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  • Sara Jurado 9:00 am on January 31, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    If You Spend Much More Time at Work Than With Your Partner, Why Not Measure Your Job Compatibility? 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    These holidays have given me two good discoveries that have something in common. While the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty winks at the search for love through an online dating website, in the journal Vueling one can find an employment portal that provides information about compatibility with companies and coworkers.

    The tendency to study happiness

    What seemed to me to be the most curious is not the simple self-knowledge test that is based on this website, rather the premise about what turns around its functionalities: an employee will be more happy when they fit in more with the culture at work, something that they already spoke of, among others, Dawis&Lofquist in 1984 with their theory of labor force adjustment.

    HR specialists and vocational counseling take into account not only the requirements of a job when it comes to finding the perfect job or employee, but also the values and work preferences. Here is the bottom line of the question from Good.co: analyze those more relational aspects and those questions that are not asked more deeply in a job interview. It’s something strange when work ends up being an important pillar in our lives, don’t you think? Well, either by narcissism, or getting distracted for a while or real interest for your professional career, from April 2013- 60,000 people have registered on this platform. (More …)

     
  • Sara Jurado 9:00 am on November 22, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    Pros and Cons of using Social Networks Sites at Work 

    Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

    Note from the editor: Even today there are companies that are reluctant to the use of social networks sites by workers in their workplace. Sara Jurado explains why her use of these sites is not only counterproductive, but beneficial as well. At Zyncro, we believe that her arguments serve to help the use of social technology apply to the workplace and encourage businesses to take advantage of that social DNA that employees have acquired both at a personal level and in their business environment.  If your employees communicate on social networking sites on a private level, imagine what you can achieve if you implement Enterprise Social Networks in your organization so your employees can communicate the same way with their coworkers?

    Social networking sites are not a fad. They came to stay and, although many consider them to be a waste of time, those who use them wisely only find these sites to work to their advantage.

    1st objection: Job Performance

    If online social networks are a communication tool, where is the fear in letting workers use them as needed? The lack of trust, some say. When the telephone arrived there were companies that were afraid of using them indiscriminately, but who really has a job that would pass the entire day glued to the phone?  I am among those who do not use phones unless there is no choice, because I think we lose a lot of words, and with them time, in a telephone conversation.

    Moved by making the most of his productivity, Luis Suárez, an IBM worker decided in 2008 to work without email and barely used it since then, basing his communication with internal and external social networking sites. In fact, a study from Melbourne University indicates that employees who have access to social networking sites are actually more productive than those workers in companies that prohibit them. 

    2nd Objection: Tarnish the name of the company

    With the objective to preserve the good reputation of the digital brand, some companies apply internal codes of conduct to regulate content published by its employees about the brand on the internet. In this sense it prevents “dirty laundry” from posing a social media crisis for the company, as in the case of the worker who announced that she was quitting her job via a video, which was then answered by another video from the company she was leaving.

    Conclusion

    Blocking access to online networking sites in the workplace will not prevent workers from using them during their work schedule, in fact it can be counterproductive. This fact becomes more relevant if we take into account that Spain is the first country to infiltrate smartphones on a European level, as most employees can browse from work today. Additionally, if we consider that the future of work is connectivity, as  many experts point out, let’s begin to get used to employees having good habits on social media, which will make us all much more competitive. 

     Sara Jurado (@sarajuradoBCN) is psychologist specialized in career counseling and social media for professional development, and currently works as counselor in the professional development team at Barcelona Activa.

     

     
  • Sara Jurado 9:00 am on July 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , intrapreneurship,   

    Work systems based on employee innovation: Intrapreneurship 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    Today’s employment market demands versatility and creativity. Professional career paths are less uniform and being flexible is essential for finding success in the job market.

    Intrapreneurs or enterprising employees share their attitude towards collaboration with the knowmads. They are so independent when carrying out their ideas that they are capable of causing an far-reaching change in the organization, involving others and captivating with their innovative business vision.

