NY Daily News: 30 under thirty

January 3, 2007

Happy New Years to everyone. Yesterday NY Daily News ran a feature on 30 entrepreneurs under 30 and they highlighted my work at Emerging Demographics. Thanks for the recognition and congratulations to the other 29 selected.

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Best Hiring Practices

August 23, 2006

Anyone who has ever had to hire staff will know that finding the right worker for a job can be difficult. However, there are a number of best hiring practices you can follow that should help you learn to find the right team member more easily.

Whether you work in catering, agriculture, construction or a factory, there are some common factors to consider when recruiting staff. You need to make sure you are clear on your requirements before you start, then make sure you know enough about the person you’ve chosen before offering them the job.

Here is our best hiring practices checklist – while some details will change according to your requirements, the basic principles are valid for any vacancy, from the boardroom to the warehouse floor.

  1. Work out your requirements – before you do anything else, make sure you have a detailed specification for the employee you need.
  2. Choose how and where to advertise. Choices include:
    1. websites like HireWorkers.com
    2. in your shop window
    3. local newspapers
    4. trade magazines/journals
    5. staffing agencies
  3. Screen your applicants thoroughly. Work out a standard set of questions and screen applicants yourself, by telephone or in person.
  4. Once you have your shortlist, arrange a face-to-face interview. It often helps to have a colleague present at the interview so that two people can gather impressions of the interviewee, and compare them afterwards.
  5. Make sure you are prepared for the interview with a list of questions to establish everything you need to know about the candidate:
    1. Do they have the right skills?
    2. Do they have the right level of experience?
    3. Make sure the candidate correctly understands the nature of the vacancy.
    4. Can they offer references?
    5. Why do they want a job / why did they leave their last position?
    6. Do they have the necessary licenses / ID / qualifications? Where necessary check these – for example if your employee will ever have to drive on company business, check their driver’s license with the Department of Motor Vehicles.
  6. Once you have chosen a candidate, make them your offer. Ensure that all the legally binding formalities are completed – at the very least you need their name, address and social security number. 

Before they start, decide what, if any, training they will require and work out a suitable induction plan for them, if needed.

Once they have started to work for you, speak to supervisors or senior colleagues to make sure that they have integrated well and are performing satisfactorily, and if any problems emerge, address them as soon as possible – don’t let things get so bad that termination is the only solution. 

This is only a brief guide to hiring best practices, but it should provide some pointers to help you find the right employees. Half of recruiting success is down to good planning and research – make sure you do yours.

HireHousekeepers.com – our newest addition!

July 30, 2006

Today we launched HireHousekeepers.com, the newest addition to the Emerging Demographics family of wonderfully inovative sites.

If you know someone who is looking to hire a housekeeper and needs to find one fast and easily: please point them to http://www.HireHousekeepers.com

20,000…and beyond.

July 30, 2006

We are happy to announce a very big milestone for our company: 20,000 registered users.

This number is a very big deal for a variety of reasons. No, it might not be the 20 million, or even 2 million, that some other websites have recently reported reaching, but there are a few reasons why our 20,000 are significantly more important.

The first – our users aren’t early adopters by any stretch of the imagination. Most of our users are of-line. What we have managed to do is convince them to use our on-line service and to finally reap the benefits of the Internet.

Imagine how difficult it is for AOL to sign up non-Internet users for the first time…think about all the CD’s they have to send and all of the millions of dollars in marketing they have to spend to sign up new users.

It is very similar for us, we are not only selling our service, but we also have to sell them on the Internet and on experimenting with a medium that they are most definitely scared of. So to have 20,000 users, to be signing up close to 500 a day, and to do it on our budget, well…we are very proud.

Feedback from our first week

July 13, 2006

Wow…its only bee a few days since we launched and the feedback has been amazing. We have gotten over 100 emails and many more phone calls. Our customer service department is working incredibly hard to stay on top of all of the feedback. We just hired another person to handle the load, and we are interviewing to hire one or two more after that.

There have been some good suggestions,  especially relating  to how we can make it easier  for Employers to find exactly the type of person they are looking for. We are opening up the hiring site to allow for more flexibility. Users also seem to want a way to specify the geographic zone within which to search for candidates, which is a bit complex because of the 7 response guarantee, but we are working with it.
We are adding close to 500 daily resumes to the site and our database of available workers is exploding. We are very close to expanding the Beta to the Los Angeles region, so stay tuned.
Thank you for all the great feedback, and if you have any more thoughts please send us an email to feedback (a) hireworkers (.) com

We are open for business!!!

July 9, 2006

The entire HireWorkers.com team would like to anounce that our doors are now officially open for business!

It has been a long and difficult development process, but it was incredibly exciting and rewarding as well.

