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April 2007
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June 2007

Traditional Search Firms Are Going To Be Extinct, Whatever Part 2

Earlier this year I was a little annoyed with the prediction of a national search firm how they were going to revolutionize (my word not theirs) with their new fee structure and posted Traditional Search Firms Are Going To Be Extinct, Whatever.


Today there is this post from Shally Steckerl of Job Machine fame (and others), Are Recruiters Going the Way of the Dinosaurs?


Fortunately rather than get dismissive like I did Shally has some great points on how he sees corporate recruiting (and I believe this translates well for us search firm folks) becoming more specialized.


I am sticking with my original thought that there will be some market changes (pricing and technology) and that some of our recruiting colleagues may go out like the dinosaurs and some of us will be more like crocodiles and stick around.



Click Recruiting for more posts on the topic and MN Headhunter for the latest blog posts

Recruiter Jobs With Minnesota Companies Added

The following new Recruiting jobs have been added on the MN Headhunter Recruiting Gigs Page:


Recruitment Specialist, Internal Recruiter – Full Time Job – Pro Staff

Recruiter – Full Time Job – BI Worldwide

Director of Recruiting – Full Time Job – Thomson Corporation Careers



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IT Volunteer Opportunities And Jobs With Minnesota NonProfits Added

The following new volunteer opportunities and technology jobs have been added on the MN Headhunter Volunteer Page

Client Technology Enhancement Mentor – Volunteer – People Serving People

Computer Lab Facilitator – Volunteer – Loring Nicollet Bethlehem Community Center

Database Analyst, Programmer – Full Time Job – Macalester College

IT Project Manager – Full Time Job – Hennepin County

Central Systems Administrator IV – Full Time Job – University of St. Thomas

Software/Database Developer – Full Time Job – Hennepin County

Click weekly newsletter to receive the Wednesday message of nonprofit needs, IT jobs I am recruiting for, recruiting jobs, and most popular blog posts of the week.

If you are using a RSS Feed click Volunteer.

Happy 2nd Anniversary And 500th Post, MN Headhunter

Two years ago Monday, May 21st, I started this MN Headhunter blog. This post also hits a milestone of 500 posts.


Before getting into this I did not intentionally make this the 500th post. Well sort of I did. It would have been 499 but when I realized that this is a bit of a significant moment I put one post ahead of this one.


Last year I struggled with how to celebrate the big occasion, Happy 1st Anniversary, MN Headhunter.


This year I feel a little more philosophical but will start with what is new.


The total look and layout of the blog was changed last August by Jim and Franki Durbin and Durbin Media Group. They did an awesome job and while I am going to play with the blog roll some (the list itself) I have not felt the need to change a thing.


With the new look came new pages, About Nerd Search, Available Jobs, Volunteer, and Recruiting Gigs. All of the pages act as a blog of their own.


Sort of related is the new search firm name, Nerd Search. I had been looking for a name that more accurately described what I do.

Mission accomplished. 97% of the feedback was positive. I have had a few potential candidates put off by the name and my response has been fine, I doubt I would have wanted to work with them anyway. I do care what people think but the many positives have far outweighed the few negatives.

Now for some quick philosophy and a weird look inside my brain:

-Starting the blog was the best thing I could have done for me (a way to express myself), my identity in the Minneapolis market (people know the blog and my name), has become a valuable knowledge tool (for me and others), and has greatly broadened my network of recruiting, search, HR, and blogging friends.

-Blogging on a regular basis is hard. I could easily have doubled the number of posts the past two years but at times it seems overwhelming.

-Not blogging on a regular basis has been foolish. When looking at it in the micro view I feel like I should be doing other things, like recruiting. In the macro view I have learned that the more I blog the more I get out of it and the more inquiries (recruiting and other) I receive. I need to look at the bigger picture.

-Writing a local blog was the right move for me. There is always stuff to write about.

-There is more that can be done with the blog but for now I will keep that to myself.

-Learning how to not only write a blog but run a blog seemed difficult in the beginning. It is easy. There are many online resources to shorten the learning curve and I have learned that most bloggers are willing to give advice.


