HR: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Posted on July 16, 2014. Filed under: Career Management, Job Promotion, Recruiting, Technical Infographics, Work Issues |

We’ve written in the past here about HR’s dilemma with IT and other “technical” operations within most organizations. The two have not always seen eye to eye, and many technical candidates I represent tell me that HR doesn’t “get” them, often misunderstanding key skills and background information in its role as gatekeeper.

In keeping with that discussion, I came across this infographic from SAP and NetBase that details some common things employees both love and hate about HR’s role within their organization. Although the “love” list offers some nice things, I tend to think the items on the “hate” list are weightier as they more directly affect the flow of business. Either way, I think the infographic does a good job of showcasing the delicate balance that most HR staff play between serving as advocates for employees and as gatekeepers for the organization.


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6 Most Under-Used Job Search Methods That Work

Posted on July 7, 2014. Filed under: Consulting/Contracting, Executive Job Search, International Job Seekers, Job Search Tips, Recruiting, Resumes |

OK, so you might be looking at the following infographic and my title and thinking there’s a typo. The infographic from discusses 5 job search strategies that work (although most professionals use them…sparingly…to say the least).

Although I agree with the infographic, if I had to list the 6 most under-used job search methods that work, I would include the following (all of which I’ve written about extensively and have linked here):

1. Recruiter matching

2. Employer profiling

3. LinkedIn network building and engagement

4. Peer networking with positioning

5. Strategic visioning for the job search

6. Developing career protection “pipelines”

You’ll notice I left job boards off of here. It’s not that job boards don’t work; it’s that they don’t work very well. Therefore, although they are certainly fine to use as an “easy” job search method, all they really end up doing is putting you in a pile with the masses, hoping you’ve beat the automated applicant tracking systems at their own game.

Believe me if I thought applying to job posting after job posting were the way to go, I would not have spent the last couple years revamping our entire job search solutions offerings at ITtechExec and NoddlePlace to include these 6 methods. Admittedly, these methods aren’t as “easy,” but they are proven to be much more effective once you know the best way to maximize on them. In my book, that actually makes them a very “easy” choice and a great return on your resume, LI profile, and other branding investments.

Let’s face it. Why continue to hang out and wait with the masses if you don’t have to?



Job Search

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Hitting the Job Search Brick Wall

Posted on May 20, 2014. Filed under: Candidate Profiles, Career Management, Consulting/Contracting, Executive Job Search, Job Market Trends, Job Search Tips, Personal Branding, Recruiting, Resumes |

job searchI often get asked about the typical technical professional  we come across at ITtechExec and NoddlePlace and the type of situation(s) he or she is facing when we first start working together.

Rather than describe these professionals, however, I thought I would let them two of them tell their own stories.


Perhaps you can relate with Raul. Raul is an IT executive in his early 50s with a very impressive background that includes an MBA, Six Sigma Black Belt, and 14 years with a high-profile tech company. For various reasons, Raul found himself back out in the job market and hitting the “job search brick wall.”

Here is an excerpt from his story:

“So I thought I had a pretty decent resume. I mean, I knew I had good credentials and experience, and I knew that recruiters had always been interested in me in the past. Plus, after 14 years with a Fortune 100 company working my way to a high level, although I had heard about how hard the job market was these days, I wasn’t too concerned.

And then I started looking … First of all, I hadn’t really “looked” in 14 years. So that was eye-opening right there. Then I found out that all those recruiters who had seemed so interested before suddenly were nowhere to be found … for whatever reason. My network of colleagues, which I originally thought was pretty strong, was not producing much in the way of results. And pretty soon I found myself scouring job boards, to really no avail, and attending networking meeting after networking meeting, where things moved ever so slowly.

Finally, after almost no movement, virtually no response to my “decent” resume, and months of lost salary, I decided I needed to start looking for some help.

The problem, though, was that I just couldn’t fathom paying for a resume only to keep following the same job search pattern…” Read More


Or perhaps you can relate with Ahmed. Ahmed is a Product Engineer in his late 30s in Boston. He is the father of 2 small children, and he came to me after taking a severance package from his previous employer as a result of a buyout. He had always had recruiters come to him in the past, but now that he wanted to engage them, he didn’t know how best to match them to his needs and to do so efficiently.

Here is an excerpt from his story:

“In the past, I always had recruiters pop up from time to time with different opportunities. To be honest, I usually brushed them off because I knew my certifications and credentials were good. I believed that would always keep me marketable. After all, employers kept saying they wanted someone with exactly the background and skills I had. But then my thriving company was bought out, and the incoming leadership wanted to take things in a new direction … a direction that didn’t leave much room for me. So I took a severance package and went on my way, confident that my connections would come through for me.

After a couple months went by, and my connections were pretty quiet, I started thinking about those recruiters who used to contact me all the time. I did my best to try and find them and reach out to them, but they were no longer as interested or had anything that suited me. At that point, I wasn’t sure what to do other than apply to online postings and hope for my personal connections to come through finally. I don’t like to sit around, so I started doing some research and found out about recruiter matching…” Read More

Climbing Over the Wall

What I like about both stories is that even though each faced very typical job search issues, they understood that they needed to move away from what the masses were doing in order to climb over that brick wall they were facing. Therefore, despite being “typical” technical professionals, they weren’t afraid to take “atypical” paths to get to where they wanted to go. And I’m happy to report that both did get there while learning how stay prepared for the next move. In other words, they leveraged this search to build in pipelines for the next one, something very few candidates think to do.

Perhaps that’s the real lesson here: It’s not the particular situation you face but the approach you take to dealing with it.


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