This blog post is out of the ordinary. We are human resource experts not marketing or social media experts by any means. We have been asked way too many times and have had to explain in painstaking detail the same question:
How did In HIS Name HR climb to the top slot in Google’s search response to the query for “Christian Human Resources”
Having been peppered with this question from a wide array of sources, we decided to answer it here, and share our methodology.
Social media can be confusing to many people, but in reality it is very simple. Social media programs are nothing more than tools that allow like-minded people to communicate. What is critical to remember is that not all people use all programs. Therefore, to reach a large and diverse group of people, you need to reach them where they are, instead of hoping they’ll somehow stumble across you.
Many people make the mistake of only using Facebook, or Twitter, when they attempt to market their voice to the world. But what about all those people who use other social media programs instead, those who are not on Facebook or Twitter? If you rely only on those two platforms, you are essentially missing out on millions of potential people who won’t hear your message.
What you want to do is essentially send your same message out through all the various social media programs. However, you will need to tailor the way in which your message is sent out to accommodate the differing requirements or constraints of each social media platform.
To start, make sure what you present fits your voice—that is, how you want people to perceive you and your services. It is a combination of your mission, vision and values. Your voice can also be defined as a “niche” that you are working to create for your organization.
In just 6 short years we have been able to develop a strong social media audience.
Many job seekers spend countless hours on job boards and resume submission sites. There is a better way. Enjoy learning how with Jamaal Abdul-Alim of Diverse Issues In Higher Education. The central theme of the article is to not get bogged down in the hiring funnel. The following is an excerpt from the article.
Despite the growing number of websites designed to connect college graduates to jobs, job seekers should focus on alternative ways to get in contact with the people who hire and fire.
That is the advice that Mark Griffin, a veteran human resources professional, offers in his newly released book, titled College to Career: The Student Guide to Career and Life Navigation.
“I would have to say that college students and others have very little chance of making it though the filter to actually get an interview, let alone make it to the point of job offer,” Griffin told Diverse, citing the “hiring funnel” and data that show that only 25 out of every 100 résumés among applicants will be seen by a hiring manager, and just four to six of those will lead to an actual interview.
“Some of these vacancies receive thousands of applicants per posting,” Griffin said. “Therefore your chances are decreased dramatically.”
Griffin’s remarks come at a time of increased emphasis on a college education as the means to a good job. It also comes at a time of a proliferation of websites — some free and some paid — meant to connect college graduates to the marketplace.
Do You Know Which Career Path to Follow After You Graduate?
This year, over 1.6 million students will graduate college with a Bachelor’s degree. After spending tens of thousands of dollars on their education, many will find themselves absorbed in to the workforce in a career field unrelated to their college major. These once hopeful students will become discouraged and uncertain about their future, some may spend many years feeling unfulfilled in a career where their passions and purpose are unmet.
You can avoid this predicament; there is a better way.
In College to Career: The Student Guide to Career and Life Navigation, accomplished human resources professional, author, and consultant Mark A. Griffin helps readers to:
Target the career ideally suited to their personality
Define their unique voice
Set up practical, actionable steps through each stage of college
Translate their education to a meaningful career
This is not a self-help book for finding employment. This is a book to help you create your best options, now and into the future. It is a book to steer you through careful planning and vision casting, toward achieving and enjoying a satisfying life professionally, financially, and personally.
As a bonus, this book includes several interviews from top experts in their fields. You will learn from leaders in organizations which includes: the Dallas Cowboys, Management Recruiters International, Florida A & M, James Madison University, Hope International and more. They will share their tips for success as well as hurdles they have overcome.
Whether you are a student just starting college, a parent wanting to guide your child in the right direction, or a graduate seeking direction in your career, you have come to the right place. Don’t waste another minute living aimlessly. Begin your future today!
Interviews With Workplace Experts From Across America
As an HR consultant, I often coach people in their forties who have suddenly realized that they are working at a job they hate. After many years of serving in their field and suffering through many years of discontent, they recognize how truly unhappy they have been.
Many times, people blame their unhappiness and professional dissatisfaction on other people, such as their bosses or co-workers, or their companies, when the root cause lies in the fact that…
They are simply working in the wrong field!
I am honored to have been a guest blogger on Alan Collins blog.
We have been asked by Amazon Press to help get the word out about their recent publication, “Help Wanted: Devotions for Job Seekers”. Having career coached hundreds of job seekers for the past 8 years, I appreciate this valuable resource now available for job seekers. We are including a sample for you to review, please share with those you know who might need encouragement in these tumultuous economic times.
