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

12/16/2015 02.42 EDT

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

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

07/01/2015 03.11 EDT

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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...

Time for Resolutions – I really mean it this time!

01/28/2015 03.21 EDT

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As we enter into the New Year, resolutions have been made, modified and broken.  How many times have we pledged to exercise more, eat healthier and be kinder to others and then turn around and break those commitments?  The answer is – most of the time!   As 2015 gets under way, these are the handful of pledges I have made, but also plan to really keep:   Live a healthier life: People who know me will most likely say I already live by this rule.  I generally have a healthy approach to eating and exercise.  However, I believe I can improve on it by being more intentional as well as realistic.  One goal is to eat more organic fruits and vegetables every single day.  I know this is doable!  Also with my new gadget, the FitBit, combined with my competitive tendencies – I plan to meet my goal of 10,000 steps 90% of the time.  This wonderful gadget silently cheers me on to get moving, and I listen to it.  I’m even starting to have “walking meetings” with my colleagues – a great way to get two things done at the same time!   Use technology differently: I have not been on the iPad bandwagon, but plan to be.  I now have one and intend to use it in meetings, including for sales presentations.  The iPad will also allow me to access information more effectively when I’m traveling.  It will also help in alleviating eye strain...

Lifelong Learners

06/18/2014 09.17 EDT

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I come from a family of teachers, and as a result, we grew up in an environment that encouraged all of us to become lifelong learners.  My parents have been incredible role models for me and my siblings throughout our lives.   As time has marched on and they have moved into their 80s, my parents’ personal growth and learning has prospered.  My father just published his second book – annotating a diary of a Civil War soldier – and he is now working on his third book.  On top of that, he just delivered a PowerPoint presentation to more than 150 people in their life care community!  (Yes – he knows how to use PowerPoint.)  He also reads The New York Times cover to cover every day!  My mother is a voracious reader and a day doesn’t go by without her completing a crossword puzzle.  She has been an active and engaged member of a book club that has been meeting for more than 20 years.  The club consists of women in their 70s, 80s and 90s; they read a book orally, discussing it for hours.  It’s a great approach – no need for “homework” or assignments to read several chapters before the next meeting.  They just enjoy discovering the book and its content as the story unfolds.  My mother truly enjoys and values the company of these extraordinary women, and their love of reading and learning knits the group together.   So, with such lifelong...

How to Stack the Deck for Success

02/10/2014 02.57 EDT

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I recently read a very interesting piece by Jean Martin, a regular contributor to Harvard Business Review: For Senior Leaders, Fit Matters More than Skill.  Jean writes about the need to evaluate an executive’s “network fit” when considering him or her for hire.  By “network fit,” she means “how well the potential hire will fit with the way his or her new colleagues work.”  This is distinctly different from “cultural fit,” which predicts how well the executive will align with the corporate culture more broadly.   Jean points out that executives who fail often do so because of a problem with “network fit.”  She goes on to examine whether internal recruiters are better able to sense network fit when compared to external search partners.  I think it’s fair to say that she doesn’t think either party does a particularly good job on this critical aspect of evaluating external executives for key leadership positions.   The article got me thinking – always dangerous – so I thought I would share a couple of reactions.   First – the obvious.  You can’t evaluate network fit if you haven’t met the network!  For all of our searches, we try to meet as many stakeholders as possible when we begin the search.  It takes time to do this, and sometimes clients push back, wondering why it matters.  We generally are pretty insistent about this step in the process.  We have always known how important chemistry is with the team; if you...

Does Soup Come With The Sandwich?

06/17/2013 12.05 EDT

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I joined the “Sandwich Generation” in my early 40s when, within a month’s time, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and my father suffered two major strokes. I’m happy to report that almost six years later, they are both still with us, after another bout of cancer for my mom – kidney this time – and my dad dealing with the challenges of living with Alzheimer’s. However, I really wasn’t prepared to assume the role of primary caregiver for my parents while concurrently managing a business, a marriage, and all the joys and pains of raising two teenage daughters.   After visiting with my dad last night, watching him continue his long and losing battle with Alzheimer’s; it made me remember something I wrote about him a few years ago. This isn’t a “how to” on successfully managing the challenges of intergenerational family issues, but hopefully a reminder that we sometimes need to take a step back and put our day jobs in perspective…   January 27, 2009 I miss talking with my dad. He had two strokes towards the end of 2007, which has severely limited his ability to speak. He gets lost in a sentence or comes to a point where he can’t recall a word or name. You can see the frustration on his face. He refuses to answer the phone when someone calls the house and tries to limit himself to one or two word answers when he can.   My father...

What I Learned On My Trip to Paris

04/23/2012 08.55 EDT

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Remember returning to school after summer vacation and being asked by your teacher to write an essay titled “What I Learned on My Summer Vacation”? This question immediately came to mind after I returned from a trip to Paris with my mother and brother. We had the good fortune of treating my mother to this special trip, which has been on her “bucket list” for years.   What did I learn from my time spent to Paris? Even though it was a brief trip, I discovered several things about life in general.   Smell the Flowers: It was so delightful to experience a new culture that is more relaxed than the one I’m used to. We loved the pace of Paris, particularly the pace of the meals. Of course, we loved the food; who wouldn’t appreciate being served chocolate croissants every morning?! Each meal was savored slowly and lasted between two or three hours. Initially, it was challenging to adjust to not having the waiters and waitresses shoo you away so they could turn the table over to another customer. The wait staff was not focused on rushing to give us the check – what a shock! Each meal was enjoyed and relished. We actually ate more slowly, had longer conversations and just enjoyed each other’s company. We appreciated taking life a bit more slowly, remembering to smell the flowers along the way.   Mind Your Manners: My one observation of the culture is that typically (although...