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May 2005
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July 2005

Don’t Take A Vacation From Networking

A timely article from ePrairie on professional networking during the summer months. There are many activities that are relaxed in nature where one network.

Today for example is the Minnesota Information Professional Society (MnIPS) charity golf outing. This is a fantastic event supporting non-profit organizations and also an opportunity to talk shop with leaders in the information technology field.

Just another reminder that every event and every season is an opportunity to build your professional network and build solid long lasting relationships.

Itasca Project, Another Minnesota Innovation

A great article from John Katsantonis in his weekly for ePrairie. Itasca Project consists of 40 volunteers that constitute many of the leaders in business, public and non-profit leaders in the Twin Cities to form a regional economic-development strategy.

It is fantastic that a group of leaders that can often times be in direct competition or at least having competing interests can get together and talk about the future of this region in terms of leadership, innovation, transportation, and retaining our educated young people.

Carlson Companies To Cut 525 Jobs, Half In IT *UPDATED*

*** There there have been many news postings on this story:

Information Week

There have been a lot of rumors this week coming from the IT group at Carlson Companies. Bad news always comes on a Friday and so it did today.

525 jobs cuts likely in 60 days, of those about half are in IT. Most of the work will be outsourced to IBM, which may hire 25% - 40% of the former Carlson IT people.

The cuts in IT represent about 30% of the total IT work force.

More on this later…

IT Salaries Up? Yes. Talent War? Not Yet.

Talent wars back? Umm, I am not sure I would go that far at least not in the Midwest. I do agree that particularly since March my third party recuirting friends and I have been far busier than we were in recent years.

This article talks about a growing momentum in hiring that started in 2004 and continued into 2005. They note an increase in pay, 2.8%, for non-certified skills in the first three months of 2005. I would agree that here in the Twin Cities we have seen an increase in salary demands and those demands being met.

Volunteer Page Ready To Go

I have the Volunteer page up and ready to go. I have received a few messages wondering what I have planned for this. Simply, a place for nonprofits in the Twin Cities to post their volunteer needs. This may include a need for a web site to be built, network to be fixed, or an Access database to be updated.

This week a message will go out to nonprofits to send me their volunteer needs. At the beginning of next week I will be sending out a message to my network and IT candidates in my database to introduce them to MN Headhunter, the volunteer page, and jobs we are recruiting for.

What If We Could Do Business Like They Do It At The State Capitol?

I promise that most of what happens on this Blog will be about recruiting, technology, hiring trends, and yes some Gopher football news.

Every now and again someone or something in the political world will tweak me and I will have to get on the proverbial soapbox.

First, a disclaimer. I am fiscally conservative and socially liberal. My Republican friends call me a Democrat. My Democrat friends call me a Republican. I do not vote for one party at election time. I like to I think am voting for the best candidate but I find frequently that I end up voting for the lesser of two evils.

With that being said…

First our friends at the State Capitol needed a “Special Session”. Apparently all of the time since the first of the year was not enough. Now they are preparing a contingency plan for a government shutdown. Seems that they are not sure they will get the peoples work done by June 30.


Can you imagine that happening at your company? “Well I am sorry Mr. Client but all of the time and money we spent on this project was not enough. So we need a “Special Session”. Now I grant that this does happen in the project world. Project scope, creep, add-ons, etc. will affect an outcome.

But what happens when the “Special Session”, or overtime, does not take care of the project? The firm takes a hit. Offers a % of the billing rate or project in return for the inconvenience, a discount on future work, maybe they get fired.

So our friends in St. Paul could not get the job done by Memorial Day so they got their “Special Session”. Now they are not sure they can get done by June 30 so planning for a shutdown has begun.

How do we ask for them to work for free or take a cut in pay? Is that possible? Do we really have to wait until the next election to “fire” them? Seems odd to me that after not producing within a given time period or a “Special Session” that they get to keep their jobs for a while.

Active and Passive Candidates

I spent most of Saturday as part of a volunteer group working with leaders of the fraternities and sororities at the University of Minnesota. The topic was recruitment and much of the conversation centered on how and where to recruit quality individuals that will be strong contributors to the groups.

Much of recruitment is spent on attracting the current and incoming freshmen class. Put out a poster, flyer, web site etc. and they will show up for an event. You might call them the active candidate.

Those who are leaders in other student organizations, sophomores and juniors, and others with a track record of leadership on campus have not been recruited much if at all. You might call them a passive candidate.

We concentrated on these maybe joiners, the ones that might join if they see value or are asked.

So what does this have to do with corporate and third party recruiting? Today on Electronic Recruiter Exchange is a good article where many of the recruiting themes taught to the college students is presented for the professional recruiter.

Of course there are good active candidates to be found on job boards, newspaper ads, etc. The article talks about ways to find the “maybe joiners” or the passive candidates.

Corporations Looking For More Than Just A Good Recruiter

Electronic Recruiter Exchange is a great portal for third party and corporate recruiters. Today’s article comes from Lou Adler, well known and highly respected in the recruiting community, on how the trend of hiring agency recruiters into the corporate world is not the only answer.

Not all “Headhunters” have the necessary skills to be a top networker or are able to recruit the “passive candidate”. More than the skills of the recruiter are the hurdles of the lack of training (particularly in sales), technology, and the inability to interact with hiring managers.

Non-farm Payroll. Are You an Optimist Or Pessimist?

The non-farm payroll report had little news, good or bad, with an increase of 78,000 jobs. If you are an optimist like I am, I sleep better at night when I think happy thoughts, you will find that the job creation of April, 274,000, was not revised. The unemployment rate dropped .1 to 5.1%. Average hourly earnings up .03.

On the flip side it was the weakest gain in jobs in 21 months.

Maybe now the Fed will raise the funds rate its last ¼ % in June and take a pause. Better yet take a long vacation. This economy is not out of control with little inflation.

Next payroll report is July 8.

Traditional IT Staffs To Shrink 15% By 2010?

Earlier in the week we had the posting on how to deal with the pending retirement of the Baby Boomers. Today we have this story courtesy of the analyst firm, Gartner Inc.

Gartner is suggesting a 15% shrink in IT staffs by 2010.

We have been hearing for some that many non-technical positions are getting more into IT; take your financial analysts as an example. Many are learning basic programming skills to enhance their financial skill set.

This adjustment in non-tech skill sets and the specialization of consulting firms will likely lead to a reduction in the traditional IT staff. 15%? Seems like a larger reduction that I would have imagined but add this story with the retirees and outsourcing, which I have not yet covered, maybe this is a reasonable number.

Looks like we will wait the five years to find out…