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Wednesday, September 24, 2008
What a Journey!
Posted By Ross Clennett On September 24, 2008 @ 6:07 am In News and Features | 1 Comment ere.net/...controls
I was surfing the Internet this week and came across a fabulous story that is a perfect metaphor for how much things have changed in the world of recruitment since the rise of the Internet coincided with the global shortage of skills. Unusually, it's a recruitment story from the work of rock music.
The story revolves around rock band Journey, which has existed in various guises since 1973. I suspect anyone younger than an 'old Gen X' (like me) won't have heard of them unless they regularly listen to classic rock radio.
Journey were huge during the early to mid 1980's with American Top 10 hits such as "Who's Crying Now," "Open Arms," and "Don't Stop Believing," (probably better known to pop culture aficionados as the song Tony Soprano selects from the jukebox in the closing scene of The Sopranos' final episode).
Journey's lead vocalist at the time, Steve Perry, scored a 1984 hit with the single, Oh Sherrie (confession: I have the vinyl single somewhere in storage).
Last year Journey founder and lead guitarist, Neal Schon, was attempting to recruit a new lead vocalist to replace the departed Perry. Frustrated with the options he had auditioned live, Schon turned to the Internet and spent hours surfing scores of YouTube videos, looking at bands and singers to see whether he might discover what he was looking for online.
Amongst the many wannabes and try-hards, he stumbled upon a video by a popular Filipino cover band, The Zoo.
Schon listened in amazement as 40-year-old lead singer, Arnel Pineda,  belted youtube.com/watch out a stunning and note-perfect version of one of Journey's biggest 1980's hits, Faithfully (amongst many other cover versions The Zoo had posted on YouTube).
Schon messaged The Zoo via YouTube, and although Pineda initially thought it was a hoax, Schon eventually convinced Pineda he was for real, and asked Pineda whether he was interested in auditioning for the vacant lead singer's role.
Six weeks later, a still shell-shocked Pineda was winging his way to San Francisco for a two-day audition with Journey.
In December 2007, Pineda was announced as Journey's new lead singer, followed three months later by his debut, fronting the band live at a Chilean music festival to an ecstatic fan reaction, glowing reviews, and a television audience of 25 million.
Revitalized by its new lead singer, Journey quickly recorded a new album which it released in June and is currently in the middle of summer/autumn tour of the USA with fellow 1980's classic rockers, Heart and Cheap Trick.
What I most love about this tale is that a U.S. rock band, whose fan base is solidly in the Midwest, resisted the temptation to go for a singer who "looked right" and instead recruited the best-performed, most-competent singer, even though he was from Manila, speaks heavily accented English, and doesn't look like Steve Perry (save the long dark hair) or the band's fan demographic.
It would be easy to dismiss this story as unique to music and not relevant to recruiters.
I believe that would be a mistake.
Consider that in this Journey-finds-new-lead-singer story, the following occurred via the World Wide Web:
*The employer sourced a potential employee, living in another country, online.
*The employer contacted the potential employee.
*The competence of the potential employee was able to be assessed sufficiently well to arrange a live interview (audition) in another country without any need for a resume.
No recruiter was involved in the process.
When you consider the growth of career portals and the rise of online testing of skills, competencies, and motivations, recruitment in the 21st century has only just begun.
As we rapidly head towards the 21st century's second decade, are you ready for what's ahead?
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Sunday, September 14, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Snack Vendor -- or Undercover Job Recruiter?
To Fill That Open Position,
These Guys Go to Extremes;
Stalking on the Ski Slopes
By SARAH E. NEEDLEMAN
It was a humid June morning on David Perry's fourth day of masquerading as a snack-food vendor inside an industrial park. He had one day left on the canteen truck he'd rented for $500.
The executive recruiter, wearing a hairnet and an apron, finally got a customer to tell him what he needed to know: the identity of a technology guru a client had hired Mr. Perry to poach from a competitor.
David Perry has made his living off rogue recruiting tactics.
Mr. Perry's client didn't know this person's name. So for days, the recruiter had been asking every coffee, cigarette and sandwich buyer who the "genius" was behind the large, publicly traded company's top-selling piece of software. Finally, an unsuspecting patron spilled the beans, and Mr. Perry got his man. "It was real hard detective work, but it was fun," he says.
