s Maureen and I wrote starting back in 2005.
Some on Hysteria Lane Even Poach Their Turkey for Thanksgiving
“Visualize the parking space and it will appear,” Joan murmurs to herself as she pulls into crowded Wegman’s parking lot late Wednesday afternoon - the day before Thanksgiving. Superlative customer service aside, if only the customers were as nice as the employees. Pulling carefully past the parked cars, she maneuvers her Bimmer - yes, 35% affords her a nice life - towards the front of the store when she spies a car backing out of the handicapped spot. No, the person is not leaving; just perfecting the blue-line technique, except the driver manages to straddle into the non-handicapped space - and without a permit. “Just great!”
“Damn,” she mutters quietly, “this person better have a good reason to park like that.” Yep, she notices the blue parking tag attached to the rearview mirror of the Jag; the driver exits - there s something familiar about the woman Joan thinks to herself. “Harrumph!” she barks to no one in particular and turns into the next row in search of parking nirvana.
Finally, Joan notices another car - one of those cute Volkswagen bugs with a flower standing high above the dashboard - zipping impatiently down the lane next to her. Too fast around the curve, the car almost mows down a young mother with a fully-laden grocery cart, a baby in the seat, and a toddler by the hand. So abruptly does the woman have to pull her heavy shopping cart to a halt off the downhill ramp that two of the bags on top spill out in front of her and dump their contents out upon the macadam lot. By this time Joan had parked and left her car, clicking the lock as she approaches the unnerved young family. “Here, here, let me help, everything s going to be okay,” Joan comforts as she scrambles after the creamed corn and the spilled Macintosh apples. Tucking the last grapefruit in one of the bags, she smiles at the woman and asks, “Can I help you to your car?”
“No, no, thank you - you've been so kind - that lady almost ran into us!” she exclaimed. “It’s the holidays,” offered Joan and shrugs her shoulders. “Some people get crazy perversely around the holidays - don t let things like this keep you from having Happy Thanksgiving!”
“We will - we’re havin turkey!” shouted the toddler who added, “and punkin pie!” Smiling, Joan achingly remembers her children at that age. “Oh, how time vanishes!” she thinks to herself as she enters the brightly lit and festively trimmed store.
As she wheels the shopping cart out of the parked lane and enters produce section, a cart clips her heals and nearly causes her to pitch forward. Turning around and two milliseconds from cursing up a blue streak, she hears, “Oh! I’m so sorry - I’m movin too fast, as usual - oh! Joan! How are you?” the offender exclaims as Joan notices it’s one of her Hysteria Lane neighbors - and the woman in the Jag who parked in the handicapped spot outside. Joan s eyes tightened to narrow slits.
Joan searched deep inside for the politeness that enabled her to say, “Hello, Anti-Poaching Person; that s okay - accidents happen - how have you been?” As if she really cares…
“Oh, I've been so busy! Between my busy recruiting work and all the monitoring I do on the groups - you know the groups, right, Joan? I just love the groups - and I know they loooooove me. I don t have a minute’s peace. I’m finally just now getting to the store for the first time in two weeks - I should have just waited til after Thanksgiving.” she trails off as she looks at the crowded registers.
“Are you cooking tomorrow?” Joan asks to which Anti-Poaching Person shoots back with “Me cook? No way! I’ve had so many offers from people wanting me to come to dinner tomorrow but I’m just gonna stay home and catch up on some of my reading - you know how recruiting laws change every minute of every day of every month in this great land of ours. I’m thankful for that!”
Knowing better than to ask and risk a forty-five minute inquisition, Joan creeps forward, pushing her cart before her, peering intently at the prices marked on the baked goods offered for sale. “Those pies look good but they want what? $8.99? For a pumpkin pie! Goodness gracious, some people really do go nuts on the holidays,” she thinks to herself. “Well, Anti-Poaching Person I hope you have a nice holiday,” as she ignores Anti-Poaching Person’s groups question, “I better get going, I’m cooking and I’m here to buy a turkey.” Moving off, and thinking aloud, Joan says to no one in particular, “I’m just so tired of roasted turkey - this year I’m going to poach it.”
Anti-Poaching Person’s head does a 180 - the only thing missing is a spinning bed and green vomit. “What?” she cries. “Did I hear you correctly??? You’re going to do what?” Caught a bit of guard, Joan offers a weak “Huh?” She also notices the Jaguar logo key chain on the keys Anti-Poaching Person has hanging from her Coach purse. “What did you say?” Anti-Poaching Person demands. “Did you say you’re going to poach a turkey?”
“Uhhh, yeah,” Joan stammers as if confronted by a burly police officer, “I was thinkin about it. Might be a nice change - you know; kinda thinkin outside the bird,” as she offers weak smile and a sly wink at Anti-Poaching Person.
Like waving a red flag waved in front of a charging bull, Anti-Poaching Person’s face reddens to an equally deep crimson. “But don’t you know, Joan, poaching is just wrong - it’s illegal and unethical - in this state and all others! It doesn’t matter that it’s a turkey - all poaching’s illegal, illegal, ILLEGAL! And to top it off, it’s just plain fowl.”
Joan sharply replies. “Anti-Poaching Person we’ve been over this - you know I don’t agree with you on some things, and this is one of them. Let’s leave well enough alone before one of us gets our feelings hurt.” And it won t be me, Joan chuckles to herself.
“But Joan!” Anti-Poaching Person is frothing at the mouth and almost screaming, “poaching is illegal - you know it’s illegal - and unethical!” She just can t help herself, the poor thing. Easy, Joan. Somebody ought to get Anti-Poaching Person out of here. “Poultry Roasting Owners For Intelligent Turkey Society - PROFITS - has strict guidelines on how to prepare holiday fowl. I’m certified - and you should be too. It’s a sign that you believe in traditional Holiday food preparation.”
