Protecting Your "Bottom Plane": Full vs. Partial Opportunity Costs

Note: This is an updated version of the second of a series of Michael Moffa articles reporting, analyzing and creating "opportunity-cost"-related concepts. The first, available here at Recruiter.com is "You Think You Understand Your Opportunity Costs?" Bottom Lines vs. Bottom Plane "Bottom line"..."double bottom line"...."triple bottom line"—net income; net income...

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The Simple Math Underlying Why We Hate To Lose

"The only thing I hate more than not winning is losing"—something Yogi Berra could have said, even if he didn't Although our reactions to losing a job, a client or a wallet seem transparently "natural" and negative, there is something strange about our attitudes towards losses and gains that is revealed when we are asked which matters more: not losing any of these, or gaining...

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Starting Your Own Staffing Company

So you've decided to start up a temporary/contract staffing company, and you would like to know what's involved in ensuring success in your new venture. To follow are 10 tips for making your new venture a success. 1. Define Your Market - Most entrepreneurs that start a staffing company come from within the industry. Some have worked for other agencies as a branch or regional manager,...

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Does Empowering your Employees Work?

Empowerment of employees - does it work and should you do it?  Being part of an integrator gives me a view into the minds of some of the most interesting managers, some great, some just poor.  What makes the difference, empowerment?  Every company has a different calling for the people they empower, from SMEs to HEROs, etc. but they all do the same thing, they are trusted professionals in...

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Looking for God's Resume

"Nobody's perfect."—anonymous "I'm an agthetic: I don't know and don't care whether God exists."—college flat-mate Assuming that if God submitted a job resume, it would be perfect, reviewing it as a job applicant or as a recruiter would prove to be a very useful and instructive exercise. However, it is one thing to be open to the idea of gleaning something from The...

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When Pearls Won't Get You The Job

Recently I spoke to a friend after an interview.  During the second round of interviews, she was quizzed about the way she dealt with being treated poorly.  The employer calmly stated that she would be need to bear the brunt of customers' complaints and co-workers' bad moods.  He wanted her to summarize on the spot how she would cope with these frequent scenarios. Although she was alarmed...

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Where Are YOUR Resume Stickers?

My friend grew up working in her family's restaurant.  She had done it all-- hostessing, waiting on tables, cooking, busing tables, and balancing the till at the end of the night. When she moved away from her home in South Africa to the United States, no one would hire her to work in their restaurants.  She was a diligent person, by nature and tirelessly submitted her resume to every single...

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Give Yourself Job Search Action Days

In Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), Mr. Kramer, played by Dustin Hoffman, is in a bit of a pickle.  His lowlife boss lays him off right before the major custody battle for his son. He is certain that the fact that he is unemployed will negatively affect his chances at gaining custody of his beloved son.  So, he springs into action.  He puts on a suit and buys a newspaper.  He circles every...

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Rewiring over Rice Noodles

A few years ago, I was unemployed and spent my Thursday afternoons getting advice from a social worker.  Although I really appreciated this therapist's insight, the process was exhausting. After every session, I would visit a nearby Vietnamese restaurant and order my favorite dish.  The restaurant served pho, a delicious soup made with rice noodles, chili peppers, mock duck, and garlic.  It...

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Twitter Recruiting Hacks

Recruiters tend to get Linkedin. It closely resembles a job board and it's easy enough to do advanced searches. Facebook recruiting is pretty obtuse and so far, recruiting on Facebook is more for leveraging your personal connections or perhaps building up a fun corporate fan page. But Twitter for recruiting? The topic couldn't be talked about more, but do many recruiters really use Twitter...

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Recruiting the Left and Right Brains

"..Both the left and the right hemisphere may be conscious simultaneously in different, even in mutually conflicting, mental experiences that run along in parallel"—Dr.Roger Wolcott Sperry, 1981 Nobel Laureate and pioneer in split-brain research Whenever you recruit someone, pop psychology and some interpretations of some serious research, such as Dr. Roger Perry's pioneering...

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Split Your Social Media Personality

Conventional social media wisdom goes something like this: You're trying to achieve business results, but you also (of course) have personal thoughts, charisma, and interesting ideas. If you build your social media "following" through personal updates and share relevant industry articles, you will then have a responsive audience for your own business products and services. Social media gives...

