A few simple steps during the make-ready process can help your service team reduce A/C calls and prevent leaks.

No doubt about it, it's HOT, and your lead maintenance is probably thinking, "How can I reduce A/C service calls?" One simple answer is that preventive maintenance equals savings. Take care of your HVAC system and it will take care of the residents and result in fewer service calls.

For many of us it is a hot and hectic summer, and we want fewer A/C calls - and for some reason, they often seem to come in all at once. For anyone on call, it can seem as if it happens at 4:59 every Friday afternoon.


One effective way to reduce the amount of A/C calls is to check the entire system during the make-ready process and label the outdoor units/condensers to identify which unit each is actually connected to. How many times have you found a unit that had the wrong number on it?

Whether it was a unit that had a different number on the electrical disconnect compared to what is written on the actual unit itself or if the outdoor unit was completely on a different side of the building with no unit number identifying the unit, this is a time-waster that can be very frustrating.

One way to avoid this snafu is to use vinyl stickers on the disconnect box and unit. They are inexpensive and do not fade quickly like markers and paint pens. In my experience, if the sticker ever does get peeled off, you can almost always make out the numbers and letters.


The difference between the air going into the return grill and coming out of the supply vent should be around 15-20 degrees. In other words, if it is 100 degrees in someone's home, the coldest the supply air will be is 80-85 degrees. If it is 80 degrees in a home, the coldest the air coming out of the vents should be is 60-65 degrees. If the difference is too high, that means something may need to be corrected, such as airflow, or that the charge is either too high or low.


If an A/C unit doesn't have excellent airflow, it cannot and will not operate at its maximum capacity or efficiency and as a result will give incorrect gauge pressures. Cleaning the indoor and outdoor coils during a turn doesn't take too much extra time, and the time is well worth the reduction in A/C calls and unnecessary overtime, and most of all, it will prevent an overworked service team.


Many of us have been bombarded with A/C calls over the past few months and corrected more than our share of undercharged units. Historically what happens next when the A/C systems are up and running is condensation leaks, which can wreak havoc on your ceilings and carpets and really make a mess while frustrating a resident.

Cleaning out drain pans and adding something as simple as a sludge-preventing drain tablet can save a fortune in time and frustration and prevent you from making a return trip. Let's face it - the last thing a technician wants to do is make several trips to the same home for the same or similar problem.

Keep in mind that condensation water is absolutely filthy and should be treated whenever it leaks. It has been known to harbor the bacteria that causes Legionnaires' disease, so please be sure to disinfect any area that has come in contact with condensation. Many reports show that it carries more harmful bacteria than raw sewage!

An ounce of prevention will save you a pound of work, so install the tablets. They will make a difference. Clean coils whenever you get a chance, and of course, the best time to install the drain tablets is during the turn process. If you make it a habit, I guarantee you'll get fewer condensation leaks.


If the A/C isn't blowing cold, checking the refrigerant level is a no-brainer. Checking the charge is one of the best ways to determine if an A/C is functioning, but it should also be one of the last checks made, because if the coils are clean and the airflow is correct, then the gauges will give a much more accurate and telling measurement.


Teams that continuously train perform better than teams that don't. Whether it is a refresher class for an experienced technician, troubleshooting tips or an introduction for a new technician, training always costs less than one resident with no A/C for a few days.

About the author: Mark is the President of Plus One Consulting, Inc. and founder of Service Team Mark is a national speaker and a leading resource in the industry. His certifications include, CAPS, CAMT I, CAMTII, CPO Instructor with the National Swimming Pool Foundation, EPA proctor for the 608, 609, and R-410a certifications, and he is a proctor for all HVAC Excellence courses. Mark is also a NAAEI Instructor and was a subject matter expert for the new CAMT program.

The CXC Talent Solutions Digital Interviewing Experience 

see url CXC Talent Solutions results-driven approach to business sets us apart.  We are working to build teams of the best people in the Apartment industry: people who are hard-wired to be intellectually curious, ethical, provide an exceptional customer experience, and deliver tangible predictable results. 

