Entries in Employers (25)


US Employers Sitting on Piles of Cash

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Based on Friday's jobs report from the Department of Labor, the jobs market has improved in the past year, but unemployment is still way above average levels. Brian Hamilton, CEO of the financial research firm Sageworks, says businesses are very cautious. “Not only are companies not really hiring a ton but they’re not borrowing a bunch either.” Most firms have solid balance sheets. “The default rate for private companies is going down meaning they’re much more credit worthy and they’re much more solvent.”

But Hamilton says companies and their senior executives are also risk averse. “They really are just reluctant to take on overhead much more so than in the past.” Hamilton’s views are echoed in a new report from Federal Reserve, which says US firms are sitting on a record pile of cash. Non-financial corporations held $1.78 trillion in cash and other liquid assets in the first three months of this year.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Survey: 75% of Job Applicants Don't Hear Back from Employers

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- If you feel like you've wasted countless hours sending resumes and job applications to employers, only to hear nothing back, you are not alone.  

A new survey from CareerBuilder found that 75 percent of people who applied to jobs last year didn't hear back from employers.

"Employers are still being inundated with resumes and unfortunately they are not able to get to every single resume and give them a response," says Michael Irwin of CareerBuilder.

Applicants who managed to score an interview didn't fare much better -- 60 percent of them received no response after meeting with employers.

As Irwin explains, this lack of communication is leaving job seekers with a bad taste in their mouths.

"What we're finding from workers though is if they don't hear a response, even if its a no or a yes, they're going to have a negative view on that company and that can really impact their brand," he says.

The survey says 42 percent of applicants who have a bad experience with a company would never seek employment there again.  Furthermore, 22 percent would advise their friends and family not to work there, and 9 percent would tell their loved ones to not purchase products or services from the company.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Jobs Report: US-Based Foreign Employers Don't Care About Politics

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- As the country awaits the monthly jobs report for August to assess the state of the economy, it's a good opportunity to look at the other side of the employment coin: The foreign-based U.S. employers who employ about five million Americans.

Bill Krueger, vice chairman of Nissan Americas, said the company is less interested in the election's outcome and more interested in whether the U.S. will encourage engineering and manufacturing training for potential workers.

Nissan, based in Japan, employs 17,000 people in the U.S. at its three U.S. sites.  The company is adding about 2,200 manufacturing jobs in the U.S., including 1,000 jobs in the fourth quarter to its Canton Vehicle Assembly Plant in Mississippi.

Nancy McLernon, CEO of the Organization for International Investment, which represents about 200 U.S. subsidiaries of global companies, said the members of her organization are studying the statements of the presidential candidates for signs they are "embracing the global economy."

"Globally engaged companies want to be in globally engaged countries," said McLernon.  "The extent to which lawmakers understand global marketplace is helpful.  Isolationist views are not."

Business has been good for automakers like Nissan in the U.S.  The automaker's August sales rose 7.6 percent from a year ago, the company reported on Tuesday.

But finding skilled workers has been a trouble spot for the company.

"If there's a weak point right now, it's the availability of skilled maintenance workers and engineers," Krueger said.

Manufacturing jobs are slowly making a comeback after the long economic downturn that began with the financial crisis in December 2007.  In July, the U.S. economy added 25,000 manufacturing jobs.

Economists are expecting an addition of 125,000 total nonfarm jobs in August, which would leave the unemployment rate unchanged at 8.3 percent.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Dos and Don'ts When Submitting a Resume

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- Looking for a job?  Well, make sure your resume doesn't have any spelling mistakes.  You may also want to consider transforming your resume into a Rubik's Cube.

In a new CareerBuilder survey of nearly 2,300 hiring managers in the U.S., 61 percent say they would automatically dismiss a candidate whose resume includes typos.

