Hi Brian and thanks so much for taking the time to respond to a few questions.
BR: I am the President of Semper International, a niche staffing firm that focuses on the print, graphics and digital media industries. I hold both strategic and operational responsibilities. Aside from the business piece of that role I handle a fair amount of training and development of staff, managing our various websites from a strategic and implementation standpoint. I directly handle Texas operations, handle a chunk of Human resource and keep a consultants level understanding of the industries we do business within. I’m continually looking ahead at whats next so Semper is positioned correctly. I do the business development for our job board technology PrintWorkers.com and develop and implement Semper’s strategic direction and use of Social Media, from FaceBook, Twitter and YouTube to Blogs and Webinars. And perhaps my two favorite activities, watching new groups form and help nurture ones that I think will benefit the industry and be successful, as well as, helping nurture Graphic Communication education and engaging the students in these programs.
DC: Are there any specific areas in printing you are seeing growth for employment?
BR: We are seeing a large amount of growth in things around digital printing. From digital press operators and workflow people to project managers and those on the tech side of things. What is in decline is traditional print such as press operators and people that are not particularly savvy with digital print technologies. We are also monitoring very closely the potential the iPad brings to printers. It is Semper’s belief that printers are positioned very well to not just develop apps – in particular apps like magazines and newsletters – but specific marketing apps. Printers are amazing distributers of information and the iPad and future tablet technology is just another channel, and a channel printers should be embracing.
DC: What advice would you give to candidates regarding their resumes?
BR: With the recent recession many people have now found themselves staring at time gaps in their resumes. I find it appropriate that you explain those gaps on the resume as if they were jobs held. It is going to come out anyway, so best to be up front with it. Other things to highlight are continued learning and education you undertake. Things are changing so rapidly that companies are looking for fast, adaptive people to fill their openings. Another area to consider is temporary employment. Many people take on temporary jobs between full time positions. In some case one staffing firm will use a good person with multiple companies. The appropriate way to depict that on your resume is to list the staffing firm the time your started your first assignment to the time you ended your last assignment. Then under that list each company you work at through the staffing firm and a brief idea of what you did. This tells the person reviewing your resume a tremendous amount of information that will reflect positively on you.
BR: I was born and raised in my Mothers printing company. She trained my brother and I in all aspects of the business. One skill set I gained was running presses. At age 19 I decided to pursue music school and loaded up the car and moved to California (Hollywood) and attended Musicians Institute. After completing my music degree I moved to San Francisco and played in the thrash heavy metal music scene there for 12 years. I run presses so that I could earn a moderate income and focus my passion and energy on music. SkinLab was the second to last band I was in and was one that was signed to a record deal. At the time we were about to become a signed act I had already opened the Bay Area Semper (Then PressTemps) business. I had a fork in the oath of life and I chose the business over the music career. I have never regretted it and in fact credit music as a solid foundation of my style and approach to business.
DC: So was it Recruiter by day… Rocker by night?
BR: Actually, it was press operator by day at first and then business owner/recruiter. Printing had given me not just a skill, but a work ethic and style of thinking about ones value to the world. The concept of Semper (then pressTemps) was actual something I came up with in practice. Back in the early to mid 1990′s a person with solid press experience could always find work. I would move to a new area and simply open up the Yellow Pages and start A in the print section and find lots of work. I rarely needed to call any printing company that had a name that started with a B. It was that experience that helped my see how a temporary staffing firm focused on the printing industry could bring great value to the industry.
DC:How does Semper and Printworkers.com use Social Media?
BR: We first got into Social Media when the virtual world Second Life was gaining speed. In fact, Semper was the first staffing firm to open up a recruitment and learning location in world. After that we really start getting into things like Twitter, LinkedIN and FaceBook. At this point we are still active on Twitter, FaceBook, LinkedIN, Blogs and various specialty networks and Ning sites. We use them to recruit, communicate with customers, grow awareness and be a part of industry discussions. Our focus is being the thought leaders around recruitment and staffing within our target industry(s).
DC: In 10 words or less, please convince me why Social Media needs to be part of my business strategy…
BR: Don’t let dialog about your company happen without your perspective.
BR: Be adaptable, flexible and never stop learning. The rate of change will never stop and neither should you.