Majority of US-based Business Owners Optimistic About Business in 2012

NEW YORK – 03 January 2012 –
Newtek Business Services (NASDAQ: NEWT) The Small Business Authority , with a portfolio of over 100,000 business accounts, announced today the findings of its SB Authority Market Sentiment Survey, a monthly window into the concerns of independent business owners. Based on a poll of over 1,000 respondents, one of the key findings from the December survey is 55 percent of business owners are optimistic about the future. In addition, 64 percent are optimistic about their 2011-year end results.

A majority of these business owners believe that, going forward, it will be easier to grow their sales rather than to reduce their expenses.

Survey, December 2011:

Poll Question…Poll Answer…Percentage

Looking into 2012, how do you feel about the future?
Optimistic, 55%;
Pessimistic, 20%;
Neutral, 25%.

Regarding your own business results, are you:
Optimistic, 64%;
Pessimistic, 20%;
Neutral, 16%;

Do you find it easier to:
Grow your sales, 68%;
Reduce your costs, 32%.

Barry Sloane, Chairman, President and CEO of The Small Business Authority commented, “To be frank, we are pleasantly surprised at the optimism that is being generated by over 1,000 of our small business clients. Optimism about their business and the economy and their ability to grow sales has not been apparent in recent months or years. We attribute this optimism to the recent headline drop in the unemployment rate, the growth in consumer spending and small gains in hiring in the fourth quarter. Whether this optimism will continue in the first quarter of 2012 is anyone’s guess, given that consumer spending growth has not been accompanied by personal income growth.”

“Putting that aside, the positive sentiment is clearly a positive sign for the market. If independent business owners become positive about the economy and their own businesses they will hire, spend and make capital investments. It is potentially very good news for business going into 2012,” Sloane added.

3 Smart Things You Can Do to Find a Job … Networking and Resume Tips

MCLEAN, VIRGINIA – 03 January 2012 –
Whether you are looking to start fresh in the New Year, or have been unemployed for any length of time, now is your chance to breathe life into your tired job search. Jobfox, one of the nation’s fastest growing online job sites, has a few suggestions for you.

Fine Tune your Resume
First and foremost, your resume must meet the standards of today’s hiring processes before applying to jobs online or posting your resume publicly. The current job market demands more than just impeccable grammar and a readable font. Keyword optimization, for example, is crucial to getting your resume the attention it deserves. Keywords can either be found in your target job descriptions, or specifically researched and tailored by professional resume writers. Including these details will assure that your resume comes up in recruiter’s searches. Along these same lines, resumes and cover letters should also be specifically targeted to each individual job’s requirements. Customization and personal touches distinguish you from the seas of typical resumes, helping you land interviews and get the job you desire.

Additionally, when describing your previous positions, be sure to showcase your accomplishments. Recruiters are not interested in reading through a catalog of tasks and duties—they want to know what you have achieved. Sell yourself through your resume by highlighting milestones and accomplishments that correlate directly with a potential employer’s objectives. “You could be the best performer at your job, but without documenting your measurable achievements, awards, or relevant new experiences on the job, you can’t provide proof when asked. As the years go by, the likelihood of remembering details of every accomplishment will more difficult. In 2012, jot down what you’ve achieved at your job – it will serve a useful purpose in optimizing your resume, and in the end, your chances of landing the job of your dreams,” suggests Alex Soto, CEO of ResumeLance and Soto Marketing Communications.

Take Advantage of Social Media
Job seekers should maintain an active, relevant presence in all social media platforms. LinkedIn and Facebook profiles need to be updated, professional and personalized, and you should make as many connections as possible. Merge these contacts on sites like Jobfox.com and Indeed.com in order to receive notifications about possible connections within the companies you’d like to work. If you do not know these potential contacts directly, ask someone you do know to recommend you or to make a direct introduction. Don’t be shy—applicants with referrals such as these are at least 5 times as likely to get an interview.

“Here is the real one/two punch: Target your resume to the job you want and get that resume into the hands of the hiring manager through a reference. Your chances of landing that job just skyrocketed past your competition,” says Peggy Padalino, VP of Sales and Client Services at Jobfox.

Network
Follow through with all leads, both online and in person, no matter how small. Research shows that lengthy periods of unemployment are directly linked to passive approaches to job searching. Regardless of how well-crafted your resume or impressive your career, an expansive network is essential to bolstering your search for the perfect job. Reach out to colleagues and friends, and proactively foster second and third degree connections. Moreover, networking is about establishing a rapport; it is extremely important that traditional courtesies and etiquette not be overlooked, even in the era of the social media. Experts recommend sending a thank you letter following an interview. Not only will it set you apart from other applicants for the job in question, but this simple act of decorum will also help establish a lasting connection within the company.

About Jobfox
Founded in 2005 in McLean, Virginia, Jobfox is a leading job search and career-networking site designed to find candidates the right jobs at the best companies. Through a comprehensive skills-based matching system, Jobfox connects thousands of employers to the most qualified individuals, as well as linking job seekers to relevant job opportunities in their fields. With over 1 Million resumes improved, Jobfox is also the largest provider of professionally written resumes online. For more information, visit www.jobfox.com

Majority of Americans Do Not Make New Year's Resolutions According to National Survey US Adults Make Resolutions; 60% Know They Will Break Them

GLENDALE, CALIFORNIA – 03 January 2012 –
At the beginning of every new year, we always hear about people making New Year’s resolutions. But surprising findings reveal a majority of American adults don’t actually make them! According to a recent national survey* sponsored by Nestle® Raisinets®, less than one-third (32%) of American adults will make New Year’s resolutions in 2012. Moreover, of those who will, 60% already know they will break them at some point in the new year.

