


Preparing for worker retirements

Workforce Locator™ can be an organizational ally when integrating vital initiatives such as transitioning legacy platforms to the cloud with the goal of re-balancing a workforce that includes part-time and telecommuting workers, contractors, etc.

As this PCWorld article reports, every day until 2030 “10,000 U.S. baby boomers” will be “turning 65” and “the IT industry is among those that must plan how its workforce will be impacted”.

It’s natural to expect that organizations dependent on seasoned IT professionals who plan to leave their corporate roles will try to replace veteran skill sets with younger workers, but IMO organizations will be impacted by the loss of tacit knowledge unless they also find ways to appeal to and retain the involvement of their older employees.

That’s why I found it a worthwhile read to discover how some companies are addressing the issue of retaining their IT veterans who may be nearing retirement by becoming involved in an effort by “nonprofit that aims to help retirees use their skills in second careers with social purpose”.

Here is the PCWorld article:

With worker retirements looming, IT starts to prepare for a workforce exodus

By Fred O’Connor, IDG News Service

Aug 21, 2013 12:23 PM

With 10,000 U.S. baby boomers turning 65 every day until 2030, the IT industry is among those that must plan how its workforce will be impacted when these employees eventually retire.

While the tech industry emphasizes the new, legacy system skills are still valued since some companies run critical systems on dated technologies. Even when firms migrate to current IT, workers with older skills are needed to help with the transition and IT professionals who love their industry may want to keeping working after 65, but not necessarily full time.

Companies keen on retaining veteran workers, and their knowledge, are initiating retirement conversations early to increase the likelihood that these employees will stay on in some capacity after they stop working full time, said Matthew Ripaldi, senior vice president at IT staffing firm Modis.

Businesses need to develop a structured plan that explains to employees “how do we retain you because you’re so valuable but at the same time give you the flexibility you need,” he said.

This flexibility can take the form of contract work, which allows employees to stay engaged with IT while allowing them to create their schedule, Ripaldi said.

“The thing about technologists is they love what they do,” he said. “They’re constantly driven by newer technologies. So that means that they want to stay involved somehow. They just may not want to stay involved full time.”

The contractor ratio, already high in tech, will continue to increase as companies allow retiring staff to work part-time hours or hire them for short-term projects, said Ripaldi. Mentoring programs will also expand as these contractors impart legacy system information to younger employees who will be expected to link the new technologies they use to the older applications they’re learning.

“If there’s an upgrade, if there is a new technology, it will be more effective if they understand how the legacy technology works and how their end users were using it,” he said.

Time for transitions

The benefits of new technologies may drive companies to phase out legacy systems and replace them with modern platforms, another situation where retirees could serve as consultants to help with the transition, said John Engates, CTO of cloud hosting company Rackspace.

“The thing about technologists is they love what they do. They’re constantly driven by newer technologies. So that means that they want to stay involved somehow. They just may not want to stay involved full time.”—Matthew Ripaldi, Modis senior vice president

“For some of these baby boomer retirees there maybe an opportunity to start their own consultancy in helping companies get off these older systems and modernize.”

Transitioning from legacy platforms to the cloud, for instance, requires “a whole chain of people, some of who really know the legacy, some who know the modern and people in the middle to help with this transformation,” he said.

For retirees who prefer to stick with the technologies they worked on during their careers, they too will have consulting opportunities, said Engates. Many companies still depend on older systems—and the skills required to maintain them—to run their businesses.

“It’s interesting how we have a handful of really important systems that have held on,” he said. “The mainframe tends to be the one we all point to but I’m sure there’s others out there. We hear about applications that still run on what we call legacy from our standpoint, like an old Windows NT server or an old 1995 machine.”

While these companies are wed to legacy systems, they don’t want to deal with the economic and labor issues tied to maintaining older technologies. Instead, they’ll outsource upkeep to consultants, who may land lucrative contracts if there is enough market demand for their skills.

“It’s probably going to be cost prohibitive or just so hard to find that one guy that knows that technology who’s willing to work on one or two legacy systems,” Engates said.”Your demand goes way up if you’re a consultant that’s managing hundreds of mainframes. They’re still out there.”

Modernizing systems

At companies that have modernized their systems as technology evolved, retirement may not be as much of an issue since employees learned new skills when the IT changed, avoiding the challenge of transferring knowledge between staffers.

“You need to be proactive on optimizing your ecosystem,” said Verizon Enterprise Solutions CIO Ajay Waghray. “And that forces the retirement of multiple processes and systems that tend to have created that long living complexity that creates all the challenges.”

Last year Waghray retired approximately 160 systems and has so far retired 60 in 2103.

“Even before this whole cloud orientation became a buzz we were already applying those techniques to stay lean and agile,” he said.

Verizon is also proactive in maintaining “a pretty good [employee] progression map, particularly in managerial roles,” helping the company plan for future employment needs, some of which maybe caused by retirement, Waghray said.

“We tend to know if we have a certain group of people that we have a need for, be it retiring or otherwise,” he said.

To fill employment needs, Verizon uses mentoring programs, college recruiting, telecommuting, job sharing and part-time positions.

As for the possibility of retired employees returning as consultants, the demand isn’t there now at Verizon.

“I haven’t really heard the need to say will you come back,” Waghray said. “We might have that in the future but we’ve not seen that.”

