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Minnesota Morning

I found myself doing some work today and am without my college football update I was looking forward to giving. But since tomorrow is a day of games I will save it for then.

My Minnesota Golden Gophers play the Kansas Jayhawks today in the Insight Bowl starting at 5 PM CST. I will skip the ongoing online debate about why a bowl would have a tie in with the NFL Network and one that unless you have premium sports tier cannot see.

I take that back, Comcast is doing a one day preview for free but only if you have digital cable.

I do not have the premium sports tier which may shock many but by choice I do not. The last thing I need is any more access to sports options.

And being a non gadget guy do not have digital cable either so I am getting together with a couple of friends one of whom has digital and a big TV. Very nice.

Here are a few local bloggers writing about the game. I would point you to Gopher The Roses (my Gopher football blog) but since it has not been posted on since September you can skip it (you might need to scroll on these sites as the men’s basketball team play Michigan State this morning):

And some other links:

Last I heard the folks in Vegas have Kansas favored by 9. That may not be current.

I am picking the Gophers by 4. Not a homer pick. I think with the extra practice, new OL coach, a healthy Eric Decker, and some time for the rest of the guys to heal up from late season the Gophers will win this game.

So more college football tomorrow.

Go Gophers!!!

Recruiter Links:

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Economy Links:

Local blog posts from

Click Minnesota Morning for previous editions or MN Headhunter for the main page.

Who’s Hiring?

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap

From: CareerAlley

Who’s hiring? Let’s go right to the source, Company Career sites. Taking a look at some Company Career sites yields a surprising number of job postings. While Job Boards and Recruiters sometimes list stale jobs (jobs that have been filled or “put on hold”) through no fault of their own, Company Career sites tend to list only actively recruited positions.


Shipping giant UPS’ career site is jam packed with information. The tabs at top link to job search, careers and general information about UPS. The left hand side of the page has featured jobs, employee videos, and an entire section for managing your career search on their site. You can register and complete an application online. There are several hundred jobs posted across the US and you can narrow your search by state.

Best Buy:

Number 66 on the 2008 Fortune 500 list, this electronics retailer has over 8,000 jobs listed on their site across the US. There are sections on Students and Entry level jobs, New Store opportunities, a search by key word and differentiation by retail versus corporate careers. You can join their Candidate Community, which will put you on their radar for jobs that match your background (or apply for one of the 8,000 positions listed on their site).


Apple’s Job Opportunities site is segregated by Apple Pro, Student and Apple Store opportunities. Apple has 770 jobs listed on their site. You can sign-in and register on their site or search for jobs based on various criteria. Their Student site provides information on the company as well as information on Campus Events. There is even a specialized search just for College Grads. “How to Apply” gives a full overview on how to apply for specific positions.

International Paper:

International Paper is known for paper and packaging. There main career page has sections on Featured Positions, Company overview, International Positions as well as a Student section. You can submit your resume, do a general job search or search by featured positions.

Good luck in your search.

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.

Minnesota Morning

Finally, the day before the day before New Year’s Day.

I am not real big on News Year’s resolutions. Not that folks should not make changes they would like to make but why wait until January 1? I mean, why not July 16th or April 7th? Or whatever day you think of it?

What stops people from making the changes they want to make now?

2008 and will go down for me personally and professionally as the best and worst year I have had. There have been many blessings, fortunate timing of events, good luck, old friends and new people with trusted relationships. I have learned that I truly have the best of friends. There has also been illness, death, client non payment issues, not been able to keep my word as I planned and misunderstandings through miscommunication.

This in just the past 60 days which really is a snapshot of the whole year.

I know life “happens” and while we do our best to make decisions and plans, think about tomorrow and next month sometimes shit just happens and you deal with it the best you can.

About ten days ago on Twitter and Facebook I posted something about remembering as a kid you could call a “Do Over”. Usually it was involved in some game or other activity. It gave you the ability to have another chance.

I decided that 2009 was going to be a bit of a “Do Over” year for me.