    (More …)

     
    • Julie (@hsinjuJulie) 2:19 pm on August 29, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      A nice and inspiring post! Word of the day ‘Intrapreneurship’ , something every employee should think about if they want to challenge themselves to achieve higher. Thanks for sharing

  • Sara Jurado 9:00 am on June 3, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , professional branding,   

    LinkedIn’s new competency model: networking + personal branding 

    Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

    Some time ago psychologis spoke about the importance of positive reinforcement, but have you ever stopped to think that social networks are just about social reinforcement? They are a way of reaffirming ourselves (what we like, what we know, what we read…), but that was already done in blogs and in the web 1.0.

    Part of the success of microblogging platforms and social networks lies it it enables us to leave our egocentricness and project ourselves towards the world through others (retweets, +1 button); all these ways of sharing our “agreement” are nothing more than a system of reinforcement

    Linkedin started to take advantage of this phenomenon with endorsements of skills and expertise, seeking to encourage interaction among users.

    1. Follows the trend to present information visually.

    2. Aids the process to indicate what you value about a contact. What may represent an advantage in using the tool means a defect for its detractors, as they point out that it will lower the quality of the valuations we make. The risk of a user’s lack of criticism or objectivity will always be there and it is something that HR experts should know how to discriminate.

    3. Prognosis that the next change to be implemented will be a mechanism to quantify the value of the endorsement, establishing the level of real relationship of the professional making the endorsement.

    4. Endorsing an ex co-worker for that quality you appreciated enables you to get back in contact with that person “giving them” something positive without communicating directly, which essentially is practising networking in its nicest form.

    5. It can improve the positioning of a profile, as what is endorsed are tags that we have previously chosen. This means that, apart from helping someone to quickly identify your strong points (being a good personal branding tool), it is also great for SEO.

    Sara Jurado (@sarajuradoBCN) is psychologist specialized in career counseling and social media for professional development, and currently works as counselor in the professional development team at Barcelona Activa.

     
  • Sara Jurado 9:00 am on March 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ,   

    Apply for a job at Google through its social network profile 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    The Web 2.0 aids talent attraction in HR in numerous ways. Recently we talked about the surge in career sites as a trend, today we’re going to look at another example of this premise: the integration of social networks in job offer sections in corporate websites, in particular, the case of Google.

    Apply for a job through your social network profile

    Google has joined the ranks 2.0 in employee recruitment

    Nowadays companies take advantage of the potential of social networks to create new ways of recruitment, so obviously Google had to be in on the trend too. It is not known if creating an authentication API for making the process easier for applying for vacant positions in the company is a strategy to promote the social network Google+, but the truth is that this technological improvement holds certain advantages:

    1. Not having to complete those typical resume forms, as you can include all your personal and professional details previously defined in the Google+ profile in a single click.

    2. Searching among your contacts to see if anyone works in the company. In fact, the message that appears when you do so encourages you to “get in touch” with that person or ask them for a reference, something that is becoming more usual in job search tools 2.0.

    3. Saving job offers to fill out the application form at a later stage.

    4. Receiving notifications when a job opportunity is posted that you may find of interest according to the settings configured previously as an alert.

    Of course, to do this you need to first connect with your personal Google account, but if you are really interested in working for that company, it’s worth the effort. What’s more, it is a clear-cut process, which is given in user experience in Google Jobs.

    Applying for an offer in Google job offer page

    To prepare yourself properly before starting to use Google Jobs, here are some of the steps you will face:

    1. Attach your resume as text or a file.
    2. Enter your gender and race. The company claims that it asks this information due to the Federal and State Employment Opportunities Directive, but it also gives the option to skip it if the applicant doesn’t want to specify it.
    3. Submit a cover letter. And on this occasion, only a text field appears to do so.

    This way, Google enters the game of recruitment 2.0 of its own employees using its social network profile, like Facebook or LinkedIn did in their day.

    What do you think of these APIs? Have you ever applied for a job in Google? Tell us your experience!

     

     
  • Sara Jurado 9:00 am on February 14, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: abilities, , competencies, ,   

    The 6 Competencies of the HR 2.0 Professional 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    In an increasing technological and social world, the HR professional has made a come-back as a key figure in the inner workings of an organization. As new needs in work environments require renewed competencies, we can define the competency profile of a HR 2.0 professional as follows:

    1. Adaptable and with the ability to manage change, meaning not only being flexible but also knowing how to drive change at all levels, both in the people with whom you interact and in work methods and tools. HR professionals need to position themselves in the company as authentic leaders of the change in the organizational culture and values.

