Dating Game

If you’ve ever compared job fairs to speed-dating, that comparison just got more interesting.


eHarmony, the company known for using personality profiling to create the perfect match for those looking for a personal relationship, recently announced they are getting into the job search and recruiting business. And I’m all for it.

Those of you who have paid attention to this blog at all know that I am a huge proponent of finding a good fit between employer and employee. The search and interview process must be a two-way street. The prospective employee should be asking just as many deep, probing questions as the hiring company.

Matching an employee’s personal style to the culture of an organization is a critical component of long term satisfaction and success for both the employee and the company.

I am hopeful for what the eHarmony approach can bring to this field. I am equally excited about other job-matching services paying attention to this and possibly adding more personality and culture-matching algorithms to their search engines.

In the end, we all benefit. Because Work Should Be Fun!



PS – If you are an employer who can’t wait for the eHarmony product launch, consider the services of someone such as my friend, Michael Spremulli. His company provides pre-employment assessments that will help you match the right person to the right job.


Trust and empowerment

Today I take a slight turn and refer you to the blog posting of one of my former bosses. He captures the essence of what made our work at AOL fun – trust and empowerment.

I can cite numerous examples of the absolute trust my boss(es) placed in me and my team, even in the face of major system outages. It wasn’t just during a crisis that this trust was exhibited. It was evident in every day decision making.

This trust and empowerment permeated throughout the operations organization. Individuals knew they were not only trusted, but EXPECTED to make major decisions and take quick action every day. I feel quite fortunate to have worked at this place at the time that I did.

Here is Joe’s blog.


As you read it, pay attention to the involvement of Joe’s boss and the CEO.

Have you ever experienced work in an environment like this?  How would your current work environment change if this level of deep respect and trust existed?


Make It Personal

Fund raising campaigns at work come and go. The annual United Way campaign at CompuServe will always stick out in my mind as one of the best run activities I have ever witnessed.

Here’s what I learned from the United Way campaigns at CompuServe:

  • Make it fun. The annual campaign had several facets that made it fun. From the indoor paper airplane toss to the executive raffle, it always included a wide range of activities. A couple stand-out activities:
    • Challenge the president to a game of horse (a shot-matching basketball game).
    • Challenge the VP to a game of Table Tennis. He was quite good.
    • Executive breakfast – The executives donned aprons and chef hats as they cooked and served a pancake breakfast in the company cafeteria.
  • Make it personal. One of the best aspects of the campaign was the executive raffle. In this, you could buy raffle tickets to win a one-on-one experience with a company executive. These experiences allowed the executives to share their personal side. A couple examples:
    • A flight around Columbus in the CTO’s private airplane – with him as the pilot.
    • A gourmet dinner for two at the home of the VP of marketing – prepared and served by him.
  • Make it optional, but difficult to ignore.  During United Way Week at CompuServe, it was virtually impossible to not be aware of the campaign. But, it was always respectful of each individual’s interest, willingness and ability to participate.
  • Offer incentives. One of the most appreciated incentives was an extra paid day off for donations above a certain threshold.

Later in my career, I brought this sense of personal commitment and fun to a campaign at another company where I was an executive. As part of a competition among directors to raise the most money, I challenged my staff with a dollar-for-dollar match to incite their competition. The email challenge to my staff was titled, “Make your boss go broke”. Here’s a photo showing the evidence that they took me up on it. I was happy to write that check and proud of my staff for their participation.

Food Bank Door

What can you do to make your next campaign fun?