To that end, we are using the latest technologies to secure the top talent in the Apartment industry, and present them the best career opportunities in the industry.  We're excited to learn more about you and hope you enjoy our unique, digital interviewing experience. 

follow Digital interviewing is a modern, new way to interview. Simply record your answers to pre-set interview questions using your webcam-enabled device—laptop, desktop, and mobile device (iOS and Android smartphones and tablets), and that's it!  Your responses will be shared across hiring teams so we can best assess your skills and fit. It will help speed our hiring process and keep you well informed along the way.


Thursday, 03 October 2013 11:46

Writing Job Postings for Adults

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MOOCs are massive open online courses. They're the next big thing in higher education. They link hundreds, sometimes thousands of students in free educational programs offered on the Internet. What's that have to do with recruiting? They've learned how to deliver content that adults will read.

Tragically, job postings are often ignored by the very candidates recruiter most want to reach. That's not a criticism, just a fact. Passive, high caliber talent has the attention span of a gnat, so getting them to focus on an opening isn't easy.

Sometimes, however, we make grabbing their attention harder than it already is. How? It begins with our vocabulary.

We use language in our job postings that only an employer could love. Talking about a job's "requirements and responsibilities" may be the way we've always described vacant jobs, but, in this case at least, tradition is a trap. People's behaviors and preferences have evolved and so too must the job posting.

What do job seekers - and especially the passive top performers -most want to read in a job posting? They want to know "what's in it for them." That means the ad must answer five key questions:

  • What will they get to do?
  • What will they get to learn?
  • What will they get to accomplish?
  • With whom with they get to work?
  • How will they be recognized and rewarded?

Yes, those answers present a job's requirements and responsibilities, but they do so from the candidate's perspective. They provide information as candidates want it articulated, not as employers have traditionally presented it. They adhere to the most basic of consumer principles: always put yourself in the customer's shoes.

But, here's the rub. Even with the right vocabulary, a job posting is likely to remain unread, at least by the best talent. Why? Because more often than not, it's presented in the wrong format.

Phd Thesis In Knowledge Management The Handcuffs That Keep Adults Reading

MOOCs apply the latest research in adult learning to capture and hold the attention of tired, stressed, overworked and, occasionally, lazy adults. And, their completion rates - the number of people who successfully pass the end-of-course exam - is proof positive that students are actually reading and absorbing the content.

At the risk of trivializing some very sophisticated studies, the key concept MOOCs use in their content delivery is to format it in bite-sized pieces. It turns out that most adults - a population that includes active as well as passive job seekers - have the attention span of a gnat. Or, to put it in more general terms, adult minds tend to wander if not stimulated regularly.

For that reason, a MOOC lecture is interrupted every 15 minutes with a test of attention - an inquiry which forces students to absorb, think about and react to the content. And, job postings should be organized to do the same.

Every three paragraphs, a job posting should insert a test of attention - an inquiry that acts like a set of handcuffs on the reader. These inquiries should be carefully crafted to help the reader (a) better understand the information that's being presented and (b) relate it to the answers they seek to those five key questions.

This format prevents the job seeker's attention from wandering because they aren't just reading the ad, they're participating in it. They experience the content rather than simply being shown it. They are challenged by rather than spoken to, and that stimulates their interest, especially if they are high caliber talent.

Like resumes, there are plenty of critics of job postings and yet, they remain the lingua franca of employer-to-candidate communication. For that reason, it's important to get their vocabulary and format right. And the key to success is to craft both for adults, for they are the readers we're trying to reach.

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On June 26, 2013, the United States Supreme Court held that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which prevented the federal government from recognizing state-granted same-sex marriages, was unconstitutional because it violated the Fifth Amendment by treating same-sex couples differently than heterosexual couples.

As a result, federal agencies are rewriting their regulations with respect to benefits offered to married same-sex couples. For example, the Internal Revenue Service recently announced that legally married same-sex couples will be treated as married for federal tax purposes, regardless of the state in which they live. Similarly, on September 18, 2013, the Department of Labor clarified that legally married same-sex couples will be treated as married for Employee Retirement Benefit Security Act (ERISA) purposes, regardless of the state in which they live.

