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!

Friday, November 12, 2010

HR for Better or Worse

Yesterday Yahoo posted a great article on their home page, “10 Things the HR Department won’t tell you.” The article covers everything from getting an interview and passing its initial screening to staying off HR’s radar screen while employed. The author, Kimberly Fusaro, makes a lot of great points. I would like to expand upon a couple of those points but raise an issue with one of her statements.

My argument comes in the opening paragraph where Fusaro, referring to HR, states it’s their responsibility to make sure you’re doing your job well.” I disagree whole heartedly with this statement. I believe HR has a lot of important functions, including and not limited to: making sure people adhere to personal conduct policies, dress codes, finding the best benefit package for the company’s employees, ensuring everyone is legally authorized to work in the US and everyone is doing their job instead of socializing and surfing the web. These are important functions. The responsibility of making sure that you’re doing your job well however falls squarely on the shoulders of you. Further, it’s your direct Manager who is responsible for providing the tools you need to do the best possible job, while guiding and mentoring you to the best of his or her ability. I believe in some respects HR is like High School Principals, you want to stay out of their office but have good rapport with them.

The article also mentions that “Social Media stalking’ has become the norm” when it comes to determining whether or not to call a candidate in for an interview. This I couldn’t agree with more, however what was not mentioned was the back door reference check which is partly enabled by the social media and is becoming more and more prevalent. These days HR and Hiring Managers go well beyond the references that you provide upon request, of course. The norm is becoming, I’m going to call everyone I know that worked everywhere they worked and if I don’t know anyone, then I’ll check with my friends on Facebook and LinkedIn and find people, call them and say I’m doing a reference check. That wouldn’t be lying but what I’m really trying to do is eliminate you as a potential candidate.

I realize that in today’s world our personal and professional lives converge more than ever, though the safest thing to do is to still have some distance between them. And while it’s OK to hate your boss, it’s not ok to say so on Facebook! There are 1,597 people on Facebook that belong to the Group “I Hate my Boss.” . Please don’t follow their lead, Facebook isn’t just for twenty-something’s anymore, your boss is on Facebook and if he isn’t, his HR Director is.

You may have heard about the girl who was fired earlier in the week for what she wrote on Facebook regarding her boss. In case you missed it, have a good laugh by clicking here

Points 2-9 in the article are great and cover when to show up for an interview, physical appearance, hygiene, how to get hired to work from home, weight issues, ageism, dating a coworker, and internet usage. The 10th and final point is related to your behavior and is titled Your good and bad behavior matter—but the bad matters more.” The first line is, “Promotions have favoritism built in,” which was said by Mary Hladio, former HR Executive and now CEO of Ember Carriers. I want to expand on this one. Mary is 100% right, for better or worse. Have you ever worked for someone who had a great personality though wasn’t able to teach you and mentor you? This is because the most important skill in gaining a promotion is being liked, not how good you are at your job. This is also why if you are at the same company for 5 years and haven’t gotten a promotion and know you do great work, maybe you should start fresh somewhere and make friends with everyone. Maybe its time to consider making a lateral move to a different company to eventually get the promotion you deserve. Maybe that’s a whole other conversation, promotions typically happen internally, not when you change jobs. I think I just figured out what I’m writing about next week. In the meantime, here’s the article that was posted on Yahoo .

Friday, November 5, 2010

Tis the Season (Almost)

Dear unemployed or frustrated IT Recruiters,

Finally, some good news! Companies are hiring technologists throughout the country. According to two different reports that track monthly job growth, IT job openings are on the rise. Silicon Valley led the way with a 61% increase in IT jobs vs. November of last year. Significant growth was seen in major cities throughout the US including Chicago, Seattle, New York, Atlanta, Dallas and Washington D.C. So if you are employed but feeling stuck due to the lack of recruiting jobs or unemployed and frustrated, rejoice! Any day now a new IT Recruiter spot will open with your name on it. Hang in there, but don’t take my word for it. Read the article -


Dave Jacks

Friday, October 29, 2010

Generosity – That’s your Currency!

