After Frustrating 3-Year Search, JVS Career Services Helps Cancer Research Institute Find ‘Perfect Match’ Within Months

Three years into her search for a Senior Staff Scientist at Wood Hudson Cancer Research Laboratory, Dr. Julia Carter, Ph.D., received a letter in the mail from JVS Career Services. That was in July 2017. She put the letter on the shelf, thinking she was already in the middle of trying to find someone qualified. In November though, Dr. Carter opened the letter, and within six months, she hired a smart, skilled, enthusiastic new scientist who began writing grants, mentoring college students, and reorganizing an underutilized lab at Wood Hudson.

“Once I talked with JVS Career Services, it was a clear path forward,” Dr. Carter said. “I had every confidence JVS Career Services could do the job, and they did.”

Wood Hudson is a not-for-profit research institute housed inside a former Catholic school building in Newport, Kentucky, a move from Covington made necessary as a result of the increased size of the institute’s research and education programs. Inside is a world-class biospecimen repository, containing more than two million tissues from 65,000 cancer patients, donated by St. Elizabeth Healthcare.

Scientists at Wood Hudson study human cancers for new methods of cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. They study the environmental causes of cancer, particularly food and drinking water chemicals; and train undergraduate STEM majors, the next generation of scientists and physicians. Its scientists use equipment and techniques on the cutting edge of cancer research nationwide.

Before turning to JVS Career Services, Dr. Carter, who is the President and Founding Trustee of Wood Hudson, posted the opening in listings through professional societies—a seemingly well-focused search that did not yield the candidates she needed.

“Being a small, independent cancer research institute in Northern Kentucky isn’t your usual niche,” she said.

It was also difficult and time-consuming for her to review candidates. The process was stressful, said Dr. Carter, and took her away from her research.

JVS Career Services took a different approach. They cast a very wide net and got a diverse group of applicants from across the country—138 applicants, in fact. JVSCS selected just nine people for Dr. Carter to interview.

“Can you imagine if I had to deal with 138 people?” she said. “They knew what we were looking for and found people that matched it. I can’t tell you how much they relieved me of the angst of interviewing people that were not qualified.”

Dr. Carter relied on JVCCS’s judgement, efficiency, and expertise to narrow the candidate pool. To further narrow the list, JVS Career Services suggested asking candidates to write a one-page proposal of what they would do if they were hired.

“That separated the sheep from the goats,” Dr. Carter said. “When I saw Leila’s proposal, I knew she was the one.”

Dr. Leila Valanejad, Ph.D., who saw the posting on LinkedIn, had just the research and grant-writing expertise Dr. Carter was looking for, including 16 peer-reviewed publications in major scientific journals. And she has made an immediate impact on the institute. In addition to leading research and writing grant proposals, Dr. Valanejad oversees the Undergraduate Research Education Program, which employs students from universities around the country, giving them hands-on res

earch experience in a laboratory setting.

“She’s wonderful with students, enthusiastic, very bright, and very hard-working. And she loves science,” Dr. Carter said. “She is dedicated to getting to know other aspects of cancer research. In many ways, it was a perfect match.”

Learn how JVS Career Services can help your organization attract talent with our recruiting  services by contacting Peter Landesman by phone at (513) 745-2905 or by email plandesman@jvscareers.org.

 

Peter Landesman, Senior Business Development Manager and Career Coach, comes to JVS Career Services after 40 years as a marketing and marketing communications professional. Peter has worked in a wide variety of industries that include consumer packaged goods, retail, publishing, healthcare, information technology, private aviation, professional services, and employee benefits. He has worked for well-known companies such as World Book Encyclopedia, JCPenney, American Heart Association, NCR, and NetJets.

Peter has passionately pursued and welcomed opportunities to assist individuals with their careers and share connections that lead to the next step in their journey.  In addition to fulfilling a volunteer role with many JVS Career Services clients, Peter co-facilitates the American Marketing Association’s Career Transition Group. Among his other non-profit activities, Peter served on the Governing Board of the WE Lead Athena Program and continues to serve on the Steering Committee of the Greater Cincinnati HR Collaborative.

