The Job Market is Colour Blind.

color blind

We received an email recently from someone who wants to move to Canada. I say we because he sent the email to both Michael and I.

This person had a concern, he had heard that skilled people who migrate to our country have trouble finding work and often end up driving cabs. Was that the case he wanted to know? In particular he seemed worried that a form of institutional racism was keeping skilled immigrants from finding work when they move to Canada.

He was basing this on some articles he had read.

It's too bad he didnt' read this article from Canadian Business. It would have presented him with a much different view. Consider some of the following quotes:

"On average, Canadian women are having only 1.5 children each, far below the 2.1 necessary for a population to sustain itself. The numbers mean the labour supply will slowly shrink as the nation ages. By 2011, Ottawa estimates that all new growth in the labour market will have to come from immigrants. In other words, the future of the Canadian marketplace will soon depend for its very survival on a steady supply of foreign-born workers."

"Stephen Plummer is president and chief operating officer of IMP Group International Inc. The company, owner of CanJet Airlines as well as Execaire corporate jet services, is one of the largest private employers in Nova Scotia and has an insatiable appetite for skilled workers in the aerospace field. "One of the things I worry about all the time is Canada's declining workforce," says Plummer. "I don't see things reversing themselves. Immigration has got to be part of the solution.

Plummer's company has hired an entire class of aerospace graduates from one Canadian college, but it's still not enough. To fill critical skill needs, such as engineering, tool design, avionics technology and computer applications, Plummer has also recruited in the United Kingdom, eastern Europe and China."

"Friesens Corp., a commercial printer based in Altona, Man., around 100 kilometres south of Winnipeg, has a standing offer of employment for trained press operators and is finding it increasingly necessary to bring new staff in from overseas, from such places as Germany and Uruguay."

"The situation is even more acute in the trucking industry. "The marketplace is incapable of supplying us with drivers," grumbles Norman Schultz, director of recruitment and retention at TransX, a major trucking firm based in Winnipeg. "We are looking in Romania, China, England, Italy and elsewhere for drivers. We want to grow as a company, but our customer demand exceeds the number of drivers we have." Schultz has found the most effective method of importing labour is to bring foreign workers in on temporary work permits and then use the provincial nominee program to convert them to permanent residents."

Ok one thing I should clarify for those of you who haven't figured it out yet. None of these companies is located in Toronto. And that was the crux of the article. Most immigrants want to move to Montreal, Toronto or Vancouver for a variety of reasons. However this isn't always where the jobs are.

So you should consider which is more important living in Nova Scotia with a job or living in Toronto with none. Incidentally Nova Scotia is a much cheaper place to live than Toronto (and more beautiful).

The second thing that should be obvious from the quotes above is that there is no discrimination against foreign workers. The job market is dependent on the available talent pool and if the pool is depleted the willingness to look elsewhere becomes magnified.

I remember in the late 80s when the demand for programmers was so acute that recruiting firms were actually traveling to Hong Kong to recruit IT professionals. They wanted to get them before they landed in Canada because they would be snapped up so quickly.

If you have a skill that is in demand you will have no problem finding work. If your there is a surplus of talent in your area of expertise you will have trouble. My advice to anyone who wants to move to any country is to evaluate your skill set and find out if it is in demand. If not you might want to select a country where your skills are needed.
Podcast Alert

Jason at has posted his first-ever podcast.

It's an interview of Joel Cheesman of the Online Recruitment HR blog.

You can listen online or download the mp3 file for later auditation.

Do Canadians Lack Discipline?

Yesterday, a friend of mine who came to Canada when he was in his twenties, told me that Canadian workers are lazy goof-offs.

If it's true, not many newcomers would be surprised.

For, according to a recent article in The Toronto Star they think there's something wrong with the way Canadians raise their kids.

    Yang Bin was surprised by what she saw when she walked her two-year-old granddaughter Sophia Jiang into a family drop-in program...

    "Kids just run around and play," said the 65-year-old retired university professor... They are free to do whatever they want. Kids growing up in the West need more discipline.

    Parenting is about teaching kids to respect their authorities, so they learn the traditional values and know how to behave properly."....

    [Kenise Murphy Kilbride, an early childhood education professor at Ryerson University] said studies have shown that immigrant parents disapprove of their children questioning parental authority.

    "They could not understand how `Canadian' parents can tolerate public tantrums of their children and think that the Canadian law prohibiting physical punishment restricts their ability to discipline their children," she added.

    Yang...agrees. "In China, we tend to be more restrictive to our children and grandchildren. We spank them when they misbehave... You don't give them choices. You tell them what to do."
In an unrelated article Emal Bariali is quoted as saying:

    The Afghani way of life is very different from the Canadian way of life. Out of respect, there is always a distance between children and their parents. There's no emotional support, no display of emotions, because parents are afraid that'd lessen their authority over their children.
This isn't a new story. Earlier immigrants from Europe had similar complaints. And, in fact, older people who were Canadian-born have also been known to complain that young people "today" are getting away with "murder".

But, I wonder about the relationship between child-rearing and productivity. Is there a relationship between them?

Martin Seligman claims that the power to make and follow through on one's own decisions from an early age is a great boon to a healthy personality. In The Optimistic Child, he writes:

    The more we make decisions (good or bad) the more we feel in control, the more competent we feel, the more self-esteem we have.
This implies that a child who has control of his own life will embrace productive activity more easily. But it doesn't indicate a complete lack of parental control.

So, again, what is the relation between child-rearing and economic productivity? A search on Google provided no quick answers. Perhaps because there are none.

George Jonas wrote an interesting column about saying "No" to children. It doesn't address productivity directly but it does imply that the issue is not a simple one. Here is an excerpt:

    About 15 years ago, a friend made a pedagogical observation:
    "Why should I say no to my daughter when she keeps kicking the table?" he said. "Should I stop her just because it annoys me?"

    My friend had a whole zoo of kids... They... interrupted everyone, demanded centre stage, and went into hysterics when -- all too rarely -- their desires were frustrated... My friend's kids may have wanted a very firm hand indeed, but as he gave them none, they became little monsters...

    He implied that adults who impose limits on children do it just for their own convenience. He tried to suggest that restrictions were senseless, and served merely to stifle a child.

    In making this suggestion my friend echoed a school of pedagogical thought that achieved near-domination among North America's middle-class parents.

    The thesis held that... any moulding would suppress a child's spontaneity, creativity and self-confidence. It would risk turning him into a mindless conformist or an inhibited bundle of neuroses.

    Saying no to a child who does something annoying serves at least three purposes beneficial both to the child and to society.

    First, it habituates the child to obey the parent. Parents, on the whole, have more life experience than their children...

    Second,.... shedding infantile selfishness is the basis of any social life, and it's doubtful if children can shed it without some training...

    Third, a "no"... accustoms him to the idea that things don't accrue to him by right, and that in order to get something (say, approval) he'll have to give something in return....

    Fifteen years have passed...and the table-kicking little monsters...have grown into young men and women. First question: How did they turn out?

    Answer: Splendid, I'm happy to report, as well (if not better) than kids of stricter upbringing.

