to her presentations, or heard of fellow colleagues speak glowingly of her capabilities – needless to say I have been impressed consistently with her public figure. I can also say with pleasure that we all share our admiration for Susan’s consistent weekly live chat contributions to RecruitingBlogs.com, the Recruiting Roadshow and her upcoming session at RecruitFest in Toronto.
It must be said, that having walked the streets of Amsterdam past midnight or dined, commiserated, and having corresponded with Susan Burns, “the person,” that my admiration is far more substantial in the compelling impact she makes as both a colleague and a dear friend. Her multi-faceted personality, conviction, and brilliance as a candid, thought-provoking, socially conscious friend and colleague are ever present. She is passionate in all things in life, and it is omnipresent when she evangelizes architecture aspects of Strategic Talent Planning, employment branding, and metrics that we as an industry excel through her contributions and it is in her valued friendship, that her gifts never cease to bring value.
I applaud all her contributions in our industry – she lives and breathes “pay it forward” and it is a pleasure to know that the RecruitingBlogs Community have an opportunity to share the many value propositions Susan offers so selflessly and with such passion that Jason Davis and I so often witness on a personal level. Susan Burns is the “real deal” – and the community is richer for all she contributes. Susan, today as a friend, an advisor to SixDegreesfromDave.com, a personal mentor, and a thought leader we salute you, and it is ever so well deserved.
Q&A with Susan Burns
Six Degrees: Tell us of your Home World Susan
Susan: I find a nice balance between taking on challenging physical activities and challenging career endeavors. Yoga, hiking and travel are among my deepest passions outside of work and when I can bring them all together its ideal. Two of my favorite hikes included a 100-mile trek through Torres Del Paine National Park in Southern Chile and a trip to Peru that included hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. I’ve traveled to Mexico, Costa Rica and British Columbia for yoga retreats and find the week long immersions an incredible rebalancing to the stresses of life – even though the retreats often include 5 to 6 hours of physical yoga each day. Yoga is also part of my everyday life and an area of growing interest and commitment. In fact, I’m about to undertake a 200-hour, 3 week teacher training in the Berkshires this July. There are also many areas in which yoga philosophy and practice can carry over into enhancing business practices. The very act of being “present”, focusing on the mind-body connection, and building a sense of community are just a few areas that could add value to the business world. I’m planning on exploring these further through my yoga studies and practice.
Six Degrees: How did you get started in talent management?
Susan: When I began my career I was in general management. I managed specialty stores and then made the transition into department stores. I loved the hum and buzz of the business and, over time, as I took on assignments of increasing volume and scope the challenges of creating community within a store environment were quite enticing. In my last store manager assignment I was responsible for over $40 million in annual revenue, an employee population of over 350 and a management team of about 16. But, one thing was missing – the company invested little in development efforts and I was intellectually bored. So, I decided to take a bit of a sabbatical and go to graduate school. I actually thought I would leave retail but found I liked the interconnectedness of strategy, product and tangible results. There is something very unique about this within a retail environment and when you’re playing in high volume you can see these three come together quite quickly.
After graduate school I joined Federated Department Stores (now Macy’s Inc.). At the time Federated owned Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s and generated about $15 billion in annual sales. Initially, my role was to lead the development of a centralized college recruitment and relations strategy. Federated hired about 550 college graduates each year and another 300 as summer interns. The year was 1998 and there was a lot of change occurring because of the Internet. One of the first things I had the opportunity to do was secure support to develop a website. I think there were about 6 people on the original development team and together we mapped out the strategy for what was to become Retailology.com. The timing was right and I was fortunate to have a really talented group to work with. We saw the impact and growing value of the site in a relatively short period of time, and could demonstrate to the organization the value of being online. One of the coolest things about Retailology is that it not only benefited Federated but it also became a tool to teach students about the retail industry.
A couple of years later as Internet recruiting was growing quickly in popularity and the task of sourcing/hiring via the job boards was overwhelming, I had the opportunity to present Retailology as a strategic solution for hiring across Federated – which included hourly, management positions across every function, and college recruiting. We won the support of the divisions and quickly undertook the challenge of building 12 recruitment sites on the Retailology platform. The company had an autonomous culture and the structure and branding strategy at the time required individual branded sites. As a whole, the company hired about 110,000 people annually so this was a very cool opportunity. The change implications for this were huge – we would be moving from 100% paper-based processes to taking everything online. There were several key events that created tipping points along this journey and by the time I left Federated in January, 2006, the Retailology corporate strategy had generated over 38% of the company’s total hires and touched just about every functional area and position up to director/VP. Taking on a broader role also advanced my position with the company and allowed me to take on a greater scope of work that included employment initiatives, employment branding, recruitment technology – both selection and development, change management initiatives, recruiter education and development. The role became that of an internal consultant and over the 7+ years I was with Federated I had the opportunity to work with a number of very talented and committed colleagues.
While it was a difficult decision to leave Federated I was at a point in my career where I wanted to take on a broader challenge. I had a hunger to experience another industry, immerse myself in a global business and take on a more holistic role in talent management. I was recruited to head up global staffing for Waggener Edstrom Worldwide (WE). WE is the second largest independent PR agency. They are the PR agency of record for Microsoft and also have growing practice areas in public affairs, healthcare, and consumer. Once again, I was fortunate to work with a very talented team of recruiters. While I only stayed with WE for about 18 months, great headway was made with advising the Board on workforce/talent planning initiatives, sourcing strategies, recruiting structure and processes, and introducing CRM technology.
Do you have a mentor to whom you attribute your overall outlook on recruitment, capabilities, and/or model your career after?
Susan: There wasn’t a single event or mentor but a string of events and experiences that have influenced how I think about talent management. First, my role in store management. In retail you are uniquely dependent on talent. Whether it be the product design, assortment selection by the buyer, distribution by the planner, merchandising in-store, leading a department/selling team, or the last “12 inches” between the sales associate and the customer – its talent that makes the ultimate difference. Retail is also a business environment where you can see people’s careers move quickly. Seeing a sales associate promoted to sales manager or an assistant buyer promoted to divisional merchandise manager and eventually on to roles of increasing scope and responsibility is very rewarding!
Second, coming out of graduate school I heard the same thing time and time again from my classmates – getting through to anyone in recruiting/hr was incredibly frustrating - whether callbacks, email responses, or just answering their phones. Many of my classmates were looking to make a career transition and getting a recruiter to look at their past experience and future potential was insanely challenging. The same thing would happen on informational interviews – hiring managers only wanted people who had done the job. Well, there’s evidence that indicates taking people with the potential and placing them in new environments leads to more creative thinking, innovation, personal growth and……better business results. And, while I couldn’t impact thinking across every aspect of an organization I could make a difference in how job seekers felt about their experience.
I’ve been fortunate to have several mentors during my career. Mostly in the earlier days but that’s when I also think its most important. As I was “growing up” in retail it was at a time when mentor relationships developed more naturally. They not only helped me to understand the business at a more strategic level but to think broadly and creatively about building partnerships and getting results. Both of them were also terrific leaders and had their own unique way of building teams and camaraderie. Two of these mentors are still my closest friends today and are still the first people I turn to for guidance.
