gest of links "That was the week that was..."
I won't go into the list of things that have led me to conclude that it time for a change but I've always been one to embrace it when it comes. I hope you'll find the tweaking to your liking, a format that is easier to read -- or ignore -- as you please.
For sure, "That was the week that was..." will be more inline with what "That was the week that was..." was than what "That was the week that was..." had become.
So, a la Recruitomatique, I give you "That was the week that was..."
Above the Fold
A "down under" perspective reminds us, it's a small world after all...Get ready for a whole new world as the recruitment market recovers by Greg Savage
Can you replace a comfy armchair, Coach? Everyone is Replaceable - But at what cost? by Claudia J. Samuelson
Hit the road, Jack... My Way or The Highway by Craig Silverman
Mendoza's Member Showcase
Jacki's been at it since she was 12. C'mon, Dave, "strategic leadership was bound to follow... Meet Jacki Leonard
Rayanne's Bonus Track
Rayanne says, "Common sense can be a tricky little bugger." Recruitomatic says, "Well, I'll be buggered! Rayanne's bin watchin' Eastenders, gettin' awl emoshonal"...Uncommon Sense
Who said, "Be careful what you wish for?" Well, someone get's it...Noooo! Don't Let This Recession End. Not Yet!
Sorry, Laurie but your post seriously sucks...but then again, doesn't everything? Monday Morning HR Humor
Amy Renz goes techie on TalentBar...Rev Up MS Outlook for Mobile Recruiting and Save Time and Money
Above the Fold
I wonder if I'll ever get soppy over email...Back in my day.... (How social media is changing recruitment) by Katrina Collier
I think this guy is a closet-Darwinian. What say you? Four Challenges Recruiters Face in Today’s Economy by Harry Urschel
There ain't no stickin' tooth fairy and there ain't no stickin' magic nuffin'...Tooth Fairy and the Recruiting Magic Bullet by Dan Nuroo
Tutorial Tuesday with Heather Bussing
Heather reminds us that Quid pro quo is not a sex act and that "sleep with me and I'll make you partner," means something else outside of monogamous marriage...Sexting and Other Stupid Things to Do With a Phone
Rayanne's Bonus Track
Ray-Ray, did anyone ever tell you what a great job you're doing? Perhaps You Just Show Up
Who has time for yoga anyway? How to find work with a flexible schedule
Sunnyside up...Turn that Frown Upside Down
Jim Stroud and Karen M ask...Should Executive pay be regulated?
Above the Fold
Cigarettes without matches, pots without fire, sleep with no rest. But, God no! Leave me with my recruiting tools puh-leeeeeeze! High Unemployment and Technology: A love story by Sarah White
Down but not out...The Life of a Technical Recruiter By Tirtis
Who are you winkin' at, Pussy-cat? The Office Cougar, Brah and Bro. Don’t Hire by Michael Glenn
Claudia's Wednesday Wisdom
Who is affirming what and for who, huh? "I want you to be an amazing success as a manager, because I’m so proud that you got this job. How can I help you do that?"...Clowns to the left of me - Jokers on the right
Rayanne's Bonus Track
Hard to do when riding in on a white horse [unless it's a circus stunt that is]...Taking a Stand
What, No Karen...what's up with that?
Fake teeth, fake boobs...whatever next?
I wonder what Heather would have to say about this...safe sex for recruiters?
Above the Fold
Sounds like Crispin, not a bad thing...Go the extra mile for your candidates! by Gavin Chase
101...Applicant Tracking Industry SEO and HR
Okay, so what would the masculine equivalent be, that's what I want to know...Throw Yourself a Job Shower… by Lisa Kaye
Rayanne's Bonus Track
This one is for you, Ray-Ray. Okay, it's not the Beatles but is a bonus track]...Go, Speed Racer
It's a fair cop, Guv, I done it all...Is Criminal History Enough to Deny Hiring?
