Search firms

Are You Catering Your Hiring Process to the Talent Pool?

I read a terrific piece by Mike Daly – The Knights Ghost (see below) on LinkedIn today that calls for two additional observations.
First, empty desks represent a loss of revenue not savings due to an unattached salary. Second, in addition to revenue loss the company also suffers a reputation blow not just from the candidate but, as an influencer, among her/his circle of friends and associates. Some lost revenue is recoverable. Reputation dings add up quickly potentially destroying years of reputation building.
Offer declined – Candidate accepted another offer.
Manager – Why? How did that happen?
Me- We took too long.
Manager – It’s been only 3 weeks since I talked to her.
Me- 2 weeks too long, she was on the market for 3 weeks when you talked to her.
Manager – Did you know about the offer?
Me- Yes and no. She did not tell me she has an offer pending but it’s a fact, any talented person will have multiple offers within a period of time, I would say 2 to 4 weeks they are off the market.
Manager – So how do we overcome this challenge?
Me- The issue starts with the hiring process. If it’s a lengthy and boring process that does not cater to the talent pool. We will lose every time.
Manager- How do we refine the process to retain top talent?
Me- Treat talent the way they want to be treated. Do not set high walls for them to climb, shorten the hiring process with prompt feedback and collaboration between departments, create job descriptions that make sense, promote your environment and the product or project they will be a part of.
Finally, ask for feedback on the hiring process from new hires and tend to their feedback.
The hiring process has to be exciting and innovative to attract and cater to top talent. “Birds of the same feather flock together”
What are you doing to avoid losing a star to the competition?

I Support Diversity in Hiring


It seems that almost everything that Ad Age publishes lately both online and in print has some editorial devoted to the diversity issue. There are certainly plenty of comments about how women still do not have the same kinds of opportunities that men have in the broad field of marketing communications especially at the senior level. And of course, there are no scarcity of comments on how our industry is not reflective of the general population in terms of employing African Americans, Hispanics and Asian Americans. My liberal friends tell me I should feel guilty because I make my living helping these “racist, misogynistic SOB’s” continue to acquire talent perpetuating these injustices.

In looking back at my own career in media sales, I know that I hired many more women than men for the very specific reason that they were the best salespeople available at the time I was hiring. I used to say I would hire a little green person from Mars if they could sell but no one like that ever came in for an interview. But, neither did any significant number of “minority” candidates. I was compensated on my ability to deliver results so I always tried to do the best I could with the talent available. I wasn’t going to be a social engineer with my career and the careers of others on the line.

Yes, in a perfect world we would have an industry whose work force more accurately reflects the population as a whole. But, if one lacks the skill set or experience to do what my client needs for a specific role, I can’t recommend that she/he hire you. Yes, I understand the Catch-22 of a biased education system and limited opportunities at the entry level. Is that fair? I don’t know. Life’s not fair.

I wonder how many other industries can claim they’re doing a better job of providing the “level playing field” than advertising.

Congratulations Roger Tremblay, Mary Henry Humanitarian Award Recipient!

Dream Fund

Congratulations Roger Tremblay, Mary Henry Humanitarian Award Recipient!

Roger Tremblay is a Detroit, Michigan native who graduated from Michigan State University with a BA and MA in Advertising and is a recipient of the University’s Alumni Service Award. He has held sales and management positions with The Wall Street Journal, Southern Living, Texas Monthly, Chicago Magazine, Houston Metropolitan and Media Networks. He is the co-founder, along with Joe Kelly, of Kelly/Tremblay & Co, which was one of the nation’s largest independent media sales firms. He was a Senior Partner at Allen Austin Global Executive search before starting PointClear Search with Dave Manchee.

Roger, in addition to many years of service to DREAM Fund, is a director of the Michigan State University of Alumni Association, both internationally and locally here in DFW. Roger also serves as a mentor for graduate students at MSU. He has given countless volunteer hours in both leadership and volunteer positions for AAF Dallas and initiated and created the first AIME Award in Dallas/Fort Worth.

Roger, most deserving of this recognition, will be presented with the award at the AWM Awards of Excellence Gala on April 7th.

