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Archive for April 13th, 2009

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According to the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in the US in March was 8.5% (up from 8.1% in February). Not counting farm workers, the US lost 663,000 jobs last month alone.

Among the unemployed, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs increased by 547,000 to 8.2 million in March. This group has nearly doubled in size over the past 12 months. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) rose to 3.2 million over the month and has increased by about 1.9 million since the start of the recession in December 2007.

In other words, not good.

That being said, I have noticed a sudden little increase in positive churn: People landing jobs, positions coming open, requests for resumes and talent – all on Twitter. And today, two of my Twitter friends started new jobs with pretty solid companies. So you know what? Why not start up a new hashtag on Twitter with a greater purpose: Talking about people GETTING new jobs instead of losing them.

Even if you aren’t a fan of Twitter, perhaps you can get behind that kind of little movement.

Hat tip to @triumphCIO for coining the hashtag 12 days before I thought of it.

How to use #hired:

1. Log in to your Twitter account.

2. Post an update/tweet when you or someone you know has been hired or is starting a new job. (Make sure that information is cleared for public release before posting) 😉

3. End your update/tweet with these characters:   #hired

4. Press SEND.

It’s that simple. Besides, spreading a little cheer by talking about new jobs for a change might help us turn this economic downturn around that much faster.

Thanks, everyone. 🙂

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Here’s a sobering little bit of reality:

“A study by Bain & Company found that 80 percent of companies surveyed believed that they delivered a “superior experience” to their customers. But, when customers were asked to indicate their perceptions of the experiences they have in dealing with companies, they rated only 8 percent of companies as truly delivering a superior experience (James Allen, Frederick F. Reichheld and Barney Hamilton, The Three “Ds” of Customer Experience, Harvard Business School Working Knowledge, accessed Nov. 7, 2005). Do you sense just a little bit of disconnect?”

(Thanks to John Winsor for catching this some time ago on Seth Godin’s blog, who himself had wisely nipped it from Jim Barnes.)

8% vs. 80%.

… Which is probably the same percentage of companies thinking their advertising, marketing, PR or Social Media “efforts” are solid vs. what the rest of the world thinks of them. (What some of us like to refer to as “reality.”)

Delusion to the nth degree.

By the way, statistically speaking, if you are reading this, you are 10 times more likely to be in the 80% group than the 8% group. Don’t blame me for the bad news. It’s just basic math.

A few pointers to help you figure out where you stand:

If you haven’t seen continuous double-digit growth for the last three years, you are NOT in the 8% category.

If you don’t know at least 10% of your repeat customers by name when you see them, you are NOT in the 8% category.

If you don’t know exactly how many people mentioned your company’s name on the web since the start of this month, your are probably NOT in the 8% category.

If you find it painstakingly difficult to get trade publications to write positive stories about you, you are probably NOT in the 8% category.

If your customer service people yell or complain more than theysmile or laugh when they get off the phone with customers, you are NOT in the 8% category.

If your executives are not being invited to speak at industry events on a regular basis, you are NOT in the 8% category.

If your customers are increasingly pressuring you to lower your prices to match your competitors’, you are NOT in the 8% category.

Starting to get the picture?

Time to do something about it, perhaps? 😉

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