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The Dreaded Recruiter

Unless you have been living under a rock or just started recruiting yesterday (for your sake, let’s hope not) most people have come into contact with a recruiter at some point in their lives. They have either called you at your desk while your boss is telling you how great you did on your last project or they’ve called you for a referral and we all know a referral is “code word” for “are you really interested without me directly trying to recruit you” and last but not least, they have called you trying to help you fill your positions within your organization.  Ughhh…the dreaded recruiter!
People love to bash recruiters. Some people do not think it is a real profession. Some people detest recruiters worse than an IRS Agent or even criminals.
You would think that recruiters would be some what respected. We help people get jobs and we help organizations build their teams…simple enough…right?!
Recruiting is a tough job. Harder than it was 5 years ago. There are a lot of unemployed people right now seeking employment, and there are just as many people who are employed and for some reason, they want to make a change. Recruiters are fielding
far more resumes than ever, yet we have less positions to fill due to our economy. Recruiters are also receiving more calls due to the higher volume of resumes.  Yet, eventually we end up getting a black eye.  Why? Because some recruiters don’t give valuable feedback or any feedback at all or they don’t return phone calls.  Being a recruiter myself, please let me try to explain the above:
 
1. We work for the client; they pay the fees.
2. We submit many candidates and the client usually only wants to talk about the ones they want to interview.
3. With unemployment at almost 10%, recruiters are working twice as hard, fielding twice as many people and unfortunately not everyone is a match.
4. We don’t always get feedback, I know you can’t believe it, but more times than not; we don’t. And, then the times when we do…and you really don’t want to know what they said.
Now with all that being said, please try to remember we are looking for an exact fit based on our clients expectations. We don’t like to hurt anyones feelings…so if you didn’t get a return phone call or feedback; please email us and gently remind us and we will do our best to call you back.  Email us…it is fast, easy and hardly ever ignored.

 

A Good Attitude in a Down Economy

“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the goal.” ~ Henry Ford

Ok…yes, it has been really tough in the recruiting world compared to 5 years ago but things are tough all over.
Here are some simple “rules” to work by that I was taught many years ago when I was just a “wet behind the ears recruiter.”
When you read them, you will probably think, “I know all this” but are you doing them…living by them…working by them?

1. Stay off the internet – it will drain your results and waste your time
2. Arrive on time/or early – Stay until quitting time/or a little later – enough said
3. Attitude – keeping a positive attitude in a slow market is a necessity
4. Five calls before 9:30 – just grit your teeth and do it
5. Daily planner – it helps to keep you focused and all top producers do it
6. Reading in the office – read emails twice a day (first thing in the morning/last thing in the afternoon) industry articles should be read after hours
7.Skill Improvement – read industry related articles, listen to CD’s about improvements during your commute, participate in a Web training
8. An interview a day – a daily push for an interview will yield results
9. Goal setting – make a new one weekly and post it on your phone so you can read it daily
10.10 meaningful conversations a day – measure your results daily
11. 5 New Prospects a day – lack of prospecting means you will not have new business
12.Reward yourself – whatever goal you have set for the day, once you achieve it…take a walk outside, get a cup of coffee or whatever motivates you
13. Limited Non-Business Conversations – these conversations interfere with your concentration and take time away from your work – pleasantries are good but no more than 5 minutes

I am sure you can add your own “rules” to this list and I hope you do.
Remember…instead of focusing on the end result, focus on doing things right and results will follow.

Happy Recruiting!

Employers are Re-thinking the 5 day Work Week

There is a growing movement to rethink the standard 5-day, 40 hour work week. Employees are interested in taking back their personal lives to have a better work/life balance, while employers are willing to explore the options of flexibility, if it doesn’t effect their bottom line.

Today, 34% of employers offer some sort of flex work week that includes shorter days, longer days, fewer days or fewer hours.
Telecommuting and job sharing is also attractive to both employees and employers. Microsoft did a study in 2005 that actually found that employees who worked 45 hour work weeks were only productive for about 27 of those hours.