THOUGHT LEADERSHIP RECOMMENDATIONS
“Susan is smart, analytical and a great client. She knew what she wanted and was able to communicate that in an effective way. She brings original thinking and a wide network of information to any project she is part of. I have worked with Susan for several years including when she was at Macy's, Waggner and now at Talent Synchronicity. We have worked together on projects that involved selling concepts to senior management that were forward looking and not necessarily easy to get approved. Her combination of influencing skill, persistence and intelligence have led each project to a successful conclusion. She gets things done efficiently and effectively and is a good partner.” March 26, 2008
Kevin Wheeler, President/Founder, Global Learning Resources, Inc.
“Susan puts recruitment process vision to work with quantifiable results. She tackled workforce planning, recruitment process and brand issues at Federated Department Stores by developing and implementing one of the first uniquely branded recruitment websites for the retail industry which resulted in tens of thousands of hires. Susan is top notch and I would use her to handle any workforce opportunity." February 22, 2008
Hank Stringer, Principal, QTalent Partners
“Susan is a professional with a deep understanding of all three legs of the corporate HR platform: business strategy, HR process and leading-edge technology. Her depth of insight into ways to make HR a strategic business asset are both unique and extraordinary. It has been a real pleasure working with (and learning from) her.” January 7, 2005
Jeff Hunter, Senior Director, EA University at Electronic Arts
“I've worked with Susan Burns for a little over a year now and I can say that she has the most strategic, forward-thinking and fresh approach to talent acquisition out of any leader that I've worked with in the industry. I've always said that I wanted to work with someone who I could learn from, who wasn't just pushing old ideas and who would challenge me in new ways. Susan has always managed to challenge me. She has a unique way of getting you to think about things differently. Susan is also amazingly connected in the industry and the relationships she has helped me form with thought leaders has been invaluable. She is an avid reader and spots trends and innovations before most people have adopted the known innovations. The talent acquisition community has mostly agreed that finding people with passion for their field is a key performance indicator. I've met few people with as much passion for our industry as Susan. She thinks way outside the box, outside the organization and outside the industry to come up with advances in our field that are truly innovating the way organizations acquire talent. Most notable is her work with retailology.com prior to joining Waggener Edstrom and the workforce planning work she is currently designing at our organization. If you work in our industry I hope you have an opportunity to meet Susan, collaborate with her, brainstorm, have her tell you to put on your kid glasses or just have a quick brainstorm with her. I think you will find that you walk away feeling like you have learned something new.” May 16, 2007
Steve Fogarty, Talent Manager, Adidas
"Susan is a talented staffing and recruiting professional who brings a wealth of experience and expertise in the acquisition of talent and workforce planning. In her role with Waggener Edstrom, she was responsible for the global acquisition of talent and her work had a significant impact. Her passion and commitment were clearly evident and the results she guided were notable. A reduction in time-to-fill, a broad portfolio of sourcing vehicles, and several new creative staffing strategies and initiatives were all part of what Susan contributed to. Additionally, her leadership in guiding the Agency's Advisory Board through a workforce planning strategy advanced our staffing capability to positively impact the business. As a staffing industry leader she is broadly recognized for leading edge thinking and the perspective she offers to organizations and clients. Susan is smart, strategic and results-oriented. I see her as flourishing in an environment that has the management of talent as a critical business priority and where Susan can freely demonstrate her entrepreneurial and results-oriented talent."
Daniele Joudene, SVP, People Services, Waggener Edstrom
“Susan Burns is one of the most talented leaders in the talent management industry today -- smart, innovative, passionate, dedicated, and able to see and create solutions where most people can only identify challenges. Quite simply, she helped to make us better and more innovative as a company/partner, every step of the way. Our partnership in developing WetFeet Recruiter's Enterprise Interview Scheduling system, which delivered industry-first innovations in many areas, is just one example of one of her strongest personal assets: Susan gets results. The passion, energy, focus and commitment she brings to her work is simply extraordinary. What a joy to recommend her!” October 11, 2007
Gary Alpert, CEO, WetFeet Inc.…
eers do are not equivalent to what illusions a magician pulls from a hat, but rather - the product of wisdom they have gained from years of dedicated inquiry, research and deliverables. Who better to start the series than my continuing conversation with Russ Moon, aka, "the Sourcing Samurai".
• Russ Moon
• Sourcing Consultant, Talent Find LLC
• Richmond VA
• RecruitingBlogs Profile
• Office: 804-643-8604
• Mobile: 804-402-2364
Q&A with Russ Moon
Six Degrees: What is the source of your "LOWEST COST OF HIRES" - (least amount of invested resources for the easiest hires, regardless of quality) at your present employer?
Russ: In general employee referrals rank right up there for corporations. The internet with proper candidate development is even less, but frequently is not maximized in terms of the cost reduction potential. This is due to improper structure, inadequate training, process…..it only takes one fundamental block to be out of place to drastically dilute your results.
Six Degrees: What talent niche groups do you target and are these particular talent areas specialized under your review?
Russ: The computer does not know if you are looking for executive chefs, gas turbine start-up engineers or SAP FICO folks…that’s what I love is the variety of searches available. If you know the syntax, tools and techniques you can find what is needed. I love the hunt.
Six Degrees: What types of training in sourcing/recruitment are available to you and have you taken advantage of?
Russ: I have approached my training from a holistic standpoint in that I try to expose myself to a variety of training given that each has its own merits. My goal with each session is to learn at least 3 new things I can try to help me find talent more efficiently and rapidly.
My education started in 2000 when I started with the original AIRS I,II and III (CIR) courses. Then I was fortunate to be on the AIRS University program during my tenure at MeadWestvaco while serving on their centralized recruiting team. I took full advantage and took like 9 courses in 7 months and that saturation training really leapfrogged my ability.
About the same time I recruited Shally to help me go to the next level and started his apprenticeship program. We worked together several times a week, he would at times coach me on particular searches or even come online with me to search and show me new approaches. That one year, in retrospect evolved me more than 5 years of self study. My income based on what I could do experienced a nice surge during that timeframe…so something was working …at least for me.
During my time at Wachovia I became involved with Broadlook Technologies and had some high caliber 1-1 training sessions with Kary Valley. Kary is simply scary smart and his impact on how I viewed what is possible in terms of data mining blew apart my mindset at the time. Delved very deeply into their Eclipse product, ultimately being named their first non-employee Black Belt. What still blows my mind is there is still a healthy amount of untapped capability that I have not harnessed with that product.
I returned full circle near the end of 2008 and start of 2009 returning to AIRS to renew my CIR and earn the ACIR (Advanced Certified Internet Recruiter) and recently the CSSR (Certified Social Sourcing Recruiter ) certifications. Really enjoyed the experience and was pleased to see AIRS still bringing fresh content to the training space. Every conference I attend I have made a point to sit in on Glenn/Shally’s presentations to stay on top of new syntax and their approach to sourcing. Preparing to further study under Shally as his time allows to “take it up another notch”. That will happen this week in his home and I have asked him to put together a regime for me that is somewhere in intensity between US Army Ranger Training and an unsedated medical procedure.