If you have thought about starting a blog but are not sure if it truly is something you want to invest time and energy in I would suggest doing this, set up an account with any of the blogging platforms and keep it hidden. That way if you decide against continuing you have no pressure from others or the feeling of failure. If you do find that you like doing it by the time you let everyone know about it you will have a good amount of content for them to look at.


That very first day in May of 2005 I felt very small with my first two blog posts. I was looking at other blogs, many of whom had been at it for years, and thinking how am I ever going to get that far.


Two years later I look at how far I have come and how much fun the ongoing journey is going to be.



For more information on myself or the blog click MN Headhunter Info and MN Headhunter for the latest blog postings.

Minnesota A Career, HR, And Recruiting Blog Hotbed

It is interesting how the stereotype of Midwestern values of working hard and not telling others about it holds true much of the time.


I had a conversation with a colleague who works at Microsoft and is very familiar with the use of recruiting blogs although he himself does not write one. I told him that Minnesota has 8 or so career related blogs that I am aware of and he was shocked to hear so many.


So often our area is looked at as “fly over” country. I am here to dismiss that, at least as far as the blogging goes.


In fact, we are working on an “unconference” of our own at the end of June. Looks like we have a cool program developing and we will likely have a well known name as a key note speaker. That is what I have come to learn as a tease, more on the “unconference” next week.


So who are the Minnesota bloggers writing about recruiting, being a recruiter, HR related issues, and careers in general?


If you know of a blog not on the list please send me an email so it can be added. Here goes:

Steven Rothberg of has a group of blogs (eight) that you can find by clicking blogs. The RSS Feed is

Josh Kahn of Best Buy writes The Sourcing Riff. The RSS Feed is

GL Hoffman of JobDig writes What Would Dad Say. The RSS Feed is

Toby Dayton of JobDig writes Diggings. The RSS Feed is

Derrick Moe of Select Matrix writes The Hire Sense. The RSS Feed is 

HotGigs has three blogs written by various members of their team: StaffingExchange the RSS Feed is, HiringExchange the RSS Feed is, and ConsultantExchange the RSS Feed is


Nicole St. Martin of HotGigs writes HR Search Marketing. The RSS Feed is


And of course myself writing this blog MN Headhunter. The RSS Feed is


There is another blog that has not been updated in some time, New Workforce – The Weblog of New Equities. The RSS Feed is .


So there you have it.

Minnesota as a thought center on career, recruiting and HR related issues. Other than the concentration of blogs coming out of Microsoft and the Redmond area I am not aware of another part of the country with as many as we do.

Minnesota Morning

I thought today was the beginning of the third year of what was started as a therapy project for me. Actually it was yesterday, I am off a day. Later today I will have some perspective on the blog, me, me and the blog.


It’s official, the legislative session did end on time for the most part. Seems like everyone is unhappy and blaming the other side. I used to think gridlock was a good thing. Maybe I still do but if everyone is unhappy then maybe what they are producing really is not in the best interests of the state.


I was hoping to have some sort of scorecard for what was and was not agreed to/passed but apparently it can get more strange. The house and senate passed bills but are not sure if Governor Tim Pawlenty will sign them. To my analogy yesterday of a special session being like overtime this is like when a team scores a goal with a couple of seconds left and they need to go to the replay booth both in the arena and in Toronto.


So now we wait for the governor to sign or not.


I was going to link to some articles but the local papers last post online posts were around 1 am and it is fairly clear that they were a little clueless on what was going on. I am going to look for some quotes (the absurd ones that make it seem like they know what they are doing and that they did a great job) and have already found some.


Recruiting and career blogs:

Why I Won’t Hire “clubgirl101″ a funny take on use of email addresses by applicants … Getting with the times placing an ad in the local newspaper seems like such a long time ago … I forwarded this on to a friend who needed some help with what will likely be a difficult situation A Primer on Avoiding the Botched Termination ...