With a tough economy and employers who are facing budget issues, a flex work week could provide better employee satisfaction and in turn a work force that is more efficient.

San Antonio Solar Boosters, Lennar and KB Home

From Builderonline.com

Posted on: August 22, 2011
Source: San Antonio Express-News

Of course the buyer of a new luxury home can consider installing solar panels. Why not?

But for the first time in San Antonio, solar panels are becoming an option for homebuyers at an affordable price point, and in the kind of new homes that many people purchase: production homes by large, national builders.

Supporters of solar energy say it’s a sign that green building has become more widespread in the market and that local homebuyers are growing increasingly sophisticated about energy efficiency.

Lennar Homes recently opened a model home with solar panels in the Kallison Ranch neighborhood off of Culebra outside Loop 1604 and will start offering solar panels as an option in all of its communities.

KB Home also will roll out solar panels as an option in all of its San Antonio communities this fall, and last week installed solar panels on a model home in its new La Fontana neighborhood off of U.S. 281 North and Evans Road.

“It really demonstrates a maturing of the market,” said Cathy Teague, a spokeswoman with KB Home. “Not every buyer will want to do solar panels, but there are a certain number of new homeowners who are interested in seeing how far off the grid they can get.”

Anita Ledbetter Devora, executive director of Build San Antonio Green said people also have realized they don’t have to install a huge and expensive system to run an entire home — they can use solar as a way to permanently shave utility bills instead.

“The tipping point is that we have more educated installers and builders,” Devora said. “Years ago it was an all-or-nothing mentality. Builders are putting in more affordable systems. It will make a difference in your utility bill without breaking the bank.”

Lanny Sinkin, executive director of Solar San Antonio, said some homeowners and builders take a phased approach. “You can do some one year and some another year and just keep building your system,” he said.

According to Solar San Antonio, the cost of a 5-kilowatt system — a typical choice that can handle about 40 percent of a home’s energy load — costs about $27,500 installed. But a CPS rebate whittles about $11,250 off of the cost, and a 30 percent federal tax credit shaves off another $4,875. That leaves a typical buyer of solar panels paying around $11,375.

“It really changes the whole proposition,” Sinkin said.

Both KB and Lennar declined to provide specific costs for the solar panel option, but Brian Barron, director of construction for Lennar, said the build will be able to lower the costs thanks to volume discounts.

In 2010, San Antonio-based Imagine Homes, a smaller volume builder, was the first to offer solar panels to buyers of homes at a moderate price point, in neighborhoods where home prices start around $140,000.

About 10 percent of its buyers have opted to put solar panels on their homes so far, and John Friesenhahn, a partner with the company, said he is seeing increased buyer interest in solar energy.

“My hunch is that it’s gas prices as well as the heat,” Friesenhahn said. “When gas prices go up, and people get these huge electric bills from CPS, they stop and think about their budget.”

Friesenhahn said in Imagine neighborhoods, a basic 2-kilowatt solar unit generally costs anywhere between $12,000 and $16,000 before the CPS rebates and tax incentives.

So far San Antonio has 382 photovoltaic units, mostly on homes, Sinkin said. Another 70 are awaiting approval from CPS.

A few years ago, though, the city had hardly any solar units — just five systems in 2008, according to information from CPS and Solar San Antonio.

Devora said she hopes that number will start to grow quickly, and was happy to see solar offered on homes where the utility bill savings can make a real difference in a household’s budget. “We’re seeing a huge change in the residential market,” she said.

KB Home, based in Los Angeles, has 28 neighborhoods in the San Antonio area and the Miami-based Lennar has nine communities. They are both among the top 10 most active builders in the market, and together have more than 13 percent of the market share of new home building, according to the housing research firm Metrostudy.

Barron said Lennar isn’t sure how many buyers will choose solar. But already the new model home has been drawing people curious about the panels. “Buyers these days expect some type of green efficiency program,” he said. “Installing solar panels is something we consider as the next step in green building.”

Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/business/article/KB-Lennar-tract-homes-in-S-A-going-solar-2072961.php#ixzz1VlslxCvN

You Lost Your Job, Now What?

