BarryStaff’s Donation Makes Sale of Building Possible

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Miami Valley has purchased the building at 22 S. Jefferson in downtown Dayton, to serve as its new headquarters. Staff will move in during the summer of 2015.

Board Chair Matt DiCicco remarked, “This is a huge step forward for Big Brothers Big Sisters. We have grown significantly in recent years and now we have a location which is highly visible and fitting for our vital mission to serve youth in need. We are particularly pleased to be moving into downtown Dayton at a time where there are so many signs of investment, building, and vibrant city life.”

The building has served as headquarters for Barry Staff. Doug Barry, CEO of Barry Staff, contributed a generous donation which helped make the sale possible. Barry Staff is in the process of building a new headquarters in downtown that will accommodate their significant growth. Doug Barry said, “It is a pleasure to be supporting such an outstanding organization as Big Brothers Big Sisters. 22 S. Jefferson has been a great home for us and we couldn’t be more pleased that Big Brothers Big Sisters will be the new owners. We wish them all the best.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Miami Valley is a United Way agency founded in 1958 and covers Montgomery, Miami, Green and Preble Counties. After 15% growth in 2013, the agency is ending 2014 with a further 10% growth in the number of youth it serves through one-to-one mentoring. CEO Joe Radelet is retiring this summer and the search for the new CEO is underway. Joe remarked, “With the new building and with a new CEO coming in, there is certainly great cause for excitement for Big Brothers Big Sisters in 2015.”


Does How You Look and Dress Influence Your Career? Sadly, Yes

Years ago I worked on the shop floor of a manufacturing plant. I had worked my way through school at another plant so I definitely identified more with the hourly workers than the “suits.” (Even though most of the guys referred to me as “college boy.”)

One day the department manager stopped by. He asked about my background. He asked about my education. He asked about my career aspirations.

“I’d like to be a supervisor,” I answered, “and then someday I’d like your job.”
He smiled and said, “Good for you. I like a guy with dreams.” Then he paused.
“But if that’s what you really want,” he said, looking me in the eyes, “first you need to start looking the part.”

I knew what he was saying but decided to play dumb. “What do you mean?” I asked.
“Look around,” he said. “How do supervisors dress? How does their hair look? How do they act? No one will think of you as supervisor material until they can actually see you as a supervisor — and right now you look nothing like a supervisor.”

He was right. I was wearing ratty jeans with a couple of holes. (Why wouldn’t I? I worked around oil and grease all day.) I was wearing a cut-off t-shirt. (Why wouldn’t I? It was the middle of the summer and the air wheezing through the overhead vents was far from conditioned.) And my hair was pretty long, even for the day.

“But shouldn’t how well I do my job matter more than how I look?” I asked.
“In a perfect world your performance is all that would matter,” he said. “But we don’t live in a perfect world. Take my advice: if you want to be promoted into a certain position… make sure you look like the people in that position.”

I’ve thought about that conversation a lot over the years.
I’ve hired and promoted people who looked the part… and they turned out to be all show and no go. I’ve hired and promoted people who didn’t look the part at all… and they turned out to be superstars. I’m convinced that how you look and, at least to a large degree how you act, has nothing to do with your skill and talent and fit for a job.

Still, he’s right: the world isn’t perfect. People still make assumptions about us based on irrelevant things like clothing and mannerisms… and height and weight and age and gender and ethnicity and tons of other qualities and attributes that have absolutely no bearing on a person’s performance.

So are you better off trying to conform?
Unfortunately, probably so. The people doing the hiring and promoting are people — and people tend to be biased towards the comfortable and the familiar. People tend to hire and promote people who are much like themselves. (If you remind me of me… then you must be awesome, right?)

Besides, highly diverse teams are like unicorns — we all know what one should look like, but unless you’re NPH you rarely encounter one in the wild.

And don’t forget that hiring or promoting someone who conforms, even if only in dress and deportment, makes a high percentage of the people making those decisions feel like they’re taking a little bit less of a risk. I know I was viewed — admittedly with good reason — as a wild card, and I’m sure that impacted my promotability.

But still: are you better off being yourself and trusting that people will value your skills, experience, talent… and uniqueness?

