I recently had to contact Iowa Workforce Development with some questions about my benefit payments in 2011. I found that the phone situation at IWD/Unemployment has not improved with time. When I called the local phone number for the Des Moines office I was on hold for over 20 minutes before I gave up. Last year I was on hold for about 45 minutes. When I pointed that out to the person who finally answered, she replied that that was normal.

 

Tip-O-The-Day: Don’t call IWD on the local number. USE THE 800 NUMBER! I used 800/562-4692 and that line was answered in about 3 minutes. Check the IWD web site to check on available 800 numbers. By the way. The web site is atrocious and hard to navigate. On the plus side, once you make contact with a human, they are generally pleasant.


Martha McCormick

Bruce Lehnertz

I was recently a guest in the web broadcast of “We’re Entrepreneurs, We Can Help” hosted by Martha McCormic and Bruce Lehnertz. I had a great time doing the hour-long show. There are a few technical blips in this archived copy. Here is the link, so give it a listen/look.

http://blip.tv/file/4875643

If you are unemployed, you need places to network! This is a list of some of the sites that post networking events. Look for events where you can network and make contacts that may help in your job search. Bring business cards and be prepared to listen to everyone you meet. If you can, offer to help them in some way with advice or a tip from your background. Explain your situation and ask if they might help you. Arrange a phone call, meet for coffee or get contact information for the next step in your networking. And try to enjoy the event!

DM Register-Central Iowa Networking

DM Business Record Calendar

IWD Region 11 Calendar

Greater Des Moines Partnership Calendar

Greater DM Partnership Event Registration

Unemployed In Des Moines Networking

IA Technology Assn. Calendar

Iowa Association of Business calendar

DM Convention and Visitors Bureau

DM Library Calendar

Young Professionals Connection Calendar

IA Dept. of Economic Development Calendar

Silicon Prairie News Events

DM Startup Drinks

If you know of other sites that list networking events (including any type of event where you can do networking) please let me know and I’ll include it in my list.

Sites compiled by:

Suzanne Hull

Owner and “Get It Done Girl”

Contemporary Business Solutions

www.contemporary-business-solutions.com

January 6, 2011 Job Fair Company list
From the Central Iowa SHRM web site:
http://ci.shrm.org/webmodules/webarticlesnet/templates/?z=2&a=192
Company Participants     Location
Aarons     Des Moines, IA
Adecco     West Des Moines, IA
Alliance Technologies, Inc.     Des Moines, IA
American Marketing & Publishing     DeKalb, IL
Aviva     West Des Moines, IA
Bankers Trust     Des Moines, IA
Broadlawns Medical Center     Des Moines, IA
Buena Vista University     Storm Lake, IA
Businessolver     West Des Moines, IA
C&A Industries,Inc.     Omaha, NE
Champion Career Management     West Des Moines, IA
ChildServe     Johnston, IA
Citi     Urbandale, IA
Dee Zee Incorporated     Des Moines, IA
Des Moines Register     Des Moines, IA
DeWaay Companies     Clive, IA
DMACC     Ankeny, IA
EMC Insurance Companies     Des Moines, IA
FBL Financial Group, Inc.     West Des Moines, IA
Flint Hills Resources     Wichita, KS
Goodrich     West Des Moines, IA
Greater Des Moines Partnership     Des Moines, IA
Grinnell College     Grinnell, IA
Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company     Grinnell, IA
Homesteaders Life Company     West Des Moines, IA
Hospice of Central Iowa     West Des Moines, IA
Hydro-Klean, Inc.     Des Moines, IA
Hy-Vee     West Des Moines, IA
ING     Des Moines, IA
International Student Exchange (ISE)     Ames, IA
Interstate Batteries     Des Moines, IA
Iowa National Guard     Johnston, IA
IowaWORKS     Des Moines, IA
Iowa Student Loan     West Des Moines, IA
ITA Group     West Des Moines, IA
Katecho     Des Moines, IA
Kemin Industries, Inc.     Des Moines, IA
Kinze Manufacturing,Inc.     Williamsburg, IA
KIX 101.1 and News Talk KFJB     Marshalltown, IA
MassMutual Financial Group     West Des Moines, IA
Mediacom Communications     West Des Moines, IA
Midwest Professional Staffing     West Des Moines, IA
Morton Buildings, Inc.     IA
Mosaic     Des Moines, IA
Nationwide Insurance Company     Des Moines, IA
NCMIC Group,Inc.     Clive, IA
Northwestern Mutual Financial Network- The Erhard Financial Group     Urbandale, IA
Orchard Place     Des Moines, IA
O’Reilly Auto Parts     Des Moines, IA
Palmer Group     West Des Moines, IA
Panera Bread of Iowa     Cedar Rapids, IA
Hi-Bred International     Johnston, IA
PorticoHR     West Des Moines, IA
Remedy Intelligent Staffing     West Des Moines, IA
Sammons Financial Group     West Des Moines, IA
State of Iowa     Des Moines, IA
The Waldinger Corporation     Des Moines, IA
Ultimate Nursing Services of Iowa     West Des Moines, IA
Upper Iowa University     West Des Moines, IA
Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield     Des Moines, IA
Wells Fargo     West Des Moines, IA
William Penn University College for Working Adults     West Des Moines, IA
WorkSource     West Des Moines, IA

