Thursday, December 16, 2010

Technical Difficulties

In our world of high tech: blogs, video chats, LinkedIn, Facebook, twitter, etc. What are we supposed to do when our technology lets us down? Soldier on? Not likely... I’m more the freak out and run around with my hair on fire type. Hup two three four... get out of that fetal position and make the best of it! Ummm Hummm.... I know, right?

Sooner or later it happens to us all... the best we can do is... keep on keepin on, make the best of a bad situation, gittin jiggie with it... OMG! How many more Soul Train references can I come up with?

In case you haven't guessed, I was the victim of technical difficulties this afternoon. We were presenting a video chat at work today on our Facebook page and right after we started our computer crashed. Being totally prepared, we quickly switched to our back up computer, and realized the video camera wasn't working. We diligently pressed on and continued with the presentation. Just a few minutes later the network at work went down... arrrgggghhhhh!!!!

Somehow we managed to keep the voice up and running along with the PowerPoint and we were able to finish the chat and limp away licking our wounds. The moral of the story... you can never be over-prepared (and next time we will run the chat with multiple admins stashed away at hidden locations) I'm not saying it's a cave in Afghanistan but... this next time the SAT phone stays on! Stay tuned... more to follow... same bat time, same bat channel.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Gift of Christmas… Everybody’s Christmas™

Christmas is just two weeks away… how did it sneak up so fast?  Seems like just yesterday it was Thanksgiving and now if I don’t have my packages in the mail next week, my friends and family out of town won’t receive their presents before Christmas.  Looks like I’ll be in a wrapping gift frenzy tonight and tomorrow.  Fair warning to anyone planning on visiting me this weekend… be prepared to tape, twist, snip and curl!

Thinking about this makes me realize just how fortunate we are… we have gifts to give and receive.  And we have a Christmas dinner to prepare and enjoy in our nice warm, cozy home.  We even have too many party invitations to be able to attend them all so we selectively choose our events and make sure we see our closest friends.  Oh and I almost forgot… we have new holiday party clothes to keep us stylishly warm and make a good impression during all these festivities. 

We tend not to think about the people we don’t see during this season, the people who aren’t invited to our parties or not part of our immediate circle of friends.  Sure we by presents for the Angel Trees, give to the Salvation Army helpers, donate to Toys for Tots and other wonderful charity organizations.  And while these are good things to do and things that need to be done, they don’t really affect us on a personal level.  So this year I am going to do something extra for Christmas… I’m going to make this year’s Christmas Everybody’s Christmas™.

Everybody’s Christmas™ was started by Crosswalk Worship and Lovers Lane Church Outreach Ministry at Lovers Lane United Methodist Church.  It was conceived to be a Christmas eve, eve worship service and grew to become an outreach into the Dallas community to bring in people who wouldn’t normally be able to have a Christmas celebration.  What happens on this night is... a dynamic worship service, a free amazing Christmas meal for the community, coat give aways, exciting childrens activities... and much much more.  All are welcome, join us if you can.  You can watch the video on YouTube.

I hope that Everyone has a very Merry Christmas this year!  God Bless.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Shopping for a Job?

Happy Holidays! I can't believe Thanksgiving is over and it's time to gear up for the Holidays. Shopping is on everyone's agenda right now and some proactive people braved the crowds on Black Friday to find great bargains and whittle down that Christmas Wish List. Can you spell STRESS?

Tis the season, right? Right, but for many people the holidays are extra stressful because they are unemployed or underemployed and searching for a job. It's hard to get excited about the holidays if you are on a tight budget or no budget at all. It's a fact that this season finds more people depressed than any other. So what can you do to navigate the holidays while shopping for a job?

Here is a great article from TheAfter5Edge to walk you through the seasonal job search:

Maybe we should also get into the spirit and help someone find a job this holiday season… we can help by giving encouragement, support and passing along job leads. We can also help them network and connect with recruiters and hiring managers in our networks. I am extending an invitation to visit my company website,, and let me know when they have applied for a job online at Intuit.  I can't promise you an interview but I will make sure that the recruiter handling that job is aware of your interest.  At Intuit, we pride ourselves on giving back to the community and this is just one small way I can offer my services as a recruiter. 

Let’s start paying it forward... get into the spirit and help someone have their best holiday ever… Happy Networking!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Does Your Do reflect Your Who?

I found this blog while scanning my tweets and wanted to share with you too.  It is from Blogging4jobs and really got me to thinking... who am I?  Does your Do reflect your Who?

Authenticity, Lifestyle, & Purpose — Who Are You?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Welcome to the Jungle... Rock On with Intuit!

As you may know by now... I work for one of the BEST companies in the world, Intuit.  Not only were we recognized by Fortune Magazine as "America's Most Admired Software Company" in 2008; we have been named by them as one of the "100 Best Companies to Work for" for over a decade.