“Anti-Poaching Person! Stop! You've made my mind up - I’m going to poach this turkey and you can t stop me! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to find the Certified Poultry Purchaser - his name is Frank Clux and he is usually in this store.”
“What d’ya need to talk to him for,” Anti-Poaching Person asks, her nose wrinkling upwards as if smelling a foul scent.
“Well, if you must know, I want to know just how much he pays for the poultry he buys for this store - I found his name on their store telephone directory and I’ve left messages for him since Monday so I thought I’d come in here and hunt him down in person; I want to know why I have to pay $1.49/lb here when I can get it for 49 cents at Western Beef down the road.”
“A pilfered phone directory,” Anti-Poaching Person thinks to herself as a shudder runs across her thin frame. “I heard that before -oh yeah, I guess all of Hysteria Lane s gone to Heck in a Handbasket,” as she remembered the remark that wafted in on the morning breeze earlier in the week.
“Joan, we gotta talk,” Anti-Poaching Person blurts out, “You re gonna get yourself in some serious trouble, you have some serious bad habits, girl - did Noreen teach you this stuff?”
Joan chuckles louder than normal as Anti-Poaching Person throws her head back like an angry equine and mutters loudly under her breath so all in earshot can hear, “Poaching a turkey is just plain wrong.”
Turning to the woman who happens to be eavesdropping in on this juicy conversation, Joan smiles and says, “But it tastes soooooooo good.”…
Added by Steve Levy at 7:28pm on November 19, 2008
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Maureen I agree, D. Well, that's it for tonight - thanks for coming D! Email your questions!
Denyse Diem agree to disagree, I always say!
Denyse Diem I mean anyone who doesn’t like what you have to say. It's just your opinion - they dont have to agree!
Maureen Oh - yeah, I agree. Me too - sometimes I am so full a' myself!
Denyse Diem people tend to have a hard time getting over themselves! including my self at times i must admit!
Maureen Who's that? Chat is definitely ginky tonight...
Denyse Diem I think if they can't take the direct approach, they need to grow up or get out
Denyse Diem yeah - I hope to live in CA for some period in my life. Didn't think I would be traveling like this tho....have to source a new job for my hubbie! LOL!
Maureen There are some who don't like what I say (or how I say it) Denyse - as you get more into this community you will find out...
Maureen I love Texas! And CA!
Maureen That's right there is-when I first started sourcing my two biggest states for customers were CA and TX. Consequently they ARE big states but still I think that says something...
Denyse Diem do you get into trouble? LOL! I hadn't heard of any - now I want to find out! LOL!
Maureen Dallas is a beautiful city.
Maureen In Dallas traffic? A 45 minute commute each way? NO THANKS!
Denyse Diem there is so much work right here in Dallas
Denyse Diem I agree M - the thing is - I would do it to see what the haps were in the medical world to create a niche for myself in sourcing in that arena - but the cummute is 45 mins each way....no thanks
Maureen I don't suffer foolishness well anymore. That's why sometimes I get into "trouble" here on the boards...
Maureen I know I sound hard - I am!
Maureen Don't be fooled- he coulda' been playing you. The fact that he understands what a sourcer can do for his org leads me to think he may not be so green...
Denyse Diem that or stressed....didn't ask me a single question! I led the entire conversation - they sounded to desperate
Denyse Diem The recruiter who called me was very green.
Maureen Sounds like a grinder.
Maureen IF you can phone source you don't need any of that noise...
Denyse Diem I've seen this job posted for several months - looks like a grinder
Denyse Diem but it sounds like they want me to build their pipeline of candidates...
Maureen Be careful - there are some characters surrounding us - some sharpies who understand what value we bring to the table and will try to "lure" you w/ promises...
Denyse Diem so they have certain needs for certain specialties - ..yes, that's right...sorry I'm fading
Maureen Oh. And pay you a small salary w benefits and then something on the if-come. I see.
Denyse Diem opps - the day the doc starts the job
Maureen I don't understand...
Denyse Diem on site - sorry - they want me to be at their location near dallas.
Denyse Diem small salary w/benefits, comission only start the day they start the job
Maureen? What do you mean on sight.
Maureen How are they offering to pay?
Denyse Diem I was just offered a job to source for physicians only. On sight only tho.
Maureen I think there are and I also think we're just scratching an itch...
Denyse Diem I bet there are many applications for your sourcing that we are just not thinking of.
Maureen I DID deal with characters. That's a good way of saying it.
Denyse Diem no wonder you prefer the telephone! LOL!
Maureen No - Mergers and Acquisitions but I could see application for marketing and advertising
Denyse Diem bet you had to deal with some real characters
Maureen I charged 12% of the sales price as a commission.
Denyse Diem M&A = marketing & advertising?
Maureen Yes - good way of saying it.
Maureen Busienss intellignece (M&A activity)
Denyse Diem so you were a broker for small businesses then? is that a good way to look at it?
Maureen Good question. I have always thought many people could use sourcers.
Maureen All types - usually they had gross sales up to $5-10million - occasionally higher...
Denyse Diem who else uses sourcers?
Denyse Diem do you prefer one to the other?
Denyse Diem wow - what type of small business?
Maureen When I first started- recruiters - nowadays it's pretty evenly divided.
Denyse Diem so I had asked before so being so ruding interrupted...what entities yield the best jobs for you - recruiters? Hr depts?
Maureen So THAT'S why my head isn't in it. I could tell some real horror stories...
