Archive for the ‘Human Resources’ Category

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On Her Way Up:

In Accounting & Finances,Business,Culture,Human Resources on August 31, 2012 by Sufen Wang Tagged: , , , ,

What You Should Know About Female-Owned Businesses…

It’s well-known that women must deal with a “glass ceiling” in the corporate arena – lower wages and automatic exclusion from the top jobs.  Accordingly, many women are taking a different route: they’re coming through the roof and starting their own businesses.

American Express OPEN realized this and recently conducted a study focusing on women-owned businesses. They wanted to see where there has been improvement and where there are still problems. Here’s what they discovered.

There are 8.3 million women-owned businesses in the United States. That’s a 54% growth in the past 15 years. And that growth is good news for all workers out there, no matter their gender. Women-owned businesses employ 7.7 million people, 40% more than the three largest employers (Wal-Mart, McDonald’s, and IBM) combined.

Female business owners can also hold their own when it comes to making money and the stats prove it. Women-owned businesses now generate revenues of $1.3 trillion, a 58% increase over the last 15 years. In fact, 2% of women-owned businesses bring in more than $1 million in annual revenue, versus 5% of all firms. Moreover, in 7 out of 13 of the most populous industries, women-owned firms are exceeding overall growth. How’s that for surpassing the glass ceiling?

Of course, there’s still a long way to go and not all the numbers are positive. Women own almost 30% of U.S. businesses, but they attract only 5% of the nation’s equity capital. Even worse, women receive 80% less capital than men in terms of first-year funding. And there’s evidence that a glass ceiling still exists when women-owned businesses start to expand: they experience faltering growth at 5-9 employees or $250,000 in earnings.

So how do we ensure that women-owned businesses will be even more successful in the future? We can start by looking to successful female entrepreneurs for advice. Heather Stouffer of Mom Made Foods points out that “Like my own kids, the company needed constant focus, love and nurturing to become a strong company. My advice to entrepreneurs, similar to motherhood, is to know that it’s OK for your company to make some mistakes. It’s the learning from those mistakes and perseverance that are the keys to building your company into the market leader.”

On Women Power, Ms. Sufen Wang, Wang Solutions

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Update Your Job Search Skills:

In Accounting & Finances,Business,Culture,Education,Human Resources on August 24, 2012 by Sufen Wang Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Look Back at the “Summer Job Search Series”

Whether you’re a teen looking for a summer job, or a more “mature” individual who’s ready to leave the cubicle for greener pastures, the job application process remains the same. Accordingly, it’s always useful to take a refresher course in job search basics. Lucky for you, I posted a special Job Search Series last summer and have included some highlights below. Be sure to read the full posts for all the juicy bits.

Work on your resume before anything else. Keep in mind that you need to keep it clean: both in the sense of providing honest information about yourself and also presenting it in a clear, easy-to-read manner. Resumes usually garner only a 15-30 second scan, so you want your potential employer to see the best of you immediately.

Your cover letter is your resume’s best friend. You need a good cover letter if you want a potential employer to even glance at your resume. Keep it short and sweet, and sound both confident and gracious. Most importantly, research the company beforehand so you can show the employer that you’re familiar with their values.

If you passed the previous two tests, you can expect a phone interview. In fact, it’s crucial that you expect the phone call; otherwise, you’ll sound unprepared to the interviewer. Since you and the interviewer can’t see each other, pay attention to the tone and rhythm of the conversation. Speak loud and clear, be enthusiastic, and be articulate in your responses.

Next up is the job interview. Your goal is to convince the interviewer that you are technically qualified for the job and a good fit for the company’s culture. How do you do that? Practice a lot beforehand, arrive on time (and dressed professionally), make eye contact, sit up straight, and be positive. Additionally, know your resume like the back of your hand and be ready to explain anything and everything on it.

The finishing touch on the job application process is the thank you letter. Send a short note thanking the interviewer for their time as soon as possible after the interview. The note (e-mail is okay, but real paper is even better) will show that you’re courteous and set you one step above the candidates who didn’t send thank you letters. Your goal is to make yourself memorable. Remember that and you’ll be hired in no time!

On the Job Search!  Sufen Wang, Wang Solutions


Articles

No Need to Outsource…

In Accounting & Finances,Business,Culture,Education,Human Resources on August 6, 2012 by Sufen Wang Tagged: , , , ,

Keep it Local Like GreenJobInterview!

With the political arena heating up, you can’t turn on the TV without hearing a debate about this domestic issue or that foreign policy. One hot topic is outsourcing: should we outsource the jobs overseas, or hire independent contractors to get tasks done, instead of hiring employees? A little BIG company in Costa Mesa, CA came up with a better answer. GreenJobInterview (www.greenjobinterview.com) decided to think inside the box and recently established its own 25-seat call center in its own office, with its own employees as customer service representatives!

