Friday, November 14, 2008

The Collapse

Michael Lewis, (Liar’s Poker) succeeds at explaining what went wrong in his article on link here. He walks in the shoes of the guys who saw it coming and made a bundle on the crash. Their revelation and explanation of how CDO market grew large enough to bring down the house is stupefying.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Collaboration & Systemic Change

Peter Senge has had a big influence on my understanding of leadership and ability to impact change. The book he is most closely associated with is The Fifth Discipline. I found a review on You Tube . The book was updated in 2003 and is still is required in many graduate programs. (If you get bored - Chapter 3 starts at the 5 minute mark of the video.)

Companies are living organizations constantly changing based on the actions of people who impact them. Collaborations between people and organizations bring new opportunities for both the individual and the organization to learn, grow and improve. In concert with the collaborations and communication tools and processes the allow sharing, there is always an opportunity for those who are open to reach higher, grow and achieve more.

I have always found opportunities to achieve more appealing and rewarding in difficult times. Today's environment presents the biggest and most challenging opportunity for people to show their potential than at any other time in my career. The Fifth Discipline in all its irony does not address discipline itself. Whether you choose to read the book or not - discipline, determination, extra effort and respect are traits shared by successful people. In the face of Systemic Change that requires Collaboration it's easy to forget what you need to do to achieve. Don't let it happen to you.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

using email when prospecting

Gavin Ingham says "People are really good at ignoring email" - A truism as far as I can see. The people you are trying hardest to connect with are probably the best at ignoring email.

Of course, this assumes you are prospecting... if you are in a client facing sales role and are succeeding without prospecting then let me in on the secret. If you set the bar high, then you prospect all the time and are likely to have already figured this out on your own. Regardless, Ingham's post linked here, is worth a read.

Friday, June 27, 2008

When to build your network: All the time

Jeremiah Owyang's blog discusses how web tools enable companies to connect with customers. He is a Forrester Analyst focused on the social computing industry.

In a recent post Build Your Network Before You Need Them raised a prescient point that you can't expect to become a great networker if you only reach out when in need

"It’s pretty easy to spot those that are just joining the network purely to take –not to give."

Click any of the links to read the entire post.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

"Consistency is critical for sales and business success"

Gavin Ingrham has a rather obtuse post that I thought applicable to a number of scenarios in (the staffing) business. I'll leave the links for you to draw from your own experiences but as he says (in reference to the BBC changing the air time of The Apprentice: Consistency is critical for sales and business success.

Your clients need to know what to expect from you. People thrive on certainty. If you give your clients a coffee one time, you should give them a coffee every time. The BBC might be thinking that they won’t lose any Apprentice viewers over this but they almost certainly will. It may be a slash of the pen for them but for some of their customers this will be seen as sacrilege.

I have a “friend” who runs a cafĂ©. She is supposed to open at 9am. I went down there the other day for a business meeting and she was shut. No reason, no apology, no excuse… just shut. I won’t organise another meeting there again… ever. Not a lot of lost business just from me admittedly but I am not her only customer. How many other customers felt the same and will not be going back?

Sales training tip: If you want to be seen as a reliable, professional and trustworthy business partner for your clients you need to set yourself sales and business standards and stick to them.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Say What you Mean, Mean What you Say

If you have something to hide, people are likely to feel it before you tell them and tacitly question your authenticity before you realize it. Many people struggle with Saying What They Mean (whether for fear of being candid or intent to mislead)and are not so good at concealing their thoughts. This is something that's likely to be impeding their ability to achieve.

The most successful people I know are easy reads. You don’t need to de-code what they mean. They are just naturally adept at saying what’s on their minds. It sounds silly – and it reminds me of Peter Senge .

Senge founded the Organizational Learning lab at MIT – wrote The Fifth Discipline, a cognitive approach to business, and invented the concept of a Learning Organization. To summarize a 400 pager; it about expanding your capacity to create the results you desire. It's probably the most influential applicable concepts to management I have come across. If you prefer Cliff Notes to Books start here:

If you have never heard of Senge it might be because he was a huge advocate of controlled growth. He believed there was a maximum annual growth rate beyond which an organization achieved diminishing returns. He had the unfortunate distinction of writing this just prior to the growth of the Internet in the mid 90’s. The overwhelming majority of this thoughts hold up very well – If you manage or aspire to manage people the book is a must read.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


In his post on The Warshaw Curve, my friend Douglas writes

What percentage of the time do you think people are spending on Facebook and MySpace ingesting "content"? That's not what's driving them there, or driving them around and around the sites once they get there. They're showing up and sticking around for activities (i.e. utilities).