Maureen Me neither...
Maureen I sold small businesses for 22 yrs - you think it's hard to make a placement? Try selling a busines to someone nobody will hire - that's WHO buys small businesses many times!
Maureen No I only do phone banks when I have a need to penetrate a company for specific names...I don't data mine any longer though when I first started sourcing I spent many nights doing just that because I did not know what I was doing - it was a terrific learning ground for me...
Denyse Diem so do you just data mine even if you don't have an immediate need for a name - during the holidays I mean?
Maureen I don't want to have to develop relationships with people - the warm and fuzzy thing - I just want in and out - I enjoy the sense of completion a job started and finished in a few days gives me - placing requires months and months sometimes of sitting on pins and needles - who needs that? I'm not into any of that anymore.
Denyse Diem here=hear LOL! good lord!
Denyse Diem do you ever here of openings since you have good relationships with recruiters? And who are your major customers - recruiters, stand along company with an HR person needing help? WHo are the best folks to target?
Denyse Diem but you were at one point?
Maureen My head is not there.
Denyse Diem what's your personal reason for sticking to the sourcing end?
Maureen Doing placements is a whole different ball of wax...my head is not there anymore.
Maureen The thing they don't get is that I DON'T WANT TO DO PLACEMENTS.
Maureen I have never placed anyone. I get criticized occasionally for not doing so - people tell me I could make so much more money doing placements...
Denyse Diem so you never try to place people? Just the names? Can I get an idea of how lucrative this can get as opposed to placing someone with a commission - actually, that may be a topic of discussion at some point
Maureen Holidays and holiday weeks = Very valuable time!
Maureen I always use holiday time to my advantage - holidays are great -for instance, many people go on vacation in a week that holds a holiday - and some of these will leave VoiceMail messages with valuable information on them when they combine one day of holiday with two weekends and four more days in the week to be away for a total of NINE DAYS with using up only FOUR vacation days! See how that works?
So while they're away for those nine days they leave valuable info on their VoiceMails..."I'm on vacation - in my absence call..."
Denyse Diem re phone banks - do you usually use holiday time to call into companies
Maureen Sharib Yes and No, this isn't the only Magic chat. There are two other chats on the MagicMethod network – Tuesdays and Thursdays at noon EST. Here.
Denyse Diem no - the magic chats....this is only the one here right? at midnight I mean? do you have chats elsewhere?
Maureen It's an idea...maybe those who read this may want to offer their ideas on the subject...
Maureen These chats D? You feel that way about these chats?
Denyse Diem I wonder if instead of posting the chats, you just post a summary
Maureen No phone banks this weekend.
Denyse Diem it's a little frustrating reading through chats with all the banter, etc., I must admit. You have to read through a lot of conversation to get to actual points
Maureen ALOT of people feel that way abt recording themselves - and it's even worse in sound - Animal has a hard time getting people to participate ont he Animal show because most people suffer mike fright... I know this to be true because one of my best sourcers comes out of the radio business and she says it's a common fear in broadcasting school...
Denyse Diem so let's get to some meat then, shall we? did you call a bunch of phone banks over the weekend or were you too busy with the FL trip?
Denyse Diem can't wait! Thanks for always trying to make it better!
Maureen It will be much smoother - much easier to read I think.
Denyse Diem okay - i'll pose my question/favor in a email to you then if you don't mind.
Maureen I am in the process of revamping the delivery of Magic - you will be very pleased with the new format I think.
Denyse Diem I hate having my words recorded! It's just a personal thing! lol!
Maureen The longer lessons were sent to you in word so you can open, print (or copy) and read away from the 'puter.
Denyse Diem by the way - is this going to be posted as well?
Denyse Diem a lot of folks who can't attend b/c of work might be reading these tho...hard to choose
Denyse Diem so don't get mad but last two weeks were a total blur and I still haven't been able to get to opening the first module. I didn’t notice that there was a note that the material could not be copied. I have a question or a favor to ask....
Maureen Many people like to read these chat logs - I am thinking about changing these chats to allow only PEOPLE WHO ATTEND them to be able to experience the chat - in other words - NOT make the logs available to EVERYONE – maybe only to those who attend regularly and registered MagicMethod students. It’s just a thought at this point. I think it would really improve attendance and participation.
Maureen The ning chat does that but it does not allow to create a legend - this one will tell you how many are online but I guess Jason forgot to turn that function on when he switched from the ning chat tonight...ning chat tells you WHO is online as well - but it has no legend function...
Denyse Diem Last time we were here there was some sort of counter that said how many folks were online and who many admins.
Maureen I know what you mean - chat seems "sticky' tonight - is it for you?
Maureen Who knows D there may well be...no way of telling...
Denyse Diem I wasn't sure I'd have the energy to make it tonight - long day
Denyse Diem oh- i misunderstood - I thought you said there were 16 of us here
Maureen That's okay. Have you done phone banks since you started attending these classes?
Maureen D I can't see who or how many is online so it may be just the two of us...
Maureen It's more like a sales approach and for most people - sales is the LAST THING they want to be doing! I think old school recruiting may have attracted more sales types than administrivia types which what recruiting seems to suffer with today in many respects...
Denyse Diem yes M -I see your point
Denyse Diem Anyone else here want to chime in? you mentioned things we can do on phone banks or at night that would be good to get information in the chat description...anyone here call phone banks at night?
Maureen It's a FAR DIFFERENT approach - far scarier for most people to approach someone who the likelihood is (80% or so) that they're NOT LOOKING for a job! In fact many times that's what the truly passive candidate says many times - first thing out of their mouths!
