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March 2008
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May 2008

St Louis Small Business Seminar

I was checking Twitter a few weeks ago, and came upon a curious message.  A fellow social media consultant was heading home on a commute, and gave out his cell phone number if someone wanted to call him. I thought so much of the approach that I picked up the phone and rang Shashi Bellamkonda, a consultant with Network Solutions.

Talk about a small world. Shashi had just finished working with Rob Neelbauer, the owner of JobMatchbox, and knew fellow St Louisans Todd Jordan and Susan Isk.

My conversation with Shashi lasted about thirty minutes, and we talked about setting up a small business seminar in St Louis this June or July.

The idea is to have a evening networking event for St Louis Small Business and blogger/twitter community. We have an hour of networking and an hour of a keynote speech. The best way to this would be to bring in the local business journal, the local paper, the regional chamber, and maybe even several large companies from St. Louis.

Shashi's company has a local presence (they purchased Monster Commerce in Belleville a few years ago), and their latest push is turnkey websites for small business.  If you're interested in helping set this up, or have ideas for spaces to meet (especially if you already have a place to meet), drop me a line in the comments or on e-mail.   Our goal is to get small business owners and vendors together in downtown St. Louis this summer. 


Talent Drive: Resume Madness

Mashups are easy.  If you've ever thought you had an idea for a commercial, or have  few photos you want to turn into a slideshow, this is the way to go.

Yes, both Flektor and TalentDrive are clients of mine, but the beauty of social media is we all work together to get bigger.

And for those hungry for SEO.  Flektor's internal pages, like those on Twitter and YouTube and a host of other social media sites, are great links for your website.  Search TalentDrive on Google and what do you see?  A reference to the video on the first page, from a third party source (the Flektor site).

If you're curious on how to do this for your company, your staffing firm, or you as a candidate - drop me a line, or just head on over to Flektor yourself.   It's easy.


Jim Stroud Is Giving Away His Book

Jim Stroud's new book, Resume Forensics is going to free to anyone who subscribes to his blog, the recruiters lounge, by e-mail.

Once he hits 5,000 new subscribers, he will give it away to everyone on his list. Shortly thereafter, it will be for sale and no longer free. What's inside.

* How to search Google for free resumes
* How to search Yahoo for free resumes
* How to search Live for free resumes
* How to find additional keywords for your resume searches
* How to create search strings that work on Google, Yahoo and Live
* How to take a job description and create multiple search strings from it. (As an example, I take one job description and create 56 pages of search strings from it.)
* How to automate your resume searches so you can (literally) source resumes while you sleep.

If you would like to get a free copy of it, go to this link below for details: http://tinyurl.com/5qwguj

(It will redirect to you my blog where you will find more instructions.)

yes, this is almost verbatim as everyone else, but I like Jim, and you'd be a fool not to get his book.


St Louis Product Management Group Wiki

Jeff Lash and I were talking the other day about software / tech / web companies in St. Louis and realized that there isn't a great list of these type of companies. Jeff is helping coordinate the St. Louis Product Management Group of like-minded folks and trying to find local companies which might have product managers.

We're not interested big companies (e.g. Microsoft) who have offices in St. Louis, nor companies who have big IT shops doing internal application development (e.g. Edward Jones), nor companies who do software / tech / web consulting (e.g. Perficient).  There's nothing wrong with those companies, but we're looking for something different.

Really, it's about companies based in St. Louis -- or which have a significant amount of product development staff here -- which are building software and products which are their business. We've got a few already, though if you work for one or know of any, please post in the comments below. Or, if you know of a place where such a list exists, post that too.


Sales Trainer In St Louis

A few jobs back, I sat down with my boss for an evaluation, and he told me that he thought I could use some sales training and that he would pay for it.

It infuriated me.  It wasn't the idea of training - it was the idea that he thought I had no formal process, and was just winging it.  Needless to say, our ability to work together was a key reason I'm no longer with the company, but I found it out that I bristled at the mere suggestion that I needed sales training.

It's not that I hadn't gone through it before. I've take over a dozen courses and seminars on sales process, and to be honest, most of the time I felt like I could have accomplished more back at the office on the phone.  Of course, I was young and invulnerable back then - and brute force worked a lot better than it does today when cold-calling.  Not to mention that when you're a commodity (as most salespeople are), you don't care as much about your reputation as you do when you run your own business.

So I'm curious.  In St Louis, what's the best sales training one can take?  Is there an individual who can help you benchmark your processes,  create a plan for your industry, and most important, convince your staff that this is an important part of their employment, and not just a notch in the HR file for the day you don't make quota?

Who offers the best sales training in Saint Louis?  Have you taken the courses?  In what industry?  I'd like to hear from you at jdurbin@durbinmedia.com or in the comments (although comment spam will be deleted).


Recruiting Blogs

I'm more than a little astonished at what Jason is accomplishing over at RecruitingBlogs.com. There are now thousands of recruiters sharing information back and forth. 

What's cool about it, and different than Recruiting.com, is that the editorial control isn't there.  Jason leads the social network, but doesn't run it.  In this case, it's the mob that runs it.  A mob of recruiters.

