I've Joined The TalentDrive Advisory Council

In recent months, I've been speaking with people from TalentDrive, a resume sourcing and screening company located in Chicago that focuses on sales and marketing professionals.

Sean Bisceglia is the CEO, and he and his team have been professional, ambitious and interesting in looking for a way to improve the hiring industry.  They've extended, and I've accepted their invitation to join their advisory council.

The press release is here, and one of the most exciting things for me is the chance to work with Jim Stroud, who I respect greatly for his online acumen.   Brian Sommer rounds out the group, and I look forward to meeting with him as well. 

I will be writing about TalentDrive on this blog and brandstorming, but of course will disclose my relationship with them in each post.

About Talent Drive"

      About TalentDrive    

      TalentDrive provides growing and established companies with a new way to       source and screen quality talent through innovative technology combined       with eyes-on review by experienced industry experts. With millions of       resumes dispersed over tens of thousands of web-based locations,       TalentDrive provides a resume sourcing solution that enables companies       to better leverage the Internet to find talent within Sales,       Manufacturing and Distribution, Information Technology,       Finance/Accounting, and R&D/Engineering. TalentDrive       enables companies to spend less time sifting through unqualified       resumes, helping to increase a hiring managers       productivity by 90%.    


I Do Love Cold Weather

I admit it - when the temperature drops, I'm a happy camper.  It wasn't always this way - I spent much time in Texas, Florida, and California to be truly happy when there's frost on my windshield, but in recent years since returning to St Louis, I've become adjusted to the cold.

Fall is nice, especially in St Louis, but I enjoy it when it's bitter freezing cold, like it is right now.

And I like it for shallow reasons.  It gives me somewhere to carry my phone.  Franki bought me a great coat a couple of years ago, and the coat has a upper pocket zipper on the top left where I put my phone.  This frees me up from carrying it in my pocket, or in my laptop bag, and for some reason, it's the best time of year to carry a phone.

I'm not a holster wearer - it's just not me, and this simple comfort is something I enjoy.  As I said, it's a shallow reason.  But I do get a little thrill each time I wake and it's 40 outside.  I understand that's about 11 months out of the year if you hang out in Minneapolis.  or Toronto.

You're Fired, Please Come Back For Less Money

HR Capitalist catches this one, which blows the mind for sheer audacity.

Circuit City fired people for making too much money, and now if offering to bring them back for a lower pay rate.

I really feel sorry for people who have to take that job.  And if you happen to go into a Circuit City, remember to be nice.  Those people need it very badly.

ERE Conference Tomorrow

I won't be at the conference tomorrow (and thank goodness, because I threw out my back earlier this week), but many bloggers will, including Rob Neelbauer of Job Matchbox.  I strongly recommend that companies seek out and meet people like Rob.

They really do drive news in the blogosphere, and in addition, they serve as fantastic contacts.  ERE showed its commitment to blogs a long time ago - shouldn't you be trying to figure out why David Manaster keeps his own?

Independent Contractors Fix? The Government Wants To Help

Dick Durbin (no relation) and Barack Obama want to help independent contractors.  Or rather, they want companies to pay more in taxes by making it harder to hire talented workers.

Yes, yes, that's not what they say they are doing, but don't be fooled - this is another attempt to raise tax collections, not help business.  From their editorial in the Sun-Times:

But sadly, many working men and women are not being treated fairly because some businesses are using a little-known tax loophole to avoid paying their fair share. It's workers and American taxpayers who pay the price.

Here's how the Section 530 Safe Harbor in federal tax law works: By classifying a worker as an "independent contractor" instead of an "employee," an employer pays less in employment taxes and workers compensation, sometimes cutting costs by 30 percent. Misclassified workers have the employer's tax burden shifted onto them as if they were self-employed, meaning higher taxes for working-class Americans and a growing tax gap. These workers are also denied basic employee protections, such as workers compensation and overtime pay.

This week, we introduced legislation to close the loophole. The Independent Contractor Proper Classification Act of 2007 will allow the government to collect the taxes employers owe and will restore basic rights for workers. The legislation will also address the need for more enforcement of federal tax and employment laws to identify those employers in major industries that wrongly classify their workers.

It will be interesting to see what happens to public staffing company stock prices if this piece of legislation goes through in the name of "closing the tax loophole." 

Working With A Client In Madagascar

I just got a phone call from 011261330794247......

For sure I thought it was  telemarketer - and then I realized, it was a client!  One of our clients, eworkforce.com, about whom we have remained very quiet above, took a trip to Madagascar to finish development of their application.

