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Agenda | Minnesota Recruiters Fall (un)Conference

We have just a few spots left (116 registered so far) for the event this Friday at Best Buy. If you have not yet registered please do so at Minnesota Recruiters (un)Conference.

For those attending the event a few things to know:

  • I will be sending out material that will be covered in the presentations Thursday afternoon. Feel free to print a copy and bring with you. If you find you already may have questions or thoughts please send them to me Thursday night so I can get them to the presenters.
  • Arrive as early as you can. Breakfast will be ready at 7:30 am and we will be starting promptly at 8:00 AM. A reminder that there is a security check in at Best Buy and to allow time for it.
  • A link to a map for getting to Best Buy. You will want to enter the Best Buy campus on the Penn Ave entrance.
  • Bring pen, notebook, and business cards.
  • If you have registered and are not able to attend please reply to this email so we can be sure to fill the spot.
  • After the last event we sent the contact list including email addresses to all attendees. If you do not wish to have your information shared please reply to this email.
  • Early arrivals will receive a complimentary issue of The Fordyce Letter courtesy of Jason Davis, a contributor to The Fordyce Letter, and founder of
  • Many thanks to Don Ramer and Arbita for sponsoring this event.
  • You will note with the agenda below we have added a 30 minute slot for networking purposes. This was one of the requests following the July event.
  • You will also note a short presentation I will have on Minnesota Recruiters and how we will be using it going forward.

7:30 – 8:00 Guests Arriving, Breakfast

8:00 – 8:15 Paul Introductions

8:15 – 9:00 CJ DuBe' - Talent Acquisition "How NOT to put a Square Peg in a Round Hole"

9:00 – 9:15 Q&A

9:15 – 9:45 Networking/Break

9:45 – 10:30 Toby Dayton & Eric Caron - Top 10 SEO Tips For Company Job Boards

10:30 – 10:45 Q&A

10:45 – 11:00 Break

11:00 – 11:45 Don Ramer - Antisocial Networking: Getting Beyond Denial to Deliver a “Wow!” Experience

11:45 – 12:00 Q&A

12:00 – 12:10 Paul Ning Announcement

12:10 – 2:00 Lunch and Networking

Let’s Talk About Web Site Statistics | Some Analytics Work Better Than Others

I am frequently asked how many visitors my blog sees in a day, week or month. I always share the information, it’s not like it needs to be a secret. I may not always share how visitors get to me, other web sites, or blogs, or what keywords they are using on a search engine. That would be more help than I am willing to give. At least out in the open like this.

Before sharing the graphs below I have a disclaimer to make, I have not used the blog to its full potential. I bet between infrequent posting, not commenting on others blogs and not getting incoming links from career related sites that would link to me if I ask I am probably utilizing about 35% of the potential.

Sad really but I am working on it. I have been posting with some greater frequency than I had earlier this year.

The stupid part is I know that the more I post the more good things that come from the effort like candidates, free PR and greater traffic. One would think I would work more on it but I never claimed to be the sharpest tool in the shed.

The first graph is from Site Meter. I use it on a daily basis to check visitors and referrals. Note that the November ’07 statistics are measured through November 22 not November 30:

MN Headhunter Site Meter Stats 11-07

For more in-depth analysis I use Google Analytics. I do not have a graph to share because I could not figure out how to save the image. It shows similar traffic patterns although it shows between 175-250 more visitors for each month than Site Meter.

I think that is because Google Analytics is capturing traffic to each of the blog pages (Nerd Search, IT Jobs, Volunteer and Recruiting Jobs) where Site Meter is only grabbing from the main page.

It also could be that Google Analytics is that much better at what it does.

Regardless, as I have been blogging more I have had more traffic. Duh.

If you are wondering what the spikes are, Dec/Jan/Feb saw a spike in traffic from my writing regarding the firing of then University of Minnesota Head Coach Glen Mason and the greater interest in Gopher Football. Lots and lots of people were looking for information on who the new coach would be and for the most part I was the only one writing about it on a regular basis.

The other spike is in August and that was regarding the 35 W Bridge collapse. I had quite a few incoming links that were sending me a bunch of traffic.

Both were non recruiter, career or IT related but I also had a spike in the number of resumes sent during those times. Apparently Minnesota IT professionals are into football and breaking local news like most other people. (OK, maybe not so much Gopher football) That is the magic about writing a local blog. (More on that next week)

OK, so now to my mini rant. I was sent an email by a well known career blogger asking what happened to my blog traffic. I said what do you mean I have been having consistent growth the past few months. He was shocked to hear that.