    Second question: Has this caused me to change my mind about raising children? Answer: Not a bit.
Jonas, by the way, was born in Hungary. And back to my friend, when his kids were young he tried to teach them that it was bad to challenge anything adults said. But, here in Canada, he found this rule unenforceable.

Its Who You Know

Much is written about networking as the primary job search tool. Personally I think it is overrated and prevents people from doing any sort of cold calling on their own. But that's ok. If candidates really learned how to conduct a job search recruiters would be obsolete pretty quickly.

A lot of companies do hire via internal referrals however so it is wise to keep track of where your friends are.

One example is an outfit called Corporate Executive Board which recruits aggressively for MBA's from some of the finest B schools in the US.

Wendy Person who is the Senior Director of Talent Management tells Businessweek that those who want a job with their company had better work their network:

More than 40% of all hires come from internal referrals. If candidates aren't networking with alumni here at CEB, they are missing out on a wonderful opportunity.

Of course that's assuming they want to work at a place with a lame name like "Corporate Executive Board". Was "Company Limited Incorporated" already taken?
An Unemployed Woman
CIBC # 3 Takes Kassie Highway

Every Canadian knows that 20 top bankers (and Marie Cordero) recently left the CIBC to join their ex-boss, Wonderboy David Kassie, at Genuity Capital Markets.

Jill - Happy Days
Now the CIBC has axed it's No.3 executive, Jumpin' Jill Denham, Vice Charwoman and Head of Consumer Banking.

CIBC spokesman, Bobby Waite, struggled to hide the truth but, by now, everyone knows the (Soviet-style) code. Like Dave, Jill has left the bank to "pursue other interests".

After some run-ins with the law a few years back, CEO, Handsome John Hunkin, decided to shift his interests from corporate to consumer lending.

And, in order to boost earnings from consumer banking, Jumpin' Jill had to go. But don't feel too bad; she earned $2.1 million Cdn last year in salary and bonus. (That's $1.7 mill US funds).

Sonia "Baxie" Baxendale, age 42, will replace Jill. Her new title is Sr EVP Retail Markets. Vic Dodig, age 39, was hired from UBS Global Asset Management to take her place as head of the asset-management division. Both report to Dave Kassie's old friend and replacement, COO, Gerry McCaughey.

As for Jill's next step? Only, time, will tell.

Based on a story in: David Scanlan reporting in Toronto; Erik Schatzker is his editor in New York

Technorati Tag:

See Also: GenuityGang Strikes Back -- CIBC Recruiting Scandal -- David Kassie, Kingpin -- David Kassie's Dream -- Dan Daviau -- Earl Rotman -- Kassie Defiant -- Phil Evershed -- Hirst, Morrison, Eggertson -- Marie Cordero -- Bad 4 Recruiters -- Sweet Marie -- The Kassie Cult -- Kassie Honoured -- Hunkin's Millions -- BlackBerry Got 'Em -- Kassie Family Hunted -- Blackberry Mystery Solved -- The Genuity Revolution
Grade A Meat

Meat Inspection
Brad Smart's TOPGRADING system ranks employees as
A's, B's and C's.

A' and B's are assets.
C's will kill your company.

The employee pool is a pyramid with A's on top.
Here's it's composition:
A's - 10%, B's - 25%, C's - 65%.

The definition of an A, B or C depends to some extent on the requirements of the job. Theoretically, a C-player in one job could be an A-player in another.

All, A-Players, however, (unlike most C's) are quick studies in any role. They also have a lot of integrity and a great track record. (But not every one is a team leader or long-term visionary).

What are "A" players looking for? They want:
1. a challenge and to have fun coming to work.
2. the resources and opportunity to make things happen.
3. an informal culture with little bureaucracy.
4. compensation that's tied to performance.

B-Players aren't Grade-A because they fall short in 2 or 3 areas.

Here's a problem. B-players hire losers B or C players. That's why, if you hire A-players, you can start a favorable chain reaction.

Here's some good news: some B's can be upgraded to A's through coaching and training. Others can become A's if their jobs are fine-tuned to suit them.

C's have to be moved to other jobs or fired. And since most can't cope with new or complex situations, their likely destination is dog food.

Get a Brad Smart DVD. Only $995. USD. Or buy the books: Topgrading and
The Smart Interviewer
(Amazon gives you both for $36.27 USD)

Source: Fortune Small Business, via Derby Management site
File Under: Self-Management
The Zen of Patience

Spurgeon On Patience

Patience is better than wisdom.
An ounce of patience is worth a pound of brains.

It is a medicine which is good for all diseases.

It is as natural for us to murmur as for a horse to shake his head when the flies tease him. But nature should not be the rule.

Grin and bear it is the old-fashioned advice,
but sing and bear it is a great deal better.

Pain past is pleasure; experience comes by it. We ought not to be afraid of going down into Egypt when we know we shall come out of it with jewels of silver and gold.

Sorrows are visitors that come without invitation, but complaining minds send a wagon to bring their troubles home in.

They chew the bitter pill which they would not even know to be bitter if they had the sense to swallow it whole.

What cannot be cured must be endured.
"Must" is a hard nut to crack, but it has a sweet kernel.

Poverty is no shame, but being discontented with it is.

In some things, the poor are better off than the rich.
It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy.
A poor man's table is soon spread.
And hunger finds no fault with the cook.
Hilarious Blog Title
The Learning Xanax Get it? Xanax, Annex.

Happy where you are, or willfully ignorant?

Do you work for crooks? Is your company about to explode (or imploded) in an Enron/Worldcom like scandal? "Gee how the heck should I know?" You are probably asking.

Well Boston Consulting Group has come up with a study that points to some warning signs that could help you decide whether your company is in danger:

Corporate scandals often happen at the most successful firms or at least at firms where the appearance of success breeds a megalomaniac CEO, reams of stock options, overoptimistic goals, and gaga recommendations from Wall Street equity analysts.

This is the conclusion of a Boston Consulting Group study that analyzes the companies responsible for twenty-five of the largest corporate frauds since 1996.

Compared with their clean competitors, "fraud firms" offered their CEOs eight times as much stock-based pay and set corporate performance targets 250 percent higher. Other factors associated with executive malfeasance were inflated stock prices and attention from the press (before their downfalls, fraud-firm CEOs were three times as likely to be quoted in the media as their competitors).

Moreover, two interesting insights emerged. First, good corporate governance - of the sort mandated by post-bubble regulations - may have done little to prevent fraud. Enron's board, for instance, was rated among the nation's five best-governed in 2000. Second, while crooked execs may have fooled analysts, the media, and the public, the market sniffed them out.

The median fraud firm lost 40 percent of its value in the year before its actions came to light. (One wonders who was selling ....)

Source:The Atlantic Online
Sometimes innocent, sometimes not
US Hero Canadian born

Picasso, Portait of Man in a Hat
I couldn't resist posting a few lines from the NYT obit for Saul Bellow.

