Tagged: Job

Draft Your Team Like an NFL General Manager

Guest Blogger: Marc Prine PhD

With the NFL Draft on its way, there are few things that can make or break a team’s season and the career of a General Manager (GM) more than a bad draft decision. Similarly, there are a few things that can stall your company’s growth like a bad hire. In both situations, a bad decision will waste time and money and cause aggravation.

Both the NFL GM and the hiring manager are trying to make predictive decisions on how an individual will perform based on all of the information available to them. The average company looks at a person’s education, previous working experience, references and performance in what is typically an unstructured interview. The GM looks at a player’s college career, performance on physical drills at the NFL Combine and a cognitive ability test known as the Wonderlic. How important could a cognitive ability test be in the NFL? Well let’s look at two different players:

player comparisons

On paper which player would you rather have? Player A was the third overall pick in the draft. Player B was draft pick 199 all the way in the sixth round. Player A is Vince Young, who played 6 years in the NFL with no major accolades since winning Rookie of the Year. Player B is Tom Brady, one many view as the best quarterback of all time who in 14 seasons thus far has won 4 Super Bowls (Most Valuable Player in 3 of them). When the average score for a quarterback is 24, somebody so low should raise a red flag and create cause for additional inquiry.

This is not to say that an assessment should dictate who you hire and choose to pass over. It does however show the value of using every data point available to you. This is where you would want to enlist an expert help you compile a competency model specific to your organization’s need and select an assessment to best measure candidates against your model.

Assessments are built to help you gain peace of mind on your hardest decisions. The best resume in the world paired with a witty performance in an interview does not indicate whether or not this person is the right fit for your organization. Make the right choice by giving yourself an objective data point and included an assessment when you draft your team.

Marc Prine PhD is a Director in the Talent Consulting and Assessment Practice at Taylor Strategy Partners. For inquiries or more information on how assessment can help drive your decision making contact Marc at Marc.Prine@Taylor-Strategy.com.


Your Desk Needs a Makeover

I think I’m somewhat becoming claustrophobic these days and I believe there to be one culprit and one culprit only for this sudden spike in spatial awareness. My cube. My two beyond neutral beige toned walls, the color most likely selected as to not distract anyone and prevent anyone from thinking something innovative might be happening, have recently grown quite mundane. On these walls I have important work documents scattered around, pinned up behind my computer and around my desk so I can reference them easily.

Sounds pretty typical and to be honest, it really isn’t all that bad. I have a Mac desktop with a screen larger than my TV I had in college and by luck of the draw I get to sit by a window with a beautiful back drop of some Ohio forestry. I will say these two facets of what I walk into every day are nothing to criticize.

However, like in the AT&T commercial with the little kids… “We want more. We want more. Like if you really like it. You want more.” What I realized was that I need more of what I like around me. I like simple, clean cut, and I like people. A couple quotes on the wall, a few pictures with my family, and my favorite classic Michael Jordan photos should do it. I would even venture to cross my fingers, close my eyes, and wish I could sit at a table with no walls.

My Desktop with original wings poster. "No bird soars too high, If he soars with his own wings." - William Blake

My Desktop with original wings poster. “No bird soars too high, If he soars with his own wings.” – William Blake

Office design is a top trend noted in Sodexo’s annual Workplace Trends Report for 2013. The report reads, “Organizations are increasingly recognizing the importance of the built environment in creating quality work environments and positive work experiences; each playing a crucial role in performance, engagement, and productivity.”

HR and Talent roles are people oriented and directly involved in performance management, employee engagement, and dare I say it… productivity. How is your company productive? The people are productive. Until a robot can operate a business with no human capital, your people create productivity.

Business leaders are rolling their eyes and saying, “ So now you’re telling me to spend money and rearrange the office? Paint some walls? Get a basketball video arcade game? Ha. Right. Make me money, don’t spend it.”

