Yearly Archives:2012

Your 2012 Workplace Holiday Survival Guide

Work holiday partyImagine an exciting holiday party in a locale off the beaten path. You’re enjoying the festivities with your coworkers, including a live band playing holiday music and a team of dancers teaching everyone the Macarena, when suddenly one of your coworkers catches your eye. A typically quiet kind of guy, he is quiet no longer. This coworker tears off his shirt, jumps onto the stage, and hijacks the festivities with his own…unique…take. Although not what you expected, it certainly became a holiday party to remember!

Have you ever been in this situation? Or something like it? It’s a safe bet that many of us have been to a holiday party where one or two coworkers may be enjoying the party a bit…more…than others.

The holidays can be a busy, stressful time in our personal lives while we shop for gifts and get ready for the deluge of holiday parties and family, but they don’t have to be stressful in the workplace. With that in mind, I present you with the MAKE 2012 Workplace Holiday Survival Guide—a post dedicated to helping you maximize this time of year and enjoy the festivities that come with it.

Holiday Parties

Tips for Employers
Holiday parties can be a great opportunity to enjoy yourself a bit. Here are a few tips for employers:

  • Parties are a nice treat for your employees, and don’t make a huge dent in your costs. Consider closing your office early the day of yours so they can get ready and have enough time to get there.
  • Also, consider holding your holiday party on a weeknight. Knowing that they have to get up for work in the morning will help keep employees from enjoying themselves too much.
  • Another tip to help keep people from going a little overboard on the alcohol involves timing of the open bar, if you provide one. If your party starts early, say around 3 or 4pm, close the bar by 7 or 8pm so that they have enough time to clear their heads before the party ends.
  • Depending on the size of your business, consider using assigned seats for your team at the party. It can be a great way to get people who don’t normally interact to learn more about each other. It can also prevent workplace cliques from isolating themselves from other employees.

Tips for Employees
Okay, employees at all levels of the organization, here are some behavior tips to help make your holiday party enjoyable for everyone:

  • Have a great time—a light, joking atmosphere is important at holiday parties. Feel free to let your guard down a bit, but keep in mind that you are still at a workplace function. Conduct yourself accordingly (remember, you’re not with your college buddies—these are still your coworkers!).
  • Remember, what happens at the holiday party doesn’t always stay at the holiday party! One bad move could end up being water cooler fodder for months (or longer), so keep your head on straight and remember that your actions at the holiday party may have ramifications down the road.
  • Mingle with people you may not normally work with, and use this to your advantage! Most people are relaxed at holiday parties, so take the opportunity to talk to people you don’t ordinarily see every day. Members of the leadership team are of particular interest here—a quick conversation about your goals and successes with your boss’ boss could mean you are top of mind when the next promotion comes up!

Holiday Gifts

Every office is different when it comes to holiday gifts, but these tips can help you navigate the sometimes murky gift-giving waters:

  • If you’re new to your current employer, ask around to see what everyone does for holiday gifts. Small offices may do a gift exchange or they may give small gifts to everyone.
  • For employers, try to keep gift exchanges within reason, understanding that certain spending limits can apply to people.
  • Consider offering a “white elephant” gift, something kooky from your home (or that you’ve found elsewhere) that could make a funny gag gift for one of your coworkers. The expressions when people open some of these gifts can be incredibly funny, and it’s a great stress-buster.

The holidays don’t have to be a stressful time in your office. Hopefully these tips will help you navigate the season with ease. Do you have any interesting workplace holiday stories to share? We’d love to hear about them—let us know in the comments section below.

Is a Remote Workforce Right for Your Business? Part 2: MAKE’s Internal Case Study

In my blog last month, I talked about how remote workers can be more productive than their counterparts. While I think it’s helpful to look at the range of tools and benefits of having remote workers, I also thought it would be beneficial to report on a real-world remote worker’s experience, right here at MAKE!

