Friday, June 29, 2007

Tasers Mounted on Robot Vacs, NOT!

While scanning the paper this morning my wife noticed this headline,"Meet the Granddaddy of RoboCops and Terminators: Latest PackBot combines floor cleaner with stun gun" and commented that it seemed odd that a company would be putting a taser on a robotic vacuum cleaner. I said it had to be some kind of a mistake and asked if the company involved was iRobot the maker of the Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner. She said yes and quickly passed the paper over to me to fend off any more silly questions. Sure enough, there it was, in section A, page 20 of the Arizona Republic on 6/29/2007.

For a fleeting moment I envisioned a world where intelligent, multipurpose robots patrol your home, vacuuming the carpet, watching for intruders and tazering your visiting mother-in-law and that pesky cat. How cool is that? Then I realized that it must be just another over worked, under appreciated Headline Editor who didn't read the article in which it's clear that the Taser is being mounted on iRobot's military division robotic platform, not the consumer product vacuum cleaners. Great news for cat and mother-in-law lovers everywhere.

Live long and prosper,


Thursday, June 21, 2007

Where are the HR people at Trade Shows?

Where Does HR Hang Out?
I just returned from the semi-annual International Robot Show sponsored by the Robotics Industries Association which was held in Rosemont, Ill, one exit away from the O'Hare airport. For many years I have attended trade shows and have always found them to be fantastic opportunities for networking and catching up with old friends and contacts while meeting many new contacts and future clients. This was the fist robot show in the past 2 years and so it was particularly well attended and the exhibitors were very pleased with the leads that were generated.

It occurred to me, while walking the booths at the Robot show, that you rarely find exhibiting company's HR people in attendance or working the booths. Here you have a large hall filled with professionals from the heart of the industry. The kind of talent that good companies want to attract and keep. Because the sales and marketing people in the booth focus on selling the product or service adding an effective HR representative to offer a perspective on the culture and the values of the company would be a great move. In addition, how impressive would it be for a company to have in the booth a looping presentation, a soft sell recruiting video on the culture and core values of the company? This approach would help spread positive brand and work culture awareness and will help attract more and ultimately a higher caliber of talent.

Since this bold move is apparently is not on the radar of most companies you'll find me walking the trade show floors, seeking out the best and the brightest, on my client's behalf.

Until next time, Live Long and Prosper!


Monday, June 4, 2007

Video Resumes

Once they see me on the big screen I'm in, right?

Video resumes are creating a stir in the career management/human capital arena. Per Vault's, 3.27.07 report, 89% of employers asked, said they would watch a video resume while only 17% said they have actually done so.

Much Room for Improvement

In a short trip around the web we reviewed a great number of video resumes. The ones that have any chance at all are those that were a 30 to 60 second, single, fixed camera shot of a person briefly presenting their qualifications. Pretty boring, really. Anyone with a $200 digital movie camera can do it but the results will be mixed at best. One of the video resumes reviewed last week included blaring sirens from somewhere on the street outside the shoot location. The subject of the video was perspiring under a high wattage light bulb in a ceiling fixture directly over head, which distorted his features and caused flaring in the captured video. I thought of the Nixon vs. Kennedy debates. JFK looked relaxed and Tricky Dick was sweating buckets under poor lighting which helped Kennedy win in a land slide.

So far, based upon what we've seen on the web, a Video Resume can often be a door slammer rather than the opener it was intended to be. Even though, this new layer in the Human Capital evaluation process is sure to take off, the winners will be those who rise above the mundane with something that stands out and makes a fast and indelible impression on the viewer. According to psych experts, all someone needs is a "Blink" of about 3 1/2 seconds to draw a conclusion about you so it's critical that you present something that instantly compels the viewer to remember you and to choose you over someone else. For more on this powerful concept called cognitive processing, check out the book BLINK by Malcom Gladwell.

Use the best available

If you want to create something that will present you at your very best, so you look and sound great, you have to be aware of and in control of your environment by using the best equipment you can possibly find. Strive to set yourself apart from the competition by producing something different by being creative and using high quality tools, particularly the camera and the video editor. The sound and lights are critical too so you are viewed in the most flattering light possible. (please pardon the pun).

On Location

The venue you choose to shoot from is also very important. Remember that the best environment to broadcast from is one that visually connects you to your business. You in a casual place like your house might suggest that you are not business oriented and that you won't work as hard as someone who shot their from an obvious office environment. An easy trick is to incorporate video or stills of an office building cross faded to video of you talking from your desk. (with your phone and switched on computer monitor and kew board showing something work related in the shot. )

Make it Count!

You have to be absolutely sure your video presents you as a appropriately and comfortably attired, positive, self assured, well spoken professional. To get meaningful feedback before you post your finished product and after you get the rough cuts, throw pride aside and seek the opinion of others you trust and who you know will be honest with you about how you come across in the video. Remember, those who are most comfortable in front of the camera are perceived by viewers as better communicators and prospective team members and employees. Presenting a positive persona and image in front of the camera and to live audiences is key to competing in today's marketplace.

Even if you are the next Robert Redford, it helps to reinforce your message with a scripted voice over , tied in text, and tastfully done graphics and music. Be sure to create a commercial that grabs the viewer's attention and gets them interested in knowing more about you.

Most people lack the experience and the feel for what works and what doesn't when it comes to creating an effective self advertisement. Not to mention the fact that it's almost impossible to be objective about yourself and how you come across on video. So, if want to make a video resume that really works, call in a professional consultant. Someone who understands Human Capital, Video Advertising, Production, acting and performance would be ideal. Someone who will help you create a video resume that sets you apart from your competition and gets results. I think I know just the source.

In response to what we see as a growing need in the market, my wife, Polly and I have recently combined our talents to start a venture called PresentMyself is a company dedicated to helping people learn to be more effective in live presentations and on camera. We also produce high quality, exceptionally creative and effective web/broadcast commercials and video resumes for the web that help people get noticed.

The Team

Polly Chapman has 25 years of acting, teaching and presentation coaching experience and Jeff Chapman (me) adds another 25 years of business and Human Capital Consulting to the strength of the enterprise. Our Video partner, Jon Minot has over 15 years of video capture and editing experience.

Please check us out at our primitive starter page at . (Fancy stuff to follow).

We look forward to helping you get your message across.

Until next time.........Live Long and Prosper