You are well educated, you have years of experience and you are even bilingual, but you just lost your job.
Unfortunately, lay-offs and job loss are the norm now a days, even at the top.
How you handle it in the aftermath could shape your career for years to come.

Day 1 – Do nothing! That’s right! It is important not to do something you will regret later. It’s ok to take a day to re-group and absorb the shock. Stay away from the phone and computer. Be good to yourself.
Day 2 – Get your paperwork in order. If you did not sign anything on the spot and a severance package is being offered…negotiate it. Head down to the unemployment office and file a claim. If you have not been keeping your resume current; it’s time to dust it off and polish it up.
Day 3 – Reassess your career goals. What are you passionate about? Maybe you need a better work/life balance or more money – don’t jump from the skillet to the fire out of desperation. CALL YOUR RECRUITER!
Day 4 –
Look at your expenses. See where you can cut back, reduce or do without. No one expects to be out of work very long but in todays economy, experts say it takes approximately one month per $10K salary earned to find a job at the same level.
Day 5 – Make looking for a job – “YOUR JOB”. Make a plan. Only 20% of jobs are actually advertised, so network. Designate time for research, phone calls, sending your resume out and interviewing.

We hope that those of you reading this are not unemployed, but if you are, please go to our web site to see the positions we are currently working on, you can reply directly online and send us your resume and we wish you the best in your endeavors.

Congratulations Challenger Homes & New Home Star!

Challenger Homes, New Home Star Take Top Market Share in Colorado Springs
PRWeb – 10 hrs ago

Rapidly expanding Colorado builder and sales management partner hit milestone.

Colorado Springs, CO (PRWEB) July 28, 2011
Through the midway point of 2011, Colorado Springs-based, Challenger Homes has a good reason to be confident. For the first time in the homebuilder’s 11-year history, the company has moved into first place in Colorado Springs market share. The year-to-date permit report, published this month, marks a milestone for Challenger and sales management partner, New Home Star.

Although many builders continue to struggle, Challenger has thrived in recent years. The company has also remained steadfast in its practice of remaining closed on Sundays, despite most builders opening for business. In a market where every new customer counts, this practice has forced Challenger Homes and New Home Star to be very customer-focused the other six days of the week. Given the builder’s recent success, the approach appears to be working.

“We feel very blessed to be in this position during a very difficult market. It is a testimony to all of the great people working for and with Challenger Homes that share our vision and values,” said Challenger Homes president, Todd Anderson. “By focusing on some timeless basic principles, we have been able to not only survive this housing recession, but thrive to become one of the top builders in our market.”

Challenger has experienced year-over year sales growth in the high double-digits, since partnering with New Home Star in 2009. The national sales management and outsourcing company partners with builders across North America to drive bottom line results. In Colorado Springs, that partnership has assisted Challenger Homes for consecutive record years in one of the most difficult housing markets in history.

“Watching what has happened with Challenger Homes over the past two years has been amazing. It’s a special experience to go from 15th to 1st in market share; one that you don’t get to experience often. I’m proud of the extraordinary team effort and thankful for the results. There is no doubt we are blessed,” explained New Home Star president, David Rice.

About Challenger Homes:

Over the years, Challenger has sold a lot of homes, in a lot of different designs, to a lot of different people. However, the core principle hasn’t changed. More House to Call Home, designed around the customer, at an affordable price. For more information on Challenger Homes, visit http://www.mychallengerhomes.com.

About New Home Star:

New Home Star is a national sales and marketing company, providing builders and developers with comprehensive management and outsourcing services for today’s housing market. New Home Star currently partners with over 30 builders spanning 3,000 miles across the United States. For more information on New Home Star, visit http://www.newhomestar.com.

Home building jumps in June after dismal spring

By DEREK KRAVITZ / www.Builderonline.com

WASHINGTON – Builders broke ground on more single-family homes and apartments in June, helping the battered construction industry gain a little life after a dismal spring.

The Commerce Department said Tuesday that builders began work on a seasonally adjusted 629,000 homes last month, a 14.6 percent increase from May.

