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Arizona Construction Salary Survey Says… January 3, 2012

Posted by carolhagen in construction accounting software, Construction Industry - Software, linkedin, payroll.
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The Arizona Construction Salary Survey provides you with the employee compensation benchmarks for budgeting and data for best practices during your salary negotiations. The Construction Financial Management Association, Valley of the Sun Chapter is in the process of compiling the results of the December 2011 Arizona Construction Salary Survey. In this sneak peek of the talent employment development section of the survey, the social media recruiting sources while growing, are underutilized, by our survey participants.

My favorite question in the Salary Survey is “What are the primary sources your company uses to recruit new hires (check all that apply)?” While the same question was asked for Field, Office and Executive recruiting, the chart below displays the comparison of office and field recruiting sources:

Arizona Construction Salary Survey Says Social Media Recruiting Sources in Infancy

Source: AZ Construction Salary Survey - CFMA VOS - Dec 2011

The actual reported LinkedIn recruiting usage in the survey were 8.7% for the field workers, 17.4% for office personnel and 12% for management and executives. While Monster, Craigslist and Jobing.com usage were more popular, the Arizona construction industry has begun to embrace some social media. Facebook and Twitter usage were almost non-existent, used by less than 4% of participants. While serving the construction industry, it is still surprising that when it comes to technology that we continue to lag behind other industries. Compare this with statistics from the 2011 Jobvite Survey where

“89% of U.S. companies will use Social Networks for Recruiting”

and you clearly see the disparity.

LinkedIn is the business executives and professional recruitment golden roledex. If your Human Resources Department didn’t realize it, your professional recruiting firm does. As Jobvite has reported, “2/3 of Companies have Hired Successfully using Social Networks”. This is why I blog and teach contractors about LinkedIn, social tools and technology, because there’s a bottom line business value, and it’s not just in recruiting employees.

For those that participated in the Arizona Construction Salary Survey, the full results will be sent to you via email in January 2012. The 2011 Survey is available for purchase for $100 (2009 Survey is available for $50). Request your copy via Email.

If you are looking for ways to better Leverage LinkedIn or have successfully recruited field, office or management positions in the construction industry on social networks, please let us know in the comments. Lastly, please share this with your business connections so they can benefit too.

Are Your Construction Press Releases Social? December 29, 2011

Posted by carolhagen in Social Media Tools, Twitter.
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Press Release: You can embed Tweets in your Blog! Today I am using one blog post and a Tweet to entice my Construction Tech blog readers to my other blog and to Twitter. We need to be reminded that Construction Press Releases Need to be Social. That’s the premise in this week’s “Social Plus Websites for Small Business” Blog. It’s a great resource for social topics, business development, and marketing, still focused on construction. Here’s my most recent post as seen in Twitter:

Click on the link to read the article, “Construction Press Releases Need to be Social.” While you’re there, please consider subscribing to that blog too!

FYI – As my activity is more frequent on Twitter you may want to follow me @carolhagen where I’m sharing tips on Social media, smartphone apps, along with AEC and construction tech topics (just click the button above). If you don’t have a Twitter account you can still read all my Tweets aggregated by topic using this Twylah page

Perhaps you’ll use these ideas as well to share your content across the AEC industry.

May you all have a Happy and Prosperous New Year in 2012!

Has the Construction Industry Noticed This in LinkedIn Today? August 23, 2011

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, linkedin, Social Media Tools.
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Who Shared this article on LInkedIn Today about Hensel Phelps

Construction companies and the AEC industry struggle to leverage social media. They don’t understand the value that LinkedIn brings as they just see more emails notices they don’t want from overzealous salesmen. The business value is hidden in learning the obvious but overlooked features and functions. Let’s look closely at LinkedIn Today.