Lately, I’ve been planning 2011. One of the things I have decided to do is more marketing and branding. Today, that typically means having a social media presence and blogging. This is my 4th straight week writing, which is pretty good since I have blogged about once every 3 months for the previous three years. Then I wonder why I have no followers. J At first I had no idea what to write about this week, then after a rather positive networking call I was writing a thank you email to the person who made the connection for me, Fred Klein. I had referred to his introduction as being generous.

I first heard the term generosity used this way by Keith Ferrazi, in his book Who’s Got Your Back? In the book, Keith teaches how to build what he calls “life line relationships” and explains that the currency in these relationships is generosity. This is very similar to the motto of the networking group I belong to, Gotham City networking. The aforementioned Fred Klein happens to be the co-founder. The motto of Gotham is that it is better to give than to receive.

Give what, you may ask. Give whatever you can, and that doesn’t mean that you need to share your rolodex with everyone you meet or donate whatever is in your pocket for every cause. Being generous means getting to know what’s important to people, how you could help them, and offering whatever you can to help make that a reality. Maybe you tell someone about a website, or refer them to a person or service that you know of which could help them. There’s just so much more to a relationship or networking than referrals and asking for referrals; it’s about helping one another grow. The more generous you are, the more you’ll help others, and they’ll be inclined to help you. To learn more about building lifeline relationships pick up Keith’s book. If you are interested in learning more about Gotham City networking you could check them out at and/or write me.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Return of Hope

Remember all those t-shirts and bumper stickers that had Obama’s face and simply said the word “Hope?” One might say he was elected because of that one word or emotion. Considering the state of our stock market, real estate and job markets at the time of the election, it made sense to elect the candidate that gave us the most hope. What happened to all that hope?

Since the end of 2007, all too often as I speak to hiring managers and job seekers the feeling I have come away with is hopelessness. I’ve heard many grown men and women on the verge of tears, and yet even more who seemed completely defeated. Recently while working on a search for a Manufacturing Manager, people have explained that the company for which they are working laid off their entire department. The explanation? They are moving manufacturing to another country. Those conversations happen too often, and they have a negative effect on me. But one day last week I turned on the TV, which automatically starts on “New York 1,” the 24 hour New York news network. Obama was giving a speech. And then it happened: the return of hope J. Click here and restore yours . Let’s hope for all of our sake that Obama gets his way and our jobs come home to America.

Friday, October 15, 2010

This Candidate is Really Smart! Really?

Often times in recruiting you hear recruiters and hiring managers discuss the intelligence of a candidate. Typically, recruiters lose this discussion regardless of whether they are right or wrong. Sometimes they may lose because the lack of hard evidence or data and other times the hiring authority may something like “I don’t care how smart he/she is I want someone who is a fit,” and once that’s said it’s typically game over. Yet when it comes to who is going to be Commander in Chief of the United States of America there seems to be a ton of emphasis on how smart the candidates are or aren’t.

This debate has never been greater; largely due to one woman and one comment that turned Sarah Palin from overnight sensation to instant (in) famous for being stupid based on her statement that she “could see Russia from her house.” Everyone knows Sarah Palin is stupid, just ask Chelsea Handler, or watch this clip from recent TV appearance

I had been wondering about the comment so I did what most people would do if they have a question these days, I googled it and the funny thing is that you actually could see Russia from Alaska. Not exactly Moscow, but you could see parts of Russia. Here’s one article that explains what parts you could see from where in Russia . So now we have someone who is not a fit to be Vice President because she said something inaccurate that in fact appears to be accurate. On top of that, she is famous for this “stupid” remark. Wow, I can’t wait to see if she runs again and how she does on her next interview. After all, aren’t we all qualified to tell how smart one candidate is versus another?

