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.