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Recruitment Lessons from a Missile Launch

"I'm not the man they think I am at home...Oh no no no I'm a rocket man..."—Elton John, "Rocket Man" There is an ongoing debate between those who argue for/against the usefulness or necessity of in-person interviews—some maintaining that such interviews are an anachronism, a throw-back to the 70s, back where and when they should have been left. Given that wrangling, it is worthwhile to...

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Job Stress and Your Mottos

"That which does not kill us makes us stronger."—the  German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche and maybe you "...There are no gains without pains..."—Benjamin Franklin, The Way to Wealth (1758) "Your mottos own you."— Michael Moffa "Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger." Sounds catchy, in an oversimplifying way, and subtly seems to offer...

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Qualities of a Top Financial Executive

Financial executives like Controllers, Treasurers and Chief Financial Officers are often regarded in the business world as managers of financial concerns only, but the top financial executives in many companies have more than just financial expertise. In order to be the best financial executive, you have to embody the qualities of a successful manager as well as a financial expert. Here are some...

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The Japanese Art of Rejection: The Inquisition

"The Judge must admonish him (the Advocate) not to incur the charge of defending heresy"--The Malleus Maleficarum, the witch-hunters' handbook, published in 1486, regarding the danger of vigorous legal defense of accused witches When my White House speech for the Prime Minister was dropped by Mr. Narita as softly as a tree drops a wilting cherry blossom that then gently drifts to the...

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Five Lies Recruiters Tell Themselves

Corporate and agency recruiters get lied to all day from candidates, clients, and hiring managers. Recruiters can get pretty jaded after dealing with these problems all day long. However, recruiters often lie to themselves as well. Here are five lies that recruiters tell themselves. If you're thinking this way - watch out - it can damage your career and mindset. It's the economy, stupid:...

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The Japanese Art of Rejection: The "No!" Drama

"Our Prime Minister needs a speech."--the mysterious Mr. Narita Barely after my feet had hit their first tatami mat in Tokyo, I was introduced to the mysterious and very well-connected Mr. Narita. This, thanks to a very hip German Calvin Klein male model look-alike friend, "Axel", whose smooth style and luck had brought him to the base of Mr. Narita's pyramid of power. Without...

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Pick Niche Job Boards Like A Pro

Big job boards make one central claim: they're big. They have lots of candidates in their resume database, heavy Internet traffic, and great exposure for your jobs. Your employment site can't compete with a big job board not because of functionality, but because of visibility - big boards offer bulk, and with bulk, comes the promise of some quality. Recruiters tasked with posting jobs,...

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Facebook Sponsored Stories for Recruiting

Facebook recently announced that they are rolling out a new method of advertising. They are calling the new advertising format "Sponsored Stories." Using Facebook Sponsored Stories, companies will be able to promote news feed generated content. Mashable already called the new move "bold, clever and lacking empathy." What the new format does is to juice up an individual's status updates with...

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Nothing Wrong with Being "Only a Number"

"Numb and number"—typical math-phobic high school student's response to math class After back-to-back day-long interviewing, a weary recruiter who then begins to think, "Take a number", may be forgiven for taking his feelings of numbness about the parading applicants a step closer to total numb(er)ness: "They are numbers. Only numbers. Each and every one of them—just a...

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Profile Search with Linkedin Instant Search

If you're a recruiter who needs a seriously geeky Linkedin fix every day, you might want to check out the projects being developed by Linkedin Labs. Linkedin describes the service as "a small set of projects and experimental features built by the employees of LinkedIn." They are mostly demonstrations of the power of the social graph and information contained on Linkedin. One experiment...

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Put Your Recruiting Department into Rotation

Corporate recruiters need to have a deep understanding of their company culture, specific job requirements, and fit with the individual hiring managers. A lot of attention is paid on how to take a great job order and build strong relationships with hiring managers. However, corporate recruiters are often asked to carry a heavy requirement load - a truly deep understanding of jobs across different...

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You Think You Understand Your Opportunity Costs?

"....researchers found that exposure to introductory economics instruction was strikingly counterproductive"—Cornell University professor Robert H. Frank, New York Times, September 1, 2005 Do you think you know what opportunity cost is or why anyone should care what it is? "Sure," you say. You've read Economics for Dummies. Or you picked up some version of the concept in a...

