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Junior Achievement's Discovery Center
5/8/2014

This week Accountants One volunteered at Junior Achievement's Chick-fil-A Foundation Discovery Center. Half of our team volunteered on Wednesday, and the other half visited the center today.

Thanks to everyone that took time out of their busy days to serve this wonderful non-profit. We also need to heartily thank all the friends and family that joined us in our volunteer efforts. We couldn't have done it without your help. Our sister staffing company -- The Waters Organization was also there in full support!

As a Junior Achievement board member I am inspired by the mission of JA, but there is NOTHING that can take the place of working with the students as they experience the Discovery Center.

To watch the light go on when a student realizes the implications of a poor credit score. To see children completely engaged in the budgeting process. To hear kids discussing needs versus wants. To witness genuine learning of this very important type! That is truly inspirational.

If you have not volunteered at the JA Discovery Center at the World Congress Center, I can't suggest it more strongly. I expect that you will be equally overwhelmed.

It seems clear to me that more than ever we must focus on financial literacy. Our world demands that our kids need to understand economic implications across the board -- from the personal to the global perspective.

The teaching model that Junior Achievement has created with the help of Chick-fil-A and many of Atlanta's best companies is clearly making a difference in the lives of young people. It blew me away to see Middle-School students so engaged.

What further impressed me was the quality of the JA Volunteer coordinators. We had the honor of working with Aisha Greenlee and Rebecca Burch. Both were professional and a lot of fun. They made the experience stress-free and a heck of a lot of fun.

I recommend the JA Discovery Center for so many reasons -- from team building, to making a difference in the community, to recognizing the impact that we can have on children when we bring the subject to life. I hope you will take the time to explore this wonderful new facility in Atlanta.

Junior Achievement's Chick-fil-A Foundation Discovery Center on YouTube

Get a glimpse of the Discovery Center to see how this space at the Georgia World Congress Center was transformed from a few empty rooms, to a simulated city ...
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Our very own Matt Hanson in the news!
5/6/2014

 

 
The eHuman Resource | May 2014
Monthly Newsletter Banner 02
SHRM-Atlanta Member Spotlight
Member Spotlight: Matt Hanson, Recruiter, Accountants One, Inc.

Member Spotlight: Matt Hanson, Recruiter, Accountants One, Inc.

Please join us in recognizing Matt, who first became involved with SHRM-Atlanta in 2011 during his time volunteering with Junior Achievement through his company, Accountants One, Inc. As an Atlanta native, he was looking for more ways to give back to his community, so his supervisor recommended he become involved with SHRM-Atlanta.

Matt immediately took on a leadership role as the marketing chair for the Buckhead GEM, which he still holds today. From there he continued to wear many hats by becoming the VP of Marketing in 2013 and the overall chair of the HR Young Professionals group early this year. Matt’s enthusiasm for the HR industry is evident in his attendance at so many SHRM-Atlanta events and willingness to step up and volunteer.

When asked what his favorite part of volunteering for SHRM-Atlanta Matt said, "I really enjoy the value that it brings to the HR community, which I could talk about all day. I like how SHRM-Atlanta always covers topics and legal issues in the HR community that are at the forefront of what is happening in the human resources world. I also really enjoy the people I meet and network with within SHRM-Atlanta because they are always so helpful and it is fun helping each other out, whether that is for volunteering efforts or with business needs."

"We are so fortunate to have volunteers like Matt who dedicate their time, energy and talents to make SHRM-Atlanta the outstanding organization that it is," said Robin Lane, CAE, SHRM-Atlanta chief operating officer. "Matt is the perfect individual to lead our HR Young Professionals group. His warmth and enthusiasm are evident each and every time I see him at a SHRM-Atlanta event, and I can already see great things on the horizon as Matt grows in his role as a volunteer leader."

Due to the many opportunities to serve the community through SHRM-Atlanta, as well as the multitude of volunteer roles within the chapter, Matt knows he will have a long future with the chapter and is happy to fill in where he is needed. In his own words: "I truly enjoy helping my hometown grow and prosper as a business community, as well as volunteering with like-minded people looking to do the same for the Atlanta HR community."

Our members have many talents…

Are YOU a "SHRM"? Interested in volunteering? Know a volunteer who deserves to be spotlighted? E-mail us at info@shrmatlanta.org today!

 

Our members dedicate a lot of their time and energy to making us all successful, and they deserve our attention, respect and applause. This month we are delighted to spotlight Matt Hanson! be sure to ask Matt to wiggle his ears at the next chapter meeting!
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April job growth -- gathering strength
5/4/2014

Job growth was strong in April. According to the Labor Department U.S. employers added jobs at a rate only second best to any month since the onset of the Great Recession. These jobs were spread across multiple industries from retail to construction.

The DOL reported that employment grew by 288,000 in April. The jobless rank also went down to 6.3%. Even with concerns about weak wages and an exodus of workers from the work-force, this is welcome news after a long slow recovery.

The view from Accountants One is very similar. The winter in the South was tough on the economy. We saw major slow downs in hiring and project work due to Snowpocalypse. Before that blip on the radar, we had seen slow consistent growth since the end of 2012. Now the train seems to be on the track.

There continues to be little movement at the CFO level, but compared to a year ago, things are much more vibrant. With little exception, all the other Accounting and Finance roles are in high demand. In fact, I don't remember a time in my 16 years in this business when the Senior Accountant was in higher demand.

Overall the economy appears to be strengthening, fostering overall healthy hiring demand.