Re-assigning skills

At Intel, which is in the early stages of exploring the impact of employee retirements, flexibility extends to helping workers take positions outside the company at nonprofits.

Last year the chip maker launched the Intel Encore Career Fellowship, a pilot program that gives near-retirement employees a $25,000 stipend and allows them to spend one year applying their skills to new positions with social value. The program is part of a greater effort by nonprofit that aims to help retirees use their skills in second careers with social purpose.

“We don’t have the need yet to say with enormous numbers departing how do we retain some skills, how do we retain some of the institutional knowledge,” said Julie Wirt, the company’s global retirement design manager. “We’re just starting now to sit down and think about how we’re going to approach that. In five years we’ll be in a different situation.”

As employees near retirement they question whether to update their skills or consider other ways to use their IT backgrounds.

“At a certain point they say ‘It’s probably time for me to reskill again. Do I want to do that or do I want to think about something new as I’m kind of on the brink of retirement,’” said Wirt.

The Encore program paired Ken Wolff, a 23-year Intel employee with Music for Minors, which provides music education programs to elementary school children in the San Francisco Bay area. At the nonprofit, Wolff, who retired from the company in June of last year, works on projects that combine his tech background and love for music. He studied early music at a European conservatory and holds a master’s degree in church music.

Ken Wolff decided to use his tech skills at the nonprofit Music for Minors after retiring from Intel.

Wolff’s first project took him a year to complete, working five or six half days each week, and involved putting hundreds of music and training documents online, he wrote in an email. He continues to volunteer at Music for Minor and his current project involves shooting training lessons for teachers and posting them online.

“Most of my IT work doesn’t directly apply but the basic orientation makes solving software tool challenges a lot easier,” wrote Wolff, 60. His background helped when converting sheet music into digital files using high-end scoring software, he wrote. Additionally, shooting and editing video is easier with a technical background and having website development skills helps when posting material online.

Intel is using the fellowship program to understand how to discuss retirement with employees and their needs. Additionally, the program helps people who lack clear retirement plans start thinking about what they may want to do next.

“Many employees [at Intel] want to stay engaged in some manner past normal retirement, but they’re looking to do that in a different way,” said Writ.

Jose Alvarado planned to work part-time work as an instructor or IT professional after he left Hewlett-Packard where he worked as a senior software engineer, he said in an email.

Jose Alvarado recently began volunteering at a nonprofit that helps homeless families after he retired from Hewlett-Packard.

Through the Encore program, which HP participates in, and his own efforts, Alvarado is volunteering in both those roles. Alvarado recently began volunteering for 20 hours per week at the Homeless Prenatal Project, which provides poor and homeless San Francisco families with resources to improve their lives. In September he will start teaching a data networks course at the University of the People, a nonprofit that offers free academic courses online.

In both roles, Alvarado draws on his enterprise IT career, which spanned nearly 23 years at HP. His background in data networks as a software engineer has proved useful at HPP and UofP, he wrote. HPP has a medium-size computer network and uses cloud services. “I am also learning quite a lot as a member of the HPP Technology Team. Additionally, I have used my knowledge in network security to perform vulnerability testing on HPP public internet interfaces.”

His transition into volunteer work has been gratifying.

“The idea of a second act for the greater good just sounded perfect for me after leaving HP,” he wrote. “I see my fellowship as both an interesting/stimulating part-time job and an excellent opportunity to help HPP’s wonderful mission.”

A problem with America’s Farm-Labor Pool…

Workforce Locator™ reveals which schools have the highest numbers of graduating students by major and that includes majors related to Agricultural Management. As this BLS source states, “All state university systems have at least one land-grant college or university with a school of agriculture. Common programs of study include business with a concentration in agriculture, farm management, agronomy, dairy science, and agricultural economics.”

America’s Farm-Labor Pool Is Graying

Growers Say Reliance on Aging Workers Shows Urgent Need for Immigration Overhaul

When Bruce Frasier surveys his sprawling south Texas farm during the harvest, he sees “a bunch of grandparents bunching onions,” he says.

In California’s Central Valley, nurseryman David Cox says he sees young Americans stacking his trees who are less productive than the older, predominantly Mexican workers he lost to an immigration audit.

From Vermont and Michigan to Texas and California, the nation’s long-standing pool of farm labor is graying.

“You have to remember that the last amnesty happened 27 years ago,” says Mr. Frasier, referring to a U.S. immigration overhaul in 1986 that legalized 2.7 million immigrants. “The average age I have is pushing 50,” he adds.

Government data confirm that the workers who got legal status nearly three decades ago are now 49 years old, on average. The average age of farm workers overall is around 37, according to the data, up from 31 in 2000.

This aging workforce, farmers say, is just one of the problems that highlight American agriculture’s urgent need for an overhaul of the nation’s immigration system. Beefed-up patrols and drug violence along the Mexican border are discouraging potential migrants from journeying to the U.S. And, as the oil patch booms in Texas and construction recovers in California, other industries are competing for the same supply of low-skilled labor.

A crackdown on illegal immigration, meanwhile, has pushed many farmers, including Mr. Cox, to use the government’s E-Verify system to ensure new employees are legal, only to discover the quality of their workforce has declined.

“If we have border security and E-Verify without giving [illegal] workers already here a way to pass muster, agriculture is screwed,” says Mr. Cox, whose nursery raises fruit and ornamental trees that he sells to farmers, landscapers and garden-center retailers.