One of the many reasons I love my job so much is that our senior leadership is awesome.  Leadership makes all the difference in a company's culture because it sets the tone for the rest of the employees.  Our leaders are all extremely sharp, approachable, really know the recruiting industry, always willing to help and most of all... they know how to have fun!  
Let me introduce you to two of our top performers in Recruiting: Axl and Slash. (not the original ones from Guns N Roses, but a close second, right?)  This picture was taken on Friday in our San Diego, CA location right  after lunch... looks like they were  brown bagging it that day. :-)

Maybe one reason Intuit is the best place to work, EVER, is that these are some of the people responsible for making decisions on who we hire and bringing new talent into the company?  I like their style and am happy to be part of the team... Rock On Intuit!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Purple Squirrel… Revisited

October is a nostalgic month for me. I was born in October and during this month I seem to find myself reflecting back on milestones of my life. (In between the month long celebrations of my birth:)

One milestone is the launch of my blog… it was on October 5, 2006, after a networking luncheon at the DFWTRN. The topic that day was blogs and how to use them as a recruiting tool to find candidates. The speaker was so motivating that I rushed back to the office and created very my first blog.

Flash forward to March 2010… I receive an email from a reporter in California working for the Orange County Register who was doing research on the term “Purple Squirrel” and came across one of my blog postings. She was writing an article on unemployment in the area and one of her candidates used this term. Not knowing what it meant, she contacted me for an explanation and for insight on employment in the current economy. We had a phone conversation and she quoted me in her article.

Now just this month, I receive an email from someone working for a company in Princeton, NJ who found my little blog while working on a marketing piece about what this company can do for its clients; i.e. serve as a purple squirrel by meeting their needs from the business side to creating the technology. We have connected; I’ve given him my input and am now anxiously awaiting his article. As they say in academia… publish or perish!

Who knew that my little blog would have such a far reach? I’m thrilled and encouraged to explore this further to see the impact in the blogosphere. What is the difference between “Best of the Best” candidates and “Purple Squirrels”? If you dig deeper, you will find that the purple squirrel candidates are not necessarily the Top Tier candidates but rather have a combination of rare or hard to find skill sets and company backgrounds.

In all my years of recruiting, I would much rather connect with a Top Tier candidate and establish a relationship; even if they don’t specifically meet the requirements of my job openings. I can’t tell you how many placements I have made from referrals… in fact; most of my best and most challenging openings were filled by referrals from my recruiting network. And I have found almost every one of my jobs from personal referrals. In fact, my current role with Intuit was presented to me by someone I met over 10 years ago. We stayed in contact and now I am happy to be working for a company that has been on Fortune Magazine’s list of Top 100 Employers for over a decade!

Surrounding yourself with quality is a good practice in both your professional and personal life. Purple Squirrels may get you a fee for a placement, but quality connections will serve you better in the long run. What do you think?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Teens and Mobile Phones

Just finished reading my friend Dennis Smith's blog posting on Teens and Mobile Phones. Being the parent of a teen, I couldn't agree more! As a recruiter at Intuit, I couldn't resist sharing this as well as one of our cool mobile phone apps, Mint. Somehow I don't think it's just the GenY's out there that manage their money on their phones... how many others of you out there use your phone for more than calls and social networking?

Friday, August 20, 2010

To Be or Not To Be… an Independent Recruiter

Well, I did it… finally made the decision to go independent. After much soul searching, debating and comparing scenarios it was abundantly clear to me that if I truly wanted to become an independent recruiter and be my own boss, the time is now!

One of the deciding factors was the fact that so many corporations are now outsourcing recruiting and HR. A friend of mine who works with a subsidiary of a major telecom carrier informed me that all of their recruiting will be outsourced within the next few months. Also it seems that more and more of my colleagues, senior recruiters with 15+ years in the business, are working through RPO companies on contract assignments.

I discovered that the demand for high producing recruiters, who are technically savvy, socially networked and can hit the ground running is at the pinnacle right now. In fact some of these RPO companies offer benefits and even pay a portion of the consultant’s insurance. What was I waiting for????

So I gathered my courage, dusted off and upgraded my home office, updated my resume and opened for business. Now it’s time to make the announcement to my social media network so here goes… posting it on my blog, Facebook and LinkedIn pages as well as tweeting the news!

And just to confirm this was the right decision… I have started a contract assignment with Capital One as of August 2nd and absolutely love it! Got the gig in less than a week from a Facebook buddy who I had never met in person. (See… social networking really does work;) Now calls and emails are coming in weekly with at least 3-5 requests for a senior recruiter, which I happily pass along to my network. The moral of this story is… do what you love; stay networked and help as many people as you can. It will change your life and probably someone else’s as well.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Last Recruiter Standing 2010

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank the DFWTRN and everyone at the Last Recruiter Standing 2010 luncheon yesterday who voted for my story! (Yes, it really is a true story, I have witnesses.) There were so many great recruiting stories; funny, embarrassing, and almost unbelievable. This just confirms that there are no "typical" days in the life of a recruiter. Here is my most unbelievable recruiting story... I would love to hear your comments.