On July 9, 2012, Businessweek.com posted, “Recent reports have signaled the U.S. recovery is weakening.” The nation’s unemployment rate remains at 8.2%, meaning 12.7 million Americans are out of work. Whether one is a recent college graduate or an experienced worker, the stress of a job search can be overwhelming. To energize, equip, and encourage those who are unemployed, underemployed, or badly employed, career counselor Aaron M. Basko has written “Help Wanted: Devotions for Job Seekers.”
This inspirational volume provides 60 days of encouragement and advice for job seekers and career changers. Using Scripture verses, practical suggestions, and honest anecdotes, the author seeks to strengthen faith and renew hope during the job hunt.
In the book’s foreword, R. Paul Stevens, marketplace mentor and author of The Other Six Days, Doing God’s Business, Taking Your Soul to Work, and Work Matters writes: “In this extraordinary volume Aaron Basko has crafted a holistic process of reflection, action and spiritual development that could serve us all in the lifelong pilgrimage of finding the right fit for our daily work.”
Also praising the book, business coach Craig Simons and author Katherine Simons (Loving Your Neighbor: A Faith Community’s Response to the Unemployment Crisis), note, “The personal stories are alive and effective in drawing readers to our source of comfort and encouragement. The advice in One Small Step for Today challenges the reader to apply practical and necessary discipline to the job search.”
During the 2009 Thanksgiving season, my son Adam and I were talking about the fun we had when he was younger, especially backpacking. He mentioned he would love to take a weeklong trip, but without hesitation he said I would never be able to make it, that I was too heavy and probably would have a heart attack! That hit me pretty hard. I also felt an obligation to lead a healthy lifestyle as a Vice President of Human Resources. It is somewhat hypocritical to promote health and wellness to reduce medical expenses, and at the same time be obese! Realizing I was embarrassingly out of shape for a 42 year old, I made a commitment to change my lifestyle.
I started exercising, changed my diet based on Eating for Life by Bill Phillips, and spent time reflecting on my relationship with Christ.
It was a gray day in the fall of 2003. I looked around the room at all the other walking wounded, the outplaced, downsized, reorganized and laid off professionals I had come to know during the past several weeks. As we were heading into the Christmas season, I would say in jest that we were just stuck in the land of misfit toys. It was funny for a few seconds, until the stark reality of the situation struck our hearts.
There may be times in your career when you find yourself stuck in the land of misfit toys.
We were participants in outplacement with the firm of Lee Hecht Harris, tucked neatly into the suburbs of Detroit, where thousands would need their services over the next decade. The firm would, of course, enjoy prosperity; however, it was unfortunately at the expense of others. James Craft, the leader of the misfit toys or, better stated, Career Coach, would lead us through this difficult time. Some folks would come and go fairly quickly, but, for the most part, many came but few left.
One key takeaway from my weeks of time with the group and James was something that James harped over again and again: Don’t put your eggs in one basket — diversify your career and time into different areas. Although he made the importance clear to start a side hobby business, invest in a franchise outside your daily job, create a plan to have multiple streams of income, etc., I really did not get it until almost 10 years later. James, I believe, was a visionary; he knew what was coming to the workplace years in advance. But I, like many others, still had an eye toward the past, and yearned for a long-term relationship with a company, just like my father had had.
I guess it was because, in my heart, in my core, my own desire would be to do just that, devote 30 years to a company and then retire. I was still thinking how people should be able to give their time and years of service to the company and have the company return the favor with security. Today’s reality is that only a very small portion of people in the workplace will realize this rare relationship. It is no longer the norm, and definitely scarcer than it was back in 2003.
It is highly unlikely that you will work for one company for the rest of your life.
It won’t happen. Even people who went into the military and government service are now finding no long-term commitment there. Layoffs have started and will continue in these sectors. As a result, you will work longer than your parents had to work. So, you had best like what you’re doing, because you will be doing it for a long time! Most important, you are going to require multiple income streams to make it. A paycheck is not going to cut it. The quicker you figure this out, accept it and embrace it, the better off you are. Don’t be like me and wait almost 10 years! If I had listened to James, I would be further ahead in developing these streams than I am today.
So what has transpired since 2003 for my own career path? Well, most significant is that I have given my life to Jesus. My personal desire for security through employers has been released and traded for the eternal security of Jesus in my heart. I have navigated through an additional downsizing, followed by two other companies; both of which have shrunk considerably because of the changes in manufacturing coupled with the downturn in the economy.
One way to diversify yourself and enhance your capabilities is by volunteering. I have donated much of my time over the past seven years helping job seekers who have either been laid off, downsized or are just plain unhappy with what they are doing career-wise. By doing so, I inadvertently developed my career coaching skills and also created a model to help people navigate the exploration of the difficult task of redefining their career path.