Although it may seem intuitive that a change in federal law—striking down a provision of DOMA—would affect the application of all federal laws pertaining to marriage in the same way nationwide, this is not necessarily the case. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a perfect example. The FMLA provides job-protected leave for qualified employees who need to provide care for family members, including spouses, with qualifying medical conditions. Significantly, however, the FMLA defines spouse as “a husband or wife as defined or recognized under State law for purposes of marriage in the State where the employee resides.”

Therefore, following the Supreme Court’s ruling, FMLA leave is now available to married same-sex couples who reside in the 13 states, and the District of Columbia, that recognize same-sex marriage.[5] Employees who reside in a state that does not recognize same-sex marriage do not qualify for FMLA leave to care for an ill same-sex spouse, even if they were married in or work in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage.

Employers may choose to grant leave for employees to care for same-sex spouses or domestic partners that is akin to FMLA leave, but should not refer to such leave as FMLA. Employers should also stay abreast of state law developments on recognition of same-sex marriages because of their potential impact on employer obligations under both state and federal law.

In Texas, state recognition of same-sex marriages and domestic partnerships remains in flux. On April 29, 2013, the Attorney General’s office issued an opinion providing that the Texas Constitution, which prohibits the state from recognizing “any legal status identical or similar to marriage,” prevents the state or state agencies from providing insurance benefits to employees’ domestic partners. This opinion significantly affects same-sex partners because they are not eligible for common law marriage status like unmarried heterosexual partners.

The Texas Supreme Court indicated a potential shift, however, when it recently agreed to hear two cases that challenge sections of the Texas Constitution and Texas Family Code that define marriage as between one man and one woman. Both cases involve same-sex couples who were married in Massachusetts and now seek to divorce in Texas. Texas courts have generally held that, because they are unable to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex, they are unable to grant a divorce for a marriage they cannot recognize.

Oral argument for both cases is scheduled for November 5, 2013. The outcome could have significant impacts on employer obligations under both state and federal law.

James H. Kizziar, Jr. is a partner with Bracewell & Giuliani LLP in the firm’s San Antonio, Texas and Washington, D.C. offices. He is Special Counsel to TAA for labor and employment issues. Amber K. Dodds is an Associate with Bracewell & Giuliani LLP in the firm’s San Antonio office. Both Kizziar andDodds represent management in all aspects of labor and employment law.

Survey after survey now confirms that a growing number of job openings are structured as part time employment. While some of this shift away from the traditional 40 workweek might be due to the debut of the new healthcare law, there's another factor that's largely unrecognized and just as important. The constant change going on in today's global marketplace has put a premium on flexibility.

The global marketplace is being buffeted by a range of forces that affect large and small employers alike. These forces include the rapid introduction of new and often disruptive technology; the growth of new and hyper aggressive competitors, the development of new and potentially revolutionary business strategies, practices, and procedures; and the imposition of new and often costly laws and government policies.

The resulting instability caused by all this change has undercut employers' ability to determine their workforce needs. Historically, they could project the number of workers and the kinds of skills they would need at least one or two years down the road. Today, they can't tell who they will need six months in the future. In effect, their workforce of tomorrow (and the day after that) has become an enigma.

Faced with such uncertainty, many if not most employers become risk averse. Instead of hiring someone for a full time job, with all of its attendant costs and legal obligations, they hire people on a part time basis. And they do so even if it means they must employ two or more people to get the work done.

How can you protect yourself from this situation? Add ancillary skills and promote them as a part of your personal brand.

go site Fight the Pigeonhole

Securing employment, whether it's in a part time or full time job, can only be achieved if your primary skill is at the state-of-the-art. Employers today are no longer competing with companies overseas that have cheaper labor; they're competing with those that have smarter labor. As a consequence, they need workers who are at the top of their game in their profession, craft or trade, and that expertise is now an inflexible precondition for getting hired.

Once you've met that precondition, however, the uncertainty factor rears its ugly head. You can be an expert in your field and still see only part time job offers because employers are simply unable to tell if they will need you in the near, let alone the longer term. In other words, your core expertise will get you in the door, but it won't get you a full time job. 

What can you do? Fight the pigeonhole. Force employers to set aside this constricted view of your role by positioning yourself as a highly flexible contributor. Make sure you're seen as a person you can adapt to and contribute in a wider range of circumstances and situations than those defined by your job.