I can look at dollars and cents all day, but there is someone behind a desk, on a plane, working from home, or sitting in a coffee shop making those dollars and cents. Remember that. Can ROI be drawn directly to HR and Talent? Too many people have argued that before me and I’m too young to know or even comment.

But, what I do know is people make up your business. People drive your business. People make your business money. If office design can improve your people’s performance, engagement, and productivity, no wonder it’s a topic of conversation in the HR community for 2013.

Your workplace is where you spend about 10,400 hours per year of your life. Why not surround yourself with what you like at your desk? Some may think this is another narcissist ploy as a Millennial so engulfed in my interests that I bring what I like to decorate my workspace. But, to those who believe we’re all too self-assured and consumed with telling the world what we’re doing on social media, I say count how many articles are written on Personal Brand. It might take you 10,400 hours to do so.

HR professionals can improve workplace design by working with the appropriate parties. However, one individual, millennial or not, can’t build their office’s Rome in one day. But, you can get pretty darn close to building your own personal Rome in a day. Look at your desk. If the item is irrelevant, throw it away. If you need to reference it, make it a digital document you keep on your desktop.

What drives you to be better? What do you like?

Maybe that’s what you need to be looking at everyday. Just a thought.

Case Study: “True Life: I’m a Millennial Looking for a Job”


There has been a common theme since April 2012 when I started my blog; if you work hard and don’t take “no” for an answer you’ll find a job. I still do truly believe this but let’s now discuss putting “working hard” and being “persistent” into practice. What does this really mean? It’s definitely not wishful thinking.

Job Seeker Profile:

  • 23 year-old female
  • 4-year college degree from a private liberal arts school
  • Major: Business Administration
  • Student-Athlete and Team Captain her senior year
  • Work experience: 1.5 years

Job Search Statistics:

  • Moved to another city December 1st 2012 after amicably leaving her first role
  • Started her job search prior to this date in October 2012
  • Applied to 29 jobs with 2 call backs
  • Sent resume to 4 people in her network with 2 call backs
  • 9 companies contacted her directly
  • 4 phone interviews
  • 3 first round face-to-face interviews
  • 1 second round interview – led to job offer
  • Hired on January 15th, 2013 and start date is January 22nd, 2013

The scenario above is important to illustrate because it’s a blue print for any Millennial (I would argue Xer’s and Boomer’s can also take some notes on this) for their job search. It’s not impossible.

Here in Ohio there are 4 million individuals who are unemployed. This morning I checked Ohio means Jobs and there are just under 100,000 jobs open. Being a former recruiter, there is the mantra of “it’s a numbers game.” The more you have the better the chances you’ll find the right person. Well ladies and gentlemen can someone please tell me why there are 100,000 job openings, key word OPENings, with 4 million people out of work?

I’ll concede the “it’s becoming a more skill focused job market” argument, sure, that’s fine. Let’s just cut the unemployment number in half then – 2 million are “unskilled.” They don’t qualify. Well my friends we still have 2 million left, to go after 100,000 jobs. That still means there are 20 times as many unemployed individuals as there are open jobs.

Maybe the above job seeker had the x-factor, maybe she is just better at looking for a job than others, maybe she got “lucky”, maybe it’s because it’s January and staffing departments are excited to hire and use their allocated funds. All of these could be true for those of you trying to find reasons other than hard work to rationalize how she found a job.

I challenge you to say, “I can do that too.” Sure, this may be a former teammate of mine and sure, she has an arsenal of “hard work” in her being solely for the fact she played for Coach Venet. I do have a clear bias toward this experience obviously – but take a look at the bullet points above. They speak for themselves. It is possible.

Be educated about job searching, be persistent, and at the end of the day – put in the work.

Why do you have headphones on?

