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August 2005
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October 2005

MN Headhunter, Where Have You Been?

I have received a few messages this week wondering if I was on vacation. Not so lucky. I moved the office the past two days and much of the week has been taken up with the process of moving.

I have a lot of catching up to do with posts from the week. I will start that tonight and then work through the weekend to be caught up on Monday.

Speaking of the move, I have been asked to periodically write about my progress of forming a search firm between now and November of 2006. I recently wrote a four part series on How I Became A Headhunter, What’s Next.

I will have a couple of posts regarding office space in the Twin Cities and VoIP.

So that’s it for now, more later tonight and over the weekend…

Minnesota Golden Gophers Football 4-0

I am not sure where to start with the Gophers Homecoming victory over the 11th ranked Purdue Boilermakers.

Whew. How many times over the years we have been that close and had it go the other way? How many games against Purdue have been wild and crazy? How many times have we shot ourselves in the foot? Again, that ’03 Michigan game haunts us all…

But not this time. This time we made mistakes, turnovers, penalties, and some questionable conservative play calling yet persevered.

I cannot say enough about the commitment that our Gopher football team showed on Saturday afternoon. That was an amazing performance, this game should go down in history as one of the best victories the program has had.

Running back Laurence Maroney was a workhorse, posting career highs in rushing (217 yards) and carries (46) and catches (five). He finished with 333 all-purpose yards. We were questioning why late in the game he was alternating so much with Russell. We had lost track of the amount of carries he had.

In the end zone where the student sections are was the following sign, “Maroney, Be Cool, Stay In School”.

Laurence Maroney has moved into 4th place in the Heisman poll.

College GameDay Final, ESPN’s end of the day college football production, Lou Holtz gave Laurence Maroney a “helmet sticker” for his performance. I believe that is the first time a Minnesota Golden Gopher football player has received that recognition.

There are quite a few stories online regarding the Gopher victory. Jim Souhan of the StarTribune has the best one that will give you an idea of what I saw and felt in my seats on the 25-yard line.

The following are links to other stories on the Gopher victory:, Gopher sports page

What follows are a few of the many game notes on

-The Maroon and Gold has amassed 300 yards rushing in four consecutive games.

-The Minnesota offense has produced 200 yards rushing in 23 of the last 29 games.

-With his career-high 217 rushing yards today, Laurence Maroney became only the sixth player in school history with 3,000 career rushing yards. He passed Marion Barber (1977 -80) to move into fifth place with 3,167 yards. Leading the list are Darrell Thompson (4,654 yards), Thomas Hamner (3,810), Marion Barber III (3,276) and Chris Darkins (3,235).

-Minnesota has forced a turnover in all four games this season and in five consecutive games.

-Minnesota has recorded at least one sack in eight straight games.

-The Golden Gopher defense allowed only 22 rushing yards in the first half.

-Cupito threw a career-high three touchdown passes today.

Later on this week I will have another posting regarding the game with more information on how the individual players performed and overcame obstacles.

Online Job Ads On The Rise

The Conference Board reports that online ads totaled more than 2.1 million in August, up almost 100,000 from the June numbers. Using statistics from the US Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and 1,200 major job boards they create the number of online ads per 100 participants in the labor force.

Among Midwest cities the Twin Cities ranked behind only Milwaukee.

Leading the way in ads per participants are Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Boston, San Diego, and Washington, D.C.

The report notes that, “Differences within and between regions reflect both variations in the propensity to use online technology for job searches as well as job vacancies.”

Honeywell Joins Blogging Community

Workforce Management reports that Honeywell has started a blog targeting soon to be college graduates. Three recent graduates working for Honeywell will blog about their experiences with the company and things related to it like the 2-0 kickball team.

I have only been doing this blogging thing since May but let me be so bold as to offer advice. Add content more frequently than you are. It takes a while to get in a groove of writing on a consistent basis and to find your voice.

Done a Google Search Of Yourself Lately? Apparently Your Recruiter Has.

The September 12th issue from ExecuNet reports that:

In a recent ExecuNet recruiter survey, 75% of respondents noted that they use search engines to uncover information about candidates and 26% responded that they have eliminated a candidate because of information on the Internet.