Sadly I think that’s a move fraught with professional peril. If your goal is to get hired or promoted then expressing your individuality could make that goal much harder to accomplish. (Of course if being yourself in all ways is what is most important to you, by all means let your freak flag fly. Seriously.)

I have no way of knowing for sure, but changing how I dressed — and in a larger sense, tempering some of the attitude I displayed — would likely have helped me get promoted sooner. For a long time I didn’t look the part, didn’t act the part… and I’m sure that made me a less attractive candidate.


Staffing firm to break ground on new headquarters.

Downtown staffing firm BarryStaff Inc. has finished demolishing the blighted building on the east side of downtown where it is building a new headquarters.

Click here for full article-> BarryStaff Inc.


Avoiding Leadership Dependance

Last week I watched a common example of one individual serving as the intellect and conscience for another. It happened at Publix, our local grocery store, where my 17-year-old son Benjamin decided to apply for a job. Standing at the application kiosk was a couple, painfully going through the questions, discussing and debating each response. The woman, who was the one applying for a job, was insecure answering the questions on her own, instead, running each one by “her man” as she referred to him several times. Makes me wonder, if she gets the job, if he’ll be tagging along then, as well.

Leaders create an unhealthy, codependent relationship when they do something similar with employees. This practice is often caused by the open-door policy of many managers, who too often position themselves as being the go-to authority. As a result, the practiced dynamic is one in which the employees don’t have to come up with their answers, always relying on the boss for ideas and input. What often makes this worse is employees’ fear of being wrong or making a mistake.

Leadership Dependence, an all too common reality in companies, has caused leaders to be even more overwhelmed than ever and employees to be less self-sufficient. The alternative, Corporate Interdependence, promotes personal responsibility for doing the next right thing and engaging in collaboration where it’s actually needed.

To shift into Corporate Interdependence, managers simply need to ask more questions versus giving out answers. Saying “What would you do,” or “What’s the first step you could take,” begins to empower people to be more engaged, more responsible, and even more satisfied as they gain confidence in their own abilities. And often, leaders learn a few things themselves when employees come up with even better ideas.


Urban Pioneer Spurs Downtown Growth

Urban Pioneer Spurs Downtown Growth

Doug Barry is showing his commitment to Dayton by taking BarryStaff, Inc., downtown.
By Jamie Kenny

Doug Barry has gotten a lot of attention lately. His commitment to downtown Dayton and his love for the city have been contagious as he begins construction on a new building for BarryStaff, Inc., near the Dayton Dragons’ stadium at the corner of Monument and Webster Streets.

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE->  Urban Pioneer Spurs Downtown Growth


6 Reasons Companies Outsource their Recruiting

6 Reasons Companies Outsource Recruiting

1. They’re Having Trouble Finding Great Candidates
Yes, even in this economy organizations are having trouble finding the right people to fill their open positions. No, they don’t always have this problem because they are being too picky or because they want to pay a lower-than-standard salary. If the organization is serious about finding great candidates and getting those positions filled, then they may outsource their recruiting to source candidates in more places, to improve their employment branding, and/or work on the job descriptions for these positions.

2. It’s Taking Time & Resources Away from the Core Business
Not everyone is in the hiring and recruiting business, and even though most companies have some sort of recruiting function, sometimes it could take away from a business’ core. This is especially true for smaller companies, who might not necessarily have someone on staff to just work on recruiting. Here, outsourced recruiting helps them by allowing a consultant or a provider to do what they do best without taking away from what the rest of the company does best.

3. They Need to Reduce Their Turnover Rates
The turnover rate is the percentage of new hires that leave within a designated period, say the first month or two of the position. A high turnover rate can hurt a company’s bottom line, and is often a sign that there are bigger problems with the company’s recruiting functions, problems that aren’t necessarily fixed by increasing the salary or by doing a better job interviewing (although, both might help). In this case, an organization may outsource its recruiting to a recruitment process outsourcing firm to reduce the turnover rate as well as fix those bigger problems.

4. It Levels the Playing Field
Start-ups and smaller companies will outsource their recruiting because they don’t have the resources in-house to keep up with larger competitors. By outsourcing, they can level the playing field and not have to worry about losing good talent because the competitor did a better job of selling the position or offering better benefits.

