Posts Tagged ‘social media’

C4W Member Profile: Heather Powers

December 5, 2012

What is your profession? Professional Organizer and Designer

What do you enjoy doing outside of your career? Gardening, dancing, walking on the beach, cooking and pretty much anything creative!

How long have you been a member of the Center for Women? I recently moved to Charleston and joined in November!

What inspired you to become a member? I’ve heard from many wonderful women in Charleston that this is the best networking group for women entrepreneurs here!

What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you? I have just joined so I’m sure in time it will lead me to many amazing women and educational opportunities.

How has living day-to-day as a woman affected you? I embrace the challenges of being a woman in today’s business environment.  There have been times where I felt I had to work harder, smarter and have more creative solutions than my male counterparts!  I know that these challenges have helped me identify opportunities and allowed me to creatively solve problems as they arise.

What kind of message would you like to send out to women who are trying to succeed in today’s economy?  I believe women are natural leaders, creative thinkers and problem solvers.  We need to remember this when we feel we are competing in a male driven business world.  Women have the skills and qualities that can really impact global economic horizons if we embrace the challenges as opportunities.

How can people connect with you? Which ever way feels most comfortable for you!  Feel free to call or email, connect with me on my website or social media!

p 240 778 2804  m 843-318-2243

email: hkpowers@gmail.com  website: http://hkpowerstudio.com

Find me on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest: @hkpowerstudio

Social Media for Recruiting: Are Women Business Owners at a Disadvantage?

September 7, 2012

No matter the size of your business, recruiting the best employees is a challenge. With the increased usage of social media as a recruitment tool, women business owners may be at a bit of a disadvantage.

According to a 2011 study by the Pew Research Center, women use social media more than men. This would seem to give women business owners a bit of a leg up when it comes to using social media to recruit candidates, but that may not be the case.

The Jobvite Social Recruiting Survey 2012 showed that 93% of business owners who use social media for recruiting used the site LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the only social media site that is used by more men than women. In fact, the Pew Research study showed there were nearly twice as many men using LinkedIn as women.

Because business owners who use social media for recruiting report a 43% increase in the quality of candidates, women business owners may be missing the boat on some of the best available talent.  Of course, you can also use Facebook and Twitter for recruiting, and women use these sites much more than men.

Now is the time for women business owners to consider using social media as a recruiting tool.

Ways to Use Social Media for Recruiting

Identify Candidates

Just as business owners are learning to use social media to recruit candidates, job seekers are using their LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook pages to seek work. Some of the best candidates aren’t actively looking for a job, but you can still reach out to them. By identifying these passive candidates, you will expand your pool and increase your chance of finding the best talent.

Post Open Jobs

Posting open jobs on social media sites is another way to use social media as a recruitment tool. Some of your followers will share the job posting with their own network, and greatly increase the number of potential candidates.

Social media isn’t only effective for recruiting full-time employees. It is possible to effectively recruit a seasonal or part time employee using social media as well.  You will reach college students, stay-at-home moms and other groups who are looking for supplemental income.

 Current Employees

Ask your current employees to aid in your recruitment efforts. One way that they can do this is by posting about their job and spreading the word to their social network about any openings. Having a current employee vouch that your business is a great place to work can further increase the interest from qualified candidates.

Consider offering your employers an incentive should their networking result in a new hire.

Screen Candidates

Another way that you can use social media in the recruitment process is to screen candidates once they have been identified. A quick peek at their Facebook profile may be enough to knock some candidates out of the running.

Keep in mind that when you look at the profiles of potential candidates, there is a good chance that you will see protected class information – that is information that cannot legally be used to eliminate candidates. This includes race, gender etc.. Even if you do not use this information to make a decision there is a chance that someone will say that you did.

A Helping Hand

Social Media – Just a Tool

Social media is just one tool. It does not take the place of other methods of recruitment and it certainly does not eliminate the need for the proper screening of candidates. To be sure that you are following all applicable employment laws during the recruitment process, it is a good idea to have a helping hand.

Working with a human resources consultant can ensure that you don’t put yourself in a position to come under scrutiny. A qualified HR consultant can make the recruitment process easier and give you a better chance at retaining quality employees.

Other Tips

Get on LinkedIn

If you do not use LinkedIn, you need to start. While the other social networking sites can aid in your recruitment efforts, LinkedIn is the only one that is specifically for business use.

Need a Following

For any type of social media initiatives to be as effective, you need to continue to develop a following. The more followers, the more access you’ll have to qualified candidates.

Continually work on developing your social media presence.

Don’t Believe Everything You Read

It is no secret that many candidates embellish their resumes. The same is true for what you read on their social media profiles. Don’t believe everything that you read. Instead, you will need to verify important information.

Women in business who are not using social media as a recruitment aid may be missing out on some of the best talent. The next time you have a job opening to fill, or if you just want to develop a list of potential talent for future positions, social media is a great place to start.