That last question was rhetorical, actually, unless you are a trained industrial psychiatrist or reading scores from a standardized test who are we to theorize and state unequivocally how smart or stupid someone is? Maybe the hiring manager or executive who is more interested in someone who has a fit for the job than someone who is smart is right or maybe if he is interested in IQ he wants proof. I know one of the things that we offer and that some of our clients do on their own is have executive level candidates tested to see just how smart they really are or aren’t. Even the NFL uses the Wonderlic test to get an estimate of a person’s IQ, especially when evaluating Quarterbacks. Thus, it would be easier to compare the IQ of Steve Young to Vince Young for example than it would be to compare Bill Clinton to Barrack Obama – both seem smart. While we could assume that someone who went to an Ivy League school is smart is that the most prudent thing to do?

In recruiting for technology positions for example if a candidate needs to know Java we could have them tested and show the scores along with the resume to the hiring manager. If it is an executive position we could have an Industrial Psychiatrist perform a battery of tests to show not only how smart they are, but how they think and even give some insight to their soft skills. Though, when it comes to running for office, apparently where you went to school and the court of public opinion matters most.

How silly is that? I just googled wonderlic, it’s a 50 question test and Ryan Fitzpatrick, Harvard graduate and now starting QB of the Buffalo Bills scored a 48 in only 9 minutes.(Last link, I promise ). Maybe he should run for President? Then again, does being smart make him a fit? I don’t know, but I also don’t know unequivocally how smart or dumb Sarah Palin is and neither does Chelsea Handler. If IQ testing is good enough for the NFL and good enough for corporations looking to hire executives, shouldn’t it be good enough for Americans as part of our decision making process on who to hire to run our country?

Don’t get me wrong, I actually am a huge fan of Chelsea Handler; her show “Chelsea Lately” makes me LOL every time I watch it, I just think that she and many others were unfair on their rush to judgment of Ms. Palin based on one comment she made that actually seems to be valid. I also think that if a client cares how smart someone is or how good they are at a particular skill maybe they should test them or ask their recruiter to have them tested. And, since apparently IQ is one of the most important determining factors on who to vote for, each candidate should take the same test and if they want to run for office their scores should be made public. Certainly if an NFL QB could finish the test in 9 minutes, someone who wants to rule the country should be able to find the time to take the test, even if it takes them two or three times as long.

Friday, October 8, 2010

You May Say I’m a Dreamer ...

If he were alive today, John Lennon would be celebrating his 70th birthday and by now, as he probably did nearly 30 years ago, all of his dreams, except unfortunately world peace surely would have been realized. Most of us have some kind of dream; whether we chose to go after that dream or not is a choice we make.

Initially, my dream was to be a professional boxer and then a pro football player though much to my dismay there is not a lot of demand for guys who are 5’8” and take at least 5 seconds to run 40 yards in the NFL. By the time I reached college I knew the only thing I ever wanted to do was to have and grow a company. After falling into recruiting I was initially terrible, failing to close a deal in my first 6 months. Then, after a 10 day break where I reflected on all the deals I wasn’t making I went on to be the most prolific recruiter at TSG in Phoenix over the next several years. During that time we were named the “Fastest Growing IT Staffing Company” in the country by a leading industry magazine. I knew I was a big part of that and loved the feeling of growing a company since the Phoenix office was only a year old when I joined. In fact, I remember hearing that when the General Manager was asked for a reference several years later he said that I was the best recruiter he ever saw.

Eventually I would leave TSG to go to New York because like so many other people I always had a fascination with the big Apple and grew up in nearby Jersey (yes, I’m from the Jersey Shore and no I don’t know Bruce or Snooki). During this transition the woman who placed me, Sarah Lovelace, said something that touched me in a way perhaps no other words ever have. She said: “Everyone knows that anybody that’s any good in this business (referring to recruiting) eventually goes out on their own.”

Once again I went on to become the most prolific recruiter in the NY branch during my tenure. About 4 years later in 2007 I was reading my commission spreadsheet that showed all of my placements, the revenue I brought in and comparing that number to my actual paycheck and it made me sick to my stomach; it could have been the reason why at 32 years old I had 2 ulcers.

So ExecuSource was born and we were going to focus on the kinds of jobs I enjoyed filling most, executive level positions. I didn’t have any clients and in hindsight it may have been a little crazy but what did I have to lose; I could always go back and be a recruiter if things didn’t pan out.

