Employed For life: An Interview with Dr. Tracey Wilen [podcast]

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Podcast with Dr. Tracey Wilen

I interviewed Dr. Tracey Wilen, the author of “Employed for Life: 21st Century Career Trends” in this episode of “The Jim Stroud Show.” We discussed the world of work from a 21st century perspective and how much has changed from the days of the baby boomers, how new generations are making an impact, unforeseen ramifications of new technologies, advice for today’s jobseekers and sooo much more. Tune in to hear all the fun (and maybe learn something).

Inside this podcast:

00:38 – I could not put this book down
02:20 – I thoroughly enjoyed your book
05:03 – How is longevity impacting career planning?
08:46 – 52% of Americans do not work for large corporations
11:24 – …generations could learn a lot from the other
14:48 – …learn how to retool their existing skills in a new way
17:48 – …you gave a lot of good advice just as you are giving now
21:13 – I also see a benefit in having a much longer resume
24:10 – …they have ranked LinkedIn as the number one resource in…
28:19 – …you can find work in other cities but you don’t have to relocate
32:37 – …let me take out the word handbag or product and put in recruiting
34:13 – …time seems to fly when we talk or I just ramble a lot

About Dr. Tracey Wilen

Dr. Wilen is a global authority on workforce trends who assists Fortune 500 firms implement internal leadership, diversity, and employee skill development programs and accelerate business development initiatives. As a thought leader on business, technology, women’s leadership, and career topics, her offerings include speeches, panel moderation, and she serves as a panelist expert for corporations and conferences.

Dr. Wilen appears on CNN, FOX News Live, CBS Radio, and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Forbes, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and Wired magazine. She regularly contributes to The Huffington Post, the Examiner, Christian Science Monitor, and other national and international outlets. She was a senior global executive in firms including Cisco Systems, Apple Computer, Hewlett Packard and the Apollo Group. Dr. Wilen has also been a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University where she conducted research for over ten years on the impact of technology on society, work, education and careers.

Dr. Wilen has published 11 books on the topics of business, technology, women and careers. She was named San Francisco Woman of the Year and honored by the San Francisco Business Times as the most Influential Woman in Bay Area Business in 2012.

Links mentioned in this podcast:

How much does a hire cost?

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What is your cost per hire? Is it going up or declining? Curious as to what the national average is? Software Advice, in partnership with the National Human Resources Association, has been running a survey on companies’ external hiring costs. Specifically, they have been looking at advertising and marketing. Click here to take the survey yourself.

Here are a few key findings, so far:

  • On average, companies spend $173 on advertising per candidate hired.
  • Small businesses spend more on average for each new hire than larger companies.
  • 85 percent of respondents said job boards were a primary advertising channel for their company.

For the rest of the story, check out the slideshare below. Enjoy…


Is your sourcing compliant with OFCCP? Are you sure?

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Jim Is thinking about social media recruiting and job search strategy.Recently, I was fortunate enough to meet the acquaintance of Derek Zeller at a SourceCon event in Atlanta. He gave a presentation on OFCCP as it related to sourcing and his frank talk made quite a few people in the room nervous. Tune in to hear what you should be doing now to stay in the good graces of Uncle Sam and speculate with our guest what OFCCP might be doing next.


  • 00:46 – He started to scare me…
  • 02:29 – …recruiting for people with disabilities and hiring veterans
  • 04:32 – …searchstrings that would discriminate against…
  • 06:44 – …its definitely going to change the way we do sourcing, that’s for sure…
  • 09:00 – …so now I’m mad at you Monster because I think you are discriminating against me
  • 11:15 – They look African-American to me so I’m going to check that box…
  • 13:42 – …and people were freaking out way before we began doing this…
  • 15:44 – you were in the audience and everybody’s mouth hit the floor
  • 19:33 – …in your searches you are not limited to a certain zipcode.
  • 20:58 – …other problem is that the resumes won’t be there 3 years from now.
  • 22:00 – …send them a link and have them apply online.
  • 23:35 – Try to stay away from stuff that is online because…


Derek Zeller draws from over 16 years in the recruiting industry. The last 11 years he has been involved with federal government recruiting specializing within the cleared IT space under OFCCP compliancy. Currently, he is the corporate manager for Advanced Resource Technology, Inc. He has experience with both third party agency and in-house recruiting for multiple disciplines. Using out-of-the-box tactics and strategies to identify and engage talent, he has had significant experience in building referral and social media programs, the implementation of Applicant Tracking Systems, technology evaluation, and the development of sourcing, employment branding, and military and college recruiting strategies. Derek currently lives in the DC area.

Links in this podcast:

Resisting the Urge to Multitask May Be a Singularly Good Idea

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Megan Neider“Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves,” Albert Einstein reportedly once said.

Our brains are incredible machines, but there are tasks and experiences in life that require our undivided attention.

Research shows that multitasking is not as productive as many think, and splitting your attention between tasks leads to decreased performance results across all age groups.

It’s not shocking that multitasking has become a go-to coping mechanism given the way that new technologies have increased the demand for instant communication and gratification. “Expectations have changed in terms of the expectation that people are going to respond immediately if you reach out to them by text and email,” explains UCSF neurobiologist Dr. Adam Gazzaley.

Because of this, people are plugged into their digital devices nearly 24/7 and the amount of interference around us in our daily lives is increasing, he said. Whether confronted by continuous texts, tweets, or status updates, our brains may not be equipped to process all this information at once.

A 2009 study at Stanford University found that individuals who self-reported high levels of media multitasking had slower switching times between tasks.

