Women-Owned Businesses Continue to Grow in Number

The Women Presidents’ Organization
The Women Presidents’ Organization 2016 Annual Conference
Image: womenpresidentsorg.com

Co-leading the boutique recruiting firm HirePerfect, J. Melissa Cooper is a graduate of New York University. J. Melissa Cooper serves in a consulting role for the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO), joining roundtables to advise women executives on search and hiring issues from an HR standpoint.

A nonprofit membership organization, WPO consists of women presidents of multimillion-dollar companies. The purpose of the organization is to advance women entrepreneurs and improve conditions and opportunities for female executives.

The number of women in executive leadership positions has grown in the last few years, according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau. Between 2007 and 2012, women-owned businesses grew by more than a quarter to 27.5 percent, or 9.9 million businesses. Together, women-led businesses generated more than $1.5 trillion in receipts, as of 2012.

The majority of women-owned firms are sole proprietorships; only about 10 percent employ additional people. Still, women-owned firms with employees added 1.5 million jobs between 2007 and 2012.

Enterprising Women Magazine Honors Female Business Leaders

Enterprising Women Magazine pic
Enterprising Women Magazine
Image: enterprisingwomen.com

J. Melissa Cooper serves as the managing partner of HirePerfect, an executive search firm that she cofounded. Earlier, she bootstrapped an Internet startup called RezBiz, which she built into a company with 400 employees and several million dollars in annual revenue, before selling it to Talent Inc. The 2014 winner of the Enterprising Woman of the Year Award, J. Melissa Cooper now sits on the Enterprising Women Advisory Board.

Founded in 1997 as a voice and forum exclusively for women business owners, Enterprising Women magazine publishes stories of the challenges, concerns, solutions, and successes of entrepreneurial women and of their increasing influence politically, economically, and socially. In addition, the magazine encourages women to think big and follow their dreams, providing role models and mentors to guide them.

Every spring, Enterprising Women recognizes outstanding businesswomen at its annual Enterprising Women of the Year Awards celebration. Winners are selected for having fast-growing businesses, for mentoring or supporting other women entrepreneurs, and for serving their communities.

Understanding Critical Skills Shortage as a HR Management Risk

HirePerfect pic
HirePerfect
Image: hireperfect.com

Respected human resources professional J. Melissa Cooper functions as a managing partner of HirePerfect, which she cofounded. J. Melissa Cooper is experienced in managing the shortage of critical skills and other HR risks.

Critical skills shortage is perhaps one of the most common HR risks. Lacking an efficient workforce to drive your organization, work for a subsidiary, or implement strategic corporate policy can seriously hamper a company.

Companies that are newly formed, looking to tap into emerging markets, or planning to retire their aging workforce all face a critical skills shortage. Experienced HR professionals assess such shortages via a multi-step approach that involves analyzing the organization as a whole, assessing each of its positions, and both quantifying and prioritizing identified risks in terms of their potential severity and likelihood of occurrence. A contingency plan is then established for the company to ensure its smooth operation in the event of risk exposure.

Improving Talent Retention Rates

HirePerfect pic
HirePerfect
Image: hireperfect.com

A talented entrepreneur and business leader, J. Melissa Cooper is the co-founder and managing partner of HirePerfect, a human resources firm that provides clients with top talent in their field. Holding a master’s degree in human resources along with PHR and SPHR certifications, J. Melissa Cooper understands the importance of labor relations and talent retention and management.

High employee turnover rates are expensive for any business, so keeping the talent you find is crucial to your overall success. Good talent retention begins at the interview process. During this time, focus on finding the best talent for your position but also on finding talent that is retainable. Employees are the ones who ultimately decide whether to leave a company or stay, but you can influence their side of things during the interview process. Once you’ve hired an individual, get to know them. Gathering feedback from employees is an easy way of doing this, but it is important that you actually make changes based on the feedback if you want your employees to stay happy.

If you are not receiving much feedback from employees directly, try creating an employee-centered environment that promotes healthy work/life balance. Robotic work is difficult for employees in all industries, so make sure your employees are taking enough time off to relax. Sufficient relaxation time will increase productivity and overall happiness.

Additionally, consider implementing a flexible hour policy that allows employees to choose their specific hours in an eight-hour day. This flexibility can help employees better manage their personal needs while taking less time off. Further, make sure your employees know that their work is valued. Reward top performers, thank employees for their work, and show them the results of their work.

Dress for Success’ Young Executives for Success Program

Dress for Success pic
Dress for Success
Image: dressforsuccess.org

After leaving a secure corporate position outside of Boston, J. Melissa Cooper plunged into the unknown world of freelance writing. Starting from scratch and later founding RezBiz, LLC, with only $700, J. Melissa Cooper built her bootstrap company into a multimillion-dollar enterprise before joining Dress for Success to empower young women entrepreneurs through the Young Executives for Success (Y.E.S!) program.

Launched in New York City as a volunteer branch of Dress for Success, the Y.E.S! program is now present in several countries across the globe. Y.E.S! hosts networking and social events aimed at offering mentorship and support to female professionals.

The group’s members include mid-career women between the ages of 25 and 40, representing companies as diverse as Bank of America, GE, Nike, and Intel, as well as entrepreneurs leading small businesses. The members, who are potentially next-generation leaders for Dress for Success, volunteer five hours a month to host special sittings and evenings, lead development workshops, provide pro bono services, and organize fundraisers for affiliate programs.

Elements of an Effective Resume

HirePerfect pic
HirePerfect
Image: hireperfect.com

J. Melissa Cooper cofounded the resume writing firm HirePerfect in 2009. She continues to serve the company as managing partner. J. Melissa Cooper has prior experience with Talent Inc. and RezBiz LLC.

Composing a resume can be a difficult task. While a professional resume writing firm can assist in the creation of an effective resume, individuals should understand a few of the most important characteristics.

Most importantly, job seekers should never forget that a resume is essentially a marketing tool used to sell their skill set and experience. With this in mind, a resume should place the most valuable pieces of information up front while providing all relevant work experience and education in a neat, concise manner.

Secondly, job seekers must work tirelessly to perfect their resume down to the smallest details, such as spelling, grammar, and aspects of basic formatting. Any potential employer who comes across a typo or spelling mistake will likely assume the writer plans to put forth the same amount of effort in their work.

Finally, a resume should demonstrate aesthetic appeal. Fonts and colors should be easily readable, and resume writers should use distinct headings so that a reader can move effortlessly between sections such as employment history and education.

Stretches for Tennis Players

Stretches for Tennis Players pic
Stretches for Tennis Players
Image: stretchcoach.com

J. Melissa Cooper has served as a managing partner at HirePerfect since cofounding the resume writing firm six years ago. Beyond her professional activities, J. Melissa Cooper enjoys staying active by playing tennis.

As is the case with any physical activity, individuals must remember to properly stretch before a tennis match to help avoid an injury. The rotating wrist stretch is one of the most important stretches, as the wrist is used virtually every time a player’s racket contacts the ball. To stretch the wrist, a player should extend one arm straight in front of the body. To complete the rotating wrist stretch, players can move the wrist down, out, and back up while using the other hand to maximize the rotation.

The kneeling heel-down Achilles stretch, meanwhile, is a good way to avoid undue stress on the ankles and frequent ankle rolls. To begin the stretch, players should kneel on one knee while placing the weight of their body over the other. The stretch is completed by keeping the kneeling heel flat across the floor while leaning forward over the bent knee.