To accomplish that reset, however, you must add ancillary skills to your repertoire of capabilities. What are such skills? As I explain in  The Career Fitness Workbook, they are those competencies that enable you to deliver your core expertise in more than one setting. They include the ability to:

  • speak a second language,
  • organize and lead others in the accomplishment of ad hoc projects
  • use cutting edge software, hardware and/or systems, and
  • communicate clearly and effectively in both verbal presentations and writing.

The best way to implement this reset is with the following three-step process:

  • First, decide which skill would most enhance your ability to contribute your core expertise in a range of different circumstances.
  • Second, acquire that skill even if you are actively engaged in a job search. (And, if that's the case, add your ongoing coursework to your resume.)
  • Third, once you've acquired the skill, feature it on your resume so future employers will see you as a more versatile potential employee and/or make sure your current employer knows about it and what additional responsibilities you can now take on for the organization with it.

Given current conditions, employers will almost certainly continue and even expand their use of part time work. If your job search goal is a full time position, you can insulate yourself from this phenomenon by being and appearing more flexible through the acquisition of ancillary skills that expand your range of contribution for an employer.

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Peter Weddle
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Recruiting is an art, so it's not only appropriate but essential that it be conducted in accordance with an aesthetic. Unlike a strategy or tactic, an aesthetic is neither a game plan nor a set of actions. It is, instead, a guiding principle that shapes the formation and implementation of strategies and tactics with a core value.

While much is said and written about strategy in today's War for Talent, only one game plan can actually yield true victory. If talent is the key to success in the global economy, then "capturing an unfair share of the best talent" must be every enterprise's goal. And if that's the objective of recruiting, then the choice of tactics must be based on a single, complementary criterion: which actions provide the best assurance of achieving that goal.

An aesthetic, in contrast, must provide an ethos to which both the strategy and tactics adhere. If a brand differentiates an employer by characterizing its culture, an aesthetic does so by extolling its character - its dominant organizational value. If brand describes the "what" of its employment experience, its aesthetic describes the "why."

And, why has never been more important. One of the most famous maxims in employment states that "Talent joins an organization, but leaves managers." It is usually cited to underscore the importance of leadership. However, if the first part of the maxim - joining the organization - isn't achieved, the quality of leadership is moot. And for top talent, the decision to accept an offer is based first and foremost on an organization's core value.

So, what should be an organization's recruiting aesthetic in a War for Talent? It should be its own tailored version of Universal Mutualism - providing a win-win proposition for every working person.

Implementing Universal Mutualism

To understand the meaning of the term "universal mutualism," it's necessary to deconstruct it.

The first word - Universal - indicates that an employer consciously seeks to engage 100 percent of the workforce. While most organizations think they do so, the reality of their strategy and tactics says otherwise. For example, visit virtually any employer's career site and you'll find the term "job seeker" or "candidate" used to address those who visit. Yet, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that, at any point in time, just 16 percent of the workforce is actively in transition. As a result, 84 percent of the population doesn't think employers are talking to them.

Similarly, look at the content on corporate career sites. Once again, it's almost entirely devoted to soliciting applications. While information about an employer's facilities and benefits is helpful to active job seekers, it provides nothing of value to the other 84 percent of the workforce who aren't looking for a job (at that moment), but are looking for help advancing their career. It optimizes the candidate experience, but does nothing to optimize the experience for everyone else.

That reality is what makes the other word in the aesthetic - Mutualism - so important. Employers that are guided by Universal Mutualism provide a win-win experience for everyone. They provide job application support for active job seekers and job advancement support - for example, tips on setting career goals and dealing with career roadblocks - for the rest of their site's visitors In effect, they develop a symbiotic relationship with those who aren't looking for a job (right now) as well as those who are.

Universal Mutualism is a critically important aspect of the art of recruiting. It enables small and mid-sized employers to compete with large organizations, and large employers to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Is it possible to survive in the War for Talent without such an aesthetic? Yes. Is it possible to win the War for Talent without it? Absolutely not.