And then I found out he had looked at my Alexa statistics:

MN Headhunter Alexa Stats 11-07

Well yeah, if you look at that graph my blog looks dead. Alexa relies on use of their toolbar to measure traffic. Go back to that January spike and look at the Alexa graph. It spiked way more than it should have and the reason I believe for it is a lot of the incoming traffic was coming from college football bloggers most of whom use Alexa. So of course that spiked more than it should have.

The Alexa graph is a 3 year look at the blog. The spike in August of 2006 is from the Northwest Airlines debacle of their laying off employees and their now famous Northwest Airlines List Of 101 Ways To Save Money. I was featured in quite a few national blogs, business sites, and NPR.

One last tool is

MN Headhunter Compete Stats 11-07

Their tool is doing a much better job at tracking visitors to my site than is Alexa. Their monthly visitors are lower than what Site Meter or Google Analytics show but I think that is because only counts a user one time a month. So one visitor coming back once a week, or four times a month, is only counted once. Their overall trend is better for sure.

So there it is, a quick explanation on site traffic, statistics and using analytics. And proof that yes, my blog is doing just fine.

35W Bridge Reconstruction And Why Politicians Suck

In the days following the 35W Bridge collapse local and national politicians were saying and doing the right things. Working together. Talking together. Promising to put the interests of the State of Minnesota before politics.

Bullshit. We should have known better. You know the saying, something about knowing a politician is lying because their lips are moving.

Bridge 'unity' fractured by politics in the StarTribune is a road map, pardon the unintended pun, of how things have gone so very wrong and why I have become so jaded with politics.

So mush for working together and yes, I do find fault with both sides.

In part:

Candidates have changed their minds and entered races because of the bridge collapse. Union leaders have brought forward bridge inspectors to decry short budgets. A transportation secretary has prompted accusations of a tainted investigation.

All in all, an impressive show of disunity.

"This is just a case study of what's wrong with government," said University of Minnesota political scientist Larry Jacobs. "Huge problem. Everybody recognizes the problem, and yet what you get is a mud fight. It's appalling."

While nobody suggests that the infighting will prevent Minnesota from getting bridge-replacement money in the end, those close to the situation acknowledge that the political clashes have made the government response seem murky.

"I think everybody is posturing to a certain degree," said Rep. Tim Walz, who was one of the other Democrats on the Capitol steps. "All too often in politics, all you do is muddy the water."

So we likely get the money in the end but until then time, energy and money are wasted. Worse, the politicians get to play their game with each other.

What a bunch of crap.

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Minnesota Recruiters Fall (un)Conference Topics And Presenters Announced

A few weeks ago I had this post Minnesota Recruiters Fall (un)Conference Announced about our upcoming Minnesota Recruiters (un)Conference:

November 30, 2007
8:00 am – 12 pm
12 pm – 2 pm Lunch and Networking
Best Buy Headquarters

Yesterday I announced our topics and presenters. We are very fortunate we have many industry professionals in the Minneapolis area who are known to be great presenters.

As of this morning we have 95 confirmed attendees with space up to 130.

My ongoing appreciation goes out to Don Ramer of Arbita. He is sponsoring breakfast and lunch as well as presenting.

If you would like to attend the event click Minnesota Recruiters (un)Conference.

Click Minnesota Recruiters to join the online social networking group.

I am already working on the next event in January and thinking about April.

Presenters and topics for the November 30th event:

Talent Acquisition
"How NOT to put a Square Peg in a Round Hole"

CJ DuBe´: During a twenty-year career in placement and outsource services, CJ DuBe´ has handled both project and search functions for the full gamut of job descriptions: finance, engineering, accounting, IT, legal, human resources and banking.   After working for several small and mid-size companies, she joined a large international staffing firm. Three promotions later, she was running five of its direct hire divisions.  CJ has served as a talent management consultant to several large Twin City employers, helping them to improve their talent acquisition and talent management functions.  CJ is currently the Managing Partner and co-founder of Oberon, LLC.

Top 10 SEO Tips For Company Job Boards

Toby is President & COO of JobDig, an employment focused media company that delivers multi-channel recruitment advertising and talent management solutions to employers of all sizes and all industries. Prior to joining JobDig in 2001, Toby was a Senior Associate at Cherry Tree, an investment banking and venture capital firm in Minnetonka. Toby received his MBA from the Carlson School of Management and a BA from Skidmore College.