Desk of a remote workerHere at MAKE we have several, successful remote employees, and Elizabeth (Liz) Hesse is the most recent addition to our remote workforce. As a customer service representative to our clients and consultants in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, Liz is a vital part of our team. She is also located nearly 1,000 miles away from our offices in Oakbrook Terrace, IL. As a company, we were seeking a more regional footprint in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, but wanted someone who understood MAKE’s culture and values. That’s when I thought of Liz.

The business’ perspective on remote workers

There were some very specific reasons why I knew Liz would be the perfect person for this new opportunity:

  • Understands our culture. Liz had been a valued member of the team in our headquarters for two years before I approached her about relocating to Dallas and working remotely. I knew Liz understood and valued MAKE’s approach because she lived it every day for two years, I was confident she could translate that experience to our clients and consultants in Dallas.
  • Values the contributions of her colleagues. Although working remotely can seem very solitary, Liz would be working hand-in-hand with other members of our team each day—just not face-to-face. It was important for Liz to understand the unique contributions of each member of our team, and also to understand how she could rely on them once she made her journey south.
  • Has the discipline to remain successful. I witnessed Liz’s success as a MAKE employee long before the decision to relocate. She managed her time well and accomplished the tasks that were on her plate. I was extremely confident that she had the discipline necessary to thrive in a remote environment.

The remote worker’s perspective

Understanding the decision from a business standpoint is important, but to take an honest look at our remote workforce situation, I reached out to Liz directly for some candid feedback on her transition to become a remote employee. Now that she’s in the second month of her remote transition, here are some of her early observations:

  • There are fewer distractions. No matter how efficient your business is run, an office environment is filled with distractions. Liz mentioned that she sometimes felt behind “all the time” (which surprised me, since her work had always been stellar!). Liz added that by working remotely, she can now more easily partition her time to get things done.
  • Sometimes misses the camaraderie of working in an office. Liz regularly chats with her MAKE coworkers on the phone and via emails, but sometimes misses the social aspect of working in an office (like going out to lunch or catching up around the coffee maker). However, she quickly realized that she could overcome this through regular lunches with consultants—also creating an opportunity to bring a critical part of our culture to our valued team members out in Dallas.
  • Likes how much the team communicates. I like that Liz brought this up, as it is my #1 tip to businesses that are considering adding a remote worker (or two…or more). Communicate, communicate, communicate. Liz mentioned how she appreciates being a part of our weekly Tuesday meetings. During these meetings, the entire MAKE office catches up on clients and other news. Liz doesn’t feel like she’s missing out, and we ensure that she, a valued member of our team, is up to date. We also share frequent emails throughout the day, and Liz sends an end-of-week report to her direct boss, along with regular phone calls to review and ensure there aren’t any problems or questions that need to be addressed.

I hope that this inside look from our perspective as the business, as well as Liz’s as the remote worker, helps you make the right decisions for your business and your workforce. Determine what is important to your organization before determining if and who would be a viable remote worker. Know the peaks and valleys remote workers can face, and make sure they have the support to overcome them.

Of course, every business and situation is unique—do you have a remote worker story of your own? I’d love to hear about what worked (and maybe what didn’t) for your company. Feel free to share them in the comments section below!

Is a Remote Workforce Right for Your Business? Part 1: Productivity

As the lines between the office and home continue to be blurred with the now common practice of BYOD (bring your own device) and other technological advancements, the instance of remote or mobile workers is increasing drastically, regardless of the size of the organization.Remote Workforce

To help you decide whether having a remote workforce is a good fit for your business, we’re taking a closer look at some of the benefits and challenges. This month, we’re focusing on workers’ productivity.

Are remote workers more productive?