He and his wife, Linda are members of Rockdale Temple and Peter is proud to volunteer with the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati.

Case Study: Six Best Practices for a Successful Internship Program

By Christine Olsen, MBA and Career Coach, JVS Career Services

Why create an internship program?
Internships provide a learning experience for the student while helping your company build a pipeline of future talent. This Next Gen talent is seeking meaningful work and a positive experience, which can become a branding opportunity for you, the employer. When a student has a great value add experience as an intern, they will share it with others.

Great! But, how do you provide a program worthy of such positive PR?
There needs to be a structure mapped out before, a willingness to flex during, and ongoing honest feedback. Below are Six Best Practices for a Successful Internship Program.

Be prepared to have an intern. Having an intern will typically necessitate time, money, office space, equipment, and meaningful work. You may have tasks and projects to be done, but the intern is seeking to apply what they have learned in college and learn new skills and information. They will not be their most productive and creative self if the role is too task oriented, has them seated at a computer for hours on end, or lacks challenges.

Designate an intern coordinator/supervisor. The intern needs someone organized, capable, and with time to guide and advise them. The supervisor may find themselves being a role model and somewhat of a mentor. This requires someone who will take the time to make sure the intern is learning and doing well within the organization.

Write a description of the role beforehand. The original description should provide details such as preferred qualifications, hours and days of the week, and longevity of the internship itself, in addition to an overview of the role, including responsibilities of tasks, possible projects to be assigned, and time frame to be completed. However, there needs to be an understanding that there will be some flexibility needed as you align the job to the interns’ talents and areas they wish to strengthen.

Post the opportunity early to allow time for candidate review and hire. Remember, interns are students, and students have very busy schedules during the school year. Be it on your company website, or as outreach to JVS Career Services, posting early is a must to allow time to review resumes and applications and interview prospective candidates. Starting as early as six months out from internship start date and interviewing virtually have proven to be helpful in getting things done.

Familiarize the intern with the organization and expectations. Introduce your intern to the company as you would onboard any employee. This is your opportunity to share the organization mission, values, goals, policies, rules and procedures, facilities, and all colleagues who may be a resource to the intern. Review the dress code, use of cell phones, timeliness of daily arrival and departure with seriousness. Arrange for the intern to be trained in software or equipment they will be using and to do informational interviews with other departments. Also, include the intern in staff meetings as appropriate.

Seek and provide feedback as ongoing communication. Ongoing communication to answer questions and provide feedback is a must. A formal evaluation of the program by the intern, and of the intern by the supervisor, at the mid and/or end of the internship period will prove to be enlightening. Get the informal scoop by taking your intern to lunch on their last day if you can. The intern’s experience within your program is a great source of assessment. It will help you to adjust as necessary for the next lucky intern!

Be a willing learner when interact with your intern. Tech-savvy as you may think you are, these young adults have an instinctive intuitiveness with technology that they are happy to share. If your internship program is a success, your intern will feel grateful and appreciative for the opportunity.

Lastly, do not forget to write a letter of recommendation for the intern, if appropriate. This letter can speak to the work ethic, applied skills, and personal attributes you witnessed during their internship tenure. It will be added to their professional portfolio and be of great value going forward in their studies and job pursuit. They will be indebted to your caring and concern for their future success and tell others about their positive internship experience with your organization.

To learn more about internships, contact Christine Olsen by phone at (513) 745-2913, or email colsen@jvscareers.org.

 

Christine Olsen, MBA, is a Career Coach with JVS Career Services who is passionate about helping people and organizations to achieve their true potential. She has done this throughout her 25 year career in Business and Education in the areas of Finance, Leadership, Training and Development, Recruitment and Career Consulting.

Prior to joining JVS Career Services, Christine served as Career Services Director in higher education managing advisors and coaching students and alumni through their career preparation and transition.  She facilitated writing marketable resumes, teaching job search strategies, coaching on interviewing, networking strategies, personal branding, business etiquette, and employer hiring trends and culture fit, so that clients would enjoy a significant increase in job offers.

