Tag Archives: February 2008

Job Hunting with Jobing.com - AZ Business Magazine February 2008

Good Job Hunting

For Jobing.com, it’s the people, not the technology, that makes the difference.

 

At Jobing.com, The Wall says it all. Scrawled on walls that wrap around a busy office and down a hallway are comments from countless clients, partners, association groups and government friends expressing their appreciation for a job well done. Aaron Matos, the 35-year-old brains behind the fast-growing Jobing.com, says The Wall just kind of happened.

“It originally was just images and our mission statement and some things we wanted internally,” Matos says. “One day a client came in and wanted to write on the wall. He signed a little note — and suddenly it caught on.”

Launched in Phoenix in 2000, Jobing.com was named to the Inc. Magazine 2007 list of the 500 fastest growing privately owned companies in the country for the third consecutive year. It also received an Economic Engines of Arizona Award last year from Arizona Business Magazine.

Jobing.com serves 18 markets in eight states, including Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Florida, California, Nevada and Wisconsin, matching local residents with local jobs. Nationally, Jobing.com counts 35,000 employers among its clients, gets 3 million hits a month from job seekers, and provides leads for 80,000 different types of jobs, spokesman Joe Cockrell says.

In the Phoenix area, health care related jobs make up a large part of the firm’s business. It’s free for job-seekers; employers pay a fee to advertise based on a variety of factors.
“Prior to starting Jobing,” Matos says, “I was in human resources for 10 years. It became clear to me that what really helps drive a business is recruiting the right talent. You could never train the wrong person to do the right job.”

A native Arizonan, Matos worked full time in HR-related jobs while attending Glendale Community College and Arizona State University West, earning a bachelor’s degree. He holds a master’s in business administration from Northwestern University.

“I found early on most people didn’t love their jobs,” he says. “It was clear to me that when people loved what they did, they performed better and were passionate about their lives.”
Sports sponsorships with the Phoenix Suns and Arizona Diamondbacks led Matos to explore opportunities with the Phoenix Coyotes hockey team.

“We decided to think big,” he says, referring to a 10-year naming rights deal for the Glendale arena that houses the Coyotes and is considered a first-rate concert venue.
“We felt it would catapult our brand and the awareness of the company,” he says, but declines to disclose how much the deal cost.

Ironically, when Jobing.com holds a job fair in the Phoenix area, Jobing.com Arena is too small. Held in the adjacent University of Phoenix Stadium, the fairs typically attract more than 300 employers and 7,000 to 10,000 job seekers in a day, he says.

Another marketing tool is the fleet of some 160 multicolored small vans that Matos calls “moving billboards — they get Jobing’s name out into the community.”

Every employee gets one and the company reimburses them for the monthly payments, plus pays for gas, but not insurance.

Matos was interested in computers at an early age.

“I’ve always been a computer guy,” he says, “but the passion behind this business is on the human resources side, not the technology side.”

Matos came up with the idea for Jobing.com while working for a publisher of niche newspapers. Today, his company is the fifth largest of its kind in the country. His goal is to cut into the market share of his two biggest competitors, Monster and Career Builder, and to tap into help-wanted ads that newspapers are losing.

The reason for the growth of the industry, he says, is that advertising online is more cost-effective and it’s easier to reach a targeted audience.

Kent Ennis, deputy director of the Arizona Department of Commerce, sees Jobing.com as a perfect fit for the state agency.

“Commerce tries to recruit businesses to the state, which includes new jobs, and Jobing.com recruits the work force,” he says.

Matos doesn’t consider Jobing a tech company, even though the connection between employers and job seekers is via the Internet.

“We consider ourselves much more of a services media company, serving HR professionals and job seekers,” he says.

Ron Schott, executive director of the Arizona Technology Council, says Jobing.com combines the human element with technology, using a state-of-the-art computer system. Job hunting on the Internet is the wave of the 21st century, Schott says, “until a newer wave comes along.”

Jobing.com is riding the current wave.

“It’s a great company and it’s great that we have them headquartered in Arizona,” Schott says.

Matos, reflecting on the growth of Jobing.com, says, “When I look at what we’ve done, maybe we’ve only finished chapter one of a really long book.”

Visit jobing.com for more information.

 

Arizona Business Magazine February 2008

Baby Boomer Bust

Baby Boomers Bust

Companies get ready as boomers start leaving the work force

The catchy term many are using to describe the impending exodus of baby boomers from the work force sounds like the title of a science-fiction film: “The Brain Drain.

But there’s nothing fictional about it. The oldest baby boomers, a group that includes more than 78 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964, began qualifying for early Social Security benefits this year. Some may choose to work beyond the traditional retirement age and others could stay on for financial reasons, but the eventual departure of baby boomers will have a serious impact on corporate America.
This might be a particular concern in upper-management ranks, where positions are most likely manned by older, more experienced personnel and a talent pool of capable replacements is thin.

“The issue is simply that our population is getting older and the birth rates aren’t equal to the aging of the population,” says Angelo Kinicki, an Arizona State University management professor, author and consultant. “You’re going to have more people exiting than you will have entering (the work force).”

Despite this demographic shift, recent surveys from Ernst & Young and Monster Worldwide agree that few corporations are properly prepared for the challenges ahead.

“What’s going to happen here is as baby boomers retire, you’re going to have a lot of people who have knowledge that are leaving the work force,” Kinicki adds.

Kinicki says it’s vital to create systems for transferring knowledge from seasoned employees and senior executives down to lower levels through the organization.
“I’d say the more progressive companies are engaging in what we call knowledge-management programs,” Kinicki says.

But, according to a 2007 Monster study titled “Building and Securing an Organizational Brain Trust in an Age of Brain Drain,” few companies have taken such steps.

While trying to determine the level of awareness companies have of the coming brain drain and what they’re doing to prepare for it, Monster found that only 20 percent of firms had a formal strategy in place to manage and preserve organizational knowledge.

Monster concludes that “the absence of such planning leaves a valuable asset exposed to a competitive market. Firms must not only recognize the value of knowledge but actively manage and protect it.”

Kinicki says several companies in Arizona, such as Intel, APS and Honeywell, have taken a proactive approach.

One corporation that has been especially innovative is Avnet Inc., a Phoenix-based Fortune 500 company that is one of the world’s largest distributors of electronic components, computer products and technology services.

Lynn Monkelien, vice president of learning and development, says Avnet is very cognizant of the imminent retirement of baby boomers.

“(We) have started looking at all kinds of ways that we can start to manage this transition period,” she says.

Among those is a multiple-tiered program that uses top-level management to teach classes for those viewed as future leaders.

Consider the Global Organizational Leadership Development, or GOLD, program. It does more than just cover particular subjects. Managers are able to expose students to their own experiences, while studentsget a chance to build relationships with senior leaders, paving the way for future coaching and mentoring.

“I think the real benefit is going to come as we start to replace some of the oldguard with the new guard,” Monkelien says.

The company also places great importance on succession planning, according to Linda Biddle, Avnet’s vice president for talent development. Avnet’s goal is to create a steady flow of people at all levels of the organization ready to take on new roles.

“Avnet is always thinking ahead, trying to predict what things are going to impact our business from a technology standpoint, from a process standpoint and, also, from a people standpoint,” Biddle says. “What we’re trying to do is not be reactionary — we’re trying to be proactive.”

Arizona Business Magazine February 2008