Tag Archives: +employment

The Case for Search

Don’t underestimate the importance of exclusivity and confidentiality to candidates. In a tight knit market/sector, it is imperative a prospective hire feels safe within the interviewing process. Read More »

Contingency or Retained?

  What should a company consider when choosing between a retained search firm and a contingency firm? Why should a company pay a portion of a fee ahead of time when there are plenty of agencies willing to take the risk of a search on for free? Having transitioned to retained search over the past few years, I often find the first line of resistance is to do with cost. Cost is a component for consideration in any search process, but the differential is the value. When you put a contingency agency to work on a search, it’s wait and hope with no commitment or skin in the game on either side. Often there will be an initial flurry of … Read More »


Lately I’ve been running into a lot of roles that have been under retainers with search firms whose recognizable names draw surprise when you hear a C level role remains open and unfilled for six months or more. Now why is this, you wonder. How can any firm that charges premium fees and staggering retainers, with deep resources and national connections not fulfill a straightforward C level role in a small to mid cap market in Southern California? Maybe because bigger isn’t always better. And a big name isn’t always a winner. Ultimately a recruiter, any recruiter from large firm or small, retained or contingency has to respect the fiduciary responsibility to the client. When a top tier firm appears … Read More »


Belated New Year’s greetings faithful and new readers! The last few quarters saw incredible growth in the sectors I support, culminating in another great year. I had the pleasure of a little year end travel to prepare me for the onslaught of the coming months ahead. I anticipate another fast paced period of growth and opportunity. I’m rested and ready to roll! Going forward, it would be nice to see more resolve regarding ethical behavior this year. I’d also like to see more courtesy, thoughtfulness and regards to people’s roles in other people’s lives. As a recruiter, we are often on the receiving end of bad behavior. Part of it is the industry’s fault, i.e. being perceived as money grubbing … Read More »

I Know What You Don’t

I never assume I can do my clients job. However, I can practically guarantee I can locate and recruit a candidate who can! So it behooves me when a client insists through actions or words that they can do what I do, do it better and oh, by the way, it’s not that hard. I’m not sure why they assume I wouldn’t be insulted. After all, I’ve been perfecting my craft for over twenty-five years, have closed countless deals, for countless clients over countless invested hours. It can’t possibly be because I make it look easy. That after they’ve finally given up the candidate search, after weeks of screening, interviewing, turned down offers and counters, I can come up with … Read More »

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 »


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 »

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 »

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