Eric Caron works as the Webmaster and IT Administrator for JobDig, an employment-focused media company that delivers multi-channel recruitment advertising and talent management solutions to employers of all sizes and all industries. Eric graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Computer Science with an emphasis on Internet technologies. Throughout his career, Eric has put much of his efforts towards Search Engine Optimization and leveraging developing technologies. For over 11 years, Eric has ambitiously worked in the field of website development, has actively participated and promoted open source technologies, and has donated time to local non-profit technology needs.

Antisocial Networking: Getting Beyond Denial to Deliver a “Wow!” Experience

Don Ramer’s commitment to recruitment spans over 30 years.  He began his career in executive search in 1974. Over the next 6 years he worked in both contingency and retainer environments serving as Assistant to the President at two AESC registered firms.

In 1980 he formed The Ramer Group, a recruiting firm specializing in the placement of Data Security executives for major financial institutions in New York City. In 1986 he launched The Recruitment Research Institute and served as Executive Director.  Under the auspices of the Institute he began publication of a newsletter for the Human Resources community entitled The Alternative Employment Marketplace and delivered seminars throughout the US on “Improving Quality and Reducing Costs Through the Alternative Employment Marketplace.” Much of the Institute’s research was subsequently published and distributed by The Bureau of National Affairs.

In 1988 Don launched the Employment Management Group a high-level management consultancy focused on change management in recruitment and selection for very large employers. In addition to intensive review of recruitment and selection effectiveness, the EMG team planned, directed, organized and controlled recruitment and selection strategy, tactics, and operations on behalf of clients in the telecommunications and enterprise software industries.

In August of 1993, Don began working with the America Online Career Center to accelerate sales of their Online Recruitment Advertising products. Driven by his vision of the relationship between proactive recruiting and the up-and-coming universe of online job boards, Don created the concept of a central marketplace that would streamline HR professionals’ connection to many vendors.  In 1996 he and his partners launched RecruitUSA, Inc. and have since helped define web recruiting for many of the world’s premier employers through partnerships and knowledge management.

Tips For The Unemployed Job Seeker

In the November 18th, 2007 Career Section of the Star Tribune I was featured in the article Tips For The Unemployed Job Seeker. I have placed it below as the Star Tribune archives stories after two weeks.

Tips For The Unemployed Job Seeker
By Matt Krumrie, Star Tribune
November 18, 2007

Paul DeBettignies, managing partner, Nerd Search, LLC ( and an IT search firm recruiter for eight years, says finding a job is a contact sport. The more people you are in contact with the better the odds of a short job search. Making contacts is part of a plan that unemployed workers need to develop. Another part of the plan involves following a daily routine.

"When you had a job, you had a routine," says DeBettignies. "You woke at a certain time, left for work at a certain time. Keep a routine that has you doing your job search and getting out of the house."

Details are important. Track every résumé submittal, phone call, contact made. Know who you have sent a resume to and when so you can follow up. Keep this information by the phone. If a call comes in, you want to know what résumé was sent to this company and for what position.

Look outside your contacts and try new methods as well, such as:

  • Joining social/professional networking sites like LinkedIn (
  • Using the newspaper: The Internet is not the only place to search for jobs.
  • Joining a job club, contacting nonprofit agencies and attending business or networking events.

Don't forget the people in your world such as accountants, real estate agents, health club members or hairdressers, says Melanie Keveles, a certified career coach (

"These are people who interface with many people on a daily basis," says Keveles. "They are likely to have a wide network of their own - be sure to tap them as you reach out."

And remember, finding a job is a job.

"Many people treat it like a hobby and spend a few minutes a day on it and expect results," says DeBettignies. "Results come from hard work."

Matt Krumrie is a freelance writer from Inver Grove Heights, and has nine years of experience reporting on the employment industry. The first Sunday of each month this column will answer readers' questions. E-mail questions or subject ideas to

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Richfield High School Class Of 1988 | 20 Year Reunion

Apparently I was lost but I have been found by way of my Facebook profile.

I missed the 5 year and made it to the 10 year. Funny thing is, I have not had any contact with anyone in many years. I am very happy that Mary found me. We were very close, I even hooked her up with my cousin after high school, and I miss her and a few others. I look forward to catching up with them.

The Richfield High School Class of 1988 20 year reunion is August 9, 2008. Click the previous link for the web site.

