Recruiting Mature Workers Just Got Easier

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Did you know that AARP, the huge organization to advance the interests of people as they age in the United States, has launched a job board? Take a look at the new board here.

My trial run on the board revealed that it’s got all of the basic features job seekers expect to see in a job search site. One suggestion I’d make is that if the tool is meant to appeal to recruits who may be looking for flexible scheduling or an alternative work arrangement, maybe more categories are in order beyond full-time and part-time. The options for employers posting and reviewing applicants look useful and appropriate at first glance. But one thing really jumped out at me.

If your organization signs an Employer Pledge, it can earn a 30% discount on job posting packages during the launch period. Standard packages begin at $199, and Enhanced packages, with increased visibility for job postings, start at $399. More information can be found on this page.

According the AARP, the Employer Pledge involves the following:

Working with AARP, participating organizations have signed a pledge that they:

  • Believe in equal opportunity for all workers, regardless of age
  • Believe that 50+ workers should have a level playing field in their ability to compete for and obtain jobs
  • Recognize the value of experienced workers
  • Recruit across diverse age groups and consider all applicants on an equal basis.

Here is the AARP Employer Pledge overview, if you’d like to check it out.

The tagline is “Experience Valued.” As many baby boomers, and soon, Gen Xers join the ranks of age 50+ workers, and organizations look for ways to cut costs by shedding more expensive salaries in favor of early-career professionals, remembering the value of experience is critical. A 2015 AARP Study (analyzed by the Society for Human Resource Management, SHRM) concluded that the value of employing older workers is substantial, while the incremental cost of hiring and retaining them is only 1-2% over earlier career employees.

SHRM and the SHRM Foundation found the aging workforce worthy of a substantial research initiative in 2016. The results and tools for successfully managing an aging workforce are detailed and useful. According to the SHRM Foundation’s Guide to Leveraging the Talents of Mature Employees, the population of younger workers with the skills needed for success in today’s environment is too small to step into the shoes of the aging Baby Boomer generation. As these less experienced workers build their skills and experience, aging workers can take advantage of flexibility in scheduling and role design, if employers are willing to offer it, in order to fill gaps.  SHRM’s suggestions for recruiting mature workers include identifying sources of talent that will include older adults. AARP’s new job board could be a good fit for that need.

Older workers often have wisdom, institutional knowledge, experience and a strong work ethic. Check the data, and be sure you aren’t overestimating the costs, and underestimating the benefits, of recruiting, hiring and retaining them.

Photo credit: tec_estromberg via Foter.com / CC BY

 

Friday Facts: Puppy Crate Training

Friday Facts-Puppy Crate Training

I have been reading a lot about puppy crate training lately. Disclosure: I am a poor crate trainer. Fourteen years ago, I tried to do it with my first Doodle, and failed miserably. I hate hearing puppies cry.

I read a lot of articles about the right way to crate train, and learned that the best way to do it is to get the puppy to want to go in the crate of his own accord. This is easier said than done. This puppy will even avoid eating his food in order to stay away from the crate. I put the bowl inside the crate and the most he will do is to take a few bites, with his back legs stretched way out in order to keep them out of the crate.

Next I will be trying to give him some bits of chicken or so-called “high-value treats” to get him to venture further in. In the meantime, here is what my puppy likes to do:

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Photo Credit: Kelly Marinelli

Friday Facts-Personal Branding

personal branding

Like many regular working people, I’ve always wanted to have a good reputation at work and in my community and profession. But until I launched my own company, it didn’t really occur to me that I needed to think about what my personal brand is saying about me. In this age of social media and easy and constant flow of information, not thinking about my personal brand really isn’t an option anymore.

But this is me we’re talking about. I’m 0% interested in being perceived as something I’m not. Will my personal brand be something positive, or just a flawed, real thing, like I am? How do people deal with this juxtaposition between putting your best foot forward all the time, and being an actual genuine person?