5. They’re Current Recruiting Functions are Out of Control
Companies who are on the fast track, or face seasonal cycles, often have recruiting functions that are tough to handle. Fast-growing companies are having a hard time keeping up with their hiring and recruiting, while those that are seasonal may need to hire many people very quickly, only for the rest of the year to be slower. Outsourced recruiting helps these companies handle the fluctuations, or could serve as a temporary solution to a temporary problem.

6. They Need to Cut Costs
Companies outsource recruiting to reduce their costs, whether that’s labor costs, capital costs, or perhaps costs from the previous reasons. Perhaps, unfortunately, they can’t justify the staff anymore. Or, the company has already spent too much money on headhunters and recruiting fees that they’re looking for another way. Maybe the organization didn’t do a good job of creating a standardized approach to hiring, so outsourcing will provide the organization needed.

Keep in mind that outsourcing your recruiting is different from outsourcing your human resources, as the latter may include benefits, compensation, employee and labor relations, and legal issues as well as the recruiting. Although outsourcing your recruiting to a recruitment process outsourcing firm includes a cursory look and a revision of those aspects, outsourced recruiting typically looks at the hiring process from sourcing great candidates to the new employee on boarding process.


The Real Harm in Multitasking

You’ve likely heard that multitasking is problematic, but new studies show that it kills your performance and may even damage your brain. Research conducted at Stanford University found that multitasking is less productive than doing a single thing at a time. The researchers found that people who are regularly bombarded with several streams of electronic information cannot pay attention, recall information, or switch from one job to another as well as those who complete one task at a time.

A Special Skill?

But what if some people have a special gift for multitasking? The Stanford researchers compared groups of people based on their tendency to multitask and their belief that it helps their performance. They found that heavy multitaskers—those who multitask a lot and feel that it boosts their performance—were actually worse at multitasking than those who like to do a single thing at a time. The frequent multitaskers performed worse because they had more trouble organizing their thoughts and filtering out irrelevant information, and they were slower at switching from one task to another. Ouch.

Multitasking reduces your efficiency and performance because your brain can only focus on one thing at a time. When you try to do two things at once, your brain lacks the capacity to perform both tasks successfully.

Multitasking Lowers IQ

Research also shows that, in addition to slowing you down, multitasking lowers your IQ. A study at the University of London found that participants who multitasked during cognitive tasks experienced IQ score declines that were similar to what they’d expect if they had smoked marijuana or stayed up all night. IQ drops of 15 points for multitasking men lowered their scores to the average range of an 8-year-old child.

So the next time you’re writing your boss an email during a meeting, remember that your cognitive capacity is being diminished to the point that you might as well let an 8-year-old write it for you.

Brain Damage From Multitasking

It was long believed that cognitive impairment from multitasking was temporary, but new research suggests otherwise. Researchers at the University of Sussex in the UK compared the amount of time people spend on multiple devices (such as texting while watching TV) to MRI scans of their brains. They found that high multitaskers had less brain density in the anterior cingulate cortex, a region responsible for empathy as well as cognitive and emotional control.

While more research is needed to determine if multitasking is physically damaging the brain (versus existing brain damage that predisposes people to multitask), it’s clear that multitasking has negative effects. Neuroscientist Kep Kee Loh, the study’s lead author, explained the implications: “I feel that it is important to create an awareness that the way we are interacting with the devices might be changing the way we think and these changes might be occurring at the level of brain structure.”

Learning From Multitasking

If you’re prone to multitasking, this is not a habit you’ll want to indulge—it clearly slows you down and decreases the quality of your work. Even if it doesn’t cause brain damage, allowing yourself to multitask will fuel any existing difficulties you have with concentration, organization, and attention to detail.

Multitasking in meetings and other social settings indicates low Self- and Social Awareness, two emotional intelligence (EQ) skills that are critical to success at work. TalentSmart has tested more than a million people and found that 90% of top performers have high EQs. If multitasking does indeed damage the anterior cingulate cortex (a key brain region for EQ) as current research suggests, it will lower your EQ in the process.

So every time you multitask you aren’t just harming your performance in the moment; you may very well be damaging an area of your brain that’s critical to your future success at work.


