April 3, 2023
Hello and happy April!
While we’re at it, happy Passover on the 5th; happy Easter on the 10th; and happy Eid al-Fitr celebrating the end of Ramadan on the 21st.
We’ve got so much great content to share this month, let’s jump right into it!
Recruiting Team Updates
Our recruiting team was extremely busy in the first quarter of the year consulting with our clients and filling crucial roles. Here’s a highlight reel of some of the hires we helped facilitate for our clients in Q1.
Career Exploration Day at YHS
Last week, I joined some of the KMA recruiting team at Yarmouth High School for their Career Exploration Program – the first time they’ve been able to deliver the program since before the Covid pandemic. I addressed the senior class and shared a little about my own career journey. I remember so well being in their shoes, not knowing what I wanted to pursue as a profession, or even as a major in college, and can really empathize with the pressure these soon to be grads are under.
Gina Hayes, Holly Lancaster and Chelsea Livingston offered workshops on Resume Guidance, Interviewing Skills, and Cover Letters and Professional Communication. It was a great day, and we truly enjoyed our time with the very impressive YHS class of 2023 as they prepare to transition out of high school.
The Stakeholder Series
Our Stakeholder series continues to grow, and we have three great interviews on leadership and life you’re going to want to check out.
First up is Bob Neveu, who insists that if you want to run a business you need to be all-in, otherwise you’re all out. Bob shares some thoughts on his career arc, from lifeguard with zinc oxide slathered on his nose, to the tech entrepreneur and investor he is today. Learn more about Bob here.
We also spoke with Adriana Dawson, Director of Community Engagement at Verizon, and learned about Adriana’s leadership style, how her career trajectory has not always been linear, the importance of staying curious, and her strategies for turning all the naysayers into yay-sayers. You can catch the whole conversation here.
And we sat down with longtime friend of KMA Phil Harriman. Phil’s career has spanned more than 40 years and includes serving as a Maine State Senator as well as founder and partner at Lebel & Harriman. Phil shared his client service philosophy of high touch alongside high tech, how he learned to drive stress out of his life, and why you need to have the right fly – and understand the environment – to catch the fish. Read our conversation with Phil here.
We are excited to continue building this anthology of insightful interviews with people we think you’ll love going deep with. If you know someone who would be a great addition to our Stakeholder series, please reach out to me.
Are alarm bells over layoffs overplayed?
Every day we hear about more layoffs, particularly in the tech sector, which, keep in mind, represents about 10% of the labor market. Meta, Amazon, Disney, Microsoft and Salesforce are some of the big ones that have cost tens of thousands of tech workers their jobs. It’s producing anxiety for anyone in the tech space, and is fanning the flames that layoffs are coming for everyone.
While we do see some employers making the difficult business decision to downsize, the labor market picture is not all doom and gloom. Our colleague Rhoda McVeigh highlighted for our team this Littler Employer Pulse Survey Report in which 60% of participating employers said they are not planning or considering layoffs, and that 94% considered recruiting and employee retention to be a medium or high priority. It’s one survey, but there is some very interesting data here that shows a more nuanced, if not optimistic, take on workforce planning and the economy.
If you or someone you know has been let go, we’ve got resources for you!
This article on how to kick-start your job search after being laid off has some great tips to help motivate you as you pursue your next (and perhaps even better) opportunity.
It’s also a good idea to bookmark the KMA Job Board as we are adding new job openings all the time.
Soft Skills are Human Skills
Lorrie Ritter is pretty passionate about the value of soft skills. “They’re often considered less important than hard skills…but I would argue soft skills are even more valuable in today’s workplace.”
Check out our Q&A with Lorrie here.
As we spring into the second quarter of 2023, I hope you will think of KMA if you find you have a need for HR, recruiting or compensation guidance. Our team is ready to assist you, so please do not hesitate to reach out.
President and CEO
KMA Human Resources
Community Spotlight: The Telling Room
As part of our commitment to community, we are spotlighting The Telling Room, an organization we believe makes an important positive impact on youth in southern Maine by empowering them to share their voices and stories through writing.
Show & Tell on May 9th at the State Theatre in Portland, is The Telling Room’s annual celebration of storytelling, featuring authors and musicians from Maine and beyond as they share their stories alongside The Telling Room’s young writers.
Show & Tell 2023 will be hosted by Mo Awale, DJed by Mosart212, and feature storytelling by Weike Wang, Lynn Steger Strong, a musical guest appearance by Olas, and performances by Telling Room Students & Alumni — all produced and directed by Sean Mewshaw. All proceeds directly support The Telling Room’s array of award-winning writing and publishing programs
I hope you will consider supporting this excellent organization!
General Admission tickets can be purchased here.
Host Committee tickets can be purchased here.