Tuesday, May 1, 2012
How to Use LinkedIn for Business,
Effectively Managing Performance Issues,
Congratulations to This Month's Winner,
Employment for Veterans on the Rise,
Connect with Orion
How to Use LinkedIn for Business
LinkedIn is growing in popularity by the day. In case you aren’t familiar with LinkedIn, it is a business-oriented social networking site which is generally used to link professionals together. On average, over 21.4 million US visitors and over 47 million globally use LinkedIn monthly. More than two million companies have LinkedIn Company Pages.
It is not uncommon for individuals and businesses new to LinkedIn to wonder what benefit LinkedIn will have for them. What exactly can LinkedIn do to promote a business or expand marketing networks and therefore impact the bottom line? The answer is, in short, a whole heck of a lot. Consider these facts supplied by LinkedIn:
- As of December 31, 2011, professionals are signing up to join LinkedIn at a rate that is faster than two new members per second.
- As of February 9, 2012, LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet, with more than 150 million members in over 200 countries and territories.
- As of February 9, 2012, LinkedIn counts executives from all 2011 Fortune 500 companies as members; its corporate hiring solutions are used by 82 of the Fortune 100 companies.
- LinkedIn members did nearly 4.2 billion professionally-oriented searches on the platform in 2011.
- LinkedIn is currently available in seventeen languages: English, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish.
So how can your business go about using LinkedIn for networking effectively?
1. Visibility – LinkedIn is only as powerful as the user makes it. By adding connections, the likelihood that your business or personal profile will be seen increases exponentially. In addition, the more connections you have, the more likely you are to appear at the top of search results.
2. More Information is Better – Remember to include all jobs you’ve had on your personal page. If you only put your most recent job/company, you limit your visibility by not connecting with past colleagues at other places of employment. This is also true of your education. Including your education will allow you to connect with alumni from your alma mater.
3. Enhance Search Engine Results – Allowing websites to be publicized can do this. There are pre-selected categories like, “My Website”, “My Company”, and more. You can include blog and Twitter links, as well.
4. Improve Your Google Rank - Your profile can be available for search engines. To do this, create a public profile that is “full view”.
Visit LinkedIn to learn more about you can use LinkedIn to promote your company.
Effectively Managing Performance Issues
Human Resource professionals are continually faced with the challenge of counseling supervisory managers that want to fire an employee for performance issues. Generally, the first question an HR person asks is, “Have you informed the employee what performance issues they have and how they can improve?” Nine times out of ten the answer is a resounding, “No.”
But honestly, how can anyone expect improved performance without pointing out what needs to be improved upon? That is like telling a student that they did a poor job on their essay, but not telling them how they can do better next time. A person can’t learn without knowing how. It is the responsibility of a manager and a company to give an employee the necessary tools to succeed.
Most managers will admit they want to avoid the discomfort of criticism. But, the bottom line is a manager can’t be an effective leader if they are unwilling to give criticism and develop and manage performance appropriately. If an employee is having performance issues, there are three simple steps that need to be followed:
1. Ensure the employee knows what area(s) they need to improve upon.
2. Outline a plan with specific measurable goals that need to be accomplished during a specified timeline.
3. Revisit the employee on a regular basis to check in on their progress.
If a manager has already accomplished the above suggestions, they are not likely to encounter resistance from human resources if the issues remain unsolved.
A well-trained manager can deliver performance criticism by turning it into a tool for enhanced performance. As always, documentation is a manager’s best friend, and all managers need to ensure that they are complying legally with all EEO laws and regulations.
Congratulations to This Month's Winner
Employment for Veterans on the Rise
According to a recent employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, veteran unemployment is below the national average for the first time in nearly four years, which is good news for those returning from war and ready to enter the private sector.
The unemployment rate for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans is now 7.6 percent, with the national unemployment rate hovering at around 8.3 percent. This is a nearly five percentage increase from last year, when the unemployment rate for veterans was 12.5 percent.
This upswing is thanks to efforts by both the government and employers, who are now making it a priority to hire military veterans. Some companies are implementing military recruiting programs to bring in military talent, while others are creating or expanding programs already in effect. Disney has recently announced their initiative “Heroes Work Here,” a program dedicated to hiring 1,000 veterans over the next three years.
The government is encouraging more efforts like Disney’s, and this past year has passed a monetary increase in bills “specifically designed to help support veteran hiring and training,” said Adriana Kugler, chief economist for the U.S. Department of Labor.
The Returning Heroes bill, which provides a credit of up to $2,400 to employers who hire a veteran who has been unemployed for at least four weeks, has recently been raised to $5,600 for employers who hire a veteran who has been unemployed for over six months.
Another bill, The Wounded Warrior tax credit, gives $4,800 for companies who hire disabled veterans. This credit has now been doubled for those disabled veterans who have been unemployed longer than six months, with the tax break up to $9,600 for companies.
Along with these newly improved bills, there are recently implemented programs to hire veterans. President Obama has proposed the Veterans Job Corps initiative, which calls for $1 billion to hire 20,000 veterans over the next five years to work in positions related to environmental protection and maintaining roadways, along with a $5 billion program to hire police officers and firefighters that would give precedence to veterans.
Another such proposal is Joining Forces, a program created by the President and Mrs. Obama along with Vice President Dr. Biden to challenge the private sector to hire 100,000 unemployed veterans and their spouses. Orion International is proud to be a supporting member of the Joining Forces initiative. To learn more about Orion's contribution, click here.
Regardless of the financial incentives, veterans possess many qualities that companies value, including leadership, loyalty, experience, and an excellent work ethic, making them quality assets to any company.
Click here for full article.
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Hire a Hero, Hire a Vet covers everything from veterans in the news to general employer-employee relations. Check it out!