LinkedIn Today has a story trending about the Hensel Phelps Construction solar project and I couldn’t help but peek to see who was sharing this story. By clicking on the number in the lower right, a popup displays (shown above) of my connections up to the 3rd level sharing the story with their network. Why is this important you ask? What if this story was about your firm? If the social media maven at Hensel Phelps is paying attention there is an opportunity here that doesn’t occur when someone shares privately via email. An opportunity to make LinkedIn connections, show gratitude and strike up conversations. It’s the advantage that social media marketers have been shouting about but that your construction, engineering or architectural firm is still trying to figure out. If it catches someone’s interest and you know about it, don’t miss out on these social openings. You may find your next client!

If you found this interesting you may also like these articles:
LinkedIn Privacy
Google Loves LinkedIn

If you want to learn more about what you don’t know about LinkedIn or other social tools, I’m available for consulting, speaking engagements and strategy building.

Why Contractors and the AEC Industry Need Cupcakes June 3, 2011

Posted by carolhagen in communication, linkedin, Twitter, website tips.
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Contractors and the construction industry as a whole love celebrations. For Architects, Contractors and Engineers a cupcake reminds us of our childhood, the birthday parties you attended and the Lincoln Logs, Erector Sets, Legos and Tonka Trucks you received. For the young women of today it might be their Architech Barbie. Every time you win a bid, finish a project, have designs accepted or get plans approved you relive these moments. Whether you’re a tradesman, project manager or CEO there’s a sense of pride and accomplishment in every task performed. It’s the same feeling around the world. So why aren’t you celebrating construction milestones on social networks and your website making them social cupcakes?

Too many construction professionals are focusing on the economic woes. Stop. You know that happiness and success attract. After attending a joint networking event for the Arizona Builders Alliance(ABA), MCAA and SMPS at Audio Video Resources yesterday it was noticeable who the happy people were and just how many others were congregating around them. Lorraine at Caliente Construction was celebrating making it onto 4 short lists this week and having 2 bids awarded. Way to go! John Ulibarri had a discussion with Mark Minter on the value the ABA brings to the construction industry. Talking points with positive messages and the people around them were listening. Even my discussion with Dennis Tsonis of Lovitt and Touche had others watching us exchange contact info using the Bump app on our smartphones. That gesture of bumping is like a high five and feels like a celebration.

All this translates easily onto the internet. Just this morning at a Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce East Valley networking breakfast we had Tim Troy of TNT Shredding celebrating the arrival of his second truck – Tim tells me he’s getting it wrapped and will be posting pictures on Facebook soon. If you need paper shredded (I’ve been to many construction offices and know you need to make some room), give him a call. Desert View Aerial Photography captures construction celebrations daily. Here’s a top off shot for Haydon Building Corp with the American Flag and evergreen cheering on the last steel beam put in place. Last Steel Beam in Place at Construction project

Many social strategy sessions end up in discussions of what to blog, tweet or share on Facebook or LinkedIn about. The content should not always be about you but on people and business you know…things happening in your community that make a difference to your clients, suppliers and employees. If they elicit emotions and fond memories all the better. That’s why Cupcakes are in the title of this post!

Tell us about what you’re celebrating in the AEC industry and let’s get everyone in a great mood. Every contruction related celebration comment will be approved. Click on the comment button at the top of this post and/or share this with your friends.

CFMA Conference Winners Were the Attendees May 19, 2011

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, iPhone, linkedin, Social Media Tools, Twitter.
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The Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA) held their 2011 Annual Conference earlier this week and I must say those attending came out ahead. It’s not just the CPE credits and the speakers, but the networking that goes on that makes this such a success. Here are a few takeaways from the sessions, happenings and social events.

The Chapter Summit was great and packed tightly with discussions, feedback and education. Top challenges for chapters are how to get more butts in seats, increase participation, new member attraction and finding speakers with good topics. I’d be happy to offer my presentation to chapters across the country adding a spin into business development if you need a speaker. Sharing is a big thing in social networking so here’s access to my Leveraging LinkedIn and Social Media for CFMA chapters. I invite everyone to ask questions and/or connect with me on LinkedIn if you need a leg up on how to.

