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Category Archives: Sacramento

KAI Partners Staff Profile: The Human Resources Generalist and SHRM-CP

General Life/Work, Human Resources, KAI Partners, KAI Partners Staff Profile, KAIP Academy, Learning, Managing/Leadership, Onboarding, Sacramento, SHRM, Small Business

There are many paths to success and while not everyone takes the same path, we often manage to arrive at the same destination. In our KAI Partners Staff Profile series, we share interviews and insight from some of our own employees here at KAI Partners. Our staff brings a diversity in education, professional, and life experience, all of which demonstrate that the traditional route is not necessarily the one that must be traveled in order to achieve success.

Today, we bring you an update on the professional journey of Melissa McManus, Ed.D. When we last spoke, Melissa was KAI Partners’ Research Analyst and is now our Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Certified Professional.

 KAI Partners, Inc.: Melissa, tell us about the transition from Research Analyst to Human Resources Generalist and SHRM-CP.

Melissa McManus: As the Research Analyst, I was doing multiple work tasks, including human resources. Since I was already doing bits and pieces of HR, you could say that I grew into my current role as HR Generalist and SHRM-CP. It was the logical next step and a seamless transition.

KAIP: What is your favorite thing about being in HR?

MM: The variety is absolutely one of my favorite things about being in HR. There is always something different and new, and that is exciting to me. Most people are afraid of change or afraid of doing different things; on the other hand, I enjoy it and I am more afraid of monotony—doing the exact same thing day in and day out.

My new position allows for this constant change and variety. While the tasks may be the same or similar they are also new and different. Some examples of this are getting to work with different people and personalities and the constantly-changing HR and employment laws. This guarantees that I stay a life-long learner because I need to stay current on all laws and what is happening in HR. In that same vein, my HR certification will also keep me current in all things HR as I have professional development credits I must earn each year to keep my SHRM-CP current.

KAIP: From your recent blog post on career development and your self-appointed title of Lifelong Learner, we know these things are important to you. How does getting the SHRM-CP highlight that?

MM: Getting my SHRM-CP was important to me not only for my career development but also personally, as well. I take great pride in being a knowledge-seeker and staying current in my profession. I think that it says a lot about the type of person I am and it also communicates that I want to be the best at my job and how far I am willing to go to do that.

KAIP: We also know you love research. Have you found an opportunity to get back to your roots as a Research Analyst?

MM: I still get to do research as part of my work. Research is part of the territory for me and inhabits all areas of my life! In my current role, there are many instances where I get to put my research guru hat on. While my focus is in the daily tasks surrounding human resource management, this includes a variety of tasks, even research.

Thank you, Melissa, for sharing your journey! How have you made transitions in your career? Share your story with us in the comments!

About Melissa: Dr. Melissa McManus is a human resources professional and research guru. One of her greatest strengths is her resolute ability to soak in new information and her never-ending thirst for knowledge. Melissa has a Master’s degree in Counseling, and a Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership with a focus in Human Resource Development. Melissa’s professional interests include human behavior, career development, research, writing, training, and knowledge transfer. She is passionate about life and describes herself as an avid bookworm. In her free time, when she is not running her kids to gymnastics or karate, Melissa enjoys reading (a lot), wine tasting, being with friends/family, and spending time with her husband and two children.

Quick Q&A with Melissa:
Daily, must-visit website: SHRM.org
Preferred genre of music to listen to at work: Country, always!
Best professional advice received: Never stop learning and don’t let anyone tell you what you are worth—only you can make that determination!
Top productivity hack: Changing up location/scenery. Because I work from home, every now and again I need a different view, which helps to recharge. Also, making sure to take breaks or walk around is a good alternative if you work in an office or specific location.
Book you can read over and over again: If I have to pick just one…Pride and Prejudice and the entire Harry Potter series. There are so many more, but these are the ones came to mind.
Most-recent binge-watched show: Tiny House Hunters

First Responder CrossFit Charity Event 2017 Recap

Community Service, Event Recap, First Responder Support Network, Sacramento

Photo Credit: CrossFit Centurion

The second annual Fight 4 Life fundraiser benefiting the nonprofit organization First Responder Support Network (FRSN) took place this past Saturday at CrossFit Centurion. Last year’s event raised a little over $19,000 and we were thrilled to see that this year’s event raised a record $22,582!

FRSN mission is to, “Provide first responders and their families the tools to reduce personal and family stress and to encourage appropriate career decisions and reduce the effects of traumatic incident stress on an individual’s life. The key components of FRSN are the 6-day residential treatment for first responders, also known as the West Coast Post-trauma Retreat (WCPR), and the 6-day program for significant others & spouses (SOS).”

Last year’s funds helped FRSN fix up their Napa location and open a much-needed new location in Arizona—we are excited to see how this year’s funds will be utilized!