On the money comment. Douglas continues....
Instead of worshiping their own content they (ie traditional media properties-newspapers and the major magazines) need to be relentlessly figuring out how they can integrate it with compelling utilities and service offerings, both on their own sites and by syndicating their content in a branded manner through widgets, gadgets, trinkets and toys that can be shared.

True today but not necessarily true when looking at tomorrow. Parsing content for a specific audience has become the most valuable content at the moment (the top 4 sites in the 18-34m demo google, yahoo, microsoft and msn)...But those guides have to push people to actual content somewhere. When people find content they like the best way by far to ingest content is to use an RSS reader and subscribe to what you want. At that point... there is then little reason to start the quest for content with a search.

The question is when will people adopt RSS and the standard when to ingest infotainment. When the tipping point comes content will once again take center stage.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Are You Making Your Life Easier By Using RSS?

if you are not using an RSS, it's a good post. with good comments


follow up post:

How I Use RSS To Make My Life Easier

"So I’ve tried my best to explain what is RSS and why it’s important to learn how to use. And as I said I find it hard to explain probably because the power of RSS is really something you need to experience first hand."

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

When to fire your clients

In many services businesses and certainly in the Recruitment and Staffing business, the customers you choose determine the level of success you achieve. In the search business we are always looking to add clients who are responsive to our efforts (we only get paid if we are successful) and in the temporary staffing business we are always looking to add clients who pay their bills on time and treat our temporary employees well.

A post on the HBS blog titled "The New Math of Customer Relationships" by Harvard Business School professor emeritus Jim Heskett articulates this better than I can:

When we observed a number of organizations ... we found a common behavior among the most successful ones. In various ways, they "fired" customers who either were abusive in their relationships with employees or were just difficult to serve, perhaps because they fell outside the core constituency (target market) identified in the organizations' strategies. In some organizations, this is a way of expressing support for employees. In others, it is a way of preserving the organization's strategic focus. This is typically not something that an organization advertises. But it is standard practice in a number of organizations today.

For example, at ING DIRECT, the fastest-growing financial services organization in the United States over the past seven years, the company, in as personal and amiable a way as possible, asks 10,000 customers to close their accounts every month. It's important to point out that this is out of a current base of about 6.5 million customers who give ING DIRECT the highest marks for satisfaction out of all U.S. banking organizations. The company fires customers who are especially "high maintenance" because they are unusually high users of the time of its support center personnel. This both preserves a low-cost base for its targeted customer base and, by the way, reduces a source of frustration for employees.

Do you agree with this concept? I do... The assumption being that your business does not depend on a small number of clients. If it does, you probably don't agree and/or regardless if you do, you can't consider this strategy until you land some more clients. So sell more so you can fire your clients too.

Turn Off Distraction

When I was in high school I had cable tv, 2 phone lines and my stereo in my bedroom. Not to go without mention, I also had a bench press/place to hang my pants and a chin-up bar/place to hang shirts. When I needed to study, I would first try to do so while on the phone and watching the Knick game but after my first test scores would come back I would need to turn off the tv and avoid the phone in a desperate attempt to retain all such privileges in the wake of intervention level test scores.

The only difference 25 years later is that my computer (and/or smartphone) is always on and information and entertainment I am interested in is constantly being pushed to me while I am trying to be productive. This highly stimulating and at times satisfying habit allows me to satiate my ADD by juggling a weeks worth of meetings and phone calls, maintaining blogs, subscribing to 20+ feeds while sending and receiving 1000+ emails a week. It does not however, lead me to perform my most important tasks with the required diligence or productivity.