I want it to expose every chink I may have, put it out in the open and then we will jointly develop a written development plan to take me from point A to point B. I have also already heavily invested in some of Broadlook new training which is quite good. Improvement doesn’t just occur, you have to mentally be willing to pay the price just like an Olympic athlete who endures the workouts to condition themselves to perform at their peak.
There is a great deal of informal sharing and training that goes on, specific people I seek on particular topics. It is just a matter of saying “I’d like to learn more about this” and it helps to bring something to the table to share with them. I love our community.
Six Degrees: What recruitment software tools do you use in your day to day recruitment activities & do they translate effectively within all of the different countries where you recruit?
Russ: It really depends on the assignment. I no longer have a stock response of “I use XXX” because my toolkit has developed to the point of being somewhat unique and to tools to some degree can impact the direction the search takes based on the capabilities you have available to you. Of course, it comes back to skill and being comfortable with a certain procedure or tool or syntax which comes through practice. Lately, I find myself rethinking how to generate more speed in terms of my ability to find the same people I would have located anyway faster. The goal being to develop a more optimized toolkit and how I use it to allow me to deliver more talent in the same amount of time. Enjoying the process and several people have shared tips that have already shown me this is going to be a very good initiative. Some tools recently have been deleted, while in the last week I have added two new ones. Always evaluating and optimizing what works best in my assignments and if something doesn’t cut the mustard…it doesn’t last long.
Six Degrees: What tools (technology or old school file folder, for example) did you first encounter early in your recruitment career?
Russ: Three tools when I first started (2000) that stood out as having either a “wow factor” or extreme utility were ACT!, AIRS Search Station (beta-tested) and EGrabber address grabber.
• ACT! – has a lot of interesting features and I thought was pretty versatile
• AIRS Search Station – my first foray into beta-testing and seeing a glimmer of how powerful search technology could be
• EGrabber address – it worked, easy to use, worked with ACT didn’t have to worry about it doing anything except pretty much working.
Six Degrees: How did your expectations of being a recruiter compare to the actual, first time you got on the phone or in the cubicle? In your opinion, how do people's assumptions about our vocation differ from reality?
Russ: I had no idea what was involved when I started. I remember buying Paul Fordyce’s manual on recruiting and studying others to try to develop my own authentic style. Sourcing – was so new that few in our industry understood it, much less knew enough to set their expectations. I realized later, as I spent more time in the trenches that part of my role was to educate, facilitate, share and catalyze understanding. During that process I experienced some of my greatest moments of illumination.
Six Degrees: Worst mistake, biggest goof, lousiest practice you thought would fly but didn’t, and how that moment culminated into a true learning experience?
Russ: Early in my career I would start sourcing, with an ‘eager to please’ attitude, without fully arming myself with all the information needed to really surgically source. This resulted in some near miss type candidates which were in the ballpark but not “Yes!” caliber. Intake Mistake …don’t make it and I will blog on this very soon.
What I learned was ‘slow is really fast.’ Slow in terms of taking the time to really indentify exactly what we are seeking, mapping out where this talent typically would congregate and thinking through your toolkit to make a decision on which tool/technique/source etc is going to have the highest probability of revealing that talent pool on my screen so that the core pipeline can be built. The tool piece is a bit sophisticated because there are more variables to factor in, with practice you start dialing some techniques in and it is very pleasant when you see your results onscreen change from goobley-goop into pure usable talent….that’s an interesting moment every time.
Six Degrees: How do you personally expect to facilitate change within our industry, and/or at your place of work? If you started that process, outline the problem, your solutions, and the vision.
Russ: I am being very authentic (which can be scary) and let my actions do the talking. If people are paying attention, they will get the message.
Certainly, I’m very passionate about helping others learn more about sourcing because it is part of the giving back process. There is no doubt in my mind that I have some very bright folks who graciously mentor me and I want to extend their influence by passing that on to others. It never fails to help me evolve so that philosophy has resulted in one win-win after another.
The forthcoming radio show, Sourcing Samurai, will be part of that effort where I’ll talk to very seasoned, knowledgeable experts who have spent the time in the trenches to really know what works about the people, experiences, training, technologies etc. that forged their sourcing mindset; changing how they approached their craft forever. Hopefully this very candid sharing will stimulate some thought in the audience over how they might learn from what the guests share with me.
Research is as much about knowing how to find the answer as it is knowing it. I know the guests who are slated to share are people that anyone who wants to learn more would do themselves a service by making a decision to spend that 15 minutes or so with us. Understand I touched upon the Sourcing Samurai previously, but it bears repeating, something free you will not want to miss.
Six Degrees: “Best practice” you are most proud of developing (now or in the past) in your recruiting career?
Russ: I developed a sourcing model and was able to navigate actually gaining senior leadership approval without any revision to the original presentation. Again my network served as a private sounding board which contributed invaluable insight. My experience at Wachovia/Wells Fargo truly ingrained the concept and value of open collaboration. It is a form of intellectual diversity which results in an end product which is far superior to simply locking yourself in your office and doing the work in a vacuum.
Six Degrees: What are some of the frustrating aspects/obstacles to your day to day as a staffing professional and in general?
Russ: Striving for brevity for the sake of time while balancing that with ensuring the communication is effective and professional.
Six Degrees: What are the most common themes of strategic and/or tactical mishaps involving past or present HR/Staffing org?
Russ: My opinion, which I don’t confuse as fact
Project Management - We need better skills there in general. We need to ask the right questions, i.e., “What’s the real scope ?” “What outside of the scope?”
“Letting Perfect be the Enemy of Good” – at a certain point, get going, watch what happens and adjust accordingly. Jason Goldberg has a phrase “Ship it”, which I have adopted. “Ship it”, Just do it and adjust vs. waiting until everything is perfect and the window of opportunity it closed.
Six Degrees: Considering all of the frustrations you have experienced in your career as a recruiter, -- what inspires you as you continue in your career?
Russ: I love what I do. Learning new things, analyzing, meeting the people, the relationships that have developed and are developing, technology - and I get paid to do things I really enjoy. I love it so much I just want to keep on going, evolving, growing, and seeing where the journey leads. We are in an era of exponentially accelerating possibility and that drives me.
Six Degrees: What one thing do you find most ideal given the opportunity to develop/ implementing/ invent professionally that has yet to be done.
Russ: I think for me personally I want to immerse myself in desktop technology and expand upon ways to increase the speed with which I source based on layouts, add-ons, toolbars and how I use them. It’s low cost, experience has shown me there is a lot of utility if you are disciplined in how you experiment and it sharpens your sourcing in general.
Six Degrees: Anything you want to plug?
Russ: My online Radio Show – "The Sourcing Samurai" - stay tuned lining up our first recording session now.