Both athletes and non-athletes alike turned out for the event, which featured the famed Fight Gone Bad workout, as well as max bench press and max pull-up competitions. Kids were included in the fun with their own burpee competition.

It was a warm day—100+ degrees outside—but that didn’t deter attendees from showing up and enjoying the DJ, game truck, free beer, food, silent auction, raffle, and more. Local K9 units, ambulance services, other first responders dropped by to lend their support, as well.

According to CrossFit Centurion, “All proceeds from donors, sales, auctions, and raffles go back to the First Responder Support Network to provide PTSD treatment and counseling for fire fighters, law enforcement, corrections, medics, dispatchers, and their families! We could not have done this without the support of our athletes, our sponsors, and those who believe in our cause!”

KAI Partners President David Kendall says, “We were thrilled to sponsor an event benefiting such a great cause. It’s so important to make sure our first responders and their families are provided the tools and resources they need to thrive.”

Thank you to everyone who attended, sponsored, supported, and volunteered at this year’s Fight 4 Life fundraiser!

Other event sponsors included: Goyette and Associates, Inc. (Paul Goyette and Charles Caraway), Joey Hand Racing, Van Vleck Ranch, Tommy Lane Painting and Construction, Russ Bair Construction, Folsom AVS, Newman Construction, California Sleep Solutions, Sacramento County Deputy Sheriff’s Association.

Sacramento Business Journal TechEdge Event Recap

Co-working, Conferences, Event Recap, Government, KAI Partners, Marketing, Sacramento, Sacramento Business Journal TechEdge Event, Small Business, Startup Company, Technology

By Terry Daffin

I recently had the opportunity to attend the Sacramento Business Journal’s TechEdge event, held at the McClellan Event Center.

The event was well-attended by about 200 techies, startups, investor groups, incubator groups, and other individuals and groups interested in how to plug into the innovation explosion in the Sacramento region.

As I walked through the technology fair that was set up for vendors to display their offerings and shared what KAI Partners is embarking on in the way of a co-working/Incubator space in downtown Sacramento, I was taken aback by the openness and collaborative atmosphere of this group.

Many of the vendors and attendees I talked with were excited about more growth and even introduced me to others who they thought could help on our journey. I met and spoke to two founders of incubator/accelerator programs already here in Sacramento and they shared with me what they are doing, how they got started, and what they were planning to do in the future. The atmosphere was not one of competition, but one of growth for our region.

At the event, there was a program in which several speakers discussed what the future looks like for bringing innovators, startups, and investors to Sacramento.

Congresswoman Doris Matsui kicked off the event by speaking about how “Sacramento is on the move” and “the place to be” for innovation. She talked about how state and local government are embracing the innovation surge by changing policies to make it easier for businesses to start and thrive in the Sacramento region.

Rep. Matsui spoke about an initiative the City of Sacramento has regarding autonomous vehicles and noted that Sacramento will be a “test bed” for such innovation. She even talked about collaboration efforts with DMV to establish standards and mentioned the recent partnership with AT&T and how Sacramento will be building out infrastructure to support the new 5G technology to achieve net neutrality in our region.

Lokesh Sikaria of Moneta Ventures spoke about the exciting future growth in Sacramento. Of the eight largest trends in the tech industry, Sacramento will see explosive growth and opportunities in four:

  1. AI and machine learning
  2. Big data
  3. Autonomous vehicles
  4. Health 2.0

Mr. Sikaria asked, “Why Sac? Why Now?” and cited the following:

  • 200k + shared workforce
  • 20% of applicants of jobs are from the Bay Area
  • 300k + college students in the region
  • 50% lower cost of living than the Bay Area
  • Each tech job creates 5x the growth

In addition to the great speakers, there was a panel of startup business founders discussing how and why they came to the Sacramento region. The stories about their migration to the Sacramento region were unique, but had common themes such as the lower cost of doing business, the large number of experienced tech people, and the quality of life. They all said that before coming to Sacramento to explore doing business here, their perception of Sacramento was negative and that it was only after they came here and saw the growth and the transformation and the quality of Sacramento that they decided to make the move.

Overall, it was a very positive event with lots of excitement by everyone who attended. I think these are exciting times for our region!

About the Author: Terry Daffin is an Executive Consultant within KAI Partners. He has worked in the IT industry for more than 30 years and has over 25 years of project management experience. As a public sector consultant in the health care industry, Mr. Daffin has assisted in the development and implementation of Project Management Offices that include project management, service management, lean agile and traditional product development lifecycles, and governance processes. He has been an innovation advocate and evangelist for 15 years and has implemented innovative processes for projects that he has been engaged on since 2001. He has worked with the California Medi-Cal Management and Information System (CA-MMIS) division of the Department of Health Care Services, California Franchise Tax Board, Commission on Teacher Credentialing, California Department of Consumer Affairs, California Board of Equalization, and California Department of Water Resources. Mr. Daffin is currently working on a project for KAI Partners to expand an existing co-working organization into an innovation incubator/accelerator focused on connecting innovative start-ups and the public sector.