Other mistakes to avoid:

  • Resumes that copied large amounts of wording from the job posting: 41 percent of hiring managers would dismiss an applicant for making this mistake.
  • Resumes with an inappropriate email address: 35 percent.
  •  Resumes that don’t include a list of skills: 30 percent.
  • Resumes that are more than two pages long: 22 percent.
  • Resumes printed on decorative paper: 20 percent.
  • Resumes that detail more tasks than results for previous positions: 16 percent.
  • Resumes that include a photo: 13 percent.
  • Resumes that have large blocks of text with little white spaces: 13 percent.

While it's important that your resume stands out from the pack, you don't want to make it so unusual that it turns off the employer.  Here are some examples of awkward applications cited in the survey:

  • Candidate’s cover letter talked about her family being in the mob.
  • Candidate applying for a management job listed “gator hunting” as a skill.
  • Candidate’s resume included "phishing" as a hobby.
  • Candidate specified that her resume was set up to be sung to the tune of The Brady Bunch.
  • Candidate highlighted the fact that he was “Homecoming Prom Prince” in 1984.
  • Candidate claimed to be able to speak “Antartican” when applying for a job to work in Antarctica.
  • Candidate’s resume had a photo of the applicant reclining in a hammock under the headline "Hi, I'm _____ and I'm looking for a job."
  • Candidate’s resume was decorated with pink rabbits.
  • Candidate listed “to make dough” as the objective on the resume.
  • Candidate applying for an accounting job said he was “deetail-oriented” and spelled the company’s name incorrectly.

Conversely, here are some examples of applications that made a positive impression on employers and led to hires:

  • Candidate sent his resume in the form of an oversized Rubik's Cube, where you had to push the tiles around to align the resume.
  • Candidate who had been a stay-at-home mom listed her skills as nursing, housekeeping, chef, teacher, bio-hazard cleanup, fight referee, taxi driver, secretary, tailor, personal shopping assistant and therapist.
  • Candidate applying for a food and beverage management position sent a resume in the form of a fine-dining menu.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


SNOPA: Bill to Ban Employers and Schools from Asking for Passwords

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- There may have been lots of backlash against SOPA (the Stop Online Privacy Act) a few months ago, but something tells us SNOPA, the Social Networking Online Protection Act, won’t provoke the same protest.

Introduced by Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., late last week, the legislation is meant to stop a trend that has gained steam in the last few months -- employers and schools asking for Facebook and social media passwords of applicants, employees, and students. Maryland passed a similar bill last month making the practice illegal; Engel is introducing national legislation.

“There have been a number of reports about employers requiring new applicants to give their username and password as part of the hiring process. The same has occurred at some schools and universities,” Engel said in a statement. “Passwords are the gateway to many avenues containing personal and sensitive content -- including email accounts, bank accounts and other information,” he added.

The national legislation would prohibit employers from asking for usernames or passwords to access online content. It would also apply to colleges and schools.

Bradley Shear, an attorney in Maryland who was also involved in Maryland’s recent legislation, helped Engel draft the bill.

“SNOPA would create national legislation to protect legal liability and provide a shield for employers and schools,” Shear told ABC News. “I believe it is a very well-thought-out and crafted solution. It helps protect all parties, not just one.”

Shear said SNOPA would also protect businesses and protect them from breaking other laws that could be a byproduct of checking one’s personal social media account.

Co-sponsored by Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., the act has a long way to go, but with support of similar legislation at the state level, including by New York Senator Charles Schumer (D) and Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal (D), the light is certainly being shined on the social media privacy issue.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Employee Screening Resumes as Hiring Goes Up

Tim Boyle/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Finally, some good news on the jobs front.  According to a report from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 40 percent of companies added jobs in the first quarter of 2012, up from 36 percent during the same period last year.  What’s more, 35 percent predicted that in the second quarter of 2012 they will begin hiring, compared with 33 percent from the second quarter of 2011.

While this is certainly a step in the right direction, it’s not going to alleviate job competition any time soon.  That means job seekers are going to have to be that much more careful about how they position themselves and recruiters are going to be even more discerning in their hiring.

More than 500 companies -- including Citigroup, eBay, McDonald’s and QVC -- use SkillSurvey Inc., a provider of online reference checking solutions, to get feedback on potential candidates.  In a nutshell, the technology verifies if the applicant has lied about his or her job experience.