Pat Eardley is a Human Resources Advisor with more than 16 years’ experience in human resources management as a recruiter, trainer, and executive. Pat has a diverse background, having industry experience in retail, telecommunications, hospitality and manufacturing. As an Advisor she supports small-business owners in managing growth, compliance, work performance and employee relations, allowing Small Business owners to focus on creating a successful business environment for them and their employees. She is a member of the Society for Human Resources Management, a SCORE Mentor and Center for Women Job Coach. Pat volunteers with local shelters and nonprofit organizations and assists with resume writing, interviewing skills, professional appearance and job placement. You can find out more about Pat and the services she offers at www.pateardley.com.

* First appeared in the Business Review section of The Post and Courier on Monday, July 31, 2012.

C4W Business Member Profile: Ashley T. Caldwell, The Modern Connection

February 9, 2012

What is your profession? Owner and Founder of The Modern Connection, a social media firm based right here in Charleston!

What do you enjoy doing outside of your career? Playing with my rescue dogs, socializing with friends, taking in the sights and sounds of Charleston, reading, shopping and meeting new people!

How long have you been a member of the Center for Women? 2 years

What inspired you to become a member? When I first moved to Charleston and started my company, I heard from so many people in the community about the Center for Women. I couldn’t help but join and have been so grateful I did!

What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you? The Center for Women has impacted my professional career and business growth tremendously. Everything from networking and meeting other women to speaking to business owners and appearing in the media – The Center fostered positive and beneficial connections I otherwise would not have made.

How has living day-to-day as a woman affected you? Being a woman has allowed me to approach my day-to-day life with power, resourcefulness and intuition as well as empathy and compassion. As a business owner, I feel my femininity provides a powerful advantage and relatability that has helped me succeed.

What kind of message would you like to send out to women who are trying to succeed in today’s economy? I’m a firm believer in the idea that if you follow your passion, success will come to you. If you truly love what you do, people can recognize that. Best advice: Do what you love.

How can people connect with you? You can check us out on the web at: www.TheModernConnection.com, www.Facebook.com/TheModernConnection or follow me on Twitter: @AshleyTCaldwell!

Telling Fear It’s “Game-On”

September 23, 2010

Guest blogger, Sharon Higgins, shares her story of overcoming fear of failure.

“I just don’t know if I want to do it again, Mom. I don’t know if I still have it.”

I glanced over at my 11 year old daughter in her new cheerleading uniform which she was wearing to school to promote the first big game of the season.   ”What? Why? You love tumbling,” I said.

We were in the carpool line and I had casually mentioned that I would re-enroll her in tumbling classes after football season. Isabella had taken gymnastics and tumbling lessons since she was in 3rd grade which led her to this grand moment in her life – middle school cheerleader.   When she first began her lessons, the only thing she brought to the gym floor was a wobbly cartwheel which she displayed with the pride of an Olympic athlete.  She was discouraged that her junior varsity status as a cheerleader didn’t require the gymnastic skills she had perfected over the years…so, why had she even bothered with it?

I said, “This is just the first step, when you are on Varsity there will be more opportunities for using your gymnastics skills.  Don’t worry.”  She shrugged and looked out the window.

I was puzzled.  During countless drives to and from the gym over the years, I had been a spectator to the nonstop chatter of Isabella and her friends exclaiming “I got my back handspring today!” or “I thought I lost my forward tuck, but I found it again!”   I asked my daughter why she wouldn’t want to continue, what changed?

“I’m afraid I’ve been away from it too long. I’m afraid of learning a new skill when I haven’t been using the ones I already know. I’m afraid if I try then I will get hurt – you know, like break something,” she said.

Oh.  I quickly pushed aside images of being in an emergency room with a full body cast being set on my child.  I acknowledged, that yes, there was a risk of injury in any sport but then said, “Isabella, there is always fear of failure in life. Even when you are a grown-up. The problem with fear is that it holds you back from the possibility of doing something really fabulous.”

When she hopped out of the car, I had to ask myself – should I be taking my own advice? What should I be doing right now that I’m sidestepping for fear of failure? Zing. Yup, I knew exactly where Fear was hanging around in my life.

My conversation with my daughter reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend a few weeks ago.  She was going back to the mainstream workforce after taking five years off to be at home with her young children.  She is a smart, accomplished woman with an amazing 20 year career as a director in school administration.  She said, “You doubt yourself and wonder, do I still have it? Can I still speak the same language?”  I am certain her fear has been echoed by many women in her same position.

So, how do you admonish the fears that prohibit you from jumping back into your career, taking the next step beyond your comfort zone or the big one – launching a whole new venture?  How do you gain the confidence to give Fear a strong game-time handshake and say, “Ok, you’re on! Bring it!”