The keynote “connections” address with Marc Scharenbroich was a thunderous success in his approach to being authentic, a good listener and appreciative. His closing Boomba Hey CFMA is on YouTube or you can view it here. I’d recommend reading his book, Nice Bike to reinforce his message and his thank you extends the benefits … proceeds help military families.

For those wanting to know if there was a buzz during the conference may want to review the Twitter stream of #CFMA2011 as there were a few people chatting other than exhibitors. You do not need a Twitter account to view the activity. Just go to http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23cfma2011.

As a techie, I also thoroughly enjoyed the presentation on Smartphones and immediately implemented a mobile app for my own business…it takes up to 14 days to be added to the Android Market so I’ll update this post once it’s live. If it is well received an iPhone version will be out before the end of June. I’ll keep you posted …thank you Jim Spellos for sharing Appsbar.com as a free solution! Jim also shared info on augmented reality using the layars app and for those firms or individuals that need to read signs in Spanish you should checkout the iPhone app “Word Lens” from Questvisual.com …it will blow your mind!

I made new friends and connected with controllers, CPAs, and exhibitors from across the country. We danced, sang, shared stories, broke bread and had deep discussions. Special thanks go to Sue Marion and Amy Hanagan for making my stay fun, Diedre Aldous for our Main Street Days activities, Dina O’Rourke for keeping the CFMA engine running, John Corocoran for involving me in Chapter Summit and the exhibitors for sponsoring keynotes, meals, entertainments, etc …as catching up with friends but once a year is made sweeter by your generosity. To everyone I met “Nice Bike”.

I’ve left a few holes for those in attendance to share their experiences, education and networking stories. Feel free to share these construction education gems and also share your own by adding comments and sharing this with others.

Social Media Topics are Moving to “Social + Websites” January 25, 2011

Posted by carolhagen in iPhone, linkedin.
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Social and Website Blog Topics are Moving
To all my avid readers who come here for social media topics, I have decided to separate the construction technology topics and the pure social media tips by starting a new blog. Social + Websites will discuss social media tips, website design and how to engage your prospects and clients using social media in social networks and on your website.

You will still get great content every week on technology issues specific to the construction industry on this blog but the social media topics will mostly appear in Social + Websites. Hope you take the time to check it out and please share this with all your friends, connections and followers.

Here are the latest posts at Social + Websites that you might like:
LinkedIn Labs offers Swarm (Search) & InMaps for Visualization
Mobile Website Surfing: Will iPhone, Android or iPad Fill Your Pipeline?

Bing Loves Facebook January 3, 2011

Posted by carolhagen in Facebook.
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facebook loves bing

Bing loves Facebook more than Google these days. If you haven’t noticed, Bing displays Facebook profile pictures in their search results using Facebook’s Instant Personalization Notifications so now you can we see all your connections to the right of the regular search results. This is great if you think your friends tastes match yours but you need to think about it from your business friend’s point of view – as a tool for branding you and your comapny – construction or otherwise.

Bing will display your Facebook friends “likes” as it pertains to your search.  This is wonderful for TV Shows, restaurants, movies and music thanks to Pandora, Yelp, Rotten Tomatoes and Clicker. But there’s more to it. With Docs.com and Scribd businesses and entrepreneurs can extend their search reach and position themselves as experts with original content. What am I suggesting to the AEC industry? Architects, Engineers and Homebuilders that cater to the homeowner and are using Facebook need to get on board!

You may also want to think about whether you wish to opt out of certain applications. Here are good instructions from the Electronic Frontier Foundation on how to opt-out…yes it is one application at a time. Again Facebook makes it cumbersome to keep your privacy private.

Bing people searches will also provide recommendations for people you should friend in Facebook.  Will this increase visits to profiles? Absolutely! It will also expose you to more ads, but as a public speaker discussing social media topics I’m hoping it leads to more opportunities. 