One of the blogs I subscribe to recently suggested (sorry, can't recall which) that limiting to 2x per day the sessions during which you reply to email drastically improves productivity. I get it, but don't think that would be beneficial due to the real time nature of transactions related to managing a recruiting company. But, I do think that turning off elements of distraction are working for me. In a recent post titled "Not productive enough? Turn off the Internet" Robert Scoble writes:

Want to get something done? Turn off Twitter. Turn off Facebook. Turn off blog comments. Turn off FriendFeed. Turn off Flickr. Turn off YouTube. Turn off Dave Winer’s blog and Huffington Post. Turn off TechMeme.

and it makes sense to me...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Digesting Media post AOL, Yahoo, Google and You Tube

Why the hype about Digital Media? If you are still bookmarking your favorite web sites please read on.

The way media is being created, digested and monetized is undergoing dramatic change and is why venture firms are investing in media start-ups. Also developing rapidly are specialty services firms to support the industry.

For the past few years the digital media buzz has been driven by User Generated Content. The most notable places to find popular content today: You Tube, Facebook, MySpace and the blogs. Anything that was called Social Networking yesterday is now called Social Media and will soon just be called Media again.

To understand the hype you have to use an RSS Reader (a user controlled media guide: "tv guide" for the digital age ) the most commercial are Google Reader and My Yahoo but the competitive field is growing and the stakes are high.

Once you have set up your feeds you receive new content from your favorite sources as they are published to the web (and they are then pushed to your reader).

Today, your feed will likely consist of some newspaper topics and blogs you discover. Tomorrow they will be episodes of your favorite tv show, evening news clips and entirely new set of micro-publishers (bloggers) who are creating content (video, audio and written word) on subjects of interest to you. Finding and subscribing a feed is made easier by the RSS Reader. The opportunity for publishers for content is large - as feeds increase the number of "subscribers" (viewers, visitors etc...) they monetize the content by selling ads on the page and in the streams.

When the tipping point is realized the ubiquity of the Internet and the power of digital media will be fully realized.

The B to B service providers like Feedroom, and Kickapp's will see their business grow at an rapidly expanding rate and more importantly the B to C providers like Motionbox, Oddcast's Voki and their competitors who are struggling to monetize the services in the face of free offerings from... You Tube, Google etc... will realize their full potential through their ability to share in the advertising revenue stream.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Randy Pausch

Randy Pausch's inspirational "Last Lecture" has inspired millions of people. He was featured on Prime Time Live last night and was an ABC person of the week some months back.

"I've never known anger to make any situation better"
--Randy Pausch

more links to Randy Pausch

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Negate the Recession Impact - Outperform the Competition

Over the past weeks I have met with 3 industry professionals in our office and received unsolicited compliments from all on Bond’s front desk operations. I am glad our first corporate impression is such a positive one and am hopeful we are sustaining that level of excellence throughout our clients’ experiences. Thank you Martha for making our clients and candidates feel welcome. There is no greater compliment in business then one paid by a competitor

Two questions will hang over all services companies trying to succeed in the current economic environment:

1. How do we improve the level of service we provide?
2. How do we increase the number of clients we are providing services to?

In a slower hiring market we can’t afford a lapse in services and we also have to sell to more clients to generate similar results. If we provide great service to more clients, we can at least guarantee we will outperform our competition. If we do not then we place ourselves in a high risk position.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Companies, Employees, and Social Media requires Trust

Jeremiah Owyang's post raises issues for many businesses.

"In this new world, where Social Media is going to be part of many of our communication fabrics, we need to establish trust, as the lines are never going to be fully black and white"

Many businesses try to build processes that remove trust from the equation. I hear examples everyday. My best friend works for a company that blocks employee access to personal email accounts and I speak with people in our industry each week who work for companies where managers hoard information for fear of an employee gaining some "secret" and leaving to become a competitor.

For Bond, our employees, clients and candidates are all sharing the same social media space on Facebook, Linked In, My space etc...and Jeremiah has hit a bulls eye as it relates to our strategy for achieving our organizations objectives. He writes:

"As a result, trust has become more and more important, and we need to consider the following (as it’s not going away)

1) Companies: Hire the right employees that have integrity, sound business judgment, and know how to communicate both internally and externally
2) Companies: Trust in these employees to be your ambassadors to the world, give them the benefit of the doubt, and let them self-correct amongst themselves...
3) Employees: Those out in the social sphere should act their best, demonstrate your ability, and try not to embarrass the company. If you do make a mistake, quickly apologize, correct the mistake. Always act in an ethical manner."

