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  • Employees are often overwhelmed by workplace distractions, which significantly reduce their productivity. Sometimes, the distractions are due to their own actions, but many times, they're not, according to a recent survey from CareerBuilder. Yes, the ubiquitous (and tempting) nature of tech gadgets and Web surfing are major culprits. In fact, findings show that one out of four workers admitted that they will spend at least one hour of a standard workday on personal calls, emails and texts. And one-fifth estimate that they spend one hour or more of their work time searching the Internet for non-work-related information and photos, etc. In addition to limiting such pursuits to lunchtime and other designated break times, you can follow these suggestions from CareerBuilder to make the best use of your time on the job: De-clutter your desk so you can find things quickly when you need them. Organize your brain by focusing on your daily to-do list and include estimated time requirements for individual tasks. Don't allocate large blocks of time to composing and revising emails when you can have a phone or in-person conversation much more efficiently. As an added bonus, we're including a couple of CareerBuilder's outrageous real-life examples of time-wasting employees. Nearly 2,200 hiring managers and HR professionals and more than 3,020 workers took part in the research.

  • Cyber-security attacks are increasing, and (ISC)2's goal is to help IT professionals address the growing complexities involved in protecting data and systems.

  • Employers are increasingly citing inappropriate social media behavior as their reason to pass over job candidates, according to a recent survey from CareerBuilder. And hirers sometimes dismiss serious contenders because they find out unsettling information about them via social media. To best position yourself for a great career opportunity, keep in mind that companies are increasingly researching social media profiles of interviewees before making a final decision. It's essential to use good judgment—not only about what you post, but also about the content the people in your network are posting. Though it's unfair, some employers take a "guilt by association" approach to screening job candidates. It's also important to search yourself on social media, to verify that all online information is accurate and is not potentially damaging. "Job seekers need to stay vigilant," advises Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. "They must pay attention to privacy updates from all their social networking accounts, so they know what information is out there for others to see. Take control of your Web presence by limiting who can post to your profile and by monitoring posts you've been tagged in." The following are common practices that kept candidates from getting jobs, along with some strange and even shocking social media postings that hirers discovered about contenders. Nearly 2,140 hiring managers and HR professionals and more than 3,020 workers took part in the research.

  • With numerous studies indicating that IT hiring is on the rise, it's more critical than ever for companies to get better at finding the best candidates for their job openings. Unfortunately, recent survey data accumulated by the ADP Research Institute indicates a growing chasm between job seekers and the companies recruiting them. Despite the abundance of recruiting solutions and social media platforms available to bring employers and applicants together, neither side appears to be pleased with the resulting processes—but for completely different reasons. For instance, job seekers are frustrated with how long the hiring process takes, while employers say their recruitment systems are letting them down. The bottom line, ADP contends, is that it's up to employers to create a positive experience for job seekers. "Employers need to understand that their recruiting methodologies contribute to their brand perception," said Tony Marzulli, ADP's vice president of product management for talent solutions. "Even in tight job markets, candidates are going to select those employers whose brands align most with the experiences they have come to expect as good online consumers." In other words, companies need to think of job applicants as customers and treat them accordingly. A whitepaper detailing ADP's findings, which were culled from two surveys of more than 3,000 workers in midsize and large U.S. companies, can be downloaded here.

  • While hiring plans for IT workers are in a slight decline, tech professionals are increasingly leveraging the existing demand for their skills to obtain better compensation packages, according to a recent survey from Dice.com. Findings also show that a significant number of IT pros are rejecting job offers outright. As a result, managers are struggling with the large number of tech positions that remain unfilled, presenting IT employees with a potential opportunity to stand firm during salary negotiations. After all, time may be fleeting for organizations to land needed talent. "Employers have been dealing with a tight technology job market for four years," says Shravan Goli, president of Dice.com, an online jobs and career community for technology professionals. "That said, [on a recent day] more than 7,500 U.S. technology professionals updated their résumés on Dice, signaling that they are open for a change. [Companies] should be as efficient as possible in putting the slate of candidates together." More than 700 hiring managers took part in the research. As a bonus, we're including tips on negotiating for a higher salary, compiled by Lifehacker.com.

  • Remember when a vacation was really a vacation—a time when people completely disconnected from work and allowed themselves to recharge? Well, those days are clearly over. In fact, three out of five employees said they do at least some work while on vacation, according to research from Glassdoor. Why? One-third of the respondents said it's because no one else in their company can do their job, findings show. More than one out of five said they are 100 percent dedicated, and another one-fifth said they simply can't disconnect. In many cases, these workers are staying in the loop by checking email, which 44 percent of Americans said they have to do while on vacation, according to the American Psychological Association (APA). With this in mind, email-management expert Ran Flam has come up with the following best practices to improve how efficiently you manage email while on vacation. The goal? To spend less time reading and replying to email messages and more time enjoying yourself. Flam, a veteran in business process automation, created IQTELL, an email/work management productivity app.

  • Telecommuting continues to be a key recruitment tool and employee morale booster, but, in many organizations, remote workers lack the IT resources they need to do their jobs effectively, according to a recent survey from Staples Advantage, the business-to-business division of Staples. These necessary resources include desktop systems, mobile devices, fast and reliable connectivity, and security and continuity training. The majority of employees surveyed said that the availability of telecommuting plays a significant role in whether they decide to join a company. However, many employees who are allowed to work remotely are running into technology issues that create counterproductive logjams. "When a few companies recently banned telecommuting, it sparked a debate on the benefits of such programs," says Paul Mullen, vice president of technology solutions for Staples Advantage. "Our survey clearly shows the benefits. Not only does telecommuting lead to a happier workforce, it's also a critical benefit to have from a recruiting standpoint. Employers who are flexible and support their staff with the tools they need to telecommute have a definite recruiting advantage." More than 135 company decision-makers and approximately 175 office workers in the United States and Canada took part in the research.

  • Employers continue to seek software developers with expertise in established technologies such as .NET, C++ and HTML, but the environment is changing rapidly.

  • Being an organizational power player is definitely not an entry-level job. And to become such as player, you have to offer more than strong technology skills. You also must project an image that screams "executive material" to your peers and managers. The recent book, Executive Presence: The Missing Link Between Merit and Success (HarperBusiness, available now), breaks down the winning profile in a number of compelling categories that we're highlighting here: Your workplace "look"; your ability to receive and act on feedback; and the somewhat subjective but clearly critical concept of gravitas. Author Sylvia Ann Hewlett reveals that falling short of these and other essential qualities could very well ground your career aspirations. However, she also provides how-to takeaways that are readily adaptable, no matter where you are on the corporate ladder. Hewlett is founding president of the Center for Talent Innovation, a New York-based think tank that focuses on helping professionals realize their potential.