Regardless of whether or not Americans make resolutions, health is still top of mind for the new year. According to survey results, a whopping three-fourths (75%) of American adults are planning to lose weight in 2012. But some interesting findings are revealed about the ways American adults prefer to lose weight.

• Americans Want To Kick Up The Cardio:
When asked about the optimal way to lose weight in 2012, among those who plan to do so, “kick up the cardio” (i.e. increasing cardio exercise) led the pack with 33%.
o Eating smaller portions came in second at 30%.
o Choosing “healthy” over “hearty” finished third with 28%.

• Americans Prefer to Lose Weight Solo:
Americans who plan to lose weight in 2012, plan to do so without a partner. Only 6% of those surveyed said their optimal way to lose weight would be partnering with a friend. Even more surprising, of those who plan to partner with a friend, respondents who are single and have never married (10%) were twice as likely to partner with a friend vs. their married (5%) counterparts!

• Age Matters:
Optimal ways to lose weight vary by age.
o American adults age 55+ who plan to lose weight in 2012 (41%) were twice as likely to choose “eating smaller portions” than 18-34 year-olds (20%).
o And those 18-34 year-old (39%) were nearly twice as likely to “kick up the cardio” as their optimal way to lose weight, and six times as likely to partner with a friend as those 55+ (23%).

Lastly “Deprive Myself and Hope for the Best” was the least popular choice among Americans who plan to lose weight in 2012. With only 3% choosing deprivation as the optimal way to lose weight, Americans are getting smarter about shedding those extra pounds.

“It’s great to know that Americans are continuing to educate themselves about healthy food choices, but we all know deprivation equals diet disaster,” said Tricia Bowles, Nestle Confections & Snacks. “Indulgent treats are part of the joy of eating and Raisinets is a great choice with plump California raisins covered in milk and dark chocolate. The perfectly balanced treat for guilt-free snacking in the New Year!”

Nestle Raisinets provide real fruit in each serving and are a natural source of fruit antioxidants. With 30% less fat than the other leading chocolate brands, Raisinets can be enjoyed as a delicious treat straight out of the package or as an excellent addition to your favorite recipes.

For information on NESTLE RAISINETS, more national survey findings, and delicious recipes featuring RAISINETS visit www.facebook.com/Raisinets.

* The Nestle Raisinets New Year Health Survey was conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Nestle from December 6th-8th, 2011 to a nationally representative sample of 2,246 American adults aged 18+.

About Nestle USA
Named one of “The World’s Most Admired Food Companies” in Fortune magazine for fourteen consecutive years, Nestle provides quality brands and products that bring flavor to life every day. From nutritious meals with LEAN CUISINE® to baking traditions with NESTLE® TOLL HOUSE®, Nestle USA makes delicious, convenient, and nutritious food and beverage products that make good living possible. That’s what “Nestle. Good Food, Good Life” is all about. Well-known Nestle USA brands include: NESTLE® TOLL HOUSE®, NESTLE® NESQUIK®, NESTLE® COFFEE-MATE®, STOUFFER’S®, LEAN CUISINE®, HOT POCKETS® and LEAN POCKETS® brand sandwiches, NESCAFE®, NESTLE® JUICY JUICE®, BUITONI®, DREYER’S/EDY’S®, NESTLE® CRUNCH®, NESTLE® BUTTERFINGER®, WONKA®, DIGIORNO®, TOMBSTONE® and CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN® frozen pizza. Nestle USA, with 2010 sales of $10.4 billion, is part of Nestle S.A. in Vevey, Switzerland — the world’s largest food company with a commitment to Nutrition, Health & Wellness — with 2010 sales of $105 billion. For product news and information, visit Nestleusa.com or NestleNewsroom.com.

Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Nestle fromDecember 6th-8th, 2011 among 2,246 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Alex Jessup.

All trademarks are owned by Societe des Produits Nestle S.A., Vevey, Switzerland unless otherwise noted.

Vietnam and ManpowerGroup 3-year partnership, Building Competitiveness by Up-Skilling Country's Workforce…Vietnam … enormous potential … workforce industrious, eager to improve

Human Age, where talent has replaced capital as the key competitive differentiator.

HANOI, Vietnam; 21 December 2011 —
ManpowerGroup (NYSE: MAN) has entered into a new three-year partnership withVietnam’s Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) to continue developing the local labor market, ensure competitiveness and respond to new, in-demand skills needs in order to addressVietnam’s workforce challenges.

At a signing ceremony in Hanoi, David Arkless, ManpowerGroup President of Corporate and Government Affairs, and Tran Phi Tuoc, Director, International Cooperation Department, MOLISA, agreed to redouble efforts to accelerate the efficiency of the Vietnamese labor market. Areas of cooperation will include the enhancement of frameworks for labor market regulation, further joint research on labor market trends and initiatives aimed at developing processes for sustainable labour migration.

“Vietnam is a country with enormous potential and possesses a workforce that is industrious and eager to improve,” said Arkless. “Over the next three years, ManpowerGroup will continue to leverage its unrivalled suite of solutions — including skills assessment and job training — to address skills shortages, help the country achieve its growth potential and make even greater strides in the future.”