Christine received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Business Education from SUNY Buffalo, NY and her Masters of Business Administration in Finance from Hofstra University, NY.  A native New Yorker, she has embraced Cincinnati as home for the past 24 years as proven by her commitment to quality education for all serving 10 years in Ohio PTA officer roles, as Event Planner for Educator Job Fairs, and as a 12 year elected Board of Education member.

Christine’s goal at JVS is to contribute to positive collaboration with all stakeholders to build trusting relationships that motivate and empower clients to successfully achieve their ideal careers.

Job Candidate Profile: Meet Mindy

After spending ten years as a full-time volunteer and fundraiser, Mindy wanted to get back into the “working world.” Not knowing how to get started, Mindy followed the advice of several of her friends and reached out to JVS Career Services. She was quickly connected to Dedra, a career coach, and began her job search.

Like many people, Mindy came to JVS Career Services lacking confidence in her skillset and downplaying her experience, particularly as a volunteer. However, after reviewing every project and agency she has volunteered for, she soon realized how much value she could add to an organization. In addition, Mindy had a very successful sales career prior to her fundraising and volunteer days. She learned she had developed valuable skills in her personal life as well. While helping close family members through the challenges of aging, Mindy discovered she has a passion for working with older adults. Not only that—she learned how to navigate her way through moving, healthcare, financials, and family dynamics.

By articulating her past experiences and interests, Mindy came to the conclusion that she wanted a role that merged the two—sales and the older adult community. Then she had to figure out how to turn that vision into a reality. Working with Dedra at JVS Career Services, she was able to craft a stellar resume, highlighting her unique skills. From there, it was networking, networking, networking! Dedra created a list of local companies Mindy could reach out to in order to grow her network within her industry of interest. Mindy was able to secure meetings and phone calls with several companies, and she prepared herself to confidently speak about the value she could bring to those organizations.

After a few weeks, Mindy contacted Dedra with an exciting report. She had several positive conversations and met with one company that she fell in love with—Queen City Transitions.  She met with the owner, Betsy Goldfarb, who, despite not having an open position, was willing to share her expertise. To Mindy’s surprise, Betsy contacted her shortly after their meeting letting her know how apparent it was that Mindy would be a huge asset to the company. She invited Mindy to come back for an interview, and from there, they created a new role for Mindy!

Mindy was able to rely on Dedra to walk her through the onboarding process and answer any questions that she had, from writing thank you notes to beginning her new position. Mindy is now a successful Sales Manager with Queen City Transitions and loves going to work every day.

When Betsy was asked about adding Mindy to her team, she said, “Her innate passion for what we do was noticeable from the beginning, and when the right person is introduced to the right business and put in the right role, it can lead to great results. Mindy has been a vital part of achieving those great results.”

JVS Career Services provided Mindy the confidence, guidance, and expertise that she was looking for during her career transition, and at the same time, helped a local small business add a valuable member to their team.

The War for Talent – Strategies for Success

By Peter Landesman, Senior Business Development Manager and Career Coach, JVS Career Services

The unemployment rate reached a historic low of 3.7% in September as reported by the US government. It has not been this low in nearly 50 years. While the news is a big positive for many workers, it’s not always good news for employers.

The shortage of available and experienced labor could hamper a company’s ability to grow and, in some scenarios, adversely impact the national economy.

The current jobs outlook skews towards jobs in healthcare, but there are other opportunities for workers, and some of these do not require college degrees. The Top Ten Most In-Demand Jobs in Central Ohio are:

  • Registered Nurses
  • Customer Service Reps
  • Office Clerks
  • Nursing Assistants
  • General & Operations Managers
  • Licensed Practical & Vocational Nurses
  • Accountants & Auditors
  • Maintenance & Repair Workers
  • Computer Systems Analysts
  • Truck Drivers, Heavy and Tractor Trailer

To attract and retain workers, employers find themselves being forced to increase pay and benefits in what is now a very competitive labor market. The recent announcement by Amazon that it is raising its minimum wage to $15 per hour will have a cascading effect on its direct competitors as the supply of in-demand workers continues to shrink.

