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May 2005
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July 2005

BlogAds

I'm part of the recruiting.com team, and we're considering BlogAds as a way to increase our traffic to job-seekers.

We have the option of buying a large ad on the high-traffic sites, or spreading the money around to many, many smaller sites. If you're interested, or if you want to just alert me to your site, please send me an e-mail describing your site, your audience and your traffic. No site is too small! Job-seekers are everywhere, and chances are your audience is curious as to the insides and outsides of the staffing world.

Here's your chance for some exposure.


New Business Development

So I want to try something new.  I'm going to bleg some referrals out of my readers.  I'm been doing well with placements, but my business thrives on new blood.  With that in mind, I've decided to post a list of prospects that I do not have current business with, but would like to know more about.

In six months, I'd like to say that 3 or 4 of these prospects are clients on the way to being long-term recruiting partners with me.  With that in mind, when you click below the fold, take a look at these companies and let me know if there's anyone that works at these companies that you personally know.

It doesn't matter if they are they are the lowest or highest paid person in the building - I'm just curious about knowing more.  If a name leads in some way, through my efforts or through a direct referral to a hiring manager, I'll buy the referrer a nice dinner, although they have to eat it with me.

With that said, here's the list - it's applicable only to St Louis, and to respond, send me an e-mail at diogenescorner@hotmail.com   

Continue reading "New Business Development" »


Laurence Haughton: Book Review

"Your book is subversive"

"What do you mean?"

"Your book. I can't recommend it to people. It will cause them to get fired. I read it, and all I could think about was calling up my CEO and telling him how to run his business"

That was the beginning of a conversation I had with Laurence Haughton, the author of It's Not What You Say, It's What You:How Following Through At Every Level Can Make Or Break Your Company. Aside from an ability to write catchy titles, Laurence is a subversive that delves into the guts of a corporation and comes out with some startling information - corporations are big on image and terrible in follow-through.

That's why the book is likely to lead to awkward Christmas parties where peons like me corner the CEO with a copy of the book in hand and a martini in the other.

Some facts.

A third of all software projects fail. It's a terrible number, but development is complex. 33% Failure is pretty good compared to the failure rate of the Major Company Initiative, where a whopping one-half end up failing. Why is it so tough to push through effective change in an organization? Laurence tells us. It's because we're big on plans, and not so good on details.

Archaeologists who sift through the remains of teh 20th century would see the problem immediately. Every major corporation has the debris left from past campaigns hanging from their walls. Contests, marketing slogans, Ethics manuals, and banners about quality litter the walls and storage closets of corporate America, and yet each year, some big new project is announced to huge fanfare, trumpeted in press releases, and quickly forgotten among the excrutiating minutiae of everyday life.

This book has some answers. From speaking with Laurence and reading his book, I can tell you several things. One, the book was a learning experience to write, and the conclusions that are reached and not what was expected at the beginning of the project. Two, Mr. Haughton is a devilishly clever writer who peppers his book with examples, fables, stories, jokes, and historical trivia that make it fun to read even if you need the dictionary, the Reader's Digest, and a laptop opened to a Google Browser nearby to fully appreciate his writing. Three, this book is not meant to be blazed through at a Borders and tossed aside for a paperback romance.

Business Books bore. Most authors tell their story in the first three chapters, and then spend the rest of the book justifying the $25.00 you spent on the hardcover. Some of those books have great themes, but are very thin on advice. Others are great on anecdotes and worksheets, but fail to convince you that they apply to your company.

It's Not What You Do, It's What You Say is different than most Business Books because isn't a quick read. I spent four hours reading 220 some odd pages. I read at a normal pace of over 100 pages an hour, and tend to speed through bad books at about 200 pages an hour, seeking to extract some nuggets of information and call it a day.

Laurence's book made me stop, and think, and write.

Continue reading "Laurence Haughton: Book Review" »


You're Always on the Job

I stepped out of my building yesterday and saw a man interviewing on a cell phone.   It's common to see it, and it alway makes me smile.  Doesn't everyone know how suspicious it is?

The man was talking about technology, so I groped for a card, and realized I had none, not even in my car.  Personally, I think I missed out - that man could have my next placement.  Salespeople should always have their cards on them.

Imagine his surprise if I walked past, tucked a card in his shirt pocket, winked, and walked away.


Dark Blog Linkage

The domain transfer is accomplished, I'm setting it to active tonight, and the stylesheets and sitemeter will be active by morning - Huzzah!

Just in Time - I've got posts spilling out my, well, they're spilling out - and then I  get the news from the Canadian Headhunter that one of my posts at Recruiting.com   was linked by MSNBC.

Beware the power of the Dark Blog, once you follow down its path, forever will it dominate your destiny.  Is it just me, or has this blog been ugly and text forever? 


JAVA NEEDS

I knew this was coming around - I have 10 W-2 hourly Java/J2EE positions - Company is in O'Fallon - pay is $35-$45 an hour -

Six month + contracts with extensions.  3 years or more of OOD.

Boilerplate description is:

* Strong J2EE design skills.
* Strong Java development skills.
* Strong systems analysis skills.
* Strong written and verbal communication skills.
* Experience with all phases of the SDLC, database interfacing, and XML technologies.
* Experience with J2EE architecture, Java middleware / application servers, database design, web page design, unix experience.
* Must have strong interpersonal skills and must work effectively in a team setting.

-  Great place to work - I have 11 people there. 

There is a $500 referral fee if you can guide me to the right people.

Can't afford third parties.  E-mail me at jdurbin@kforce.com if you're interested, or know someone who might be.


Buying a New Home

My fiancee and I are in the final stages of purchasing a new home from Fischer and Frichtel.  It's a condo in Chesterfield, and the initial reports on the process will have to wait.

See, we have a problem.  The initial date on the closing was supposed to be in early June.  That date has been pushed back, as it often is in new home construction, to July.  We managed to get a early July date to fit within our 90 day lock-out of our mortgage rate, but now construction problems are starting to arise.

The key problem is time - we were rushed into pre-approving the loan, putting down our deposit, and selecting our decor.  Foolishly we went along with the builder, primarily because of their stellar reputation in St Louis.  They build beautiful homes, and they are supposed to be a reputable builder.

We could have argued some about the contract, but we moved ahead.  The construction problems are minor - and we assume they are going to be fixed prior to closing - because we're there regularly to check in on them.

The primary problem now is the backsplash in the kitchen.  I hope I'm not boring you with design issues, but a backsplash is the tile on the kitchen wall underneaththe cabinets.  The issue is one that we are waiting to resolve.  I intend fully to put those results up on this site and make sure they are linked by other bloggers.

Fischer and Frichtel has an opportunity to work with us.  We're not unreasonable, and what we most desire is straight answers and a comfortable feeling when we close.  Their track record with the Better Business Bureau is good, as in the last year they have had three complaints, all addressed, with a record of two resolved and one disputed.  Not bad for a builder.

The minor construction issues I'll leave aside, as they have not been addressed.  The question is the backsplash.   More on the story as it develops. 


Re-Relaunch

I've switched my domain name from Discount Domain Registry to Pair.com, which should be more friendly with Typepad as the Hosting Service.  It takes five days, so next Monday should be the re-relaunch of stlrecruiting, and the resumption of regular posting.