A Tribute to Bob McNabb

Last night I learned of the passing of Bob McNabb, formerly the CEO of Korn/Ferry Futurestep.  I knew that Bob had been battling an illness, but it was still quite a jolt to hear the news.  As we travel through life every person we encounter makes a small contribution to our direction, the decisions we make, and ultimately our success.  And then there are people who make a significant impact.  Bob was one of those who made a significant impact for me.

1331311530Shortly after he acquired my company and I began working with him I realized that as business leaders go, Bob was about as old school as you can get.  I remember once thinking that for his age he seemed quite tech savvy based on the volume of emails I would get from him reminding me of the end of the quarter was near, or that a new one was beginning.  And then one day when I received 2 or 3 of those messages while sitting across from him at lunch, I realized he wasn’t actually pushing the send button.

But that does not mean he didn’t know how to work a black berry, because I would often hear from him very late at night or in the wee hours of the morning, as I am pretty sure Bob never slept.  It also did not matter what time of day, where he was, or what he was doing – if you called him on his cell phone, he always answered.  He was the  most engaged and hard working executive I have ever met.

There are a few things that I will always remember about Bob…..He was passionate about succeeding and was as loyal as you could get.  His favorite saying: “People want to win, and they want to be loved.”

Please join me in remembering Bob McNabb, a great leader and a great friend.

This short video clip was taken from a speech he gave to a group of students at West Virginia University last year.

My Next Adventure: iMomentous


imom_logoMTSIt has been a little more than 18 months since leaving my last position to become an unemployed blogger. In that time I wrote a few hundred blog posts and in the process launched a community portal for the Talent Management Technology industry.  If you have been following Accidental Entrepreneur or InsideTMT, you may be wondering where I have been the last few months.

Since January I have been exploring the market for my next full time opportunity and I am very pleased to announce that I have decided to join iMomentous, a mobile talent solutions company, as the Vice President of Strategy.

Here are the answers to some of the questions I have been getting:

Click through to InsideTMT to read more……..

Talent Communities are a Big Farce!


communityTalent Communities are all the rage. It seems you can’t visit a corporate careers site without getting invited to join one. But there is still quite a bit of debate as to what a talent community really is, who does it benefit, and do they really ever work. Over the course of the last several weeks I have been working on some research that led me to this conclusion.

Talent Communities are a total farce! Here’s why:

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My Mom is an iPhone Addict!?!


iStock_000018721158XSmallOver the last year or two I have been looking closely at the trends in the talent management technology market. Things like Social, Mobile, and Gamification. I have to admit that I have been a little skeptical. At some point won’t people get tired of being so social? Isn’t the laptop already pretty mobile? And when I hear words like gamification, I just want to punch something in the face.

But a few weeks ago my mother came for a visit to attend my daughter’s high school graduation party. As we sat around chatting, someone would ask a question like “is it supposed to rain today?” In every case, my mom would whip out her iPhone and say “I can tell you.” And she would proceed to thumb her way to the answer.

As it turns out, my mom is an iPhone addict!?!

Click through to InsideTMT to read more……

Why Auto Matching Features Make us Lazy


RobotWhen Resumix made it’s debut circa 1990 with an artificially intelligent search engine, the concept of automatic match was born. It’s when the computer takes data from a requisition/job description and uses a black box algorithm to match it up with the data from a resume/profile.

You used to hear vendors say things like “with our proprietary technology we can automatically match the best talent to your jobs, saving you time and money.” Oh wait, we are still hearing that today?!? But so far, I think auto match has been a little more than a gimmick.

Here is why:

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The Best Application of Gamification I have Seen To Date


GildTo steal a line from Laurie Ruettimann, if there was one word I would like to punch in the face as hard as I can it would be “gamification.” It is one of those topics that makes me feel like the world has been overtaken by alien bodysnatchers and I am the last human standing. Do we really need to turn everything into a game just to keep people’s interest?