Hey Boolean guy, spelling shit right helps...Help on a string
I thought Gates worked at Microsoft. It's all so confusing...Microsoft is storming the gates at Google
Above the Fold
Top Influencers v1.17 China Gorman by John Sumser
Rayanne's Bonus Track
This one is for you, Ray-Ray. Okay, it's not the Beatles but is a bonus track...Go, Speed Racer…
eme enough it’s a wonder I survived it—as in, if I didn’t die in the process it could only make me stronger. The prison experience was described earlier on this Forum (in my contest entry for the best RBC Recruitment related Horror Story). It tested me on many levels and was dangerous beyond my full realization of how much in harm’s way I actually put myself in--but it was only one of four of my challenging exposures that put me in recruitment roles over the past forty-one years working in the discipline. I promise I won’t bore you with all four. I’ll touch on just two here.
My first experience in formal recruiting came about in the Army. Not as a recruiter of candidates for induction into the military, but as a recruiter of civilian staff to work in positions reporting to hiring managers who happened to be military officers in the Officer Personnel Directorate (OPD) assigned across fourteen Pentagon level Army Branches, e.g., Adjutant General, Finance, Infantry, Quartermaster, Aviation, Air Defense, Military Intelligence, Signal, Military Police, Logistics, etc. The role of the OPD was to identify, select and appoint officers, of all ranks, to assignments worldwide—many of whom were in combat zones.
Upon graduating from college in 1971 I enlisted in the Army. Vietnam was still hot with no end in sight. So, like my father, uncles and brothers, before me—in time of war--we all volunteered to get into the fight (Korea for my father; WWII for my five uncles; and Vietnam for me and my three brothers). BTW my mom was part of the war effort herself—working in the war factories in the ‘40s when her brothers went to war.
After graduating from Army Boot Camp and Advanced Infantry Training (AIT), I was set to get orders to go directly into combat in Vietnam--as did all graduating AIT classes did from Fort Polk, La--for the previous six years. However, as fate would have it--that order never came down. Instead, I was sent directly to Washington D.C. for assignment to the Presidential Traveling Team (the advance team that arrives ahead of the President’s arrival anyplace in the world to secure his safe arrival and departure). Due to my VOLAR (volunteer) status in a time of war; my recent college degree, high test scores and strong performance evaluations the Deputy Commander for the Officer Personnel Directorate (OPD) pulled my file and requested that I be reassigned directly to the Pentagon to the OPD Administrative office to take over Civilian Staffing; the Army Suggestion Program; and Special Projects.
The Colonel who assigned me, back in 1971, to my first recruiting role had a civilian GS 13 level employee retiring and felt I could handle an Action Officer’s Desk—which I did…well. Facilitating the recruitment, promotions and transfers of key civilian talent that worked in support, and in liaison roles, with military staff and leadership during the Vietnam War was an honor, a privilege and a duty for me at that time. In war time, or staying in conflict readiness, when I think of how all the roles in an Army depend on each other to bring forth successful missions I truly appreciated how important the role of a recruiter is for mission success, particularly when life, death and safety issues hang in the balance. That three year experience cemented my love for recruiting and launched me into what I do today—recruiting.
Entering the Danger Zone:
When the Vietnam War ended in 1973, and the military build-up was now downsizing--I was recommend for Officer Candidate School (OCS) but elected to leave the Army when my enlistment commitment was up the following year. It turned out to be bad timing because the stock market crashed and with the ongoing effects of the 1973 Oil Embargo added to the misery of a great recession. Jobs were scarce so I worked in temp jobs until my Uncle alerted me to a Grant Project that was failing in the California Department of Corrections. The Cooperative Training and Employment Project (CTEP) was a Federal & State funded project administered by a minority not-for-profit community based organization called the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation (MAOF). CTEP was designed to stem the high recidivism rate for minority inmates in particular—but was open to all inmates interested in participating.
Unfortunately, CTEP was set to be defunded due to the failure of two previous Directors and high staff turnover. Working in prison with a no-hostage policy clause (see my horror story) for all who enter there; and working for a not-for-profit (very low pay) did little to attract job applicants--so there it was. And there I was—at the time with my college degree, great Army/Pentagon level experience and high recommendations—pumping gas at gas station in La Jolla, CA. I was rooming with my brother in San Diego—both of us doing casual labor jobs until the recession showed signs of recovery. So on my uncle’s recommendation I applied and landed the job.
