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Finding Your Next Job Via Social Media

September 23, 2010

Monster and CareerBuilder don’t want to hear it, but these two stalwarts of online recruiting may soon lose out to social media sites when it comes to linking people with job openings.

By the turn of the century, job boards replaced newspaper classifieds as the preferred way for job seekers to learn about new work opportunities. A decade later, 2010 will go down as the year that job seekers and employers began to turn to social networks to find each other.

Most Emoloyers Now Fish Social Networks for New Job Candidates

A Jobvite survey finds that 83 percent of companies now use or plan to use social media to find new hires. Of the companies already using social networks for recruiting, 58 percent said they had made successful hires of candidates found through social networks.

“Success in this area is leading almost half of employers to increase recruiting program spending on social media,” according to eMarketer. “At the same time, more than a third of companies were lowering spending on job boards and search firms.”

Among companies that use social networks for recruiting:

For women business owners, social media hiring tools make sense, according to Rieva Lesonsky, writing for AOL Small Business:

“The writing is on the (Facebook) wall: If you are looking to hire, low-cost or even free methods like social media can get even better results than the more traditional ways. This makes a lot of sense to me — I’ve heard complaints for years about the inefficiencies of job boards.”

Top Job Search Strategies on Social Sites

Writing for Mashable, Dan Schawbel, a master of personal branding, provides a number of head-turning tips for job seekers who want to attract employers in the Age of Social Networking. Here are a few of his ideas:

  • Search for people at companies you like instead of searching for jobs.
  • Construct a video resume and put it on YouTube.
  • Advertise your personal brand using Google AdWords or Facebook Social Ads.
  • Subscribe to blogs that have job postings in your industry or area of expertise.

Also, see Schawbel’s list of Top 10 Social Sites for Finding a Job.

In Your Shoes is created by Johnston & Murphy, offering quality shoes and outerwear for women and men. We welcome your comments and contributions.

Marketing to Facebook- and Twitter-Addicted Women

September 16, 2010

A growing number of women report daily addictions to social media, according to new research. For women business owners, this means dramatic changes in how they market to other women, especially younger females and moms.

“If they’re on Facebook, you need to be there too,” writes Rieva Lesonsky for AOL Small Business. “It’s a great opportunity to get in front of them during key moments of their day.”

Women Love Facebook More than Shoes?

Lesonsky’s article is cleverly titled, Survey Says: Why Women May Love Facebook and Twitter More than Shoes (thankfully, since In Your Shoes is made possible by Johnston & Murphy, we did not find any evidence in support of the headline).

However, there are many interesting findings from the study, commissioned by the Oxygen Media Insights Group. For women, ages 18-34, the study found:

  • 57 percent admitted to talking to people online more than face-to-face.
  • 39 percent called themselves Facebook addicts.
  • 34 percent said checking Facebook is the first thing they do when waking up in the morning.
  • 21 percent check Facebook in the middle of the night.

“Addiction? Not so much,” writes Susan Getgood for BlogHer. “The majority of millennials seem to have retained a certain amount of common sense.”

For example, she notes that 66 percent of young women are still smart enough to pee before they check Facebook in the morning.

“Online media have replaced some percentage of face-to-face conversations and traditional media use for nearly everyone who goes online, in every demographic,” Getgood adds. “For one thing, there are more people to talk with than we would ever meet ‘in real life.’ Not to mention that, for some, being able to talk online is the reason they are online in the first place.”

Moms Hooked on Twitter

Twitter is also an addiction for many women.

The majority (54 percent) of Twitter-using moms said they check their feeds 10 or more times each day, according to a new Lucid Marketing study. Also, 58 percent of these moms said they tweet from their cell phones or smart phones.

When it comes to business tweets, the survey found that Twitter-using moms most like:

  • Links to interesting articles, news (71 percent).
  • Links to sales and special offer Web sites (67 percent).
  • Links to downloadable coupons or discounts (63 percent).
  • Updates on new products (55 percent).
  • Funny tweets (52 percent).

“While moms are receptive to marketing on both sites [Facebook and Twitter], they’re a bit more protective of their personal space on Facebook, and a bit more focused on getting coupons and special offers there,” writes Jack Loechner for MediaPost. “On Twitter, they’re looking for good deals too, but they also want to be kept informed about news and articles that are relevant to their lives.”

In Your Shoes is created by Johnston & Murphy, offering quality shoes and outerwear for women and men. We welcome your comments and contributions.

