Johnson & Johnson: 4 Ways to Boost Your Job Hunt in 2018

Take a few tips from Johnson & Johnson's Vice President of Global Talent Acquisition for really impressing those head hunters.

(Originally published on J&

Johnson & Johnson is No. 5 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list

In today's hyper-connected world, it goes without saying that technology has disrupted nearly every aspect of our lives.

You can tap an app to hire a car instead of hailing a cab, use a boxed-food delivery service to whip up a gourmet dinner in place of making a trip to the grocery store—and even use your smartphone to communicate with your doctor.

Yet there's one important area of life that remains stubbornly stuck in the past: the job search. Lots of people still submit their resumes the old-school way through job boards, which can be a largely inefficient and unproductive process.

But according to Johnson & Johnson's Vice President of Global Talent Acquisition Sjoerd Gehring that's about to change.

According to Gehring, recruiting is on the cusp of a massive overhaul that will rely on tech-driven solutions to yield a better fit for hiring managers—and fewer frustrations for candidates.

"In our day-to-day lives, we have come to expect rich, highly-designed digital interactions," Gehring says. "If you compare the way you engage with such user-focused services as Netflix or Amazon to the way you go after your next job, the difference is incredibly large."

Gehring is hoping to lead the charge in transforming job-hunting as we know it, so we sat down with him to hear more about the direction recruiting is headed—and how candidates can retool their own approach to looking for a new gig in 2018.

1) Make Your Search Personal

If there's a company you'd love to work for, or you've found a job posting that you're psyched about, the smartest way to get your foot in the door is to leverage a personal connection with a current employee.

"By far, the most successful approach is relationship-centric," Gehring says. "Thanks to LinkedIn and Twitter, it has never been easier to find and reach out to people."

So if you're interested in a company, he suggests connecting with staffers by commenting on posts they write and hopefully sparking a dialogue about your area of expertise and passion for the organization's mission.

Once you've established a rapport, when the right position comes around, you'll have an advocate who can vouch for the value you could add to the company.

2) Skip the Cover Letter

You heard that right. "Nobody reads it," Gehring says, adding that your overall online presence has taken the place of that old-school stand-by as a more authentic window into your professional life.

As for your resume, Gehring advises keeping it short—and focused on outcomes you've achieved, rather than activities. "I hardly look at resumes because they are not an accurate or validated representation of skills," he explains. "My biggest advice for candidates is to look at their brand and how they come across professionally online. Not enough people take this seriously."

So instead of spending hours fine-tuning your resume and crafting that perfect cover letter, pour your time into developing a web personality by doing things like writing LinkedIn posts and linking to thought-provoking content others have published.

"If a recruiter is looking for people with your background, your name should pop up online as a no-brainer for them to reach out to for an initial conversation," Gehring says.

3) Give Yourself the Benefit of the Doubt

Under Gehring's direction, Johnson & Johnson is in the process of rethinking recruiting strategies to better hone in on the right candidates. One area the company is looking to address is how to make sure job openings appeal to a diverse set of people.

For example, research has shown that when women and men read a traditional job description, featuring a bulleted list of qualifications, they assess their eligibility very differently.

"A woman might look at 10 bullet points and determine she only meets eight of them, so she's not the right fit and doesn't apply," Gehring explains. "But a man who is equally qualified might overestimate his abilities, thinking he satisfies eight out of 10 requirements, and apply for the job."

Luckily, forward-thinking companies like Johnson & Johnson are revamping job descriptions in order to help avoid such bias—but in the meantime, women should give themselves more leeway when deciding whether or not they have ample experience for a potential role.

4) Research the Culture and Mission

In addition to a candidate's fundamental skill set, another important quality recruiters look for is whether that person is also a good cultural fit. Some very talented individuals might not thrive in a certain setting, so you need to prove that you have what it takes to be successful within the company.

In order to help demonstrate that you're a great match, do your homework about the company's philosophies and mission. "Ask yourself a couple of key questions: Are your personal values aligned with theirs? Are you passionate about the same things the company is?" Gehring says.

He also suggests setting up a Google alert to receive news about the company—and following what the CEO and other key leaders at the company are saying about the industry at large.

Bottom line: In order to impress the hiring manager, you have to express what Gehring calls "purpose behind paycheck."

"It's not just about your career and upward potential," Gehring explains. "Talk about how you can contribute to the company's broader objectives."

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Originally Published by Johnson & Johnson.

Johnson & Johnson announced that it has accepted the binding offer from Platinum Equity, previously announced on March 16, 2018, to acquire its LifeScan business for approximately $2.1 billion. LifeScan, Inc. is a world leader in blood glucose monitoring and maker of the OneTouch® brand of products.

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Originally Published by Johnson & Johnson.

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Originally Published by Johnson & Johnson.

