Tag Archives: hiring advice

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January 22, 2014

The Importance of Timing

Being an executive recruiter means I spend a lot of time in the car. A couple of weeks ago I was on the road when I tuned in to sports radio station.

They were having a lively discussion about the local hockey team, which had recently lost one of its most talented defensemen to an injury. They blathered on and on (are they paid by the word?), but finally agreed the team needed to acquire a player who could replace him. Unfortunately, they also agreed that it’s a bad time to be shopping for a defenseman. There just isn’t a lot of talent available.

In recruiting, timing is everything. That’s true whether you run a hockey team or a medical device company. Read More

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January 15, 2014

The Investable CEO

bigstock-Golden-Dollar-Sign-16862396If you hang around the startup world for long enough, you’ll eventually hear the term “investable CEO.” It refers to a startup CEO who can raise money. You might overhear an early investor say something like, “The company has come a long way, but we need a CEO who’s investable to get us to the next level.”

It’s self-evident that a startup needs a CEO who can raise money. Early investors naturally want someone who can bring new parties into the syndicate, but what exactly do they have in mind when they say they’re looking for someone who is “investable?” Read More

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January 13, 2014

Beware of the Mercenaries

bigstock-old-ak---32228741“I need a base of $300,000. And I need a year’s severance. That’s what it will take to get me.”

I felt like I was talking to a used car dealer, not a medical device executive.

Her demands were totally unreasonable given her compensation history and experience. I was doubly annoyed because we’d covered this ground months earlier, when I’d made it clear what my client was willing to pay. She was way out of line. Read More

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January 10, 2014

Screening Out Bad Apples

This morning I ran across an interesting piece in the New York Times’ Dealbook column on the unfolding insider trading mess at SAC Capital Advisors. The title of the piece says it all: Ex-SAC Trader Was Expelled From Harvard Law School. Read More

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October 4, 2013

Being the Best: It’s Not All About the Numbers

bigstock-Baseball-And-Bat-2777327Not that long ago, Alex Rodriguez was heralded as the most talented player in baseball. In 2007, the New York Yankees signed him to a 10 year, $275M contract that was the richest in the history of baseball.
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September 11, 2013

Four Questions to Ask in the First Interview

bigstock-Question-Mark-10292142Recruiting is a lot faster and more efficient when you don’t waste time on people you can’t hire. That’s why I cover disqualifying questions in the first conversation with a prospective candidate. Here they are. Read More

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August 29, 2013

Quakers, Consensus & Recruiting

bigstock-William-Penn----7579965Consensus decision-making is a nice ideal, but it’s no way to run a business. It doesn’t work well for hiring executives, either.

I was first exposed to making decisions by consensus when I entered a college founded by Quakers. The religious mission of the school had long been set aside, but some Quaker traditions were still observed. One of those was consensus-based decision-making. Read More

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August 28, 2013

Job Titles: Cutting Through the Noise

bigstock-Illustration-of-a-can-of-cola--42738766What’s in a name? When it comes to job titles, very often the answer is nothing.

Well, that’s not exactly true. Titles usually provide a rough idea of where someone sits within a company’s organization. But every business has its own conventions for assigning titles. There is usually internal consistency within a company, but one company’s titles don’t necessarily have any correlation to similar jobs elsewhere. Read More

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August 21, 2013

A Lesson in Due Diligence From a Teen’s First Job

bigstock-Skateboard-isolated-on-white-w-35556623Last spring I had a talk with my 15-year-old son about his summer plans. He’s too old for most of the sports camps that used to fill up school vacation. So I delivered the bad news:

“This summer you’re getting a job.” Read More

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August 14, 2013

How Do You Hire a Cowboy? Lessons in Hiring from a Dude Ranch.

P1010100Earlier this summer my family travelled to a dude ranch in Wyoming. It was a great experience, in no small part thanks to the ranch’s outstanding employees.

The employees are skilled at their jobs, of course, but what sets them apart is their positive approach to everything. They are exceptionally outgoing and friendly, and it’s obvious they enjoy working with guests.

That got me wondering: How did the ranch hire people of such a consistently high quality? Do their methods have anything to teach other businesses? Read More

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