Entrepreneurs: Evolve or Perish in Tough Times

August 10, 2010

We recently reported that, over recent months, the “accidental entrepreneur” has emerged — women and men who, after getting laid off and finding a lackluster job market, decided that it is time to become their own employers.

So, now what? It one thing to jump into the start-up world, but how do you stay afloat in these uncertain time?

It’s essential to continuously  transform your business model to survive this economic downturn, writes Entrepreneur.com’s Chris Penttila in Learn to Evolve.

Become a Game Changer

“This recession is different from other recessions in its scope and depth, and the worst thing you can do is more of the same,” Penttila says. Penttila offers seven ways that entrepreneurs can become game changers, including:

  • Get comfortable with chaos, including constant economic turbulence from globalization and technology.
  • Reassess your customers’ values. Know how people’s values and purchases have changed. “The answers could spark new product and service ideas aimed at value-conscious customers,” Penttila says.
  • Understand that a good product always sells, even in bad times, of the product — or service — helps people solve real problems.
  • Think new markets, not just cost-cutting. “Game changers see levers they can pull (e.g., affordability, convenience, accessibility, location and cost) that change a market or create an entirely new one.”

Lessons Learned from Women Entrepreneurs

Perhaps the best advice is to recognize that you’re not alone in these hard times.

Mike Michalowicz, in his Toilet Paper Entrepreneur blog, has compiled a list of more than 200 lessons learned from entrepreneurs. Here are a few from women entrepreneurs:

Nicole Dean of Busy Marketers Coach: “The recession has been an opportunity for me to reflect on the values of my business. “It’s challenged me to serve my clients even better by offering them more value for their hard-earned money, and only recommending products and services that I personally would recommend to my best friend. I had that attitude from the beginning, but it’s pushed me to take it to a deeper level. I think my customers appreciate that. By adding more value and giving more results, you’ll better weather the storm.”

Dotty Scott of Premium Websites: “The media will waste your time and pull your focus away. My number one lesson was to turn off the TV/radio and stop listening to the media. I found that I stopped worrying about the economy and gained focus on my business. My business started to grow in spite of the economy and that was a direct result of focus, work and not participating in the dooms-day attitude of the media.”

Nancy Rielle of VerveCards.com: “During a recession, folks still buy, they just buy way more judiciously. And, if your product or service is recession-friendly and actually helps people save money in a solid, value-added way, then recessionary spending can work in your favor!”

Siobhan Shaw of The Broke Wives Club: “The biggest lesson learned from the recession is that this is not the time to stick your head in the sand waiting for things to get better, for the government to bail you out or for money to magically appear. It’s a time for working hard, creating great ideas and networking. Keep plugging away at it until someone says, ‘YES!'”

Stacy Karacostas of The Unchained Entrepreneur: “Most entrepreneurs pull back on marketing during a recession because cash flow is tight. But that means there’s more opportunity for you to get noticed and get clients because there’s less competition. So cut costs elsewhere and do all the marketing you can, and you’ll get more clients — and more bang for your marketing buck. Plus, as the recession ends, you’ll be top of mind while your competition is forgotten.”

We Want to Hear from You!

How is your business weathering the storm? What lessons have you learned from the recession?

In Your Shoes is created by Johnston & Murphy, offering quality shoes and outerwear for women and men. We welcome your comments and contributions.

Accidental Entrepreneurs Spring from Recession

August 5, 2010

If there’s good news from the recession, leaving record numbers of workers unemployed, it’s that 2009 also marked the year of business startups. However, many of these new businesses have emerged from necessity. Perhaps you are one of the new “accidental entrepreneurs” who have sprung up from the recent economic doldrums.

Here are the facts: In 2009, business startups reached their highest level in 14 years, even exceeding the dot.com boom of 1999 and 2000, according to the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity. The 340 out of 100,000 adults who started businesses each month in 2009 represented a 4 percent increase over 2008, or 27,000 more starts per month than in 2008 and 60,000 more starts per month than in 2007.

Rise of the Accidental Entrepreneur

“Challenging times can serve as a motivational boost to individuals who have been laid off to become their own employers and future job creators,” says Carl Schramm, president of the Kauffman Foundation, in a press release.

Entrepreneurship growth was highest among those ages 35-44, according to the report. The oldest age group, 55-64, also experienced a large increase in business creation rates. Entrepreneurial activity increased for both women and men.