You’re Invited: First Responder CrossFit Charity Event

Community Service, First Responder Support Network, Sacramento

KAI Partners, Inc. is excited to once again sponsor the Fight 4 Life CrossFit charity event on June 24, 2017 at 10am at CrossFit Centurion. Last year’s event raised nearly $20,000 for the nonprofit organization First Responder Support Network (FRSN) and we look forward to breaking that record this year!

One hundred percent of the proceeds raised go directly to FRSN. In their words,

“Our goal is to provide first responders and their families the tools to reduce personal and family stress and to encourage appropriate career decisions and reduce the effects of traumatic incident stress on an individual’s life. The key components of FRSN are the 6-day residential treatment for first responders, also known as the West Coast Post-trauma Retreat (WCPR), and the 6-day program for significant others & spouses (SOS).”

Last year’s funds helped FRSN fix up their Napa location and open a much-needed new location in Arizona!

Want to get involved on behalf of the first responder in your life?

Click here to register as an athlete or to donate.

Not a CrossFitter? Not a problem! A video game truck, bounce house, silent auction, raffle, and more will be available for those who don’t want to participate in the WOD.

Want to learn more? We’ve got all the resources you need!

We look forward to working out with you on June 24th as we honor and raise money for our first responders!

14 Job-Seeking Tips Straight from Human Resources

Best Practices, Employee Engagement, Hiring, Human Resources, Onboarding, Sacramento, Small Business, Startup Company

Photo Courtesy of EDD

By Angela Darchuk and Melissa McManus

We were lucky to recently attend the State of California Employment Development Department’s Honor A Hero, Hire A Vet event in San Francisco. We love meeting potential employees and seeing where they may fit within our organization. Attending job fairs also gives us the opportunity to meet people with a broad range of skill sets and experience. The world of IT is ever-changing and making sure we retain top talent is key!

When we’re not out and about at job fairs or career events, we run our two-person HR department for KAI Partners, a growing company. In this capacity, we interact with a lot of job applicants each day. Over the years, we’ve seen the best of the best…and the not so best. We thought we’d share with you our best practices when job-seeking—these tips may just put you above and beyond the competition in your next job search!

Resume Dos and Don’ts

Resume writing best practices change often (has there ever been consensus on the one-page resume rule?). Here are some tips straight from someone who reviews resumes day in and day out:

  1. Avoid spelling errors by always proofreading your resume—even more, ask someone else to look it over for you
  2. Include your name contact information—at least an email address and phone number (yes, we’ve received resumes with no contact information!)
  3. Say what you need to in as few words as possible—a concise and to-the-point resume speaks volumes
  4. Be targeted—include only those skills and experiences that best speak to the position you are applying for
  5. Use a customized resume for every position you apply for—generic, cookie cutter resumes can come off as lazy to the reviewer
  6. Avoid narratives unless specifically asked for—bulleted lists are the best way to present your information in a way that is clean, easy to read, and pleasing to the eye
  7. Keep your resume up to date—if there are gaps in employment, be prepared to explain or discuss why
  8. Eliminate all fluff from your resume—it should be a few pages as possible
  9. If you are submitting your resume electronically, it is best to save the file in rich text format (.rtf) to help ensure that your formatting stays the same and does not become lost in translation—you want the reviewer to see what you see!

Job Fair Best Practices

If you find yourself at a job fair—or even on a phone or first interview—make sure you employ these tips to stand out above the rest!

  1. Do research—if possible, look up the companies that will be in attendance so that you can be prepared to dazzle them with your knowledge…and to be able to explain why you would be a good fit
  2. Ask questions about the company—use your research to form questions and let the company you are truly interested
  3. Be ready to list some highlights about your experiences—you only have a few minutes to make yourself stand out!
  4. Have your resume printed and ready to hand out
  5. Dress professionally—think of a job fair as a series of quick interviews and be dressed to make a good first impression

These are just a few tips to assist you in applying for jobs that could help you get to the next step of the hiring process. Is there another HR topic you’d like us to cover? Let us know in the comments and we’ll tackle it in a future blog post!

 For those of you in the Sacramento, CA region, check out our current list of job openings here!

 About the Authors: Angela has a background in book-keeping and office management. She worked for Dept. of Child Support, EDD, and the State Treasurer’s office before making the jump back to private sector where she feels more at home to voice her opinion and help grow a company. Angela is currently the Administrative Services Manager for KAI Partners.

 Melissa McManus is a Human Resources Specialist and Researcher by profession and loves every minute of it. Melissa has a Master’s degree in Counseling, and a Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership with a focus in Human Resource Development. Melissa’s professional interests include human behavior, career development, research, writing, training, and knowledge transfer.

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