The culture of an organization is defined by it's people (at every level). This fact has never before been more significant. In consideration of this, I am motivated to enhance our ability to communicate the characteristics at our foundation.

For me to want to come to work everyday I need to work with people who share a dedication to integrity, excellence in service, desire for knowledge, openness for innovation and take pride in their ethics. Our challenge is to maintain our culture while we grow. If we are timely in our ability to identify and rectify issues that threaten our values then we will be in a better place, if not, then we will have aspirations that are not achieved.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

If selling is so simple why can’t everyone do it?

Fantastic article by Gavin Ingham . certainly makes me think about the people I have hired who have not succeeded in Recruiting. I'll ask everyone at Bond Street Group to read it. Success in our business is linked to a combination of skills and experience but exceptional performers all have the attitude Gavin articulates. What he describes as the required attitude is something that no amount of training can substitute for it.

credit crisis - best explanation yet - NYT today

Can’t Grasp Credit Crisis? Join the Club
Published: March 19, 2008 NYT.
This may not be comforting, but your confusion is shared by many people in the middle of this financial crisis

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

What kind of word-of-mouth advertising drives sales?

— Martha Lagace writes on the HBS blog:

"According to new research by HBS professor David Godes and Yale colleague Dina Mayzlin, word of mouth that is most effective at moving sales forward "is created by less loyal customers, not loyals, and occurs between acquaintances (not friends)." As for whose opinions most make a difference, the researchers found a wrinkle in the common wisdom that opinion leaders are what count. While it is true that opinion leaders carry great weight among very loyal customers, their word of mouth may be less influential among the less loyals. Rather, a wide social network may be the key. Godes and Mayzlin describe more in their article "Firm-Created Word-of-Mouth Communication: Evidence from a Field Test," forthcoming in Management Science."

No surprises here. What has changed over the past few years is the ease with which you can maintain substantive acquaintances. Some of the most successful people I know were successful at building a tremendous social network before email, myspace, friendster, facebook and linkedin. Today's tools suggest the playing field has been levelled and the social skills required to build a successful network have been dimunized by technology. If you can't do it now then you should find a profession that does not require relationship building and social networking skills. But a true differentiator between mediocre and exceptional performance in business is still and will continue to be tied to your willingness to pick up the phone and your ability connect directly with someone. More importantly, to inspire someone that is not already a friend or acquaintance to meet with you. My partner would call this "old fashioned sales skills".

Monday, March 17, 2008

solve my problem and land the job

Ovation Travel CEO Paul Metselaar says:

"You can't believe how many resumes are sent to me by people who want to meet with me but who don't make any effort to understand our business. About three years ago a woman looking for a marketing position spoke to some of our executives and then came to me unsolicited with a proposal to lead an effort at our company to market travel services to hedge funds, she has been with us ever since."

Hiring managers are used to reviewing a resume and maybe a cover letter. 99% of candidates play along, hope for the best and then often complain about the poor response they get to submissions. Smart questions and good ideas impress people. If you have the experience and come to a hiring manager with good ideas about how you can improve their business you will certainly stand out and are likely to get the job. We recently started requesting this info from candidates for some jobs prior to submitting them to our clients. I have been impressed with the response. The process gets the candidate and the recruiter thinking about our clients business, improving efficiency all around and adding value to the process.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Economy Impacts Hiring - revision

One day after my last post, Bear Stearns implodes and the fragility of the hiring market in New York was exposed like a bad rash. While the unemployment rate for college grads remains in the 2% range we may clearly be in the midst of a significant hiring slowdown that would create shakeout in the recruiting market.

In anticipation of possibly significant Wall Street layoffs, strong staffing managers in the NY market will become increasingly sensitive to the performance of their recruiters and salespeople. Change in the market presents an opportunity for a strong manager, salesperson or recruiter. If you have the skills, high aspirations and the corresponding dedication the payoff can be better in a weaker economy. For underperformers, it could quickly become a time that expedites the opening of the exit door. Equally at risk are professionals impervious to the required adjustments of a changing market.

