On The Job

Telecom Talent Tips<@VM>CareerRewards Unveils Site

The Telecom Hub, a Washington-based group launched late last year to create a network of industry professionals from different disciplines, will zero in on a pressing workplace challenge at a luncheon this week.

"How to Attract, Retain and Develop Top-Notch Talent in the Telecom Industry" is the topic of the hub's Feb. 22 luncheon at the Tower Club in Vienna, Va. Caela Farren, chief executive officer of Career Systems Advantage and MasteryWorks Inc., both in Annandale, Va., is the guest speaker.

Farren, who has been in the career management field for 25 years and whose companies' mission is to inspire, support and advance mastery in the workplace, will discuss ways to up the odds of attracting and keeping top-notch talent.

Her talk was spurred by a survey taken at the hub's inaugural event last November, where professionals identified finding and retaining talent as their key challenge, said Rick Gannon, a founder of the Telecom Hub and former international sales executive at Destia Communications, McLean, Va.

This week's event is the second of a planned series of sessions by the hub, whose goal is to create a network that assists individuals and companies in "Getting to the Future First." The hub is still a loosely knit group whose database includes 200 professionals, said Bruce Ogden, who along with Gannon and Barry Toser, all former Destia executives, hatched the idea for the hub while sailing on the Chesapeake Bay last summer.

"People have asked us about making this a membership organization, and we are looking to develop a Web site, but we wanted to get our legs first and see if there was enough interest," said Gannon. With the first event oversold, and 75 to 100 professionals lined up to attend the second event, "there's definitely a high level of interest," he said.

The Telecom Hub's next meeting is planned for April; the founders plan to hold six events a year. For more information on the hub and future events, contact Barry Toser at (703) 242-9787.

Now there is a new way for high-technology companies to alleviate their worker shortage. CareerRewards Inc., a McLean, Va.-based virtual recruiting network, has launched a Web site (www.careerrewards.com) that matches qualified candidates with Washington-area companies based on referrals from those candidates' friends, families and associates.

For successful referrals, CareerRewards is offering cash incentives of up to $10,000 for hard-to-fill jobs. The company's intent is to fill mid- to high-level jobs in technology, telecommunications and sales positions for Washington-area companies.

"By using this virtual recruiting network, CareerRewards has targeted passive job candidates," said Doug Layman, president and chief executive officer.

The company screens each candidate before forwarding resumes to employers, and a career guide matches each candidate's qualifications and interests to the right job opportunity. The Web site, which debuted Feb. 7, is being funded by Paul-Tittle Associates Inc., an independent executive search firm.

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