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How To Be An Honest Recruiter

The need to prevaricate a little happens to both corporate and agency recruiters. Maybe you're a corporate recruiter and your company has decreased benefit plans each year for the past five years. Or your management thinks screaming is a refreshing jolt to creativity. On the agency side, you might have dealt with bad employers that are good clients. Sometimes the worst employers have high...

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Financial Managers Need to Be More than Just Finance Experts

Specialization in any field has long been seen as a good thing because employees can develop their skills to a high degree and find innovative solutions to their employer's needs. The problem with specialization when it comes to career advancement is that it can lock you in a position. Being a valuable member of a financial team is important, but you also need to be valuable as a manager. In...

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The $1 Billion Bonus Blues

"Goldman Sachs Bonuses: Bank Paying Staff over $5 Billion for Just Three Months Work" –Huffington Post headline, April 18, 2010 The newly-minted well-suited Harvard M.B.A glances at your confidently steepled fingers while you tout the job perks and your company's clout. You can't help thinking that he looks like a cross between an attentive lap dog and lofty Lincoln enthroned in...

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Real Networking with Linkedin

I can almost hear the collective groans. "Not another blog post about networking with Linkedin..." Well, too bad, I say. You're here already and you might as well read on. A lot has been said about how to network with Linkedin, and for good reason. The professional social network is a great resource for every type of professional and of course especially for recruiters. Over the years,...

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The Perfect Interview Question

Knowing that conventional job interviews have a boilerplate feel, many recruiters may understandably be yearning for something fresh, insightful and revealing to ask an applicant, in the form of a completely unexpected, yet deep question, the answer(s) to which cannot be rehearsed, rote or standardized. Inexorably, last year's clever career query quickly becomes this year's withered...

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Should you be in Sales or Recruiting?

Many staffing firms and direct hire recruitment agencies take a bifurcated approach to delivering recruiting service. These firms, in contrast to the "360 desk" model, split the recruiting function into separate sales roles and recruiting roles. The salespeople work with clients and uncover job requirements and the recruiters find candidates for the job requirements. Most large recruiting firms...

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Your Value vs. Your Values

"What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing."—Oscar Wilde "I want to be measured by my values, not by my value"—M. Moffa There are two alternative and very different measures of a man or a woman: his or her value vs. his or her values. Which of these matters more to your company---meaning, on the one hand, the one you work, recruit or are...

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Do Recruiters Really Have to Meet Candidates?

Perhaps the biggest recruiting myth out there is that agency recruiters always do in-person interviews for all of their candidates. Recruiters love to tell their clients that they vigorously screen their candidates through in-person assessment, technical tests, and company culture fit tests. However, let's face facts - few agency recruiters stick to in-person interviews 100% of the time....

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Future Employment Trends for Financial Managers

It goes without saying that today's job market makes it as much of a challenge to advance in a career as it does to begin one. Three out of 10 people work in the finance industry, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor. In 2008, financial managers held 539,300 jobs and 7 percent were employed by local, state or Federal government. Job prospects for financial managers is expected to average the...

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"Tattool": How To Use Tattoos in Job Interviews

If you are over 18, under 29 and a recruiter or a job applicant in a recruiting interview with your counterpart, there is an almost 60% chance that at least one of you has one or more tattoos—that is, if we can believe oft-quoted telephone survey results from the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, which reported that, based on its small sample, it estimated that 36% of...

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Two Tips for Recruiting Sales Professionals

If you've been asked to recruit sales professionals before, you've experienced a particular form of recruiting agony. Sales positions typically don't have definable job requirements. While a sales job might list industry experience or a developed book of clients as a requirement, hiring sales people is really more about assessing potential for success. There is absolutely nothing to type into a...

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Careers in Corporate Finance

You have your choice of various career options when you work in corporate finance. Whether you are fresh out of college or a seasoned finance professional looking for a change of venue, a career in corporate finance offers many opportunities for professional and personal growth. Listed below are job options for persons pursuing a career in corporate finance.   Controller. The duties of...