Research shows that mobile workers, to put it simply, work more than their office-bound counterparts, but are they more productive? Well, let’s break it down, here are some of the benefits offered by having a mobile workforce:

  • Flexibility to work when most productive. Being a morning person or a night owl can affect not only an employee’s spare time, but dramatically impact their work time. Mobile workers with the flexibility to work when they want can be more productive, simply because they can choose what hours to work. Understanding their own tendencies and preferences means that mobile workers can be considerably more productive at times that work best for their preferences and schedules.
  • Shorter commutes mean more time working. It’s a simple reality, but one that is striking. For many employees, the morning and evening commutes can add an hour, two, or more to their workday. Mobile workers can start the day immediately, and often do so—resulting in more productivity, which benefits your business.
  • Less time wasted. A trip to the break room for coffee or the water cooler for some water can seem innocent enough, but both often result in friendly conversations and greetings with a range of coworkers. And guess what—that time adds up, fast. When workplace distractions like gabby coworkers and a long trek to the break room are removed, you end up with more focused workers. Similarly, how many meetings trail off into unproductive topics and run way over the time allotted while accomplishing less? Meetings held using Skype, AIM or even just over the phone are far less likely to stray off course, and are in general, more productive. Yes, home offices can provide their own set of distractions (laundry, unloading dishwasher, etc.); however, when your organization is flexible and offers mobile work opportunities to employees in the right positions and circumstances, you are often able to minimize or eradicate some of these work-from-home challenges.

In my opinion, the benefits outweigh the challenges; however, there are some common challenges that may creep up with remote work situations. Here are a couple:

  • Lack of personal interaction. For some, the lack of one-on-one face time can strain or otherwise negatively impact relationships. Simple things like asking co-workers how their weekend was or talking about last night’s game can cause a lack of camaraderie within a team. Using some great, often times free tools can help allay that fear (as we’ll dig into below).
  • Insufficient project updates. When a worker is not a few cubicles down, it may be harder to get needed project updates or questions answered. Having weekly calls to touch base, frequent emails, instant message or video chat updates will help your team communicate openly to ensure everyone knows the status of projects.

Productivity tips for remote workers

Of course productivity will change greatly depending on the individual. But now any mobile worker can maximize their productivity with the help of a range of apps and services designed to help the remote workplace run more smoothly. Additionally, there is an array of tools you and your remote workforce can use to stay connected, including:

  • Skype. Now commonly used by many, Skype is a free download for PCs and Macs, plus Android, Windows and iOS devices. It will instantly connect you to your employees for free. Share screens, see each others’ faces with video calls, or simply chat via text—you can do it all with Skype.
  • Dropbox or Google Drive. Share documents and files with your team safely and easily with tools like Dropbox or Google Drive. Give access to multiple users and define separate permissions for individuals or groups. These tools give you the ultimate flexibility and security you need when it comes to document and file sharing.
  • iMessage/AIM. Many tasks don’t need a phone call or an in-person talk. Sometimes you simply need a quick answer to a question, or you’d like to just share a link or file quickly. Popular messaging tools like iMessage (on Mac OSX Mountain Lion and iOS devices) or AIM (available for Windows, Macs and smartphone devices) give you the flexibility to quickly text chat with a coworker.

The best part about these tools? They are all free (at least in their basic settings—more storage or robust services can be purchased).

Clearly, each organization and employee has their unique strengths, weaknesses and situations, but offering some of your workforce remote options, may be the right choice for your organization to gain productivity.

Is your business using remote workers? What have been your organization’s benefits or challenges? Have you seen an increase in productivity from your remote workforce? Feel free to share your story in the comments box below!

And check back soon for part 2 of our blog series on the remote workforce, we’ll talk about additional benefits of having remote workers, such as being able to hire the best staff no matter where they live and money saving benefits for your team. Plus, we’ll take a look at a real-world remote worker case study—with MAKE’s own Elizabeth Hesse!

Using LinkedIn? Okay, But Are You Using It Correctly?

If you’re looking for your next job opportunity, LinkedIn is a great resource. Searches for job openings have increased dramatically on the site within the past few years, as it has become a standard practice for recruiters and HR managers to use the tool to find great talent. But are you ready to be “found?” Simply having a profile isn’t enough. To put it bluntly, an incomplete profile can hurt you. So let’s make sure your profile doesn’t fall into that “incomplete” category!