My Arbita BlogBlog – http://aces.arbita.net/blog/Russ
My Arbita Homepage
Six Degrees: How Are You Going To Change The Recruitment Industry?
Russ: I would like to help propel some of the thinking surrounding our industry. I would like to seed some healthy discussion, unearth some utilitarian tools, share with others and maybe inspire someone to really go for it. I have several experiences with “reverse mentoring” where I had a mentor who helped me with a topic and during that process I helped them gain a deeper understanding of what sourcing is all about. My new career provides opportunity for pursuing that passion and I truly enjoy the interaction with the super talented bright minds I tend to gravitate towards.
Help bring Sourcing/Research a little more out of the shadows. Keep and expand my seat at the table as a trusted adviser to the Senior Talent Acquisition Leaders who engage me to the point they want to bring me back. Help inspire someone with the aptitude to pursue this career path and show where it can lead.
his experience has also proven to be as awful as the first. I would like to know if anyone else has had a similar experience with Bountyjobs.
In my first experience, I was working on a position for a client in Iowa. This was a Sr. Purchasing Manager position. I submitted several qualified candidates for this position via Bountyjobs. My point of contact was as usual, a Talent Acquisition Rep for the client with the open position. I found that this Rep was very unresponsive, and ignored messages via the Bounty Wall and Candidate Wall. This is the preferred method of communication, for Talent Acquisition Reps, an in a few moments you will know why.
I submitted 6 candidates for this position, before actually filling it. However I did not fill the position, by sending the candidate via Bountyjobs and communicating with the client via the site. I repeatedly requested feedback on submittals of candidates, due to the fact that all candidates were interested in the role, and wanted to know if there was interest on the client side. After repeatedly being ignored by the Talent Acquisition Rep via Bountyjobs, I began emailing the Rep to request feedback. All emails were also ignored. After about a month, I received an email from TA stating that a phone interview was requested on one of my candidates. luckily, that candidate was still available and interested. The candidate did the phone interview, and called me right after, very excited, stating that it went well. After a week, I reached out to see if there was feedback on the candidate via email as well as via the candidate wall on the BJ site. No response. None at all! After another week of the candidate calling and requesting feedback, I tried reaching out again, no response. I finally asked the name and contact information of the Hiring Manager that interviewed the candidate, and reached out to him. He provided feedback, stating that the candidate was not quite a match for the position. After doing that, the same day, I asked the HM if it was okay to send him the other candidates that I submitted via BJ to him directly, and he said that was fine,because he really needed to get the role filled. I sent over all 6 candidates, only to find out that after a whole month of sending candidates, the HM had only seen 1 of the candidates I submitted. Subsequently, one of the ones he had not even seen, that I submitted via BJ, got the position and is still employed with the client to this very day. After I filled the position, the TA called in and complained to BJ that I was "aggressive" and that she did not want to work with me again. That was okay with me.
Second horrible situation. I submitted a candidate via Bountyjobs to UTC Aerospace Systems for a position in Troy, OH. Candidate was not hired for that role. However a month later, this same candidate gets hired for a position with Pratt & Whitney. in Columbus, GA. Pratt & Whitney and UTC Aerospace Systems were basically the same company. They were both under United Technologies. Under Bountyjobs guidelines, if a candidate is hired within 6 months by a client, even if they did not get the original position they were interviewed for, the firm that submitted the candidate, is owed a fee. So I reached out to the HR Department at Pratt & Whitney in Columbus, GA, and explained the situation to the HR Manager. The manager told me flat out, "we do not owe you a fee, because we are not UTC Aerospace Systems and we do not use Bountyjobs" After this I reached out to Bountyjobs regarding the situation and Jeff Pacyna (Enterprise Account Specialist with BJ), stated that a fee was owed. He stated that he would get Chris Mason (VP, Customer Success with BJ), involved to get the matter resolved. Chris Mason reached out to me and requested that I not reach out to anyone at UTC regarding this matter, because they would get things taken care of. I waited over a year to be paid that fee, which was about $16k. Once a fee is owed, it is supposed to only take 60 days to get paid. But this one took over a year. I had several conversations via email and telephone with Chris Mason over the course of a year, with him assuring me that the matter was being handled. Chris Mason said that he had been in contact with UTC and that things were being handled. However I still had not received the fee. I finally reached out to the Director of Talent Acquisition at UTC. Chris Mason did not know I was even connected to this person. This contact checked into things and revealed that no one at UTC knew anything on this matter, which meant that Chris Mason lied to me for over a year regarding this situation. I finally had to threaten Chris Mason, to go public with this information, and in about 5 days, payment was received. During that year, I suggested to Chris Mason, that Bountyjobs just pay the fee that was owed to me, and handle their own collections with UTC. However, he stated that BJ does not pay out fees until the client pays BJ. I felt that maybe he did not want to hurt their relationship with UTC, and that was not my desire either, because I had built great rapport with UTC, and placed many candidates with them, so hurting the relationship would not benefit me in any way, however I still needed to be paid. After receiving the information from UTC, I called Chris Mason and told him what I found out. He denied everything of course, but offered to pay me 10% of what was owed to me, until the entire fee was paid. I turned it down, because I waited over a year. A year in which he lied to me repeatedly regarding this matter. I told him that if the entire fee was not paid within 5 days, I would go to NYC, where Bountyjobs is located and stand outside one of the local TV Stations, and that I would not leave until someone let me in to tell my story. Needless to say, I received the fee a few days later. About a week after, I was called by Chris Mason to state that UTC no longer wanted to do business with me, and that I was being removed from the BJ site. I did not care at all, because, if they were willing to allow this company to do something like this, I no longer wanted to deal with BJ anyway.
Third horrible situation. I was engaged on a Procurement Manager position for Harris Corporation. Position was in California. My point of contact was not a Talent Acquisition Rep, he was a contract recruiter working for YOH, name Vinay Singh. Vinay called my office one day, after i submitted a candidate. He was very rude, and asked if we were even speaking to the candidates that we were sending because all of them were way off the mark. He was so rude that I ended up hanging up on him. By this time, I had already submitted 4 candidates, and by the way, one of my candidates got hired. But not after Vinay went into BJ and rejected all my candidates, and closed out the job order in the BJ system. However, the candidate that was eventually hired, was doing interviews with Harris Corporation all along. The candidate called me after an onsite interview to let me know how things were progressing. So I sent Vinay an email to ask why the candidate was rejected in BJ, and Harris was still interviewing this candidate. He never responded, But later that say, I received a call from BJ, stating that Vinay called to complain, stating he felt threatened when I spoke to him via telephone, which was totally untrue. He knew that I caught him trying to do what we as recruiters refer to as a "Back Door Hire" My candidate called me that afternoon stating that Vinay Singh told her that if she kept communicating with me it would "hurt her chances at getting the position" These were his exact words. I couldn't believe this. All the while Bountyjobs is threatening me, stating that if they keep getting complaints I will be removed from the site. Despite the fact that I had proof of what he was doing, because the very candidate that Harris was about to hire, was showing as rejected in their system. So I reached out to the HM at Harris and explained all of this to him. He in turn, reached out to the TA Director with Harris and explained what Vinay Singh was attempting to do. The very next day, Vinay Singh opened a duplicate of that same position, and BJ reached out to me stating that I needed to re-submit the candidate to BJ. My candidate was eventually hired. BJ gave me NO support, in fact, they claimed that I was attempting to hurt their relationship with Harris Corporation, even after knowing all of what I speaking about here. So they basically took the side of the TA, even though I caught him red-handed, trying to steal that fee, and showed BJ the proof. BJ gets a percentage of all fees, so I explained to them that if the fee was stolen from me, it was being stolen from them as well. However they did not care one bit.