This partnership builds on the spirit and accomplishments of the historic first Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed in November 2008. ManpowerGroup became the first 100 percent foreign-invested employment services company to receive an operating license in Vietnam and has now firmly established itself as the trusted innovative workforce solutions provider in the country.

Last month, ManpowerGroup launched a research paper, titled “Building a High-Skilled Economy: The New Vietnam,” that advises how Vietnamese businesses can collaborate more effectively with schools and colleges to tackle weaknesses in the country’s education system, improve career development and work environments, and be more proactive in addressing likely skills shortages in critical industry sectors.

A joint ManpowerGroup/TNS survey revealed that workforce issues are restraining Vietnam’s growth. Survey respondents ranked the country’s workers in the bottom 10 percent regionally. Around half rated the labor force fair or poor and one in three said they were unable to find the skills they need. A separate ManpowerGroup/Institute of Labor Studies and Social Studies survey found that around two in five employers in the country reported difficulty filling jobs.

“Vietnam has an abundant labor force in the agricultural sector and production line but lacks well-trained labourers,” said Linh Nguyen, General Manager, Manpower Vietnam. “The solution is on-the-job training. Companies must be willing to exchange short-term costs of training for long-term labor cost advantage.”

Herb Kochan, the executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Ho Chi Minh City, reports that a large number of American multinational companies have moved their operations fromChina to Vietnam due to labor arbitrage and the country’s favorable business climate. However, the country has larger skills gaps than the region’s largest economies such as China and India.

“The low-cost workforce of Vietnam still remains the most appealing factor to foreign investors,” said Darryl Green, ManpowerGroup President, Asia-Pacific and Middle East. “While this low-skill labor has helped fuel Vietnam’s growth, it also presents a major future economic challenge due to demand for more modern skills.”

ManpowerGroup’s New Vietnam research paper recommends the country’s firms should work more closely with government, schools, colleges and universities to create curriculums that address current labor market conditions and have the flexibility to meet new challenges. Companies themselves need to focus on engaging key talent by listening to their employees’ needs, creating more development opportunities, sharing information about strategy and operations and repeatedly demonstrating the importance of their products and services.

About ManpowerGroup
ManpowerGroup™ (NYSE: MAN), the world leader in innovative workforce solutions, creates and delivers high-impact solutions that enable our clients to achieve their business goals and enhance their competitiveness. With over 60 years of experience, our $22 billion company creates unique time to value through a comprehensive suite of innovative solutions that help clients win in the Human Age. These solutions cover an entire range of talent-driven needs from recruitment and assessment, training and development, and career management, to outsourcing and workforce consulting. ManpowerGroup maintains the world’s largest and industry-leading network of nearly 3,900 offices in over 80 countries and territories, generating a dynamic mix of an unmatched global footprint with valuable insight and local expertise to meet the needs of its 400,000 clients per year, across all industry sectors, small and medium-sized enterprises, local, multinational and global companies. By connecting our deep understanding of human potential to the ambitions of clients, ManpowerGroup helps the organizations and individuals we serve achieve more than they imagined – because their success leads to our success. And by creating these powerful connections, we create power that drives organizations forward, accelerates personal success and builds more sustainable communities. We help power the world of work. The ManpowerGroup suite of solutions is offered through ManpowerGroup™ Solutions, Manpower®, Experis™ and Right Management®. Learn more about how the ManpowerGroup can help you win in the Human Age at www.manpowergroup.com.

Business-Driven Human Resources Trends Impacting Growth and Profitability

NEW YORK, 15 December 2011 —
“Global Business Driven HR Transformation: The Journey Continues,” explores the current trends shaping the way many companies are leveraging the human resources (HR) function and their people to improve competitiveness, profitability and growth.

“Clients are constantly seeking information on the latest in HR transformation,” says Jason Geller, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP and global and U.S. human resources (HR) transformation leader. “Working closely with 40 of my colleagues globally, we’ve identified the leading practices that top companies are using to drive the most value from their HR organizations.”

Traditionally, HR transformation focuses mainly on making existing HR services more efficient, effective and compliant. Looking ahead, organizations should consider where they are in the HR transformation process so that they can develop and hone HR capabilities that enable business strategy rather than just supporting the business.

“While HR transformation is still a developing area that most companies have yet to achieve, HR can help to enable organizations to address today’s business imperatives and prepare for tomorrow’s,” continues Geller. “From growth to globalization, cost pressure reduction to talent attraction, risk management to merger and acquisition support, transforming how HR works in your organization can contribute invaluably.”

The report includes discussions of critical HR Transformation areas including:

• Global HR operating model and governance
• Impact of cloud, social, mobile and workforce analytics on HR
• HR shared services and outsourcing
• Talent, global mobility and contingent workforces
• Global program governance and management, change analytics and benchmarking

For more information about the book, Global Business Driven HR Transformation: The Journey Continues,please visit www.deloitte.com/thejourney.

Eli Lilly Named a Top Global Company for Leaders

Expert panel considers leadership practices, culture, development and overall corporate impact

INDIANAPOLIS, 1 December 2011 —
Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) has been named one of the top 25 global companies for leaders by Aon Hewitt in partnership with FORTUNE and the RBL Group. Lilly ranked 16th on the Global 25 list and 12th on the North American list.

The survey is one of the most comprehensive studies of talent management and leadership practices around the globe.