Minnesota business and technology blogs:

Memo to self, always be marketing 10 Lead Generation (Prospecting) Tips for Sales People ... 3 Strategies for Curing Connectile Dysfunction, yep that caught my eye too … I am a supporter of “green technology” and am enjoying some recent articles on what might be coming in the near future but when I see this picture I wonder how many clowns can fit in it, Smart Car Test Drive at Stone ArchLinks for Charity, the kid of promotion I like to see … Aggregating vs creating … I swear if someone does this next to me on a plane they will not survive Joke That'll Get You Arrested ...



I was asked why I was more into the NHL playoffs than the NBA. Simple, while I do not like the cheap shots in hockey there is at least an adequate response given when one happens. If Robert Horry or Bruce Bowen were to do something similar in the NHL they would face retribution. I am cheering for anyone other than the San Antonio Spurs … Back to hockey, my cheer with your heart thing is not working. Buffalo loses to the Ottawa Senators. Anaheim is now up on the Detroit Red Wings 3-2. If Anaheim wins I guess I cheer for the Senators … MinnesotaTwins, just how many more guys can be hurt at the same time? … MinnesotaTimberwolves really are facing one of those moments in a franchise when it goes one way or another. The team, and Kevin Garnett, really need a break and get lucky enough to get a higher draft choice. Randy Foye represents the team and is bringing with him holy water from France. Whatever it takes …

Minnesota Morning

Minnesota Morning became late evening becuase I forgot to post it. More rambling and less links than usual… Starting with a political rant.


Here we are on the scheduled last day of the legislation session and the boys and girls at the state capitol in St. Paul have been staying up the past nights trying to get their work done.


Last week Governor Tim Pawlenty was talking about an extra session. (In hockey that is called overtime). These people are paid to do the work of the people of the State of Minnesota. Why oh why can they not get this stuff done sooner?


As an intent observer of politics I continue to come to the opinion that we are sending the wrong people to St. Paul. (And D.C. for that matter) I get politics. I get negotiation. I get fighting for what your personal, party, and constituents beliefs are.


There is absolutely no reason why grown-ups, most with business and/or legal backgrounds, are staying up all night on the last weekend of the scheduled session to make deals. This stuff could, should have been done days if not weeks ago.


The funny thing is, this is now the third time I have written something similar on this blog. Yes, two years ago tomorrow I started writing this blog. More on that tomorrow.


Spring has sprung into summer here in the Warehouse District of Minneapolis. We have already had our first 90 degree days and like most abnormally warm spring days they are followed by days in the 50’s. Like most people that really messes me up.


I am a stop and smell the flowers kind of guy so when a certain kind of tree opens up with white or violet blossoms, that’s when it is officially spring for me. Unfortunately the wind had been so intense for most of the past weeks they did not last long.


These pictures are from about 3 weeks ago:




I am still learning to use this little camera so the pictures are not the best. You know the saying “once in a blue moon”? I remember hearing from someone that was based on when you had two full moons in one month. Like this month:




For those new to my blog I really like to spend time fishing on the lakes. Two weekends ago was the fishing opener and easily one of the warmest we have had. And I stayed home. All of the years of wearing many layers of clothes to block out the wind and rain and I was not able to make it when the weather was awesome. Well, except the wind but that’s a lot easier to deal with when it is 80+ than 45 degrees.

My friends who were out regardless of where they went had fairly good results including an early bass bite, the opener for which is this next weekend, Memorial Day.


I started eyeing the Memorial Day weekend forecast the middle of last week. I had planned on getting out of town this coming weekend but the weather looks a little suspect, at least the first half. Memorial Day weekend (also know as the kickoff to the summer cabin season) tends to be a wet and cool holiday. I am feeling torn between getting out of town fishing knowing I will be thinking about what I could be doing and staying in town thinking how nice it would be fishing.


This afternoon I took a call from a corporate recruiter friend. She asked if I was in a bad mood and I said yes. She then made a comment about the music I was listening to. She said it sounded angry. My friends know when they call me they can figure out what kind of mood I am in by what I am listening too.


She called later in the day and asked what that mood was because the music had changed and she had notn heard that during the work day before. I was working from home and I had a replay of the Academy of Country Music Awards on.


