Thursday, June 25, 2009


We have learned that the row of townhouses has been officially condemned by the city. We will be able to get contractors in there to remove whatever hasn't been damaged. Hopefully, that means we'll be able to save my mom's piano.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Recruiting a home

This is what I awoke to at 4:10 Monday morning. My unit is the closest corner unit. We're all ok, but not sure what's going to happen with the townhouses (they'll probably be razed). Consequently, blogging will probably be light for the next few days.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Can't somebody else do it?

If we're talking about recruitment blogging, yes, Tom can.

Work has been mad busy for the last week. Throw in a bunch of other commitments, and I've had no time to blog. Thankfully, Tom Sweeney is running with the ball. Go to his site for all your recruito-blogger needs.

I'll be back when the man let's up.

Friday, June 12, 2009


Well, it's a little over 12 hours since I first posted about this project, and it's now 2:45 am, and I just sent the proposal off to my manager.

There is still work to be done on it, but it's not due for another 12 hours, so we've got plenty of time tomorrow to put on the final polish. The grunt work has been done, and the resume is solidly grounded in organizational development, change management and organizational cultural change.

This one will be winner... it better be!

Good Night / Good Morning.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Same bat-time, same bat-channel

It looks like this week's Thursday night will mimic last week's Thursday night. Our proposal last week was declined, but we've got another kick at the can, and the client has revised the specifications, so we have a better idea of for what they're looking.

Like last week, this thing is due at 3:00 pm on Friday, and it looks like we'll make the deadline - even though we've got less than 25 hours, and are still playing tag with a few different consultants to determine who'll be the best fit.

I guess it'll be another long night. I'm not looking forward to it as much this week.

P.S. Still no evidence that I'm not boring, but I'll keep looking.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

We do this for a living, ya know...

It never ceases to amaze me that so many candidates are incredibly unresponsive to resume and interviewing advice.

I work as a technical recruiter. I don't hire anyone to work at my company; I "source" people for contracts with clients (mostly the federal government). Consequently, a lot of my work is not about finding the right candidate, but making sure the right* candidate wins the contract. This means I not only search for people, read resumes and interview people, but I also edit resumes, write proposals and prepare candidates for interviews with clients.

During this process, it is often my duty to tease more information out of a consultant and have them modify or add to the information in their resume. Also, I will give people tips on basic interviewing techniques, and also try to troubleshoot potential issues that will be raised in interviews (occasionally, I may also have to calm someone down, or build up their confidence). Of course, some people just aren't interested. Their resume is already perfect, and they already know how to do really well in an interview (which might lead someone to wonder why they need to find a new job, but I digress...). Obviously, these people need no help from the rest of us.

Now, I will admit. For some, this is true. Some of them have awesome resumes and know exactly how to handle pretty much any interviewer they will encounter. Still, what's wrong in listening to another perspective?

And herein lies the twist. The good ones, they listen. We had a candidate in this afternoon who will be meeting with a client later this week. She knows what she's doing; she knows what they're looking for; and she presents herself quite well. Nonetheless, she came in taking notes, asking questions and generally soaking up any information she could from us.

There are very few of us who can afford to tune out the rest of the world. There are few of us who have such a high degree of expertise that they own the procurement process. The ones who do, are generally humble enough to make no such assumption.

A colleague has a blog that gives lots of tips in job searching and dealing with recruiters. If you don't think he can help you, that probably means he can.

P.S. In the middle of writing this post, I was contacted by a very capable consultant (whom I wrote about here). He's incredibly receptive to advice, despite the fact that he knows exactly what he's doing; I am certain such a character trait is a benefit in his career.

P.P.S. I am, by no means, suggesting that I know exactly what I'm doing. I welcome advice from others who have different experiences.

*Naturally, the "right candidate" is the one that I am presenting to the client.

Friday, June 5, 2009

I'd really like to give you all another post, but...

...I don't really have anything to say, and I should probably get some sleep. G'night.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

How boring am I?