“With unemployment hovering at 10 percent and the economy still shedding jobs, many would-be employees have concluded that the best way forward is to go into business for themselves, whether they want to or not,” writes Allison Linn for msnbc.com (Accidental Entrepreneurs on the Rise).

Many of these workers call themselves “accidental entrepreneurs.”

Business Owners Hopefully Cautious

The majority of members of the National Association of Business Owners (NAWBO) feel the U.S. economy is improving, and will be better at the end of 2010 than it is today, according to a NAWBO survey.

Still, there are some lingering doubts.

“The performance of the economy is mediocre at best,” said William C. Dunkelberg, chief economist for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), in a press release. “Given the extent of the decline over the past two years, pent up demand should be immense, but it is not triggering a rapid pickup in economic activity.”

NFIB’s Index of Small Business Optimism gained 1.6 points in May with a reading of 92.2, the most positive reading since September 2008’s 92.9 index. However, while seven of the 10 index components rose, job creation and capital expenditure plans remained at recession levels.

A Citibank small business survey found similar results: 77 percent of business owners surveyed rate current business conditions as either fair or poor, as reported by Entrepreneur.com. And 43 percent said their own business is worse off today than it was a year ago.

In Your Shoes is created by Johnston & Murphy, offering quality shoes and outerwear for women and men. We welcome your comments and contributions.

Rue La La: A Unique Shopping Destination

July 22, 2010

Fashion for Johnston & Murphy – including both the women’s and men’s lines – will soon be available on Rue La La, the exclusive, invitation-only online boutique that features discounts for high-end shoppers.

Via online sample sales, Rue La La members discover premier-brand, private sale boutiques, each open for just a brief window of time. Johnston & Murphy customers will soon receive Rue La La’s special members-only savings.

If you are not already a Rue La La member, we have an invitation just for you!  Click here for your invitation.

The Rue La La Experience

“We hope to bring our members a welcoming shopping experience full of discovery and pleasure,” Rue La La tells VentureBeat Profiles. “Our focus is a well-edited collection of sought-after offerings from the best brand names in the world — combined with helpful service.”

Rue La La acquires slow-selling and overstocked inventory from high-end retailers and offers it at reduced prices to members. Members receive e-mail alerts announcing the latest sales, which last only 48 hours.

Invitation-only membership is free. Members shape the community by inviting new members, earning a $10 Rue La La credit when each new friend joins and places their first order. Rue La La provides it’s members with access to premium lifestyle brands for apparel, home, beauty, travel and experiences and more at up to 70 percent off retail.

“Since some items sell out (inventory includes anywhere from two dozen to several hundred of each item, and shoppers aren’t privy to the totals), members are motivated to click and buy quickly,” according to Boston.com. “The adrenal charge of fast-paced, exclusive sales and the ease and inconspicuousness of shopping online make for a compelling combination.”

Now Available on Your Mobile

The company has recently launched applications for the iPhone and iPad, joining their mobile site – m.ruelala.com.

“Rue La La is excited to deliver complete shopping mobility to our members allowing them to experience the thrill of accessing their favorite brands when our boutiques open at 11:00 a.m. no matter where they are,” Rue La La CEO Ben Fischman tells stylist.com. “We have answered their call of urgency by providing the unparalleled shopping experience found from their desktops with the most popular mobile devices, including iPhone, iPad, Blackberry and Android. Rue La La members never have to miss another boutique.”

Highest Paid U.S. Women Executives

July 19, 2010

If you aspire (And why not?) to be one of the top U.S. women in business, here is the group that you’re going up against.

Forbes.com recently posted its list of the highest paid female chief executives (based on each woman’s yearly total

Irene Rosenfeld (courtesy of Forbes.com)

compensation) of the 500 biggest companies in the United States as measured by a composite ranking of sales, profits, assets and market value.

Here are the top five:

  1. Irene Rosenfeld, $16.7 million, Kraft Foods: Rosenfeld, 56, engineered the hostile takeover of Cadbury, a $19 billion deal.
  2. Susan Ivey, $11.8 million, Reynolds American: Ivey, 51, is the first woman to run a major tobacco company.
  3. Carol Meyrowitz, $11.1 million, TJX Cos: Meyrowitz, 56, runs discount stores T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and Home Goods.
  4. Indra Nooyi, $10.7 million, PepsiCo: Nooyi, 54, is the spark behind the company’s push to add healthier products to its beverage and snack lines.
  5. Andrea Jung, $9.1 million, Avon Products: Jung, 51, is battling tough times; Avon’s profits fell 29 percent in 2009, according to Forbes.com.