GreenJobInterview has only been around since 2007, but it’s already been good for the environment and good for businesses. The company offers a live virtual interviewing platform via the internet for employers across the country and around the world. Instead of flying in potential candidates who, after all, might not be hired, recruiters from companies of all sizes use GreenJobInterview’s technology to conduct interviews with just a few mouse-clicks. And instead of traveling back and forth for a first interview, then a second interview, etc., a job candidate simply has to log on to his/her computer – preferably wearing something dressier than pajamas.

The job candidate sets up a webcam with the help of GreenJobInterview’s customer service representatives, and is trained over the phone on the interviewing process. The recruiter schedules the interview, and presto, recruiter and candidate are talking virtual face-to-virtual face.  No rushing around on planes, trains, and automobiles, and Mother Nature gets to breathe easier as a result.

Earlier this year, Theo Rokos and Greg Rokos, the CEO and President of GreenJobInterview reached an important crossroads in their enterprise: should they expand their customer service department to a full-service,24/7 call center in-house, or outsource it overseas or to another local firm? After much debate, they decided to invest in their own call center, hiring their own employees as customer service representatives for GreenJobInterview.

The best part of this company’s success and expansion is that Greg and Theo chose to invest in-house. Because of their decision, they generated employment in this depressed economy and spent money locally on the workstations, telephone systems, furniture, fixtures,etc. This small BIG decision is practically unheard of nowadays, and should be looked upon as a model to be followed.

Today, 25-seat Call Center, tomorrow 250-seat!  Two Thumbs Up for GreenJobInterview.com.
Eye on GreenJobInterview.com, Sufen Wang, Wang Solutions

Articles

Disability Employment App Challenge:

In Accounting & Finances,Business,Culture,Education,Human Resources on July 24, 2012 by Sufen Wang Tagged: , ,

Help People and Win Cash Prizes!

After seeing those government apps last week, do you feel inspired to create your own? Well, now is the perfect time to start working! The Department of Labor is offering $10,000 in CASH prizes for the best apps that help promote the employment of people with disabilities. 

That’s because disabled individuals have a higher unemployment rate and a lower labor force participation rate than everybody else. Your job is to build an app that changes this. Sound like a big project? Luckily, there are specific guidelines to keep you focused.

They want your app to achieve at least one of these goals (but feel free to be an overachiever and accomplish all of these things):

-Promote recruitment resources for employers.

-Develop job-training and skill-building tools for job seekers.

-Facilitate employment-related transportation options.

-Expand web and Information Communication Technology accessibility. 

It would be a good idea to use technology that makes your app accessible for people with disabilities, and to keep in mind that all different kinds of people will be using the app differently. The rest is up to you to be creative. Your submission can be designed for internet browsers, smart phones, feature phones,or as Windows or Macintosh applications. It can be a game, a social network, or anything else you can think of. But get thinking, because you only have until August 23rd to submit!

If your app is good enough, you could win the $5,000 Innovation Award Grand Prize, the $3,000 second place People’s Choice Award(voted on by the public), or the $2,000 third place Above and Beyond Accessibility Award. Of course, it’s nice to win a one-time prize, but it’s even nicer that your tool will work every day to help find people work. For full details on the contest,head over to the Disability Employment App Challenge site.

 
Eye on the Prize!
Sufen Wang
Wang Solutions

Articles

Government On-The-Go:

In Accounting & Finances,Business,Culture,Education,Entertainment,Family,Human Resources on July 8, 2012 by Sufen Wang Tagged: , , ,

Mobile Apps for Every Occasion

Poke. Poke. Poke. Need a break from Facebook during your lunch break? Put your smart phone and mind to better use by trying out the apps your government has to offer. Oh yeah, they’re all free, so you’ve got nothing to lose.

While not everyone will find all these government apps useful, there’s something useful for everyone. For example, it’s unlikely that a teenager would scramble to download the “Budget of the U.S. Governmentapp, which provides info from the FY13 Budget book, or the “House and Senate Member Guide,” which offers a picture directory of every single Member of the 112th Congress. Exciting?! Eh?!

However, if that high school student forgot to do their homework, they might want to download “Science.gov Mobile” to find quick answers to all their science questions. Or if they think they’re too cool for school, tell them to download “SatelliteInsight” – it looks like a video game, but it really teaches kids about NASA’s GOES-R,the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, R series. If you don’t know what that is, then get the app too!