The first year was rough in every way; from an appendectomy, to major issues with Vista (the bain of my existence), a break-up and making next to no money. Since then things have changed quite a bit; we built a social network of recruiters to support our clients, we formed several strong relationships with Pharmaceutical, Financial Services and Interactive companies and moved to a contained search model. It hasn’t been easy and we haven’t grown as much or as fast as I would have liked but I’m getting the feeling that the only dreams that ever happen overnight are the ones that occur when we’re sleeping.

I remember one of the first meetings I had my future client asked me why I went out on my own and I didn’t know what to say – I didn’t want to come off like a braggart or a dreamer so I sidestepped the question. Today, I realize that the answer to the question is two fold: Firstly, “Everyone knows that anyone who’s any good in this business eventually goes out on their own,” and secondly “You may say that I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one.”

Thursday, August 5, 2010

"I'm Afraid of Americans"

“I’m Afraid of Americans!”

I know half of my audience will be thinking of the P-Diddy song from a couple of years ago when they read the title although I took the title from a David Bowie song of the same name. I’m not even sure if it is the best title for my ensuing blog; perhaps I’m afraid for Americans would have been more suitable. In any case, this fear has been brought on by what I’ve seen from American’s during the downturn and what appears to be a current slow turn-around in the job market.

The last two placements our firm made (and the hearing of the Bowie song at a local café) inspired me to share these stories. Names have been changed to protect their identity (and myself from them). The first person that scared me was Michael, a supposedly savvy veteran with nearly 20 years experience including a VP role at prestigious financial services firm while the other, an up and coming superstar, Carlos worked at a major financial services software vendor.

Michael and I began our courtship via LinkedIn where he was a part of my extended network and had the looking for career opportunities section checked on his profile. When I first contacted him and gave him my phone number he initially questioned – “Who are you, how do you know me and how did you get my information?” I was a bit taken aback since it was clear that he was part of my extended network and I had his phone number because he gave it to me in his reply – this should have been my first clue that something was off with this person. Once I was able to make him feel comfortable enough with me to discuss his background and learn about the position I was certain he was a great fit for the position and I presented him.

Soon after the client requested an interview and within a couple of weeks he met with 6 people and he got 5 very strong endorsements. The 6th person was the decision maker who was on the fence and decided he would prefer to offer Michael the position as a contract-to-hire rather than direct hire. Michael eventually decided contract to hire was OK as long as everything regarding the contract and his permanent offer be received up-front in writing. This included vacation time, guaranteed bonus and a title of Director (which would be equal to Sr. VP - a step-up from his previous position). Michael would call me every day, sometimes 2 or 3 times to see if I received his offer in writing.

Michael and I eagerly anticipated receiving the dual-offers. He was relentless in his pursuit; there was the time I was at my company softball game and Michael called, then Easter Sunday (how did he know I was Jewish) and then there was the time I was at the Pharmacy. My personal favorite was the time he called me to tell me that the client made someone else a Director and that his co-workers were laughing at him because he was only going to be an Associate Director. He was serious. The hold-up all along was because of his demands. Eventually my contact called to tell me that they couldn't do it because legal objected. I shared the news with Michael and he went ballistic. He sent me a very nasty e-mail about me, my client and their hiring process. I was so upset I sent the note to my client and they hired him anyway. He eventually did go full-time and I hope that he pans out. Actually, most of all I hope that I don’t see him on the news.

Next was Carlos, the rising superstar about 26 years old from what I could tell. Carlos was very nice at first although he was tough to reach – he was working 60 hours a week (he claimed). He also was very concerned about his current project and couldn’t start for a couple of months because he had to finish the project – what a nice guy! Then he grew frustrated as his company’s client, a bank in South America delayed the project again and then again.

