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December 2005
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And The Winner Is... Guidant Shareholders

It appears that Johnson and Johnson is the winner of the bidding contest for Guidant.

J&J has made three offerings for Guidant of $21.5 billion, $23.2 billion, and finally $24.2 billion. The last know offer from Boston Scientific was $24.8 billion.

But what’s a few billion between competitors. Although a cynic might suggest that Guidant shareholders should get gifts for the Boston Scientific Board of Directors in appreciation of the extra cash they will receive.

Here are the most recent stories I can find: Business Journal, Star Tribune, and MarketWatch. Reuters has a chronology of the past 13 months.


The Guidant Saga Continues And The Clock Is Ticking

I was thinking about using the analogy of a soap opera and “As the World Turns” for this blog posting. I guess I could have used “Days of Our Lives” and the hour-glass.

I have been asked why I write so many posts about the Minnesota business scene. Well, as a recruiter these things impact employment, hiring trends, and a large talent pool and who wins the battle for Guidant may greatly impact the med-tech folks in our area.

Thursday Boston Scientific announced a new offer that had a Friday (today) 3 pm central time deadline. It was then extended to 5 pm, which was later rescinded back to 3 pm when CNBC reported a rumor that Guidant was on the phone with Johnson & Johnson trying to get a bigger deal. We are coming up on that mark right now and by the time I hit post will be a shade after 3 pm.

Thousands of employees in our area are involved and many companies that service them too. Many of speculated, including me, that if J&J gets Guidant does Boston Scientific go after St. Jude Medical?

Tick, tick, tick, tick….


Job Search Tip, Resume.doc Does Not Get My Attention

Job seekers, candidates, anyone looking for a job, please help your friendly recruiter, headhunter, human resources or hiring manager by doing this one small thing.

PLEASE do not send your resume with an attachment called resume.doc. It may work well for you on your hard drive but we all have hundreds or thousands of resumes.

This week I received more than 20 resumes with something close to resume.doc. I then resave the resume with the persons name and other identifiable word like “Unix Admin”, “Sales”, and “Cold Fusion”. When I read it I add a number that coincides with my ATS so I know the resume has been read and entered into the system.

This is also a marketing technique for you. I read resumes that are easily identified first. “JaneDoeSolarisGuru.doc” gets my attention. How about “JohnSmithRUPPM.doc”, that will certainly get noticed sooner than later.

Yeah, I am a little cranky today…


White Collar Crime And Stealing

Jason Sorensen, Director of Business Strategy at DKS Systems, invited me to attend the Carlson School of Management’s First Tuesday Luncheon Series. The speaker was Dr. Karen Schnatterly of the Carlson School of Management. Her discussion was titled "Corporate Crime & Corporate Ethics: How do shareholders trust again?"

Dr. Schnatterly has studied the factors that have contributed to white-collar crime including studies of Enron, Adelphia, and WorldCom.

White-collar crime costs U.S. companies $200-400 billion and between 1% - 6% of sales. The recruiter part of me perked up when she said there are four main factors in controlling the behavior: policies, internal control, communication, and compensation particularly policies and communication. Turns out setting expectations and having them continually communicated make a big difference.

More information on the luncheon series can be found on the Carlson School web site.

Upcoming speakers include Randall Hogan, Chairman & CEO of Pentair; Tom Tiller, President & CEO of Polaris Industries; Robert Switz, President & CEO of ADC Telecommunications.


And Their Off… Part 2 And Bloggers Beware

This is two for the price of one.  The first, aahhh yes, politics is warming up in the great state of Minnesota.  The second is something for bloggers of all sorts to pay attention to.

Last Wednesday a story broke about Blois Olson of New School Communications suing Michael Brodkorb who up until the filing of the lawsuit was a “masked blogger” writing at Minnesota Democrats Exposed.

Apparently Mr. Olson and New School Communications felt defamed by Brodkorb.  The story gets better. See Coleen Rowley, remember her as the FBI “whistle blower”, is sort of involved too.

So now we have the battle of the blogs, New School vs. Minnesota Democrats Exposed.  Rex at MNspeak had a posting and some community comments too.

The Star Tribune has run this as the main story, this from their own blog guy as a story on the blogs themselves and now this in the editorial section from Mr. Olson on Saturday.

As for bloggers of all types this story gets into 1st Amendment protection, libel law, and attorneys. This will be something to watch politically and maybe legally.

If nothing else this is shaping up to be a chaotic election year…


Local Legal Recruiter Raises $40,000 At Benefit Concert

Back in October my good friend Craig Sandok was the Co-Director of his third annual Attractive Nuisance Tour to benefit the Minnesota Justice Foundation, Hennepin County Bar Foundation and further raise awareness of the need for pro bono legal work.

