Beating the Block

07/26/2018 11.44 EST

My advice to you if you are feeling blocked at your current company is first to look inward.
Beating the Block

Sometimes, the only one blocking you is you.

When someone tells me they are blocked from advancement at their current company, I usually take it with a grain of salt....

I Call Shotgun!

05/24/2017 10.31 EST

It’s about one aging GenXr trying to find his place in the world as his recall and his knees begin to fail him.
I Call Shotgun!

It’s only been within the last few years that professionals who are my kids’ age started joining the workforce en masse. They are fearless, fun, and frustrating.

It’s only been within the last few years that professionals who are my kids’ age started joining the workforce en masse. They are fearless, fun, and frustrating....

Lessons Learned from 20 Years in Executive Search

08/25/2016 01.53 EST

Your client doesn’t want you to tell them what they want to hear; they want you to tell them what they need to hear. There are way too many “yes-men” and “yes-women” in our business.
Lessons Learned from 20 Years in Executive Search

a few observations on 20 years in executive search

Companies don’t move fast enough and don’t recruit hard enough when it comes to hiring superstars....

Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should

02/04/2016 01.02 EST

There’s a small subset of search professionals who really know how to take this data and create personalized messaging that resonates with their target audiences. They are the ones who win for their clients and get the hard-to-get, high-potential candidates.
Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should

Just because you have access to troves of personal data on candidates, doesn’t mean you have to use it.

There’s a small subset of search professionals who really know how to take this data and create personalized messaging that resonates with their target audiences. They are the ones who win for their clients and get the hard-to-get, high-potential candidates. They are the ones who anticipate how the digital world is changing the recruiting industry and effectively use the available toolsets or create new ones in response.  ...

Rating Philadelphia as a Place to Live and Work: Senior Executive Insights

12/16/2015 02.42 EST

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Click here to view our report: Rating Philadelphia Survey Results – Salveson Stetson Group  

One Space or Two?

10/01/2015 11.55 EST

Many of us believe that, given the explicit choice, a company will hire a younger employee for any number of reasons: cheaper, easier to train, less likely to leave for a better opportunity, etc. While I’m not going to argue that age bias doesn’t exist, I do think its prevalence is overstated in today’s hiring environment.
One Space or Two?

It has been ingrained in all of our heads that age bias exists in the employment market.

While I’m not going to argue that age bias doesn’t exist, I do think its prevalence is overstated in today’s hiring environment....

I really can’t wait to see social recruiting at its best. Until then…?

07/01/2015 03.11 EST

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I’ve come to the conclusion that most of the current crop of social recruiting experts out there are simply full of it.  In a vacuum, this statement is going to delight one of my partners, who routinely rejects any application of ”science” to the “art” of retained search (yes, we know you had to walk ten miles barefoot to school every day, Grampa John).  However, I believe that social recruiting, and the creative use of current and future applied technologies, will have a huge impact on talent acquisition and the way we engage with the individuals we want to join our companies.  But here’s the thing:  I just don’t think the people leading the charge at the moment are very good at it.   I’ve reviewed the published lists of social recruiting gurus and the bios of speakers at talent acquisition and human resources conferences.  From these sources, it would appear that the two most significant qualifications required to be anointed a guru are: “I tweet a lot!” and “I have a ridiculously large number of LinkedIn connections!”  This, my friends, is a very low bar.  However, the demand for social media expertise is high, and if you tweet more than your clients then, to them anyway, you are an expert.   I equate the current state of the burgeoning social recruiting consulting industry to the state of retained search in a booming economy.  Just about anyone can throw out a shingle and make a quick buck...

I Feel the Need for Speed (and Accuracy)

03/26/2015 12.05 EST

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  When we pitch a search to a potential new client, one of the first questions we’re asked is how long we think the process may take.  Companies want to know how long it will take their search partner to identify and present a slate of candidates.  For the record, on average it takes SSG somewhere between four and six weeks to bring a highly qualified group of executives to any individual engagement.  Sometimes, we see either explicit or tacit anxiety from the company regarding the length of time it takes to generate candidates.  If I feel this anxiety roiling in the background, I often take out this chart:   These data are drawn from thousands of searches conducted by SSG over the past 19 years.  And, I am pretty sure that most other retained executive search firms could pull charts together that look similar – if not identical – to the one above.  So, as a hiring manager, human resources or talent acquisition professional, if you are asking your search firm how they can shave a few days off the time it takes to deliver a slate of candidates, you are asking the wrong question.  Alternatively, what you should be asking is: “Why does it take us so damn long to hire an executive?”   While there are a thousand little variations, thematically there are only a few large factors that influence the pace of the hiring process:   We really don’t have a hiring process....

What I Learned in Boston

12/08/2014 09.25 EST

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Random thoughts written on the plane ride back to Philadelphia after attending the Greater Philadelphia Leadership Exchange (October 5-8)   Over the past three days, I had the opportunity to participate in the Greater Philadelphia Leadership Exchange (GPLEX) in Boston.  The GPLEX serves as an annual experience that allows Philadelphia leaders in business, government and non-profit to learn about economic development initiatives underway in other cities with the hope that we can bring back useful ideas to apply to the challenges facing the Greater Philadelphia Region.  This trip was an eye-opening experience for me, and I wanted to share some of the highlights.   First and foremost, I found that there are a lot of incredibly talented people in Philadelphia who are deeply committed to improving the prospects for our Region and its residents.  Our delegation was comprised of approximately 120 outstanding leaders who I believe have the capacity to successfully address the challenges facing Philadelphia – such as educating our children, promoting the growth of our businesses, addressing income equality and modernizing our decaying infrastructure.  I would put these folks up against the brain trusts of any other major metropolitan area in the country.   Second, while there are a number of striking similarities between Philadelphia and Boston, we are very different communities.  Our region is much larger and more diverse than Boston.  As a result, our problems are more complex and our stakeholders are more numerous.  That being said, our friends in Boston seem to...

To Share or Not To Share

09/02/2014 11.28 EST

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Nothing annoys me more on LinkedIn than to find that one of my 1st connections has blocked the ability to view their connections (beyond the ones we have in common).  I don’t know why people do this; in my mind, it directly contradicts the social networking purpose of the site.  It also tells me that people are much less discriminating of whom they connect with on LinkedIn than they are of whom they connect with on Facebook.  Most Facebook users don’t limit the ability of their friends to view their other friends.  So, why do people do it on LinkedIn?   First, I really don’t think people give much thought to responding to a LinkedIn request.  I know I don’t, beyond checking to see how that person is connected to people already in my network.  If they are a 2nd connection, particularly one where we share several folks in common, I automatically add them.  If they are a 3rd connection, I give it a little more thought, but more often than not, I add them as well (unless it’s obvious that they are cold selling something).  Let’s just say I’m not conducting thorough due diligence.   LIONS I occasionally debate whether I should be more critical when accepting connection requests.  After all, LinkedIn does advise you to only add people to your network whom you trust and would be comfortable referring to other connections.  And, as I noted in my first-ever blog, referral functionality decreases exponentially when...