Here is how it works. Companies first complete an extensive survey, and senior executives from 182 global finalists are interviewed. An expert panel of independent judges then selects and ranks winners based on criteria, including strength of leadership practices and culture, examples of leader development on a global scale, impact of leadership in communities in which they operate, business performance, and company reputation.

“Lilly is honored to be named one of the top companies in the world for cultivating leadership talent,” said Steve Fry, senior vice president of human resources and diversity.”

“Our long-term responsibility is to ensure Lilly has a talent pipeline for the future. Just as we work diligently to advance our drug pipeline, we need to do the same for our people pipeline. We are constantly working to identify and develop leaders,” Fry said.

Lilly has emphasized the importance of having a strong succession management process for many years.

As a result, the vast majority of Lilly’s senior management team has been developed within the company.

Many began their careers at Lilly affiliates around the world. Presently more than 50 percent of the company’s top leadership is from outside the United States.

In addition to its global succession management process, Lilly’s offers a variety of programs and activities, including experiential learning programs, on-line trainings, and teaching opportunities, designed to build leadership skills.

About Eli Lilly and Company
Lilly, a leading innovation-driven corporation, is developing a growing portfolio of pharmaceutical products by applying the latest research from its own worldwide laboratories and from collaborations with eminent scientific organizations. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind., Lilly provides answers – through medicines and information – for some of the world’s most urgent medical needs. Additional information about Lilly is available at www.lilly.com.

US Immigrant Population at Record 40 Million in 2010

While the number of immigrants in the country is higher than at any time in American history, the immigrant share of the population (12.9 percent) was higher 90 years ago.

Growth in the immigrant population has primarily been driven by high levels of legal immigration. Roughly three-fourths of immigrants in the country are here legally.

WASHINGTON DC, October 6th 2011 —

New Center for Immigration Studies’ analysis of Census Bureau data shows US immigrant population (legal and illegal), also referred to as the foreign born, reached 40 million in 2010, the highest number in American history.

Nearly 14 million new immigrants (legal and illegal) settled in the country from 2000 to 2010, making it the highest decade of immigration in American history. This is the case even though there was a net decline of jobs during the decade. In contrast, from 1990 to 2000, job growth exceeded 20 million and slightly fewer immigrants arrived (13.2 million).

Steven A. Camarota’s Memorandum, “A Record-Setting Decade of Immigration: 2000-2010,” is available on the Center for Immigration Studies’ website at: http://cis.org/2000-2010-record-setting-decade-of-immigration.

The nation’s immigrant population has doubled since 1990, nearly tripled since 1980, and quadrupled since 1970 when it stood at 9.7 million.

Of the 40 million immigrants in the country in 2010, 13.9 million arrived in 2000 or later making it the highest decade of immigration in American history.

New arrivals are offset by out-migration and deaths. As a result, the net increase was more than 8.8 million over the last decade, from 31.1 million in 2000.

While the number of immigrants in the country is higher than at any time in American history, the immigrant share of the population (12.9 percent) was higher 90 years ago.

Growth in the immigrant population has primarily been driven by high levels of legal immigration. Roughly three-fourths of immigrants in the country are here legally.

Immigrants continue to head to non-traditional states of settlement. The six states with the largest immigrant populations accounted for 65 percent of the total in 2010, 68 percent in 2000, and 73 percent in 1990.

Overall the immigrant population grew 28 percent between 2000 and 2010. But it grew at more than twice the national rate in: Alabama (92%), South Carolina (88%), Tennessee (82%), Arkansas (79%), Kentucky (75%), North Carolina (67%), South Dakota (65%), Georgia (63%), Indiana (61%), Nevada (61%), Delaware (60%), Virginia (60%), and Oklahoma (57%).

Since 1990 the immigrant population has doubled. It grew at more than twice the national rate in: North Carolina (525%), Georgia (445%), Arkansas (430%), Tennessee (389%), Nevada (385%), South Carolina (337%), Kentucky (312%), Nebraska (298%), Alabama (287%), Utah (280%), Colorado (249%), Minnesota (235%), Delaware (223%), Iowa (222%), Indiana (219%), Oklahoma (215%) and Arizona (208%).

States with the largest numerical increase over the last decade were: California, Texas, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, Washington, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts.

Latin America continued to dominate immigration. Countries from this region accounted for 58 percent of the growth in the immigrant population from 2000 to 2010.

With nearly 12 million immigrants, Mexico was by far the top immigrant-sending country, accounting for 29 percent of all immigrants.

Countries in addition to Mexico have also seen significant growth in their populations. In 1990 there was only one sending-country with more than 1 million immigrants in the United States, by 2000 there were four such countries and in 2010 there were eight.

Discussion:
The finding that immigration was so high in the first decade of the 21st century is important because it is a reminder that immigration is a complex process; and it is impacted by many factors in addition to labor market conditions in this country. The desire to access public services, enjoy greater political freedom, or join relatives in the United States all affect the decision to migrate. These things do not change even if there is little or no job growth. Moreover, the opportunities available in the United States may still be much better than in many sending countries even if the US economy is experiencing a prolonged period of weak job growth.

It is also important to understand that immigration is driven in part by social networks of friends and family who provide information about conditions in the United States and often help new immigrants after they arrive. As the immigrant population grows, it creates momentum for more immigration. None of this means that the level of immigration is unaffected by the economy. There is evidence that immigration levels were affected to some extent by the economy during the last decade. However, the evidence is clear that the level of new immigration remained high, even in the face of a prolonged period of weak job growth.

