Friday, January 28, 2011

Nevermind Dodd-Frank….here comes the recovery

In today’s NY Times there was an editorial about whether or not 2010 was a good year for big banks in the US. I would love to give the author credit, however I didn’t see the name mentioned. You can read the article in its entirety here: . The article tells us that with the exception of Bank of America, all of the big banks were profitable in 2010. Then it explains that the numbers are misleading, as all of the bank’s profits were boosted from by large withdrawals of cash reserves set aside to cover losses. Thus, to get a truer sense of a bank’s condition, you need to look at its actual revenue.

The author suggests that although revenues are not what they used to be, this is a good thing because a slower recovery would be a more stable recovery with less future risks. She goes on to state that the new reforms would go even further toward protecting the consumers as well as the US Economy against future meltdowns. It seems from her tone that she is rooting for Obama and the Dodd-Frank Reform Law.

While I could see why some people would be for the reforms and others could be against them, I see a win-win scenario. If the Dodd-Frank Reform Laws are held up, then our banks should grow slowly with less risk to all of us which would be a good thing. If the new laws don’t pass, the banks will be able to take more risks and probably grow faster. This would be a good thing, too. We can’t live in a fear of a future economic meltdown. In either scenario, if the big banks do well, more jobs are created and more homes are brought; or better yet, not abandoned or foreclosed. Either way, it still sounds like we are on the road to recovery, which means everybody wins.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Mobile App Recruiting Specialists?

A while back I was looking to hire a recruiter and in the stack of resumes was one that was very intriguing: the candidate was a recruiter who specialized in filling positions for Mobile Applications. Her resume mentioned many of Apple’s products; including the iPhone, iPod, and iPad as well as Blackberry and other mobile devices. She indicated in her cover letter that she would be interested only if I would look to move my business in this direction. I decided she was not a candidate since that’s not what I was looking to do.

Just because it’s not what I want to do, however, doesn’t mean it’s not a great idea or worth exploring. If you are in sales or run your own desk maybe you should try going after clients in this space? If you are looking for a recruiting job, perhaps you could add “mobile” or “applications” to your key word searches when you’re looking for jobs. Apple and their products seem to be popping up everywhere, and now TV’s are incorporating applications similar to mobile products, so it seems to be a growing sector. Certainly Apple shows no signs of slowing down as per their recent quarterly report .

Friday, January 14, 2011

I Had a Dream

I know - very original title on the Friday before MLK day, but at least I’m current! Usually I try to write about something that touches me or inspires me that is related to recruiting. This week, ESPN did a story on Dr. King and how “whites and blacks” agree and disagree on various race issues in sports. I tried to find it on youtube to post it here for you and was unsuccessful. I get the feeling, knowing ESPN, that they’ll show it again so hopefully you get an opportunity to see the story.

I can’t remember all of the different topics that were covered on a survey, though among them were the “Rooney Rule” and the most admired man in sports. These two things stood out to me initially because they were the two questions that generated the most discussion. Secondly, the “Rooney Rule” could easily be parlayed into diversity recruiting.

First, the most admired man in sports was the thing both races agreed upon most. The person is Michael Jordan. Second, the biggest difference in the survey came regarding whether or not the NFL still needed the “Rooney Rule.” The Rooney Rule, as per Wikipedia, requires National Football League teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching and senior football operations opportunities. The rule is named directly for Dan Rooney, the owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the chairman of the league's diversity committee, and indirectly for the Rooney family in general. This is due to the Steelers' long history of giving African Americans opportunities to serve in team leadership roles.

There are two ways I could think of that we could adopt the Rooney Rule in recruiting. The first is to commit to presenting at least one diverse candidate for each opening your firm attempts to fill. The second is to ask your clients how important diversity is to them. Then again, if you know they are football fans, ask how they feel about the Rooney Rule.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Check Yourself

I originally was going to title this blog “Got Attitude” as my intention was to write an editorial on a blog by that title featured on INC magazine’s website. Then I thought copying the title might be some type of copyright infringement, so I went with Check Yourself, as in “you better check yourself before you wreck yourself,” like my man Ice Cube once famously rapped. Here is the link to the blog:

The blog was written by Marla Tabaka and is geared to solo entrepreneurs, although I felt that it was the type of message we could all relate to, especially at the start of a new year. In the article Marla lists 20 questions and asserts that the more you can answer positively the closer you are to having a “million dollar mindset.”

I’m not really all that into resolutions, although I do believe in setting intentions; and that we are capable of change. Whatever 2010 was for you, good or bad, it’s over. Now is the time to take a look at your belief system and see if your thoughts are holding you back or making success easier to attain. I’m not writing any highlights from her blog because it’s so good you need to read it for yourself. So go, click on the link above and then set your intentions to improve in the areas you need to do in order to position yourself for a great 2011. May 2011 be the best year of your life, and so be it, and so it is. Namaste.