Yeah, I have a little country in me. Mostly, I like country music live. No lip syncers and rarely if ever tracks playing in the background. Good, old fashioned live music. The way it should be. With country music you know if they are talented or not. There is no where for them to hide.


From the show: Martina McBride (the most amazing voice), Miranda Lambert (I am a big fan), Taylor Swift (finally met Tim McGraw), Carrie Underwood (American Idol gone country), Toby Keith (clearly the best looking construction worker/dancers ever), Big and Rich singing with John Legend (that was awesome), Reba McIntire and Kelly Clarkson, Faith Hill with a new tune, Tim McGraw (a true entertainer).


Highlights of the night included the tribute to the victims of Virginia Tech by Rascal Flatts, the recognition and standing ovation for the troops and Tim McGraw’s new song and the tribute to fallen heroes.


Kenny Chesney deservedly won Entertainer of the Year.


Hopefully tomorrow I will be in a really sarcastic mood and am able to report on what the legislators did at the last minute to make deals so they could go home and talk about how they did such a great job…

Mega Mergers Impact On Minnesota Companies, Dow Jones & Co. And News Corp

In recent years we have seen the ripple effect of a rock dropping in a pond in another location sending little waves here to Minneapolis. One current saga is the Rupert Murdoch owned News Corporation attempt at Dow Jones & Co.


Most people are aware of the Dow Jones holdings including The Wall Street Journal. Locally Dow Jones Online employs around 100 people and was featured in this Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal back in December of 2006, Dow Jones expands local division.


Part of the story surrounds CTO Jaime Thingelstad who according to the story was originally with Big Charts, which was acquired by MarketWatch, which was later acquired by Dow Jones.


Did you follow all of that?


Thingelstad writes his own personal blog, He had this brief post regarding the article, Article in Twin Cities Business Journal.


Both the article and his blog mention the hiring they are doing. If you think you might be interested in joining the team you can check their opportunities by clicking Dow Jones Jobs.



Click Minnesota Business Scene for more Minnesota business news and MN Headhunter for the latest blog postings.

New Office Space, Staying In UTEC, My Ongoing Frustration With Comcast

Back in November of 2005 my office space search took me to the University Technology Center (UTEC) in Dinkytown (the commercial and residential area near the University of Minnesota). It was a good choice for me then and what I thought might be a 12 month stay has turned into 18 months with more to come.


This past week we decided that they and I still like each other and I am signing on for a while longer. I have moved office spaces more for convenience than anything else. Another group needed the 450 square feet I had. The space I had was larger than I needed so I down sized my space.


The new space is smaller than I like but with spending more time in Alexandria this summer and significant time spent at a couple of new clients I can make do with what I moved in to.


Moving was fairly easy. About 550 feet down a hall. Turns out there were quite a few boxes I did not open from the last move so off to the shredder they will go.


The issue has been getting cable service from Comcast in the new space. I am an existing business customer, signed a 1 year contract in November of 2005 and been without a contract for the past six months.


One might think that keeping an existing customer is a lot easier than finding new ones. Apparently not. Today makes day 22 of the odyssey I have been on and as of yet, no date for the connection. I get UTEC (the former Marshall High School) is an old school building which is hard to wire, that I am very small customer in their big pond, and that following the merger of Time Warner/Road Runner with Comcast things are not as smooth as they used to be.


But 22 days without a connection date? How many days until I get one and how many days until the truck makes it out? Maybe they will take care of the rent during that time too. Sorry, not sure what I was thinking with that one.


There may have been a late day breakthrough Wednesday so I will wait before I start blogging angry. I promise to do an update as this progresses.


I came across this entry from Funny Business yesterday, The New Consumer Revenge Art:


Elana always has good stories on businesses and the issues they have.


There is not enough time in a day to become a disgruntled former customer and start a site that rags on Comcast. That and the first entry on Google for comcast customer service sucks is this one, I hate Comcast…


Looks like a long list of comments from people with issues. I get that most people only post negative experiences but they all sound eerily the same.


Let me be clear, I do not hate the service. It has been great with no issues. I do not hate the people. They have been nice enough.


I do hate the process.