That’s because net migration from Mexico, which has long supplied the bulk of U.S. field workers, has come to a standstill, according to the Pew Hispanic Center. Not only has crossing the border become riskier for these mostly undocumented immigrants, but the U.S. economy has remained relatively weak while the Mexican job market has improved.

Farm workers who benefited from the amnesty in 1986 represent only about 10% of today’s field workers. Since then, many of those workers have taken jobs in other parts of the economy, returned to their native country or died. Still, about three-fourths of all crop workers were born abroad, and more than half of them work in the U.S. illegally, according to official estimates

A bipartisan bill passed by the Senate offers an expedited path to legal residency for undocumented field workers who remain in agriculture for a minimum number of days over three or five years. To guarantee a steady future flow of legal labor, the bill also includes two kinds of agricultural guest-worker visas. If such legislation were passed by both houses of Congress it would “provide labor certainty” that has been absent for years, says Philip Martin, an agricultural-labor expert at the University of California, Davis.

Leaders of the Republican-controlled House, however, have pledged to ignore the comprehensive Senate bill in favor a piecemeal approach that would start by addressing border security. That approach is raising concerns among farmers who fear that no agreement on new legislation will be possible until after next year’s midterm elections.

“The frustration level is rising,” says Julia Rothwell, chairwoman of the Michigan Apple Association, which represents growers and shippers.

Apple farmers in the state expect a bumper crop this fall following a freeze that decimated production last year. But a labor shortage looms.

“There’s continuous talk about securing the border,” says Mrs. Rothwell. “We would contend our borders are secure because we aren’t able to find workers.”

The labor supply is even more restricted for farmers who use the government’s electronic system to verify whether new hires are eligible to work in the U.S.

Mr. Cox began to use E-Verify after his tree business, L.E. Cooke Co., in Visalia, Calif., lost a quarter of its workers to an immigration inspection in November 2010. Since then, he says, he has had to employ 10% more workers to complete the harvest, even though his current labor force is generally younger than the workers he was forced to let go. He says absenteeism is common, and some workers clock just enough hours to enable them to resume collecting unemployment.

After a fist fight erupted at the end of a work shift, Mr. Cox added to the manual for his workers that “no guns or knives are allowed” on the premises, even if left in cars.

“Only immigration reform can broaden my labor pool,” says Mr. Cox. “We need this thing done, and we need it quick.”

In Carrizo Springs, Texas, Mr. Frasier says he can’t rely on the shriveling population of workers who benefited from the 1986 legalization to keep his cantaloupe and onion farm productive. Mr. Frasier, whose family started planting onions 100 years ago, is among growers who have made trips to Washington to persuade House Republicans to act on a bill.

To counter the labor shortage and better compete for workers with oil companies in the nearby Eagle Ford area, he runs vans that ferry workers to his farm during the onion and cantaloupe harvests, which together stretch from November to July.

“Those cantaloupes don’t know if it’s Sunday or the Fourth of July when they’re ready to go,” he said a few weeks ago as he watched boxes of the fruit being loaded on trucks.

Write to Miriam Jordan at

Top U.S. Cities for techies; how is your city ranked?

Workforce Locator™ provides ammunition to build talent pipelines. For instance, to attract top tech talent you should offer competitive compensation; if your location is perceived as an obstacle, the comp packages can include relocation fees. By identifying tech hubs around the country and noting gaps between tech wages and non-tech wages, you’ll have the data to help you plan appealing comp and relocation packages. Citing the data in your recruitment messaging can help you attract the talent you need ASAP and assist you in building talent pipelines.

Scroll to the link for a slideshow from CIO dot com:

Geek America: The Top 10 U.S. Cities for Technology Jobs

By Diann Daniel

Take a photo tour through New York, Silicon Valley, Boston and the rest of America’s leading cities for high-tech jobs.

Which cities are the best for technology workers? The American Electronics Association sought to answer that question by analyzing U.S. cities on a host of factors, including which have the most tech jobs, which have the best tech job growth, which cities have the highest tech salaries, and which techies make the most money compared with their non-tech counterparts. (You’ll have to look into dating life and such on your own.)

So without further ado, takes you on a tour of geek America, arranged by which cities can claim the most high-tech jobs. (Click here to find out more on methodology or to weigh in about what makes the top high-tech cities great—or terrible.)

Can you cite “best practices” for workforce strategy?

Workforce Locator™ is a search directory/workforce planning companion – when you “ask” Workforce Locator questions you’re provided with comparative data for actionable business intelligence.

As this article asserts, to understand best practices relative to your workforce strategy, you need to recognize your  “Key Employee Demographics Required for Growth” (KEDRG).

What’s the Silver Bullet Workforce Strategy?

By Shirley Engelmeier

The Conference Room
Published August 09, 2013

Industry professionals raised an important question several times at this year’s Conference Board Corporate Diversity and Inclusion Conference in New York City: What are the best practices for workforce strategy?

Like almost every business question, there’s never one simple answer.  In marketing, does television advertising drive all your brand awareness? When investing, do you only buy one stock or bond? No you wouldn’t, and it’s really no different when looking at your workforce strategy. It takes an integrated approach, one that’s strategic and aligns with the overall business goals of the organization. That same logic holds true to get the best results from your workforce – your company’s best assets.