Fourth horrible situation. After Bountyjobs kicked me off the site, I went and pitched Harris Corporation directly, and was awarded a Direct Placement Agreement with their company, and no longer had to go through Bountyjobs. I began submitting candidates to them directly. A few months in L3 Communications merged with Harris Corporation, and they are now called L3Harris. After they merged, a few weeks later I was notified that all outside recruiters would have to work through Bountyjobs. Any recruiting firm that had a current contract agreement with Harris, would be given a login, to engage and work on their positions. I did not like this, but really had no choice. All external firms that had a current contract were given "Preferred Vendor" status in BJ, and instead of BJ taking their usual 25% of the fee, "Preferred Vendors" only have 3% of their fee taken by BJ. Again, working with BJ turned out to be another nightmare. Our point of contact are now, talent Acquisition Reps for L3Harris, and it's much of the same. Ignoring requests for feedback on candidates submitted. Candidates being interviewed, without the knowledge of the firms that submitted them. Complaining to BJ when we email the TA Reps is HUGE. However these same TA Reps email us all the time requesting interviews with candidates, etc. But when we email them, due to their lack of response, they call and complain to BJ, stating that they want all communications with outside firms to be via BJ. However I have seen them not even log into BJ for weeks at a time. While candidates are calling and asking for feedback. Clarissa Wiley with L3harris is a prime example and there are others. Clarissa will email about a candidate she is interested in having do a telephone interview with a HM. Candidate does phone interview, and then you hear NOTHING. No email responses, no responses in BJ after repeated attempts, etc. Then, when you send an email, after she has no problem emailing you about something she wants, trying to get feedback, she "only wants contact via BJ". Looks very strange huh? Well before I wrap this up, you will know exactly why.
In BJ, there is a feature called "taking a flier". This is where you can actually pay a fee to BJ, to have a candidate submitted to a position, even when a TA will not engage you on a position. Last month, I tried to get engaged on a Sr. Electrical Engineer position in Northampton, MA, however AMBER HEINLEIN (TA AT L3HARRIS) refused my engagement request. So, I "took a flier" and paid about $30.00 of my own funds to submit a highly qualified candidate. After submitting this candidate, I waited a week to see if there was any feedback. My messages were completely ignored. Then after about another week I tried messaging AMBER HEILEIN again via BJ. She responded "no interest, thanks!" I responded asking if there was any feedback on where this candidate fell short and never received a response to this day. I knew how good this candidate was for that role, so I became suspicious. I honestly did not think she even submitted the candidate to the hiring manager. I was looking through my linkedin.com contacts, and realized that I was connected to the person that appeared to be the Hiring Manager for that position and I was right. We were connected. So I sent over my candidate's information to him via linkedin.com, and he replied with interest. He responded that he had NOT seen that candidate's information before. So it was just as I thought, she had never even submitted him to the HM. All after I paid my own funds to submit the candidate. What recruiter in their right mind, is going to pay to submit a candidate, already knowing that the candidates' information will not even reach the Hiring Manager? I don't know any recruiters that stupid. However, I did not mention to the HM, that I had already submitted this candidate. The next day, I get an email from AMBER HEINLEIN, stating that I am to stop messaging the HM on linkedin.com immediately. However linkedin.com is a public forum, and I can communicate whoever I want, and they are free to communicate with me. Later that day, I get a call from Bountyjobs, as expected. The rep at BJ states that AMBER HEINLEIN is complaining that I am emailing her and that she wants all communication to go through BJ. However I NEVER emailed her, that was a lie. I never even responded to the email she sent me telling me to stop messaging the HM. It's funny, when I got the call from BJ, I asked the Rep at BJ, t produce an email that I sent to AMBER HEINLEIN and she couldn't. It;s also funny I asked her if AMBER HEINLEIN said anything else about why she was complaining and AMBER HEINLEIN mentioned nothing about the linkedin.com situation. I assume what happenedcis that the HM has to go through AMBER HEINLEIN to schedule candidates for interviews, and when he approached her about the candidate that she NEVER SUBMITTED TO HIM, AFTER I PAID TO HAVE HIM SUBMITTED, she got pissed. Which means that not only does Bountyjobs take recruiters' money to have candidates submitted and in many cases the candidates NEVER reach the hiring managers. They also are used to cover up these types of things that the TA's are doing. It's almost like extortion. They threaten to kick you off the site for basically doing your job as a recruiter. What is going on is that the higher ups in Talent Acquistion with the clients do not know, or do not care what theses reps are doing with these Bountyjobs logins. Or, the TALENT ACQUISITION REPS DO NOT WANT EMAILS FROM EXTERNAL, RECRUITERS, SO THAT THERE IS NO INFORMATION TRAIL ON HOW THE RECRUITING IS BEING HANDLED. Let's be honest here, if they were actually doing their jobs, they would not need external recruiting firms in the first place. But from situations like this, i can see why jobs are staying on client's job boards for extended periods of time. ALL IN ALL BOUNTYJOBS IS AN ORGANIZATION THAT HAS SOME VERY SHADY PRACTICES!! AND I AM CERTAIN I AM NOT THE ONLY PERSON WHO'S HAD THESE TYPES OF EXPERIENCES WITH THEM!…
esentation of a company. A Sourcer knows OFCCP inside and out. A Sourcer uses the finest tools at hand to create a talent pool. There are endless other examples of value that a Sourcer brings. We organize and use data to build relationships."
"Easy, you just help other people ... When people are needing food and mortgage money, there were no splits, no markers, and no thanks needed. Most never knew my hand was there at all. How did this help me? It didn’t in terms of money or recognition. It was priceless in terms of ability to break every previous personal production record, stretch my network a thousand-fold, and be in finest form for my next role."
• RecruitingBlogs Profile
• Sourcing Extraordinaire & Sweet Tea Enthusiast
• Location: Navarre, FL
• Community Volunteering: Volunteer at the local elementary school and helping women out of abusive situations.
• Personal Causes: Working with children that are wired differently, helping families of deployed military, and being there for women in need.