I am an American, Chicago born... and go at things as I have taught myself, free-style, and will make the record in my own way: first to knock, first admitted; sometimes an innocent knock, sometimes a not so innocent." -- Augie March

He was a wonderful talker... a champion detractor. To be loused up by Humboldt was really a kind of privilege. It was like being the subject of a two-nosed portrait by Picasso, or an eviscerated chicken by Soutine.
-- Humboldt's Gift

In contrast with some other winners, who were wary of the albatross of the Nobel [Prize], Mr. Bellow accepted it matter-of-factly. "The child in me is delighted," he said. "The adult in me is skeptical." He took the award, he said, "on an even keel," aware of "the secret humiliation" that "some of the very great writers of the century didn't get it."

In 1994, while on a Caribbean vacation with his wife in St. Martin, Mr. Bellow became sick after eating a toxic fish, and almost died...

NYT April 6, 2005
Saul Bellow, Who Breathed Life Into American Novel, Dies at 89
By Mel Gussow and Chuck McGrath
US Bank Reveals Key To Success

Will she get the Pretty Premium? What do you think?
The best part of beauty is that which no picture can express. -- Francis Bacon

I have a friend who calls me every day to tell me, "Life is rough, Michael, it really is".

I usually disagree but after reading this report, well... it's bad enough to be short and unattractive but when they go and dock your pay for it! That's really depressing.

But, tall, lean and handsome versus short, stout and unappealing. That's the Rat Race in 2005 according to researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

These distinguished scientists have discovered that if you're vertically and horizontally unchallenged and have a nice face, you'll make more money.

And, scientists, I believe you. Why, I can't count the number of times a manager has told me, "Mike, there's a bonus in it for you if the candidates are good looking." Right, Anthony?

Now, what is the St Louis Fed? It's one of 12 banks that make up the U.S. Federal Reserve system. And it published this revelation in the April edition of The Regional Economist, a favourite journal of the economic elite.

But, wait, little people, before you jump,
there is some good news
. Listen to this:
It is not possible to staff a company without short people.
There simply aren't enough tall people to go around.

Here's the full scoop in water-cooler format.
Pretty Premium: good looking people earn 5% more.
Plainess Penalty: unattractive people earn 9% less.
Boopsey Factor: overly-attractive women are seen as airheads.

Attractive people are more confident and communicate better.
58% of Fortune 500 CEOs are over 6 feet. 30% are over 6, 2.

We believe good looking people perform better.
College kids give good looking profs better evaluations.

Pretty people get special breaks.
White women lose more than white men for being overweight.

Women with an obese body mass index earn 17%
less than women with an average BMI.

Short People, Arise!

Now, apparently, no one sues for appearance discrimination
because only race, gender, creed, origin and age are protected.

But women and minority groups have attacked height requirements in the police force and fire department as tools of gender and ethnic bias.

So, if you've been denied a promotion and you're short, you
could claim that it's a diversity issue. It's worth a shot.

Don't let it get to you

Let's say this report leads you to believe that the odds are stacked against you through no fault of your own. What should you do?

Nothing. Because if you worry about it, that will affect your personality. And personality is a much bigger factor than appearance in making a good impression.

Source: Sharda Prashad, Toronto Star (Apr 6/05)

Career Opportunities....

Pony Express

We just can't write ads like that any more.......

Of course the fact that the Pony Express hasn't existed for well over 100 years has something to do with it as well.

However you have admire the refreshing candour. Most job ads aren't near as truthful these days.

Headhunter...Recruiter...Resume Reader???

Caldwell Partners is a publicly traded headhunting firm here in Canada. They typically work at the highest level (CEO's and such).

Latest numbers for the big bodysnatching outfit are good:
- Second quarter operating revenue up 39%;
  net income up 19.5%
- Fourth successive quarter of improved operating results;
  first-half operating revenue up 34%
- Board declares quarterly cash dividend of $0.02 per share

Good for Caldwell but I don't think we are allowed to call them Headhunters or even Executive Search Consultants any more. Nope Caldwell proudly states in its press release that they are: Canada's first, largest, and only truly national human capital services firm,

Got it? Human Capital Services.

Doesn't really roll off the tongue like "headhunter" does it? Used to be that anything related to employment was given the term "manpower" until women's liberation forced a change in that admittedly sexist term. Then it became Human Resources. Now all of a sudden the mot-du-jour is "Human Capital"

So from now on I no longer wish to be called a "headhunter"
I am a "Human Capital Talent Scout"

Now I have to go update my business cards.

Source Canada News Wire
Interviews of the Future

Interview of the Future - The Candidate Prepares
In the future candidates will probably be plugged into a hot seat before the interview conversation starts.

Then machines will monitor their brains for lies and their speech muscles for unspoken thoughts.

Right now, scientists know that different parts of the brain are activated by lies and honest statements.

And these differences can be measured by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans.

Also, NASA is developing a system that uses two sensors, one on the neck and one under the chin, to monitor electrical signals sent to the speech muscles.

This allows it to work out what people are saying - even if they do not speak out loud.

Sources: here and here.
Personality Assessment Quiz

Merrill-Reid Social Styles

I think this analysis works.
Tho I don't know how useful it is.

According to Merrill and Reid there are 4 types of people.

You can determine anyone's type fairly easily and take it into
account when you communicate with him. So --

Each row below (A,B,C,D,E) contains four adjectives.
Each adjective describes a different one of the four types.

Therefore, if you rank the adjectives in each row as to how well each one describes you, you will find out which type is most like you.

Here's how you do it.

Assign a:
7 to the adjective that best describes you,
5 for the next closest adjective,
3 for the next,
1 for the least descriptive.

Each row should have a 7,5,3,1. No ties within rows are allowed.

A. Stubborn, Persuasive, Gentle, Humble
B. Competitive, Obliging, Playful, Obedient
C. Adventurous, Life of the Party, Moderate, Precise
D. Determined, Convincing, Good Natured, Cautious
E. Assertive, Optimistic, Lenient, Accurate

Now reorganize each graded "column" of adjectives above into rows, as below. (You can see it in chart form here.)

1. Stubborn, Competitive, Adventurous, Determined, Assertive
2. Persuasive, Obliging, Life of the Party, Convincing, Optimistic
3. Gentle, Playful, Moderate, Good natured, Lenient
4. Humble, Obedient, Precise, Cautious, Accurate

Each row contains all of the adjectives from above that are representative of the same type of person.

Add up the grades in each row. And the row with the highest number reflects your personality type.

Row 1: Sherman tanks: the bosses
Row 2: Socializers: always having happy hour.
Row 3: Mother hens: nurturing, stable
Row 4: Analyticals: cautious, careful, picky

Alternate Descriptions

Row 1 - DIRECTORS: Firm, forceful, confident, competitive, decisive, determined, impatient, risk-takers.

Row 2 - SOCIALIZERS: Outgoing, optimistic, enthusiastic. Like to be in the center of things. Have lots of ideas. Love to talk, especially about themselves.

Row 3 - RELATERS: Genial team players. Prefer stability to risk. Care greatly about the feelings and needs of others. Likeable but timid.

Row 4 - THINKERS: Self-controlled and considerate. Prefer analysis to emotion. Love clarity and order. Stiff personality.