Still, that’s roughly half the 1.2 million homes per year that economists say must be built to sustain a healthy housing market. Jennifer Lee, a senior economist at BMO Capital Markets, called the gains “just a blip in the overall flat-lining trend of homebuilding activity.”

“We have to see a rebound in job creation to sustain a recovery in housing,” she said.

Much of the increase in June came from a surge in apartment construction, a volatile part of the industry. That sector jumped more than 30 percent last month.

Renting has become a preferred option for many Americans who lost their jobs during the recession and were forced to leave their rapidly depreciating homes. Since 1992, apartments have typically made up just 20 percent of home construction. Now, they make up closer to 30 percent of the market.

Single-family home construction rose 9.4 percent. It was the biggest increase since June 2009, when the recession officially ended. But analysts said the pace of 453,000 homes per year was still too depressed to signal a turnaround.

“The underlying trend of single-family housing starts shows no signs of improving in a significant manner anytime soon,” said Joshua Shapiro, chief U.S. economist at MFR Inc.

Building permits, a gauge of future construction, increased 2.5 percent.

Home construction rose in every part of the country. The biggest gains in single-family home construction were in the Midwest and South, which saw extensive damage from tornadoes and flooding this spring. In the Northeast, the overall building pace spiked 35.1 percent and in the Midwest, it rose 25.3 percent. In the South, it rose 10.6 percent and in the West, it increased 5.4 percent.

Though new homes represent just 20 percent of the overall home market, they have an outsize impact on the economy. Each home built creates an average of three jobs for a year and generates about $90,000 in taxes, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

The weak housing industry is also holding back the U.S. economy. In past modern-day recessions, housing accounted for 15 to 20 percent of overall economic growth. This time around, between 2009 and 2010, housing contributed just 4 percent to the gross domestic product.

Cash-strapped builders are struggling to compete with deeply discounted foreclosures and short sales. A short sale is when lenders allow borrowers to sell their homes for less than what is owed on the mortgage.

New-home sales fell in May to a seasonally adjusted pace of 319,000 homes per year. That’s far below the 700,000 homes per year that economists consider healthy.

One reason is that previously occupied homes are a better deal than new homes. The median price of a new home is more than 30 percent higher than the median prices for a re-sale. That’s more than twice the markup in healthy housing markets.

Loans are also harder to get. Most private lenders are requiring 20 percent down payments and higher credit scores for the lowest mortgage rates.

In the past month, President Barack Obama said the housing market has “been most stubborn to us trying to solve the problem.” And last week Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the troubles facing home construction and sales were more persistent than previously thought.

The builders’ trade group said Monday that its survey of industry sentiment rose to 15 in June. Any reading below 50 indicates negative sentiment about the housing market. The index hasn’t reached 50 since April 2006, the peak of the housing boom.

Taylor Morrison Takes Top For-Profit Private Builder Spot on BUILDER 100 List

Closings decline 21% among 10 largest private home building firms.
By:Teresa Burney www.builderonline.com

Surviving the worst housing market since the Great Depression represents a major achievement for a privately funded builder, but the top 10 for-profit private builders of 2009 were able to do more than just stay alive–they also managed to hold their own against the cash-rich publicly funded builders.

No private for-profit builder took a top 10 on the BUILDER 100 list, but one, Taylor Morrison, at No. 13 with 3,347 closings, came close. (Nonprofit Habitat for Humanity International achieved the rank of No. 8 on the list, with 5,294 closings.)

David Weekley Homes, The Villages, and Shea Homes weren’t too far behind with more than 2,000 closings for each of them. (See sidebar below for individual companies’ closings and revenue numbers.) However, Shea Homes, with a 35.2% drop in closings and a 40.1% fall in revenue, dropped several spots, falling behind David Weekley and The Villages.

Yet, as a group, the top 10 private builders were, for the most part, able to stay close to the same spots on the lists they held last year. Woodside Homes, even under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, only dropped one notch, from No. 20 to No. 22, with 1,788 closings in 2009.