• Office: 678.779.6619
• Personal Email
Our mutual friend, Steve Rath, was kind enough to introduce me to Marie Journey and the more I inquired - the more I learned how many fellow travelers we have in our lives. Marie and I share the same ecosystem of sourcers to social networking enthusiasts and a passion for passing it forward. She is a rock star with10+ years recruiting experience, and contributed to talent development in five languages (Spanish, French, Portuguese, German, Japanese) in both Corporate as well as Agency Environments; working with one of the largest for profit organizations, Microsoft, as well as one of the largest non-profit organizations in the world, AIESEC. She has presented at Recruitfest 2009, been on on Jim Stroud’s Recruiters Lounge, and among fellow gurus as an attendee at each of the last two Sourcecon conferences. Marie is also one of the pioneers in video SEO for high demand reqs; she was able to get 1st Page Google, 1st Rank for key skill set within 48 hrs of launching the following video: http://budurl.com/hogandev
Q & A with Marie Journey
Six Degrees: Tell us of your home world.
MARIE: My world comprises of people I love that live with me, next to me, and all around the world. My feet are in Paradise AKA Navarre, FL. As far as family goes, if you can order sweet tea, it is likely one of my blood kin from my mother’s side is nearby. You’d have to travel the seas to encounter rest.
A sweet, chocolate eyed, mad scientist in the making that holds both Martin Luther King, Jr. and Albert Einstein close to his heart calls me Momma. His name is Julian age 7 and he is a miracle child many times over. A wild burst of energy, that flies across any ground and launches into my arms is Ian, age 6. Then there is Miss Kayla who will change the world for the better with her passion for science, animals, and justice that is age 10. Jared’s silence speaks loudly in the near constant sea of voices; he can sum up a person and motivators within seconds, age 8. Simply put, single mom of 1 and official back-up Daddy to 3 more when their father is deployed.
MARIE: All the children gather one evening every other week for a sit down meal and the Extreme Play Date begins: we build robots, conduct science experiments, fiercely debate merits of Pokemon, and dance to hundreds of random questions. In the rare moments of me time, I devour a book a day. When stress weighs too heavy or I need a bigger dose of escape, it is power tool time. Have a flare for blades and dying to get my hands on a 26 inch Katana to continue Japanese sword fighting lesions. Painting abstracts along with photography feeds the creative side. Checking out new apps is another favorite. Love all types of tools for creating be it an iPhone, Dremel, brush, or camcorder.
The future holds - a nonprofit called the League of Competent Woman that attracts strong ladies looking to make a positive change by promoting and protecting both women and children through changing/enforcing laws, providing an extensive network of resources, and mentoring.
Until my house remodel is complete and the greyhound rescue dog of my dreams comes home to us, my only pet is my laptop, Vixen. She is smoking hot and holds her own.
Six Degrees: How did you get started as a recruiter?
MARIE: I started 10+ years ago during my time at AIESEC, which was one of the largest non-profit orgs in the world second only to the Red Cross at the time. With AIESEC, there was International recruiting, business development, marketing, and a mission to better the world.
After AIESEC, I went on to be an international logistic consultant designing automotive factories in cool places like Brazil and Germany. 100% international travel, worked on multi-national project teams, learned a great deal about other cultures and business practices. Had fun reworking highly complex systems with thousands of variables, designing with AutoCAD in five languages, being humbled by the brilliance of great minds, and even got to dance with the Portelas @ Carnival in Rio. Why go back to recruiting?
When I returned to the United States for love, I had the opportunity to choose a different career path. Decided to return to recruiting and found that the career break helped me immensely by gaining skills sets that are often needed and hard to gather on the typical recruiting career path.
Six Degrees: What types of training in sourcing/recruitment are available to you and have you taken advantage of?
MARIE: For years, I have been absolutely relentless in the pursuit of sourcing/recruitment training. I have taken One on one training with National Sourcing Expert, Shally Steckerl. I could list out a couple of hundred, but generically –Taken massive training on OFCCP and even designed training manuals. Did every available session on Diversity and wrote several more training sessions. Any ATS used, I worked to become a super user at warp speed. Went outside of traditional recruiting/sourcing and took training on tech/marketing/system optimizations and courses that involved the current niche or sector of talent. Training is essential to know the law, the space, the MVPs, how to connect, how to present, and then how to close in shortest time possible.
Six Degrees: What single event had the most impact on your sourcing/recruiting career?
MARIE: The moment of silence from Shally, when he decided if I was serious or not and how to respond to my request for what I would like for him to teach me. Okay, he probably had the mute on and was laughing his back-side off, but he proceeded to first drill me on what I knew, tell me what I needed to learn, and ticked off points to help make it happen.
Do you have a mentor to whom you attribute your overall outlook on recruitment, capabilities, and/or model your career after?
MARIE: To survive your first week in recruiting you had better have a strong mentor or an example of a person that has it figured out. There are hundreds that have knowingly or unknowingly helped along the way. For recruiting/sourcing successes you can bank that one or more of the following were a factor (listed in alpha order by first name):
1. Barbara Marks – watched her flawlessly perform recruiting miracles and hiring manager interfacing magic for years. Generous of heart and would stop my desk for her anytime.
2. Burt Black – taught me tech recruiting, a multi-million dollar producer for over ten years, and has been a true friend to me for over 15 years.
3. Chandra Bodapati @ Egrabber - creates the tools that make me drool on myself.
4. Chris Havrilla – queen of empowerment, legend in the field, and always one of the 1st gen adopters of doable/usable tech.
5. Dave Copps – had me at AI app.
6. Eric Jaquith – listening to him is pure beneficial bliss to any recruiter or sourcer. If you need to “Miracle Grow” your system, he is the man with the plan.
7. Geoff Webb – geek that gets social networking, sourcing, and keeps the space lively. We are in the middle of a friendly yet fierce challenge: http://bit.ly/geekchallenge
8. Jeffrey Rosado, at Pensacolaco Computers – he opened the door and let me out of the box. Smartest guy in tech I’ve ever met, taught me how to get 1st page/top rank in Google (SEO Amazing Man), created Vixen (My smokin’ hot, voice activated laptop), and fully stocks my software addiction with professional grade product!
9. Jim Stroud – his reach is so vast in terms of training, involvement, and accomplishments; I am one of hordes that owe him credit.
10. Kay Kelison – brilliant social networking and researching talent and flat out one of my favorite people for talking shop with, future trends, or just about anything.
11. Marjorie Mancini of CVTracer – created an ATS that actually does what you need in recruiting with the fewest clicks possible. She has also been a light of inspiration. One woman that has done so much in this field!
12. Rob McIntosh – if you are in Sourcing you owe this man thanks.
13. Rodney Walden – Showed me stuff on InfoGist I didn’t know was possible, got me on to LinkedIN years ago, and always makes me laugh.
14. Shally Steckerl – gave the advice I needed to hear at just the right time.
15. Sharon Meyers – awes me with her sourcing talent in both the national and international space. This lady has to use a fire hose for her talent pipe.
16. Steve Rath – put together one of my favorite recruiting teams, forerunner in Sourcing 2.0, pays it forward, and I’ve had the pleasure of watching him be stellar in the industry for years.
Any mistakes made along the way have been 100% my own doing!
Six Degrees: (A) What other companies' recruiting operations do you admire or have heard are best-practice examples?
