Posts Tagged: Delaware business

Outside-In Company, Barton Career Advisors Featured in Delaware Business Times

January 28th, 2016

Put plan into action now, DuPont refugees urged

A plan. That’s what financial and recruiting advisors recommend as DuPont employees begin the hard process of processing both the paperwork and career ramifications of a layoff.

DuPont’s December announcement that it would merge with Dow Chemical set in motion a chain of speculation, then announcements — first that the company intends to cut 1,700 Delaware-based positions, and then just last week, confirmation that 200 Experimental Station employees were given notice.

“If you position your experience as being able to be used right out of the box, it can be a very compelling argument for the prospective employer,” said Barton.

The layoffs are part of a $700 million cost reduction and restructuring, according to DuPont Chair and CEO Ed Breen.

Chris Barton of Barton Career Advisors said he’s already talked to a number of DuPont employees who received termination notices.  His firm is a national outplacement career coaching and training firm that works with companies and individual clients. The firm has also offered workshops on job transitioning to former Chemours employees.

“Many of the folks that will be exited are those that have a long tenure,” said Barton, who worked at the MBNA Corp. for 16 years before leaving with a package that included outplacement services. It was a negative experience that he credits with leading him to start his own career services agency.

DuPont will provide separation packages that include career placement services and training allowances based on years of service, according to spokesman Dan Turner, who did not offer details.

Barton said many outplacement services at mid- to large companies offer personalized coaching to senior leaders and group-based programs for mid-level managers and others, a “one size fits all approach” that doesn’t always meet the needs of the individual. However, you can check out this blog to learn about reputable career coaching.

Barton said applicants fresh to the job pool should spend time defining their unique value proposition for prospective employers.

Barton recommends:

  • Career and personality assessments to better define the skill sets, personality attributes and values that will better define direction.
  • Crafting materials, including an updated resume and refined social media profile, particularly LinkedIn.
  • Work the network.

“You need to take your market research and create compelling materials and game plan that can give you a leg up in the situation,” said Barton.

A solid game plan that includes materials that stress the uniqueness of their candidacy is crucial here.  Barton recommends detailing accomplishments in quantitative and compelling way.

What about the exited employee who’s too young to retire but has the bulk of his work years behind them? Barton says to highlight it as an asset.

“If you position your experience as being able to be used right out of the box, it can be a very compelling argument for the prospective employer,” said Barton. “But you also have to position yourself in a way that you share not only your willingness to perform a new role but demonstrate that you have energy, excitement and motivation to do it.” 

Thomas Talley worked for DuPont for 29 years.  He took a buyout in the early 1990s and traded his communications background for a career in finance. Now he’s offering advice to DuPont employees caught by the layoffs.

“Losing a job is a very emotional experience,” said Talley, who works as a financial advisor with Raymond James and Associates Inc. He recommends staying away from any decisions steeped in emotion.

Talley, who specializes in financial and estate planning, warns against dipping into a 401K, and said budgeting after a layoff is a key before making any financial decisions.

For the older worker who’s accumulated funding in their DuPont Savings Investment Plan, the budgeting process is key to making decisions as social security decisions come into play, said Talley.

“It’s a critical decision,” said Talley. “But every year you defer to taking it you’re increasing your benefit by 8 percent.”

Younger employees may elect to roll over their 401K to their next company.

“Don’t get caught taking money out of places you shouldn’t,” warned Talley.

DuPont’s merger with Dow is expected to reduce DuPont’s worldwide workforce by 10 percent.

Outside-In Team Featured in Delaware Business Times

September 2nd, 2015

On September 1st, members of the Outside-In® team were featured in the Delaware Business Times article, “Job Market: The need for employees with specialized skills spikes.

Our President, Chris Burkhard was quoted, discussing how “the growing employment market would finally give unemployed and underemployed workers the chance to follow their career plan.”

“We are starting to see more opportunities, not that the recession is behind us fully, but people are willing to step back away from a job and try again. I think people are starting to have enough confidence in the market to consider a move from their current jobs,” Burkhard said. “We had the awful 2008-2009 financial crisis. I think there are a lot of people who are unemployed or doing things they don’t really like. I think that’s always a mistake. We’re coming out of an era when people were just happy to have work. It seems the market is finally giving people a chance to pursue their career goals.”

Images and Infographic from Delaware Business Times [Images and Infographic from Delaware Business Times]

Along with Chris, team members Debbie Fincher, Karesa Blagrove, Heather Pelaez, Rich Kolodgie, Shante Hynson and Joshua Wiggins were photographed in our Newark, DE Office. To review the article and learn more about the top job postings in Delaware and current job market trends, click here.

Inc. 5000 list includes 16 Delaware firms

September 17th, 2013

Written by: Cori Anne Natoli, The News Journal

This article appeared in The News Journal, Business Section 9/17/2013

It’s one thing to call yourself an entrepreneur, a risk-taker with enough moxie to take a business plan from concept to creation.

It’s quite another to cultivate a workplace where revenue grows rapidly amid a sluggish economy. Yet that’s exactly what the leadership at CBI Group, a privately held, Newark-based human resources firm with an office in Wilmington, is accomplishing.