 

2011 Company Participants                         Location

Aarons                         Des Moines, IA

Adecco                         West Des Moines, IA

Alliance Technologies, Inc.                         Des Moines, IA

American Marketing & Publishing                         DeKalb, IL

Aviva                         West Des Moines, IA

Bankers Trust                         Des Moines, IA

Broadlawns Medical Center                         Des Moines, IA

Buena Vista University                         Storm Lake, IA

Businessolver                         West Des Moines, IA

C&A Industries,Inc.                         Omaha, NE

Champion Career Management                         West Des Moines, IA

ChildServe                         Johnston, IA

Citi                         Urbandale, IA

Dee Zee Incorporated                         Des Moines, IA

Des Moines Register                         Des Moines, IA

DeWaay Companies                         Clive, IA

DMACC                         Ankeny, IA

EMC Insurance Companies                         Des Moines, IA

FBL Financial Group, Inc.                         West Des Moines, IA

Flint Hills Resources                         Wichita, KS

Goodrich                         West Des Moines, IA

Greater Des Moines Partnership                         Des Moines, IA

Grinnell College                         Grinnell, IA

Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company                         Grinnell, IA

Homesteaders Life Company                         West Des Moines, IA

Hospice of Central Iowa                         West Des Moines, IA

Hydro-Klean, Inc.                         Des Moines, IA

Hy-Vee                         West Des Moines, IA

ING                         Des Moines, IA

International Student Exchange (ISE)                         Ames, IA

Interstate Batteries                         Des Moines, IA

Iowa National Guard                         Johnston, IA

IowaWORKS                         Des Moines, IA

Iowa Student Loan                         West Des Moines, IA

ITA Group                         West Des Moines, IA

Katecho                         Des Moines, IA

Kemin Industries, Inc.                         Des Moines, IA

Kinze Manufacturing,Inc.                         Williamsburg, IA

KIX 101.1 and News Talk KFJB                         Marshalltown, IA

MassMutual Financial Group                         West Des Moines, IA

Mediacom Communications                         West Des Moines, IA

Midwest Professional Staffing                         West Des Moines, IA

Morton Buildings, Inc.                         IA

Mosaic                         Des Moines, IA

Nationwide Insurance Company                         Des Moines, IA

NCMIC Group,Inc.                         Clive, IA

Northwestern Mutual Financial Network- The Erhard Financial Group                         Urbandale, IA