MARIE: Any shop that Rob McIntosh or Chris Havrilla is running.
(B) In what aspects are they superior?
MARIE: Rob can whip out Excel spreadsheets, PPT presentations, and flowchart his superior methods. Love the quantifying of what most would consider intangibles. Chris Havrilla is the finest cherry picker of talent and can create magic with her managing style and in depth understanding of how to be effective in not only today’s market, but tomorrow’s as well.
Six Degrees: What recent general news story or industry trend do you feel will have an impact on your work in the future? Why?
MARIE: As tech improves and people like Dave & Chandra come up with these groundbreaking, time saving sourcing tools…why do companies need “Sourcers”? A Sourcer brings much more than the ability to rattle off a complex Boolean string, a database of names, or niche product knowledge – A Sourcer is often the front line and first representation of a company. A Sourcer knows OFCCP inside and out. A Sourcer uses the finest tools at hand to create a talent pool. There are endless other examples of value that a Sourcer brings. We organize and use data to build relationships. Bring on the best Tech!
Six Degrees: Tell us about your broader involvement within the staffing industry:
MARIE: Attended both SourceCons and was asked to speak at RecruitFest! 2009.
Six Degrees: Can you detail how the recession has affected your particular industry niche? Has it effected your job or that of your fellow team members within the organization?
MARIE: When Microsoft has massive layoffs you know it is going to be a rough road. As a MS Prospecting Consultant via SearchWizards, I got the call right in time for Christmas of 2008 that the whole team was toasted effective December 30th. What was the experience like for a single mom, in Tech Recruiting, that has always worked? Well, having twins without an epidural in the Amazon would have been less painful and shocking. Like childbirth, I’m glad it is over, joyous at the bright future ahead, and will not be sending pictures/videos/or play by plays of the process.
Six Degrees: Aside from simply the generic term “Networking” what specific efforts have you made on your own behalf, or on behalf of colleagues to broaden your opportunities?
MARIE: Easy, you just help other people. I answered that question, “If you had to do your job for free would you do it?” Yes, I sure would and did within the week of being laid off. I went from recruiting on behalf of Microsoft to pipelining any viable jobs that were open.
It was fast and furious work and mostly done in stealth mode. When people are needing food and mortgage money, there were no splits, no markers, and no thanks needed. Most never knew my hand was there at all. How did this help me? It didn’t in terms of money or recognition. It was priceless in terms of ability to break every previous personal production record, stretch my network a thousand-fold, and be in finest form for my next role.
Six Degrees: Given your own Trial and Error experiences as a Networker, what advice do you have for your peers on what NOT to do?
MARIE: Never take complete credit for any success if there is the slightest possibility that you can share the credit with somebody else.
Six Degrees: What is your next career goal? What do you need to do to get there?
MARIE: Take a high need skill set, create a video campaign, work with corporate Marketing, and then track results for both recruiting and sales.
For example, if you Google:
“Hogan developers” job
The 1st Page and 1st Rank has been one of my videos from launch weeks ago until the moment of writing this. Jim Stroud was the first to introduce me to the idea of using video to reach candidates and Jeff@pensacolacomputers.com has been teaching me the SEO and backend side of ranking.
Really wanted to work the SEO angle without any corporate branding or specific job to see what would happen in terms of rank as a control. Now the next goal is to add the corporate branding along with buy in and marketing resources in order to incorporate a much broader social networking strategy and own the space. Recruiting wins low cost renewable pipeline with shorter fills and less production loss. Marketing wins name recognition and increased revenue. All I need is company that likes the notion of prime market position
Using Your Geek Card Lately?
This profile is one in a series titled Monday Member Showcase. It was originally published on RecruitingBlogs.com, a recruiting and HR community, where I am a featured contributor. To read the whole series please click here.…
ader’s Christmas play that she had not gone to the play. My candidate explained that yes she had gone. She had pictures on her cell phone of the play with the date reflected. One of the other managers had a child in the same grade at the same school , they had gone together. She did not come back to the office after the play because she had a retirement luncheon for one of her team who was retiring so the other manager had dropped her off at her car, she had picked up the gift, gone to the luncheon and then returned to the office. She had been out of the office a total of 3 hours for the play and the luncheon. She offered to show her boss the pictures or if necessary to bring a note from her son’s teacher attesting to the fact that she had gone to the second grade play. Her boss told her that would not be necessary she believed her and the boss did recall that the retirement lunch had been scheduled . My candidate told her again that she would be happy to provide proof that she had gone, her boss could ask the other manager and of course the other employees who had attended the luncheon. Her boss again told her that would not be necessary she was satisfied that the report had been untrue. Thinking that the whole bizarre thing was over, my candidate walked by the other manager’s office and asked him if anybody had said anything to him about her not going to the play. He told her that one of the other managers had asked where she was because he came back and she did not return for another hour and a half. She thought no more of the incident other than to realize that one of her co-workers was obviously watching and reporting any and everything she could think of to the boss. How nice. Two weeks later she was called in again by her boss, a witness was present to take notes. She was told that she was being written up on a formal violation of the code of business conduct because she had interfered with an investigation. Blown away, she asked what investigation and how had she interfered? She was told that when she asked the manager who had attended the Christmas play with her if anyone had said anything to him she had interfered with the investigation of the report that she had not attended the play. The conversation went like this: Boss: You interfered with my investigation of the report that you had taken time off to attend the play and had not gone. Employee: You asked me about it. I offered to show you pictures with dates and times, told you to call in my co-manager for verification and offered to bring a note from my son’s teacher. You told me it was not necessary you believed me. According to policy you are supposed to tell me if I am the subject of an investigation, you did not. In fact you told me that it was closed you were satisfied that I had gone to the play and attended a retirement lunch. I had no idea that when you told me the issue was closed that there was any kind of investigation as you refused to even look at the pictures I had on my phone. How could I interfere with an investigation if I didn’t know there was one? Boss: You should know without being told that I will investigate and have to investigate any report of misconduct . Employee: I asked you if you were satisfied, you told me that you were and it was a closed issue. So if you told me it was closed how could I interfere? Boss: When you asked your fellow manager if anyone had said anything to him you reopened it. Employee: So did you determine that I was in fact at the play? Boss: Yes that was verified but you interfered with my investigation by asking your coworker if anyone said anything to him. Employee: Let me get this clear, you verified that the report was false after you had told me it was closed and you believed me but even though you told me it was closed you went on to investigate. When you asked my fellow manager if I had said anything to him did you also verify that I had not made any suggestion to him in any way to tell you anything one way or the other. All I said to him was to ask if anyone had said anything to him when he came back to the office. Boss: That is correct and because you asked him about it you reopened the investigation and you have violated the code of business conduct so this is a formal write up for violation. Additionally, you body language and the look on your face appear to be insubordinate so I will warn you that if you reflect any more attitude by crossing and uncrossing your legs I will expand this to a write up for insubordination. Employee: My foot is asleep. I am not being insubordinate I am simply blown away by this whole thing. It seems to be one big catch 22. I didn’t do what I was accused of doing. You told me you believed me, you told me it was closed. I had no reason to think there was any investigation going on and now I am being written up for a serious violation of