Of course, many of the apps are perfect for the average, working American. First, check the forecast with the “National Weather Service.” Then, when you make it to work and start to feel claustrophobic in your cubicle, whip out the “Tactical Breather” app and gain control over your stress level. If that doesn’t help, and you need a cigarette, use the “QuitSTART” app to become tobacco free. When you’re done for the day, use “DOL-Timesheet” to record the hours you worked. If your boss doesn’t pay up, you can always use the “USAJOBS” app to find federal employment.

Admittedly, some apps are very strange. The “MojaveDesert Tortoise” application allows you to upload a photo, take a survey, and find out more info if you happen to encounter this threatened species in the middle of the desert. Though, you’ll probably be more concerned with finding water than taking pictures.

There’s a lot more where these came from. Be aware that some apps were designed only for the iPhone, some only for Android,etc., so pick those compatible with your device. Now all you need is an app for finding apps.

On the Apps,
Sufen Wang
Wang Solutions

Articles

Managing Your Tax Records After Filing…

In Accounting & Finances,Business,Human Resources,Taxes on April 23, 2012 by Sufen Wang Tagged: , , , , , , ,

You’re Not Done Yet!

Now that you’ve filed your tax returns, you might be tempted to push your tax documents out of sight, out of mind. That’s not a good idea. Keeping good records after you filed is a good idea, just in case the IRS selects your returns for an audit.
 
In general, any documents relating to your federal tax returns should be saved for at least three years. This includes bills, credit card receipts, invoices, and any other records that support deductions or credits you claim on your return.
 
Don’t pull out the shredder for your whole filing cabinet just yet. To be on the safe side, you should keep any and all real estate refinancing loan docs, exchange calculation, escrow closing statements, inheritance or funds gifted to children, trust-related issues, stocks and bond trades, etc. for more than 3 years. Let’s try 5 to 7 years.
 
Finally, any and all payroll related records should be kept for about 10 years. Yes, you read that right: one whole decade. A few years ago I encountered a case where the State of California Employment Office (EDD) could not reconcile data on an employee, dating back to 1999 and decided to seek out my assistance via an audit. Fortunately, I was able to complete the audit, clean as a whistle, because I had all of the original records on the subject employee. 
 
That just goes to show that employers should make room for keeping records. If you want to save space, go digital and scan all of the employees’ records – but always ensure that their signatures are clear and legible in the scanned images. However you do it, save your records now so you can save yourself some trouble in the future.
 
 
On the Record,
Sufen Wang
Wang Solutions
 

 

Articles

JOB SEARCH SERIES: Thank You Letter!

In Business,Human Resources on August 12, 2011 by Sufen Wang Tagged: , , , , , ,

How to Get the Job Done Right When You Want to Get a Job… 
 

Thank You Letter….
 

 

Now that you successfully impressed your future employer with an excellent job interview, you’ll need to wrap things up by sending a thank you letter as soon as possible. You can’t be in the same room as the interviewers anymore, so the letter must grab their attention and make you stand out in their minds. This is your final opportunity to reinforce your skills and prove that you deserve the job. 
 
Indeed, most interviewers expect you to write a thank you letter – in the tech industry, a thank you email is appropriate. The letter shows that you are courteous, knowledgeable, and professional. It also elevates you above competing candidates who didn’t bother to write thank you letters. If you forgot to mention something important during your interview, this is your chance to include that information. The letter will demonstrate your written communication skills one last time and confirm your understanding of topics discussed so that there are no misunderstandings.  
 

Ideally, you want to write the interviewers a short note and get it in their hands by the end of the interview day or first thing the following morning. I’ve been on both sides of the table, as an interviewer and an interviewee, and in my personal experience, a hand-written personalized note is even more effective than a formal letter, e-mail, or fax. Your goal is to make yourself memorable and top of mind recall is an amazingly potent influence at times. If other candidates are perceived to be as qualified as you, then your follow-up letter may well be an important differentiator.

Your thank you letter should include the date and position that you were interviewed. If more than one person interviewed you, then send a letter to each one and make each note unique. Thank the interviewer for their time and bring up one significant point you would like them to remember. Reemphasize your interest in the position and how your skills will correspond to the employer’s needs. Keep the letter short and simple,and as always, check your grammar and spelling!

Writing a thank you letter after your interview is a quick and easy way to increase your odds of being hired. Your interviewers will appreciate your thoroughness and attention to detail. When your prospective employer reviews your Thank You Letter, along with your Resume, Cover Letter, Phone Interview, and Interview, they’ll see that….

you get the job done right and they’ll give you the job!

POSTS IN THE SERIES:  Resume ; Cover Letter; Phone Interview; Job Interview.

On the Job Search,
Sufen Wang
Wang Solutions