Data Source:
The data for this Center for Immigration Studies analysis comes primarily from the American Community Survey (ACS) collected by the Census Bureau. The ACS has become one of the primary sources of data on the size and growth of the nation’s immigrant (or foreign-born) population. Immigrants are persons living in the United States who were not American citizens at birth. This includes naturalized American citizens, legal permanent residents (green card holders), illegal aliens, and people on long-term temporary visas such as foreign students or guest workers, who respond to the ACS. It does not include those born abroad of American parents or those born in outlying territories of the United States.

The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent research institute that examines the impact of immigration on the United States.

Companies Worldwide Embracing New Media for Employee Communication

…companies with superior change and communication programs
“… companies with the best communication programs enhance the communication skills of their leaders and managers, and continuously evaluate performance.”

NEW YORK, 17 November 2011 – –

A majority of companies worldwide say they are becoming more knowledgeable about the use of social media tools to connect with and keep their workforces informed.

In fact, more than two-thirds of companies surveyed by global professional services company Towers Watson (NYSE, NASDAQ: TW) plan to increase their use of social media tools over the next 12 months though many question their cost effectiveness.

The biannual study also found that companies with the best communication programs enhance the communication skills of their leaders and managers, and continuously evaluate performance.

“The way companies handle employee communication is fundamentally changing, largely due to increased expectations, diversity and globalization, as well as the growth of social media and networking,” said Kathryn Yates, global leader of communication consulting at Towers Watson.

“Change and communication professionals can no longer do things the way they’ve always been done. There is a greater need than ever to deliver information to employees in a manner that creates a sense of community and motivates change.”

The 2011 Towers Watson Change and Communication ROI Study found that roughly two-thirds (64%) of respondents are more knowledgeable about using social media tools than they were a year ago, and 69% plan to increase their use over the next 12 months.

However, only 28% report these tools are cost effective at their organization, and just 15% have measurement tools in place. The respondents that find social media tools cost effective are investing in social networks (63%) and leadership journals or blogs (58%).

“Companies are staring at a clear opportunity to use new media to increase engagement with employees,” said Yates. “Social media and networking clearly open an opportunity for dialogue, rapidly integrate employees into the company culture and create a sense of community. Companies that are reluctant to try social media may end up limiting their ability to attract, retain and motivate certain key groups of employees.”

The 2011 Towers Watson Change and Communication ROI Study includes responses from 604 organizations from around the world. The research identified the best communication and change management practices at top-performing companies. These findings include the following:

Measure and evaluate effectiveness
More than half (56%) of companies that are highly effective communicators measure the communication function’s contribution to meeting strategic business goals, and 62% use their measurement findings to plan future initiatives or make business decisions. That compares with less than one in four low-performing companies taking these initiatives.

Across all participants, only 37% are measuring progress against their change goals. The high-effectiveness change management organizations are six times as likely as low-effectiveness companies to be taking this important step.

“Frequent evaluation and measurement not only help ensure that an organization’s communication initiatives are both accessible and effective, they also provide the clarity required to build employee confidence in the direction that the company is heading,” said Yates.

Promote the employee value proposition
More than one-third of highly effective companies have managers who are effective at promoting the employee value proposition (EVP), compared to relatively few (4%) of the low-effectiveness companies. The EVP, or “employment deal,” lets employees know what the company expects from them and what they can expect from the company. The survey notes that even among highly effective firms, there is room for improvement in this area.

“Clearly articulating the EVP to employees before they join and while they are employed is another hallmark of effective communication programs. Companies with managers who do this effectively will find themselves in a much stronger position to attract, retain and integrate top-performing employees,” said Yates.

Other findings:
• The study confirms that effective communication is an important element of change management, and if both are done well, there is a stronger relationship with financial performance. Companies highly effective at both communication and change management are 2.5 times as likely to outperform their peers as companies that are not highly effective in either area.

• When compared with companies with low change management and communication effectiveness, firms that are highly effective at change management are nearly five times as likely to create an integrated communication and change management strategy and more than eight times as likely to continue to exhibit new behaviors and use new skills after changes are made.

• Nearly two-thirds of respondents report that managers are taking on more responsibility when it comes to communication with employees, but only 28% are evaluating managers on their communication effectiveness. While the majority of firms are training managers on communication and change management skills, relatively few find it effective.

Judgement and expertise of ‘knowledge’ workers can be captured and passed on.

New research insights on replicating instinct and experience
LONDON –

Researchers say that the so-called ‘knowledge workers’ such as lawyers, consultants, software engineers and those in the media sector rely to a significant degree on their insights, instincts, experience and judgement in their decision making at work.

Conventional wisdom says such creative and thoughtful work cannot be reduced to a formula, or set of best practices to manage and duplicate it. But new research challenges this view to cast fresh light on such tacit knowledge and explain how some of the ‘lean’ production principles long deployed in manufacturing can make a valuable contribution to increasing efficiency in these knowledge sectors.

Professor David Upton of Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, and Assistant Professor Bradley R Staats of Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina, set out their findings in Lean Knowledge Work in the October 2011 issue of Harvard Business Review. http://hbr.org/2011/10/lean-knowledge-work/ar/1 .