Executive recruiters typically rely on networking and corporate contacts to court prospects. But for those like the 48-year-old Mr. Perry -- a small subset of the multimillion-dollar industry -- chasing down top talent for the corner-office and other hard-to-fill jobs is a sport. They are maligned by traditional recruiters, but their tactics -- which can be unconventional, paparazzi-like and some say borderline unethical -- can lead to lucrative careers and long lists of loyal clients.
"How else can you get at these people?" says Mr. Perry, whose search firm, Perry-Martel International Inc., employs three researchers, plus his wife, Anita, who handles miscellaneous tasks. "They're behind steel gates."
Once, after dozens of failed attempts to reach through normal channels the CEO of a technology firm, Mr. Perry says, he hopped a plane and sneaked into the basement of his quarry's New York workplace and gave a janitor $100 and a self-addressed envelope. The Ottawa-based recruiter says he was counting on his target's having a private washroom with a phone -- and asked the janitor to send him its number. Mr. Perry says those digits arrived in the mail a few days later. Soon after, he scored a meeting with the executive, who agreed to take the position Mr. Perry was hawking: CEO of a large, publicly traded software company in New York.
In 2006, Peter Polachi, co-founder of Polachi & Co., a small search firm -- and another aggressive recruiter -- went after an executive whose online corporate bio described his love of fly-fishing in a particular river in Montana. After calling several outposts along the waterway, he found a guide who'd led the executive on numerous expeditions and was able to pinpoint this man's regular spot. "I know how to fly-fish, so I just 'happened' to bump into him," Mr. Polachi says. Though he succeeded in hooking the executive long enough for him to listen, a noncompete agreement prevented the person from changing jobs.
Three years earlier, Mr. Polachi pressed the assistant of a sought-after CEO on why the executive was too busy to take a call. The assistant blurted out that the executive kept such a tight schedule that he got up before dawn every morning just to have time to get his shoes polished. Mr. Polachi, based in Framingham, Mass., drove to New York and, on a hunch, took a seat the next morning at the shoeshine stand in his target's office building. The executive arrived minutes later and noticed a copy of his company's most recent annual report resting on his neighbor's lap. The CEO "struck up a conversation with me," says the headhunter. "At end of day, he was recruited."
Many senior executives who've been snagged using these extreme methods won't talk publicly about their experience. But clients and associates of Messrs. Perry and Polachi confirm their accounts.
"You're talking about a guy with an exceptionally high batting average," says Steve Panyko, who hired Mr. Perry to handle more than a dozen searches while serving as president of CML Emergency Services Inc., a telecom company that was sold in 2006. He has since retired.
Tod H. Loofbourrow, president and CEO of Authoria Inc., a global talent-management-software provider based in Waltham, Mass., credits Mr. Polachi with recruiting more than half of his firm's 12-person executive team.
The $500 Meeting
Not all ruses pan out. Mr. Perry once showed up at an executive's company Christmas party wearing a crisp white button-down shirt and black dress slacks -- just like the waiters working the event. Grabbing a tray, wine bottle and bar napkin from the kitchen, he walked the room until he found his target. Mr. Perry whispered to the man, "This message was left for you," and handed him a blank envelope. Inside was a note promising a $500 check toward the executive's charity of choice if he'd agree to meet the following day. Mr. Perry got the meeting and sent a check to a Chicago-based children's nonprofit. But during the face-to-face, it became clear that the executive was a poor cultural fit for his client, a large, Midwestern technology firm.
Some professionals say they're flattered by the recruiters' efforts to court them. "I like an aggressive person," says Brian Clark, who was recruited by Mr. Perry in the mid-1990s to a small technology company in Ottawa. Mr. Clark recalls Mr. Perry calling him every day for two weeks pitching the job. He wasn't interested in working for a start-up but finally budged after Mr. Perry mailed him a $600 plane ticket, leaving that week, to the potential-employer's office.
Mr. Clark, now vice president and general manager at Jade Software Corp. in Atlanta, later hired Mr. Perry to recruit talent for him. In 2002, the headhunter set his sights on Blake Carruthers for a sales position at Jade. When Mr. Carruthers failed to return the recruiter's numerous calls, he found himself face-to-face with Mr. Perry on a remote mountain-bike trail. Mr. Carruthers was about to traverse an intricate 15-mile path with a group of hardcore bikers. "I thought that maybe he was trying to lose some weight," says Mr. Carruthers of his double-take upon seeing Mr. Perry on a bike. It worked, though: He took the job.