I took a stroll down memory lane, sort of a flashback to Breakfast Club, and clicked through the photo albums and came across me as a very skinny kid in 1986 on our class trip to Washington, D.C. Apparently it was cool to sleep with one’s shades on (white shirt in both pictures):

Richfield High School 1986 Class Trip To Washington DC Richfield High School 1986 Class Trip To Washington DC #2

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Minnesota Venture Capital | Private Equity | Investment Firms

The list below is a list of mostly Minnesota based venture capital firms and a few with offices in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Also included are a few of the more active private equity and other investment firms.

10 Minnesota Companies In The 2007 Inc. 500 | 116 Minnesota Companies In The 2007 Inc. 5000

Inc. 5000, seriously? Absolutely. What was once the Inc. 500, Fast Growing Private Companies In America is now the Inc. 5000.

The Internet era is making so many things so much easier and one of the many areas made simpler is doing research and sharing the information. (I wonder if it was even possible to do 5000 companies a few years ago)

Minnesota has 10 companies in the traditional 500 category and a bonus 106 when expanded to 5000. This list is a recruiter (or sales, marketing, etc.) dream. Dang, I hope none of my local IT friends are reading this.

And if you are a job seeker what better place to find a list of growing companies (and likely hiring to some extent) in a searchable format.

One can search the information using 11 different filters including revenue, number of employees, NAICS codes, state, and region.

What follows is the list of 116 Minnesota privately held companies with links to the site and their research on each company.

Here goes...

October 2007 Minnesota Jobs Report

UH OH, another month of lost jobs for the State of Minnesota. Statistics can be funny. With this month the job loss was less than September’s and the unemployment rate dropped .2% yet this month feels worse than last month.

Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Commissioner Dan McElroy:

"The employment data over the past few months are concerning, and we will take a deeper look at what is happening in the state."

He has called for a review by state economists and department experts to look at the trends and make recommendations on how to encourage stronger economic growth.

Construction (gained 600 jobs), and the leisure industry (gained 300).

Job losses were in the categories of education and health services (down 3,200), manufacturing (down 2,700) and professional and business services (down 1,300).

Unemployment rate:

  • October ’07, 4.7%
  • September ’07, 4.9%
  • August ’07, 4.6%
  • July ’07, 4.6%
  • June ’07, 4.5%
  • May ’07, 4.6%
  • April ’07, 4.5%
  • March ’07. 4.2%
  • February ’07, 4.5%
  • January ’07, 4.4%
  • December ’06, 4.1%
  • November ’06, 4.1%
  • October ’06, 4.0%

Jobs Created/Lost:

  • October ’07, -6,600
  • September ’07, -6,300
  • August ’07, -2,000
  • July ’07, -7,300
  • June ’07, +4,200
  • May ’07, +7,200
  • April ’07, +500
  • March ’07, ???
  • February ’07, -1,200
  • January ’07, +13,100
  • December ’06, -1,600
  • November ’06, +12,300
  • October ’06, +3,300

Over The Year Job Growth:

  • October ’07, +2,100
  • September ’07, +9,800
  • August ’07, ???
  • July ’07, +19,165
  • June ’07, +35,133
  • May ’07, +41,515
  • April ’07, +36,711
  • March ’07, ???
  • February ’07, +20,787

All numbers above are seasonally adjusted.

Click Employment & Economic Statistics for more posts on the topic and MN Headhunter for the latest blog posts.


IT Jobs And IT Volunteer Opportunities With Minnesota Non Profits

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


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

If you are using a RSS Feed click Volunteer.


Veterans Day And

On this like other Veterans Day I find myself thinking about those who are and those that have served our country including my college roommates and fraternity brothers, Andy and Eddy, both of whom who are in the Marine Corps. Both have done multiple tours in Iraq. Last I heard Andy is on his third tour while Eddy is getting ready for another deployment.

FYI, the Marine Corps founding is November 10th.

When the Iraq War, version 2, started Eddy was flying missions in his Super Cobra. At the time I was the chapter advisor of the fraternity and we came up with an idea to sponsor a care package drive that was written about in the U of M school paper, Greeks send supplies to troops.

When Eddy came back he brought with him a United States flag that flew over the Baath Headquarters in Tikrit that he brought to the chapter house:

Deke_US Flag_caption Deke_US Flag_Minnesota Wall

Deke_US Flag_Minnesota_Eddy_Paul_Dekes

Over the weekend while flipping through the channels I saw a story on CNN regarding a non profit called and their online efforts to help veterans find jobs after their service in the military and to this country is done.

