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Government Needs to Play Catch Up in Hiring

September 16, 2009 Leave a comment

861513_interviewThe US Federal Government is about to undertake one of the largest hiring initiatives in its history.

According to the Wall Street Journal, over the next three years, the government will attempt to attract nearly 270,000 talented specialists in various fields across the board, including the health, financial and administrative sectors.  The difference between this government hiring initiative and the recruiting processes of old, is this time Uncle Sam will be actively seeking qualified candidates instead of passively sitting on his laurels.

What has prompted this large scale hiring campaign?  One factor is certainly Mr. Obama’s ambitions to take on such looming problems like health care reform and the economic downturn.   And what better way is there to combat long-term problems than to get the younger generation’s  brighest minds involved?  How else can we expect to positively affect the future of our government than to actively seek the best talent for the jobs of the future?

In order for this massive job overhaul to occur successfully, our government will need to implement some much needed change to its hiring process.  ‘They’ are already on their way to cleaning out some dusty corners, but just to make it clear, I’ve listed two points that can help us move toward a new breed of government hiring.

Branding

The brand marketing of the various government sectors seeking qualified candidates will be integral to attracting talent.  We don’t often hear about ‘branding’ in reference to government work (outside of the military).  When the younger generation thinks about a federal employee, they most often picture a white-collar bloke sitting in a musty office with no windows, slowly filing through a stack of paperwork.

The bad stigma that goes along with federal jobs is a major hurdle that the government needs to overcome in order to compete with the private sector for the best talent.  Why was working at Google such a hot commodity at the start of the decade?  Company branding: they were known for a laid back work ‘campus,’ rife with badminton courts, plush bean bag chairs and organic gardens.   Today, many other companies looking to attract younger talent have also implemented the ‘Google Campus Model.’

Our government needs to concentrate on marketing to a new generation of talent.  Good benefits and patriotism are not currently enough to compete with the private sector.

Technology

Sure, the US government is known for some of the most innovative, expensive and mind blowing technologies the world has ever seen.  But when it comes to a new generation of internet tech, they are still playing catch up.  The Obama administration has certainly made big steps between its acceptance of social networking tools and the current planned overhaul of .gov portals, however it needs to concentrate on other specific tools that are giving the private sector a big advantage in talent acquisition.

New applicant tracking and hiring software solutions are allowing private companies to better announce job openings, track qualified candidates, and analyze source data to optimize the recruiting process.   Newton Software, a leader in applicant tracking software, is one such application that boasts a simple to use interface which also provides the utmost efficiency in streamlining the recruitment process.

If the government really wants to compete with the private sector for top talent, they will need to embrace the technologies currently utilized in the private sector.

Top 5 Best Looking Online Applications

September 1, 2009 Leave a comment

As the summer winds down many people will start to slack on their workout regiments and dieting fads in preparation for the winter. Beach-toned bikini bods will give way to blubber concealing puffy knit-sweaters, and soon enough only the summer memories will be keeping us going through the dark winter days.   Lucky for us, the most beautiful online software applications will continue to show skin throughout the winter, keeping their interfaces trim and efficient as ever.

‘Best-Looking’ is a category more often found in high school yearbooks than software design reviews; application critics are fonder of specific terminologies like ‘navigational elements’ and ‘interaction design.’ I’d like to throw the specifics out the window and concentrate on the straight-out best looking, curvaceous, saliva-inducing app. designs on the web.

1. Pandora:

The online radio service, Pandora, has long been the hallmark of a slick online application. From its refreshing, cool blue color scheme to its curvy card-like song icons, Pandora is a looker.   Pandora also has an integrated advertising platform that completely swaps the entire application background when a new advertiser appears. Although many would say this large design migration is disturbing, it actually sits better than tiny ad swaps or ole’ the inescapable hovering banner trick.

2. Tumblr

This Twitter competitor lets users ‘tumble’ various stories, links, images and videos out to the web. Although twitter wins as far as it’s ability to efficiently reach a group of followers with a message, Tumblr gets the award for prettiest ‘real-time news platform.’ Tumblr’s beauty may be the result of the site’s user base, who are fond of posting dazzling landscapes, closeups of delicious foods and quirky pictures of star wars figurines in real-life situations.   Beyond the appealing content, Tumblr possesses a simple yet attractive interface that keeps the people coming back to it.

3. Newton Analytics

Newton Software is a recruiting software solution that is fully accessible online, offering features that allow businesses to announce jobs, review resumes and track applicants.  The company recently launched a new reporting suite, Newton Analytics, that is simply beautiful to behold. Clearly the reporting functionality is quite advanced, allowing users to analyze dynamic data and target bottlenecks before they happen.  Newton Software is  equally advanced in its stand-out design: providing slick graphing modules, handy drop down menus and a relaxing blend of colors.

4. Google Adwords

Google recently upgraded the look of its money-making advertising platform, going from about a 4 to a 10.  The new adwords interface very closely mirrors the Google Analytics platform (which could also be considered a contender for best-looking.) Fancy graphs, soothing gradients, and enticing new tabs are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the updated Adwords.  Although many nay-sayers complain about Google changing up a tried-and-true design, the newer version proves that it doesn’t hurt to be good looking.

5. Hulu

Although Hulu.com was launched with a public bias it was able to eventually gain footing as a very popular video portal.  Hulu certainly posses advantages over YouTube in its exclusive access to network television content, but it also has the edge when it comes to looking good.  Watching online video content on Hulu is akin to watching a football game from the owner’s box:  it’s not as nitty-gritty as many other ‘bleacher’ video sites, but it feels exclusive and has a multitude of perks.   From the background dimming options to the slick control panel to the wide-screen view, Hulu is clearly the centerfold of online video.