What our managers are looking for from our team is:
1. Consistent new client activity
2. Increased responsiveness to existing work flow and clients
3. Dedication and Commitment to excellence and teamwork

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Bond Recruiter to lead Panel at Streaming Conference

On Wednesday, May 21 at 1:45 PM. Janet Hagan from Bond's Digital Media team is hosting a program panel on Independent Content called: "Creating New Revenue Streams" at Streaming Media East in NYC.

The preamble to the discussion reads as follows:
What does the landscape look like for writers, content producers, and video creators who want to use the internet as the next broadcast medium? What are the non-studio/traditional revenue streams on the internet, and who’s in the best position to profit from them? Hear from traditional broadcast producers creating companies focusing on unique web-based video and hear what types, genres, and lengths of videos are getting the most traction. Attendees will also learn what kinds of content are going to generate the most dollars online and hear where those dollars are expected to come from.

click here to go to the web site for this year's event

Monday, March 10, 2008

Dare to be Different

At the end of a relatively uneventful conference (The Staffing Industry’s Executive Forum ) was a keynote speech given by Kevin Freiberg about succeeding by daring to be radically different. Dr. Freiberg, Executive Coach and Author of a book called “Guts, Companies That Blow The Doors Off Business-As-Usual”, spoke on doing things differently and why that matters. I am fortunate enough to work with people creating an environment like this at Bond. See a great example in today’s NYT article about Ben Bergman’s efforts to use Facebook to create an extended network for Blood Donation.

Kevin’s challenge to us is to :

“Blow the doors off business as usual …. it takes guts to do things different and lead with love and trust vs abstract opportunity and fear.”

He says that change happens with leadership 1st and challenges us to decide what about us has to change in order to create a work place where people come and are fully engaged and clients are passionate about telling our story.

To me leadership does not necessarily mean management.
The core of his message about how to differentiate your service is that
“no advertising is as trusted as the spontaneous testimony of a delighted client! Clients and candidates are telling your story, would you be proud of what they are saying?”

What principles and practices are setting companies apart?
That does not mean you have to provide a radically different product or process. Being good, hard working and likable will usually get the job done. Consultants love to make business sound really complicated and throw in some 3D charts and graphs. But, clients (and candidates) choose to do business with people who are competent and can provide value and who they also like. Can you make your client feel better, or laugh? Do you lend an ear when they need one?

Do you go above and beyond, even better but not mandatory….

I am fortunate that we have some great leadership in our organization and some great stories to tell. I hope are being shared with our clients and candidates.

We have developed a dedicated culture that enables us to respond to candidates and client requests on a Monday or a Sunday within minutes; where it is not unusual to find someone online in the middle of the night working on a client request; where our recruiters are deliver 16 point data summaries to their clients to ensure the client has enough candidate information at their fingertips. Most importantly a culture that values and supports our community. See Ben's article referenced above.

Kevin asks:
what makes you unforgettable?

and continues with...
“ Lots of people are selling same service. Be radically different … That takes courage. Someone may tell you that's not the way we do things here... but If we took you away, would you be missed? Or would the transition to another firm be seamless if your firm didn’t exist”

The examples he uses to make his point:
Southwest airlines would be missed because they lower airfares
Harley Davidson would be missed.
Starbucks would be missed.
If we took you away, would you be missed?

Can you make hiring fun? You would get your story told.

Leaders are found at every level of an organization. Tomorrow’s CEOs are today’s assistants. They get there because they have guts. They are able to differentiate themselves with a positive presence and strong performance . There is a place they want to get to and they have a sense of urgency to get there.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

do you know your clients?

