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September 2005
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November 2005

Updating MN Headhunter

I did not realize how many posts I had written in the last 30 or so days. But it being just a shade past 4 am it took a couple hours to spell check and get them organized into the right categories.

Having just posted from 9/26 – 10/09 tomorrow night I will do 10/10 – 10/23. That will get me finally caught up.

Tuesday night I will post for Gopher football including the trip to Ann Arbor, a few pics too. I am still in denial over the loss to the Badgers last weekend and with the bye week this week have successfully put that behind me. Bring on Ohio State…

MN Biz Scene 9/26 - 10/09

Rick Beeson Answers Questions On The Central Corridor – September 25

I am a big fan of Rick Beeson, President/CEO of Park Midway Bank, who was featured in a recent Star Tribune column “Coffee with”. Rick is involved with the St Paul Chamber and the Central Corridor line. Rick answers questions on light rail and the importance of connecting Minneapolis, St Paul, University of Minnesota and the economic development that would likely occur along the rail line.

Rick also is on the board of the Goal Line Club, which is the football booster club of the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers.

Dot Com Survivor, Modern Survey

Modern Survey was written about in this article from the Star Tribune. When my non-tech anti-Internet friends ask me why the web is so cool I have a new company to talk to them about. This is another example of a local company using technology to make an old process more efficient.

Business Journal Releases Small 50 Public Companies List – October 3

Business Journal does a great job highlighting Vital Images, Lifecore Biomedical, and Vascular Solutions as med tech firms grabbed 5 of the top 10 spots.

Minnesota And Other States To Tax Internet Sales – October 3

From the Business Journal, well this was bound to happen and I am surprised it has taken this long. I had hoped the Internet would remain sales tax free but if the State of Minnesota believes it is losing $300 million a year then I can understand the motive for a change.

The other states involved in the program are Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming. Nevada will join the group at the start of 2006.

Career Information 9/26 - 10/09

Relevancy Of Job Titles – September 23

Over the past few weeks I have been working on a couple of different searches for an Information Architect. The thing is, the job descriptions are very different in scope and in responsibilities.

Which gets me back to how arbitrary job titles are. Here is an article from CIO Today that made me feel better about my frustration.

Particularly this paragraph:

"'Architect' is probably the most abused term in I.T.," says Tony Redmond, HP's CTO. "When you say 'architect,' what do you mean?" Numerous companies have employees who identify themselves as architects, but those people might be anything from CIOs to programmers, he explains.

Whew, if HP’s CTO is saying this then maybe I am smarter than I thunk I am.

Consulting Magazine, 10 Best Consulting Firms To Work For

Consulting Magazine has released its 2005 study of consulting firms. This is a great resource for anyone doing a job search or a Headhunter like me looking to work with a top-notch firm.

Future Of The IT Career – October 23

I have been puzzled by the disconnect between the perception of there being no jobs now or in the future with IT versus what many including myself think will be a talent crunch.

This quote from an InformationWeek article which articulates very well the predicament we find ourselves in:

In a survey of 251 CIOs and chief technology officers earlier this year, "finding talent" was cited more often than any other managerial challenge as having the most-significant effect on executing strategy over the next five years, McKinsey & Co. says. U.S. IT leaders describe a death-spiral scenario: Global competition drives kids from the field; declining enrollments mean fewer classes and opportunities on campus, which discourages even more potential candidates; companies won't pay high salaries for increasingly rare U.S. talent, so they push more work abroad; other countries fill in the talent gap and increase their leadership in technology.

I also frequently hear from college students that pay in IT is not comparable. In response to that is the following from the article:

The average computer-science grad started at $50,664, a 3.3% increase from last year, according to the fall quarterly survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Information sciences and systems grads posted a 3.6% increase to an average offer of $43,902. Graduates in management information systems saw a bigger jump, rising 5% to an average starting salary of $43,653. Most business degrees rose at a healthy pace, such as accounting, up 4.6%, to $42,940.

