Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Still Happy

I just got off the phone with a incredible candidate I placed with a company about two years ago, who is as pleased today as he was then with his decision to join this growing Motorsports company. I asked Wayne why he was still happy - and his response was simple: I love what I do!

As Christmas rapidly approaches, I like to takes this time to reflect back on the impact my recruiting has had on my client companies, and the candidates I have had the great fortune of placing. And when I look at my own career, I have to echo Wayne's sentiments. Recruiting may be a rollercoaster, with highs and yes, some lows; but I still love coming into work on Monday morning and getting after it. I speak with new clients and candidates and each week presents new challenges.

2008 will be a year to remember! For me, I celebrated my first year with my wonderful wife Shannon, and we together brought into this world our son TJ in April. (For those who know me personnally, you know the health issues we fought to overcome that make this holiday even more special!) From a work perspective, a good year but still room to improve.

So as I prepare to take the next few days to celebrate Christmas with Shannon and TJ, I want to give a warm thought Merry Christmas to you all! We all have blessings to be thankful for this year and while the economy wasn't the most forgiving, I know 2009 has great things in store for us all.

(If for some reason you are not happy at work and want to explore a new opportunity in the new year - email me and let's make something happen! The sidelines have too many people waiting to see what will happen in the new year)


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"Hunker Down and Wait" Mentality

While a good portion of the individuals I speak with weekly are passively open to hearing about new opportunities, many prospective candidates are employing the "hunker down and wait" philosophy. The current economic conditions certainly aren't making it easy, that's for sure.

A recent CNN.com article highlights this growing trend and I thought it noteworthy to share. As a recruiter, I can tell you there are companies out there growing. The Energy/Alternative Energy arena is certainly growing, and has significant long term projected growth. While it's not for everyone, Americans should feel confident that we will bounce back from this disaster and will be stronger because of it!

Workers saying no to new jobs
Fearful of more layoffs, employees 'hunker down' - but staying put may not be the safest choice.

By Jessica Dickler, CNNMoney.com staff writer
Last Updated: December 17, 2008: 3:17 PM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Job hopping, a widely accepted way to get ahead, has gone by the wayside as workers fear making moves will make them more vulnerable to layoffs.

Under normal conditions, workers average more than 10 different jobs by age 42, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and use each move to build a career, network and skill set.

But in today's market, turnover is slowing to a standstill. For the past three months, the quits rate, which serves as a barometer of workers' ability to change jobs, has remained at 1.6%, a near four-year low. The rate, a measure of the number of quits during the month as a percent of total employment, declined significantly across industries, including manufacturing, retail and finance, the BLS said. Only the mining industry has seen the rate rise significantly.

"When times are bad, people don't quit," said Robert Brusca, chief economist at Fact and Opinion Economics.

Not only are there fewer jobs available, but new hires may be at greater risk of being laid off.

"Often it's LIFO, or last in first out," Brusca said. "You don't want to be the recent hire so you stay where you are because you have seniority."

A bird in the hand...
As a result, many workers are staying put - even if they are unhappy.

About 62% of workers surveyed by TheLadders.com, a job search site, said they were not likely to achieve their career goals at their current company. A whopping 96% of them said they were likely to achieve their career goals at another company -- although nearly 37% said they would not relocate for another job opportunity.

"There's a 'hunker down mentality,'" explained Marc Cenedella, founder and CEO of TheLadders.com.

Consulting firm Accenture found that 53% of the middle managers it recently surveyed said they are dissatisfied. But only 13% said they are actively looking for a new job.

Additionally, 66% of respondents said they would consider a new job but are not actively looking; 46% said taking a new job in the current economic environment is risky.

"Talent mobility is frozen in the market place," said David Smith, managing director of Accenture's Talent & Organization Performance practice in North America. And that's not because the opportunities aren't there but because workers are afraid to take them.

Workers are now "over conservative," he added. "They're creating their own frozen mobility....There are companies that are growing, but it's hard to find new talents."

For those willing to take the plunge, Bob Eubank, executive director of the Northeast Human Resources Association, recommends carefully researching any prospective companies to determine their stability, including checking attitudes among current or former employees and understanding why positions are open.

He also suggests asking thorough questions during the interview process. For example, find out if there is an initial probationary period so that there are no surprises after you start.

"Make sure you've done all that you can to determine this is a good fit for you, because if it is a good fit, then you're probably no more at risk than anyone else in terms of being cut," he said.

In fact, you may even be safer than more tenured employees, he added, because of your potential promise: "If you can really add value and be valuable, then you're going to stay."

Friday, December 12, 2008

Persistence OR Quit?