Using LinkedIn CorrectlyYou might be wondering what, if any, impact your LinkedIn profile can have on your job prospects and career. I can confidently state that it can have a large impact! Recently, I met with a young IT professional who had very little on-the-job experience, but was still a good match for the client. I submitted him for a position where he was competing with 30 other candidates (many of whom had more experience) for consideration.

I sent his LinkedIn profile to the employer with a note about his highly recommended status. This young professional had a great, professional photo, several recommendations and a well thought out and put together profile. He was chosen for the job, and I have no doubt that his LinkedIn profile helped him stand out from the other 30 candidates. His profile magnified his skills and accomplishments, presenting him to the employer in the best possible light.

With LinkedIn, it’s really important to get the basics right before you begin digging deeper into the site. I personally use LinkedIn regularly—for networking with colleagues and clients, as well as connecting with former classmates and peers. It’s a great tool that adds significant value to my career, but before I got serious about using LinkedIn, I ironed out the basics. Here’s a rundown to get your LinkedIn profile going:

  1. Complete your profile entirely. Have you ever logged into LinkedIn only to see that little bar telling you that your profile is “[Insert number] complete?” It can be kind of tedious to add a ton of information, but it’s really important, so take the time to do it right. Plus, when you log in and finally see that “100% Complete” bar, you’ll feel a nice sense of accomplishment.
  2. Look good, in your profile picture. You do have a profile picture, right? To make a “connection” with people on LinkedIn, a professional photograph is important. Avoid family pictures or posting a fun picture of your latest vacation—that’s for Facebook, not LinkedIn. Instead, choose one that’s cropped well and portrays you in a personable, professional manner. Having the right LinkedIn profile photo will help recruiters get a feeling for you as a person—and hopefully as an employee.
  3. Optimize your profile. It’ll help recruiters and HR managers find you, and it’ll also be more pleasant for people who are checking out your profile (that’s your goal, isn’t it?). Use bullet points in your job descriptions to organize your accomplishments and format the information so it’s easy to read. Be sure to use a vanity profile URL instead of the generic numbers-based that LinkedIn assigns you, and share relevant content with your connections regularly. More tips for optimizing your profile can be found here.
  4. Keywords are your friend. Your LinkedIn profile is more than a resume you submit to potential employers. It’s a tool recruiters will use to find you. So, make it easy for them to find you! Complete the skills and specialties areas on your profile with industry-relevant keywords. Be sure all your job titles and education are filled in appropriately. At a bare minimum, add several keywords to each section. You’ll be competing against people with multiple bullet points, skills and connections. Don’t start out at a disadvantage by not fully utilizing what your profile has to offer. In particular, pay attention to the “summary” and “specialties” sections, which have ample opportunity for keyword optimization. This resource will also provide you with more LinkedIn keyword tips.
  5. Start “connecting.” Without connections, your LinkedIn profile won’t be working nearly as hard as it should be. Reach out to school alumni, coworkers and former coworkers, clients and other educational and professional contacts. Most importantly, be sure to connect with recruiters. Remember, when you connect with someone on LinkedIn, you’re also connecting with their entire network. When someone searches for specific keywords (your profile should now be keyword-optimized), people in their network will show up first. So, start “connecting,” and start getting yourself to the top of those search results. Use connections wisely when preparing for interviews as well. Research companies and their employees before an interview to see if you have any connections in the hiring manager’s network. If you do, use that connection (that’s what LinkedIn is all about!). As this article from Forbes shares, avoid bombarding a connection with your resume, but instead compliment her and her company, and ask if she’d be willing to answer some questions about her job and company. Building some rapport with connections will help them become your ally when applying for jobs.