I’d appreciate it if you “like” this on Facebook. You may be interested in reading how Google loves LinkedIn.

Facebook is Scary October 29, 2010

Posted by carolhagen in Facebook.
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Facebook is ScaryFacebook is scary to me this Halloween. Facebook has been criticized frequently on their default privacy settings, but what’s frightening is they continue to want permission to access more information. As a business owner doing business with business (B2B) I was looking for more tools to improve my Facebook search results earlier this week. Low and behold Facebook has Advanced Profile Search 2.2 (Beta). What’s scary about this application is what you have to allow access to if you want to use it. I’m glad I noticed the Birthday, Political and Religious views in the Request Permission notice. Request for Permission with Advanced Search 2.2 in Facebook

So the dilemma is do I want to test a beta version of Facebook’s Advanced Search app, that has been rated with low marks, when I must grant access to birthday, religious and political views? Perhaps I need to change the content on my political views and religion to “Not applicable” before proceeding. I noticed that more than 27,000 Facebook monthly users have jumped on and started using the beta version already.

Yesterday I met Karen Thomas, Director at Global Diversity Consulting, LLC at the American Subcontractors Association membership mixer in Phoenix. Diversity is more than skin deep and having just considering trying the Facebook’s advanced search app I just had to ask her what she thought about granting Facebook this permission. “There are two rules of thought. One, it’s Facebook’s product and we have to abide by their rules…after all it is free”. Karen continued, “Two, Granting access to the religion and political affiliations is either to increase fear or revenue. Free enterprise has no limits, we should monitor ourselves to not offend or use this information to support any bias.”

By now you no longer wonder why some businesses ban Facebook at work. By talking about this in a public setting, perhaps we can all become less fearful, or just more skeptical. What do you think? Let’s share our thoughts with the public and Facebook in the comments section. All perspectives are welcome (no expletives please).

LinkedIn and TweetDeck Together at Last December 7, 2009

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, linkedin, twitter, web 2.0.
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My workshops have been attended by construction firm execs, IT and marketing personnel, and we have spent plenty of time discussing Tweetdeck and Twitter.  LinkedIn was already being used by every student in the class.  Now we all need to take advantage of the recent upgrade to TweetDeck (v0.32.1).  TweetDeck has just added LinkedIn accounts to make it easy for you to view LinkedIn updates in your own personalized column…a one stop shop.  Here’s how to get this working.  Under your TweetDeck settings, choose accounts and add your LinkedIn info:

Once you have that done, you can add your own LinkedIn column based upon your preferences.  From TweetDeck click on the add column button and select the LinkedIn icon.  You can decide what items to include like recommendations, connections, status updates, etc.  Here are your choices so you can be a smarter, more efficient listener:

Now that you are listening, have you tried out the Twitter options on LinkedIn?  I blogged about it a few weeks back.  Read it here if you missed it.  Now have you all considered using Twitter (or some other microblogging application) for your company press releases?

Share Tweets with LinkedIn Connections (even if they don’t have Twitter) November 20, 2009

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, twitter.
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There’s a new application available in LinkedIn called Tweets. This does more than just the plain add your Twitter account and tweet at the same time you update your LinkedIn status.  It give you access to your Twitter followers and their tweets from within LinkedIn.  You can retweet and reply to your tweets too. 

But these are not the gems of the application.  What I really like is if your LinkedIn connections don’t have Twitter you can directly share the tweet message with them.  It doesn’t even have to be your own tweet.   Just click share and then pick your LinkedIn connection to compose a message.  It will default to the subject “Interesting Tweet Found in LinkedIn Tweets”  and put the tweet in the body of the message. 

Now go try it out and tell me how you like it!