    2. This in turn means possessing the ability to learn and manage knowledge to learn constantly about new developments, to know how to transmit them so they can be applied directly or indirectly. In other words, staying up-to-date in a constantly evolving environment and wining over others with the transformation that continuous adaptation means, inspiring the development and materialization of collective intelligence.

    3. Like the cog in any organization, the HR professional needs to work like a hinge, linking different departments, collaborating and networking, facilitating procedures and establishing relationships through which processes flow naturally.

    4. Inspire trust, as encouraging commitment to the company is a key part of the work of a HR professional, since they often act as the direct spokesperson between employees and the managing team. They need to safeguard transparency and clarity in any relations to encourage employee engagement.

    5. It goes without saying that good interpersonal communication skills are essential in a HR professional. And even more so when incorporating social media corporate strategies (such as presence on internal and external social networks), in which the role of HR is revealed inside and outside the company. So HR professionals need to participate in the organizational culture at different levels, from answering a simple message to an employee, for example, to defending the company’s mission and values publically.

    6. HR professionals also need to be innovative when proposing and applying new HR policies that provide value to employees and the organization. Generating new processes in talent management is a challenge that cannot be left aside if you want to understand and take advantage of technology changes to capitalize on knowledge of the employees for the benefit of the global strategy.

    What do you think a HR professional should be? Are there any competencies you think are essential for a HR specialist in the enterprise 2.0?

    Sara Jurado is psychologist specialized in career counseling and social media for professional development, and currently works as Professional Counselor at Barcelona Activa.

     

     
  • Sara Jurado 9:00 am on January 9, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , workshifting   

    5 HR 2.0 trends for the new year 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    We have no idea what 2013 holds in store for us, but here is a summary of emerging HR 2.0 practices that may become more prominent this year, together with some trends that the latest advances in people management indicate, to give us an idea:

    WORKSHIFTING: 37% of businesses worldwide offer options for teleworking according to the Global Workshifting Index survey. In the interests of better productivity and a work-life balance the option of “working regardless of where you are” gains relevance. Other advantages of workshifting are that it contributes to environmental sustainability and reduces infrastructure and personnel costs by 45%, by enabling the recruitment of employees in cheaper zones.

    CAREER SITES: HR sections on corporate websites, where companies publish their employment offers and professional career possibilities, are reappearing. According to Ascendify, a career site could become a social talent community if there is two-way communication with candidates, if recommendations about the positions are provided and other contents of value, if internal and previous employees get involved, etc.

    CLOUD COMPUTING: Hybrid networks (private virtual networks fused with public networks) allow professionals to work from anywhere and share data with external agents in applications created for the organization. In 2013 more than 60% of companies will have adopted one or other type of cloud computing, according to a Gartner report.

    B.Y.O.D (bring your own device): 66% of professionals use two or more personal mobile devices for work according to a Forrester report. Virtualizing work systems using cloud computing enables employees to choose their own work tools for better mobility, satisfaction and productivity from any location. As a result of this and of the workshifting culture, it has become increasingly more necessary for organizations to supply different mobile devices to their employees.

    KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT: Training has fled the HR departments finding refuge on social networks and networking spaces. Therefore, if companies want to continue providing continuous training to its employees they must lead internal knowledge management and the creation of the organization’s collective intelligence . At the same time this positively affects internal engagement, that must form part of the strategy of any good HR department.

    These are just some of the trends for this year, but without a doubt, with the rapid evolution of these 2.0 environments new trends will appear throughout 2013. How about you… Do you know of any that haven’t been mentioned? How do you think HR will evolve over the following months?

    Sara Jurado is a psychologist specialized in career counseling and social media for professional development. She currently works as a Professional Counselor at Barcelona Activa.

     

     
  • Sara Jurado 9:00 am on December 4, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Knowmad: enterprise 2.0 professionals and their repercussion on working cultures 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    Knowmad could be understood to mean “knowledge mad” but, given that the ability par excellence that represents this type of professional is flexibility, it actual means “nomad of knowledge”. This is an interesting concept, because it indicates that these people have knowledge that gives them an advantage over the competition. At the same time this is worrying for companies. Given that this knowledge does not remain within the organization, but moves with the professional (who in the flexicurity era must be used to migrating from one job to another), it becomes a fungible asset.