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Four Career Tips for Financial Executives

Chief Financial Officers and other financial executives have usually already journeyed a long career path to get into their current position. However, once professionals have reached the realm of financial executive management, many find it hard to stay there, or worse, hard to even keep their job. The difficulty of keeping and grooming your financial management career is of course interwoven...

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The Painful Dilemma of a Recruiter Recruiting Recruiters

"Above all, do no harm."—Hippocratic oath sworn by physicians Citing a modest uptick in the economy and the expected retirement of many baby-boomer professionals, a very recent Wall Street Journal article, "Firms Enlist More Recruiters" (by Joe Light, December 19, 2010), reports that demand for recruiters is projected to significantly increase through May 2011. One survey,...

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When You Spot The Spinach in Her Smile

"I'm strong to the finish, 'cause I eat my spinach."--Popeye You are in the beginning of an interview and listening very attentively. Then you see it: the legendary and universally dreaded embedded shred of spinach wedged between the methodically flashed upper incisors of the Stepford-wife fixed smile facing you. What should you do? Ignore it and allow emotional distraction and...

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Agent Double-O-No!: How Not to Be Recruited by Spooks

"Hang up. I'll call you back"—the response when I first contacted "the Agency" Most expert advice about advertising for staff includes warnings not to be vague, ambiguous, fuzzy about time frames, anonymous, terse, too low-key, hard to spot among other ads or otherwise nondescript. An ad like this one (about the size of and conveying about as much information as a piece of Dentine...

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U.S. Army Lessons for Corporate Recruiters

"An Army of One"—previous U.S. Army recruitment slogan In 2006, the United States Army replaced its 2001 "An Army of One" recruiting slogan with "Army Strong", after 2005 recruitment efforts fell short by the widest margin in two decades.  Prior to both of these, "Be All You Can Be" beckoned American youths for 20 years. Presumably the reported $200 million per year,...

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Five Vital Pre-qualification Questions

Recruiting has a culture of "closing." Recruiters want to meet face to face with candidates and if they are good, sell them on the job and close the req. When corporate recruiters find great candidates, they many times want to quickly bring them in for an interview. Usually phone interviews precipitate the in-person interview. Recruiters will focus on company fit, soft skills, and company culture...

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Hang up on No Call RPO

Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) is the practice of outsourcing all or certain aspects of talent acquisition, sourcing, recruiting, and staffing. RPO providers promise cost savings and efficiency in the procurement of a company's most precious commodity, human talent. Outsourced recruitment and staffing is a relatively new practice, and has gained traction so far with mostly large companies...

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What do Open Linkedin Groups Mean for Jobs?

Last night, Linkedin announced that they are rolling out "open" Linkedin groups. Open groups mean that the content of those groups will be available to the wild west that is the Internet. This means that search engines like Google and Bing will pick up discussions from Linkedin groups and that users will be able to share Linkedin Group discussions on Twitter, Facebook, and other sharing...

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Are You Done Building your Social Network?

If you were on Linkedin back in the good ol' days of maybe 2004 and 2005, it felt like a bulletin board back in 1992 - only the not cool kids were there. It was more like a club than a web forum. Facebook grew to power during the same time, but for me it was all about Linkedin. The gates of the professional world were thrown open; communication, it seemed would never be the same. Trumpets around...

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Does Software Shape Talent Acquisition?

I had an interesting discussion today with a software vendor in the talent planning and development space. Their software occupies a very specific niche in the analysis and forecasting aspect of workforce talent demand planning. It is a common and smart strategy for HR software vendors to approach one particular angle of the employee life-cycle mess continuum instead of trying to own the entire...

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Why 2010 Changed Internet Recruiting

The recruiting domain landscape looks completely different this year than last. Five major Internet recruiting related transactions took place in 2010 which will shape the functioning of online job search, HR, and Internet recruiting:   Monster bought Yahoo HotJobs Kenexa bought Salary.com We started Recruiter.com as a new company Jobing bought Recruiting.com The .jobs...

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Internet Marketers are Moving into Recruiter Software

Every day, I get the chance to talk to a lot of very interesting and passionate people. I end up talking to more recruiting and HR technology and service vendors than recruitment practitioners. You might think that I would start losing touch with the recruiting industry because of this, but I think the opposite is true. Vendors, now more than ever, are usually the most intelligent, informed, and...

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