But then life happened (again) and I dealt (am dealing) with it and now see 2009 a bit different.

Screw the “Do Over” concept. I promise that I have been doing the best I can with what I have and will continue to do so. Rather than make 2009 a 2008 sequel I am going to make it it’s own year as it should be.

Not so much a resolution but I am going to go back to trusting my inner compass on what I should be doing on any given topic at a particular time.

The saying, “Lead, follow or get out of the way” is one I like.

For 2009 it will be, “Hop on, step aside and watch, or get your ass run over.” All I can promise is that I have the best of intentions, trying to do the right thing and am going to do the best I can with what I have.

Oh and if you hop on please fasten your lap belt and keep your arms within the vehicle because no doubt it will be a bumpy ride.

Happy New Year and Best Wishes to everyone.

Tomorrow, be prepared for some sports talk. It is my favorite season, college football bowl season and while watching much of it have some stuff to share. That and my Minnesota Golden Gophers play the Kansas Jayhawks in the Insight Bowl tomorrow (Wednesday, December 31st) at 5 pm CST in Tempe, Arizona.

Recruiter Link:

Career Links:

Economy Links:

What Makes A Smart Recruiter?

I know for a few of my non recruiter friends the immediate response will be, “There is such a thing as a smart recruiter?”

Yes friends with all sarcasm put aside there are. In fact most are smart and good at what they do but like most industries a small percentage can ruin it for the group at large.

Jason Davis is running a “contest” at called “Are You a Smart Recruiter?” The site is nearing 15,000 members and at each milestone Jason does a contest of sort. You can find out more by clicking Are You a Smart Recruiter?

SmartRecruiter Contest

The contest is sponsored by the folks at SmartRecruiters, an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) provider.

Smart Recruiters

So far 35+ recruiters have participated and you can read the entries by clicking What makes me a Smart Recruiter.

What follows is my entry:

I am not so convinced I am a smart recruiter because 75% of what I know has come from trial and error and 25% from listening to what others do and then make it work for me in the way I do things. Maybe the combined knowledge of messing things up and listening to smart folks makes me a smart recruiter.

Here are five reasons for my success:

- Short memory and avoiding the roller coaster. In football they say the best cornerback’s have a short memory. What they mean is whether you gave up a touchdown, got an interception or usually something in between you have to forget what just happened and think about the next play. The common analogy is riding the roller coaster. It is hard to see this business clearly when your emotions are all over the place. Keeping the highs and lows not so extreme has served me well.

- I ask a lot of questions but the most important part is to listen and take good notes. I do this with almost every conversation I have. I will ask a candidate five different ways what the salary requirements are, same with the client on what is most important to them. A recruiter needs to know what really motivates both parties in order for a placement to benefit both the candidate and client.

- Do right by the client and the candidate. We are asking clients to trust our evaluation of talent and the marketplace and based on our information will invest lots of time, energy, salary, benefits and our fees. We ask candidates to pursue opportunities with our clients that will have an impact on their career paths and financial security for their families. I know if I do right by them my business, financial security and family will be well.

- I use a variety of tools without which my career as a one man band of a search firm likely would have ended years ago. Among them: phone, email, blog, social media, newsletters, RSS feeds, sponsoring events, speaking before groups, referral networks, talent pipelines, SEO and creating interesting and optimized job ads. Not every tool is right for every search but because of the niche and location I am in the previous in some combination always works well.

- #1 reason: Most days I like most people and most days most people like me.

Congratulations to Jason Davis as nears 15,000 members and many thanks to Jerome Ternynck and the team at SmartRecruiters for sponsoring this.

Best Wishes in ’09.


Minnesota Morning

Happy Holidays. I hope this post finds everyone doing well or at least as well as can be.

It has been many months almost a year since I fired up a Minnesota Morning post. For the most past my Daily Twitter Updates have taken its place. Twitter is a cool tool (click MN Headhunter for my Tweets as they are called) and I use it a lot but I am finding the 140 characters to be a bit restrictive.