What They Need to Hear

What Clients Need to Hear

One reoccurring conundrum in the recruiting world occurs when market facts contradict client’s beliefs.  It’s happening with growing frequency as the flow of information floods decision-making.  The downside is suspect information that may not be valid in real time.

PointClear Search Principal and Founder, Roger Tremblay, continually reminds us of a simple truth well illustrated above, “Tell the client what the need to hear not what they want to hear”.

It’s not always a comfortable conversation but, at the end of the day, it’s always the right conversation. And, it always builds trust and confidence.

Time To Get Serious About Hiring.


This week THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ran a piece in the Personal Journal section titled “The Six-Month Job Interview – The Hiring Game: Surviving The Job-Interview Marathon”

The article described, in detail, the long, drawn-out process that some employers put prospective candidates through before they are hired.  From this recruiters point of view, some of it certainly makes sense but, much of it is just plain poor business practice. In the marketing communications space where we work, the reality is that the demand for top-tier talent far outstrips the supply – it’s a buyer’s market!

On more than one occasion this year, after being thoroughly vetted by us, PCS delivered a really top candidate to the client for an initial interview.  The interview goes well, there is a promise of a second round of interviews with, perhaps multiple participants, and then the whole process drags on for days, weeks and, sometimes, months.  Perhaps scheduling multiple interviewers is difficult, maybe the daily demands of the company require immediate attention or, heaven help us, the hiring manager and the HR manager have a different opinion on the urgency of filling the position.

But, the end result is always the same: the candidate gets frustrated and tired of waiting, has other suitors who act quickly and accepts another job.  As a result of feet dragging our client loses out on a potential valuable employee.  We go back to square one. And, the former future star possibly has a less than favorable opinion of “Glacially Slow, Inc.”.

Most of the companies we deal with say, “our people are our most valuable asset”.  You would never know it from their hiring approach.

2016 Resolutions


I resolve to do a better job for my clients by:

  • Learning as much as possible about my client’s company and culture.
  • Forwarding as many exceptional candidates as the market provides.
  • Telling my clients what they need to hear as opposed to what I think they want to hear.

I resolve to do a better job for my candidates by:

  • Learning as much about my candidate’s character and integrity as their experience and skill set.
  • Keeping them in the loop on the hiring process with regular communications.
  • Providing them with realistic expectations and thorough preparation for interviews.

And, I resolve to continue to ALWAYS tell the absolute truth to both parties.

Do Resumes Matter Any More?

Steve Jobs


Each week we receive and review scores of resumes. Remember the 1966 Italian epic Spaghetti Western film starring Clint Eastwood? “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”. That title describes today’s resumes.

To limit the bad and the ugly remember a resume reflects education, experience and occasionally skills. Be certain to align this chapter of your story with social media including LinkedIn. Hiring managers scour LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts, which reflects what you believe is worth sharing about yourself. Are they reflecting the real you? Is the message positive and consistent?

What matters to hiring managers is personality, intelligence and drive. Are you driven to use your brains to acquire the knowledge that will assure your success and help grow the organization? Are you someone who earns respect among peers, clients and management? Culturally will you fit in?

What, in addition to a well-crafted resume, does one need to get in front of the hiring manager (and, past the gatekeepers)?

Consider telling your story with a short, well-written semi-biographical narrative. How did you overcome a huge hurdle? How do you lead? How do you deal with opposing views? What passion is behind seeking the next career move?

A great narrative separates you from the crowd, wins the interview and leads to the all-important chemistry question. Is this the job I can’t wait to start every morning? And, from the hiring manager’s view, is this someone I want to spend 8 plus hours with five days a week?

So, write a great resume, make certain social media reflects the real you and then tell a story that piques the interest of your potential next boss.

Programmatic – Don’t Hold the Elevator, Thank you

Elevator 2

For decades Madison Avenue, when discussing the agency business, has lamented the fact that its chief assets ride down the elevator every night. Creatives talking about creative folks is the likely reference however, today it applies across account services and media.

So with programmatic firmly entrenched in the ad biz can agency management and shareholders take some comfort knowing their programmatic black box is not only staying put but, is grinding away 24/7?