After the second delay he called us and said that he had had enough and was ready to join our client whenever they wanted. The offer was for $120k, which he demanded even though he was currently making $96k and was bumped up to that in January from about $80k. He was sure he was worth it and deserved it and because he had such a unique skill my client obliged. The investment bank offered this 26 year old (at most) kid $120k plus a bonus and 4 weeks vacation…awesome! It wasn’t good enough for Carlos. He had earned 5 weeks vacation at his current company and didn’t want to give up that 5th week – he earned it! Eventually, he accepted the position and during his final few weeks before he started and after work (between band practices) we were able to meet. He was a very nice guy in fact and very likeable. As much as I liked him I still can’t quite get over the entitlement of him or Michael. All I could think is scary…I’m afraid of Americans.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Dave Jacks' 7 Step Guide to Finding a Job

Dave Jacks’ 7-step guide to finding a job

Most of you know me and know I’m a recruiter and that I try to get out and attend networking events as much as possible. Often people ask what do you do and as soon as I say “I’m a recruiter,” they explain that they or someone close to them needs a job. They probe a bit and I explain the areas we focus in and encourage them to send me their resume regardless of whether their in an area we focus in and remind them that we’re a small company to try to temper their expectations. I then usually suggest that the person follow-up with me so I could give suggestions on how to go about their job search. Typically, I never hear from them again or if I do it’s because they email me their resume and then never have time to talk unless I have a job for them. Though there are some that have taken my advice and have succeeded in landed jobs so I’ve decided to share it with as many people as possible.

Step 1: Set-up a Facebook account! You already have one; great, you are one step ahead of the game. What’s that, your too old or too cool – get over it, it’s 2010 and there are new ways of networking that could help you grow professionally and keep in touch with friends and family.

Step 2: Set-up a LinkedIn account! You have that too – amazing!

Step 3: Invite all Facebook connections to LinkedIn. Trust me; you’ll see where I’m going with this.

Step 4: go to . Indeed is a job aggregator – that is a site that pulls data from other similar sites. In other words any posting from any major job board, i.e. Monster, Dice, The Ladders, etc. or any major company such as IBM or Google will appear on indeed.

Step 5: Save your search as an agent on Indeed. Do a search for a job based on your skills or title (or do 2 separate ones) and then save them as an agent. When a new job is posting that meets your criteria you’ll get an email.

Step 6: When you see a job you are interested in posted by a company or a (lazy) recruiter that mistakenly mentioned the client name in a post look up the company on LinkedIn. LinkedIn will then pull up all your contacts at that company. Connect directly or via introduction to someone at that company and see if you could get them to be your internal advocate and submit your resume internally.

Step 7: Still no job…don’t fret…network and learn. Grow your network on LinkedIn and Facebook. Search your schools alumni, go through your old business cards, and attend networking events. Seek out experts in networking and job searches such as Keith Ferrazzi and Jim Stroud. You can download Keith’s guide to landing your dream job at his website . Jim Stroud’s website is . Lastly, think about joining a professional networking organization such as Gotham; which could be found at . I belong to Gotham and you could attend an event as a guest of mine – all I ask is that you reach out to me first and/or mention me when you contact the group administrator of the event or group you are interested in.

Notes: Career coaches and Posting your resume.

I believe career coaches are a great resource although they could be expensive. If you are currently employed and looking how to leverage your existing experience to get a higher level job at your current employer or get a job elsewhere they could be helpful. If you are unemployed I suggest you hold onto your money or see if they will take some payment up-front and the balance when you land a new job. Lastly, consider seeing a younger person who just became credentialed or is training to become certified – chances are they’ll be helpful and much cheaper or even free.

As far as posting your resume on Monster or some other job board there’s nothing wrong with that as long as you don’t overdo it. That is if your resume has been live on a job board for 3 or more months take it down. The reason is that chances are the employer or recruiter most likely to hire or place you has already downloaded your resume. Recruiters (internally and externally) get desensitized to resumes they’ve seen countless times and start ignoring them after a while. Take a 6 month break and then re-post if you’re still looking and want to post your resume.

Good Luck!


Dave Jacks

What's there to be Thankful about during a Recession?

What’s there to be Thankful about during a recession?

