November 18, 2011 By Stacy
This week, InfoSpace announced the permanent appointment of InfoSpace’s Chief Financial Officer Eric Emans. We’re excited to introduce Eric through this brief interview with him.
iSpace: Eric, you served a pivotal, behind-the-scenes role at InfoSpace as its chief accounting officer, yet your role as Interim CFO in the past few months have been much more publicly visible. How would you say these two leadership positions differ for you personally, and what goals do you have for your new role as CFO?
Emans: My role as Interim CFO was certainly more visible internally and externally than my role as CAO. With my CFO position becoming permanent this week, my experiences will continue to evolve every day. I like that aspect, but I’d like to move forward with greater velocity. This will come in time, I’m sure.
My # 1 goal in this position is to drive shareholder value. Accomplishing this goal centers around leadership and keeping the team focused on doing what we do well, and what we can do better. We should be our own toughest critics, and always look to build upon success and not just enjoy it. As CFO, I am focused on fostering an environment of execution with transparency to more quickly achieve success for InfoSpace and its shareholders.
iSpace: Despite a few changes in leadership at InfoSpace over the years, you’ve successfully worked at InfoSpace for 7 years. What is it about InfoSpace that keeps you there?
Emans: I’d like to think that I’ve worked very well with all of the CEOs and former CFOs at InfoSpace over the years. It’s a great public company to work for in a space that is still evolving. We’re just the right size where we can help small to mid-size distribution partners, and also partner with the leading search engine giants.
iSpace: InfoSpace is in a good situation financially to acquire a company to help uplift its offerings, or change its course entirely. What can you share about this?
Emans: There are a lot of opportunities, but we’re being mindful of what we’d like to acquire to maximize shareholder value. We’re taking the necessary time to make sure we do the right acquisition, and are still in the process of evaluating interesting options.
iSpace: Can you tell us a little more about yourself and what you do in your spare time?
Emans: I like to spend time with my family – my wife, Heather, and daughters, Gracie and Annie. We like to spend time east of the mountains during the summer at Crescent Bar boating and doing water sports, such as skiing, wake surfing and boarding). During the winter months, we enjoy watching UW football and basketball and snow skiing.
We have no doubt that Eric will continue to do an amazing job at InfoSpace in his new leadership role. Congratulations, Eric!
November 7, 2011 By Stacy
The latest BLS job report released this week has shown an improvement in the labor market with an increase in hiring across the nation, however the same can’t be said for the tech sector in the Greater Seattle area. With Microsoft, Amazon, Nintendo and Expedia headquartered here, it didn’t take long before tech giants like Google and Facebook set up offices here to compete for engineering talent in the area.
“Finding the right person to fit an open position is incredibly challenging even in today’s market,” said InfoSpace Sr. Manager Maureen Linekin. “Meeting the needs of the role and the unique company culture are both equally important and you can’t meet one need without the other.”
Our search partner, Yahoo!, recently asked its readers of “The Lookout” about long term unemployment for a project titled, “Down But Not Out.” Thousands of readers responded with stories of their personal experiences, and some even provided helpful job search tips after gaining employment. Although it’s always tough to give advice from the other side of the fence, since any one of us can easily find ourselves in the same position, Linekin offered a few additional tips from an HR manager’s standpoint to help today’s job seekers better connect with HR staff and recruiters:
Have an Active and Optimized LinkedIn Profile – This may seem like an obvious resource to some, but surprisingly, a lot of job seekers don’t have a profile on LinkedIn. Make sure your job skills listed on LinkedIn includes the precise keywords known within your field so you can be more easily found in a search by recruiters.
LinkedIn also serves as a good resource to read up on companies you’re interested in through company profiles. Like some companies, InfoSpace’s LinkedIn company profile page gives contact information to the person directly in charge of hiring for open positions, which can be an added bonus in personalizing cover letters after weeks of feeling you’ve only submitted applications to non-humans.
Companies also include job listings on their Facebook pages, so be sure to include Facebook as part of your job search and as a resource. InfoSpace uses LinkUp to sync to its career openings on its Facebook page, but also posts occasional job tips and links to Facebook job seekers and fans.
Stay Connected – While you’re on Facebook, network and ask for leads from friends, family members and former colleagues. InfoSpace has a referral program for its employees when they successfully refer a friend to join the company, resulting in a win-win solution for all.
Keep Your Skills Sharp – Participate in group discussions about your area of expertise on LinkedIn, attend trade industry events or social gatherings, participate in community hackathons, tune in to webinars, follow tweetups and other free resources. Employers participate in these events and may reach out to you if you present the skills they are seeking.
Training and Forward Thinking – Use this time to read up on industry trends, learn new skills or volunteer for events in your sector. Earlier this month, for example, InfoSpace co-sponsored a Mathfest for grade school kids in Seattle to become exposed and enthusiastic about math. The event attracted numerous students, educators and professionals in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields. Observing industry events from a different point of view can often provide a fresh perspective that can lead to creative ways at looking at your own area of expertise, and perhaps new job opportunities.
During the toughest of job hunts, it’s easy to give up or feel down. With a little creativity, focused job hunting, continued determination, networking, sprinkled in with well-deserved breaks and hope, the job suited for you will come soon enough. Good luck!