Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Confession of a Corporate Recruiting Blogger - I'm In A Rut

I'm not sure what to write about anymore. I've had this blog up-and-running for several months now, and have enjoyed expressing myself, and hopefully enlightening and/or educating some people here. I've written alot about current trends, my job change, recruiting technology, job reqs, job boards, and of course, my beloved Terps. But now, I'm in a rut.

There is alot I've thought about writing about, but I get cold feet worrying about whether I'm tipping off our competition to our strategy or not. I worry about writing about my colleagues because I'm still relatively new here, and I'm not sure if they would appreciate that or now. Heck, I'm sitting at the airport writing this, ready to head off to a corporate recruiting conference outside of Chicago (delayed an hour, grrrr), and I thought about writing about that, but again, I'm cautious, maybe too cautious.

This is the tough thing about blogging, keeping it going, even when you have writer's block, are stuck in a rut, or are just too busy with work and other things to keep it up. Ah, I'm sure I'll figure it out at some point. Until then, off to Chicago where we are convening our firm's first ever recruiter's conference. We have three solid days planned, offering educational and collaborative opportunities galore. Maybe I'll write more about this event at the end of the week, maybe not. I've got to figure out that comfort-level first. Any tips on how to deal with this would be greatly appreciated of course.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

NRT: Actually, Nothin' Fina' Than Beatin' Carolina!

OK, a couple weeks ago, I wrote that there was nothing finer than beating Duke. But there really is nothing fina' than beatin' Carolina, as the Terps did tonight 89-87. And how sweet it was. Being down big early and then again midway through the second half, the revitalized Men's Terps basketball team continued it's great stretch run at the Comcast Center.
I was sweating this one out earlier today as we got a good 4-5 inches of snow dumped on us. I was determined not to miss this one though, so as soon as the snow let up, I shoveled out the driveway and hit the road to College Park.

At the game, my five year old son asked me, what was louder Cole Field House or Comcast Center? I've heard that question many times and overall, it's been hard to argue that Comcast was a louder arena. Tonight though, it was as loud as Cole ever was. I've disliked Duke basketball for the past 20 years or so, but I've really disliked UNC basketball for as long as I can remember. The Duke rivalry has been more intense over the past few years, but tonight's win was as big of a win that they have had at Comcast, and probably the biggest since winning the ACC Tourney in 2004.

The Terps are back baby. I, among many, was a doubter of this team a few weeks ago. They were 3-6 in the conference and another NIT tourney was looming. Tonight's win pretty much locks up a NCAA bid, their first in three years. Spurred by consistent, solid performances by DJ Strawberry, Greivis Vasquez and James Gist, the Terps are playing their best ball right now. Here's to hoping they can keep this going as they visit Cameron Indoor for the Duke rematch on Wednesday, and beyond deep into March.


Monday, February 19, 2007

Lefkow has Landed...

...at his new blog, http://directorofrecruiting.typepad.com/home/.

I've had the pleasure of speaking with Dave on a number of occasions and always found him to be engaging and enlightening. He has a new venture, a new blog, and new time with his loved ones. Jobster has lost some true gems with their recent shakeup. Those changes were probably best for most involved though, considering Jobster's new direction and the talent they had on hand. I do believe though that Jobster would of had a tough time getting to where they are without Dave. Can't wait to see what comes next...

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


The only thing worse than being snowbound is being icebound. I was up half the night listening to sleet pelting my bedroom window. Most everything is shut down here in the DC area today. No snowdays when you have a laptop though :-(

Oh well, lots to do today anyway. For one thing, I need to worry about two colleagues who came into town on Monday for a meeting yesterday. Their flights were cancelled last night and they are of course hoping to get out today. Our meeting yesterday was the first one for our Employee Referral Project Team. We kicked off the project yesterday by setting the stage for what we want to accomplish (to build a world-class ERP of course), and did some great brainstorming to generate some ideas as to what some of the components of our new program might be. We have alot of work ahead of us, but we have the right ideas, and the right motivation.

Also on my mind today is my trip to Chicago tomorrow morning. Hopefully the roads will get cleared out today and flight schedules will get back to normal by this evening. I certainly don't want to see my colleagues at the airport when I get there tomorrow AM. Of course waiting for me in the Windy City is 10 Degree temperatures. Ugh. I used to like winter, I used to like the snow. Not any more though.