I can just hear the keyboard typing now. Let me help,

2005 Opportunity Forecast Released

The Great North Alliance made up of CEO level leaders from business, labor, government, and non-profits has released its 2005 Opportunity Forecast. The group is non-partisan and truly strives to bring leaders from a variety of backgrounds and experience.

While our economy is still strong and we have many strengths that make us one of leading metropolitan areas there are signs of emerging weakness.

The Good:

The number of Inc. 500 companies, high growth companies, social capital, quality of life, and education including the University of Minnesota.

The Bad:

We have not benefited as much in the economic recovery as other areas, lack of funds allocated to transportation, and a decrease in the number of bachelor’s degrees per capita and those between 18-34.

The Ugly:

Government conflict. I feel a Political Rant coming to a blog near you…

Overall the Twin Cities was graded at a B-, down from a B in 2003.

Ranking ahead of us are Boston (A), Atlanta and Phoenix (B) and tied with the Twin Cities are Austin and Orange County (B-).

Think You Know Your IT Staff? Guess Again.

My friends know that I over communicate everything and that I ask a lot of questions. I can be unintentionally annoying with how far I go but I learned a long time ago that assuming anything is a recipe for disaster.

ComputerWorld had a great article last week titled IT workers: You can't always guess what they want.

A great article to get recruiters, headhunters, human resources, and hiring managers to rethink what they assume their IT staff wants. Pay is rarely the overall deciding factor on whether to stay at or accept a new position. Things like recognition, job security, new technology, and flexible schedules or limited evening/weekend work tend to be equal to the pay question.

There is also this great bit that not all workers want the same thing:

Another challenge is that different workers want different things. LeClaire divides IT employees into three broad categories, each of which needs to be engaged in its own way, he says. Some enjoy what they're doing—which is typically focusing on technology—and are motivated by the desire to continue as they are. Some are motivated by new and interesting challenges, such as innovative technologies and projects. Others look to a career path in management.

The conclusion to the article states an obvious action to take but apparently not everyone is doing it. This is a universal idea that works within any industry and also works with personal relationships, family and friends.

Want to know what someone is thinking?

Ask them.

Gopher Football 3-0

Now it is for real. Not that Tulsa, Colorado State, and Florida Atlantic were not good foes to play against, well maybe FAU, but we proved some things over the past three games and it is time to move forward with the Big Ten schedule.

Purdue, raked #11 in the country, comes to town for an early Homecoming game at the Metrodome. I have not followed the Boilermakers “preseason” so I have very little to comment about on them.

Our guys looked good on Saturday. Yes, FAU was small and looked a bit like a JV team but overall we did pretty well. A couple of missed PAT’s again. It may be time to put in an ad in the school paper like Coach Mason did a couple of years ago. At a school this large there has to be one guy who can kick a football through the uprights.

A couple of notes from the game:

-Gary Russell has his first career 100-yard rushing day.

-This is the 17th time under Glen Mason that the Golden Gophers have had two players rush for more than 100 yards. The Golden Gophers are now 15-2 in those games.

-Minnesota has not been shut out in a school record 87 games

-Minnesota has won a Big Ten-best 19 straight non-conference games.

-Maroney needs 50 yards to become only the sixth player in school history with 3,000 career rushing yards. Leading the list are Darrell Thompson (4,654 yards), Thomas Hamner (3,810), Marion Barber III (3,276), Chris Darkins (3,235) and Marion Barber (3,094).

-Maroney caught three passes, one for a TD.

-Gophers first and only punt came late in the 4th quarter.

Minnesota has the #1 rushing offense in the country. Purdue has the #1 rushing defense in the country.

ESPN has picked up the Purdue game this week. ABC picked up the Minnesota at Penn State game on Oct 1.

We will no more after this Saturday on the state of Gopher football team.

It’s Official, Tech Recovery Hits The Midwest

That might be a little sarcastic but I have written before that be it music, fashion, or the economy things happen on the coasts and then filter their way to middle America.

The Des Moines Business Record has an article titled A World Of Opportunities. An interesting read about the impact of the recession in Iowa and a great quote from Therese Wielage, Vice President of Spindustry Systems, in regards to how the state weathered the storm better than most states,

“We’re so pragmatic,” she said. “We weren’t working on things that weren’t real. You’re doing bricks-and-mortar work, not millionaire-on-paper work.”