Denyse Diem then the questions begin...how did you get my name, etc...
Maureen Yes - Lou.
Denyse Diem I've heard that name come up a lot - is that lou adler?
Maureen Very FAR CRY from "This is so-and-so, we have an open position and we identified you hoping you might have an interest in our open position..."
Maureen "This is so-and-so, I have your resume before me..."
Maureen yes you have to call the candidate D BUT THINK what that call is like...
Maureen BUT the trend makers have taken notice - I see guys like Adler giving it alot of attention and because he gets a pretty high profile (at least on ERE) things are changing...
Denyse Diem Maureen the Sourcing Evangelist
Maureen It's still very true today. I set out to change that. It's changing but very very slowly.
Denyse Diem but if you rely on the boards don't you eventually have to call the candidate???
Maureen It's what got me active - Abt 4 yrs ago I read an article on ERE by Dr. John Sullivan - he said many recruiters and most hiring managers don't know what sourcing is. I was stunned.
Denyse Diem who can share - sorry long day= typos
Maureen I think old school knows what it is but the last generation (last ten yrs or so) have come up relying on the boards and the Internet and because it's less "pressure" to do things on a keyboard that doesn't push back at you many have never learned the ability to work the phone like it was once necessary - make sense? Anyone else have any ideas?
Denyse Diem are there any recruiters here who share?
Denyse Diem I think that many dont want to share the commision or don't see how they can increase their revenue with a sourcer
Denyse Diem 95% of the recruiters I network with to learn more about the industry are stumped by what I want to do as a sourcer!
Maureen Good question D. I DON'T KNOW. Beats the hell out of me. I have my suspicions though...
Maureen I suspect. Maybe he can clarify that - he probably has and I wasn't paying attention...
Denyse Diem why do you think that most recruiters don't know what sourcing is or rather that sourcing is its own industry
Maureen GREAT recruiters can phone source. But, as in all things, few are great. It's one thing that contributes to greatness though, I strongly believe...Bill Vick says - ALL Big Billers use sourcers on the front end! Not sure how it's broken across phone/Internet but I SUSPECT a good number use phone sourcers.
Denyse Diem but that was many moons ago
Denyse Diem in the past I did Executive Dev. at a large financial institution in NYC and the previous to that some recruiting with Manpower
Maureen Then you ARE a phone sourcer!
Denyse Diem yes, for my self at this point.
Maureen For your own recruiting efforts?
Denyse Diem getting back into recruiting that is...
Maureen You probably do your own sourcing right?
Denyse Diem interested in getting back into it
Denyse Diem I'm taking some liberties I suppose - I will be a telephone sourcer
Maureen You also do recruiting?
Maureen Denyse - how long have you been a phone sourcer?
Denyse Diem you are a motivating teacher!
Maureen I'm going to write an article about cultural sourcing -I'm collecting information from anyone who wants to submit any - one subject will be how important it is to understand what time it is where you're calling - Hong Kong is what? 13 hrs ahead of us?
Denyse Diem Hello folks, my name is Denyse Diem and I'm a Telephone names sourcer/ Researcher - some recruiting here in good ole Dallas, TX
Maureen Denyse - you are really an avid student - you enjoy these chats? Yup, it's 12
Denyse Diem okay - so it's midnight at your part of the world!
Maureen Thank you for attending the Saturday night MidnightMagic chat -would you all like to introduce yourselves?…
Meet my friend, Kristen Durkin, Director of Business Development at International Executive Research (IIPE), a firm which specializes in multilingual talent research, Name Generation, Prescreening/ Qualifying of candidates, and direct contact; i.e. cold-calling and email Campaigns.
Kristen is a member of my networking group, "Six Degrees from Dave", however it wasn't until last October during Shally's "Talent Researching in Latin America" session at the ERE Conference that we met. She sat across the aisle with avid interest and providing her own perspectives on staffing challenges and opportunities in Mexico. After the session, shaking hands I realized the familiar name was indeed an RBC regular and conistent networker within SixDegrees. I smiled, knowing that this was yet one more example of many that our group members come face to face within the industry - not a coincidence that its members are most active within it.
The handshake began a day to evening to day after conference buddy-thon with Kristen supplying the wry wit and us delivering the laughter. One thing was certain, I would know Kristen for years to come - she is a walking best practices manual on Latin America and a good friend to have, not least of which is the quality of her friendship offered, but likewise knowledge gained. This is one smart, talented industry player with much to offer. I trust all of our community can embrace her with networking holiday wishes!
Q&A with Kristen Durkin
Six Degrees: Tell us of your home world.
KRISTEN: I currently live between Mexico, but I travel a lot back to NYC where my family is and throughout the U.S.A for conferences. Basically, my “home” life is usually packed in my brown and pink luggage. I am not married, nor do I have kids (My father hasn’t been able to buy enough cattle for barter to get me married, but I promise once that happens I will request a follow-up Q&A to release the big news).
I do have a greatly close immediate family; I am the middle child with an older brother, Jason who was recently featured on the History Channel; followed and documented as a NYC “Sandhog” and a younger sister, Maureen. My sister is a bilingual (Spanish/English) Speech pathologist. I have happily married parents named Mom and Dad, although some call them Andrea and Eddie, both of whom work in the medical field.
Before I moved to Mexico I participated in Big Brother Big Sisters of NYC for many years www.bigsnyc.org. For those who are not familiar it is a mentoring program for inner-city youth.
I perform Spoken Word Poetry throughout New York; including the NuYoRican Poetry Café. I try to perform at least once with every return to NYC from Mexico. The most important fact to know about me is that I am a “salsaholic” I dance salsa whenever I have time to get out there. It’s in my blood, if there is salsa music playing, I’m dancing!