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Why Corporate Culture Matters More in 2014
5/1/2014

corporate culture The year 2014 started off with a bang. Last year was the strongest we’d seen since 2008, but even with the disruptive hand of mother-nature dumping snow on the South, the trends of first quarter point to a year as strong, or stronger, than pre-recession years. As a believer in the theory that staffing/recruiting act as a barometer for the economy as a whole, I’m confident that the mind-numbingly slow escape from recession is finally over.

If this is correct – if indeed the economy has regained healthy momentum, then Corporate Culture must be a point of intense focus for the best organizations. There are three main reasons why Corporate Culture matters more in 2014.

First, retention has not been a major concern since 2008. Companies, for the most part, did not have to compete for talent. Jobs were few and far between, and people tended to stay in a role even if they did not fit into an organization.

With the job market improving, these unsatisfied employees now have choices. If a person feels misaligned with his or her organization, that person is more likely to act upon their desire to move to a company where they jibe with the culture.

In exit interviews of employees who recently resigned, we are finding that many employees were hired for skills alone. During bad economic times, the opportunity to earn a decent salary outweighed environment, but the tide has changed. The opportunity to work for another organization where they perceived a better cultural fit led to resignations.

A second reason why Corporate Culture matters more in 2014, is tied to Return on Investment (ROI) and maximizing that return. Whether you are the owner of a company or a manager, ROI is critical to the success of your organization. If you have people who are misaligned with your culture, your ROI will not be maximized.

Corporate Culture is defined as the behavior of people who are part of an organization and the meanings that the people attach to those behaviors. It stands to reason that if you have a group that is in-sync around behavior and the meaning attributed to that behavior, then that group will outperform a less in-sync group. Therefore, a group of people sharing a culture will allow an organization to take greater advantage of an economic upturn like the one we are seeing today.

The third reason why Corporate Culture matters more in 2014 is related to hiring. Companies in this market are vying for talent. The era of 10 candidates for every job is over. A compelling case for joining a company must be offered in order to attract top talent.

We know, that while compensation is critical in a person’s decision to align with a company, a sense of mission – of purpose/meaning – is at least as important. With that truth in focus, it is imperative that great organizations are capable of articulating their Corporate Culture in attracting talent.

Baby Boomers are well known for showing up and doing their jobs no matter the environment – from their eyes Corporate Culture is just not looked upon as important. That is not the case with Gen X and Gen Y. These workforce generations actively seek out a corporate culture that fits their style.

One of our extremely successful clients doesn’t spend any time talking about duties and responsibilities during the first meeting with a candidate. They talk extensively about the mission and the culture of the organization. Then, they spend time talking to the candidate about their personal culture – life goals, hobbies, sports, and even entertainment.

If the candidate feels connected to the organization after this first meeting we set up an interview to talk about duties and responsibilities of the role. Initially, I thought the cultural exploration meeting would be viewed as a time waster by candidates. But instead, most candidates find this approach extremely refreshing and become much more enthusiastic about going to work for the company. By focusing extensively on cultural fit, this company enjoys an unbelievably high candidate acceptance rate.

By focusing on Corporate Culture, organizations can positively affect their retention rates, hiring ROI, and ability to hire top talent. If there is success in those three areas, then exceptional performance will be a result. With the recession behind us it seems to me that Corporate Culture matters even more in 2014. By focusing on Corporate Culture we can gain competitive advantage and enjoy the upswing market.

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Dilbert on personality profiling
4/23/2014
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Two more dimensions of Corporate Culture - part 1
4/14/2014

In my book MATCH: A Systematic, Sane Process for Hiring the Right Person Every Time, I point out eight Cultural Norms. In doing many Cultural Profiles since 2010, I have discovered two more norms. While I have always strived for simplicity and ease in the MATCH process, I think that they should be included in the effort to understand one’s Corporate Culture.

Corporate Culture is the behavior of people who are part of an organization, and the meanings that the people attach to those behaviors. Corporate Culture includes the organization’s values, visions, norms, working language, systems, symbols, beliefs and habits. It is also the pattern of such collective behaviors and assumptions that are taught to new organizational members as a way of perceiving, and even thinking and feeling. Corporate Culture affects the way people and groups interact with each other, with clients and with stakeholders.

In MATCH I make the argument that the key to organization success (which includes profit in a for-profit organization) is to first understand the Corporate Culture of the entity. Then it is the job of the hiring team to attract candidates with a cultural proactivity that matches the organization. Working in this way leads to greater hiring success and retention.

I offer a Score Card approach to quantify the Cultural Norms. In my book I highlight eight of these norms. I am now convinced that it will serve you better to include two additional norms.

The first of these two cultural dimensions is “Dress Code.” As with the other eight dimensions of my score card, a dress code continuum allows us to quantify our cultural dress norm with the far left representing “Street Wear” and the far right representing “Black Tie.” Somewhere between 1 (Street Wear) and 10 (Black Tie), every organization has a cultural “Dress Code” score. An organization with a 3 would be more relaxed in dress code – perhaps business casual would be the daily wear. While an organization with a 9 would be a business suit every day.

By the way, there is no correct answer there. The whole point is that our organizations are stronger when we understand them. If we strive to understand our culture first – before we hire, then we are much more likely to hire and retain the right person.

One more note – Ideally, this Cultural Profile is administered to a whole department, or even an entire company. By collecting data across a large section of the organization, a cleaner definition of a true Corporate Culture can be wrought.

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