‘Attempts to apply lean principles to knowledge work have proved frustratingly difficult’, says Professor Upton. ‘Unlike manufacturing, the work is not repetitive and easily defined and often relies on knowledge locked inside the individual’s head. But our research shows that such work can benefit from lean production principles in a number of ways. Even in the most creative areas of their work, we have found that creating rules and systems to guide workers can lead to more effective collaboration and to significant benefits for the organisation, such as faster response times, higher quality and creativity, lower costs, and reduced drudgery and frustration for individuals leading to greater job satisfaction.’

Staats and Upton gathered detailed field data from almost 2000 knowledge-intensive software projects, and also studied knowledge workers in a range of other creative settings. Using this empirical data, they were able to sift through the vast array of oft-quoted principles of lean operations, and hone in on those that worked – and delivered genuine performance improvements – using an evidence-based, scientific approach for knowledge-based settings.

The authors summarize six of these principles:

1, Make waste visible and do something about it.

Knowledge workers experience considerable waste in terms of delays, duplication of effort, inadequate communication and inefficient systems. Routine activities such as printing documents, requesting information from others and waiting for people to join meetings unnecessarily eat up the valuable time of creative individuals. The authors encourage firms to continually root out waste and to keep asking ‘why’ – why am I attending this meeting, why am I writing this report, why am I standing at the printer, why do we do it this way. Instead of assuming the system is right, assume it is wrong. Instead of solving the same problems over and over again, create standard solutions wherever possible and train people to apply them, so more time can be devoted to real creative work.

2 Strive to make the tacit knowledge explicit.

While lots of knowledge work relies on judgement or intuition, not all of it does and some can be captured in a protocol with no reduction in the quality of the work. Knowledge firms assume that many tasks cannot be standardised, but the research indicates that a surprisingly high amount can be specified. Once it has been defined in this way, it can be improved, and it can be taught to others. One Japanese bank, for example, found they could specify many of the steps in lending decisions for home mortgages and automated the vast majority of cases, leading to increased growth and reduced risk. Such approaches allow knowledge workers to spend more time on the parts of the job where they create most value, and derive most satisfaction.

‘Organisations can expect scepticism and resistance from skilled workers when efforts are made to capture their expertise in this way’ comments Professor Staats. ‘So it is important that firms explain the benefits to individuals of freeing them for more interesting work, and reassure them of their ongoing value to the organisation.’

Articulating what people do, and how and why they do it, enables the organisation to learn, to exploit best practices and transfer knowledge across the organisation, all of which contribute to its competitive advantage.

3, Specify how workers should communicate.

A key step in building a leaner organisation is to define who should be communicating, how often, and what they should be saying in relation to any given project. Knowledge workers need to appreciate who needs and will use their information so the recipients do not waste time uncovering what they need to know. The research demonstrates how this is particularly important for companies working across cultures, whether with colleagues or external contacts.

4, Solve problems quickly and consistently.

The authors show how a systematic approach to problem solving can bring sizeable benefits. They advocate defining an explicit proposal about how an aspect of work could be improved, conducting an objective test, and if the results are positive, introducing a procedure to standardise that approach. Involving the relevant workers in finding the solution, and dealing with the situation in a timely manner, where, when and with whom the problem occurs is key to a successful outcome.

5, Let the lean system evolve as necessary.

The authors stress that introducing lean techniques is not a quick fix – though there will be obvious and immediate gains – and that long term commitment is necessary to achieve the lasting results. They suggest starting small with distinct pilot projects from which lessons can be captured and applied elsewhere. They acknowledge that in some instances lean approaches will not be helpful, particularly where visionary and radical experimental work is undertaken. But they stress that in most circumstances, even for creative work, lean principles are surprisingly effective.

6, Leaders need to blaze the trail.

Like most change projects, a lean initiative will deliver results only if senior and middle managers are enthusiastic drivers, and motivate and train their teams so that the learning can be applied throughout the organisation. ‘Turning an organisation into a lean system requires a grassroots reinvention of how work is performed.

The transformation demands sustained (though not financially large) investment, a clever approach to training, a change in culture, and new processes. This is not for the faint-hearted: senior leaders must treat it as a long-term.

These significant challenges, however, offer huge rewards, since the new system will be tough for any competitor to replicate from a standing start. ‘This is where the real competitive power lies,’ says Professor Upton.

About David Upton
David Upton is the American Standard Companies Professor of Operations Management at the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. His primary research areas are Competitive Strategy, Service and Manufacturing Improvement, Information Technology and the Social Impact of Operations. His research is based internationally, with a particular focus on India, China, South America and Europe. http://www.sbs.ox.ac.uk/research/people/Pages/DavidUpton.aspx

About Bradley R Staats
Bradley R. Staats is an assistant professor of operations, technology, and innovation management at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. His research interests cover fragmentation of work, Indian software services, knowledge work, learning, outsourcing, project management, teams, and team familiarity. http://public.kenan-flagler.unc.edu/faculty/staatsb/

