Cosset Workers? Or Encourage Them?

Source One: Radvany

Corrections or additions?

Published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on May 24, 2000. All rights reserved.

IT Talent Hunt: Can E-Video Help?

E-mail: BarbaraFox@princetoninfo.com

Nothing’s worse, says Larry Steinhouse, than hiring

a programmer with qualifications that don’t match up to the resume.

Only by speaking with the programmer can the hiring company discern

what the person’s true capabilities are. In other words, can he or

she "talk the talk?"

Because interviewers from the human resource departments generally

don’t have the technical background to conduct this interview, the

prospective job candidate often gets a round robin of two or three

interviews before the Information Technology (IT) supervisor discovers

whether the candidate is really qualified.

What a waste of time, says Steinhouse. He hopes to apply for

a patent on a concept that he believes will revise the technology

recruiting industry. His "First Interview" program has a split

screen, and while scrolling down the resume, the prospective employer

is also listening to the candidate’s voice.

Instead of trying to sell the software, Steinhouse’s firm, Independence

Systems, is using it for marketing its own job candidates. When a

candidate records a video and audio interview in the company’s studio,

this interview can be distributed by CD or on the web via Real Player

software.

A big national firm, KForce (formerly Source EDP), also has what it

calls 60-second "skillmercials," also using Real Player. KForce’s

branch at 3 Independence Way does not currently offer these audiovisual

interviews, but they are available in New York (212-883-7300) and

at another New Jersey office. The candidates sit down before the camera

and tell about themselves and their skills.

"Attaching multimedia to files on the Internet is not unique,"

notes Alan Berger, chief marketing officer for Opus 360, the parent

company for Freeagent.com, a website that aggregates independent contractors

and provides them with an opportunity to market themselves. "We

also have the capabilities for our `free agents,’ who fill out E-portfolios,

to attach multimedia clips — audio clips, video clips — to

their electronic resumes."

One possible downside to any of these systems is that

the hiring company usually needs to download Real Player software.

When more online hiring includes a voice element, this requirement

may seem less onerous. And Steinhouse has plans to offer a second

platform, Microsoft Media Player, which is more likely to be already

installed.

But modem speed can also be a problem. "If we were a standard

placement agency, this probably wouldn’t work," says Steinhouse,

noting that his IT client companies have cable modems or T-1 lines.

Another potential barrier to wide usage is that many hiring companies

like to rely on the personnel agency to deliver only the best qualified

candidates. Why make the first cut yourself when you can get the employment

agency to do this job for you?

It’s a matter of saving time, says Steinhouse. The hiring company

often picks two or three candidates from a pile of resumes. By the

time all the schedules get juggled, it could be two weeks before those

interviews take place. With "First Interview" that interview

can take place immediately.

"It’s also the human factor. When you are looking at a video of

a real human being, you are more likely to say yes, I’ll schedule

the interview," says Steinhouse. "With the First Interview

process, you know within 60 seconds if you want to pursue a face-to-face

interview, and that is where the real time savings is."

Steinhouse grew up in Brooklyn and East Brunswick, where his father

was a salesman for Donnelly publishing (and is now a stock broker)

and his mother was in sales. He studied electronics at Middlesex County

College and worked placing IT people for three other companies but

incorporated his own business last year. The firm started out last

summer as a home-based business and has grown to six office employees.

In addition to recruiting, the firm also does web development, technical

placement on a permanent and temporary basis, and consulting.

"Talking the talk is important," says Steinhouse. Before the

recording is made, this company would conduct coaching sessions —

discussing what is pertinent to the job and having the applicant talk

about their previous experience. "Our goal is to do multiple takes,

and we believe that we, not the candidate, are the best people to

decide which to use."

He is also thinking about letting people record an interview for a

fee of $200 and post it on his server. "They would have a URL

and password that they can give to any employer. But if we are the

ones to get them hired, we would refund double their money."

"Ten years ago I saw a resume with a picture on it. I bet those

resumes went to the top of the pile," says Steinhouse. "I

saw what Windows 2000 could do, sat at my chair and wrote down the

idea on the back of a business card. Then we built it. With First

Interview, you get to see the person and they tell you a story about

themselves."

Predicts Steinhouse: "Companies outside the IT space may not be

ready for this now, but our method is an example of how HR will do

business in the future, probably within the next five years."

Independence Systems, 55 Princeton-Hightstown

Road, Suite 205, Princeton Junction 08550. Larry Steinhouse, CEO.

609-275-9800; fax, 609-716-0453. Website: www.indy-systems.com.

Top Of Page
Cosset Workers? Or Encourage Them?

A gentler, kinder workplace is also a smarter workplace,

says Anne Pauker, and a more productive one. Her consulting firm,

she says, helps companies create human resources policies that will

help them in a way that is innovative, values the individual, and

is built on integrity.

It also has desktop tools that help managers implement those traits

easily and in the context of their jobs.