Employers are implementing a variety of strategies to attract and retain talent. HR Departments are relying more on social media to position their companies as an employer-of-choice. They are also focusing on creating a positive candidate experience throughout the recruiting, interviewing, and hiring process.

More employers seem to be offering signing bonuses to acquire high-demand workers. The demand for Registered Nurses is so high that some hospitals are offering bonuses as high as $15,000 or, in a new twist, are offering to pay off a significant portion of an RN’s student loans.

And yet, employers are challenged to fulfill the demand for workers. They just do not have the resources on hand to focus on talent acquisition while struggling to run a business in today’s competitive market.

One solution is to work with professional recruiters that have the experience and resources to acquire talent. They have the inside knowledge and a network to find qualified candidates. Professional recruiters handle the screening and assessment of candidates, so the employer’s selection process is focused on only a few, highly qualified individuals. And professional recruiters work full-time to fill an employer’s open position.

Many local employers rely on JVS Career Services to be an extension of their organization. Whether it’s for entry-level or senior executive positions, JVS Career Services is a trusted partner that can find the best, most qualified talent. As a nonprofit, JVS Career Services can offer recruiting services at surprisingly affordable rates without sacrificing the quality of service that is provided.

Learn how JVS Career Services can help your organization attract talent with our recruiting  services by contacting Peter Landesman by phone at (513) 745-2905 or by email plandesman@jvscareers.org.

Peter Landesman, Senior Business Development Manager and Career Coach, comes to JVS Career Services after 40 years as a marketing and marketing communications professional. Peter has worked in a wide variety of industries that include consumer packaged goods, retail, publishing, healthcare, information technology, private aviation, professional services, and employee benefits. He has worked for well-known companies such as World Book Encyclopedia, JCPenney, American Heart Association, NCR, and NetJets.

Peter has passionately pursued and welcomed opportunities to assist individuals with their careers and share connections that lead to the next step in their journey.  In addition to fulfilling a volunteer role with many JVS Career Services clients, Peter co-facilitates the American Marketing Association’s Career Transition Group. Among his other non-profit activities, Peter served on the Governing Board of the WE Lead Athena Program and continues to serve on the Steering Committee of the Greater Cincinnati HR Collaborative.

He and his wife, Linda are members of Rockdale Temple and Peter is proud to volunteer with the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati.

To contact Peter Landesman, please call (513) 745-2905, or email plandesman@jvscareers.org.

CEO’s Corner: How to Create a Mentoring Program that Benefits the Whole Organization

By Joni Burton, CPCC and CEO, JVS Career Services

Men∙tor (noun): a trusted counselor or guide (Miriam Webster)

Having a mentor is a powerful personal and career development tool that can enable the mentee to achieve or exceed their career goals and aspirations. Mentoring can improve employee satisfaction and retention, enrich new employee initiation, make your organization more appealing to recruits, and train your leaders. A good mentoring relationship is one of trust between two individuals—one of whom is more experienced in the organization than the other—and provides insight and guidance, and can help to make connections.

To create an effective mentoring program:

  • Set your program up to succeed by defining goals and involving top leadership within your organization to champion the plan. This will help ensure that the mentoring program becomes part of your company culture.
  • Seek out people who are truly passionate about being mentors. These individuals should see the value in mentoring for themselves, the mentee, and the organization.
  • Train mentors. Define their basic roles and establish boundaries, including trust.
  • Identify mentees. Ask managers or the mentors themselves to nominate individuals to the program. An accurate pairing is perhaps the most important ingredient to successful mentoring.
  • Create a framework for the relationship. It is advised to require a time commitment from both mentor and mentee.
  • Schedule gatherings for all participants to connect and share experiences.
  • Measure success. Over time, a successful mentoring program should improve the individual mentee’s professional success, as well as job satisfaction for both parties.

Many think that mentoring was designed to help the mentees, the up-and-coming. However, mentoring programs help the mentor keep their skills fresh and allow the mentor to give back. Many mentees become mentors to others later, paying it forward and passing on the benefits of these valuable programs.