Here’s how it works: Early in the interview process, candidates are asked to contact a minimum of five references for recommendations.  References then receive emails directly from the candidate with a short survey and a signed waiver releasing them and their employers from any liability stemming from their disclosures.

The survey, which includes some 25 behavior-based questions, takes only about 10-15 minutes to complete online.  References rate the candidate’s professionalism, problem solving and adaptability, interpersonal skills and personal values.  Confidential comments can also be added.

“The idea is to collect feedback from a number of people with different perspectives who’ve observed the candidate on the job over time,” said CEO Ray Bixler.  Because of the legal-liability waiver and the fact that the results are aggregated, guaranteeing anonymity, he said, references usually provide very honest insights and candid assessments about an applicant.

Some people tend to fib about their education, their salary and job title, along with the dates of past employment.  To ensure that the applicant isn’t entering five imaginary people as references, SkillSurvey also captures the IP address from which the applicant has sent his emails.

Bixler says it’s important to remember that the areas applicants exaggerate on their resumes might be rated negatively by their references.

“Sales applicants are always great examples of this,” he said.  “You’ll never see on a sales applicant’s resume, ‘I occasionally missed my quota.’  You will almost always see something like, ‘I always hit my targets and frequently won sales awards.’  In our surveys, we ask former managers and colleagues if in fact the applicant consistently met their sales targets.  If the rating is low, this means ‘no, not consistently,’ and thus the embellishment on the resume is seen.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Is Your Social Media Content Hurting Your Chances of Getting Hired?

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- Job seekers know that first impressions count, but many hiring managers who use social media to check out prospective employees say they get their first impression well before the face-to-face interview, and very often, it’s a negative one.

A new survey by reveals 37 percent of companies use social networking sites to check out job seekers.  Out of that total, 34 percent of hiring managers say they have found information that caused them not to hire a candidate.  That content ranges from evidence of inappropriate behavior to information that contradicted the individual's listed qualifications.

Here’s a rundown of the top negative findings, along with the percentage of hiring managers who have come across them:

-- Candidate posted provocative/inappropriate photos/info, 49 percent.
-- There was information about candidate drinking or using drugs, 45 percent.
-- Candidate had poor communication skills, 35 percent.
-- Candidate bad-mouthed previous employer, 33 percent.
-- Candidate made discriminatory comments related to race, gender, religion, etc., 28 percent.
-- Candidate lied about qualifications, 22 percent.

On the flip side, 29 percent of hiring managers say they have found something via social media that has caused them to hire a candidate.  They cited content that showed them the following:

-- Good feel for candidate's personality, 58 percent.
-- Conveyed a professional image, 55 percent.
-- Background information supported professional qualifications, 54 percent.
-- Well-rounded, showed a wide range of interests, 51 percent.
-- Great communication skills, 49 percent.
-- Candidate was creative, 44 percent
-- Other people posted great references about the candidate, 34 percent.

The CareerBuilder survey of 2,303 hiring managers and human resource professionals was conducted by Harris Interactive.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Drinking at Work? Some Employers See Benefits

Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Drinking on the job?  Some employers say they're fine with that.  In fact, some companies will even buy the booze, on the theory that a little tippling makes for a happier employee -- and maybe, too, as a new study suggests, a more creative one.

Though a variety of companies today serve alcohol to employees, ad agencies hold the liquor-fueled torch highest.  The ranks of liquor-serving firms have recently included BBDO, Grey, J. Walter Thompson, Mindshare and TBWA/Chiat/Day.

In New York, J. Walter Thompson has in its offices a 50-foot-long bar with pedestal stools that would put many commercial bars to shame.

"Yes, we have a bar," says a spokesperson, "and it is frequently accessed.  We think it incentivizes and enthuses employees.  It's generally used for off-hours consumption, but that's not to say there isn't on-hours consumption as well."