Ten Worst College Majors in Today’s Market

The value of a college education continues to be reexamined in the real world. In addition to being saddled with student loans, graduates and even experienced workers face a lackluster labor market. While a degree is still considered an advantage, the right major can make all the difference between happily employed and woefully underemployed.

Some majors are clearly failing in today’s job market. As many as 22 million Americans are underemployed, according to a new report from PayScale. The information firm polled 68,000 workers and found that 43 percent of total respondents across all age groups believe they are underemployed. The meaning of underemployment can vary by person, but generally includes holding a job that leaves you overeducated, underpaid, or not able to make ends meet.

Being underpaid was the primary reason respondents considered themselves underemployed. In the survey, 48 percent of women said they are underemployed, compared to 39 percent of men. The difference is not surprising, given that nine of the 10 most underemployed college majors are dominated by women. Overall, millennials are most likely to say they are underemployed.

“Our economy is still recovering from The Great Recession, and while some industries are booming, demand for work still outpaces supply for many job types and industries,” explains the report. “People who can’t find full time work in the field they went to school for often end up taking part time work, or working in jobs unrelated to their field of study. Yet at the same time, many employers report that they can’t find people to fill the jobs they do have available.”

Let’s take a look at the 10 worst college majors for today’s job market, based on underemployed findings from PayScale.

Ranking     Degree                   Median Annual Pay              Underemployment Level

10                  Psychology                           $38,200                                               50%

9                    Education                             $40,500                                               50%

8                    Liberal Arts                          $34,200                                                50%

7                     Graphic Design                   $37,300                                                 52%

6                     English & Literature          $39,700                                                 52%

5                     Sociology                              $38,900                                                 53%

4                     General Studies                   $32,100                                                 56%

3                    Health Care Admin              $32,100                                                58%

2                     Business Mgmt & Admin    $44,300                                                60%

1                      Criminal Justice                    $34,500                                                62%



Avoid These Tricks That Make You Look Bad in Meetings

Ah, meetings. Can’t live with them, can’t live without them.

Being happy at work is important, of course. Being with other people generally boosts mood, and ideally, meetings should be a source of energy, ideas, and collegiality.

But it doesn’t always work out that way. Meetings are also a place where people jockey for position, work out disagreements (nicely or not-so-nicely), and hurt each other’s feelings.

In one of my previous job incarnations, I worked in a meeting-intensive environment. After a while, I noticed that one person, when in a meeting, consistently made me feel angry and defensive—but I couldn’t figure out why. He never attacked me, in fact, he was nice to me. Or so I thought. Then I took a closer look at the kinds of things he said.

If you’re feeling annoyed or undermined at a meeting, consider whether any of these strategies are being aimed at you. And if you don’t want to annoy or undermine other people, avoid talking this way:

1. “I don’t need all the details. Let’s just get to the bottom line.” The speaker implies that others are quibblers and small-minded technicians, while deflecting the possible need to master complicated details himself.

2. “Well, these are the facts.” The speaker emphasizes that she attends to hard facts, while implying that others are distracted by prejudice, sentiment, or assumption.

3. “You might be right.” The speaker seem open-minded while simultaneously undermining someone else’s authority and credibility.

4. “I’m wondering about ____. Pat, please get back to us on this.” The speaker demonstrates his habit of reasoned decision-making, while making Pat (who may not actually report to him) do the necessary work and report back.

5. “You did a great job on that, Pat!” The speaker shows a positive attitude, while showing that she’s in the position to judge and condescend to Pat. (I must admit, I remember one incident where I did this very consciously. I was furious at someone, and at the next big meeting that we both attended, I gushingly complimented him in a way that drove him nuts.)

6. “I think what Pat is trying to say is…” The speaker shows that he’s a good listener and give credit to others, while demonstrating that he can take Pat’s simple thought further than Pat could.

7. “I can see why you might think that.” Variant: “I used to think that, too.” The speaker sounds sympathetic, while indicating that she’s moved far ahead in understanding.

Of course, a person could say all these things without being undermining. It depends on context and motivation. Still, it’s useful to think about how seemingly innocuous comments might carry an edge.