With Sumser stepping down as editor, it seems that Recruiting.com will lose all of its focus.  It's a real shame, and I wish Jobster would do more with it, but if wishes were gumdrops, we'd all have sugar highs, or something.

It's late, and I blame this rambling post on Twitter, where you can follow me as http://twitter.com/smheadhunter


The Impact Of Social Media In Hiring Staffing Salespeople

If you're looking at different ways to improve the hiring process for your company, take a look at the SuccessFactors recruitment management software. It improves collaboration from your hiring managers.

Staffing Salespeople are an interesting breed.  We're not technically recruiters in the sense that our job is working with clients, not candidates.  We may sweep in and offer some broad advice right before an interview, or serve as the final say on candidate salaries, raises, and filtering, but that's because salespeople are normally Type A personalities who like to tell other people what to do, while recruiters are often Type B personalities who are better at forming relationships or digging up data.

So salespeople, are, well, salespeople, and they should be treated as such when they are hired.  Their goal is prospecting, negotiation, and client management, so when you look to hire one, your main thrust is often cold-calling, lead generation, and closing.

Or at least it used to be.

This whole social media phenomenon is starting to change the rules for salespeople.  It's not just in staffing, but the primary value in using a staffing firm is in their connections.  Each firm has a pool of clients and a pool of candidates the primarily draw from.  Those connections drive business, lead to referrals, and are the lifeblood of every agency.

So what happens when the best and brightest in a job market start making their own connections?  What happens when Facebook, LinkedIn, Ning, and blogs start sharing information for free that used to be the sole province of recruiters?  What happens when cold-calling no longer works, as HR and hiring managers find themselves overburdened with prospect calls, and start turning to their social networks on Twitter and Plaxo to find information on whose hiring? 

Continue reading "The Impact Of Social Media In Hiring Staffing Salespeople" »


VP Marketing Role In St Louis

One of my clients is looking for a VP of Marketing to generate business leads.  This is a contingent search, and I'm recruiter.

This is a start-up company located in St Louis, involved in the GPS Tracking business.  The company has been around for over a year, is funded, and basically needs someone who is prepared to run a full-scale marketing program.  The product is sold over the phone and online nationally.  The sales process is short, and the primary markets are small businesses with employees who drive company vehicles.

What I'm Looking For:

Expertise in running PPC, SEO, direct mail, telesales and online marketing.  Experience in social media would be nice, but only to the extent that it improves your online profile.
Self-Managed:  This is a position for someone who doesn't need a lot of hand-holding.  You should be able to create, design, and execute a marketing plan that helps this company add new customers.
Proven Track Record: You must have a proven track record of success in generating new leads.   That is the primary purpose of this assignment.
Sales experience:  The best candidate would also know how to close over the phone when needed.  Your ability to do so will greatly increase your salary.

Compensation:

I have three levels of salary I'm willing to present, based on the kind of person I found.

Level 1:  $50K:  Skilled online marketer.  Good at generating new business leads
Level 2:  $70K: Marketing and Sales, plus a bit of management experience to put into place in the future
Level 3:  $????   Marketing, Sales, and part of the Executive Team.  You're just waiting for the right opportunity to seek your teeth into.  You've done this before, but you can also speak to board members, the press, and build a team as the company grows.

There is also an equity stake available that vests over time for the right candidates.

Your Marketing Budget:  You're starting mainly from scratch - there's marketing collateral and a decent PPC campaign, but you really need to come in and plan out the next 6 months to a year.  You'll start out with a $15-20,000 a month budget, but that can expand if you start to show results. 

Your Boss
:  Direct report to the President.  He's a software consulting expert from a couple of degrees, business savvy, and previous management experience under his belt.  He's smart, aggressive, and wants someone who sees this opportunity and wants to be a part of it.

If this is you, or someone you know, have them contact me at jdurbin@durbinmedia.com with the Subject VP Marketing, or have them call me by searching his site and finding the number.   


2008 Source Of Hire From Career XRoads

This is a little late, but if you haven't seen it, it's new to you.  The 2008 Source of Hire Survey by Gerry and Mark is out, and it once again gives us insight into how corporate America hires, or at least how they measure hiring.  The download is free, and available at Gerry''s site.

I'll dig into it and show some interesting facts, but chief among them is the recognition that what you read in the press releases isn't always the truth.

The first thing that stands out? 

-Hires attributed to Job Boards (including the Company site as a job board) represent 25.7% of external hires.
-Unfortunately Hires attributed to the Company Website are half of the Job Board category and, in our opinion, suspect (we maintain that the company website is a destination not a source).

Remember that when you're listening to an exec tell you they don't need your services because they get most of their hires from people coming to the website.  There's clearly a huge disconnect between what we assume about corporate hiring, and the truth.

And these are the companies that are willing to be surveyed.

hattip:  BlueSkyResumes, who points out that 28.7% of hires can from referrals, which means you chances of getting hired by knowing someone at a company is between 1 in 3 and 1 in 4.  And yet so many people apply to careers site and wonder why they don't get callbacks.