I have also created various forms of cash streams. A good friend of mine, Allan Collins, of Success in HR, calls it “side hustling.” It means finding something you enjoy doing and monetizing it. Allan sold comic books for years, diversifying his income. Many people start an eBay business or an online portal selling specialty items. I started a Internet Media Business separate from my HR consulting firm that not only provides a cash flow for my retirement savings, but also prospers the sales agent and gives back to a counseling ministry for each sale made.
I launched an additional offering in conjunction with my HR firm, based on my 20-plus years of coaching job seekers: ChristianCareerCoaching.com. This has proved a success for my business beyond my expectations but, as important, has made great impact in righting people in their careers.
I believe that God wants us to be happy at work!
Work should not be awful. If it is, God is telling us to make a change!
This new normal requires continuing education, as well. I was fortunate to have received a BA in Human Resources and a Masters in Business Administration. Several years into my career, I attended several Executive Education programs at the University of Michigan. But, after those formal programs, I did little in furthering my knowledge. I did become Green belt, qualified in Six Sigma, and taught many programs through the years in the subject areas of Finance, Human Resources, Supervision, and Training and Development. But delivering training is not the same as working in that field. Except for the occasional seminar, I felt myself stagnating. So, just recently, I invested in myself and my firm and spent time becoming a certified practitioner in the Myers Briggs Type Instrument (MBTI). It was well worth the time and dollar investment, as I increased my skills and my credibility with my clients.
So, the new normal as I see it is that you cannot rely any longer on a long-term commitment by an employer. It is statistically improbable. Volunteer and enrich yourself and others. Follow James’s and Allan’s advice and create a “side hustling” cash stream. And, finally, never stop learning. Step out of your comfort zone and rekindle your relationship with learning. Enter a Master’s program, get certified on a program, get a license for use of a program, or become a practitioner of a tool that can enhance your marketability. If you do all of these, you will become more resilient to the New Career Normal.
Before publishing this, I shared this with several people, all of whom have considered at least one of these points. What are your thoughts? Is there a new normal we are missing? We would love to hear your opinion.
Many people think about them, but very few actually have them. Personal Visions and Goals. Personal Visions are important to have. If you have one and focus on it often, you will ultimately steer your life toward obtaining it.
Think of your vision as your compass, your GPS, or — my personal favorite — a lighthouse at the beach, to lead you through the storms and past the rocky ocean waves you’ll encounter as you make your way toward your final destination.
In developing your vision, ask yourself:
What do I want?
It may sound like a simple enough question, but it’s one of the toughest to answer.
So, ask yourself again.
What do I really, really, truly want for myself?
If I could have the kind of life that would make my heart sing, what would it look like?
At this point, your heart may be beating a bit faster. Can you really have that kind of life?
Yes, I believe you can. I’ve done it and I’ve helped a lot of clients lead passionate and fulfilling lives. It starts by defining what that life could look like.
Now, let’s talk goals. You must establish personal goals in order to get to where you want to go, as outlined in your Vision. As an example, here are some parts of my vision and related goals this year:
Start a business that will grow itself, ultimately turning it into a non-profit;
Manage time more effectively to end my work day by 5PM in order to spend more time with my wife and daughter;
Finish and publish my book;
Expand my prayer life by surrounding myself with prayer experts;
Spend quality time with my wife by planning two weekends away with each other;
Attend at least one in-person seminar or conference to further hone my skills or personal growth;
Share how to build “Kingdom Minded” organizations by speaking at ten to twelve events or radio stations this year;
Do a five-night backpacking trip;
Grow my social media presence by 20 percent;
Give yourself permission to dream about your ideal life, even if you spend just five to ten minutes a day, and consider the following:
What really is my relationship with God? Have I put my full trust in Him?
If I could have more of something in my life, what would it be?
What should I eliminate from my life for good?
Which relationships do I need to nurture, or which ones should I release?
What is my relationship to money?
My secret passion or dream is…
What am I most afraid of?
What habits should I quit?
What can I do to bring more joy into my daily life?
What am I grateful for?
These questions are just a starting point, so take into account all major aspects of your life – friends and family (immediate and extended), church friends, charity work and, of course, fun and recreation. Also, examine thoughts centering on your daily career, activities, spending habits, your personal wellness and fitness, spirituality, and, of course, your spouse.
Got Vision? We would love to know if you have walked through this process before. What was the outcome? Be a difference maker today and inspire a reader by leaving us comments. Have a great week.