Here’s an idea, the tech sector should get together and start a marketing campaign before it is too late.

General 9/26 - 10/09

Bloggers Telling It Like It Is, Breaking The Law, Or Both? – September 23

Red Herring has an article on Bloggers and legal issues they/we can face. From the article:

Mr. Wall is just one of many bloggers treading on the undefined legal turf that comes with running a blog, a media form that has become vastly popular in the last few years. Today, bloggers face a host of potential liabilities involving privacy, decency, and copyright infringement. The laws governing traditional journalists as well as online publishers seem to apply in many cases, and a few bloggers have found themselves at the center of cases.

I will tell you that I did not put much thought into the legal side of things when I started this blog, MN Headhunter. I was thinking, and do so every time I hit “post”, that what I am producing is read by many people and that sooner or later something I say will come back to haunt me.

Email Archiving And The Law – September 26

Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance Journal with an article titled “Top 5 Strategic Email Compliance Mistakes”. I like this article because it gives action items to the mistakes listed.

Research From World Class IT Organizations – September 27

The Hackett Group, a business process advisory firm, has released its 2005 Book of Numbers. A press release states:

According to Hackett's research, world-class IT organizations now spend 10 percent more than typical companies on IT ($9,617 versus $8,715 per end user). World-class IT organizations now rely on 28 percent fewer staff than typical companies (26.5 versus 36.8 IT staff/thousand end-users). However they show fully-loaded wage rates that are 32 percent higher ($119,383 versus $90,766/IT staffer). This wage rate gap has grown dramatically over the past two years. At the same time, world-class companies are seeing turnover rates for professionals and managers that are 84 percent and 150 percent higher than typical companies, respectively.

Interesting to see that “world class IT organizations” have wages and higher turnover.

CIOs And Analysts Predict Flat To Marginal Growth In IT Budgets – September 27

Huh, CIO Today reports that after delaying spending from 2000-2003 and then opening the coffers from 2003-2005 companies that 2006 will see a 0-3% increase in spending. Not to say that projects will not occur and upgrades in equipment not be done but a case must be made for the expenditures. Looking Over Its Shoulder? – October 3

Boston Globe with an article on and competition it is facing. I have written before that to me the job posting aggregators like SimplyHired, Indeed, and the local venture Fetchster make a lot of sense. I have suggested to every one of my clients and contacts that this gives them another opportunity to reach job seekers.

Besides, posting on their own web site should be convenient and they do not need to worry about the number of jobs, read that as dollars spent, posted.

Work vs. Family, How To Juggle – October 3

Business Week with perspective on work and family. While I don’t yet have the pressure of juggling a marriage and children I do struggle with balancing work, volunteering, and free time. There are a lot of good tips including how to use technology to your advantage without getting consumed by it, how to juggle work and home life, and how to work at home.

Outsourcing & Offshoring 9/26 - 10/09

IT Managers Managing Outsourced Projects – September 27

ComputerWorld with an article with tips on managing outsourced projects. Time and time again articles such as this one continue to point out the pitfalls for Managers to prepare for.

Once again cultural differences, word usage, putting plans on paper, and setting deadlines are mentioned.

I hate to be sarcastic but no kidding…

Outsourcing, Offshoring, And Now Nearshoring – October 4

Nearshoring, this is a new one for me. I have linked to many articles on offshoring and also outsourcing to rural America.

I have not seen anything about sending work to Mexico and very little about Canada. It makes sense of course when one thinks of the ability to meet with development teams and commonalities with time zones and language.

Political Rant 9/26 - 10/09

Stadium On The Agenda, Again – October 6

Pioneer Press reports that Governor Pawlenty and leaders of both the house and senate will meet to talk about a special session with the Gopher and Twins stadium part of the conversation.

Here’s a precious quote from the article:

"Even separate from the issues involved, we're all just sick of each other," said Sen. Richard Cohen, DFL-St. Paul.