Source and Source

A Job For The Future

Dan Pink has struck a chord with his new book, A Whole New Mind: Moving From The Information Age To The Conceptual Age.

He says that to get ahead today, you have to do something:

1. Foreigners can't do cheaper.
2. Computers can't do faster.
3. That serves people who have everything.

His conclusion: it can't be too "left-brained".
Multi-Tasking: Use At Your Own Risk

    This position would be suitable for an accomplished
    multi-tasker with an eye for detail, and accuracy.
Idiot or Great Man?
Everybody wants a multi-tasker. But, let me ask you this. Why is most juggling done by clowns? Answer? Because, multi-tasking is a fool's game.

Toggling between tasks is done by "the mental CEO", the executive controllers found in the brain's prefrontal cortex and parietal cortex.

These bosses prioritize tasks and assign the mind's resources to them.

The executive control mechanisms work in two stages:

1) Goal shifting :"I want to do this now instead of that."

2) Rule activation : "I'm turning off the rules for that and turning on the rules for this."

Rule activation takes several tenths of a second -- which can add up when people switch back and forth repeatedly between tasks.

Multi-Tasking (all he needs is a coffee & donut)
When test subjects were plugged into a brain scanner and told to switch quickly between two simple tasks they worked slowly.

The scanner showed that the part of the brain that prioritizes tasks and does higher-order thinking was taking a rest while switching.

Like an clunky, old computer, the frontal lobes "went blank, waiting for instructions for the next task to upload".

And in terms of quality of work, when the brain has to do more than one thing at once, it simply pays less attention to each.

Psychology Today quotes a study published in NeuroImage which claims that when people were asked to listen to sentences while comparing two rotating objects, Visual Input dropped 29% and Listening Success fell 53%.

And, apparently, good multi-taskers often appear rude because they cannot afford to pay any attention to courteous communication.

Leadership & Multi-Tasking

According to Steve Sailer, nerds are not multi-taskers. They tend to have a narrow and deep focus on one thing at a time.

He sees typical leaders as lively, assertive, dominance-seeking,
"hunter-warrior-jock" types.

They are more people-oriented (whereas nerds are object-oriented). And they are better at multi-tasking as they have a broad but shallow focus.

    Nerds [for instance] lack the "situational awareness" that the Air Force prizes in fighter pilots [lively and assertive jocks], but their ability to concentrate obsessively makes them good at designing the planes that pilots fly.
Sailer alludes to Bill Gates mentioning that the richest man in the world is a nerd. But, I've read that Gates is very good at switching from one task to another with no time required for adjustment at all.

If that's true, maybe Gates just looks like a nerd but isn't. Or, maybe it means that this nerd vs man-of-action typology isn't as clear cut as he says.

Psychology Today, Multi-Tasking: What's The Cost (PDF), Is Multi-Tasking More Efficient, Effect of Stress On The Brain. Mad Chad.
She Needs Your Help

Wreckcrewters' Baseball Team
Heather, the popular marketing recruiter, is in a tizzy.

She has to find a name for her baseball team so she
is asking the universe for suggestions.

Me and Dino have a few.

Number one name: The Wrecking Crew!

Get it? Wreck as in RECruit. Crew as in reCRUIter.?

Backups: The Recrewcuts, The Recuties, The Crewballs,
The 925ers and The Stafflocaucus.

I also have a name for the janitorial team: The Drecking Crew.

If you want to help, you can find her here.

Visibility - Again.

Must ... Crush... Jiang!!!

There was an article in the Globe and Mail today about a new trend called "bearhugging" in which:
organizations and leaders of teams identify the members of their teams who are critical to their success and acknowledge their value with perks such as stock plans, promotions, special projects and training.

Supposedly this is a good way to keep people. I don't know why this should be news - it seems like common sense that you should try to find wasy to hang on to your best talent. Even your average talent is worth hanging onto since they know the company better than an average performer from outside.

What caught my eye was a bit at the end that listed some ways that you can leverage your career by increasing your visibility. Here are some of them:

Stay aware of changes in your profession. Executives can expect to move through six or more jobs on their way to the top.

Make sure you are active in your professional organization.

Raise your visibility outside your own organization both professionally and in the community.

Get published or be interviewed in professional journals.

Do public speaking at industry functions.

Make sure you are known by recruiters.

Invisible man

This all sounds very familiar to me and if you have been a long time reader to our blog it will be to you too because I did two posts on the subject last year. They were called What Kind of Candidate are You Part II - Visibile or Invisible? and Increasing Your Visibility II

Here's some of my advice from those posts

"... firstly start attending conferences and seminars. Sometimes attendees lists are found on the Internet by enterprising recruiters and we are typically more interested in the attendees than the high flying speakers.

Secondly and most important: to what professional associations do you belong? No matter what field you are in there is some type of professional association (sometimes several). Just joining one gets you on the membership directory and headhunters love membership directories!!

But don't just stop at joining an association - get involved. Get on committees help out in events. If you are on the association executive or a committee you will probably be listed on a the website and thus you will be more visible!"

I think maybe the Globe secretly reads our blog. I have some more to say on this subject but in the interest of brevity I will leave it for another post next week.

In case I forget though remind me to write about how the new privacy laws are killing your career.

Trust me it is that serious.

Hurdy Gurdy Man

hurd 2
The resounding question that seemed to be on everyone’s mind yesterday was: “Who is Mark Hurd”? Well for those who were following the search by HP to replace Carly Fiorina it was.
That’s because Mr. Hurd came out of nowhere to take the top job. He wasn’t even on the radar screen for most people (including us).

Hurd was most recently CEO of NCR (where he has worked for 25 years) a 6 billion dollar operation compared to HP’s 80 billion.

That’s some jump but a lot of people are saying he is the right man for the job.

Motley Fool gushed:

It's a brilliant move for HP, giving the company the freshest breath of optimism that it has been able to inhale in years

and others chimed in:
"This is the right guy at the right time," said Mark Stahlman, an analyst with Caris & Co. "He is a high tech guy and a high growth guy who is very operations oriented."

Patricia Dunn said that Hurd was the board's top choice and indicated that NCR's revival was one of the key factors behind their decision to hire him.

"Mark came to our attention because of his strong execution skills, his proven ability to lead top performing teams and his track record in driving shareholder value. He demonstrated these skills by turning around NCR, which, while smaller than HP, is a complex organization with multiple business segments," she said.

One fund manager who owns shares of NCR said that Hurd is one of the best executives he's ever met.

What makes him so good? Well apart from being very personable with staff and not given to the “rock star CEO” mentality he is apparently very operations oriented and according to one person “he executes like mad”.


Don’t worry though that doesn’t mean he cuts peoples heads off with great passion.

Not everyone is 100% sure that Hurd is the right person for the job however.

Barry Randall, manager of the First American Technology fund, which owns NCR but not HP, thinks the euphoria about a new HP CEO could soon fade. He said many investors had been buying HP because they believed the sum of the parts argument, i.e. that it would be worth more in pieces.