I think I am going to come back and start using the Minnesota Morning posts and will carry over Twitter links to articles and economy news here.

Lots of things will be in these posts like recruiting and HR stuff, economy and business news tidbits, links to interesting (to me) local blog posts, politics and sports likely too.

Sometimes there will be items that have nothing to do with my being an IT Recruiter but important to me for one reason or another.

And the following item will be an example of this.

Both on Twitter and Facebook I have linked to a story about Emilie Lemmons a local blogger, wife, mother and friend to many who passed early in the morning Christmas Eve. I never had the honor of meeting Emilie who was married to a fraternity brother of mine, Stephen. While in college I was very close to the guys a couple of years older than I and Stephen was one of them. He is a great guy with a huge heart.

This is one of those examples where as years go by, people get busy, we get into our business careers and start families. We can lose track of one another. So the news of Emilie’s passing was a shock to me.

Over the past few days I have spent some time reading Emilie’s blog and because of her writing style and transparency feel as if I know her and Stephen as well as anyone. She was a freelance writer by trade so while an introvert in one sense sharing her stories through a blog came naturally. Emilie started writing before the birth of their first son and before she learned she had cancer.

When you have a moment take a look at the following links:

While this story does not end as many had hoped and prayed there are a lot of wonderful, special, touching and real moments shared in her writing. Say a prayer for Emilie, Stephen and their sons.

I have a lot of other stuff on my mind but for the moment will just go with the following links.

Recruiter and Career blogs:


  • Commerce Department final report on Q3 GDP remains at -.5% Good news that it was not revised down. Most analysts predict -5% for Q4
  • U of Michigan Consumer Confidence: Rises to 60.1 from 55.3 Analysts expected 58.6 Rise most likely due to deep discounts at stores
  • Wells Fargo Annual Economic Outlook – 2009 (PDF) Predicts recession ends in 2009 with Q3 and Q4 growth

Local blog posts from

MBA: Yes or No????

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap

From: the medical sales recruiter

Many candidates ask me whether or not they should pursue an MBA. Will they make more money in their next position? Will they be promoted more rapidly?

Many will not like my answers here but they are just based on my experiences. I, myself, have an MBA. So I can, also, speak from my personal journey.

First, should I get an MBA? The answer is yes! More education is always best. If you use that education to excel at your job, if you truly learn something in those courses and apply that to your job for greater productivity or a better thought process.

But I would say that I met many MBA’s that just check the box. In either case, the MBA on the resume may get you in the interview process because it may be a gating factor. Also, some hiring managers buy into its value and give candidates with the degree more credence than candidates without the degree.

Will you make more money? In my area of expertise (sales and marketing), the answer is that you will not be compensated higher just because of the degree. However, again, if you use the education to be better at what you do then invariably you will make more money.

As a sales representative, the financial experience I got in my MBA courses gave me tools to position my company and products for greater success. It follows that if you are more successful at your job you will be promoted faster!

So, to summarize, yes you should get an MBA if you aspire to be more. If you will use it! Or if you want to avoid being passed over because you have a manager that uses education as a gating factor.

One exception – I do not see the value if you already have a business degree.

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.

Daily Twitter Updates

Sometimes the day does not allow a blog post let alone write about things on my mind or I hear about like economic, political, local news (sports too).

With Twitter, you at least get some of the flavor, a flash moment during the day, of what I am thinking about. You can follow during the day or see the digest below.

Here are the highlights of my recent Twitter activity. If you want to see the full version click MN Headhunter on Twitter

MN Headhunter on Twitter | December 20, 2008 - December 15, 2008 (last one first, links added):

December 20, 2008

December 19, 2008

  • Great conversation RT: @Tavisd Just spent 2 hours on the phone with @MNheadhunter - solving the worlds problems one recruiter at a time
  • The Dangers of Getting Contract IT Work Through Staffing Agencies
  • I am celebrating my 3,000th Tweet by saying: Governor Blagojevich is a tool.
  • Spoke with @NicoleBodem and I think we would both be good philanthropists
  • Illinois Governor Blagojevich will soon give a statement. Will not take questions.
  • Minnesota Senate race: The election that keeps on giving.