Sen. Cohen, many of us average folk feel the same about the whole lot of you.

In fact, many of us are sick of the people we work with yet somehow we manage to get up every morning and do our job anyway. Maybe you all could take a lesson from us.

Governor And Legislators Meet On Special Session – October 7

After a meeting with the Governor and legislative leaders the Pioneer Press reports it appears that the only stadium that may be acted upon in a special session is for Gopher football.

Recruiting 9/26 - 10/09

Employees Intentionally Downloading Viruses – August 22

ComputerWorld has an article about the number of companies reporting malicious acts by employees. Citing some of the reasons for acts as “…today's era of increased outsourcing, corporate downsizing, salary reductions and failed pension-plan promises, company networks are increasingly being attacked by disgruntled employees.”

So your doing a reference check on a potential employee and now you need to ask another question. Something like, so is John Doe the kind of person to release a computer virus should we ever downsize him?

Where Companies Find Their Employees

While looking for statistics and trends on behalf of a client that is reevaluating their recruitment strategy and looking to make changes for 2006 I came across the following, CareerXroads 4th Annual – Sources of Hire. 

The study was released earlier this year. Of importance to my client is 29.6% of hires are from the Internet, broken down by:

-53.3% company website
-8.6% Monster
-8.1% CareerBuilder
-6.1% Hotjobs
-16.9% other niche sites

Employment & Economic Statistics 9/26 - 10/09

Minneapolis/St. Paul Continue Top Five Rank – September 28

United States Department of Labor released its Metropolitan Summary for the month of August. Minneapolis/St. Paul once again ranked best, 3.3 % not seasonally adjusted, which ranked best among areas with 1 million or more residents.

Nationally metropolitan areas had more under 4.0% and less over 7.0% than a year ago.

Minnesota Has The 2nd Lowest Poverty Rate – September 29

While the poverty rate has increased slightly in the past few years the overall rate has gone down quite a bit since 1993. Star Tribune reports on a study that shows New Hampshire has the lowest poverty rate.

1,000,000 Self Employed Businesses Added – September 30

US Census Bureau is reporting a 5.7% growth in self employed businesses. Nevada, Arizona, and Georgia lead the growth pack.

September Unemployment rate up .1% in September – October 3

Not overly alarmed by the September Unemployment numbers. After all we have had seven months of job growth.

Twin Cities Ranking Well In Job Growth And Unemployment – October 3

American City Business Journals released a study with statistics from mid-2004 and mid-2005. The Twin Cities ranked 20th with metropolitan areas of a population greater than 250,000. Job growth was not that good but the unemployment rate is low.

The 20th ranking puts the Twin Cities ahead of Denver, Boston, and San Jose.

Business Journal has the story and also mentions Rochester, which ranked 10th in the mid-market category.

Minneapolis/St. Paul Worker Confidence Increases – October 4

Another month and another increase in the Hudson Employment Index for the Twin Cities. 74% of workers were satisfied in September up from 71% in August.

Minneapolis/St. Paul still rank in 4th place behind Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Dallas.

Meanwhile the national index took a small dip.

Hurricane Katrina & Rita Impact On September Jobs Report – October 7

The unemployment rate rose to 5.1% in September. From the report:

The measures of employment and unemployment reported in this news release reflect both the impact of Hurricane Katrina, which struck the Gulf Coast in late August, and ongoing labor market trends.  Over the 12 months ending in August, payroll employment grew by an average of 194,000 a month and the unemployment rate trended downward.

Let's Go Gophers

How ‘bout them Golden Gophers!!!  

So here I am posting from

Ann Arbor



. I was in the Big House today and for the second year in a row sat facing the sun in a long game and have really bad sunburn. 

The difference this year is a fantastic victory by our team.

I have a few pics to post later and many posts related to the recruiting world when I get back to



So for now,


Hats Off To Thee…

And a mission to find something that looks like a Little Brown Jug to drink from.