A new study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion is the first to demonstrate that a short, intensive workplace wellness intervention can produce sustained improvements in wellbeing. Specifically, the study found that a 2.5-day intervention led to sustained improvements in employee vitality (energy levels) and purpose in life, two important components of wellbeing, over a period of six months. There have been studies on the value and importance of these components, but this is the first study to demonstrate they can be improved through a workplace wellness intervention. The study was led by nutrition scientists at Tufts University, with contributions from two additional authors from Johnson & Johnson Health and Wellness Solutions.

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Originally Published by National Organization on Disability.

On November 1st, the National Organization on Disability held our Corporate Leadership Council Fall Luncheon and Roundtable. Hosted at Sony's New York offices, the event centered on the topic of mental health in the workplace.

Members of our Board of Directors and executives from nearly 40 companies held a candid conversation, heard from business leaders, and participated in an insightful Q&A where successful strategies were discussed to accommodate and support employees with mental illness in the workplace.

"Mental illness is the single biggest cause of disability worldwide," said Craig Kramer, a panelist at the event and Chair of Johnson & Johnson's Global Campaign on Mental Health. "One out of four people will have a clinically diagnosable mental illness at some point in their lives," he continued. Another 20 to 25% of the population will be caregivers to loved ones with a mental illness.

The costs are staggering. "In the coming decades, mental illness will account for more than half of the economic burden of all chronic diseases, more than cancer, diabetes, and chronic respiratory diseases combined…. It's trillions of dollars," said Kramer.

From an employer's perspective, the need for a successful strategy to deal with mental illness in the workplace is clear. But what are the most effective ways to confront this challenge? Roundtable participants discussed a wide range of ideas and success stories aimed at de-stigmatizing mental health and incorporating the issue into wider conversations around talent, productivity, and inclusion.


  1. Be empathetic. "The most important workplace practice [with respect to mental health] is empathy," said NOD President Carol Glazer. Empathy is critical for normalizing conversations about mental health, but also for maximizing productivity. "A feeling of psychological safety is important," said Lori Golden, a panelist and Abilities Strategy Leader for Ernst & Young; and this sense of safety requires the empathy of colleagues to flourish.
  2. Tell stories. "Nothing is more activating of empathy than for people to share their powerful stories," said Dr. Ronald Copeland, NOD Board member and Senior Vice President of National Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and Policy and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for Kaiser Permanente. Copeland's organization partners with the renowned nonprofit, Story Corps, to capture the stories of Kaiser Permanente employees, and also provides a platform on the company intranet for employees to communicate in a safe space. Both Craig Kramer and Lori Golden also shared examples of how their companies provide opportunities to share their stories and "start the conversation, break the silence," as Kramer put it.
  3. Model from the top. Carol Glazer received a standing ovation at the luncheon for her account of her own experiences with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This type of executive-level modeling sends a powerful message that a company is committed to improving mental health for all employees. Lori Golden shared how EY had experienced great success with a program where top-level managers host office-specific events and share stories of mental illness or addiction that they are personally connected to – either about their colleagues or loved ones or, in a surprisingly high number of instances, about themselves. Senior leadership setting the example conveys that this is a forum in which employees can feel comfortable sharing.
  4. Communicate peer-to-peer. "We all know that there's greater trust of our own peers than there is of the organization," said Lori Golden. So to build trust, EY "took it to the grass roots," creating formal opportunities for employees to have conversations about mental health and asking other ERGs to co-sponsor these events. Craig Kramer also noted that Johnson & Johnson had simply folded mental health issues into their global disability ERGs, eventually building the world's second-largest mental health ERG by piggy-backing on existing infrastructure and leveraging existing connections.
  5. Be flexible. Accommodating [the fact that people live busy, complex lives] gets you better buy-in…and keeps production pretty high," suggested Dr. Copeland. A representative from one Council company concurred, explaining how their company has recently instituted a new policy of paid time off for caregivers on top of federally-funded leave. "Being in a culture in which we measure what you produce and not whether you show up in person all day, every day, and where if you can't be there, you negotiate how the deliverables will get done and in what time frame…is immensely helpful to people who themselves have mental illness issues or addiction or are caring for those who do and may need some flexibility," summarized Lori Golden.
  6. Build a trustworthy Employee Action Plan. Many employees do not access or even trust their organization's internal resources. According to Craig Kramer, the percentage of calls placed to most company Employee Action Plans (EAPs) regarding mental health is "in the low single digits," while "if you look at your drug spend, you'll find that around 50% is [related to] mental health." The people answering those calls must be trained in mental health issues, and employees also need to be assured that EAPs are truly confidential.

While revealing and accommodating mental illness remains a massive challenge in the workplace and beyond, a number of successful strategies are emerging for tackling this challenge – many of them pioneered by companies in NOD's Corporate Leadership Council.