Six Degrees: How many years have you been in the staffing industry?
KRISTEN: I have been in the industry for quite a few years, I first started when I was a freshman in High school.
Six Degrees: How did you get started as a recruiter?
KRISTEN: I began interning while in H.S at an HR Recruiting firm based in Connecticut, K. Russo Associates, Inc. I started by filing paperwork (which I hated) and uploading resumes into Vurve. Slowly, they allowed me to answer the telephones. The position continued to gradually evolve. Karen (the president of K. Russo Associates) began to invite me into the interviews, where I was strictly instructed to take notes and shut-up. Following the interviews I would compare my notes with the notes of Karen or the other recruiter’s. Eventually, I began screening resumes, searching the database for internal candidates, researching passive leads on the internet, and interviewing new, junior leveled candidates.
After graduating High School I wanted to ensure I liked recruiting and not just K. Russo Associates. I took a position with a boutique consulting firm who places CPA’s. I had a mini office on 5th Ave. in NYC and thought I was going to move up quickly. After my first commission check, I swiftly discovered- I had much to learn; like negotiating! I learned a great deal from my “5th Ave” boss, but I decided to focus on school, graduate college and later I went back to work with K. Russo Associates again. Whew, that was a mouth full!
Six Degrees: What single event had the most impact on your sourcing/recruiting career?
KRISTEN: ONE single event? I remember answering the telephone while still interning and asking the candidate while I went to put him on hold: “Can I hold you for one moment?” The bullpen erupted in laughter and I was positive I would thereafter be banned from phone answering and sent back to the filing cabinets. Instead, I went on lunch, and returned to the whole office having added screensavers quoting my mistake; Karen thought it was hysterical and apologized for the “silly intern” who answered the phone. I know it’s a funny story, but as a newbie in the business it taught me everyone is human, when you make a mistake on the phone, laugh it off and keep on keepin’ on. For each mistake I’ve made on the phone I improved my future calls. Mistakes like this have impacted my career; when training other researchers I always emphasize that people like humans, not machines reading 100% off of a script, if you make a mistake learn and move on. If it was an innocently entertaining mistake, then laugh.
Do you have a mentor to whom you attribute your overall outlook on recruitment, capabilities, and/or model your career after?
KRISTEN: Here is where I look like a big schmoozer and all of my coworkers will make fun of me, but hands down my mentor in this industry has been my boss, Karen Russo. There is no “fluff” with Karen when you do something wrong, but when you do something right she will be the first to let you know. I remember at one point we were an office of only women and after one of the recruiters closed a deal, Karen would do a summersault or cartwheel (In a pant suit, of course!) to show her support and enthusiasm. She’s pretty hardcore.
Six Degrees: Detail your position, responsibilities, size of your staffing organization:
KRISTEN: I am the Director of Business Development for IIPE- we are an executive research firm based in Mexico. HYPERLINK "http://www.iipe.net" www.iipe.net I am usually found at Recruiting Conferences, either as a vendor selling the business, or as an attendee learning and bringing back new information taught in the sessions to our team in Mexico. I can still be found doing research and applying the new techniques learned in a conference session on a research assignment. We are continuing to build our team, right now we have a team of 5, but this is not including our back office support. I suppose I am different from the average bear interviewed by Dave, because I am on the research side of the business.
Six Degrees: (A) What other companies' recruiting operations do you admire or have heard are best-practice examples?
KRISTEN: As a researcher, I admire the great sourcers; Shally Steckerl and Glenn Gutmacher for all of their help in teaching some of the most effective ways to use Boolean search strings. In addition to them a shameless plug goes out to Dave Mendoza as well, he’s helped build my network on LinkedIn and long before I had the delight of meeting him I always forwarded his weekly e-mails of the “top 10” and found him to be a great link to power-networking!
(B) In what aspects are they superior?
KRISTEN: A brief example: In October of 2008 I attended the ERE, fall meeting in Hollywood Beach, Florida. For anyone who knows me, they know I flew in from Mexico for the conference, I am an internet/phone sourcer and I happen to come from a Latin background. With that said attending Shally Steckerls “Sourcing for Latin America” was going to be exciting for me. I am not sure if I expected greatness from it, because I am so familiar with the topic , but I did in fact get greatness. Most of what was discussed is part of my everyday life, but Shally gave an excellent presentation, he was incredibly on point with his guidance as to how to approach a sourcing/cold-call and how it is culturally a different approach in Latin America. In addition I left the session and I was introduced to a few new websites, but for me- most important was that the topic of recruiting/sourcing in Latin America was brought to the table and was up for open discussion. It is, after all, an important part of the world!
As for Dave Mendoza, I always admired the magic he’s worked on my LinkedIn network with his weekly top10 and have you seen his amount of connections lately? Funny enough the first time I met Dave was in Shally’s session for sourcing in Latin America.
Six Degrees: What recent general news story or industry trend do you feel will have an impact on your work in the future? Why?
KRISTEN: Outsourcing research has become a huge topic of conversation amongst recruiters. As a provider of outsourced research, this impacts my work and IIPE greatly. As a growing commodity we’re forced to stay ahead of the curve with cutting edge technology and new training. The education for our group never ends.
Six Degrees: Have you represented your company in the broader conference circuit?
KRISTEN: I have represented IIPE at NEAPS, The Fordyce Forum, ERE, CAPS. For 2009 I am looking into the Kennedy Conference, NAPS and ASA in addition to the aforementioned, but we will see.
Six Degrees: What is your next career goal? What do you need to do to get there?
