Thursday, March 17, 2011

Ok, so here we go with Part 4.....and Part 5 will be the last one. This has been a ton of fun, but man it's a hard blog topic. I'm sure I could do more if I just started doing random tunes or something but I feel like that's a sellout and I'm not going there.

So, a few more of my favorite Grunge tunes and how they relate to recruiting...hope you enjoy!


Met a girl, thought she was grand fell in love, found out first hand. Went well for a week or two then it all came unglued – “She Hates Me” by Puddle of Mud from the album Come Clean

So, Puddle of Mud is an interesting case. They classify as a Grunge band but really don’t jump out when you think of the era. That said, fantastic tune and they have a few others on this album that are great. I had a hard time picking one lyric from them honestly. The song Control on this album is really, really good too....a little disturbing but good.

The recruiting link is quite simple really. You’ll meet candidates, think they are the greatest thing ever, hire them...and regret it. I’ve been recruiting for a while now and as much as I’d like to say recruiting is foolproof, it’s not and you cannot avoid it.. Candidates will come in and knock your socks off in the interview and then frustrate you with their inability to get things done. Now, because it happens doesn’t mean you should accept it. Improve your process, ask good questions and minimize how often this happens!

For three strange days, I had no obligations, My mind was a blur, I did not know what to do. And I think I lost myself, When I lost my motivation - “3 Strange Days” by School of Fish from the album School of Fish

Another really obscure band from the early 90’s. Great album, they only had two...and I’ve never heard the second one. Kinda sad, the lead singer died at age 32 of testicular cancer....that sucks. Anyway, I’d recommend this album if you are looking for something different, it’s good.

Recruiting link.....lose your motivation and you’re toast at your job. Sounds like a basic tip but in order to really get your career on track you have to find ways to self motivate and keep yourself pushing harder and harder to do great things.

I ain’t your little fool. I know that ain’t a part of the deal. We’re through. - “Buttercup” by Brad from the album Shame

Love these guys, really awesome band and they are still making albums. Brad is a mix of guys from other bands like Shawn Smith formerly of Satchel and Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam fame. If you are looking for classic Grunge, that’s really mellow and easy to listen to...then Brad is for you. Buttercup is the first song on their first album, one of my personal favorites. I saw them live in 1997 down in DC, great show...WAY too many drinks for any other insight on that show. Sorry

Recruiting link again is easy. Jobs and careers are a give and take. You bust your tail for a company and they pay you, treat you nice, etc etc. That being said, most people today are employee’s at will meaning you can be terminated pretty easily. Which by the way, is totally fine. BUT, if you find yourself treated like a fool by your employer...that’s not part of the deal and it may be time to find a new job. If you’re employer doesn’t appreciate you.....find someone else who will.

Forever in debt to your priceless advice - “Heart Shaped Box” by Nirvana from the album In Utero

You knew I’d eventually get to a Nirvana tune right? I mean, hard to exclude them from a Grunge series. I’ll be honest though, they are not my favorite band from the era....not even close. I used to get really pissed off when people said Kurt Cobain was the voice of my generation. I mean, sure, great lyrics but the dude had some serious problems and like most of my musical idols...he killed himself with drugs. So, love Nirvana but not as much as some of the others I’ve discussed. Regardless....this is off the In Utero album which was sort of the beginning of the end for them but this song was HUGE.

I actually really like this lyric for recruiting advice. Everyone wants advice or has advice on job hunting. Seriously, does anyone NOT have advice when you tell them you are looking to make a move? It’s kind of crazy. The thing is, a lot of this advice is great and provides insight you may not have had without the advice. So, when you are looking for a new job or looking to add people to your team....hit your network and get some advice on to get started. You may just find that priceless piece of advice that helps you accomplish your goals very quickly!

What do you mean I can't get to work on time, I've got nothing better to do. - "Peace Sells" by Megadeth from the album Peace Sells by Who's Buying

Megadeth, definitely not grunge again…I’m guilty as charged. This is metal. Great song, probably their best but you could debate that with me. The opening guitar riff should be familiar to those of you who loved MTV back in the day....it was the opening audio for MTV News.

Simple message for those of you interviewing…..show up on time! Really, it’s not hard. Leave early, do what you need to do to get to the interview on time. Showing up late shows you didn’t plan properly and really messes up the interview schedule. Messing up the schedule might seem minor but if you don’t meet with the right people you might not get the job. So again, show up on time, you’ve got nothing better to do the day of an interview.

That's it this week, I should have a non-Grunge blog soon and then the final Part 5 of this epic thread. Until then, keep networking and hiring!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

How Grunge relates to Recruiting...Part 3

Part Three of my epic serious about Recruiting and Grunge Music. Still having fun so I've got another one or two of these in me. Regardless, I'm trying to dig a little deeper in to my collection and find tunes that maybe you've never heard or forgot about them. With that, I hope you enjoy this weeks entry.....


