Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Recruiting lessons from the Elvis Dumervil fiasco






The story of Elvis Dumervil, has gotten a lot of press lately...but no one has really discussed it as a great example of a few things you can learn during your job search.  You can find a full description of what happened here, but basically the came to a verbal agreement with the Denver Broncos but didn’t get the paperwork to the NFL league offices in time...so they cut him, making him a free agent and likely costing him several million dollars.


So, what can we as job seekers or recruiters learn from Elvis Dumervil?

Get it in Writing - I’ve said this for years and I’ll say it for as long as I recruit.  Until the deal is in writing....it’s not a deal.  The old phrase “It’s not worth the paper it’s written on” comes to mind as people say things all the time, at the end of the day, a verbal agreement won’t hold up.

Deadlines Matter - Apparently the team and Dumervil’s agent were supposed to come to an agreement by 2pm EDT.......that didn’t happen, the paperwork was like seven minutes late and the deal expired.  When a company or recruiter tells you a deadline, stick to it......if not, you could find yourself wondering what happened to your offer.

Brinkmanship Fails -  The biggest lesson for me is that both parties here, the Broncos and Dumervil played a game of chicken and both of them lost.  Rather than sitting down and hammering out a deal, the waited until the very last minute and the whole thing fell apart over logistics.  When you’re negotiating an offer, just suck it up and get it done.  Games of brinksmanship end up being a lose-lose and that’s not way to start a new job.

Keep an eye on this story, it will be interesting to see how it ends.  This move has cost the Broncos about $4M.....what will it cost Dumervil?  Stay tuned as it’s going to be fascinating to watch.

More soon and good luck out there....

Friday, March 15, 2013

The problem with saying you'll do anything


Request from a friend and a recruiter “pet peeve” blog this week.   The topic...the problem with saying “I’ll do anything” in the interview.  As recruiters we hear it all the time when we ask candidates what they want to do...and honestly, nothing can be more frustrating to hear during the interview.

The issue really is that when you are interviewing for a job, not only is the company trying to evaluate you...but you’re trying to evaluate THEM too.  Saying you’ll “do anything” sounds great in theory but in reality it confuses the situation and makes evaluating the fit for a job almost impossible.  Here are two quick points to really show what I mean:

1) For you - Like I said above, the interview is as much your opportunity to evaluate the company is it is their chance to evaluate you.  So, saying you’ll do anything doesn’t really allow you to ask the right questions to evaluate the job.  A better thing to do is to say EXACTLY what you like to do and then make sure the role matches your interests.  Being upfront and expressing your interests allows you to openly and honestly see if the role is a fit for you.  Being “open” seems like a good idea in theory, but really does you a disservice.

2) For the company - For the company it’s a little different...basically, things can go two different ways.  The first way...they think you don’t know what you’re looking for and reject you.  The second way...they think you’re a GREAT fit for a role, make you an offer...and then you realize you don’t like the role.  Basically, it’s a lose lose....

So, next time you’re in an interview avoid saying you’ll do anything and be upfront and honest with the interviewer.  It might seem like a great answer but honestly you’ll be much happier in the long run explaining your interests and find a job that makes you happy.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Why every team needs an Avery Bradley

I talk a lot in this blog about the importance of the team, a lot of it is admittedly focused on hiring superstars.  And, as we all know hiring superstars is so easy.......um right, no it’s tough.  So, in this post I want to draw an analogy for you that will I think make a lot of sense.


Perhaps you’ve heard of the Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley....chances are you’ve never heard of him but you’re very familiar with Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce or Rajon Rondo.  Bradley? Who?  Well...let me show you a few stats from the Boston Globe:

In the Celtics’ first 30 games this season without Bradley, when he was rehabbing his shoulders, the team’s defensive rating (points allowed per 100 possessions) was 102.1, the 13th-best mark in the NBA at that time.

But in the 27 games since Bradley has returned, the Celtics’ defensive rating has skyrocketed to 97.2, the second-best mark in the league...