    Characteristics of a “knowmad”

    Knowmads are knowledge professionals and promoters of innovation who network, are incredibly flexible and who work on their own professional development. More often than expected, I come across their antithesis: people who over the last few years have done no continuous training nor explored outside their immediate work environment. They are professional obsoletes who are disoriented and/or outside the current market.

    If you want to know whether you’re a knowmad or you want to become one, the keys for this type of professional are:

      • Forming an active part of communities and social networks: participating, sharing and generating knowledge.
      • Actively collaborating but maintaining individuality: they don’t take being told what to do, because they experience a true learning process.
      • Adapting to different contexts from which they learn, taking away what they find most useful.
      • Using digital tools to enhance their way of doing things.
      • Taking risks and not being afraid of failure: they live with the uncertainty of the learning process and of the relationships arising from marked systems.
      • Building knowledge based on gathering information and experiences, transforming ideas and processes in an innovative way.

    They are also know as “knowledge entrepreneurs”. Some authors talk of the generation of knowmads, but in reality it has nothing to do with age, but with attitude and the motivation to search for resources that enable you to progress in accordance with the unwritten guidelines for the current economic system, or without them. In her book The Future of Work is Here, Lynda Gratton states that we are facing a new paradigm, where the need of professionals to reinvent the actual profession is a reality.

    Breeding ground and consequences for the knowmad style

    Like it or not our society, and the way of learning and working in it, is changing at a frenzied pace. Therefore, becoming a knowmad may even be an obligation for all those who want to know how to manage what this change involves, adapting ourselves to it using positive strategies. Somehow, the evolution represented by technology development and its use in relationships and learning, encourages us to continually make an effort to learn new working tools.

    This is what John Moravec, one of the promoters of the knowmad concept, and Cristóbal Cobo, mean when they refer to invisible learning; in other words, what occurs in the space between technology and knowledge. Knowmads, as experts in knowledge management, create their own learning environments, Personal Learning Environments (PLE), from Personal Learning Networks (PLN), which work as sources of knowledge (e.g.: blogs, social networks, wikis, etc). This new working culture also materializes in a transformation of working scenarios (e.g.: coworking spaces, crowdsourcing ecosystems, etc.) where mobility, collaboration and hyperconnectivity coexist.

    Businesses need to involve independent people who form open networks so that knowledge flows. Having said all this, enterprise 2.0’s should review and update their organization to include the talents of this new human capital, establishing new systems, such as horizontal working networks, instead of rigid structures.

    Sara Jurado is a psychologist specialized in career counseling and social media for professional development. She currently works as a Professional Counselor at Barcelona Activa.

     

     
  • Sara Jurado 9:00 am on October 22, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , ,   

    How to increase internal engagement in companies 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    Recently there’s a lot of talk about “engagement” in digital marketing, meaning trying to achieve user loyalty through the social networks, but I’d like to rehash the original meaning of this term, which has been used in HR for some time. Because in the same way we seek to build links with customers, it is important in moments of change, perhaps now more than ever, to encourage employee involvement and commitment. When it comes down to it, internal customers need to be looked after just as much as external ones… So when the socioenconomic environment is rather unfavorable, low-cost labor motivation strategies can have a positive effect not only on employee morale, but on productivity. In fact, according to data from Gallup, companies with a high level of employee involvement in the organization report 50% higher sales and 27% higher profits.

    But what should a company communicate to promote engagement among employees?

    The following infographic, created specially for this post, shows us some points to take into account in social media strategies to achieve this goal:

    • organizational vision and values
    • objectives and goals: the company’s, the employees’ in their job, for the team, department, etc.
    • financial situation and management of the company
    • products, services and processes being developed
    • status of the projects
    • what is happening inside (births, department restructuring, etc.) and outside (how the employment market and the competition is affecting it, etc.) the company
    • corporate social responsibility policies
    • occupational health information
    • internal communication channels (to ask questions, get feedback, announce incidents, etc.)
    • personnel contributions and recognitions
    • social benefits and retribution in kind
    • professional and training opportunities
    • as well as other contents that are not strictly to do with the labor side (atmosphere, social activities inside and outside the company, etc.)