Landing in prison, as it were--by choice, however was a decision that bothered my family and friends for obvious reasons—and was unsettling for me at first because my life was threatened on the very first day I was “in prison” addressing the inmate leaders (see RBC horror story) regarding the rehab program. Nevertheless, I volunteered to do the job and to this day I’ll tell anyone—I’d still be there if it wasn’t for Prop 13 which was the California Tax Revolt that defunded CTEP and other social services programs at the time in California.
The short version of this experience is that—yes, it’s not for everybody. Most say prisons are for punishment and I agree. But I also feel that the majority of people in lockup today will be getting out at some point down the road. And if they are only going to be part of the revolving door process—how does that help them, their families; future victims and society at large? My decision to go there was based on the simple grasp of the situation--to be part of the solution. Bottom line, who wants to be a future victim, directly or indirectly? I felt here was a unique opportunity to attempt to make a difference and to stem predictable outcomes. Yes, my staff and I were in considerable danger—but that’s partly what won us respect on the yard—the fact that we would risk our safety for their benefit because we were there to help them help themselves through training, counseling and job placement. Yes, recruiting candidates from the general population didn’t sit well with inmates who were rejected. And some were happy to express their unhappiness with our decision. We were briefed and given assurances that help was available but “you enter this prison at your own risk” was clearly understood—and it all worked out.
Our work on behalf of inmates who wanted to better themselves also won respect from correctional staff and administrators…and employers because we were job placing parolees who were doing well enough on the job that employers came back for more candidates. Without getting into too much detail the training and rehab program was a remarkable success over a three year period given the negative statistics that haunt corrections in any state with high recidivism rates (50%-70% in some places) and the high costs for incarceration. Our job placement rate was in the low 92% range with a 9% recidivism rate compared to California’s 50%-60% return rate.
White/Black & Hispanic inmates participated and those who survived the prison experience and benefited from our program eventually paroled and were placed in viable jobs across the State of California w/IBM, XEROX, Hewlett Packard, JC Penney, etc. The results were getting positive press and we were ramping up to expand the program but unfortunately ran into the famous, or infamous, depending on your stance on such matters—Proposition 13 (the Tax Payers Revolt in California). Prop 13 cancelled funds for many social services programs like CTEP.
Yes, I love recruiting and my military and prison experiences enhanced my ability to make a positive impact in corporate America as a recruiter and Staffing Manager. And now, as an independent Recruitment Consultant, I continue to make a difference for candidates and clients who go on to make their mark as well.
adversary). Sorry it's lengthy but I hope you find it enjoyable and maybe even instructive:
A guy I've placed two times winds up at a new firm (not my placement) and brings me into his new organization for a tough medical director search. Great! The relationship investment is paying off. The search goes on for nearly a year and I send them some great candidates who for various reasons don't get offers. I finally land a person who had come highly recommended early in the sourcing process, but who had timing issues. She wows them, accepts their offer (a nice base salary bump for her), and gets rolling.
As a result of my good work I get positive press within the organization. Soon, another division invites me to help them find a science writer PDQ. Fate smiles on me and I bat .1000 on this one-- submit a single great candidate and he accepts an offer one month to the day from my first phone call with the client. The client comes in a bit shy of my guy's base salary expectation and I'm even able to persuade them not to nickel and dime; he gets his full asking price. Smiles all around.
Several weeks down the road, I get a marketing email from the client (I subscribe to stuff like this as a way to stay informed on my clients' businesses). It's actually from the 2nd division I worked with (the science writer job), and it's promoting a new batch of scientific content they've just posted to their new website. What to my wandering eyes should appear but a byline on one of the articles…and it's the name of one of the candidates I had submitted for the medical director search (the first one I did for this company). Realizing that this falls squarely within the language of my agreement (fee owed "if a candidate we refer to you enters into a service relationship with you or your affiliate"), I contact the guy who brought me into the organization to calmly gather some intel. Always better to keep your powder dry at first. I find that they've engaged my person as a freelancer for some project work.