1. Remember Where You Started – Like that wobbly cartwheel that was full of enthusiasm, often remembering where you started and why you wanted to do it in the first place can spark an urge to keep plugging ahead. It may sound silly, but read your resume and remind yourself of what you’ve already achieved.  (Yes, that was you who did all that.) Talk with a former colleague or old friend who remembers your instinctual drive and ambition when you first began.

Recapturing that old enthusiasm can be hard if you are bogged down with too many commitments. Is there something you are spending time doing that isn’t necessary at this point in your life?  Something that isn’t as valuable as what you need to do to achieve your goal? There are plenty of things that we CAN be doing…but that doesn’t mean that we SHOULD be doing them all right now.

2. Write it down –  Get out a piece of paper and make two columns,  “Rewards” and “Challenges.”  The Rewards are what you want to achieve.  Picture yourself in that space; I mean really imagine that. How does it feel?

Sometimes fears seem scarier in the scope of your imagination – especially when you are thinking about them at 3:00 a.m.  When you put it on paper, it becomes a task to overcome and often is a hill rather than a mountain. Analyze the real risk involved; not the roadblocks you have put up to avoid dealing with it. What are practical steps that you can immediately take to overcome the challenge? Is there a viable solution to this problem?  Make a plan and be disciplined in putting it into action for as long as it takes to accomplish the goal.

3. Network and connect– Use local networking groups and social media sites to get your feet wet again before taking the big plunge. When I decided to work 100% freelance, I made my business plan, set my daily schedule, ordered my business cards, arranged my desk the way I always wanted it to be and then I froze.  My only co-worker was a fat cat who slept all day.  I needed conversation to get my mind into the creative and beyond the task of just getting set up.  I logged onto Twitter and LinkedIn and immediately began searching for other freelance copywriters.  I wanted to know what they were saying and what they were working on. Plugging into those conversations can lead you to industry trends and new information that you don’t have time to unearth yourself.  Discussions on social media sites can get your mind back into the game.

I also joined networking groups in my local community such as Center for Women and East Cooper Entrepreneurial Women. Not only did I find others in my field as well as complimentary industries to my own, but I was easily able to showcase my business to others.  Discussing your business or new venture in a casual conversation is far less intimidating than speaking in front of room filled with people.    Never underestimate the power of conversation. You never know where it might lead or what doors it may open for you.

4. Read & Research– Just like my daughter returning to the gym to brush up on her acquired skills and giving her the opportunity to learn new ones, there is a universe of books, articles, magazines and blogs  to be read as well as workshops, webinars and classes that can be taken online or in a physical classroom.  Find a mentor who has already walked the path you are about to take.

5. There is nothing really to lose by taking a chance – When you get to this point then you can truly lead Fear out the door. Our hope when we embark on something new is that it will work out and we will live happily ever after with it.  Sometimes exploring an opportunity that we think we want shows us that it wasn’t indeed what we truly wanted after all.  But, we never would have known if we didn’t give it a try. (I know, that sounds like something a mom would say.)  Isabella thought cheerleading was the pay-off for all the years of gymnastics lessons.  As she explores cheerleading some more, her path might lead her to Varsity Captain or it might reveal to her that gymnastics was her real heart’s desire/true achievement all along.

The thing is while you were taking time off to do something different, you weren’t wasting time.  Chances are, you have been experiencing accomplishments…just in a different arena than you were used to seeing success.  I plan on telling my daughter that cheerleading hasn’t been all for not; she is learning team-building skills that she wasn’t getting from her tumbling classes.  When I look back to my resume from the first few years out of college, I have to laugh that I put “multi-tasker” down as one of strong attributes. I had no idea what it meant to be a true multi-tasker until I had three children, a husband, a house, volunteer commitments and a full-time job.  My friend who is going back to her career is probably a more understanding educator now that she has children of her own.

The means and methods to growing in our skills aren’t always cookie-cutter which fit neatly into a job description.  If we’ve been alert then we’ve been engaged and still “in-the-know” all along. Take confidence in that and push yourself to the next step. You’ve still got it!

Oh, and my own fear?  Actually writing an article on my blog.  I know, a writer who has a fear of blogging, huh?! I’ve been writing plenty of business material for clients and putting voice to other people’s messages, but putting my own thoughts out there?  Err, well, I’ve had plenty of  ‘reasons’  not to do that.  My sincere hope is that you’ve found this article helpful or, at the very least, mildly amusing.  I’ll take it! Either way, I thank you for lending eyes to it because you’ve helped me cross one of my fears off my list. Whew!!!

What’s next?  Bring it on!

Sharon Higgins is a freelance copywriter living in Charleston, South Carolina with her husband and three beautiful daughters. She writes social media & website content, advertising, promotional, sales & newsletters for an array of clients. Sharon is a member of Center for Women, ECEW, The Lowcountry Business Network, Virtual Business Solutions and an active volunteer for Lowcountry Orphan Relief. You can contact Sharon at http://www.sharonkhiggins.com


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