Surveys, Salaries and Reality

Surveys, Salaries and Reality As a particular sector of a job market heats up, compensation becomes a key component for company’s to remain competitive. I am going to preface this blog by stating that this is an opinion piece, based more on experience and observation, than extensive analytical research. In the last few recovery cycles, one of the recurring themes for clients replacing, upgrading or hiring new roles is compensation. How much should we pay, what are like companies compensating in our size and sector? How do we remain competitive? What types of incentives do our competitors offer, etc. Many of my clients rely on salary surveys and comp firms for their data. They often pay substantial fees for the … Read More »

I love my job!

I love my job! How many people can actually say this after three decades in the same profession? My last couple of placements were particularly rewarding. And not because of the fee attached (icing on the cake, actually). The reasons they were so satisfying got me to thinking back on a career spanning thirty years (painful to admit numbers, but they are what they are). How is it after countless placements, endless assignments and exposure to most every job close scenario, with a few surprises attached, that I can still take personal satisfaction with most every placement I make? Because, ultimately, it’s not about the numbers. It’s about the people and relationships. The longer I am in this profession the more … Read More »


Well, this is a perfect blog subject, since the last thing I’ve been with this blog recently is consistent. For my loyal followers, thanks for your patience. Work, travel and surfing have had me pretty occupied through the last few months. I also like to blog as the subject moves me – I don’t write well under imposed writing pressure. I am always chasing consistency; whether it’s my exercise schedule, daily routines like dog feeding and dinner every night or getting enough sleep (or even this blog!). In the recruiting world, its every recruiter’s goal to consistently have  assignments in the pipeline. It’s especially challenging during recessions, when you’re new to the business and if you practice solo. There are … Read More »


There are plenty of attributes that not only make a headhunter great, but as importantly, effective. When potential and current clients ask me to define what makes me different from others in my space, I can speak to a variety of different qualifiers, including years of experience, credibility and maybe even a little notoriety.  But if there is one word that I think defines the way I approach my craft,  this would be selectivity. In a relationship business, who you select to do business with and represent can either elevate you or bury you in mediocrity.  Selectivity is at the base of every decision, from jobs that I accept to candidates I represent. In the competitive world of recruiting, the … Read More »


  Is it possibly time to re-visit yours and my favorite issue again? Fees. The bread and butter, bone of contention and pesky contractual obligation that faces every recruiter on the planet. Well, at least these days I don’t go off my rocker when someone proposes a ridiculously low percentage for an executive search. In fact, I find it hard  not to chuckle outright. I just figure, said proposer is clueless about what I do. I do feel it’s still incumbent upon me to educate them to some extent (and of course possibly get them to sign up after all). But to be serious, there is still sadly, a lack of respect internally and externally for the recruiting profession. When … Read More »

Board Meetings

I came to surfing later in life.   I won’t confess how late, because then we get into age and numbers, and I can’t quite go there. Let’s just say that my ex would definitely refer to this as another mid-life crisis and my best girlfriends are appalled that I would pick a sport that defies makeup and hairspray at my age. But for all that, and the big waves, cold mornings and sore body parts and bruises, surfing to me has become an elixir to life I cannot do without. The more I’m out on my board, the more I see the relation between surf, life and work. For a type A tied to her mobile phone, laptop and iPad, … Read More »

The Savvy Candidate

As a search professional, it’s all too easy to bitch about uncooperative clients, candidates who go dark, the economy and all kinds of real or imagined slights to our overly sensitive egos. So today, I’m going to pay homage to those really great candidates who make my profession a joy and are such a pleasure to work with.  I’m not talking about following my lead with blind trust and naivety, either. I’m talking about thoughtful individuals who share a common trait, decency – and decency at all levels, from manager to the C suite. Some traits of the savvy candidate include: Responsiveness Courtesy Professionalism under any circumstance Integrity Consistency I cannot speak enough about a candidate who displays all of … Read More »


Use me –please. You’ve just made the big decision to engage me on a search. It’s for a critical role in your organization. A highly specialized position with a lot of visibility company wide. You’re going to potentially pay me a very large fee and you may have already invested in a retainer to get us started. You have a sense of urgency. So why aren’t you using me to your greatest advantage to maximize the potential for a great hire? Most of the time I believe the days of recruiters sending resumes and waiting for results are over – at least at the senior levels. In my own recruiting world, I am blessed with clients who understand and appreciate … Read More »

Recruiter Pet Peeves (2)

I haven’t ‘peeved’ in a while, though some of my regular readers may think I’m peeving all the time! I’ll try to keep this as general as possible, not point any fingers or tick anyone off, but there are just some aspects about recruiting, recruiters, candidates and companies that get me a little crazy. Number one – I do love to hear companies are using search firms to fulfill their greatest talent needs. Always a little disappointed when  it isn’t my search firm, but nonetheless glad to see companies investing in their greatest asset. What I can’t understand is why a company, whose HR department is perfectly capable of running ads on job posting sites, and probably has or is, … Read More »

Ethics in Recruiting

I was appalled to hear from an employed candidate recently that another agency recruiter he had been speaking with, submitted his information and resume before obtaining permission from him. In addition, the recruiter set up an interview without prior discussion and the candidate was notified by the company a day prior. If this wasn’t bad enough, the candidate, who graciously accepted the interview, was then made an offer significantly LESS than his current compensation. This, by the way, is a senior level candidate earning well over six figures. For any recruiters reading this, please take heed! It is hard to believe that the same bad tactics employed by unsophisticated agencies 30 years ago, are still being practiced today. That agency … Read More »

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