I have been encouraging our Account Managers to increase their face time with clients. Our market – the recruiting market has some very client particular indicators that are hard to read in an email. When the economy was kicking our clients were an easier read –desperate for talent and needing us to be working the candidate market hard for them. We are lucky to have some great clients, and a good number are still in high gear, but as the economy cools it is much more important for us to be connected to our clients’ strategic, tactical and immediate needs. The obvious reason for this is the competitive nature of the recruiting market but the true reason is that our business is contingent recruiting so we have a vested interest in having an intimate understanding of our clients needs. If we don’t understand something then we aren’t successful and will not get paid. In our recent management meeting I was fairly ambiguous about what information need to gather from our clients –This is fairly uniform regardless of the service you offer and should include:

Are there any new or upcoming strategic initiatives impacting their business?
Are they getting a ROI on the service (people) we have provided?
What are the biggest factors impacting their business and what type of person would make the biggest impact.

Meetings can be a great source of value for both client and vendor. If you have the right clients they should look forward to seeing you (this is a good test of who you choose to have as a client). If the information you receive is documented and collected in a database and is shared with all the members of your team then you have significantly enhanced you ability to get to the next level. Congrats.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

two laws of email

Have you sent emails that you wish you could recall?-
(recall for real, not the lame recall built in to Outlook).

I have tried hard to follow these rules for years but just yesterday I was a bad boy....

Law # 1: If your email has the possibility to illicit a negative emotional response then don't send it. Deliver it in person or at least via phone so you have a chance to reconcile in real time.

Law #2: If you break law # 1, apologize asap.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Positivity is a Choice and is Magnetic

My good friend and G-Net TV President John Rosenberg comments that so many bloggers choose to “go negative” and are a bunch of whiners. He commented that my first few posts could be leading me down that dark path. Thank you John. Unfortunately there is something in human nature that makes going negative all too easy. Negative thinking can suck the life out of your aspirations and the image that you project to your peers.

People want to do business with successful and happy people. This obvious fact can be easily under appreciated. If you consider the inverse statement, it's hard to argue the accuracy. So... either be a good actor or enjoy the journey, project a positive self image and enjoy the benefits of going positive.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Bond's 08' business- why i am optimistic:

You can't miss the gloomy economic news. But that does not mean you can't have a great 08'. As each week goes by, I'm gaining confidence that this will be Bond's most successful year. Of the decisions you make s a manager, the most impactful are your hiring decisions. Certainly, a prudent strategy that recognizes your market's strengths and weaknesses is required but most significant to me is building a strong foundation around great people. We have great people at many levels of our organization. If your team enrolls in the plan and shares a level of commitment, professionalism, passion and dedication to the organization then your company will outperform the baseline in any economy and you should feel good about your chances for success.

In 2 1/2 years we have become a team of 30+ and I can't imagine feeling better about it. We have been able to do this while growing a great group of established and fast growing clients and developing our business processes on the go - something that can easily doom a fast growing start up company. We have also overcome some cancerous bad hires and emerged stronger and closer.

I find myself roaming our office feeling a contagious buzz of positive energy in our practice groups. If you are working in a venture funded early stage start up you may say "big deal" - but we are home grown company in a mature industry that is rarely associated with the traits I mentioned above. Big props go out to our leadership team that is setting a great tone, pace and example for their respective teams. People at all levels of our organization are stepping up outside of their individual responsibilities.

Props this week to Justin Kim who rocked the development of our new live job post tool and our company Facebook page. He took the initiative to make change happen for the entire company. This is one of many examples I experienced this week of people going the distance for the team. The team's mutual commitment to each other is vital to the success of your organization. Our team is constantly reaffirming that level of commitment and that is why I am optimistic.

I could keep going but I think I made my point. Service or Product - the individuals commitment to the organization can overcome a few bad hires, growing pains and a turbulent economy so.... don't settle.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Why I pay Search Fees

The next time you are looking to make an important hire consider that strong recruiters choose which clients they want to work with and choose which clients see which candidates first... I use a recruiter that specializes in the staffing industry (Search Inc - ) for Bond Street and I pay 25% - they might continue to work with me if I insisted on paying less...but why would I think I was doing my business any justice? Sure I would save 5% but now I see the top people in my industry at the same time or before my competitors - that's certainly worth more than 5%?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Frank Rich - NYT today, on running a bad campaign

The analogy holds for our country, your company and our company. As an executive or as a candidate don't forget to finish the race. A fast start doesn't mean victory is gauranteed, and never underestimate the competition.

venture funded start-up seeks "freebies" from vendors

I replied directly to Charlie O'Donnell's post a week ago. Charlie has successfully raised some money behind a very solid concept and is blogging his way through his experience . I don't see his rant on the company blog but you can find a link to it on his personal blog here:

Charlie is bothered that salepeople are soliciting his business and not offerring him "freebie" incentives. Charlie has strong opinions on a lot of subjects.

