Bohan and Bradstreet

Staffing Blog

«  previous  |  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60  |  next  »Displaying posts 296 – 300 of 300 

Win, Place & Show in Workforce Management

Monday, March 18, 2013  by Ed Bradstreet

There is a new strategy when valuing management. Traditionally, companies have ranked management with an A, B and C grading and the philosophy that the more “A” management, the better the company’s potential. It is impractical that companies can afford “A” players in all management positions. The challenge is to attract and retain ”A” talent in key management positions. The difficulty is that not all management position are valued equally and the same positions in two different business models will have dramatically different significance to the success of the organization.

First, there are many business models, however, the two most prominent are the customized solutions that are targeted to a specific audience and the other is the standardized product or service that is sold to the mass markets. If one was to rank management positions by “A” (strategic), “B” (support), or “C” (surplus) in these two business models, would sales or supply chain management be graded equally? Obviously not.

In the customized solutions model, successful sales management needs to identify the unique customer need, understand the solutions development expertise of their business, and strategically (A) orchestrate the customization and delivery of the solution. In the standardized model the sales manager is more of a support (B) relationship or account manager who responds to the needs of the customer through on-time deliveries, service, and pricing. Although both roles are important, there is a higher probability that the sales management role would be ranked higher in the customized solution model.

On the other hand, the supply chain manager in the customized solution model tends to support (B) the delivery of the solution. In this case, timing and delivery is important but not as critical as in the standardized product. When servicing mass markets, the supply chain manager must be very strategic (A) and ensure on-time delivery of often large and complex finished goods to customers. The differentiator for the customized solution model is unique design, solution development and quality of product or implementation while in the standardized business model it is availability, service, and price.

The important message is to first place a value on all management roles within your business model. For those positions that have a strategic impact on the success of the company should be ranked “A” because the role can either increase revenues opportunities or reduce operating costs and expenses. “A” management roles are critical to the performance of the company and usually have autonomous decision-making authority. Calibrate compensate for strategic roles at a different level than support positions because the value to the corporation is greater.

“B” positions support value-adding “A” roles and minimize any downsize risk. These are important roles that follow specific processes and practices to ensure predictable results. “C” positions have little economic impact on the company, however, may be a necessity for the company to function. In most companies, “B” and “C” positions are the most common role in the organization. Aligning “A” quality talent in “A” designated roles is the key.

facebooktwitterLinkedInStumbleUpon top Top

Interview Miscues

Monday, March 11, 2013  by Ed Bradstreet

There is a distinct advantage to networking into a company. The best reason is not the most obvious. Being known increases the probability of an offer and shortcuts a lot of pitfalls that swallow the unknown candidate. Identifying a better company and/or role is both a science and an art form. It requires time, strategy, research, and practice. Too often the best candidate that is available and aware of a specific vacancy does not get hired or even personally interviewed. Here are two of the more common miscues that job applicants make:

Under-Performing Resume

Here is the logic: A company is looking externally because the solution is not available internally. The opening occurs because there are needs, pain, and/or changes impacting the company. It could be leadership, external customers, productivity, acquisitions, profitability, or a host of other challenges that need to be conquered. So what happens 85+% of the time is the unknown candidate submits a traditional chronological resume that explains their employment history, lists some skills and possibly some results, describes education and training, and often throws in addendums like interests, activities, and stale events. Boring!

There are two types of readers: decision makers and, as the book Selling to VITO suggests, “Seymours” – because they always want to “see more.” When decision makers are looking at a candidate’s paperwork, they want to find the “aspirin” for their pain. They want headlines, solutions, and successes. Decision makers do not want boring. Most resumes are written for the writer rather than the reader. Think marketing proposal rather than resume.

If you want to impress the reader and you have the appropriate expertise and know-how, then...

  • Lead the reader's eye and provide clear-cut illustrations that demonstrate your ability to lead, implement change, improve productivity, and so on.
  • Your presentation should be electronically scanable and include strengths and contributions that are appropriate to your audience. Decision makers don't like resume templates, tables or graphs.
  • 95+% of all resumes lack personality, so start with a professional summary that can include adjectives that describe your personality and major strengths that a reader can preview.
  • Use action verbs in your resume and describe accomplishments in a STAR format (Situation-Task-Action-Result).

Bad Phone Techniques

Increasingly, clients are phone-interviewing a candidate as the first step in the process. This is usually accomplished by a human resources professional and, on occasions, by the hiring authority. If asked to participate in a phone interview, then assume you are on target and have met north of 80% of the hard skills and core requirements. Practice makes perfect and there are a lot of books written that provide examples of questions and illustrations of good and bad answers. Choose a private setting and a hard line for the phone interview. Often the company caller is on a cell phone and cell to cell is not reliable enough. Make sure that you will not be interrupted and there isn't external noise that can override the conversation.

The emphasis will be more on soft skills. This is an opportunity for the company representative to assess the "personality fit." Every search and company is unique; however, the soft skills that all concentrate on are energy and enthusiasm, reasoning, listening abilities, initiative and drive, temperament, and willingness to invest in your future. In addition, research and knowledge of the company history, products/services, organizations, operating results, customers, culture, and so on are all of value.