Another interesting part of the article is the noting of Iowa State and its fantastic security related curriculum, which was stepped up after demand from the private sector.

Gopher Football 2-0

I was really uptight on Saturday. I saw the scoreboard, saw the statistics during the game, and yet felt like we looked bad during the game. Some of what I saw in the paper and on TV supported that perception.

After the game players and coaches were talking about the need to make fewer mistakes, be more consistent, greater intensity.

Then they, and I, looked at the stats:

-Minnesota had 545 yards of total offense, 350 on the ground 190 by air.

-Laurence Maroney had 2 TD’s and 133 yards on 26 carries.

-Blocked punt for a TD.

-Turnover ratio, +2.

-2 Sacks by our Defense.

-Colorado State gained 59 yards on 25 carries and 362 on 21-42 passing.

This last statistic, passing, was bothering me. Then I realized much of that was at the end of the game, well after it was decided. There were a couple of blown coverages earlier with one leading to a TD. Maybe it’s because we are used to looking at the passing defense through a microscope that during a game the issue seems larger than it is.

Then again, maybe some of the Big Ten receivers are going to have a big day. I guess we wait and see.

Some more bits of information:

-The Gophers currently have a streak of four games in which an individual opponent has not rushed for 100 yards - Iowa, Alabama, Tulsa and Colorado State.

- Minnesota has now amassed more than 300 yards of total offense in a school-record 29 straight games dating back to the 2002 season.

What does this all mean? I made up my mind in the 3rd quarter that the issue was not with the team but my expectations of the team. We are going to be stingy on defense against the run and porous through the air.

That our air game should be just good enough and with 8 players in the box knowing that Laurence Maroney and company are going to run over teams. That does not mean we will always have the big exciting play for a long run but over the whole game it will certainly take its toll on a defense.

P.S. How the Big Ten last weekend? Iowa? Michigan? Ohio State, although that was not much of an upset. How about Wisconsin the week before against Bowling Green? Sure the QB at Bowling Green is a star but oh man the Wisconsin defense looked bad.

25 days to Michigan.

Minneapolis/St. Paul Has Top Rank In Midwest Health Care Venture Survey

BioEnterprise, a Cleveland, Ohio business development group, released their September Midwest Health Care Venture Survey Results. There were 47 national respondents to the survey and all are active health care investors.

Highlights from the survey, Minneapolis/St. Paul:

-Minneapolis/St. Paul had the highest overall reputation for health care deals followed by Cleveland and Pittsburgh.

-Minneapolis/St. Paul ranked first in every specialized sector of health care.

Highlights from the survey, Midwest:

-Investors rate the performance of their Midwest investments as equal to those elsewhere in the country.

-A majority said that Midwest deal flow was increasing.

-66% of the respondents have a primary office in the Midwest.

-Nearly 90 percent indicated interest in expanding their Midwest activity.

Thanks, But I Am Not Looking

Since my three part series on how I became a Headhunter I have had a few inquiries regarding going to work for someone else.

It’s always a good economic sign when Headhunters are recruiting Headhunters.

While I appreciate the inquiries, and like most people always listen to something new, I highly doubt there will be an offer I would accept.

I look forward to the challenges of the next year in opening a new office with like-minded people, continuing my volunteer activities, and getting the message out about what interests this Headhunter.

Starting next week and through the next year I am going to write about the challenges and accomplishments of opening the office in November of ’06.

MN Headhunter, Paul DeBettignies

Best Buy and Carlson Companies, An Outsourcing Story

The outsourcing under way by Best Buy And Carlson Companies was written about in this article in July from the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Somehow I had missed it.

There are a few rumors that other large employers in the Twin Cities are looking at these two companies and how they deal with the outsourcing as a test to see if they too will follow.

596 Best Buy employees became a part of Accenture while 130 were laid off.

Around 400 information technology and finance employees of Carlson were laid off and roughly 140 became employees of IBM.

Another interesting statistic is that 15% who have made the change from corporate employee to contractor with their former employer leave.

The article has two stories of former employees returning as contractors and the hurdles they have faced.