business conduct for interfering with an investigation of something you knew before you investigated that I did not do. When this young woman showed up in my office again in tears after this mindless mess I asked her if she had shared with her boss that she had filed for divorce, talked with her or tried to about the stress she was under etc. etc.? Yes, she had told her . I asked how that conversation went. My candidate turned red and said, “This is really embarrassing and I don’t know how to really talk about it.” I told her to try me, as a recruiter I have heard about everything there is to hear. I thought. When she had told her boss she had filed for divorce her boss immediately wanted to know who she was sleeping with. She was a little shocked but told her she was not sleeping with anyone. Her boss launched into a graphic description of her own sex life, her affair with the UPS driver who delivers to the office while she and her husband were separated. Became more than intrusive in questioning my candidate about her sex life. My candidate told her that she really didn’t want to discuss all the details of her divorce was seeing a counseling minister and appreciated that although her boss felt she could discuss her own marital problems with her she felt uncomfortable talking about things like that so just wanted her to know what her situation was and if she seemed stressed wanted her boss to know why. Her boss repeatedly over the next few weeks had called her in to talk to her about how bad divorce was, constantly asked her for details of what was going on , who she was dating, told her she was under a spotlight and had to be careful, pressured her to go to the counselor that the boss had used. My candidate finally told her again that she didn’t want to talk about details. She was happy with the minister at her church that she was talking to and had her children in counseling with a child psychologist to help them with the situation. She was focused on getting the divorce over with, had no intention of reconciling just wanted to focus on her job and her kids. My candidate talked about how emotional her boss was, she would cry and want to hug her. Then tell her she was like her daughter it was a love –hate relationship and she didn’t know how to manager her. Realizing that this situation was now past my pay grade to advise anybody about I asked my candidate if she had the option to talk to someone in HR with the company. She indicated that yes she did and she was considering filing an ethics complaint against her boss due to all the weirdness, crying and talking about sex. I suggested she probably should speak with HR and see what they advised. She did so and was advised that she could arrange to have a meeting with her boss’s boss to discuss the situation. She requested the meeting and was told that the boss’s boss would contact her. The meeting did not take place until March. In the interim my candidate was called in and told it had been reported that she had used the daughter of one of the reps to babysit for her children. My candidate told the boss the girl she was using to keep her children was the daughter of a fellow who worked at the sheriff’s office, his daughter happened to have the same name as the daughter of one of the reps so no she was not having anyone’s daughter to babysit for her who worked at the company. The boss said, Oh, I see. A week later my candidate came to work a few minutes early, her boss was in her office at five minutes after eight and said. “Well I hear you had a good time in the bars last night, I hope you feel like working.” My candidate looked at her and said, “I feel fine, a friend of mine and I play volleyball in a city league, we were not playing until late so he picked me up, we stopped by Buffalo Wild Wings got a sandwich and didn’t have a drink because we were on our way to play volleyball. We saw several of the reps come in, they said hello and went to their table. Did not even come to our table but no I was not drinking. The boss informed her that it had been reported that she had been seen playing pool and she was advised that she was under a spotlight if she was anywhere and any of the reps came in she should be cordial, say hello and immediately leave. My candidate told her it was a small town, she didn’t think that it made much sense to tell a friend that they had to get up and leave a restaurant or anyplace else just because a few of the 170 people who worked in the office came into the same place. Her boss told her to do whatever she thought was wise, the boss was just telling her what she would do. ( From what I have been able to ascertain the only company policy as to fraternizing with other employees is that people in management can not date anyone who reports directly to them.) I asked why this was such a big deal to her boss. I was told, it was just her , she was constantly telling managers and anyone who would listen “Not to get their honey where they got their money”. She was obsessed with rumors of anyone having an affair or who was sleeping with whom and would bring up in management meetings that she had heard so and so were having an affair and had anyone heard anything. In February another male rep was called in and asked if he was having an affair with my candidate. He told the boss that no he was not , he had talked to when he reported to my candidate about his marital problems, my candidate had advised him to see his priest and to pray about his situation but she couldn’t counsel him. The boss informed him that his wife had called her and told her he was having an affair with my candidate. The guy finished with his meeting went to my candidate and apologized. My candidate told him she had received a call also from his wife on a Sat. morning accusing her of having an affair with him. She had told the wife if he was having an affair it was not with her. The fellow apologized again and told her it would not happen again he was sorry and his wife was way off base. My candidate was not questioned about it and didn’t think much of it other than it was another witch hunt and an upset wife getting a slap in at her husband. The next week she was called in and told that it had been reported that she was having parties at her apartment inviting some of the reps and there were pictures of the drunken parties. Nope, there were no parties. In fact my candidate had leased a house the previous July, had not lived in an apartment since July of 2009, had not had any parties and if there were any pictures she would like to see them. No pictures were forthcoming and nothing else was said. The meeting with the boss’s boss finally took place. My candidate explained everything that had happened, indicated that she was ready to file an ethics complaint, she was being targeted, was very uncomfortable about all the sex talk and accusations etc. etc. The boss’s boss asked her what she wanted. My candidate told her she wanted to be treated with respect, her personal life left alone, no more digging at her about what she was doing outside of work and assured the lady that she was not involved with anyone at the office or for that matter anyone else. She wanted the violation of business conduct removed from her personnel file as she felt it was totally bogus and ridiculous. The boss’s boss asked her to hold off on filing an ethics complaint, let her talk to my candidate’s boss and see if they could get the situation worked out. She would get back to her. Within a few weeks the boss called her in and told her that she was sorry that she had not given her a written notice of the investigation and in the future if there were another situation she would be sure and do that as she have done so. She would make an effort to be more effective as a boss. They seemed to have a good talk about the gossip and rumors that were instigated by the kind of “investigations” that the boss had with people. The mess seemed to stop. My candidate reported that things seemed to be going much better. She had been asked to take over all responsibility for escalated problem calls for the whole region, was being trained on all the fiber installation setups for half of the U.S. and had been designated the subject matter expert for fiber ops and had taken on the responsibility as project manager for the integration of another region into this office location making this office a hub for the Midwest, SW and SE. in addition to managing her sales team. All seemed to be going well, she had been contacted by several managers in other divisions about positions that would be opening up in 2011 that they wanted her to interview for if she was interested. So all looked good on the horizon. Her divorce was finalized in Oct 2010. She had the opportunity to buy the home she was leasing and was looking forward to advancing her career with a new job sometime in 2011. The boss was off her and the nitpicking had stopped along with most of the sex talk.
When she received her copy of her annual evaluation at the end of the year there was no Code of Business Conduct Violation on it regarding the the second grade Christmas Play or her dastardly interference with the investigation. So all looked finally right with the world and there was light at the end of the tunnel.
Stay tuned for an Alfred Hithcock almost ending. Give some thought to anything you can think about as to what might happen next. You will probably be wrong.…