Friday, December 17, 2010

“We’ll take a Pass….too much turnover”

“We’ll take a Pass….too much turnover”

“We’ll take a pass, too much turnover.” If I had a $100 for every time I hear that I would probably be retired or at least self-employed by now. Of course that is a double entendre joke – I do work for myself and $100 is an adjusted rate due to inflation. I apologize for immediately digressing. My point is that it is up to us as recruiters to educate our clients what is an acceptable or average amount of turnover.

From this point forward, any statistic I quote will be taken from this article: . Please take the time to read through the article. There may information in it that is valuable to you yet not pertinent to me and my business. Another reason to read it is so you process the information and then come up with your own rebuttal to your clients when they say, “we’ll pass too much turnover.” And if you happen to work at an agency and need to get your candidates through a screener, you should share this article with that person on behalf of your entire team – be the hero!

This information was provided by a study sponsored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics U.S. Department of Labor. The following stats jumped out at me:

“Individuals born from 1957-1964 held an average of 11 jobs from age 18 – 44.”

The numbers break down as follows:

  • 4.4 jobs while ages 18-22
  • 3.2 jobs while ages 23-27
  • 2.6 jobs while ages 28-32
  • 2.4 jobs while ages 33-38
  • 2.0 jobs while ages 39-44

Job duration tends to be longer the older a person is. When they started a new job, however, these baby boomers continued to have many short duration jobs even at middle age. Of those who started jobs between the ages of 39-44, 33% ended in less than a year and 68% ended in fewer than 5 years.

This is a longitudinal study, which means that the same people were surveyed over a period of time. Thus, the ages of the respondents change with each survey round. They were initially surveyed every year and later on, every other year.

The article breaks down the number of job changes by age, ethnicity, education, and sex. I focused on the age group with which I deal with most often: senior people. During the 2008 & 2009 interviews, participants were ages 43-52.

This is even better news if you place younger or less experienced people. The trend is that generations X and Y change jobs even more often, so you may want to look for other studies from the U.S. Department of Labor if that is your area of focus. The next time you are told that the client will take a pass due to too much turnover, take control of the situation by educating your client on the facts. Don’t take no for an answer that is unreasonable based on this study, and don’t let them off the hook. Go get’em.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Recruiter Confidence High!!!

Yesterday I received an email from ExecuNet which had a link to a recent post on their website: “Recruiter Confidence Jumps Amid Positive Economic Indicators.” In the article they explain that they poll Executive recruiter’s confidence quite regularly and explain that in their most recent poll 61% of respondents were either “confident” or “very confident” that executive hiring will improve over the next six months.

What really struck me was the chart that showed the results of their polling since 2007. As you may recall from 2003- Mid 2007 were really good times for the recruiting industry. The third quarter things started to look a bit scary and by the end of the fourth quarter we were seeing signs that there may be serious danger ahead for the economy and job market. You could see in their chart that less than 50% they polled were confident from the end of 2007 until May of 2009 with the exception of January, 2008. Then again, the first quarter is typically the biggest quarter for recruiters so it makes sense that those who responded in January would have been confident. My point is that those that respond to this poll are seemingly pretty smart.

I know for many of us 2010 was a difficult year, although please keep in mind that the chart asks search professionals about their confidence toward hiring over the next 6 months. I hope those that were “very confident” were very right this time for all of our sake and although I didn’t see or reply to the pole I would have been in that category.

Please check out the article and chart here .

To those of you who are still down or concerned about the job market and the recruiting space know things will get better. In the spirit of this report and the corresponding Jimmy V week “Don’t Ever Give Up!” What, you don’t know who Jimmy V is or about his foundation for fighting Cancer? Then click here . Need some more inspiration? Then check out one of the most inspirational speeches I ever heard; Jimmy Valvano’s 2003 speech at the 1993 ESPY Awards here .

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I can’t leave unless it’s for a Promotion…Really?

Last week toward the end of my blog I was commenting on how the most liked people, not always the most gifted people, receive promotions. I intimated that I was going to expand on that topic this week. That comment was in response to the number of candidates who have told me that they can’t make a move unless they get a promotion. I typically say something like, “OK, but I’m not sure I understand, can you explain what you mean?” They think I’m a bit off at this point though they still go on to tell me that since they’ve been there x number of years they are likely to get a promotion. Further, if they don’t receive that promotion, someone else is going to hire them at the next level because they deserve it.

While it may be true that you are qualified for a higher level position, many companies feel that if you truly deserved be at a higher level, then your own employer would have promoted you. In fact, as I read most resumes, the first time someone becomes a manager it is from a promotion in the vast majority of cases. This explains why companies feel as they do.

The candidate wouldn’t have to change jobs to become a Director if he/she were already believed to be deserving of the role. The reason why they aren’t going to a higher level with another company is that when companies hire an executive, they want someone who is going to hit the proverbial ground running. This person has a better chance of becoming a Director after making a lateral move, because most promotions happen internally. Also, if they aren’t getting promoted due to someone who dislikes him or her, they have a chance to start fresh with everyone.

Wait a minute; is this making business, and management in business, sound like politics? Clearly they have at least one thing in common, they are both popularity contests. Smile, someone’s paying attention!