While working for a clerical temporary staffing agency back in the early 90’s, we had a very high profile client in the Crescent Court Office Park. At that time, the Crescent was the most upscale office building in town. This client needed a temporary receptionist to answer the phones and greet visitors; “meet and greet” as we called it. It was made extremely clear that this temp needed to be the best we had; front desk appearance, well spoken, immaculate demeanor… the whole package.

We placed a stunning lady on the assignment… She looked like she had just walked out of the Ralph Lauren store in Highland Park Village and had incredible office skills as well. The first day the client was so pleased they called and thanked me profusely for finding this “gem” of a receptionist, saying she was absolutely perfect and better than they could have imagined. A few days later, the client called and asked that she be replaced. I was stunned! When I asked why she wasn’t working out, they only replied that I needed to come down to their office and see for myself.

Prepared for the worst, I arrived to find what looked like a scene from the Mel Gibson movie, Signs. My temp had aluminum foil wrapped around her head which resembled a giant Hershey’s Kiss. This was to prevent aliens from reading her thoughts. Her shoes were wrapped in bubble wrap which popped as she walked up to greet me… to hide her tracks of course, so no one could follow her.

She had come in that morning saying that she dreamed she had been abducted by aliens the night before. She then preceded to “alien proof” her desk and work space. This consisted of surrounding her desk with sugar packets (evidently these aliens couldn’t tolerate sugar) and constructing a barrier around her chair by taking coffee stir sticks, making an aluminum foil paddle on one end and inserting the other end into the seat of the chair. This was done with multiple sticks, side by side around the entire chair seat and back. (Isn’t the power of aluminum foil to deter aliens amazing? I should have bought stock in Alcoa.)

Needless to say, she was escorted out of the building and her file was flagged “Do Not Use”. Looking back, it would have been more appropriate to file her application in The X-Files.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Recruiting from the Cloud - Changing the face of 3rd Party Recruiting

Most of my career as a recruiter has been with smaller, boutique firms… companies who specialize in a specific market, develop relationships with customers and carve out a niche business in the process. About 10 years ago I noticed a changing trend in the marketplace. One of my biggest clients, Sabre, contacted me and informed me that they were moving to a centralized staffing model and I would be working with a third party company, Chimes. This was my introduction to VMS. I wasn’t pleased… it seemed to me that the Great Wall of China had been constructed. Essentially I no longer had direct access to the hiring managers or control over the process.

As time passed, more and more of my larger clients were adopting Vendor Management Systems. Then just when I could spell VMS; the business vertical evolved from software companies licensing their products to large corporations into a birth, if you will, of some of the largest staffing companies such as Volt, Manpower, and Adecco spin off’s of VOPs (Vendor on Premises) , MSPs (Managed Service Providers) or BPOs (Business Process Outsourcing) services.

Now I had to go through one of my competitors to even gain access to a company’s recruiting or HR department. I am no longer displeased… I am hopping mad! The veins in my forehead are throbbing, my eyes are popped out and when I hear for the 20th time in a day from a hiring manager that I now have to contact their new VMS to become an “approved vendor” (even though they don’t want to go that direction… it’s coming down from above), my brain explodes, a sharp pain hits the pit of my stomach and I double over in my chair (and maybe even throw up in my mouth a little bit). Is it worth all my hard work and efforts to get on this merry-go-round? Time to regroup and reevaluate… how am I going to be able to continue to do business today?

Then a few months ago, the veil lifted and I was able to ascend to the clouds… or at least the Recruiting Cloud! I am so excited about this concept of a staffing marketplace that I have become a Program Evangelist and am here to spread the word to all the independent recruiters and boutique agencies out there that there is a way to do business in this new recruiting environment. Don’t give up! Think of an independent marketplace for buying and selling services. A place where independent recruiters can have access to companies with open requisitions who are looking for the best possible candidates to fill these openings... Enter YOLO Talent Exchange.

YOLO Talent Exchange is reinventing and improving the way employers and staffing agencies interact to exchange workforce talent. YOLO Talent Exchange is all about building a better process and adding value for both the Employer and the Staffing Agency, and doing this on a national scale.

Why is YOLO unique? I'm so glad you asked. YOLO Talent Exchange is building a unique marketplace design that will change the staffing industry! We believe this will result in a more efficient, more productive, and much more powerful talent-providing machine. So what do we call it? The “YOLO Talent Exchange”. “The better solution for buying and selling staffing services.” We are most certainly not a VMS.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Demystifying Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing is the new buzz word… do you ever wonder just how much you really understand about this new phenomena? Here is an article from ChannelWeb outlining the 100 coolest cloud computing vendors. This really helped demystify the cloud for me.

As an extra bonus, here is the link to the Top 10 Cloud Computing Predictions for 2010.