So I have a day of digging out, phone conferences, and e-mails to deal with. For those of you who are snow or ice bound too, make the best of it. Oh, and Happy Valentines Day too!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

NRT: Nothin' Finer Than Beating Duke

It's been another incredibly frustrating basketball season for my Terps...
...but there's nothin' finer than beating Duke.

These Terps were supposed to be a better team this year, addition by subtraction, hasn't quite turned out that way...

...but there's nothin' finer than beating Duke.

The Terps could possibly miss the NCAA tournament for the third straight year...

...but there's nothin' finer than beating Duke.

Gone in 54 seconds, the collapse in the 2001 final four, numerous other times of being handed humiliating defeats...

...that's why there's nothin' finer than beating Duke.

Coach K, Duhon, Shelden, Dahntay, Dunleavy, Reddick, Wojciechowski, Paulus...

...that's why there's nothin' finer than beating Duke.

Just because we can and have been more successful than anyone else over the past decade...

...there's simply nothin' finer than beating Duke.

Go Terps! :-)

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Jobster's Done It Again

So, I'm visiting our New York office today, which is about a block east of Times Square->, I'm checking e-mail, and I run across this news release regarding Jobster. Those of you who have read this blog for a while know that I've been a fan of their's since their launch, and have continuously been amazed by their ingenuity and vision. I'm not a current client however, so I've been a bit out of the loop lately. This move however does not surprise me at all. In fact, ever since they launched the social networking aspects of their site, I felt that this may be a direction that they were heading anyway. It makes sense. Anyone over the age of 45 probably looks at Jobster and likely doesn't know what to do with it. Tags? A picture? Faves & Fans? Video? Much better aligned to Gen X & Y than to the Boomers.

Once again I'm energized by the direction that Jobster is taking online recruiting. I wasn't sure if Jobster wasn't right for my firm before. But now that the focus is clearly on more the 'Digital Generation', it probably makes much more sense for our Campus Recruiting and junior-level talent hiring needs. Kudos to JGo for once again breaking new ground.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Thousands Lose Jobs :-)

A little 'hump-day' humor for you. Gotta love The Onion.

Friday, February 02, 2007

It's All About The Customer...

...it really is. I'm sitting on the tarmac at DFW last night for three hours waiting for our plane to be de-iced. Three hours. Normally, people in a similar situation would be getting restless, frustrated, even angry. Not on this plane though. The pilot spoke up every 15 minutes providing an update. He apologized for the delay each time and emphasized that he was doing everything possible to get us off the ground safely. I've been in similar situations a couple times before (although not for as long), but in those situations, we were only given an update if there was something new to report. This pilot understood a key component of customer service, keep the lines of communication as open as possible, even if the communication itself isn't what the customer wanted to hear.

When I think of great customer service in the Airline industry, I have typically thought about Southwest, JetBlue, probably not American. But I've been flying American quite a bit lately, and I have to say, my experiences have generally been positive. Sitting on the tarmac for 3 hours last night isn't fun for anyone, but I was comforted by the fact that the pilot sympathized with us, and that the same time, he had protocol to follow and he wanted us to be safe. That's good enough for me, and apparently was for everyone else on that flight as well. I'm feeling good about my experience with American Airlines today, they have a satisfied customer for sure.

Customer/Candidate care is a BIG issue in Recruiting today as well. Take a look at articles on ERE this last week from Calicchio, Sullivan and Wheeler. Google receives heavy press regarding complaints about their Recruitment process, so what do they do, they go hire the candidate experience master. The focus of CareerXroads Fortune 500 Career Website Whitepaper is on the candidate experience. It is an issue that I plan to focus heavy attention upon within my organization as well.

My favorite new business book, Mavericks at Work, provides great insight into those highly successful organizations that create fanatical customers with outstanding customer service and a unique experience, companies including Southwest, Starbucks, Potbelly, Commerce Bank, Cranium, etc. Seth Godin makes the point time and time again in his recent book, 'Small is the New Big', that customer service is the most important, yet most undervalued, component to successful marketing.

An airline pilot made me feel good about sitting on the tarmac for three hours last night simply by sympathizing with me and assuring me that he was doing everything he could to rectify the situation. When was the last time told a candidate that they were not going to be considered further, yet still made them feel good about the outcome? No one likes to deliver 'bad news', but having the courage, resolve and discipline to do so can make all the difference in helping your customers/candidates walk away from the situation feeling OK, and potentially wanting to do business with you again and again and again.

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