Randall thinks once investors realize that a break up is no more likely under Hurd than it was under Fiorina, shares could fall. "The punch line to me is that shares of HP jumped when Carly got the boot because they felt she was a roadblock to splitting the company up. And now they've hired a guy who clearly will not split the company up," he said.

"NCR has fallen so far off the radar. They have essentially been level, at best, for over a decade" in the general-purpose server market," said Jonathan Eunice, an analyst at Illuminata. HP instead should have tried to recruit one of the many lifers out of IBM, Eunice said.

Calls made to headhunters and other executives brought intense skepticism that Hurd -- or any young CEO -- could make the jump from a $6 billion company to an $80 billion tech giant with thousands of different product lines. "Mark is a very decent guy, but I can't believe he would be remotely qualified," says one headhunter.

As I see it Hurd’s biggest problem might be the fact that some of those who run the different divisions might not feel they can learn anything from him. After all some of them have been responsible for businesses that are larger than NCR itself.

Hurd will have to establish credibility with these execs quickly or he will face real problems. He may even have to move some people out.

Although you can bet that some are dusting their resumes off already.

Hurd 5

He will also have to demonstrate his affinity for technology. Although it didn’t help his cause when he avoided questions from reporters at a press conference by pretending to take a call on his imaginary cell phone.

BTW now that NCR has an opening maybe Canadian Headhunter will get the call?
Carly Fiorina Fired! Replaced by Mark Hurd

The news is here. Anthony will bring you pictorial comments soon.

Hat Tip Peter Dawson
Anti-Woman Bias Infects Liberal Bosses

From: Raise Your Hand If You're A Woman in Science,
Virginia Valian, Washington Post, January 30, 2005 (edited)

Researchers asked people to rate men and women
VPs in an aircraft company as to:
a) competence
b) likeability

The raters were told that:
a) half the VP's were great performers.
b) the other half had not had a performance
    review yet so their competence was unknown.


ferraro cute
When the raters received no information about a person's performance they rated the man as more competent than the woman, and rated them as equally likeable.

When told that the person was very competent, they rated men and women as equally competent.


Ferraro Angry
But both men and women raters saw the successful women as less likeable than the men.

There's a lot of research like this but it is not well-known so it has not had much effect.

Genius blogger, Businesspundit, offers a different explanation
as to why research on bias has no effect.

The results of the research on bias are well-known.
But everyone assumes that it pertains to someone else.

Inotherwords, research on bias is beaten by
the very bias it researches
Hiring Biased Against Short Men & Women

M. Gladwell, author of Blink, believes your decision-making skills can be easily "hijacked" without you knowing it.

Here's some evidence.

1. The percentage of women in professional orchestras rose from 5% to 50% after musicians unions forced them to put up screens to make auditions anonymous.

When evaluators didn't know the sex of the performers,
they found that women were among best

2. Less than 4% of the general population is over 6 feet tall - but a majority of CEOs are. Gladwell suspects that there is a bias (perhaps innate) to see height as a proper attribute of power.

(Doesn't this suggest that short men, like Napoleon and Lenin, who are shut out by this bias, will be more inclined than others to lead opposition movements? And who would follow them except other short men? I see a doctoral thesis here: "The Short Man's Army: Height Disadvantage and Revolution".)


Gladwell also believes that groups are more likely to make stupid decisions. Because when other people agree with your hasty, incorrect judgements, you are more inclined to think them valid.

(The next time someone tells you to get a "reality check" by seeing if other people agree with you -- well, now you can tell them to buzz off.)

via Liz of Corante Tech News. Previously posted on
Laff With Say La Vee

Manolo Rainbow
Here and here.

I found her via Manolo
who has his version here.

Canadian Headhunter: Model for Excellence?

It looks like a class at the Management School of Lyon in France is using Canadian Headhunter as a model for its own blogs.

The link isn't public but if you could follow it you'd see us listed there along with a number of student blogs.

Right under our name it says "C'est un blog tres fou."

That must mean we're pretty good, eh?

I think the course is about the impact of IT on Human Resource
management in the Swiss Cheese industry.

The prof is a blog-savvy American named Lee Schlenker.
His resume is ici.

Bon chance mes amis.
Layer-Cake Design Is Loathsome

Space-Guzzling Addresses Out!

90% Of Resumes Are Structurally Unsound

Layer-cake Addresses Out!
I've seen a few versions of this story.

An outsider asks the student of a guru why he studies with his teacher. The student replies. "I came here to see how he ties his shoes."

But not the way he writes his resume.

Because when it comes to resumes, even smart guys
have not experienced enlightenment.

In fact, according to the Canadian Resume Society 90% of all
smart people don't know how to write their addresses properly.

Here's what they mean.

Do you remember the definition of a resume?
A small space in which you have to write your life story.

Small space, long story. No room for space-guzzlers, obviously.
So, why use the layer-cake address (LCA) structure?

I mean, why this:

Joan Jones
10 Castlview Court, Suite 1704,
Toronto, Ontario, M5P 2G8
Home: 416 XXX XXXX
Work: 416 XXX XXXX

When you could have this:

Joan Jones
10 Castlview Court, Suite 1704, Toronto, Ontario, M5P 2G8
Home: 416 xxx xxxx; Work: 416 xxx xxxx; Email:

Meditate on that and I'm sure you'll see that with just a little common sense even you can find your resume on two well-designed pages. Or, maybe even one.

Take this job and.....

How's this for life as a recruiter:

Searing back pains, nervous breakdowns, high turnover, suicide.

Gee is life that tough for us in the executive search business? Well not quite. We do have the stress and turnover but the US Army recruiters are really having it tough right now.


People are less likely to sign up now that there is an acutal war going on. Recruiters are facing hostility on campuses and their quotas have been increased.


The Army is seeking 101,200 new active-duty Army and Reserve soldiers this year alone to replenish the ranks in Iraq and Afghanistan, elsewhere around the world and at home.

That means each of the Army's 7,500 recruiters faces the grind of an unyielding human math, a quota of two new recruits a month, at a time of extended war without a draft.

For the first time in nearly five years, the Army missed its active-duty recruiting goal in February.

The Reserve has missed its monthly quota since October. Army officials said the goals would most likely be missed the next two months as well.

Of course part of the problem could be that the army isn't selecting good recruiters properly:

Some soldiers are better suited to the task than others. Staff Sgt. Jose E. Zayas, 42, is outgoing, bilingual and embraces his mission. Recently, canvassing in the Bronx, he had little trouble persuading a couple from Massachusetts to accept a few pamphlets.

But for every Sergeant Zayas, there is a recruiter like Sgt. Joshua Harris, 29, a former personnel administrator in a New Jersey recruiting station, who struggles when talking to strangers. Seven weeks of instruction in approaching prospects helped him, he said. But many recruiters said few soldiers possess the skills they need.

See there's the problem. Recruiting is at its essence selling. If you don't have even a modicum of selling skills you will not be successful. Being a recruiter of any sort means you have to be willing to talk to strangers and to talk to lots of them before you make a "sale".