What will the ad business look like in 2 years?  How about in 2020?  Will the programmatic box algorithm’s and digital bits befriend the elevator’s pedestrian operating system?

Job Seeker’s Tips for working with a Professional Recruiter

Working with a professional Recruiter who specializes in your industry can be very effective in finding that “next adventure” aka new job, if you know how and why recruiters do what they do each and every day.

1. A recruiter’s number one priority is to fill jobs they are hired to fill by their clients. They are NOT hired by you to find you a new job. They have very specific criteria to find the right candidates for their client’s hiring needs, so first and foremost, do your research and find recruiters who specialize in your industry.

2. Recruiting is a very high-stress, fast-paced career. No matter how “right” you might be for a job opening, you are not entitled to being the main focus of their search. Don’t “demand” that they call/email/text or message you by your schedule – be as available to them as you can and be respectful of their time. Successful recruiters are focused on filling the job openings they have been asked to fill in a timely manner. They don’t get paid unless they do!

3. Networking is how recruiters fill jobs. LinkedIn is the single biggest resource for recruiters to find you whether you are currently thinking about making a change or not. Don’t be afraid to share your network of peers with them – referrals are often the best way to get in a recruiter’s pipeline for your dream job! If your job search needs to be confidential, which is often the case, make sure they know it and remind them. Offer to make introductions to others in your network – recruiters know how to confidentially reach out to others. Effective networking also helps others think of YOU when they are asked for referrals!

4. Recruiters are always looking for new clients to work with – think about who you know in your industry that consistently hires new talent, either in your market, or across the country, and make introductions or recommendations. Often recruiters have “finders fees” or referral fees and are happy to share in the wealth!

5. Keep in touch with recruiters by sending a quick note and always include all of your contact info and updated resume. Don’t expect them to be available when you call or send an email – they are typically on the phone/email all day and don’t have time just to “catch up”. When you do send a note (every other week or monthly) keep it short and sweet and include your name in the subject line so they can find you easily in the hundreds of emails they get every week!

6. Keep your LinkedIn profile and resume up-to-date! Check for spelling errors, grammatical errors etc. Post a professional photo on your LinkedIn profile – not your kids, your dog, your 10 yr old high school graduation picture or your latest sight-seeing trip to the mountains. They want to see how you are going to dress for an interview, period. Professionally done, head-shot photos are the best. Don’t forget to smile!

7. Above all, don’t forget to thank them, make intro’s, send referrals and network, network, network with good recruiters. They are the ones who learn of new job openings before they are ever posted on websites or social media. A good recruiter will go to bat for you with the hiring manager if they like and respect you – it’s still a relationship game no matter what – make it a good one and it will pay off time and time again.

Who Cares About First Impressions?

What you should focus on

While searching for the perfect candidate I came across this intriguing title, “Director of First Impressions” which included a detailed job description.

Director of First Impressions – February 2005 – Present (9 years 9 months)


• Ensure effortless efficiency for all manner of receptionist transactions for visitors and the agency’s 150+ employees including but not limited to: answering, screening and routing calls Greeting and accommodating visitors
• Scheduling for seven conference rooms
• Regulating company’s phone system
• In charge of company’s access control system
• Troubleshoot all office equipment (copiers, printers and appliances)
• Responsible for refilling and maintaining postage machine
• Processing all incoming/outgoing mail including FEDEX/UPS
• Preparing expense reports for three managers
• Processing office management invoices
• Proofreading of business documents when needed
• Responsible for catering in-house meetings
• Ordered all office and kitchen supplies
• Manage cleaning staff (three)
• Oversee the upkeep of the reception area and conference rooms
• Reliable as main “eyes & security” of agency’s three and a half floors
• Distributing company paychecks/paystub/TransitCheks

Director of First Impressions is not an original title but in our digitally charged, 24/7 world where corporate culture is as important as a pay check remember the importance of first impressions. Some first impressions open the door and move you to the head of the line. Others initiate the opportunity to build trust. Occasionally first impressions start a friendship.

Whether you’re selling yourself to win that next great job or you’re selling a product or service remember the nominal cost of making a good first impression pays huge future dividends.