Friday, January 6, 2012

2012 vs. 2002 – Surveys on Goals are Revealing!

Franklin Covey has done Surveys in 2002 and 2012 on New Year’s Resolutions, satisfaction, goals, and several other factors.  Both surveys had about 1000 responses.  The changes over 10 years are interesting.  People are citing career changes and personal development LESS now than they did 10 years ago.

Take a look at the interesting changes in personal goals over a decade:

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Posted by admin at 5:42 PM

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Who’s On Top? The Candidate / Recruiter “Hierarchy”

There is a lot written in recruiter training and on recruiting blogs about “candidate control” – the notion of the recruiter being “in control” of the candidate.  Here’s a peak behind the curtain….

Because of the mystique of the recruiting business, candidates often assume that there is a lot the recruiter cannot tell them – the name of the employer, the compensation, the location, etc.  Secrecy is actually rarely required in a retained search situation – the recruiter is partnered with the employer, and unless is it a confidential replacement search, the recruiter can candidly discuss most aspects of the search parameters, and in fact should be able to discuss a lot about the company –to enable the candidate to be comfortable enough to move forward.

When a recruiter persists in keeping much about the job a secret, it is a sign they may be on a non-exclusive contingency assignment – competing against other recruiters, where only the recruiter who places the candidate earns any fee.  This situation requires the contingency recruiter to be secretive, because there is a risk of the candidate “going around” the recruiter.  So, secrecy is, in a sense, a sign that the relationship between the recruiter and the employer is not very strong.  Passive candidates (not active job seekers) are justifiably wary of such situations.

In retained search, the employer trusts the recruiter, the candidate trusts the recruiter, and the recruiter acts with full transparency, to be deserving of trust.  The issue of candidate control falls by the wayside, and information flows freely, to everyone’s mutual benefit.

Some recruiters make the transition from contingency to retained, but forget that they can and should change their behavior, and continue to play games with candidates.  Information is power, so they use the game of information exchange to retain control. But that works both ways.  Candidates who are confidentially looking don’t always tell one recruiter about opportunities they are pursuing through another recruiter, or perhaps on their own.  They mislead the recruiter about their compensation and sometimes other critical job history factors, to avoid being ruled out prematurely.  It takes an effort to win their confidence and candor.

In an atmosphere of trust, there is less likelihood of a hierarchy being perceived or needed.  The recruiter who sets this up properly creates a win/win/win for him/herself, the candidate and the employer-client.

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Posted by admin at 5:11 AM

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Politically Correct Holiday Wishes

With credit to Ed J. and perhaps originally George Carlin, we present this politically correct holiday greeting:

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral, celebration of the Winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, with respect to the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all, and a successful, personally fulfilling, and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2012, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other great cultures whose contributions to society have helped make our country great (not to imply that the US is necessarily greater than any other country), and without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith, choice of computer platform, or sexual preference of the wishee.

By accepting this greeting you are accepting these terms. This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal.  It is freely transferable with no alterations to the original greeting.  It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her/himself or others, and is void where prohibited by law, and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher.  This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year, or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.

Best wishes (always subject to the above warranty and disclaimer),



Posted by admin at 1:56 PM

Monday, December 19, 2011

Who’s Afraid of an Interview?

Who do you think has more fear at an interview – the interviewer or the interviewee?

We usually think of interviews as threatening situations more for the interviewee, who is on the firing line, having to think quick, answer questions on the fly, and deal with many unknowns.  Even seasoned sales and marketing people behave differently in interviews. We have to counsel ALL job candidates to think of the situation differently, so they don’t get caught up in the interviewee “persona” – too humble, modest, respectful, caught in a “one-down” hierarchy, etc.  Instead, job candidates need to be engaging, confident, and put themselves on an equal footing with the interviewer.

However, it might surprise you that interviewers have a lot of fear too.  Interviews are high risk in some situations.  You might miss a good person, or make a mistake and hire someone who won’t work out.  The stakes are high.  You have to come up with questions, and work at it to understand the candidate’s answers, fill in your company’s rating form, read body language, etc.  Oh, and don’t forget you also have to adequately sell the candidate on your company – incorporating recruitment into the interview.  Lots of opportunity to mess up equals fear for the interviewer too.

The best way an interviewer can reduce fear is by being better prepared.  Most don’t take the time to familiarize themselves with the candidate’s background first.   Read the resume.  Read any accompanying documents.  Look the candidate up in Google, on LinkedIn, etc.  AND, even more importantly, prepare by knowing what it would take to do the job you are hiring for, so you can ask better questions, and receive more meaningful answers!

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Posted by admin at 7:25 AM

Thursday, December 15, 2011

NBA Trading

On the eve of the shortened NBA season, I can’t help but pay attention to the player trades.

What if business owners could trade employees, like teams in the NBA?  Our local L.A. teams, the Lakers and Clippers have recently been in the news over big name trades, with Chris Paul coming to the Clips, NOT the Lakers, and the Lakers throwing off the NBA’s Sixth Man Award Winner Lamar Odom, much to Kobe Bryant’s consternation.

I think if trading were possible in business, we’d see some interesting deals.  A company with a really aggressive sales plan could acquire a really aggressive VP of Sales, and perhaps shed their plodders, who might fit in at a company more concerned about teamwork.  A visionary product development person (the equivalent of an outside shooter in the NBA) might help a company stuck with stale products to hit more three-pointers.  And, a financial whiz could help in a turnaround scenario more than in a slow-growth company.

What if, instead of salary caps and luxury taxes (in the NBA), there was a no nepotism rule in business.  So, if your son or daughter wanted to come into your business, you had to trade him or her for someone else’s progeny.  Wouldn’t that make business more interesting?

By the way, before you start pining for a first round draft pick, how would you like it if your VP of Sales & Marketing could change his name to Metta World Peace (like the Laker’s Ron Artest did).  How would that look on your business cards?!

Have fun watching basketball this season… what’s left of it, anyway!

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Posted by admin at 5:09 PM