KRISTEN: One goal is to contribute in breaking the stereotypes of outsourced research. Not every internationally based research firm is strictly tactical (although trust me that I know, a lot of them are!). Our researchers have been trained by recruiters; they have been in the office with recruiters and understand the corporate infrastructure of the U.S. I can only help break this stereotype by proving out-of-house research can produce great results too!
Six Degrees: What talent niche groups do you target and are these particular talent areas specialized under your review?
KRISTEN: We have worked within specialized areas of talent such as IT, HR, PR, Biotech, Manufacturing, Security Cleared Professionals. This is just to name a few examples.
Six Degrees: What types of training in sourcing/recruitment are available to you and have you taken advantage of?
KRISTEN: Because we are located in Mexico, most of our training comes from webinars. Second to webinars comes in-house training from Karen and myself and our training never ends.
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?
KRISTEN: If I listed every recruitment tool we use I would bore any reader from enjoying Dave’s Q&A’s ever again. We use SugarCRM everyday and Broadlook Technologies, our fingers for typing the necessary search strings and our mouths for getting past the gatekeepers.
Six Degrees: What tools (technology or old school file folder, for example) did you first encounter early in your recruitment career?
KRISTEN: I did do a lot of old school filing with a “Sort-All” (This tool is a yard-stick long list of the alphabet with slots so for placing the resumes in the correct order to thereafter be filed alphabetically). As for technology I used RecruitMax (Vurve), then of course excel, the internet and the telephone.
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?
KRISTEN: I am not sure I ever had expectations of being a recruiter, in fact I was going through the process of for law school when I moved to Mexico and decided to stay focused within the industry. However, I did expect to be intimidated on my first cold-call, but it turned out to be an absolute high. Everyone always talks about the initial fear, it rarely bothered me. With that said, when I began as the Director of Business Development, I remember walking into my first conference alone and being MORTIFIED. I was worried I was going to spend every meal, of every day, at a table by myself (which as most of you know, is impossible at a conference full of outgoing recruiters). In my opinion I would say the biggest assumption about my job is that people think because I live in Mexico – life’s a beach. Not so much! I try to get to the beach a few times a month.
Six Degrees: Worst mistake, biggest goof, lousiest practice you thought would fly but didn’t…and how that was a learning experience?
KRISTEN: Oh! Really, just one? Well… When I first started to attend business meetings and conferences – I thought it was important to get as many business cards as you can and just network, network, network. Truth be told- that’s a LOUSY practice to have. At the end of an event you have 500 business cards and about 30 seconds of conversation from each person, there’s no relationship develop. Even if you take notes on the back of your cards there is no way you can remember enough detail to make a non-generic e-mail for each of the business cards you snagged. My learning experience has been, develop relationships not just “contacts” in the Outlook address book. When you come back from a forum and you don’t have 3 good leads or candidate or contacts (whatever your goal is) it’s because you weren’t focused on developing the relationship!
Six Degrees: “Best practice” you are most proud of developing (now or in the past) in your recruiting career?
KRISTEN: I don’t think this is the miracle “best practice” you’re all looking to read about, but what about good ol’ fashioned honesty being a best practice? I maintain honesty with my boss, our researchers and our clients. Honesty is my saving grace!
Six Degrees: What are some of the frustrating aspects/obstacles to your day to day as a staffing professional and in general?
KRISTEN: Certainly, being asked how many names IIPE will generate per hour is frustrating. We do have such numbers because of metrics measures our in-house hours worked and naturally we can approximate the amount of leads developed in an hour. Nevertheless, it really depends on the research assignment. I have asked many researchers how many leads they will generate per hour and received a flat number in response, I’ve also I’ve asked others who are on my level and won’t lower standards to meet a lead per hour quota. It should be about quality vs. quantity.
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?
KRISTEN: I am thrilled when research has a result. On our side of the business the result is not always glorified or as immediate as a recruiter, but when a placement occurs off a list we produce it’s exciting news!
Six Degrees: What one thing do you ideally hope to accomplish in 2008?
KRISTEN: Professionally, I would like to increase IIPE business by 60% (or more) with at least half of our clients on retainer. A personal goal is to start a successful and sometimes read blog. For those who know me… know I like to talk. It would be a great outlet and prevent me from bothering everyone in my office with info they’ve heard from me100 times before. Look out for my blog… Coming To Audiences Soon!
Six Degrees: Anything you want to plug?
KRISTEN: Both of the below blogs are usually very funny, entertaining blogs which are most of the time geared toward our industry or sales. Try reading these:
If you’re interested in Behavioral Assessment Tools contact: Cynthia Rogers on LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/cynthiarogers
Six Degrees: How Are You Going To Change The Recruitment Industry?
KRISTEN: There is a core group of people who always attend the recruiting conferences. On the last day of the ERE conference this past October one of the vendors asked me “How are you always so smiley, even in the morning?” When I am at a conference, learning how to improve our industry it’s motivating. I hope to change the industry by staying passionate about what I do and getting plenty of rest to stay alert! (see photo)…
I was sick and tired of the expensive and crappy lists the marketing team would buy for my sales teams ... Twelve years in sales left me frustrated with the time-consuming practice of finding contact details. I said, ‘There’s got to be a better way.’”