There are a lot of potential customers in UTEC but they continue to use an ISP that is in the building because they can get a connection in a matter of days, even if it is a little slower and without other services like cable TV.


Comcast, please help me help you retain me as a customer.

Minnesota Nonprofit Community Doing Web 2.0 With Blogs, Facebook and MySpace

This afternoon I received a Facebook invite from Hands On Twin Cities. Hands On Twin Cities started their group, HandsOn TwinCities, on May 1st. They are reaching out to the college crowd in both connecting with current volunteers but I would also guess to find new ones. Facebook is a great took for them to be using.


On their page I saw that they also have a blog, Learn, Serve, Be The Change. A great title.


They do not have just a Facebook page and a blog but are on MySpace too with Hands On Twin Cities.


I am a big, big fan of the work they do and their continual support of the local nonprofit community.


Another fantastic group is the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits. Earlier this year they started a blog of their own with three of their staff members, MN Nonprofit Blogs.

IT Volunteer Opportunities And Jobs With Minnesota NonProfits Added

The following new volunteer opportunities and technology jobs have been added on the MN Headhunter Volunteer Page:


Technology Volunteer, Computer Confidence – Volunteer - Neighborhood Involvement Program, NIP

Website Updaters – Volunteer – St. Paul Area Council of Churches

Web Designer – Volunteer – Compatible Technology International

Director of Informational Systems – Full Time Job – Minnesota Medical Foundation



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Minnesota Morning

Two weekends ago I hung out with my Mom and helped her do some painting. I have never been much of a camera or picture guy but my Mom picked up an inexpensive digital camera and I started to play with it a bit.


Here are some “action shots” of us at work:







#1 Before

#2 Mom in action

#3 Me earning lunch

#4 After

#5 Kissa “The boss”


Kissa (Finnish for cat and a way for us to remember our Grandma’s Finnish heritage) is the family cat who like most felines, does things when she wants whether you do or not.


This afternoon I am off to the Carlson School of Management for an event with Simon Foster of is the only profitable online grocer. Foster will speak at 3:30 pm in the 3M Auditorium about “The Do’s and Don’ts of Raising Capital” as part of the Minnesota Cup. Admission is free but an email RSVP is required. Go to the Minnesota Cup site for more information.


Recruiting and careers:

Jim Stroud with information on taking personal name branding to a whole new level with You’re a Nobody Unless Your Name Googles WellAre You Optimizing Your Employee Referral Program?, I still find many employers think this takes too much effort. Stupid, stupid, stupid … Banish Lowball OffersThe Rules of Blog Branding hits close to home and has been on my mind a lot lately …


Local blogs:

Tuesday the featured blog on TypePad was the Minneapolis based B2B Lead Generation BlogScience Buzz with How the Internet has changed our lives and a link to an article in the USA Today ... Technology Evangelist with Google Analytics Gets a Facelift. I had not logged on to my Google Analytics account in a few weeks. I have put that on my to do list for tonight ...



NHL, even with the Minnesota Wild out of the playoffs I have been watching most of the games. Nothing better than the hockey playoffs. They play every other night and the road to the Stanley Cup clearly is the most difficult of any championship in professional sports … NBA, this is a snoozer although I do find myself cheering for Golden State, Phoenix, and LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Then again, I could really care less … Minnesota Twins, on Tuesday night I was once again reminded of a saying I came up with a few years ago, never, ever turn off a Twins game. But I did. The Twins were down 4-1 for some time and I turned away. Fortunately I turned back in time to see them tie it up in the 9th and win on a Justin Morneau home run … NASCAR, don’t laugh. I am an equal opportunity sports lover. I have been very interested in the negotiations between Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and his step-mom over ownership of DEI. Looks like as of this moment he is moving on, Earnhardt Jr. to split with DEI; negotiations 'were never close' ...   

Tony Dungy Speaks At University Of Minnesota Alumni Association Event

I am an idiot. Yep, once again I state the obvious. I get so wrapped up in what was is in front of me the past two days that I forget about other things.


And so it went last night. I had been planning on attending the UMAA event with Tony Dungy, Indianapolis Colts Head Coach and University of Minnesota alum ‘78, for many weeks.