Gazzaley, who studies how the brain deals with interruptions, makes this sound like basic common sense – but for many it is not. “If we are switching back and forth between Facebook and Twitter and email while trying to do something that involves a lot of concentration and thought to stay focused, we probably will not accomplish it at the same high level that we would’ve if we focused on just one thing,” he says.

The potential harm done by constant multitasking and exposure to media-based interruptions could be significant.

multitasking recruiter

In a 2007 study reported in “Current Directions In Psychological Science”, psychology professors at the University of Utah showed participants a variety of items and later quizzed them on their ability to recall those items. When participants were talking on the phone while looking at the items, their ability to remember them was cut in half.

A wealth of research has found that performance drastically decreases when a person tries to focus on more than one task at a time, media-related or not, reported “The Scientific American Mind” in March 2012.

One study showed that moderate levels of multitasking were associated with higher levels of productivity. But as multitasking increased, accuracy levels significantly decreased, according to recent research by multitasking experts Rachel Adler and Raquel Benbunan-Fich. The question may then be whether you’d like to get the job done – or get the job done well.

Teenagers and young adults are often generalized as the most ardent multitaskers, not always without reason. Many teens use their phones in the classroom, at the movies, and even while walking down the street. A 2008 Harris Interactive poll about cell phone habits suggested almost half of the teens surveyed said they would “die” without their mobile phones. What uis often overlooked is that older adults also multitask, and their performance suffers the most from these distractions.

Studies have found that older adults consistently have the most trouble multitasking and switching between tasks.

Sander Daselaar, the senior research scientist at Duke University’s Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, researches the effect that aging has on specific brain functions. Daselaar explained that older adults are more distracted by interruptions, which negatively affects their memory and ability to multitask. They focus too much on irrelevant information or the interferences themselves, which makes it difficult to remember relevant information and efficiently switch between tasks.

Researchers attribute this to cognitive aging, or the natural deterioration of certain brain functions as a person ages, says Joaquin Anguera. Anguera is a postdoctoral fellow who studies cognitive aging under Gazzaley at UCSF. While some decline is inevitable, researchers say, they are identifying strategies that can lead to better cognitive functioning in older adults.

“Everyone generally is going to decline, but you might just be able to prevent or delay that a little bit,” said Ian McDonough, a research associate at the UT-Dallas Center for Vital Longevity. McDonough explained that there are three factors that can improve the overall brain function – and perhaps multitasking – of older adults: exercise, mental challenges, and social cohesion.

Exercise has been linked to a variety of health benefits, including brain function.

In 2011, the journal “Ageing Research Reviews” reported that “regular exercise and an active lifestyle during adulthood have been associated with reduced risk and protective effects for mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer”s disease.” Biologically, this is because exercise increases oxygen supply to the brain, which increases oxygen intake in neurons and resistance to stress. McDonough stated that regular exercise for older adults could just mean walking for 20-30 minutes a few times a week. Regular exercise earlier in life can produce these same health benefits later on, so he encouraged exercise at any age.

Second, keeping yourself mentally engaged and challenged is critical for retaining brain function.

An article in the 2011 “Ageing Research Reviews” explained that mental stimulation is important because “the brain’s ability to reorganize neural pathways with new information or experiences means it’s regularly changing; we can even generate new brain cells. But you need to work it.” As soon as you master an activity, McDonough elaborated, it stops challenging you and it will no longer provide the same mental benefits. On the other hand, simply changing the hand that you brush your teeth with can work your brain in a new way. “Change your route up, get a little disoriented, face new challenges, keep your mind flexible,” McDonough advised.

Last, social cohesion has been linked to successful cognitive aging.

“The idea is that people that isolate themselves are lonely, don’t feel connected to other people – they don’t get as much stimulation in life,” McDonough said. Connection and interacting with others provides mental stimulation, along with social support.

In another example of this idea, “Ageing Research Reviews” reported that among people who had the same tangles in their brains as people with Alzheimer’s disease, those who were connected to social networks had less cognitive decline.

In other words, both groups had the biological hallmark for Alzheimer’s disease, but social cohesion was protective. It’s not about the number of people you’re in contact with, McDonough explained, but how connected you feel. “Even if you have 500 friends on Facebook or you just have a lot of connections, if that still isn’t enough for you and you feel lonely, that will not really help. But if you have 2 or 3 really good friends, you feel perfectly satisfied with your social activities and everything, then that is just as good to help your cognitive functioning.”

Older adults face additional challenges when it comes to multitasking because of the way the brain declines over time, but in reality, multitasking is a self-destructive habit that only appears to be efficient, regardless of your age.

As evangelical missionary Jim Elliot once put it, “Wherever you are, be all there.”


Megan Neider is a student at Santa Clara University. She produced this piece as part of a journalism class taught by Sally Lehrman and as part of a collaborative project with Patch on science in Silicon Valley.

Who’s Who In High Tech Recruiting [2014]

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who's who in recruiting 2014

“Who’s Who in High Tech Recruiting” showcases the latest tools and technical recruiters servicing the high tech sectors. Check it out below or click here to download your copy now. This document is courtesy of enetRecruiter.

Document also includes the following articles:

  • How to Get Value Out Of Your 3rd Party Recruiters by Greg Savage
  • Learn to Source Like a Pro
  • Resume and Cover Letter Writing
  • What Job Seekers Really Do Online
  • How to Email an Engineer
  • Trash Your Non-Compete Agreement
  • Global Workplace Trends for 2014
  • and more…

Who’s Who In High Tech Recruiting from Jim Stroud