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Published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on July 12, 2000. All rights reserved.
Job Hunting Tips
If you are looking for a job, says Diana Krajewski
of Technoforce LLC, the first thing to do is attend professional association
meetings in the area of your expertise. If you want to work for a
startup, go to a venture association meeting, like the Venture Association
of New Jersey or the New Jersey Entrepreneurial Association. Or target
meetings of the New Jersey Technology Council, or any showcases that
highlight the incubator companies.
Krajewski moderates the panel on Tuesday, July 18, at noon at the
Venture Association of New Jersey’s meeting at the Westin in Morristown
on "Strategic Human Resources for the Fast Growing Company"
(see story above). After the panel, a slew of entrepreneurs will make
five-minute presentations — more than the usual handful of presentations
— because this is the last meeting of the summer, so the meeting
may last until 3 p.m. Cost: $45. Call 973-631-5680.
"During the five-minute presentations, if the start-ups are looking
for talent they will announce it at that time," says Krajewski.
She majored in marketing at Rutgers, graduating summa cum laude, and
has an MBA in human resources from Fairleigh Dickinson. She teaches
recruiting at the College of St. Elizabeth and business ethics at
Fairleigh Dickinson. A former employee at Lucent Technologies, she
and her partner, Robin Berg Tabakin, started their own company
last year, and they focus on E-commerce and start-up companies, looking
for project managers, programmers, CTOs, technical sales.
Everyone at a networking meeting usually gets the chance to introduce
themselves, however briefly, and if you are hunting for a job, you
can say so. But maybe you don’t want to announce this in public. Tip:
CyberPub meets monthly, one week after the VANJ meeting. (This month
it is Thursday, July 20, at 7 p.m., at the Westin.) It’s free, with
a cash bar, and no reservations needed. "That is purely networking,"
she says. "You can meet someone one on one and talk about a job
Other tips to jobseekers:
information is included in any handouts. Venture groups issue a
list of registrants, by number, and a booklet of the sponsors. "When
people introduce themselves, they refer to their number. You can circle
the information and get back to them at a later date," she says.
are looking for. Compare where your skills match up. What do you have
that could differentiate you? Where do you need to improve your skills.
to showcase competencies that companies are looking for.
because employer referral programs are one of the most popular recruiting
understand what your personal values are and how they mesh with those
of the corporation. "In everything you need to include integrity
and social responsibility," says Krajewski.
Pull up an extra chair at the executive roundtable.
Human resource professionals are joining in, says Susan Gauff,
who holds the unusual title of "vice president of people and communications"
at Sarnoff Corporation.
"Due to the war for talent today, particularly in technical disciplines,
there is a need for human resources to function at a higher strategic
level and to participate with senior executives to support retention
and recruitment," says Gauff, who speaks on "Tips and Techniques
for Getting a Seat at the Executive Table," on Tuesday, July 18,
at 6 p.m. at the New Jersey Technology Council Meeting at the Forsgate
Country Club. Also speaking: Jeffrey Weiner, human resource
manager at Alpha Technologies. Call 856-787-9700. Cost: $70.
A left-brainer in a right-brainer’s world (she has an English degree
from Centenary College, Class of 1967), Gauff says that she’s been
able to provide an extraordinary service for the technical community
at Sarnoff. "Sarnoff is a business that is 100 percent reliant
on the ideas that people bring forth, so my function is to maximize
the productivity of intellectual capital," says Gauff, who is
essentially the chief administrative officer responsible for human
resources, change programs, facilities, and marketing and communications.
"I focus on all of non-technical things," she says. "The
most important thing to understand is how engineers think. It’s a
very linear, analytical type of thinking, and most human resources
people are a little softer and less analytical. If you can approach
these non-technical things from a right-brain perspective, it’s relatively
easy to get technical people to understand how their behavior affects
Changing attitudes and relationships, in fact, can affect business
results, says Gauff. "Previously at Sarnoff, and at most technical
companies, the perception is that interpersonal relationships don’t
do much to create results. I’ve tried to teach people how to work
in teams, to teach management positive reinforcement techniques, and
to use people power to create better scientific results." One
of Gauff’s initiatives, the "Change/Leadership Team," brought
people with an orientation in process improvement together to teach
others in the company the fundamentals of process improvement productivity
in their respective departments.
