Saturday, April 1, 2017

BOB Search Places Director of Alien Defense

aliens pic

Executive Search Firm Boyle Ogata Bregman (BOB Search) announced today that it has filled the position of Director of Alien Defense for an unnamed Federal agency.  “When we were first approached by the Administration, we thought they meant defending against illegal immigrants, but then they explained this was for extraterrestrial aliens,” said CEO Mark Bregman, adding, “so we thought that would be an exciting search.”

BOB Search scoured the country for experts on Alien Defense, and found many candidates who knew about Aliens, but not necessarily how to defend against them.  Leading candidates included film producer Roland Emmerich (Independence Day 1 & 2, The Day After Tomorrow, Godzilla), but when it was discovered that he was a German Citizen, the hiring authorities called him off.  Another finalist was Blink 182 Co-Founder Tom DeLonge, who has been researching Aliens for years.  However, it became known that the former punk-rocker had recent contact with former Clinton campaign manager John Podesta, and this caused concerns.

The candidate chosen cannot be named officially, due to the highly classified nature of the program, but we can disclose that he is a nationally known Space Cadet, now living in a fortified compound in Idaho.  The position was originally intended to be located in NORAD headquarters or Cheyenne Mountain, both fortified bases that would feel comfortable to the candidate chosen.  Recently, the Administration has indicated that the role will be based near Mar-A-Lago, in Florida, for unknown reasons.

BOB Search is pleased to have helped keep the USA and the planet secure.



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Posted by admin at 2:33 PM

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Top 10 Reasons an “A” Player Will Work for You

Businessman hand pointing to red human sign - business abstract - HR, HRM, HRD ,CRM concept

Whether you are trying to hire for a new position, replacing a “B” or “C” player on your team, or just want to hang on to the stars you have now, here are the key reasons why top performing people will come to work for you or continue to work for you:

  1. Inspiration:  They are inspired by your vision and your leadership.
  2. Impressed by Plans:  They see you have a business plan, and they are impressed by it.  They are also impressed by how you have translated the company’s plan into an individual plan with SMART objectives, for them.
  3. Challenge:  They see the challenges, and want to be part of your team to address the exciting opportunities.
  4. Believe in Potential:  They see the desired outcome, and believe the company can succeed.
  5. Big Hit OR Security:  If you have an emerging growth or start-up company, they can appreciate the chance for a big hit (equity play), or if you are a well-established company, they appreciate the stability and security you offer.
  6. Ability to Make a Difference:  You have spelled out the impact that each individual can have, and each person understands his/her contribution to your results.
  7. Business Transformation: Great leaders like a turnaround, or changing the culture to be more productive.  Define the changes needed.
  8. Culture Feels Right:  They fit in; they understand what the environment is about, and it works for them.  This usually means open communication and no politics!
  9. Better Boss:  Be the best boss they’ll ever have.  If you are credible and consistent, it will be a motivating factor.
  10. Compensation: This is last on the list, because if all the other factors are in place, it won’t be the primary motivator.  Keep yourself market competitive, and provide incentives for good performance, and people will feel they are treated right.

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Posted by admin at 3:16 PM

Saturday, July 2, 2016


time for review

Would you like to have something in common with companies like GE, Accenture, Microsoft, Deloitte and Adobe?  Would you like to be at the forefront of a movement, and do something that 10% of the Fortune 500 have done already?  Then consider eliminating Performance Reviews!

The case against Performance Reviews (PRs) includes stats from many recent surveys: 90% of Managers dislike PRs; 90% of HR professionals think PRs are inaccurate.  In a recent study of over 4400 Managers, variances in PR ratings were shown to be due to rater difference over 60% of the time, not differences in the person being rated!  This is known as “Idiosyncratic Rater Effect” – subjectivity and unpredictability from raters.

Think about your own experience with PRs.  Remember the last review you gave or received?  The odds are you were uncomfortable, anxious and annoyed, no matter which side of the review you were on.

PRs are notoriously inaccurate, but are often used for raises and promotions.  At the very least, subjectivity often trumps objectivity.  Even worse, Managers often have incentives to either inflate or deflate PRs, depending on their needs.  If a Manager’s own review depends on having a highly rated team, PR inflation could result, whereas if holding down departmental costs is important, deflation could occur, in order to save on raises.

The bottom line is that most recent studies show NO correlation between PRs and business results.  So why are most companies still hooked on PRs?  They don’t know any other way to monitor performance, establish criteria for raises and promotional paths, or to give meaningful feedback.

The companies who have eliminated traditional PRs have found another way.  All of these companies have found alternative ways for giving prompt, current feedback, evaluating performance, etc.  The new systems usually include a mechanism for more up-to-date feedback, feedback that is not only based on what is happening right now, but also based on things the employee can actually act upon immediately.  Traditional PRs on the other hand, usually give feedback on things that happened months ago, on which the employee can’t do better anymore.

Many new feedback systems incorporate frequent feedback interactions (often weekly), and some put the ball in the employee’s court.  Knowing that Managers are often swamped, they will have the employee prompt their manager for the weekly meeting, and make sure it happens.

The new systems focus on significant current incidents, and encourage praise as well as opportunities for corrective action while the incident is still happening.  New feedback systems focus on employee strengths, and recognize what else the employee can do to leverage strengths recently observed.  Consistent observation of employee strengths in action can lead to molding and shaping that person’s career based more on actions than traits.