Take a look at three important business trends that are having an effect on the way business leaders (not only HR professionals) should move forward with their workforce strategy:

The customer base is rapidly changing
Globalization is creating new and emerging markets
Gen Y is entering the workforce and have new preferences/attitudes about the workplace

Changing consumers

It’s likely that over the last several years either your consumers and/or the ways that they consume or interact with your brand have changed.  To address this, understand your “Key Employee Demographics Required for Growth” (KEDRG). This means looking first at “who works here?” versus “who we serve” and making sure the two demographics align.

Truly forward-looking companies will also take into consideration “who will we serve” to account for rapidly changing demographics in emerging and existing markets.  These new demographics need to be accounted for within your workforce.


A study by the McKinsey Global Institute finds that by 2025 annual consumption in emerging markets will rise to $30 trillion, up from $12 trillion in 2010.  New data also shows that developing countries beyond BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) are growing rapidly.  Businesses will be forced to look at emerging markets and respond to growth outside of the U.S.  The best way to do that is by hiring and retaining a workforce that understands those markets and can help support your growth strategy.

Gen Y

The time is approaching when Baby Boomers will exit the workforce en masse and will be replaced by Gen Y.  To many business leaders, Gen Y is seen as the “problem child” cohort, but let’s back up and take a moment to reflect on the value they bring. Their DNA is inherently different than previous cohorts, meaning they are innately collaborative and team-oriented. They are more technologically savvy. They are more comfortable with diverse ethnic groups because they themselves are more diverse. The collaboration of cross-functional groups with diverse opinions will allow the best ideas to flourish, leading to continuous innovation for an organization.

The time is now for a new workforce strategy to make sense of these evolutions within the business landscape – a multifaceted strategy that creates and nurtures a workplace culture that can respond to the rapid global changes of business and ensure long-term survival and prosperity.

Shirley Engelmeier is the author of “Inclusion: The New Competitive Business Advantage” and CEO of InclusionINC, a leading global consulting and learning organization specializing in linking inclusion and diversity to better business results through greater engagement, productivity, innovation and retention.

The future of North American Auto Manufacturing may depend on a change in perception to create a skilled workforce

Workforce Locator™ jump starts college recruitment efforts; specify a major and related factors and Workforce Locator provides valuable data for focusing your talent search. Workforce Locator is simple to use; it can be used to help implement multi-tiered recruitment strategies.

This scenario below is a projection regarding the benefit that can be derived from a multi-tiered recruitment strategy:

The future skills requirement issue your company will be facing is a challenge that you see as the need to change perceptions about manufacturing. Changing such perceptions can begin by targeting students in junior high school and selling them on the opportunities the manufacturing industry offers.

It’s a branding challenge you believe demands industry wide collaboration, however, influencing your industry peers to join you could turn out to be a bigger hurdle than you expected – especially if your peers are resistant to targeting students who are that young.

Yet your industry peers might perceive value in using Workforce Locator for finding colleges within metro areas for the purpose of seeking out educators to convey what’s at stake and win their agreement.

Communicating the importance of your mission to college curriculum planners can influence them to use Workforce Locator and project workforce data up to the year 2018 for the design of relevant skills training course work.

It’s an applicable scenario for the mission David Grimmer of Denso Manufacturing has:

Denso Expansion Threatened by Unskilled Workforce
2013 CAR Management Briefing Seminars
Aug. 5, 2013 Byron Pope | WardsAuto

TRAVERSE CITY, MI – Denso would like to expand its presence in North America, but a lack of workers with necessary skills is holding back the supplier’s expansion plan.

David Grimmer, president-Denso Mfg. Canada, says young people in North America aren’t interested in manufacturing because of an incorrect image of what the jobs entail, noting the auto industry has a “branding challenge” it must address.

If auto makers and suppliers don’t join together to change the perception of the industry and work to recruit young people, the problem only will exacerbate, he says.

“If we don’t have all the people with the right skills at the right time, it not only is going to slow (the industry) but also some of the (continuous improvement) we need to be doing,” Grimmer says at the CAR Management Briefing Seminars here.

The economic crisis of 2008, when the automotive industry shed thousands of jobs, only worsened the industry’s image, he says, noting the recession was not just a blow to the economy, “but to the very essence and survival of manufacturing.”

Grimmer says the industry should follow Japan’s lead, which targets students in junior high school by selling them on the opportunities the manufacturing industry offers and, in some cases, even putting them on the payroll.

“A lot of people talk about training academies, and that’s great,” he says. “But let’s take it a step further and get young people interested in the idea and concept of technology and manufacturing.”

The lack of a skilled workforce hasn’t completely put the brakes on Denso’s North American expansion plans. The supplier plans to invest $1 billion in the region `over the next four years to increase the localization of products, processes and research and development.

The expansion is expected to add some 2,000 jobs in multiple product sectors, particularly powertrain, thermal systems and electronics, at one of the largest suppliers in the world.

Unlike most auto makers and suppliers, Denso designs and builds its own manufacturing systems, including robots, which increases its need for a highly skilled workforce, Grimmer says.

While expensive, building your own manufacturing equipment provides a competitive advantage.

“You can better optimize the relationship between processes and design, and in-house expertise is elevated,” he says. “We feel we have the competitive advantage for process speeds, accuracy and footprints.”