You say that money isn’t everything, well I’d like to see you live without it - “Tomorrow” by Silverchair from the album Frogstomp

Silverchair is one of those bands that their first album came out and I remember thinking, “WOW these guys are like 16 and they’re awesome...they are going to be HUGE!” And um, well, not so much. The burst onto the scene in 1995 with “Frogstomp” had a few hits...and that’s about it. Classic grunge sound, just not the worlds most famous rockers. Anyway, this tune is awesome. Trust me.

The recruiting link is pretty easy. We all hear candidates who say “Money isn’t what motivates me. I’m looking for a great opportunity” Well sure, we all are but I’m here to tell you money DOES matter and if a candidate every says that to you it requires a much deeper conversation. I’d recommend pushing back and finding what exactly matters. For example, a candidate making $100K maybe you say something like “So if money doesn’t motivate you if we were to offer you the dream role but could only pay $85K would you accept?” The goal here isn’t to be a jerk, quite the contrary. The goal is to find out the bottom line and make sure you are wasting a bunch of time on a candidate you can’t afford.

Every word I said is what I mean, every word I said is what I mean, everything I gave is what I need - Slave and Bulldozers by Soundgarden from the album Badmotorfinger

Pound for pound my favorite grunge era song. Driving beat, amazing lyrics and Chris Cornell at his finest. Badmotorfinger is also for my money the best grunge album of the era. The lyric here makes me think of interviewing. Say what you mean when you interview, no BS. Trust me, making stuff up and bullshitting during an interview is a lose-lose and you’ll end up miserable. What’s more, when you are interviewing give it your all and do your best job. Give everything you have got to get the offer. I’m not saying you need to take every offer but if you are going to the trouble of interviewing you owe it to yourself and the company to be honest and engaged during the interview. BTW - On the way to the interview, crank this song on your iPod and you’ll walk in feeling like you can conquer the world.

You got a sack full of candy, All I got was a rock. Overblow by Mudhoney from the soundtrack to the movie “Singles”

Mudhoney is one of those bands you either love or you’ve never heard of them. They are one of the pioneers of the 90’s grunge scene are were responsible for really defining the sound coming out of Seattle. The soundtrack here is great and the movie is fantastic and really does define an entire generation of people (yeah, that’s me). Mudhoney has a lot of good songs but this one stands out because it received a little mainstream recognition unlike most of their other stuff...

The HR/Recruiting link is pretty easy actually. It’s about employee benefits. Some companies give away sacks full of candy (free lunch, flex hours, onsite massage, etc) while others don’t do anything to attract new employees. So, next time your company hands you a rock and you’ve decided you’ve had enough....polish up that resume and find a new gig at a company that will treat you right. There are plenty of them out there you just have to look!

Keep on dreaming boy cuz when you stop dreaming its time to die – “Change” by Blind Melon from the album “Blind Melon”

Ah, Blind Melon probably the most unappreciated and least understood bands of the Grunge Era. their big hit was “No Rain” which is pretty dreadful and doesn’t really show these guys in their best light. The lead singer, Shannon Hoon died of some sort of overdose…basically ended up having a heart attack. Amazing, most of the music I enjoy is made by dudes that overdosed……weird.

That being said, I love this line. Really, why do you work? Do you live to work or work to live? For me? I work to live. LOVE my job but at the end of the day, I love spending time with my family and friends much more than a day in the office. That being said, you still have to dream big to really enjoy what you do. I know I do it. I have HUGE aspirations and then work like crazy to try to make them happen. If you can’t look at your current role or company and come up with big dreams….it’s probably not the perfect role for you. A great job will encourage you to think big and then try to make your dreams a reality.

Until next time, keep rocking and happy hunting.....

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Feedback to improve your process?

Going back to my airport reading, I read Managing Oneself by Peter Drucker (link here) as part of The Essentials book from the Harvard Business Review. Good article. One big take away was how this would relate to how we recruit. Specifically, how can you improve the hiring process?

Drucker says “The only way to discover your strengths is through feedback analysis” which if you think about it is dead on. Peer reviews, 360 reviews and manager feedback are all critical to self-improvement. But...how do you get this to relate to recruiting? Here are a few quick thoughts:

1) Track your metrics - Any data you can analyze about your process is sure to help you discover your strengths and improve the process. Find your time to fill is terrible but you have a 100% acceptance rate? Maybe your process does such a good job selling candidates that it takes a long time but as an org you’ve decided it’s a worthwhile trade-off. Whatever the data, taking a deeper look and analyzing the feedback will help you discover your strengths.

2) Survey your new hires - That’s right, 30 days after you have a new employee start you should sit down with them and do a post mortem of the process. What went well? What could be improved? Take this feedback to heart, discover the strengths and weaknesses of your process....adjust as necessary!

3) Ask people you don’t hire - File this under “take with a grain of salt” but I think there is value in talking to some of the people you don’t hire about your process. I’m not saying this is the end all be all of feedback but if you have a few selected candidates who maintain a good relationship with your organization you can get a ton of value from their thoughts. That said, I’d use this feedback as a way to verify feedback from the other sources as opposed to changing your entire strategy based on people outside the organization.

For now, happy recruiting and I hope to have another grunge post later in the week!