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November 2007
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January 2008

Faking Your Paycheck

Let me start by saying I in no way approve of this, and am only commenting on the site to shine a light on the practice.  In addition to probably being illegal, the company comment spammed my site to get the word out, which I don't approve of.

What's the site?  I won't provide the link, but this site promises to send you W-2 making software that you can use to create your own set of records.  While the site purports to be for entertainment purposes only, the comments I received discuss using the site to trick Human Resources into giving you the salary you want, or tricking the PayDay loan store into giving you more money.

As I said, it's pretty shady - but 55,000 people have already been there.

I see the point - personally, I don't see how it's relevant what you made in your last job, and companies that ask for your W-2 are starting you down the long path of submitting to small injustices to control you.

Like drug tests, credit checks, and filling out applications with the same information as your resume, showing your W-2's is an employment process designed to bring structure to the company's hiring process, all the while reminding you that you are not a special and unique employee.  We don't trust you, or the people who interviewed you, is the message companies send when they ask for a W-2, but considering the statistics on the number of people who lie on their resume, maybe their distrust is warranted.

These scenarios will never happen, but I'd like to suggest two alternatives to creating a fake W-2 for Human Resources.

Fantasy #1:

"Mr/Mrs. HR Manager - I'd be happy to provide you copies of my W-2 records, but to do so, I'll need to see the W-2 records of the last two individuals who held this position in your company.  Seeing as your request to see my personal information is an attempt to verify my statements and make sure you're not overpaying for my work, I think it's only fair to make sure that I'm not being underpaid by accepting this position."

Fantasy #2:

Mr/Mrs/Ms. HR Manager, I'd be happy to provide you with copies of my earnings last year, but on the condition that when you see my records, you agree to pay me a finder's fee of $5,000.  Providing you this information gives you a competitive advantage that you would normally have to pay for.  It seems unreasonable to provide you this information as a condition of employment, seeing as it amounts to me paying the company a bonus for interviewing me.  In addition - the information I provide should also be used as the basis for a salary increase.  A 15% increase over my previous earnings, which you will now know, would make this an equitable trade.

The chances of this happening in an actual job negotiation are slim to none, but this would be what happened if the employee/employer contract was on a more equitable level.  The second scenario is my favorite, because it cuts to the heart of the matter.  If the company doesn't know the proper salary to pay a new employee, and has to check the number against previous earnings, then chances are they're not paying enough.

**and by the way - using past salaries to determine future earnings, when applied to diversity candidates, opens your company up to charges of discrimination.  If an earlier company payed a diversity candidate less than the market rate, your choice as a company to base earnings on their former earnings, can be used to show discrimination on the basis of race, gender, religion....

Independent Recruiter Needed In St Louis

If you are an independent technical recruiter who needs fillable contract reqs, I have something for you.  A company is looking to utilize a St Louis contact to work on local requirements.

There's one major client they are looking to work with, so if you don't have a messy non-compete, and your non-solicit doesn't cover this client, than you are in luck.

It's going to be a commission, outsourced job - so you need to know how to run your own recruiting shop, but you get exclusive access to a dozen reqs a week.  It's perfect if you're starting out, struggling, or just want to supplement your permanent business with ongoing billable hours.

In fact, that's what I think would work best - a permanent search recruiter who wants some contract technical reqs to work on.

Interested parties should e-mail me at, and I'll pass you on to the right person.

Surefire Way To Interview Salespeople

For those of you looking for new sales help in the New Year, let me offer you a tune-up for the way you hire salespeople.

Some of you have long, involved processes that include psych tests (better hope they're certified), questions about whether they were involved in sports in high school (yes, this question is still around), and the highly dubious, "Show me your W-2's" method that is supposed to show whether past performance is predictive of future success.

Forget all of that.  And forget your "gut instinct," too.  Salespeople are good at selling themselves, so anyone who has ever held a sales position and had any success should be able to convince you they know what they're doing.  Most account managers can worm their way into a position by repeating this mantra, "I love the phone.  All business starts with the phone, and if I just continue to make my calls, I'll be successful."