Read that again.  One guy, one undersized 22 year old guard take the Celtics from a middle of the road defensive team, into an elite defensive team.  One dude.  The implications for those of us recruiting, hiring or building teams is huge.  It’s not necessarily about building a team of stars....it’s about building a team with a few stars (KG, PP, Rondo etc) and surrounding them with players that EVERYONE better.  No one will be driving Bradley to the Hall of Fame for what he does...but what he does makes Hall of Fame players better.

So,my question to you is this.  Do you have an Avery Bradley on your team?  If not, you should.  What would a workplace version of Avery Bradley look like you say?  Here are a few traits:

- A world class expertise in one very specific skill.  For Bradley, it’s defense

- That skill....rubs off on the team and make everyone better.  For the Celtics, it’s “team defense”

- Energy.  Watch this video and you’ll notice Bradley never stops.  His teammates call him the “pit-bull”......that energy is infectious and makes everyone play harder.

So, there you go....when you’re building a team hire as many superstars as you can (see the Heat, Miami) but make sure you supplement them with high energy specialists that make everyone better.

Until next time......good luck out there.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Mumford Recruiting Part 2 - Job Search Inspiration from Mumford and Sons



Ok, it’s been a little while since I’ve done one of my musical posts and I’ve been listening to a TON of this album lately so I figured I’d share some of with you.  For those of you who don’t know who Mumford and Sons are...well, you probably don’t read blogs either so I’m not going to give a big overview of the band.  Needless to say, they are amazing and a nice breath of fresh air into the music scene.  More importantly, they are quite inspirational and their music really provides a bunch of thoughts/insights from a recruiter, career, job search angle.  With that, welcome to Part 2 of what I’m calling “Mumford Recruiting”.....inspired by the album “Babel

“Cause I know my weakness, know my voice,
And I believe in grace and choice
And I know perhaps my heart is fast,
But I’ll be born without a mask”  - Babel

Ok, perfect advice for the job seeker.  Know yourself before taking a job.  Can you do it?  Is it in your wheelhouse?  Don’t pretend to be something you’re not during the interviews just to get the job.  Take time to find a fit and get a job that matches who you are.

“But fingers tap into what you were once
And I'm worried that I blew my only chance” - Whispers in the Dark

The great thing about a career is that it’s a marathon, not a sprint so you always have a second chance and in many cases a third chance.  So, don’t freak out if you make a mistake....take a deep breath and plan your next move.  Remember, this is a marathon and there’s always another opportunity waiting for you if you are patient enough.

“Now I'll be bold
As well as strong
And use my head alongside my heart ” - I Will Wait

Another great one, see video above.  The key to a great career is more than use using your brains, you’ve got to be bold and passionate.  Success is earned right?  So, how can you earn success?  By taking bold, passionate and intelligent steps.  I learned long ago that no one is looking our for us anymore, your career is your career......own it.

“So I hit my low, but little did I know that would not be the end,
From the holland road well I rose and I rose, and I paid less time,
To your callous mind, and I wished you well as you cut me down, you cut me down” - Holland Road

Seriously, if you don’t own this album...go buy it.  A fantastic lesson here about getting up off the mat when you you make a mistake.  We all make them, it’s a fact of life.  How you recover is what makes you great.  The key and this really is the KEY to growing and advancing in your career is how you respond to adversity.  Some people freak out, some people buy a convertible but the truly great people you want to work with (or be one!) pick themselves up and get better.  So, what are you going to do?

“So love the one you hold” - Lover of the Light

Simple lesson here, love your job.  If you don’t...find a new one.  

“Cause there's no drink or drug I've tried
To rid the curse of these lover's eyes” - Lovers Eyes

Last lesson and an important one, you can’t look back on your career.  You can only look forward.  Great experience?  Crap experience?  Doesn’t matter...you’ve got to keep moving forward and get over whatever has happened in the past (for better or worse).  Most people look at work as a “job”, that sucks.  You really need to focus on doing what you love, doing it well and turning your “job” into a career.

Hope you enjoyed this post, I love writing these musical blogs and will have to do another heavy metal version soon.  Good luck out there this coming week, lots of big things on the horizon for everyone so make sure you’re ready.