But there's more:

Recruiters are paid about $30,000 a year, plus housing and other allowances, including $450 a month in special-duty pay for recruiting. They live where they recruit, often hundreds of miles from a base.

Anyone see a problem here?

Low paying job combined with people who aren't suited for it. That spells trouble. The Army and any company faced with turnover and recruitment issues has to face reality: if you are having retention problems you have something that needs fixing internally. If you are having recruiting problems you are not selling your company well.

Many clients I deal with have trouble recruiting people and yet refuse to accept the fact that their company has a poor image in the market place. Even if the public image is incorrect you have to take that into account when you are recruiting.

You have to be willing to sell to the negative and not avoid it.

Example: The Army used to recruit on things like travel and college education. Things have changed now and they are fighting a war. Used to be young men actually volunteered BECAUSE they wanted to fight not because they wanted a diploma.

Ya' think you might want to try to focus on finding those types?

And perhaps you need to be bringing in some real headhunters to help train and coach you recruiters.

Oh and a little pay raise or linking comp to performance wouldn't hurt either.

It's not rocket science guys.

Source: New York Times (sub required but it's free so sign up already).

Non-Confrontational Argument

bush putin hug small
Carlo Rogers was a psychotherapist.

He couldn't change his clients' dopey ideas by rational argument.

When he tried to prove them wrong, they just became defensive.

So he simply avoided argument --
and the statement of any point of view.

Instead, he merely restated the client's ideas.

He was more than a stenographer in that he tried
to articulate the feelings in their words.

But he did not draw conclusions that went far beyond what was actually said. Because, then the client would resist.

Rogers' approach has been used to help communication
in any emotional situation, including tough negotiations.

A Rogerian Argument has 4 elements.

1. State the opposing view before your own
-- without overt or hidden evaluations.

2. Don't just articulate ideas.
Imagine the context that makes them seem valid.

3. State your own view
including the circumstances and feelings that make it seem valid.

4. Don't show how your opponent is wrong.
Show how his position would benefit by
adopting elements of your position.

Don't Highlight Errors

When you feed back the other person's views, don't
highlight their lack of logic. That's confrontational.

(eg. "So, you want us to pay you more than we can afford.")

Don't Debate, Cooperate

Rogers intended his method to assist in the
cooperative exploration of a problem issue.

In fact, he said that using his technique to win an argument
or change another's mind is a perversion of his thinking.

He was trying to be solution-oriented
but not in the least combative.

So, the restating process, for instance, is not
meant to simply soften up your opponent.

It's supposed to put you in touch with the
complexities of his point of view.

Feminists Find It Gutless

Feminists complain, however, that the Rogerian approach is feminine rather than feminist because it is not assertive enough and too emotionally neutral (unemotional).

Can It Be Irritating?

Sometimes, when I call a company for information, it seems as if the people I speak to have been trained never to say anything oppositional.

I finally have to ask them "Does that mean No?".
To which they refuse to answer "Yes".

It's like interviewing a politician who's been trained to never acknowledge disagreement but merely to state and restate her policy no matter what question is asked.

They seem to have absorbed some of Rogers' technique but perverted it into a verbal judo that allows them to roll with the punches until the other guy gets tired and gives up.

And if you are a bit dull and don't recognize that their code words mean "no", their begrudged tone lets you know that you are pissing them off.

Actually, this might not be Rogerian at all, but it leads one to recognize a resemblance between Rogers and that style of etiquette which considers bringing something unpleasant into the open a matter of bad taste, assuming, rather, that with all decent people it will be simply understood.

Source: Doug Brent Rogerian Rhetoric. See also: Deborah Tannen, "The
Feminine Technique
" (which was condensed into this posting.)

No News Is....

No word from HP yet on which candiate from our short list has been put forward by Russell Reynolds to succeed Carly Fiorina. This seems to be bugging some people:

HP's interim management frustrated any shareholder attempts to find out how its CEO search is really going at its annual meeting Wednesday.

The company's non-executive chairman Patricia Dunn said she wouldn't answer any question about the search.

People had to be content with her assurance that "We are pleased with out progress and we are where we expected to be and want to be at this juncture."

Of course, BusinessWeek has claimed that the slot could be filled by the end of the month. Meanwhile, if Carly had her heart set on being the next head of the World Bank, a balloon that was floated two weeks ago, her hopes have been dashed. The White House is putting up Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz.

Senior level searches, and especially ones of this magnitude, tend to take a fairly long time. Part of the problem is that CEO level candidates tend to travel quite a bit and the process of even meeting them for an interview becomes quite time consuming.

But why certain shareholders feel they should be kept abreast of the search is beyond me. One of the complicating factors of any search is confidentiality. Candidates are employed with other firms and don’t want their intentions bandied about at shareholder meetings.

This search is a critical one for HP, it is not one to be taken lightly. Even if the search wasn’t going well should Patricia Dunn have said “OMG we are so screwed we don’t know what to do we have NO candidates!!!!”

Carly6Of course that would be a lie since we have already done half the search for Russell Reynolds when we outlined a short list some time ago.

Holders of HP stock should relax. If Russell Reynolds doesn’t get the job done Canadian Headhunter will be there for the easy slam-dunk.

Now as for finding Carly a job……
New Postings on I Hate Recruiters
This is the link. And, don't forget to send us your horror stories. Here.

Traditional Job Culture Alienates Women

Natural Born Fighters

According to Professor Deborah Tannen, women aren't sissies.

They just don't like fighting.

And, men do.

As boys, they love play-fights. They show affection
by mock-punching or playfully trading insults.

And, as men, they explore ideas by playing
devil's advocate and challenging eachother.

Western Civ is Boyish

Tannen claims that girls fight when they have to, but not for fun.
And, they love science and political journalism.

But they don't like confrontational debater's style of exploring ideas favoured by our culture. So they don't pursue careers in these fields.

Tannen notes, however, that women who do not drop out find
that a non-combative approach can also bring success.

For instance, female lawyers who don't force themselves to be aggressive but take a quiet, sympathetic approach to witnesses get the information they need.

They are willing to be critical and offend when necessary,
but not as a matter of principle.

Eastern Civ is Feminine

Not all men like being attacked in debate either.
They find it discouraging rather than bracing.

In fact, says Tannen, Chinese and Japanese intellectual cultures are not adversarial. They try to relate ideas to eachother rather than match them with contradictions.

Tannen points out that Japanese talk shows rarely feature only two guests and suggests that this is a reflection of their desire to avoid the point-counterpoint style. (Steve Kempton disagrees. See his remarks on this in our comments section.)

Source Deborah Tannen, LA Times

Update: NYT columnist, Maureen Dowd wrote recently that men 'enjoy verbal duelling,' and that as a woman, she has wanted 'to be liked — not attacked'. In reply, Antonia Zerbisias says, please, "...there's no shortage of women out there with opinions." Dowd's view is also undermined by the attack that started the journalistic controversy: Susan Estrich suggested that Michael Kinsley was publishing few women because his Parkinsons disease was impairing his judgement.

(See posting on Non-Confrontational Argument.
Also, check out Amy, Lauren and Martha at Snarkywood

A Suggestion For Manolo

Glasses 3D
A blog for the glasses of the eye!