First of all, what do I need to consider when building a personal brand? Here are some articles I read on Entrepreneur.com:

Three Simple Ways to Make your Personal Brand Stand Out : 1) a professional photo, 2) be discoverable and 3) unique business cards. I think I already had those things covered before I started thinking about personal branding. That can’t be all there is to it, right?

Okay, I’ll try this one-Five Steps to Build your Personal Brand. Five’s got to be better than three simple ways.

  • Understanding and being your authentic self; yes. That resonates (see above).
  • Speaking engagements-okay, that takes a little more work, but I get it. I’ve done lots of presenting and training as part of my work, so I just need to stretch a little to come up with a compelling talk that really provides value and that people might want to hear.
  • Write thought leadership articles and participate in interviews? I guess you could call this little blog “writing” but not sure it passes for “thought leadership.” And the only times I’ve been interviewed have been accidental-I was in the right place at the right time. Guess I’ve got some work to do here.
  • Build your online presence. Yup. I think I get that, but I definitely have a healthy respect for how much work is involved.
  • Remain a student of your industry. Got it. I am super interested in what’s going on in HR-I couldn’t hardly help but consume news, information and analysis about it.

And finally, Nine Reasons your Personal Brand isn’t Resonating. These mostly have to do with you being a bad listener, putting out crappy content, not putting it in the right places and not helping consumers of your content make a connection. Definitely good tips.

So, after I reading all of these articles and seeing, frankly, pretty vanilla advice that didn’t really surprise me, I got out of my HR head and let my mind wander to the first name that springs up when I think of personal branding with no BS. For me, it’s Gary Vaynerchuk. @GaryVee knows how to tell you the straight story with a minimum of words (some NSFW), and convey both the commitment and the opportunity involved in personal branding.

Gary has a style that appeals to me. He just puts it out there, doesn’t sugarcoat the work it takes to be successful, and gives you the tools to try it for yourself. There’s no biz buzzword garbage, just straight advice. I like it! Because I’m a marketing noob, I went for his Udemy class on building a personal brand, because I want it all in one place. But if you’re not ready to pull the trigger, just follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat to get the advice he gives away all the time.

There are also great resources out there for specific branding challenges. One example is that Lida Citroen at Lida360 specializes in personal branding for transitioning veterans, although her advice works great for the rest of us too. If you want more hands-on help, Lida and her crew can definitely help you find success.

Feel free to tell me what you think of my personal brand. It’s a work in progress.

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Photo credit: Anne Worner via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

Friday Facts: Self-Improvement Edition

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Today I am curious about the cottage industry of leadership development and coaching, and all of the nebulous advice I see out in social media telling us all how to have a better career. These are just a few representative articles of the type I see every day:

Ten Unexpected Things that Will Radically Improve Your Life

Nine Things Emotionally Intelligent People Won’t Do

Five Traits of Successful Leaders

Want to Succeed at a Startup? Focus on These Five Qualities

Ten Secrets to Living a Vibrantly Happy, Healthy Life

Surprising Habits of Truly Powerful People

I’ve concluded that we are all starving for this kind of advice, because it’s so ubiquitous in the places where professionals gather, online and in person at conferences. We all are longing for a roadmap to personal and professional success. Wouldn’t it be great if there was an actual way to just follow the directions and do it right?

But this is just one piece of that puzzle. The rest has to be gained through experience, self-awareness, reflection, and, frankly, a willingness to be vulnerable and accept one’s own failures and learn from them. I know how to put on a mask of confidence, capability, understanding and leadership-but if I’m not genuine and trustworthy, you will sniff me out as a fraud and reject whatever it is I have to say, and you certainly won’t want to accept me as a genuine leader.

As much as I love sitting around reading these articles and thinking smugly, “mmmm, hmmm, I knew that,” it takes a lot more work to get to real emotional intelligence, recognition, respect, effective leadership and success than what I will read online or hear from even the most engaging speaker at a conference.

Guess I’ll keep reading, just in case. But I’ll make time to do a little thinking too.