Of course, 2009’s difficult business conditions made an undeniable impact on these firms. Business remains a fraction of what it was during home building’s peak, and most large private builders on the BUILDER 100 took a sizeable hit again last year. As a group, closings were down an average of 21%. Revenues were off as well, by 23.9%, as the companies discounted homes to get them sold.

Only one private builder, Ashton Woods Homes, grew closings last year, boosting its business by 9.7% to 1,319 deliveries. However, its revenue still declined 9.5% in 2009.

(Editor’s note: Housing nonprofit Habitat for Humanity, the No. 1 builder on this list of top 10 private builders last year, would have also been the biggest private builder this year based on last year’s criteria. However, this year we decided to restrict this list of the top 10 private builders to for-profit firms only.)

Top 10 For-Profit Private Builders in 2009

1. Taylor Morrison (B100 rank: #13*)
3,347 closings, $1.3 billion revenue

2. David Weekley Homes (B100 rank: #17)
2,229 closings; $690.million in revenue

3. The Villages (B100 rank: #19)
2,115 closings; $658.5 million in revenue

4. Shea Homes (B100 rank: #20)
2,091 closings; $838.9 million in revenue

5. Woodside Homes (B100 rank: #21)
1,788 closings; $469 million in revenue

6. The Drees Co. (B100 rank: #22)
1,500 closings; 519.6 million in revenue

7. Highland Homes (B100 rank: #23)
1,455 closings; $511.2 million in revenue

8. Ashton Woods Homes (B100 rank: #24)
1,319 closings; $319.5 million in revenue

9. McGuyer Homebuilders (B100 rank: #25)
1,280 closings; $325.7 million in revenue

10. Perry Homes (B100 rank: #26)
1,267 closings; $368.7 million in revenue

Source: BUILDER 100
* Numbers in parentheses refer to the company’s overall rank on this year’s BUILDER 100 list.

BUILDER 100’s Top Private Companies Spent Last Year Stuck in Neutral

But moves by several of the largest for-profit, private builders put them in better shape to reap rewards in 2011.
By:John Caulfield www.builderonline.com

Ask anyone at Shea Homes how tough it was to make a buck in 2010.

The Walnut, Calif.–based company was once again one of the 10 largest for-profit, privately owned builders in closings that year, according to our annual BUILDER 100 ranking. (See chart below.) But those closings were down slightly from 2009 and Shea’s revenue was flat, despite J.D. Power & Associates recently rating Shea the industry’s No. 1 builder for customer satisfaction.

No one could argue that Shea was simply waiting for the recession to recede, either. In June, it acquired a bankrupt Levitt & Son community in Florida for $5.3 million from Bank of America, which includes 345 developed homesites and undeveloped lots with the potential for another 390 homesites. In the first phase of the $2 billion Civita project in San Diego, Shea is building two subdivisions of 200 condos, townhouses, and attached homes. And the builder continued to expand its popular Spaces house design concept, which features room flexibility, to other markets.

Moves made in late 2009 benefited two private builders, Ashton Woods USA and Woodside Homes. Georgia-based Ashton Woods USA converted $125 million of its public debt to private debt, which appears to have given this company breathing room to grow. The company has since expanded its operations into Raleigh, N.C., and Austin, Texas. Ken Balogh, a former Centex executive who was Ashton Woods’ COO, was promoted to CEO after Tom Krobot, who had held that post since 1995, retired on Dec. 31, 2010.

North Salt Lake City, Utah–based Woodside came out of bankruptcy in November 2009 and soon afterward began jumping on distressed land opportunities. Its strategy, says CEO Joel Shine, has been to “go where there’s a little less competition” from builders or existing homes, with an emphasis on being near job centers. As of November 2010, Woodside’s biggest deal since coming out of Chapter 11 was in Temecula, Calif., where this builder/developer placed in escrow $7.2 million to buy 210 finished and unfinished condominium lots. The company also acquired lots in Las Vegas; Mesa, Ariz.; and Roy, Utah.