1,400 jobs to fill through a series of weekly job fairs

Workforce Locator™ allows you view openings due to growth and replacement and by comparing local to national replacement rates, you can determine your best locations for job fairs.

Based upon this report about the turnout at a job fair for positions at General Dynamics, if you’re in charge of planning job fairs, it would be wise to be prepared for an overwhelming response:

General Dynamics Starts the Search for 1,400 Employees
Posted: Jul 30, 2013 11:28 PM EST Updated: Jul 30, 2013 11:28 PM EST
By Sarah Blei

General Dynamics started the process of employing more than one thousand Bay County residents, Tuesday.

Recruiters from the company were at the Gulf Coast Workforce center performing interviews with hopes to find a full staff.

The Workforce Center was so overwhelmed with job hopefuls, that they were forced to shut down the fair about an hour and a half early in order to give everyone who showed up the chance to interview.

“We knew that it was going to be a big response, but we had no idea that it was going to be this big of a deal,” said Maria Goodwin, Director of Workforce Services at the Workforce Center.

Job seekers did their best not to get discouraged by the huge number of applicants.

“I heard they were looking for a lot of people,” said Tony Pallito, Job Seeker. “That’s the only hope I have.”

“I have a background in data entry and call center from Georgia, so I think I have a good chance,” said Talitha Williamson, Job Seeker.

According to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Bay County’s unemployment rate is 6.6 percent, which compared to the national average of 7.6 percent, is much better.

There are still some residents that have been searching for a stable job, for quite some time.

“I have currently been looking for a job for about three to four months now,” said Janay Miller, Job Seeker. “I’m looking for a job opportunity where I can be promoted to another position instead of just having a dead end job.”

“My number one concern is benefits and things like that,” said Williamson. “I have kids so I need that.”

General Dynamics announced earlier in the year, that they would be putting a call center in the old Sallie Mae building at Lynn Haven Industrial Park.

“There are 1,400 jobs in total and there are 7 different types of positions that they are hiring for, so there multiple jobs for each position,” said Goodwin.  “They are really concentrating right now on their manager and supervisor positions, but of course they got customer service positions and other positions as well that they are trying to fill. We are going to really evaluate the process so we’re going to have it flow a little bit smoother so we can handle the quantity of job seekers that we’re looking at today.”

The search for employees will continue through the end of August. The workforce center will host two General Dynamics Job Fairs per week, on Mondays 9am to 1pm and on Tuesdays Noon to 5pm.

Livability Indicators: Factors That Attract…

Workforce Locator™ is an asset to Talent Acquisition teams whose goal to attract top talent necessitates the ability to research quality of life issues and communicate this information in their recruitment messaging. Workforce Locator enables cost-of-living, and standard-of-living comparisons by MSA, county, industry, occupation and other key variables which help Talent Acquisition and Workforce Planning Professionals determine livability indicators.

Learn how the city of Portland Oregon is reaching a goal set in 2010 to attract talent:

New report details Portland’s creative workforce, quality of life

Published Date Wednesday, 31 July 2013 21:46
Written by Craig Lyons

In less than a decade, Portland’s number of creative professionals working in the city has increased 10 percent, according to a study released Wednesday, but there’s still work to be done.8-1-arts-creative-data

Creative Portland released a study, “Livability Indicators and Creative Workforce: How Portland Measures Up,” that noted the factors that attract a creative workforce to Portland, including cost of living, available jobs, safety, cultural activities and health. The study found that from 2002-2011 the number of creative professionals, which includes people who work in the arts, media, marketing, information technology and other fields, increased from 18,463 to 20,479.

Jennifer Hutchins, executive director of Creative Portland, said the group has known Portland is an attractive place for people to relocate, and members of the creative workforce are already coming to Portland.

“It does appear to be on the positive trend, which is good,” Hutchins said.

The study creates a baseline of information for Creative Portland to attract 10,000 creative professionals and entrepreneurs in 10 years, a goal set in 2010, by defining a creative workforce and the factors that give a city the quality of life those people seek. When the goal was first established, Hutchins said in order to get a sense of strategies to attract members of the creative workforce to Portland, there needed to be a baseline of information. She said the information in the report includes concrete data on the creative workforce and livability factors in Portland and other comparable cities.

Hutchins said people in the creative workforce primarily look for a high quality of life when it comes to relocating, and the study shows how Portland stacks up against Portsmouth, N.H.; Burlington, Vt.; Providence, R.I.; Boston; and Portland, Ore.

“We certainly believe that Portland is ripe for receiving this type of workforce,” she said.

The report highlighted that Portland’s areas of strength including a high percentage of people over the age of 24 with an advanced degree, the unemployment rate, the cost of living and commute time, according to the report.

One point the report highlights is the low number of people in creative occupations. The report said that in 2011 there were 20,479 creative occupation in Portland versus 52,945 in Cumberland County and 172,416 in Maine. As for comparable cities, the report said Boston had 174,954, Burlington had 10,882, Portland, Ore., had 147,543, Providence had 32,158 and Portsmouth had 12,655.

The report shows that the number of jobs in the creative economy are fewer in Portland than comparable cities, Hutchins said, but the city is starting on an upward trajectory. She said there’s fertile ground to build more jobs in the creative workforce in the city and move to the top of the list.