Of course, once they are hired, there always seems to be something that keeps them off the phone (I'm no exception, and have been guilty of it in the past, but you might consider adding this to your employment process in the hire of your next salesperson.

Ask them to write down a schedule of a normal day, their first week, the first 30 days, and the first 90 days. 

Continue reading "Surefire Way To Interview Salespeople" »

Account Manager Opening

A local staffing recruiter (to St Louis) has an account manager position to fill.  His description:

Selling staffing services can be very lucrative if you have the good fortune to be in a true performance based compensation plan. Many Account Managers work 55-60 hours a week and barely earn 60k-70k per year. This is the equivalent of earning 40k per year with overtime. Aren't you worth more than that?

In my years of staffing recruiting, I have seen the very best to the very worst of compensation plans. Working for a company with a true performance based compensation plan can be the difference between earning 70k per year or 130k per year without increasing your sales effort. If you are interested in hearing about opportunities to earn substantially more by working smarter and not harder, contact me. I would love to discuss in detail.

If interested - shoot me an e-mail or resume or LinkedIn profile, and I'll pass you along to the recruiter.

Comsys Recruiter: Interview with Stephanie Grimshaw

COMSYS St Louis is the December sponsor for StlRecruiting, and today we publish an interview with Stephanie Grimshaw, a COMSYS recruiter.

What is your specialty at Comsys?  What is your strongest area of expertise?

No specialty; but, being able to match personalities, skills, and candidate requirements to open positions.   Being able to find a win win for everyone.  A candidate might not be the perfect match for one particular opening but through networking and building relationships I can then market that person to another company and hopefully find that perfect match.

Using no marketing speak, why should a candidate choose you and Comsys over another recruiter?
A comprehensive benefits package, opportunity to work for top clients such as Anheuser Busch, Emerson, Express Scripts, Monsanto, Edward Jones, MasterCard just to name a few.  Having a huge support system, attention to detail, along with a great team at the branch office.  We have been here in St. Louis close to 20 years and placing people with some of the largest companies in the St. Louis marketplace.

ies for the various positions.

Continue reading "Comsys Recruiter: Interview with Stephanie Grimshaw" »

Reasons To Look For A Job Over The Holiday

More Reasons to look for a job over the Holiday, from Robert McCauley of RHI.

It's not that I needed the validation to prove my earlier posts right - common sense would tell you that the best time to look for a job is when other people stopped looking.

"You face less competition. Buying into popular theory, many job seekers halt their quests for employment in November and December, choosing to save their efforts for when the calendar changes. But take a glimpse at the want ads, and you'll see that employers haven't stopped looking for talent. With fewer candidates vying for the same number of positions, you may have an edge over the competition, unlike no other time during the year."

Earlier posts:

Columnist says stop looking for a job   
holiday, job-seekingHolidays is perfect time to start looking for a job.

RehabCare Blog Gets Well Deserved Attention

The Campus Relations department of Rehabcare got a nice little write-up today at ERE's Inside Recruiting.  Leslie Stevens interviewed Barbara Wallace on how they got started, what their metrics look like, and why they're using a blog to communicate with a pipeline of students who want to get hired as occupational, physical and speech therapists after graduation.

"Our goal is not merely to recruit students; we want to provide a complete employment resource which includes providing information about the profession and how to transition from being a student to being an employee," says Wallace. "The blog fits into our strategy, because it was one more tool that could use to offer information about the profession."

I'm the consultant mentioned, so maybe I'm biased, but what's nice about Barb's group is the blog fits their personality. In essence, her team is a college sourcing team.  Their job is to identify people very early in their college careers, to prep them and help them as they make career choices.  To do so, Rehabcare is turning to the next-generation of recruiting tools to help them connect with the much-ballyhooed Gen Y.