She asks what kind of relationships you want to have with your customers

and suppliers. "Now figure out how to do business with your employees

in the same way."

Everybody agrees the customer is always right, but how many employers

honestly feel the employee is always right? Almost everyone wants

to do the best job they can to make customers as satisfied as they

can be, but how many would do that for their workers? If they did,

says Pauker, "There would be a higher rate of employee commitment

and more innovation would result." How?

Understand their needs for their whole life, not just

their work life.

Recognize their needs for meaningful work and purpose

in their lives. "If there is a richness and a purpose to the job

they do, they will desire to do better."

Recognize the need to be more valuable in the marketplace,

generally by skills and knowledge acquisition. "If the employer

doesn’t support learning and decision making, the employee’s value

diminishes when they are with you rather than being enhanced."

Pauker has a three-person consulting firm that does needs assessments,

policy and practice development and implementation, benchmarking,

"business case" models for HR practices, training, and executive

coaching. She graduated from the State University of New York at Binghamton

in 1977 and has an MBA from New York Institute of Technology. When

she was director of affirmative action compliance programs for the

state of New York, she worked with more than 40 agencies.

As corporate vice president of employee relations for Continental

Insurance, she pioneered in bringing actors to the executive classroom

and produced "The Power of Diversity," later marketed as an

eight-part video series.

She founded the Pauker Consulting Group in 1995 and moved it from

North Jersey to Cranbury Road in Princeton Junction last month, and

the reason why she moved is a happy story indeed. The mother of three

school-age daughters, she is now the bride of Charles Kreitzberg,

the founder of Cognetics Inc. on Everett Drive, also known as the

Internet innovator who pioneered in HTML language (U.S. 1, June 30,

1999). She met Kreitzberg when she tried to find someone to help her

with her software package.

"I needed a software company, and I talked to 20 companies and

not a single one could help me. I knew Doug Chrisman at Cognetics,"

says Pauker. "He said he couldn’t help me, but if anyone could,

it would be Charlie. In two days they had 90 percent of it done. Three

months later he asked me out. That was February, and we were married

in August."

The resulting web-based tool set, called the Intranet Coach, supports

the delivery of human resource processes including flexible work arrangements

and performance management. "It helps the manager and the employee

to have better discussions about the employee’s performance," she

says. "It prepares for the conversation by linking goals to the

employee’s career objectives."

The manager and the employee can each look up the performance appraisal

process and the form being used, and they can take training modules

that tell them how to prepare for the meeting.

"It’s to level the playing field," says Pauker. "Or help

someone find out what to do from there." The same information

can surely be found in company files, but any of a dozen obstacles

can get in the way of meaningful preparation.

Managers should get input from the worker before sitting down to write

a performance appraisal, and then should get input on how employees

see the performance. "After the manager writes up the appraisal,

there has to be a close of the feedback loop," says Pauker.

The software doesn’t just offer a place to click to "look up the

policy," but it teaches. And it has a decision-making algorithm.

It costs in the six figures, including consulting and implementation,

for Fortune 500 companies interested in using an intranet as a human

resource tool.

Only certain very responsible managers will want this package. "I’ve

been very blessed," says Pauker. "Let’s face it, not every

employer is going to hire me. I am very concerned about treating employees

as responsible adults that contribute to the success of your company,

not as if they have to earn your respect. Most of the time they will

rise to the occasion."

— Barbara Fox

The Pauker Consulting Group, 80 Cranbury Road,

Princeton Junction 08550. Anne M. Pauker, president. 609-750-9080;

fax, 609-275-7064. Home page: www.paukergroup.com.

Top Of Page
Source One: Radvany

Our job is to save the hiring manager from having to

do any first screenings at all," says James Radvany, president

of Source One Personnel. His firm does temporary and permanent placement

in accounting, information technology, human resources, administrative,

and light industrial. The corporate headquarters expanded earlier

this month from 1,700 to 5,000 square feet in a move from Franklin

Corner Road to Princess Road.

Both Radvany’s parents worked at Katzenbach School for the Deaf, and

he is fluent in American Sign Language. Such a background, he realizes,

may have contributed to his having good "people skills." "Accounting

helped me start and run my business, but I am more of a people person,"

says Radvany.

He went to Susquehanna University, Class of 1982, and after a stint

as a CPA manager at Coopers & Lybrand, he moved to the personnel business.

In 1995 he formed Source One and has 22 employees at this location

plus several branches, including one on Princeton Pike. It has nearly

800 workers on temporary billing.

When it comes to those first interviews, Radvany thinks his company

should tell the hiring manager, "`Here are the candidates. See

these candidates.’ If we do the proper screening we make the life

of the hiring manager easier."

Source One Personnel Inc., 4 Princess Road, Lawrenceville

08648. James Radvany CPA, president. 609-895-9700; fax, 609-895-0577.

URL: www.source1personnel.com.


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