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Survey after survey confirms that job boards are among the most effective ways to find a new or better job in today's tough job market. For all that success, however, there are still many job seekers who come up empty-handed when using such sites. What should they do? Learn the two secrets to putting job boards to work for you.

The first secret is based on a hard truth: no one job board can adequately connect you with the full range of employment opportunities for which you are qualified. The key to success, therefore, is to ensure you tap the full range and depth of jobs posted online that are likely to be relevant and interesting to you.

How do you do that? Use my university essay editing services 6:1 Method. It goes like this: 3N + 2G + 1A = 1GJ


  • 3N stands for three niche sites, one that specializes in your career field, one that specializes in your industry and one that specializes in the location where you live or want to work. If location isn't important, double up in one of the other two categories. These sites give your job search depth in the job market online.
  • 2G stands for two general purpose recruiting sites. These sites cover all or most professions, crafts and trades, industries and geographic locations. They collect employment opportunities from a broad swath of employers - large and small, local and national - so they give your job search range in the job market.
  • 1A stands for one affinity site which focuses on employment opportunities for a specific group with which you have a personal relationship. For example, it might be a job board for your professional society or trade association or your undergraduate or graduate school. These sites give you an edge over other job seekers because they are not used by the general public.
  • And, 1GJ stands for one great job - the job for which you are qualified and in which you can do your best work.

But wait, how do you know which six sites to pick? With over 100,000 employment sites now operating on the Internet, it's not easy to identify the specific ones that will work best for you. To help with your selection, therefore, I recommend that you use the insights and information of:

  • Colleagues in your field,
  • Published Guides and Directories,
  • Research librarians at your public library, and
  • Other job seekers.

help for college Then What?

The second secret to using job boards effectively in a job search is knowing what to do with them and how best to do it. Here are three key ways to make sure these sites work for you:

  • essay paper writing services Sign up for the site's job agent. A job agent is a software-based personal shopper for your dream job. As with human personal shoppers, however, these tools seldom provide exactly what you want on the first try. So, set your parameters as carefully as you can, and then adjust and readjust them until the job agent starts delivering exactly what you're looking for, all or most of the time.
  • Archive your resume or profile in the site's database. Not all employment sites offer such a feature, but those that do are giving you a global billboard for advertising your credentials. But, be smart about how you do it. Proof read the document after it's uploaded to make sure the technology hasn't let you down, and then, keep it up-to-date as you add to your credentials.
  • Use the site's social capabilities. Job boards invented online networking - not LinkedIn - so take advantage of the discussion forums, chats, and other social features available at these sites. And when you do, practice the Golden Rule of Networking: You have to give in order to get. Share your insights and information with others so they will want to share their knowledge and tips with you.

There is no silver bullet in today's challenging job market. Job boards, however, have established a track record of success that makes them the bronze bullet of job searching. Use them correctly and they'll add a durable strength you can count on to your job search

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Why bother? Because talent is what enables us to achieve one of our most important rights as Americans. Talent is not a skill or competency. Talent is the capacity for excellence. More than any other factor, it is the attribute which empowers us to do our best work on-the-job. And doing our best work increases not only our paycheck but our sense of satisfaction as well. It is the way we make real the pursuit of Happiness.

The best way to find your talent is to engage in quiet self-exploration. You have to turn off your cell phone, your PC or tablet and the TV. You have to give yourself the gift of uninterrupted contemplation.

What must you think about? What you love to do and do best. Talent is found at the intersection of passion and practicality, so you are searching for an activity at which you excel and from which you derive genuine fulfillment. It is the crystalline essence of what makes you an extraordinarily capable person.

Finding the Intersection

To locate the intersection of your passion and practicality – to pinpoint your talent – you must descale the misperceptions that have covered over your sense of who you are and what you can do. You have to set aside everything your experience has told you about your capabilities and limitations and adopt a new perspective – one that is uniquely yours.

To gain that perspective, you will “look” into yourself from three different vantage points:

  • First, you will search for what most engages you – the one activity that naturally fascinates and challenges you;
  • Next, you will examine what is most relevant to you – the one activity that naturally seems worthwhile and important to you;
  • And last, you will find what matters most to you – the one activity you would naturally choose to undertake if you could. Those three aspects – engagement, relevance and choice – are the cardinal directions of Happiness at work. They are also the azimuths of your talent. Only they can point you to your inherent capacity for excellence.