We live in an economy now where people make a living with their brains as much as with their hands. I spend a lot of time creating and working with people"
“We are on a path to go public. We have the chops to become a billion-dollar company”
• Jim Fowler
• CEO, Jigsaw "The Crowd-Sourced Business Directory"
• San Mateo, CA
• RecruitingBlogs Profile
• Jigsaw Tweets
• Corporate Website
• Join Jigsaw and earn 20 free passive contacts
Over the last several years, I have had the pleasure of getting to know Jim Fowler at the various staffing industry conferences. He will spontaneously offer to find a bench to catch up, and is one of those executives without any pretentiousness. In fact he is a rare breed among the approachables: he will speak to you and recollect from the mundane to the significant that you have shared with him, and in each response he is direct, substantive and charismatic. For a CEO, he is less about watching the clock than he is more about getting to know you and the topic at hand. He didn't build a business simply for a dollar's glance - he truly wants to contribute to what we consider Game Changing ideas in the art of commerce. Prognosticators will tell you Information is the most powerful weapon of the 21st century. It isn't simply about hardware and software - it's also about field entries. The market for Database information is a $50 Billion dollar business. Billions within it are likewise exceptionally relevant in how our staffing industry generates and collates that data to produce and introduce prospective passive and active candidates to employers of choice. What more relevant subject for today's feature than someone whose daily effort is to find knew ways to vett quality and quality utilizing the social aspect of community data sharing? For me personally, I cannot think of a more valuable way to verify my name generation leads and to contribute them to the broader concept of community. It's a pleasure to introduce you to my friend, Jim Fowler.
As Chief Executive Officer of Jigsaw Corporation, Jim Fowler provides direction and leadership toward the achievement of goals and objectives at Jigsaw, a leading provider of business information and data services that uniquely leverages user-generated content contributed by its global business-to-business (B-to-B) community. A veteran sales executive, Jim has more than 12 years selling software for marketing and collaboration applications. Before starting Jigsaw, Jim served as VP of Sales at Digital Impact (DIGI), Paramark and TightLink. In these roles, he built sales departments from the ground up focusing on sales strategies and processes. He was able to leverage his experience as an outstanding sales manager at Personify and NetGravity. Prior to his career in software sales, Jim owned and operated Lookout Pass, a ski resort in Idaho. He also served in the US Navy as a Diving and Salvage Officer. Jim graduated from the University of Colorado.
Q&A with Jim Fowler, CEO of Jigsaw
Six Degrees: Tell us of your home world.
Jim: I have been married Holly Wiebe for ten years. We met through my wife's best friend who was dating one of the ski instructors I knew and we were introduced to one another. We have a son named Six (who is eight years old) and a Labradoodle named Comet.
Our family skis/snowboards all winter and camps all summer. Our favorite type of camping is canoe camping. You go to really beautiful and remote places and still carry enough stuff to eat and drink really well. There is nothing better than an after dinner cigar around a campfire beside a high Sierra lake!
Six Degrees: Tell us about your Company, Jim
JIM: I am the CEO and Co-Founder of Jigsaw.com. We have 120 employees. Most of our employees are software developers or sales people, but we do have a full time recruiter!
Jigsaw is a Global Business Directory of company and contact information. Jigsaw was in Beta through summer of 2004 and officially launched in December 2004. We have over three million complete company records and 19 million complete contact records. Members get contacts they need to recruit, sell or market by adding, updating or graveyarding records.
Jigsaw Pioneers Data-as-a-Service. The ability to quickly find people in a target organization and contact them directly is an essential means to gain an edge in a very competitive marketplace. Jigsaw provides very simple, but required data that every single recruiter needs to do their jobs – company and contact records. Jigsaw is essentially an open database, along the lines of Wikipedia. Salespeople looking for say, a buying manager in a given company, swap one of their contacts to access the lead they need or they can buy it for $1. Every one of its contact records is complete with email and phone number. (Note: 72% of Jigsaw records have a direct dial.)
We make money by selling data and data hygiene services to corporations.
Six Degrees: How was Your Company Founded?
JIM: Jigsaw was founded by myself and Garth Mouton on Oct. 31,2003. We are venture backed and have raised $18M in venture funding. I came up with the idea for Jigsaw after 12 years in software sales left me frustrated with the time-consuming practice of finding correct contact details within a company. Prospecting lists were costly and usually full of outdated information.
Six Degrees: How did you get started in the industry?
JIM: Jigsaw was founded out of pain. I was sick and tired of the expensive and crappy lists the marketing team would buy for my sales teams. (I was VP of Sales at an email marketing company called Digital Impact). I knew there had to be a better way and the idea of a crowdsourced business directory popped into my mind. The idea for Jigsaw was germinated in the summer of 2003. We raised our first round of funding (of three total) in December of 2003 and formally launched Jigsaw in December of 2004.
When I was vice president of sales at online advertiser Netgravity (now part of Google’s DoubleClick), I asked a sales rep nicknamed Tark “to cold call into Sprint PCS until he got us a meeting. It took him two weeks. I said, ‘There’s got to be a better way.’”
Six Degrees: What is the broader picture of how the data business operates
Each year, corporations spend over $50 billion a year on B2B marketing data. Your usual data acquisition avenues – list rentals, online data services like Hoovers, OneSource, and that old technique cold calling – are hard and expensive and don’t provide automatic updates, maintenance or net new records.
Six Degrees: How/ where did you develop investors?
JIM: We are located in the Silicon Valley. This is the land of venture capitalists. Just follow the signs to Sand Hill Road!
Six Degrees: What is Your Company’s Value Proposition?
JIM: Our value proposition is that we are the best source of data for recruiters who do passive recruiting. Every one of our 19M records is complete with name, title, business phone and business email.
Our service is free. You can exchange business cards you have for business cards you need. If you don’t want to exchange you can purchase our records. Our data is the best available because we have one million members who clean and maintain the database (for credits). We are similar to Wikipedia in that many people build and maintain our database.
Six Degrees: How do you plan to make Jigsaw into a Game Changer?