Here is a YouTube video from a CBS interview earlier this year:

After seeing the CNN story and then the video above I went to the web site to volunteer. The approach they are taking interests me in a couple of ways.

First, it is the right thing to do. The men and women of the armed forces have served our country and we should do everything we can to get them into the workforce with good jobs.

Second, using local networks and online social networks is of course something I teach and strongly believe in.

I look forward to finding out how I can be of help and I will surely be talking about the experience here on the blog.

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Minnesota Recruiter Jobs

The following new Recruiter Jobs in Minnesota have been added on the MN Headhunter Recruiting Gigs Page:

  • Senior Recruiter | Full Time Job | Nash Finch
  • Staffing Associate | Full Time Job | Buffets, Inc.
  • Senior Recruiter | Full Time Job | Graco
  • Corporate Recruiter | Full Time Job |
  • Recruitment Consultant College Relations | Full Time Job | Travelers
  • Staffing Manager, Insurance Business | Full Time Job | ING USFS

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 Recruiting Gigs.


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World's Largest Business Card

The following is posted as part of my participation in the Recruiting Blogswap:

From: Karen Burns, Working Girl

Anyone who reads and thinks about jobs, job-hunting, and careers is always running up against the resume.

In Working Girl's humble opinion, job hunters spend too much time fretting about resumes and not enough time out looking for a job. Why? Probably because you can sit and work on a resume in the privacy and safety of your own home. It's risk-free! At least until you show it to someone.

Yes, a resume is important, and you gotta have one, but guess what: It won't get you a job. In fact, most of what is useful to be said about resumes is negative. Thus follows:

A Long List of Resume Don't's

  • Don't make a single mistake on your resume. Not the eensiest, teensiest one.
  • Don't lie.
  • Don't use jargon, or weird colored paper, or funny fonts and formats.
  • Don't bother including a "references available on request" line (duh-does anyone think you will refuse to supply references?)
  • Don't bother saying "health-excellent." It only makes employers worry about your health. Also, don't mention if you are married or divorced, or have children.
  • Don't think you have to include every single job you've ever had. A resume should be targeted at a specific, actual job. Every piece of info on that resume should be pertinent to that job.
  • Don't include "salary requirements." Only talk about money when an offer is on the table.
  • Don't mention hobbies and interests. Who cares. One possible exception: if the hobby has some real connection with the job. (E.g., you are interviewing to write for Outdoor magazine and your hobby is mountain-climbing.)
  • Don't list reasons for leaving past jobs. Are you crazy?
  • Don't use a silly-sounding email address. If you do, you ARE crazy!
  • Don't write your resume as a list of job responsibilities. Employers care more about whether and how (if?) you fulfilled those responsibilities. Focus on accomplishments.
  • Don't allow your resume to be more than two pages at the very most. One is best. No one is going to spend more than 15 seconds looking at it anyway.
  • Don't obsess over your resume. Make it as perfect as you can and then get out there.

WG feels that the best use of a resume is as a really large business card--a leave-behind after you have interviewed a potential employer.

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 entry-level jobs and other career opportunities.

The Value Of A Recruiting Blog: Less Cold Calls and More Cash

The following is posted as part of my participation in the Recruiting Blog Swap:

From Jim Durbin, STLRecruiting

I've blogged for five years under many different blogs for many different reasons.  But as a recruiter, I had to calculate ROI for my activities.  That wasn't easy, as it had always seemed to me to be information and a sharpened ability to reason were the results of blogging.

It's difficult to quantify those traits - because as an outside salesperson, so much of my reputation was based on what I knew and how I got along with people I was not doing business with.  Valuable, but hard to measure was the answer.

In a more global manner, blogging helped brand me individually, outside of my company.  It set aside the corporate face and let technology managers know I'm more like them than a typical staffing account manager.

When asked to quantify the ROI, I spread it out over time spent performing other marketing activities as well as the impact that the increased knowledge had on current activities.  If reading a blogpost helped me get an appointment because it made me seem knowledgeable, then how valuable was that reading time as opposed to other cold calls?

I hated cold calls - not because of the rejection, but because I felt like I was wasting time - when I could spend it making a cold call warm, and getting better results.  So blogging for me, helped make my cold calls seem less of a waste of time, and more a chance to introduce myself, and my blog to hiring managers.

The result in the first year was $100,000.  What is your recruiting blog doing for you?

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