Conversations: About that 25%






Recruiter: The fee is 25%

HR: That's too high. We never pay more than 20%.

R: Oh my! What would you overpay like that?

HR: What?

R: If you're paying 20%, you should be paying 10%. The people who go to 20% are just throwing resumes over to see what sticks. If you can get them to 20%, you should keep pushing them down to 10%.

HR: Well, we pay 20%, so we can get a higher quality of recruiting.

R: Do you?

HR: Yes.

R: But do you?

HR: I, think so.

R: Do you?

HR: I, but, see...

R: Do you?

HR: Look, we pay 20%.

R: I'd never take 20%. How could I charge you so much for so little work?

HR: Are you saying you'd do it for 10%?

R: Oh, not at all. I charge 25%.

HR: That's more than 20%. Aren't you overcharging?

R: Maybe. Also, I don't offer a 6 month guarantee.

HR: You don't offer a guarantee?

R: I guarantee my work. When you hire someone and they accept the offer, you're saying I did my job. If they leave or you fire them, you're saying you didn't do your job, but you want me to pay for it.

HR: But it's standard.

R: I think I understand now. You pay 20% for work that is only worth 10% because you're expecting that 50% of the time, you make bad hiring decisions. That makes sense.

HR: So you'll do 20?

R: Not at all.

HR: Can you recommend someone who can?

R: I mean, I could tell you people who charge that, but I couldn't recommend them. They only charge 20% - and half of their people are going to quit or get fired. No, no - I respect you too much to give you the names of bad recruiters.

Digital Specialist - SEM and SEO Roles

September 30:

My client in Fort Lauderdale is taking his team in-house. We're looking for someone who can handle adwords, and a second person who can supply marketing strategy for SEO, conversion, landing pages. 

As you can see, it's a team effort. Decent salaries, but we're not getting into six figures. 

There are no emergencies, but you'll check the site regularly. But it's not a holiday kind of site. It's year-round, B2B . 


1-3 years of experience in search engine or inbound marketing.

Experience with marketing automation (HubSpot, Magento)

Google Ad Words certification

Broad range of skills and/or knowledge of online and search engine marketing.

Experience with paid search across platforms like AdWords, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and retargeting programs.

Extremely organized and great at prioritizing and managing deadlines.

Ability to work collaboratively with a marketing team to improve performance across all divisions.



This is my advice for executives looking for a job

I give this list out to a lot of people - so thought it would simplify it to just write it for you. I'm a headhunter, but a niche one. I only work on jobs that clients give me in digital and social marketing, and I have never been successful in taking a candidate call and shopping them around.

Maybe it's me.

Here's what I tell every candidate/manager/executive/friend/family member I don't have a job for. It works, but only if you do it.

1) Make a list of 10-20 companies you want to work for that are local, and find one executive at that company that could hire you at the level you want. Write the company, name, and title in a spreadsheet.

2) Follow every company on that list on LinkedIn.

3) Search for recruiters and headhunters who have your resume keywords on their profile. Send an invitation to every one you can. Focus on ones with experience that you would call back (they are usually called executive search). Don't write anything in your invitation, and don't send a note if they do accept .

4) Go through the companies and look at 1st and 2nd degree connections. See if there's anyone you know. Send a message to your first degree with a short positive memory of how you know each other, and send a connection invite to anyone you've met in the 2nd degree. Don't ask for anything, unless they reply and specifically want to help you. (no, they don't want your resume, and you shouldn't send it).

5) ) Get a google voice number and put it at the bottom of your summary. You can always turn it off when you get the job. Send the phone to your cell and have it ring your number, so if someone calls, you'll know it's a recruiting call from LinkedIn

6) Connect to senior executives (VP HR and above), and executives senior enough in marketing to hire you. Send them an invitation and simply say (same industry, respect for your company).

7) Search for jobs at the company website and on LinkedIn. If you see a job you like, look at your connections. Message them and say, "I'm going to submit, but if you get a referral fee, I'll let you do it."

8) Carry your list with you. Anytime you meet or talk to someone, and the subject of employment comes up, ask them if they know a name on the list. If they do - ask them to text their contact with your name, because you're going to email them. If they don't have the cell, ask them to email from their phone or send a LinkedIn message, and you'll email the executive afterwards (ask if you can use their name - but even if you can't, that's okay. The exec saw your name).

9) You want to start an application, but if all you get is a call with an executive, tell them it's 20 minutes, you want to talk about the list of companies you want to work for and see if you're missing one, and ask about trends in the market you should look for.

10) At all times, your goal is information and connection. Never ask for help with the job search. Ask for a job or ask if they can connect you to someone on your list who can offer you a job. This is very important. "Networking, coffee, casual interviews, and help" are nonsense words you use to hide the fact that you want a job. Instead, be clear your intent is either to get a job with that company, or with a company they refer you to.

That's it. Those ten bullet points will improve your job search, and find you employment faster than you could imagine. They will also strengthen your network. Most important, they won't fool you into believing that you're making progress because someone took your call.

Don't agree? Post your experiences.

Sourcing Worklab Open House July 3rd - 40 Guest Passes

Tikihead200July 3rd isn't a holiday. Technically. 

But for those of us at work, we should make it count. Lacey and I are holding an open house, where any recruiter can come and see what we're all about. (what is this? Go read the site!)

Monday, July 3rd, 2017

1:00 PM CST, 11:00 AM PST. 

This is 90 minutes of live candidate sourcing. We take real jobs, and we walk through searching for candidates using a number of different tools.

How do you get a guest pass?

Way #1: You can sign  signup - Send an email to with the subject July 3rd, and she'll send you a registration to the GotoMeeting. 