Orchard Place                         Des Moines, IA

O’Reilly Auto Parts                         Des Moines, IA

Palmer Group                         West Des Moines, IA

Panera Bread of Iowa                         Cedar Rapids, IA

Hi-Bred International                         Johnston, IA

PorticoHR                         West Des Moines, IA

Remedy Intelligent Staffing                         West Des Moines, IA

Sammons Financial Group                         West Des Moines, IA

State of Iowa                         Des Moines, IA

The Waldinger Corporation                         Des Moines, IA

Ultimate Nursing Services of Iowa                         West Des Moines, IA

Upper Iowa University                         West Des Moines, IA

Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield                         Des Moines, IA

Wells Fargo                         West Des Moines, IA

William Penn University College for Working Adults                         West Des Moines, IA

WorkSource                         West Des Moines, IA

Standardize! Don’t make it so repetitively difficult that you drive applicants away! 1

I have been a member of the large class of people called Unemployed for far longer than I expected. So, I have been through the online application process hundreds of times. And I take issue with your process.

90% of what you ask in the online process is asked by every other company’s online process. Why don’t you standardize and streamline the process. Everyone in HR should get together and decide on a standard format that will include just about everything that you, in HR, will need to do the first screening of us, the online applicants. This format can be distributed for free to anyone who may apply for a job. Your internal, online system can then upload the fields that you require and only what you require. If there is some special, esoteric bit of information that only you want, that can be asked on the next page. In this way, I only need to enter all of my information one time. It is then uploaded quickly with no mistakes. An easier process for all involved.

Given a few weeks, I could cobble together a program like this in MS Access. 2 It would work, but it wouldn’t be pretty. Then I would have to sell the upload feature to every HR person in the world. So my challenge to anyone out there, design the system, sell it to corporate America and make a boat-load of money. Just make it easier to us to apply for a job. 3

With wishes for the best,

Joe Burklund ©2010

1         I know you are overwhelmed by the sheer number of applicants. But making a mandatory online application so  repetitive and time-consuming that you drive candidates away is not the best way to solve the problem.

2        Or use a combination of Oracle and Excel, whatever trips you database trigger.

3        I have also observed that it takes less time on-line to apply for a job as CFO at Wells Fargo than it does to apply for a job as a cashier at Kum & Go. At least Wells Fargo will attempt to pull information from my resume and they do not have a 150-question assessment test.

Great article on The Marketing Audit by Phillip Koller. Here is the PDF of the 30 page article.  http://bit.ly/8O5wP8

Marketing Suggestion: Create bumper stickers with your business name and/or website address. Hand them out to all employees and leave them as give-a-ways on the front counter.

Marketing Suggestion: And speaking of support; Humane Societies and animal shelters need donations more than ever. Why not sponsor an event at your business, like a drawing contest for kids? Have a Humane Society volunteer present to speak about the correct way to raise a dog or cat. Be sure to have a dog or cat in attendance!  Ask the parents for donations after they finish looking around at all the cool stuff in your showroom.

Marketing Suggestion: Advertise! Considering the news above, you cannot afford not to. Look for innovative ways and talk to editors about last-minute ad’s they need filled. The price could be right!

Recently I watched a new movie release, Ramona and Beezus. Don’t ask questions, just accept the fact that I saw the movie. And interestingly enough, there is an interesting message for the unemployed. The movie, as advertised, is about a nine year old girl, Ramona, who gets into sticky situations, embarrassing herself and her family. So far, so good. Nice “G” rated family entertainment. Who would have thought that this movie would really hit home for me.

Not very far into the movie, Ramona’s father comes home from work and lets the family know that he has been laid off! Gloom ensues and everyone is bummed out. Kind of took the Happy Quotient out of the show for me at the time.  Most of the rest of the movie is devoted to Ramona trying to save the family and keep the house from being sold. Actually, it was very entertaining.

So, why is this a good flick for the unemployed?  It turns out that Ramona’s father has artistic talent, and because Ramona shows “the world’s longest picture” to her teacher, who talks to the school principal, who is not suffering budget cut backs, offers Ramona’s dad a job as an art teacher. Did you follow that?

What happened? Through networking (Dad to Ramona to teacher to principal) Dad gets a job, and in an area he had not been previously employed. The moral of the story, other than having a precocious kid? Network with every one, and look outside your past to grab the future! And go to a movie once in a while.

