Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving! And the RecruiterGuy Recipe for Thanksgiving Turkey!

This year we have much to be thankful for despite the financial crisis. Record numbers of people turned out and voted ostensibly for Change. President elect Obama represented change in so many ways and his eloquence is one of them. Hopefully he does not fall into the same traps as other politicians and then give us the same old, same old. On the other hand, sometimes you have to be careful what you ask for.

So this year we look forward as President elect Obama becomes informed on all aspects on running the USA and determines who will assist him. His two daughters are probably pretty excited about their new house and even their new school. The Obama’s will have to work hard to ground them in their values as Washington, DC can be a pretty eye opening place. I know. I was born 9 blocks from the White House and grew up in the DC area.

If our new president makes the right choices, we will all do well. If he only focuses on one segment or problem, we won’t. He needs to realize that people from all segments of the economy and culture voted for him. The hope is that he realizes that we are all in this country together.

Well I need to get cooking, literally. The turkey is RecruiterGuy’s responsibility on Thanksgiving. My turkey is generally a big hit.

Presenting the RecruiterGuy recipe for Thanksgiving Turkey.

Remove the plastic covering the turkey. Clean out your turkey. One of my favorite stories was when I roasted a turkey with the neck and giblet package still in the bags in the holes. Okay it was my first time and I was trying to be helpful. I don’t remember if my wife laughed or cried – or both…

Chop up green peppers, slice onions and granny smith apples, buy baby carrots (no chopping necessary). Crush garlic cloves in a basting cup (coffee cups are fine). Melt butter in the cup with the garlic. Go out to your garden and harvest some fresh rosemary. Locate your salt and pepper and white wine. Obviously you already bought a roasting pan and aluminum foil!

Clean your turkey in the sink – don’t use soap (No RecruiterGuy never made That mistake!). Once your turkey is clean, place it in your roasting pan.

Preheat your oven right now to 325 degrees - That means that you do not put the turkey in until the temp inside your oven reaches 325 degrees (my wife had to teach me that!).

Then rub salt and pepper on the outside and inside of the turkey (remember the bottom!). Then baste the turkey with your garlic and butter. That seals it (I think). Now is the time to stuff your turkey. My stuffing’s purpose is to add moisture and subtle taste to the inside of the turkey, not to eat. So stuff your turkey with your green pepper, onions, apples, and carrots that you chopped, sliced, and whole (baby carrots).

We’re getting close now! Pour some white wine (not too much!) over your turkey and a little into your roasting pan with some water (for basting purposes). Add some of your fresh rosemary to the top of your turkey. Cover your turkey with an aluminum foil tent. When your oven reaches 325 degrees put your turkey in your oven. Now comes my secret….every 20-30 minutes baste your turkey with some of the sauces in the pan. (It’s a labor of love!). After about 2 hours (for a 20 lb. turkey), take off the aluminum foil to brown the turkey while continuing to baste it every 20-30 minutes.

When the pop up thermometer pops up, take your Thanksgiving Turkey out of the oven. Allow it to “rest”, while you are using your oven to prepare your green bean casserole and other goodies. We use Stove Top Stuffing for our dinner stuffing. Once your turkey has cooled a little, you may carve it. Since you spent all of the time caring for it, it is your responsibility to eat some pieces of turkey while you are carving it. Within 2 hours, carve all of your turkey and refrigerate what you don’t eat. Just toss your turkey stuffing. It has done its job. Any turkey problems, call 1-800-Butterball. They are great! And I don’t even recruit for them!

Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Job Search Advice for “C” Level Candidates

I have been recruiting since 1981 and called many Presidents, CEOs, CFOs, and CIOs. Most never took my call. That’s okay. They were extremely busy. When I called them, I asked for them by name. The times that I wrote to those executives I always researched who they were because I knew if I began the letter, “Dear CEO”; the letter would be in the trash before the first sentence was read.

Yet daily I receive emails from executives who are conducting their job searches that are addressed “Dear Recruiter”. One of Dale Carnegie’s principles is that a person’s name is the sweetest sound in any language (by the way that is a great time tested course). How many letters of introduction addressed to “Dear CEO” have you read?

You have one chance to make a good first impression with any person. If you are spending the time to research the recruiters that you want to receive your resume, shouldn’t you want to take the time to address the search professional by name?