The Future Of Newspapers

An article on the relationship of blogs to newspapers by Antonia Zerbisias was an eye-opener for me.

She says that young people will spend lots of

money on technology, like cellphones,
but they won't pay for content.

And this puts newspapers that charge for content in trouble.

Because bloggers won't link to papers that require subscriptions. And the fewer links a paper gets, the less hits it gets on Google.

Her conclusion:

    That's why it's not only good to give away the content; it's also wise to have blogs...

    For example, every day, I gather a lot more information than I can possibly fit into this space.

    Why not amortize that work over more platforms, and use it to drive traffic to our website and generate more advertising?
The NYT has another take on the same topic.

We're #4.... Right??

Korn/Ferry said Monday it has regained its position as the No. 1 executive search firm in the United States and the world, according to recently released rankings from two trade organizations.

Korn/Ferry, which ranked third in the United States and second internationally a year ago, edged out Chicago-based Heidrick & Struggles International Inc. (NASDAQ:HSII), which took the top spot globally last year, and Chicago-based Spencer Stuart, which was No. 1 in the United States last year.

Congrats to Korn Ferry. But that is not all. Apparently the search business is booming:

A broad and sustained increase in executive recruiting activity in the United States and worldwide helped retained executive search consulting firms snap a three-year slump and fueled double-digit increases in professional fee revenue for the largest of them in 2004.

The 20 largest global retained executive search consulting practices posted a 25% gain in professional fee revenue in 2004, while the 40 largest retained executive search firms in the United States registered a 21% gain in revenue, according to the just-released annual search firm rankings issue of Executive Recruiter News (ERN), whose publisher, Kennedy Information, Inc., has tracked the global business of executive search since 1970.

"Corporate management is shifting its focus from cost-containment to business growth, and it's investing in executive talent to seize new opportunities, differentiate from the competition, and build and align workforces to meet the demands of the global economy," says Joseph Daniel McCool, editor in chief of Executive Recruiter News. "The broad and sustained increase in executive recruiting activity we witnessed in 2004 signals that employers around the world are beginning to rebuild the people side of their businesses, and that should bolster the jobs market at all levels in 2005."

I Hate Recruiters Too!

Dear Readers, I am announcing the creation of yet another blog.

It's called I Hate Recruiters and it's full of postings from my family and friends.

OK, it isn't. It's not about me. It's about a much graver issue:
job hunting gone bad.

I'm going to start it off with postings I've found on other blogs.

But in order to continue, I'll need stories from you,
the job-hopping public.

So, think about sending us a note about your experience.

And, in the meantime, you can find the first entries here.

Contemp Culture Stinks of Finks

Publishing legend, Tina Brown is full of surprises as she rebels against a straight-laced age.

From Tina Brown, Washington Post:

    Sex at the office used to be one of the things that made going to work worthwhile...
...but not anymore since a Boeing e-mail snoop caused the board to can the highly successful, 68-year-old CEO Harry Stonecipher for his lapse with a company executive who wasn't even in the same town.

We are in the Eggshell Era, in which everyone has to tiptoe around because there's a world of busybodies out there who are being paid to catch you out -- and a public that is slowly being trained to accept a culture of finks.

We're always under surveillance...paparazzi make small fortunes snapping glamour goddesses picking their noses....

No matter who you are, someone is ready and willing to rat you out. Even the rats themselves have to look over their shoulders... [and] Bloggers are the new Stasi.

via Damian Penny. (I don't think Dame got the humour in this one. At least, I think it's supposed to be outrageous. (And for the sake of her husband, I hope so!)

Job Sob Give and Take

I liked this question and answer session about career problems.

Q: I was an event planner but I got severe psoriasis and they let me go.

A: Become an event planner for a skin disease society.
They'll be more sympathetic.

Q: My job as help-desk manager was shipped to New Zealand.
What should I do?

A: Get the same job in a government agency.
They won't offshore.

Read the rest.

Searching for Jeremy Wright


Some of you might have heard via the blogosphere that Jeremy over at Ensight had an adventure of sorts when he tried to cross the border from Canada to the US recently. Jeremy had landed a Blogging related job in New York and was off to start his job.

However he was stopped at the border and after a rather long ordeal not allowed to enter the US. Jeremy has removed some posts he did on the subject but his border adventure is not what interested me.

Mike had a cup of coffee with Jeremy today and he told him that he was approached by a consulting firm about this job. They were desperate. The client a large publishing company had been looking for someone to help them start a blog (or something like that) and wanted someone with blogging expertise (both content and technical). Not only that but this was the second firm they had tried another “consulting firm” had come up empty.

Now I don’t know if these consulting firms were actual recruiters or some other type of consultants but I am flabbergasted that someone would find it difficult to find someone to fill this position.

Remember there are about a billion bloggers (well not that much but close) out there and the technical blogs were the originators of the phenom in many respects.

Could it be that these people knew absolutely nothing about blogging??

But even if that was the case that shouldn’t have stopped them from finding someone qualified in a short period of time.

Incidentally I am not saying Jeremy is not qualified. I just think that the search should have been very easy.

If I were given this search and knew nothing about blogs the first thing I would do is learn about blogs.

I would hope that if these people are not Internet savvy then they would have at least noticed that Time and Fortune have both done cover stories about blogs and blogging recently?? Heck every local newspaper in every town has had some form of article about blogs in the past year.

Just Tuesday while driving to a meeting in Toronto I heard a local talk radio station talking about the woman who was fired for writing something negative about her employer on her own blog.

It’s not like these things are unknown at this point (although lots of people still don’t have a clue about them).

The first thing I would do is a Google search on blogs. Let me clarify I would first do a Google News search on them.

Why? If I don’t know squat about an industry I would like to see if there are any articles written that would give me a quick overview of the field.

confused 1

I type in “blogging” into the Google News engine and come up with tons of hits. On the first page I find an article about “making money from blogging” this peaks my interest because it sounds like it might contain information about the people who are involved in blogging for a living – those are people I would like to target as candidates or referrals.

The link takes me to a blog called “Inside the Beltway” assuming I am new to blogging this person is my first potential target. So I click on the “about” link and find not one but 6 people listed. This is a jackpot for a recruiter. In one click I have found 6 names including the editor James Joyner.

Going back to the main page I read the article and discover that it is linking to another site with an interview done by a blogger with a guy from a company called “Blogads” that does advertising on blogs.

Pretty soon I have two more names:

John Hawkins who runs a blog called Right Wing News
And Henry Copeland from Blogads – the advertising company.

Now I want to check out Blogads. There is a link to the company provided. I click through. Ok Blogads at first doesn’t seem to have much but then I notice something on the right hand of the screen: testimonials!!

For example :

"Blogads makes it a snap to create and customize our campaigns, and the traffic they send to our book and author sites is significant. But the best part is being able to share space (mind-space, virtual-space, screen-space) with the bloggers who -- if they embrace our books and authors -- make all the difference."
- Farah Miller
Manager of New Media
The Knopf Publishing Group

WOW! The name of the manager of New Media for a Publishing group! Ya think she might be able to provide some referrals? Maybe she would be a candidate herself??