We all know that Big Brother is watching. But, while you are home watching Big Brother on CBS, that interviewer you talked to about your dream job is watching you and checking your past. What will they find and where will they find it? I have posted a list in the past about some of the sites used. I have come across some more exciting, new places that people can dig up the dirt on you.

 Some of these sites will just give up your address, phone number and age. (Older workers should check.) Others will disclose your credit history, while still others will list your criminal background. Think you have a clean criminal record? You may not appear so. If someone checks using only my first and last name, there is a hit on the criminal background check. Some unsavory person with a different middle name is on the Florida sex offender list. I don’t know what he did, but he is not nearly as good looking as me. So, I make sure my middle initial is on all of my paperwork and applications. If you have a common name, Dave Brown, John Johnson or Humpty Dumbrowski, you can have a really adventurous time clearing up any confusion. 

So, here is a compilation of some of the sites that are used to check you out. Many are free, but some cost a few dollars. It is a good idea to look at as many as you can to see what others, like prospective employers, might be seeing. 

For Credit Reports, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion are the three main reporting agencies. Get a free report at  AnnualCreditReport.com. You can request reports from all three agencies at one time.

 Personal Information Reports  are available at LexisNexis. Also, get your background screening report from Acxiom. And request information from Acxiom’s directory and fraud detection service; there is a $5 charge for that.

 Banks use ChexSystems and retailers use TeleCheck to look at your checking accounts.

 The Work Number and Abso may have work history on you. First Advantage SafeRentRentBureau and Tenant Data Services can have tenant history on you.

 Next request a Full File Disclosure from ChoicePoint, a LexisNexis company. The information will differ from your LexisNexis report. See if you may have a file at the Medical Information Bureau. Request your consumer file from MIB.  IntelliScript and MedPoint compile information on drugs, including refills and dosages. I don’t think it covers your use of recreational drugs. The Criminal Check will handle that.

 Here is the list of sites previously published:

http://www.pipl.com/

http://wink.com/ 

http://www.intelius.com/

http://www.criminalcheck.com/

http://www.yoname.com/ 

http://go.com/

http://www.cuil.com/

 Some sites give you recourse to remove information and correct any mistakes. But the process is not always easy, or even available. Prepare to spend a fun filled day finding out about your self.

 However, like a friend who used meditation to “find herself”, she discovered there was no one there. Having nothing in any reports could be most damaging of all.

 To give credit where it is due, some of these sites were listed on the Kim Komondo Show newsletter. I subscribe and it is great. Find more at  FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/kimkomando

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/kimkomando

and at http://www.komando.com/newsletters/

Marketing suggestion: Invite a non-profit group to hold an event at your store. 

Marketing Suggestion: Hold a writing or design challenge for a local high school. (Hmmm…creative tweets, new logos/icons?) Call your local media and plan it out with them as to advertising, the contest and the eventual winners. The award to be presented at your place of business with all media in attendance.

 Marketing Suggestion: Reach out to lapsed customers! Make them an apology and promise to never, ever ignore them again. Then, make them a smoking hot deal to come back to see you!

Contact

Joe Burklund Urbandale, IA 515/253-0337 joeburklund@gmail.com @JoeBurklund http://www.linkedin.com/ in/burklund

Twitter

  • On April 1st, 2016 I retired. Not an April fools joke. Time to exit the rat race. Now I need to decide what I want to be when I grow up. 4 months ago
  • Avoid Draught House 50 WDM & Waukee. Handicapped accessible not handicap friendly. No inside tables low enough for someone in wheelchair 1 year ago
  • We get Presidents Day off, not Veterans Day. How many Presidents do you personally know, how many Veterans? We should switch the holidays. 2 years ago
  • If the government shots down, first shut down the pay for all congressmen, senators and their staffs. Let them all feel the pain! 2 years ago
  • Found out that one of my blue ribbon stained glass pieces at the Iowa State Fair also got Best In Show. Happy dance!!! 3 years ago
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