When you are hiring a direct report, you will use everything to get a sense of who that person really is. What does the lack of preparation prior to sending your resume say about you and your job search? Being too busy is not an excuse.

Friday, October 03, 2008

SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise)

I just saw the special advertising section for SIFE in the September 29 Forbes magazine. While never a student member of SIFE, I have been active as an advisory board member on and off for the Mt. Mercy SIFE team. These students are both learning how free enterprise works and teaching Free Enterprise to younger students.
Many of these teams, including Mt. Mercy, have international projects where they introduce or reinforce Free Enterprise in other countries. Many of these projects involve not only students but adults in the host countries.

It is inspirational to watch how hard these students work on their SIFE projects during the year. Most of those projects are aimed towards community service while teaching Free Enterprise. Then the team goes to regional, and later national, competitions to report on their work. You would be amazed at the level of professionalism that these college students demonstrate as they present their accomplishments.

Companies, if you see SIFE on a college recruit’s resume, interview them and ask about their SIFE projects. You may be surprised how well they may fit into your organization.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Focus Fridays – Renewable Energy Construction Project Manager

Acciona is a global pioneer in contributing to sustainable worldwide development through its main lines of business: development and management of infrastructure and real estate projects, provision of transport, urban and environmental services, and development and operation of renewable energies.

Based in Chicago, this Project Manager position will be responsible for all aspects of project construction delivery for multiple projects, ensuring that their projects are completed on time and on budget.

This construction Project Manager position will be responsible for all aspects of project construction delivery for multiple $100 million projects, ensuring that they are completed on time and on budget. These are challenging, complex construction projects developing wind farms over thousands of acres.

You have seen renewable energy in the news. This is an industry that is rapidly growing. Here is your opportunity to break into the industry with a company that has years of wind power experience.

We are very interested in talking with Construction Project Managers with either wind energy or electric utility experience.


• Manage process to move from advance development to the commercial construction stage.
• Coordinate feasibility studies and late stage project development activities.
• Establish estimates for BoP, interconnection, logistics cost and provide as inputs for financial modeling
• Identify, develop, and build relationships with contractors and engineering firms and oversees third party activities related to engineering and construction activities
• Manage budgeted project expenses, schedule, and projected return
• Prepare and present project status reports to management
• Travel to project sites required (minimum of 50% travel)

Required Qualifications:

• Bachelors Degree in Engineering or work equivalent
• Requires familiarity with the full life cycle of power projects and business development
• Must have project management experience on estimating and building large scale (over $100 million) construction projects on time and on budget.
• Excellent written and oral communications skills with proven track record in successful negotiations with engineering and construction firms
• Ability to perform technical, economic feasibility analysis, and financial modeling
• Must possess a working understanding of cost accounting, budgeting and contract implementation
• Understands electric transmission and distribution

Acciona Energy North America believes its employees are its most important asset. We offer very competitive compensation, and benefits including Medical and Dental insurance, 401(k), employer paid Life and Long Term Care insurance, Tuition Reimbursement, Employee Referral Bonuses, Paid Time Off, and Short and Long Term Disability insurance. This is an opportune time to join a world leader in the fast-growing Renewable Energy Industry.

Acciona Energy North America is an Equal Opportunity Employer. is a contract recruitment firm that focuses on one client at a time and charges a flat monthly fee for recruitment and recruitment consulting.

At this time, we may not use a 3rd party (contingent) recruiter for this position. We will repost should that change.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

More from the Onrec Conference

The Onrec Expo 2008 was a Global Online Recruitment Conference. As such, it was not surprising to see topics such as “Hunting for Talent in a Wiki World” by Tamara Erickson or “Virtual Environments: An Untapped Recruiting Resource” by Brent Arslaner.

Tammy Erickson’s presentation was the first presentation that I attended. She had some interesting points, while not surprising, they will create change in recruitment. For instance, both the Baby Boomers and Gen X members had to “learn” to use technology. The members of the Gen Y generation are the first “unconscious learners” of the technology. Therefore it is much more intuitive for them. Where Boomers schedule meetings, Gen Y may just text until they meet. For them, scheduling a meeting is a waste of time. Let’s meet online and solve the problem. Tammy made the point that your company needs a rich and informative website, including video testimonials from employees who discuss what they do and why they like it.

As a result of their comfort with technology, Gen Y has embraced Facebook, MySpace, and other social networks. So how do you recruit Gen Y? Your company needs to go where they are and understand what they are looking for. Tammy Erickson will give you solid insights. You may find her at .

We also learned that Gen Y members are looking for evidence to prove your company walks the talk. Therefore they look for blogs that discuss the work environment and the work at companies. They move seamlessly from your website to other sources of information. You may use tools like to monitor what people within the social media are saying about you as a company and as an employer. This tool helps you hear what is being said about you so you can monitor, manage and effectively engage in social media conversations online.

So how do you meet all of these goals and still recruit Boomers and Gen X? Just as in all areas of recruitment, understand the fundamentals and work them well. Recruitment strategy for Gen Y and other generations is not mutually exclusive. Look for the areas that blend well, such as the rich and informative website. These strategies will work for the recruitment in all generations. Then write solid job descriptions that will help you understand the talents needed in a position and develop a strategy that will help you attract that person.

Saturday, September 13, 2008 Recruiting Conference

This week I attended the (Online Recruitment Magazine) recruiting conference in Chicago, IL.

There are always challenges when it comes to attending any industry conference. Does it fit into my schedule? Does it cover topics that will help me improve in my area of expertise? Who are the speakers? Can I attend all of the sessions that apply to the areas that interest me?

This year, everything came together. It was fun to attend Lou Adler’s session on Extreme Sourcing and then meet him after the session – always great to meet an icon in your industry! Lizz Pellet did a wonderful job on employment branding. She had to overcome a laptop that discovered that items will shift in the overhead compartment of the plane by flying out of the overhead compartment and landing on the floor. Of course this little mishap did nothing to improve the demeanor of her laptop. Then she had to overcome a microphone that flew off of her clothing. Always the trooper she overcame both and gave an informative presentation.

There was a lot of emphasis on recruiting Gen Y candidates at this conference. Finally the generation that grew up with technology is in the workforce! For the next ten or so years, they will impact recruitment in ways we are only now beginning to see. Recruitment technology is about to make another leap as these young professionals interface with it.

Companies that are uncomfortable with change will find themselves challenged. These young professionals are about to force all companies to look at recruitment in a new and different way.

Over the next couple of days, I’ll review the conference and the sessions that I attended.

Focus Fridays - Renewable Energy Director of Construction

Acciona is a global pioneer in contributing to sustainable worldwide development through its main lines of business: development and management of infrastructure and real estate projects, provision of transport, urban and environmental services, and development and operation of renewable energies. Acciona Energy is the world’s largest developer of wind energy power production.

Based at our North America corporate headquarters in Chicago, Illinois, Acciona Energy North America seeks a dynamic multi-task individual to manage the everyday activities of the construction of wind farms, solar farms and any other renewable energy source.
The Director of Construction is a new and very important position within Acciona Energy NA. This position is one of two Directors of Construction that reports to the VP of Construction.

The Director of Construction supervises the work of construction and technical staff, consultants and contractors involved in construction of wind energy generation facilities and associated high voltage power systems projects.

Responsible for planning, directing, and implementing regulated utility scale wind energy generation construction projects and processes in a timely, safe and environmentally conscious manner. Leverage previous large scale construction experience and skills to maintain and improve competitive position and profitability. Responsible for hiring, training and developing construction project managers, superintendents and staff to execute company’s rate based wind farm construction initiative. Participate in turbine specification review, turbine foundation and construction specifications. Work with the wind assessment team to participate in wind turbine siting. Manage cost and schedule. Assist with the coordination of equipment start-up and performance testing. Report on activities to the VP of Construction and the executive team.

The Director of Construction provides leadership, direction and motivation to the construction team. Accountable for performance measurements and standards of associated processes utilizing quality control and quality assurance processes. Demonstrates understanding of performance measures and utilizes information to improve process (e.g. safety, quality, budget, schedule, etc.).

This professional is responsible for guidance and assessment of personnel performing work for the construction organization, and the selection and management of outside consulting resources. Consults with various business unit representatives to identify process improvement opportunities and promote a service partnership linkage to complete projects on time and on budget. Interface with technical, engineering, maintenance, financial and procurement support personnel.

Develops and models an environment of teamwork and empowers employees through the effective use of leadership practices and principles. This person provides leadership to the project management team to ensure that project safety, quality, budget, and scheduling goals are met.

Safety is a priority of Acciona Energy NA. The Director of Construction must ensure that a safe construction culture is embraced by Acciona Energy NA employees and contractors. This requires observing and enforcing safety rules and practices, encouraging safe work behaviors, and promptly correcting conditions and unsafe behaviors which may lead to accidents. With the assistance of the safety department, investigates accidents and safety incidents. This professional is responsible for communicating safety investigation information to managers. Understands and enforces rules set by regulatory bodies (i.e. DOT, OSHA, DNR, etc.).

Manage workload, material resources, budgets, and budget performance. This includes development and management of budgets to include labor, material, equipment, employee expenses and contracting expenses. Manage the smooth coordination among processes by working with the project team.

The Director of Construction communicates company policies, programs and procedures as necessary.

Understands and interprets multiple contracts and consistently manages the terms and conditions outlined in such contracts.

The candidates must meet the following minimum qualifications, and have demonstrated the following technical or job skills:

Education and/or experience equivalent to a BS Engineering degree from an accredited college.

Must have a minimum of six years experience as a Director of Construction or Construction Manager, preferably on wind energy construction or utility scale projects. Must demonstrate success on safety, quality, budget, and on target completion of large scale utility or infrastructure projects. This professional must be a team player but have the wherewithal to make hard decisions.

Demonstrated leadership skills are required. Understanding of project management methods and application to managing work is required. Demonstrate the ability to achieve results with a minimum amount of direction. Working knowledge of medium and high voltage electric operating practices, construction standards, work methods, equipment, maintenance practices and materials is required.

Demonstrated thorough knowledge of safety rules and applicable electrical codes, DOT, and OSHA regulations. Must have formal accident investigation training.

Demonstrated ability to read and understand maps, plan and profiles, and blueprints.

Requires demonstrated computer skills utilizing Microsoft Office, Primavera, Microsoft Project.

Working knowledge of the budget process and how to interpret and understand financial reports and financial evaluations. The Director of Construction must demonstrate excellent communications skills including verbal, written, and presentation.

Must possess a valid driver’s license with a clean driving record.

This position requires 50% travel.

All offers are contingent upon the successful completion of a reference check, background investigation, drug test, and physical (including demonstrating the ability to climb a 280 foot wind tower).

Acciona Energy North America believes its employees are its most important asset. We offer very competitive compensation, and benefits including Medical and Dental insurance, 401(k), employer paid Life and Long Term Care insurance, Tuition Reimbursement, Employee Referral Bonuses, Paid Time Off, and Short and Long Term Disability insurance.

Acciona Energy North America is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Focus Fridays – Construction Project Manager – Renewable Energy – Wind Farms

This construction Project Manager position will be responsible for all aspects of project construction delivery for multiple $100 million projects, ensuring that they are completed on time and on budget. These are challenging, complex construction projects developing wind farms over thousands of acres.

• The construction Project Manager will manage process to move from advance development to the commercial construction stage.
• Coordinate feasibility studies and late stage project development activities
• Establish estimates for BoP, interconnection, logistics costs, and provide inputs for financial modeling.
• Identify, develop, and build relationships with contractors and engineering firms and oversees third party activities related to engineering and construction activities.
• Manage budgeted project expenses, schedule, and projected return.
• Prepare and present project status reports to management
• Travel to project sites required (50% travel)
• Wind farm construction site managers report to this position.

This is one of those rare opportunities for a Project Manager who is interested in working in renewable energy field in the development of wind farms.

Bachelors Degree in Engineering (preferably EE) or work equivalent
• Requires familiarity with the full life cycle of power projects and business development
• Requires a minimum of 5 years of successful construction project management experience on large (over $100 million construction projects), complex construction projects. Do not apply if your only construction project management experience is residential or small commercial.
• Excellent written and oral communications skills with proven track record in successful negotiations with engineering and construction firms
• Ability to perform technical, economic feasibility analysis, and financial modeling
• Must possess a working understanding of cost accounting, budgeting and contract implementation.
• Experience with Primavera project management software preferred.
• Must be comfortable communicating with executives.
• Travel to project sites required (a minimum of 50% of the time)

Experience working in the renewable energy field is preferred. Successful wind farm construction project management experience is a huge plus. A background in electrical engineering is preferred. Fluency in Spanish is preferred.


Friday, May 30, 2008

Developing a Job Description

Developing a meaningful job description is the foundation to finding the right person to do the job. If the description of duties is too vague, it will be too difficult to identify the skills needed to be successful in the position. If the description is too tight in terms of previous experience (not transferable skills), identifying the right person may take a long time. However, just as in construction where the foundation determines the success of the building, your job description foundation will determine the success of your search; and the employee’s success after they are hired.

Many managers just want to move to the search and hire someone who’s a “fit”. After all, developing a good, effective job description takes time and thought. Managers are being pulled in many directions. Taking the time to think about a position and its goals seems like too much work. Just call HR and get a job description is the mantra of most hiring managers.

Is retention a problem at your company? Take a look at your job descriptions. You are probably hiring the wrong people over and over again.

The benefits far outweigh the time taken to create this foundation.

1) An effective job description will make the skills necessary to succeed crystal clear. This benefits the manager, the candidate, and the recruiter. Why waste your time on candidates who either don’t have the right skills (despite what seems to be the right experience) or who are not interested in some of the required duties? A candidate may look at the description and tell you they are not interested because of this responsibility or that one. Let’s get the objections up front.
2) An effective job description becomes the foundation of the interview, not the candidate’s resume. Sure, you use the resume to ask questions about the candidate’s experience, but what is important is that you are focused on whether this person will be successful in the position (not “can do the job”!).
3) The effective job description will be used after the best person is hired on their first day. The manager will sit down and discuss the position again with the candidate – “Remember during the interview, we discussed the responsibilities and goals of this position?”
4) Then it can be used as a basis of discussion during the one on ones between the manager and the employee after the person has begun working. I am convinced some managers are reluctant to have those discussions with their people because they don’t know what to discuss. The strong job description has quarterly goals listed that provide the foundation for these discussions.
5) Finally, at the end of the year there is no surprise during the annual review. The goals were met or not met; and both the employee and manager have discussed them throughout the year. The annual review is also the time when the manager and employee discuss the quarterly goals for the next year. Hopefully the employee will have met most of their goals and now more challenges are laid out, many by the employee. One of the foundations of LEAN office and manufacturing systems and Six Sigma is to go to the people doing the work for suggestions on how to improve the process.

How do you build a strong job description foundation? Remember it is worth the time to get the fundamentals down. That’s how sports teams win championships. They have the fundamentals so well ingrained that they can do the fun things that help them win competitions.

1) List the day to day responsibilities. Every job has some tactical responsibilities. This list is the foundation of the tactical work that has to be successfully accomplished in order to be successful. Sometimes this is an eye opener all by itself. When you are done you may either ask yourself why you are hiring someone to do this job; or you may realize this position really requires two people. “No wonder the other three people left this position…”
2) List the special project responsibilities. These may or may not be tactical duties depending on the position. Sometimes they are projects that need to be done during certain periods of the year (for instance: year end for accounting and finance, harvest time for a food manufacturing company, beginning of the school year for school administrators, etc.)
3) List the people with whom this position needs to interface in order to be successful. What are their personalities and communications styles? This is very important because depending on the candidate, their communication style may or may not be successful communicating will some or all of the people. (Usually a big retention issue).
4) What are the strategic duties for this position? Typically these duties require vision, goal setting, and problem solving skills. If you are a hiring manager, this is very important to your success, not just the new employee’s success.

Once you have these duties and communication requirements laid out, you are ready for the next very important step - Developing the goals for this position.

1) List the 3 month goals for this new employee. These goals may be a little different for an internal candidate than an external candidate. These goals may also be different depending on the time of the year the person starts. Generally these goals will be more tactical than strategic. If you are ranking the employee on their success in their first three months (and you should), what will you use to determine if they are successful so far? The candidate also needs to understand these requirements. Success in the first three months is important if you want to retain the new employee. This is the time they are learning their position, the corporate culture, the people with whom they interface, and your management style. This is also the time when it is important for the manager to protect the new employee from the sniping from jealous co-workers, some of whom may have felt they deserved this opportunity.
2) List the 6 month goals. By the end of 6 months of performance in this position, the new employee should be better prepared to make some more strategic contributions in their role. Therefore, your 6 month goals should reflect some success in achieving strategic goals. Remember the goals need to be challenging And they need to be attainable.
3) List the 9 month goals. At the end of 9 months, the new employee should have a near total understanding of the position. They should be performing their day to day tasks and working on their strategic and special project goals. They should also be preparing discussions on process improvement for their position because this is when they are looking at everything with fresh eyes and not have the “that’s just how we do it” attitude.
4) List the 12 month goals. One of these goals needs to be developing the 3 month, 6 month, 9 month, and 12 month goals for the next year. This keeps a person fresh in their position. It also provides the manager with the information they need to develop their goals for the next year.

If you follow this process to develop job descriptions:
1) Your employees will be happier and more productive;
2) Your retention will improve;
3) Your company will be more successful;
4) And you will be happier.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Best Qualified Candidate Rarely Gets Hired (Update 2008)

That may get your attention. Generally when I present to groups on the topic of interviewing, people ask about the interviewing process.

How many times have you sat in an interview and wondered, “How will this person (the hiring manager) be able to determine if I am the best qualified candidate? Instead of probing my experience, capabilities, and motivations, he/she just asked me what kind of tree I would choose to be.”

Let’s examine the process in most companies. A person excels in their current position and gets management’s attention. They are promoted. What happens next? They need to learn their new position and fill the position in their organization that they just vacated. A replacement employee requisition is requested and now the Human Resource Department and Recruiters are sourcing candidates. Candidates are produced and given to the new Hiring Manager to interview.

Where in this process is this new Hiring Manager taught how to interview? If they have not been trained how to interview, they certainly have not been trained how to select the best qualified candidate. How does that lack of training impact most companies?

1) The Hiring Manager may not hire the person who will make the key contribution that will propel a company forward;
2) The candidate they do hire may be a good tactical hire but not a good strategic hire – and will leave when they no longer are able to make impacts;
3) Worse yet, they may stay and no longer make significant contributions;
4) Employee retention will become an increasing problem. The wrong person is hired and that impacts the performance of the entire team.

If you hear a Hiring Manager say that an offer should be made to Mr./Ms. Candidate because it feels good in their gut, remember that guts are really good for storing and processing food, not selecting candidates.

And what about reference checks? Has your company resigned itself to the “fact” that meaningful reference checks cannot be done any longer? The reference checks that I do for my clients generally last close to an hour. One reference recently said, “Wow that was like an interview!” I responded that in order to determine if the candidate is the right candidate for a position; shouldn’t we spend the time asking the right questions? It is best for both the candidate and the company.

This will take it one more step, if you trust managers to make critical legal decisions for the company; shouldn’t they be the ones conducting the reference checks? After all, a recruiter or Human Resource manager may know a little about a lot of positions. If this position does not report to them, they may not pick up on the nuances that the references can give.

One time when I encouraged a hiring manager to conduct references on an auditor, she consented with some reservations. She had just completed her third and last reference. When she was thanking the reference for their time, another question literally popped into her head. The response was such that she changed her mind and did not extend an offer to the candidate.

Recently when I asked “What areas does John (not the candidate’s real name) need to improve?” all three references pointed out the same area. It was enough of a concern that I sat down with the Vice President (hiring manager) and CEO and we discussed it. In this case, we extended the offer. The Vice President knows to be aware of the situation and how to coach the new employee.

If companies expect to hire better performers without training the decision makers on the selection process, it sounds suspiciously like doing the same things and expecting different results, doesn’t it?

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Successful Home Office Worker Tips

Have you decided that you want to work in your home office? Has your company suggested that you work out of your home? Do you want to be successful working in your home?

This is easier than you may think. With the exception of a year and a half when I was the Recruiting Manager of a start up telecom firm, I have worked out of my home since 1990.

First of all, When you have a home office make sure the business phone only rings in your office space - not your dining room or kitchen or bedroom. At the end of the day, shut the lights in your office and announce that you are closed for the day. I like to say that “the world headquarters of is now closed.” Otherwise you never leave work.

Secondly, Never bring work out of your office into your living area. That area then becomes your office.

Thirdly, You may have a wireless network and be tempted to do email in your living space. Do it only in your office.

Fourth, Don't worry if your company decides that the arrangement isn't working out. That's one of those things you can't control outside of being productive (which you can control).

Fifth, Stay in touch through conference calls or use Skype for video conference calls. If you were in the office and now are working from your home, over communicate rather than under communicate. Schedule office visits as required. There is a need to reconnect personally.

Sixth, If other people or family are living with you, ask them not to interrupt you when you are in your office. Don’t be tempted to wash the dishes or do house work. You are at work.

Seventh, Don’t work at home for the “tax advantages”. There are few tax advantages, unless you count meeting your tax auditor as one of them.

Eighth, Dress for work. If you dress for work, it is easier to act like you are at work and to be productive.

Ninth, Set up your office so everything – computer, phone, printer/scanner/fax (everything you need) is within reach of your chair.

Tenth, Focus on task. It can be easy to listen on others' conversations within your home. Close the door. Be at work. Turn on some white noise like light classical music or John Tesh’s music (sorry John).

If you follow these ten rules, you will be on the right track. Good Luck!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Focus Friday – Sales Management – Private Label Snack Foods

The Vice President of Sales position is with a growing $150 million snack food business based in the Midwest. This CPG Company has a large private label component, a branded component, and is developing a direct to consumer component. This is a new position to lead our sales force and specifically to grow our sales volume profitably.

This position is a new and highly visible position leading a group of seven to ten sales professionals and reports directly to the Sr. Vice President of Sales and Commodities.

We are seeking a Private Label National Sales Vice President to lead our national corporate business development with grocery, big box and alternative channels through direct and broker-managed accounts.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:
• National sales management and development of private label and corporate brands across all competitive segments.
• Private label big box relationship building, resulting in exceeding sales goals.
• Demonstrated success reading and interpreting clients’ inventory software as it relates to our product distribution.
• Build profitable volume/mix with both existing and new accounts maximizing return on investment. Monitor sales professional’s quotes to ensure profitable margins.
• Effective and results oriented professional sales management of direct selling accounts as well as account management through a broker network. Meet personal and corporate sales goals.
• Mentor account managers by accompanying them on sales calls and developing their sales and business skills.
• Use client experience and feedback to co-develop private label product/pricing initiatives to deliver on strategic branded/private label category leadership role.
• Analysis and business application of internal shipment data as well as external data in daily business management to identify market/sales opportunities and trends
• Provide accurate sales forecasting monthly/annually. Communicate forecasts with business operations.
• Effective communication with internal team members and customers.

• 8-10 years sales experience with consumer packaged food company, preferably focused on private label sales.
• Demonstrated successful headquarter sales experience in supermarket, big box, dollar, c-stores, and drug stores.
• Private label food sales and sales management experience
• Direct sales and broker CPG sales management
• Competent in Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook Microsoft Office applications. Solid presentation skills required.
• BS/BA required EOE

Reply to Subject - Focus Fridays VP Sales

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Mange Your Resume?

Mange and Manage; Manager and Manger; Form and From; Or and Of? What do these words have in common? They all sail safely through Spell Check. They also have very different meanings.

For instance, if you are a “manager” of people and mistakenly write “manger”, I picture a small wooden crib with straw bedding.
More importantly, instead of reading your resume for content, I am now in the editing mode and looking for more typos. This will not benefit you if you want to be a candidate in a search by a professional recruiter.
Your resume is your marketing tool in your search for your next position. It should also be your best foot forward. If you have typos sprinkled through your resume, you are portraying yourself as careless – not a good trait, especially at a leadership level.

Here are some hints. When you complete your resume and before you send it out, ask someone who has not helped you write your resume to read it. Their purpose is to question you on potential typos or grammatical errors. If they helped you write your resume, they will make the same errors you make, pretty interesting. Secondly, do a find/replace on words like “manger”. Chances are manger is not going to show up on most professional resumes today. Thirdly, try reading your resume backward. You may be able to pick up typos when the words are out of context.

I wrote this blog because as RecruiterGuy I have been receiving many resumes with the word “manager” spelled as “manger” recently during a vice president search that I am conducting.