I want to personally thank you for your patience and help, and I hope you enjoy using our new site as much as we enjoyed developing it. Please send us comments, suggestions and ideas, as we will continully be updating and upgrading the system.

Welcome aboard!

Recruitment – Before and After

June 15, 2006

Welcome to the 21st century. A lot has changed. Look around you…there might not be flying cars or time machines, but just about everything else has exceeded our expectations of what the future will look like.

Much like the printing press did several centuries ago, the Internet has revolutionized the distribution of information. This has led to a widespread era of innovation. Every industry has been affected and ever person has been touched by the wonders of technology.

The recruitment industry was one of the first to be turned upside down. Head hunters went the way of dinosaurs and travel agents. 70% of the population no longer needed a person to find them a job. Monster.com, CareerBuilder.com, HotJobs.com, Dice.com…to name a few sprung up and made it easier, faster, and way less expensive to find great talent. Everyone but the headhunters were happy.

But remember I said only 70% of people stopped using headhunters. What happened to the remaining 30%? Why couldn’t they take advantage of the internet?

The answer is 5% of the jobs were so important that it was impossible for a website to generate a list of candidates with all of the criteria necessary. There just wasn’t the technology to match people on the very high end of the job spectrum.

The other 25%? We'll, most of these are what you call low-wage workers. They are the driving force of the economy doing everything from construction, agriculture, food-industry, cleaning…and so on. These people were slower in adopting the internet and so traditional online recruitment did not work. Secondly, many spoke languages other than English, and so most of the job sites couldn’t cater to them. Finally, the employers of low-wage workers were looking for a different solution. They didn’t want resumes and detailed accounts of a time in their life when they took a leadership role, rather they want someone with experience, and they want someone fast.

So for almost 10 years the internet was changing the entire landscape of the US economy, but low-wage recruitment was stuck in the mid-19th century. Somewhere between word of mouth, staffing agencies and newspaper classified.

UNTIL NOW!

Presenting HireWorkers.com; the 21st century low-wage recruitment tool. Employers post a job. We browse through our database of tens of thousands of available workers and find great matches. We then call them and provide them all the information about your job, but marinating your information anonymous. If they are interested, then we put them directly in touch with you. The entire process takes less than 2 hours and we 100% guarantee your satisfaction.

There is no faster, easier, simpler, and better solution out there. Best of all, we only charge a small fee for use of the service, which comes out to be less then 10% of the other alternatives.

Time Zone

June 12, 2006

Part of developing a first-rate website is outsourcing some of the development programing. There is no way around this fact. If you are in the software/web development industry, it is a necessary evil. It doesn't matter if you are Microsoft, or if you are building a website dedicated to a niche widget, you must outsource or you will have a very difficult time being profitable. 

That being said,  we have a wonderful development team in the Ukraine. They are a fantastic group of talented and hard working engenieers who have made HireWorkers.com possible.

The only problem is the dreaded "Time Zone." Say that in our office, and people sing the tune from the Twilight Zone TV show, because, well, just about everyone hates the time zone. Most of our staff at one point or another has had the privilege of waking up at 4:00am, sometimes earlier, to discuss or communicate with the Ukraine team. All I can tell you is there is nothing wonderful about 4:00am.

Sorry for the rant, it's just 5:00am here and I needed to pass a little bit of time between conference call and conference call, and I thought I would make an entry into the blog. Sweet dreams. 

Testing, testing and more testing

June 11, 2006

Final few days before launch, and everyone on our team is focused on one goal; testing the application.

There are so many moving parts, that it is critical that we test every function at least 100 times before we are comfortable. I like to think of the Ipod when describing our approach to building HireWorkers.com. The Ipod is a technological marvel of a machine with tremendous amount of sophisticated technology, but the user only sees an elegant and simple tool that does exactly what he wants. Our designers and programmers will know they did a good job if when you use the service you say to yourself, "wow, this is such a simple system, but it works."

In reality, it is everything, but simple. What we have been working on however, is making sure that the user experience is simple, because at the end of the day, that will determine if the product is used or not.

Books and Reading

June 8, 2006

One of the ways we stay ahead of the curve here at Hireworkers.com is by reading. I read everything from trade publications, to books, to news magazines. On average I read about 15 hours per week. I also encourage everyone here to read. I consistently recomend different books and all of our employees know that they are free to charge books and relevant trade publications to the company.

It isnt because I feel that books have that many great ideas. Most don't. But every author has a unique perspective, and just listening to the author gets one to think and to analyze from different angles.
All of the big ideas we have had for HireWorkers.com have come after reading something that got us thinking, that got us talking, and that ultimetly helped us create something great.  

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