That was the second time that Mr. Carruthers ran into Mr. Perry on a mountain. A few years earlier, the sales executive was skiing on an expert-level hill at a Quebec resort when he spotted Mr. Perry, an amateur skier, his arms flailing for Mr. Carruthers's attention and seemingly stuck halfway down the slope. "Within 30 seconds he goes, 'I got this opportunity I want to talk to you about,' " recalls Mr. Carruthers, who had been dodging the recruiter's phone calls.
Companies that Mr. Perry and Mr. Polachi poach from aren't as thrilled and consider rogue recruiters a menace. Mr. Perry says he has received more than 40 cease-and-desist letters, plus threats of lawsuits from employers he's lured talent from during his career. Some might argue that his job involves trespassing, but so far he hasn't been arrested.
Many in the recruiting industry also take issue with the brazen approach to headhunting. "It cheapens the reality of the hard work that goes into executive search," says Peter Felix, president of the Association of Executive Search Consultants, an industry group with 6,000 recruiter members in 70 countries.
"If you're in the business of recruiting leadership candidates, you have to bring tact, grace and integrity to the profession," adds Joseph Daniel McCool, who wrote "Deciding Who Leads" about the recruiting industry. "Reaching somebody in the bathroom, that's not the image that most search professionals would gravitate toward," he says.
Mr. Perry, whose Tudor-style home rests on one-and-a-half acres in the posh neighborhood of Gatineau, Quebec, says he earns about $500,000 a year.
Lucrative for Some
The average for recruiters who work on retainer at the partner level ranges from $350,000 to $400,000, says Brent W. Skinner, a director of executive-search research at Kennedy Information Inc. i n Peterborough, N.H. "But the ceiling can be much, much higher for exceptional performers in lucrative niches," he adds.
Mr. Perry charges clients about a third of the total first-year compensation for the jobs he fills and insists his recruiting style works. In 22 years, he says he has completed 991 searches for jobs paying roughly $170 million in salaries.
"I don't care if you're available [or not], I don't care if you want to move," says Mr. Perry. "I have to get in front of you and tell you why you should listen to me."
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Monday, September 1, 2008
This will be the last post for a while. Next steps, add the side wheels to keep us on the track and build the the viking boat body. For that, you'll have to come to the race. Details @ http://handcar-regatta.com/ We hope to see ya' there!!!!!!!!!
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
Best of the resumes!
Ok, so I have been recruiting for over eight years now. In that time I have seen thousands and thousands of resumes. I give you for your reading pleasure the best lines from these resumes. I keep the excerpts for my bad day file. Enjoy!
05-05 to 01-06 Car Taker
Learned how to use a variety of tools and power equipment; have some of my own. (Applied for an accounting role)
I able to express myself clearly and accurately in written and spoken communications. (Am you?)
Professional Musician- guitarist/songwriter - toured the United States virtually nonstop - Rocked the nation
Supervise entire plant during 3rd shift with target goal of 00% accuracy for all operations including warehousing, receiving, mixing, pettitizing and maintenance. (Aim high)
Very dangerous work, hands were less than 1 inch from the 12 inch sawblade 8 hours a day.
The guy who had the job before me lost 3 fingers
Learned a lot on this job
Keeping the rest of the guys busy
I am Shameema, a recently PASSED OUT graduate from the university of Sri Lanka (Weren’t we all at this age?)
Gun and Bocci Ball Club – Assistant Manager (Hopefully not at the same time!)
Skills: Eager to learn innate abilities (If only you had just been born with them)
Meth Lab – Math Tutor (August 2004 – July 2005) Tutored college students in math classes varying from Pre-Algebra to Multivariable Calculus (Math would be important here!)
BONUS: Not from a resume but this has to be the best line I have seen from a job description: (Not a job description for anyplace I have worked!!!!) Visual acuity to view computer screen. Finger dexterity to input and manage complex data and spreadsheets using mouse and/or keyboard
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
(From the Beloit College Mindset List)
This month, almost 2 million first-year students will head off to college campuses around the country. Most of them will be about 18 years old, born in 1990 when headlines sounded oddly familiar to those of today: Rising fuel costs were causing airlines to cut staff and flight schedules; Big Three car companies were facing declining sales and profits; and a president named Bush was increasing the number of troops in the Middle East in the hopes of securing peace. However, the mindset of this new generation of college students is quite different from that of the faculty about to prepare them to become the leaders of tomorrow.