About Saïd Business School
Established in 1996 the Saïd Business School is one of Europe’s youngest and most entrepreneurial business schools with a reputation for innovative business education. An integral part of Oxford University, the School embodies the academic rigour and forward thinking that has made Oxford a world leader in education and research. The School has an established reputation for research in a wide range of areas, including finance and accounting, organisational analysis, international management, strategy and operations management. The School is dedicated to developing a new generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs and conducting research not only into the nature of business, but the connections between business and the wider world. In the Financial Times European Business School ranking (Dec 2010) Saïd is ranked 11th. It is ranked number one in the UK (11th worldwide) in the FT’s combined ranking of Executive Education programmes (May 2011) and 27th in the world in the FT ranking of MBA programmes (Jan 2011). The Oxford MSc in Financial Economics is ranked 4th in the world in the 2011 FT ranking of Masters in Finance programmes (June 2011). In the UK university league tables it is ranked first of all UK universities for undergraduate business and management in The Guardian (May 2011) and has ranked first in eight of the last nine years in The Times. For more information, see www.sbs.ox.ac.uk

About Kenan-Flagler Business School
Consistently ranked one of the world’s best business schools, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School is known for experiential learning in leadership and teamwork, superior teaching, innovative research and a collaborative culture. Its commitment to developing socially responsible, results-driven leaders distinguishes its programs, which educate people at every stage of their careers. Its innovative programs prepare business leaders to manage successfully in the global business environment. UNC Kenan-Flagler offers five MBA programs: full-time residential MBA Program, Evening MBA Program for Executives, Weekend MBA Program for Executives, OneMBA® and the new, online MBA@UNC. It also offers the Master of Accounting, undergraduate BSBA, PhD and non-degree Executive Development programs. Its Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise helps business and government tackle problems with impact on society through its operations at UNC and in Bangkok.

GOOGLE is now ranked as the World’s Most Attractive Employer, says Universum global talent attraction index

…software industry highly dependent on human capital; attract, retain brightest minds in the world…

Stockholm, September 29th 2011—

Based on the preferences of over 160,000 career seekers, with a business or engineering background from the world´s 12 largest economies (based on nominal GDP), Universum releases the global talent attraction index: “The World’s Most Attractive Employers 2011”.

The index, split in the business category – preferences from business career seekers – and engineering category – preferences from engineering career seekers – reveals the current level of attractiveness that companies have as employers – and therefore their potential to lead the world of tomorrow.

On the Business index, Google repeats the win for the third consecutive year, with KPMG keeping its second place and with PwC overtaking Ernst & Young to secure a podium finish.

“The talent market for business career seekers is being dominated by the professional services firms, known for being great places to launch a career, and by companies that offer a new working culture in a dynamic environment.”

“For the last 3 years we have been seeing Google leading the pack and it will take a strong player with a clear talent strategy to steal this number one spot”, says Lovisa Öhnell, head of Research and Consulting at Universum.

On the Engineering index, again Google finds the way to the top spot for the third consecutive year, but now with IBM in the second position, relegating Microsoft to the 3rd spot on what seems to be a very strong competition for talent in the software industry – a battle that is being won by American companies.

“The software industry is highly dependent on its human capital, hence the efforts to attract and retain the brightest minds in the world. There’s a new working-culture paradigm today – the relaxed & creative office – and part of it we owe to this industry. Generation Y feels very comfortable working in this new environment and it’s clearly reflected in the attractiveness of the software industry.” says Carlo Duraturo, Global Account Director at Universum.

In parenthesis is the company’s position in 2010.

World’s Top 10—Business

1. Google (1)
2. KPMG (2)
3. PwC (4)
4. Ernst & Young (3)
5. Deloitte (5)
6. Microsoft (7)
7. Procter & Gamble (6)
8. J.P. Morgan (9)
9. Apple (18)
10. Goldman Sachs (10)

World’s Top 10—Engineering

1. Google (1)
2. IBM (3)
3. Microsoft (2)
4. BMW (5)
5. Intel (6)
6. Sony (4)
7. Apple (10)
8. General Electric (7)
9. Siemens (8)
10. Procter & Gamble (9)

For a full ranking list, please see below…

The index reveals some dramatic trends

1. American Multinationals have a competitive advantage

American multinationals are still dominating both rankings with 28 companies from the Business index headquartered in the US (a rise from 24 in 2010); and with 26 in the Engineering index (also a rise from 24 in 2010). Germany is the second most represented country with 6 companies in the Business index and 8 in the Engineering index. The podium in the Business index is completed by The Netherlands and Switzerland with 3 companies each and by The Netherlands with 3 in the Engineering index.

“The power of the German, Swiss and Dutch industry is visible not only by the global market share that they have conquered but also in the high-quality talent they are able to attract. In fact, I dare to say that the German, Dutch and Swiss competitiveness are a combination of great talent, strong management and the focus on quality. Interesting to see that companies from both Switzerland and the Netherlands are represented despite the fact that these two markets are not part of the world’s 12 largest economies – a sign that it doesn’t require big domestic markets to create global companies”, says Nelly Riggenbach-Hasler, Universum’s Director for Europe

2. Financial organizations are on the rise in the Engineering index while IT gains ground in the Business

Financial organizations such as J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are becoming more attractive to engineering career seekers while traditional IT companies such as Apple, Intel and IBM gain talent share in the business ranking.

“This new trend reveals that the war for talent is now conducted in a broader scale and companies are tapping into talent pools that they have not considered before. This is also a result of the increased complexity of companies, with finance companies basing their activity in robust computer systems and big technological companies needing more and more to find good marketing and sales people to gain market share.”, says Claes Peyron, Universum´s Director for Northern Europe.

