Tips for Finding Star Candidates Using LinkedIn
Looking for your next stellar employee but don’t know where to find them? LinkedIn’s latest stats show 60 million professional profiles spanning 200 countries . Seems like a pretty good place to look.
If you don’t already have a LinkedIn account you can set one up at LinkedIn.com, it’s free and easy to maneuver. The trick is incorporating some basic strategies into using LinkedIn.
1. Build Connections
You never know where your next lead or candidate could come from. It’s important to connect and build relationships with a variety of different people. For example, build connections with people from your prior jobs, clients, and local entrepreneurs, etc.
2. Join Groups
In addition to being a part of groups for your personal and/or professional benefit, join a couple of groups that might help surface candidates. Let’s say you’re always looking for sales professionals. There’s a LinkedIn group – The Sales Association – that you might want to join as a way to connect with possible candidates. They have almost 20,000 members, are affiliated with a national association, and have a job posting system when you’re ready to let people know about your next opening.
3.Engage with Questions and Answers
Once you start connecting with groups, look for opportunities to engage with people in discussions. Notice people who share your culture and enter into a conversation with them.
4. Get and Read LinkedIn Updates
This is a quick and easy way to recognize people for promotions, awards, and accomplishments. People will remember you. Since much of your LinkedIn profile is static, this is a way to regularly let people know what you’re up to. I’ve seen some of my connections post in their status “Looking for a Senior Accountant. Got a lead? Let me know.”
5. Embrace Mobile
Keeping up with all of the information available can be a daunting task. By downloading the mobile version of LinkedIn for your mobile device you can check updates while waiting at appointments. LinkedIn offers versions for the iPhone, BlackBerry, and Palm.
(Source: Sharlyn Lauby for Mashable.com)
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2009 ERC Transfer Volume Survey
6 Smart Ways to Spend Your Tax Refund
Nearly 90% of Americans are set to receive refunds this year at an average of $3,036. That is up 10% from last year. If you are looking for some smart ways to spend the money you are due to get back from Uncle Sam, here are a few suggestions from CNNMoney.com
Pay Down Debt: The last thing most people get excited about when receiving a refund in the mail is paying down debt.
But unfortunately, according to Diahann Lassus, co-founder of wealth management firm Lassus Wherley, this is where the majority of your refund should go if you have a lot of debt. Just how much depends on what you owe.
With lenders hiking fees and raising rates, debt is becoming increasingly expensive. Once you've paid it off, you'll have more money in your pocket for discretionary spending and enjoyment.
Lassus usually recommends paying off the cards with the highest interest first. But if you have a few credit cards with small amounts on them, it might make more sense to pay some of these off first, she said.
Save for a Rainy Day: Everyone should have at least 3 months' worth of expenses in a liquid savings account. But especially if you're unemployed or worried about keeping your job, this is a crucial way to allocate some of your refund, said Tom Orecchio of Modera Wealth Management.
Chances are that at some point throughout the year, you will need to replace an appliance, pay a medical bill or repair something that's broken. Planning for a large expense later in the year can take the stress off of your weekly paycheck and give you a little extra wiggle room.
Orecchio suggests keeping this money in a high-yield money market or savings account that comes with a debit card or an electronic link to checking or ATM access.
Save for Retirement: If you've taken care of your outstanding debt and have a healthy emergency fund, the next step is to tuck away some money for retirement.
To plan ahead, Orecchio said he advises people to look into whether they are eligible for a Roth IRA, or a tax-deductible IRA in order to save money on a tax-deferred basis.
Contributing as much of your refund as possible to a fund like this will allow you to worry a little less about your golden years, he said. The government allows you to contribute up to $5,000 a year into an IRA, or $6,000 if you're age 50 or older.
Invest In Yourself: Taking a chunk of your refund to help you learn a new skill isn't a bad idea either, Orecchio said.
"If you have enough money put aside and don't have major debt, you might want to use this money to invest in yourself," said Orecchio.
"Go back to school to train for a new field of work, buy nice clothes for interviews, take a course on improving your résumé and interviewing skills or anything else that will improve your chances of getting a job."
Buy Something You Need: Saving up for a new home? This year's refund could help you make that down payment.
If you don't have debt to worry about and have a good amount of emergency cash on hand, go ahead and use your refund to complete a big purchase, said Lassus. While it might be tempting to make impulse purchases with your refund, putting it toward a planned purchase is a smarter choice.
"If you need a new car because yours is dying or want a washing machine because your old one is broken, put a certain amount of the refund aside for things like that," she said. "Refund dollars are really good for certain purchases you know you'll have to make."
Have a Little Fun: Even if you do need to shore up savings or pay off debt, that doesn't mean you can't enjoy some of your money. Making sure to do something for yourself can make you feel a little better about writing a check to the credit card company, or tucking it away in a retirement account for the next 20 years.
"You should save some of [your refund] for fun," said Lassus. "Whether it's something as simple as getting ice cream or eating out once a week or putting some dollars aside for a family vacation, sometimes you want to take at least 5% and do something fun with it."
And after the filing deadline, retailers, restaurants, hotels, spas and auto centers are ready to lure you in with tax season specials.
(Source: CNNMoney.com, April 1, 2010)
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