Hutchins said the report will give groups in Portland information that can help guide them in the right direction to improve the quality of life and attract more members of the creative workforce.

A study released last year found that arts-related nonprofits contributed nearly $50 million to Portland’s economy.

Creative Portland last June issued a study conducted by Americans for the Arts and the Ruth Lilly Fund for the Arts — titled “Arts and Economy Prosperity IV in Portland, Maine.”

The study looked only at arts and culture nonprofits and didn’t look at commercial enterprises.

The study found that nonprofit arts and culture created $49.2 million in economic activity in 2010 — $26.5 million was generated through arts and culture organizations and $22.6 million was created through event-related spending, according to the study. Arts and cultural activities in Portland generated $49.2 million, supported 1,535 full-time equivalent jobs and added $5.7 million in local and state government revenues, according to the report.

On a national level, the same study found that arts and cultural groups generated $135.2 billion in economic activity in 2010, according to a press release.

Next for LinkedIn: Who to Acquire?

It seems every day I’m reading about analytic management and measurement tools that support these initiatives in recruitment solutions: Workforce Planning/Forecasting with applications that parse Big Data, Talent Acquisition, with Assessment Tools for Cultural Matches and Social Media Recruiting with Message Delivery Platforms – think HootSuite, etc. There’s been significant M&A and investment activity with new ventures as well as established companies – just to name a few, STG backing Findly for the purchase of Bernard Hodes, Edison Ventures supporting RealMatch, Oracle buying Taleo, SAP buying Success Factors, IBM’s purchase of Kenexa…

Being a LNKD shareholder doesn’t give me any special insight regarding their next big move, yet I thought about what their plans might be for the patents they aquired from Digg and how they’d apply innovations such as Digg’s “vote up a story” to  improve their current offerings – LinkedIn Endorsements came to mind…

I also thought about a report I read naming Facebook, LinkedIn and others in patent infringement lawsuits by a company claiming to have broad-based patents that underlie basic social networking functions.

Yet with so much backing going to lesser known entities in the over $100 billion careers market/recruitment solutions/communications/advertising/marketing/sales space that the Street may perceive as threats to LinkedIn, I wondered how defensively or offensively motivated LinkedIn would be to the pursue lesser knowns and/or established players – perhaps by building a better Applicant Tracking System (beyond whatever advanced recruiter tools that might be expected of LinkedIn).  I also considered the idea of LinkedIn possibly involved in R&D or acquisitions that would make them competitive with employee performance measurement entities like Kenexa…

Most of all, I imagined companies with workforce planning and predictive analytics capabilities as leading potential LinkedIn takeover targets. In fact, I can’t justify that statement without deep research yet I was in confirmation bias with this superficial investigation I did with a quick USPTO search:

LinkedIn as Term 1: in Field 1: All Fields. Results of Search in US Patent Collection db for: LinkedIn: 290 patents.

Of course, a search with LinkedIn in *all* fields would return any reference to LinkedIn – and there are plenty of patents that mention Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

Nevertheless, I was curious about what I might discover by refining the search this way:

LinkedIn AND predictive: Results of Search in US Patent Collection db for: (LinkedIn AND predictive): 25 patents.

These struck me as intriguing:

2.     8,489,527     Full-Text     Method and apparatus for neuropsychological modeling of human experience and purchasing behavior

9.     8,437,776     Full-Text     Methods to determine the effectiveness of a physical advertisement relating to a physical business location

11.     8,422,994     Full-Text     Intuitive computing methods and systems

12.     8,417,715     Full-Text     Platform independent plug-in methods and systems for data mining and analytics

13.     8,364,171     Full-Text     Systems and methods to determine the current popularity of physical business locations

This is partial information for #8,489,527:

Inventors: van Coppenolle; Bart (Leuven, BE), Vandormael; Philip W. J. (Leuven, BE)
Assignee:     Holybrain BVBA (Leuven, BE)
Family ID:     45973809
Appl. No.:     13/278,789
Filed:     October 21, 2011

This is partial information for #8,437,776:

Inventors:     Busch; James David (Tempe, AZ)
Assignee:     Enhanced Geographic LLC (Tempe, AZ)
Family ID:     39827412
Appl. No.:     13/556,195
Filed:     July 23, 2012

This is partial information for #8,422,994:

Inventors:     Rhoads; Geoffrey B. (West Linn, OR), Rodriguez; Tony F. (Portland, OR)
Assignee:     Digimarc Corporation (Beaverton, OR)
Family ID:     44507193
Appl. No.:     13/401,332
Filed:     February 21, 2012

This is partial information for #8,417,715:

Inventors:     Bruckhaus; Tilmann (Cupertino, CA), Kamalakannan; Ramann (Sunnyvale, CA)
Family ID:     47999339
Appl. No.:     12/339,088
Filed:     December 19, 2008

This is partial information for #8,364,171:

Inventors:     Busch; James David (Tempe, AZ)
Assignee:     Enhanced Geographic LLC (Tempe, AZ)
Family ID:     39827412
Appl. No.:     13/555,202
Filed:     July 23, 2012

Then, I further refined the search – as this text indicates:

Results of Search in US Patent Collection db for: ((LinkedIn AND workforce) AND planning): 2 patents.

