Friday, June 13, 2008 -- Career Advancement for Experienced Professionals officially launched this week, so we decided it's time to explain a bit about ourselves.

First and foremost, is a career advancement website. We culminate the career advancement process using our TrueMatch technology, which intelligently fits our members' multidimensional profiles to aligned career opportunities. TrueMatch eliminates the frustration of a job search by notifying professionals of positions that fit their professional background, competencies, and interests, and by empowering our network to input their own opinion of who would be a good fit for each opportunity. In this way, we help working professionals find relevant opportunities and hiring companies locate top talent in a highly targeted way--without the frustration of random resume and job-posting searches. Our recent coverage in explains TrueMatch well.

At the same time, getting hired into the next position is just one piece of career advancement. Instead of moving laterally, PeopleAhead helps professionals advance their careers by making it easy to engage their existing network of trusted professionals in meaningful, effective career-related activities. In PeopleAhead, members share their career vision and action plans with colleagues, professors, mentors, advisers and friends in a private community environment that facilitates the open exchange of sensitive topics that cannot be shared in open social and professional networks. In doing so, members get the advice they need in order to make critical career-related decisions, such as which MBA school to choose, how to move from an associate role to a consultant role, or simply how to tackle an upcoming marketing project.

Together with our official launch, LinkedIn members can now import their existing LinkedIn profile into PeopleAhead to kick-start the PeopleAhead career advancement experience. If you're curious about our TrueMatch technology, use your LinkedIn info. to get your 10 second TrueMatch test drive. Once registered, you'll be ready to privately share your career plans, your vision and start getting on the two-way street to career advancement.

Please enjoy!
The PeopleAhead Team

Monday, June 9, 2008

Job Seeking 2008: A multidimensional career presence is key

To employers, your multidimensional career presence offers a window into your career activities both from your own perspective but also from the perspective of others who know you in a career-related context. This multidimensionality provides insights and reveals key characteristics that employers can’t know by looking at the information on your resume.

To visualize the concept, think about your career presence in terms of a blind date. The reason blind dates work is because your friends recommend dates they believe are a good match. They’re recommending your blind date not just because they know you’ll like the way your date looks, but also because they believe that your personality, style and demeanor are a good fit. They’re helping you get to know your date before you even meet!

The blind date concept holds true for your career as well. When employers are looking to hire top candidates, it’s very difficult to make an informed decision because all they know about you is what’s on your resume. There’s more to you as a professional than just the accomplishments on your resume. This is why your online career presence must be multidimensional—The best way to be matched with the right career opportunities is to help employers get to know you better. They’ll know you much better and be able to consider you for the right opportunities if they can see you as the people who know you do.

PeopleAhead helps users create a multidimensional career presence that is objective by moving away from the good vs. bad mentality. Let’s be honest, most reviewers only post glowing reviews and candidates can usually delete reviews they don’t like, so reviews aren’t really good or bad, they’re just good. Imagine you’re an employer reading glowing recommendations from every candidate you consider—it’s hard to tell the difference between what’s real and what’s...lets say, exaggerated, so where’s the value?

We help members show potential employers the perspectives of their mentors, friends, colleagues and even former supervisors without asking what’s good or bad. The career presence of PeopleAhead members highlights their interest in helping others, their most evident competencies (all PeopleAhead competencies are good, but some are a higher or lower priority, depending on the requirements of the position) and talent for recognizing a good career match without sacrificing objectiveness. At the same time, our TrueMatch technology connects members with the right career opportunities from the right companies so that when they apply (members remain anonymous to employers until they apply for a TrueMatch opportunity) they’re sharing an objective multidimensional career presence, rather than just a resume.

Make your career presence multidimensional, your career will thank you.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Who benefits from mentors?

Most people think of the mentee (or protoge)—the person taken under the guidance of a trusted friend, counselor or teacher—as the winner in a mentor-mentee relationship. It is true the mentee often receives valuable personal, professional or spiritual advice, and many of the world’s most successful people have benefited from having a mentor including:

business people - Freddie Laker mentored Richard Branson
politicians - Aristotle mentored Alexander the Great
actors - Mel Gibson mentored Heath Ledger
athletes - Eddy Merckx (five-time Tour de France winner) mentored Lance Armstrong (seven-time Tour de France winner).