For starter’s Thanksgiving is an American Holiday and it is OK to wish someone a Happy Thanksgiving regardless of their religion or race; there is nothing offensive or politically incorrect about saying Happy Thanksgiving. In fact, in the last week many people have said “Have a Happy Holiday” to me and I found that to be somewhat insulting as a proud American.

Along those lines despite our current economic climate being an American is one thing to be thankful for, it is here in America that you could choose your profession; it is here in America that Obama proved no matter what your background is you can be anything you want to be. Be thankful for Obama for he was elected perhaps because, more than any other candidates from the primaries to November 4th, Obama was the candidate not just for change but for hope and optimism. Obama was hired as our president because optimism was more important than any other prerequisite or anyone’s resume. IMHO he was hired because hope was the ultimate requirement for America.

Be thankful that you are an American, free to vote, free to demonstrate, free to bear arms, free to be whoever or whatever you want to be. And lastly, if you are a recruiter or salesperson in the search industry the next time you are in front of a client you may want to ask, “Mr. Client – if there was one thing, it could be a hard skill or an intangible – if there is one thing that you want in a candidate above everything else what would that be?” The answer may help you find your client’s next president!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Written by Dave Jacks - November 27, 2008 at 10:21 pm republished here to move from wordpress to blogger

Heroes of the Economic Recovery

Yesterday I received my copy if the Inc 500 issue in the mail. Inc magazine is in my opinion the best publication dedicated to entrepreneurship. As I read the introduction it occurred to me that the CEOs of the companies on this list are today’s heroes.

There are other role models, and other inspiring figures from Obama to Lance Armstrong to Steve Jobs but who is really going to create the most jobs over the next few years. Who is manufacturing their products here in America and who refuses to layoff or succumb to the very real and natural fears associated with today’s economy?

You can read about them in this month’s issue. They are the champions of capitalism and the heroes of our economic recovery. They are my idols. They are the American dream personified. Congratulations to the members of 2009’s Inc 500. I admire you all and hope to become a member of your community one day.

See the list here

Originally published by Dave Jacks August 23, 2009 at 8:24 pm

5 Things that Make me a Smart Recruiter

From the ebook available at – “How to be a Smart Recruiter”

“5 things that make me a smart recruiter”

5. Know your role as a recruiter. Our role is to work for the client and as an advocate for the candidate. This means that if someone isn't right for your client no matter how much you like them doesn't matter. Helping people, especially in times like these, is a nice thought though we are not social workers. When we do find who we feel is the right candidate however it is up to us to be an advocate for them and convince the client to meet and hire them.

4. I see recruiting as a Contact Sport. The more (quality) contacts you make and the more tools you use to make those contacts the more likely you are to win - use everything, call people, text them, chat with them, tweet them, facebook them, use linkedin, get referrals to introduce you and then get referrals from your candidates if they are not interested or get rejected. Be more aggressive than the competition. Recruit like the Steelers and Ravens play defense.

3. Collaborate. If you're on recruitingblogs chances are you've realized that the way we connect and recruit are evolving and the internet is playing a huge role. When I first got into the business I didn't want anything to do with recruiters from other firms or corporates unless they were going to give me business. Today things are different, make friends, network, and learn from your competitors, share candidates, share sourcing methods.

2. Go Beyond. To be a smart recruiter - no to be a great recruiter you need to go beyond the boards and go beyond the job description and beyond the resume. It's fine to use the job boards for active candidates - there are good people there, Monster is one of the top 50 brands in the world last I heard but don't stop there. Go beyond the boards, Google, Facebook, Linkedin, referrals, zoom info, blogs, etc. Go beyond the job description -visit the client and think of them holistically, the culture, the environment, their unique selling points, why people thrive and why they sometimes fail. Go beyond the resume - meet and "see" the person, what motivates them, what makes them unique, what kind of people are they most likely to gel with and what type of culture are they likely to fit in.

1. Intuition. Some call this EQ, Emotional Quotient which is basically the ability to understand people's emotions and motivation and behavior. This is the number one reason I am a smart recruiter, I have a high EQ, a sixth sense regarding who will fit in a certain role and environment.