We admire all of these successful women, whether they are going through good or tough times at their respective companies.

Which women business leaders do you most admire? Why? We’d love to hear from you.

In Your Shoes is created by Johnston & Murphy, offering quality shoes and outerwear for women and men. We welcome your comments and contributions.

Fear May Help Business Women Negotiate Stronger

July 13, 2010

A little fear can go a long way when it comes to improving the negotiating skills of business women, a new study suggests.

Research from UCLA found that women benefit from using fear as a self-motivating tool to boost their earning power through negotiations. The opposite, however, proved true for men. In the “fear condition,” men were less likely to negotiate for higher payment amounts.

Overcoming the “Women Don’t Ask” Phenomenon

The findings come from laboratory experiments to determine if certain emotions — such as fear or anger — can help women overcome the much-studied Women Don’t Ask phenomenon.

The phenomenon, according to researchers Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever, holds that women simply don’t ask for what they want and deserve — at least not as often as men do.

“It turns out that whether they want higher salaries or more help at home, women often find it hard to ask,” according to the researchers’ Women Don’t Ask Web site. “Sometimes they don’t know that change is possible — they don’t know that they can ask. Sometimes they fear that asking may damage a relationship. And sometimes they don’t ask because they’ve learned that society can react badly to women asserting their own needs and desires.”

How Fear Helps Women Negotiate

In the experiment, participants played a word game and were told that, depending on their performance, they would be paid between $4 and $12, and that the amount was negotiable. Prior to their payment negotiation, participants watched video clips to induce fear, anger or a neutral emotion.

What UCLA researchers uncovered, to their surprise, is that fear, but not anger, helps motivate women to overcome their don’t ask tendencies. The results: Frightened women took home larger payments than women who watched neutral video clips. Fearful men took home smaller payments. No gender differences were observed between angry and neutral subjects.

The researchers plan to conduct additional studies on why fear works to improve the negotiation abilities of women, but they have already developed some working theories. While fear, for example, solicits a “flight-or-fight” pattern in men, fear produces a “tend-and-befriend” tendency in women that goes back to our most basic animal instincts.

Researchers surmise that “women have evolved this response tendency that promotes caring for offspring (tend) and affiliating with other females (befriend) to cope with stress.”

According to the research report: “It may be that fearful women in our study were affiliating with the female experimenter (note: each experimental session was run by a woman), engaging in more chatty behavior and entering negotiation through friendliness versus an oppositional stance.”

It is unknown how the results might have differed for women if they had been affiliating with a male experimenter.

There was no support for the hypothesis that anger would boost men and women’s propensity to negotiate.

Words of Caution and Encouragement

UCLA researchers, however, say they are not ready to advocate scaring women as a way to boost their negotiation outcomes. The negotiation experiment, they note, induced fear by showing scary scenes from a movie prior to the negotiation experiment. Fear was not induced about the negotiation itself and it is unknown how that would impact women’s negotiation behavior.

“Rather, we take the current results as encouraging evidence that women are not doomed to underperform in negotiation,” according to the study. “Changing one’s motivational state from emotional experiences is just one way to fix the disparity between men and women.”

What Business Managers Can Do to Help Women

A Harvard Business Review story, Nice Girls Don’t Ask, written by Babcock, Laschever, Michele Gelfand and Deborah Small, provides tips for managers so they can better supervise and mentor women on asking for advantages and opportunities:

  • Tell women employees they must ask for what they want and need.
  • Inform female reports about the benefits of negotiating.
  • Give men and women comparable raises for comparable achievement.
  • Recognize that many women have a style that’s less assertive than men’s — and don’t leave them out because of it.
  • Monitor you and your company’s track record for advancing female employees.
  • Walk the talk: Create a workplace in which men and women are rewarded equally.

“Managers need to confront this problem,” the authors write. The authors urge the mentoring of women, especially in advising them of the benefits of asking for what they need to fulfill professional goals. “Our studies found that women respond immediately and powerfully to advising and rapidly begin to see the world as a much more negotiable place.”

In Your Shoes is created by Johnston & Murphy, offering quality shoes and outerwear for women and men. We welcome your comments and contributions.

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