You don't need to be a salesperson or a recruiter to appreciate what it takes to do either successfully. I wonder if Charlie has ever sold anything? I did not ask.

Charlie wrote:

"I'm busy right now. Really busy. I'm running a company that's trying to get product out the door. You want me to make time for you, but what have you done for me? Clearly, you're reading blogs enough to notice when people raise money, but you're not actually reading them for content. You seem to have missed the new business model: provide as much value as possible and demand less."

Charlie, we the salespeople, recruiters, insurance professionals, lawyers, accountants, etc... We provide as much value and service as possible so that we can justify our fees. Isn't that the essence of capitalism? You can find your own executives and write your own contracts for free if you feel it's the best use of your time.

Charile continues:
"...Talk to us how we talk to our community... in an open and interactive way. And how about throwing me a freebie? What's the lifetime value of a recruiting client that runs a successful business? What's your margins? I'm surprised that recruiters don't ever offer heavily discounted or free referrals because if they found someone good for me, I'd be convinced of their value and probably use them again and again later on... and probably also make lots of referrals. Right now, I'm still convinced I can find people on my own, so show me someone I would have never ever found."

Good recruiters are looking to develop strategic relationships with a handful of clients so we can get paid. Throw you a "freebie"? We work for our money - nobody is giving it to us in the hope of a payday down the road. We (speaking for all us) look out for our clients, provide a service and value. We avoid clients who don't have the experience to appreciate us because they waste our time and time is the only real asset we have. Contingent recruiters are not asking for your hard earned money unless we are successful. That sounds like a fair value proposition. Don't worry about our margins. If we can help you achieve your goals before you run out of money then our margins are affordable and have value.

If you are trying to grow a company you can't quantify or overvalue the contributions your vendors can make. You will need good ones that don't waste your time. They will have skill, desire, hustle, chemistry and competence. Successful business owners and managers usually recognize that... You very often get what you pay for.

Can you run a campaign?

How a politician runs their campaign is likely a good indicator of how they would manage that office if elected. If you can't run a professional campaign, why would I vote for you? I hold the candidates we consider for employment in our organization to the same standard.

Over the past month we have had candidates for senior level positions both at Bond and with our clients who have failed to manage their campaign effectively. While it is always a surprise, it is all too common. Needless to say, these candidates were qualified, interviewed very well, were very accomplished, and did not get the jobs.

If you aspire to getting somewhere beyond where you currently are in your career. Or if you are trying to get off the ground floor, you should pay close attention to what the expectations are of whatever position you are trying to get and work to exceed what is expected. There is competition at every level and the people who are succeeding are doing this very well.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

working with more than one recruiter?

are you working with more than one recruiter and/or pursuing opportunities on your own as well. If you want a successful relationship with your recruiter treat them the same way you would your partner or spouse - tell them what's going on. If you receive a job offer you would tell your spouse, so tell your recruiter. They are both trying their best to look out for you and it's just as likely you will damage your relationship with your recruiter as it is you would damage you relationship with your spouse if you don't ... a recruiter can't represent you and is unable to provide guidance to you without your full disclosure. Not to go unrecognized in this post - the impact on your recruiter's relationship with their client. If this is the case, you will have created a situation where your recruiter will likely lose the trust and confidence of a client and/or co worker and you ("the candidate") will likely lose the trust of and the ability to work with that recruiter again.

are you overqualified? Articulate why you are interested

Too many times Bond's recruiters and hiring managers receive resumes (with no apparent explanation) that are so wholly overqualified for a position that they will not bother to consider you. If you are changing industries or have fallen off a growth path or a looking for something different, make sure you articulate that in your resume. Are you open to working at a lower salary than your resume would suggest? Maybe you have a good reason for that - Don't just assume hiring managers are going to want to spend time calling you to figure it out. If you post your resume to a job board or submit it to a company, make sure it tells your story accurately.