Way#2: If you want to learn more about SourcingWorklab, you can set up a call with me, Jim Durbin. That link will take you to my Calendly page where you can pick a time on my calendar.

There is a limited  number of guest passes. We're capping it at 40. 

So call, email, or if you've been putting it off - enroll in the SourcingWorklab today



Conversations: Fitter Not Fatter






Former Executive: I don't understand what you sent me. 

Data Scientist: It's the studies on fitness at work making more productive employees

FE: I don't understand. 

DS: They're not accurate. 

FE: Why is this relevant?

DS: It's because your presentation relies on similar studies. 

FE: We have nothing to do with fitness. 

DS: I want to show you why those studies are useless. So let's start with this - do you agree that fitter employees are more productive, happier, and engaged at work?

FE: Sure.

DS: Studies would say that's a pretty good position to take. 

FE: And you're going to tell me why that's wrong?

DS: I'm questioning the value of fitness. The argument is on average, fitter employees are more engaged, have more energy, take less sick days, and get more done.

FE: You just said fitter people get more done.

DS: I did. But that's so you don't bring up the easiest anecdote - listing someone who was out of shape who was a great worker. I'm not taking that avenue. Instead, let's talk about 2nd grade teachers

FE: 2nd grade teachers.

DS: Yes. What is the value of a 2nd grade teacher being fit versus being fat?

FE: Where did fat come from? 

DS: It makes the argument stronger. Fit means relatively healthy. Fat takes it to the extreme. A fat second grade teacher - how is she less productive than a fit 2nd grade teacher?

FE: Maybe in the way she engages the students.

DS: 2nd graders. Basic math - a little bit of writing, and coloring inside the lines.

FE: Fair enough.

DS: The level of work needed is finite. A pleasant demeanor is more important than enhanced productivity. As for sickness, it's actually cheaper for teachers to use their sick days, because teachers can bank sick hours. A substitute is cheaper because a teacher's sick time is more expensive than the time of the sub, and yet the material is still taught. 

FE: Okay - so second grade teachers aren't more productive when they're fit. 

DS: So there's one. How about minimum wage workers? Are they more productive? And before you ask, let's say that physical jobs clearly require some level of fitness. If you don't have to lift 50 pounds over your head, are you more productive with 6% body fat? 

FE: Sure you are. 

DS: No one has ever done that study, but it's cute you think that. What's the biggest cost in minimum wage workers? 

FE: I don't know. Benefits? Heathcare?

DS: That's true as a category. It's not true individually, and age has much more to do with it than weight. The correct answer is scheduling and turnover. It's expensive to hire and train. Losing people creates hardship that causes more turnover. A fit worker can get more done, but what happens when you can get more done?

FE: You want a raise.

DS: You want a raise or a better job. In a very perverse way, being fit and intelligent for a minimum wage job makes you less attractive to the employer. 

FE: That seems doubtful. 

DS: Would you hire a Harvard grad with supermodel looks to work in your warehouse?

FE: Sure I would. 

DS: Would you hire them if you trained them for a month and really, really needed them to stay?

FE: Sure I would.

DS: If you were traveling to Italy, and needed them to work for six months on the job because you weren't going to be home - would you hire them, train them, and just leave assuming they would keep the job? And you're paying them shit wages. 

FE: Depends on why they were available.

DS: ...

FE: Okay, probably not.

DS: We don't talk about it much, but you hire people for their longevity. You wouldn't hire a sales manager with 3 month stints at five companies, and you wouldn't hire a CFO whose tenure only lasted a year. When it comes to many jobs, you hire people with less options because they stick around. 

FE: That is a terrible view of hiring.

DS: It doesn't have to be conscious, but it is a feature of the system. "Why do you want this job" and "Where do you see yourself in five years" both address this question.

FE: What does this have to do with 6% body fat?

DS: First, don't be sexist. It's very difficult for women to get to 6% body fat. 

FE: Those were your numbers. 

DS: It was the context. Speaking of which - we've addressed minimum wage and we've addressed teachers. So we can both agree that there categories of workers where fit vs fat is not only relevant, it can be detrimental.

FE: With exceptions, but yes, there are categories of workers who don't fit that model. 

DS: Then without going into every category, we can say there are probably other categories, where it is not true, but the studies we have don't break down performance by category.

FE: They don't.

DS: They rely on averages. 

FE: Yes. On average, a fit worker costs less and does more than a fat worker.

DS: So an average company, hiring average workers...

FE: No, no - you're going with average workers - and then saying above averages companies don't do this. An above average company would hire more fit people because, on average, more fit equals more productive. 

DS: One, that's ageist. More fit, on average, is code for younger. And when you have a study that says younger people are better, it's almost entirely a function of searching for ways to justify lower wages. Second, the data does not support your conclusion. You can't create an average of workforce performance and then claim the benefits. That's not how data science. 

FE: Then why do they do the studies? 

DS: It's the only data they have, and it supports a narrative that lowers wages because fitness is code for younger.

FE: That...that is a huge leap.

DS: It's not that big. It's part of another pattern we see in terms of HR data. Whenever you use averages to create policy, you can be assured that the data is shallow, and does not reflect the real world. You should never make policy decisions on human beings based on averages of performance. They have no value but to support a narrative. 

FE: Who exactly is creating the narrative? 

DS: That's another discussion. I don't want to get into Joseph Campbell, but every story has to support an existing power structure. Studies using averages of human behavior and performance by definition support the existing power structure. They are blunt tools pushed by the uninformed as a way to create a scientific justification for their behavior.

FE: Okay - I'm going to go. It's an interesting point, but I think it goes off the rails at the end. 

DS: Maybe. Doesn't mean it isn't true. 

FE: What do you weigh these days?