There are also 7 more names on the testimonials all from Bloggers.

From Google link I already have 16 names and I am just getting warmed up. I go back to Google News and after a couple of false starts with articles buried under subscription walls I find another article of interest. This one seems to be about by a journalist talking about blogs as some form of new media (remember I am trying to conduct this as if I don’t know anything about blogs).

He mentions some guy. A pioneer named Matt Drudge I make a note of it.

More importantly he mentions a company called “blogger” which apparently allows people to set up their own blogs. I check it out. Apparently it was founded by three people in San Francisco and they sold it to Google (lucky bastards). A link in their about section takes me to an article about the purchase. It gives the name of Evan Williams as one of the founders of blogger with a link to his sight which provides me with his email.

Additionally it mentions two other Blogging companies: Movable Type and Userland Radio

I am up to 18 names. Plust the names of some of the key companies who are playing in the blog space I have been barely searching for a half hour.

I could go on but you get my drift.

My next step would be to continue to build that list. Then when I had about 100 or so names I would begin contacting these people via email (since they all seem so willing to put their emails on their sites) and telling them about the search. I would ask them if they were interested and if not could they recommend someone.

Now let me ask you this. Do you think that I would generate some interest? Do you think that maybe this would start to percolate through the blogosphere and eventually turn up even more people that I never heard of.

I don’t know. Maybe the people who were conducting the search did this. The second company managed to find Jeremy. But they were desperate at this point.

Maybe this company in question should have hired real recruiters.

Why Men Earn More

Wendy McElroy reviewed Warren Farrell's Why Men Earn More.

This is an abbreviated version.

No Discrimination

On average, women earn 80 cents for every dollar paid to men.
This isn't due to discrimination
against women.

Women Earn More

Farrell compared starting salaries for women and men with Bachelor's Degrees in 26 categories of employment.

When women compete directly with men, they are paid equally in one category; in every other category, they earn more.

Women Work Less

However, women often prefer jobs with shorter and more flexible hours to accommodate the demands of family.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics say men work 45 hours a week and women only 42.

Men are more than twice as likely as women to work at least 50 hours a week.

Women Avoid Hardship Posts

And, women favor jobs that involve little danger, no travel and good social skills. And, these jobs pay less.

Men represent 92 %of all occupational deaths.

Because the most hazardous occupations -- fire fighting, truck driving, construction, and mining -- have 96-98 % male employees.

A Strategy For Women

Women can take dangerous jobs but will not be put into danger for two reasons.

a) Male protectiveness
b) Fear of legal repercussions

10% of the soldiers deployed in Iraq are women. Yet women are 2.6% of soldiers killed. Because a woman is more likely to choose and be chosen for the safer jobs.

And, private industry favours the safety of women over men out of fear of lawsuits for harms such as exposure to chemicals or other stress during pregnancy.

Source article.
The War for Character


Hey are you still fighting the "War For Talent"? Dude that is soooo 1990's. At least according to Heidrick and Struggles.

"In the thriving '90s," he says, "we corporate recruiters engaged in what management consultants at McKinsey called 'The War for Talent,' but in the wake of Enron and the era of corporate greed, we now have a 'War for Character.'"

The "he" quoted above is Les Csorba a partner in the firm.

He continues:

Talent has become overrated, Csorba says, as so many companies have learned to their misfortune when talent wasn't accompanied by depth of character. Genuine integrity and compassion are the new watchwords. Machiavellian pragmatism and results-at-any-cost are out.

Well then...... Hurrah!!!

I feel a little badly for all the untalented yet ethical people that I neglected to present to clients over the years. I mean if talent is overrated....

Seriously how do you interview for ethics? Do you flat out ask the guy - hey have you ever cheated? Have you ever cooked the books?

I have interviewed people before where ethics were an issue. One client of mine was very sensitive about the ethics of its sales force so they wanted to make sure that no one was hired who might be more interested in closing deals than doing ethical business.

There is nothing wrong with this as theory. In practice however it is not always so clear cut. Most sales people (and all successful senior executives are sales people) are adept at selling themselves and even those who might have committed transgressions (major or minor) are often convinced they did nothing wrong. Or they are able to convince themselves that it wasn't wrong.

So by what scale are we judging ethics? Certainly the recent conviction of Bernie Ebbers of Worldcom qualifies as an ethical violation, of that very few would argue. However what about recently fired Boeing CEO Harry Stonecipher? Would he pass the "ethics" test at Heidrick Struggles??

Maybe not, however plenty of companies would be happy to have a CEO who could create the type of results that Stonecipher did during his tenure. Hey some of them might not admit it but you and I know there are some boards out there that are thinking "look as long as he isn't committing accouting fraud we don't care who he is boinking".

I once did a search for a senior tax professional for a large consulting firm. Whilst checking references one of the people I spoke to ( a former boss ) said that this person wasn't a great fit because of his "risk profile". I took this as a code for "he wasn't willing push the envelope" certainly this was an ethics issue that placed the candidate in a positive light and in the end it helped him get the job.

But do we need to have such an emphasis on "ethics" from executive search firms? I don't want to speak ill of my betters - and lets face it Heidrick Struggles wouldn't hire me on a bet. But this sounds like a quick marketing ploy to capitalize on the sudden bout of morality afflicting publicly traded companies.

At the end of the day however there are already strict ethical controls in place. They are called laws. And since the Enron/Worldcom/ fiascoes the laws have been tightened (via Sarbanes Oxely) to make CEO's criminally liable for accounting frauds that occur on their watch whether they were directly involved or not.

So now most CEO's are in a state of paranoia about this. The huge demand for qualified internal auditors is a pretty fair indication that publicly traded companies are taking this very very seriously.

Even executives that might have been willing to play very close to line before are now well aware that they wont be given a fat bonus and a slap on the wrist for this type of behavior anymore.

So how would you determine if your candidates live up to whatever ethical standards your client is demanding? Only two solutions come to mind. The first is references however this area is fraught with some peril. If someone is willing to say on a reference that person A is unethical they might open themselves up to lawsuits. And if you are looking for a past track record that might not be an indication of future behavior. I don't think the Enron and Worldcom boys would have shown a record of fraud in their previous companies. At least no one is coming forward that I am aware of to say "hey these guys have been doing this all their lives". So references might or might not provide the information that you seek.

The other option you have is psychological testing. Psychological testing wont tell you definitively that someone is going to break the law. However they can in some cases point to a personality type that MIGHT be more disposed to shady behavior. However these aren't iron clad.

I do not believe that this type of personality can be evaluated in an interview. But a good interview combined with references and personality profiling might give you a better than average chance of doing so.

But it does beg the question. Why weren't search firms doing this all along?? At any rate I predict a return to a “War for Talent” in the not to distant future. How soon? Well when shareholders start making it clear that as long as the law is being obeyed they aren't interested in hiring CEO's whose only redeeming quality is being able to do a good Jimmy Carter impression.

Read more here including a list of questions that any good sociopath will knock out of park.