Here's some evidence that I'm a very boring person:
  • I think Economics textbooks are the funniest textbooks ever written;
  • I'm a fan of the semi-colon;
  • I was annoyed when National Post got rid of the game, "Add it up" in the Saturday paper (Sudoko is no substitute);
  • I wrote this post; and,
  • I enjoy technical writing.
Yes, right now, I am editing and re-writing a 35 page resume (I'll probably only work on about 11 pages of it). I may be up very late tonight finishing it, and I'm not horrified by the prospect. I actually find it an enjoyable aspect of my job (the writing, not the sleep deprivation).

At some point in the future I will present evidence that I am not a boring person... if I find such evidence.

[UPDATE: It's 12:42 and I just completed the first draft. A little more polishing tomorrow, and I should easily meet the 3 pm deadline.]

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Business Analyst? Organizational Development Consultant? - This post is a two-fer.

Those are the people I'm looking for right now. Unfortunately, in both situations, we're looking at pretty low rates (it seems that's the way things are going right now - you'd think we're in a recession or something).

Anyway, if you're a BA with about 8 years experience (or more), and are interested in a long term contract, let me know.

If you're an Organizational Development Consultant with experience in Change Management and exposure to a Learning Management System, let me know.

As always -

The interview's the thing...

A woman has been sitting in our lobby for 71 minutes. Patiently waiting. Sitting and chatting. More precisely, a candidate for our administrative/bookkeeper position has been sitting patiently for more than an hour. Part of this is her own doing - she was 20 minutes early; part of it is happenstance - our branch manager had another meeting this morning that is running muuuuuch longer than expected. She's not concerned; she's willing to wait.

This is a huge point in her favour. She has been speaking with our recruitment manager and our current administrator, and has been demonstrating how personable and professional she is - two key points to this position.

But I'm not writing this to talk about her; I'm writing this to talk about me (is there any topic more important?).

I have held positions for the last 5 or 6 years that have included recruiting and interviewing as main tasks. This is no coincidence. I like doing this. However, recently, my interviewing is more straightforward. Often, it comes in the form of "networking", so that by the time I am proposing a candidate to a client, I have already met and spoken with this person a multitude of times. The final "interview" acts more as a fine tuning of a proposal, rather than a qualifying interrogation. This process works for me, but I am kind of missing out.

Years ago, when I was in retail, my district manager suggested that at the end of all interviews I could ask candidates to "sell me this pencil" (referring to the mechanical pencil I had been using during the interview). It was a pretty great question. I learned next to nothing about the candidate's sales ability, but I learned a lot about the person's temperament. It was a frivolous question, but I wanted to find people who would take the request seriously. That would say a lot about how they would approach the job.

I have done other "tricky" things. I once had a candidate for an admin position express an interest to eventually get into HR. At the end of the interview, I asked her to grade my interviewing techniques (since hiring can be part of HR duties). Out of the corner of my eye, I could see my colleague (who shared the office space) shuddering as he tried not to laugh.

The point of this blog post is that I miss doing a lot of these things - these interviewing tricks - and I think I should re-focus and try to work them back into my interviewing process. The problem is that when I'm interviewing a Project Manager with 30 years experience, I can't really ask him to "sell me this pencil". I guess I'll just have to learn some new techniques.

P.S. Regarding "sell me this pencil", it was a damned nice pencil. I looked through all the pencils at the office supply store and picked that one out for a variety of reasons. When a candidate couldn't think of at least one good thing to say about my pencil, it irked me. How dare they be so dismissive of my pencil!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Bookkeeper Bleg

Things are pretty slow these days, but there is one project hanging over the collective head of my company. We need a Bookkeeper/Administrator - ours is going on parental leave soon.

Ideally, we're looking for someone bilingual, with Secret level security clearance, with plenty of experience.

Realistically, if you've got about 6 months of Simply Accounting experience, we'll take a look at your resume.

As always, anyone interested can leave a message in the Comments section, or contact me directly at