Thursday, April 24, 2014

Registration deadline is tomorrow for Mayors' Business Day

You have until tomorrow to register for the Fifth Annual Mayors' Business Day, scheduled for Tuesday at O'Callahan's Convention Center in the Shilo Inn. Click here to register online.

This is an event that began in 2008 under Idaho Falls Mayor Jared Fuhriman and has since expanded to encompass surrounding communities.

The event will start with breakfast at 8 a.m. with Mayors Rebecca Casper (Idaho Falls) and Dana Kirkham, welcoming guests. A panel discussion, "Maximizing Southeast Idaho's Business Development Resources," will follow, featuring Linda Martin, CEO of Grow Idaho Falls; Steve Albiston, president of Eastern Idaho Technical College; and Corey Smith, managing director of the Eastern Idaho Entrepreneurial Center. The discussion will be moderated by Tim Hopkins, longtime Idaho Falls attorney and a board member of the Idaho Falls City Club.

From 9 a.m. to noon and there will be breakout sessions, and all day there will be a business-to-business tradeshow. The keynote speaker at lunchtime will be Idaho Gov. Butch Otter, who will give his take on the state's economy. More breakout sessions will be held from 2 to 5 p.m., followed by a Business After Hours.

Cost for breakfast is $10 for members of the Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce, $12 for non-members. Lunch is $20 for members, $25 for non-members. A full schedule of events can be found here.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

"Looking Back" preview; check out tomorrow's paper

Corey Feldman and Corey Haim in the '80s.
Some of you may be aware that I've begun writing the "Looking Back" column that runs in the Post Register every Thursday. It's a feature I did between 1996 and 2008, and one that gave me a lot of pleasure.

Because the Post Register is protective of its copy, I am not going to reprint the column on my blog. Once I file the story it's theirs, and I don't want to mess up the arrangement I have with them or engender any ill will.

Here's a preview of what's coming tomorrow. If you subscribe, cool. If not, maybe you should, or get an online subscription. Pick up a newsstand copy, at least. I still own stock in the company, but even if I didn't I am a big believer in newspapers and their importance to our democracy.

Here's the rundown:
1914: Downtown, especially Park Avenue, was looking forward to another busy building season.
1939: Did you know there used to be party tickets in city elections? Not Republican or Democratic, but "Peoples" and "Citizens."
1964: Despite everything you read and hear today, bullying in schools is nothing new.
1989: Corey Feldman and Corey Haim perform benefit at Bonneville High School.

I remember the Coreys' visit, and seem to recall the managers of the newly built Shilo Inn were not impressed with their behavior.

New Japanese restaurant planned for Woodruff Avenue

The sign for Ninja's Lunch Box, on Woodruff Avenue near Gandolfo's Deli.
A new Japanese restaurant, Ninja's Lunch Box, is going in at 1635 S. Woodruff Avenue. Annie McMurtrey of ROI Brokers, said the business owner, Micky Lin, still needs a building permit before remodeling work begins, but that the plan is for the restaurant to open sometime in July.

Lin was a chef at Evergreen China Buffet. Ninja's Lunchbox will offer sushi as well as teppanyaki, a style of Japanese cuisine that uses an iron griddle to cook food.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Work on 17th Street Starbucks entering home stretch

I coming out of Jaker's Monday night when I noticed this sign on a trailer across the street. One can only assume it is for the new Starbucks being built at 17th Street and Jennie Lee Drive, which is scheduled to be open by the end of May. Stay tuned for more details.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Recruiting is about marketing as much as anything

Recruiting is tough these days. Long gone are the days when you could put a classified ad in the newspaper and find the perfect candidate.

Successful recruiting in today’s market requires perfectly crafted campaigns that relate more to management than HR management. That seems a little far-fetched, I know, but businesses looking to find good candidates are having to get creative and strategic in how they market their recruiting efforts.  There’s a lot of work that goes into every aspect of recruiting, starting with a job posting.

Job postings serve two purposes:

1. To attract potential candidates for a position through a catchy yet condensed description of the position

2. Marketing the business. Contrary to what you might think, recruiting has everything to do with marketing your business.

Think of it this way – job postings are posted in print (newspapers and magazines), online (social media, company website, job boards), and can even be advertised through radio ads.  These are all traditional media outlets in which businesses are trying to capture public attention. This means that whether you like it or not, people are looking and listening to the message your company is creating through its recruiting effort. This is a big deal and should be taken very seriously.

Put yourself in the job seeker's shoes for a moment. What would the posting look like?  What would it say?  What would it not say? By putting yourself in a job seeker's shoes and trying to see things from his or her viewpoint, you are starting to identify with your target market.

This is important on top of identifying who your target market is. What qualifications and experience do they have, and what personal qualities? Creating and understanding your target market alongside a well-composed posting is key in recruiting, not only from a public viewpoint but also to attract successful candidates.

Understanding and identifying your target market helps you to better create strategies for where to post and how often. Also, it allows you to look at resources or ways to further market your position through networking opportunities and groups, to get that direct approach with a captive audience, small or large.

Like a true marketing campaign, marketable recruiting requires ongoing efforts and strategies for potential candidates to maintain interest in your business. This requires time and planning between HR management and marketing professionals. If your effort is strategically planned and executed, it will result in successful recruiting efforts and retention of employees. That in turn will result in a return on investment for the time and resources spent creating marketable recruiting strategies. 
Monica Bitrick is a human resources consultant who lives and works in the greater Idaho Falls area.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

BYU-Idaho rated "most underrated" by Business Insider

It needs to be noted that the University of Wyoming is the only four-years school in the Cowboy State.
Earlier this week, Business Insider published a list of 50 underrated colleges around the country—one from each state. The Web site's editors partnered with Niche to determine the schools with the best academics and highest acceptance rates.

In Idaho, that distinction went to BYU-Idaho. "It may be hard to believe that there are so many opportunities to develop skills in a given area from attending a little school in Rexburg, Idaho, " said the summary. "But just as BYU-Idaho takes huge steps in innovating learning and maximizing resources, students learn to be innovative hard-workers who know how to problem-solve and communicate effectively."

While some people may think these schools are “safety schools” because of their high admissions rate (BYU-Idaho's was 99 percent), their strong academics prove they’re much more. You can click here for a statistical breakdown of the schools.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Freddy's Frozen Custard set to build near WinCo Foods

Here's what a Freddy's Frozen Custard typically looks like. 
Freddy's Frozen Custard and Steakburgers has filed a site plan with the city of Idaho Falls to build at 355 North Woodruff Avenue, on a site pad near WinCo Foods.

Site plans are the first step in the process, before a property is platted and a building permit is issued. A spokeswoman for the chain, based in Wichita, Kan., confirmed last December that a franchisee was negotiating a real estate deal in Idaho Falls.

Freddy's was founded in 2002 by two brothers, Bill and Randy Simon, whose father, Freddy Simon, was the inspiration for the restaurant (and obviously its namesake). The first franchise launched in Hutchinson, Kansas, in 2004 and by October 2013 the company had opened its 100th location, in Bowling Green, Ky.

According to the Web site, Freddy's plans to open 400 more stores over the next 10 to 15 years.