Now that your LinkedIn profile is setup and optimized, you can take your presence on the site to the next level. Here are some tips for using LinkedIn more effectively:

  • Get active in groups. LinkedIn groups can be pretty intimidating, right? You’re in a virtual room of strangers, trying to stand out and make an impression. Joining and being active in groups that are relevant to your area of specialty (as well as any alumni or area-specific groups) can be a significant boost to your online presence and reputation. I know it can be intimidating to jump in and start posting in a group, but it’s critical to promoting yourself. Put in your two cents—don’t be nervous! Whether you start out with a short comment on someone else’s post, or you start your own discussion, you’ll be building relationships and making meaningful contributions. Also, be on the lookout: in specialty-specific groups, members may post job openings before they’re open to the general public!
  • Find opportunities for recommendations. LinkedIn recommendations are a virtual stamp of approval from former bosses, clients or coworkers. Plus, many recruiters will use these as a written reference. They can even be used in lieu of a reference check. Many recruiters will forward your LinkedIn recommendations (or a link to your profile) directly to a prospective employer as a way of showing off your great skills! A quick note to a former boss or coworker is a great way to get the ball rolling on recommendations. Don’t be shy, get out there and ask. These tips can help you ask for recommendations in an appropriate manner.

Finally, focus on the interview. Setting up a professional, complete LinkedIn profile is critical to your job search success. But, once it has been set up, be sure to focus on your interviews. Don’t be distracted by trying to connect with people at your prospective employers. If you receive a request to connect with hiring managers, you can certainly accept. But don’t bombard prospective employers with requests when you should be focusing on the interview process. Then after you get and complete your interview, make sure you follow up the right way.

So there you have it, steps you can use to get started on LinkedIn, plus some tips to help you get the most out of the site. Are you ready to get started?

Do you have a LinkedIn success story? Share it with us in the comments below—we’d love to hear them!

Don’t Be A Pest – How to Follow Up After A Job Interview

You’ve polished your resume, crafted a superior cover letter and prepared for the job interview. Now what? Following up with the interviewer can be an effective way to stay top of mind and solidify your position as a top candidate. However, following up inappropriately can hurt your chances of landing the job.

As the quality manager and senior recruiter here at MAKE, I work with our recruiting team to ensure they have the information they need to match the right people to the right positions. My role is also dedicated to providing better service to our internal employees, candidates and clients. I’ve been a part of the MAKE team for over seven years, and have 16 years of industry experience. I’ve met with hundreds of candidates and seen my share of effective and not-so-effective follow-ups.Executive writing

Following up appropriately is key
There is a wide range of advice available for following up after a job interview, but here I’d like to focus on the primary form of post-interview follow-up: thank you emails. While hand-written notes have been suggested in the past, today’s busy professionals vastly prefer emails. Crafting an effective thank you email can set you apart from other candidates and help you land your next permanent or contract position. These 5 tips can help you use them more effectively:

  • Send it quickly. Don’t wait to send your thank you email; aim to have it in the prospective employer’s inbox within 24 hours of your interview. If you wait any longer, you could risk missing the decision-making window. The goal is to follow up and solidify a positive impression before any type of discussion or decision is made.
  • Don’t just say “Thanks.” Take the time to really write your email. Don’t go overboard (especially since interviewers and hiring managers are often bombarded with emails), but take an extra one or two sentences to mention key points from your interview, show how you address their specific need and remind them of why you’re a fit. The thank you message is literally your last chance to sell yourself—take advantage of that opportunity!
  • Write it well. I cannot stress this enough: please take the time to craft a well written thank you message. You could be the brightest IT professional out there, but if you send a poorly written email it will effectively end your chances of landing that job. Misspellings, choppy sentences or sending a template email are key mistakes I have seen. Try asking a friend to read through the content first or read it out loud to ensure it sounds good before you hit ‘send’. And don’t forget to spell-check. It can make a big difference!
  • Only send one. We call it an interview follow-up, not follow-ups. Send one email and sit back. Any more than one and you are officially being a pest. It may sound harsh, but you only have one chance to make an impression on an interviewer—make it count. Remember, your prospective employer wants to hire someone as much as you want the job. If you bombard them with multiple messages (notes, calls and emails all count here), you will make a lasting impression—but not the kind you want to make. Craft a well-written note, send it and then move forward on other opportunities. Hopefully, you’ll get the call with an offer! But, you can rest in knowing you’ve done all you can do to highlight yourself for the position.
  • Go directly to the source. Unless your recruiter or consulting firm requires it, send your thank you message directly to the prospective employer and not to your recruiter. Sending it directly to the employer ensures they receive it in a timely manner and that it does not get lost in the shuffle of paperwork.