Here are the common phone interview mistakes:

  1. Cell phone disconnects.
  2. Candidate is driving and does not fully concentrate on the interview.
  3. Applicant turns interview into a confessional and admits flaws in personality.
  4. Candidate openly offers negative comments about current or former employer.
  5. Applicant has not anticipated questions and therefore answers in abbreviated fashion or under sells abilities and knowledge.
  6. Candidate under-values the phone interview and is not considered a serious contender.
  7. Applicant goes off on a tangent.

Companies do not have the luxury to interview all applicants. A well-run search will limit the "in-person" interview to seven or less candidates (in the last year, there was only one candidate presented for 14% of Bohan & Bradstreet's placements). Typical searches may generate 30 to 400+ candidates and although many applicants lack the proper requirements, the vast majority of those that are on target are screened out for under-performing resumes and bad phone techniques.

facebooktwitterLinkedInStumbleUpon top Top

Wiser Than the Boss

Thursday, February 14, 2013  by Ed Bradstreet

Regardless of size, companies that continue to achieve tactical and strategic goals employ “A” quality talent. These exceptional employees should be in leadership or development roles that yield an impressive ROI to their employer. Typically, most “A” players are exceedingly ambitious, extremely capable, quite creative, and highly intelligent. The challenge for selecting, managing, nurturing, and retaining is as much an art form as a skill.

Most “A” talent are overachievers who have won prizes for their educational accomplishments and are competitive due to the upbringing to secure success. They are often polished, possess a nurtured IQ, are highly competitive, and often a bit insecure around people viewed as equal or more intelligent. Recruiting “A” quality is one challenge, but maximizing the management of “A” talent is critical. Most “A” players are better at strategy than tactical and therefore may lack appreciation of the real world and undervalue the challenge of accomplishing tasks that support stated strategies. Managing people who are more talented and clever than their superior takes smarts. Sound ridiculous? Not really. Clever people do not like to be led. Attracting intelligent and creative talent is difficult enough; effectively managing and mentoring them takes planning and talent.

Here are some facts and suggestions on managing talent that is wiser than the boss:

  • Intelligent and creative people want recognition that their ideas are important and valued. They like and utilize technology. Thinking of better ways to do things and coming up with new ideas is the norm.
  • They know their worth and are very aware of compensation that is attached to their role. They are not traditionally stimulated by fancy titles, but rather by status.
  • Most are politically savvy and have an indifference to bureaucracy.
  • “A” talent is well-connected with a “knowledge” network that can increase their value to the corporation. This is the same network that will constantly introduce new opportunities that will tease their interests.
  • They are restless and easily bored. Clever people need a peer group of talented and intelligent teammates to stimulate them to be their best.
  • “A” players want instant access to their boss or above; otherwise, they feel that their work and contributions are not taken seriously.
  • These highly intelligent contributors rarely say “thank you” to their leaders because they don't want to be led. They prefer that you stay away from their playing field and let them coach.

Managing “A” quality talent isn't easy; however, the alternative could be a company void of strategy and losing value in a competitive economy.

facebooktwitterLinkedInStumbleUpon top Top

Case Study: Innovative Leader for a Venture Capital-Infused Business

Wednesday, February 6, 2013  by Ed Bradstreet


A venture capital-infused business had absorbed acquisitions and centralized core functions, but was not being innovative or responsive to customer needs. The VP of Engineering & Product Development wanted to bring in a new leader to manage and stimulate a group of talented engineers and product designers. Four months after initiating the search, there had been two turn-downs and no new candidates on the horizon. The COO called Bohan & Bradstreet (B&B).


B&B visited the company, met with the senior leadership team, and learned about their history, organization structure, culture, and strategy. In addition, B&B was provided with a detailed description of the opportunity and reviewed the frustrations of not securing the right talent. It became obvious to B&B that the level of the search was too low and that something was broken in the interviewing and evaluation process. B&B made recommendations to alter the title, compensation, and reporting structure of the role. B&B interviewed individually all executives included in the candidate evaluation process and identified the differences in the vision and expectancies of the role. Corrections were made, B&B defined the search process, and within three weeks had three candidates competing on final interviews.


The selected applicant started 46 days after B&B was originally contacted.

facebooktwitterLinkedInStumbleUpon top Top

Case Study: General Manager for a Holding Corporation

Wednesday, January 30, 2013  by Ed Bradstreet


The President of a holding corporation had an out-of-state SBU that was not making plans. The decision was made to confidentially replace the SBU General Manager quickly.


B&B was contacted during Thanksgiving week. After reviewing reasons for failure and business strategies, B&B partnered to define search parameters. Over 70 candidates were identified and evaluated, 17 were interviewed, and six were presented within three weeks. The client interviewed four candidates in December.


The client diligently evaluated candidates prior to year end, B&B completed references, and all parties conferred on a unique offer. The new GM accepted and started January 17th.

facebooktwitterLinkedInStumbleUpon top Top

«  previous  |  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60  |  next  »Displaying posts 296 – 300 of 300 

Get insight into executive recruiting philosophies and strategies, business trends, career coaching, and best practices from the B&B team.

Recent Posts