1.     8,386,639     Full-Text     System and method for optimized and distributed resource management

This is partial information for # 8,386,639:

Inventors:     Galvin; Brian R. (Seabeck, WA)
US Assignee:     New Voice Media Limited (Basingstoke, GB)
Family ID:     47721342
Appl. No.:     13/602,048
Filed:     August 31, 2012

Finally, I searched for LinkedIn as an Assignee Name in Field 1: Results of Search in US Patent Collection db for: AN/LinkedIn: 4 patents.

Hits 1 through 4 out of 4

PAT. NO.        Title
1.     8,473,503     Full-Text     Method and system for semantic search against a document collection

2 .    8,452,777     Full-Text     Dynamic submission and preference indicator

3.     8,402,374     Full-Text     Audience platform

4.     8,010,460     Full-Text     Method and system for reputation evaluation of online users in a social networking scheme

Searching outside of USPTO led me to this information from Justia Patents:

LinkedIn Patents

Application number: 20130185629
Abstract: An audience platform is disclosed. In a first example case, a first question is received. A preference event associated with the first question is received. A score is determined for the first question based at least in part on the preference. In a second example case, indications of a first and second potential interviewee are received. Preference events associated with the first and second potential interviewees are received. Scores are determined for the first and second potential interviewees based at least in part on the received preference events. A designated interviewee is selected based on the first and second scores. In a third example case, indications of a first and second potential awardee are received. Preference events associated with the first and second potential awardee are received. Scores are determined for the first and second potential awardees based at least in part on the received preference events.
Type: Application
Filed: March 5, 2013
Issued: July 18, 2013
Inventor: Linkedin Corporation
Application number: 20130179454
Abstract: An audience platform is disclosed. In a first example case, a first question is received. A preference event associated with the first question is received. A score is determined for the first question based at least in part on the preference. In a second example case, indications of a first and second potential interviewee are received. Preference events associated with the first and second potential interviewees are received. Scores are determined for the first and second potential interviewees based at least in part on the received preference events. A designated interviewee is selected based on the first and second scores. In a third example case, indications of a first and second potential awardee are received. Preference events associated with the first and second potential awardee are received. Scores are determined for the first and second potential awardees based at least in part on the received preference events.
Type: Application
Filed: February 28, 2013
Issued: July 11, 2013
Patent number: 8473503
Abstract: Disclosed in one example is a method for searching. In some examples, the method includes receiving an unstructured search query, parsing the unstructured search query into a plurality of structured search attributes using a search term attribute dictionary, performing a search of a structured database based upon the plurality of structured search attributes to identify a plurality of search results, populating a plurality of form fields of a search form with the plurality of structured search attributes, and displaying the search form in association with the search results.
Type: Grant
Filed: July 13, 2011
Issued: June 25, 2013
Assignee: LinkedIn Corporation
Inventors: Heyning Cheng, Daniel Tunkelang
Patent number: 8452777
Abstract: Indicating preference for a content contribution is disclosed. A request for information associated with the content contribution is received from a first entity. The status of the content contribution is determined. A response is provided to the first entity. Determining the status of the content contribution includes determining whether a submission of the content contribution was previously received.
Type: Grant
Filed: February 1, 2008
Issued: May 28, 2013
Assignee: LinkedIn Corporation
Inventor: R. Kevin Rose
Application number: 20130097531
Abstract: Detecting, for a content item, associated preference events is disclosed. For the content item, a plurality of preference events from a plurality of users is received. The received preference events are accumulated. Associated events are detected. The effect of the events is reduced when assigning a status to the item.
Type: Application
Filed: November 29, 2012
Issued: April 18, 2013
Inventor: LinkedIn Corporation
Application number: 20130091436
Abstract: Displaying a preference by a user of a content contribution is disclosed. A preference event by the user is detected. A plurality of detected events is stored. In response to a query from a client, at least a portion of the stored detected events is stored. At least a portion of the received events is displayed in an interface.
Type: Application
Filed: November 29, 2012
Issued: April 11, 2013
Patent number: 8402374
Abstract: An audience platform is disclosed. In a first example case, a first question is received. A preference event associated with the first question is received. A score is determined for the first question based at least in part on the preference. In a second example case, indications of a first and second potential interviewee are received. Preference events associated with the first and second potential interviewees are received. Scores are determined for the first and second potential interviewees based at least in part on the received preference events. A designated interviewee is selected based on the first and second scores. In a third example case, indications of a first and second potential awardee are received. Preference events associated with the first and second potential awardee are received. Scores are determined for the first and second potential awardees based at least in part on the received preference events.
Type: Grant
Filed: August 18, 2009
Issued: March 19, 2013
Assignee: LinkedIn Corporation
Inventor: R. Kevin Rose
Application number: 20130031090
Abstract: Techniques for identifying and presenting member profiles similar to a source member profile are described. With some embodiments, a general recommendation engine is used to extract features from member profiles, and then store the extracted features, including any computed, derived or retrieved profile features, in an enhanced member profile. In real-time, the general recommendation engine processes client requests to identify member profiles similar to a source member profile by comparing select profile features stored in the enhanced member profile with corresponding profile features of the source member profile, where the comparison results in several similarity sub-scores that are then combined in accordance with directives set forth in a configuration file. Finally, the member profiles with the highest similarity scores corresponding with the user-selected member profile are selected, and in some instances, presented to a user.
Type: Application
Filed: July 29, 2011
Issued: January 31, 2013
Inventors: Christian Posse, Abhishek Gupta, Anmol Bhasin, Monica Rogati
Application number: 20120191776
Abstract: The present disclosure relates to methods and systems for recommending a context to a user of a social network service, based on detecting an interaction with some item of web content. With some embodiments, after detecting an interaction with a web document, a topic to which the web document is related is determined. A context, such as an online or offline forum, known to be associated with the topic is then identified. Finally, the identified context is presented to the user as a recommendation for a content source that is likely to be of interest to the user.
Type: Application
Filed: January 20, 2011
Issued: July 26, 2012
Inventors: Jennifer Granito Ruffner, Allen Blue, Sarah Jean Culberson Alpern
Application number: 20120191715
Abstract: The present disclosure relates to methods and systems for clustering individual items of web content, and then utilizing activity and profile data to both select clusters of content items for presentation to a user, and determining how the selected clusters of content items are presented to the user of an online social network service. With some embodiments, the activity data are derived by monitoring and detection interactions with the individual items of web content by an individual user, or other users with whom the individual user is related, as established via, and defined by, the social network service.
Type: Application
Filed: January 20, 2011
Issued: July 26, 2012
Inventors: Jennifer Granito Ruffner, Eishay Smith, Joseph Paul Betz, Ian McCarthy
Application number: 20120072432
Abstract: A network update interface is presented to a user on a network to display network updates from other users of a mutual social-networking site. The network updates shared by the other users are gathered in a stream and supplied to a facet-filtering system including a network update interface. The user controls the display of certain network update items according to facet-filter characteristics enabled in facet-filter selection panels in the network update interface. The facet-filter characteristics are used by a facet filter to select certain network updates for display to the user in the network update interface. Trending links to further articles with content corresponding to the facet-filter characteristics are displayed to the user according to greatest popularity among the other users. Links to the profiles of the users sharing the articles are also provided in the network update interface.
Type: Application
Filed: September 20, 2011
Issued: March 22, 2012
Assignee: Linkedin Corporation
Inventors: Alejandro Crosa, Esteban Kozak, Yasuhiro Matsuda, Xiaoyang Gu, Hao Yan, John Wang, Chanh Nguyen
Patent number: 8010460
Abstract: A method and system for evaluating the reputation of a member of a social networking system is disclosed. Consistent with an embodiment of the invention, one or more attributes associated with a social networking profile of a member of a social network are analyzed. Based on the analysis, a ranking, rating or score is assigned to a particular category of reputation. When requested, the ranking, rating or score is displayed to a user of the social network.
Type: Grant
Filed: September 1, 2005
Issued: August 30, 2011
Assignee: Linkedin Corporation
Inventors: James Duncan Work, Allen Blue, Reid Hoffman