We take great pride here at MAKE in matching you with the right opportunities to meet your goals. If you’re looking for your next contract or permanent IT job, our job board hosts all our current opportunities.

A State of the Industry: VMS Professionals Conference Recap

When we launched our blog last month, I shared with you some details from the upcoming VMS Professionals conference. Held on Thursday, May 31 and Friday, June 1, the 8th annual conference offered a great opportunity to meet with industry leaders, learn about the issues and challenges facing our businesses and talk about news and trends that affect us all. Workforce

A full agenda from the conference is available here, but for those who could not attend, I wanted to share some of my key takeaways from this year’s event:

  1. Management of contingent labor is more important than ever. Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) recently reported that more than $1.8 trillion is spent globally on contingent labor. That number has seen tremendous increase in recent years, and the trend is expected to continue in the upcoming years. This growth demonstrates a profound expansion in complexities of global, multi-disciplined labor categories—and it means that managers of contingent labor are more critical to their organizations than ever.
  2. Legislative trends are making a big impact. In our most recent blog post, I talked about the TechServe lobby day and issues facing our industry. We were very pleased to have George Reardon, Special Counsel at Littler speak to attendees about penalties and impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) healthcare reform law on contingent workforce. He shared important data that explained how the reform specifically impacts contingent labor and the companies that use it. Mark Roberts, CEO of TechServe Alliance also presented on legislative activities and the importance of maintaining workforce flexibility and access to talent. It is important for us all to remain knowledgeable and get involved and it is great to have associations like TechServe Alliance working on our behalf!
  3. The role of contractors in your organization is evolving. Rebecca Pratt Bromet, Partner at Seyfarth Shaw Attorneys spoke to attendees about employment law concerns for employers using contingent labor. Partnering with knowledgeable contingent labor suppliers to ensure access to talent plus compliance with the law is critical. But also, as contingent labor becomes a stronger driving force within organizations (as noted in SIA’s $1.8 trillion spending), contractors are being viewed as much more than temporary labor. They are increasingly seen and valued as meaningful contributors to permanent teams, and an important part of businesses across the globe.

Let me extend my warm thanks to our presenters, exhibitors and attendees at this year’s conference. The conversations provided excellent insights and tools to help our businesses more effectively manage contingent labor.

MAKE-ing a Difference – TechServe Lobby Day 2012

Recently, I had the unique pleasure of attending my 8th TechServe Alliance Lobby Day. Held May 16 through 18 in Washington, D.C., the legislative conference offered a unique opportunity to meet one-on-one with Senate and House representatives to talk about the issues and challenges facing the IT and staffing industries.

As CEO of MAKE, I take great pride in representing our organization and our industry, discussing matters of importance and becoming involved in driving legislation. As a citizen of the United States and a business owner, I couldn’t help but draw the following benefits from the conference:

  • The opportunity to educate. Lobbying offers a unique opportunity—the opportunity to educate representatives about the challenges and issues facing our industry. With the barrage of issues and information thrown at our nation’s leaders, Lobby Day presents the chance to truly educate these representatives not only on the “what,” but the “why,” “how” and “who.”
  • The opportunity to make a real impact. Interacting with our representatives and learning about the inner workings of our government was incredibly enlightening and empowering to me as both a business owner and a citizen of the United States. Actually being on Capitol Hill and discussing issues that affect both me and my business is incredibly profound, and makes me extremely proud to be an American.
  • The opportunity to build real relationships. As I mentioned previously, this was my 8th TechServe Alliance Lobby Day. Over the years, I’ve met with many representatives to discuss issues of importance, and I am proud to say that I have been recognized as a returning representative for our industry. The ability to build rapport and long-term relationships with our elected officials is an amazing opportunity, thanks to the TechServe Alliance.

