Saturday, June 25, 2011

What Was Said, What Was Heard...

The following is from a recent article by Robyn Greenspan. Robyn is the Editor-in-Chief at ExecuNet, the leading business network for senior executives, where she is responsible for setting and driving the editorial content strategy across ExecuNet's online and offline publications and webinar programming. She also writes and produces the company's widely cited and highly recognized research project, the annual Executive Job Market Intelligence Report:

Things are not always as they seem, and the same can sometimes be true on job interviews.
My colleague Laura Magnuson, who works closely with our recruiter members, and I were recently talking about the typical phrases said at job interviews and what might have been heard. Hope you find a few laughs ahead and nothing that hits too close to home.

Candidate to Interviewer:

What was said: I'm a very fast learner.
What was heard: I don’t have the experience you're looking for.

What was said: I would change positions for the right opportunity.
What was heard: Make me an offer.

What was said: I've been an independent business consultant for the past two years.
What was heard: I’ve been out of work for two years.

What was said: I'd rather not talk about salary yet.
What was heard: I’m hoping you make me an offer before I have to disclose my low salary.

What was said: I left my last position because I wasn't being challenged enough.
What was heard: My last company didn’t trust me with the higher level responsibilities.

What was said: I'll get back to you with the names and contact information for my references.
What was heard: I have to call around first and tell people what I want them to say.

What was said: My leadership style is very honest and very direct.
What was heard: I' m abrasive, have no tact and don't get along well with people.

What was said: I'm a perfectionist and very detail-oriented.
What was heard: I'm a micromanager and don’t trust anyone on my team.

Interviewer to Candidate:

What was said: This is a very hands-on position.
What was heard: You'll have limited resources and be expected to do things that are beneath you.

What was said: You have an extensive work history and are highly overqualified.
What was heard: We're looking for someone younger and less expensive.

What was said: Thank you for coming in today; we have a few more people to see and then we'll get back to you.
What was heard: You won't hear from us again.


Over the next couple of weeks I’ll add some of my “What Was Said, What Was Heard” personal favorites….only these exchanges will be between the Candidate and the Headhunter or the Hiring Authority and the Headhunter.

For example:

Candidate to Headhunter:
What was said: I might be willing to consider relocation for just the right situation.
What was heard: I’ll move if there’s enough money to offset my spouse giving up their job and I can afford to put my kids in private school.

Hiring Authority to Headhunter:
What was said: We have interviewed a number of people for this position but just haven’t found the right fit. So we thought it was time to utilize your services. You guys are the pros.
What was heard: My boss won’t let me hire anyone unless they are the perfect fit and are willing to work cheap. Now I'm using you to show my boss that I've actually interviewed really good candidates and we just need to offer a better compensation package in order to hire one of them. I think you contingency fee recruiters are suckers.

More to come next week….

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Living on The Edge

Livin' On the Edge
You can't help yourself from fallin'
Livin' On the Edge
You can't help yourself at all

Congressman Anthony Weiner now takes his place in the line up of Dumb and Dumber public figures. I never liked the guy or his politics, but I sort of feel sorry for him. Not as sorry as I feel for his pregnant wife, the rest of her family, his family, all of their friends and his constituents.

But back to Weiner, the man. Why feel sorry for him? If you’ve ever been drawn to the dark side, if you’ve ever tasted the forbidden fruit, if you’ve ever been to “The Edge”; then you know why I feel sorry for him. Maybe you got caught, maybe not. But he definitely got caught and in front of the whole wide world. I’ve never tweeted my weiner or weinered my tweet; but I’ve done things for which I am very ashamed. Why did I do them? In some cases, I rationalized that my behavior really wasn’t all that bad. At other times, I knew it was bad but did it anyway. As the Aerosmith song says “You can’t help yourself from fallin” …. “You can’t help yourself at all”.

The Apostle Paul says essentially the same thing in his letter to the Romans:
Ch 7, Verse 19 - “For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.” Paul goes on to talk about deliverance and salvation, but I remain haunted by his words…”the evil I do not want to do, this I keep on doing”. The battle is real. All religions speak to this issue, the struggle between Good and Evil, the Light and the Darkness.

So what are we to make of all this? For every politician or celebrity who publicly falls over “The Edge”, there are thousands of everyday Joes and Janes who do likewise. In some cases the results are badly damaged relationships that ultimately heal but never fully recover. In others, the results are broken families and children who grow up living on “The Edge”. Living on “The Edge” can lead to disease, crippling injury, imprisonment and death. And no one lives on “The Edge” alone, even though they may die there alone. Actions have consequences and there is always collateral damage.

The answer is painfully simple, but too many of us never learn it or learn it too late. Stay away from “The Edge”. “The Edge” is where you hear the Sirens’ songs, you think all things are possible and you feel invincible. “The Edge” is where lies become truth, it's always someone else's fault, you deserve to be happy and there are no absolutes. “The Edge” is where you ultimately get permission to launch and the final invitation to fall. Stay away from the “The Edge”. Just ask Anthony Weiner.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Uber Recruiting

First of all, my apologies for not putting the two little dots over the U in Uber. It’s too much trouble. If you haven’t picked up on it, Uber (OOO-burr), is the cool German word all the cool people are using (or at least was the cool word until someone like Donald Trump or one of the House Wives of New York used it.) So it’s probably not cool anymore, but since I’m an old redneck Texan, I don’t care. I like it. And Click is actually a German surname (Gluck or Glueck in the old country), so I get to use Uber if I want to. And besides, how many cool German words are there?

With today’s technology it’s easy to be a Recruiter. So there are a lot of recruiters out there. But most of them are Durchschnitt, few of them are Uber. Let’s take a look at a few things which separates the Uber Recruiter from the Durchschnitt Recruiter…the Super Recruiter from the Average Recruiter.

Durchschnitts cast a wide net for jobs and candidates. Ubers focus on their special areas of expertise when it comes to accepting jobs and candidates.

Durchschnitts know how to find prospective candidates. Ubers know how to evaluate and determine if candidates are a good match for the position.

Durchschnitts sell candidates on the opportunity and then sell the hiring authority on the candidate. Ubers tell candidates the good and the bad about the opportunity and are even willing to recommend that a candidate withdraw from consideration. Ubers are willing to speak the hard truth to candidates and hiring authorities even if it cost them a placement.

Durchschnitts only spend time with candidates and companies who can be of value to them immediately. Ubers invest their time in developing long term relationships.

Durchschnitts believe that if you throw enough s--- on the wall some of it will stick. Ubers believe that you just end up with a wall of s---.

Some Durchschnitts MAKE a lot of money. Most Ubers EARN a lot of money.

Durchschnitts think about making the NEXT placement. Ubers think about making the RIGHT placement.

So whether you are a candidate or a hiring authority you have a choice to make when it comes to working with a recruiter…..Durchschnitts or Ubers?