Each August for the past 11 years, Beloit College in Beloit, Wis., has released the Beloit College Mindset List. It provides a look at the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college. It is the creation of Beloit's Keefer Professor of the Humanities Tom McBride and Public Affairs Director Ron Nief. The List is shared with faculty and with thousands who request it each year as the school year begins, as a reminder of the rapidly changing frame of reference for this new generation.
The class of 2012 has grown up in an era where computers and rapid communication are the norm, and colleges no longer trumpet the fact that residence halls are "wired" and equipped with the latest hardware. These students will hardly recognize the availability of telephones in their rooms since they have seldom utilized landlines during their adolescence. They will continue to live on their cell phones and communicate via texting. Roommates, few of whom have ever shared a bedroom, have already checked out each other on Facebook where they have shared their most personal thoughts with the whole world.
It is a multicultural, politically correct and "green" generation that has hardly noticed the threats to their privacy and has never feared the Russians and the Warsaw Pact.
Students entering college for the first time this fall were generally born in 1990.
For these students, Sammy Davis Jr., Jim Henson, Ryan White, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Freddy Krueger have always been dead.
1.Harry Potter could be a classmate, playing on their Quidditch team.
2.Since they were in diapers, karaoke machines have been annoying people at parties.
3.They have always been looking for Carmen Sandiego.
4.GPS satellite navigation systems have always been available.
5.Coke and Pepsi have always used recycled plastic bottles.
6.Shampoo and conditioner have always been available in the same bottle.
7.Gas stations have never fixed flats, but most serve cappuccino.
8.Their parents may have dropped them in shock when they heard George Bush announce "tax revenue increases."
9.Electronic filing of tax returns has always been an option.
10.Girls in head scarves have always been part of the school fashion scene.
11.All have had a relative--or known about a friend's relative--who died comfortably at home with Hospice.
12.As a precursor to "whatever," they have recognized that some people "just don't get it."
13.Universal Studios has always offered an alternative to Mickey in Orlando.
14.Grandma has always had wheels on her walker.
15.Martha Stewart Living has always been setting the style.
16.Haagen-Dazs ice cream has always come in quarts.
17.Club Med resorts have always been places to take the whole family.
18.WWW has never stood for World Wide Wrestling.
19.Films have never been X rated, only NC-17.
20.The Warsaw Pact is as hazy for them as the League of Nations was for their parents.
21.Students have always been "Rocking the Vote."
22.Clarence Thomas has always sat on the Supreme Court.
23.Schools have always been concerned about multiculturalism.
24.We have always known that "All I Ever Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten."
25.There have always been gay rabbis.
26.Wayne Newton has never had a mustache.
27.College grads have always been able to Teach for America.
28.IBM has never made typewriters.
29.Roseanne Barr has never been invited to sing the National Anthem again.
30.McDonald's and Burger King have always used vegetable oil for cooking french fries.
31.They have never been able to color a tree using a raw umber Crayola.
32.There has always been Pearl Jam.
33.The Tonight Show has always been hosted by Jay Leno and started at 11:35 EST.
34.Pee-Wee has never been in his playhouse during the day.
35.They never tasted Benefit Cereal with psyllium.
36.They may have been given a Nintendo Game Boy to play with in the crib.
37.Authorities have always been building a wall across the Mexican border.
38.Lenin's name has never been on a major city in Russia.
39.Employers have always been able to do credit checks on employees.
40.Balsamic vinegar has always been available in the U.S.
41.Macaulay Culkin has always been Home Alone.
42.Their parents may have watched The American Gladiators on TV the day they were born.
43.Personal privacy has always been threatened.
44.Caller ID has always been available on phones.
45.Living wills have always been asked for at hospital check-ins.
46.The Green Bay Packers (almost) always had the same starting quarterback.
47.They never heard an attendant ask "Want me to check under the hood?"
48.Iced tea has always come in cans and bottles.
49.Soft drink refills have always been free.
50.They have never known life without Seinfeld references from a show about "nothing."
51.Windows 3.0 operating system made IBM PCs user-friendly the year they were born.
52.Muscovites have always been able to buy Big Macs.
53.The Royal New Zealand Navy has never been permitted a daily ration of rum.
54.The Hubble Space Telescope has always been eavesdropping on the heavens.
55.98.6 F or otherwise has always been confirmed in the ear.
56.Michael Milken has always been a philanthropist promoting prostate cancer research.
57.Off-shore oil drilling in the United States has always been prohibited.
58.Radio stations have never been required to present both sides of public issues.
59.There have always been charter schools.
60.Students always had Goosebumps.