    In the web 2.0 age, it is time to change the suggestion box and the “Employee of the Month” photo for new forms of communication with the workforce, which also act as a stimulus to retain and strengthen human capital. We need to follow Deloitte’s example, a company where more than 3,000 employees have blogs on their social network D Street. Or Evernote’s, where there isn’t a telephone for every desktop but there is a robot for communicating by video conferencing; in the same way, they have installed a giant screen that transmits what is happening in the headquarters so that the employees who don’t work there feel like they do. What 2.0 options would you implement in your company? If you need some ideas… ask on Zyncro! :)

    Sara Jurado is psychologist specialized in career counseling and social media for professional development, and currently works as Professional Counselor at Barcelona Activa.

     

     
  • Sara Jurado 9:00 am on September 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Being hyper-connected reduces post-vacation blues 

    Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

    Editor’s note: First, at Zyncro, we would like to welcome our new blog contributor, Sara Jurado, psychologist specialized in career counseling and social media for professional development and, currently, professional counselor at Barcelona Activa. Sara will share with us here her knowledge on HR 2.0. Thanks, Sara, and welcome to ZyncroBlog 😉

    If you’re just back from your summer vacation, I’m sure you’ve heard or said one of the typical comments that fill the water-cooler conversations these days: “ugh, I’ve been dreading going back”, “I’ve got post-vacation blues”. Are we just moaning or simply do we find it hard to adapt to the change?

    According Randstad Spain, this year 14% less employees will suffer symptoms of the popular “post-vacation blues” than in 2011. More specifically, the study performed on a random selection of 1,000 individuals shows 53.3% of Spaniards admit to having returned to their jobs in complete normality. What’s with this variation?

    These are issues I plan to cover in my first contribution to this blog, in which I will write about topics associated with HR 2.0.

     

     

    Is there any truth to the term “post-vacation blues”?

    Colloquially, it has been given this name, but the disorder which impedes adaptation to the new daily rhythm isn’t clinical. If you suffer any of the following symptoms—irritability, insomnia, sadness, headaches, loss of appetite, apathy, lack of concentration, no need to go to your physician (unless they continue for a number of weeks). Simply your mind and your body are undergoing a process of readjustment to the change in times and daily activities.

    This syndrome is shown in greater or lesser degree depending on the individual’s capacity for flexibility, attitude and job satisfaction. So it may be a great moment to reflect on your professional career.

    Why has the “post-vacation blues” decreased?

    Some of the reasons that have led to this increase in the number of employees who claim to have returned to their jobs without being affected by this syndrome are:

    • Shorter vacations: Not having traveled as much, having fewer days vacation or taking them spaced out are factors that have prevented us from disconnecting more than other years from our daily routine, and hence the return to work takes less out of us. With the crisis, many people have opted to spend their days vacation closer to home (in their own homes or with relatives), to divide up their vacations instead of taking all the days together, or even to give up some days due to their company’s situation and/or their job stability. So if one of the tips for overcoming “post-vacation blues” is to reincorporate yourself into your routine gradually, this measure is barely necessary this year.
    • Culture 2.0: Our way of relating to one another has changed. With the introduction of smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices with internet connection, the border between our professional and personal lives is becoming blurred. Practices that were unthinkable before, such as having work colleagues in Facebook or communicating with a work contact via WhatsApp or Skype are more common. Who hasn’t read an email or a query related with work outside your working day? Social media means that we don’t escape our professional reality 100%: in the peace of our leisure, it is normal to spend a free moment reading a professional blog or networking. Maybe this variable has influenced us to the degree that only 2% admit to being able to disconnect completely while on vacation according to a survey carried out by the newspaper RRHHDigital. While a report by Google concludes that 68% of users access the Internet each day from their mobile and never leave the house without it, as well as 42% use it in an airport.
    • Positivism: Given the current economic climate and the number of our acquaintances who are unemployed, those of us who have a job feel fortunate. Some say that this has a direct impact on our commitment to our jobs, although I think this is somewhat superficial and does denote a certain conformism. The case is the moaning conversation on returning to work is easy to end with comments worthy of a self-help book like “At least we have a job”
     
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