I have known Craig since our college days at the University of Minnesota and I have a lot of respect for him and the work he does.  Craig works for The Esquire Group, which is a national legal search and consulting firm.  They have a great reputation so if by chance you are in the legal profession or are in need of legal talent click on Craig’s name above and contact him.

Here is a link to a Business Journal story the day of the event.

Below is more information on the Attractive Nuisance Tour.

The Attractive Nuisance Tour, a benefit concert started by two local attorneys, was a success in 2005.  The event, which features bands with at least one lawyer in them, raised $40,000 for two legal charities.  The American Bar Association has selected the event as one of two national programs for presentation at its annual meeting in Chicago this February.  Event Co-Directors Craig Sandok and Greg Wiley will present the program to bar associations from around the country (and around the world) for implementation in other areas. 

Established in 2003, the Attractive Nuisance Tour seeks to raise awareness about the need for private attorneys to do more to help low income people get the legal help they need. This year’s beneficiaries were: The Minnesota Justice Foundation and the Hennepin County Bar Foundation.  Visit the Attractive Nuisance Tour online at: www.attractivenuisancetour.org.


U.S. Job Growth Continues, Dow Nears 11,000

I saw a lot of commentary on the cable channels yesterday with most reporting the weakness of job creation in December. Well, fine, technically they are correct. Maybe they should have read more than the first few sentences of the report or what some research assistant thought was important.

Instead of going in-depth as I sometimes do I on these types of reports I have this link to BusinessWeek, Sorting Out December's Jobs Report. They do a great job of pointing out that while the job increase of 108,000 was much lower than the predicted 200,000 the November jobs report which was 215,000, and slightly more than originally predicted, was revised to 305,000.

The article also gets into the ’04 and ’05 moving average and what is expected in ’06. They also talk about the effects of the hurricanes in ’05 and how that impacts hiring in ’06.

While the lower than anticipated job growth numbers is not good to some it is to others. This MSN Money article with this quote:

A Labor Department report on Friday showing the economy added fewer jobs than expected in December eased worry that wages were feeding inflation and would lead the Federal Reserve to keep raising rates over an extended period.


ipHouse Files For Bankruptcy

Business Journal with an article that Minneapolis based ISP ipHouse has filed for bankruptcy. The article mentions debt from the GoldenGate acquisition, issues with Qwest, and meeting payroll. They plan on restructuring their debt and are continuing the operation.

After reading the article I was reminded of a not so friendly entry by Matt Noah of NetSuds in his September 2004 newsletter, see 9.0, on the customer service provided by then Visi.com management, now management of ipHouse.

Speaking of VISI, note the subtle name change after the acquisition by Digital North, I had another great experience with them Wednesday. I had an issue I caused and it took two email messages and about 20 minutes to fix. They helped me out a couple of months ago set up the mnheadhunter.com domain, domain mapping with TypePad, and an email account(s).

Looks like the customer service that Mike Sowada and Digital North were known for has carried over into the acquisition of VISI.


Apprentice Posting At Recruiting.com

Recruiting.com picked up my posting following The Apprentice Finale. Rex at MNspeak.com ended up with 60+ postings from his Crutches Stumbles.

I have found some of the postings at MNspeak and other places to be more emotional than rational. More based on race and gender than qualifications. I still think Donald Trump, The Apprentice, NBC, and Rebecca Jarvis are the clear winners in this.

I think it was unfair to ask Randal Pinkett “the question”. Any attorney will advise you to never ask a question you do not already know the answer to.

That one question turned Randal from a worthy apprentice to near villain status. Completely unfair.

KARE 11 TV, local NBC affiliate, interviewed Rebecca right before the holidays. Rebecca was in Minneapolis visiting family and friends and weighing her options. Rebecca also taped a segment for Whatever, a KARE 11 show that airs on Saturday mornings and is aimed at the under 18 crowd.

Here is another link to Rebecca’s site, In the News, where you can find stories and press releases in her younger days.


Recruiting.com Blog Awards

Yep, I am very late in getting this posted but I found myself very busy with work through the holidays. So much for the idea that companies do not hire or candidates are not interviewing.

Thank you to those who supported me. While I did not “win” the category sharing the spotlight with the other blog nominees was awesome.

Congratulations to Jeff Hunter at Talentism for winning the Recruiting.com 2005 Best Blog Awards. He does a great job and definitely is worthy of the title.

Most importantly a big thank you to the gang at Recruiting.com. They busted their backsides to get this project done and we all owe them a big thank you. They announced some good news this week and I will put together a posting about it in the next day.