He understandably bumps me up to his boss, the one who signed my agreement. I feel like I'm on firm ground as I have a great fact set, I have a good relationship with this guy, and it's entirely possible that he is not aware of this situation since it happened in the other division. My expectation is that he'll want to make it right. Still, my antennae are fully extended for this call.
He is pretty frosty as I lay things out for him. I'm assertive but polite and professional during the call. He begins making gratuitous assertions: "You've done some good business with our company…how you pursue this is up to you." I can tell I'm up against a blunt instrument. He keeps making this statement, so I conclude that he's trying to say that I should be grateful and let this one slide. His primitive debating skills finally get under my skin (my mistake). I ask, are you saying I should be expected to give away my work product just because I've successfully provided value to a client in the past? He chooses this opening for some selective outrage, saying he's insulted that I think he wants a freebie. I tell him I'm just trying to figure out his point by rephrasing a comment he's made several times during our conversation. By this point in the call, I clearly know the personality type I'm dealing with: a classic blustering hothead who lashes out when he finds himself boxed in by his own words. We end the call with him saying he'll followup with the other division.
I send him an email thanking him for hearing me out, alluding to the goodwill that's been generated over the last year, and express my confidence that we'll be able to arrive at a quick and fair resolution. His reply states that yes, I have brought value and that my call was very professional until I accused him of expecting a freebie. He says it's safe to say they won't be using my services again. I reply asking him if he's kidding and just messing with me. I then contact the hiring manager from the second division by phone and get the clear sense that Hothead has already begun poisoning the well. Hothead then sends me another email, indignantly offering to pay my percentage on the freelancer out of his own pocket (it's a few hundred $$). In the interim, I have had collegial conversations with the 2nd hiring manager and she tells me (credibly, IMO) that HER boss went to school with the freelancer and so while it may not look great from the surface, no underhanded antics were intended. Still believing I have a case, I make a business decision to move on and preserve goodwill with her. I tell Hothead to keep his money as I consider the matter closed. I tell him that it's too bad that things went off the rails but I remain interested in fixing the relationship. Realistically I figure this will never happen. Hotheads never admit fault.
Last week I got a call informing me that the medical director I placed under Hothead had resigned. And yes, it was 3 weeks AFTER the conclusion of her guarantee period. Karma, you sweet thing, you. Hothead emails me and asks for a copy of our agreement and a chat. During that call he says "You've probably heard that our medical director resigned. You're probably aware that it was after the guarantee period…" I interrupt him "Yes, I am very aware of that." <pissed off pause on his end>. He then asks me if I represented her for her new job. I have to admit I never saw that question coming, but my answer is easy and immediate. "No, I did not. In fact, my agreement with you protects you from that. That's not how I conduct business." (If I were him, I would have flown off the handle in indignant outrage, but I don't give others the power to insult me. Loutish statements reflect poorly on the people who make them, not their targets.)
Incredibly, Hothead then tells me that he has an opening that needs to be filled (thank you, Captain Obvious). He says that he's "spoken with about 5 other recruiters" about how they'd handle a drop off just after the guarantee period. Wait for it-- He says that they would all try to work with their client in that situation. He then asks if I will discount my fee as a condition of working on this new assignment. I say that I can't speak for what other recruiters would do (he snappily replies "Well, I can!") and remind him that I extended a discount before the first project. I tell him I see no business rationale for devaluing my work under these circumstances; if anything, this is now a much tougher search than it was before. He then poses it as an ultimatum: "So you won't offer a discount?" "No thank you, I won't be able to do that." Then I'm told once again that they won't be using my services. I resist the urge to laugh and tell him that I'm no worse off than I was before the call began! Can any of you imagine the insanity of taking another search project from this person?
What did I learn from this experience? Frankly, not much. I won't be changing my business practices just because of a fluky situation with an irrational client. Takes all kinds. Notwithstanding the freelancer issue, my agreement was strong and protected the client and myself in key areas. I was actually pleased with myself for being able to move on after this happened, although it does feel good to share/vent it with colleagues. Thanks for listening! --Chris…