3. Financial organizations are losing attractiveness amongst business career seekers Apart from J.P Morgan that still manages to attract more talent in 2011, other financial organizations are underperforming in what could be considered their niche market. UBS falls 5 places, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse lose 2 positions. Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank take a smaller hit and climb down 1 place. Goldman Sachs and Citi manage to keep last year’s position.

4. Automotive rises in the Engineering index After some troubled years when it comes to financial performance, the automotive industry is gaining attraction amongst engineering career seekers with BMW, Volkswagen, Ford Motor Company, Toyota and General Motors securing places in the top 20. Daimler has performed outstandingly, climbing up the ladder an amazing 32 places compared to last year.

5. The World of work/life balance and the “Me” brand

For career seekers in both Business and Engineering the most attractive attribute a company can offer is work/life balance. “There’s a generational gap – while Baby boomers and the generation X were highly focused on working hard to achieve materials gains, generation Y is looking for a more balanced life while still wanting to achieve these gains. They seem to be aspiring for what their parents missed” says Cecilia Dahlström, Global Marketing Director at Universum.

Engineering career seekers are also looking for companies that offer a creative and dynamic work environment and, a sign of turbulent economic times, a secure employment. Business career seekers are looking for professional training and development and good prospects for high future earnings, “a clear sign of the ‘Me’ brand – career seekers want to develop themselves in a way that every day is another step in increasing their employability and prospects for a better and balanced career”, adds Ms. Dahlström.

“In a world where top performing employees are becoming a scarce commodity, finding the right people is critical for business success. At a time when low birth and death rates are significantly shifting world demographics, the dilemmas of the 21st century are not only ‘Who will make up the workforce?’, yet more importantly ‘Who will own it?- Multinational corporations are increasingly aware of the current and future challenges of a shrinking workforce. To counter problems in securing their talent pipeline requires a talent attraction and employer branding strategy”, advised Petter Nylander, Universum’s CEO.

World’s Top 50—Business

1. Google (1)
2. KPMG (2)
3. PwC (4)
4. Ernst & Young (3)
5. Deloitte (5)
6. Microsoft (7)
7. Procter & Gamble (6)
8. J.P. Morgan (9)
9. Apple (18)
10. Goldman Sachs (10)
11. Sony (13)
12. The Coca-Cola Company (8)
13. L’Oréal (11)
14. BMW (12)
15. Johnson & Johnson (14)
16. IBM (19)
17. McKinsey & Company (16)
18. Morgan Stanley (17)
19. Nestlé (21)
20. IKEA (23)
21. Deutsche Bank (20)
22. The Boston Consulting Group (15)
23. adidas (24)
24. Bank of America / Merrill Lynch (22)
25. Unilever (26)
26. General Electric (27)
27. LVMH (incl. Louis Vuitton, Moët Hennessy, Dior, Sephora) (39)
28. Accenture (25)
29. Citi (29)
30. PepsiCo (28)
31. Kraft Foods (32)
32. Bain & Company (33)
33. Credit Suisse (31)
34. Hewlett-Packard (37)
35. UBS (30)
36. American Express (35)
37. Volkswagen (38)
38. Intel (44)
39. Siemens (new)
40. Heineken (34)
41. 3M (new)
42. Toyota (41)
43. Nokia (42)
44. Shell (40)
45. Esso / ExxonMobil (43)
46. Dell (45)
47. Ford Motor Company (47)
48. Pfizer (46)
49. Cisco (48)
50. Daimler (new)

World’s Top 50—Engineering
1. Google (1)
2. IBM (3)
3. Microsoft (2)
4. BMW (5)
5. Intel (6)
6. Sony (4)
7. Apple (10)
8. General Electric (7)
9. Siemens (8)
10. Procter & Gamble (9)
11. Johnson & Johnson (12)
12. Hewlett-Packard (13)
13. Cisco (11)
14. Volkswagen (17)
15. The Coca-Cola Company (15)
16. Shell (14)
17. Ford Motor Company (20)
18. Toyota (18)
19. Esso / ExxonMobil (16)
20. General Motors (23)
21. Accenture (24)
22. L’Oréal (29)
23. McKinsey & Company (26)
24. Oracle (31)
25. Nokia (27)
26. 3M (21)
27. Nestlé (19)
28. BP (28)
29. Schlumberger (30)
30. Goldman Sachs (34)
31. Dell (22)
32. Daimler (new)
33. IKEA (35)
34. Philips (25)
35. Bayer (39)
36. J.P. Morgan (41)
37. Pfizer (32)
38. Deloitte (40)
39. Bosch (33)
40. Kraft Foods (38)
41. Unilever (42)
42. The Boston Consulting Group (36)
43. adidas (43)
44. Lenovo (44)
45. BASF (45)
46. Morgan Stanley (50)
47. PepsiCo (new)
48. Ericsson (new)
49. ABB (new)
50. Heineken (48)

About Universum

Universum is an international company which specializes in the field of employer branding. Founded in 1988, its goal was to improve communication between students and the employers who want to recruit them. Today, Universum’s mission is to help employers excel in recruitment and retention by ensuring improvements to their employer brand. Universum delivers a full range of services in research, strategic consulting and communication solutions that enable employers to better understand, attract and retain current and future ideal employees. Universum is a trusted partner to 1,200 clients, including many Fortune 500 companies, and co-operates with 1,500 universities worldwide to conduct research on the career and employer preferences of top talent. Last year, Universum surveyed over 450,000 students and professionals worldwide. For more information, go to www.universumglobal.com