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Photo credit: Unhindered by Talent via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

5 Tips for Getting Ready for Puppy: Friday Facts

puppies

It’s time for a new puppy at our house! Our grandpa dog, the friend that keeps appearing in my posts, is 13. He’s a big guy, and we are enjoying every additional day of health and vitality he has at this point. Being that he is an absolute legend and totally irreplaceable, the best we can hope for is that he can cuddle our new puppy through his weaning and adjustment to a new home, and teach him all of the great tricks of getting along in our human world. In the best case scenario, the new puppy will be half the friend he has been to us, and he will have a furry companion in his old age.

Oh, who am I kidding? We will be in love with this puppy in two seconds flat, and we won’t even notice the chewed shoes and puddles on the floor.

Anyway, kind of like some parents I know who wait a long time in between having kids, we now are in a situation where lots of things have changed since the last time we had a puppy in the house. So today’s Friday Facts is focused on what the hell I need to do to get ready for this.

  1. Veterinarian Care: Cesar Milan recommends several great tips for keeping our puppy healthy, and one of the items on the list is spaying or neutering the pup at 4-6 months of age. Also critical is ensuring our puppy is vaccinated, dewormed, and kept free of fleas and ticks.
  2. Budgeting for Puppy Needs: Aside from puppy food and the vet care mentioned above, it’s recommended that we plan on at least a few hundred dollars per year in expenses. One of the things that surprised me about having a Goldendoodle is that he needs haircuts on a regular basis, and for a dog of his size, that can easily cost close to $100 with a tip for your groomer. And you absolutely can’t do it yourself; believe me, we tried, and even with a very patient dog, we got pretty hilarious results.
  3. Pet Insurance: Pet insurance 13 years ago didn’t cover much and was kind of expensive. It was hard to find value, and we didn’t consider it. Things have changed, and it may make sense for you if you think you might end up in a situation where you are at the emergency vet with your pet and you can’t pay for treatment your best friend needs. Check this out this video to find out if pet insurance is right for you.
  4. The Fun Part-Toys: My absolute favorite toy for adult dogs is the seek-a-treat kind of puzzle toy that gets them thinking and rewards learning. It’s a good fit for dogs that are really food motivated and love to train and seek approval. That’s our dog to a “T” and this toy is easily his favorite ever. But when it comes to puppies, teething and busy toys are better. Hard nylon toys with bumps are great for sore gums, as is a puppy-sized Kong filled with frozen peanut butter. Avoid squeaker toys and stuffed toys because aggressive chewers can easily end up with an intestinal blockage from swallowing dangerous items. Also, rawhide and bones are not for puppies.
  5. One New Feeding Solution: I had never seen these years ago, but I am sold on the benefits of this dog bowl for fast feeders that choke down their food. It is a fun way to slow that puppy down at mealtime.

Stay tuned for puppy pics in a couple of months! Enjoy your weekend.

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Photo courtesy of goldendoodlesofcolorado.com

Friday Facts-Hydration

glass of water

I’ve always heard that people should drink eight 8 oz. glasses of water per day in order to stay healthy and hydrated. But I started thinking about the fact that I live at 5,430 feet of elevation, and the climate is desert-like. Besides the dry air, I also run almost every day, sometimes up to 10 miles.

I’m guessing the old rule doesn’t hold. Anyway, I found this hydration calculator from Camelbak. It’s not precise, obviously, but it does ask you about your height, weight, age, color of your pee (!) and the activity you are contemplating. So the calculator tells you how much water you likely will need to plan on consuming during and after the activity in order to remain hydrated. Try it and tell me if it works for you!

WebMD tells us that we need between a half an ounce and an ounce per pound of weight per day of water to remain properly hydrated. The higher end is for those who are more active, living in a warm climate. I don’t know how much water I drink every day. The only indicator is that last time I went to give blood, they wouldn’t take me because I was too dehydrated. Bummer. Dehydration can cause kidney stones, too.

I won’t even mention the gallons of coffee and the wine and cocktails that contribute to the situation. I’m going to turn over a new leaf and try to get in an ounce per pound per day. I’ll probably feel better. I’ll keep you posted!

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Photo credit: Enkhtuvshin’s 5DmkII via Foter.com / CC BY