Attracting Blog Subscriptions November 6, 2009

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, email, web 2.0.
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It’s a funny thing how everyone has a blog but most have a dozen subscribers if that.  In business you need to publicize your blog everywhere.  I tried promoting it via a plain hyperlink in my email signature but no one clicked on it…that is until I made it an animated subscription.  My email  signature now automatically cycles through the last five posts.  Every email recipient has the opportunity to see the topics I’ve recently discussed and decide then & there whether it interests them.  How’d I do it?  It’s easy…

  1. First Sign-up for Google Feedburner and enter your blog’s information (title, original address aemailblogsignnd new feedburner address). and save your feed details.  Don’t worry, this is free. 
  2. Click on the Publicize tab.
  3. Select the Headline Animator.
  4. Select email signature.
  5. From the dropdown, choose email signature and click next
  6. Follow the instructions in the pop-up based upon your email service.  It’s available for Mozilla Thunderbird, Microsoft Outlook Express, Outlook 2003, Yahoo Mail and has workarounds for Gmail and Apple Mail too.

There’s plenty of other great features to help you with optimization and publicizing your blog with Feedburner.  I’ll make this a series of how to’s for the next few weeks.  If the construction industry starts using collaboration 2.0 (aka social media) for marketing and communication, for sure they will want to learn all these blog tips. 

Share your success with us.  We like to hear from our readers!

Social Media Challenges in Business Similar to Early Internet Adoption October 30, 2009

Posted by carolhagen in communication, twitter, web 2.0.
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Here we are 40 years after the Internet was first used to send a message and business is repeating history with their adoption rates to new technologies. 

From a Robert Half Technology Survey and mentioned in Stowe Boyd’s blog post Enterprises Block Social Networks, 54% of US companies with over 100 employees have completely blocked sites like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.  At the same time, analysts at Gartner are telling IT managers, Loosen up on social networks, security.   These opposing views remind me of the early years of the Internet.  You could walk into a business in the early 1980’s with a dozen PCs and one of them was not connected to the network.  That lone PC was connected to the internet, but it wasn’t safe to have the entire office on-line.  The reasoning was that some hacker could break in and steal all your accounting data and the employees would spend all their time surfing the net rather than working.  

This battlecry has reared it’s head in the business world with Social Media as “someone might say something negative about us.  We don’t trust our employees to work during working hours.  Lock it down.  Turn it off!”   The control must be kept by the CIO or communications director, and our lawyer and HR department are ready to reprimand any employee that crosses the line.  Oops, only 30% of business have a social media policy.   You can get help with social media and email policy from my earlier blog post Email Records retention Can Be Tricky.

This fear of social networking will handcuff the enterprise while competitors will leapfrog ahead.  If you don’t trust your employees with some responsibility, why did you hire them?  As Paul Proctor, a VP at Gartner says, “You cannot protect yourself from everything. You must learn to balance risk and performance.”  AIIM has gathered a number of statistics from surveys and research that help to explain the current state and where we are heading.   Here’s just a snippet to share:

Over half of organizations consider Enterprise 2.0 to be “important” or “very important” to their business goals and success.  Only 25% are actually doing anything about it, but this is up from 13% in 2008.  Knowledge-sharing, collaboration and responsiveness are considered the biggest drivers.  Lack of understanding, corporate culture and cost are the biggest impediments.

Let’s look at this from the perspective of the business leader.  They hear the word social and think of twittering “I’ll meet you at the pub after work”.  The word social needs to be replaced with business  collaboration when you bring the discussion from the IT department to the Board of Directors.    The real questions that business should be focusing on are:

  • How can we harness “collaborative” networks to improve communications, knowlege sharing, marketing efforts, etc?
  • Should our deployments be internal or external? 
  • Have we developed our business strategy to include these technologies?

There are numerous business reasons to embrace Social Media including public relations, brand building, lead generation, crisis management and search engine optimization.  Now that Twitter has deals with Bing and Google, to crawl the twitterverse,  I suspect a few more firms will be appointing a “corporate twitterer”.    You want to be planning now as I read in the Social Computing Journal , Nielsen Norman Group estimates “a timeline of approximately three to five years for most organizations to successfully adopt and integrate social technologies into their intranets.”  Better shake a leg.

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