Consulting USPTO and simply entering LinkedIn as an Assignee name shouldn’t be perceived as if it will provide conclusive information regarding LinkedIn’s IP and/or products in development, but not finding a strong tie-in to the sort of data accessed and manipulated with tools such as Workforce Locator (and WL competitors) has me feeling more convinced that my thought relating to the possible appeal of these sophisticated analytical recruitment solutions as a LinkedIn offering is a solid idea. The next step should be actionable; to figure out who LinkedIn would pursue. -BJ Giglio

A distributed workforce model blends local hiring with key employee transfers

Large enterprises as well as smaller companies in expansion mode can utilize Workforce Locator™ to support a distributed workforce model. This article is about Mitchell Communications, a smaller company with a distributed workforce:

Mitchell Communications Expands To Chicago, New York

Asia Pacific, Global, North America

Sarah Clark

Aarti Shah 24 Jul 2013

FAYETTEVILLE, AR  — Mitchell Communications is expanding from its hub in Arkansas to New York and Chicago, while still retaining its distributed workforce model.

Mitchell is a $14.5 million consumer shop with 85 full-time employees across five states and another 30 project employees distributed across 30 states. Its client roster includes names like Walmart, Sam’s Club, Hilton Hotels & Resorts and Proctor & Gamble. Earlier this year, the firm — a darling of agency of the year awards, in part, for its staggering growth — was acquired by the Dentsu Network, a worldwide network of agencies operated by a Japanese marketing powerhouse.

The majority of its workforce will remain in Arkansas, while three people will be in both its Chicago and New York operations. Sarah Larsen, most recently SVP at Ogilvy PR, has been hired as GM and SVP of the Chicago office. Tracy Shea, formerly of Coyne, will be VP of digital and social strategy based in New York; and Dee Bhambhani, previously with Hill+Knowlton Strategies, has been appointed director in the New York office. Because agency CEO Elise Mitchell is often in New York, no GM for that office has been named.

“We’ve taken a blended strategy to hire locally in each region and also transfer existing Mitchell employees to the new office,” said Mitchell. “We’ve built a powerful agency culture throughout the years and now we have the challenge of transporting that no matter where we go.” 

The three offices will retain Mitchell’s single profit-and-loss structure and the new locales will draw upon the Fayetteville office for creative and digital; research and insights; training and editorial services.

The decision to open new offices was “entirely client-driven because of the rapid growth of the firm and the need to get closer with clients and also collaborate more closely with partner [Dentsu] agencies to scale nationally and globally,” said president Sarah Clark.

Sister Dentsu agencies include mcgarrybowen and 360i, among others.