I’d like to give a special thanks to some of the representatives who gave me an extended opportunity to meet and talk with them about pressing issues for the staffing and IT industries. In particular, Senator Chuck Grassley (IA), Representative Joe Walsh (IL) and Representative Peter Roskam (IL). During the conference, I met with each of these elected officials to discuss multiple laws and initiatives, including:

  • Clarification of the Computer Professional Exemption. While our nation’s government works swiftly to change law to accommodate advancements, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has not kept pace with changes in the IT industry. Antiquated language written before the advent of the Internet is affecting the rights of many IT professionals. It simply has not kept pace with the constantly changing needs of this industry. Other industry representatives and I fully discussed the necessity for change in this critical area.
  • Increased Educational and Training Opportunities in IT for U.S. Workers. Nationally, we are facing a shortage of highly skilled IT professionals. TechServe Alliance supports public policy initiatives that seek to increase the availability and attractiveness of education and training for U.S. professionals in high-tech fields. In particular, the STEM Coalition (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education Coalition) has been striving to increase high-level tech training and opportunities in our nation.

What are the issues at the top of your list? We’d love to hear your opinions or input on challenges facing IT professionals today. Let us know in our comments section!

Welcome to MAKE’s Take – Gearing Up For The VMS Professionals Conference

As we continued to look for additional ways to engage with our valued candidates and clients, we knew it was time to “get social.” The cornerstone of our new social effort, our blog MAKE’s Take will be used to share our expertise with you through career tips, IT news and other useful information.

We will be updating this blog frequently, so please check back often! Plus, don’t forget that our blog is just the beginning. Be sure to “like” or “follow” us on our new Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter pages. We look forward to connecting with you there!

The MAKE Difference
Here at MAKE, we take pride in our extensive experience and knowledge in IT staffing and recruiting. We are dedicated to the growth and development of the IT services industry through involvement with organizations such as TechServe Alliance, Staffing Industry Analysts, and VMS Professionals. In fact, I am the proud co-founder of VMS Professionals, a national association of end-user companies that network to discuss best practices in the acquisition and management of contingent labor. We are deeply committed to giving back to the community—a belief that permeates our entire team from top to bottom and we hope that some of our activities will inspire you to MAKE a difference in your community!

VMS Professionals 8th Annual Conference
Hiring and managing your employees through VMS can have a dramatic impact on your business, its goals and ultimately, your bottom line. As we strive to refine and expand VMS best practices, we are pleased to exhibit at this year’s conference. Stop by our table to learn more about MAKE’s services!

The VMS Professionals 8th Annual Conference will be held in the Hamburger University at McDonald’s Corporation in Oak Brook, IL on Thursday, May 31 and Friday, June 1. This year’s theme is “VMS – Evolution or Revolution? Is your Contingent Workforce Program Gaining Ground or Continuing to Fight Battles?”

During this two-day event, industry leaders will be presenting on a range of topics that affect organizations across locations, industries and markets. Our keynote speakers will be addressing critical issues in managing the workforce, including:


  • George Reardon, HR legal consultant to a variety of business organizations, will speak about “Healthcare Reform and Its Impact on Contingent Workers.”
  • Mark Roberts, TechServe Alliance CEO, will present on “Key Legislative & Regulatory Developments Impacting Both the Client and Vendor Communities.”


  • Rebecca Bromet, labor attorney with Seyfarth Shaw will present on “Employment Law Concerns for Employers with Contingent Workers.”

In addition to our keynote speakers, both days will also feature discussion panels and information sessions about other topics facing employers and the contingent workforce. We are excited about our lineup of speakers and panels, and look forward to another lively, engaging conference.

Registration for the 8th Annual VMS Professionals Conference is open until Friday, May 25. Register now through the VMS Professionals website, or feel free to contact me with any questions. We hope to see you there!

And stay tuned to MAKE’s Take. Our entire team is excited to share knowledge and expertise with you, and we welcome your feedback! If there are topics you’d like us to discuss here on the blog, please feel free to share them with us in the comments section below.