JIM:The goal is to do the same exact thing to the data layer that salesforce has done to the software layer. Ten years ago, when Salesforce first got started procuring and managing software, Today if you look every company that sells B-to-B, they're procuring and managing the records that populate their CRM solution. the lead records. contact records, the account and the lead records. What Jigsaw DataFusion provides is unlimited access to Jigsaw's community vetted database. Overall, Jigsaw has established a robust database of over 19 million records, and it grows daily by 25,000. The Database as a service is their Game changing premise. It used to be known simply as a cool social aspect of keeping data fresh to make sure it is kept up-to-date, but now the concept has expanded by volume, accuracy and automation:
With DataFusion, What we do nightly is that we take that data and put it in the cloud and every night compare our client's data to Jigsaw's. Given Jigsaw doesn't allow partial data - the data is refreshed and complete, coming in everyday, flagging records, piping all those changes every night in an automated way; Matching, filling in all the fields, flagging their dupes, a process of 'stare and compare' of records. We pipe in new data that matches the client's administrative criteria. In an SaaS mode. It will no longer will be a one off, and will transform the data business.
Data Fusion comes as a monthly subscription service but companies can reduce the usage costs by contributing back to the Jigsaw system. It connects with a CRM system and automatically matches and updates records daily, with a dashboard to monitor activity and changes and the option of accepting or rejecting any specific updates. Administrators can pick which fields in each record they want to synch daily. After Salesforce, Jigsaw expects to add other CRM systems and databases this year and next. It has published an open API and a Developer Toolkit so any CRM or database vendor can integrate Jigsaw.
Data Fusion comes on a per-seat, per-month basis just like Salesforce and other SaaS providers. A full license like a big OEM just bought runs $500,000. With Data Fusion, if you have 25 seats of Salesforce, then you buy 25 seats of Jigsaw.
Six Degrees: Are you importing contacts from sites like LinkedIn, Hoovers and others?
JIM: No. Every contact in Jigsaw has been added by a member. We started with 20K contacts and now have over 1.7M (and growing by 10K new contacts per day). Even if we wanted to import contacts from other sites we couldn't because Jigsaw requires every contact to have complete information including phone, email, title, etc. Phone numbers and emails are hard to get and are usually not provided on other sites.
Six Degrees: How does Jigsaw use social media networks and your blog to connect with customers and prospects?
JIM: Like Wikipedia, Jigsaw links out to the best possible information. Every contact record has a link to Google and LinkedIn for automated research on the contact – such as looking at a biography. Because Jigsaw is a community of sales professionals our blog and message boards are critical for communicating closely with our community. We also have large followings on Twitter and Facebook.
Six Degrees: How do you control members from sending out spam emails to contacts in Jigsaw?
JIM: Jigsaw's model isn't a good fit for spammers. Too much work or money is required to get information off in the quantity needed by a spammer. Jigsaw’s members primarily do one-to-one marketing versus one-to-many marketing. If a member is caught doing anything unlawful or against Jigsaw's rules, the member will be banned from Jigsaw permanently.
Six Degrees: What is the pricing structure for your services/products?
JIM: Most of our million members use Jigsaw for free (the add, update or graveyard records in exchange for the data they need). We sell subscriptions and lists that fit every budget.
Six Degrees: How has your Company adopted to the economic downturn? What is the long-term future for Your Company?
JIM: We expect to double revenue this year. We want to get companies out of the business of procuring and managing company and contact records. We want the Jigsaw database to power every CRM solution by providing all the prospecting data a company could ever need, and keeping those records up to date in real time. We are in heavy duty hiring mode. We’ve just released this product in beta and hope to see it take the market by storm!
Six Degrees: How has your company promoted its brand and aligned itself with Staffing Industry communities, both virtual and on-site ?
JIM: Not as well as we need to. We are getting ready to hire a marketing person who’s full time job will be to address the recruiting industry.
Six Degrees: What single event had the most impact on your overall staffing industry expertise?
JIM: I am an expert in only one narrow (but important!) part of the staffing industry – information. The single event that had the most impact on my expertise was founding Jigsaw and the people who I have met throughout the journey. I’ve learned an incredible amount over the past six years of Jigsaw’s life and it keeps feeding our passion to innovate.
Do you have a mentor to whom you attribute your overall outlook on modeling your career after?
JIM: I really admire Steve Jobs. Not his management style, but his vision. The guy is just an incredibly talented individual.
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.
JIM: The single biggest has been to been as a “Featured Networker” listing with SixDegreesfromDave.com. We became more motivated to connect and reconnect with our following within the recruitment industry in a big way. The process gave us a more approachable introduction to both our users and those who have inquired about our utility as a passive talent database. We will continue driving home the message to the recruitment community and to our database of 19M business contacts to drive awareness of Jigsaw and to recruit passive candidates to organizations.
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?
JIM: Use extreme caution when sending out a single message to your entire network. Networking is generally about one-to-one communications. Mass messaging is irritating within a social or business network.
Six Degrees: Do you blog?
JIM: No – my Co-Founder Garth Moulton writes our company blog.
Six Degrees: Reading up on you, I understand you are a Triathlete, a big time Giant's fan, who loves playing hearts and "No Limit Hold Em", and, not surprisingly, you are not a big fan of puzzles. Tell me something others may not know about you
JIM: I’m a complete history geek. I unwind by reading history. Curiously, I find studying history helps me in business. The decisions politicians and generals have had to make since the beginning of history are not unlike the decisions you have to make as a start-up CEO. There is usually less actual blood involved.
• Join Jigsaw and earn 20 free passive contacts