How do you follow their lead? Perform the following exercises.

  • To discover what engages you, recall your best memories. Think back to your childhood and look for that activity you seemed to most enjoy doing over and over again. If it was setting up a lemonade stand, for example, what seemed to be the most fun: preparing the lemonade, setting up your stand, talking to your customers, or counting your money? What aspects of this "best memory" still bring a smile to your face even today?
  • To discover what is relevant to you, write your own tombstone. Rather than being locked into your life’s current course, however, take a Scroogian do-over. Ask yourself what you would do differently to create a legacy that would make you proud. Which decisions would you change? Which priorities, values or perceptions would you adjust? How would you re-imagine your work in order to celebrate your employment and its accomplishments?
  • To discover what choice you would make, pretend you’ve just won the lottery. After you’ve taken that around the world cruise and paid off the mortgage, what would you do? What activity has previously been beyond your reach, yet holds a special attraction or fascination for you? Is it helping sick kids, arranging flowers, teaching English, or designing new board games? What would you pick to do, if you could do whatever you wanted to?

Now, analyze your answers. If they’re the same or essentially the same for all three questions, your evaluation is complete. You’ve made your acquaintance with your talent. You’ve identified the specific activity—the work—you are called to do in the workplace. If, on the other hand, the answers are dissimilar, do some additional probing on the three activities. Break them down into their basic tasks or functions to find that common behavior which is your talent.

Finally, give yourself permission to accept what you uncover in this self-exploration. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never worked a day in your life at this activity. It doesn’t matter if you studied something else in college, community college or trade school. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never even thought about the activity as a career. All that counts is that it alone enables you to excel, and that excellence – your talent – is the key to job search and employment success.

If you’d like to read more about how to find and connect with your talent, get my book The Career Fitness Workbook at

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Peter Weddle is the author of over two dozen employment-related books, including A Multitude of Hope: A Novel About Rediscovering the American Dream, The Career Fitness Workbook: How to Find, Win & Hang Onto the Job of Your Dreams, The Career Activist Republic, The Success Matrix: Wisdom from the Web on How to Get Hired & Not Be Fired, and WEDDLE’s 2011/12 Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet. Get them at and today.

Employment branding gets a lot of coverage both at recruiting conferences and in recruiting publications. Despite the interest, however, most employers don't have an employment brand. They either can't be bothered or the brand they do create doesn't say anything memorable. As a result, they are a faceless organization, and that vacant expression becomes their image in the job market.

A strong employment brand is essential to success in the War for the Best Talent. Top performers have choices. They are almost always employed so they can stay with their current employer or they can consider a new one from among the numerous inquiries they receive on a regular basis. And, the single most important input to their assessment of the alternatives is each organization's employment brand.

Why, then, do so many organizations either lack an employment brand altogether or develop one that makes them invisible to top talent? Not surprisingly, each situation has a different cause.

The Case of the Missing Brand

Despite the constant battle for top performers in recruiting today, many employers never get around to developing a brand that will attract and engage these individuals. And yet, many of those that lack such a brand actually think they have one. They believe their organization's consumer brand is their employment brand.

Consumer brands, however, only work because buyers already know something about a product. They have experience with cars or computers or television sets, so the brand can leverage that knowledge and take shortcuts - in the form of a short phrase or tag line - to communicate an image or sense of the organization and/or its product.

Candidates, on the other hand, aren't shopping for an organization's products but rather for its employment opportunity. They've had no experience with the organization so know little or nothing about what it's like to work there. For that reason, an employment brand must be more comprehensive - in the form of a brief but descriptive statement - and communicate what the organization stands for as an employer.

Think of the difference this way: a consumer brand only has to entice a buyer, while an employment brand must educate as well as attract a prospective new hire. That's why using a consumer brand as an employment brand is the functional equivalent of not having an employment brand at all.

The Case of the Say Nothing Brand

Other employers think that they have branded themselves with the content on the career or employment page of their corporate Web-site. They believe that by describing the organization's benefits, facilities and corporate track record, they've established an employment brand that matters to top talent. They haven't.