Rather than focus on what the Manager thinks of an employee, the new evaluation systems focus on what the Manager would do with the employee.   At Deloitte, for example, Managers are asked “Would you want this person on your team?  Would you give this person a raise?”  These kinds of questions enable the Manager to act more in the interests of the company, increasing objectivity.

Prompt, current feedback could also be the best way to have the employee register kudos and praise, and ensures that subtle intangibles don’t get lost.  “I like the way you presented to that client; you handled yourself well in that meeting.”  These are not the kinds of things that get saved up and said in an annual review.

Regarding negatives, timely feedback enables the employee to actually act more productively in this incident, or at least on the next one, rather than letting a year of mistakes go by and then having the Manager seem punitive.

If you want to move towards prompt, current feedback, it is important to recognize the power of negatives on employees, and ensure that positive feedback is balancing any negatives.  Employees register negative feedback much more strongly, and sometimes it takes several positives to counteract a negative.

Many companies are implementing newer organizational tools (like Glint) that measure real time performance and increase employee engagement in more consistent systematic ways.

Performance Reviews haven’t yet died, but they are clearly undergoing a transformation, and many big companies are asking themselves what would be more effective.  Time to take a closer look at what works for you.

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Posted by admin at 5:01 PM

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Interviewing Presidential Candidates

interview spotlight

Voting for President is like making the most important “hire” we have to make. As “employers”, we have to make sure the person can do the job, and be effective for at least 4 years, hopefully 8 years if they are really good. Our lives and our livelihoods may depend on making a great choice.

Putting politics aside for a moment (hard to do this year!), imagine if you could interview the Presidential candidates yourself. What would you ask them? Utilizing our Performance-Based approach to qualifying candidates, we could imagine asking them specific questions about their capabilities to perform the job.

Here’s a suggested list:

  • What would you do to restore credibility and trust with the American people and give them faith that our politicians can do a good job?
  • How will you keep America safe from terrorism? How will you defeat the threat from ISIS?
  • How would you improve our position in the world, including relationships with key players on the world stage, whether friend or foe?
  • What would you do to sustain growth in the economy?
  • How would you eliminate deficit spending and reduce our national debt?
  • What would you do about climate change?
  • Has Obamacare helped or hurt the country? What will you do about health care?
  • What is your position on education in this country? Is our educational system capable of preparing the next generation for leadership? What would you do about it?
  • How would you keep America free and equal for all people, including all religions and races, upholding our constitutional mandate?
  • What would you do about immigration?
  • What will you do about gun control and keeping citizens safe from mass attacks?
  • What would you do on social issues like same-sex marriage and abortion availability?

We all have our own answers on these important questions. Before you vote, take a moment to imagine you could interview the candidates – with these questions or your own list – and ensure that your vote is for the person most aligned with your position on the issues.

We all hope we’ll end up with a leader who can get things done, and who can fulfill the mission inherent in the questions above. It is up to each of us to be responsible in making the best choice in this critical hire.

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Posted by admin at 3:13 PM

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Cost of a Bad Hire

snoozing exec

If you are at the C-level (or even the VP level), you are responsible for hiring, retaining, and managing an executive team, and it is important for you to know how much bad hiring can cost you.  Let’s assume that you will be an executive for 20 years, at 5 different companies (avg. 4 years each), with 6 direct reports.  That is 30 hiring / retention opportunities.  By the way, retaining a B or C player instead of making sure you have all A-players, is just as costly as bad hiring of new people.  Let’s further assume you are really good, and get it right 80% of the time (average exec actually hits about 57%).  So, with 30 reports, and a 20% error factor, you are likely to have 6 bad team members over your 20 years as a managing executive.

What will the financial impact be of those bad hires?  If you are at a $50 Million company, aiming for 10% growth, let’s say that a bad exec team member merely lowers your success rate, so you only hit 8% growth instead of 10% growth.  You aren’t getting fired for that, and probably no one else on your team is getting fired either.  But at $50 mil revenue, a 2% loss in growth is $1 million!  Granted, revenue is not EBITDA, but over 20 years, that may cost your owners $20 million in lost revenue.  That could be equal to $20 million in equity, since 5x EBITDA is often about 1x revenue.

Is this important?  After all, you would have gotten $4 mil /year in growth (vs. $5 mil), so you might have achieved $80 million in revenue / potential equity increases (vs $100 mil if you were perfect at hiring) after 20 years.  OK, fair enough.  But what if you are in fact wrong 40% of the time (closer to the average), and you tolerate 12 so-so people out of 30?  Then, the problem compounds.  Instead of missing 40% of the expected revenue increase, you might not get an increase at all if 40% of your team is missing in action, marginally effective, etc.

This example of lost growth revenue is of course just the tip of the iceberg.  In addition to lost revenue, a mediocre team could be failing you on on-time delivery, escapes, customer satisfaction, employee relations (leading to poor utilization and turnover), and a myriad of other operational problems that all cost big money.  How do we know?  These are the performance objectives we get from our clients when we develop position profiles for new executive hires!  When employers replace the poor performers, these are the costly problems they seek to fix.  You must also include time lost by you and the good performers on your team, who often waste productivity trying to get the poor performers up to speed.

In addition to the costs associated with the impact of a poor performer, there are also the actual hard costs of a bad hire:  recruiting fees, candidate travel, relocation, sign-on bonuses, severance, actual salaries paid, and the unpredictable cost of a potential lawsuit.

If you are a regular reader, you have seen our many articles on hiring the right way, to avoid these potentially costly mistakes!  Feel free to request reprints and visit our website to see our comprehensive program for smart hiring.

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Posted by admin at 4:52 PM