I recently signed up for Jeffrey Gitomer's Sales Caffeine newsletter and the first article was incredible. The article reflect's on Napoleon Hill's great classic Think and Grow Rich and the idea of persistence. THE REASON I found this article so timely is that in a downturn economy, such as we are, we need to persevere through the negativity and excuses and Make It Happen! This is especially true in recruiting - but can be applied to almost any profession.

Don't let the media beat you down with negative reports and growing unemployment figures, take your confidence and make something happen. I am.....

Special thanks to Jeffrey Gitomer for this great article, I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did!

Why do some persist and some quit? Because...

Is there a secret to follow-up? No.
Is there a best way to follow-up? No.
Why do people quit too soon? Big question.
Why do you quit too soon? Bigger question.
Have you ever read Think and Grow Rich? Biggest question.

Reason? Think and Grow Rich (written by Napoleon Hill 70 years ago) has an entire chapter on persistence that provides real insight as to the characteristics of what makes some stick at it until they win, while others stop either just after they start, or stop just before they are about to taste victory.

Rather than be so presumptuous as to paraphrase the great Napoleon Hill, I am going to give you the EXACT words of the master. Here are some excerpts (and insights) on persistence quoted exactly as they were written seven decades ago that are still applicable to your sales process today.

Persistence is a state of mind, therefore it can be cultivated. Like all states of mind, persistence is based upon definite causes, among them these:
a. Definiteness of purpose. Knowing what one wants is the first and, perhaps, the most important step toward the development of persistence. A strong motive forces one to surmount many difficulties.
b. Desire. It is comparatively easy to acquire and to maintain persistence in pursuing the object of intense desire.
c. Self-reliance. Belief in one's ability to carry out a plan encourages one to follow the plan through with persistence. (Self-reliance can be developed through the principle described in the chapter on autosuggestion).
d. Definiteness of plans. Organized plans, even though they may be weak and entirely impractical, encourage persistence.
e. Accurate knowledge. Knowing that one's plans are sound, based upon experience or observation, encourages persistence; "guessing" instead of "knowing" destroys persistence.
f. Cooperation. Sympathy, understanding, and harmonious cooperation with others tend to develop persistence.
g. Will-power. The habit of concentrating one's thoughts upon the building of plans for the attainment of a definiteness of purpose leads to persistence.
h. Habit. Persistence is the direct result of habit. The mind absorbs and becomes a part of the daily experience upon which it feeds. Fear, the worst of all enemies, can be effectively cured by forced repetition of acts of courage. Everyone who has seen active service in war knows this.

How to Develop Persistence.
There are four simple steps which lead to the habit of persistence. They call for no great amount of intelligence, no particular amount of education, and but little time or effort. The necessary steps are:
1. A definite purpose backed by burning desire for its fulfillment.
2. A definite plan, expressed in continuous action.
3. A mind closed tightly against all negative and discouraging influences, including negative suggestions of relatives, friends and acquaintances.
4. A friendly alliance with one or more persons who will encourage one to follow through with both plan and purpose.

These four steps are essential for success in all walks of life. The entire purpose of the principles of the (Think and Grow Rich) philosophy is to enable one to take these four steps as a matter of habit.

Now I will grant you that some people will have read this and spit the word "Hokey" at the end. Reason? It's too simple and does not have an immediate "how to" answer attached to it.

The secret of persistence is not an "answer," it's a "realization." And if you read the above and didn't "get it." You will get beat by someone who did.

The Napoleon Hill philosophy of persistence is strong, yet soft. The only omission from the strategy is that it leaves out "what" to persist with. Let me give you that answer in a word -- value. Something more than you calling to imply, "I'm calling about the money, is it ready yet? Can I come over and pick it up now?"

Want a few value ideas? Here are four. You may not like them. They require work.

Get your prospect a sales lead. Give your prospect an idea how to serve his customers better. Give your prospect ten things he can do to improve his morale, productivity, absenteeism, or profit. Get your prospect some free publicity or media exposure.

Get the idea? See the work? Now look past the work to the victory. If you can see clear to victory, then the secret of persistence is at last yours. And add to that the final wisdom of Hill: What you need to develop persistence is will-power and desire. In other words, how bad do you want it? And how far are you willing to go to get it? Unless the answer is all the way, you will not persist, you will give up.

Want more Napoleon Hill on persistence? His persistence inventory is an all time classic self-evaluation, and it's yours for the asking. Go to www.gitomer.com - register if you're a first time user, and enter the words HILL PERSIST in the GitBit box.

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Little Red Book of Selling and eight other business books on sales, customer loyalty, and personal development. President of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts Internet training programs on sales, customer loyalty, and personal development at www.trainone.com. Jeffrey conducts more than 100 personalized, customized seminars and keynotes a year. To find out more, visit www.gitomer.com. Jeffrey can be reached at 704.333.1112 or by e-mail at salesman@gitomer.com