But then I got so focused on work that I forgot about it. That is until Jason (my pledge brother in the fraternity and who I travel with for Gopher football games) called and asked about parking on campus. I asked why. He said for the UMAA event. I said (and I apologize) for the language, “OH SHIT”.


So it goes again. I got so focused on half a dozen things that need to be done right then that I missed it. I could have walked away from most of it but I had three phone calls scheduled for candidates who had interviewed earlier in the day.


Jason sent some friends and I an email with this picture to as he said, “taunt me”:




Jason also said he and Dungy must have the same barber.


From all I have heard, Tony Dungy and Stan Freese ’67, talent casting and booking director for Walt Disney Productions and tuba extraordinaire, were fantastic.


About 2,100 were there for the dinner and maybe another 1,000 for the speeches. It is worth noting that Tony Dungy was asked to speak last fall before winning the Super Bowl. I cannot imagine how many requests he has been getting.


Both spoke about their time at the university and about how the on campus stadium played a part in their experience. Dungy spoke about the benefits of his academic and athletic experience in equal terms. Without the education he received from his coaches and his professors in what is now the Carlson School of Management:

“I know I would not be the coach of the Super Bowl champions in 2007”

Yep, so I missed it. Good thing I have good friends who are willing to fill me in on what I missed.

Technology Interns To Employers Is Like A Farm Team To Major League Baseball, A Lesson From Fog Creek Software

I am constantly amazed to hear employers talk about the lack of younger technology talent. They cannot understand why there are so few candidates with 2-3 years of experience.


In my mind I ponder these questions:

-Do you have an internship program that actually mentors and teaches future professionals?

-Are you offshoring “entry level” work?


More broadly the technology community needs to do a better job getting at younger people, 7-15, before they start thinking about careers. Show them technology is fun, that it is useful, that it has a purpose, that it can be a great career and it can be financially rewarding.


After all young people are the big users of technology. They are growing up with it. This should be easy.


But that is an entirely different soapbox for a different day.


Back to the title of this post, having an internship program is a lot like the minor leagues, or “farm teams”, in Major League Baseball. This is where talent is developed, evaluated, mentored, taught important skills.


Yet so very few companies do it or do it well.


Worse, they do it poorly and treat their interns like crap and then wonder why they do not come back after graduation. Or even worse yet (as if that is possible) no college grads want to work there after their buddies told them how crappy it was for those three months.


I came across an article in this months Inc. and fortunately it is online. This months Guest Speaker is Joel Spolsky of New York based Fog Creek Software and he wrote Recruiting the Top 1 Percent. (Joel may well be better known as creator of the blog Joel On Software)


Fog Creek Software has an internship program and they do it right. They have a model most companies could use regardless of location. Not everyone can do field trips to Yankee Stadium or Broadway but working on cool projects, being paid, having a social side to get to know the company are things that will attract top interns and hopefully come back as future employees.


Oh and pay them a decent wage.


After all, that is what this is about. The goal of any intern program is to attract top students and to hire them as employees after graduation. (Although I do know that some companies do it only as a way to hire cheap labor to do menial tasks)


Sure there is an upfront cost to this with no guarantee of a hire but it is a lot cheaper than paying me and my recruiting colleagues to find you mid-level experienced talent. Besides as Joel notes even if you do not hire the intern he/she will tell there friends about the experience.


Fog Creek Software does not just have this mentality with college interns but all levels of talent. From their corporate site About Fog Creek Software:

"Good software development talent is scarce. The really great developers — the ones who change the world — are hard to find, attract, and recruit. Yet when we looked around, we discovered that the very companies that whine about not being able to find developers have working environments so bad they make Dilbert's cubicle-land look like paradise."

Amen to that.


Since it seems like I am promoting Fog Creek so much (only because I like what I have seen and something similar can be implemented by any company) here is a link to their internship program and for those with a degree a blog post about the Fog Creek Software Management Training Program.


For the record I have no connection to Fog Creek Software or to the Joel On Software blog other than being an infrequent reader.



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