Music in the workplace. There’s high debate on this – especially if you’re at a large corporate company and have many personalities to cater to. Can’t everyone just listen to music over the office speakers? Well, the answer is yes. But, as the tunes pump from the speakers it must all be rated G. Even Justin Bieber might have a song or two that’s not appropriate for all workplaces. But, if everyone has headphones on – is anyone talking to eachother? If you’re in an industry that has to be on the phone non-stop (recruiting, cough, cough), you can’t have headphones in your ears or over your head.

Ah, but there’s also a painful ringing noise in your ears when there’s no music – it’s called silence. Millennials don’t necessarily like silence. There needs to be something going on. Even if an individual works well in a silent atmosphere – there’s bound to be a co-worker talking distracting the silence. Where is the happy medium? There are kids no matter where they go they’ve got those darn white buds in their ears. Can ANYONE talk to you? Ever? Hello – your boss has a question, your cube buddy has a request, the guy on the bus is trying to tell you it’s time to get off. Even so, I’d rather be listening to my jams and have you never know what’s coming through my headphones.

Music is now a part of technology. It’s a part of the workplace. It’s in my pocket because it’s on my phone. As a matter of fact – I’ve got my Beats by Dre Solo’s on right now so I can write this blog. Not trying to be anti-social but, the killer playlist I made last night provided me inspiration. Whether it’s a Baby Boomer or Millennial in the workplace – as long as it does not deter from daily responsibilities – turn on some Pandora at the office, let your desk groupies throw on their headphones, it doesn’t mean work isn’t happening. It just means life in 2012 is not silent.

What do you listen to?

I majored in marketing, now what do I do?

Major, schmajor. To be quite honest, you will most likely end up in a position not directly related to your field of study unless you’re in law, medicine, or engineering. Even some of those individuals end up on a different path at some point. As art history majors and sociology majors continue to graduate, the thought is, where do I go from here?

As is with any graduate, this questions pops up. Marketing, however, now that’s useful. Right? Well, it’s only useful if you know what you want to do with it. For right now, marketing is what I know – working with advertising agencies as well as client side brand teams, so that’s what we’re going to go with. Not to mention, I’m a dual marketing and management major who ended up in recruiting… but, we’ll save that conversation for later.

Anyhow, I think the place to start is understanding what jobs are out there. First things first, marketing is NOT sales. Your classrooms may lump these two together but, it is not the case. Know the field. Second, know what job titles to look for – you can do this by asking those at your university career center, go on LinkedIn and search the employees of companies you want to work for, or call HR and ask them what you should look for. The key is to investigate. Are you a marketer that can design or are you a marketer that can talk the talk?

Titles to look for – Marketing Coordinator, Account Coordinator, Traffic Coordinator, Associate Product Manager, Associate Brand Manager. If you’re a designer or writer for advertising – Art Director or Copywriter. These will get you in the door and get you on the right track. Know what you’re going after and what those in the industry call their jobs. This will make your search much more targeted.

You might not end up in the exact field of interest but, it’s a way to narrow the scope and make the job search… less overwhelming. Questions about where you should be looking? Comment and let me know your interests.

My Pitch to You – Why Read My Blog?

Each day I find myself talking to individuals either seeking a job or willing to have a listening ear concerning an opportunity I am working on. It amazes me how new technology has transformed the world of recruiting and what employers are doing (or not doing) to attract this new wave of talent.

Did I major in recruitment? No. Did I want to get into HR? No. Did I even know what talent management and talent acquisition really were when I graduated? No. Did I know what an RPO (recruitment process outscourcing) was? Defnitely not.  And yet, here I am – working at a niche executive search and consultancy firm. Dialing and typing away day in and day out.  

This blog is not strictly about recruiment and human resources. This blog is targeting Gen Y, those who want to employ Gen Y, and even those who want Gen Y to buy your products.

If you send a text to a potential candidate – will you get a faster response than a voicemail? Where do we go for information? Do I really need a LinkedIn profile? Questions like these will be answered and I welcome comments to create a conversation.

Welcome to Interview with the Geek. Let the exchange of information begin.