I am not one for the FourSquare type games where you strive to accumulate points and badges, or even worse, spending time and real money maintaining a fictitious online farm. But I recently bumped into my friend Scott Swimley at the HCI Strategic Talent Acquisition conference. He told me about his new company Gild and how they are leveraging gamification for a real purpose.

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The Mind of a Millennial: Elections, Majors, and Grad School


iStock_000016021556XSmallThere is a lot of buzz about the Millennial Generation and many attempts have been made to characterize them one way or another. Attempts  to predict what type of impact they will have on society and the workplace. But I think these gross generalizations are ridiculous, and most likely the survey data is skewed to reflect whatever view the surveyor wants to project. You read one study that says Millennials  will be more educated, less employed and willing to give back. You turn around and there is  another that states they will be money obsessed and selfish. Are they “Generation We”, or “Generation Me?”

I think this generation might be more individualistic than any other, and it’s why I prefer to reserve judgement until I meet one and hear it from their own mouth.

Last weekend my oldest daughter graduated from Clemson University with a Bachelors degree in English Literature.   We made the trip to South Carolina for the weekend and after the graduation ceremony there was a small party with a group of her friends and their families.  I had an opportunity to observe and chat with several recent college graduates, all of them representatives of the Millennial Generation.

Here are a few excerpts from the conversations and a glimpse into the minds of three different Millennials:

Q. Are you still planning to be an Architect?

A. No way. There are not enough jobs. I am starting a program in the Fall for Masters degree in Packaging Science. We are going to be doing real research  for businesses on campus, who will pilot our designs and then roll it out to the rest of the world.  I will be able to apply a lot of what I learned in architecture, and the field is growing. I could literally go and live anywhere in the world and find work. 

Q. What do you think of the upcoming election?

A. You mean Romney and Obama? Well, I am not sure what I think yet, but it seems a little crazy that people are holding President Obama responsible for all the problems, I mean, I don’t think he really has that much control as an individual. Nobody does. But it also seems like the people supporting Obama are more about “anybody but Romney,” and the people for Romney are like “anybody but Obama.” Like the only choices are the lesser of two evils.

Q. So when will you be going back to grad school?

A. I had always planned to go back for a graduate degree and most likely to Law School.  But I have been doing the research and have found that the return on investment isn’t really there.  I mean, I could spend another $30K, but what am I going to get for that? Getting ahead today is more about having the great idea, and executing. You have people like Peter Thiel out there offering kids $100K not to go to school and start businesses. I used to be positive about grad school, now I am not so sure.

Each of these kids (I mean young adults) developed their own views based on the world that has been presented to them. As they emerge from the structured world of academia, they are faced with the challenge of tapping into their own creativity to make a life for themselves. Exciting times!

Ultimately it is their individual choices that will collectively determine the legacy of the millennial generation.



Think You’re A Good Recruiter? Prove it!


DoTinBoxDuring my twenty years in Human Resources, much of my focus has been in the area of Recruiting. I have been a corporate recruiter, a 3rd party recruiter, a recruiting manager, and a consultant to the recruiting function. In all those years and even today, I often hear about how broken recruiting is. You hear people say most recruiters don’t know how to recruit, they are lazy, they post and pray, they throw paper over the wall.

But if everyone is saying this, then how do you know who the good guys are? How do you know if you are really that good?

It’s time you step up and prove it!

Click through to InsideTMT to read more……….

The 2012 CandEs Start Today!

2012 CE-Hands-ART3-copy-1

2012 CE-Hands-ART3-copy-1It’s hard to believe it is already May 1st, and today marks the launch of the 2nd annual Candidate Experience Awards process. If you are unfamiliar, this the industry award that recognizes companies for the way in which they treat their job applicants.

But it is so much more than just an award.

Two years ago I joined Elaine Orler and Gerry Crispin to form a non-profit organization called The Talent Board with the sole purpose of creating the Candidate Experience Awards. In 2011 we had about 60 employers go through the application process, we surveyed over 11,000 job applicants, and 24 companies received the award.


The Employer Survey for the 2012 process is now open.

Click through to InsideTMT to read more……..

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