But a recent study by Sun Microsystems suggests that the mentor may benefit at least as much as the mentee from this type of relationship. Sun compared the career progress of over 1000 employees over a five-year period examining the impact on mentors and mentees and came up with some surprising findings:
Mentees were nearly 5 times as likely (25% vs. 5.3%) to receive a salary grade increase as their peers who did not have mentors, but Mentors fared even better: 28% of Mentors received salary grade increases versus just 5% of similar grade employees who were not part of the program.

Sun Microsystems itself has been a beneficiary of the mentoring program. According to internal calculations, Sun’s minimum Return on Investment (ROI) was 600%, based on the program cost vs. employee knowledge and productivity as measured by salary, merit increases & promotions. Source: Sun Microsystems, ROI study on the SunU Mentoring Program

So what does this mean for those of us who aren’t mentoring (mentor or mentee)? Its critical to start! When someone asks you to be a mentor, take the time to find out how you can help. Ask what the person’s plans are. Ask what steps he/she is taking to reach the stated objectives and ask what reaching the objectives will accomplish?

If you’re in search of a mentor, don’t overload your prospective mentor with information. Take your time, evaluate how you think a mentor can help, and explain what you hope to accomplish by building the relationship.

If this doesn’t sound like an easy task, don’t worry you’re not alone! PeopleAhead has been working hard, making it easier for mentors to help mentees, and helping mentees get the most from their mentors. Career advancement can be productive and continuous, so get your two way mentor-mentee relationship rolling!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Online recruitment is ripe for an update

Each day, there are millions of jobs available online--Job-search aggregator SimplyHired has nearly 5,000,000 jobs searchable at any one time. According to research firm Borrell Associates, 2006 marked the first year that online recruitment ad spending outpaced newspaper ads, with $5.9 billion spent online versus $5.4 billion spent with newspapers. Employers are working harder and spending more money than ever before but the disconnect between talented candidates and these companies seems to be as big as ever. In preparing to launch PeopleAhead, we examined why online recruitment isn’t working; and we’ve made a couple of observations.

Online job posting: When online job posting first hit the internet, it was a disruptive technology. For the first time in history, job-seekers could search for and find any company’s latest positions. The days of buying the Sunday papers from every metro market within 100 miles and circling ads with a Sharpie pen were numbered. This was a great period for employers too—instead of recruiting from the limited local population, companies were able to open the search to anyone with internet access. Soon though, too many employers started posting and too many people were applying...just too much of a good (and sometimes bad) thing.

Recruitment networking: To help employers find better people, companies began solving the problem with a novel idea (at the time)—recruitment networking. What began as HR departments sending emails to their employees soon blossomed into a full-blown recommendation-generating industry. Most recently the contact list concept has been further expanded to include referral companies that help employers harness the power of their own networks' networks. This "professional" networking trend improves online recruitment by using recommendations to source better people, but at the same time, people who don’t know much about recruitment are being relied upon to make important sourcing decisions. In addition, recruitment networking has witnessed an unexpected reaction—network fatigue. Employers that frequently use their networks as a referral base often find that the network no longer responds to requests and would-be job seekers get tired of constantly being sent mis-matched career opportunities.

So, what do these observations tell us? The industry is ripe for an update--a tweek here, a tweek there and online recruitment could be a beautiful thing for both employers and professionals.

PeopleAhead has spent the past year silently developing our intelligent TrueMatch® technology to bridge the disconnect between employers and professionals. We identify the right professionals, whether they're searching or not--and match them to the career opportunities where their background is aligned, where they fit the company culture and were their interests lie. Relevant career opportunities for experienced professionals. Qualified, interested candidates for employers. As one of our early users can attest, "I know that when I get notified of an opportunity in PeopleAhead that its something I should seriously consider."