Sabbatical From Writing

Relaxing at the office with our feet up on the desk

Brad and I are back after a month-long sabbatical where we’ve been working diligently preparing for 2011. Contrary to popular opinion, we did not spend December with our feet up on the desk kicking back in Southern California. We’ve been working hard to improve our entire on-line presence. We’ve got an overwhelming number of new initiatives underway, including a couple of new e-books, an entire on-line learning university, a job board for $100k plus positions.

A lot of people tend to think of December as a down month, a month to kick back, relax, take time off, not work very hard. For Brad and I, this was a very busy December and we’re excited about the job market and hiring possibilities in 2011.

We’ve also been busy doing a lot of research over the last month trying to understand what’s going in the job market and what does it mean for companies.

Opportunity to Upgrade Your Team

We are still “bullish” on your ability to hire top talent in the next 6-12 months. The window is starting to close on upgrading your team. We’re noticing the demand for hiring is improving – our Sales Professional Recruiting Division is exploding with clients calling seeking better Directors of Business Development, Regional Sales Managers, Account Managers, and Senior Sales Professionals.

A focus on upgrading sales teams is usually one of the first signs the job market/economy is beginning to improve. We’ve seen this trend in our Executive Search Practice in 5-6 recessions over the last 25 years.

What are you doing to upgrade your team before the window of opportunity closes? Do you have 1 or 2 roles on your management team or in your sales department that need to be upgraded, and you’ve been holding back based on some rationalization that doesn’t even make sense any longer?

Brad and I look forward to re-engaging with you in our blog, our radio show, and a slew of new learning vehicles for helping your improve hiring accuracy and success.

Barry Deutsch

PS – If you’re looking to upgrade someone on your sales team, you might want to take advantage of our FREE Sales Success Factor Snapshot offer.

Featured in Forbes.Com Article on Hiring During the Recession

forbes_home_logo recently interviewed me about an article on hiring during the recession. You can read the full article at – The title of the article is “Hiring the best of the left-behind”.

The article reinforces a few key ideas – especially for small business owners and entrepreneurs:

Recession offers opportunity to hire top talent

First, The recession offers a wonderful opportunity to acquire top talent. Some outstanding candidates have been cast off for no fault of their own. Many companies in this recession have moved beyond getting rid of their deadwood and are now well into cutting right down to the bone – having to let go of some of their best talent for business survival.

However, these top 25% candidates are not desperate. They are very selective about which opportunities they will consider. These top talent candidates are well-networked, have multiple opportunities and “irons in the fire”, and don't need your job. You still have to apply the right mix of marketing, relationship building, and  compelling opportunity to attract these great candidates.

Just because they are out of work doesn't mean it will be easy to acquire them.

Top talent will take your recruiting call

Secondly, almost all individuals in the top talent ranks who are currently employed will take a phone call from a recruiter, friend, former co-worker, network contact about a new opportunity. Almost everyone is concerned about their company's future success and whether the axe might fall next on their neck.

It's a great time to reach out into your network and see if there are some outstanding currently employed candidates who might want to consider your compelling opportunity.

Short window to find great candidates

Third, I see the opportunity of the recession to acquire great talent lasting about another 12-18 months. After the recovery begins, we'll be shifting back to a candidate's market in which you may never be able to acquire the type of talent available right now.

What strategies and tactics are you employing right now to find and acquire great talent for your company? Have you done a top-to-bottom assessment of your entire organization and selectively identified a few key roles that could be upgraded?

Don't procrastinate or you'll be kicking yourself in 12 months that you didn't act sooner.

Most Important – A Great Hiring Process

Fourth, and perhaps most important, you still need a great hiring process to separate the average performers from outstanding talent.

Our simple but effective Success Factor Methodology provides the tools, techniques, and strategies to allow you to train all your hiring managers to become great at the process of hiring top talent for their teams. Thousands of companies around the world have implemented the simple steps of the Success Factor Methodology and have dramatically improved their ability to find, assess, and hire top talent at every level in their organization.


Top Strategy in a Down Economy: Upgrade Your Talent

Image of a Hiring Manager taking the initiative to search for top talent to upgrade his team

One of my favorite authors, speakers, and bloggers, Mitch Gooze (and an award-winning International Vistage Speaker) recently posted a recommendation on his blog VALUE ACCELERATION (you should be subscribing to Mitch’s Blog in addition to our Hire and Retain Top Talent Blog) about taking advantage of the down economy to upgrade your talent.

Vistage International is the premier International CEO and Senior Executive Organization for learning and personal growth. Barry Deutsch, his partner Brad Remillard, and Mitch Gooze are a few of top Executive Speakers.

The title of the Blog posting was “11 Secrets to Marketing in a Down Economy”.

Mitch indicated that this was number 6 in his 11 point list of strategic marketing in a down economy. He made a statement which I am now going to add to my list of favorite quotes: “Great processes with outstanding people make an unbeatable combination.”

If you would like to learn how to put a process in place guaranteed to raise hiring accuracy from random results to an 80-90% level of hiring people who can deliver your desired outcomes, explore the key steps of our Success Factor Methodology.

We’ve assembled a variety of tools, products, audio, video, and templates to turn what is in most companies a series of random and arbitrary events around hiring into a systematic and rigorous process for hiring top talent.


Hiring 101 – Use the recession to upgrade

Take Advantage of the Recession to Upgrade Your Talent in a Bad Job Market

Brad touched on this subject and I'll expand upon it. Upgrading your talent during the recession could be one of the most important steps you take as a manager or executive.

The recession provides the perfect opportunity to upgrade your team. We're in one of the deepest recessions I've witnessed in over 25 years of executive search. Many of our clients are systematically looking at their management teams and determining which roles can be upgraded.

In our lifetimes, we may never see a job market as bad as this one – many companies, especially entrepreneurial and middle-market companies, have a unique ability to acquire talent right now – that they will NOT  have an opportunity to acquire in 6-12 months as the job market begins to return to a more traditional level. There are some exceptionally talented individuals available right now – for an affordable compensation level.

Upgrading a few key roles where you currently have “under-performers” could allow you to create an extraordinary team, develop a competitive advantage in your people, or become a “rock-star” manager/executive due to the flawless execution your team can deliver.

If you're a manager or executive and not looking at every role to determine whether to upgrade the position now, we believe you're not only missing a historic opportunity, but you are also abdicating your role as a manager or leader.


Pay Cuts For Work

In a recent survey we conducted 54% of the people responding would accept a position for less pay than their previous position. In fact, 46% would take up to a 20% reduction in salary.

As the economy continues to soften we will conduct another survey and compare the results.