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Whether you love baseball or not, you may love some of these lessons.  They apply in many aspects of life, including our relationships with our co-workers.  Spring training is upon us – let’s look at a few reminders from the world of baseball.

From Tim Bridge, “Nine Innings of Baseball’s Life Lessons.”  Play ball!

Joy Hood, Sr. Technical Recruiter @ UDig

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When was the last time you fell in love with a new artist or song? Internet radio service Pandora has a single mission: To play only music you’ll love. And that begins with something called the Music Genome Project.

Since 2000, Pandora has been hard at work on the Music Genome Project. It’s the most comprehensive analysis of music ever undertaken. The company’s team of musician-analysts has been listening to music, one song at a time, studying and collecting literally hundreds of musical details on every track – melody, harmony, instrumentation, rhythm, vocals, lyrics, and more. They continue this work every day to keep up with the incredible flow of great new music coming from studios, stadiums and garages around the country.

With Pandora you can explore this vast trove of music to your heart’s content. Just drop the name of one of your favorite songs, artists or genres into Pandora and let the Music Genome Project go. It will quickly scan its entire world of analyzed music, almost a century of popular recordings – new and old, well-known and completely obscure – to find songs with interesting musical similarities to your choice. Then sit back and enjoy as it creates a listening experience full of current and soon-to-be favorite songs for you.

Today, Pandora is everywhere. Chevy just announced new models will come with a Pandora option for the car. Pandora will undoubtedly face competition, so it’s important that the company stay one step ahead in terms of innovation. For now, though, with an IPO on the line, Pandora shows no signs of slowing down.

The leading online radio service  has also forged a bond with the leading social network, solidifying Pandora’s and Facebook’s dominance while offering music fans a way to share music with one other. There’s really a lack of any significant downside to this pairing. Pandora pays copyright holders, and integrating your Pandora and Facebook accounts won’t pollute your Facebook stream with endless notifications about what you’re listening to, should you connect your accounts.

Integrating your Facebook with Pandora widens your listening options considerably, and immediately. It’s too early to call at this point, because the buttons haven’t shown up yet, but if this aspect of Facebook’s initiative takes off it will make the company the de facto storage point for our musical preferences, while boosting Pandora’s utility. If you’ve heard about the site but haven’t checked it out yet, I encourage you to open Pandora’s box. You won’t regret it.

– Mary Ammons
Account Manager, UDig

CloudSpokes and Appirio announced Monday that they have teamed together to put on a competition with prize money of $1 million for various coding jobs posted on their site. Information here.

How likely are you to get into Cloud Computing development? According to CloudSpokes Chief Architect Dave Messinger, Appirio expects the CloudSpokes community to reach 50,000 developers within a year.

From the demand we’re seeing for cloud devs, I’d have to agree.

Greg Valentine
Senior Technical Recruiter, UDig

If you’ve ever thought the saying “employees are our most important asset” is just something bosses say but don’t actually mean, think again.

Technology companies are in a war for talent, CIO Magazine reports, and many businesses are going to extreme measures to retain employees who hold highly in-demand skills. Consider Google, which offered $3.5 million in restricted stock to an engineer that was being courted by Facebook so that he wouldn’t leave.

Just as businesses need warehouses and sales and finance and marketing teams, tech talent is essential to keeping a company running smoothly these days. J.S. Cournoyer, co-founder of venture capital firms Montreal Start Up and Real Ventures, wrote in Fortune:

“Big Web companies like Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft are engaged in an all-out war for talent…that should last for years as they compete for Web supremacy, but they are not alone. Consumer-facing companies like Procter & Gamble, Ford and Coca-Cola have started hiring as well.”

Your thoughts? How important is paying top dollar for good talent? Leave your comments below.

According to Manpower, 84% of the U.S. workforce will look for a new job in 2011. This is up over 20 percent from 2010.

When I shared these statistics with some of our clients, they all asked the same question: “Why?”

Between 2008 and 2010,  many people took jobs that didn’t match their career goals with significant salary reductions. People were thankful just to be working and getting a paycheck given the tumultuous job market. This sentiment lasted through 2009 and most of 2010. In mid-2010, we started to see more confidence in the job market. Corporate earnings started to return due to drastic cuts in operating expenses and slightly improved economics. Even with better corporate earnings, there were still signs of uncertainty with the economy both on a national and global stage.

Some of those uncertainties still exist in early 2011 but the corporate messages are starting to improve. Many companies have already announced massive hiring strategies for 2011. These messages build confidence in individuals increasing their willingness to take a risk and search for a new position.

So, what does this mean for companies? For one, they need to evaluate their workforce. They also must identify the people who are underutilized  in their current position and can offer more to the company. They need to understand the cost of having to hire for positions and train new staff.

In the technology workforce, we have seen a tremendous uptick in demands for Data Warehouse experts, Business Analysts, Software Developers and Testing resources. Companies must understand that their staff in those positions could be at risk if a better opportunity comes along. We have also seen for the first time in 24 months, companies re-evaluating their compensation packages to make sure they are competitive and able to attract new hires. This is a very positive sign for the technology workforce.

Don’t wait until it is too late and you start losing great resources. Quickly evaluate your key positions and try to determine which employees are at risk of leaving. Do salary surveys to better understand how your compensation package stacks up locally and within your industry. Talk to your employees to get a better sense of how they are feeling and whether or not they enjoy their job. Many companies took advantage of the high unemployment rate to hire people at lower salaries. If you did that, recognize it, and try to make adjustments to stay competitive with similar companies.

Andy Frank
COO, Founder
UDig

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