Many private builders are hoping that 2011 presents their companies with a more robust business climate. Arizona-based Taylor Morrison, at the top of the list, is looking to return to profitability after its British parent, Taylor Wimpey plc, sold Taylor Morrison and Canada’s Monarch Homes in April of this year to an investment consortium for nearly $1 billion.

Texas-based David Weekley Homes, which incurred double-digit dips in revenue and closings last year, looked East for growth—to Indianapolis, to be precise, where last month it entered that market by acquiring The Estridge Cos., which only weeks earlier had discontinued its home building operations because it couldn’t get financing to continue. Paul Estridge will become president of Weekley’s Indianapolis division, which is already selling homes and is expected to restart construction next month.

Rank Company 2010 Closings Change 2010 Gross Revenue Change
14 Taylor Morrison 2,570 -23% $1,500 million 14%
16 The Villages of Lake Sumter 2,208 4% $512 million n/a
18 Shea Homes 2,002 -4% $835 million 0%
19 David Weekley Homes 1,857 -17% $612 million -11%
20 Highland Homes 1,704 17% $599 million 17%
21 The Related Group 1,634 n/a $961 million n/a
22 The Drees Co. 1,511 1% $513 million -1%
23 Woodside Homes 1,444 -19% $361 million -23%
24 Perry Homes 1,298 2% $364 million -1%
25 Ashton Woods 1,197 -9% $310 million -3%

John Caulfield is senior editor for Builder magazine.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: San Diego, CA, Raleigh, NC, Austin, TX, Indianapolis, IN.

Poll: US economy improving despite global events

Source: Associated Press/AP Online via www.bigbuilderonline.com
Publication date: April 18, 2011

WASHINGTON – Economists say the U.S. economy is gaining strength despite political unrest in North Africa and the Middle East and last month’s devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
A survey from the National Association for Business Economics finds that economists are hopeful that the broader economy is substantially improving, with rising employment reported for the fifth quarter in a row. The survey found that “companies appear to be positioning themselves for a firming economic environment,” said Shawn DuBravac, an economist with the Consumer Electronics Association, who analyzed the findings.

The outlook for employment rose slightly, reaching a 12-year high. No firms reported significant layoffs, with the only reductions coming from already planned cuts.

Sales increased for the third consecutive quarter, profit margins continued to improve and the number of economists whose firms increased spending over the previous quarter held steady. Nearly all of the 72 economists surveyed, about 94 percent, now expect the economy to grow at least 2 percent in 2011.

The quarterly survey includes the views of economists for private companies and trade groups who are NABE members. The data are reported by broad industry groupings. Many results in the survey are expressed through the Net Rising Index, or NRI – the percentage of panelists reporting better outlooks minus the percentage whose outlook is bleaker.

The survey looked at two new questions for its April survey, gauging the financial impact of anti-government unrest in the Arab world and the deadly Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

Nearly 60 percent of those polled said they expected higher costs because of political turmoil in Bahrain, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Syria and about 52 percent said they expected economic growth to be weaker in 2011 because of the protests and fighting.

The March 11 earthquake and tsunami, which left nearly 28,000 people dead or missing and sparked a crisis at a nuclear plant, had less of an impact on the economic forecasts. About 31 percent said costs would be higher and 40 percent said it would weaken the broader economic recovery.

In the first quarter of this year, 63 percent of economists said sales rose from the previous quarter – the highest percentage since 1994. The NRI rating for sales rose 11 points from the previous quarter to 54, and the improvement was across all industry sectors: goods, utilities, information and communications, finance, insurance and real estate, and services.

Profit margins rose to an NRI figure of 31 – the highest rating since 1983. The number of economists reporting rising profits has almost doubled over the past year, to 45 percent from 25 percent.

Prices rose, with about one third of those surveyed saying their firms had made increases over the past three months. Two-thirds of the goods-producing industry, which includes farming, mining, construction and manufacturing, reported their firms had raised prices. Similarly, the costs paid for materials rose for the third quarter in a row and wages and salaries jumped to the highest reading since a survey in October 2007.

The survey was conducted between March 16 and 31.

A service of YellowBrix, Inc.