For most recruiters, a healthcare company based in the Midwest isn't on the radar for being on the cutting edge of recruiting, but Barb's team is implementing activities that the hippest Seattle firm would be proud of (and no, that's not to anyone in particular).  The blog is just the first step.  SMS campaigns are currently running, and while texting barely catching on in product marketing, Rehabcare in the next year will have a fully functional mobile marketing campaign tied into their campus visits, all while their competitors are still paying tens of thousands to job boards for stale candidates who get a dozen calls a day.

Originally, their project included a PPC campaign for tuition reimbursement.  Four months later, there's little need for that.

Search "Physical Therapy Tuition Reimbursement."  Do the same for Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and a host of other keywords, including inputting the licensing and certification exams to become a therapist that could work at Rehabcare.  The Campus Relations blog of Rehabcare is on the first page in every category, and they are just getting started.  There aren't many occupational therapy blogs, but the ones that are there, know about Rehabcare.

The work isn't over, of course.  Barb and her team have to manage the programs, keep up the content, and ultimately translate their work into hires.  So far, I'd say they are off to a pretty good start.

Go check it out for yourself. The college blog of Rehabcare.   

Keyword Spam And The Marketing Headhunter

Harry wrote an interesting post on the prevalence of Keyword Spam.  He defines keyword spam as the flotsam and jetsam of keywords on your resume, and he's not so happy with it.

Keyword spam is a long string of words at the end of a resume put there by the job-seeker in the hopes of improving his chances that a recruiting researcher will find it in a given resume database.

Harry points out it's impossible to be all things to all people, and having a long list of keywords is actually a turn off for recruiters.

As a marketing recruiter, I'm starting to think like Google:  If I suspect that you are keyword loading your resume in a superficial way that diminishes [my] user experience, I am going to penalize you by moving you down in my [candidate] rankings.

Now I'm a big fan of Harry, and I can see how in executive search he might have a point, but I think he's way off on his reasoning.

Keyword spam exists because the employers created it.  We are the ones that use technical programs that scrape resumes for keywords.  We are the ones that encouraged huge databases that filter and sort information based on KEYWORDS.  We are even the ones that have encouraged candidates to add lots of keywords to their resumes, so they show up high in our search results.

Asking a candidate to voluntarily disarm in the SEO war be ignoring keywords when all of the ATS systems available search on keywords is a mistake.  Especially when your skills are managing a team.  If a developer can use a hundred keywords so that he matches up to the impossible job descriptions written by hiring managers, why can't an executive stuff their resume to make sure their resume gets caught up in your search?  Personally, I see this as a new market for SEM. Imagine an executive paying to have his resume show up highly for his desired searches.  Joel - take it away.

Resume tip below the fold.

Continue reading "Keyword Spam And The Marketing Headhunter" »

I've Joined The TalentDrive Advisory Council

In recent months, I've been speaking with people from TalentDrive, a resume sourcing and screening company located in Chicago that focuses on sales and marketing professionals.

Sean Bisceglia is the CEO, and he and his team have been professional, ambitious and interesting in looking for a way to improve the hiring industry.  They've extended, and I've accepted their invitation to join their advisory council.

The press release is here, and one of the most exciting things for me is the chance to work with Jim Stroud, who I respect greatly for his online acumen.   Brian Sommer rounds out the group, and I look forward to meeting with him as well. 

I will be writing about TalentDrive on this blog and brandstorming, but of course will disclose my relationship with them in each post.

About Talent Drive"

      About TalentDrive    

      TalentDrive provides growing and established companies with a new way to       source and screen quality talent through innovative technology combined       with eyes-on review by experienced industry experts. With millions of       resumes dispersed over tens of thousands of web-based locations,       TalentDrive provides a resume sourcing solution that enables companies       to better leverage the Internet to find talent within Sales,       Manufacturing and Distribution, Information Technology,       Finance/Accounting, and R&D/Engineering. TalentDrive       enables companies to spend less time sifting through unqualified       resumes, helping to increase a hiring managers       productivity by 90%.