An employment brand is not a description of the organization, but rather a window on what it's like to work for and in the organization. It is based on culture and values, to be sure, but it translates those organizational attributes into a signature statement about the unique experience it offers to the individuals who are employed there.

Why is developing such an experiential brand so important? Because research has shown that the nature of work in the organization is the #1 trigger for top talent. Sure, they want to know what the requirements and responsibilities of a job are, but whether or not they will choose to do the work will be based on the environment in which it is performed.

Top performers want to stay top performers so they look for organizations that establish the right conditions for their success. They look for an employer that provides the support, leadership, camaraderie and ethos they need to do their best work, and the first judgment they make about those conditions is based on its employment brand.

With too many open reqs to fill and too many applicants to screen, it's easy to put an employment brand on the back burner. In a highly competitive labor market, however, that brand is the single best way to reach and engage those top performers who will best contribute to an organization's success.

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The Most Unpopular Term in the Job Market For Recruiters

A.S. Byatt once opined that “Vocabularies are crossing circles and loops. We are defined by the lines we choose to cross or to be confined by.”  Words have meaning, of course – they convey information – but they also elicit responses – they touch nerves – that shape the perceptions of those who read them.

For that reason, the choice of words as much as their definition matters in recruitment.  In the minds of the people who visit corporate career sites and read job postings, an employer is defined as much by the words it uses as it is by the information it provides or the practices it follows.

The impression is often unintentional, but it is real and potent nevertheless.  And, one term that is now jargon to recruiters but anathema to everyone else on the planet is “job seeker.”  It says an organization views prospective employees as supplicants for work. 

The Active & Passive Interpretation

To put it bluntly, both those who are actively looking for a new job and those who are passive prospects think the term “job seeker” signals an organization that may be prejudiced against them.  After all, they read the same news reports that everyone else does – you know, the ones that report on surveys which find an unspecified number of recruiters who now view today’s job seekers as damaged goods.

Those actively in the job market may not be put off by the term – they have no choice – but to them it says the employer may well view them as Losers.  Passive prospects, on the other hand, refuse to even acknowledge that the term applies to them and avoid the organizations that use it.

If you have any doubt about that latter point, do a survey of the visitors to your corporate career site.  Ask about their employment status, and you’ll almost certainly find that the vast majority – 80 to 90 percent – are unemployed.  And, yet, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, at any point in time, just 16 percent of the workforce is actively in transition.  In other words, your site is plumbing the depths of the small cohort of the population that has no choice and missing out altogether on the much larger cohort of people who do.

How can you redress this situation?  Not simply by using different words.  To be credible, a change in vocabulary must be more than simply a matter of semantics.  It must reflect an organization’s culture and values.

So first, change the mindset of your organization to remove any conscious or unconscious bias against any prospective hire because of their employment status.  That means ensuring a more inclusive perspective among hiring managers and receptionists as well as recruiters.

Second, change the vocabulary on your corporate career site and in your job postings to remove any impression that you view potential applicants as Losers.  To have a lasting impact on the perception of your organization’s employment brand, however, that involves more than simply replacing one word with another.

For example, you might decide to replace the term “Job Seeker” with the more respectful word “Candidate.”  Site visitors and ad readers will certainly notice the difference – it’s such a rarity among employers – but they may not understand why you’ve made the change.  So, also include a visible statement – not one hidden six clicks deep in your site – that affirms your organization’s commitment to treating everyone as a valued employment prospect.

Jargon is often criticized for its lack of clarity, but in the case of the term “job seeker,” its impact is exactly the opposite.  To active and passive candidates, it sends a clear (if unintentional) signal that the organization views them as damaged goods, and that impression, in turn, undermines the organization’s ability to recruit high caliber talent effectively.

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Peter Weddle is the author of over two dozen employment-related books, including A Multitude of Hope: A Novel About Rediscovering the American DreamThe Career Fitness Workbook: How to Find, Win & Hang Onto the Job of Your Dreams, The Career Activist Republic, The Success Matrix: Wisdom from the Web on How to Get Hired & Not Be Fired, and WEDDLE’s 2011/12 Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet.  Get them at and today.

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