Everything I needed to know about buisinesss I learned from Football

Everything I needed to know about business I learned from football


Every year in this country we have “the big dance,” otherwise known as the Super Bowl and the most recent game was watched by 97.5 million viewers making it the second most watched show of all time, next to the series finale of “Mash.” In that game the New York Giants, who had a regular season record of 9 wins and 7 losses, knocked off a seemingly unbeatable 16-0 New England Patriots.

What are the main aspects of a championship football team? What qualities must one possess to win a game or championship? Are the same things applicable to creating a winning culture and team in business? Let’s see…


Football is a team sport. The most important aspect of a winning team is that everyone works together to achieve the desired result. In football, it’s executing the game plan to result in a victory and in business it’s executing a defined strategy to make money.

Need an example, ask Keyshawn Johnson author of “Just Give me the Damn Ball!” what happens when you think you are bigger than the team. I’m sure the now matured NFL analyst has learned a thing or two about hogging the ball after being cut twice, traded twice and suspended for over half a season in his prime. Certainly you want to get the ball to your playmakers but it is a team sport and to succeed you need to stay within your game plan.

Game Plan

In order to ensure that everyone is on the “same page” it is imperative that you have a good game plan. To develop a winning game plan you need to learn about the competition, study their weaknesses and look to exploit them, study their strengths and develop schemes to overcome them. In business we call it a business plan.

The most important part of a game plan is the proper execution of that plan or playing how you were coached. This means playing your position according to the individual play called while keeping the big picture in mind. While executing a game plan or business strategy it is important to be mindful of the score (or budget) and communicate any challenges or surprises so that the team knows if they need to make adjustments.


Communication may be the most important aspect of any business or team across all facets of the game. The best strategy in the world can’t be carried out if the quarterback doesn’t talk to his receivers or if marketing doesn’t talk to sales.

Effective communication happens when players are comfortable talking to coaches and leadership is able to speak to their team. If you can’t talk to people the right way you are not a true team player. Vicious emails in all caps with exclamation points are akin to unnecessary roughness in football – that’s a 15 yard penalty which really hurts your team. Too many penalties and you won’t win in football or the office.

If leadership is the one that fails to properly communicate they will get fired. The player has to remain with the team until their contract expires and they become a free agent and are able to go to another team. In real life everyone is a free agent.


Penalties like unnecessary roughness are caused by a lack of discipline. Discipline is at the very foundation of every great performing team or individual. The coach of the New York Giants, Tom Coughlin has been criticized throughout his career for being too much of a disciplinarian until the Giants beat the previously unbeaten and anointed greatest team of all time, the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. You can see here that in almost every facet of the game the Giants were among the least penalized teams in football .

My coach always talked about the little things and that is what discipline is all about, at work it is getting there on time, showing up for meetings, attending conference calls, getting your reports in on time and filled out properly. The little things, or discipline, can be the difference between mediocrity and excellence.


Tiki Barber, who thrived under Coughlin’s tutelage, may have been the most outspoken critic of Coughlin’s tough style. Tiki decided to take his opinions outside the locker room and retire early for a career in broadcasting. His departure resulted in the team becoming more coachable and winning the Super Bowl. The Giants had the same team and the same coach as the prior season proving that both coaches and players are accountable and it doesn’t matter how great your coach is if you are not coachable.

It doesn’t matter how great your leadership is if not surrounded by great people and it doesn’t matter if you have great people if you don’t provide them with great leadership.


Last but not least is passion. Brett Favre, Quarterback of the New York Jets will go to the Hall of Fame for his numbers but he will be remembered for the way he played the game, with great passion. Obviously we can’t pick up our office mates and carry them across the room and jump and down at work like Favre has been known to do, but we can show some enthusiasm. Perhaps no player in NFL history is a better role model for the modern employee who works in a team environment than Favre.

Be like Brett; work hard, do your job the right way, have some enthusiasm and you’ll be able to achieve a “hall of fame worthy” career of your own!

***This was initially published prior to the 2008 football season