December 18, 2008

December 17, 2008

December 16, 2008

  • Chicago Sun Times: Rahm's calls on tape Rahm Emanuel might be on 21 different taped conversations. So far a "rumor"
  • My neighbor is from North Carolina. His first winter, not a big fan. Wally his 7 month old lab LOVES it. Conflict fun to watch
  • GL Hoffman of JobDig is on Twitter @GLHoffman and has a new book out called Dig Your Job
  • Biased referral for my Recruiter/HR friends. In need of marketing/PR related materials? contact @marenhogan A good person doing good stuff
  • Weight loss program, calling it the "DeBettignies Head and Chest Cold" I am down 8.5 lbs in 10 days. Woo Hoo
  • Best Buy buy out a bummer but from what I have seen so far it seems that they are doing a good job with the severance package
  • Seems to me if one wants to portray themself as innocent, hiring a former O.J. or R. Kelly attorney is not the way to go
  • Upgrading myself from crappy to sub human. First time I slept more than 4 hours at one time in a week. My head/chest cold may be breaking
  • If you are seeking a senior .Net consultant in Minneapolis contact @AdamBodem

December 15, 2008

  • Watching as people walk by with their dogs at a much faster pace than usual. -9 air temp and -23 wind chill a motivator
  • Congrats to an old friend @davemn who was one of the ten Minnesota Obama/Biden electors. That must be a cool experience
  • -7 air temperature and -30 wind chill in Minneapolis. Laughing at weather dude talking about Dallas 39 and wind chills. Whatever

Minnesota Layoffs: Pentair | Colliers Turley Martin Tucker | Navarre | Select Comfort | Tennant | Graco

Here is a list of announced layoffs by Minnesota companies from December 15 - 18, 2008 . Not all layoffs are in Minneapolis, St. Paul or greater Minnesota:

Pentair | 1,600 | 10%

Colliers Turley Martin Tucker | 11 | 10%

Navarre |10-20

Select Comfort | 120 | 22%

Tennant | 240 | 8%

Graco | 150 | 6%

Study Shows 51,500 Minnesota Jobs Directly And Indirectly Tied To Auto Industry

A study called when When giants fall released by the Washington, D.C. based nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank Economic Policy Institute shows that as many as 3.3 million US jobs are tied to the auto industry and as many as 51,500 in Minnesota.

The Economic Policy Institute has a good reputation of putting out fair numbers so until I come across another survey I will be quoting from this one.

Top 5 states hit hardest by total shutdown: Michigan, California, Ohio, Texas and Illinois

Top 5 states in terms of employment: Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Alabama, Tennessee

Minnesota ranks #21 if just GM were to close. An estimated 14,200 jobs would be lost and if a total shutdown 51,500 jobs.

As a percentage of the work force the .5% to 1.9% of state employment ranks Minnesota #28

Included in the survey are the recently announced sales figures for November:

  • Domestics sales -40%
  • GM -41%
  • Ford -30%

Not widely carried are the equally bad sales figures from foreign auto makers:

  • Asian sales in US -35%
  • Nissan -42%
  • Hyundai -40%
  • Honda -32%

I am sure it would be hard to quantify but I am wondering if the auto makers closed, what would pop up in their place? I find it hard to believe that the US would produce no cars or that other industries would not evolve from the carnage. That 3.3 million jobs would be lost and nothing to take their place.

I am not suggesting we let the auto makers go quiet but just thinking about all the what if’s.

I am also wondering how current plants could be retooled to take on things like electric cars, batteries, green technologies, etc.

Lots of wondering and thinking on my part. The problem for me I am not seeing much more out of Capitol Hill or Michigan for answers. I would hope and expect they would be much further along in their thought process and have an answer or two.

So far I am disappointed.

As Usual.