Many human resources people function at a lower level in the organization,
says Gauff, doing very tactical jobs like administering benefits and
processing payroll, but as long as recruitment and retention remain
problems for the company (and in most, they do), human resources people
can play more of a strategic role. "If you give your employees
a better quality of life they will spend more time working," she
says "If you give people the authority to make their own decisions,
they will make better decisions."
If you’re going to cozy up with senior executives to create "people
initiatives," however, make sure you can show how it affects the
bottom line, says Gauff, who will be providing techniques on talking
the language of the board of directors at the seminar.
"There are three things a business wants to do," says Gauff.
"Make profits for shareholders, grow the business, and maintain
a reputation in their market. If you can relate the human resources
problem back to those three measurable results, you’re likely to have
more success with your programs."
For example, if you have a strategy for recruiting, don’t just look
up the costs to hire someone, calculate what it costs to the business
to not have that person on board in terms of lost productivity and
revenues. "Knowing that kind of information would assist you in
selling broader recruiting programs," she says.
If management training is your agenda, tie the success of the managers
back to retention. "There are a lot of costs in the turnover of
employees," says Gauff. "Show that the activities provide
a return on investment, real numbers. The secret is to be able to
prove it in a really analytical way."
Perhaps most important, says Gauff, you have to put yourself in a
position to associate with senior executives, and don’t be afraid
to ask them what kind of "results" they need to approve a
program. "A lot of people are intimidated by senior staff,"
says Gauff. "A lot of people make assumptions that they have to
go in front of the boss without rehearsal but that’s not true."
In your discussions with senior management, always relate the topics
you’re talking about to those areas of growth and profit. "If
there’s not a business reason for doing something," she says,
"you shouldn’t do it."
— Melinda Sherwood
A boss tries to micro-manage his company and it fails
to grow; a company hires technically-knowledgeable project managers
instead of salespeople and customers begin to drop like flies.
Such scenarios are possible at any small business. Bill Hogan,
a small business management consultant and professional coach, has
already solved a few of these problems. "The number one problem
I face is the control these entrepreneurs seem to exert," he says.
"If I’m the entrepreneur, I have to make all the decisions right
up to what donuts and coffee to pick. It becomes difficult to grow
the company that way."
Hogan speaks on "Developing Relationships Through Effective Sales
Techniques," on Wednesday, July 19, at 8:15 a.m. at the Princeton
Chamber meeting at the Nassau Club. Call 609-520-1776. Cost: $21.
A mathematician with a BS from Montclair State, Class of 1960, Hogan
started his career as a math teacher and basketball coach in Bergen
County. He later moved to IBM, where he spent 15 years in sales and
sales management, and two more years on the strategic planning staff
in Armonk. His consulting company, Leadership Group Inc. at 2 Carnegie
Road in Lawrence (609-883-5100), offers professional coaching in
the areas of hiring, firing, and having employees accept responsibility.
When entrepreneurs spend an inordinate amount of time running the
business, and not enough time planning the business, says Hogan, they
will find it difficult to get to the next level. His solution: "Let
the employees go out and start making the decisions."
Hogan’s Top 10 Ways to Empower Your Employees:
goals. Include employees at every level of the organization.
Employees often report that they have no input and are told how to
perform their jobs, says Hogan. Listen, and be willing to hear their
feedback. Balance it with positive.
along with responsibility. Don’t give an assignment, then give negative
feedback and say never mind, says Hogan.
mistakes as a form of learning. Don’t make them feel you are looking
over their shoulder to make sure that they do things right, says Hogan.
are one way.
often report that their goals are not viewed as important to the organization.
but to coach them to success. This is a process of developing their
skills and providing them specific feedback to meet high standards.
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