Ad agency Kirshenbaum, Bond, Senecal + Partners hosts internal, open-bar events called Trolleys.  The name comes from a drink cart, known affectionately as the trolley, that 20 years ago rolled around the agency dispensing cocktails.  It since has been retired, but the liquor still flows, including brands belonging to agency clients.

Jonah Bloom, head of digital strategy at Kirshenbaum, says the firm tries to make Trolleys "a fairly regular thing."  Employees need a chance to bond, he says -- to get away from their desks for a while and have fun mingling.

"We work hard," he says.  "Most employees get in around 9 a.m., but they may work as late as 9 p.m. or 10 p.m. or even later.  Clients recognize that.  If we have a bit of fun, that's okay."

Plus, a drink or two has been known to aid the creative process.

"Say there's a group of employees standing around chatting," says Bloom of the Trolleys.  "They're just having fun, having a couple of beers together.  It's a social occasion.  They may not set out to solve a problem.  But somebody comes up with an idea, and somebody else builds on that."

Just how much credit should go to booze, he isn't sure.

"I'm not sure it's the alcohol," he says of the Trolleys' success at solving problems.  "It could just be the socializing.  But who knows?  [Alcohol] may act as lubricant."

Recent evidence suggests he's right.  A study released last week by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago finds that a little bit of alcohol -- just enough to register 0.075 on a breathalyzer -- can help your mind explore unorthodox solutions.  Sometimes, researchers found, having a little less focus can be helpful.

The report, "Uncorking The Muse: Alcohol Intoxication Facilitates Creative Problem Solving" was published in the journal Consciousness and Cognition.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Without Appreciation, Nearly Half of US Workers Would Leave Jobs

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(MENLO PARK, Calif.) -- Attention managers: Many employees say recognizing their efforts goes a long way to keeping them satisfied in their jobs. 

A new OfficeTeam survey finds 49 percent of workers say they would be somewhat or very likely to leave their current job if they didn’t feel appreciated by their manager.

As for what types of recognition they value the most, 38 percent prefer financial compensation or gift cards.  Twenty-one percent say they want their efforts to be recognized with new opportunities to learn and grow in their companies.  Nineteen percent would rather receive verbal or written praise, while 20 percent claim they don’t need acknowledgment for doing a good job.

An almost equal number of respondents apparently aren’t concerned about getting kudos.  Fifty-one percent of those polled said they were not very likely or not likely at all to leave their current position if they didn’t feel appreciated.

The OfficeTeam survey was based on telephone interviews with 431 workers employed in an office environment.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Maryland Bill Bans Employers from Asking for Facebook Passwords

LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- If you’re worried about an employer or potential employer asking for your Facebook or Twitter password, you might just want to move to Maryland.  The state’s general assembly has become the first to pass a bill to keep social media passwords safe from employers.

Just a few weeks ago, national attention was put on the issue of job applicants and employees being asked for their Facebook passwords so that companies could ensure the individuals had appropriate social media identities.

In response, New York Sen. Charles Schumer and Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate if the practice violates federal laws.  But Maryland already had legislation in the works.  And on Tuesday it passed the House as Bill 433. 


“In a nutshell, it protects employees and employers.  It prohibits employees from having to provide access to their digital content or social media account information,” Bradley Shear, a Maryland social media lawyer who worked to get the bill passed, said.

The bill also protects employers. 

“It’s a pro-business bill; it provides employers with a shield against lawsuits,” Shear added.

Maryland State Sen. Ronald Young was instrumental in pushing the legislation.  Young couldn’t be reached for comment, but he told ABC News earlier this month that he felt that such social media password practices were an “infringement on constitutional rights.” 

Facebook’s privacy officer Erin Egan has called such password requests wrong.

Wrong and illegal is exactly what it will be in Maryland as soon as the bill is signed by Gov. Martin O’Mailey.

And other states might not be far behind: Minnesota and Illinois have also drafted legislation based on Maryland’s bill, and Washington State, Massachusetts and New Jersey lawmakers have announced their intentions to introduce similar legislation.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio