Archive | Interview RSS feed for this section

Quitters Never Win

28 Oct
Cherry Coke bottle and can

Image via Wikipedia

Starting a small business and growing any kind of business is tough work. Lately between interviewing and  hiring new employees I have had to explain to them who I am and who Search Solution Group is. You would think explaining who you are after so many years on this planet would be pretty easy, but it really isn’t!

Along the same lines I have been out selling our business and explaining to potential clients why they should use our firm and who we are. So, I started getting into the mindset that I am not  a quitter. Explaining  how I do not believe in taking NO for an answer that I will continue to work hard be persistent and never quit or give up. I started talking about how I have hired some great people to work with me and  how I’m overcoming the recession.  I was I really believing what I was saying???????

Well later that night I was having dinner at my house with some friends and they were looking at me like my dog looks at me sometimes.  I was getting the confused dog look. WHY??? Because I was trying to open up a plastic bottle of Coke and it would not come off. Everyone tried and no one could get it to twist. So, I grabbed the hammer and started trying to chisel thru the top. I tried this and it wasn’t working and thought that there was a better chance that I was going to end up in the hospital. Then I tried using an industrial razor blade, nope that didn’t work either. I was imagining that I would soon be in the ER…… Then I found the pliers and started tearing off the cap bit by bit  (everyone is still watching me and now laughing at me) and sooner than later it worked. I had defeated the twist off cap and was now drinking my Coke!  I WON, I DID NOT GIVE UP.

Yea, it would have been easy to throw it out and just grab another one, but where does it stop? It is a tough economy so I’ll quit my business, my dreams and just collect unemployment or go to work for some bank. NOPE NOT ME.  I am IN IT TO WIN IT. I have no quit in me and I am going to prove it every day in everything that I do.  If you are anything like me or have any good stories post them or call me and jump on board, we are going places!

A Chance Encounter

28 Jul

I want to take a break from the Baseball field and pay some respect to two friends who are walking down the aisle this weekend and about to take the “plunge” together.

It was about 3 years or so ago when I was at a Bobcats game here in Charlotte. At that time the Bobcats were bad, not nearly as bad as they were last year or as bad as they will probably be this year. I was having a good time with a client in the bar area when we were approached by a pretty blonde ladycat cheerleader in a nice black evening dress. After my client had a long and fairly obnoxious conversation with her about her dating status, I tried to smooth things over by talking about her boyfriend who she continued to bring up. As it turns out he was from the Buffalo, NY area,  played hockey and was an attorney. I CAN ALWAYS USE AN ATTORNEY ON MY SIDE!

So, I passed my business card off to the very nice ladycat in hopes that her boyfriend would call and join our lack luster hockey team here in Charlotte.  Sure enough 2 weeks later he called, and we laughed about the business card incident.

HR and recruiting is so much like that story.  Every day I make calls introducing myself to complete strangers, who I hope to build a relationship with and everyday my phone rings with new candidates hoping that we will find them a fit for a job based on a quick conversation and then an interview. The game of life and succeeding is such a tricky road. That story reminds me every day to give everyone who calls a chance and the benefit of the doubt.  I am so grateful not just to my two friends in that story but the hundreds of people who have given me a chance. I am not sure if I am going to be able to tie this into work this week, but maybe just life. Maybe the next time someone asks you to pass a business card along or say HI to someone for you, you will do it. All of us in HR  are forced to be and gathers of info and sometime it is just plain exhausting. But when something good comes out of it and you were part of it, there is no better feeling!!!

You never know what is going to happen by just saying HI or taking a chance on a complete stranger.  That was one of the best days of my life. I made two amazing friends, who I continue to learn with, laugh with and grow a wee bit older with.

You are so Perfect – What Kind of Candidate do you think you are?

7 Jul

Here I go again, bursting your bubble and telling you stuff you don’t want to hear. However, open your eyes and ears because I am speaking the truth! I know it hurts , but it’s the reality of the world we live in. I made this mistake when I was 18 or maybe even 23 years old. But really, if you graduated from college and have been working for a few years, you should not be making this crucial mistake. It’s to the point when I hear it or see it in an email I cringe!! It’s as bad as running your ugly gross nails across a chalkboard.

STOP I repeat STOP telling me and anyone else you are perfect for a job! Because you are not Perfect and nobody is. You might be good or the best candidate for the job today, or a solid fit. Sadly, you might just be good enough for what we need now and we will deal with it later fit. You might even be a good temporary fit or in most cases not a good fit at all. BUT you are never a perfect fit, it just doesn’t happen.

So, tell me your point of contact or your potential new boss that your skills match up well and the culture seems to fit you very well. Say you are excited to be interviewing for this position because you love the industry or the location is close to your home or favorite restaurant.  Say anything, but PERFECT. It’s the biggest turn off to see a seasoned professional, especially an HR professional send me an email and say how he/she is a perfect fit for “said job”. If you have to tell me you are a perfect fit and I cannot not tell that you are qualified for the job by looking at your CV then guess what, you are trying to fit a round peg into a square hole. It just won’t work.

I am telling this to you to help you. If you disagree, let me hear it……..

Vegas Baby!!!

30 Jun

You are planning your trip to Vegas and you can’t help dreaming of striking
it rich, winning big or hitting the jackpot!   But guess what you didn’t, no
shit!! Why?  Because you are all talk and no action. Yup, I said it,
you know it and when you look in the mirror later you will see it. You will
make excuses about timing or that it just didn’t feel right, but get in line, and
I hear it’s a LONG line…..

At least once a day for 10 years while I’m interviewing candidate’s one
person will tell me they want to start their own business or change jobs
because they can be doing so much more or be making more money. However the
timing is never right or they just want to make one more change to their
resume. Ha ha. Let the excuses begin!

Me, I’m all in…all the time. You get no fluff, no excuses you get 100
percent from day one. Why?  It’s just easier.  Have a plan; put some
thought into it (I get it). Pacing yourself, taking your time, yeah that
makes sense if you are painting the Sistine Chapel. Reality check, life and
opportunity is going to pass you by while you are trying to come up with
more excuses why your career sucks and you can’t make something last. I’m
never going to leave an opportunity on the table; I’m always going to take a
chance and put myself out there and create something. Example…….

This week had a few, but I’ll spare the flip floppers. One of my best
friends gives me the heads up he and his family are ready to relocate to the
south. So, like a good friend I help him with his resume (he actually wants a
change) and tell him keep me updated as to where you are applying. Next
thing I know, I’m talking to the hiring manager of this company about my
friend and his impressive resume. I call my friend back give him the
feedback and he says I quote” you don’t waste any time getting results”. Not
to be redundant, but no shit. Time is Money, and a relationship that I value
is depending on me. He and his family want to move and I can help make this
happen. So, I throw the chips in the middle of the table and go out and
create results. He is getting his first interview on Friday.

I need results, I seek success and I want more of it, I thrive on it. We
have built a business based on relationships, being true to our commitments
and keeping our promises. For me, this extends outside of the office as
well, and I’m always going to be the person who goes for it.

What opportunities have you been leaving on the table?  Have you taken the chance to win BIG?

Ps. see you in Vegas!

HOCKEY IS THE GREATEST SPORT in the WORLD

17 Jun

What a fantastic game 7!! What a great series, only thing better would have been if the Buffalo Sabres had won it all, but we can all dream!!

 I want to focus on a new relationship I recently made with a VP of HR of a HUGE well-known public Company. This is one of those moments in business/sales or just life that if I don’t start it off right I could lose my credibility or just come off weak, inexperienced or not up to the task. Maybe how the Hockey world perceived the Boston Bruins as they were taking on the Best Team in the NHL this year. The Bruins started off losing the first 2 games of the series and certainly had their backs against the wall, but they did not quit they were not intimated they believed in themselves and their teammates!!

 So, this is my life as a recruiter and a business owner. Especially a small boutique business owner. Day in and day out my team and I fight to survive, this isn’t a 7 game series, this has been going on for about 10 years. Many of you know what I mean, the constant battle of having to prove yourself and make another sales call after getting rejected for the 100th time that week. But all it takes is one person or one company to make a difference and give you hope. Kind of like making a great GLOVE SAVE or stopping a break away! For the Bruins you can argue the team did it, but us former GOALIES, know it was Tim Thomas!! He stood on his head for the entire playoffs and especially in the Finals and helped his teammates win the CUP. Thomas was more than good, he was consistently good, that is the key to success. We all have great days in business, but avoiding bad days is important. Fighting off the laziness or maybe it’s the flu or the annoying co-worker or the client who just won’t stop pestering you for a discount. Staying positive, building on the good that you have created and riding the hot net minder (Co-worker) to the promise land.

 My initial conversation with the VP went well, but as a business owner/neurotic perfectionist I always wonder. The second conversation was even better after reading a few emails, then the third conversation was about to take place. Somehow we start talking about his youth and find out that not only is he a former hockey player, but a fellow Goalie! Arguably the Most EXCLUSIVE FRATERNITY in the WORLD, where only the crazy are invited. My point of telling you this is because I did not expect it. It was a surprise and a bright spot in my day and week. These things happen, relationships are built other places than the golf course or over drinks. They can be built from your past, even if there is an age difference or geographic differences. I try to find topics of conversation with clients and candidates, but none are easier than talking Hockey with a fellow net minder! The path to playing in the NHL is different from the path I took to start and grow a recruiting business. It is certainly a different path than the Corporate VP takes to rise to their level of success, but what isn’t different is the commitment. The late nights, the travel, the reading and studying, that little extra effort that we take to be the best of the best each day is what separates us and the Tim Thomas’ of the World.

 “Goalies never stop being goalies. We are tough, aren’t afraid to get bruised and always want to be the best for our Team. You don’t need ice to be a goalie.”

A Good ATS is like Good Buffalo, NY Food‏

10 Jun

About 10 years ago when I started Search Solution Group I was using small, medium and large size notebooks to track everything I did. Heck, my computer monitor weighed as much as me and was probably bigger. Times sure have changed in a hurry. I could never read my own hand writing, my father to this day still makes fun of me because of my hand writing, however he wasn’t complaining  about it when I signed for his Christmas present last year. That is a whole other story.

I was having success growing a recruiting business and decided the next logical step was to purchase an ATS (Applicant Tracking System). It was a complete disaster!!  I went thru that first one very quickly and could not stand it. The next ATS lasted me about five years till we started to grow and get busier and things were getting more complicated and my ATS was not able to keep up. It was boring, non functional, non interactive and not progressive. I was becoming my ATS and it was not allowing me to grow and be a  better recruiter.

So, we went on the hunt for a new ATS and just like my old computer monitor things changed. The systems were quicker, smarter, easier to access and doing the things I dreamed of. I had no idea!! I was learning quickly, but becoming very overwhelmed. We narrowed the choice down and finally had two finalists. Both were great, so much better than what we were currently using. I even got to meet a fellow alumni of the Prestigious High School(ha) I attended in Buffalo, NY. He was one of the competing salesmen and my unofficial inspiration for this weeks blog. I thought it was a no brainer, I would go with my heart and choose the guy who is from Buffalo and who went to my old High School. But then a funny thing happened…..

I realized that I am a business owner and I need to take the emotion out of my business decisions and listen to my team and make the best choice for the business. It was a big growing up moment. Telling someone NO is not easy. I don’t like to do it. But I think it was an important lesson for me to learn. As I reflect back to those days, that single decision would affect me and help me mature as a person and business owner!

Discovering how important technology is to my business was an eye-opening experience. I also learned that even when you leave Buffalo, Mighty Taco still has the best taco’s!!

If I can ever help anyone with their ATS decisions please call or email me. I am not sure I picked the best ATS that day, but the experience was life changing. I would love to refer you to my friend.

Learning from a Dr. Seuss Client

27 May

Good News I survived the end of the World and will live to find more jobs Continue reading