There are reasons behind the trip that I can't share, but it's one heck of a story. Imagine leaving the States and living in a place without phones or internet connections for several months while working to finish a grand entrepreneurial project.

It's the type of story that shows up in the front page of the Wall Street Journal. 

Employment Software Takes Safari:  Write Code, Dodges Lion.

Expect to hear a lot more about these guys.  One - the application addresses an overlooked piece of the ATS/JobBoard/CRM software world, and it's wicked cool.  I have confidence in this team.

More to come later in the year.  I just thought that was cool to share.

Is Being Illiterate A Disability?

Illiteracy is no laughing matter, but a recent lawsuit by a grounds crew supervisor at Normandy schools provides another striking example of how well-intentioned laws are often expanded to wreak havoc in our employment system.

The plaintiff, Tommie Robinson, 55, is claiming that his inability to read is a disability covered under the Americans With Disabilities Act.  Now, the truth is it's his lawyer who is making this claim, as clearly Tommie wouldn't be able to read the Americans With Disabilities Act if he is truly illiterate.

Is this a case of a clever lawyer trying to make a buck, and even if justified, is the ADA really the proper tool to use to remedy the problem of someone not being able to read?  By the way - here's his lawyer.

The suit was filed on his behalf by attorney Chris Chostner with the St. Louis firm of Schuchat, Cook & Werner. Chostner also declined to comment.

A Justice department spokesman says the case may have merit, but cites a case where dyslexia is ruled a disability, not illiteracy.

Cynthia J. Magnuson, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Justice, said claims such as Robinson's were rare but not unheard of.

"Literacy could be considered an impairment and potentially could be covered under the Americans With Disabilities Act," she said. She cited a 1999 case in which an appeals court ruled in favor of a person with dyslexia who was seeking testing accommodations for the New York bar exam.

Here's the rub.  Robinson is at a disadvantage, and is undoubtedly frustrated, perhaps even embarrassed by his inability to read.  At the age of 55, it is a difficult thing to pick up, especially when you spent the last 50 years denying your need to be able to read.

I feel for the man, but I'm disgusted that he feels he has the right to sue us (the taxpayer) for his failure to adapt.   Life is not a bowl of cherries, and we all have a responsibility to fit in - even when it's hard.  If Tommie Robinson doesn't want to participate in his responsibilities of modern individual, he shouldn't get the rewards.

I hope he loses his lawsuit, and instead looks deep inside himself and finds the courage to tackle the adult literacy courses the Normandy schools have offered to pay for.  Good luck, Tommie.

Durbin Media Group On PBS Media Shift

I was interviewed for an article on the TechDirt Insight Community over at PBS's Media Shift.

In the world of technology research, firms such as Gartner, Forrester Research and JupiterResearch seem to hold all the cards, knowing markets in-depth and charging firms thousands of dollars for a peek inside. Many small and medium companies, especially startups, are often on the outside looking in, not able to afford the high cost of research firms but still wanting to understand their market or have key questions answered by experts.

Here's the TechDirt Insight Community Sign-Up. 

Not a bad way to end a Wednesday.

But there is one better way.

Visit DiversityJobs.com for information on Diversity in the workplace.

ERExpo Recap

We're back from the 2007 ERExpo in San Diego, slightly sunburned, well-rested (we stayed extra days in La Jolla), amazed, thrilled and disappointed.

First, let me just say congratulations to David Manaster, who pulled off a great event with world-class companies and excellent sessions.  I'm sure the behind the scenes is messy, but I didn't see any mistakes, and that has to be a good feeling for the largest ERExpo to date.  David told me over 600 paid registrants and a about a thousand people total (including vendors and speakers) attended.  David's wrap-up is on his blog.

Second, let me say thank you to my fellow panelists.  Heather Hamilton was knowledgeable and spoke about branding.  Dennis Smith spoke about industry recruiting, and Joe Grimm talked about the personal touch that blogging has brought him in the newspaper recruiting business.  Thank you to all three for agreeing to appear in public with me.

On a side note - in addition to being very funny, Joe Grimm is an extremely courteous man raised on Midwestern values.  Each time my wife came over to us, he would stand in introduction.  When was the last time you saw such respect?  Seriously, I spent a lot of time with Joe, and count him among new-found friends.

So what about the conference?  I'd say that there was a clear theme running through the conference attendees.  Change is in the Wind.

Continue reading "ERExpo Recap" »