Under the direction of founder and president Chris Burkhard, the firm that provides recruitment, staffing and outplacement services to companies nationwide and in Delaware has earned a spot on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing privately held companies, for the third time in six years.

A total of 16 First State firms made it to this year’s list.

“Appearing on the Inc. 5000 list is not only an honor for CBI Group, but it reflects the current realities of an ever-changing workforce,” Burkhard said. “To see consistent growth within a recruiting and staffing company shows that organizations need to have recruitment and talent strategies that meet today’s fluctuating business climate.”

The firm has reported 128 percent growth from 2010 to 2012, according to Caitlin Olszewski, CBI officer manager, and has provided services for the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce.

The fairly young company has navigated an ever-evolving digital landscape and seen success using social media channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

CBI has implemented specialty software to enhance its recruitment process, communication and information gathering, Olszewski said.

For CBI, it comes down to how the team communicates and gathers information, spokeswoman Kelly Murray said Thursday.

“These two things have changed the most over the years, and we’ve been able to leverage the advances in digital technology to adapt and stay current for our customers,” Murray said. “In today’s market it is certainly a necessity. The best solutions and interaction with clients is a blend of face-to-face, phone, Internet, email and social media.”

The Best Leader I Know

September 22nd, 2011

Please indulge me this week as I celebrate the entrepreneurial achievements of my family. This week my father, Alan Burkhard, has been inducted into the Delaware Business Leaders Hall of Fame by fellow Delaware Business Leaders. This is a prestigious award, often given to the titans of business and doesn’t traditionally recognize true small business entrepreneurs for their contributions. I share this news as his son and as an evangelist of his philosophies. I am proud that I grew up in his house and his business.
I frequently blog about leadership topics and much of my original thought and inspiration comes from my experiences in my father’s companies. How many people do you know that have started more than one company? That launched their first company on a small business loan and sold to an international industry giant for tens of millions? That have been successful across five+ different industries? I feel like the kid whose dad has the fastest car in the neighborhood. Yep, that’s my dad!
He won the award because of the macro stuff. He had many, many successful businesses with employees numbering in the thousands. His first business was Placers, a staffing company, which I am proud to shepherd forward today and build on the forty years of focus on the customer. Later he had success in the waste disposal business, building one of the largest Independent firms in the Delaware market with his partner. His restaurants, including Klondike Kate’s in Newark, are model businesses that reflect his core business philosophies of knowing your customer and empowering and teaching employees to create a terrific customer experience. There are others, but I think you get the point.
Alan is a serial entrepreneur and he loves to help others bring their business ideas to life and to show them how to do it. But to know Alan is to know that success was not because of size or numbers. Alan is successful because of the core philosophies that he possesses and instills into each of his business endeavors. Leadership is what distinguishes Alan from so many. Or is it his leadership one liners? You decide.
Here are some of my favorite leadership mottos that I try to live each and everyday. All of these start with the basic leadership premise that in an Outside-In company your “job” is to lead, train, and serve. And in doing so that you don’t think of your self as having mastered the topic of leadership — it is helpful to think about being an entry level leader because there is always more to learn on the topic.

    • We plan to do a lot of things, but most leaders don’t plan to lead.
    • Knowledge is key. Appreciate that an hour of learning is equal to an hour of productivity.
    • Place an extremely high emphasis on ethics and values.
    • Foster an environment where you are accessible, your employees will follow.
    • Don’t appear overwhelmed. Don’t be overwhelmed.
    • Replace the power at the top with power on the front lines.
    • Be prepared to abandon what’s not working and drive change.
    • If employees feel you share less than you should, then all the sharing you do is worthless.
    • Set goals for knowledge, change, risk and results. Not activities.
    • Employees should be able to know everything in your business. No layers or hierarchy.
    • Compromise where you can, so you don’t have to compromise where you can’t.
    • Use your common sense, gather knowledge, be a visionary.
    • Take the blame, give the credit. Be humble.

My pop has lived his business and personal life by being direct. By being truthful. By getting to the point and by being honest. By letting employees and others know that he cares. He creates the perception that he is there for you if you work for him. And this instills confidence. And this confidence gives his employees the belief system and some say in the business. And customers notice. Where else do you know where bartenders learn to read a profit and loss statement? Where employees bring their values home and teach their kids?
Finally I can’t resist one more Burkhard-ism. The greatest leader in the world is simply one that lives it every moment every day. Here’s to the best leader I know. Congrats Dad!

Delaware Job Market

July 1st, 2011

Have We Turned the Corner on the Job Market in Delaware?

As a Customer Relationship Manager at CBI Group, Rich Kolodgie talks to business leaders, HR and Talent Acquisition professionals every day. Working from our headquarters in Newark, Delaware, Rich sensed that things in the local job market were improving post-recession and turned to his relationships to see what they thought. Rich surveyed leaders representing a wide cross-section of industries to gather their perspective on how the job market in the first state is fairing.

Rich’s findings were published in the July/August issue of Delaware Business Magazine.

Download his article, “Have We Turned the Corner on the Job Market in Delaware?” here.

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